Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

A tribute to my Dad, one of my favorite people on the planet--

My Dad worked for the same company from the moment he graduated from college until the day he retired. He is LOYAL.

My Dad had no training in such things, but somehow he learned to fix every appliance, vehicle, toy, etc. that the 5 females in his life tried to break or wear out. :-D He is SMART.

My Dad planned a family vacation every single year to give us something special to look forward to and remember (and it worked! I have such special memories of our family vacations!) Sometimes they were very simple and inexpensive when the budget required them to be so, but I never knew the difference, and they were always so much fun! He is DEVOTED to his family.

My Dad always looked for an opportunity to do something out of the ordinary to surprise his 4 adoring daughters. I'll never forget the time he spent hours on a cold, cold night winding a hose all up into a tree so that he could run it that night and have us wake up to a massive ice castle! It was the most amazing thing I think I had ever seen at that point in my life, and it still ranks pretty high! He is FUN!

My Dad worked hard all week long every week. (I honestly don't think he ever took a sick day.) Yet he still somehow always found the time and energy to play with 4 energetic little girls in the evenings and on the weekends. He is the OPPOSITE of LAZY.

My Dad lived simply (and still does) so that he could save up to bless his future generations. He is UNSELFISH.

My Dad never hesitated for one second to immediately jump to the aid of those around him who might find themselves in a bind. I remember passing a car full of teenagers in a ditch on my way home one day (when I was a teenager myself). I didn't know them, but I felt sorry for them, so I told my Dad about it when I got home. He was in the middle of something, but he dropped what he was doing and grabbed a chain so that we could go pull them out. I'll never forget the look on the driver's face when he realized the car was fine and that he wouldn't need to call his own Dad (or the cops) to get help. Relief is an understatement. He emptied his wallet and tried to hand it to my Dad, but Dad just shook his head and said, "Just slow down around this curve next time, ok?" He is HELPFUL.

My Dad once used pantyhose to fix our broken-down vehicle on the way home from a long road trip. It's a long story that earned him the nickname "McGyver." He is RESOURCEFUL.

My Dad often came home to 10+ chattering little girls having a "slumber party" all over his living room floor. I doubt this was the most relaxing thing he could think of after a long week at work, but he never complained, and all of my friends thought he was just wonderful. He is PATIENT.

My Dad enjoyed rewarding us for our achievements, but he first taught us to work hard to earn them. He is PRACTICAL.

My Dad instilled in me my love of NFL football by sitting with me on Sunday afternoons and just hanging out and talking while the games were on. It was hard to find one-on-one time with him with 3 sisters, but somehow this became "my time." He is AWESOME.

My Dad is never more happy than when he is surrounded by his grandchildren, whether it be helping them learn to fish, pushing them on the swing for the millionth time, skimming the pool so it's perfect when they show up to swim, fixing a bike that one of them has abused, spending weeks building up a wood pile for the perfect bon fire, etc., etc., etc. He is LOVING.

My Dad still gets playfully teased by colleagues for the way he conducted himself in the midst of "big oil" world. Apparently, integrity is not mandatory in this business, and yet he was one of the few who actually had it. He is HONEST.

My Dad didn't just speak; he lived what he spoke. Which is good, because I remember his actions much better than I remember his words. ;-) He is a WONDERFUL EXAMPLE to his children and grandchildren.

My Dad took me for a looong walk one evening shortly after I developed a condition called bels palsy. He had a business trip coming up on the day that I was supposed to go have a bunch of tests run, and he wanted me to know that he would cancel it if I was scared and needed him to stay home. (I told him I was ok, and everything turned out fine, but clearly his willingness to stay had a big impact on me since I still remember it over 25 years later. :-D) He is CARING.

My Dad had a retirement party several years ago, and every single person he had ever worked for (who was still alive) showed up to celebrate with him. He is RESPECTED.

My Dad is the first person I call when I need advice on some big life decision like buying a house, car issues, etc. He is WISE.

My Dad raised 4 daughters (and is helping with 10 grandchildren) who love, adore and respect him beyond words. This is not because he demands this of us. It is because he lives in such a way that he has EARNED it!

I love you SO MUCH, Dad!!! I hope today is just perfect, and I CAN'T WAIT to see you at Christmas time!!!

