Sunday, March 31, 2013

He is Risen!

Luke 24:1-6a  Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.  And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.  And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.  And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen:

He is not here, He is RISEN!  Praise the Lord for this sacrifice that was made for you and for me.  I look around at my children and how much I love them.  I would not want to sacrifice one of them for the life of anyone else Or even for the lives of many.  I love them too much.  So much.  But God did that very thing for us.  For you and for me.

Every year around this time I go thru a study with my children.  So they understand from the beginning what this day so many celebrate is all about.  The significance of it all from beginning to end and to show who Jesus truly was.

Very briefly this is what we talk about:

That how in the beginning, God wanted us to be here in a perfect world to commune with Him.  Of our own free will.  When Adam and Eve sinned how they then knew and had the knowledge that they were naked.  They saw sin and felt lust and had the knowledge of good and evil.  They saw their nakedness and because of their sin the first sacrifice happened.  God put Adam and Eve on the earth with the job of tending the garden of Eden and caring for the animals.  Adam named them all.  And how do you think Adam and Eve felt as God brought to them animal skins, from one of their animals, to cover their nakedness for the sin that they did.  They saw the skins and knew the animal they named and had died so their nakedness might be covered.  And I know the bible doesn’t state what animal skins God brought to them.  But I bet it was a lamb.  They must have been so sorry that their friend, whatever animal it was, died to cover their sin their nakedness. 

So the time of sacrifices began.  To cover sins.  But with a promise that someday a Messiah would come to redeem us all for all time.  To not just cover sins but take away the sins of the world.  His sacrifice would remove sin as far as the east is from the west, as if our sins had never occurred.  It would free us from sin and death!  That His sacrifice would let us be reunited with God forever back to the way it was supposed to be before sin entered the world.  Oh, how people looked forward to the Messiah coming.   
As time went on God gave people laws and rules as to how the sacrifices were to take place and when to occur. 

When the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, Pharaoh would  not let them leave.   God sent plague upon plague to show His might but he hardened Pharaohs’ heart.  Then the last plague that was to come was to be death of the first born of man and beast throughout the whole land.  He gave the Israelites strict instructions, to kill a perfect young lamb, and to put the blood on the door posts and not to leave the house.   As the death angel went over the whole land it passed over the homes with the blood of the lamb on the door post.  And the children of Israel were released from bondage that day and set free.  Pharaoh let them go.

Jesus was more than a man.  He was the son of God.  He was the one time sacrifice.  The Messiah.   The Passover lamb.   The Lamb of God which took away the sins of the world.

He was born of a virgin thru a miraculous conception.  Lived a perfect sinless life.  Amazed the priests in the temple when he was 12 with his knowledge and understanding of the scriptures.   Jesus was questioned by the scribes and Pharisees over and over in Jesus ministry that was three years from start to finish.  Just as the lamb for Passover must be examined for three days to make sure it is perfect before sacrificing it.  The Levite priest led the Passover lamb into the city. Just as Jesus cousin, John the Baptist, of the lineage of the Levites, came first announcing Christ’s coming. Prepare ye the way and make your paths straight for him! 

Then Jesus triumphal entry! That many celebrate on Palm Sunday.  Jesus was examined by Pilate and Pilate said, I find no fault in him.  The innocent Passover lamb has to be examined and declared that they find no fault in them. 

We could go on and on showing that Jesus was the son of God that took away the sins of the world.  He was innocent of any wrong doing and was mocked, beat, stood at the whipping post, crucified and hung on that cross.  He could have walked away at any  moment from it all. But had you and me on His mind.  He did it for us. 

He died for us.  Was buried.  And is alive and risen.  All for us.

That when the death angel comes it will see His shed blood on us.  Saved.  Redeemed.  To spend eternity with God.

Praise God for this wonderful loving God that we serve.  That He provided a way for us all to be saved. 

Jesus is Alive!  It is finished!  He is Risen!          

May the One True and Only God, maker of heaven and earth and all that is therein, bless you abundantly today, on this Resurrection Sunday!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Antonio the Author!

We adopted Antonio when he was 6 years old.  He brings us all such joy.  99% of the time he is very happy and joyous.  (the other 1%, in all honesty.  He has a few terrible melt downs a year)  Before coming to be our son he went to public school for kindergarten but once he moved here and was adopted he was home schooled all the way till he was 16.  At 16, I could legally graduate him and because I have so many kids to home school and fill paper work out on I graduated him the year he turned 16.  We had a party!  He was so pleased to tell people he was graduated but really his days never changed.  As everything he does all day long was always geared toward learning.  So basically he still always did school.  I just let him choose what he did instead of me setting his learning schedule every day.  That went on till he turned 18 just a few months ago.  At 18 we needed to show he was furthering his education.  So now we have a teacher come in with a home bound program and teach him once a week.  I do his other days.  This week, for part of his schooling, his teacher, Miss A, let him write a book.  He had a great time and wanted me to share with everyone on the blog his new book he wrote.  He loves animals, especially turtles.  He has two in a tank, by his desk, as pets. (Sid and Antonio are their names!)  Anyway, his book is about turtles, his favorite animals!   Disclaimer: any miss information about turtles in this book is creative license of the author, Antonio!
Antonios Book About Turtles
 By Antonio David Nichols
 I like turtles.  I have two turtles.  They are named Antonio and Sid.

