Sunday, October 31, 2010

God Makes Everything Beautiful


Crossroads Ministries Harvest Party



Today we had our harvest party right after church.  Several people brought horses to ride and there were also two big pulling teams to pull wagons for people in ride in.  Being a horse lover, I couldn't help but drool over the matching huge Belgian pair of draft horses with feet the size of dinner plates, nor the pair of dark dappled palomino horses!  We built a fire early before services since it was a bit cool outside and put the coffee on to start perking.  I spent a lot of time when I wasn't busy helping making sure that the fire stayed stoked... okay, and staying warm!  :-)  McGee Creek Park is beautiful this time of year!  During the service Mitch and I did a session on how being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.  The kids loved it and many adults said that they loved it too. After service we stuffed ourselves with chili dogs and the works.  We had mild chili and "wild" chili which went over like gang busters.  All in all it was a perfect day.  The weather warmed up and it was beautiful outside. 

Thank you Lord, for great times, close friends, love, friendship and laughter!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lou's Cash?

When I was quite a bit younger my dad was stationed overseas in England.  We attended Fordham Congregational Church~ which was off base in a little community.  I remember hearing every Sunday morning during announcements~ something about "Lou's cash."  Finally one Sunday after church I asked my parents "Who is Lou?"  They both looked at each other.  I said "You know, Lou... they tell us every Sunday morning how much cash he brings...  Why do they announce his offering and no one else's?"  When my parents figured out what I was trying to say they had quite a giggle.  Turns out, when the announcements were being made, they were announcing the dollars and "loose cash" given in the offering each Sunday before.  It's funny what we sometimes hear when we think we are listening.  The words in our mouths may come out right on our end, but others may not "hear" the same thing.  We should be very careful with what we say so as to not mislead someone unintentionally.

Remember the children's song "Be careful little eyes what you see?"


Two of the verses say:

Be careful little mouth what you say..
Be careful little mouth what you say..
For the Father above, is looking down in love, oh be careful little mouth what you say

Be careful little ears what you hear..
Be careful little ears what you hear..
For the Father above, is looking down in love, oh be careful little ears what you hear

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Music/Carols

Okay, this subject keeps coming up in my life each year around Christmas.  I love Christmas music, love that time of year and LOVE EVERYTHING about it.... so I want you to know, YES I love Christmas music!  The question is, do you?  My daughter says she'd be happy if she never heard another Christmas song~!  I must have raised her wrong, er... or I played a lot little too much Christmas music when she was younger.  Truthfully, I could listen to it all year... but don't.  I love everything from the simplest of jingles to the most wonderful praise songs about the birth of our Savior... and don't forget the old hymns!  They are some of the best!

So.. come on... do you love it too?

Wa Wa Wa...


Have you met someone who is "busy" all the time?  They don't have time in the day for anything "because they are running to do this, running to do that, needed for this, needed for that, they need more hours in their day, they don't hardly sleep" etc.... ?  After while all I hear is the wa-wa-wa of Charlie Brown's teacher. Don't you think that we have a choice in our busy-ness?  We should put God first, our families second and all other things third.  If our relationship with God or our family are lacking due to anything thing else that is in our lives, we are doing something wrong.  Start saying no.  Don't apologize, just tell the truth.  "I cannot work on the children's committee because I need to spend time at home with my family this weekend."  Practice out loud..get used to hearing yourself say no.  Then take steps to purposefully slow your life down.  I don't believe that God ever intended us to be near as busy as we are today.  What do you think?
Zachery, Anna and Eric had pictures taken recently.  These are just a couple of samples from Lauren Ashley's studio.  I love them!  I'm looking forward to seeing the rest!  Wedding plans are in full force. My project now is getting a list of names and addresses together for wedding invitations!

Twenty-Seven

Genesis 23:1  [ The Death of Sarah ] Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.

Psalm 96

 1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
       sing to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
       proclaim his salvation day after day.
 3 Declare his glory among the nations,
       his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
 4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
       he is to be feared above all gods.
 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
       but the LORD made the heavens.
 6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
       strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
       ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
 8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
       bring an offering and come into his courts.
 9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness;
       tremble before him, all the earth.
 10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
       The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
       he will judge the peoples with equity.
 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
       let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
 12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
       Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
 13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
       he comes to judge the earth.
       He will judge the world in righteousness
       and the peoples in his truth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Legos in Heaven?

