Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Choose Life


This has been on my heart for several days now. After it was brought to my attention "again" I decided to post about it. I have a friend who sends me the most awesome e-mails. She has a knack of sending "new" ones (further defined as emails I have not seen). I love it.


The last one I received in part said this: Three things in life that can destroy a person -

1. Anger

2. Pride

3. Unforgiveness


Now I have definitely been angry. I believe according to the Bible we can be angry and not sin. (Ephesians 4:26-27) "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (NIV) Now I don't believe every time I get angry I can categorize it under this heading. I most definitely can be angry and sin.


I do battle with pride at times, but the one that really stood out to me was unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is like a canker sore; it spreads and spreads, eats and eats, and hurts and hurts. It not only hurts the one with unforgiveness, but those around them also. I have battled with this in the past; I hate it. I hate the way it imprisons me and makes me focus on myself. I hate the way it steals my joy and dampens my relationship with the Lord. I hate what it does to my family and friends. I hate what it does to me.


It's a choice. I can choose not to forgive and harm myself and others. I can choose to forgive and have life. God puts it this way in Deuteronomy 30:19 I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. (The Message) Proverbs 18:21 Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit - you choose. (The Message)


God wants me to make the right choice; He wants me to choose to forgive. Matthew 7:12 should help me do this. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (The Message) I definitely don't want to be judged the way I have judged others in the past. Psalm 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. (NIV)


If we want to have life we simply must choose to forgive. It's hard. It can seem unfair, especially if we've have been harmed wrongfully. Life happens; hurts happen. Deal with it and get on with life!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A million reasons


Did you read about the guy who tried to open an account in a bank by depositing a fake $1,000,000 bill? After the bank teller wouldn't comply he started to curse at the bank workers so they called the police. He was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of forgery. The second count came after investigators learned that earlier he had bought several cartons of cigarettes from a nearby grocery store with a stolen check. Stolen checks and counterfeit bills; this guy was on a roll. There was a slight problem however.......
The federal government has never printed a million-dollar bill.
I think if I was going to go to all the trouble to make fake money I would make something in circulation. But then again that's just me!
At least I got a good laugh today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can it really be???


Happy 15th Birthday, Hannah! I love you.................

Monday, November 26, 2007

A walk of faith


Pastor Paul's message yesterday was great. To sum it up he said, "God simply wants us to Trust Him, Believe Him, Worship Him, Have a Relationship with Him." One thing I appreciate about Pastor Paul is that he makes it simple. I also appreciate how he shares his struggles with us and his victories. One of his quotes is, "Dream Big Dreams, Ask Big Things."


Think about God as "I AM." Our pastor is right; we need that revelation. Exodus 3:14 (God's Word) God answered Moses, "I Am Who I Am. This is what you must say to the people of Israel: 'I Am has sent me to you.'"


"I AM" really needs no explanation. He is!


Here are some points he made yesterday. He paralleled each of these to an event in the Bible.
While taking notes, I personalized it for myself.


(1) Do everything God tells me. - Noah and the ark

(2) The Lord will fight for me. - Moses and the Red Sea

(3) God will provide for me. - Moses and the desert


(4) Don't go without the presence of God. - Moses


(5) Don't be afraid, those who are with me are more than those who are against me. - Elisha and
the army


(6) The Lord is with me. - Gideon and the Midianites

(7) God is able to save me - Fiery Furnace

(8) I serve the Living God; His kingdom will never be destroyed. - Daniel and the lions den

He also talked about "your Goliath" and how a situation can seem insurmountable and words can cause us to fear. On the upside he reminded us that (a) our abilities are not a factor (b) don't fear the size of the problem (c) recognize who the enemy is coming against, and (d) stay faith positive. As usual I have an opportunity to see if I really believe God or if I am going to look at a particular situation and my feelings. Isn't it encouraging how God sometimes gives us the answer before we run head on into something? Now I have a choice: am I going to believe my feelings and emotions and past experience in this situation or am I going to believe God has a way of escape? It's definitely going to be a struggle today to keep focused on the positive, but it is possible because......

