Monday, June 29, 2009

The Miracle Worker

Group picture

Scene 1 Helen as a sick baby

Scene 2 Helen older and running wild


Anne Sullivan locked in her room by Helen.

Last Friday my family and I went with a group from our church to the birthplace of Helen Keller, Ivy Green. This time every year there is a reenactment called "The Miracle Worker". It's about the life of Helen Keller - at least up to the point where she finally understands the meaning of words and sign language. I've wanted to go see this play for a very long time, and I was so happy to go with my family and friends. It's not a very far drive from where we live, so I don't know why we haven't gone before. It takes place outside, and being in Alabama, it's rather hot and sticky this time of year. We were all a bit uncomfortable, but just thinking about having to wear the wardrobe that the actors did made me feel better. All of the actors did a wonderful job. They were very believable in their characterizations. There were two ladies who interpreted the play in American Sign Language, and they kept my attention for the majority of the program.


Interpreters
Haley and Anna with the main characters.

The place was packed full of people. Next to me sat a woman whose daughter was born deaf. The mother had the measles when she was pregnant with her. Her daughter, who is 43 years old, sat next to her. I started to sign with her and enjoyed being able to use what I know of the language. It's not often enough that I get that chance. Of course I fumbled here and there because it's been so long, but I think I muddled through pretty well. It's always nice to see the smiles on the faces of a Deaf person when someone hearing knows their language. It makes me want to pursue interpreting all the more. One day, Lord willing, I'll get to that point.

By the time the story of Helen reached the climax of her finally grasping the meaning of words, several of us were in tears. Helen's story is simply amazing. She not overcame the obstacles in her life, she triumphed over them! She achieved more than most hearing and seeing people ever dream to accomplish. An absolutely amazing woman. And of course the tenacity and loyalty of Anne Sullivan is not to be overlooked. They were quite the pair indeed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"I'm burning!"

Even though I posted an entry only yesterday, I felt the need to share this news report with you. It's about the young lady who was shot and killed at one of the Iranian protests. I'm sure you've heard about it already, but what has torn at my heart today was reading her last words: "I'm burning! I'm burning!" The lady was shot, yet she says, "I'm burning!" Could it be that she was already in her eternal state? This thought frightens me to the core. Every day I go on living without fully realizing the eternal consequences we will ALL face. I guess because my eternity is secure I don't live my life here with urgency. Shame on me! This woman's friends and family are heralding her as an angel, yet is she burning in hell now? To man it doesn't seem just for "good people" to be sent to hell, yet the Word of God makes it clear that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and ALL men are without excuse because God has made Himself known to us through His creation (Romans 1:19-21). But God doesn't leave us without hope. Christ, God's only Son, died for us! "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die." (Romans 5:5-7) This young woman might have died for something that was good, but Christ died for all of the sinful people of this world! For her and the very people that put a bullet into her body. Christ died for me and for you. It's all well and good for me to blog about this, but when am I going to LIVE like people are dying?!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the LORD talked with Moses

I read Exodus 33 in my Bible today - several times. I was intrigued by this passage. The LORD is having a conversation with Moses, telling him that he and the Israelites are to leave Sinai. God is extremely angry with the Israelites because they were impatient and made a graven image to worship in His place - a big NO, NO! Moses begs God not to destroy them, but then when he goes down from the mountain and sees for himself what the people have done, Moses becomes extremely angry! That part actually takes place in Exodus 32. In chapter 33, the verses that enchanted me the most were 9-11, "And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at teh tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." I started wondering how in the world Moses had grown so close to God that he had the privilege of talking to Him "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend". Now I know that they have been through a LOT together, what with facing Pharaoh, the plagues and leading millions of people out into the desert. But still - "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend"! That astounds me! Then later on in the chapter (vs. 18-23) Moses tells God that he wants to see His glory and God allows Moses to see His back as He passes him in the cleft of the rock! How awesome is that?!

Monday, June 15, 2009

semi-unaswered questions


For the past several weeks I have been reading the book of Acts. My initial reason for re-reading Acts was to remind me of how the Early Church started; but instead of focusing on that, I was drawn to the Holy Spirit. Now, my purpose for writing this post is not to confuse anyone, instead my intention is to hopefully talk things through for myself. And if anyone has any Holy Spirit inspired feed-back to share, I would be grateful.

You see, I've been perplexed about something. It started with some verses in chapter 8. I read about some people in Samaria who heard Phillip preaching the good news. They believed and were baptized. Later, Peter and John go to see them and realize that the people had not yet received the Holy Spirit; they had "simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16). Then in verse 17, Peter and John placed their hands on them and THEN "they received the Holy Spirit". This is also mentioned in Acts 19 verse 12 in Ephesus. Paul asks some, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit WHEN you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Well, I found these verses curious, because back in Acts 2 verse 38 I remembered reading "Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So, why is it that the Samarians in chapter 8 believed and were baptized did NOT receive the Holy Spirit? After weeks of reading, re-reading, doing word searches, and praying - I STILL DON'T KNOW. The only thing that I think might be the answer is in Acts 19. In this chapter, Paul asks some Ephesian believers if they received the Holy Spirit WHEN they believed. The Ephesians answered the same way the Samarians did in chapter 8. They said that they "had not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit". Paul then asks them what baptism they received. They replied that it was John's. Paul explains to them that the baptism of John was one of repentance and that they needed to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. So, they were baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul places his hands on them and then they receive Holy Spirit. After which they spoke in tongues and prophesied. What I gathered from this is that some times people hear the Word and are convicted, but they still might not completely understand what they're feeling and doing. So maybe the people of Samaria and Ephesus in these verses were like that and just needed to hear the message from someone different before they completely understood and then could genuinely believe and be baptized. Again, I really don't know.