Is Heaven built out of Legos?  No, of course not, but try telling my subconscious that!  Last night I had another strange dream... and I won't go into it for fear that you will think I've lost my marbles!  I'm not sure why all of a sudden I am having bright, colorful dreams.  I've always been one to remember on very rare ocassion something that I've dreamed.  While my husband would be dreaming in living color each night I would go to bed and wake having dreamed nothing~ or at least not remembering anything.  Now, after years of my REM brain not remembering anything, I'm not only dreaming but dreaming several dreams a night and crazy stuff at that.  Most of my rare dreams have been very common place and normal... nothing out of the ordinary.  Not so lately!  I'm not so sure, but  it may have to do with the refilling of my progesterone cream.  Do you think they added something else to the mix? :-)

Psalm 95

 1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
       let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
       and extol him with music and song.
 3 For the LORD is the great God,
       the great King above all gods.
 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
       and the mountain peaks belong to him.
 5 The sea is his, for he made it,
       and his hands formed the dry land.
 6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
       let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
 7 for he is our God
       and we are the people of his pasture,
       the flock under his care.
       Today, if you hear his voice,
 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, [a]
       as you did that day at Massah [b] in the desert,
 9 where your fathers tested and tried me,
       though they had seen what I did.
 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
       I said, "They are a people whose hearts go astray,
       and they have not known my ways."
 11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
       "They shall never enter my rest."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Twenty-Five

Judges 20:46  On that day, twenty-five thousand Benjamite swordsmen fell, all of them valiant fighters.

7:099

My dream~

I turned over and looked at the clock in a dream state this morning... and it showed 7:099.  I turned over, completely happy with this time in my mind as I drifted back off to sleep.  My subconscious must have been thinking about it while I was dozing because somewhere in my thoughts it occurred to me that 7:099 wasn't right at all, it wasn't possible, it didn't make sense.  I turned back over and looked at the clock again and it said 7:20.  I went back to sleep.  In my second dream I was walking into a Hardy's fast food place to go to a birthday party.  A bunch of military men were sitting in several booths and tables.  I had nothing to do with them, and they had nothing to do with me.  As I walked by I noticed them.  (They were in a dessert brown color~ no camo)  Then at the birthday party there was cake and ice cream.... Then, things changed and I was watching a recording that my best friend had taken of herself and workers at the Hardy's fast food place all singing a jingle together.  THEN, the next thing I knew was that I was a worker at that place.  I had worked several days and at the end of each day my employer would pay me at the end of each shift.  After working one night I was standing with co-workers around the boss who was handing out money paying everyone out of a cash drawer.  When it came to my turn he didn't have any twenties and told me he would have to pay me later.  I agreed...I hopped in my car and drove home.  When I was almost to the house I remember thinking that my boss and I hadn't wrote anything down and that he may not pay me the next day like he said he would... and try to make me look like I was talking about something that wasn't true. 

I know this is jumbled.  Silly... crazy... weird.  But, I wanted to write it all down so that I wouldn't forget any of it.  I'm not sure what this dream may mean.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SONday @ Crossroads Ministries

This morning it was wonderful to meet with my church family~ to see smiling faces... to sing... to drink coffee and eat blueberry muffins... to hear the word of God and then after church to go to the park beach for another baptism. God is really moving in our church. His mercies are new every Sunday. This is our sixth Sunday and already many lives are being touched in this small community. People are coming from quite far to worship with us.... and it's just amazing.

Join us on the 30th for a Harvest Party weenie roast~ we will have two wagons (mules and horses) to pull the kids around, games, lots of food, laughter and fun!

Thank You Lord... It's ALL about You! You use the weak to confound the wise!

