Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve!

I just wanted to stop in and wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your family and friends... and food!  God bless you and yours!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friendships of Women

Thanksgiving Traditions

I read someones comment on a blog this morning that really has me thinking.  While I know that not everyone is like my family, it still amazes me that there are those that really don't celebrate Thanksgiving.  I'm not saying that they are wrong not to~ maybe they just don't like turkey, or they didn't grow up doing anything special on Thanksgiving Day.  For me and my family, we always made Thanksgiving a big deal.  Being a military brat, there were years when it was just my mom and dad and sister and I at our Thanksgiving table.  I remember always having a big turkey and the the "fixin's."  I wouldn't give up those memories for anything.  When my dad retired we were able to have Thanksgiving with family.  The more the merrier!  Then, when I married we took turns with our families by switching Thanksgiving and Christmas each year.  It doesn't matter which household I am in... the kitchen is filled with women from daybreak.  Wonderful smells are wafting through the house and the men are gathered in the living room talking~ with the exception of my dad who likes to help make stuffing! :-)  People are coming in and out the door... children are everywhere... laughter and voices fill the house...  then there is FOOD.... and I do mean, F O O D.  Both sides of the family bake and cook like you wouldn't believe.  On my side, my mom and dad put the turkey in the oven around 4 a.m.! .... dad always wants to make sure we have jelled "whole" cranberries...  On my husbands side the ladies cook all day and sometimes we don't eat until 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon!  Either way, it's ALL GOOD.  (When I just typed in "all good" it at first came out "all God." ~ A typo yes, but isn't that what it all is REALLY about?)

I am so thankful to God.. for Who He is in my life... and for the family and friends that He has provided for me.

I'm not sure how much I may be on the next couple of days, if at all.  I want to wish each and everyone of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  God bless you and your families~!

Psalm 107

 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
      His faithful love endures forever.
 2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
      Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
 3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
      from east and west,
      from north and south.  4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
      lost and homeless.
 5 Hungry and thirsty,
      they nearly died.
 6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he rescued them from their distress.
 7 He led them straight to safety,
      to a city where they could live.
 8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
      and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
 9 For he satisfies the thirsty
      and fills the hungry with good things.
 10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
      imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
 11 They rebelled against the words of God,
      scorning the counsel of the Most High.
 12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
      they fell, and no one was there to help them.
 13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he saved them from their distress.
 14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
      he snapped their chains.
 15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
      and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
 16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
      he cut apart their bars of iron.
 17 Some were fools; they rebelled
      and suffered for their sins.
 18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
      and they were knocking on death’s door.
 19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he saved them from their distress.
 20 He sent out his word and healed them,
      snatching them from the door of death.
 21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
      and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
 22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
      and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.
 23 Some went off to sea in ships,
      plying the trade routes of the world.
 24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
      his impressive works on the deepest seas.
 25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
      stirring up the waves.
 26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
      and plunged again to the depths;
      the sailors cringed in terror.
 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
      and were at their wits’ end.
 28 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he saved them from their distress.
 29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
      and stilled the waves.
 30 What a blessing was that stillness
      as he brought them safely into harbor!
 31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
      and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
 32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
      and before the leaders of the nation.
 33 He changes rivers into deserts,
      and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
 34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands,
      because of the wickedness of those who live there.
 35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water,
      the dry land into springs of water.
 36 He brings the hungry to settle there
      and to build their cities.
 37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards,
      and harvest their bumper crops.
 38 How he blesses them!
      They raise large families there,
      and their herds of livestock increase.
 39 When they decrease in number and become impoverished
      through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
 40 the Lord pours contempt on their princes,
      causing them to wander in trackless wastelands.
 41 But he rescues the poor from trouble
      and increases their families like flocks of sheep.
 42 The godly will see these things and be glad,
      while the wicked are struck silent.
 43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;
      they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

Fix these elegant and easy Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles when guests and family are expected. Simply combine ingredients, roll and chill. A little apple juice adds a spark of rich flavor.

2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 62)
1 cup ground, toasted almonds
3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 cup NESTLE TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, (6 ounces) melted*
1/2 cup LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1/3 cup apple juice
COMBINE crushed cookies, ground almonds, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Blend in melted chocolate, pumpkin and apple juice. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate.

Dust with remaining powdered sugar just before serving.