Photo of the Week 10-31-11

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beyond Today

"We like that our gospel gets our sins forgiven and gives us a ticket to heaven, but we're not sure of its functionality in our lives every day."  --Jared Wilson

This is a line that I read yesterday in the manuscript Jared is finishing up for Gospel Deeps. It's very thought-provoking not just for me personally as I think through what that looks like in my own life, but also as I consider how I might explain this to someone else. This is an exercise I'm trying to become much more consistent with. Jared is a pastor, a writer, a brilliant wordsmith. I learn something new from him just about every single day. And often I find myself repeating words almost exactly as they came from his mouth (or pen). This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if I am repeating his words to someone who might not have heard them directly from him. But the truth is that my mind is much more simple than his. 

I probably should be embarrassed to admit this, but I kept open on my laptop all day yesterday as I proofread his manuscript. ;-) There were some pretty expensive words in there! Not enough to be a distraction or keep the book from flowing had I just kept moving and used the context to help me guess at their meanings, but I looked up each one anyway just to make sure my proofreading was effective. 

But I digress. The point I was wandering toward is that maybe there are some whose minds are more similar to mine than Jared's (although for your sakes I hope not ;-), in which case maybe it is helpful for me to share the ways these things I read work themselves out in my mind. Please remember you have been warned repeatedly that I am not as smart as my husband, nor will I ever be able to write like him, so set your expectations low. :-D

Back to the original statement of this post. Just what IS the functionality of the gospel in our every day lives?

I think it's the music. And I don't mean that in some artsy, fartsy, vague way.

The illustration in my mind is a piano. What a gorgeous instrument, right? I'm sure most of us have seen exquisite grand or baby grand pianos with perfectly polished keys, ornately carved legs, and gleaming finish. Whether or not we play, most of us can appreciate the artistry behind the physical instrument. It's strong and bold and beautiful. Not tucked under a bed or in a closet. It's a vivid and significant presence in pretty much any room it occupies. It carries weight and demands to be noticed. If you place a piano in a room which was previously unoccupied by a piano, people will most likely see it, right?

Such is true of the gospel I think. A life previously unaffected by the gospel should certainly look different once the gospel enters that life. But is that it? Does it end there? Am I different today because the gospel entered my life, but starting tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, I will from now on be the same as I am today? I sure hope not. What happens next then?

Ahhhhhhh, the music starts!!! Close your eyes. Can you hear it? Feel it even? Does it make you want to sway a little? Bob your head? Tap your foot? That piano is not just a decoration. It's an instrument. It was not designed to be shoved into a corner and glanced at occasionally. It was designed to fill the air with melody and harmony and sometimes lilting, soul-soothing ballads, other times energetic, toe-tapping ditties. This is the primary reason for its existence. I suppose one could really appreciate the sight of a piano, but isn't the true joy of this instrument in the music it produces? If you know how to play, don't you want to actually touch the keys and feel the smooth of the ivory under your fingertips? If you don't play, don't you long to hear the music? This is the ongoing gift. Music. Every day all day long and for any occasion, this piece of wood and metal and ivory is fully capable of providing music. We have a beautiful old piano in our church. It's as pretty as any I've seen. Sometimes I actually notice it, but many times I walk right by it and don't pay it much attention at all. But when my friend Leslie or my daughter Macy sits down to play, I cannot ignore it. It's the music that really speaks to me.

Oh that we might all learn to "play" our salvation so beautifully! It is the most precious gift we can ever receive on the day we receive it. And it is enough on that day to change us forever. But let's not stop there. Let's begin to play (or at least listen to) the music. The ballads of comfort and peace, the carols of joy, the epic hymns of awe and wonder. Every day all day long. The ivory keys of our salvation were not meant to lie still and untouched, gathering cobwebs. Let's become the brilliant musicians we were meant to be. A little practice each day until our magnificent opus becomes second nature. And wouldn't it be something if others could hear our music too?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Good List 10-26-10

10. A waaaaaaarm shower on a cold morning.
9. The mini-laptop (issued by her school) that Macy gets to treat as her very own for the next 2 years. She's so proud and SOOOOO excited!

