Monday, January 31, 2011

"Storm's comin'"

Life is messy. Isn't that how I began the post before last? Well, we have been having some winter around here (MA) as well as other parts of the country. It got me to thinking that sometimes life is exactly like this winter - storm, after storm, after storm. That would fairly describe different seasons in my life. Sometimes these storms are not visible and other times they are.

Friday, January 28, 2011

God of Might and of Love

The God of Power, Might and Love all in one passage

Psalm 90


From Everlasting to Everlasting

A(A) Prayer of Moses, the(B) man of God.

1Lord, you have been our(C) dwelling place[a]
in all generations.
2(D) Before the(E) mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
(F) from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3You return man to dust
and say,
(G) "Return,(H) O children of man!"[b]
4For(I) a thousand years in your sight
are but as
(J) yesterday when it is past,
or as
(K) a watch in the night.

5You(L) sweep them away as with a flood; they are like(M) a dream,
(N) grass that is renewed in the morning:
6in(O) the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it
(P) fades and(Q) withers.

7For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8You have(R) set our iniquities before you,
(S) secret sins in the light of your presence.

9For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span
[c] is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12(T) So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13(U) Return, O LORD!(V) How long?
(W) pity on your servants!
14Satisfy us in the(X) morning with your steadfast love,
that we may
(Y) rejoice and be glad all our days.
15Make us glad for as many days as you have(Z) afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16Let your(AA) work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17Let the(AB) favor[d] of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish
(AC) the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Do we dare accept the good from God and not the wrath? The blessings and not the sufferings? Do we just carve out what we like from this passage and others like it and leave the rest behind?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

His Presence

His Presence
Standing between you and your enemy

Life is messy and life continues to be a great teacher. I was thinking about my last post and "the God who is NOT safe" and I stick by that and I find that this is a part of who the Holy God of the Bible is and not something I came up with out of my imagination. One of the messiest parts of life is in relationships. One of the truths of the Bible that not every Christian subscribes to unfortunately is that we do not war against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6). If we can look at our brother or sister in Christ and know this truth, no matter how difficult the circumstances, the person before me is not my enemy then there is a greater chance of working things out with that person. One of the greatest sins of Church of the 21st century is treating and believing that our brother or sister in Christ is the enemy. If the strive between us is too great for God then what kind of God are we serving.

Our earthly fathers are just that, earthly. Families have kids that just can't get along. But if we can see that our Almighty Father God is to be feared by the enemy, the common enemy of believers, namely Satan we will come to a place where reconciliation can happen. Satan is the one who wants us to be at each others throats and when we are able to come together, trembling in the Presence of our Father, He will give us eyes to see who the real enemy is and the peace that surpasses all human understanding will be ours in the Presence of a Fearsome God.

In First Peter it says that we are to humble ourselves under the Mighty Hand of God. We know that this "mighty" hand is also a "loving" hand. I don't know about you but when I am facing the enemy that first Peter talks about, the one who is looking to devour me, I want the Mighty Hand to be there to win the battle for me. Satan is no match for God because God is NOT safe. And saying that does not negate the fact that God is love, God is holy, God is just, God is merciful, God is all powerful and all knowing.

Do me a favor think of 3 people that you know really well, who you love deeply and they love you deeply? Are you not fascinated by who they are as a person? Are you still discovering things about them that you never knew? Are they just one dimensional? Most will answer: Yes, Yes and No. If we are imperfect people and we can say that about these dear ones then we who believe in this Perfect, Triune, Living God must say:

I am fascinated by this God who cares about the details of my life who is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God!


If I lived to be 100 years old, I will still be discovering things about this Incredible God until I see Him face to face.

The God who Created the Universe, who held back the Red Sea, who sent His Own Son to die for Our sins, who Raised His Son from the Dead, who chose ordinary people to carry the Message of Our Great Salvation to the ends of the earth, whose Story is written from Genesis to Revelation in a book that has stood the test of time and has been preserved by His Divine Intervention and is one continuous Story woven throughout the lives of those who believe and those who don't, can not be measured.

This is the God who is our Refuge and in His Presence the enemy is anything but safe.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A Mighty God

8"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55; 8 & 9

"God is GOOD but He is NOT SAFE....He is trustworthy but He did ordain pain." Tullian Tchividjian preaching on Job

I wrote this quote on my Facebook status and my friend Brenda asked me to elaborate and it is right along some of the lines that I have been thinking about lately. Who God is: the character of God. There is a problem with the view of God is ALL Loving which quite often means ALL Loving and nothing else. How often do we define the Love of God by human standards? If something is distasteful, hard to understand, difficult to describe and just outright hard to swallow, then My God would not do that, say that, have the authors of the Bible write that or assign that to GOD. My God is Good all the time. This is a distortion that I believe has permeated the modern American Christian church and it has touched me as much as any other American Christian.

