Monday, January 31, 2011

Batten Down the Hatches!

We are supposed to have fairly severe weather starting tonight about 11 p.m..  Ice and then a lot of snow.  The weather channels are showing that most of Oklahoma will be covered tomorrow morning and most schools will probably be shut down!

This afternoon we are off to get a tag for one of the cars and then to the grocery store to stock up a little just in case...

Bundle up and stay warm!

I love researching where phrases come from~ this was interesting:  Prepare for trouble--batten down the hatches. This term originated in the navy, where it signified preparing for a storm by fastening down canvas over doorways and hatches (openings) with strips of wood called battens. [Late 1800s]

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One in a Million ~ Priscilla Shirer

I'm starting a new bible study and I'm so excited!

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land

Join Priscilla Shirer on an exploration of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to a land of deliverance. Of the original two million who received God’s invitation to enter the Promised Land, only two actually entered it. Similarly, only a handful of modern-day Christians experience God and live the life of abundance that He promises. Shirer encourages others to see the goodness of God in their lives, live beyond their circumstances and expect to see God move in miraculous ways in their everyday existence.

Priscilla Shirer is an inspiring Bible teacher, popular author, and internationally acclaimed speaker. Her desire is to see women everywhere better understand who they are in Christ by hearing the enduring truth of Scripture. For over a decade she has shared the deep truths of Scripture in a simple, straightforward way that assists the listener in applying truth to her life. Priscilla is married to her best friend Jerry. Together they have founded Going Beyond Ministries, where the message of God’s desire for a passionate love relationship with His children is boldly proclaimed. Jerry and Priscilla live in Dallas and take seriously their main role of parents to their three young sons, Jude, Jackson and Jerry Jr.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

* 1 1/4 cups dried kidney beans, cooked (white beans may be substituted)
* 5 oz. bacon, diced
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 2 potatoes, diced
* 2 carrots, diced
* 1 tablespoon tomato paste
* 3 quarts beef stock (you may use less stock and replace with water)
* 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
* 1 cup macaroni or any small pasta
* Grated Parmesan cheese
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Cook beans per package instructions.
2. Place the olive oil and bacon in a large pot over medium heat and brown slightly (about 3 minutes).
3. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming any fat from the surface.
6. Add the cabbage and simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Add the pasta and cook for another 15 minutes, or until soft.
9. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
10. Dish out into soup bowls, sprinkled the top with grated Parmesan and serve hot.
Serves 8.

Zumba Dance Exercise

If you are tired of old traditional exercises then you can change things for fitness with Zumba exercises. Zumba exercise is basically fusion of international and Latin music which can create fun and it is very effective fitness workout as well. There is different tempo and beat of every song with different intensity and you have to dance in different ways with these songs. This workout is very effective for fat and calorie burning. This is basically a dance exercise which can create lots of fun. You can burn about 500 to 1000 calories with this exercise in an one hour session

So, do any of you Zumba?  Do you love it? You can't find the dvd's at Wal Mart yet, and online they are $60 for the set of three.  I really want to get started!

Do you know how hard it was to find a decent picture of someone Zumba dancing for this blog?  I looked and looked.  Most all of them are of scantily dressed women exercising.... C'mon, we want reality!  Ugh.  ;-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heart Redirection

God appoints or allows circumstances (often crises) in our lives to redirect our paths.
~ Beth Moore

Do you believe this statement?  Does God allow "bad" things to happen in our lives to turn us around?

Although, so much of the time we don't feel up for it, we often need a peripety in our lives; a sudden turn of events that reverses the expected or intended outcome. A peripety turns a routine sequence of events into a story worth telling.

Has God allowed hard circumstances in your life to turn you around?  Do you feel that you keep trudging around the same mountain time and time again?  If so, what is it that you need to stand and face?  What should you do that you're not.. or what should you not do that you are currently doing?

Our Father is a gentleman, He will allow crises in our lives if need be to take us to where we need to go.  Sometimes those crises come hard and swift.  Yet, He tells us that He disciplines us because He loves us.

Psalm 94:12  Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law;
Proverbs 3:12  Because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Hurries ~ How to Relax

No hurries... None.  I am enjoying this part of life.  Being an empty nester since August and attending a new church since September my life has drastically changed!  And, I. Love. It.  Gone are the days of having the kids running in different directions at one time (Round-up Club, Football and Soccer ~ Church camp, stay-overs and slumber parties) and in are the days of cooking much less and quiet evenings.  Don't get me wrong, I miss my children dearly and pine for them... but life has a way of beating on. 

