Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Four Years Ago Today

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo died, two weeks after doctors removed her feeding tube against the wishes of family and many others.

Many of us who never even met Terri felt a frustration we'd never felt before over the unwillingness to let Terri live and allow family to continue to provide her with love, care and therapy. If I and many others had not had God in our life to pray and cry out to regarding Terri, I think many of us would have entirely given up on mankind altogether and conceded that insanity does rule. But although insanity does run rampant, it doesn't rule over those who are in the world, but not of it in the name of Christ.

So it is in tribute to Terri, and to the work her family has tirelessly continued as advocates for life, that I encourage you to read an article written by her brother, Bobby Schindler, that appears today at Crosswalk.com. Go to it now at


"Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him. He will shelter Israel from the storm and the wind. He will refresh her as a river in the desert and as the cool shadow of a large rock in a hot and weary land. Then everyone who can see will be looking for God, and those who can hear will listen to his voice. Even the hotheads among them will be full of sense and understanding. Those who stammer in uncertainty will speak out plainly.
In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes. Wealthy cheaters will not be respected as outstanding citizens. Everyone will recognize ungodly fools for what they are. They spread lies about the Lord; they deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty. The smooth tricks of evil people will be exposed, including all the lies they use to oppress the poor in the courts." Isaiah 32:1-7

Monday, March 30, 2009

They Will Bear Fruit in Old Age

It's been an interesting Spring Break. We visited my "snowbird" parents in Florida, my son turned 18, and I ate my first waffle at the Waffle House.

But what impressed me most on this trip was being able to observe how retirees live out their days. It got me thinking about how God might want me to spend that stage of my life (Watching my son turn 18 made me realize that that stage of life is not that far away!)

As I observed the retirees--at restaurants, in the parks and at their homes--something became very clear: this stage of life, from around age 65 to 100 and more, can be a monumental time of service to God. In just the retirement community alone in which my parents live there must be approximately 750 couples: Most of them not only quite able to live on their own, but live vibrantly and active. Many zoomed around in golf carts. Others walked in the morning and then again at night. They dined gaily in large groups and entertained visiting children and grandchildren. I marveled at the possibility and potential of all this maturity, vitality and life being put to God's purpose. I mean, think of the collective wisdom of these thousands of people who have years of life experience behind them! Think of the mentoring, teaching, and sharing they could do (and no doubt some already are) to younger people and to those who are struggling! Think, with all the time they have, what they can do and where they can go for God. It boggles my mind.

And so I thought, that's what I hope God has in store for me in my later years: Not a retiring from life and into leisure, although there's nothing wrong with leisure now and then (as long as it doesn't make us too busy for God); Not a pulling back from life, but a continuing in life; Not a retreat...but a leading into more, much more, adventure with God.

Psalm 92:12-15 says
"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.'"

When I grow old I want God to still bear fruit through me. And another visit to the Waffle House might be nice too.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders." Psalm 9:1

"...the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing." Psalm 65:12-13

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Movie and Media Review Website

I had the opportunity this past week to hear a presentation by Bob Waliszewski, Director of Media and Culture for Focus on the Family.

He began his talk by saying "Jesus cares about what we watch and listen to." Waliszewski, after saying that, said he could basically just go home and not say another word. Because it's really pretty simple: if we remembered that Jesus really does care what we feed on via the media, we'd think twice before giving our time and money to some of the movies, television shows and other media that we watch or listen to.

Waliszewski and his team review movies, television shows, CD's and video games at Pluggedin Online, a website devoted to providing what I think are very objective reviews from a Christian Worldview. And lest you think this site or what Waliszewski has to say is just for parents or youth pastors, it's not. Both of my teens attended his presentation and said they would like to hear even more of what Waliszewski has to say. They, too, want to use this website for future reference, which will certainly come in handy when my oldest is off at college next year and won't have his parents to dissuade him from certain movies.

Go to http://www.pluggedinonline.com/ to see all of the latest reviews, especially an excellent and very thorough review of Watchmen. I must caution you that the review leaves nothing out, and you may find it disturbing. If the review is disturbing, imagine the movie itself! Waliszewski made special mention of this movie in his presentation, calling the advertising trailor very deceptive. The previews for Watchmen make it look similar to just another Batman flick. It's not. It's exceedingly violent, pornographic and disturbing. My son told me that one of his friends told him that he walked out of the movie. Please go to Pluggedin Online and read the review if you or your children are thinking of seeing Watchmen.

Pluggedin Online bases itself on Colossians 2:8 which says,

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prescription Drugs in the Hands of Kids

Those of you who live in Wisconsin have most likely been following the story of Maddie Kiefer's death due to drugs. Today's TMJ4 Milwaukee has done a report on teen "pharm parties." Watch it here:

"Jesus wept." John 11:35

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Breath of God

Barb Harwood, photos, taken March 9, 2009

"From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens..." Job 38:29

Friday, March 6, 2009

March Mildness

Photos by Barb Harwood

These were taken this morning in my yard and garden. The early birds of spring are, in order of appearance, Lamb's Ear, Pansy, Cherry tree buds, an unidentifiable perennial, Stonecrop and the invasive weed Creeping Charley (hey, if it's green at this time of year, it's welcome!)

It's good to be in the garden again!

"It is the first mild day of March
Each minute sweeter than before...."