Saturday, July 31, 2010

100th Birthday

Today is Mitch's grandma's 100th birthday. We will be meeting together to celebrate at a Mexican Restaurant several hours away. Can you imagine being 100 years old? Imagine all the technology she's been through! Amazing!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ranch Rodeo Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night (July 31st) we will be having a Ranch Rodeo at our arena at Round Up Cowboy Church at 7:00 p.m..

Hope to see ya'll there!

Friday Five

1. It's supposed to be over 100 degrees today! The heat index will be terrible for sure.

2. I'm so glad that it's Friday. It's been a long week and I've really been exhausted. A couple of times a year I have several weeks where I feel like I'm constantly pushing a wall. It doesn't matter if I'm extremely busy each day or sitting in a chair all day long. It's an all-consuming fatigue that sleep and vitamins don't seem to help.

3. The plans are beginning for Zachery's wedding. I have already been asked to present a guest list! Oh my!

4, Lacey is getting supplies ready for college. Everyone is pitching in and everything is coming together. Some of the last big ticket items needed are a mini fridge and the comforter set she's picked out.

5. Tomorrow will be a party for Mitch's grandma's 100th birthdday... and then tomorrow night is the youth rodeo at church. It's going to be a busy day! THEN, Monday through Wednesday we are going to have Mitch's parents, his sister, husband and both of their kids over for a mini vacation. Calgone!


Pictures on Posts

Can you see the Escape picture I have posted to the left?

I have noticed that several of the blogs that I posted from work do not show pictures when I view them from home. I always post a picture at the top of each blog. When I pull it up at work, it's there... when I pull it up at home, it's not (or doesn't show). I wonder why this is? If I post it from home with a picture I can view it at both places. Any ideas on why this might be happening?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13-16 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Mark 9:49-50 49 “For everyone will be tested with fire.a]">[a] 50 Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”


Luke 14:35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

Are you the salt in a thirsty world? Do you give those who don't know Jesus enough information (salt) that they thirst for water (more of Him)? Does your light shine so that without words, but through your actions only, others know that you are a Christian?

Someone today was telling me that the Sunday morning church crowd is the worst crowd to have at a restaurant. They are the rudest of people and they either don't leave tips or they leave measly tips. I am not saying that all Christians are like this, of course not. But, I hope it does make you think. When your order comes to you incorrect how do you handle the situation? Is the waitress a slave to you or someone who is there to help you all that they can? Shine your light for them. Give them grace beyond grace... extend that salt and make them thirsty to know why you are different. We truly can make a difference in this world today. Let's do it now.. as soon as we walk out that door of our home and business. I challenge you.

Psalm 56

1 O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
3 But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

5 They are always twisting what I say;
they spend their days plotting to harm me.
6 They come together to spy on me—
watching my every step, eager to kill me.
7 Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
in your anger, O God, bring them down.

8 You keep track of all my sorrows.a]">[a]
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Latest News

This is my oldest son Zachery and his girlfriend Anna. Zachery announced to me and his dad this last Sunday that he and Anna are going to be getting married in the Fall of 2011. We figured for a while that this was probably coming~ but to know it, just melts my heart. Yet more steps and stages in this thing we call life. I'm so happy for Zachery.. and it helps so much that Anna, who will be my daughter-in-law, is really a sweetheart. We have prayed for each of our children's spouses since the day they were born. Ah, it's so great to see the Lord moving in the lives of my children.

Wacky Wednesday

I just witnessed a wreck right outside the shop window here at work. Thank goodness no one was hurt. One lady was turning and the other lady behind her wasn't paying attention and rear-ended the back of the former car. I ran out to make sure they were okay and so did the gentleman at the business next door. They were both fine and the police were called. One of the ladies is a regular customer of mine. I'm sure that she was coming to pay her bills. I'm so thankful that no one was hurt.

Peace

Peace. What is it? Today I am seeking it with my whole heart. When situations come that make our hearts hurt we need to seek the Peace Maker. When people disappoint us, when we wish that we could make others do things that we know they need to do, when we try to take control... all these things can cause us to loose our peace..