Here is my life of no hurries:

1.  Get up at 6:00 to leave for work at 8:00.
2.  Work all day.
3.  Get home approx 5:00 and make supper.
4.  Eat supper.
5.  Clean kitchen ~ Maybe do laundry if needed.
6.  Sit on couch watching TV/on the computer/doing a personal project until bedtime.
7.  Go to bed about 10:00
8.  Repeat

There you have it.  The evenings are so very quiet.  Other than attending church regularly, the weekends are blissfully not taken up.

Weekends tend to me my "clean time" and that in itself just doesn't take very long at all.

SO... are you in a hurry?  Is it time for you to slow down?  What do you need to say "no" to or let go of?

Let's talk!

Chiastic Structures

I studied Esther in my ladies’ Bible study (Beth Moore) and have found myself to be living her story. I’m expecting God to do something great through our family – even in the midst of extreme pain and trial where I can’t see Him doing anything miraculous outwardly, but I am seeing miraculous things being done by his people on our behalf. It’s like the chiastic structure that we see in literature. Chiastic structure is a literary term for inverted parallelism. Here’s an example: We don’t live to eat, we eat to live. You take the Greek letter “chi” and it’s an “X.” Put the word live at the left top of the “”X and eat at the right top of the “X.” We should not live to eat, rather, we eat to live. Put the word eat at the bottom left of the “X” and the word live at the bottom right of the “X.” There you have a mirror image (the bottom of the X) only inverted (or switched). The statement “we live to eat” is not a proper statement – we should only have the attitude of “we eat to live.” That is chiastic structure. Here’s another one: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” ~ John F. Kennedy. You take that statement and invert it (inverted parallelism) and it becomes a noble statement rather than a selfish one. Esther is riddled with chiastic structure. God used the greed, pride and corrupted beliefs of a vile man and turned them around to do His will – But he didn’t just wave His hand and make it so, He chose simple, inexperienced believers to save his people – people who love Him enough to risk their own lives to help others.

That is what I am asking God to do for our family. I am asking Him to take our circumstances brought on by sin and to reverse them to bring Him glory and my family’s good. He can do it. He did it for Esther and He will do it for me. I have a Haman and a King, along with a Mordecai and Esther in my story – and God will work through them all to bring us victory. I even have a Hatach! I need a peripety – a sudden change of events that reverse the expected or intended outcome. God is a great God and can take any situation and change it around.  The impact of God’s love freely received by a believer can change another person’s life. I know it has mine.

So, now I’m lookin’ for another miracle because my family needs one. I just don’t know by whom or how it will happen. All I need to do is live my faith and God will take care of the rest.


1. Will you watch the Super Bowl? If so who will you root for? If you are outside the USA what is the 'big deal sporting event' in your own country? 
 
No.  I don't even know who is playing!  In the past I have watched it as an event with church people~ We would bring all kinds of finger foods and drinks and then sit and watch and visit.  Others watched, I visited!  I am not really a sports fan in any form or fashion but I enjoy the fellowship!
 
2. Is ignorance bliss?  

It would seem that it could be, but in the long run, I don't really believe it is.  The saying "what you don't know can hurt you" is true a lot of the time.
3. Which of the seven dwarfs are you? (and just in case your Disney is a little bit rusty, here they are-Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy)

Happy.  Most of the time my cup is full, if not running over.  (Of course I have my days!)  Most of the time I am smiling, content and happy.

4. When you are riding in the car with another couple how do you organize the seating? (Men up front? Women up front? Couples sit together?) 
 
Men up front driving, women in the back.

5. What is beauty?
 
I think beauty is two things; one it is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to aesthetics, but the other I believe is purity and authenticity of heart.
 
6. If someone asks you to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party in their home, which would you choose?
 
Most of the time a dessert.  I am a big sweets/breads/candy/desserts maker.  I love appetisers too... but most desserts I can make without a recipe!
 
7. What is your crowd pleasing go-to appetizer?
 
Hmm.... I have several.  One of the best is Tortilla Roll-Ups.  This is where I make a cream cheese/sour cream base and chop onions, olives (whatever) into the mixture, spread on the tortilla and roll up.  Put in the fridge and slice into rings when chilled.  Yum!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
 
I can hardly believe that January is almost over... but I really look forward to spring.  I await seeing daffodils come up and sunshine coming out!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blogging for Fun!