8. We got Captain America in the mail yesterday. Thanks, Netflix, for a fun family movie night later this week! (I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's fantastic!)
7. Macy's pumpkin creation:

6. We currently have a candlelit pumpkin on our front steps and Christmas tree lights shining through the nearby window. Yep. This is how we roll. Sometimes ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. ;-)
5. Positive parent/teacher conferences!
4. Bright, beautiful bluejays on naked white trees:

3. Having Gracie hold my hand through an entire corn maze. Made my day. We love to adventure together!
2. Having Macy lead the way through the corn maze (wandering aimlessly at first), but once she decided to look at the map, she brought us right to the exit! Go Mace!

1. Hathaway Farm, established in 1881. 1881, y'all!!! That in itself is awesome. But there's more. A corn maze, fantastic views, adorable animals, horseshoes, tetherball, a huge pumpkin patch, hay rides. Do I have to keep going? Y'all are with me, right? :-D I love this place!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For Us

I read this this morning, and it is too good not to share.

Andrew Murray writes:

Thus dear did God hold the world. How dear? That He gave His only-begotten Son for every one in the world who will trust in Him. And how did He give? He gave Him, in His birth as man, in order to be forever one with us. He gave Him, in His death on the cross as Surety, in order to take our sin and curse upon Himself. He gave Him, on the throne of heaven, in order to arrange for our welfare, as our Representative and Intercessor over all the powers of heaven. He gave Him in the outpouring of the Spirit, in order to dwell in us, to be entirely and altogether our own. . . Yes; that is the love of God, that He gave His Son to us, for us, in us.

Nothing less than His Son Himself. This is the love of God; not that He gives us something, but that He gives us some one--a living person--not one or another blessing, but Him in whom is all life and blessing--Jesus Himself.

"to be entirely and altogether our own. . ."  Just wow. 

The Good List 10-19-11

10. Steam cleaning. It's therapeutic (and very effective)!
9. THIS!

I haven't seen this stuff in years. I kinda think it might just be a Halloween time promotion, so Jared couldn't pass it up when he saw it in the grocery store.
8. My sister's new juicer, which has allowed me to enjoy fresh carrot-apple juice all week. (I promise it's way better than it sounds and sooooo good for you!) Also-- it's a lovely fall color. :-D
7. When the leaves are gone, it's much easier to see the birds and squirrels playing in the naked trees. (I do love me some fall leaves, but this helps me not miss them *quite* so much.)
6. The smell of the blankets that we pull out of the cedar chest when it gets cold at night.
5. The History of Middletown, Vermont that I finished reading last weekend. Fascinating stuff.
4. The absence of physical pain, which I take for granted pretty much every single day. But this week so many of my friends were suffering from various physical pains that I was so much more aware of my health and comfort. I'm so grateful, but not nearly as grateful as I should be.
3. Macy and Grace get a long weekend this weekend!
2. Nana and Papa are on their way to Vermont!
1. Finally getting to see Jared hold this in his hands. It's been in his heart for a long time, but we were ready to see it in person. (Cue "it's like having a baby" references. ;-) So proud of him!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prayer Time 10-18-11

How may I pray for you today? You can let me know by leaving a comment. The comments on this post will not be published publicly for the sake of those concerned with privacy.

Blessings in the Gospel today!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What I'm Learning

So my quest for knowledge has begun. I'm starting local with a book called The History of Middletown, Vermont. 

The area was inhabited as early as 1761, but it wasn't established as a separate town until 1784, pulling a corner from each of its 4 neighboring towns, Poultney, Ira, Tinmouth, and Wells. Hence the term Middletown. :-D Apparently, the inhabitants had a hard time participating in daily life within their respective towns due to their difficulty getting over the surrounding mountains, so they established the little "valley" at the base of all those mountains as a town unto itself. Fourteen thousand acres hemmed in by mountains on pretty much every side. Cozy.

Thick forest occupied the entire town initially, but Thomas Morgan "made the first clearing", completed the first house, and welcomed the first baby born to Middletown--his son Jonathan. This began the settlement.


Joseph Spaulding is credited with being the founder of Middletown. He was referred to by most of the town as "Captain Spaulding" due to his "leading spirit in getting the town established." He was the surveyor who located the town lines and also gave the town its name. Other credits he earned throughout his life include the following:

  • he served as a lieutenant during the Revolutionary War
  • he taught the first school in Middletown and several others following, the last when he was over 75 years old
  • he was the first captain of the militia in town and held that office during the time of the Shays' rebellion in 1786
  • he lived to be 96 years old and was able to read without glasses throughout his entire life (What a crazy little interesting detail! :-D)
  • (I'm assuming the photo below represents his son based on the dates, but I don't recall the book mentioning him specifically.)