Be Nice to me, I Gave Blood Today

Have you given blood before? Yesterday my family and I went on an outing and I was asked to donate blood at a bloodmobile and I did. The last time I had given blood was in 1995. At that time when I gave blood it made me feel terrible. Just as the blood started to flow I felt as if I had gone off the top of a roller-coaster. My stomach flipped, I felt dizzy and weak and I thought all the blood had drained from my face. It scared me. They made me lay back and uncross my feet. Afterwords I was asked to sit at the snack table longer than usual. They wanted me to completely drink several glasses of juice and eat some cookies. It took me a while that day to get recover. Since that time, I've not given blood for fear that I would have the same experience. Yesterday they kept assuring me I should be okay. I filled out all my paperwork, answered all the questions, passed the blood pressure and iron test.... and walked wearily back to lay down on the bed. I was told I could lay on either side being as I had "great" veins in both arms. I decided to go with my left arm. When they told me to squeeze the stress ball every three to five seconds I did... but very slowly at first. And, not very hard. I was worried that if I started out too fast that I'd be off of that roller-coaster again. As I laid there I prayed that I would feel okay and that all would go well....... and it did. In about a weeks time I should receive something in the mail telling me about my blood~ cholesterol and everything. I know that I'm type B+ and that only 8 1/2 people in 100 have my blood-type. I'm thankful for the opportunity. I just might do it again.....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Amazing Grace

My chains are gone, I've been set free.  My God my Savior, has ransomed me.  And, like a flood His mercy reins.  Unending love, amazing grace.

Conversation with my daughter who is home from college on Fall Break:

Daughter:  "Mom, I think I'm just now realizing what grace is."

Me:  "Really?  Why do you say that?"

Daughter:  "Because the more I study daily, the more it's being opened to me in my mind and heart."

Me:  "Yes, for me undestanding grace comes when I realize it's not by what I've done, but by what He's done.... When I realize that it's unconditional.... When I realize like the virgin birth, it's something that is so, even though I don't fully comprehend it...

Daughter: (With tears in her eyes) "I really am...... I just starting to understand it."

Friday, October 22, 2010

So Glad it's Friday

I'm at work today and it's very slow.  Not only is it the end of the month where this type of business nearly shuts down, but it's Fall Break here and everyone is out of town or has family down. 

Tomorrow we are going to the first annual Big Foot Festivle.  Yes, you read that right~ Big Foot!  Then from there we are on our way to a shrimp boil being given by some close friends of ours that we went to Cowboy Church in Wilburton with.  Tomorrow should be a fun-filled day~ as long as it doesn't rain!

My daughter who is down from college is napping on the shop couch.  It's SO quiet in here!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

Isaiah 32:17  The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

Spicy Chipotle Chocolate Cake

For the Cake

2 sticks butter, unsalted

10 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

5 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

3/8 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp chipotle chile powder

For Frosting

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

6 oz nutella

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/3 cup milk, plus extra as needed


Bake the Cake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment. Set aside.

Place butter into a saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter, stirring occasionally. Do not brown. Once the butter has completely melted, add the chocolate chips. Stir over medium heat until all chocolate has melted. Do not burn chocolate. Remove from heat.

While the butter and chocolate are melting, add the eggs, brown and granulated sugars to a large mixing bowl. Beat until the sugar has completely dissolved into the eggs and the mixture begins to thicken.

In a separate bowl, sift together the salt, flour, baking powder & chipotle chile powder. Add the sifted ingredients to the egg mixture. Fold the flour in until just incorporated. Slowly pour the melted chocolate-butter mixture into the batter, folding while pouring to incorporate.

Once the all the ingredients have been completely incorporated, pour half of the batter into each of the two greased, lined cake pans. Place the pans into the upper third of a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes until the cake has just set and a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. (If it comes out with any gooey batter, let the cake bake longer, as needed.) Remove the cakes from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 2 hours before building the cake. Once cooled, cakes may be covered and stored at room temperature for a day before finishing.

While the cake is cooling, Make the Frosting:

Add the cream cheese and nutella into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric beat or cream with a rubber spatula until light and fluffy. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add the milk then then gently beat to incorporate, trying not to splatter milk and powdered ingredients all over the kitchen! Beat until all ingredients are fully incorporated and the frosting is light and fluffy. Cover and set aside until ready to frost the cake.

Finish the Cake:

When ready to assemble the cake, slide a knife around the outside of the cakes to loosen. Place your choice of serving dish upside down over one of the cake pans. Flip the cake pan over (so the serving dish is underneath the cake, right side up) and gently turn out the cake from the pan. Carefully peel away the parchment paper.