Blogging for fun.  What a concept! Are you obsessed with page views, blogger awards, having give-aways, or making a profit?  Or, do you just blog because you want to share your life, love of cooking, your faith... etc? 

My desire is to have friends come to my page to find a soft place to fall.  A place where they will want to pour a cup of coffee, put up their feet and stay a while.

Why do you blog?  How did you start and why do you continue?

Isaiah 30:8   8 Now go and write down these words.
      Write them in a book.
   They will stand until the end of time
      as a witness

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tips for Riding in a One-Horse Pulled Sleigh

1.  Dress warmly!  Include hats, gloves and scarfs... Dress in layers like you would if you were skiing.  Bring a thick blanket.. or several blankets.

2.  Bring a thermos of something warm to drink.  It always helps us to feel and stay warmer while we are sipping on something warm.  Take hot chocolate, coffee, hot cider or tea.

3.  Take a camera.  Be sure to capture some of the beautiful scenery along the way.

4.  Have fun!

5.  Be sure that when you return, the horse is well taken care of; brush him down and feed him well.

6.  Go inside and get warm!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

As of Late

As of late the house has been so very quiet in the evenings. 

As of late I've realized my days of running a-muck with kids in three different directions are over.

As of late I've realized that words can be healing and God wants us to stay in fellowship.

As of late I feel the drawing once again the women's ministry.

As of late the weather has been cold and gray.  I am ready for summer!

As of late work has been excruciatingly slow.

As of late I've realized I need a hobby to keep my hands occupied.

As of late I've been thinking about the dreams that God gives us.  (I am reading Bruce Wilkerson's Dream Giver) Dreams that He intends for us to do.. not just something He allows us to think about every so often.


What have you been up to, as of late?  Link up with beautiful, extraordinary Critty Joy to share a part of you and to see what others have been delving into as of late

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bullying

Have you ever been bullied?  I remember running to the bus... being scared I was going to be beat up.  I had been told that if I didn't make it to the bus before she got out of class I was going to be in trouble.  I ran so fast.... I was scared to death and my heart was beating hard in my chest.  What did I do?  Merely take up for my younger sister who at the park picked up this girls younger brothers toy car.  She wasn't even going to take it, she just picked it up.  I remember the girl (my age) running over to her telling her that she wasn't going to steal her brothers car.  I told her (very nicely) that my sister was not intending on taking the car at all, just looking at it.  That's when the threat came.  She said that I had better watch myself at school because she'd be looking for me.  For weeks I literally feared being on recess or going to the bus.  Of course the girl never probably intended to anything... just scare me.  But, that alone was enough. This incident was in the 6th grade and I haven't ever forgotten it.

It sounds so simple and silly.  And, really it was.  Today schools take so much flack from kids and never discipline them.  Bullying is at an all time high and unless you are the popular kids parent, you are not listened to by faculty and/or staff.

Recently our high school had a parent go to the school at the end of the day.  This person had been many times before to talk to staff about their child being bullied.  Nothing was ever done.  The parent decided to do something himself.  Although I don't agree with what he did... I understand it.  That person stood outside the doors of the school at the end of the day and told every high school aged person that passed by that if they messed with their child anymore, they would suffer horrible consequences.  Do I blame him?  No...  Not when the school does nothing for the underdog.  I'm not talking about teachers pets, or those that are well liked, smart, cute or pretty, or who's families are prominent in the community... I'm talking about the average "Joe."  When are they cared for? 

I do not condone violence, but I do understand the frustration.  My middle son had very high functioning ADHD/Aspergers all of his childhood.  He was ignored and bullied a lot in his elementary years.  In high school when he finally fought back, he was considered unruly and rude.  Shame on the school for making him defend himself.. and then turning around on him when he did.

If you see someone bullying, try to put a stop to it.  Bullies turn into work-place bullies when they get older and spouses who bully and friends who bully....... 

No one should go to school or to work in fear each day.

Psalm 116:6  The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Proverbs 2:11  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
1 Corinthians 13:7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Dream Giver

I know you think those things that are in your heart are just dreams.

Can I convince you, they are much more than that?

What is that special something that you have always wanted to do?  What was it that held you off from completing that dream?  Finances?  Marriage?  Your job?  Pregnancy?  Scoffers?  Time? 

That dream that you have in your heart is not a mistake.  It was given to you by the Dream Giver~ Jesus.  He plants things in our hearts for a purpose.

I challenge you today to step out.  Stop making excuses and asking questions and start stepping out... by faith~ out over that cliff that has a bottom that you can't see.