Jonathan Brewster is the acknowledged leader in the formation of the congregational church. (This is our church! Thank you, Mr. Brewster!) It is believed the church first began in May of 1782, although the first written record of meeting notes is dated May 1783. Brewster had a reputation for being an extremely hard worker, so it is fitting to find on his gravestone the following quote: "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." Awesome. He died in 1820 at the age of 76. (Older than America!!!)

Gideon Miner, primarily referred to as "Deacon Miner" due to the respect he garnered within that role at the Congregational Church, was perhaps one of the most influential teachers within the history of our church. Here is a direct quote: "Few men, and we may include clergymen, were more familiar with the Bible than he was, or more capable of explaining and enforcing its doctrines." Deacon Miner and his wife had 11 children and over 30 grandchildren, one of whom (Orlin H., Jr.) was an intimate friend of President Lincoln.

When the first census was taken in 1791, Middletown residents numbered 699. By 1800, due to the industriousness of the inhabitants in building mills, grists, factories, and other businesses leading to job opportunities, the population had grown to 1066. By 1810, the total was up to 1207. At that time, the town businesses included 4 grist mills, 2 saw mills, 2 or 3 forges, 2 distilleries, 2 or 3 clothiers establishments, several mechanics' shops, 2 taverns, and 2 general stores.

Oddly enough, it is entirely likely that Mormonism originated in Middletown with the Wood family, who basically launched their own family religion in 1800 and drew Joseph Smith into their fold through his father when he was just a child. It's a long, very strange story, but their religion involved the use of hazel rods to give them revelations as to where to dig for gold and silver. The practice of this religion led Joseph Smith to claim (this book uses the word "pretend") that he had found "the golden bible" in 1830, at which point he began the establishment of the Mormon religion as it currently exists. Crazy!

Reverend Jesse Caswell was the first foreign missionary to come out of the Middletown Congregational Church. He went to Siam in 1838 to serve as a missionary and teach English to the king. He died there in 1848 at the age of 40, at which time it is said that the king of Siam wept like a child and began a correspondence with Caswell's family which lasted for many years.

On July 22nd of 1811, Middletown suffered such a massive flood that almost all of the major businesses were completely washed away, and most of them never fully recovered, if at all. Primarily due to this incident, the population declined fairly significantly over the next several years, and by the census of 1820, the total number of residents registered was 1039.

Although the Congregational Church was most likely established in 1782 (certainly by 1783), a permanent building wasn't built until 1796. This building still stands on the town green and serves as Middletown Springs Community Church today! (I LOVE that place! :-D) For many years, the church was without a designated minister, during which time the deacons served as teaching pastors under the primary leadership of Jonathan Brewster. Finally in 1805, Reverend Henry Bigelow became the first "settled minister" over the Congregational Church in Middletown. He remained in this role until his death in 1832. 

Shortly after Pastor Bigelow's death, Rev. Stone preached for about 6 months, but was not asked to "settle." Following Stone, Rev. Guy Sampson preached for about 2 years and then moved on to a vocation outside of ministry. Finally in the spring of 1836, Rev. John A. Avery settled over the church, but was eventually dismissed in 1841 to move on to Onondaga, NY. Other documented preachers beginning in 1842 are as follows:
September 1842-May 1844: Rev. B. Reynolds
December 1846-December 1847: Rev. Mr. Payne
Fall 1848-Fall 1855: Rev. John H. Beckwith
1856 (for about 6 months): Rev. Enoch Caswell
Fall 1858-April 1864: Rev. Calvin Granger (It was during Rev. Granger's ministry that an addition of 16 feet was added to the front of the church, which included a spire and a bell.)
September 1865-September 1866: Rev. M. Martin
Fall 1866-(not sure how long he was there as he was listed as the "present pastor" when this book was originally published in 1867): Rev. G. Myrick

