Musings from the Threshold

Category Archives: Misc.

The Missouri Capitol

Tracy mentioned this bit of trivia about the capitol: The “pretty” side of the capitol is facing the river. Supposedly this is because when the capitol was built most people arrived by boat and so that was the side people saw first.

I think that’s correct, but the other side (that many folks today call the “front” is also very impressive. Since I didn’t get any pictures of that side this week, I thought I’d post again and show both sides of the building.

The river side:

And the side that faces the town (picture from a couple of years ago):

From either direction, I’ve always thought it was a beautiful building.

Our Redeeming God

One of the dads in our home school support group posted this to our elist, and I think it’s a great reminder.

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use YOU, just remember…

Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer… and
Lazarus was dead!

And this is really just a small list of examples from Scripture. I treasure that our God’s business is redemption. He is the Expert at taking the dirty/ugly/unworthy and turning it into something for His glory.

I love snow, and I’ve been thinking lately on the fact that here is yet another example of God’s redemptive work. From everything we know about the pre-Flood world, there was no snow. Talk about global climate change – the Flood brought it in a big way, including the arrival of snow. And the Flood came because of sin. Yet look at the beautiful example we have of God’s creativity in the snowflake, and of His majesty in the beauty of freshly fallen snow. What an awesome Creator-Redeemer God!

Refining Thoughts

There are some desponding, morbid, murmuring, ungrateful souls who find reasons for complaining everywhere, but a man of David’s spirit, on the contrary, sucks honey out of every flower and praises God in connection with everything. –Spurgeon

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
Job 23:10

“In whatever trial we face, we can be strong and courageous because it’s not over…there is more to the story…The end is always that THIS – whatever “this” is – will result in our good and His glory.”
source unknown

I don’t know the writer of this chorus, but as we drove home late last night, it was the prayer of my heart and lips:
Living God, consuming fire
Burn the sin from my life
Make Your will my desire
Take my life in Your hands
Purify me with Your blood
Till I shine far brighter than purest gold
In Your eyes.

While googling for the author of the above lyrics, I found a post of my own from Feb. 2007 that included those words, as well as the below passage from Hind’s Feet on High Places that has been on my mind again lately:

Last of all he took her up the stairway to the highest floor. There they found a room with a furnace in which gold was being smelted and refined of all its dross. Also in the furnace were rough pieces of stone and rock containing crystals. There were put in the great heat of the oven and left for a time. On being taken out, behold, they were glorious jewels, flashing as though they had reeived the fire into their very hearts. As Much-Afraid stood beside the Shepard, loving shrinkingly into the fire, he said the loveliest thing of all.

“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay they foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones” (Isa. 54:11). Then he added, “My rarest and choicest jewels and my finest gold are those who have been refined in the furnace of Egypt,” and he sang one verse of a little song:

I’ll turn my hand upon thy heart,
And purge away thy dross,
I will refine thee in my fire
Remake thee at my cross.

Yes, Lord! Refine and purify us. Make us choice jewels and finest gold, not for our glory, but for Your own!

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115.1

Step by Step

I’m sitting in the living room at Dad and Mom Smith’s house, processing, praying, reading, focusing my heart and mind. Jonathan is with the group of believers who have been our church family for the last seven years, saying goodbye. I couldn’t bear to go this morning… I didn’t want to dissolve into a puddle of tears and make an already difficult situation even harder.

I don’t know how much to say or not say about our situation. Jonathan and I have been disturbed for quite some time about the leadership structure at our chapel. Jonathan has been a deacon and his dad an elder for a couple years, and they have been trying to affect some changes toward a more biblical model of leadership. Their efforts have not been successful and they have each come to the conclusion that it is time to depart.

Our chapel family is so dear to us. They have been “hands and feet” to us in many ways through the years. We have no feelings of anger or bitterness, just love and sadness. We don’t want to cause division with our departure; we simply believe that our time of being a benefit to this body has passed, and we are unable to remain under a leadership structure that we believe is unbiblical.

I’ve been reading Hebrews 11 this morning, and feel some kinship with Abraham, who “went out, not knowing where he was going.” I just pray that we will be faithful as Abraham was faithful, that God might be glorified through us, and that many may be blessed as the Lord works through us. We want to follow where HE leads.

