Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas 1 Corinthians 13

I received this from a friend of mine, Mr. Cowden, from Oklahoma. I'm sure he won't mind my passing it on. Enjoy!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny balls; but, do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of holiday cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime; but, do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but, do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir's cantata; but, do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and tablelinens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust...
But giving the gift of love will endure. (The preceding is a paraphrase of the "Love" chapter - 1 Corinthians 13 - received from our friend June)
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Psalm 127:3 How are we cherishing this gift/reward?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Morning Worship

I have a special spot where I like to meet with God in the morning.

The kids have come to know where my special spot is, as they often see me there. I used to try to always make sure that I was done with my morning worship before they woke up, but schedules changed and things got rearranged and now they are often stirring while I'm reading my Bible and praying.

I used to have an almost vigilante approach toward "protecting my worship time" so that I wasn't disturbed. Now, like this morning, it is the greatest joy to have my little girl climb up next to me and snuggle as I read and pray. Sometimes I pray out loud with her. Sometimes I read some of the things I'm studying to the boys when they come out.

There are times when I have to ask them to be quiet, and they are eager to do so, because they know how special this time is to me. I praise the Lord that over the years He has helped me to see that it's not whether the worship time is 'perfect' or not, but whether or not my heart is turned to Him with the faith of a little child.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Squeeze My Feet

Both of the boys celebrated birthdays recently. Their birthdays are 15 days apart. It certainly makes for an interesting November, when you add in Thanksgiving and my mom's birthday as well. November ends up being a feasting and party month! No wonder I can never fit into that great Christmas outfit!

We went shopping with Matthew's birthday money. He got to pick out some cool toys and some great shoes and a new pack of socks. Normally, I would just buy whatever hits me at the moment, but I wanted him to learn how to make decisions on what he would like.

Karl likes ankle socks. Michael likes long socks. Both of them hate tube socks. So, what was Matthew's emerging preferences? I asked him what kind of socks he would like to get. His answer was simple. I want socks that squeeze my feet, so they don't fall off.

Matthew does have some socks that really need to disappear, but they are favorites. They are old and worn out and loose fitting from being stretched out so much, yet he still wears them. I'm slowly removing these unworthy items from his drawers, favorites or not. But he knew enough to know he wanted tight fitting socks. Socks that squeezed his feet, so they wouldn't fall off.

The words were precious. The lesson even better. Matthew was speaking from his heart. He didn't know how to say I want tight fitting socks, but he knew how to say he wanted socks that squeezed his feet. In his 5 year old honesty and sincerity, he got his message across.

Sometimes, I think we don't talk to God enough, because we are afraid of saying things like, I want socks that squeeze my feet. Somehow we've been brainwashed to think that if we don't use "thee's and thou's" in our prayers that we aren't praying properly. I'm all for reverance, don't get me wrong, but God doesn't want us to rend our garments, He wants us to rend our hearts. Look it up!

So, I'm going to take a lesson from my 5 year old. The next time I want to tell God something really important to me, I'm just going to say it how I feel it, even if it's not King James English or whatever. God understands me. He created me. He'd much rather me talk to Him, than try to learn how to speak in a way that is not natural for me.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I took my oldest son and my niece letterboxing this weekend. Michael's 4H group has some hiking/letterboxing projects that the 4H'ers can work on. Michael loves trails, hiking, trees and the great outdoors, so this is perfect for him.

My sister and mother stayed at the house with my two little ones while I took Michael and Cherokee to the Indian Rockhouse Trailhead. It was a 3 1/2 mile trail, with the most difficult part at the end. That is when everybody really began to complain about their legs hurting and so forth. Why they saved the steepest most difficult part for the end of the trail, I'm not sure, but they did.

We saw lots of sinkholes, natural rock formations that were amazing and squirrels. The little creatures seemed to be everywhere on the trail. We had clues from the 4H club, and we followed them carefully. However, we never found the letterbox kit, and therefore weren't able to add our stamps to the journal inside it.

Some interesting things happened on that hike. My niece, who was so ready to go and ready for an adventure, was the one struggling the most at the end. She had failed to pace herself carefully at the beginning.

I had never been on this particular trail, but I have been hiking before. The trail map from the ranger station, as well as the 4H letterbox clues, gave me enough information to realize that we were very close to the Indian Rockhouse, the halfway point of the trail. We had one more steep climb, and then it would level out and we'd get to the rockhouse. But Michael and Cherokee begged for a rest. They were pleading, truth be told. I informed them there were no breaks until we got to the rockhouse. I reminded them that I was 35 years old and had three kids. If I can do it, they can, because they are young and full of energy. Come on guys, keep up with me! I told them that they would thank me later for pushing them on now. We finally made it up the hill and to the rockhouse and we were greatly rewarded for our efforts. The scenery was beautiful. I explained to Cherokee that it is much easier to get a car up a steep hill, if you have the momentum from going down the previous hill. It would be much harder to drive up that hill, if you had come to a complete stop at the bottom of it. I told her it was the same with our hiking. If we had stopped and took a rest, when we had good momentum, just before this one last steep hill, that hill would have been much harder to climb.

I learned a lot yesterday. I learned that previous hiking experience, even though I wasn't familiar with this particular trail, had helped me have a better hike. I also learned that not pacing yourself at the beginning can make it very hard for you at the end. Actually, my niece learned that one. I learned that even though we were looking for the stamp, and never found it, we still enjoyed the journey. I also learned that the strap on a $6 desert canteen from Walmart isn't worth 50 cents. My poor niece ended up carrying her canteen on more than half of the trail, because the strap broke. She had just purchased the canteen on Wednesday, and it broke this weekend. But she didn't complain, and she carried her canteen. I remembered how peaceful it was on the trail, and how blessed it is to let God see your heart so openly out in nature.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Our memory text this past week was Genesis 15:6. "He believed in the Lord and He counted it to him for righteousness."

Yesterday, our pastor and his wife were in our "young adult" Sabbath School class with us. When the teacher went over the memory text for the week, our pastor stopped her and just said, we need to discuss this.

Pastor Westgate wanted to make sure that each one of us understood that Abram believed in the Lord and His promises. It wasn't Abram's altars, his sacrifices, his honesty, integrity or musical preference. Abram believed in the Lord.

Someone in the class asked how one can believe and yet be at such a different "stage" in their relationship with Christ than someone who perhaps has believed on the Lord for many years.

The first thing to come to my mind was my husband. So I related this to the class, and I think it helped me to even better understand my relationship with Christ.

When I first met Karl, I believed that there was something special about him. So, I took advantage of opportunities to get to know Karl better. Then I believed that Karl was someone I might be interested in dating. So we started spending time together. Next, I believed that Karl was an important part of my life, and I didn't want to date anyone else. We spent more and more time together, sharing our thoughts, dreams and goals in life. Soon, I believed that Karl was the man God had intended for me to share my life with.

At each stage, I believed. As I spent more time with Karl, my belief in our love grew. It is the same with Christ. The moment we believe, we are His. The more time we spend with Christ, the more we see what He is in our lives, and the more we believe in Him. Our belief in Him grows as we spend precious time with our Savior. Yet the truth remains that we were just as much Christ's when we first believed as we are Christ's when we have believed and grown in Him for 20 years or more. God is amazing!

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Used to Be Perfect

I've been reading lately, and writing.

The book I've been working on is a book loaned to me by my pastor, "I Used To Be Perfect," by George Knight.

I saw a video sermon once where someone shared a concept from this book, but to put it bluntly, they did it in such a horrible way that it made the concept hideous to me. I told the pastor about it and he agreed that this guy wasn't getting the thought across, but that it wasn't a bad concept, just presented badly. That's why he loaned me the book, because it presents the concepts of grace in a much more understandable way.

I must admit, the book has shock titles for its chapters. It seems Mr. Knight wants to get your dander up before you read each chapter. I'm not so fond of this ploy, but the material is still good, despite Mr. Knight's attempts (or his editors) to shock you with titles such as chapter one's: Sin is love.

But once you read the chapter, you agree that sin is love. Sin is love of self. Sin is love of self, self seeking, selfishness, pride and ego. It's taking the love for God that we were created to experience and enjoy, and substituting instead a love of self. The point is well made and right on. Sometimes we tend to think of sin as individual actions, like whether or not someone steals, lies, murders and so forth.

It's definitely a book worth taking a look at. It's nice to have someone put in book form that it's all about the relationship. This is something Karl and I have tried to share with some former church friends, to no avail. Maybe, someday, we'll all understand that God wants our hearts and He wants to share His withus.

When I'm not reading "I Used to Be Perfect," I'm working on my first novel. My oldest son saw me typing away last night. He asked what I was working on, and I said a project. He had seen my typing at the computer several times this week and said, are you writing a book. I guess not much gets by an 11 year old boy that reads for the sheer joy of reading.

I honestly had no intention of writing a novel, of all things, but I've had no peace until I started writing it down. I did the first draft of one chapter yesterday afternoon and I nearly cried when I was done. It is amazing how much of yourself you share when you write a book. How much of your own relationship with God you are revealing to others, and how God fills your heart and mind. He is amazing!

Friday, November 10, 2006

When you ask God.......

It's amazing what can happen when you ask God a question, without limits.

I have a home business that I'm ashamed to say I didn't manage well at the beginning. Mainly, I didn't start it out correctly, with God at the helm. I asked for guidance, and I didn't get the answer I wanted, so I did my own thing anyway. Since then, I've come to realize that things go much better when God is in charge.

