Monday, December 29, 2008
This Christmas my brother Ryan gave me two more of their CD's. From the very first song I felt the spirit of God through their singing and testimonies. These girls have been through pain, came from broken homes, and have a history of living life for the devil. When these girls sing "Jesus paid a dept He did not owe and I owe I dept I could not pay . . . " they realize that they never could repay Christ for giving them a new life. To them Christ really is a "Father to the Fatherless." It gives me joy to listen to them sing with their new found joy and desire to show others the way to Christ. You wont find much better singing then theirs.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
During the Christmas season I was awarded the Lemonade Award by my sister Bethany, and the Uber Amazing Blog Award by Under Southern Skies. Thank you both!
I turned 18 this month.
Amy's Birthday was this month.
. . . as well as Ryan's!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
But enough of that. (I am not the best at making humor, but everything I said did not include any exageration. That's my life!) Here is the recipe that made my day! It is great around the holidays when everyone is baking something sweet. Something salty is always welcome!
12 oz peanuts
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The next morning they were brought before the high preists, rulers, elders, and scribes. They asked the men, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" After Peter gave his answer (Acts 4:8-12) they "perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
When I read that last line I stopped to think about what it really meant. It was so evident that these men were unlearned and ignorant, and very clear that these men were not the ones doing the talking, but Jesus. That is amazing! This is a very good picture of how Christ should shine through us every day. We shouldn't waste our time trying to make ourselves more elequent in speech and graceful in our wittnessing. I have done this very thing. I have tried to find ways that will make my writing sound better and more interesting by using adjatives in creative ways and going about a differant aproach to tell the story. Instead I should be spending time with Jesus, for that is how God will be able to talk through me. If I am sensative to the Holy Spirit then He will give me the words to write and say with no help from me. After all, every time I try to do something on my own I am always going to fail. Only the things done through Christ will make a differance in this life.
My desire, and the desire of every Christian, should be to have a testemony like Peter and the other apostles. When others hear us speak, sing, or read our writings, they should be able to say, "and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Monday, November 24, 2008
Long ago there was a time when women had to sew everything for themselves. They couldn't go to the stores and buy what ever they wanted because there were no such stores. Women probably thought it would be crazy to have a store that sells just clothes. Because they had the ability and time, ladies young and old made their own clothes, curtains, sheets, and blankets. I wonder if they would have felt lazy or unlearned if they payed someone else to do their sewing? (That's just a thought.)
A few years ago there was a reality show that aired for a few months called, "Pioneer Days." In this show three ordinary families were selected to live in Canada for 3 months just like people use to live in the pioneer days. They had no electricity, no running water, no indoor pluming, and no grocery store within 5 minutes. During those three months these ordinary families put a lot of work into their homes. One family was placed on some land with a house already built, another family had to finish a half built house, and the third family had to build theirs from the very beginning. They also had to build fences for their animals, lean-to's, furniture possibly, and barns. They grew their own garden and cut their own fire wood. It was hard work, but they had to do it because they couldn't buy these things that were necessary to live a fruitful life.
After the three months were over they had to leave their "home" out in the woods. They were all sad to leave because they had put so much of themselves into their houses and land. They were able to take pride in what they did and truly say, "I did that! I built that house, I grew that garden, I sewed that dress . . ."
Look around your house. Is there a treasured quilt lying somewhere that your grandmother had sewn years ago? Are their curtains in your home that remind you of the day that you and your mom sewed cloth together to create decoration for your windows? Do you have a dress that you spent hours making and still proudly wear only on special occasions? Are their embroidered pillow shams decorating your bed that you had made just the way you wanted them? There is no doubt about it, home made things makes a house a home. They bring back memories and have a value that cannot be replaced. There is no satisfaction when you can name every store where you bought your curtains, bedspreads, pillows, etc. But when you or a family member has spent their time in making something special, the love shines through for everyone to see!
Even in this area of life we need to remember to do everything in moderation. Every thing in my house is not home sewn, but the things that we did put our time into will always be treasured. Even if you have little sewing skills you can still make things to put in your house such as aprons, pillow shams, kitchen curtains, or a table runner. These small acts of love will bring more satisfaction to your home along with a testimony of being someone who loves their family enough to spend time giving her best! Believe me . . . it's worth it!
