Thursday, November 4, 2010


The month of October certainly had it's challenges for us this year, and I suppose we could say it was another opportunity for character-building; but it also had lots of blessings both large and small. As a child you may have been reminded to count your blessings instead of complaining, so that's exactly what I'm doing here, and this is only a fraction of the myriad of blessings that the Father sent our way. More accurately, these are the only ones I took photos of!

In early October the World Equestrian Games were taking place at the International Horse Park in Lexington, KY, and some of the vaulting teams were here in Franklin spending time acclimating and practicing for their competitions. At the conclusion of their practice time, and just before leaving for KY, the teams held a couple of rehearsals that were open to the public, so I and a few friends went to watch. Among teams representing other countries, the U.S. Team was also performing and we thought they, of course, were the best. As it turns out they won the Vaulting competition in KY, so they really were the best! It was incredible watching what these people (kids) do on horseback! Here's one photo of the U.S. Team at work - they were the only team we saw that involved 3 vaulters. For more amazing photos, go to the album on my Facebook page.
October was also a challenge for daughters, Kristin and Kelly, and for their sons because the men-of-the-house were out doing field-exercises for the entire month. The girls managed well and kept the rest of us supplied with photos of the little men-of-the-house. Here are Gilbert and Patrick in the doorway of their new German home.
Gilbert has found a berry bush in his new backyard and ended up with very purple hands!
What better way to use packing boxes?! Here we have Mr. Patrick-in-a-box.
Meanwhile, back in the States, Omari has learned a new trick - pulling up! (Look out, World!) Can't you just see the look of accomplishment on his face?
I love this photo! Little O, the Talking Lion, is putting every ounce of strength into making the climb!
October also brought frost and it was time to get the last of the herbs in. It's a time-consuming job to harvest, wash, separate, and dry, but I just love it. The aroma of fresh herbs in the house is wonderful. My little bread rack serves as a great place to hang herbs, and even with the space the rack offers, herbs end up hanging pretty much anywhere I can find to hang them that's not in the way.
A close up of Thyme, Sage and Marjoram.
October also brought some severe weather, and after one of the storms I found this tiny nest that had blown down. A Chickadee nest perhaps? It was made with grass, pine needles, haystring, and horsehair. Next to it is a little bunch of Winter Savory.
The beautiful sunflowers with the neon green centers had dried and left the most wonderful seed-heads. I wanted to bring them into the house (and did) but when we started coughing, I discovered that they had mold on them. Oh well. They are serving duty in the bird feeder now as really cool-looking bird food. Next to them are the Osage Oranges, or Horse Apples, that fall from the Osage trees in autumn. They make great indoor decor and give off a pleasant citrus-y smell.
And, finally, one of the best things about Autumn is the crisp nights and warm days. Here we have Max and Ladybug enjoying it to the fullest. Who says a dog's life is so hard?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Doing Justice

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” ~ Micah 6:8

It’s that first admonition that I want to take up today – to do justice. So, how do we do justice? We have to understand what justice is before we can do it, so let’s first take a look at what justice is not. Some definitions of injustice are: inequity, partiality, wrong, injury, disservice, unbalanced, and biased. If a child saw these things being committed he would cry, “Not fair!” These behaviors go against the moral compass that God installed in our being despite our sinful nature.

Next, let’s look at Webster’s definition for justice: the quality of righteousness; impartiality; the use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just or lawful. It’s what that same child would declare as “Fair!”

Now, let’s see what Scripture has to say about justice:

“…The awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow…” (Deut. 10:17-18)

“You shall not pervert justice … Justice, and only justice, you shall follow…” Deut. 16:19-20).

“…cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:16-17)

[The fathers and prophets] who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…” (Heb. 11:32-33)

“For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints.” (Psalm 37:28)

For the Christian, justice is not an option, it is a mandate from the Lord God Himself. We are to live our lives righteously, showing no partiality, committing no wrong or injury towards others, working to correct oppression. But, not only that, we are to bring justice and reformation to all of creation, to all spheres of the duties and works of man – the arts, sciences, business, industry, agriculture, education, everything – for it is ALL under the Lordship of Christ.

Therefore, we do not disdain or dismiss the realm of public policy. In fact, we work the fallow soil of the public sphere just as we would of any other sphere. Great injustices to the widow and fatherless exist today because of unrighteous public policy; injustice in the civil courts exist today because ungodly men and women in elected positions appoint judges who corrupt the law of our land – the Constitution; injustices to marriage, the family, business, education, our freedom of worship all exist today due to the absence of sound, Biblical influence in the public realm. We the Church have only to look at ourselves to blame for the mess we find our nation in today. We cannot ignore God’s mandate for justice in the public realm without facing the consequences of an unjust and corrupt society.

O, Christian, “How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves? Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin? But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple:”*

Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly with God.

*Micah 6: 6-7, The Message