I Know Whom I Have Believed

I Know Whom I Have Believed

Daniel W. Whittle

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain

But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.

Refrain

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.

Refrain

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Refrain

 

I’m Not a Fan of the Brave New World

I’ve felt a rant coming on ever since I left the Aldi parking lot this morning. Aldi has been the scene of most of my interesting encounters lately.

Last week, when I was shopping at Aldi on Wednesday morning, I noticed that there was a young man I knew in the store. He didn’t appear to recognize me, so I didn’t make a point of greeting him. It turns out he was shopping with his roommate, and I saw them check out and leave the store while I was still waiting in line to check out.

Then, when I was at the sacking counter bagging my groceries, this young man and his friend came back into the store and made a beeline for me. He had eventually realized who I was, and the two of them had returned to the store to offer their help. They helped me bag my groceries, pushed the cart out to the car, and loaded the bags into the car for me. It was so kind of them, and I was very grateful. Later I found out it was “random acts of kindness day,” but I like to think they would have helped me anyway!

Today, I had another experience that contrasted with last week’s encounter. I was buying supplies for tomorrow’s chai party, so my cart was piled high as I pushed it out to my car. I had parked my car in a “pull-through” space and there was an empty space on either side and behind it. As I reached the car, a large pickup truck pulled into the space beside the one behind me on the passenger side, even though it could have pulled up right beside me because that space was also free.

I heard the truck’s window going down, and a man’s voice asked, “Do you need me to pull back? Do you have enough room?” (I thought it was kind of an odd question because I had free spaces on either side of my car and also behind it!)

By this time I had the trunk open. “No,” I said, without looking up at him. “I’ve got plenty of room.” I started hoisting the heavy bags from the cart and into my trunk.

“Would you like some help with that?” he asked.

“No thanks, I can handle it,” I answered, “but thanks for offering.”

He didn’t say anything else but I also did not hear him get out of his truck. I quickly finished getting my bags in the trunk and returned the cart to get my quarter. When I walked back to the car, I noticed that there was a man sitting in the passenger seat using his phone. I could not tell if the driver was still there because of the glare off the windows.

Now here’s my problem: I found this incident a little disturbing. A week ago, when someone offered help, I gladly accepted it because it was someone I knew. Today, when someone offered help, my first thought was that he might not be on the up-and-up. I’ve been so conditioned by recent news stories to suspect anyone who offers anything of sinister intent. There’s a pretty good chance that this guy was just a traditional Texan gentleman whose mama raised him right. But in today’s world, I couldn’t assume that. I couldn’t take that risk.

That really bothers me. People that have been raised to be helpful and polite are going to be increasingly rebuffed because of fears that they are some form of predator. I hate that.

A Happy Curry Birthday

I had a good reason for not blogging last night. I was helping someone else set up a blog! I finally convinced Don and Gwen that the time had come for them to join the cyber world so that all their friends can keep up to date on their ministry. It got late and we didn’t finish, so we will have to do that when they get back from Dallas this weekend. They took off this afternoon to visit friends in Dallas for a couple of days.

Yesterday was also my husband’s birthday. We are not celebrating it till the weekend, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t have a nice dinner and a cake. He had requested beef curry. I have a great recipe from my dear Sri Lankan friend, Anita (Janet’s mother), but some of the amounts and instructions were a little vague, so I have been tweaking it a little every time I make it. Last night I hit the jackpot. It was to die for. So, so good.

Today we had a review day for Geography, which meant a little less preparation for me. I made crepes for lunch, and I am embarrassed to tell you that I was stupid enough to eat a couple. (They were not gluten free.) I felt very, very sick for the rest of the day. Not doing that again any time soon . . .

In fact, I felt so poorly that as soon as my class was over I lay down for 20 minutes before taking Lucy to her friend’s house. Then I came home and lay down for another 20 minutes before taking Jasper to his bee meeting. (I just did not feel well enough to sit through the whole meeting.) Then I came home and lay down for half an hour before leaving to get Jasper! I am doing a little better now.

Parting Shot:

Sleepover at Gwen's

Since Don and Gwen have been visiting, I dug out some old photo albums to look through. Here is a photo of Gwen and me at one of our early sleepovers. When I spent the night at her house, we got to sleep in the “patient’s room” off the kitchen (her dad was a doctor). I’m not sure if this was the time we scared ourselves spitless by telling each other that the local crazy man was lurking outside trying to look in the window at us. Or the time we scared ourselves spitless by convincing each other that the noises coming from the kitchen were made by a burglar who might burst in at any moment to murder us, and not by their two innocuous little dachshunds, Susie and Pudgy. We were experts at scaring ourselves. We don’t do that anymore, but she still comes to visit!

 

Rainy Tuesday

Once a month, I have a very busy Tuesday. Today was that day. I spent the morning getting ready for my class, which I taught all afternoon. I even squeezed in making a cake for one of my students who had a birthday today. It rained most of the day.

When my class ended, I had less than half an hour to get ready to leave for my critique group meeting, followed by my regular writers’ group meeting. Then I rushed home so Don could borrow my computer to see if it will work for the presentation he’s giving at a school tomorrow morning (it will).

I feel like I am falling behind on everything. Maybe tomorrow I can get some bills paid!

So Drowsy

Sorry about the lack of a hymn yesterday. I lost my internet connection and was too tired to stay up any later than I already had.

Yesterday was the first Sunday in a long time that I didn’t have to take my autoharp to church. Gwen played the piano to accompany the singing, and that was a treat for everyone, but especially for me!

Afterwards we had a potluck dinner. So. Much. Food. I didn’t dare eat even a smidgeon of dessert, even if I had room (which I didn’t) because the new meds have not been doing a good job of keeping my blood sugar in check.

