Monday, March 30, 2009

Baseball in Puerto Rico

Life is an adventure. I believe the Lord gave me children so I can travel. Chase believes it too as he told me several times, "Mom if it were not for me making the Coast to Coast team, you may never have come to Puerto Rico." What a wise little child.

He tried out last October for the national Coast to Coast 11/12 year old baseball team. He received the invitation and we accepted. Last week was his week to play baseball with an all-American all-star team.

Chase embarked on his first flying experience ever over the Atlantic Ocean to San Juan, Puerto Rico. He met the other 15 team members and coaches. This team came together and played the best baseball this organization has ever seen. Practicing for three hours every morning, then playing double headers every evening for five days, this team bonded on the first day. These boys played at such a high competitive level, they defeated the first five teams they played. Again a first for this organization.

Word moved around on the island about this team, so on Wednesday evening a strong team from a neighboring city arrived to compete with our boys. We had gone out on a shopping tour where we walked around all afternoon. We played the first game. Then on the second game on Wednesday night, this PR all-star team showed up fresh ready for the challenge. It was the first game we lost. But we came back strong on Thursday for two more wins.

Then Thursday, the boys were asked by the coaches if they wanted to play a 13/14 year old team. Of course they all shouted, "Yes!" ready for the challenge. And this meant they had to play by the 13/14 year old rules. Instead of 60 foot bases, the bases were stretched out to 80 feet. The pitchers had to throw a distance of 54 feet instead of 46 feet. The first game was a learning experience and a warm up as our team fell to the loss at 5-2. But the second game the boys figured out how to play the bigger boys and won 6-5 in the last inning. This ended the week long season with 8 wins and 2 losses.

We had a very exciting week and yes I believe that because of my son's talents, I am blessed.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. ~~ Psalm 127:3 NIV
Chase with his teammates and coaches. Chase is on the front row, 5th from the left. If you look through the trees, you can see the Atlantic Ocean. (Double click to enlarge the picture.)

Engrafted by His Grace--

P.S. If you're my friend on Facebook, I'll be posting some pics on Facebook later this week (after I figure out how).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Man Talk

Last week, Chase rode with me to pick up some take out food for dinner while Eldon waited at home. We discussed what we needed to pack for our trip. He was wearing a pair of shorts, so I asked him, "Do you have more shorts that fit you?"


"Do your swimsuits still fit you?"


"I'm driving. Call your Dad and tell him to add to the shopping list there by his chair shorts and swimsuit for you. " (He's hitting the buttons on the phone and holding it to his ear.) "Tell him how you only have one pair and that you've out grown--"

"Dad, Mom said to add shorts and swimsuit for me on the list. Okay, Bye."

"Why didn't you tell him the reasons why?"

"Mom, we're men. We don't need all the details."

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, March 23, 2009

Experiencing Creation

In Genesis the Lord created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. I stand in awe at His creation. My friend, Esther, wrote a Bible study lesson called “How Great is Our God.” After learning just a snippet of info, all I could do was just praise the Lord. The only words that would cross my lips were “Wow, Lord, You are so good. Thank You, Lord. You are awesome, Lord.”

He took care of every detail of creation, down to the itsy bitsy tiny little microorganisms which are unseen to our eyes. He has wisdom beyond our imagination. Wisdom was with Him from the beginning of creation according to Proverbs 8.

Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 8:10-11 NIV)

Since wisdom is more precious than silver or gold, I desire to seek God’s wisdom. I think wisdom first of all is in His word. Reading and studying the Word of God is a must to obtain even a smidget of wisdom. And then walking in obedience to His Word. But I have had my breath taken away when I can literally experience just a part of His creation. Wisdom spoke these words:

I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. (Proverbs 8:27-29 NIV)

I do not live where the sea meets it boundary, so I like to feel the sand in my toes and smell the salt air once in a while. This week, I’m experiencing a different part of creation in the Caribbean. To top that off, I get to watch my child play baseball on a Caribbean island. So I’m not at my computer (I set this on the timer) because I’m out watching my child, enjoying my husband, and having an adventure with God on an island. I’ll respond to your comments and emails when I return. May the Lord bless you this week!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, March 20, 2009

Not a Daawwggg

As parents, my hubby and I are busy and sometimes start barking orders at our kids.

One Sunday morning as we were just about to walk out the door, I noticed my son was not wearing a collared shirt. Wearing a shirt with a collar is dressing in Sunday best and it is the law according to Dad. Well Dad was not home this weekend and Chase comes out with his hoody on over his clothes. I lift up the jacket to see what's underneath. "Chase you know you're suppose to wear a collared shirt to church."

