Tuesday, December 30, 2008

two invitations...


I would be delighted to have you join me in studying Beth Moore's Esther
at Southeast Christian Church
on Tuesday nights
starting
January 13th, 2009.

(If you are interested, click
here to register.)




I would love to have you join me in reading through the Bible chronologically in 2009.(Yes, I am doing it again. I feel that I missed so much and God has impressed upon my heart to do it for at least one more year. After all, I can never learn too much about Him, can I?) I will be posting the monthly reading schedule here if you'd like to join me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cover to Cover: the end is near...




I cannot believe that there are twelve chapters left to read. While I never thought I'd actually reach this point, it seems like only yesterday that we were beginning this journey. Wednesday we will be ending this journey...and I am not the same. As the writer of Hebrews says, "For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12,13. I know that these words in this Book were meant for me this year. Too many times His Words have coincided with whatever events were going on in my life. I have been so blessed to live in a country where I can read my Bible through. Without persecution or fear. Actually, I am blessed to live in a country where I can choose to read my readings from one of several Bibles I own.



I struggled some with Hebrews. I don't know if it's changing the rhythm of writing after reading nothing but Paul or if it was the content itself. I found myself having to go back and reread certain passages to be sure that I didn't miss anything. Here's what lingered in my heart this week:

...but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:2b I never want to hear that His message is of no value to me.

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14 The words "constant use" fascinate me. Am I allowing His teachings to permeate every part of me? Do I constantly use the Word as a measuring stick for all that I encounter?

...and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:28b I love the picture of the believers waiting for Him. Are my mind and heart focused on Him? Would He consider me to be waiting for Him?

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 Enough said.

Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 Can people see by my walk that He lives in me?

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 1 John 3:17 I was recently reminded of this verse through a situation that we encountered. Once again, am I reflecting Him? Do I see the opportunities He places before me to be "the body of Christ?"

We covered many standards in this week's reading as well. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock", "faith is being sure of what we hope for", and "without faith it is impossible to please God" to name a few. I love reading along and coming across these gems...it's like finding an old friend nestled in amongst new concepts.

While I find much of Revelation confusing and beyond my grasp, I have to marvel at the pictures John paints for us. Most endearing was this:

Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:16-17

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to take this journey with you. I look forward to seeing each of your precious faces one day, whether on this earth or in heaven.



...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...

Friday, December 26, 2008

post-Christmas wrap up (no pun intended)


I walked into my kitchen on Christmas eve and noticed that something didn't quite look right. The light looked funny. I checked the bulbs and the switches and then finally realized that the "funny" looking light was actually the sun streaming through the windows. It's been so long since we've seen sunlight! (and winter has just begun.) It seems like it's been unusually grey around here lately. So I got to do my happy dance in the kitchen!
happy dance Pictures, Images and Photos

Before we begin our Christmas baking, I am always amazed at how many bags of flour, sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, bricks of cream cheese, sticks of butter, bottles of vanilla we have collected. I tell myself each year that there is no way that we can possibly use it all. However, Josh found himself going to two different grocery stores on Christmas eve looking for more cream cheese and butter. Because one can never have enough baked goods containing lots of butter and cream cheese, right? (for inquiring minds, we used nine bricks of cream cheese this baking season. NINE!)

Christmas deco smiley Pictures, Images and Photos


My hair is now long enough to tie in a knot. (I know that has nothing to do with Christmas but I have been meaning to say that for four weeks!) I think I'm going to let it get long enough to tie into a bow and then decide what to do about/with it.


Christmas deco smiley Pictures, Images and Photos


We went to the Christmas eve services with my parents and my father-in-law. It was a wonderful service. Absolutely beautiful. (have I mentioned lately how much I love my church?)


Christmas deco smiley Pictures, Images and Photos


We had a good Christmas with only a few "bumps" in the road. Our Christmas day is always extremely busy because we go all day long. (My parents over in the morning for breakfast, next we go to Josh's parent's house for lunch, then his mom, dad, brother, sister, niece and her husband come to our house, and finally we head over to his sister's for dinner. In spite of some poor behaviour by those who shall not be named (and it wasn't the kids), we still had a wonderful, blessed day. I took several pictures (of course) and some video. This is probably my favorite picture of Christmas eve.



That's my baby!

Christmas deco smiley Pictures, Images and Photos
I have very few plans today. (I am not working today!) I am going over to church this morning because I left my Bible on Wednesday night. Then I promised the dogs we would stay in and take a nap. They are very excited.