Psalm 106

 1 Praise the LORD.[a]
   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
   his love endures forever.
 2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD
   or fully declare his praise?
3 Blessed are those who act justly,
   who always do what is right.
 4 Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people,
   come to my aid when you save them,
5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
   that I may share in the joy of your nation
   and join your inheritance in giving praise.
 6 We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
   we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
   they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses,
   and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.[b]
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
   to make his mighty power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
   he led them through the depths as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
   from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
11 The waters covered their adversaries;
   not one of them survived.
12 Then they believed his promises
   and sang his praise.
 13 But they soon forgot what he had done
   and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
   in the wilderness they put God to the test.
15 So he gave them what they asked for,
   but sent a wasting disease among them.
 16 In the camp they grew envious of Moses
   and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the LORD.
17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
   it buried the company of Abiram.
18 Fire blazed among their followers;
   a flame consumed the wicked.
19 At Horeb they made a calf
   and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
20 They exchanged their glorious God
   for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them,
   who had done great things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham
   and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 So he said he would destroy them—
   had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him
   to keep his wrath from destroying them.
 24 Then they despised the pleasant land;
   they did not believe his promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents
   and did not obey the LORD.
26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand
   that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 make their descendants fall among the nations
   and scatter them throughout the lands.
 28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
   and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
29 they aroused the LORD’s anger by their wicked deeds,
   and a plague broke out among them.
30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
   and the plague was checked.
31 This was credited to him as righteousness
   for endless generations to come.
32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD,
   and trouble came to Moses because of them;
33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
   and rash words came from Moses’ lips.[c]
 34 They did not destroy the peoples
   as the LORD had commanded them,
35 but they mingled with the nations
   and adopted their customs.
36 They worshiped their idols,
   which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
   and their daughters to false gods.
38 They shed innocent blood,
   the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
   and the land was desecrated by their blood.
39 They defiled themselves by what they did;
   by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
 40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people
   and abhorred his inheritance.
41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,
   and their foes ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them
   and subjected them to their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
   but they were bent on rebellion
   and they wasted away in their sin.
44 Yet he took note of their distress
   when he heard their cry;
45 for their sake he remembered his covenant
   and out of his great love he relented.
46 He caused all who held them captive
   to show them mercy.
 47 Save us, LORD our God,
   and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
   and glory in your praise.
 48 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
   from everlasting to everlasting.
   Let all the people say, “Amen!”
   Praise the LORD.

Fair Weather Lady

I am not a winter-weather type person... I'm not even a very cool fall day person.  I love warm weather.  I don't mind it being *barely* cool outside so that I can wear my boots, jeans and sweatshirts... but that's only in the high 60's to low 70's range for me. For as long as I can remember, I haven't been able to take cold weather very well.  I've had many who have told me (in quite an unkind way) over the years to, "add another layer!"... but it does NOT get me warm.  My body just doesn't generate heat very well... And, I can't make it do it at will.  If a room full of people are sweating, I am perfectly comfortable... but if my nose, fingers and toes are cold, they are all fine!  Believe me, if I could make myself become warm at will, I would!  Year-round at work I will run a small portable heater... in the summer the air conditioning is way too cold and in the winter it's just cold!  I've not ever been able to wear cute summer dresses or shorts because the insides of buildings and churches in the summer freeze me to death.  I always have a jacket (and throw blanket) waiting in the car.  Always.  And, I am one of the rare few that on a super hot summer day...  go to the car when it's steaming inside and just sit for a minute and soak the heat in.  Usually I've been in a cold building that has my fingers frozen... and it feels sooo good. 

Yes, I am cold natured.
No, I can't help it.

I'm just saying......

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eighteen

2 Kings 24:8  [ Jehoiachin King of Judah ] Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem.

Revelation Two

   “Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:
 2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.
 4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first![b] 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.
 7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.
The Message to the Church in Smyrna
 8 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Smyrna. This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive:
 9 “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.
 11 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.
The Message to the Church in Pergamum
 12 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum. This is the message from the one with the sharp two-edged sword:
 13 “I know that you live in the city where Satan has his throne, yet you have remained loyal to me. You refused to deny me even when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred among you there in Satan’s city.
 14 “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin. 15 In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching. 16 Repent of your sin, or I will come to you suddenly and fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
 17 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.
The Message to the Church in Thyatira
 18 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira. This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze:
 19 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.
 20 “But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.
 22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering,[c] and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.
 24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,
   To them I will give authority over all the nations.
   27 They will rule the nations with an iron rod
      and smash them like clay pots.[d]
 28 They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star!
 29 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

It's Not About Me

The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.