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)



Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas and Movies




Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas Season has officially begun at our house. We even have newly purchased packages of Christmas lights waiting to be put on our house. While putting up our tree Thanksgiving night we found that almost every string of lights for our tree wasn't working properly. Donald said "trash em" and Ben and Hannah made a Wal-Mart run.


Donald helped me in the kitchen while I finished cooking our Thanksgiving meal. I figure he shaved 1 1/2 to 2 hours off the preparation time. He opened cans, washed dishes, emptied the contents of cans, washed dishes, stirred things, washed dishes, got things I needed thus saving me many trips to the pantry, washed dishes; did I mention that he washed a few dishes??? I really appreciated his help and enjoyed cooking with him. The dressing was especially good; he determined it to be because of the great stirring he administered while mixing the ingredients.



I really have the Christmas spirit. I've decided it's because I've already started shopping and have several gifts underneath the tree. Seriously though I am so far ahead of myself this year. Usually about the middle of December I realize I need to start thinking about it. Maybe it's because I live life so much differently now that I used to. I used to have to be prepared and plan forever before anything. There's much less stress this way. Or maybe it's just combined into one frantic frenzy instead of spilled out over many days. I prefer it this way.



I have been singing "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas".......and am thinking about Christmas Vacation. I love that movie~! Chevy Chase is great as Clark Griswold. Maybe it's because of family holidays we've experienced that I love this so much. I can just relate to the whole scenario. I hope a squirrel doesn't fly out of our artificial tree and I'm holding my breath that the cat doesn't get inside and get fried underneath a chair. I think the reason I love it so much is because it makes me laugh every time I see it!



We always watch a Christmas movie Thanksgiving night. We only have Miracle on 34th
Street on VHS and last year the sound was really bad. You can't buy it in town or at least the kids couldn't find it. So I've ordered it online and hopefully it will be here soon. We opted for While You Were Sleeping and decided to add it to our list of have to watch movies at Christmas. It's a Wonderful Life and White Christmas have to be viewed also.




I've been thinking about making Caramel Popcorn. That sounds pretty good right about now. We had chicken, onion, sweet pepper, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese fajitas for lunch. It's about time for dessert. Guess I'll go pour some popcorn in the hot air popper and go from there. Either way you can't miss with popcorn.






Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Here I Sit

I should be cooking for Thanksgiving, but here I sit. I have so much to do today. I worked so hard yesterday to get schoolwork caught up for our break. That means I pushed the kids to get everything caught up so I'd be caught up. I did the ironing also. I want to enjoy our break; after I get all the cooking done. Today I'm so tired all I want to do is nothing~!

Our family loves Thanksgiving, yet we don't always have the traditional turkey. We prefer brisket, but since a grocery store had buy a spiral ham and get a free turkey we are having turkey tomorrow. (If I ever get it in the oven to cook that is~!) We will probably eat the ham and I'll use the turkey for turkey salad sandwiches. I'll just substitute the turkey for chicken and add lots of mayonnaise and pickles and my family will go for it. Last year I let everyone choose one thing they wanted me to fix and that's what we had for our meal. It doesn't matter whether it goes with anything else or not.

This is our menu for tomorrow along with who wanted what: Donald wants dressing and angel eggs (when our kids were little I called "deviled" eggs angel eggs). I guess he gets to choose two things since he's.......well, Donald. Rebekah wants homemade rolls. Bethany wants, as usual, broccoli casserole. Benjamin wants fresh green beans stir fried with olive oil, garlic, lemon pepper, etc. Daniel couldn't come up with anything that he wanted that hasn't been mentioned so I'm going to make him a chess pie. Hannah wants fruit salad and whipped cream (not cool whip) like my mom makes. We all agreed on mashed potatoes because I'm making egg gravy. I don't call it giblet gravy because I only put boiled eggs in it; not whole mind you, chopped boiled eggs. Since I only have one small oven holidays can be a challenge if I don't think ahead and plan on when to bake what. What do I want? Someone to clean up after we've eaten.