Looking at me with those sweet green eyes and pulling up his Texas drawl, Chase said, "I'm not a daaawwwggg that needs a collar."

I laughed so hard I let him slide. (Bad mommy.)

Then a few days later, Dad volunteered to take Chase for his semi-annual dental cleaning. I hear my dear hubby holler out from the living room to Chase in his bedroom, "Chase, come on, it's time to go to the vet!"

"I'm not a daawwgg!"

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Word Study Wednesday -- Inner Self

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

What is the inner self? Or as the King James Version states, “the hidden man?”

The word hidden in the Greek is kruptos meaning “hidden, concealed, secret” according to Strong’s, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Another source, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, states the inner self is our soul.

We can dress ourselves up to look great on the outside. Other people cannot see what is on the inside. What is hidden is what cannot be seen. We can act like we have character, but what is really inside? The Lord knows what is in the inner person. We’re to work more on adorning the inner person with godly character than adorning the outside with ornaments that can be lost or destroyed. Do we behave the same way inside our homes as we do out in public? Here’s what Matthew Henry describes for us about how to adorn the inner self:

The ornament prescribed. It must, in general, be something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, that is, the graces and virtues of God’s Holy Spirit. The ornaments of the body are destroyed by the moth, and perish in the using; but the grace of God, the longer we wear it, the brighter and better it is. More especially, the finest ornament of Christian women is a meek and quiet spirit, a tractable easy temper of mind, void of passion, pride, and immoderate anger, discovering itself in a quiet obliging behaviour towards their husbands and families. If the husband be harsh, and averse to religion (which was the case of these good wives to whom the apostle gives this direction), there is no way so likely to win him as a prudent meek behaviour. At least, a quiet spirit will make a good woman easy to herself, which, being visible to others, becomes an amiable ornament to a person in the eyes of the world. [1]

Let’s adorn the inner self by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit by whom we’re sealed.

Engrafted by His Grace--

[1]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. 1 Pe 3:1

Monday, March 16, 2009

On the Inside

What is inside my refrigerator?

Interestingly, each day I open the frig, take something out or put something in it, but I don’t really look at what is inside. I store left over in the plastic containers. Then I forget what is inside those containers. Liquids spill. And I don’t know how food seems to get out of the containers, but it does. Has anyone figured it out? I just ignore it and go on about my business. Until—the mess becomes too obvious or someone is coming over.

I do not have a regular schedule to clean out my refrigerator. I try to clean it out before I go grocery shopping so it will be clean when I fill it back up. But life happens and my best plans fail to come to pass. Therefore, the mess increases gradually until I must deal with it.

That’s what my life seems to be like as well. Issues creep up in my life that I ignore until it becomes too obvious. Those issues become obvious when I start wanting to straighten out other people in my life. One sure sign for me that the Lord is dealing with me on an issue is when I start pointing the finger at someone else. I need the cleaning out.

Another sign I need a cleaning out is I become easily frustrated with situations that won’t matter next week. If my husband forgot to do something he said he would do and I become so angry with him we have strife all day, that’s a sign my inside needs to be cleaned out.

Just like my refrigerator needs to be cleaned out on regular intervals, I need to check my inner self. True beauty is a result of what is on the inside.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

Let’s clean out the inside allowing the Lord to remove sin from our lives through conviction and confession. Let’s throw out the nasty leftovers and fill ourselves up with the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Clam

Last night while driving home after a long day trip, we stopped to fill up the vehicle with gas. While Eldon filled up, Chase asked, "Mom, can I go in the clam?'

"What clam?

Pointing, "Inside the store with the clam on it?"

So for now on we'll be stopping to fill up at the clam.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Word Study Wednesday - Time

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 NASB)

Time. What is time? According to The Exhaustive Concordance by Strong, the word time in the above scripture is chronos, which means time or season. defines time as “the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.”

God promised from Genesis 3:15 One would come to crush the enemy. He told Abraham that through him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Many prophecies over hundreds of years promised a Redeemer. But the Lord waited until the reign of the Romans that the fullness of time was reached.

The Romans brought peace and a road system. The Greek language was established and used among all the inhabitants of the land, including the Jews. At this precise time, the Lord sent His one and only Son to redeem the world so we can be called His own.

We can be assured the Second Advent will be fulfilled in His time as well. Are we ready?

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time Change

Did you remember to spring forward? Did you lose an hour of sleep or did you sleep in yesterday?

I woke up earlier than usual. I don’t feel like I missed anything yesterday.