Last Pictures:: The first one is me writing in a journal waring in a dress I made. The second is Bethany crocheting wearing a dress I made. The last is of my second quilt.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I have lost her recipe, but I still love Russian Tea so I searched to find out how to make it. Here is what I found.
1 cup instant tea
2 cup Tang
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 (3oz) pkg lemonade with sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinamon
1 1/4 tsp. cloves
Mix all ingredients together. Mix 1-2 tsp. per cup of hot water.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This morning I woke up at 6:15, content to stay right where I was - on the couch by the fire place under my warm blanket. Yes, I have my own bed, but the warm living room with cozy flames burning in the fire place was just too inviting. Thus I slept on the couch! As soon as I got out from underneath my covers I got a cup of fresh coffee to warm my insides. Coffee never tasted so good! As I got ready for work I picked out a long sleeve shirt and a long thick skirt hoping that they would do their job of keeping me warm.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I received an e-mail just the other day called, "10 Predictions About the Election". They are:
- The Bible will still have all the answers.
- Prayer will still work.
- The Holy Spirit will still move.
- God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
- There will still be God-anointed preaching.
- There will still be singing of praise to God.
- God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
- There will still be room at the Cross.
- Jesus will still love you.
- Jesus will still save the lost.
So this is my message to you today: Take this opportunity to put God's name out there among all the discouraging conversations. When you hear some one say in a dismal voice, "I just don't know what we're going to do. Everything seems to be going so bad" reply by telling them about our God who will take care of everything and who is always there for us to turn to when everything in this world seems to be falling apart. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing the news of gloom and doom. I would much rather talk about my Savior who feeds the ravens and knows when every sparrow falls to the ground. (Luke 12:24 & Luke 12:6) Surely God can take care of us too!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Now imagine if I went on the job, realizing what I was suppose to do, but chose to ignore that and do what I wanted to do. I could clean the office, organize papers, set up appointments, answer the phone, maybe work in the transcribing area . . . anything but what I was hired for. It sounds like a lot of fun and I might like it more than coding! But how do you think my boss would react? I don't think he would like it at all! In fact, I don't think I would be his employee for very long if I continued to do such things.
While this illustration sounds a little bazaar, we do the same thing everyday. Most Christians who have been saved for a long period of time know what our purpose is. It is to serve Christ and point souls to Him. We see this in Matthew 28:19-20. "Go therefore, & teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the holy Ghost, Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even till the end of the world, Amen." But do we do our duty? Are we hearers only? (James 1:22 ) How often do we even speak Christ' name to others? These are all questions we need to consider when we examine our life. Sharing God's love with others is something we can all do.
For some this may mean telling their children and other family members about Christ. Others may have great opportunities to witness to strangers on a daily basis while your friend may have to go out deliberately with the sole purpose in mind being to tell someone the good news. Some people may feel more comfortable to hand out tracks and leave them in places where others will find them, but there are some Christians who prefer to talk directly to others about their spiritual condition. However you choose to go about it is okay. The most important thing is that we are following God by telling others about the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is our purpose.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- On the bus was one baby, a dog named Spanky, a recent college graduate (me), and the rest were mostly senior citizens!
- Our trip coordinator was very punctual when it came to time. We often heard things like, "We will be leaving in about 10 seconds!"
- We went on 7 tours and saw 2 live shows
- We saw lots of Amish people and farms
- The lady who served us breakfast at the motel was Amish
- We ate lots of food and ice-cream. (A trip just wouldn't be right without ice-cream!)
- I took over 500 pictures but only kept 316
- Best of all, we had great fellowship among Christain people
Outside an Amish school
More pictures to come . . .
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
When I read of how Israel has played the harlot, I see myself. To commit adultery with God is to leave Him and find pleasure in or dedicate yourself to other things or people. I've done that. There are times when I ignore God so that I can have "fun" my way. In the end it is no fun at all, and I realize I have not been faithful to my first love. I feel like a wretch.
In the book of Hosea God shows his anger towards His people who have left Him to worship other Gods. "My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills . . ."
Israel has done great wickedness in the sight of their God and he will not leave them unpunished. "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother." What awful displeasure God had with them! A displeasure I hate to think that God ever had with me.