The kids usually watch the Thanksgiving Day parade while I cook. Later will be football for Donald. Then tomorrow night we'll put up the Christmas tree and exclaim over each other's decorations while we listen to Christmas music. After we're finished with the tree we turn off all the lights and ooh and aah a few times. We are always quite smug and satisfied after the tree is up and decorated. Then there's the Christmas movie to watch along with Chex Mix and egg nog or apple cider. Somewhere along the way we'll raid the refrigerator and have leftovers. This is our holiday tradition. It's great~!

I really do need to get busy. I have to go to the store again today, because Walmart was out of white cornbread mix and their bananas were really nice and green yesterday. My planning ahead always means another trip to the store.

We are so blessed. Happy Thanksgiving everyone~!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things I've Learned











I have a choice in how I look at things.





Laughter is good medicine.



No matter how long I wait to mop the kitchen floor the day I do something sticky will be spilled.





Don't buy anything that says "hand wash only" because after the second or third time it will go into the washing machine regardless.



Don't be too hard on myself.



My bad attitude affects everyone in the house. On the other hand a good attitude and kindness works wonders.


God REALLY does love me.


It's okay to take some time for myself.


The glass is half full.


Don't take myself too seriously.



God can and does use me.


God speaks to me, too.


It's okay to like myself.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jesus........plus nothing


I am on a quote-binge I guess. I love quotes that are meaningful. We were blessed yesterday to have Scott Windrum from WindSong Ministries at our church. He is an awesome man of God and such an encourager. I don't know about you, but I can always use encouragement. You can check out his website at http://www.skyring.org/windsong/page2.html


Here are some of his quotes from yesterday. I hope I got these word perfect because they are awesome~!


Jesus...........plus nothing!


I could be wrong about a lot of things, but I'm not wrong about Jesus Christ. (John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. )


Maybe God wants to do more on this side of death than we ever imagined!


We can acknowledge the negative but always end up with the positive!


Sometimes things are so good they have to be true!


You can have fun on purpose!


I throw a pity party and God won't even show up.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Act IV Scene I

Time: almost 7:00 p.m.


Scene: in the car returning from an out of town shopping trip


(cell phone rings)


Me: (seeing it's my dear husband) Hi, we're almost home. We're running late.


Him: Okay, I was just checking on you.


Bethany: Was that Dad?


Me: Yes, he was just checking on us.


Bethany: That's sweet.


Hannah: Maybe he's just hungry!




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another definition of strength....



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands- and then eat just one of the pieces.
-- Judith Viorst


Chocolate and science (find dates the first use of chocolate to some 500 years earlier than previously known)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Facing Your Giants



I have finally finished reading "Facing Your Giants" by Max Lucado. It is an excellent book; I just got sidetracked from it while painting our bedroom and bathroom. Here a few quotes from this book that I really like.

1. The God who guided David guides you.

2. We all need a nevertheless.

3. Humility doesn't mean you think less of yourself but that you think of yourself less.

4. God examines hearts. When He finds one set on Him, He calls it and claims it.

5. Forgiveness is choosing to see your offender with different eyes.

6. A reverent heart and a dancing foot can belong to the same person. (I really like this one!)

7. What do you do with the "but God" moments in life?

8. See your struggle as God's canvas. On it He will paint His multicolored supremacy.

9. Never give up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Good Advice


"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Alert Expectancy




And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5 (NIV)

In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:5 (The Message)



Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Song for Connie


Bless your beautiful hide,
Bless your beautiful hide.
Bless your beautiful hide
Wherever you may be.
We ain't met yet
But I'm a willin' to bet
You're the gal for me.
Bless your beautiful hide
You're just as good as lost.
I don't know your name
But I'm a-stakin' my claim
Lest your eyes is crossed.
Oh, I'd swap my gun 'n' I'd swap my mule
Tho' whoever took it would be one big fool.
Or pay your way thru cookin' school.
If 'n you would say I do.
Bless your beautiful hide
Prepare to bend your knee.
And take that vow
Cause I'm tellin' you now,
You're the gal for me.
Pretty and trim but kinda slim.
Heavenly eyes but oh that size,
She's gotta be right to be the bride for me.
Bless her beautiful hide
Wherever she may be.
Bless your beautiful hide
Wherever you may be.
We ain't met yet but I'm a willin' to bet
You're the gal for me.
Tuesday night this song started going through my mind. It is from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers..........one of my many favorite movies. I even tried to sing a line or two; but not very well so don't bother to tell me that. So I dedicate this to Connie who said she would be singing it the rest of the night. Hey girl.....I'm still singing it!

