Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Whole Bunch Of Wasted Self-Righteousness!



Have you heard of Advent Conspiracy?  It’s a great movement that encourages us during the holidays to “Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All.”  Their website has lots of great ideas, including the chance to contribute to Living Water International, an organization that helps provide clean water to people all over the world.

I found out about Advent Conspiracy last year and Mr. Math Tutor and I thought it sounded like a great idea.  For the last couple of years, we have intentionally spent less on gifts by both giving fewer gifts and making more handmade gifts.  We are trying to give a higher percentage of our income to charities such as Living Water International, but also to Ninos de la Luz and other groups.  And, we’ve radically cut down our schedule and even now celebrate our Christmas over three full days (although you could argue that the schedule changes were mandated by my headaches – but, hey, whatever).

So, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself coming up on this Christmas season.  While everyone else was hitting the malls on Black Friday, Mr. Math Tutor and I did our little bit of shopping online and I went back to my knitting.  We put up our Christmas decorations, but chose not to put up lights outside because they’re just too much trouble.  Even our Christmas tree is a 4 foot artificial tree that we put on a table to make it look larger.  I was feeling pretty smug about how relaxed we are this Christmas season and how we can really focus on what it’s all about.

Apparently, though, I’ve been focusing on how great our family is.  Kind of like a Christmas Pharisee.  I got seriously convicted when I read the following on the Advent Conspiracy blog:

I’m worried that people are being guilted into Advent Conspiracy. The last thing we want is for people to feel like they can’t shop because their church or family member or friend told them it’s not the [AC] way. Because that’s not true. So what is the [AC] way? Simply this: We want to encourage people to do Christmas differently by worshiping Jesus first before anything else. We want to push back on hyper-consumerism. Notice the word “hyper”. We’re not saying you shouldn’t buy a gift, we’re merely suggesting you don’t gorge yourself on gifts or buy stuff out of obligation.


I know some think it’s hip to push against “the man”, but when it’s taken to extremes we sound like a man ourselves--an old man who’s gone all Scroogy on everyone, sitting on a hill of righteousness using scripture like rounds of ammunition. Who wants to be around someone like that at Christmas? Plus, we happen to know a few folks who could be considered “the man”, and they’re doing some amazing things for the kingdom through [AC]. You know what that means? That means this movement is for everyone, because Jesus is for everyone. Christ told us in the book of Matthew to love even “the least of these”. And guess what gang, we ARE the “least of these”. We’ve all fallen short, and we all need Jesus.

The advent season has begun. Let’s use this season to love one another well instead of making us-vs-them statements. Let’s put Jesus in front of us and let Him lead us into a life of joy and exhilaration to the point where we can barely catch our breath.

I was feeling self-righteous over how good I was being about Christmas.  Just like the Pharisee who prayed  “Thank you, God, that I am not like that tax collector”, I was saying, “Thank you, God, that I am not like all those materialists”.  Yet, I am.  Maybe not as much of a materialist as I used to be, but just as much of a sinner.  And, apparently, you can add pride and self-righteousness to my (incredibly long) list of sins.  What wasted energy I was spending on being self-righteous!  Ugh!

So, tonight, let’s all sit down and enjoy the Advent season.  Let’s shop joyfully because we are giving gifts to show our friends and family how much we love them.  Let’s bake with abandon because we love our friends and coworkers (enough to ask them to consume thousands of extra calories, apparently).  Mostly, let’s love others like Jesus loves them – completely and with abandon.  I’ll do Christmas in a way that works for our family and not worry about how you do your Christmas celebrations (unless you plan to send cookies, in which case, chocolate chip without nuts is preferred - ‘cause that’s what Jesus would want).

If Advent Conspiracy sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, check out their website.  They also have resources for churches that would like to participate in Trade As One and Living Water International.  And remember to Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All!!

More on Thankfulness in Difficulty

First of all, can I just say that I love it when I get to quote someone way smarter than I am about something I’ve previously written. So, I’m pretty happy about this.