So, the next step was to rededicate the business to God, and designate a portion of my income to Him. This is where it gets complicated. This is where my selfishness was made manifest. I was trying to decide how much of my income should be dedicated to the Lord, you know, beyond tithes. Did God want 25% of my income or more or less?

At first I felt the pious thing to do would be to start at 50%, but then I realized how much money I would be "losing." Suddenly, I thought that maybe 25% wouldn't be too bad, but even that seemed like a lot. Then, I realized how petty I was being and that I would never be able to decide for myself.

So, I gave it to God. I asked Him. Lord, how much do you want me to dedicate to you of this business income. His response was rather simple, "All of it."

I was floored, but joyful, because God had made the decision that I was too weak to make, after I had given the matter to Him. I guess that's the way it works. When you are to weak to do the right thing, surrender the situation to God, and He'll put you on the right path.

So, one of the things I had been doing wrong in my home business was something I couldn't do for myself. Now that it's God's business, I found myself being even more careful about how I handled work, and wouldn't you know it, things went better than before the business was rededicated to God. It's almost as if I'm more careful because this is God's business.

But the sad part of it is that we should be living our lives that way everyday. I should be more careful with my words, my thoughts, my actions, my attitude, my thoroughness in the things I have to do, because it's God's, not mine.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Marian Fisher

The following is written by Bible Worker William Earnhardt, from Tampa, FL. I certainly hope he doesn't mind my sharing this on my blog, since it's already been passed around the internet on emails. Marian Fisher, an example of another young woman of true beauty.

"Satan reared his ugly head where no one expected him. He once again demonstrated before the entire universe his true colors in a tiny
Amish school. But where Satan was showing his true colors God's grace abounded even greater in the person of 13 year old Marian Fisher. Satan used a grown man to represent him before the world and the universe, but God chose a 13 year old Amish girl to represent Him before the universe. Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Marian Fisher woke up Monday morning like any other 13 year old girl with a full day ahead of her - totally clueless that she was moments
away from being placed in a situation where she would choose to make the ultimate sacrifice - pleading with a gunman to shoot her first, to buy time so others could survive.
My first thought was, "where did she get the presence of mind to think of that?" Second question "where did she get the courage to ask?" Obviously while we may think our religion superior, and may think the Amish a little backwards, today we stand in awe of the Amish parents and teachers who are obviously doing something right! Probably a hundred things right! They taught and prepared a young girl to do way more than just stand up for the letter of the law but to represent the very spirit of the law and the Cross of Christ when she was trying to die first so others could live!
Obviously this girl had more than just fantastic parents and teachers. She herself was "filled with all the fullness of God." What was demonstrated during those few minutes of terror in the Amish school was not just a 13 year old girl, but God Himself. Satan used the Cross to show his true colors thus providing opportunity for Jesus to show His true colors. At the Cross 2,000 years ago Marian Fisher was crucified with Christ. In the Amish school the everlasting gospel, which is the Cross of Christ, was again spread all
over the world via Internet and Satellite as, this time, Christ was in that school being crucified with Marian Fisher. Once again, where sin abounded God's grace has much more abounded. God has shown that He still exists and is very much alive, not by using the wonders of the heavens, not by using the cunning philosophy and theology of religious scholars, but by using an everyday 13 year old girl.
These are the things I am considering as I ponder this story:
1. While the wicked are becoming more wicked, the righteous are becoming more righteous.
2. God is sealing His people not just with a superficial knowledge of His law but with His very self sacrificing character.
3. While we are tempted to think evil is prevailing, God's grace is prevailing. There are many other stories in the news today of everyday people sacrificing their lives for others. On 9-11 we saw Satan rearing his ugly head again with a people who were willing to die in order to destroy others. God showed us on that same day even more people who were willing to die to save others. We see an entire Amish community demonstrating love and genuine forgiveness. It makes me believe the 144,000 will actually be a multitude in which no man can number.
4. Humility! If we older people think the youth of today are the problem and we are the solution think again! It was a young girl at Columbine who stood up for Jesus in the face of death, and again in Pennsylvania.
5. If we think our denomination is superior think again! The everlasting gospel is being taken to the world by people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. Like the Good Samaritan, God is not glorified in people who know it all but by people who lay down their lives at any cost.
6. What would I have done if I had been in that young girl's shoes? When I left my house this morning and headed to work, was I prepared to lay down my life? As I admire her courage I have to doubt not only my credentials to be a lay pastor or Bible Worker, but can I even call myself a Christian? Today if you were listing those who are Christians, I would shrink from having my name mentioned in the same sentence as Marian Fisher or any other forgiving Amish in that community.
7. Don't think for a moment that all the Daniels, Shadrachs, Meshachs and Abednegos are just way back in Bible times. They are all around us today. They are everyday fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and yes, sons and daughters!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Warped Sense of Beauty

My husband found a link to this cool movie made by Dove:

Please check out this movie. It's only a couple of minutes long, and explains very easily why our perception of beauty is so warped.

Basically, the movie shows a woman, plain, and then the whole process of "making her over" in fast frame. It also inlcudes the computer enhancements. Yes, computer enhancements after this woman has been all made over, it's still not enough to satisfy the beauty craving Hollywood has built in us.

So what constitutes true beauty to you? What have you done lately to let people know they are beautiful in your life, whether or not their face appears on a billboard?

I was just home from the hospital after Greta was born. It had been a stressful time. My father was dying of cancer and I desperately wanted to see him. Then a very beautiful thing happened. The ladies of my church at that time all got together and planned help for me. Each day was assigned to a different woman, for one week. They came and cleaned my house, made lunch for us and ate with us, helping with the older children, then they cleaned up again and left us with a dish for supper. One woman even did all my laundry. Another woman stayed for hours in the afternoon playing with the older children so I could get some undisturbed rest. Thanks to these ladies, I recovered quickly from childbirth and was able to travel to see my Dad before he died.

That is my picture of beautiful women.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tribute to Alexander Borodin, by a three year old

I have arrived!

In one brief moment before supper last night, I realized what had been accomplished. The minds of my young children were totally influenced to appreciate....classical Russian music!

Everyone loves Sabre Dance, so that doesn't count, however it is indeed one of Greta's favorites which she often requests. My thanks to Aram Khatchaturian.

However, last night I achieved the pinnacle of musical influence over my children. Greta and Matthew are my little songbirds. They sing, they hum, they da da da da da and whatever else they can do to vocalize music. It seems at times that the world, and my home, would be deathly silent were it not for their musical offerings.

As we were seating the children for supper, Greta launched into one of her hums that turns in to a da da da da recitation of a song that she has heard that tickles her fancy. And what was that great offering of musical genius? Twas not Bob the Builder, although they do like that song and will also hum it at times. Twas not any of the numerous Christmas pieces I'd been playing as of late, for which her father thanks her. It was none other than one of the Polovetsian Dances from "Prince Igor" by Alexander Borodin! Yes, the pinnacle of musical influence over a three year old (and consequently her nearly 5 year old brother as they take turns copying each other) has been achieved.

So, to the vast repertoire of musical renderings offered by Matthew and Greta such as Veggie Tales, Sabbath School songs, Bob the Builder, Revive Us Lord, and bluegrass, we now add Classical Russian music. Alas it is a beautiful day!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pastor Appreciation... and more

So, this Sabbath was Pastor Appreciation Sabbath. We had a special potluck after church and presented the pastor with a card that had been passed around (very cleverly) through the whole church so people could sign it. We had been told the week before of this, and so we encouraged our children to prepare something as well.

Little Greta drew a stick man, and said it was the pastor. If you've ever seen a 3 year old girl draw a stick man, well, you can appreciate what she lovingly gave to our pastor.

Matthew was not content with one drawing. He was determined that he would be making a book. In fact, he nearly cried when he realized he had one part of it upside down. So, he erased it and started over. My little perfectionist finally got it the way he wanted it. It was just a small book, but it was indeed a book, made with heart from a 4 year old perfectionist (boy am I in trouble).

One picture that Matthew chose to include in his book was that of the burning bush, that Moses saw. He said that it was Jesus that was talking to Moses from the burning bush, and since Jesus was the Lamb of God, he drew a lamb in the burning bush. This took Karl by surprise, but Matthew was totally right. Jesus is the Lamb of God (and the bread of life and the way and the door....)and He was in the burning bush. Kids are amazing.

A collection had been taken up for a gift to give to the pastor. But no one said anything about his wife or daughter. So, during the week, I had formulated some ideas, and then prepared a little gift bag for the pastor's wife and their daughter. His wife seemed to really appreciate it.

Let's face it, a pastor has a lot on his mind and many burdens that most of us don't even realize. Besides taking it to God in prayer, who else is he going to share those burdens with? A godly wife to support a pastor is blessing, a miracle and something to be grateful for. Without her help and support, would he be able to do all he does?

Most everyone at church just chipped in to the collection and signed the card. I didn't see many others (non actually) who personally presented the pastor or his family with anything.

When was the last time we did something personal. Not just the routine and standard practice, but really personalized our thanks? When was the last time that you personally, on your own, told Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, how much you love Him?

Sunday, October 22, 2006


So there was communion at my church yesterday. No big deal, except for the fact that most of the church members weren't aware and had no clue. Usually, there are announcements and so forth, or a note in the previous church bulletin. My church holds communion about once every three months, not every single service. I've been to churches where they have communion every single Sunday, and it has very little meaning, because it's just a quick thing to get out of the way, something they do every single week. At least, that's the way it was at the churches I've been to.