The Baptist Church in Middletown was organized in 1784. It was a large church from 1790 until 1802, drawing members from all 4 of the surrounding towns of Ira, Tinmouth, Wells and Poultney. However, in 1802, a large percentage of the congregation then living in Poultney left to form a church in their own town. The church was without a pastor until 1790, when they called Rev. Sylvanus  Haynes to settle with them, and he accepted. Rev. Haynes served in this role until 1817, when he moved to New York. Those who came behind him are as follows:
1817-1819: Rev. Seth Ewens
1821-1828: Rev. Isaac Bucklin
1828-1832: There was no "settled" pastor, but Rev. Mr. Fuller, Rev. Linus J. Reynolds and Rev. G.B. Day each provided teaching during this period
1834-1837: Rev. Mr. Soullard
1838 (for only about 6 months): Rev. Mr. Haskell
1839-1841: Rev. E. B. Bullard (He left to become a missionary in Birmah and eventually died there.)
1841-1845: Rev. Robert Myers
1846-1849: Rev. R. O. Dwyer
1849-1850: Rev. M. J. Smith
1850-1852: Rev. J. J. Peck
1855-1860: Rev. Beriah N. Leach, D. D.
Rev. Mr. Frenyear preached for a short time after Rev. Leach left, and Rev. Thomas Tobin was the current pastor when this book was originally published in 1867.

Widespread financial woes in 1839 led to the decline of many farms and businesses in Middletown during the next decade. This resulted in a severe population reduction over the next several years. By the census of 1860, the total inhabitant count was down to 712. After 1860, the town became essentially an agricultural town, primarily focused on dairy farming. The Middletown Cheese Manufacturing Company was organized in the spring of 1864 and quickly became a very successful business. In 1866, they recorded receiving 1,707,814 pounds of milk, which created 173,970 pounds of cheese. This resulted in $30,383 in gross receipts.

This book was originally written in 1867, so the "history" stops there for now. Also, I should note that there are some fascinating stories about some of these people which are far too long to summarize in a blog post, but I certainly recommend this book very highly to any and all Middletown (or near and around Middletown) residents. And maybe those of you who have been here awhile can help me connect some dots. :-D Until then, I'll just keep reading.

Side note: I've walked through the Middletown cemetery before, but I went back this morning thinking that it would take on a different meaning now that I am a bit more familiar with some of the names. I'm sad that I couldn't find some of the specific stones I was looking for in the cemetery--especially Jonathan Brewster. Some of them weren't readable anymore, but it's still stirring to walk through there and think about some of their stories with a bit more clarity. I'm enamored.

Next up in my quest:  David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize winner 1776.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Good List 10-12-11

10. The Wonder Years on Netflix.
9. Cinnamon Pastry coffee. It tastes exactly like the feeling of pulling a blanket out of the dryer and wrapping it around your shivers. Ahhhhhhhhh. Sooooooooothing.
8. My current favorite tree in my back yard. :-D

 7. Detroit Lions 5-0. Who in this whole wide world would have guessed???
6. Freshly bathed babies.
5. Grace uses the phrase "as well" a lot. For some reason it makes me giggle almost every single time.
4. This beautiful, delicious, fabulously moist chocolate chip pumpkin cake that Macy made with no help whatsoever. She even looked up the recipe online all by herself.

3. Foggy fall mornings that turn into brilliantly vibrant afternoons.

2. A peaceful heart.
1. This stack of some of my favorite people on the entire planet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prayer Time 10-11-11

Today I have some little visitors keeping me busy, but I still hope to have some quiet prayer time this afternoon while they're napping. Please let me know if there is anything I can pray about on your behalf. Comments on this post will not be published publicly for those who are concerned about privacy.

Blessings of hope and peace and comfort in the Gospel today!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011


After much deliberation, I have determined that it is impossible to arrive at any more specific conclusion than to say that my favorite color is fall.

Exhibit A:

 Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

 Exhibit D:

 Exhibit E:

 Exhibit F:

 Exhibit G:

There are so many more, but I will rest my case for now. Is there any cross-examination, or do I win? :-D

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quest for Knowledge

I absolutely adore people who are always seeking to learn something new. I think it is one of the best ways to stay fully alive. Certainly, it makes life more interesting and offers refreshing new insights to look forward to each day. I would very much like to be one of those people every single day.

My current area of interest is American History. I am absolutely fascinated by it, and yet I am TERRIBLE at it. I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader in this subject. Not even close. I recall just enough to have a basic outline in my mind (some of which is probably inaccurate), but I would utterly fail any test that asked me to recall specific dates, locations, or even names of leaders of all of the major events in American history. Sad, I know. I CAN name all of the presidents in order and all of the states in alphabetical order, but only because I learned songs about these lists when I was young. :-D And honestly, what good is a list if you don't know much about the items *on* the list?