Believe.

He believes in you.....


Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 12:1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

Growing Tired in Waiting

Can I be honest?  I get tired of waiting.

Don't you?

When you have prayed and prayed about something and those prayers only seem to hit the ceiling and then fall right back in your lap......

When you believe and believe and BELIEVE and nothing seems to be happening.....

When you know that the plans He has for you are to prosper and not fail....

When all avenues seem to be cut off.. and you are not even given a single chance.....

Surely I'm not the only one...No, I take comfort in *knowing* I'm not. ~ although I may be one of the few to confess it~  You have been here with me....

Where do I go from here?

Galations 6:9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Psalm 108

 1 My heart is confident in you, O God;
      no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
 2 Wake up, lyre and harp!
      I will wake the dawn with my song.
 3 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
      I will sing your praises among the nations.
 4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
      Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
 5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
      May your glory shine over all the earth.
 6 Now rescue your beloved people.
      Answer and save us by your power.
 7 God has promised this by his holiness[a]:
   “I will divide up Shechem with joy.
      I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
 8 Gilead is mine,
      and Manasseh, too.
   Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
      and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
 9 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
      and I will wipe my feet on Edom
      and shout in triumph over Philistia.”
 10 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
      Who will bring me victory over Edom?
 11 Have you rejected us, O God?
      Will you no longer march with our armies?
 12 Oh, please help us against our enemies,
      for all human help is useless.
 13 With God’s help we will do mighty things,
      for he will trample down our foes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

White Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups red, ripe tomatoes, chopped
6 whole tomatillos, diced
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped green chiles
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cans cannellini beans and liquid
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until onion begins to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Do not brown. Add tomatoes, tomatillos and jalapeno, cook until tomatillos are soft. Add chicken stock, green chiles, cooked chicken, oregano, cumin, cilantro, beans and lime juice. Heat through and season to taste with salt and pepper.

It's All Going to be Okay

It's all going to be okay.

Have you ever said that to anyone when they were in a hard situation of some sort?  How easy it is for us to profess faith on others in their time of weakness.

Have you been there?

You tell someone all about the issues that are going on in your life and then they turn and look at you and tell you "It's all going to be okay?"

While I understand the thought, and yes, everything will be okay for those who are in Christ.  But, that doesn't mean things will go our way, it means that He knows the plans He has for us, to prosper us and not fail.

People are not interested in hearing everything is going to be okay... they want to know how to handle the here and now.  They can't see the future, they are in turmoil.  They need answers today... assurance today... in the moment.

Next time resist the urge to say "It's all going to be okay"... instead reach out a hand, pray with that person, touch them, listen to them... just BE with them.........

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A "Great" Church Service

What makes a great church service?  Does there have to be tears?  A word of prophecy spoken in tongues?  High emotions?  Someone rushing to the alter and wailing?

Does that mean "the Spirit moved?"  Doesn't the Holy Spirit move in big ways in our lives everyday?

I truly believe that in these days satan has people snowed by thinking emotions is the way to a relationship with Jesus.  While emotions can be a part, they don't constitute sincerity or realness.  I've seen too many services where people hype others up into a frenzy.... and then people later will talk about what a wonderful service it was... because of all the emotion and tears.

We are missing out if we think that those things make a service.  Jesus speaks to our hearts in all kinds of different ways, and yes sometimes it is with deep emotion, but most of the time it's with deep heart changes and commitment.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

God Notices What Others Overlook

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (New Living Version)
 12The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does. 13Some of us are Jews, and others are Gentiles. Some of us are slaves, and others are free. But God's Spirit baptized each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. Now we each drink from that same Spirit. [a] 14Our bodies don't have just one part. They have many parts. 15Suppose a foot says, "I'm not a hand, and so I'm not part of the body." Wouldn't the foot still belong to the body? 16Or suppose an ear says, "I'm not an eye, and so I'm not part of the body." Wouldn't the ear still belong to the body? 17If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn't hear a thing. And if they were only an ear, we couldn't smell a thing. 18But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best. 19A body isn't really a body, unless there is more than one part. 20It takes many parts to make a single body. 21That's why the eyes cannot say they don't need the hands. That's also why the head cannot say it doesn't need the feet. 22In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest. 23We take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies. We are modest about our personal parts, 24but we don't have to be modest about other parts.  God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. 25He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. 26If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy. 27Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body.

