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Monthly Archives: September 2016

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What Do You Want From Me?

What do You want from me God? Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to do? What’s my calling? What’s my purpose?

I’ve asked God (and sometimes screamed accusingly) these and many more questions. I just want to do what He made me to do. The simple general answer is found here:  “What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:6-8

Okay, so He wants us to do right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly WITH Him.  What exactly does that mean?  How do we do that? Let’s so some etymology with verse 8.  I love me some etymology.

Good: (H2896 towb) This word can be translated into good, kind, upright, beautiful, fair, cheerful, bountiful, joyful, pleasant, precious, sweet, wealth, and favor.

Requires: (H1875 darash) This word is interesting…the root is to tread down with the feet, or to trample.  What do you do when you tread down?  You walk over something again and again and again.  It is also used as the verb to study.  Which also means you do something again and again until it is learned.  It can also mean to seek out God in prayer.

Right: (H4941 mishpat) The root word for this is to judge.  It is usually translated judge or justice, lawful or something along those lines.  KJV translates it justice.

Love: (H157 ‘ahab) Love.  To have affection for.

Mercy: (H2617 checed) Kindness, faithfulness, benevolence, and mercy.

Walk: (H1980 halak) To go, walk, traverse, to move, manner of life, and live.

Humbly: (H6800 tsana) To show humility, be modest, act submissively.

The first thing that stands out to me in this whole group of words is the definition for require.  It’s not a hey…this one time I need you to do this.  It’s an all day, everyday, repeat performance.  Consistency comes to mind here.

Consistency.  Yeah.  I’m not the best at that.

The second thing that stands out to me is love mercy.  To have affection for here sounds like to get enjoyment out of or to be thrilled.  TO LOOOOOOVE!  So to have affection for being kind.  To enjoy being faithful.  To be thrilled about granting mercy or seeing mercy being granted.

Yeah.  I need some work here too.

Humbly walk with God… to live a life consistently submitted to God.  Sounds like obedience with a good heart attitude.  I’m pretty sure there’s a verse or two that equates loving God as being obedient to His word.  Yep.  That makes me 3 for 3!  Wooohoo!  Work all around!

So you may be thinking “Hey…this is in the Old Testament…what does Jesus have to say about this?” Well…ask and you shall receive…This is Mark 12:28-34 NLT

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him,“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Point to ponder while you wander…Life is a journey, folks.  It doesn’t happen in one day.  It happens daily and daily over the course of time.  And in my experience, life with God boils down to this.  Are you doing life WITH GOD?    Have you allowed Him to love you and show you what His love is like?  Pretty much everything starts there with that.  Choosing to do life with God and choosing to let Him love you.  Once that happens, you cannot help but to love other people.

Don’t beat yourself up with where you are or aren’t.  Verses like these are the goal to work towards. In the meantime, let God love you and keep walking with Him.  Being with Him and in His Word is what changes you.  You just have to choose to show up consistently.  Me, myself, I’m in the I’ve got God’s love now how in the world do I affect the world with it? phase right now.

The letting God love me part took 40 years.  At this rate I will need the 120 years Moses had to really be effective.  Haha.  But seriously.  Yeah.  I really actually need those 120 years.  And I need those 120 years to include divine health.

PS:  Wondering about God’s will….Here you go.

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History and Family Mystery: Jennie and John

Howdy folks!  Velma here.  I know.  I know.  I haven’t been around in a while. But I’m back today to talk about  Jennie and John Brander.  Jennie was a Detroit girl, and John was born to Scotish parents in Liverpool.  And for a Michigan girl who loves Brits…this is simply fantastic!

jennie

Margery, Jennie, and Em Brander

Jennie was born Lydia Jane Densmore on 18 January 1861 in Detroit, Michigan, to Moses and Lydia Densmore.

Okay…I need to pause just a minute to say that as a Jane Austen fan…how awesome is her name?!  Lydia Jane!  YES!

Anywho…the lovely Jennie was born two months before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, and three months before the Civil War broke out.  Her father, Moses Densmore (or possibly Dinsmore/Dinsmoor as you know people in the old times weren’t sticklers for consistent spelling), was born in New Hampshire in 1814.  He married Lydia “Liddie”  Allard on 2 July 1843 in Bolton, Ontario, Canada. Lydia Allard was born 15 August 1820 in New Hampshire to Henry Allard and Mary Elizabeth Fall Allard. I can confirm that they had 6 children:  Laura Ann, Caroline, Phoebe, Moses, and our dear Lydia Jane.  But I have seen a fellow researcher post and additional  4 children:  John, twins Amanda and Maranda, and James M.