Using strips of parchment paper, line the base of the cake, tucking strips of parchment just underneath the base all the way around.

Place 1/3 of the frosting on to the middle of the cake. Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cake. Carefully remove the second cake from the pan and gently place cake, parchment side up, onto the frosted layer. Peel the parchment paper off of the top layer.

Evenly frost the top and sides of the cake using the rest of the frosting. Once The cake is fully frosted remove the parchment strips lining the base of the cake. Serve and enjoy! The cake may be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, refrigerate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Psalm 94

1 O LORD, the God who avenges,


O God who avenges, shine forth.

2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;

pay back to the proud what they deserve.

3 How long will the wicked, O LORD,

how long will the wicked be jubilant?

4 They pour out arrogant words;

all the evildoers are full of boasting.

5 They crush your people, O LORD;

they oppress your inheritance.

6 They slay the widow and the alien;

they murder the fatherless.

7 They say, "The LORD does not see;

the God of Jacob pays no heed."

8 Take heed, you senseless ones among the people;

you fools, when will you become wise?

9 Does he who implanted the ear not hear?

Does he who formed the eye not see?

10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?

Does he who teaches man lack knowledge?

11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man;

he knows that they are futile.

12 Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD,

the man you teach from your law;

13 you grant him relief from days of trouble,

till a pit is dug for the wicked.

14 For the LORD will not reject his people;

he will never forsake his inheritance.

15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,

and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?

Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?

17 Unless the LORD had given me help,

I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.

18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"

your love, O LORD, supported me.

19 When anxiety was great within me,

your consolation brought joy to my soul.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—

one that brings on misery by its decrees?

21 They band together against the righteous

and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the LORD has become my fortress,

and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins

and destroy them for their wickedness;

the LORD our God will destroy them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spiritual Gifts Test

I just took a test for Spiritual Gifts today.  I know it's not all conclusive, but still, it was interestesting nonetheless.

My results showed that my gifts were in:

Exortation 100%
Discernment 100%
Teacher 89%
Hospitality 89%
Evangelist 89%
Wisdom 78%

Care to share your gifts?

Spiritual Gifts Test

Revelation 1

This week we are on the second half of chapter one in the book of Revelation

 9I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."
 12I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man,"[b]dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
 19"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[c] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Psalm 93

 1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
       the LORD is robed in majesty
       and is armed with strength.
       The world is firmly established;
       it cannot be moved.
 2 Your throne was established long ago;
       you are from all eternity.
 3 The seas have lifted up, O LORD,
       the seas have lifted up their voice;
       the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
 4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
       mightier than the breakers of the sea—
       the LORD on high is mighty.
 5 Your statutes stand firm;
       holiness adorns your house
       for endless days, O LORD.

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for fall weather.... Thankful for the *slight* coolness in the air.... for the crisp leaves and the fresh smelling air.  I'm thankful for the relief that it gives to not only my body, but my life.  I tend to start to hibernate towards the end of the year.  It won't be long and it will be too cold to do things outside.  That's when we (or at least I) start to slow down my life.  I tend to want to stay in the kitchen more this time of year cooking and baking.  I want to just "hunker down" (that's a southeastern Oklahoma term) with a book and a blanket in the evenings.  For the beginning of this time of year I am thankful.  I used to be a summer girl... I loved all things warm and hot.  Being cold natured it's been hard staying warm most of my life! ;-)  But, the fall has always held a dear place for me in my heart.  So, this morning I tip my Pumpkin Spice coffee cup to you with a cheer to this fall time of year!

Sister Wives

Sister Wives.  I just caught a glimpse of this show on TV the other night.  Can you imagine?  Four women being married to the same man with 15 children between them?  I know that God allowed polygamy in bible days to increase the population and such... but what about today? When did God tell us in the bible to stop marrying like this?  I'm not saying I am for this, I'm just sparking conversation.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkins and Christians

A woman was asked by a co-worker,
 "What is it like to be a Christian?"

The co-worker replied,
"It is like being a pumpkin.
God picks you from the patch,
brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.
Then he cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.
He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.,
and then He carves you a new smiling face
and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
God's Light

Turtle Caramel Corn


This is a take on one of my favorite candies, turtles. I love the combo of chocolate, pecans, and caramel. You can skip adding the extra caramel pieces if you like since it technically is caramel corn, but it’s me and I have to add more calories to things whenever possible.You want to hold out adding the caramel and chocolate till the end so they don’t get too hard. This is a nice take on caramel corn.