We read here how each person is a part of the body of Christ. Just like the organs of our body, though all have different functions, they make up one whole body. No one is less important than the other. Each has a function in the church. Sometimes though, we go through times of feeling unappreciated for what we are doing for the Lord. There may be times when we feel that we aren’t accomplishing as much as we would like, at the level we would like to be at, and we feel that we go unnoticed.

These times can cause us much frustration and dismay. It’s hard sometimes when we see an area where we could be used, but fail to be used there. It’s hard to get others interested in what we can do, for not everyone shares our enthusiasm.
How do we handle times like these? I know from personal experience, that I don’t handle it as well as what I should. But we need to remind ourselves of the fact that God has planted within us this desire to be used, and He has called us and desires to use us in His kingdom. It may not be our time yet. It just might be a time where God is working in us - helping us to develop more of a Christ-like character. I know it’s hard to be in this place. But don’t be dismayed. God notices you, and will cause others to as well, in His time. What God has birthed in you, He will bring it to pass – one day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Roll Up The Sidewalks!

When it snows in this small town almost everything comes to a halt.  Those of you in the northeasterly states would laugh at us for sure.  Just barely an inch on the ground... or a chance of ice~ and school is called off and businesses are closed. :-)

We all love a snow day off from work, off from school... a day when we have a great "excuse" to just relax.. to stay indoors, to stay in jammies... to bake and read and watch TV...

Roll up those sidewalks... take it easy when you can.  Stay inside and relax... and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Job 37:6  He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Please Pray for Sweet Scarlette

Without permission from dear Kayla Aimee, a blog friend of mine, I am asking today that you pray for her daughter Scarlette.  Scarlette was born November 7th weighing 1 lb 9 oz. She has been in the NICU all of this time.  She had shots yesterday and today she's not doing very well.  Please keep her and her parents (and family) in your prayers.

Scarlette's Story

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daddy God

Daddy God.

I really like that term.  It's not disrespectful, light or said in jest.

It's warmth, knowing, love and joy.  I know that I can curl up in Him at anytime... anywhere.  He's my protector, my warrior and my warm downy comfort.

He is my Daddy God.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Too Rich (Second blog of the day!)

I don't know about you, but I'd be happy not to see another piece of candy, fudge or cookie for months.  Oh, I love them... and love making them... but I'm SO TIRED of them.  I can't even hardly open blogs that have sweet recipes still going on.  Bad I know... but I think I've burned myself out this year from Thanksgiving through New Years.  I crave fresh vegetables and fruit and soups.  We need to post those kinds of recipes! **note to self**   Nothing heavy... nothing sugary and nothing gooey.  I guess this is where "too much of a good thing" can actually be too much! :-)

Are you making new food choices this year?  One of the most amazing things I see at the beginning of the year is how people are going to start eating right.  (Myself included)  All along we know how we should be eating, we just don't.  It's the number one resolution.  A lack of discipline on our parts... and selfishness.  We want to eat what we want to eat when we want to eat it.  Can I get a witness?

This year, resolutions aside, I am going to eat healthier just because I should.  I don't need to loose weight, but I do need to take care of myself.  It's my responsibility... it's my duty.

There are so many ways to start;
1.  Eat breakfast every day.
2.  Stop eating fried foods.
3.  Cut your sugar intake in half.
4.  Don't drink anything with calories in it.  Only diet pop, unsweetened tea/coffee and water.
5.  Don't eat anything after supper each evening.
6.  Stop eating fattening/high calorie foods; cheese, ice cream...

Is it easy?  No......  But you feel SO much better once you get in a routine.

What do you do to eat better?

Extraordinary Women Conference

Extraordinary Women Conference
Mabee Center, Tulsa OK
March 4-5, 2011

Speakers:  Julie Clinton, Angela Thomas, Michelle McKinney-Hammond, Chonda Pierce, Lysa TerKeurst and Carol Kent.

Entertainment:  Casting Crowns and Michael O'Brien

Super Early Special through January 17th:
Individual Registrations: $49 / Groups of 10+: $49
Early Bird Special through January 31st:
Individual Registrations: $59 / Groups of 10+: $49
After Early Bird Special:
Individual Registrations: $69 / Groups of 10+: $59
Door Price: $89
All group orders of 10 or more receive 2 FREE Registrations!
*All registration purchases are non-refundable.