What Jesus experienced with his disciples was so incredibly special and full of meaning, that when we have communion at our church, I like to think and prepare spiritually the week beforehand. I didn't get this opportunity yesterday. But that's the cool thing. God still had a lesson for me.

It was a reminder that Jesus wants me to come to Him, just as I am, whether I'm "prepared" or not. Whether or not I've had time to dwell on Jesus' promise that He would not drink anymore of the fruit of the vine until He can drink it with us in Heaven. The important thing, is to come to Him, and accept from Him what He can offer to us.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Real Man

Years ago, there was an opportunity to preach a sermon on Father's Day weekend at our church in New Mexico. I volunteered. Unbelievably, even though I'm a woman, the pastor said, sure.

So I got up and preached a sermon about God's love for people shown through godly men. I wore an illustration, a dress my father had gotten for me when I was 16 years old. A very expensive dress, but one he knew would last a long time and I would enjoy with great comfort, and I did. My dad knew the value of quality, and tried to instill that into his extra thrifty daughter.

But that day, I also preached about God's command to comfort the widow and the orphan. I mentioned that I had a sister, a single mother, and I prayed that one day there would be a godly man come into her life and the life of her daughter.

That's been many years ago, and she is still single, but God has brought godly men into her life as father figures, especially after our own father died 3 years ago. God does answer prayers!

Recently, another godly man has been there to help her with advice when she needed it. I'm just rejoicing and praising the Lord for His providence.

Men, you are needed. There are many areas where your strength and dependence on God are in high demand. The world needs godly men. Don't be shy. Stand up and show God's love to those around you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boyhood and Beyond

I really love this book, "Boyhood and Beyond," by Bob Schultz. I saw it in the new arrivals section of our local library, and took it for a test drive. I loved it so much, just reading the first few chapters, that I decided it would be part of Michael's home school curriculum this year.

Even better than the fact that I love this book, is the fact that Michael also loves this book. It was such an awesome moment when we finished this great chapter about perseverance and not giving up, and then at the end is this awesome text, Micah 7:8. Michael nearly came out of his seat, like the way you do when you hear the most beautiful music or see the lovliest art work in a perfect display setting.

All I can say is wow. Wow. Wow. I told Michael, since he's going to turn eleven next month, that after we finish this book, we need to read it again in a few more years, when he's a teenager (but by no means is it too early to read the book now, I mean WOW), and he agreed so enthusiastically.

I'm grateful for men who challenge boys now, in their youth, to learn the ways of God and learn now to start making the decisions that will honor God. Then, when they are older, they will be used to making the right decisions. I'm grateful for those who are mentoring boys and girls, young men and young women wherever they are, to draw closer to Christ and love Him more.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


Well, finally did it. Thanks to encouragement and prodding from family, I finally went to a different doctor. I told myself I wasn't going to any "regular" gynecologists anymore. I was tired of being treated like case number 235678......

So, I found this doc that listens to you. Seriously. My first appointment with her was 2 hours long, not counting the blood tests she ordered for me. She really listened to me. She really took the time to see what all was happening in my life and what could be causing the physical problems I was experiencing.

A huge burden has been relieved because somebody took the time to listen to all of the symptoms, and not try to force me into a preprogrammed medication.

I'm looking forward to feeling a huge difference in the next few months. In the meantime, I'm still just so thankful that somebody listened. Really listened.

Perhaps there is someone in your life that needs someone to just listen. Jesus has asked us to be His hands and feet, and minister to those around us in His name. Why not practice the art of listening today?

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Life Chain

I participated in my first "Life Chain" today. Life Chain is an organized effort to express pro-life choices, without political or aggressive measures. It is simply holding a sign (all the signs were the same for uniformity and clarity) that said "Abortion Kills Children." Life Chain is held the 1st of October each year, from 2pm to 3pm. For this one hour, people stand quietly and meditatively in a chain on a major road displaying these signs.

On the back of the signs, are words of songs, for the sign bearer to quietly hum to themselves, including "Jesus Loves the Little Children." There are also instructions, guidelines, and ideas for meditation and prayer. The first suggestion for prayer, is not for those who have had/are having or may have an abortion. The first suggestion for prayer is for yourself, a prayer for repentance. Personal repentance for possibly not taking a stand sooner against abortion and for missing an opportunity to aid an abortion victim.

Needless to say, I thought of the many times I've been judgmental, and not compassionate. I've thought of the many times I've banked on pharisaical pride, instead of the hands and feet that reach out with the love of Jesus. There was indeed much soul searching as I stood out there for one hour in 88 degrees and bright sunshine, not exactly the usual for the 1st of October.

My children were with me. I had brought chairs for them and saw to their comfort and needs during the one hour. Several people commented on how amazed they were that children could be so calm for an hour. I was praising the Lord for His blessings! It was nice to see that on the guidelines for participants, it said, assist mothers with young children. I was grateful for that assistance when it was time to load up and exit the area by the highway.

It was nice to see the 70 people from our tiny county come out and support the life chain. However, I did begin to wonder, what if the signs read: Gossip kills relationships. Adultery kills marriages. Not listening kills parent/child relationships. No Bible study and prayer kills spirituality. Let's just say that I had a lot to think about out there today, and much to pray for.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dog Stories

Ask me sometime what happened in Arizona, but let's just say I'm not a cat person anymore. Dogs - now that's another story.

I recently checked out Eight Below from our local library. Wow, what an inspiring movie! I wanted to know more, so I went to the official website. I wanted to know more about the true story that inspired this movie.

What I found on the Eight Below website was a collection of dog hero stories. Incredible. Dogs and kids. Dogs and adults. Dogs and families. Dogs and fires, burglars, thin ice. All kinds of stories of the heroics of dogs.

If you are an animal lover, especially dogs, or you just need to know that good things can happen when all seems lost, go to the Eight Below website and check out the dog hero stories. It will make your heart glad!

Blessings of Music

I sometimes use music to encourage the children to get out of their beds and head for the chores list. One day last week, I put in a cd by Janice Smith. It's songs from her children's series, Janice's Attic. I knew the children would recognize some of the songs and enjoy it. What I didn't realize is how much it would bless me as well.

All of these kids songs have such simple messages, but are put beautifully to music in a way that children enjoy. Simple songs about persevering (boy did I need that one) and having a good attitude. Pretty soon, I realized that choosing that cd that day was the best thing that I could have done to remind me of the simple truths of God's love and His desire to give me a more abundant life. Praise the Lord for those who minister to children! God says they have their reward, and I believe that! I'm also grateful that the people who minister to children can also minister to us stubborn adults, if we'll just take the time to listen and humble our hearts.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Journey to Wellness Revisited

You may recall the Journey to Wellness quiz that Karl and I took, and the results that I would outlive him by 15 years. If you want more info, see the previous post called Journey to Wellness.

There were already some changes that were happening in our lives at the time, but one change in particular, which I won't comment on in this post, seems to have opened doors and changed our lives for the better! It's amazing how making one decision for a change in your life can put you on the right track in many areas of your life.

Good things aren't pouring out like rainstorms or anything, but both Karl and I have noticed how more good things and positive things are happening. It is a wondrous blessing!

One of those new positives is Karl's pledge to drink more water, and the fact that he is actually doing it. He is really noticing a difference in his energy levels and other things. Despite the migraines, he is avoiding sodas (he often used the caffeine in a soda to constrict the blood vessels in the neck that feed the migraine area and so forth) and feeling a huge difference.

Lastly, he tried a new product called Extreme X2O, produced by Xooma Worldwide. It's a water purification packet you put right in your glass. More than that, it has the right properties to help restore the PH balance in your body.

I didn't know that a Nobel Prize was given to the person who discovered that cancer cells can't live in an alkaline environment. How come this isn't spread all over the world? Everyone needs to know this simple discovery. No, it's not a cure for cancer, but he did discover that the cancer can't survive in an alkaline body. So, how do you get alkaline? Most of the sugars, fatty fried foods, coffee, sodas and so forth are acid forming, whereas most fruits, vegetables and grains are alkaline forming. Xooma's Extreme X2O also helps to balance your PH toward the Alkaline.

So, I'm happy for Karl. I wish him the best as he tries to get his health back on track. You can visit Karl's website to find out more about Extreme X2O at

In the meantime, I'm going to look at my spiritual balance as well. If the cancer of sin can't live in an alkaline environment, what are some of the things that Jesus can do in my life, that will balance my spiritual PH? I think it's time I let Him do whatever is needed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Casio

Okay, strange question for all of you - do you know how to fix the roller function on a Casio FR 2650 adding machine?

Called tech support, they tried to tell me how to load the paper, very kind and professional in manner. I told them the feed isn't working. I've worked some paper in there because the feed wouldn't load it. I enter calculations and it just types on the same line over and over again because the feed isn't working. I don't need someone to tell me how to load the paper, I need someone to tell me how to get the roller/feed function going.

They referred me the repair center. Casio is nice to provide both of these facilities with toll free numbers. However, the repair center person wasn't as easy going as the tech support. She wouldn't even listen to me, just send it in for repairs. No questions asked. When people won't even listen to me, it makes me wonder why I should send my item to their repair center. So, before I send it to either New Jersey or California, the only places authorized to repair an FR 2650, I'd like to know if anyone else has dealt with this and knows what to do to get this thing working.

Thinking about the whole incident....I think I'm the same way with God. When God tells me to do something, and I don't feel like He's listening to me, I'm usually not willing to do it. However, from reading God's Word, He is always listening to us. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that God is listening, but maybe I'm just not getting the response I want. It doesn't mean He isn't listening. It means I still need to submit to His will and be patient.