Turtle Caramel Corn

16 cups popped popcorn (I use the 94% fat free Kettle Corn…it has a nice salty sweet base)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (if can’t find use corn syrup)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
16 caramels, unwrapped, and chopped into four pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped unsalted pecans

Preheat oven to 250F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl (the largest you have in the house) combine the popcorn and nuts. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, sugars, golden syrup, lemon juice and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugars melt together.
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil gently until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (300F on a candy thermometer) 6-9 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and the baking soda. They syrup with bubbles and foam with the baking soda is added, simply stir until it subsides.
Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon until a caramel glaze completely coast all the popped corn and nuts.
Divide the caramel corn between the prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir and flip (I use a heat proof spatula) the caramel corn. Bake for another 20 minutes. Do the same again. This time before putting in oven, sprinkle in caramel pieces and chocolate chips. Make sure that they are on the corn and not the pan. Place into oven for another 10 minutes.
Let caramel corn cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container for up to a week.


Suicide

Three months ago my best friend's brother committed suicide.  She took two weeks off of work~ to settle funeral arrangements and to try to heal.  Yesterday she went to her family doctor again because at this mark in her journey she is just now coming out of the shock of it all and she's really starting to see things as they are. She's had a lot of tears and thoughts that won't leave her alone.  Her doctor has taken her off of work for another month.  During this time she will be attending grief counseling and drawing close to God.  I cannot understand what she is going through, but I know that I want to be all she needs ~other than God~ as she's going through this awful time in her life.  I pray that Jesus sends His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to touch her and heal her inside and out.  If you would take a moment and remember her for me in prayer, I would be so thankful.

Dating Jesus

Are you married to Jesus or just dating Him?  When we are dating people we are not responsible for anyone else... we can spend our money the way we want, do the things we want, eat what we want, go where we want..  But, when we are married we have agreed to take someone else's name...  We have agreed that we will longer go and do all the things that we want because someone else is involved.  We are committed to them.  Are you that way with Jesus?  Do you know Him but merely do whatever you want, or are you married to Him, devoted to Him to do his will ~ and not yours?

Psalm 92

 1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
      to sing praises to the Most High.
 2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
      your faithfulness in the evening,
 3 accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
      and the melody of the lyre.
 4 You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
      I sing for joy because of what you have done.
 5 O Lord, what great works you do!
      And how deep are your thoughts.
 6 Only a simpleton would not know,
      and only a fool would not understand this:
 7 Though the wicked sprout like weeds
      and evildoers flourish,
      they will be destroyed forever.
 8 But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.
 9 Your enemies, Lord, will surely perish;
      all evildoers will be scattered.
 10 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
      You have anointed me with the finest oil.
 11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
      my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
 12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
      and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
 13 For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
      They flourish in the courts of our God.
 14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
      they will remain vital and green.
 15 They will declare, “The Lord is just!
      He is my rock!
      There is no evil in him!”

Monday, October 18, 2010

Psalm 91

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.
 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
 11 For he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
 12 They will hold you up with their hands
      so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
      you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
      I will protect those who trust in my name.
 15 When they call on me, I will answer;
      I will be with them in trouble.
      I will rescue and honor them.
 16 I will reward them with a long life
      and give them my salvation.”

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Reviews

I am a huge reader.  Most of the time I'm dragging a book around at my hip.  There's not a place that I've been that I haven't taken a book to read.  I am going to start giving some personal reviews on books that I've read.  I hope that you will join me.

Some of my favorite authors are:

Beverly Lewis
Jodi Picoult
Francine Rivers
Karen Kingsbury (It's been a while since I've read some of her stuff)
Max Lucado
Joyce Meyer
Terri Blackstock
Janette Oke
Beth Moore
Jan Karon

To name a few.... I like everything really...

What do you like to read?

Cold Hands Warm Heart?