Christmas deco smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

I hope your Christmas recovery is going well. Have a most wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Christmas Blessings
to each and every one of you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cover to Cover:models of goodness




I do not consider myself an "older" woman. I'm fairly certain that title belongs to someone else. Recently though, I've realized that I am not as young as I used to be. (Believe it or not, I used to be the "baby" at work. I am still not the oldest, however. For now.) My babies are not babies any more. My oldest will begin wedding plans in earnest this upcoming year and start her senior year in college. My youngest ordered his senior ring a month or so ago and will finish up next year planning which college he wants to attend and what he wants to do with his future. Nope, no more babies. And unless God Himself leaves a little bundle of joy on my doorstep, there will be no more babies in this house (other than puppies) until grandchildren make their blessed appearance. In addition to not having any babies, I am no longer a newlywed. Josh and I have been married for almost 22 years now. While I will never know everything about being a good wife (much less put it into practice), I should be able to speak to a thing or two about marriage.

All this said, I read Titus 2 with my normal, "oh, he's talking about someone else. I wonder where the older women are?" Then, all I can say is that God caught my attention and had me reread those verses. You know the ones.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5

This prickly, uncomfortable feeling began to creep over me. The one that tapped me on the shoulder and said, "you are this woman." (kind of like, "you might be a redneck if..." only it was "you might be this woman if...")

My first reaction was, "I do not want to be this woman." I think it was the "older" thing that really threw me. Because I am still sixteen in my head. (a much smarter 16 than I really was.) But you know what? I don't remember seeing or having older women in my childhood church who were willing to be mentors. Who were willing to teach us what it meant to be godly young women. I'm sure our church had them. I just needed them to be visible. I don't know if they might have helped me to avoid some of the mistakes I made, but I would like to have found out.

So, while I don't like the idea of being an older woman, scripture instructs me that I am live life as a model of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. (message)

Which means I'd better get started.

Other verses that caught my heart this week were:

...many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ Philippians 3:18-20

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

...we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10

...set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

...be prepared in season and out of season; 2 Timothy 4:2

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14

May you find peace this week as we celebrate His birth. I pray that you remember the blessed Gift that God has given to each of us...an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:4)


And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Friday, December 19, 2008

fireworks Pictures, Images and Photos

FREEDOM!

I am off work for the entire weekend.
Hooray!

holiday stress...

My mom had a car accident yesterday. She is fine but very sore. (However, the car is not.) God is gracious and thorough in that she had her accident in front of the police station and across the street from her insurance man's office in the small town they live in. So she had an immediate response. She did not, however, allow them to take her to be checked out so I am trying to insist that she go to the doctor today. She's no spring chicken (maybe I'll threaten to reveal her age if she doesn't agree to go) and doesn't seem to recall exactly what happened so I am somewhat concerned.

hmmm....the holiday excitement never ends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I miss blogging.

It's not like I don't have random things happening on a daily basis, giving me plenty to blog about. It's just that the days are a crazy whirlwind right now.

Every time I think I might take a moment to actually blog, something comes up and off we go again.

I guess the only real consolation is that Christmas eve is one week away (can you believe it?!?) and things might settle down then.

So, I offer my sincerest apologies for my hit and miss style lately. We are finishing up finals this week, working retail and trying to prepare everything for a family Christmas while battling medication reactions and other bizarre health thingies.

I am looking forward to the weekend (it's my one Saturday off in December) but we will be baking up a storm here.

I hope things are not as hectic with you. May you be blessed this day. (I'm reminding myself that I am grateful that I have a wonderful job and that even though it's finals week, that means school finishes up on Friday. We aren't even going to discuss grades.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cover to Cover:Life Principles




Be very careful, then, how you live-- Ephesians 5:15



I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesian 4:1



Two things lingered with me this week. Not two verses. There were so many to choose from once again. But two main thoughts. First was how passionate Paul was about convincing his reader. As I read, I could almost hear the desperation in his voice. Desperate that they would believe. Desperate that nothing would turn them away from his Lord. For many years I was not a huge fan of Paul. I felt he was wordy. After completing To Live is Christ, I felt I understood him better. It wasn't until reading through this year, maybe even this week, that I began to look at him as a passionate soul whose only real desires were to bring others to Christ and to instruct believers in how they should live. And it's a beautiful thing.

Perhaps this realization made the other thought linger this week. It seemed to me that Ephesians and Colossians were clearly instructing us in how to live. We are called to be:

Humble (Eph. 4:2)
Gentle (Eph. 4:2)
Patient (Eph. 4:2)
Bearing with one another in love (Eph. 4:2)
Speaking encouragement (Eph. 4:29)
Kind (Eph. 4:32)
Compassionate (Eph. 4:32)
Forgiving (Eph. 4:32)
Serve wholeheartedly (Eph. 6:7)

While I know these things, it means so much more to hear them in a voice of a man so passionately committed to Christ that he was willing to die for his Lord. In other words, these are not principles that can be easily overlooked or followed when I feel like it. These are my life principles. At a time of year when we say goodbye to old, bad habits (put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature... Colossians 3:5) and consider new ones,(Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12) I cannot think of a better list to work on.