Ya'll pray for me because I have a real problem with patience! Hence the frustration with my Casio FR 2650!

forced paper in there and the feed isn't

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jesus is our High Priest!

For some, this means nothing more than the words they just read. But there is a big difference for those who have put their trust in God, if we stop and think about it for a little bit, while adding a little bit of culture.

The Israelites had a day of atonement. On that day, the sanctuary would be cleansed. On that day, everything that had been happening the whole year on the credit card system, if you will, was about to be paid up (as far as the earthly symbols go). Would the payment be accepted?

Each year, on the day of atonement, the Israelites would pray and search their hearts. Had all sins been confessed? If the high priest was not worthy, or didn't fulfill the sacrifices and offerings in the correct manner, it would not be accepted.

The high priest wore bells on the end of his garment, that would jingle as he walked and ministered in the Most Holy Place. If the bells stopped ringing, the other priests, in the Holy Place, who held the end of a rope that was tied to the high priest's ankle, would have to pull his dead body out. For he would be consumed by the power and majesty of God, if this high priest was unworthy or the people hadn't done their part. A very solemn ceremony, to say the least.

But we can rejoice! We know that our High Priest has offered the best and the only sacrifice that is worthy. We don't have to fear. Jesus' sacrifice was what the law demanded. We don't have to fear the judgment/final day of atonement, as long as our trust is in Jesus, because His sacrifice has been accepted in heaven.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Matthew's Hurricane

Matthew has a cowlick. It is unmistakable. It's also adorable, right now. Who knows what it will be for him when he's a teenager.

I remember when we buzzed his hair last summer. The cowlick was even more pronounced. This was during Hurricane season, and before Katrina. Someone at church came up and said, "Matthew, you have a little hurricane on your head." Sure enough, with his hair buzzed, that cowlick did look like a little hurricane in his hair.

For some reason, Matthew has been fascinated with hurricanes ever since. Maybe because we buzz his hair during the summers and he is reminded of his own little hair hurricane.

The latest with Matthew and hurricanes was an experience Karl had. We've taught the children how to say "I love you" in sign language. Most people know this symbol. Using your right hand, you have your thumb, pointer finger and pinkie finger extended, and the others folded.

In our family, we sometimes make the sign and then make our fingers "blink." It's our way of making a neon I love you sign. Sometimes we wave with the hand as well, saying it's a wave of I love you. Well, Matthew took it a step further. He made the I love you sign and was making it in a circle. Karl asked him what it was, and Matthew said, it was a hurricane of love.

God's Word says that children are a treasure from the Lord. In moments like this, I have no doubt (it's the baby powder spills all over the bedroom that make me waiver). I do rejoice in my children, and thank God for the privilege of raising them.

I think God planted something special in all children. Their great capacity for loving is indeed a treasure!

Friday, September 8, 2006

Beware of the Yeast

I couldn't believe it. I was laughing because it was just too funny. Of all the things to win a blue ribbon and a special prize on top of it. It's just too funny!

This week is our local county fair. I entered 6 different baked goods, including dinner rolls. When I was making the rolls, following the directions of course, I had to set the yeast in a separate container and then start on the rest of the bread. I got the bread all kneaded, covered and set to rise, when I realized, I had forgotten to put in the yeast!

This was too much. I was also baking three types of pudding cookies and banana bread and cornbread and there just wasn't time for silly mistakes like this! At this point, I didn't care about ribbons, I just wanted the dinner rolls to turn out because I didn't want to waste the ingredients. So I worked the yeast into the dough and worked it and worked it, and prayed.

There was judging all morning and afternoon yesterday. Then, later in the afternoon I went to get our concession stand open that is a fundraiser activity for my son's 4H group. The official entries for the fair only need three pieces on a plate. So the rest of my baked goods went to the concession stand to help the kids. After working in the booth and cleaning up and tallying the profits and so forth, I finally had a chance to go see some of my entries.

I had heard that I got 4 blue ribbons and 2 red ribbons, and I just knew it was the dinner rolls that got a red ribbon (surprised they didn't throw them out), but there were the dinner rolls, set out on top with a line of other special prize winners. I couldn't believe it. I still chuckle when I think about it.

There is this verse in the Bible where Jesus says beware of the leaven (yeast) of the pharisees. I needed to beware of forgetting my yeast when I was baking! Yet just a simple thing like that, and the Lord answered prayers about making the dinner rolls still be edible so that food wouldn't be wasted. God is good. I'm glad He has time for the little things of life.

Friday, September 1, 2006


The latest detour in our journey with our oldest son's health is chelation. Michael's doctor has thoroughly tested him and we have worked with diet/allergies for a while. The next step is removing the mercury he was poisoned with during childhood vaccinations. Now, not everyone gets 4 shots in one day, but Michael did, and at the time, we didn't know any better. We've learned a lot since then about speaking up and researching for ourselves when it comes to health.

Michael still has a problem with swallowing pills, so we have to use a medicated lotion for the chelation process. This is something that has to be "compounded." This is not something that is kept in stock as a lotion. Only the chemicals are kept in stock, to be compounded when a prescription comes up needing it.

Michael's doctor called in the prescription to some place in New Jersey. I called them to work out the money details. All they wanted was my credit card number, and they weren't too free with information from their end, so I said no thank you and called around. Turns out our local pharmacy in our town has started compounding. Lately, they've been marketing their compounded bio-identical hormones. So, I thought I would give it a try.

Sure enough, they were friendly, answered all my questions, and didn't ask for my credit card until I was satisfied with the answers. Plus, they gave me a better price than the place in New Jersey and I saved the shipping costs!

I was reading an article lately about how more pharmacies are starting to put compounding areas back in their facilities. It seems that more and more people are becoming aware of the need to go back to the old ways of doing things. Another article in another magazine was touting the latest in veterinary news: doctors making house calls. Seems they've figured out that most of the felines and canines do much better when they are in their own environment.

It seems that every where I look, the "old, outdated, non efficient and certainly not politcally correct" ways of doing things are coming back and holding their own. People are getting tired, perhaps, of the computerized voices and no personal touch in anything these days, and they want things the way they used to be, people helping people right in their own communities.

It reminds me, however, of something very interesting I learned a few years ago. We went to a meeting where leaders of our area church district were talking about evangelism. They showed on a chart what had the best effect for leading people to Jesus and what had the least effect. They also showed what church members are more willing to do, and what they are least willing to do for evangelism.

It was very interesting that television and radio were the least effective witnessing tools, yet they were the ones the church members were the most willing to do. The most effective forms of evangelism were one on one Bible studies and other personal efforts. These, of course, were the things that church members were the least willing to do. Our society seems to be crying out for the "personal touch."

I hope God can use me to touch a life, because I know He has used many of you to touch mine.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Journey to Wellness

So my husband brings home this little paper called Journey to Wellness, take the test of your lifetime. He had been at a 4H pool party with Michael and these papers were passed out there.

It has you start with the number 76, and then you add or subtract from that number based on a page and a half of questions. One question is: If you live in an urban area with a population over 2 million, subtract 2. There are other questions regarding health habits of yourself and family members. Karl bombed on this one because 2 grandfathers died before he was even born. All of my grandparents lived until at least 60 years old. The test also includes driving habits, taking into account whether or not you are likely to die in a car crash.

So, we get to the bottom of the test, and Karl said this thing estimated he would live to be 80 years old and I would live to be 95. All I could say was a sarcastic "Thanks!"

That's 15 years! There is a difference of 15 years between our life expectancies (granted no one but God knows the true number of our days, but this at least gets you thinking). We've been married for 15 years. There have been times of joy and times of sorrow. Frustrations and Elations. Not many people pull their firstborn child out themselves while their husband is driving 70 miles per hour to the hospital. So there are definitely experiences in our marriage these 15 years that I would greatly miss if we had never gotten married. So, I'm thinking how many experiences we would miss in 15 years difference of life expectancies?

Our choices: I can make my health worse (not going to happen on purpose), Karl can improve his health chances (a lot of effort on his part, but doable) or we can just accept the fact that I will outlive him by 15 years.

Repeatedly, the scriptures pound the message of health. God desires us to prosper and be in good health. 80 years of age is nothing to sneeze at, by any means, but I believe God's plan for us is to be as healthy as possible. So, pray for Karl and I as we try to climb the Mt. Everests of his health (his job literally is very hard on his health) that seem impossible. We must remember that with God, all things are possible, even good health!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

How do you say I'm sorry?

Interesting phone call. My 12 year old niece (whose gorgeous development has all of us {especially her mother} on our guard lately), called recently to ask advice on boys. Whoa. Well, at least it was for a friend of hers. It seems that her friend likes a certain boy and my niece thinks the boy likes her friend. The problem is they are both terribly shy. So my niece is left with the difficult task of helping these two "tweens" break the ice and talk to each other.
After speaking with my husband, as she wanted a guy's point of view, she then talked to me on the phone and said she was so confused. I told her that she was now right on target and welcome to womanhood! She went on to say that she would never understand men, and again, I welcomed her into the club.
However, it reminded me of another recent incident. I screwed up and made a big mess of a situation and it was totally senseless because I overreacted. So, I sucked it up and apologized and asked for forgiveness. That's when it hit me. The person I apologized to and asked forgiveness of....I couldn't remember the last time they ever apologized to me for anything or even hinted at asking for forgiveness, even though this person manages to cause me hurt and pain. I suddenly realized that I'm the one always apologizing (don't worry, it's not my husband), and even though this other person can be hateful and hurtful at times, they never apologize.
It got me to thinking that teaching our children to say "I'm sorry, I messed up, please forgive me," may be the best thing we ever do for their future relationships. I certainly wouldn't want my child going through life causing pain and suffering and not being able to own up to it and receive the healing of forgiveness and a change of behavior.
I also began to wonder, if we can never say "please forgive me" or "I'm sorry" to people we have relationships with, whether as close as immediate family or the other end of the spectrum, then how can we approach God? Does our inability to communicate on the "horizontal level" with our fellow mankind mean that we also don't have what it takes to communicate on the "vertical level" with our Lord and Maker?
And it's not just the words, I'm sorry. What about "good job, way to go, thanks for all your hard work, I appreciate all you've done." If you find yourself having a hard time communicating with someone, you may be having difficulty communicating with God as well, and it might just be time to stop and learn how to say "I'm sorry."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Music and Water

I'm ashamed that it's been so long since my last posting. Alas, the "busy" of life has overwhelmed me as of late.

