Monday, June 15, 2009

Oil Over My Head

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) dwell together in unity...For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life evermore." Psalm 133

After church on Sunday, Brandi and I came home to do a little cleaning before we headed off to three different parties that afternoon. Cleaning is usually an ordeal at our place because our daughters love to "help." Typically we split up; one of us watches the kids, and the other tackles the chores. I volunteered to watch the girls because I don't clean the right way anyways, and thought I was off the hook when Ava brought her basket of wooden blocks into the living room. I was even further surprised when she invited her sister to join in.

For the next 30 minutes (forever in toddler time) the girls played side by side. Ava channelled her inner Frank Gehry to create some architectural masterpieces that seemed to defy gravity, and Aspen stacked the same three blocks over and over looking up at me with a squeal at each new arrangement. Occasionally Aspen would spot just block she needed serving some important role in Ava's latest creation. As Pen grabbed for one of the flying buttresses, I waited for the eruption after the destruction. But as the blocks echoed of the bamboo flooring, two little giggles mingled together to create perhaps some of the most beautiful music I'll hear this side of heaven, and I thought to myself, "This moment is just like precious oil upon my head, like oil running off my head and down my 3 day stubble." (read the rest of psalm 133) Ok, I didn't really think that. In fact, I hate the thought of anything oily being on my face. In the Bible however, oil represents blessing, and I was definitely blessed. I did think that if I derive this much joy from watching my children work together joyfully and coexisting peacefully, mustn't God also draw pleasure when His children do the same? And if He does, wouldn't that be something worth striving towards creating everyday?

Unity between God's children is so important that instruction on it is in nearly every book in the Bible. It was also an important focus of Jesus' last recorded prayer before the crucifiction. In John 17 he prayed for future believers "that they(we) may be one; even as You, Father are in me, and I in You, that they may also be in Us, so that the world may believe you sent me." Jesus hinges the world believing that God sent him on his followers unity with one another and Him.

You don't have to talk to many people today to realize that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to belief in God is the division among his followers. When the world sees Christians living in unity and peace with one another in the midst of the chaos of this present age, they will find it easier to come to faith in Christ.

Here are just a few verses from the tremendous amount of Biblical text on the issue. The writer of Hebrews commands "Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy." Paul writes to the Ephesians "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." And to the Colossians "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Jesus went so far as to say that if we are bringing our worship to the Lord and remember someone has something against us, we should stop and go be reconciled and then come back. Matt 5:23-24

So today, if you hold a grudge or unforgiveness, or have taken offense, bring a smile to your Heavenly Father's face, pour oil over his head, lay down your grievances, be reconciled to one another, forgive as you have been forgiven, and play nicely together ;)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm bad at this... I know!!

I'll have to admitt, I'm a little jealous of all you awesome bloggers out there!! I really want to record our daily happenings for our own record....and just like I said I wouldn't.... I'm getting worse as the years go by!!! I can't remember the last time I actually printed any pictures, I get so confused trying to remember where I am as far as uploading to snapfish..... how do you guys do it!!!! I will say, that Aspen does have a detailed baby book.... and #3 will too.... but other than that hopefully I at least get all of our pics onto cd's I guess!!
Anyway, a little update on a few Rainey happenings...

Nathanial is done with school for the summer!!!!!!! It is great having him home all the time. I only work 2 days a week, but it's hard to even go those two days when we could all be together! Saturday was the day we finally decided to get a swingset for the girls.... it's been on the list. We randomly seem to pick projects and tackle them, so after hours of searching and going to every place in town and looking on the internet we decided on a simple wooden playhouse with a slide and swings. The girls love it of course, and wouldn't you know I didn't take a picture yet! But I will and add it later!!

One day last week we took off to Shoals of all places to go for a hike. Nathanial wanted to check out a potential climbing place so we went along. We hiked about a mile down this winding little road by the river with some cliffs on the other side. Ava got to try a little climbing and it was Aspen's first official hike that we can think of. It seems strange to us that we didn't take her hiking last summer, but we can't seem to recall any time. They had a blast. And we got some cute pics of them.

Tonight the Shaffer crew came over to play. The kids had fun and my little Aspen got so incredibly dirty. She gave herself cherry kool-aide (which she doesn't normally get), and ate about 5 cute little brownie cones that Michelle made.... but let's just say the mess which was her face wasn't so cute when bugs started getting stuck in the goo!!! They are sound asleep in bed now.... just love them to pieces!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!! We will be busy with Bible School in the AM and working on the house I'm sure!!