We'd love to have you join us over at Bev's place for a recap of the week.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2008 Christmas tour of homes

Welcome to our home!

I hope you enjoy your visit. Be sure and drop by anytime.

(Cover to Cover will hopefully be posting on Tuesday this week.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

down memory lane

We don't do themes at our house. At least not for Christmas. The one year we tried a "color" theme, the kids were very disappointed and wanted their old ornaments back the next year. So our tree is basically a hodge podge of memories.



I suppose I should also mention that I don't particularly like decorating for Christmas. Sometimes it seems like an awful lot of work for such a short time. (Of course, once it's all finished, I love it. Until it's time to put it all away again.)



What makes putting ornaments on the tree bearable (I make it sound like it's a chore like picking mushy walnuts up out of the yard on a cold fall day.) is recalling the memory behind each ornament. Of course, we have the regular standard ornaments but some ornaments have especially sweet memories attached to them.

This was our first ornament as a dating/engaged couple in 1986. Eons ago.

This was the ornament we got to celebrate our 1st Christmas as a married couple. (I had a thing for precious moments at the time.)We were so excited to celebrate our first Christmas that we put our little tree up in October and covered it with so many ornaments that it kind of leaned to one side. But it was cute. This was one of the many ornaments that we added to our collection that year.The next Christmas, our baby girl was 6 months old and of course she had to have a "first" Christmas ornament.

Four years later, we welcomed a little boy to our house and this was his special ornament. (He also has a turtle ornament and his very first Sunday School ornament that still hang on our tree.)

So tell me, what memories do your Christmas ornaments hold?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

would you pray...

for Josi's family? Her adoption was final, her birth certificate signed and her family was expecting to bring her home before Christmas. Instead, she and her foster family were killed in a home invasion in Guatamala. I know Carla and her family would appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cover to Cover



I have to wonder if Mary Jane will be glad when I finish reading through the New Testament. I've been peppering her with questions such as "who is the brother mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8:19?" or "why don't we follow Paul's instructions when dealing with members of the body who are wallowing in their sin? why do we close our eyes and pretend that it doesn't exist?" (for the record, I'm still waiting on her answers.)



Well, we are in the final weeks of our reading through this year. Bev asks us what lingers in our hearts each week. I have found these past weeks to be so chock full of goodies that it is difficult to pick just one or two. I suspect that's a good thing. Because all of the Word should be lingering in my heart.


I was kind of surprised to find so many familiar things as I read this week. So many passages reminded me of sermons heard, books read or bible studies worked through. It was like being with old friends. Let's visit a few....


..and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:14b-15

Do we reflect Him in our daily walk? Are we a fragrant perfume, leading others to a better life through Him?


We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Cor. 4:8-9

Truly one of my favorite verses. (I think it's because I'm often perplexed. It's a blonde thing.) I love the phrase "never abandoned by God." No matter what life brings, do we believe that He holds us close?

Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Cor. 6:10

The NIV phrases it as "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." Even in my sorrow, do I rejoice? For I truly do have "everything" that matters. This is one that continues to turn over and over in my mind.


...and our prayer is for your perfection. 2 Cor. 13:9b
Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Cor. 13:11

This caught my eye because I don't find myself praying for perfection...ever. For anybody. I mean, if perfection is impossible to obtain, then why bother with it? And yet, Paul clearly states that his desire for them is their perfection. Not only that, but he admonishes them to aim for it. The Amplified Bible phrases it this way: And this we also pray for: your all-round strengthening and perfecting of soul (9) Be strengthened (perfected, completed, made what you ought to be);(11)
Made what I ought to be. Perhaps it's time to start praying for a little perfection.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28

Um...did you catch that? Since they didn't think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind. I don't know about you, but this verse scares me. It seems to state very clearly that we have two choices. We can fill our minds full of God or we can fill it full of ick. (reminds me of Breaking Free. If we don't fill our minds and hearts with God once we've broken free, ick just comes right back to stay.) Then, we follow up with this:

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:5-6

There are so many more treasures in these chapters. Too many to list here. I will leave you with this thought...

I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:38-39









Friday, December 5, 2008

great news...

sun Pictures, Images and Photos

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago. Not my run of the mill, ordinary doctor but a specialist of sorts. I've been struggling with health issues that have been growing progressively worse for many months now. Josh told me to go in and tell him everything and boy, did I. Bless his heart, he was so kind and patient with me. Anyway, he ordered a bazillion blood tests and made me a follow up appointment for next Friday. (I know it was a bazillion because the blood drawing lady looked at me and my chart and said, "boy, he's ordered a lot of tests for you." And then she proceeded to draw tube after tube of blood.)