The boys have their first music recital this weekend. Michael is playing his solo piece on the piano, as well as the duet with his teacher of "Coming Round the Mountain" with another student playing the banjo. It's a great piece. Matthew is playing his solo on the piano as well as his "original composition" of a piece in a minor key about Jesus dying on the cross. Of course, it is only about 3 measures long, but he's only 4 years old, so his teacher wants to give him credit for those 3 measures!

Family is coming from out of state for the recital, and the baptism. Michael, some weeks back, went to the pastor and said, "may I please speak with you at length in the library." The pastor told us later that it was like talking to a small adult. Oh well, that's Michael and we love it! He requested baptism, and then the pastor found out what we had been doing in homeschool, and realized that Michael was pretty much ready for baptism. Since that time, we have reminded Michael over and over that it's not about how many correct answers you get or how good you are, but it's about committing your life to Jesus because you love Him.

So, we are very busy this weekend, and leading up to this weekend. I've made invitations for the recital and am completing the programs for that night. We are a little overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, but praising the Lord for His blessings!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Where is the Music?

My Mom sent this to me, and it was a great blessing, so I thought I would share. It is from Lucado's book, "A Gentle Thunder."
In the Psalms, we learn that the Lord inhabits the praise of His people. Yes, we can cross every t and dot every i, but if we don't have the overflowing love of God in our hearts that pours itself out in praise, it is much indeed like dancing without music.


Hearing God’s Music
by Max Lucado

Let's imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing. You take the book home and get to work.

Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the book open and follow the instructions step by step. You even read the words aloud so she’ll know that you’ve done your homework. “Lean with your right shoulder,” and so you lean. “Now step with your right foot,” and so you step. “Turn slowly to the left,” and so you do.

You continue to read, then dance, read, then dance, until the dance is completed. You plop exhausted on the couch, look at your wife, and proclaim, “I executed it perfectly.”

A Gentle Thunder“You executed it, all right,” she sighs. “You killed it.”


“You forgot the most important part. Where is the music?”


You never thought about music. You remembered the book. You learned the rules. You laid out the pattern. But you forgot the music.

“Do it again,” she says, putting in a CD. “This time don’t worry about the steps; just follow the music.”

She extends her hand and the music begins. The next thing you know, you are dancing—and you don’t even have the book.

We Christians are prone to follow the book while ignoring the music. We master the doctrine, outline the chapters, memorize the dispensations, debate the rules, and stiffly step down the dance floor of life with no music in our hearts. We measure each step, calibrate each turn, and flop into bed each night exhausted from another day of dancing by the book.

Dancing with no music is tough stuff.

“Let God have you, and let God love you—and don’t be surprised if your heart begins to hear music you’ve never heard and your feet learn to dance as never before.”
~ Max Lucado ~

Saturday, August 5, 2006

A New Venture

Back in April, there was an unfortunate incident, upon which I shall not elaborate, but which necessitated our family seeking out another mode of transportation.

Thus began more than 3 LONG months of searching for a vehicle, settling with the insurance company (which was excellent to us), deciding which direction to go in and making it work to purchase a new to us vehicle.

We finally settled on a 2004 Chevrolet Venture that needed a little work on the back end. Seeing as it was in the body shop for 3 months and 1 day, it would be safe to say that the little bit of work on the back end turned into a lot of work and actually a clip job.

But at last, the Chevy Venture is in our driveway, and I embarked on the task of completing forms vin verificationAlas, proof of insurance, registration and so forth. For my efforts, a license plate with a diamond in the middle of it (yes, Arkansas has diamond mines).

Michael is a very curious child. Always looking into all kinds of things and seeming to touch everything when we are in a new environment. However, at this point, Karl and I were probably testing and experimenting with things even more than Michael as we tried to get used to our new vehicle.

Our venture has this cool computer display that tells you what direction you are heading and a variety of other pieces of information. One of the things it displays is your current miles per gallon. You love looking at it when you are going down hill and it shows that you are at that moment getting 99 miles per gallon of gallon. With gas prices as high as they are right now, that's a good number to see! But then, there are the uphills. Sometimes the miles per gallon drops to as low as 9. Yikes!

Although I haven't always had the computer display in front of me, being a frugal mother of three, I've tried to drive in a manner to conserve as much fuel as possible. Karl however has confessed that seeing that display has changed the way he drives.

If we could see a special display in our lives, our words and deeds, that would enable us to see whether we were reflecting Jesus at 99 positive witnessing opportunities per moment of life or 9 positive witnessing opportunities per moment of life, would it change "the way we drive?"

Thursday, August 3, 2006

on being a woman

So, Deb wanted to know why I haven't been writing.

Well, I've been in survival mode. If you are a man or just plain sensitive to things like this, maybe you don't want to read anymore.

Sometimes being a woman isn't all it's cracked up to be! I only pray that since my mom and sister and other women in my family have just as many if not more problems than I do (and several hysterectomies to prove it), that Greta won't get our defective gene and grow up resenting being a woman.

It appears that for the most part, I have recovered, until next month when once again I will feel like I'm in labor again. I'm done having kids, but it seems my body wants to put me through horrendous pain every month. But there is hope. In heaven, I'll have a new body.

I think Jesus knew exactly what He was doing when He compared the second coming to a woman in labor. It's awful, but the rewards are beautiful.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

9 Myths

Just read a great book. Wanted to pass it on to everyone. The message in this book is good whether you have kids or not!

"9 Myths that Damage a Child's Confidence: What parents think, what children say what professionals observe" by Pat Holt.

Check it out when you get a chance. I found it at my local library.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Real Tears

My kids enjoy videos from "The Greatest Adventure, stories from the Holy Bible" series. Yes, these are old (and I mean old) Hanna Barbera cartoons of Bible stories, where the archeologists pass through time and experience stories from the Bible. But I'm glad that my kids love to watch Bible stories!

So they are watching one on Noah's Ark, and all of a sudden Michael says, "Those are fake." What in the world is he talking about? Karl and I ask him and he said the tears on Noah. They are fake.

It seems that my walking encyclopedia had somewhere read that tears come from the inside corners of your eyes, not the outside corners. The animators had drawn the tears on Noah on the outside corners of his eyes. It was already fake, since it was a cartoon, but even then Michael noticed the error.

It seems that animation has come a long way since then. We recently watched Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. The whole family loved it and we even watched some of the "how they did it" features included in the 2 disc special we checked out from our local library.

It was amazing to see how the animators used computers, real lion hair samples, animal anatomy and physiology, green screen technology and numerous other things to make certain that all of their creatures looked as realistic as possible. It's getting tougher to tell which is real and which is fake (example: some of the wolves were real, some were fake, and some were real with computer enhancements).

However, Michael's simple stored up knowledge regarding where tears come from helped him to see that the animator on the old Noah's Ark cartoon didn't spend enough time to make things look as realistic as possible.

How about us? Have we spent enough time studying God's Word, so that when deceptions come our way, we can easily tell the fake from the genuine? Satan has had thousands of years to study human emotions, anatomy and physiology and who knows what else that we may not even be aware of ourselves. Our only defense against deception is God's Word, pure and simple, so we can look at one of Satan's deceptions and say "Those are fake."

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Wee Wee

Yes, we are at that stage in adult life where you have to revert back to the words of yesteryears. For some reason, even though our children communicate with words such as actually (the 4 year old's favorite) and absolutely (the 3 year old's favorite), when it comes to bathroom words, the old wee wee and pee pee seem to do the trick.

So here we are again, third time around. Greta is in training, potty training that is. And it is back to the words wee wee and pee pee and potty because they are the ones easiest to say and say quickly (the quickly is very important in the early days of potty training).

Sometimes, we forget where we are when these words come out of our mouths. We had been visiting friends, and Karl and I were trying to load up the family in order for us to leave and go back home. I was gathering up our personal items and called out to Karl in the other room and asked him if he could take Greta to the potty because she needed to at least try and go wee wee before we left. When thinking about it later, it was a little embarrassing to have said those words in front of our friends, but not that much. They are parents too and know what it is like to be in the training stage. Oh well. In all honesty, it doesn't matter that I have to use such monosyllabic words, as long as it helps my daughter.

That's when I realized what Jesus did for us. The Bible says He took the form of a man, so He could save us. Jesus didn't mind the whole universe seeing and hearing Him humbling Himself in order to save us. To Him, it didn't matter, He was interested in saving us, even if He had to use really simple words. He loves us that much.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Diamondbacks and Hand me Downs

I suppose it is sort of fitting that this memory happens at this point in time. One could almost say it could be considered a Shakespearean tragedy wannabe.

