Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prayers

I may have passed a kidney stone Sunday night. The doctor said the remaining stones may or may not be painful; this one wasn't. I'm not too worried about all this, as he said it could take several months to finish the job. It will all happen in the Lord's time. Interestingly, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning...three hours before the pain started. I spent that time praying and letting praise songs go through my head, and I kind of think God used the time to prepare me for the pain. Isn't He good?

My lip was still in pain till yesterday. After lunch, I prayed that God would heal it, and it started improving. Dinner hurt, but afterward I felt better. I started talking and smiling again, and could even kiss John. Today I've been eating normally, which is a huge answer to prayer!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Online Friends and Unknown Soldiers

Since sometime last fall, I've been "chatting" with Darcy on Crosswalk/FaithCommunityNetwork. At some point, she'd mentioned that her daughter was going to graduate school at Harvard, so she expected to be coming up to Massachussetts to visit. Over the next few months, we started discussing the possibility of meeting while she was here.

As anyone who reads this blog would expect, we originally planned to meet this past Friday at Quincy Market and do a section of the Freedom Trail. Alas, those plans got changed by two trips to the emergency room last week (Tuesday for a severe gash on my lower lip, and Wednesday for kidney stones), plus 93 degree weather in Boston on Friday. So Saturday we met in the city of Quincy for a shorter visit.

Darcy's as fun in person as she is online. I was boring, mostly because my swollen lip made it hard for me to speak. John entertained her well, and I got to learn things about her that she hasn't shared on Crosswalk since I've met her. (Maybe she's talked about those things in threads that I don't participate in.) I've always thought highly of Darcy, but after meeting her, I admire her all the more!

After she and her daughter left to go sightseeing in Boston, John decided to buy flowers for the broken grave in Hancock Cemetary that has captured my attention. I may never know who's in that grave, but I'm grateful for the freedoms he gave me by fighting in the American Revolution. Memorial Day seemed like a good time to put flowers on his grave.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dry Run

We went into Boston yesterday to do a dry run before meeting an Internet friend from another state at Quincy Market next week. We started out at 11:00, but it was cold outside. I had dressed for the predicted 87 degree weather, so we didn't even leave our parking lot. So I was able to do some Bible study, finish making a birthday card, and read my email while John spent two hours lying down with his ventilator.

At 1:00 the weather was vastly improved, so we got the bus to Quincy Adams Station, and took the Red Line to Downtown Crossing. We connected to the Orange Line, which has narrower cars so I had trouble turning my chair around to get off. The elevator at the station is only big enough for one wheelchair, which posed a problem because I can't use my hands to press elevator buttons. And, of course, the intercom to call for an MBTA official didn't work. Finally, we found an offical who took me up one elevator, and then led us through a couple long corridors to a second elevator. At this point, I was an hour and a half late for my pill, which decreases my spasms and allows me to drive my chair, so I wasn't a happy camper. But we finally got up to street level.

John drove me to Quincy Market. After deliberating, we chose Greek food and ordered gyros. At 4:00, I got my 2:00 pill. The gyros were good, but not as good as the gyros we get here in our town. Still, it was good to finally eat! We then bought some mint chocolate fudge, which we really didn't need...but it's sure yummy!

After "lunch" I wandered around the vendors' stalls, and found a guidebook to the Freedom Trail. We started wheeling toward Downtown Crossing, and used the book to find the site of the Boston Massacre. Not well marked, sorry to say. It's on a traffic island. Actually, it took a while finding it. The book said it was a circle of pavement stones under the east balcony of the Old State House, so we were looking on the sidewalk directly under the balcony. We were giving up and turning to leave when I happened to glance at the traffic island...and see the circle of pavement stones!

We learned that it's faster, easier, and less stressful to wheel from Downtown Crossing to Quincy Market than to fiddle with the Orange Line, so now we have our game plan for next week. We got home just before 7:00, so I got my suppertime pill on time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pearl Seed



Since I started studying Matthew's gospel in January, I've been beginning each session by praying, not just to properly understand whatever passage I'm studying, but for the Lord to show me how to apply the passage to my life. This week, I've been working through Matthew 13, using four different commentaries.

The chapter contains several parables, as well as the Lord's explanation of two of those parables (the sower and the tares). Both parables have challenged me to examine my relationship with the Lord. Is His seed (His word) falling on fertile soil, so that I bear the fruit of the Spirit? Am I genuine wheat, or false grain? Not popular questions for an evangelical Christian in the 21st Century to ask, but I think important questions for me to ask. The more I've prayed for insight on applying Matthew 13 to my life, the more I've believed the Lord wants me to seek Him to keep my heart soft and receptive to Him. As His word transforms me by renewing my mind, His fruit will naturally grow in my life.

The key, as I see it, lies in a pithy parable that Jesus didn't explain.

Matt 13:45-4645 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. NKJV

Jesus is my Pearl of great price! As I give all to possess Him, He indeed will make my heart tender toward His word, so that I can be a genuine stalk of wheat in His field, bearing healthy fruit that shows off His lustre! My response to Matthew 13 is not to bear fruit through my own efforts (which can't be done anyway). Instead, it's to embrace Jesus as my treasure, so that He can plant His seed in me. He, not I, will produce the fruit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Contrasting Photos




I wanted to share the photos we took at Hancock Cemetary last week. This first photo is of the grave I'm trying to learn about. Notice how it's broken in half, and the top half of the marker is propped against the bottom half. Also notice the indicator that the grave's occupant fought in the Revolutionary War. It troubles and saddenes me that someone who sacrificed so much to establish our great nation lies forgotten and neglected in this burial ground.

Directly across from this mystery grave is the tomb of Enoch Rideout. Obviously, Enoch was a wealthy man, and I'm guessing it would be fairly easy to find out about him. Maybe that will be a future project for me. But right now I'm just struck by the disparity between his tomb and the grave of my Revolutionary War hero.

Beside my war hero's grave is the grave of Mary Louisa (no last name given) who died in 1816 at the age of 10. While I'm very thankful that this little girl's memory has been preserved for almost 200 years, again I'm grieved that his memory was not.

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