Psalm 119:165 Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.

Do we love His instruction? If we do, and choose to obey Him, He will give us GREAT peace and we won't stumble.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Estimating Horse Weight




Horse Weight: Two Methods Of Estimating It

Knowing your horse's weight, at least approximately, can be very helpful for such things as calculating feed rations, knowing how much of a de-wormer to administer, and more. While it's not always practical to find a scale big enough to accommodate a horse, there are several ways of calculating a horse's approximate weight. In the article below we describe how we tested two common methods.

Height / Weight Tapes Vs. Calculating Weight Yourself

Probably the most common method people use to estimate their horse's weight these days is to use a height/weight tape. To use one of these tapes you simply put the tape around the horse's girth (aka "heart girth") and read the estimated weight on the tape. These tapes have been on the market for years and many horsemen consider them to be reliable.

Another way to estimate a horse's weight is to use a "regular" tape measure - the kind that measures in inches - to measure a horse's girth and length. Then, you perform the following calculation:

Heart girth X heart girth X length, divided by 300, + 50 = weight.


Taking The Measurements

The first way we estimated our horse's weight was to take her heart girth and length measurements and apply the calculation we mentioned above. In the next two steps we'll show you how we took the measurements

Measuring Heart Girth

To measure a horse's heart girth, measure (in inches) from the base of the withers down to a couple of inches behind the horse's front legs, under the belly, then up the opposite side to where you started. Notice this will cause your tape measure to run at an angle as shown by the blue line in the photograph at right. The measurement you arrive at is your horse's heart girth.

Measuring Body Length

To measure a horse's length, measure (in inches) from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump. Notice this may cause your tape measure to run at an angle as shown by the blue line in the photograph at right. The measurement you arrive at is your horse's length.

Calculating The Results

To approximately figure our horse's weight, we calculate like we mentioned above:

Heart girth X heart girth X length, divided by 300, + 50 = weight.

The horse in the photograph had a 77 inch heart girth and was 66 inches long. So our calculation is:

Heart girth X Heart girth X Length Divided By + 50 = Approximate
Weight
77 X 77 X 66 300 + 50 = 1,354.38

Using the calculations above the approximate weight of the horse in the photo is 1,354 pounds. She's 15 hands tall, has a wide chest and heavy hip, is heavily muscled, and is in good condition but we still thought this estimate was a little heavy.

The Height / Weight Tape

Next, we took a store-bought height/weight tape, placed it around our horse's heart girth, and read the results. According to the tape, the horse is between 1,235 pounds and 1,250 pounds. We're guessing this is closer to the correct weight.

So, The Answer Is...

The best answer to find out how much your horse weighs is to find a livestock scale that will accommodate a large animal and weigh your horse. If that's not practical, you can use methods to estimate your horse's weight like the two we mentioned above. In our experience we feel the height/weight tape came up with the most accurate estimate but it's still fun to use both methods and compare the results.



Delight Yourself




Mentoring

Do you need to be mentored? No matter where each of us stand in our walk of life from Billy Graham down to the tiniest of children, from men to women, we ALL need mentoring. We will never reach the top where we have learned it all and no longer need anyone over us in our lives. If we think we've reached there, we are sadly mistaken and the enemy has us where he wants us.

To be mentored you have to be willing to listen. There is the old saying that God gave us one mouth and two ears~ to show us that we need to listen well! LOL

John 8:47
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God.


Hebrews 2:1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.

To be mentored you have to be willing to be bendable. Is your heart willing? Is it willing to learn something new? To do something differently?

2 Chronicles 29:31
Then Hezekiah declared, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, bring your sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the Temple of the Lord.” So the people brought their sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings, too.

1 Chronicles 28:9
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.


I have mentored and I have been mentored. Both places hold the most precious of times in my life.

Be willing and listen... allow yourself to be mentored.... we all need someone to look up to. We should actually seek those out that we desire to be most like... to learn from their biblical knowledge and their ways.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Psalm 55

1 Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.