Pet Pictures

Once upon a time Bright wasn't allowed on the beds. Now the only one he hasn't been on is Donald's and mine. (And that's only because Donald won't allow it. LOL)
How can I get this thing in my mouth???



















But why is the dog in the house and I'm out here??
A dog's life. If I can't get on a bed then the tub will have to do. (Wait a minute, that's our tub!)

He really was little once~!







Let's see. Which bed do I prefer??
Once we were strangers, now we are adopted brothers.
"But this one is so tiny!" (Bright with Sarah J.'s kitten.)
He's so cute~!


If you park at our house more than likely you'll have a cat on your car.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Known by Him


I'm so glad I'm known by God. Months ago Pastor Paul told us that we can't always know the mind of God but that we can know His heart. That is a deep statement for me. I guess up until the past couple of years I might have disagreed. Or to be more exact I believed that others might know His heart, but that I probably never would. Most of my Christian life I have coasted along knowing I had trusted Christ as my Savior, but living my everyday life apart from that. Needless to say I didn't have a lot of joy or hope.


Sunday's message was about THE ONE WAY-THE ONLY WAY into heaven. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can be saved; there is absolutely no other way. You can't pray enough, do enough good deeds, bow down enough, or anything else man comes up with to reach God. God has already reached out to man and given His sacrifice, His only Son Jesus. (Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."


We need to believe and confess. There is no magic prayer that will do it. Anyone can be saved. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13


I'm afraid some people know God, but aren't known by God. Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who does what my Father in heaven wants. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name? Didn't we force out demons and do many miracles by the power and authority of your name?' Then I will tell them publicly, 'I've never known you. Get away from me, you evil people.'


God wants us to call on His Son, Jesus Christ. I love the way The Message puts John 3:16......
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life."


Jesus Himself said, " I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. "(John 10:10 The Message)


Are you known by God?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pictures

This is an interesting picture of my dried flower arrangement on our hearth. Leave it to Hannah to come up with some incredible pictures. This one is looking down on it and you can see the rocks in the vase. (All pictures shown are taken by Hannah.)Who would have thought back in 1975 that we would have five incredible children????
Bright having a much needed bath. Now did they remember to clean their tub??
Donald's dragon from Thailand. Doesn't Rebekah find neat gifts?
My kitchen that I redid summer before last.
Our living room. Our hearth is in the corner. Donald let me buy the coffee table for my birthday two years ago. This is our first coffee table in years. We got rid of the old one because of limited space and never replaced it until this one.
The corner of our living room suits our computer just fine. Rebekah found this picture at Bed Bath and Beyond and Donald told me to buy it.
My color washed walls that Vicki did for me. The pictures were my Mother's Day gift. They say Faith, Hope, Love with scripture verses. You can see the hall that leads to the back two bedrooms and bath. This addition was what made our house work for our family.
My pretty flowers that Bethany brought me last night. She loves flowers~!

My new comforter from Rebekah and my color washed walls that I did.
I love this shot. I call it "3 in 1." It a picture of my bathroom, dressing area, and bedroom in one photo thanks to a large mirror and Hannah's photography skills. See my new shower curtain??

This is the only thing I have on my walls. Nothing I had matches. I kept trying to convince Rebekah that "something" would work with my new colors. Nothing does~! These are gifts from Bethany. Our children love to give.

I am so incredibly blessed. I have a wonderful husband, five incredible kids, a dog who adores all of us, a comfortable home, and so much more. But the most incredible thing of all is to be known by God. More on this later.