I have plenty that I can write about that has transpired in the past couple of days~ and I am positive that there are those that know me who are coming here to find something outBut God.  Because life is about HIM and not ME I choose to surrender to Him alone.  People may not be true or real, but He always is.  I have a blog all written out and saved... one that made me feel a lot better after I wrote it.... but one that is not necessary.... and one that you will never see.

God knows my heart and sees my sincerity and transparency, and that... my friends, is all that matters.

Psalm 105

 1 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
   make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
   tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
   let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
   seek his face always.
 5 Remember the wonders he has done,
   his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
   his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
7 He is the LORD our God;
   his judgments are in all the earth.
 8 He remembers his covenant forever,
   the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
   the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
   to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
   as the portion you will inherit.”
 12 When they were but few in number,
   few indeed, and strangers in it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
   from one kingdom to another.
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
   for their sake he rebuked kings:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones;
   do my prophets no harm.”
 16 He called down famine on the land
   and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
   Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
   his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
   till the word of the LORD proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
   the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
   ruler over all he possessed,
22 to instruct his princes as he pleased
   and teach his elders wisdom.
 23 Then Israel entered Egypt;
   Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The LORD made his people very fruitful;
   he made them too numerous for their foes,
25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people,
   to conspire against his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant,
   and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his signs among them,
   his wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness and made the land dark—
   for had they not rebelled against his words?
29 He turned their waters into blood,
   causing their fish to die.
30 Their land teemed with frogs,
   which went up into the bedrooms of their rulers.
31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies,
   and gnats throughout their country.
32 He turned their rain into hail,
   with lightning throughout their land;
33 he struck down their vines and fig trees
   and shattered the trees of their country.
34 He spoke, and the locusts came,
   grasshoppers without number;
35 they ate up every green thing in their land,
   ate up the produce of their soil.
36 Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land,
   the firstfruits of all their manhood.
37 He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
   and from among their tribes no one faltered.
38 Egypt was glad when they left,
   because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
 39 He spread out a cloud as a covering,
   and a fire to give light at night.
40 They asked, and he brought them quail;
   he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
   it flowed like a river in the desert.
 42 For he remembered his holy promise
   given to his servant Abraham.
43 He brought out his people with rejoicing,
   his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 he gave them the lands of the nations,
   and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45 that they might keep his precepts
   and observe his laws.
   Praise the LORD.[a]

Thursday Thoughts

If you're lurking here because you know me... and you're trying to figure out what's going on... c'mon in and take your shoes off...

I sit here this morning with coffee in hand... going through all my friends blogs.  Reading about their lives, their relationships with God, with others and with their families.  I've read about blessings and hardships... joys and tears.  I see deep transparency and light-hearted fun....

.. and I guess it's time to share a little of my space..

The past several days have been a challenge for me.  When someone turns out to not be as authenitc as you thought they were,.. it breaks your heart.  When you trust because it's what you know to do, and it's just part of your personality.. and then that trust is broken.... the bond (however slight it is) is broken.

It had been mentioned once by a person of the cloth, that this certain someone was "flighty and indecisive... and that they had a lot of irons in the fire.. and they didn't know if they were ever coming or going."

When you find out that that person just is not who they profess to be on the inside.. and when you hear words all the time out of their mouth, but don't see fruit.... Well, I don't need to go on.

I grew up trusting first.  I never put up a wall with people upon getting to know them.  Life had dealt me good cards and I was used to being able to trust everyone in my family with their word alone. 

I'm not used to not trusting people. Yet God has confirmed in me many things that I have felt going on.  I choose to forgive, love and be kind.. but I choose to no longer let myself be burned. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Winterizing Horses

You may be surprised at how well horses can adapt to colder weather. In the wild, horses can withstand temperatures at well below zero. However, there are a number of things that you can do to maximize your horse's health and condition during the colder months. Here are a few tips that will help to keep your equine friend happy and healthy during winter months.