4 My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away
to the quiet of the wilderness.
Interlude

8 How quickly I would escape—
far from this wild storm of hatred.

9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11 Everything is falling apart;
threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.

12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.

15 Let death stalk my enemies;
let the graveb]">[b] swallow them alive,
for evil makes its home within them.

16 But I will call on God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
and the Lord hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe
from the battle waged against me,
though many still oppose me.
19 God, who has ruled forever,
will hear me and humble them.
Interlude

For my enemies refuse to change their ways;
they do not fear God.

20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
he broke his promises.
21 His words are as smooth as butter,
but in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!

22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

23 But you, O God, will send the wicked
down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
but I am trusting you to save me.


I Love Christmas

I love Christmas~ Oh, I really do. I know that it's July... and even almost August. But, this morning I'm sitting here thinking about how much I love Christmastime.

I wish that all year around we had the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts. Smiling at those who pass, feeling the crispness in the air, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, giving gifts to each other, meeting together for parties and fellowship and so much more. Christians who have Jesus in their heart as their Savior have Christmas everyday~ or should, but can others see it? The joy is so much more than Christmas could ever have! Yet, why do some of us act so sour... or as if we've lost our best friend?

Today I challenge you to share the Salvation of Jesus in your heart as though it were Christmas! Smile at others, feel the *magic* in the air, wish each other a great day with a warm handshake and a nod, give the gift of encouragement to each other and meet together with your church families whenever possible.

Oh the joy of Christmas... but so much more, Oh the joy of Christ in our hearts!

My Grandma Flora's Cookbook

Please join me at my new blog; My Grandma Flora's Cookbook! I will still be posting here of course, but the other is going to be a recipe blog. I am using an old Better Homes and Gardens "New" Cookbook from the 1960's. It was passed down to me when my grandma passed away. It is ear-marked and worn, has pages with old drips on them, pages torn out... and even a treasure of saved old recipes that have been clipped from ladies magazines, given by friends, etc... I'm excited to get started on it! I've posted my first recipe over there today. I will be cooking old recipes from years ago, checking them for taste, texture, etc.... and I will also be taking pictures of how they turn out. I hope you will join me!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SONday

Things are happening at our church. We have a new worship music group at our church. They are fantastic. It's such a warm, wonderful feeling... and it wafts through the congregation as we are waiting on service to start... and then later in worship... and then later after services. This last week they put up a system that scrolls words for us to sing with the music... and later it will be used for announcements and pictures and such...

God is good!

Love The Ones You Choose?


Matthew 5:46-49 (NLT) 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,a]">[a] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Can we choose who we love? Your spouse- yes, your friends- yes, your family- yes... but what about those that are hard to love? What about those who have hurt your feelings, said things you didn't like to hear, made you mad, done you wrong, did things you didn't like~ what about THOSE people? Do we really need to love them? Not just superficially but with true and pure hearts? YES.

Luke 6:35 (NLT) 35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

If you are having a hard time with loving people the first step is asking for forgiveness. First because whatever the problem is, it disrupts your relationship with Jesus and second of all because it's a commandment to forgive, whether we feel like it or not. (Here is an old quote I heard this week: "Saying you forgive someone and then choosing not to forget is like burying the ax and leaving the handle sticking out.) He doesn't tell us to love people to be mean to us, but because when we don't, it separates us from God and gives Christianity a disservice.

Luke 6:36 (NLT)
37 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Colossians 3:13
(NLT) Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 5:22-24 (NLT) 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brothera]">[a]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,b]">[b]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

What if you have forgiven in your heart and you go to someone and they in turn don't return the same feelings/thoughts? The bible then tells us there are steps we need to take to assure communication and rectification. (This is another matter which I would like to blog about later, but I'll add the scripture here for reference~ Matthew 18:15-18 15"If your brother sins against you,b]">[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'c]">[c] 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will bed]">[d]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee]">[e] loosed in heaven.

When all is forgiven, we find it easy to love. It flows genuinely from our hearts, mouths, eyes and actions.