Turtles lay eggs.

Turtles eat healthy foods. Strawberries, turtle food, worms, insects and leaves.

 Turtles hide in their shells when they are scared.
 Turtles live in water and on land.
The End

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep they soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

May the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing today and always!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Never Tire of this Sight

I have always felt so blessed by God that my dad has allowed us to live and raise our children on his farm.  Truly it is a wonderful way to raise children.  We haven’t had any kind of formal TV piped into our home for 15 years.  The children don’t spend only a handful of hours a week playing any kind of recreational video games.  Usually, only on the weekends Stephen, their big brother, comes down to visit twice a month.  Our home is not cluttered or overrun with toys as having so many special needs kids most things for them to do are fun, but educational.  I am sharing all this to say that living here on Sanctuary Farm, being out side, has been the bulk of their free time and existence all their life.  Playing on the play ground, spending time helping me garden or assisting me on our many projects I always seem to have going on around here.  Swimming, fishing and exploring.  Playing with baby goats, ponies, chicks, kitties, bunny or what ever animals we happen to have at the moment.  This is their life.  These are their memories.  These are my memories. These are our family memories.

One of these memories (sights)  is burned into my mind.  For I have watched them (Zeke and Carolyn) go thru this ritual twice a day every day for seven years since they were very small.  My dad also has commented often that he enjoys looking out his back door over the field and seeing the children doing this morning and night as well.  And this is what we see.
 Over the years it is always the same beautiful image to me.  The children lovingly walking down their ponies for the day to graze.....
... and back up again at dusk.   As the years have gone by the children have slowly grown taller and ponies have been changed out a few times as the kids have grown.   
               Seven years ago after riding in the fields!
But it is always the same, day after day, for seven years, marking the begining and end of the day for them here on Sanctuary farm.  It is memories.  It is farm life.  It builds character and is work.  And they love, love, love every moment of it.  I have never seen them grow tired of it.  I could not imagine starting a day out with out this sight every morning.  OR calling it a night with out seeing them walking them up to tuck them in their stalls for the night. 

If I happen to be out in the field or in the barn milking as they go thru their pony care.  Yes, their actions are  methodical from caring for ponies for so many years. but their hands and faces show the gentleness, tenderness and love over being able to have and take care of these animals.

We rotate the fields that we graze the ponies in and sometimes it is a long walk twice a day for them all. Not only the walk down to the field but the ponies could be on the farthest side away.   They don't mind one bit.
 There's the catching.  Carolyn catching Millie
Zeke catching Dixie,
 There's the haltering. A halter is hard for a special needs child to figure out how it goes on and for Zeke buckles are extremely hard for him.
Look how patient Dixie is being for him.  They are best friends.
 There's the twice a day grooming.
 She works so hard to get Millie so neat and clean. 
There's the twice a day hoof picking.
Making sure there are no rocks or stones in there.
 All the hugs!
And kisses!

 There are just no words for this kind of living.  Abundantly blessed.  Memories that last a life time.  Not only will I never grow tired of this site.  I look forward to it every day.

Psalm 96:11-13 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof.  Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

May the Lord God of Israel be with you now and always.  


Monday, March 25, 2013

Slow to Speak, Slow to Wrath

Antonio has poor circulation in his legs and feet.  At least I have been told so.  I guess it is from lack of movement and because he doesn’t walk.  His feet are always cold and dark purple in the mornings.  When we shower him we use an exfoliation glove and warm water to get the blood pumping and circulation going in his legs turning them from dark purple to a nice warm pink color. 

We are very careful with Antonio’s legs and feet because if he gets a wound on his feet it usually does not heal well on its own.  We have ended up at wound clinic a few times to heal stubborn wounds.  His AFO’s (leg braces he wore for years) made such a mess of his feet and legs we don’t use them anymore.  Instead I had our orthotics(sp?) guy come up with a rubber boot, like thing, to put on Antonio every day to protect his feet from the friction of his shoes and straps on his wheel chair.  We invented them two years ago and they are wonderful!  They are a very flexible, soft, clear material.
They are thick enough to protect his feet and legs yet I can fold them right up easily. 

Every time Antonio speaks he stiffens up his whole body, with all his might, to speak using all his cerebral Palsy tone to help his lungs expel air to talk and he talks a lot.  So all that stiffening and relaxing causes break down on his skin where ever his body is touching his wheel chair or anything else.  We have to watch his skin carefully for marks that look like they will become sores.  His skin is also very thin on his legs and feet.  So we just have to be really careful.

He has had an issue with an ingrown toe nail we have been dealing with for at least two years.  He gets it removed, we have a hard time getting it to heal, it gets infected over and over again.  We have had wound clinic handle it once already.  Still it got infected again.  We have been trying to get it to heal without having to cauterize it and kill the area that keeps growing into the toe and causing the trouble.  But after two years of trying to get it to stay healed his pediatrician, Tim and I decided we better get it done.  So today was supposed to be the day to remove the offending whole side of his big toe nail and cauterize it so it doesn’t grow back. 