We were away from home. I had packed a change of clothes for the children. We had a limited amount of time to change, so I was helping Matthew get his shorts on. They seemed a little small. Hmmm. What is going on with this? So I check the tag. Yikes! Size 3! Good grief, he's four years old and already trying to fit into size 5 clothes. How in the world could he be wearing these size 3 shorts? Well, they did have an elastic band, but still, how?

But then there is this other funny thing. The shirt doesn't look as small as the shorts. It's a matching set. I check the tag, and sure enough, the shirt is a size 4. Now you are probably asking, where is the tragedy in this and what does it have to do with poisonous snakes, right?

It's a very long story, but I'll give a brief recount here. Michael, our oldest, was always so skinny when he was younger. For whatever reason, he inherited his uncle's (Daddy's side) and his aunt's (mommy's side) early childhood skinny genes. He was tall enough for his clothes, but way too skinny. Everything had to have belts and belt loops. None of this elastic stuff for him, it would just slip right off.

So, while living in Arizona, Michael received this set as a gift. A matching Arizona Diamondbacks shortset. But since you purchased the pieces individually, the thoughtful person knew that Michael would need a size 4 shirt with size 3 shorts. Suddenly I was taken back to the days of trying to keep Michael's pants on because he was so skinny. Thankfully, those days are over.

But I also remembered the pain and the hope in that Diamondbacks outfit. Strange, but true, Karl and I associated with that struggling new ball team that would eventually win the World Series in a most dramatic way. The team was struggling to be taken seriously, even though it had a roster of dynamic players, but many of them were older, and a lot of sports gurus didn't give these old timers much of a chance. But they played on. They played and won their division in the fall of 1999, when most people didn't think they could pull it off. We found them cheering them on, these strugglers, for we knew the struggle all so well.

We had moved to Arizona, to start over. We were wiped out financially and emotionally. Yep, you guessed it, LifeTalk Radio. Same thing that Trailady has been talking about. Karl had gone without salary for 10 months. They were dangling a carrot in front of him and saying "when this happens, we'll start paying you again." We got tired of the carrot game. Since then, it seems that even when their ship came in, they already had the money spent in other ways.

So here we are, emotionally and financially bankrupt(but God had provided many miracles along the way which will be another story), struggling to gain back our dignity and sense of purpose, so we identify with a baseball team that is struggling to prove to the nation that old timers can still pull it off. Years later, I uncover the memories of Michael's skinniness, our favorite baseball team and the pain we were trying to leave behind.

But the most interesting part of all of it as I sit here and think about it this: The hand me downs themselves. They weren't selected for Matthew, who has not inherited the skinniness gene. These were selected to fit Michael and his special needs. Sometimes hand me downs don't always fit exactly, because they were made for or selected for someone else.

It's the same with our life experiences and our relationship with the Lord. If we try to base it on hand me downs alone, we'll soon find that it doesn't fit us right. Jesus has promised us robes of righteousness, and I know they will fit perfectly, no hand me downs that we have to adjust to. And these beautiful robes will help us to leave all the pain and suffering behind.

Sharon Leukert

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Namah & Estella

In a land far away, there was a kingdom...and in the efforts to keep this story short, this will be a sort of "Cliff Notes" version.

In this great and glorious kingdom, there were among its citizens two subjects who would unkowingly be seeking the same thing, the favor of King Khashayar. First is Namah. Namah has been blatant in his efforts to obtain the king's favor. Everyone knows that Namah wants the favor of the king, and he gets it too. Namah does what it takes to be in King Khashayar's presence and to have his favor. He's good at it and he loves it.

Estella didn't start out as Namah did, playing the politics game and so forth, but she as well ends up seeking the favor of the king. However, her reasons for seeking the favor of King Khashayar seem quite different from those of Namah. Her methods are also different, but she as well obtains the favor of the king.

The story, however isn't merely about how Namah or Estella got to that point of favor. This story is also about how they and indeed the king himself respond to that favor.

Namah seems to drink from the cup of the king's favor with reckless abandon. The more he drinks, the more his desire is fueled to have even more. Soon he finds himself bragging and boasting that he has the greatest share of King Khashayar's favor, more than any other citizen in the kingdom. Namah begins to think and even believe that he will drink from this cup of favor for the rest of his life, and nothing will change it. He begins being a little more brash. He starts taking greater risks, because after all, he'll always have the king's favor. He can never really get into trouble.

Upon finding herself in the favor of the King, Estella begins to learn the king's likes and dislikes. She discovers that King Khashayar strictly enforces the laws of his kingdom. Like other realms and other kings, Khashayar knows that if the laws are not enforced, they will soon be useless and mocked, as well as the king who failed to enforce them. Estella realizes that the favor she has obtained with the king cannot be abused. She must never do anything that would force the king to choose between enforcing his laws or extending her favor, but it is exactly what she does do.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, this is a story from the Bible. Namah is Haman spelled backwards. Estella is a Spanish form of Esther. Khashayar is another name for King Xerxes. The definition for grace is - unmerited favor.

Having the unmerited favor (grace) of God can be respected, as by Esther, or abused, as by Haman. Yes, the grace is freely given. However, Haman abuses the king's favor and begins to think he can do anything he wants and never lose that grace. Many christians as well think that once they have grace it is a license to "be bad." Haman finds out quickly that one can fall out of favor of the king.

Esther respects the grace she is given. Her respect for the king and his laws shows in all she does. When she does come before the king unexpectedly, the king sees that this is the woman who has respected him, reflected his character throughout the kingdom and obeyed the laws. Xerxes extends the scepter - grace. Likewise, God continues to extend grace to us. He sees in us His character and obedience to His laws through the power and sacrifice of His Son and he extends grace.

How will we treat this unmerited favor? Will we be like the villain in the story and abuse it to selfish ends? Or will we respect it and long to be more like the King who extends it to us?

Ozark a Moverin

You've got to love kids!

There is so much we can learn from them, if we just take the time. The Lord is helping me to take more time nowadays and learn from my kids.

So, my four year old, Matthew, loves music. I think it is his first language. English comes 2nd, as this story will show. One of the kids' favorite songs is Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. The love it! We happen to have this one recording of it on a CD by a male quartet that did a whole "gospel" type album. Another song on there is the Old Ark's a Moverin' (and I'm goin' home).

The last day or two, Matthew has been going around singing "Ozark a moverin, Ozark a Moverin." It was just too adorable. I couldn't believe it. Since we live in the Ozarks, he hears that word a lot. Bank of the Ozarks. Ozark National Forest. Ozark this and Ozark that. Since he hears that so often, I suppose he just thought that's what the words to the song were.

It made me wonder, how many times do we put what we are already familiar with into new things that we are hearing? Do we ever get it wrong because we didn't hear the words quite right? What are we doing to make sure our words are heard correctly?

Thanks, Lord, for another lesson out of the mouths of babes.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

So what next

Was anybody else monitoring the news on Sunday?

After reading that website by that Messianic Jewish pastor, I did wonder if there were going to be any earthquakes out in Oregon. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see my post on Predictions of Earthquakes.

Well, personally, I'm glad there were no major disasters that caused the loss of life. I have wondered how Mr. pastor feels right now. But, as was discussed earlier, the Millerites thought Jesus was coming back in 1844, and they were wrong. Their calculations were right. Many of the things they had were right, but there was just one major thing they were wrong in, what does it mean to have the sanctuary cleansed. Obviously, they found out that the earth wasn't the sanctuary and that it wasn't saying that Jesus was coming back on October 22, 1844.

So, is it possible that Mr. pastor out in Oregon just got something wrong on his end too? What are your thoughts? How many "false prophecies" are we going to run into these days?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Weddings vs. Marriages

I've been kind of busy this week. Haven't posted for many days. Karl and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Hard to believe that it has been fifteen years since we took our vows.

Let's see, hmmmmmm. There was mixup at the credit union. I had all these out of state checks that were wedding gifts. We wanted to use them for our honeymoon. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances that forced me into this situation, I ended up at the credit union the day of my wedding. After waiting what seemed like forever only to be told that I was in the wrong line, I nearly burst into tears and said, I'm getting married in three hours, can anyone please help me!!!

Karl had his own woes with a tuxedo situation. One of the groomsmen was unavailable when we called for measurements. His wife took out his suit coat and measured it. She didn't know how to measure it correctly, and he ended up with a tux where the sleeves came just past his elbows! So they spent that day getting remeasured and making sure everyone still matched.

My dad had built the gazebo we were getting married in. There was no roof on it, just streamers in the wedding colors. The wind was crazy that day, but we were grateful that we didn't get rained out. So, the unity candle wouldn't light. We had to "fake it" for the pictures.

One of my uncivilized cousins decided that it would be more fun to throw the entire little ball of birdseed at me instead of opening the pretty little wedding colors package like the civilized people did and tossing the birdseed the traditional way.

Then, on our way to the hotel, Karl told me he had forgotten something at the place where he was staying. It was a 20 minute drive in the opposite direction of our hotel! Yikes. I was beginning to think we would never get there. But Karl was insistent that he had to have it.

He was right. It was vital. It was a cooler that he had prepared. Inside were some tortillas, grape juice and glasses. This is a groom's idea of unleavened bread and juice for communion. Karl wanted us to begin our marriage with a special communion, just the two of us. I have always loved that desire in him to see that our marriage in anchored in God.

There have been times where we've gotten off track, but praise the Lord for the power of the Holy Spirit and the messages of revival that come into our lives, reminding us that God must be a vital partner in our individual lives as well as in our marriage.