Yet this harsh punishment, as awful as it may seem, is done in love. "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up." When God takes everything from us, all we have left is our Lord. The only place we can go is to God. The only one who can help us is Jesus. When we are in our lowest state we see who we really need. When God punishes us, He sees the end. He knows that we will not like the chastisement, but He also knows that we will be better for it when it is over!
I am so thankful that just when it seems it can get no worse, God says, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." Praise the Lord He will always love me! No matter what I do to Him or how unfaithful I am to Him, He will always be faithful to me!
Sometimes I feel like this is the story of my life. I backslide on God. God punishes me. But in the morning . . . His mercies are renewed! It is a cycle that I have yet to find a way out of. My flesh is ever present and always causing me to err. "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."
**All scripture taken from the book of Hosea, King James Bible**
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"I love your plates!" Shelby complemented. "I once wanted to do my kitchen in apples too, but I decided to go with strawberries.
"Thank you! Jeff got hose for me a few years ago. I like having pretty things in my kitchen. Before then I had some really plain plates I found at the grocery store. You know, the ones that don't sell well, so usually get put on the clearance shelf?"
"Oh, I know. But some times they're actually nice."
"Yeah, they have had nicer ones lately." Alice responded.
As they loaded the dishwasher in silence, Shelby's mind went back to the conversation they had at the supper table. Why couldn't she get it off her mind? Shelby knew why. She had to talk about it or her mind would never have peace again.
Alice, do you ever worry that your children wont be very smart. I"m not implying that your not smart yourself . . . I just mean . . ."
"Oh, I know what you're talking about. I've had many people ask me that same question. Ad yes, I do worry sometimes, it's natural for all home schoolers to worry. We all want our children to be well educated and if their not, we can't blame it on a school system. It's all on our shoulders. But I think they'll do fine. Stacy scored real high when she took the tests at the Education Center. And if you look at the facts, it does look like they are learning more than if they were in a public school. Instead of reading 7 pages on the Civil War every year out of the text books, we can read 7 books that are just on that topic."
"Wow, I never thought about it that way."
"They also do projects or crafts together that help them remember it. So when I look at it that way, I feel a little better."
"I'm sure you do."
After a long pause, during which Alice let Shelby think on what they had just talked about, her guest had some more questions.
"Does your husband like working for the Rail Road?" asked Shelby.
"Yes, he really likes it. The best part about it is he gets plenty of vacation and sick days. We're thinking about taking a vacation in a few months."
"We've been trying to find time to take one too, but Tom and I can't seem to get he time off work at the same time, plus the children have to be out of school. But y'all probably don't have that problem, do you?"
"No, I see that as one of God's blessings for following his will for our family. I"m thankful God has provided a way for me to stay home with our children."
"Jeff's job must pay really well," Shelby commented.
"It pays pretty well, but with six kids, it's not he best. I've had to learn to be frugal with our money and to trust God to meet our needs. He always does." Alice said with a smile.
Shelby couldn't help but marvel at her dedication to her family. This woman gave up an opportunity to make her own money and now has to be careful how he spends the little bit her husband gives her, just to spend all her time taking care of her husband and six children. But yet she didn't feel sorry for her. Alice was the happiest woman she had ever met. She could feel her happiness and contentment from the time she walked in the door.
She stopped wiping the counter for a moment and looked into the living room. There were their husbands talking and laughing about the pranks they've seen pulled at work. When she listened closely she could hear the children in the other room laughing and telling jokes while they played Monopoly all together. Every body seemed in their right place. What was even more was everyone seemed very happy. For the first time, Shelby saw that she was not the mother she needed to be. It was her job to make a happy home for her family and she had not done the job very well. She felt a pang of regret in her heart for all the years she had wasted working while her children were away at school.
Her husband looked up at her from the couch where he was sitting and smiled a knowing smile. Her husband had seen the difference in the two homes as well. Joy started to find it's way into her heart and fill her with a sense of peace that said, "It will be alright. It's never too late to start anew."