We all got up this morning and got chores done, did home schooling, had lunch and quick off to a nearby town to have this done.  No one locally would do it and take his insurance.  We drove about an hour to get there.  We got there at 1:30 p.m.  All the little’s(Carolyn, Zeke and Elizabeth) sat patiently in the waiting room and read or played with their things they brought to keep them busy.  The new doctor read Antonio’s history and wouldn’t do it.  Grrrrr.  That is not what I wanted to hear…slow to speak, slow to wrath…….I mean I didn’t want my son to have to go thru it either.  Then have us deal with another wound to try to get to heal too.  But it is better than a wound that won’t heal already because of the ingrown toe nail……. we can do this and get rid of the cause and go forward, was my thought.  I tried to calmly explain this to the doctor.
 He called Antonio’s pediatrician and they talked for a while.  Finally after two hours he said he would only remove the offending part of the toe nail and that was all.  Not cauterize it.   He wanted to see how it healed up with his own eyes over the next few weeks.   

I am not happy.  Slow to speak, slow to wrath…..If I had wanted another toe nail removal I could have stayed in our little town and had his pediatrician do it.  It would have saved a lot of gas and time.  And the guy wants to watch the healing process himself for the next few weeks?  I mean we have been dealing with this for two years.  Doing it this way, in 8 months we will be having this toe nail removed again.  The whole time trying to keep infection out of it and trying to get it to heal. 

Anyways,  Antonio my strong little man took it all in stride.  Had the procedure done and will enjoy getting spoiled for the next little while. 

We got home at 5:30, much later than I was planning on.  Good thing I made soup from scratch this morning and had it cooking all day on the stove.  So I didn’t have to worry about supper.    

This is my verse for today:

James 1:19-20
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

I tried to be quick to hear today even though I didn't like what the doctor was saying.  I understood why he wanted to go this route.  He has access to and more ideas for wound healing on the feet than a pediatrician does as he deals with diabetics with foot issues all day long.  So I will give this guy a chance with my Antonio...One chance mind you!  :)  I can see why we are to be slow to speak.  If we take our time and think before we speak we can convey our meaning with out saying or acting in a way we might regret.  Also if you are slow to speak you often can stop yourself from filling with rage and becoming angry.  Because you hash it all out in your head first, giving the Holy Spirit time to work and help you.  I advocated for what I thought was best for Antonio and voiced my opinion in a calm and concise way.  I won’t pray for patience as I know what the bible says about that and I know sometimes these things happen for a reason.  So we will just see how this heals and pray for the best.   May we all be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath when these kind situations come up. 

God be with you,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Husband!!

Happy Birthday Husband!

The world became a better place the day Tim was born.  I am not just saying that because I am his wife.  I mean it with my whole heart.  He is not perfect or anything like that and doesn’t live life put up on a pedestal.  But he is the most genuinely kind person I have ever met in my life.  His life is truly a reflection of his belief in God and His Word.  The fruit of the spirit is just part of who he is.  He is a quiet man but when he speaks he chooses his words carefully and they mean so much more when he does say something.  Same with his actions.  He considers what to do and how to act before proceeding.   I have seen him go out of his way to do kind things for people that have done him wrong or hurt him.  He really treats everyone in the same kind way regardless.  It amazes me really.
The people he works with at Chick-Fil-A threw him a surprise party and we were invited.  He was surprised!

God has blessed me abundantly with my husband.  He truly is the kindest and best of men.  I am so grateful for him.  So deeply in love with him.  I can’t help but smile every time I see him.  He has never raised his voice at me and acts like I do no wrong.  He appreciates all I do and his compliments are daily, encouraging and unending.  He has always acted towards me like I am the most beautiful attractive woman on the earth.   Even when I was very overweight and had low self esteem.   I try to wait on him hand and foot because he works so hard and such long hours but he does a lot for me as well.

I know this all sounds a bit mushy or unreal.  But it is true.  We have a very good marriage and I am so grateful to God for that. 

I think that we are so close and in love…. And when I say "love" I mean,  In "love" like growing deeper every day love, never knew love could be like this love,  can’t keep our eyes and hands off each other sometimes love…. Because we have lived such an intense life in those years.  They hold so much.  We have been together so long, have went thru so many hard times, so many good times, so many things with all our adoptions, children, their behaviors and health.  Serious life threatening situations, also at one point in our marriage I almost lost Tim he was so sick.  It knitted our hearts together.  Made us one.  Often we need no words to communicate to each other.  As we went thru so many times in our life that there were just no words to say, we were in so much pain......
 ....that now we are truly one as the Lord says you become when married.  That we have spent so much time in our marriage wrapped in each others arms in happiness and grief that there are just no more words for how we feel about each other.  The best I can say is it is just deep love, honor, respect and appreciation for every moment we have with each other.

I truly celebrate his birthday and our anniversary always with such gratefulness.  As I am so blessed by God and honored to be called his wife. 

Happy Birthday Tim!

1 Corinthians 1:4-5
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

Your loving wife,  susan