So the last 5 years, the LORD has drawn me, to take a closer at Him for all that He is including not being safe. I don't think it is a case of semantics, God may lead us through dangers and what some may say is not safe AND ALMIGHTY GOD is NOT Safe. I will do my best to stick to this one characteristic of GOD, The Lion of Judah.

In my comment to my status I quoted from C.S. Lewis' The Horse and His boy from the Chronicles of Narnia.

The character Aslan, the Lion (for those not familiar with the story) is the one speaking with the boy, Shasta toward the end of the book:

"I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you."

"Then it was you who wounded Aravis?"

"It was I"

"But what for?"

"Child," said the Voice, "I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own."

Aslan is the character who represents Christ throughout the Chronicles. He is also the only character that is in all 7 books. I do not believe this is a misrepresentation of the Triune God. The One whose character is written of from Genesis to Revelation. At this point, I am thinking that I could make this a series of posts.

Let us start with Genesis and see His character displayed. A global flood sent by Almighty God, only Noah and His family survive:

"The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6; 5-8

Abraham pleads with the LORD not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah

Abraham goes back and forth with the Lord in Genesis 18 and finally at the end of the discourse, the Lord says, "For the sake of the ten I will not destroy it." I suppose if you have read the Bible or even if you haven't, most people have heard references to Sodom and Gomorrah and know what happened:

15"As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city." 16But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17And as they brought them out, one said, "Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away." 18And Lot said to them, "Oh, no, my lords. 19Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!"21He said to him, "Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there." Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.26But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19; 15-26

I hate to quit writing now. (Still in Genesis) This Fearsome God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac! WHAT?! Nations are going to be blessed through the descendants of a burnt offering? Wood on the back of Isaac, the fire and a knife in the hands of Abraham and Isaac asks, "Where is the Lamb?" The question must have made Abraham's blood run cold, what would you say to the one who you were about slay? Would you be weak in the knees? Abraham trusted God enough to what? Raise Isaac from the dead? He trusted God so much he was able to say, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." Genesis 22; 8

So, I am in the Old Testament that is the beginning of the story of Our God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. Did God change at Matthew 1; 1? I don't think so. From Genesis 1 God says, Let Us make man in Our image. God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were present throughout Old Testament and continuing in the New. He is Unchanging. This Fearsome, Just, Almighty, Righteous, Merciful and Loving God is to be feared, to be loved and to be honored. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, three persons in One God is to be known for Who He is not who we want Him to be.

As is listed in my religious views on my Facebook Profile, "I see through a mirror dimly." It is my desire to get to know my Heavenly Father for who He is and this far into the journey, I think that I am just scratching the surface and I have a feeling that is how I will feel at the end of my journey here on earth. Lately, I am discovering more and more who God is and doing my best to keep my eyes and ears open. It is a humbling path because there have been times when I thought I knew who my God was and that was the problem, He was My God and not the One who had rescued me from sin and death. My prayer is that I remain teachable for the rest of my life and never to stop hungering and thirsting for the Living God.


Catherine ie Caitriona

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Preparing for the Real World
(Originally drafted 10/30/10)
Warning: Some content of this blog may be offensive to some. Please leave a comment.
I would love to have a lively exchange.

I just finished reading an article by Alex Chediak about College and learning from professors on typical American College Campuses who have something to offer simply because of common grace. It was an article worth reading. Dr. Chediak is also the author of Thriving at College: making great friends, keep your faith and get ready for the real world. It was that last phrase, get ready for the real world that flooded my mind with some memories and caused me to get my computer and sit down to write.

Once our children became school age one of the criticisms of our educational choices for them was this: "By keeping your children out of school, you are keeping your children from experiencing the real world. It is not right for you to do that to them." That's right, I was looking to harm my children. NOT. There are a select few parents who educate their children at home who isolate them in a very unhealthy manner. I am not one of them.

In the early years we were asked time and time again to defend our position, funny thing is that those who have their kids in public or private school were rarely asked to defend themselves. It was tough going sometimes and I wanted to turn it around on those whose kids were in schools and at the same time not put my friends and family on the defensive. Not to avoid the questioning and also knowing that being put on the spot I would not be speaking just for me but for a whole community of people who had made the same educational choice that we did.