With an energy that she hadn't felt in a long time, she desired to make her home a place of happiness, to be the mother God intended her to be, to teach her children herself instead of letting other women do her job, and to run her home the way God intended.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"Yes, I asked him if I could take a half day off Wednesday and the rest of the week off as well, but he said he can't spare me. Two other employees have already asked for a vacation that week." Shelby pulled the covers right around her neck. "Maybe we could take a vacation the week after that."
"No, we've got a really important meeting at work that Thursday. Something about a new way they want us to hang the electrical wires. What about the next week?"
"Remember, that week is revival at our church," she said in a dismal voice. The more they thought about it the more it seemed they wouldn't be able to go on their vacation any time soon. They wanted to take their children on a trip to the mountains one more time before their son Steve started college. They knew that once that happened it would be even harder to schedule a vacation. Shelby was glad she and her husband had decided not to tell their children about the trip until it was final. Now it looked like there would be none.
"It's just so hard for us both to get off work at the same time," Tom complained, interrupting her thoughts.
"I know, and I was really hoping to get away from my job for a while."
"Did you have another bad day?" he enquired.
"It was very hectic. I didn't think it would ever end. I can't wait till the weekend."
"Oh, that reminds me! I saw Mrs. Alice and Jeff Davis at the store today and they invited us out for supper Saturday. She said they're making pizza and spaghetti. She meant to ask us at church Wednesday, but didn't have a chance. She said to give her a call."
"Oh, that sounds like fun. I'll call her tomorrow and ask her if she wants me to bring a dessert. With six kids of her own she would probably appreciate some help."
"Alright. Goodnight Shelby."
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Check back for an acount of the trip and LOTS of pictures. For now, I am working on finishing the story I have been posting. Enjoy!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
“I made a 93 on my math test mom! When I saw the score I was so relieved! I thought for sure I had done awful” Margaret, a spirited 15 year old said proudly. Steve however, was more enthused about his friends new 4x4 truck. Like most 17 year old boys, vehicles were one of the things at the fore front of his thoughts day in and day out.
Shelby listened and responded with all the enthusiasm she could summon, but still felt absent minded and weary. The day had taken its’ toll on her and all she wanted was a few minutes to lay down in peace and quiet.
As she finished supper her husband, Tom, walked in from his job with the power company.
“Hey I’m home! What a day . . .”
“Oh, I’m so glad you’re here!” Shelby interrupted. “Will you please put supper on the table while I fix the glasses?”
“I just . . . okay.”
“Thanks Tom,” replied a very tired mother.
As they all sat down and ate their evening meal, they all talked about their day’s events and the people they came in contact with. It was the first time they had all been together that day – as it usually was.
“Dad, do you and mom want to play that new game Grandma sent us?” asked Margaret?
“I’ve had a hard day at work darling, I don’t feel like playing a game,” replied her dad.
“Yeah, me too. Why don’t you and Steve play it together?” their mother suggested.
“We need four players though. And besides, we wanted y’all to play it with us. Y’all use to play games with us all the time,” spoke up Steve.
“But that was before I started working overtime and your mom got this new job. Just wait until ya’ll get a job, then you’ll see how hard it is. But maybe we can find time on the weekend.”
“Sure,” Steve mumbled.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
“I don’t see why they have to be so rude about it. Yelling doesn’t fix things. And I didn’t cause their phones to drop their calls in the first place.”
She pulled off her long coat and bumped the thermostat up. Noticing what time it was she started cooking. She would have been home earlier had her computer not have crashed 30 minutes before quitting time. IT took a whole hour to get all her documents back in order, making her arrive home 30 minutes later than usual. Now she only had half an hour before her children would be home from school.
Once she got supper going she walked down the long hallways to empty the over flowing laundry basket. Feeling as exhausted as a baseball player after a big game, washing the laundry was the last thing she wanted to do. But she never felt like doing her house hold chores, so why should today be any different. However, she knew the clothes wouldn’t get done on their own so she bent down to pull out the clothes wondering when the last time was that her back ached so much from sitting all day in an office chair.
Once the laundry was in the washing machine, she was back to work cooking over the hot stove. The meal tonight was spaghetti. The same meal she cooked for her husband the day they got home from their honey moon. She had taken such joy in preparing that meal then, and was delighted over his hearty appetite and complements. “Life was so wonderful then,” she thought. “And so easy. What has gone wrong?”