Yesterday, when I came home for dinner, there was a thick envelope from the doctor's office in the mail. When I opened it, a prescription fell out. I immediately thought, "uh oh, this can't be good." After all, I am going to be seeing him next week. What could possibly be so important that he need to prescribe something before then? (He told me that one of the things that he would be testing for was celiac disease. Do you know what thought ran through my head when he said that? No more Outback Cheese fries. I guess that shows the depth of my character, huh? Good news! No celiac disease! I am so shallow, people.)

Apparently I have hyperparathyroidism. And this is great news! When I was reading Jessi the symptoms, she said, "mom, that's everything you've been complaining about for the past four years." (I'm sure that's an exaggeration on her part. I never complain. snort.) I feel like we went bowling and knocked down all ten pins! I honestly never expected him to come up with any kind of result other than "oh, you're just getting older. learn to live with it." So, while I am sure that we will be running a few more tests (checking for a benign tumor on the parathyroid...did you know you have a parathyroid?...a bone density scan...and so forth) ultimately everything should be fine. I have a prescription for a bunch of vitamin D (apparently the low end of acceptable is 32 and mine is 12.4. I've always been an underachiever!)and a whole lot of hope.

Hmmm...if it's vitamin D that I need, I wonder if I can get a prescription to Hawaii?
hawaii Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

choices...

sometimes I wonder if we need to go back to kindergarten and work on our shapes since some of us seem to struggle with putting the right shaped silverware in the correct spot in the silverware drawer.

but then I wonder if I should just be thankful that someone (besides me) emptied the dishwasher. sigh smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, November 30, 2008

what if Christmas became a world changing event again?

I ran across this here and was totally captivated. I can't help but think that they might be on to something. Whether we participate in this project or something else, I think it is time to refocus our thoughts and actions about Christmas.


Worship more. Spend less. Give more. Love all.




Give Presence...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a Christmas game...


Because I love games. I found this one at my daughter's blog and Patty's.


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I think...both. Because you can find really cute paper and really cute bags. Except sometimes I like the little cute bags so much that I want to keep them and use them for other things. Or I save them for really special people. Because I am weird like that.


2. Real tree or Artificial? Mostly artificial. I'm not sure why. We did "real" for two years but the last time, "real" fell over and scared the kids half to death. Because one does not expect a glass laden, pine scented instrument of torture to come hurtling toward your person.



3. When do you put up the tree? It varies. This year we might be putting it up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The year we were first married, we put it up in October. Because we are Christmas people.


4. Favorite gift received as a child? Either my Chrissy doll and the handmade clothes my grandmother made for her or my easy bake oven.


5. Hardest person to buy for? There are certain members of the family that we do not see very often because of circumstances. It's hard to buy gifts because we feel like we don't really know them and aren't really a part of their lives.


6. Easiest person to buy for? The Boy. Give him a video game of some sort and he is a happy camper.


7. Do you have a nativity scene? Multiple ones. Some how I apparently have started collecting them. I'm not sure when it happened but at the moment I have 8 or so.


8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A very interesting sweater. Unfortunately, my dad happened to take a picture right as I opened it. My facial expression was rather...surprised.


9. Favorite Christmas Movie? Argh. Too many. Tradition dictates that we watch Christmas Vacation and Christmas Story. I love the Muppet Christmas Carol. I also enjoy TranSiberian Orchestra's Christmas movie thing. I must confess that I hated Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as a child because I was terrified of the abominable snowman.


10. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Um...everything? Sausage balls, pumpkin roll, cookies, candy...I could go on...


11. Lights on the tree? Yes, we do put lights on the tree. We have done all white lights, all purple lights and multi colored lights. I can't remember what color lights we have at the moment. I guess I'll be figuring it out soon.


12. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sleepy, sneezy, dopey...oops, wrong movie. Flotsam, Jetsam...where's a little kid when you need one?


13. Favorite ornament theme or color? Most of our ornaments have a story behind them. There are a few that have just showed up, but we have lots of ornaments chosen for baby's first or series ornaments and so forth. I personally am enjoying my penguin ornaments at the moment.


14. Favorite Christmas song? All is Well Tonight by CeCe Winans. There are probably a host of others but I just love this one. (I suspect that I will be doing a Christmas video to this sometime.)


15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Well, we travel in between houses on Christmas day. My parents come over Christmas morning for breakfast, we go to Josh's parents for lunch and to his sister's house for supper. It's a long day sometimes.