Tullian Tchividjian wrote on his blog about being thankful for pain.

To be thankful for our comforts only is to make an idol of this life. “God-sent afflictions”, says Maurice Roberts, “have a health-giving effect upon the soul” because they are the medicine used to purge the soul of self-centeredness and this world’s vanities. Pain, in other words, sharpens us, matures us, and gives us clear “eye-sight.” Pain transforms us like nothing else can. It turns us into “solid” people. Roberts continues, “Those who have been in the crucible have lost more of their scum.” All of this should cause us to be deeply thankful.

It’s been said that pain is the second best thing because it leads us to the Best Thing (God). For, it is only when we come to the end of ourselves that we come to the beginning of God. And it is only when we come to the beginning of God that we come to the beginning of life.

What more can I say? I am thankful for my pain because God is leading me to Him. What more could I want?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hard To Be Thankful

So, we just got finished with Thanksgiving when we were supposed to give thanks for all of our blessings. Just having a stable food supply and a place to live makes us more fortunate than probably 90% of the rest of the world, so we should be thanking God every day for just about everything!! Nonetheless, it is nice to have a day to remember that everything that sustains us comes from God.

So, I’m thankful for all the usual things like food, shelter, and family. I’m thankful for LSU football at the moment because they’re winning against Arkansas (but that may be temporary depending on the outcome of the game). I’m thankful for two funny and beautiful children. I’m thankful for an amazing husband who loves me as much as he does.

But, sometimes, it’s hard to be thankful. But, God tells us to be thankful for everything – and he doesn’t qualify it by saying to be thankful for all the good stuff. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” Ouch.

It’s hard to be thankful for migraines, but Paul writes that we are to give thanks in ALL circumstances, not just the ones that we like. And, I’m not liking the migraine I’ve got right now. Being thankful for the tests and trials of life doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make an attempt to resolve them. I’m still seeing my chiropractor and adjusting my medications. But, I have to thank God for the migraines.

Why? Why in the world would God want us to thank him for bad things as well as good things? A couple of things come to mind. First of all, what appears to be bad may eventually turn out to be good. Joseph told his brothers that what they intended for evil, God intended for good. God may have some greater use for my migraines. Second, I think that God teaches us simply through the act of gratitude. When we can take our eyes off ourselves long enough to thank God for the bad stuff in our lives, we can look around and see what other needs there are in the world. That’s just my thoughts. Let’s face it – God’s mind is way bigger than mine and so he’s probably got even more going on than I can think of right now.

So, what do you need to be thankful for today? What is hard to be thankful for?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Of Scans and Psychosis

When I was 10 years old – 32 years ago, for those of you keeping track – I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, aka chronic thyroiditis.  At that time I was started on desiccated thyroid tablets (aka pork or cow thyroid gland ground up and dried – yeah, it’s gross, but I didn’t find this out till much later).  This was in the days before Synthroid (aka levothyroxine – stuff made in a lab – I don’t know if that’s better or worse than the ground up thyroid glands of other mammals).


So, before it became trendy to have thyroid trouble, I had thyroid trouble.  Of course, I can’t really blame much on my thyroid because my thyroid levels have been in good shape since I started medication.  Well, except for one month.  You see, when I was ten, the doctors took blood and felt my thyroid gland and made the diagnosis and gave me medicine and I was good with all this.  When I was 14, though, they decided they wanted to do a nuclear medicine scan of my thyroid gland.  The only reason I can think that they decided to do this at that time in my life was that the scanner was new and exciting.  I mean, what could have changed in 4 years.  We already knew that my thyroid gland was the size of, well, something larger than it should be. 

So, the doctors in their great wisdom (I didn’t know then that I would join their ranks 20-odd years later) had me go off my thyroid medicine for a month so they could do the scan.  I don’t remember much about this time in my life.  I was 14 and the major decisions in my world generally involved clothing choices and who to sit with at lunch.  But, as my mother tells it, the month was not pretty.  By the time we got to the scan, she told the technicians to get the scan over with so I could have my medication back because I was crying at the drop of a hat.  Apparently, I was a little more moody than usual.  Although, I remember 14 being a pretty moody time of life, so I’m not sure how she could be sure.  But, she was. 