Yes, she still loved her husband just as much as she did then, maybe even more, but she no longer had time to enjoy those small services and ‘gifts’ she gave to her husband each day. The question echoed in her mind, "What has gone wrong?"
To be continued . . .
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Here is the brave hero with his catch.
When I took this picture I didn't get the 5 foot mark in it, but it really was 5' 7''.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday night my pastor preached on giving God praise. The theme scripture was from Psalms 119: 64, "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." The sermon was good . . . but I didn't realize it was for me. I am not unthankful . . . I praise Him. Oh how wrong my attitude was!
Later in the week, the daily devotion I receive in my mail was on thankfulness. Part of it read: "God doesn’t owe us anything and He doesn’t have to bless us. But He has! For the gift of salvation alone we should praise God each day. But He has given us so much more."
Then I read an article at Young Ladies Christian Fellowship. And yes, it was on being thankful even when things aren't going your way. It finally sunk in. I have been so unthankful! We can never thank and praise him enough. He is always worthy of continual praise from every living creature. Not even seven times a day will do Him justice! How ashamed I am for not praising Him as much as I should have! God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for my sins and make a way for me to go to heaven, He traded my insecurities for His peace, my brokenness for his fulfilment, my sorrow with His joy, my filthiness for His righteousness, and my troubles for his light burden. God has given me the most wonderful family, friends, and church. I have a home, a car, a job. . . that's a lot more than most people! I have every reason to praise him seven times a day and more! What a shame it is that I haven't.
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." Psalms 28:7
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
". . . Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11
Friday, August 8, 2008
In a few weeks I will be going to Pennsylvania for an eight day trip with some friends from my church. Already I am thinking about what I need and want to bring. I don't want to pack too light, because after all, I will be gone for eight whole days! Of course their are some necessary items that I will need - such as clothes and washing things - that will defiantly go in my suitcase. But then their are some other things that I could go with out . . . yet I am inclined to take them just because! Things that I might think I need, yet they might just be more weight to carry around. They might also get in the way when it comes to how much space I have for souvenirs!
In life we carry around a lot of things. I'm not talking about physical luggage. I'm talking about emotional luggage. Feelings are often more heavy than any item you could fit in the biggest suitcase. Feelings of hurt, anger, regret, fear, and grief. There are also feelings of happiness, confidence, peace, and love that will make our journey in life so much more enjoyable and glorifying to God. But the question is . . . what emotions are we going to hang on to for the rest of our life time? I'm afraid we don't spend as much time thinking about this as we do thinking about what to bring on our vacation.
What kind of luggage are you going to carry with you into your marriage? There are some people who think that once they are married their spouse can help them out with their troubles. This may be the case, but think about the strain that it might put on them if they feel it is their duty to help them overcome their burdens. Read the following example by Max Lucado*, but in my owns words.
The groom walks down the isle about to marry the woman he loves. In his arms he carries luggage of gilt, anger, arrogance, and insecurities. As he stands at the alter about to say his vows he thinks, "Finally a woman who will help me carry all my burdens. She's so strong, so stable, so . . ."
Now the bride is walking down the isle. She is very excited to be getting married to the man she's always dreamed of, yet her mind goes back to the bags she is carrying. Loneliness, disappointments, and hurt. She thinks about what is about to happen. "Just a few more minutes and I'll be married. So long discouragement and worry. I wont be seeing you anymore. He's going to fix me."
Does this sound familiar? Do you see the problem? Their are both expecting the other to work miracles that only God can do. If two people are carrying heavy burdens, how can they help carry even more? Marriage is about giving everything of yourself to your spouse. This will be hard if all we can think about is what we are going to get and how we are going to benefit from the marriage. One would be very disappointed to find out that our spouse cannot take away all of our burdens.
So what is the answer? Are we to carry our burdensome luggage on our own? No. Even though our husband may not be strong enough to carry our load, our Lord is always able to take our burdens away. He is the one we need to go to when we realize that our luggage of harsh emotions is too much for us to bare. Don't be loaded down with emotions that only keep you from living more freely. Let God carry your luggage!*Disclaimer: I have not read much of Max Lucado's writings so I am not sure if they are doctrinally sound. I do know some of his beliefs are not the same as mine.