One important thing to remember is that although horses do well in colder temperatures, they can be affected by cold winds which not only make them extremely uncomfortable but also have a tendency to spook the horse. You can keep your horse happier by providing some type of wind break such as a run-in shed in the pasture. If your horse does not have access to a run-in shed, a line of trees may be adequate to block some of the wind, but it is advisable that they at least have some sort of shelter from potential wind, snow, and freezing rain.

In addition to a nice shelter for your horse, you should increase your horse's hay intake during the winter months. Hay digestion creates increased heat production which helps your horse stay warmer in the winter months. Be sure that you are not increasing the grain intake, as increased grain intake will not provided the desired results of helping your horse to stay warmer. In fact, excess grain has been linked to foundering and potentially colic.

If your hay is not of the best quality, you should take your hay to be tested so that the hay is providing all of the nutritional benefits to your horse. Beet Pulp has been used by many horsemen as an additional feed source to supplement hay. The qualities of beet pulp allow it to be an easily digested feed with similar nutritional benefits as hay. Be sure that your horse is receiving enough feed through high quality forages to help him or her sustain a healthy body weight throughout the winter.

In addition to providing extra hay, you should also always provide fresh water for your horse. Although the weather is colder, horses still need enough water intake to keep their digestive tracts in line. Water prevents dehydration and is a vital part of keeping your horse healthy. Not only should you provide fresh water, but check the water regularly for ice. You may need to either install an electric heater in the water trough or keep a rubber mallet nearby to break ice which accumulates in buckets.

Another tip to keep in mind is to cool down your horse after exercise. Although this is equally important in the summer time, horses can easily chill after a rigorous work out if they are not provided with a cooler blanket to keep their body temperatures from losing heat too quickly and to keep them from becoming chilled while wet with sweat. Remember to walk your horse after a work-out so that they can cool down slowly.

Winter months can be refreshing and exhilarating for horses as long as they are kept healthy and happy!

It's Official

Zachery and Anna are officially engaged.  Yes, they have been figuratively engaged... but now it's official!  Just look at this beautiful ring!  We are all so excited~!

Friends and Friendships


Psalm 104

 1 Let all that I am praise the Lord.
   O Lord my God, how great you are!
      You are robed with honor and majesty.
    2 You are dressed in a robe of light.
   You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
    3 you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
   You make the clouds your chariot;
      you ride upon the wings of the wind.
 4 The winds are your messengers;
      flames of fire are your servants.[a]
 5 You placed the world on its foundation
      so it would never be moved.
 6 You clothed the earth with floods of water,
      water that covered even the mountains.
 7 At your command, the water fled;
      at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
 8 Mountains rose and valleys sank
      to the levels you decreed.
 9 Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
      so they would never again cover the earth.
 10 You make springs pour water into the ravines,
      so streams gush down from the mountains.
 11 They provide water for all the animals,
      and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
 12 The birds nest beside the streams
      and sing among the branches of the trees.
 13 You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
      and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
 14 You cause grass to grow for the livestock
      and plants for people to use.
   You allow them to produce food from the earth—
    15 wine to make them glad,
   olive oil to soothe their skin,
      and bread to give them strength.
 16 The trees of the Lord are well cared for—
      the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
 17 There the birds make their nests,
      and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
 18 High in the mountains live the wild goats,
      and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.[b]
 19 You made the moon to mark the seasons,
      and the sun knows when to set.
 20 You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
      when all the forest animals prowl about.
 21 Then the young lions roar for their prey,
      stalking the food provided by God.
 22 At dawn they slink back
      into their dens to rest.
 23 Then people go off to their work,
      where they labor until evening.
 24 O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
      In wisdom you have made them all.
      The earth is full of your creatures.
 25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
      teeming with life of every kind,
      both large and small.
 26 See the ships sailing along,
      and Leviathan,[c] which you made to play in the sea.
 27 They all depend on you
      to give them food as they need it.
 28 When you supply it, they gather it.
      You open your hand to feed them,
      and they are richly satisfied.
 29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.
      When you take away their breath,
      they die and turn again to dust.
 30 When you give them your breath,[d] life is created,
      and you renew the face of the earth.
 31 May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
      The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
 32 The earth trembles at his glance;
      the mountains smoke at his touch.
 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
      I will praise my God to my last breath!
 34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
      for I rejoice in the Lord.
 35 Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
      let the wicked disappear forever.
   Let all that I am praise the Lord.
   Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Velveteen Woman

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10 NIV).

