Dr. Livingstone; A Glass Half-full Kind of Guy!

Dr. Livingstone, as you know, was a missionary/explorer into Africa in the 1800’s. I knew a few stories about him, but sadly not much. I am now reading a biography called, The Life and Explorations of Dr. Livingstone, by John S. Roberts. It is an interesting read. For example, did you (solitary reader of my blog) know that David Livingstone spent his early life working in a factory. By early life, I mean at 10 years old he became a ‘piecer’ in a mill and worked from 6am-8pm. He then studied on his own from 8-10pm and did personal reading from 10-midnight. Six days a week! 10 years old!! He would put his book on the spinner at the mill so he could read while working. At nineteen, he was promoted to cotton-spinner which was much harder work, but paid better. He used his wages to attend University and medical school (a daily walk of nine miles!) and became a medical doctor. His hopes were to become a missionary to China and he knew that being a doctor would be a practical and helpful profession in mission work.

Circumstances (opium war in China) caused him to redirect his work and he was led to South Africa.

While on an early journey into the interior of Africa, Dr. Livingstone describes the following ‘adventure’ with a lion…

“Starting, and looking half round, I saw the lion just in the act of springing upon me. I was upon a little height. He caught my shoulder as he sprang; and we both came to the ground below together. Growling horribly close to my ear, he shook me as a terrier dog does a rat. The shock produced a stupor similar to that which seems to be felt by a mouse after the first shake of the cat. It caused a sort of dreaminess, in which there was no sense of pain, nor feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all that was happening. This singular condition was not the result of any mental process. The shake annihilated fear, and allowed no sense of horror in looking round at the beast. This peculiar state is probably produced in all animals killed by the carnivora; and, if so, is a merciful provision by our benevolent Creator for lessening the pain of death. Turning round to relieve myself of the weight, as he had one paw on the back of my head, I saw his eyes directed to Mebalwe (a native schoolmaster), who was trying to shoot him at a distance of ten or fifteen yards. His gun, a flint one, missed fire in both barrels: the lion immediately left me, and, attacking Mebalwe, bit his thigh. Another man, whose hip I had cured before, after he had been tossed by a buffalo, attempted to spear the lion while he was biting Mebalwe: he left Mebalwe, and caught this man by the shoulder; but at that moment the bullets he had received took effect, and he fell down dead… Besides crunching the bone into splinters, he left eleven teeth-wounds in my arm.”

What’s in Your Fridge…

I’m not sure what got into me, but I decided to take a picture of the inside of my refrigerator. It’s not that I am proud of it, in fact I’m not. I’m just feeling random. So here’s the picture…

Then I started playing with it on Paint.net (a very basic and free photo editing program).

Here is ‘my fridge’ with witty captions …

Here it is with x-ray vision! Nice…

I think I will have notecards made up on pink linen paper in this lovely embossed style. It says “CLASSY”, I think…

Here’s grandma’s fridge. It looks remarkably like mine! (Ha – did the sepia feature fool you?)

Ruth wanted to paint a picture of ‘my fridge’. Not a bad rendition for an amateur.

But my favorite option was the ‘quick-fix’ feature. See how it made ‘my fridge’ better…
*I don’t remember buying that many eggs, but whatever – maybe it’s an upgrade!

I’m off now to take pictures of my closet and the basement for a ‘quick-fix’.

What’s up, buttercup?

Actually, not much is going on. Ruth worked on her CAT tests. Daniel is on the verge of losing his first tooth (even though the replacement is already fully grown in and waiting for the spot!) and Ezra turned 2!

We’ve gained some feathered friends. An all white homing pigeon is one new ‘pet’. She is currently living in a cage on the side of the shed in the backyard. I’m not really sure why we have her. I want to purge the pets, not add to them – except for the beagle. I love the beagle. We also adopted a baby blue jay. Al’s hoping that she’ll be able to fly away soon. AND…we had a large bear in the backyard. But we are definitely NOT keeping him!

Here are some recent pictures…

Daniel is fishing with his ‘ugly stick’

He caught a perch – but check out the size of the perch compared to the lure! Hungry perch!

Daddy’s perch…

Daddy’s girl catching perch (or trying)

Ruth’s snake-charming skills didn’t work on the snake, but Daniel sure looks woozy!

Ruth with a small blue jay…

My sweet Ezra… Happy Birthday!

PS – after we got home from King of the Frosties where I took the Ezra pics, I showed Al what I thought was a skin tag under Ezra’s arm. Turns out deer ticks look just like skin tags! My poor boy has been feasted upon by a tick for more than 24 hours! I’m calling the Dr. on Monday. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Hello???? Hello??? Is there an echo in here?