Communion has always been special to me, and I think Karl knew that as well, when he worked so hard to put that cooler of stuff together for us. Jesus said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He drinks it anew with us in the Kingdom of Heaven. God is waiting for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Waiting in eager anticipation to commune with us.

I think of 15 wonderful years with Karl, and more to come. And I also think of eternity with my Savior. God is good.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Taking the Sabbath "Nestea Plunge"

So there was a little big of gritting the teeth yesterday. Things weren't quite going the way they were supposed to. We were going to be visiting a different church than our regular one, and this other church is one hour away.

Well, first of all, I have three kids and one is still in diapers. Then, the horse in the pasture next to us got out, and the owners live a few miles away, so we had to call them and make sure the horse didn't get too far away before they got here.

Needless to say, I wasn't happy about the fact that we had missed part of Sabbath School. Why? Because I think I will rot in hell for being late? Nope. Because I'm afraid of what people will think of me and maybe I'm not a good enough christian? Nope (but sometimes it does get to me). So what was the reason I wasn't happy about being late?

I like to enjoy and embrace the Sabbath. For a home schooling mommy with three kids, I need Sabbath, every minute of it! I need each and every moment of remembering Who created me and for what purpose. Remembering Who can forgive for the messes I've made this week and Who can recreate me. Remembering Who loves children and wants them to be happy. Remembering Who loves and gives special strength to mommies with three children. Yes, I need every minute of Sabbath, as well as every minute of Sabbath School and Church where I can worship God my creator.

To me, Sabbath is like the nestea plunge. Does anyone else out there remember those commercials? All those people in desperate need of refreshment who finally take the "nestea plunge" into a pool of crystal clear water. That's what Sabbath is to me. By the end of the week, I am in desperate need of refreshment, just like the Creator knew we would be. I want to fall into all the beauty, peacefulness, joy and celebration, worship and praise, relaxation and challenge, everything that is Sabbath.

So, next week, I'll learn from this past week's mistakes, and try to be ready to embrace every minute of the Sabbath that I need so much. I don't want to take the plunge when the pool is already half empty. I want it all! All the blessings of Sabbath.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Prediction of Earthquake

I was made aware of this site, and so I checked it out. It's about a pastor from a Messianic Jewish Church that is predicting an earthquake of dynamic proportions for Portland, Oregon.

I'll let you read more about it for yourself. Here is the link to it.

Personally, my thoughts are that Jesus said there would be many false christs and false prophets in the last days. So, if this man's prediction is true, then we go from there. If it is false, then we know that he was just one of the false prophets Jesus warned about. If that is the case, that lets us know that the times Jesus talked about are here!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Blue Ribbon Forestry

Wow! Michael participated in a 4H competition on forestry and came in 1st place in his division. Wow! I think he was more surprised than anyone else. In the forestry competition, they learn to identify trees, measure the diameter of the tree at chest height, and then learn how to "scale" the tree using a forestry scale stick to determine how many 16 foot logs of lumber can be made out of the tree.

So why is this important? Well, for me, it goes back to Genesis, when God tells Adam and Eve to take care of the garden. Yes, we use trees to build houses and so forth. Yes, we have to check trees to make sure they are still healthy and do not cause a potential debris hazard, such as on highways. But we don't have to cut down every single tree. Trees help with the environment, with ecosystems and show God's beauty in nature. I'm glad that Michael is learning which trees can be cut and which ones need to be left alone to grow and so forth.

I'm looking forward to heaven and the new Earth when all will be restored like it was in the garden of Eden. Until then, I'm glad my children are learning how to take care of trees that God created.

Monday, May 29, 2006

4H, Gravestones and Flags

Last Wednesday, we got a notice from our 4H leader that there was an opportunity for a community service project. The project was to assist in putting American flags on all of the graves of veterans in one of the local cemetaries.

Matthew's job was to remove/carry the old flags from last year, if they were still there. Michael carried the new flags and put them in as best he could. I carried the list of gravestones we were supposed to find and checked them off when we were done.

Boy was it hot outside! The 4H leader brought a cooler full of iced water bottles, and that helped. Breezes came occasionally. But all three of us found ourselves fascinated by the whole process, and so glad that we had participated.

We tried to look at the dates and estimate how old these brave men were when Pearl Harbor was bombed. On our lists, some were notated as to whether they were World War I or II veterans. It was amazing. Some of the veterans were just 16 years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I've no idea if they pretended they were older to enlist as some did, or if they got in on the tail end of the war once they turned 18.

Some men had just missed World War I and were what some might call getting on the older side when America became involved in the second war.

Another special moment was realizing that there were other groups as well, VFW and so forth that were going around and doing the same thing at graveyards and cemetaries all over the country. I wondered if my Dad was on someone's list in Oklahoma, to make sure his grave had a flag for Memorial Day. I'm glad there are many people who care to make sure that we remember what Memorial Day is all about.

If I should die before Jesus comes again, I pray that God's special memorial marker will be at my grave, so that I will be one of the dead in Christ who will rise first when He comes in the clouds of glory!

Sharon Leukert


Here is where we are at.

I said I was planning on shutting down my blog, because I no longer wanted to drag my Savior's name through the dirt that seemed to be following me.

Some of you personally, through email, or by posting a comment have said you would hate to see that happen.

I did get an apology from the person who has left attacking comments on my blog, which I accept because I believe she was sincere.

I still think the blog needs to go, but perhaps, just the old ways of doing things.

Thus far, I have not enabled any of the moderation tricks that you can do with blogger. I believe in free speech and have not wanted to decide whose comments get posted and whose do not.

If you disagree with me, you have a right to speak up and say so. However, personal attacks are not free speech. So, how about we continue to let people comment whatever their opinion is as long as it is based on the post itself. If personal attacks from anyone continue, I'll have to resort to doing the moderation thing or shutting it down. Fair enough?

Again, it's okay to disagree with me.

Free speech!

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Road to Goodbye

The purpose of this blog is to uplift Jesus and his soon coming.

Evidently, I am not the person to do this.

I have too many skeletons in my closet and I offend too many people.

Take some time to review whatever posts you want, because this blog will be getting the ax.

I was a sinner. I still am a sinner, and I still need God to transform my life. I am nothing without Him. But my story should be about how God has power to transform and change our lives, but I continually bring up pain.

So, God has counted His resources and found He is not wanting. There are lots of other blogs out there by sincere Christians who love the Lord and don't have all the baggage that I do. They can be a better witness.

It's been fun.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Art thou on thy way to hell for speaking clearly?

Please, someone speak up!

Okay, there is nothing wrong with the King James Version of the Bible. However, there is also nothing wrong with the New King James Version or the New American Standard and many others.

There may not be a problem with reading the Living Bible, as long as you realize it is a paraphrase, not a translation and only by one man so it is very biased toward only his beliefs. Same with the Clear Word, a paraphrase by only one man and very biased toward his beliefs.

Now, I do admit, I have some problems with the NIV. Yep, the New International Version. Seems to me that "they" took the liberties of a paraphrase, yet called it a version and a scholarly translation, but again, I don't think any one is going to be eternally lost for reading the NIV.

But I just need to hear from someone else out there. Recently, I heard someone say that only the KJV was good enough. Well, personally, I'd like to skip many of the thees and thous sometimes, but at other times, I embrace it.

I will admit, that it makes me really angry when people are led to believe that they aren't full Christians if they read anything other than the KJV. Any thoughts out there?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Boys will be boys, right? Even four year old boys? We have to realize that kids have to experience things for themselves as if they were the first person to ever do it, and we have to be excited for them. But I'm finding myself becoming less and less excited about Spiderman.

It seems that my four year old son, who saw the Spiderman movie once at someone else's house (it would not have been my choice for him), has been greatly impacted by what he saw. He's often saying something about what Spiderman can do.

The more I think about it, the more I don't like it. I'm not trying to be a bah humbug kind of person here, but I don't think it's something I want my four year old immitating or glorifying.

It seems to me that our society wants to do away with God. The whole no prayer in schools and all of that stuff is just scratching at the surface. What's more important is what happens in our own homes. So homes all across America are trying to do away with God.

But we are still human. We still crave to see "good" triumph over "evil." We still have a God shaped hole in our hearts and we want to fill it with something. So, if you get rid of the one true Creator God in your life, who is all powerful, all merciful, all justice and all knowing.....then you want something a little larger than yourself to fill that void in your life.

So, man pretends that the creator doesn't exist, and then man creates his own imaginary hero. Plug in any character here, not just Spiderman. Let's see, the Incredibles, Fantastic Four, Superman, Captain Planet, the Incredible Hulk, Batman, fairy godmothers and the list goes on and on and on.

We modern civilized peoples often look down our noses at more primitive cultures that make and then worship idols. Seems we have been too quick to judge. As earlier mentioned, we make our own heroes for our children to mimic and look up to.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. So, I want my child to go around the house saying what Jesus did do, for real, instead of what man pretends a made up superhero can do.

Now I need to get busy and make sure my children are learning all the beautiful and wonderful things that Jesus did when He actually walked this earth. Already, one of Matthew's favorite stories is about Jesus and the Storm. He needs to know that the God we serve has done amazing things. The God we serve continues to do amazing things. The God we serve is worthy to be honored and glorified!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Birthday!

A Happy Birthday wish for my wonderful husband, Karl Leukert.

Each year of life is a gift. Each breath a reminder that we live and move and have our being in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, May 7, 2006

How do they know?

There were some things that concerned us about our oldest son, Michael. Just some things that didn't seem "normal" (as if that could ever be defined). Most traditional doctors want to pump kids full of all kinds of horrible medications and stuff, and we definitely didn't want to go that route.