I remember as a very young girl my mom dressing me.  I would all the time be jumping around and giggling because her hands were always so cold!  Now, as an adult I have aquired her cold hands. When I'm in a group of people who hold hands to pray or anything else- someone always comments about how cold my hands are (while I was thinking how warm theirs were!).  I've heard over and over about how I must have a kind heart because my hands are always so cold!

Here's what I found on the subject:

Cold hands, warm heart

Meaning: A cool, reserved exterior may hide a kind heart.

In cold weather, blood goes away from the hands and feet to protect the brain and main part of the body. Then your hands will be cold but your heart will be warm.

You Are Special - Max Lucado

Friday Five

1.  I'm so glad it's Friday!  My oldest son is coming down this weekend.  I'll be making ribs and mashed potatoes with gravy~ one of his favorites.

2.  The weather in the day has been beautiful.  A bit cool in the mornings for me at 41 degrees  (I know, I'm a baby!)~ but beautiful nonetheless!  I'm wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a sweater this morning... and my hands are still cold!

3.  I received a bunch of banana's.  I've frozen several freezer bags about full~ maybe approx. 18 bananas.... now what to do with them?  I don't want to make banana bread, cake or muffins.  My family just won't eat them... Maybe because those are the things that I've made over and over the past couple of months?

4.  I am trying today to make an effort to eat healthier.  I've been eating quite a bit of junk including Candy Corn mixed with salted peanuts.  Ugh... I could eat that stuff all day long and then skip supper!  I need to start eating more fruits.  I'm a pretty good vegetable eater, but fruits are harder for me.  I have to do it purposefully.

5.  Everyone is coming to our house for Thanksgiving this year.  We may have just over 20 people.  I'm really excited.  I am going to be making the (Martha Stewart brine) turkey, dressing and  corn pudding.  Everyone else is bringing sides or desserts.  Instead of fancy plates and silverware, we are getting paper and plastic to make clean up faster and easier.

Psalm 90

 1 Lord, through all the generations
      you have been our home!
 2 Before the mountains were born,
      before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
      from beginning to end, you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying,
      “Return to dust, you mortals!”
 4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
      as brief as a few night hours.
 5 You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.
      They are like grass that springs up in the morning.
 6 In the morning it blooms and flourishes,
      but by evening it is dry and withered.
 7 We wither beneath your anger;
      we are overwhelmed by your fury.
 8 You spread out our sins before you—
      our secret sins—and you see them all.
 9 We live our lives beneath your wrath,
      ending our years with a groan.
 10 Seventy years are given to us!
      Some even live to eighty.
   But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;
      soon they disappear, and we fly away.
 11 Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
      Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.
 12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
      so that we may grow in wisdom.
 13 O Lord, come back to us!
      How long will you delay?
      Take pity on your servants!
 14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,
      so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.
 15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!
      Replace the evil years with good.
 16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;
      let our children see your glory.
 17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval
      and make our efforts successful.
      Yes, make our efforts successful!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do You Hate Sin?

"For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin." Psalm 36:2 (NIV)

Recently, a publicity firm invited a group of editors of Christian publications to preview a Hollywood film. The film producers were looking to get the message of this film into churches and wanted feedback from people like me in Christian publishing.

The movie was dark, with a theme of unresolved guilt. Sadly, that guilt consumed the main character all his life, until he became a bitter old man. After we viewed the movie, the publicists turned on the lights and led a discussion. Basically, they wanted to know if we would recommend the movie to pastors. I stayed out of the conversation, because I'm a Pollyanna when it comes to movies. I like them happy and with a predictable ending. I know that's not very high-brow, but it's the truth.

However, the ensuing conversation intrigued me. Some people thought the movie was rich with important themes. They believed it would provoke thoughtful discussion. Others couldn't get past the language, and would never recommend it. One woman shared her opinion on the language with eloquence and passion.

She would never recommend it, she said, because of several instances of taking the Lord's name in vain. She defended her position by saying that too many people minimize sin. In fact, she explained, the film violated one of the Ten Commandments, to not misuse the Lord's name (Exodus 20:7).

The conversation continued with the challenge of relating to people without violating any of our beliefs. Our time together ended, and a few people got up to leave, including the woman who spoke against the movie. After she left however, another conversation began when a college-aged woman spoke up.

"My friends and I would never be bothered by the misuse of God's name," she said. "But we should." We sat in silence digesting her words.