 Last year I really wanted to go to this conference.  But I couldn't get any of the women at the church I was attending interested in going.  But, this year I and several people ARE going~!  If you are in OK, TX, AR or KS let's meet up and attend together!  Email me at Sunflowerhill@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Women Value Friendships

“Because he loved him as he loved himself.” 1 Samuel 20:17b (NIV)

So many people today are looking for meaningful relationships, yet so few actually find them. My mother use to tell me to count myself lucky if I had just one “close friend.” That’s because close life-long relationships are hard to come by. Since we are becoming an increasingly private society, it seems that fewer people than ever actually have life-long intimate friends. Still, the desire for this kind of relationship is not only sought after, but necessary.

Women are naturally drawn to other women. In fact, a girl’s first experience with heartache may have been over a lost “best friend” rather than a “boyfriend.” Women value friendships. When they are lost, we grieve; not just over the friendship itself, but also for the secrets shared, the trust given and the acceptance enjoyed. If betrayed, the pain runs deep causing us to wonder if intimate friendships are really possible.

When I think of a biblical example of real friendship, the story of David and Jonathan, found in 1 Samuel 19, always comes to mind.

Jonathan, son of King Saul, was David’s closest friend. The King despised David because he was growing in popularity and because God had anointed David to be king. These facts enraged King Saul, and he commanded his aids and Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan loved David; therefore he would not betray David.

Love isn’t the only fruit of true friendship. A real relationship consists of sacrifice too.
We discover in this story that Jonathan stripped himself of the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt. Jonathan was the potential heir to his father’s throne, but we see him sacrificing his future for David as he literally gives David his place as king.
You and I learn from this action that true friendship means a willingness to sacrifice for each other in love. It’s the ability to put another’s needs, desires, and wishes above those of our own.

Loyalty is also a mark of true friendship. We’re told that Jonathan went to his father and spoke well of David. Jonathan also stood up to his dad and said, “Dad, you’re wrong about David. He hasn’t done anything against you, in fact, everything he’s done has helped you.” A true friend is a loyal defense before others; one who won’t talk about you when you’re not around. True friends stick up for each other and are ready to defend when others attack.

Finally, intimate friends give each other complete freedom to be themselves. In an intimate friendship, you don’t have to explain why you do what you do. You’re just free to do it.

When Jonathan gave David the sign that things were not okay in the palace and that his dad was going to kill David, the two were forced to say goodbye. The text tells us they wept together.

When your heart is broken, you can bleed all over a friend like this and she’ll understand. She won’t try to comfort you in your misery or tell you to straighten up. Intimate friends let each other hurt and they weep together. If your friend needs to complain, you will listen. Intimate friends don’t bale, they stay. They allow you to be yourself no matter what ‘self’ looks like.

If you’re looking for a Godly recipe for relationships, look no further. Mix together love, sacrifice, loyalty, and freedom and you can create an intimate friendship that lasts a lifetime.

Dear Lord, help me to be a friend like Jonathan. Then, bless me with the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

House Rules ~ Aspergers

Have any of you read the book House Rules by Jodi Picoult?  I love her novels and this one is exceptional.  Of course, this one means a lot to me personally.  I see so much of my middle son in the character of Jacob in this book.  At times I tear up with Emma,(Jacob's mother) who is going through her life with a child that has Asperger's Syndrome.  While my middle son has many of the AS traits, he is not near as severe as the teen-aged boy portrayed in this story.

Does anyone out there have any children with AS?

HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis. He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel -- and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year, A Fresh, Clean Start

I love Calvin and Hobbs and have for years.  This strip is right on the nose.  I love standing in this moment, at the beginning of January knowing that a whole "new" world is out there for me.  I love this time of feeling refreshed and even the feeling of starting all over.  It's like the slate has been wiped clean and I get a chance at life again!

I don't commit to New Year resolutions because I don't like failure.  Instead, I choose about 3 or 4 things and try hard to stick with them.  I know that it's been said that if we stick with something for 21 days or longer, we can make it a habit.

I haven't dieted in years... but this year (being as I AM getting older) I am going to chose to live healthier.  Mostly with diet (for energy) and then with exercise (for muscle tone).  It's funny to me that loosing weight is the number one thing on most people's lists.  Not that loosing weight is funny, but that we really do all know how to eat, we just don't.

This year I feel a newness, a freshness in my spirit.  I want my relationship with the Lord to be deeper and truer than over.... and I know through commit of my own and God's promises, I will be able to do it.

I want to wish all of you, my blog friends the best year ever.  May your relationship with Jesus go deeper than deep, may your families be in perfect health and may God provide your every need!  Hugs