Monday, February 1, 2010

Swimming Upstream...

We live in a day where we believe we have a fundamental right to happiness -- even if achieving it involves the most outrageous sins. And of course we often believe we must sin to be happy. Deborah Raney has written a sweet book called A Vow to Cherish which tells of the struggle of John whose wife Ellen gets Alzheimers when she is still very young. Sorely missing Ellen's companionship, John meet Julie, whose husband died in a car accident. He is drawn to her and begins making excuses to spend time with her. At his son's wedding, he is deeply convicted that he is being unfaithful to his own marriage vows. What follows is a testimony of the all-sufficient grace of God for the most difficult days, and evidence of the real rewards of obedience. (a surprise, guilt-free reunion with Julie after Ellen dies).
The book, though fiction, is an inspiration to reject the lies of Satan that we must sin in order to be happy, and embrace the truth that obedience brings great reward -- both now and for eternity. Raney is swimming upstream in a culture where some feel-good happiness is routinely sought regardless of the cost. The Puritans' call for us to suffer rather than sin is for a deeper, eternal happiness.

I feel like an Octopus

Last week I was getting ready for Joseph's open house. Our four youngest children were all helping me and we were having a great time, making significant progress. I felt like an octopus --except with 10 arms!! Abigail cut all of the cheese and meat into strips for the antipasto salad, Esther made brownies, Stephen made cream cheese spread for the sandwish wraps, and Andrew cut and arranged vegetables and fruit. My husband tells me not to work alone and I love him for saying that because working together is much more fun.