Well – we went and did it. We did what I was sure we wouldn’t be doing for a long time. We got a new…

puppy. Isn’t she beautiful???!!! She is a sweet little beagle. We’ve named her Echo because of her bark. I wanted to go with the name, ‘fingernails on chalkboard’ but it’s not an easy name to holler out the back door when I’m calling her in. One of her many sisters might be living nearby!

Here are some more pics…


This child WILL steal your heart!

In the Cross of Christ I Glory

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

by John Bowring, 1825


Early this morning I was tossing and turning because of an earache. It seemed like I just woke up and I heard the snap of the mousetrap that I set out last night. We catch the critters every few nights or so. When the trap snapped, I said “yessss!” and Al (who I didn’t realize was awake) said, “Aren’t you glad there aren’t any people traps?” He thought there could be one at the library for all the books I shouldn’t be reading (no – not the romance novels – ick!), or on the computer for all of the sites we shouldn’t go to (not that we do – maybe a FB trap!), or next to me when I get angry with the kiddos… anywhere I could be tempted to sin!

I got thinking about it after he got up and realized how glad I am that God does not set ‘people-traps’ and that He is not out to snap down on His children. The bible says in James 1:13, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” That’s not to say that we aren’t tempted and even trapped. First, by our own evil desires in James 1:14, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed,” And we are also tempted by the devil, I Thess. 3:5 “I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” Satan, the evil hunter, intends destruction – I Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

But God, and the people of God, intend escape and restoration for the ensnared children of God. I Cor. 10:13″No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” and Galations 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

Along the way of my Christian walk, I believed that God was a performance-oriented God. That when I was ‘good’ God liked me and when I sinned, God was mad at me and didn’t like me as much and I needed to scramble and earn my way back into his good graces. I misunderstood the grace and love of God and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers.

I hope these selections from Romans 8 will minister to your heart about the love and intentions of God toward his children…

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:15-17

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39

Morning Coffee…

“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord,
to him who rides the ancient skies above,
who thunders with mighty voice. “
Psalm 68:32, 33

Randomness & Links

I’m dipping my toe once again into the waters of blogland with a random selection of updates and thoughts. I would try to explain them all, but that would kind of defeat the whole random idea.

thoughts on Facebook (or fb for the masses)…

I like fb because
1. I like to follow my non-local friends and family. Also, acquaintances and famous people I will never meet are pretty interesting too.
I don’t like fb because
1. I can spend too much time on the stupid quizzes.
2. I have a strange fascination with the habits of my local friends because they post status updates about anything and everything. Not that the updates are bad, they’re great. But why do I care? – what is it about me that eats all that stuff up? Did you ever have a phone on a party line? Same thing.
3. I don’t have alot of real friends and/or acquaintances. Somehow, this social interfacing website makes me feel like a dork all over again.
4. I see pictures and read updates about all the events I don’t get invited to. (dork, again!)
5. Why does Josh Harris accept my friend request? Why does he get like 50 likes and 70 comments on all of his status updates? He could fb belch and he’d get 4 thumbs up, 20 amens, and lots of virtual shoulder punches from dudes.

Anyway – I’m not cool enough for most of the fb applications. Twitter is even worse. Really. It would be so sad for me to twitter. all alone. tears.

PS – if you fb friend request me – I WILL accept. FYI.

Moving on…

swine flu? Amazing. Getting bigger each time I log on to the internet.

I’m reading “Knowing God” by Packer now. I read it in 1998 and I am amazed that all of the things that resonated with me then, resonate with me now. One thing in particular is that my quest to ‘know God’ is a quest to really have God – not more knowledge about God!

I should really be cooking bacon right now.

Some recipes I’ve gluttoned on lately…

I love this site – it is a feast for the eyes and imagination…

Tim Keller said (at The Gospel Coalition) that “you can’t really, you really can’t, minister the gospel in a life-changing way unless, like Paul always did, you discern and expose and challenge the idols of your place.” So true! I wan’t to discern, expose and challenge the idols of my heart (fb?, status?, kids?, housecleaning?) and help others to do the same!

Well – for now this randomness is good for my soul. Thanks for playing along. Now I need to go cook dinner and you can bet I’m making some garlic cheese bread!

Morning Coffee…

“…my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood,
but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
Great peace have those who love your law;
nothing can make them stumble.”
Psalm 119:161-165