16. What do you want for Christmas this year? I never really want anything. I have everything I need and it's hard for me to make a list of things that I want. More books, maybe? Purses? Fuzzy socks? (Outback cheese fries?)


17. Most memorable magical Christmas memory from adulthood? I'm not sure if this counts. The year that Amy Grant's second Christmas album came out. I was not a fan of the CD. It had such a different feel than the first one. However, that particular year, Jonathan was a baby and I was sitting in the living room in the dark, with just the tree lit up, rocking him and giving him his bottle as he drifted off to sleep and that CD came on the stereo. As we finished the CD with Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and I looked into that sleeping little face, lit by the tree lights, I felt such contentment and peace. So now, when I hear that song, I remember that moment. It's a pretty sweet one for me since my babies are too big to be rocked and so forth.


If you decide to play along, let me know. And have a most wonderful Saturday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

the other side

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." Charles Dickens

shopping Pictures, Images and Photos
This is the most anticipated and most dreaded day in retail. It is the day that we plan for months in advance. We plot strategy like a general plots military moves for an all important battle.

We wonder if we'll have enough staff, too many staff, the right sales items, not enough of the right sales items, a welcoming atmosphere, enough change from the bank, enough bags and toilet paper, bright smiling faces, a servant's heart.

All of these things factor into your visit on black Friday. It's like we are inviting you to our house for the day and we want to be sure that you get what you need while you are here. We don't want anyone to leave disappointed. Or angry. Or offended.

So I hope to see some of you visiting our house this Friday. I'm praying that we might be able to serve you in some way. And if you get a moment, say a little prayer for us. After all, it can be "the best of times or the worst of times."

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wouldn't it be funny...

If today, on the first day of Thanksgiving break, somebody forgot that there was no school and proceeded to wake her son up at the crack of dawn?

And, since there really was no school and he was up anyway, she might have suggested that he go ahead and clean his room? Not that anybody around here did anything like that. But if they did, wouldn't it be funny?
Floor Laughing Smiley Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


There are times when I am so proud of my children that I could just burst. (and...um...in the spirit of full disclosure, I suppose that I must confess that there are times when I am not so proud. However, we are not talking about those times.)



Jessi has finished a video for one of her classes and has it posted here. (scroll down to the bottom...and if you get a second, pray for her as well.) I got so tickled at this little project but I must confess that I preferred the one with her "social commentary" attached. I suspect that would not have gotten her the best of grades, however. (You'll have to let me know if the song sticks in your head. It continues to roll around in mine.)



Jonathan's play was OUTSTANDING. (and yes, a mighty shout of relief was heard across the land when Saturday night concluded.) They all did a fine job with The Mousetrap and were very well cast. Thank you for praying. (believe it or not, we are already talking about the spring play. sigh. rumor has it that we might be doing a musical. And I'm using the term "we" very loosely.)



And now I am off to think about Thanksgiving food. Specifically...pie. (you saw that one coming, didn't you?) And dressing. My mother-in-law makes fantastic dressing. In addition to having a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, we are also having a lasagna dinner at my moms. (with my favorite green beans. And if you think green beans don't go with lasagna, they probably don't. However, my mom is making them for me. Just me. Nobody else. Because they are my favorite. )



Enjoy the day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cover to Cover: thankful...part 2


Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I am so blessed. How can I keep from singing His praise?




I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

2 Thessalonians 1:2

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thankful


One of my more annoying characteristics is that I can be a bit of a pollyanna sometimes. (Just ask Mary Jane. She tells me that sometimes she just wants to be mad, not try to look at the "bright side.")


With that in mind, let me just say that I am not a big fan of winter. I don't like being cold. Certain "issues" that I have practically guarantee that I am cold a lot. My hands and feet stay cold constantly during the winter. (Since I can't sleep with cold feet, sometimes I have to soak them in hot water just so I can go to bed. And we won't even discuss the fact that I wrap myself up like a mummy with a fuzzy blanket before I get under the covers...because the sheets are just too doggone cold.)


However, despite my lack of love for the cold, I can find happy things about winter. (Here's where I would say that if we didn't have winter, we wouldn't appreciate spring.) I love snow. I love it indoors, looking out. I don't mind driving in it. I don't like getting from the house to the car and from the car to my destination, but I don't mind being out in it. I like the feel and smell of winter. No, not the cold. The crispness of the air. The warm fuzzy feelings that the holidays bring. (winter smells like evergreen and pumpkin pie. what's not to like?)