Back to the real world, Is the classroom the real world? For those who believe that all children ought to be in a classroom with a "qualified and trained teacher" for their best waking hours and at least 36 of the 52 weeks of the year then the answer would be yes, that is the real world for children, it is where they belong. In some respects people who believe this have just 5 short years to prepare their children to be launched into this real world. Even though these parents delegate the responsibility of their children to other adults more often than not the teacher is not someone that they pick or even know. Children do not distinguish between responsibility and authority, so Johnny eventually gives more weight to the words and beliefs of his teacher than his parents. It may not happen right away but given a little time, it is often the result. Education is not neutral on values.
However, "the real world" is not segregated by age and not everybody works 9 to 5 and not all children learn best by sitting still in their seats with someone stuffing their little heads with information both true and false.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Community Members Wanted

Community members
(Debate Only in New England)
January 21 & 22, 2011
(Friday and Saturday)
The Fellowship
604 Foundry Street Easton, MA

Dear Members of the Community of Easton and its surrounding towns,
One week from Friday Debaters from all over the Northeast will come to the town of Easton to compete in their first qualifying tournament for the 2011 NCFCA Season. These young people have been working hard this past fall to prepare to enter this arena to sharpen their skills, compete with excellence and enjoy the process.
"Tournaments have two concrete requirements: rooms and judges." *
We have the rooms and a roster of competitors. Now we need to fill a number of judging slots in order to make this tournament run.
So we kindly invite you to come and judge these young people who are our future leaders. Community members who have served in the past haven't given high praise to the quality of these young communicators and often have renewed hope in this future generation.
Anyone willing to judge can register at our website If you need further assistance just leave a comment with your email address or email me at and I will get back to you asap.
Judge registration

Thank you,
*NCFCA Judge Philosophy 2005

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A friend of mine from Texas (I am blessed with a few Texans that I can call friends) used to say, "Life is a wonderful awful mix." I whole heartily agree. I am looking to figure a number of things out this year including the direction of this blog. It has been a great first weekend and I am exhausted.

Just remember each day is new you don't always have to wait til January 1st.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Days of Auld Lang Syne

In the early hours of the new year, I found myself reading about a song I kinda know and you kinda know but until today, I had never fully heard the words. It reminded me of being a sixteen year old girl who was a lector in the church I grew up in and not being able to hear or understand the words I was reading. The song is Auld Lang Syne. Did you sing it or hear others singing it last night? Or perhaps you know all the words and you actually know what you are singing.

I was at a party last night and we raised a glass to ring in the new year (a non-alcoholic one for me) and then a few people sang the song and I listened. My ears were opened today as I read this article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Peggy Noonan. In essence the song says, Remember the people who have touched your lives, those you have met along the pilgrim highway. Often, I have wanted to write about those people who have touched my life and highlight how they have affected me but often it is far too personal to be specific. Let's just say that the blessings of friends and family have far outweighed the wounds that I have received in this life.
Happy New Year to all that I have encountered upon this journey in 2010. At the risk of offending some, I will list these dear people and if you ought to be included here please comment and remind me of our meeting on the road of life this past year.
Dan, Grace, Katie and Michael Mullaney: my immediate family.
Billy and Kelly Mullaney, Barry and Mary Mullaney, Bill Mullaney (dad), Jimbo and Karen Mullaney, Ellen and Paul Lippens, Shosh and Paul Babson, Smully, Paul A. MacDonald, Peter and Tammie MacDonald, Laura MacDonald, Paul and Joan MacDonald (dad and mum): our extended families.
Now I will got back in hopes that none will be forgot:
Becky and Cliff Mort, Mike and Kim Abendroth, Nancy Myers, Dave and Vida Farrar, Marie Steinmann, Fran Walken, Flo Paras, Marie and Tom Bertrand, Charlie and Elaine Crane, Cindy and Scott Farrar, Steve and Janet Cooley, Deb and Dana Peterson, Bruce and Lori Pelissier, David MacAdam, Joanne and Glenn Gray, Steve and Carol Gray, Elizabeth Kehoe, BonnieJean Wiebe, Kristen Neprud, Devan Wiebe, Diane and Clark Pitchford, Pam and Kenny Hopkins, Kelly and Phil Bower, Eunice and Au Au, Dina Webb, Cathy Creed, Misun Min, Helen Kim, Mary and Jeff Weix, Little Joe, Joe the Builder, Howard, Marilyn, Marcia, Charlie, John, John, Lorraine, Mr. Norton (Karen Mullaney's dad) Uncle Bill, Lorraine, Cousin Anna, Eileen, Elena, all the old men regulars at Endicott Variety, Sharon Scanell, Gail and John Lefferts (There are more I am sure but it has been a crazy 24 hours).

Again, I am reminded that people matter. It is in the context of human relationships that we continue to become who we are because we have been a part of one another's lives in big and small ways.

A new day and a new year is an opportunity for renewed hope.