Mankind has been adjusting the clock for centuries. Though Daylight Saving Time is controversial, those of us who live in a state which observe it, we must abide by it. Or be late everywhere we go. We do have the option to move to an area where it is not observed. From my understanding there were several reasons for instituting DST such as to standardize the train schedules and more daylight hours when most people were out and about.

Well that puts me in the minority group of people. I love the mornings. Now that means when I go out to exercise in the mornings, I must go out in the dark for a while until the sun stays out longer. This is an inconvenience for me. However, for my son who plays baseball, this works out great. Now they can practice longer and when regular season starts in a few weeks, no need for the organization to pay for lights (except for late games).

God created time for us. He decides how many hours of daylight and darkness we have each day. Governments may move it around a bit for us. Ultimately though, the Lord controls it all. When Joshua needed more daylight to win the battle, the Lord gave him more daylight. (Read Joshua 10.) There’s never been a day like that since.

But there is a time for everything. We must adjust ourselves to the times and seasons. Solomon wrote about that in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. (NIV)

Therefore, let’s see if we can adjust to the time change—with a good attitude. Let’s set ourselves apart from others who complain about making the change. We can remember there is a time for everything.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Friday, March 6, 2009

Life Before Computers

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Word Study Wednesday -- Cry Out

So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!" ~~ Numbers 12:13 (NIV)

Recorded in Numbers 12 for us to know for all time, God spoke to Moses face to face. Moses was the most humble man on all the earth.

When Miriam received her punishment of leprosy for speaking against her brother, Moses cried out to the Lord on her behalf.

In the Hebrew, the word for cried is “Tsa`aq” which means “to cry, to cry out (for help) or (in distress or need). [1]

Moses felt deep despair over what happened to his sister and wanted help. He cried out to the only One who could heal her, the Lord. I like how Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains Moses in this situation:

"III. The intercession made for Miriam (v. 13): He cried unto the Lord with a loud voice, because the cloud, the symbol of his presence, was removed and stood at some distance, and to express his fervency in this request, Heal her now, O Lord, I beseech thee. By this he made it to appear that he did heartily forgive her the injury she had one him, that he had not accused her to God, nor called for justice against her; so far from this that, when God in tenderness to his honour had chastised her insolence, he was the first that moved for reversing the judgment. By this example we are taught to pray for those that despitefully use us; and not to take pleasure in the most righteous punishment inflicted either by God or man on those that have been injurious to us. Jeroboam’s withered hand was restored at the special instance and request of the prophet against whom it had been stretched out, 1 Ki. 13:6. So Miriam here was healed by the prayer of Moses, whom she had abused, and Abimelech by the prayer of Abraham, Gen. 20:17. Moses might have stood off, and have said, "She is served well enough, let her govern her tongue better next time;’’ but, not content with being able to say that he had not prayed for the inflicting of the judgment, he prays earnestly for the removal of it. This pattern of Moses, and that of our Saviour, Father, forgive them, we must study to conform to."[2]

Matthew Henry’s goes on to explain that mercy and justice both met Miriam. Mercy in that Miriam did receive healing, forgiveness and God’s will to restore her. Justice in the fact she was put outside the camp for seven days. Yet the process of mercy started when Moses immediately forgave her and cried out.

Engrafted by His Grace--

[1] Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. "Hebrew Lexicon entry for Tsa`aq". "The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon". .

[2]Henry, Matthew: Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible : Complete and Unabridged in One Volume. Peabody : Hendrickson, 1996, c1991, S. Nu 12:10

Monday, March 2, 2009

Unity of Purpose

It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God. ~~Psalm 55:12-14 NLT

Believers in the body of Christ hurt one another more easily than those who are not. I’ve been through such deep hurts within my own church family in the past several years. Yes, I have seen talking, gossiping and back stabbing within the walls of a church. I’m even guilty of being part in it. By God’s grace, I’ve learned what not to do and what to do. When these hurts occur, how are we to respond?

Moses set a great example for us to follow recorded in Numbers 12. Aaron and Miriam were grumbling against him inside the Tabernacle, the house of God. The Lord called them outside to chastise them. The Lord knows all that goes on in our lives. He knows the intent of our hearts. When Moses saw the Lord punish Miriam, he cried out, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!”

Is our first response to cry out to the Lord when someone speaks out against us? Or do we run around spreading the hurt?

We must remember that we’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We should walk in love and grace with our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Moses did. He interceded and Miriam’s health was restored after seven days. She returned to the camp restored and part of the fellowship.

Let’s us intercede and forgive one another. Then we can walk in unity of purpose within the body of Christ.

Engrafted by His Grace--