Like the rich young ruler, don't just turn from this and go away with nothing. You CAN make a difference. Be the one to love first, forgive first.. Take that step, let go of pride and the "yes but Lord" attitude. Just do what you need to do. Make the world a better place.. We can do it, one person at a time.






Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Good Good Enough?

I knew a couple several years ago. They were good people. They both worked, had lots of friends and were well thought of. They were moral people. They didn't drink, smoke or cuss. They hang out with the "right" crowds. They helped people in need... in fact, they would offer their home or the shirts off of their own backs if need be. One thing they didn't have was a relationship with Jesus. From the outside, most people looking at them would have probably assumed they were Christians because of their actions, but they weren't. When is being good not good enough? The Bible tells us that no one is good in and of himself. We all are born with a sin nature. God sent his Son to die on the cross for us so that we may have life~ and live it to the full. We may "look" good on the outside, but to have goodness on the inside ~ with Jesus in our hearts, is what really counts.

Are you tired of trying to do good works on your own? Gods Words also tells us that it's not our works that gets us into heaven or that keeps us saved, but that it's by grace through faith and that His Salvation is a gift of God. Won't you accept His gift today?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Heavenly Cinnamon Rolls

Heavenly Cinnamon Rolls

1 pkg of frozen cinnamon rolls (Yeast rolls that need to rise)

1/2 c white sugar

1/2 c brown sugar

1 c vanilla ice cream

1 stick butter

Cook all ingredients and bring to a boil. Set aside. Take out rolls and separate. Put into 9 x 13 pan so that rolls do not touch. Pour sauce over all. Put in oven over night to rise. In the morning turn oven to 350 and when it reaches temperature, cook for 20 minutes~ or until browned.

Ephesians 4:29




Revival Last Week in July

Round Up Cowboy Church
will be having revival the last week in July. Starting Sunday, July 25th.
We hope to see you there!

Secret Pals/Sisters

Have you forgotten your Secret Pal/Sister? If you have, it's okay... it's time to get back on the truck~ maybe she'll never know! If you haven't done anything for her, please get her a little gift and bring it Sunday or say a prayer for her today.

Psalm 55

1 Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
2 Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
3 My enemies shout at me,
making loud and wicked threats.
They bring trouble on me
and angrily hunt me down.

4 My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away
to the quiet of the wilderness.
Interlude

8 How quickly I would escape—
far from this wild storm of hatred.

9 Confuse them, Lord, and frustrate their plans,
for I see violence and conflict in the city.
10 Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city.
11 Everything is falling apart;
threats and cheating are rampant in the streets.

12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.

15 Let death stalk my enemies;
let the graveb]">[b] swallow them alive,
for evil makes its home within them.

16 But I will call on God,
and the Lord will rescue me.
17 Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
and the Lord hears my voice.
18 He ransoms me and keeps me safe
from the battle waged against me,
though many still oppose me.
19 God, who has ruled forever,
will hear me and humble them.
Interlude

For my enemies refuse to change their ways;
they do not fear God.

20 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
he broke his promises.
21 His words are as smooth as butter,
but in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!

22 Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

23 But you, O God, will send the wicked
down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
but I am trusting you to save me.


Thankful Thursday

What are you thankful for today? My mom received wonderful test results from a stress heart cath test she had taken a week and a half ago. She is heart defect free~ praise the Lord! From the big things to the little we shouldn't forget to give Him thanks. If you were to stand and give a testimony what would you have to say? Isn't it strange that sometimes we think and think but can't really come up with something to be thankful for? I think it's during those times that we need to step back more and to look even deeper. Did you wake this morning? Did you get up? Did you see the coffee maker as well as smell the coffee brewing? Yes, lets not only look at the big things in life to be thankful for, but also the small.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Psalm 54

1 Come with great power, O God, and rescue me!
Defend me with your might.
2 Listen to my prayer, O God.
Pay attention to my plea.
3 For strangers are attacking me;
violent people are trying to kill me.
They care nothing for God.
Interlude

4 But God is my helper.
The Lord keeps me alive!
5 May the evil plans of my enemies be turned against them.
Do as you promised and put an end to them.