SO--I am on a mission to further my knowledge and understanding of American history. Which I realize is a HUGE subject that I will likely be able to study for the rest of my life and still not take it all in. I've wanted to do this for awhile, actually, inspired by the rich history that overflows out of every building, tree, rock and cemetery in New England. But just last week, one of my favorite friends in the whole wide world came to visit me, and it just so happens that she spent years teaching middle school history (and is still very involved in the subject, although her role has changed somewhat recently.) It was so much fun to drive her around here. We found the graves of a Revolutionary War soldier, several WWII soldiers, and even some people who were born before America. BEFORE AMERICA, Y'ALL!!! We looked at building after building bearing plaques proudly announcing that they've existed for 200 years or more. AND--I think Tiff's favorite thing of all--literally on the way to the airport to drop her off for her flight back home, we passed a powder house which was used during the French and Indian War and a creek which was used to transport supplies during the French and Indian War. (I KNOW, RIGHT?) Craziness. And the more we talked, the more I found myself wishing I knew more about what happened in each of these places.

SO--with that in mind and realizing how HUGE the topic is, I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for some fabulous tools for beginning my quest. Books, DVDs, websites, whatever! Let me know. I want every subject. Revolutionary War, Civil War, whatever. Bring it on!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Good List 10-5-11

10. Assembly line-type machines. I find these processes so interesting. Here is one that makes pencils. Pretty cool.

9. Airborne leaves.
8. The Great Gatsby, which I'm reading for the first time since high school. Very clever indeed.
7. Getting free K-cups in the mail. Sure, Francesco! I'll try your coffee for free. ;-)

6. A freshly set table just waiting for family and friends to gather around.
5. Hearing from an old friend for the first time in well over 20 years. Crazy.
4. Watching a napping toddler breathe deep. Somehow vibrant and peaceful at the same time.
3. This drawing of a sunset over the water that Gracie made for me. It's a lovely piece of artwork, and I love it for that reason for sure, but the sweetest thing about it is realizing how well Gracie knows me to choose this subject. Precious.

2. Seeing Macy love on her younger cousins. My favorite scene is when they all settle down to watch a movie at night, and she ends up with either Jack or Dylan in her lap stroking their hair or rubbing their back. Sweetest thing ever.
1. Sleepy voices whispering "I love you too, Mom" when I plant one more kiss on their cheeks and whisper in their ears one more time before going to bed. (Usually I think they're sound asleep, but it never hurts my feelings when they whisper back to me. ;-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prayer Time 10-4-11

Well, Hurricane Irene and visitors and all sorts of other things have meant the beginning of this school year has been quite a bit more exciting than usual. But this week we are finally settling into some semblance of "normal," although I'm not sure our family would ever be capable of fully reaching that status regardless of circumstances. ;-)

All that to say that Ladies' Bible Study is back on on Tuesday mornings, and my plan is to re-launch my Tuesday afternoon focused prayer times. Please let me know how I may pray for you today by adding a comment to this post. These comments will not be published publicly for the sake of privacy.

Praying for each of us to hear from God in a mighty and sweet way today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Photo of the Week 10-3-11

This is the grave of a Revolutionary War soldier. Amazing. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I am

I am Eve's mouthful of forbidden fruit.
I am Adam's passivity and blame-shifting.
I am Cain's murderous jealousy.
I am Judas's kiss.
I am Thomas's doubt.
I am the grumbling of the Israelites.
I am Peter's denial.
I am Ahab's wickedness.
I am Delilah's betrayal.
I am Saul's self-righteousness and persecution.
I am Gomer's unfaithfulness.
I am Jacob's deception.
I am the prodigal son's selfishness.
I am David's murder.
I am Jonah's disobedience.

And yet. . .

I am the bride of Christ.
I am the apple of His eye.
I am adopted into the family of God.
I am eternally secure in the finished work of Christ.
I am rescued from eternal separation from God.
I am fully redeemed.
I am loved beyond measure.
I am a joint heir with Jesus.
I am alive forevermore.
I am clothed in Christ's righteousness.
I am perfectly forgiven.

This is grace.