Another thing I thought while reading about the Holy Spirit in Acts is that I can understand how some denominations believe that the Holy Spirit can only be obtained through the laying on of hands, because in many cases in this book that's exactly what happened (Acts 8, Acts 9:17, Acts 19). However there are also verses that clearly state that the Holy Spirit is received through repentance/belief (Acts 2:38-39, Acts 10:47, Acts 11:15).

Well, there you have it. My semi-unanswered questions with regard to the Holy Spirit. I do not doubt my God at all just because my little brain can't comprehend every detail. I trust that He will reveal to me in His perfect timing what I need to know and understand. I'm thankful for His Word and for the Holy Spirit in my life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

interview with satan

I couldn't sleep and I needed a laugh, so I went to tango.com and watched several videos. This isn't the funniest one I saw, and in a way it's NOT funny, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Georgia Fun


This past weekend we went to Georgia. The main attraction for us was to see my brother, Daniel, in his Army boot camp graduation. The ceremony itself was very short. It had to be moved indoors due to threat of rain, so they were not able to do all of the gun and tank demos that were originally planned. It was still a pretty nice ceremony, though. I was very impressed by the intensity of the soldiers' response to their drill sergeants and in their reciting the Army creed (I think it's called a "creed"). Anyway, we are very proud of Daniel and his accomplishments. Pray for him as he will be stationed in Korea.

We stayed at a campground about 30 minutes from the Fort Benning Army base. It was a pretty nice campground. It had a beautiful swimming pool that we had to ourselves for the most part! The facilities also included a small gym, a sauna, massages were available (for a price, I'm sure), a lounge with big screen cable tv and coffee bar. The price of the stay included cable tv and wireless internet. We really like to rough it when we camp, you know. ;0)

The day after the graduation, we went to Atlanta, about an hour drive away, to see the Georgia Aquarium. It was very enjoyable (once you got over the sticker shock!). The tunnel was the best part. Being underneath all of those sea creatures was very impressive. It's the closest I will EVER want to be to them. The manta ray was my favorite; even though they are kind of creepy, I still think they're beautiful to watch as they glide through the water. The kids favorite part was the touch pool where they could pet the sting rays (stingers removed) and small sharks. We enjoyed a 4-D 15 minute movie but had to pass on the Titanic film because it was extra $$$.


All in all it was a great few days. More happy memories were made.

We celebrated two birthdays while we away - my daughter's birthday was the 5th and my husband's was the 7th. Also on the 7th, my brother Daniel got married while he was home. We weren't able to make that ceremony because, well, we didn't know about it until Thursday and we had already made plans to stay in Georgia until Sunday! Oh well, I guess we can't always make it to every thing. This Friday, Lord willing, we will be hosting a family gathering for Daniel before he takes off to Korea. It will be sad to see him go, but like I've said, we are very proud of him.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

13 and counting


I'm writing this today because on Friday I'll be in Fort Benning, GA (Lord willing) watching my brother, Daniel, in his Army graduation ceremony. That same day my daughter will be having her 13th birthday! Where does the time go? I still remember being 50 lbs heavier while carrying her around inside, wobbling with every step I took and hoping that "today's the day", yet terrified at the same time that it would be. She was due (supposedly) on May 25th, but decided to hang around a few extra days, so I was really, really ready for her to arrive.

I won't bore you with gorey and boring details of my labor, but I will say it was an extremely long ordeal, but it was oh so worth it! Dwight and I elected NOT to have the doctor tell us if our baby was a boy or girl, but I KNEW with all my being that she was a girl. When the she was born and the doctor said, "It's a girl!" I was elated! Then when we heard her cry it was the most beautiful sound I'd ever heard. Her voice was raspy and deep for a girl. In fact, all our family and friends on the other side of the door thought we had a boy instead. When they found out she's a girl, my best friend said that she has an alto voice. ;0)

Well, here we are 13 years later. I can't say enough good things about my daughter. She is such a joy and a blessing. God has enriched our lives so much because of this precious girl, or I should say "lady" now. She is loving and kind, talented and intelligent, and she is even very responsible. She is trust worthy and respectful of others (with the exception of her brother from time to time, but that's only natural). She has yet to demonstrate your typical teenager's attitude and I pray that she never does.

Today she wants to get her ears pierced. We will be going to pick up her friend and then we'll head to the store. I was the same age when I got my ears pierced and so I told her years ago that 13 was a good age for something like that. She's also excited about this year's birthday because she will be old enough to get her own debit card. Since she is very responsible, we're going to allow her to do so. Her brother, on the other hand, probably not when he's 13! ;0) Isn't it funny how different our children can be sometimes?

Well, thanks for going down memory lane with me and sharing the joy of my precious daughter. I simply cannot thank my God enough for her - for both of my children. It was the birth of my children that brought me so much closer to my heavenly Father than I ever thought possible. I can see so much more clearly how much He loves me and why.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of my children. I pray that Dwight and I will raise them to be godly, holy followers of You and Your Son. Amen!