6 I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you;
I will praise your name, O Lord,
for it is good.
7 For you have rescued me from my troubles

Let your Yes be Yes... And your No be No....

Is your yes yes and your no no? Are you indecisive? Do you make promises with intentions of not really following through~ in other words, saying yes when you really want to say no?

2 Cor 1:17-19 (NLT)

17 You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? 18 As surely as God is faithful, my word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas,a]">[a] Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

Today try to make a difference. If you mean yes, then say yes... but if you really mean no, then say so. There is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself or not wanting to do something for someone, but if you tell them yes when you really mean no, then you may be looked on as indecisive or as someone who can't be counted on. We should always be good to our word.


Disciplining Children ~ Are you too Hard?

Do you think you are ever too hard on disciplining your children? I'm not talking about children running out in the street and getting in trouble because of the danger of cars and traffic, I'm talking about suppression. Do you suppress who they are as people? Are they allowed to freely tell you their thoughts and feelings~ without rebuke from you, or do you tell them what they should think? There is a very fine line between discipline and domination.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm Here to Meet with You




I'm here to meet with you
come and meet with me
I'm here to find you
reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, you draw me to your arms
As I stand you come and sing your praise
You come, you come and you fill this place
Won't you come, Won't you come and fill this place

I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me
I'm here to find you,
reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, you draw me to your arms
As I stand you come and sing your praise
You come, you come and you fill this place
Won't you come, Won't you come and fill this place
Lord come Lord com eand fill this place

I'm here to meet with you
Come and meet with me

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ladies Night Out 7/20/10

I hope that you will come and join us July 20th for Ladies Night Out. Be at the church at 6:30 and we will drive together. This month we've decided to go to Highstreet Pizza. Come and have a great time fellowshiping with the ladies of our church.

Bring a friend!

How He Loves Us- Kim Walker



The opening line is "He is jealous for me".

Can God be jealous? Surely jealousy is a sin. So I decided to see what the Bible says:

"You must not have any other god but me. "You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. - Ex 20 v 3 - 5

Notice that God is jealous when someone gives to another something that rightly belongs to Him.

First place belongs to Him.
Our affection belongs to Him.
Our worship belongs to Him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

.. With a Heavy Heart...

I am heavy-hearted today as I know that my best friend is going to the funeral of her brother today at 2:00. I'm sad that she's so far away (Canada) and that I can't be there to comfort her.. but I know The Calmer of the wind and the rain.. and I know that He will be with her and her family today as they mourn.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Women's Bible Study: Esther 1

If you are in RUCC ladies Bible study, this Tuesday we will start on the first chapter of Esther. I wanted to make it available to read if you may be at work or away from your Bible.

The King’s Banquet
1 These events happened in the days of King Xerxes,a]">[a] who reigned over 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia.b]">[b] 2 At that time Xerxes ruled his empire from his royal throne at the fortress of Susa. 3 In the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. He invited all the military officers of Persia and Media as well as the princes and nobles of the provinces. 4 The celebration lasted 180 days—a tremendous display of the opulent wealth of his empire and the pomp and splendor of his majesty.

5 When it was all over, the king gave a banquet for all the people, from the greatest to the least, who were in the fortress of Susa. It lasted for seven days and was held in the courtyard of the palace garden. 6 The courtyard was beautifully decorated with white cotton curtains and blue hangings, which were fastened with white linen cords and purple ribbons to silver rings embedded in marble pillars. Gold and silver couches stood on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and other costly stones.

7 Drinks were served in gold goblets of many designs, and there was an abundance of royal wine, reflecting the king’s generosity. 8 By edict of the king, no limits were placed on the drinking, for the king had instructed all his palace officials to serve each man as much as he wanted.

9 At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

Queen Vashti Deposed
10 On the seventh day of the feast, when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas—11 to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. 12 But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger.

13 He immediately consulted with his wise advisers, who knew all the Persian laws and customs, for he always asked their advice. 14 The names of these men were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan—seven nobles of Persia and Media. They met with the king regularly and held the highest positions in the empire.

15 “What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders, properly sent through his eunuchs?”

