Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Longing for Spring

Longing for Spring
Dayna Guenther

My Shepherd, the winter is long,
My body is tired and cold.
I ache for change, to see new life,
Fresh vision to spring from the old.

The cold gets so old and I long for the new--
Green leaves, buds, flowers, sunshine, and dew.
Still somehow You lead where the clear waters flow,
And my heart will yet trust that You know.

My Shepherd, the winter is long,
My body is tired and cold.
I ache for change, to see new life,
Fresh vision to spring from the old.

Icy wind lingers, its shivering fingers
Wrap around me, soul, body, and mind;
I know that You know--even when the snow blows,
You will never just leave me behind.

My Shepherd, the winter is long,
My body is tired and cold.
I ache for change, to see new life,
Fresh vision to spring from the old.

Lord, I’m happy that You trudge along with me,
Your Promises will never e’er fail;
Your good hand, ever righteous, still watches me,
And bright springtime will always prevail!

My Shepherd, the winter is long,
Your love, hope, and joy keep me warm;
Look over there! I see new life--
Fresh vision does spring from the old!


Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
(Song of Solomon 2:10-13)

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

(Habakkuk 3:17-19)

This Is My Destiny
Dennis Jernigan

All I was I lay aside,
Dead to sin, to God alive
Born again into a new identity
Once asleep to God in sin,
Now wakened by the blood and cleansed
Born again to be who He called me to be

All I have I lay aside,
Run the race to gain the prize
For the sake of knowing Jesus Christ in me
I cannot yet fully see
All I’m truly called to be
But knowing Christ
Reveals my hope and destiny

He calls me child,
He calls me to His side eternally
He calls what once was lost, now found,
Once bound to sin, now free!
He calls me holy, calls me righteous,
By the blood redeemed!
He calls me Overcomer
Crowned with victory!
This is my destiny!

What once bound me is no more,
What was stolen is restored
By the resurrection power of my King!
What was old has been made new,
Lies and doubts replaced by truth
What was silent now resounds,
I am redeemed!

He calls me child,
He calls me to His side eternally
He calls what once was lost, now found,
Once bound to sin, now free!
He calls me holy, calls me righteous,
By the blood redeemed!
He calls me Overcomer
Crowned with victory!
This is my destiny!

He calls me servant, calls me warrior,
Calls me royalty!
He calls me resurrected one,
He calls me His redeemed!
He calls me higher, calls me far
Beyond my wildest dream!
He calls my heart to come and be
All He can see!
This is my destiny!

He calls me chosen, new creation,
Trophy of His grace
He gives me grace to fight the fight
And run to win the race
He tells me He delights in me
While singing over me!
Accepting me as His beloved bride-to-be!
This is my destiny!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A girl I knew in college has now been in a wheelchair, paralyzed with MS, for nearly a year. In addition to waking up one day, suddenly unable to move her legs, she was four months pregnant, a pastor's wife, and already had five children!

Alicia's spirit and attitude is so inspiring... and convicting. If I were in that position, would I be as upbeat as she is? Her situation reminds me to be grateful that I can still walk... and for the loads of blessings God gives me daily (Psalm 68:19).

If you're feeling ungrateful or grumbly, check out her blog at

A Sacred Trust: Our Cutie Patootie

Peter and I are so grateful for time spent with our little 15-month-old granddaughter, Kyla Nichole. We got to keep her this past weekend, and I took about 150 photos and videos! Here is one of my favourites.

Nap time and bed time are special. I take Kyla with her "bah-bah" (bottle) upstairs to her room. As she drinks her bottle, I rock her and sing "Father, We Thank Thee" and "The Birdies in the Treetops." Then I quote to her Psalm 23, Psalm 1, Psalm 100, and John 3:16-17. Sometimes I sing other songs and quote Psalm 91 as well. It's such a special bonding time for us. I love cuddling her, telling her I love her, and praying for her, that God will protect and guide her little life and that she will accept Christ as her Saviour at an early age.

I just have to share one more favourite photo from this weekend... bathtime!

A precious memory from this weekend was made on Sunday morning, as I was listening outside the door of her bedroom to see if she was awake. What did I hear?

"Nana?... Nana?"

When she saw me, she would excitedly exclaim, "Nana!"

She did the same to my husband. Everything was "Papa! Papa! Papa!" Such a fun, sweet age!

Comment below and share with me things you do to bond with your children or grandchildren, and the ways you teach them about the Lord, as you're "sitting down" or "walking by the way." (Deuteronomy 6:7) This is a sacred trust God has given to us!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree

What a book to make one thankful!

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree, a memoir of the Holocaust, makes me so grateful for food, clothing, a warm bed, a hot shower... the list goes on.

