Archive for February, 2012

Road Trip!

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 27th, 2012family7 Comments

Or, why I spent twelve hours of the weekend traveling with these little sweethearts:

1. I have a van, and it was going to Omaha anyway.

2. Cousins – I take it as my grandmotherly responsibility to facilitate cousin time at every opportunity. The girl cousins live in three different states and are separated by sixteen hours. When one family gets within six hours of us, I make it a point to get some of us there.

3. Grandparent Sharing – I love sharing grandchildren with my friend, Cheri, and I had heard some homesickness in her recent emails. How could I not take these girls to see her when I had the chance?

4. The birthday boy – I promised to arrive at J. Paxton’s first birthday party with bells on. I opted to bring belles instead.

5. Memories – I love making them. The girls may not remember this trip forever, but I certainly will.

Read More

People are the Point

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 20th, 2012The Bible3 Comments

I always think of the Book of Romans in the Bible as a great resource for sound doctrine. The apostle Paul outlines the doctrine of the Kingdom in such clear terms in this book. And I love so many of those passages. It is also a heavy book. Deep and many-layered. Several scholars have written multi-volume commentaries about this one letter.

This week, though, I was struck by how Paul ends the letter: He talks about his friends.

In this letter, Paul lays out fundamental teachings that will hold the Church steady for centuries. Then, he gets all personal with notes about Phoebe, Epenetus, Rufus, Priscilla, Aquilla,  and many others. A good editor might have cut that chapter. It seems outside the flow of the rest of the book.

But, it isn’t. Because friendship is basic to Christianity. Our faith is all about people getting back into right relationship with God and with one another. It’s almost like Paul ended the letter by saying, “See, this is what it looks like. The Christian life I’ve been trying to describe to you lives, and breathes, and walks, and loves among friends. Here are a few of mine.”

I love that.

Read More

Don’t Forget the Bones

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 16th, 2012The Bible2 Comments

 Joseph of the Coat-of-Many-Colors is famous in the Bible for rescuing his family from famine by moving them from Canaan into Egypt. This was a good thing, which eventually went bad. Although they entered Egypt as guests, they eventually became slaves. Joseph saw that coming, but he knew it was all part of the mysterious plan of God.

Just before he died, Joseph told his family, “I know God is going to help you someday. He is going to take you out of Egypt, back to the land He promised us. When that happens, take my bones with you.”

Take my bones with you.

Approximately four-hundred years later, they left. The twelve Hebrew families had become a large nation, and they left on short-notice in the midst of great chaos. The account of their leaving Egypt is epoch, and the logistics it required are mind-boggling.  But, even with all the frogs and boils and river-turned-to-blood, Moses managed to tell someone, “Don’t forget the bones.”

They remembered. After all those years, all that bondage, all those trials and temptations, the Hebrews remembered.  Because they had kept the promise alive long after the dreamer died.

Each generation had repeated the promise to the next. Mothers sang it in a lullaby. Fathers spoke of it while they worked. Slaves pounded it into bricks. And a shepherd named Moses examined it before a burning bush.  “We won’t be slaves forever,” the promise said. “God has a better place for us, and He will take us there someday.”

I don’t plan on asking my grandchildren to take my bones anywhere. Once I’m done with them, my bones will be perfectly fine in whatever spot I drop until Jesus comes back to get them someday. But I do hope I’m passing on some promises about a better place. About a better Way. And I hope our offspring pass the promises on from generation to generation to generation. No matter long it takes.

 

Read More

Still My Valentine

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 13th, 2012happy endings3 Comments

I wanted to write a gushy post his week about the guy who has been my Valentine since 1973. I like the grandfather-version of him even better than I liked the handsome college student who smoked a pipe and wore platform shoes. But I’m feeling much more grateful than gushy. Gratitude, I think, is a more lasting emotion.

I am grateful for the perspective of years.

For the comfort of routine.

For the victories won through tough times.

For the promise of good days ahead.

Most of all, I am grateful for the mercy of God that brought us together when we were young and foolish and held us together while we grew.

 

 

Read More

All Roads

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 9th, 2012The Bible2 Comments

I’m not sure why I feel compelled to go all theological on you today. But, I do. I’ve been thinking about the popular All Roads Lead to God theory. People love this theory. If feels like a natural flow,  as in All Rivers Lead to the Ocean. (They do.)

In a sense, both theories are true. (Students of theology, please hold the stones until I finish.)

All roads will eventually lead to God. The road of Good Intentions. The road of Social Consciousness. The road of Being Spiritual. The road of Doing the Best I Can. Even the road of Serving-a-Different-God-I-Thought-Was-You. All roads will lead to the same place, because we will all stand before God eventually. All. Every single, solitary soul.

However, we will stand there for the giant end-of-all-time sorting out process. Those who wandered on roads of their own making will be sorted to the left with the goats. (Things don’t end well for them, in case you wonder.) And those who walked a straight, narrow road called Jesus will go to the right. (Where things don’t end at all but only begin in a bigger, brighter, newer Way.)

Assigning souls to the right and left is God’s business. I’m not telling you which road you are on. But I highly suggest you figure that out. Don’t count on meandering through the hills and over the rocks, bubbling along a channel of your own choosing until you reach  the great sea. Instead, read the Bible. See what God says about being reconciled to Him. Ask Him what it takes to end up with the sheep.

 

 

Read More

The Valley of Weeping

By Kathy NickersonFebruary 2nd, 2012The BibleNo Comments

I’ve been struck by this portion of the psalms a couple of times lately. It seems to sum up the journey of the Christian life so well:

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord,

Who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

When they walk though the Valley of Weeping,

it will become a place of refreshing springs,

where pools of blessing collect after the rains!

They will continue to grow strong,

And each of them will appear before God in Zion.

Psalm 84:5-7 NLT

Wherever you are on the journey to Zion today, I hope you can pause at a refreshing spring – even if you find it in a valley of tears.

Read More