Archive for August, 2010

I was reading over my journal from a year ago, and ran into this little heavenly ode to fall:

Revelation 4:1+ Then I looked, and, oh! – a door open into Heaven.  The trumpet-voice, the first voice in my vision, called out, “Ascend and enter.  I’ll show you what happens next.”  I was caught up in deep worship and, oh! – a Throne set in Heaven with One seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald.

Revelation started out with such a beautiful bang:  “Ascend and enter.” Wow.  I can’t imagine how that must have made John feel.  Well, actually, I don’t have to imagine because he tells me:  “I was caught up in deep worship.”  This book is so much more intriguing and meaningful to me since studying John’s life this year.  His heart – so tenderized by the triumph and tragedies that are inherent to life with Jesus – especially NT life with Jesus – is finely tuned to feast on the love of God wherever he finds it.  He finds it here – in an invitation to come up and in to the holy place he’s been waiting for so long.  Beautiful.

And here’s an interesting thing:  heaven is ablaze with the colors of fall.  “suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald…”  However silly it may sound, this scripture was so much life to me today. It reconnected the lifeline from the God who created heaven to the God who made earth.  He has designed our planet with hints of heaven.  He created for us a world that He Himself would love.  Earth was never meant to be a heartache to mankind…it was meant to be an extravagant playground, an energized city, a lovely home.  As John peers into the portal of eternity, he discovers things that are astounding and others that are just as they should be.  Glimpses of a world designed by a God who is crazy about His creation.

I am crazy about Your creation too, God.  I am.  The colors of fall absolutely knock me out.  And Mt. Bachelor, blanketed in the first falling of snow.  And the turquoise blue of the Sea of Cortez.  And one perfect pink peony.  And Josiah Stern’s cowlick.  Tess’ fall-colored hair.  Tori’s perfect nose and Whitney’s overall loveliness.  Corey and Steve are strong and tall and kind.  All these dear ones are works of Your hand and You are a magnificent creator.  I’m not astounded that You can make such beauty in my world…but I’m simply amazed that You would share it with me.  I mean, You don’t just let me look at it, You let me know and love and have real relationship with these gifts from Your hand.  And most of all, You invite me to relationship with You.  The words, “Ascend and enter,” have never been more real to me than they are this morning.  I know that the biggest and most triumphant entry into Your presence is yet to come, but I’m so thankful for this one today.  I’m thankful for a small portal of my own, where I can catch a peek into eternity and see Your purposes and personality stretching all the way to my Sunday.  To my season.  To my heart.


Where there’s Smoke

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

…in Central Oregon, there’s definitely fire.

Here’s the situation in our city right now.  Bottom line at Casa de Stern:  I’m really thankful for the A/C that enables our windows to stay closed and our attitudes to stay smoke-free.

However, for those who are enjoying the fresh air of an open-windowed summer, here’s a recipe I love, love, love.  Sesame noodles from my dear, beloved Ina Garten.  It’s cool and crisp but has warm, Asian flavors. 

It’s great served with pork loin or ahi tuna – anything, really.  And since I am trying to put some healthy distance between myself and carbohydrates (we both just need a little space), I’m counting on you to make this and eat troughs of it for me.

Wishing you a smoke-free weekend,


Something Lovely

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

Last night I was tossing and turning and praying for an issue one of my children is facing.  I was trying to trust Jesus with her future, but I kept feeling these waves of fear.  Then, through the darkness came this beautiful, perfect voice to my heart that said, “Don’t worry, Bo.  I love her.  I love her even more than you love her.”  It was a great thing to hear and I felt it kind of ripple warmth through my heart…but next words were even more remarkable: “And also…I love YOU more than you love her.”

Behold, what manner of love the Father has given, that we should be called sons and daughters of God.


True confession:  I watch The Bachelorette.  I seriously do.  Not even like “while I was flipping through the channels, I happened to catch a minute of this show…”  Nope.  I intentionally watch it nearly every Monday.  I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t schedule anything around it, but if I’m home I definitely can be found shrieking at my television set while it’s on.   Now, since one of my core values is to be a lifelong learner, here are the things I’ve learned from watching this madness:

  1. Many an otherwise intelligent woman has been undone by the lethal combination of 1 available man + no outside contact +  copious amounts of alcohol.   (Note to single women everywhere:  dating in a bubble is a bad idea…you need outside voices to keep you safe and sane.  Note to single women – Part 2:  don’t drink copious amounts of alcohol and if you do, wait until you’re married and he’s stuck with you.)
  2. I’m still amazed at people who go on a reality show and complain about editing.  It’s like going to Vegas and complaining that the decor is over the top.
  3. It’s one thing to watch women all lined up in a nice, single file line of cutthroat competition, but it’s a whole other level of crazy to see men do it.  And yet, in reality, men competing for the heart of a woman is much closer to the roots of our civilization.
  4. In a compassionate society, there are things we will not ask/allow people who are Stage 5 crazy to do and reality TV ought to be on that list.  Sadly, it is not.
  5. Maturity is a rare and beautiful thing.

Not sure why I felt compelled to share this, but I feel better having cleared the air.

Behold:  reality television.  It makes me feel intelligent and well-adjusted.