I remember getting to see the scan itself, which was cool.  The thyroid gland looks like a butterfly.  Mine looked like a really big butterfly.  According to the technicians, at least.  I’m not sure it was good for a teen girl’s psyche to hear the techs marvel about “the size of that thing”!  But, there it was, in all it’s glory – my 5x normal size thyroid gland.  (When I got a lovely string of pearls after graduating med school, I had to get an extender because they didn’t fit around my neck because of my enlarged thyroid gland.  True story.)

Well, I went back on medication and had no further incidents until I was 17 when I was switched over to Synthroid which made me happy because the crushed-up cow or pork thyroid gland kind of grossed me out a bit.  Then my endocrinologist also decided that he wanted to do a fine needle aspiration, yet another new technology.  I was starting to feel like a thyroid guinea pig.  I politely declined.  My mother accepted.  I declined.  My mother accepted and told me that if I wanted to eat at her table again, I would have the procedure done.  She won.  I’m not proud.  Food is my downfall.  And I was a minor – what were my options?  I almost fainted during the procedure, but it only took 10 minutes and did not require giving up my thyroid medication.  And the samples were completely normal.  Yippee.

So, for the next 28 years, I’ve been faithfully taking my levothyroxine (various brand names based on what was cheapest), having my levels checked, and having different doctors feel my thyroid gland (wow, that’s a big gland!).  No big deal.  I know I have a couple of nodules and nothing has changed.

But . . . and that’s where things get dicey.  Chronic thyroiditis is associated with an increased chance of thyroid cancer as well as lymphoma.  (It’s also associated with diabetes, Addison’s disease, and other autoimmune diseases which my doctor and I keep in the backs of our minds.)  So, since it’s been 28 years since my thyroid gland has been imaged, I’m having another nuclear med scan done the first week of December.  This time they wanted me off my meds for 6 weeks.  It’s been almost 4 weeks now.

And this is where we get to the psychosis part of the title!!  OK, that may be a little hyperbole.  Or not.  But, let me tell you, I am seriously missing my thyroid replacement.  My headaches are worse.  I’m exhausted, but have trouble sleeping.  My skin is more dry.  My moods are all over the place – and I don’t realize that I’m being moody until I’ve already gone and said or done something I regret.  And I’m freezing cold!!!  I feel like my entire body has gone on full-scale rebellion! 

Two and a half more weeks till I can have my meds back!!  And, I’m probably going back to desiccated thyroid to see if that might help the headaches a bit.  I figure that, at 42, I should be able to get over the source of the tablet.  Right?  Right.  But,the main thing is that I get my meds back as of December 3!!!!!!!!!!!  I will be a truly happy girl again!  Well, after about a week or so when the levels come back up.  In the meantime, I’m hanging on by my fingernails and praying for my poor family!


Our Week in Review – November 15, 2009


We finished Week 11 here in our little corner of the educational world.  Nothing terribly earth-shattering happened, but it was generally enjoyable.

Rosie Girl

Her choir class sang at a Veteran’s Day presentation at the Middle School on Wednesday.  They did quite well and I was very proud of them.  It was also very interesting to see all the kids sitting on the bleachers and almost all of them were slouching, but Rosie Girl was sitting straight up – remnants of all those years in ballet class!

I continue to be thrilled with  Rosie Girl has had two graded assignments returned, one was a “B” and the other an “A”.  She clearly showed improvement from the initial drafts to the final drafts.  And there was no arguing with me!!