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that, no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days


One of my favorite memories of Rich Mullins involved this second song. He closed out a concert with it, and used it to direct our focus to the Lord. Hearts full of worship for our Lord, we suddenly looked up and Rich was gone. And it was okay, because he had led us to the Person who was most important. It’s a memory that to me epitomizes Rich’s life. And that’s what I want my life to be… may I direct the focus of those around me to my Creator, that they might see Him and not me.


Choosing gratitude…

11. Changes that make my heart ache, but that stem from my loving Father at work

12. Heartfelt prayer with my husband

13. Cleansing tears

14. Seven years of sweet fellowship with a precious group of believers

15. Countless meals delivered the arrival of babies and in times of sickness

16. The opportunity (and challenge) to teach our Blessings by example in a difficult situation

17. Hugs

18. The blessing of a trek through sunshine and snow this morning

19. The son who came back to hold my hand and help me on the last stretch of the snowy trek

20. “He has brought me here when I did not want to come for His own purpose. I too, will look up into His face and say, ‘Behold me! I am Thy little handmaiden Acceptance-with-Joy.’ ” Hind’s Feet on High Places

A Special Day for Special Friends

On Saturday September 12, our friends Gerald and Dee celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. It was sweet, short, and simple – wonderful! My Papa performed their first marriage ceremony, and they actually held their anniversary vow renewal about a month early to save Papa and Mama an extra trip up from Florida and have them be a part of the celebration.

Shots from the “ceremony” on G&D’s deck (they live rightnext to the Missouri River; it’s gorgeous):

The reception:

And at the glassblowers there in New Haven – such a neat experience!


We interrupt this season of catch-up blogging with a special report:

Jonathan and I have recently learned that Seven is not always the number of completion.

We have discovered, that though Seven was Spiffy,

Eight is Great!

We’re looking forward to meeting Blessing #8 in May of 2010.

Other Kansas Stuff

Our van has had a vibration for quite a while and we’ve been putting off fixing it. On our drive to Hutch, it became very evident that we could not put it off any longer. Dale was gracious enough to find parts and help Jonathan do the needed repairs on Monday morning. Praise God for Dale!

We dropped by our old house in Nickerson Monday after we left camp, just to see it again. It apparently had been foreclosed on and (we found out after we got home) has a new contract on it. We loved that house, have so many memories there, and it was fun to see it again.

We spent Monday night at Nate and Becki’s. Becki cooked us a fabulous meal (of course!) and we had a fun evening visiting. Mom Yount was there for dinner as well, which was fun. The older kids enjoyed trying out a Wii for the first time, Luke and Stephen played in the tub, Jonathan and Nate did manly stuff, and Becki and I gabbed around the frequent interuptions (as moms will do). Great time with precous friends!

Tuesday morning we left Nate and Becki’s about 7am and headed to Cooper tire in Hutch to replace two tires. The service was amazingly fast. After the tires were done, we splurged on McD’s for breakfast. The real treat was that Bethany, one was one of the attendants at Stephen’s birth, met us there and we got to visit for a little bit. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures!

All tired up and fed up, we picked up Papa and Mama from Jim and Joy’s where they had spent the night and hit the road for Missouri. It was a wonderful trip home to Kansas!

KBC Work Retreat, Sept. 4-7 2009

There was lots of hard manual labor going on Saturday at camp, but for some reason I mostly took pictures of the sewing projects and the kids. Mama Byrd, myself, Mom Yount, and Becki worked on sewing mattresses in need of repair (a disproportionate number of which came from the boys’ dorms… I’m just sayin’). It was fun to work together again! I also caught Willow and Autumn sewing up the trampoline and volleyball nets.
(Click to enlarge the collages)

Another treat was getting to see the new generation playing. I’m sure more times than I can count over the years that I worked at KBC, staff friends talked about when their children would come to camp together. Most of this gang is too young to be campers, but oh, how fun to watch them play!

Here’s an extra picture of Stephen playing in the Prophet’s Chamber, which was a playroom for the weekend. Besides the fact that I think he’s so cute, I’m including it so that those of you who haven’t been to camp for a while can get a little glimpse of the refinished dining room floor.

Sunday afternoon there was a rocket launch on the ball field – a good chance to get pictures of friends.

And a few shots from Monday, the last day we were at camp.