16 Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. 17 Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. 18 Before this day is out, the wives of all the king’s nobles throughout Persia and Media will hear what the queen did and will start treating their husbands the same way. There will be no end to their contempt and anger.

19 “So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. 20 When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”

21 The king and his nobles thought this made good sense, so he followed Memucan’s counsel. 22 He sent letters to all parts of the empire, to each province in its own script and language, proclaiming that every man should be the ruler of his own home and should say whatever he pleases.c]">[c]


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Got Gossip?

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip goes around telling secrets,but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

Buying Your First Horse

The first step to horse ownership is learning to ride

Are you ready for a horse? In my opinion, if you are not yet a competent rider, the answer is "no." It is fairer and safer for both you and the horse to begin your horse career on a sensible lesson horse under good instruction. This is true for both adults and children. When you have ridden enough to feel comfortable and under control at walk, trot and canter, and to know this really is how you want to spend a good chunk of your leisure time, then is time enough to think about a horse of your own. Ask your instructor whether they think you are ready. If it’s your child who wants the horse, let them help clean tack, muck out stalls and otherwise experience the work involved with horses.

Horses are expensive and time-consuming

So you’re taking lessons. Can you afford a horse? The first thing to realize is that the purchase price is only the beginning and no, your first horse is not an investment. He has to eat 365 days a year. He’ll need a farrier to trim his feet every six to eight weeks, and depending on his feet and what kind of work he’s doing, possibly shoes which really add to the cost. He’ll need deworming every couple of months, yearly innoculations, and probably annual dental care. If he gets sick or injured, you’ll have extra vet bills as well. Then you’ll need to buy tack and equipment for your horse and proper riding clothes for yourself. And those lessons are more important than ever.

A horse is expensive and time-consuming, but so are other sports. If you know up front what you’re getting into, and you have sufficient disposable income on an ongoing basis, the return in terms of enjoyment and satisfaction far outweighs the cost. You’re not buying sports equipment, you’re buying guardianship of a companion for many years to come.

Always remember, though, that you don’t have to own your own horse to enjoy horseback riding. You can take lessons on school horses while you get to know your horsey neighbours and enjoy their horses. But if you are ready, there’s nothing like a horse of your own.

Finding a first horse

Allow plenty of time for your search. You will learn a lot about horses and yourself in the process and find a more suitable horse in the end. In the beginning, temperament and soundness are the most important considerations. Your ideal horse might be a gelding or a mare of any breed or colour.

Six Steps to Horse Ownership

1. Learn and practice horse skills.
2. Decide what you are looking for.
3. Line up prospects.
4. Interview potential candidates.
5. Get a second opinion.
6. Arrange a trial period if possible.

We've already talked about the first step and I can't stress its importance enough.

Decide what you're looking for

Next make a list of the characteristics of your ideal horse, including price. Bear in mind who will be riding and what kind of horse activities they'll be pursuing. Ask your instructor for advice. As you advance in your riding career, you'll become more specialized in your interests, but at this stage, you're probably looking for a horse you can enjoy on the trail, take some lessons on, and perhaps enter local open horse shows. No stallions. No babies.

The most important criteria are that he or she is well broke and sensible. That means you're looking for a horse who's been ridden regularly by a good rider for several years. This horse is at least six or seven years old and preferably much older. Many horses today lead active lives well into their twenties. Forget the two-year-old, no matter how quiet he or she is. If you or your child is going to jump, look for a horse with jumping experience. Look for a horse you can ride now, not one you hope to be able to ride a year from now. Be realistic about your current riding level. Nothing spoils the joy of riding faster than being over-mounted. You're looking for a horse who knows more than you do but is accepting enough to let you catch up and then go on learning together.

Line up prospects

Once you have your horse's job description and qualifications, you can start looking. Ask around about horses for sale, starting with your instructor. Check the classifieds. Read bulletin boards at tack stores and stables. Don't go to auctions. If a horse sounds promising, interview the owner on the phone. Make sure they know what kind of horse you're looking for. If the horse passes the phone test, round up a horse friend and go and have a look in person.