Most of us have read or heard of the childhood classic, The Velveteen Rabbit.  Maybe you first heard the story snuggled in your mother's lap or like me, as an adult with a child snuggled in your lap.  For me, The Velveteen Rabbit is a treasure I discovered in motherhood, rather than in my childhood.  And like many children's books, the message carries a profound truth that resonates more with adults than with kids.

The story begins…
"There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid.  He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen.  On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a spring of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.

"The boy loved the rabbit…for at least two hours, but then he was put on the nursery shelf with all the other toys.  Because he was velveteen, some of the more expensive toys snubbed him.  Some of the toys boasted about being fashioned as smaller models of real things, such as boats and soldiers.  But the rabbit didn't even know that there was such a thing as a real rabbit.  He thought all were just as he was, stuffed with sawdust.  But one night, the rabbit made a fascinating discovery.

"The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others.  He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces.  He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else…

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.  "It's a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse.  "You become real.  It takes a long time.  That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The Velveteen Rabbit wasn't even sure what a rabbit was supposed to do.  He just knew there had to be more to life than being filled with sawdust and sitting on a shelf.
 
Being real.  That's what really matters.  I don't want to wait until most of my hair has fallen out and I've lost my stuffing.  I want to be real right now.  So what if I don't look as shiny as the other toys in the nursery?

Yes, sometimes it is painful to become real.  It takes courage.   But until we do, we'll find our existence sitting on the shelves a dim reflection of the freedom and jubilant dance that God intended in the fields of life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I know that You want me to be real and honest with those around me.  Jesus was.  He never pretended to be something that He was not and He didn't pretend not to be something that He was.  I am Your child with many faults and failures.  I made mistakes in my past and will make mistakes in my future.  I pray that I will always have the courage to be real with those around me and never participate in religious pretending because of concern over what others may think.  I'm just me: saved, sealed, delivered!
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.

Psalm 103

 1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
      with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
 2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
      may I never forget the good things he does for me.
 3 He forgives all my sins
      and heals all my diseases.
 4 He redeems me from death
      and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
 5 He fills my life with good things.
      My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
 6 The Lord gives righteousness
      and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
 7 He revealed his character to Moses
      and his deeds to the people of Israel.
 8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
      slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
 9 He will not constantly accuse us,
      nor remain angry forever.
 10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
      he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
      is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
 12 He has removed our sins as far from us
      as the east is from the west.
 13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
      tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
 14 For he knows how weak we are;
      he remembers we are only dust.
 15 Our days on earth are like grass;
      like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
 16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
      as though we had never been here.
 17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
      with those who fear him.
   His salvation extends to the children’s children
    18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
      of those who obey his commandments!
 19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
      from there he rules over everything.
 20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
      you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
      listening for each of his commands.
 21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
      who serve him and do his will!
 22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
      everything in all his kingdom.
   Let all that I am praise the Lord.

Just Let it be Thanksgiving

Just let it be Thanksgiving~

Don't trim the tree yet...
Don't Christmas shop yet...
Don't get caught up in the "season" yet...
Don't make plans for who's coming at Christmas...
Don't wonder what Uncle Bob may want...
Don't listen to Christmas music...

Not just yet!

Let Thanksgiving come FIRST!

We go right from Halloween to Christmas these days... and I just wish that we would put Thanksgiving out there with shows on TV, love, family and friends the way we do Christmas!

Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of Christmas.  But, for just this year, for another week and a half... let's remember what we are thankful for... and let's not try to "rush" the Thanksgiving season.







Monday, November 15, 2010

Someone You Know Needs Help



How often does violence go on in the homes of those we go to church with?  Between dad and son, preacher and his wife, children and their mother...?  Have you known children that are unusually quiet around their parents, who are all the time very subdued and withdrawn? (I do..)... or wives that have a "beat down" attitude or that don't talk much? (I do.)  Sometimes it makes me wonder.  What really goes on behind closed doors?  What about that husband who is so insecure that he takes out his frustrations by forcibly abusing his wife and family because he can't control anything else?  Or the parent who mocks their child and tells them they they will never amount to anything because their hair is too long or they want to listen to certain kinds of music?  I believe those bruises not seen (although I know there are actual real bruises on their bodies at times) are way deep in the hearts of the victims.  What can we do when we are pretty sure we know abuse is happening but we haven't actually seen it?  What can we say?  What can we do?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

SONday and Travling

This morning my husband is preaching at a church of some friends that we've known for a long time.  They used to attend a cowboy church with us in Wilburton and now they have branched out and church planted another new church.  Actually, it's not new-new... it's about a year and a half old.  It's so wonderful to see people of a common belief trained and discipled and then sent out to start yet more churches!  Isn't that the way we should be?  Always growing and moving and never becoming stagnant. 