At times one can think that the suffering of these people was only for a few years--that the Jews who survived the Holocaust were still able to live most of their lives normally. It seems easier to think this way; it helps us cope with the knowledge of what humanity was capable of doing to other human beings!

It is sobering, however, to think that at the time these Jews were in the midst of it, they didn't know how long it would be or if they would even come out alive. I can imagine their prayers with the Psalmist, "How long, O Lord?" (Psalm 13:1-2 and 35:17). When they did come out alive, they survived with scars and horrible memories.

One of the many gripping parts of the book is her description of coming into one of the most dreaded camps with a commandant rumored to be extremely cruel. This is how I remember it: It was the dead of winter, freezing cold. Hannelore was forced into one building (barracks) and told to strip naked. Then she was sent out into the freezing cold, naked, to the next building where she took an icy cold shower and sprayed down with chemicals (to kill lice and other vermin). Sent out into the cold again, naked, to the next building to be "examined" by the doctor, who inspected every crevice of her naked body. The humiliation! Out into the winter snow again, still naked, to the next building to finally receive merely an over-sized dress, stained underwear, and wooden clogs. No winter coat. No socks. And she was just thankful to have clothes again.

It reminds me of Betsie ten Boom, who died at Ravenbruck. While standing naked in line for the doctor's inspection, along with her sister Corrie, she brokenly remarked, as if a realization had just come over her, "Corrie! They took HIS [meaning Jesus'] clothes too! And I've never thanked Him!"

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that there is nothing we suffer that Jesus did not suffer. He understands. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities..."

This poem that I learned as a child is always a reminder to me of how many blessings I have. May God always cause me to remember!

Today upon a bus I saw
A girl with golden hair;
I envied her--she seemed so happy--
And wished that I were half so fair;
I watched her as she rose to leave,
And saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch,
But as she passed--a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two legs--the world is mine.

Later on the way to work,
I stopped to buy some sweets.
The boy who sold them had such charm,
I thought I'd stop and talk awhile.
If I were late, 't would do no harm.
"Thank you, sir, you've been so kind.
"It's nice to talk to folks like you
"You see," he said, "I'm blind"
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes--the world is mine

Later, walking down the street,
I met a boy with eyes so blue.
But he stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do.
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked straight ahead without a word,
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears--the world is mine.

Two legs to take me where I go,
Two eyes to see the sunset's glow,
Two ears to hear all I should know,
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I'm blest, indeed, the world is mine.

~ Dr. Tennyson Guyer

Click here to read about Laura Hillman's life now.

Book description from

In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany--Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn.

Soon another letter arrived. "The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East--whatever that means." Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings...How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman.

Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree is the remarkable true story of one young woman's nightmarish coming-of-age. But it is also a story about the surprising possibilities for hope and love in one of history's most brutal times.

About the Author
Laura Hillman (nee Hannelore Wolff) was born in 1923 in Aurich, Germany, near the North Sea. She was the third of five children born to Karoline and Martin Wolff. Five years after Hitler came to power, Laura was separated from her town and family. The events Laura witnessed in the camps kept her from writing for many years, but she finally set out to write her memoir, facing for the first time the circumstances that led to her survival.

Laura now lives in Los Alamitos, California, and devotes her time between talking in high schools and colleges about her experiences and being a docent at the Long Beach Museum of Art. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Amazing plot. Hooks you immediately from the first page. My jaw was open at the end. Unbelievable work!

Riven by Jerry Jenkins is an epic that will challenge your life perspectives. This book encouraged me personally as a full-time Christian worker. It's also a great witnessing tool: a phenomenal, unforgettable communication of THE GREATEST MESSAGE: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You will not be able to put it down!

From the book cover:
Heinous as any murder can be, the crime is not the story here. Rather, along with many other elements—seemingly unrelated at first blush—the crime serves as mere impetus to what really happened. And that proved unforgettable to any old enough to remember.

The unnamed state in which these events occurred had for nearly two centuries flaunted its renegade spirit, thumbing its nose at Washington. A succession of maverick governors, including one who engineered the state’s four-year secession during the Civil War, had served to fashion the commonwealth into a virtual landlocked island unto itself. Only Louisiana rivaled its no-nonsense prisons, only Texas its record on capital punishment.

The state’s leaders and citizens were as proud of their tough-on-crime reputation as they were of the state’s highway system, constructed and maintained wholly apart
from federal funds and linking to the interstates only at the borders. The governor was as proud of the state’s decades-old reputation for budget surpluses as the legislature was of its historic capitol building.

Our two main characters, however, had never before given a thought to matters of state and could not have imagined how such would so thoroughly determine their fates.
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