That comment plays and replays in my mind. The honesty of that young woman touched me, as she identified a serious problem among those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus: we tolerate sin. In fact, at times we even re-label it as "normal." I know there's a fine line between being in the culture but not of the culture. But that's not the root of this issue.

That young woman identified the real source: our hearts. We are going to be around sin until we get to heaven. Sin is woven in our human fiber. That's not the issue. The issue is what I think about it. Do I hate anything that sets itself up against God or His character? Do I hate sin?

I guess there's a part of me that shies away from the word "hate." I've taught my children not to use it, and I guard my own thoughts and tongue. Yet in doing so I've tamed my response to something that separates me from God. I've weakened my response and dulled my senses to that which God hates. He hates it because it takes me away from Him. And He loves me…and He loves you.

Call it old-school religion, but it's time for me to reexamine my response to that which God hates. It's time to settle in my heart whose side I'm on. It's time to decide if I will ignore or hate sin. Yep. It's time.

Dear Heavenly Father, break my heart with the things that break Yours. Remove from me any tolerance for the things that oppose You. You are holy and righteous and worthy of any sacrifice I might offer. Forgive me for tolerating the thing that caused the death of my beloved Savior, Jesus. In His Name and for His sake, Amen.

Take Everything ~ Seventh Day Slumber



REALLY READ THESE LYRICS.  They are potent!

Another melody
Another empty song
I tell myself that
I have praised you
And try and make believe
This is all you want
But once again
I know I’ve missed it
Praising you is not just the songs I sing
Jesus here I am
Take everything

Chorus:
Take the pain inside
Take the brokenness
Don’t stop til there’s nothing left
My arrogance
My pride
The loss of innocence
Jesus, take everything

(Repeat Verse 1/Chorus)

Bridge:
There’s nothing left I need
That’s when I feel alive
Holy Spirit fall
Fresh upon me
You can have it all

Martha

She comes in the shop each month, sometimes several times a month, to pay her bills.  Her face is always drawn, angry looking and sad.  Her stance says that she doesn't want anyone messing with her.  Once when she was here, a man tried to talk and joke with her while waiting in line and she thought he was coming on to her.  It was all completely innocent.  When he left she told me, using a few choice words, that she didn't know him and that he had no right to be talking to her.  Later than day she came back in the shop and sat across from me and apologized for her language earlier.  She told me that she was an old army nurse and that ocassionaly that words flew out of her mouth when she didn't want them to.  I thanked her and she was on her way.  When she first started coming in she complained a lot about a certain bill and I always had some troubles with her~ but I always kept smiling and being nice.  Which I think really bothered her.  I wouldn't let her rattle me.  Her face was always so stern.  The past month or two though, I'm seeing small changes.  She acts like she's glad to see me, even though she doesn't smile.... I always validate her as a person and listen to her talk about her son who is in Afganastan.... and about the divorce she is starting to go through... For several days recently I listened to Charles Stanely talk about anger and how it affects us and our lives.  How it affects us inside and all kinds of things.  There are many in the world who choose to hold on to anger because it's all they have~ it makes them who they are.  If they give it up, what do they have?  When we fill that hole with Jesus He helps us.  Becoming a Christian doesn't make the anger disappear overnight... but God has so many wonderful promises in His Word about anger and what we can do to control it... with His help.

God hasn't allowed me to release the thought of Martha lately...

Lord, watch over Martha today.  Wherever she is at at this moment, whatever she is doing please bring peace on her soul.  Let her know that when she comes in this shop she is loved... that there is a peace here.  Watch over her son and her marriage.  Relax her body, her face, her mind today.... Help her to feel refreshed.  Bring someone to her that can pray with her... and most of all, if she doesn't know You,  I ask that you woo her spirit to know that she needs you.  Keep her safe... keep her in Your care... Amen

Psalm 89

1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
      Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.
 2 Your unfailing love will last forever.
      Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.
 3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant.
      I have sworn this oath to him:
 4 ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever;
      they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’”
                         Interlude