However, probably the thing I am most thankful for in the winter is a warm bed. (at least at this moment. Tomorrow it might be all the pies that get baked during the winter.) There is something very comforting about crawling into a bed that is weighted down with a multitude of quilts, blankets and throws. I love snuggling down into the covers, pulling them up to my ears and drifting off to sleep. (It helps if you add a few big dogs lying on the bed to warm it up before you get in. Sort of like an electric blanket without the electricity.) Now if I could just figure out a way to stay in bed whenever I wanted...


So, how about you? What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's finally here...

After what seems like eons of drama practices, the moment has finally arrived. The fall drama will be running the next three nights. If you have a moment, would you mind praying for them?

(and if you hear a loud, jubilant sound over our way on Saturday night, don't be alarmed. It's probably just a herd of drama weary parents, relieved that the fall drama is finally over.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question of the Day #5

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make the bed with the "help" of three dogs? (I'm pretty sure they were minding their own business until I decided to make the bed. Then, suddenly, everyone must be on the bed. It's like they decide that the floor has cooties or something.)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I love a good game. I found this one here and thought it looked mentally challenging. (Some days everything is mentally challenging. So if you think this is easy, we'll pretend like it's one of those days.)



Crazy Eights (I did this on Saturday in case any of the answers seem strange. Not that doing it on Saturday might explain why the answers might seem strange. )

8 TV shows I love to watch:

The Closer
NCIS
Big Bang Theory
Eli Stone
Boston Legal
Ace of Cakes
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Law & Order (all three to some degree)



8 favorite restaurants:
Outback (cheese fries!)
Macaroni Grill
Olive Garden
the Pancake Pantry
No Way Jose's
the Melting Pot
Colorado Fondue Company (and the only one I know of is in Florida...and I am not!)
Cheddars

8 things that happened today:
I did laundry.
Jonathan had dress rehearsal for Mousetrap. (it went better than Thursday's practice. No one went to Immediate Care this time.)
I put up some Christmas decorations.
I ate pie.
I heard a song that made me cry.
It got much colder and is still rainy/blechy outside.
I contemplated wrapping Christmas presents.
Um...I did more laundry? (My life really isn't this dull. We just have a lot of laundry.)


8 things I look forward to:
Christmas
a clean house
going back to Hawaii some day
my trip to Tuscany (someday!)
being thinner (might happen about the time I get to Tuscany)
grandbabies ( a long, long time from now...please God)
spring
warm feet

8 things on my wish list:
calorie free but good tasting cheese fries from Outback
a manicure
the ability to dance like Dancing with the stars
the body to go along with the ability to dance like dancing with the stars
warm feet
clean laundry
a house that's already decorated for Christmas
world peace (isn't that what every beauty pageant contestant wishes for?)

let me know if you decide to play along!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cover to Cover

Bev always asks us what lingers in our readings for the week. Most of the time I read, make notes, ponder a bit and then move on to the next day, not really thinking about what came before until time to pull it all together for Cover to Cover.

But not this week.

I have several passages marked (the first three chapters of James could provide blog fodder for a week at least) but one passage has lingered all week, tugging at my soul.

Repent, then, and turn to God; so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LORD. Acts 3:19

times of refreshing...doesn't that appeal to your heart? I cannot think of anything more comforting than the thought of my sins being forgiven (not just forgiven but wiped out) and a time of refreshing (a gift from God) beginning. It just makes my heart sing!


My prayer for you is that you experience His gift of refreshing this week.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Everything to me

I heard this today for the first time. (I don't know how I missed it.)

It touched a part of my heart and brought me to tears...twice.

Perhaps it's a beautiful answer to a difficult time.



Friday, November 14, 2008

rumor has it...

that it might snow a bit tomorrow. (Pass the woolly socks, my feet are already cold!)

In honor of that, here's a clip from one of my favorite Christmas movies. (because snow means Christmas is right around the corner, right? Plus the fact that we have been busy with a capital B at work today. By the way, LifeWay is having a HUGE sale right now. Well, maybe not right now because they are getting ready to close. But they will be having it again tomorrow!)

So put on some fuzzy socks, pull up a chair and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moments

I've decided that in addition to Cover to Cover Mondays, Works for Me Wednesdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Thankful Thursdays, and God stop Fridays, we need to add Blonde Moments of the Week. (although my real fear is that I could have blonde moments of the day.)

So, for your consideration, here is my blonde moment for the week. (hopefully it is the only one this week.)

I mentioned that I would be getting up very early to fix some sort of casserole for the big veteran's day program at my son's school today. Something like 5 am because the thing takes an hour to cook and our oven is temperamental and goofy and could take 90 minutes instead of 60. Yesterday at 7:00 I decided to reread the letter that came with the gargantuan casserole pan and see if I could put the ingredients together the night before. (because the idea of cracking 20 eggs and frying 2 pounds of sausage at 4:30 was particularly unappealing.) Well, I scanned over the list of ingredients (which I had read before) and read the top part of the letter (which I hadn't read before.)

