We took some family portraits while we were in Jackson last summer. I really like the backdrop of the Tetons; can’t beat that!
Chris and I had a chance to hike up to Taggart Lake and it was a beautiful, surprisingly quiet day. I had been there earlier in the summer when it was crowded with people, both in and out of the water. This day was spectacular with its beauty and stillness.
My dad passed away in May last year and in June we gathered at his home in Jackson Hole for a memorial. We held an open house for his friends and family at the Historical Center where he spent so much time as a volunteer. Here we are with some of those friends, representing Mah Jongg groups, the Historical Center, the National Elk Refuge and others:
The Historical Center has clothes for children to play dress-up in, and my sister’s grandkids had a great time trying on various clothes. Aren’t they adorable?
We also had to perform the sad task if burying my dad’s ashes with our mother at Aspen Hill Cemetery in Jackson. But kindly, in true western fashion, they let us do the digging ourselves, which made it very intimate and memorable.
Here is the whole gang. It isn’t often we get this many of us together, and we were still missing part of the family.
When my dad passed away last year it gave us an opportunity to get together with nearly all of the cousins in Jackson. This week I’ll share some photos from that reunion. We had a good time together, even in spite of the sadness of the memorial time for my dad.
Here are some pics taken at my Dad’s home in Jackson Hole.
We played lots of different games–horseshoes, badminton, card games and other random games.
It’s always good when cousins come together! These last photos were taken at the big teepee in Moose, WY, where Daddy always enjoyed taking us for breakfast. We were missing him there for sure.
This week I’ve been talking about my new Word of the Year — “Cast,” and this word has already had a huge impact on me. I’m drawn back to yet another recent devotion from Beth Moore. See if you can spot what the word “cast” has to do with this particular devotion. She was writing about Revelation 2:1-7:
You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name…But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love you had at first (v. 3-4).
I am astonished to find that the original word for “forsaken” [abandoned] is the same word often translated “forgive” in the New Testament. The word afiemi means “to send forth, send away, let go from oneself.” The New Testament uses aphiemi in many contexts and simply means giving up or letting go of something, such as in the familiar words of Matthew 6:12 (KJV): “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
…The thought occurs to me how often we forsake our first love–our indescribably glorious sacred romance–because we refuse to forsake our grudges and grievances. Please allow me to say this with as much compassion as one who has been there: We cannot hang on to our sacred romance with Jesus Christ and also our bitterness. We will release one to hang on to the other.
The room unforgiveness is taking up in your life is cheating you of the very thing you were born (again) to experience. Send it forth! Not into oblivion, but into the hands of the faithful and sovereign Judge of the earth. –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 478
Did you hear it? Cast it away, send it forth, let go, forgive, abandon it, forsake, but don’t forsake your first love for the Lord Himself! So this year I will be thinking about things I should cast away from life and about things I should cast upon the Lord’s shoulders. And I’ll be thinking of things I should never cast away. Please let me know if you’re following a certain word throughout 2017; I would love to hear from you!
One of the reasons this word “cast” has captured my attention (for my Word of the Year) is related to a devotion I previously mentioned from Beth Moore. She was speaking about Paul’s journey (as a prisoner) on a ship to Rome (Acts 27). When they found themselves in a serious storm at sea they learned several things that I outlined in this post.
Several words caught my eye in this devotion: “give way,” “throw,” “jettison,” “give up,” “lose,” “cut loose.” I think all of these words relate to this word “cast.” There are certain things we should cast out of our lives (bitterness, old hurts, grudges, unforgiveness, anger, etc.). That’s not to say that these things don’t have a place in our lives, because they do, but they shouldn’t dominate our thoughts or attitudes. It’s best to cast them aside.
Other uses of the word “cast” have positive aspects — cast our anxieties on Him, because He cares for us. Roll those problems over onto His shoulders, for He can make all things work together for good (and He does). Another use of the word is also amazing — Revelation speaks of believers casting their crowns (that they’ve just received) before the throne of God, for He truly is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. What a day that will be!
Other phrases have to do with things we shouldn’t cast away — never give up hope; never cast away your trust, belief or joy. Never give up or give way to the storm; instead, give way to the Master of the seas, as Beth so beautifully stated. I think this word will give me much to think about and explore throughout the year.
Day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is coming. And whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanksgiving to the one who sits upon the throne, who lives for timeless ages, the twenty-four elders prostrate themselves before him who is seated upon the throne and worship the one who lives for timeless ages. They cast their crowns before the throne and say, “Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power, for thou didst create all things; by thy will they existed and were created.” –Rev. 4:8b-11 (PHI)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares of you. –1 Peter 5:6-7
We must learn to cast our anxieties on Him. Dr. John Brown says of this verse, “The figurative expression ‘cast,’ not lay, seems to intimate that the duty enjoined is one that requires an effort…We must–by an act of the will, in dependence on the Holy Spirit–say something such as, ‘Lord, I choose to cast off this anxiety onto You, but I cannot do this of myself. I will trust You by Your Spirit to enable me to, having cast my anxiety on You, not to take it back upon myself.” Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelm us. –Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, as quoted in How Great is Our God, 9/2