John was born John Charles Brander on 31 August 1848 in

john

John Charles Brander, Detroit, Michigan

Liverpool, Lancashire, England to Colin George Brander and Agnes Fraser Brander.  Queen Victoria had been reigning in England for 29 years when John Charles was born, and continued to do so until 1901.  His father Colin was born 1 June 1813 in Auldearn, Nairnshire, Scotland to James Brander and Christian Munro Brander.  His mother, Agnes Fraser, was born 27 June 1816 to William Fraser and Jean Mitchel Fraser.  She was christened on 5 July 1816 in St. Andrews/St. Leonards in Fife, Scotland.  Colin and Agnes were married 12 February 1836 in St Cuthberts Church in North Leith (Edinburgh), Scotland.  They had 5 children James, Jane, Christeina, Agnes, and John.  Sadly Agnes died when John was only 1 year old in September 1849.

John Charles left England on the William  Penn.  He arrived in New York, New York on 24 November 1868.  He was 20 years old.  He then made his way to Detroit, Michigan.  His father, Colin, wasn’t on the same ship as John, so I’m not sure if he came first or later.  But I found them them both listed in the Charles F. Clark & Co’s annual directory of the City of Detroit for 1871-1872.  They are listed as owners of C.G. Brander & Son.  They were liquor dealers.  They lived and worked out of 20 Grand River Blvd.  In the Hubbell & Weeks Annual Directory of the City of Detroit for 1872, and J.W. Weeks & Co’s Detroit Directory for 1873-74 and 1874-75, they are listed as having a saloon at 20 Grand River, and still living there too.  But on the Detroit City Directory for 1885, Colin is listed as a capitalist living at 295 Harrison Avenue.

Family tales say that John Charles was an artist and was one of the artists who painted the interior murals and decor in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.  I have yet to figure out how to verify this, but that’s what the family says.

Jennie had a job working in a seed store per the 1880 Census.  Sadly for me, I don’t know much more about her than that.  I do have pictures though.  And you know I love those!!

jenniejohnbrander

Jennie and John in the late 1920’s in Detroit

I wish I knew how they met or what drew Jennie and John together…but alas the documents I have leave all the fun and juicy bits out.  But I do know that they were married in Detroit, Michigan on 28 December 1882.  They went on to have 7 children; Lydia May, Anna Victoria, Agnes Etta, Emma Florence, Margery Jean (my great-great grandmother), William Charles, and Carolina.

Their love story may be a mystery but I do know that Jennie died 22 January 1930 and John followed within a few days.  They were buried together in Woodmere Cemetery after 47 years of marriage.  This brings tears to my eyes as my Nana, Janice, Jennie’s great-granddaughter, died 11 March 2016, and her husband of 61 years, Harvey, followed 19 days later.

nana-and-pops

Janice and Harvey in 2011

I guess after so many years of two being one…to live without the other was just too much.

This is one of my favorite pictures of my grandparents.  It shows their silly side.  I miss them.  Every day.

Join us next time when I try to hash out the mystery of the Allards…or maybe the Densmores.  We’ll have to see.  XO Velma

 

God’s Will For You

For all of you struggling with what God’s will is for your life…here you go:

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

Wait. What?

Will here is the Greek word thelēma.  It means what one wishes or has determined shall be done, will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure, commands or precepts (per Strong’s Concordance).

So what does God wish for you? Desire for you?

He wants you to have joy and continually rejoice.  Not just when times are fun and everything’s easy breezy.  All the time.  Even on Manic Mondays, Hump Day, and days full of suck.  Why?  Joy is strength.

He wants you to continually be in prayer.  Why?  Because God needs you to invite Him into your situation, and the situations of those around you.  He cannot move without being asked.  He is not invasive.  Also, He wants to have open communication with you.  He wants you to talk to Him, and listen to Him in return.  Consistent prayer leads to partnership with Him.  And we all need Him.

He wants you to have an attitude of gratitude.  To verbally express thankfulness. Why? Thankfulness is a testimony of God’s goodness.  It creates an atmosphere of worship.  It creates an atmosphere of belief.  It reminds you that God is good.  It reminds you God is for you.

This is what God wants for you.

Point to ponder while you wander…I Thessalonians 5:16-18 is not about faking anything or pretending to be okay. Strong people know how to cultivate and maintain joy, prayer & an attitude of gratitude, it’s how they stay strong.

Kindness is Powerful

I started a new job in a new industry about a few months ago. And I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. The work I was doing had a quick deadline and offered multiple ways for me to screw it up. Luckily for me the team I’m on has people who were willing to teach and help me. Because of that the project I’m working on is tracking to schedule.

There’s one particular man on this team that I am drawn to. His name pops up on my phone or or shows in my inbox and I smile. He walks in the room and I light right up. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening to me.

Was I crushing on him? I hoped not. Work crushes are generally a terrible idea.