Imagine my surprise when I noticed that they wanted the casseroles at the school on MONDAY. And did I mention that it was already 7 and everybody leaves the house by 7:30? Or that the casserole takes an hour to cook? After the ingredients are assembled? Ack!

Fortunately, God knew that I'm blonde. Even though we were normally going to be a little shorthanded (because my boss is at the state convention), we actually were blessed with an extra person (because someone who was supposed to have moved to Utah over the weekend had been delayed.) So I was able to fix the casserole and deliver it to school in a timely fashion with no one the wiser. Sigh.

Here's what I've learned:

Under no circumstances are you to pick your child up early from school. (Jonathan called home from school sick one day and when I went to pick him up in the office, the school secretary cornered me.)

Under no circumstances are you to read any letters from school until you are ready to deal with them. What you don't see, you aren't responsible for. (Jonathan helps with this by carrying most information from school in his backpack until the last day of school. )

(Nathan spent the night last night so that only one set of parents would have to drive over to school at the crack of dawn. Next time, it's Becky's turn. Notice the paper taped to the cabinet? That's the infamous letter. I should have burned it. )

May you have a blessed, blonde-free day!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cover to Cover: we too may live a new life



There have been many times along this journey when I haven't known what to say or how to express it. Sometimes the passages have been too complex and sometimes there have been too many choices.

But this week...I am without words.

I feel like nothing I say could in any way express the feelings I have had as I read through these scriptures.

The overwhelming sorrow and despair at His crucifixition...the profound joy at His resurrection.

So, I'll leave you with this: a verse and a song...

"but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!"
Mark 16:6





Join us at Bev's for other recaps from the week.

Blessed Sunday


Watch this: God's eye is on those who respect Him,
the ones who are looking for His love.
He's ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times He keeps body and soul together.
We're depending on God;
He's everything we need.
What's more, our hearts brim with joy
since we've taken for our own His holy name.
Love us, God, with all You've got—
that's what we're depending on.

Psalm 33:18-22

Friday, November 7, 2008

The week in review...

Oh my, am I glad to put this week behind me. Not only for election purposes. (although as far as the election goes, I suspect that it's not really behind me but looming out ahead of me...but I'm not going there. ) I have spent four out of the last five days singing "it's not easy being green" as I battled a nasty virus (and yes, I did make it to vote. No death defying, toilet hugging bug will keep me from doing my civic duty, by golly. I'm sure the poll people were happy to see my little green self.)

I did make it to work today. (actually, I made it to work yesterday but came back home. See picture of death warmed over and put my name underneath. Gee, doesn't that make a girl feel good?) And now, it's the weekend! Where piles of dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and giant hair balls (did I mention that the dogs are shedding because our weather keeps fluctuating?) await me. I'm so excited. Add to the mix one grounded teenage boy and we have a recipe for nirvana. :)

Wednesday night, after Jonathan got home from church, I happened to pass fairly close by him and inhale. Then I sniffed again. He smelled like...girl! (at least his shoulder did.) I commented on it and he got this grin on his face and said, "yep." That's it. No explanation. No exposing the culprit, no nothing. When I told his sister to smell him (because we are a goofy family. and right now Jessi is saying, "speak for yourself, mom."), Jonathan said, "I smell like girl lots of times. I just change my clothes before you notice." This is not why he is grounded.

Thursday night, after drama practice, Jonathan reminded me that he needed his permission slip signed so he could leave school early next Tuesday. They have a HUGE Veteran's Day program at school every year and the Junior class sponsors it. So he has to be at school at 6:30. AM. And his mom has to be up at 5, baking a breakfast casserole. Anyway, since they come in early and they are all responsible and stuff, they get to leave early if their parents give their permission. So I'm sitting here, thinking that I need to have his grandfather pick him up early when he says, "Yeah, me and Giselle are going out to lunch." Um...what? "then she can drop me off at my house." Um...what? We're still negotiating the outcome of Tuesday. Because I am not entirely comfortable with aspects of this little adventure. But this is not why he is grounded.