Rosie Girl asked me last night if she could loan out one of her Sonlight books from last year - Don’t All Religions Lead to God?.  I told her it was fine with me and asked why and to whom.  She said that one of her friends in choir believes that all religions believe pretty much the same thing, so it doesn’t matter which religion you believe as long as you’re sincere.  Rosie Girl thought that this book would be very helpful for her and offered to let her read it.  I’m definitely pleased that my girl is talking about faith issues to her friends.

For Science this week, Rosie Girl was supposed to do a microscope lab, but I couldn’t find the slides that she needs.  I have concluded that I actually didn’t purchase those slides, so I have to decide how strongly I feel about her looking at them. 

At the public school parent-teacher conferences, Rosie Girl’s art teacher was very pleased with how she’s doing.  He commented that she does tend to get behind easily, but that’s because she’s something of a perfectionist.  She’s getting a little better at choosing projects that are more doable, and her teacher definitely is happy to have a student who wants to work hard, so he’s happy.  We didn’t get to talk to her choir teacher.  In any case, she has “A’s” in both classes.

Wild Man

One of the main things that I have noticed with Wild Man has been that reading is not an obstacle to much of anything anymore.  He still does Explode the Code which is helpful for the sounds that he still has trouble with, but he is able to figure out most words now from context that he rarely gets completely stumped in a book.

In light of Wild Man’s reading prowess and my spate of migraines, I have had him start reading “Adventures of an Early American Boy” for Science since we haven’t done nearly as many experiments as I would have liked.  After he finishes that book, I’ll have him reading biographies of scientists.

I have been constantly surprised by how much information Wild Man has been learning from sources unknown to me.  For example, he was able to tell me about guerilla warfare tactics used by the American colonists and why they were effective against the British regulars.  We talked about World War 1 on Veteran’s Day and Wild Man knew a good bit about trench warfare and why it was so horrendous.  There’s information stored in his head that comes out at surprising times!

On Wednesday, Wild Man and I worked at the Nutrition Center as usual.  After working, he took out his bell set and drum pad and played a little bit for the clients.  Several of the clients that day stayed at the center until time to go to the Veteran’s Day program at the Middle School.  Wild Man and I went home first, but then walked to the Middle School for the program.  There was something very special about seeing these guys who were just the elderly men who at lunch at the center most of the time who were now dressed up sharp and carrying the flags.  It made and impression on me and Wild Man.  All of the sudden, we realized that these guys had done more than just run the farm and raise a family – they protected our country.  Wow.

On parent-teacher conference day, Mr. Math Tutor and I visited Wild Man’s band teacher.  He agreed that Wild Man is, indeed, very distractible, but said that he was easily redirected back to the task at hand and wasn’t a behavior problem.  Wild Man needs to practice more, but is otherwise doing well in band. 

So, that was our week.  This next week is going to be just a four day week for academics because the grandparents are coming on Thursday night.  I’m going to be working on the schedules tonight.  We are taking all of Thanksgiving week off of school.  The kids will still have to go to their public school classes, but they won’t have to do their academic work here that week.

So, how was your week?  Anything exciting happen?  Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for more great posts!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Secret to Homeschooling High School


Yes, indeed, you have come to the right place because I’m going to tell you the secret to homeschooling high school – how to make sure our precious darlings one day become productive citizens who move out of our house, quit eating our food, and buy their own clothes, how to ensure that they can spell their own names and know their date of birth, how to get a child from reading Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare.  Are you ready?  Here it is.

I have no idea!!!!

We are eleven weeks into my daughter’s freshman year of high school and I have only one concrete piece of advice for anyone attempting this crazy venture:

Pray without ceasing!

It really helps that it was God’s idea first, so I’m clearly a total copycat here.  But, I can’t stress enough that praying is the only thing that seems like it might do a lick of good over the next four years.