While we are out today we are going to try to meet up with Zachery, Anna, Eric and Anna's parents. 

We have many miles to go before this day is done.  I should get myself in the shower and get ready....

Have a beautiful Lord's Day!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shunning

Have you ever been shunned?  Maybe from a person who said they were your friend, until you did something they didn't like?  Wouldn't you call this selfish and conditional friendship?  Wouldn't you even say it was judgmental?

Recently I came across a person from the church I formerly attended.  They were very cool and standoffish.  Other than "hi" their total body language was closed out.  Facing away from me, not looking at me... and even going over to hide behind a wall. 

When my husband and I left the former church we left on good terms with everyone.  Everyone knew that we were going to help a new church plant in a community near where we live.  I left the women's ministry and my husband the men's ministry. The night that we sat in services knowing that we were going to talk to the pastor about our decision (after much prayer) he announced from the pulpit that the youth/rodeo arena ministry person and his wife had  resigned that day!  The blood ran from my face when I realized we were going to be telling him the same thing that very night.  I sat there and wondered what God was doing in that church.

Since that time we have been working at the new church plant and loving every minute of it.  God is flowing, increasing numbers and changing lives. It is no doubt, where we are supposed to be.

We have kept wonderful friendships from our former church with everyone.  There were so many wonderful "family" members we knew that we were going to miss terribly.... but, we knew that we'd see them around~ and we have.  We've met them for dinner, gone hunting, shopping and visit all that we can uninhibited.  Without an ounce of judgment.

Until the day before yesterday.....

All I can say is wow.. I never expected such coldness from such a person.  I haven't a clue what I or my husband could have possibly done... but I know whatever it is, is killing them, not me... because I'm not aware of whatever it is.  When we left, they acted just fine and dandy...

In the past in dealing with this person (through our own experience and the experiences of others) we know that they are unwilling to talk or work things out with anyone who is in disagreement with them.  We tried.

And, so I can go in peace. 

Psalm 102

 1 Hear my prayer, LORD;
   let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
   when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
   when I call, answer me quickly.
 3 For my days vanish like smoke;
   my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
   I forget to eat my food.
5 In my distress I groan aloud
   and am reduced to skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl,
   like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become
   like a bird alone on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
   those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
9 For I eat ashes as my food
   and mingle my drink with tears
10 because of your great wrath,
   for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like the evening shadow;
   I wither away like grass.
 12 But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever;
   your renown endures through all generations.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to show favor to her;
   the appointed time has come.
14 For her stones are dear to your servants;
   her very dust moves them to pity.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD,
   all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16 For the LORD will rebuild Zion
   and appear in his glory.
17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
   he will not despise their plea.
 18 Let this be written for a future generation,
   that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
19 “The LORD looked down from his sanctuary on high,
   from heaven he viewed the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners
   and release those condemned to death.”
21 So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion
   and his praise in Jerusalem
22 when the peoples and the kingdoms
   assemble to worship the LORD.
 23 In the course of my life[b] he broke my strength;
   he cut short my days.
24 So I said:
“Do not take me away, my God, in the midst of my days;
   your years go on through all generations.
25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you remain;
   they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
   and they will be discarded.
27 But you remain the same,
   and your years will never end.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence;
   their descendants will be established before you.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Psalm 101

 1 I will sing of your love and justice;
   to you, LORD, I will sing praise.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
   when will you come to me?
   I will conduct the affairs of my house
   with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval
   on anything that is vile.
   I hate what faithless people do;
   I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
   I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
 5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
   I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
   I will not tolerate.
 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
   that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
   will minister to me.
 7 No one who practices deceit
   will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
   will stand in my presence.
 8 Every morning I will put to silence
   all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
   from the city of the LORD.