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.