Then I realized something as I was describing him to my roommate….He’s kind.  And I am drawn to his kindness.

Don’t misunderstand me- he’s not a “nice guy” or a “good guy” or anything you’d say to describe someone who bends over backwards to make people like them.  He’s not one of those no boundaries so they get walked all over “nice guys.” He’s a man’s man. He’s hard working. He does whatever it takes to get things done on time and on schedule, which I respect and appreciate. But unlike a lot of people I’ve worked with in my life, he does it with kindness.

And I’m drawn to his kindness.

That’s when about 1000 light bulbs suddenly and simultaneously flashed in my head.

Kindness is powerful.  What?

Immediately Jeremiah 31:3 lit up in my brain…”The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” NKJV

Kindness is a choice.  It comes from a position of strength and proper boundaries.  It isn’t wishy washy.  God is kind.  He’s not nice.  Nice has no boundaries.  God loves liberally and unconditionally, but he does not play games.  His love.  His kindness.  All choice.  He is not out there in desperation trying to make you like Him.  He’s like…”Hey.  I love you.  I want a relationship with you.  I’ve allowed My Son to be sacrificed for your shortcomings, failures, and mistakes, so there wouldn’t be anything to prevent you from coming to Me with boldness.  Ball is in your court, kid.  I’ll be here.”

God’s kindness takes us by the hand and says, “Get out of that sin.  You’re hurting yourself and others.”

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT

Thinking about this lead me to today’s Musical Monday song…You are Good…because of the lyric “Your kindness leads me to repentance.”  The song’s been around a while but it’s a good one.  So I’m sharing it today.  Just sit and stew in the goodness and kindness of God on this Monday.  It’s Monday, so you’ll probably need to soak and stew just a little bit longer than usual.

Point to ponder while you wander…Whilst you stew and soak…here are a few verses about the kindness of our God to meditate on.  Hopefully it will draw you to God this Monday…and inspire you to be kind to others.

“Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.  Return to the Lord your God,     for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” Joel 2:13 NLT

 “You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:3-4 MSG

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 NLT

 

 

Fun Fact Friday: Peachy Keen Jelly Bean

I love words, the study of words, and all things words related.  Do you ever wonder where some random word or phrase comes from?  I do too!!  Must be why you read this random blog.

Ever wonder where Rizzo (of the Pink Ladies of Rydell High) got the idea to say, “Peachy keen, jelly bean.”

Now I know the Grease script said it, and that’s where the character’s lines come from…but where did the writers get it?

Somewhere around the 1870’s, “peachy” began to be used to describe someone or something as wonderful.  Prior to that it was mainly used to describe women’s cheeks or complexion as far back as ancient Rome and old school China.

By the early 1900’s that grew to mean something excellent or fine.  It stayed in use from then on as a cheery and colorful way to say, “All’s well.”

The 1950’s brought us “peachy keen” as a neat-o way of saying “just peachy.”  “Peachy keen” started 1948 with a Pasadena DJ named Jim Hawthorn.  Not sure if he invented it or if he borrowed it.  But he surely made it famous.  All because he was bored at work one day and started talking all far out and what not.

And so that’s the original source of Rizzo’s line , “Peachy keen, jelly bean.”

For those of you who know “just peachy” as the sarcastic way of saying, “things are not great.”  This started around the 1980’s.  Someone asks how it’s going, and it’s not going well, so you say, “Oh just peachy!” and roll your eyes at them. (Okay…maybe not YOU…but some people did).

Today it’s used both ways.  Sarcastic or straightforward.  How do you use it?

Point to ponder while you wander….the study of words, their meaning, and how word usage changes across time is known as etymology.  I know you were wondering about that too, you curious thing you.  You’re welcome.

All About The Love

Long ago the LORD said to Israel: ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.‘” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

There are a whole lot of verses to memorize and meditate on, but for me it always comes back to this…I am loved by the Source of unfailing love, by Love Himself.

Just Do It

​”Jesus replied to him, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will (fully) understand it later.‘” John 13:7 AMP 

Often we are asked to obey, trust, or act in faith without having a clue as to why we are being asked to do or not to do something. But we need to remember that Jesus was there in the beginning and He’ll be there at the end, and all that knowledge and wisdom is being used to encourage us to live abundant and full lives.

I know it’s difficult to step out. It was for the disciples too. They spent a lot of their time asking what? and why? questions of Jesus.

It’s not easy for me either. But I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I’d been brave enough to step out.

Point to ponder while you wander…Joshua walked around Jericho every day for 7 days…and it probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. He was a military commander not a band leader. But he obeyed….and the walls came down. He fully understood as he watched the walls crumble. God did something amazing for him and his people. But he would have missed it if He hadn’t obeyed.

So let’s do it! Let’s be bold and courageous! 

#justdoit