Interview prospective candidates

First, does the horse look healthy and well cared for? Then remember that you're looking at temperament, training and soundness. Watch the owner catch him, groom him, tack him up and ride him. Then ride him yourself if you feel confident. If you're nervous about riding this horse, walk away. Don't expect the horse to behave any better when you own him than he does right now. For your first few months together, he'll probably be worse.

Get a second opinion

If you like what you see, and at first you may fall in love with every horse, arrange a second visit. Take your instructor or another knowledgeable, objective horseperson with you and listen to their advice. If you decide to buy the horse, negotiate a trial period if at all possible. In any case, have a veterinarian check the horse for soundness before you hand over the check.

When you're ready for horse ownership, finding the right horse will make the difference between a long, happy relationship and frustration and possible injury. Enjoy the search, take your time and get professional advice.

Psalm 53

1 Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!

2 God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
3 But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.b]'>[b]
No one does good,
not a single one!


4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to God.
5 Terror will grip them,
terror like they have never known before.
God will scatter the bones of your enemies.
You will put them to shame, for God has rejected them.


6 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When God restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Psalm 52

1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?

2 Your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor,
you who practice deceit.

3 You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
Selah

4 You love every harmful word,
O you deceitful tongue!

5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
Selah

6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at him, saying,

7 "Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!"

8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love
for ever and ever.

9 I will praise you forever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Tomato Pie


Tomato Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 9-inch pie shell
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 leaves)*
  • 2 cups grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozarella)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the "cigar" crosswise in thin slices.

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pie shell in oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or longer until lightly golden. If you are starting with a frozen crust, you'll need to cook it a little longer. If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then line the crust with aluminum foil and pre-bake it for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

2 Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.

3 Sprinkle the bottom of the pre-cooked pie shell with chopped onion. Spread the chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.

4 In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snow ball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

5 Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.

Serves 6.


My First Stone

"Oil and perfume make the heart glad; so a man's counsel is sweet to his friend." Proverbs 27:9 (NAS)

"I got my first stone."

That was my announcement at a luncheon a few months ago with some of my favorite women. Patty has a gathering of her older friends at her home to celebrate various occasions, and this time it was Billie's birthday.

I happened to be the youngest woman at the luncheon, and I love listening to and learning from these seasoned and sage ladies. We discussed spiritual things, home d├ęcor, and of course, their grandchildren.

Then came the moment for my big contribution to the conversation: "I got my first stone."

There was an awkward pause.

I couldn't figure out why they were so shy to respond. Maybe they're unfamiliar with stones, I thought, and how much better they are than traditional baking sheets. Or maybe they don't know how much better a pizza crust turns out on a stone.

But my thoughts were interrupted by a brave older woman as she asked, "Honey, what kind of stone, kidney or gall?" I began to giggle.

"I meant the kind you bake with!" They all chuckled, and reminded me that the kinds of stones that came to mind during their stage of life had little to do with baking. Yet these geriatric gals knew their stuff, and quickly began to tutor me on the proper use of stones.

"Don't use soap on it," one instructed.

Oh, and if it breaks in your oven, the sound is awful so don't be alarmed," another advised.

Since I left that luncheon, I have never used or thought of my stone in quite the same way. But here's what I have thought. "Thank You, Lord, for women who walk together, talk together, do life together, cry together, grow together and laugh together."

Do you have someone in your life who makes your soul blossom? Scripture reminds us that "oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel" (Proverbs 27:9).

Your faith will continue to grow as you fasten yourself to faithful friends who give good counsel. Whether they instruct you about baking stones or lead you to the "rock that is higher" (Psalm 61:2), they will enrich your life. And, if you don't feel you have that kind of friend, become one. Someone needs a charming gardener to bring joy to their life. You have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, lean on him, he will never leave or forsake you.

"Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around — what splendid friends they make!" (Psalm 16:1-3, The Message).

Dear Lord, help me to become the kind of friend to other that I long to have. May my friendship with Jesus make me secure and wise and equip me to receive and be the kind of friend who glorifies You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.