 5 All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord;
      myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness.
 6 For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord?
      What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord?
 7 The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.
      He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.
 8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!
      Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord?
      You are entirely faithful.
 9 You rule the oceans.
      You subdue their storm-tossed waves.
 10 You crushed the great sea monster.[b]
      You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
 11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours;
      everything in the world is yours—you created it all.
 12 You created north and south.
      Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name.
 13 Powerful is your arm!
      Strong is your hand!
      Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength.
 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.
      Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.
 15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship,
      for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
 16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
      They exult in your righteousness.
 17 You are their glorious strength.
      It pleases you to make us strong.
 18 Yes, our protection comes from the Lord,
      and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
 19 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
   You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
      I have selected him from the common people to be king.
 20 I have found my servant David.
      I have anointed him with my holy oil.
 21 I will steady him with my hand;
      with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
 22 His enemies will not defeat him,
      nor will the wicked overpower him.
 23 I will beat down his adversaries before him
      and destroy those who hate him.
 24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
      and by my authority he will grow in power.
 25 I will extend his rule over the sea,
      his dominion over the rivers.
 26 And he will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
      my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
 27 I will make him my firstborn son,
      the mightiest king on earth.
 28 I will love him and be kind to him forever;
      my covenant with him will never end.
 29 I will preserve an heir for him;
      his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven.
 30 But if his descendants forsake my instructions
      and fail to obey my regulations,
 31 if they do not obey my decrees
      and fail to keep my commands,
 32 then I will punish their sin with the rod,
      and their disobedience with beating.
 33 But I will never stop loving him
      nor fail to keep my promise to him.
 34 No, I will not break my covenant;
      I will not take back a single word I said.
 35 I have sworn an oath to David,
      and in my holiness I cannot lie:
 36 His dynasty will go on forever;
      his kingdom will endure as the sun.
 37 It will be as eternal as the moon,
      my faithful witness in the sky!”
                         Interlude
 38 But now you have rejected him and cast him off.
      You are angry with your anointed king.
 39 You have renounced your covenant with him;
      you have thrown his crown in the dust.
 40 You have broken down the walls protecting him
      and ruined every fort defending him.
 41 Everyone who comes along has robbed him,
      and he has become a joke to his neighbors.
 42 You have strengthened his enemies
      and made them all rejoice.
 43 You have made his sword useless
      and refused to help him in battle.
 44 You have ended his splendor
      and overturned his throne.
 45 You have made him old before his time
      and publicly disgraced him.
                         Interlude
 46 O Lord, how long will this go on?
      Will you hide yourself forever?
      How long will your anger burn like fire?
 47 Remember how short my life is,
      how empty and futile this human existence!
 48 No one can live forever; all will die.
      No one can escape the power of the grave.[c]
                         Interlude
 49 Lord, where is your unfailing love?
      You promised it to David with a faithful pledge.
 50 Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced!
      I carry in my heart the insults of so many people.
 51 Your enemies have mocked me, O Lord;
      they mock your anointed king wherever he goes.
 52 Praise the Lord forever!
      Amen and amen!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beth Moore Study ~Here and Now - There and Then

I'm starting a new bible study: Here and Now - There and Then by Beth Moore. I'm so excited!


Here and Now...There and Then by Beth Moore is an 11-session lecture series on the book of Revelation. Beth presents many points of view, allowing women to decide for themselves when the interpretation varies among scholars. She teaches that God is as specific about what He does reveal as He is about what He does not reveal.

Women's Ministry Harmony

My hearts desire is to teach women.  No, I haven't arrived, in fact, I'm far from it.  I desire it and I know that God has put it in my heart.  I've attended so many different ladies classes over the years and have been involved in many seminars, concerts and retreats.  The last church that my parents went to had a huge ladies group.  The neat part was that within the group after the main leader, the many branches broke down to certain ministries; benevolence, holiday, nursery, young married, golden oldies etc.  Each leader had their own certain parts that played into and the result was a beautiful harmony.  Like clock-work everyone did what they needed to do.  What always amazed me was that all of those women *wanted * to be doing what they were doing.  No one had to entice, beg or plead for them to become involved or to do something.  At yet another church all the luncheon gatherings were beautiful because there were women who showed up early just to decorate and make the events special.  It takes a lot of people walking in their God-given talents to make a ministry work like it should.  Are you doing every part that you can to help the ministry you are in to be successful?