So, why did we even attempt to homeschool through high school – besides the obvious fact that I’m crazy?  First of all, we were doing so well through eighth grade that it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Second, we live in a small town and the local public school doesn’t have much in the way of curricular choices.  For example, all the kids take the same English 1, 2, 3, and 4.  There aren’t any advanced classes except for a few AP classes and nothing like Creative Writing.  Third, I really want to spend the next few years working on developing an even closer relationship with my daughter and that’s easier to do when she’s here instead of at school.  Then there are the other things like the fact that schools don’t fit well with kids’ circadian rhythms, the entire institutional nature of schools rubs me the wrong way, and I want my kids to spend more time with groups of people of different ages, not just their own age (to name a few reasons of about a hundred).

But it’s not easy.  Rosie Girl and I butt heads about getting her work done just about every week.  Part of me wonders if it is really worth doing this or should we put her in school or do an online school.  We are already having her do an online writing course since that’s the subject that has given us such fits in the past.  The reason that we continue with what we’re doing right now is that I see progress in our relationship every week.  Rosie Girl is not only learning to manage her work (and I’m learning to help her) but the two of us are learning to talk about the problem, not just carp at each other.

I hope that I can give some of you some more concrete advice at the end of this year, but right now, we’re just hanging on for dear life and enjoying the ride!!  And, of course, praying without ceasing!!

Check out Thirsty Thursday to see what others have to say this week!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Baked Garlic and Onion Cream Soup

Blissfully Domestic 1 


It’s Fall – time for soup!!  On Sunday, I made two kinds of soup, along with some foccacia and a chocolate sheet cake.  Yep, I have a happy family!!  So, here’s a recipe to warm you up this Fall.

Baked Garlic and Onion Cream Soup

  (Source:  Appleton Post-Crescent Newspaper  By Darryl Kilsdonk)


  • 6 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 5 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves (I used ground thyme with good results)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • Place the onions and garlic in a shallow roasting pan.  Add 3 cups of the chicken stock.  Sprinkle with the thyme, pepper, and salt.  Dot with butter.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Stir once or twice while it is baking.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and use a blender or food processor to puree the onions and garlic with the liquid in batches, until smooth.
  • With the motor on, gradually add the remaining 2 cups stock and the cream.  Pour the soup into a large saucepan.
  • Adjust the seasonings and slowly heat through.  Do not allow the soup to boil.
  • Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
  • Serves 6-8

My modifications

  • I don’t have a roasting pan, so I use 2 9x13 glass baking pans and divide the onions and garlic between them.
  • I have found that baking the onions for longer than the 1 1/2 hours makes them softer, but also sweeter.  Experiment to see which consistency and flavor you prefer.
  • My blender won’t hold all of this soup, so I puree (actually liquefy or grind!) the contents of one baking pan then empty it into the saucepan, then do the contents of the other baking pan and empty it into the saucepan.  I then add the remaining stock (broth) and cream to the saucepan and stir.  I make my soup really smooth, so there’s nothing lost by not having it all in the blender at once.
  • I didn’t have enough cream on Sunday, so I used 1 cup of cream and 1 cup of Half and Half with good results.
  • This stores well in the fridge for several days.
  • I love it with fresh bread – particularly French bread or foccacia.
  • This is also a great soup to keep your insides moving, if you know what I mean!!

Here are the other recipes I used Sunday night:

Happy Cooking!!

Check out what others are saying on Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and I Am Blissfully Domestic!!

Christians as Slave Owners??

So, I was reading the book of Philemon the other day and was a little perplexed.  What?  The book of Philemon?  It’s the little one-pager right before Hebrews.  Yeah, there it is.  You haven’t heard of it?  That’s OK.  I think the only time most of us hear about it is when we memorize the books of the Bible or do a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year thing.  Which is why I was reading the book of Philemon.  It came up in my Year-long Bible.

Philemon is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to Philemon regarding Onesimus.  Apparently, Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon but had run away.  Philemon was a Christian who had apparently been won to Christ by Paul.  At some point, Onesimus came into contact with Paul and became a believer.  Paul seems to have convinced Onesimus to return to Philemon with this letter in which Paul exhorts Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his household as a brother in Christ.