After much time spent in prayer, much research on the internet and elsewhere, and personal recommendations from friends, we took the plunge with a less traditional MD. This lady is either in her late 60's or early 70's and takes Tango Classes! She also sings in her church choir and is full of energy. That's the kind of doc you can feel comfortable going to!

So, we finally get the results back from several tests that were done. Turns out, there are some food allergies to blame for some of the stuff that is "not normal" in Michael. So, we simply become aware of what to give him less often and what to avoid at all costs.

Of course, pork was a no brainer, didn't need a test for that one, but it still showed up that Michael is allergic to pork. Not surprising since many people in my family are, including myself and my grandpa.

However, it was really interesting to me that some of Michael's least favorite foods, were also foods that he was supposed to avoid. Oats, Barley and rice. Some of Michael's absolute least favorite foods (except for the oatmeal butterscotch cookies, of course).

I began to wonder, how do they know? My niece has similar food allergies and she as well seems to just dislike automatically the foods that she is most allergic to. Who knows, maybe even former President Bush is actually allergic to broccoli, and doesn't even know it!

Children also don't like loud screaming adults. I remember one time when Karl was really frustrated about something that happened at work, many years ago. Michael was just a preschooler and Karl came home ranting and raving about what had happened. And I, as his dutiful wife, listened with sympathy. No big deal. Unfortunately, Michael didn't know that daddy wasn't mad at mommy. He just heard the loud words and the frustration in daddy's voice and began to cry.

There are so many things that children just seem to know automatically. They are really quite amazing if we will just take the time to notice. Maybe that's why Jesus said we had to become like little children, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The Blob!

A blob has invaded my home. Slowly, at first, but then increasing in speed with each passing year, it is taking over my house!

It is the dreaded home school blob! Yes, the one that fills your every nook and cranny with educational books, supplies, games, learning tools, record books, workbooks, teacher manuals, and the list goes on and on and on. I've got Michael's kindergarten stuff, his 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade stuff as well as his current 4th grade stuff. It begins to take over everything!

We have this downstairs family room. It is now a homeschool storage room. There is little room for much else down there. You see, we have these "well meaning friends" who have contributed to the blob. Evidently, when people know you are home schooling, they say, oh I bet you could use this! Usually they are right, but every so often a home schooling family becomes a dumping ground for anything remotely educational that someone no longer wants and couldn't get rid of at their yard sale.

At first, everything was embraced with thankfulness! Wow, look what someone gave us! Then, as I learned more about home schooling and then as I began to do it, I realized that not every child will be helped by the same materials. Just because something worked for one child, doesn't mean it will work for all children. I began to realize that I could say, no, that is not something our family would use in home schooling. Unfortunately, I think I learned this lesson too late. The blob has a permanent foothold on our home!

So it begins. With the zeal of Carrie Nation, I must go attack that room (and everywhere else in the house where the blob has spread) and cleanse my home of the home school blob! And probably dump some stuff on another home schooling family that hasn't learned the lesson yet (hee hee hee).

Clutter, whether it is good stuff or junk, is still clutter. Things that keep you from moving freely in your house could one day make you fall and injure yourself seriously enough to require a physician or even an emergency room visit! So it is with other clutter in our lives. Mental, social, emotional and spiritual clutter. So, as I try to vanquish the blob, I'm going to be asking God to show me what is cluttering my spiritual life, and keeping me from being whole and healthy in Him.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Exercises in Victory!

Okay, so my kids blows me away! He's just amazing. I praise the Lord for what can be learned from listening, really listening to our children. I mean, afterall, didn't Jesus say we had to become like little children?

For Bible class in home school, I assigned Michael one of the fundamental beliefs of our church. I read it with him, made sure he understood what all the "big words" meant and asked if he had any questions. Then, I asked him to put it in his own words.

Seventh-day Adventists Believe…
We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellowmen, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness.

Fundamental Beliefs 20

What Michael wrote:

“God gives us blessings and responsibilities. His blessings are under our lawful care. God’s ownership is shown by our stewardship. Stewardship is a God-given exercise of victory. A steward’s faithfulness opens the way for blessings to others.”

I don't know about you, but I could sure use some more victory in my life!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


It kind of came on sudden, but they did stop and ask a couple of family members if they could have their blessing on their desire to get married. So, I suppose it wasn't a true eloping, but still, it has been sudden and a bit of a whirlwind.

They went to another state and got a marriage license and blood tests. Came back and told everyone their plans and then they were supposed to go back to that same town and get hitched. Haven't heard from them since. Some are a little worried.

Why? Because it's my 80 year old grandmother! She has a few health problems and sometimes can't remember to take her medicine, and she has even taken the wrong medicine in the past. So yeah, a few of us are a little worried. Hopefully, her new husband, (her deceased husband's younger brother) will be able to keep up with it all.

If passion and joy can be revived in the "golden years" surely God can revive that "first love" experience in us. That we will be full of passion and joy to serve Him and tell others of His love.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Common Era

Should Congress pass a law making BC/AD the official method of dating time?

This is the question that you will see in bold and huge letters on the website for the American Family Association, petitions area. I've included the link so you can see it for yourselves.
From the website:
"The new secular system of time dating will appear in the curriculum and other materials used by Kentucky educators. This new system is already being included in textbooks across the nation.

The new method will replace the birth of Christ as the dividing point in history. For example, the new system would change 2006 AD (Anno Domini) to 2006 CE (Common Era)."

Is this really necessary? God doesn't force Himself upon us, do we need to force Christianity on our fellow countrymen? Would forcing people to use BC and AD really bring about a change in their lives?

This email asking people to go to this site and vote is going around, you may have already gotten it, or you may be getting it within the next few weeks. I think the better question to ask ourselves is, what have we done lately to show the love of Christ to others, without forcing?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter Cookies

Cookies vs. Hot Cross Buns
So what do hot cross buns and early morning sunrise services have to do with Jesus rising from the grave.


That's right. Absolutely nothing. Neither do bunny rabbits, eggs or marshmallow chicks.

So here's hot it goes. Tamuz was a pagan god that people offered bread to once a year in the spring time. The "cross" in the hot cross buns is actually a "T" for Tamuz. And it goes on and on from there and if you wanted to do some searching, you'd be able to find many websites denoting the pagan origins of many of our "Easter Celebrations."

So, should we do nothing? Absolutely not! This is an incredible time to celebrate the gift of life that Jesus has given to us. We should be rejoicing that He rose from the grave. We are thrilled at His sacrifice and the power of God that resurrected Jesus, because that means that in the twinkling of an eye, we can be changed as well. Those who are already sleeping in their graves will be resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a testimony of His power in our lives! Yes we should celebrate and praise the Lord!

Instead of bunnies, chicks and colored eggs, check out this website for cookies. That's right, cookies. Easter Cookies. Cookies that from the beginning to the end tell the story of a sinless life, a willing sacrifice and a glorious resurrection.
Check it out at

Warning, there may be a few tears shed as you realize what God has done for you.

Celebrate God's gift. Celebrate our risen Savior!

Friday, April 7, 2006

Code Adam

We were shopping at Wal-Mart last night when the dreaded announcement came over the intercom. Attention all associates, we have a Code Adam. The announcer proceeded to describe a 5 year old girl so everyone could help to locate her. We were in the big town north of us to shop and celebrate. It was Greta's third birthday. As I sat there and thought about this little girl that was lost, and my own precious children, I was just overwhelmed with what we needed to do. Right there, in the middle of a shopping aisle, we all bowed our heads and Karl led us in prayer for the little girl to be found safe and sound. When we finished our shopping, everything seemed to be normal and the Code Adam alarm had stopped, so we believe that she was found and returned to her parents.

There are many stores and places that use the Code Adam alarm system. It is not unique to Wal-Mart. Here is a little more information about the whole system.

On July 27, 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh and his mother RevĂ© went to a department store about a mile away from their home to shop for lamps. When they entered the store Adam saw several children playing video games on a television monitor and asked if he could stay to play. His mother let him stay and went to the lamp department, which was about 75 feet away. Because the lamp she wanted was not in stock she returned rather quickly, less than 10 minutes later, but couldn’t find Adam. After looking for Adam on her own for two hours, someone finally called the local police department. By the end of that week thousands of fliers with Adam’s photograph were distributed through the local area. Sixteen days after Adam disappeared from the store his body was found and identified.

There are six steps employees are trained to follow when a Code Adam is activated

1. If a visitor reports a child is missing, a detailed description of the child and what he or she is wearing is obtained.
2. The employee goes to the nearest in-house telephone and pages Code Adam, describing the child’s physical features and clothing. As designated employees monitor front entrances, other employees begin looking for the child.
3. If the child is not found within 10 minutes, law enforcement is called.
4. If the child is found and appears to have been lost and unharmed, the child is reunited with the searching family member.
5. If the child is found accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, reasonable efforts to delay their departure will be used without putting the child, staff, or visitors at risk. Law enforcement will be notified and given details about the person accompanying the child.
6. The Code Adam page will be canceled after the child is found or law enforcement arrives.

I think it is very profound that the Code name is Adam. Because there was another Code Adam alarm given thousands of years ago. God got on the universal intercom system and said, we have a Code Adam. Adam is lost. Mankind of planet Earth has fallen. Then God starts giving the description, Adam looks like Me, because mankind was made in Our Image.

Jesus answered that Code Adam alarm. He did what was necessary to restore mankind to our Creator and Sustainer.

Praise the Lord!