He is grounded because he is currently failing two classes. And while I know that his grades fluctuate on a daily basis, he has had a failing grade in history for over a week now (but mom, the class is really really hard. Yes, son, I know. That's why we study.) His most recent addition to the failing grade express is an F in Bible. Because all students at christian schools should fail bible, right? (but mom, I didn't even know that I had a doctrinal statement due. Yes, son, I know. That's why we pay attention in class.) And let me just take a moment to insert here that spending the weekend with a sullen, grounded, bored teenager who needs a hair cut is as much a punishment for the parent as it is the teen. (I hadn't been home more than ten minutes when I heard my first, "I'm bored. I don't have anything to do." Might I suggest studying? Or cleaning your room? Perhaps a load of dishes, or some laundry. Let me tell you, little boy, you do not want to go there with me. )

Also, in all the excitement, I somehow missed celebrating my one year anniversary of my hysterectomy. Ick. Or hooray. Depending on how you look at it. (It's funny. The thought of being pregnant and having a baby at 44 seems a lot more appealing when it's a physical impossibility.) Anyhow, that whole surgery/neverending recovery period is what really started me down this bloggy adventure. So I guess it is something to be thankful for. Although after this neverending post, we might not be too sure.

well, the weekend is waiting for me so I'm off. I hope you have a wonderful one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It appears that everyone is exhausted from all the election stuff going on...










Um...all except Wolfie.
But Wolfie pretty much marches to his own drum.






Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33


"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Isaiah 55:8


Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

cover to cover:we interrupt your regularly scheduled program...




Maybe it's because the elections are this week. Maybe it's because it seems like that's all that consumes my mind at this time. But I found some "political" tidbits in this weeks readings. Which just reminds me that God is NEVER late. He always has a better plan.


Political tidbit #1:
Jesus continued teaching and said, "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing fancy clothes, and they love for people to greet them with respect in the marketplaces. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and at feasts. But they cheat widows and steal their houses and then try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. They will receive a greater punishment." Mark 12:38-40



Doesn't this remind you of the 45 bazillion political ads that you've seen lately? Let's surround ourselves with pretty, prominent people and say anything we can to make ourselves look good and get elected. Then, once we're elected, we'll do whatever we want...as long as it increases our power base.



Political tidbit #2: (while this is a warning against being unprepared for the endtimes, I thought it was relevant to election day as well.)





"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Luke 21:34

The dictionary says that dissipation means to have a mental distraction. I certainly feel that I have been distracted by all the promises, lies and so forth that have gone on during this campaign. And I know that I have been weighed down with a dark cloud of anxiety on many occasions as I have fretted over the outcome. But let me ask this. Have my worries affected the race? Will it get anyone elected? Will it save me? Nope. It's funny but another definition of dissipation is a process in which energy is used or lost without accomplishing useful work. Kind of sounds like worry, huh?



We then move from political topics to taking a closer look at ourselves:


“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:25-28


Ouch! Too many times I am more concerned about what other people will see rather than who I am on the inside.



Finally, this week also focused quite a bit on the second coming. Some things that stood out were:


You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6
Sounds like today, doesn't it?

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:30-31
Elect-to select for divine mercy or favor. I'm praising Him for being His elect!

Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep. Mark 13:33,36


So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:28
Doesn't that just give you chills? Our salvation is near! Rejoice!

Take a moment and join us at Bev's for this week's cover to cover. You won't regret it!



Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him." Luke 20:38

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do you ever wonder what on earth they are thinking?

Jonathan just informed me that when he grows up (and here I thought he was almost grown up...at least until I heard this...), he is going to replace his saliva glands with gasoline packets and put flint under his tongue and something else (which totally escaped me at this point as I was staring at him with a "huh?" expression on my face) so he can breathe fire. Um...okay... Can I just say that boys are weird? And I will never understand them as long as I live.

blogger and I are still not friends...

However, today is my daughter's 100 things post (in honor of her 100th post.) To be perfectly honest, when she told me she was doing it last night, I was a little concerned. (Sorry, Jessi, but when you are married and have children and they learn to talk to people outside the family, you will understand. Sort of like when someone pointed to the aging Hell's Angel and said, "Mommy, that man is FAT!" or when someone pointed at the person smoking a cigarette and said "Mommy, they are going to DIE!")



I must say, though, that I enjoyed reading her post (although I'm not sure I used the word "forever" in item number 50 and your teeth do stick together...or at least mine do...) and I would encourage you to drop by and check it out. Jessi always has something interesting to say. She offers her opinions a little more .... freely... than I do. :)



Monday, October 27, 2008

Cover to Cover got eaten by blogger.

Sigh. I will have to try and put it together again when I am not trying to leave for work. But I am sticking my tongue out at blogger right now. Just so you know.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

sunflower syndrome

I think it's going to take everything in me not to be grumpy, crabby or mean today. I just have that feeling.

And believe me, I have (mostly) legitimate reasons for feeling snarky.

However, it doesn't matter what my reasons are, being cranky is not a Christ-like behavior.

So I keep telling myself that I'm a sunflower.

Because sunflowers are happy, joyful, bright flowers.

I'll let you know how it goes.

So what do you do when you are feeling grumpy, crabby, mean, snarky and crabby?