I got a lot of the info in the previous paragraph from the Broadman Bible Commentary.  Some of it can be easily inferred from Philemon itself, but some of the other information is more obscure.  For example, it is generally agreed that Onesimus was a runaway slave, although it is not explicitly stated in the letter.  Some people have speculated that Onesimus was an apprentice which would make most of the rest of this post irrelevant, but bear with me anyway.

The part of the letter I have a question about is verses 15-17 “Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a while was that you might have him back for good – no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.  He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.  So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.”

Here’s my question – why didn’t the Apostle Paul explicitly tell (or ask) Philemon to free Onesimus?  It is agreed among Christians today that slavery is completely foreign to the will of God.  There is an implied request that Philemon accept Onesimus as a brother, but there is no explicit statement that Philemon shouldn’t OWN another person.  It’s so obvious to me that slavery is wrong and I have a hard time seeing that this belief is culturally conditioned.  So why doesn’t Paul tell people, “Hey, quit it!  You can’t own another person!  You need to treat each other with the dignity God has given you.”

In Ephesians 6, Paul tells the Ephesian church that slaves should obey their earthly masters with respect – OK, that’s understandable since they can’t do anything about it.  But then he goes on to tell masters to treat their slaves well.  Hmmmm.

Here are some options and my thoughts:

1. Slavery is no big deal.  People can own each other and God is cool with it. 

I seriously doubt it!!

2. Slavery is a cultural situation to which we should adapt as Christians (think – women wearing pants in the 20th century). 

I’m not comfortable with this explanation.  Clothing can be a cultural issue that can change while the primary moral issue – modesty – remains in place.  In the situation of slavery, it’s hard to see how there can be any acceptable ethical or moral situation for Christians to own slaves.

3. Baby steps.  When an individual comes to Christ, the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict them of every sin all at once. 

Talk about overwhelming!  In a modern situation, a business person who comes to Christ may be convicted first to deal with anger issues with a spouse before dealing with shady business dealings.  The point here is that the Holy Spirit convicts.  Perhaps Paul knew that Philemon was not yet ready to deal with the slavery issue.  Perhaps, having Onesimus return as a Christian was going to be the impetus for him to deal with it.  But, this doesn’t really deal with the fact that nowhere in Scripture does Paul speak against slavery like he does adultery and plenty of other sins.  The Apostle Paul certainly wasn’t shy!!

4. Paul was trying to get across concepts that transcend earthly relationships. 

This might be a reasonable explanation.  In whatever situation, we need to act in a Christ-like fashion.  There may have been a very few examples in which freeing a slave was not in anyone’s best interest (I’m thinking of 19th century American in which free blacks were often picked up and sold back into slavery) and treating each other in a Christ-like way is more important.  Paul’s statements would also apply to employer/employee relationships as well.

5. Paul may not be terribly concerned about slavery because once we have freedom in Christ, our situation on this earth is paltry compared to what awaits us in Heaven. 

I’m not sure what I think about this explanation.  I think it makes sense from the perspective of the slave, in that, our soul’s are free no matter what happens to the body.  I still have trouble with the idea that a Christian could be a slave owner. 

I know that the book of Philemon and verses from Ephesians 6 were used to justify continuing slavery in the United States, even though most slaveholders were nominally Christian.  Why isn’t Scripture more explicit on this topic?  Do you have any ideas or thoughts?


Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

I love modern worship music, but I have a special place in my heart for hymns from my childhood and adolescence. Not only do they bring back memories of when I first gave my life to Christ, but they have beautiful language from years gone by. Here’s one of my favorites:

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

1. Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

“Ebenezer” refers to 1 Samuel 7:12 - “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the Lord helped us.” Ebenezer means “stone of help”. When I sing “Here I raise my Ebenezer”, I’m saying that God is my helper, the only one who will bring me safely home.

When I sing “prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”, I sometimes just want to cry. God loves me so much, but yet I’ll wander away at the drop of a hat like I’ve got spiritual ADD or something. But, not God. He doesn’t wander and He will “bind my wandering heart” to Him. Amazing.