Today I was up early working on class stuff and doing the reading. I had to make an emergency run for milk, only to find when I got home that dog food was also an urgent need.

I did manage to get in some autoharp practice before setting off for my lesson at lunchtime. There was just one problem. By the time I reached the north side of town, I realized I was dangerously sleepy. If I had been driving the Suburban, I would have simply reached into the console for one of the caffeine tablets I have stashed there. Instead, I was driving our “new” car, formerly belonging to my mother-in-law. There was no caffeine.

I tried every trick I knew to stay awake, but by the time I reached the first small town on my route, I knew I was endangering my life by staying on the road. I pulled into the parking lot of a Dollar General and dragged myself inside, where I bought two energy shots. I drank one and set the second aside for future emergencies. I took several deep breaths, closed my eyes for about 30 seconds, and said a prayer before heading back out.

Over the next few minutes, my ability to focus came back and I was able to function. I’m not sure why I was so overcome, but I’m glad I had the sense to take action before something tragic happened. I was a few minutes late to my lesson but that is nothing compared to what could have happened.

I had a good lesson, and was given a specific skill to work on, so that was good. I adore my teacher, Ann, and today she looked so pretty I just had to take her picture:

2-22-16 Ann

She is such a blessing in my life and I am so thankful for her.

By the time I was most of the way home, my drowsiness had returned and I was glad I had to stop for dog food, as it perked me up just enough to get me home! I had to take a nap before I could even think of tackling supper or the huge pile of work I had waiting for me.

I was so happy to hear my mother is out of the hospital now, after being there since Friday night. She is facing some new health challenges and I would greatly appreciate your prayers for her.

Parting Shot:

2-22-16 by Ann's driveway

This is one of the tiny creeks running by Ann’s driveway. The moss is so vivid and pretty.

Old Friends, Good Times, Big Smiles

Today I had a fairly lengthy to-do list. Very little of it got done. Instead, I did some tidying-up, mixed up a big batch of mandazi dough, and made a pot of chai in preparation for some visitors. Our friends Peter and Cindy were in town visiting Cindy’s family, and they had their daughter Annie and her family with them too, so we had invited them over to visit us and Don and Gwen.

There was a lot of shared history in our living room today:

  • Don, Gwen and I have all known each other since we were eight years old and went to grade school together in Zambia.
  • Don, Gwen, and Peter have known each other since they were 11 years old.
  • I have known Peter since we were 13 or 14 (we are all the same age).
  • Don and I went on the same first date, though not with each other. It was a quadruple date and Peter was there too! It wasn’t his first date though.
  • Gwen, Peter and I all went to high school together in Kenya.
  • Don, Walter, Peter, and I all went to college together at the same college where Walter still works.
  • When Walter and I were on the mission field in the early 1990s, Don and Gwen were there too on the same compound.
  • Peter and Cindy went to the same church as Walter and me for several years and our kids were good friends when they were young.

My point is that there was no shortage of things to talk about. And to make things even better, Peter and Cindy brought their daughter Annie and her adorable 7-week-old son, Abraham. Oh, the joy of having a baby in the house, if only for a couple of hours! And to see Annie, whom I’ve known since she was three, being a fine mother to her son. (Her husband was unable to join us.)

2-20-16 Wenningers & Amborskis

That’s Don & Gwen on the left, Annie holding baby Abraham, and Cindy & Peter

Return to the Lake

Don and Gwen had said that if we had nice weather on a day when I was free, they would like to go to the lake. Today was that day. Don has spent most of the week working on our van and getting it back on the road, for which we are extremely grateful.

I had to go shopping for picnic food first, so it was late morning by the time we set off. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. It was bright, sunny, breezy, and warm (77°).

As usual, we were the only ones at the picnic area. We ate lunch and just relaxed at the water’s edge for a while. Gwen and Jasper went on walks (separately) and the rest of us more or less dozed in our chairs.

Of course, sitting in a chair outdoors was so exhausting that when we got back home I felt the need to take a little nap! We had a nice pizza dinner and a pleasant evening. It is nice to have friends around.

A Busy Week

Is it really Thursday already? This has been a very busy week, trying to get back up to speed with teaching and trying to spend time with Don & Gwen and so forth.

Today was our Geography class and we were doing Western Europe. Our food was all from the British Isles: Bubble & Squeak, Scottish shortbread, Welsh tea cakes, and an Irish chocolate layer cake. We had a lot of information to cover but I think everyone was pretty interested. Gwen came in and joined us when we got to Wales as her family heritage is Welsh.

Since I don’t have to teach tomorrow, we were able to spend some time visiting this evening and taking several trips down memory lane. There are few things I enjoy more than spending time with lifelong friends. Tomorrow, we’re hoping to go on an outing.

President’s Day

Yesterday was the first full day of Don & Gwen’s visit. We went to church together and then came home to eat lunch and take naps. What an exciting life we lead!

At suppertime Johnnie and Janet came as usual, which was a lot of fun because their parents are also good friends of Don & Gwen’s. Spencer’s friend Britton also showed up to join the fun. We had eleven people around the table and it was a loud meal. The power went out multiple times, including during dinner, but I had cleverly had our two candelabras lit and set on the table so it was no problem.

Today started off with a great big bang. In fact there were lots of bangs in the form of thunder and lightning. We had a huge thunderstorm! I had to run to Walmart to get a few things. Jasper made breakfast for Don & Gwen. Then Don went over to the campus and actually got our van to start! So at least he was able to move it to the auto shop, where he has already started taking it apart.

I spent most of the day on class preparations, but I did sneak in some practice on my autoharp.

Love Lifted Me

Love Lifted Me

James Rowe

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Refrain

Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.

Refrain

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

Refrain