Friday, December 30, 2005


My Mother sent these to me this morning.

Love through me, Love of God,
Make me like Thy clear air
Through which unhindered, colors pass
As though it were not there.

Powers of the love of Good,
Depths of the heart Divine,
O Love that faileth not, break forth,
And flood this world of thine.

Amy Carmichael

In the first part of this poem about (Him making us as clear air that color can pass through), It made me think about what we are here on earth for. We are here to bring glory to the Father & to bring others to the Father. When people look at us they should not see us, they should see the Father and His beauty. When they are seeing the Lord through us, the Love of the Father will be able to come out and touch those around us.

Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?
Sir John Templeton


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Devotional from today (Thinking)

My Sister and I are reading these devotional posts of Elizabeth Elliot's and discussing what we learn. I found the first section sad and ( convicting? thought provoking?). Are we teaching people to communicate? Do I find I have brought trouble to my own mind, will, or emotions by careless speech? Am I practicing self-control & working on thoughtful, purposeful communication?!

It reminded me of some verses:
Proverbs 10:19 - In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Ecclesiastes 5:3 - For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by a multitude of words.
Proverbs 22:23- Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tounge keepeth his soul from troubles.

Careless speech can be confusing, harmful and cause misunderstandings. I know I've thought I was being helpful explaining something in great detail when all I did was confuse by talking too much. Oh that I will practice what I know I should do.

Thinking / Speaking

Question-and-answer is a vanishing art. We are so drowned and smothered and deafened by panels, dialogues, rap sessions, discussions, talk shows, and other such exercises in the pooling of ignorance that, far from developing the art of asking questions and giving answers, we have very nearly lost it altogether. The time allotted for a program must, it seems, be filled--it doesn't much matter with what.

When is the last time you heard a clear, short question asked and a straight answer given? My heart sinks when it is announced that, following the lecture, there will be time for discussion. People put up their hands, but it turns out that it is not information they are after at all. They want the floor. They go on and on.

I was one of the panel of experts (i.e., married women) discussing the subject of marriage in a college women's dormitory a few years ago. Afterward there were lots of questions. But it was hard to figure out just what the questions were. Here is one of them (verbatim--I did not make this up. It was taped and then transcribed): .

* Um--like--um--I have a couple questions. Do you think--like--that--uh--do you think a woman could have a call just to be--like--a wife, but not--like--not just to be a wife--like, say, you know--if you're gonna be personal--like--my own engagement--like--I have a gift of--you know--a talent in music, you know--like--I mean, I know you're not saying--like--you know, especially in that case, I mean, you're saying more like--you have--like--I think our greatest thing in common probably is--um--is that--you know--is the dedication to serve God--you know--in the desire to, to follow--you know--to do his leading and--like--neither of us, you know, and especially in this kind of life you don't have a blueprint of what you--what he's gonna be doing necessarily, you know--and I'm just kinda concerned because like--you know--I've even thought about that cause I've kinda had a conflict--you know--growing up that way--you know--I'm talented musically--you know--so therefore I should probably look for somebody that's talented musically but he--he likes it--you know--I mean, he doesn't understand it totally but I'm sure we could live happily together with it, you know, but I don't expect him to have a--you know--yearning to go to all the Beethoven concerts or anything--you know--but I mean--I've heard of very happy marriages where--you know--there's quite different--you know--interests--you know--there.

(I apologize for not knowing the rules of punctuation for this kind of English.) Nobody on the panel knew what the girl was asking. She was confused--that came through loud and clear, but she might have seen through some of the fog simply by making the effort to clarify and shorten her question.

Sometimes I have been tempted to tell the audience that only questions of twenty-five words or less will be entertained. But I don't want to put people off any more than I can help.

William Strunk, Jr., in his wonderful little book, The Elements of Style, gives this advice:

To air one's views at an improper time may be in bad taste. If you have received a letter inviting you to speak at the dedication of a new cat hospital, and you hate cats, your reply, declining the invitation, does not necessarily have to cover the full range of your emotions. You must make it clear that you will not attend, but you do not have to let fly at cats... Bear in mind that your opinion of cats was not sought, only your services as a speaker. Try to keep things straight.

Americans dearly love to be polled for opinion. They feel that they ought to have opinions, to "hold views," on everything, and polls give them a chance to let fly. It is interesting to note how small a percentage of those polled admit to having "No opinion."

If the answer is Yes, say Yes. If it's No, say No. (The Bible will back me up here.) If it's I don't know, say that--if you possibly can! My daughter had a classmate in the seventh grade who, when asked a question by the teacher, never raised his chin off his hand, but looking into space said glumly, "I don't know." To a second question he replied, in the same laconic tone, "I don't know that either." I couldn't help wanting to know which boy that was. I liked him. It was discouraging for the teacher, I'm sure, that he didn't know, but it was not nearly so discouraging to hear him say so in three words as it would have been to hear three hundred words which came to the same thing. Every day in the mass media we have to listen to palaver, twaddle, and balderdash which, when interpreted, means "I don't know."

Some people are constitutionally incapable of admitting they don't know. "Well, let's just say I don't know the answer to that one," a woman once said to me.

Great people, however, can often disarm us completely with a candid acknowledgment such as Samuel Johnson's when asked by an indignant woman whatever made him define pastern as he did in his lexicon. "Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance!"

The Quechua Indians of Ecuador have a way of dropping the corners of their mouths, thrusting out their chins, and gazing off across the treetops, saying "Hmm hmm?" which is supposed to convey the impression that the matter is a mysterious one which they are in on but which would really be beyond you. At other times they come up with ineluctable answers like the one a missionary got when he wanted to know the name of a tree with yellow flowers on it. The Indian studied the tree for a little while, shading his eyes with his hand, and then said earnestly, "Well, I'll tell you, Senor Eduardo. That tree over there, the one you point to, the tree with the yellow flowers on it--that tree, Senor Eduardo...we call The Yellow Flower Tree."

The late W. H. Auden once appeared on a television interview and it was delicious to see his interviewers thrown completely off balance by the clarity and the brevity of his answers. They had their questions carefully worked out and the timing approximated, but long before the show was over they were casting about for new questions. ; } When they asked if he thought of poetry as a means of self-expression, he said, "No, not at all. You write a poem because you have seen something which seems worth sharing with others." The ideal reaction from the reader is, 'I knew that all along, but I never realized it.' He could, I am sure, have lectured for an hour on that one subject, but he didn't. He had a sense of occasion.

"You will be living in Oxford, England, Mr. Auden. Do you expect to be teaching there?"


"You won't be teaching. (Pause.) Well, Mr. Auden, as you move into the more--shall we say--mellow years, would you say that you have any unfulfilled ambitions?"


One of my unfulfilled ambitions was to hear a simple answer on a TV talk show. Thank you, Mr. Auden.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Last few weeks

Time moves so quickly. It seems like I am usually trying to catch up with all of the things that are going on. We had a group come over the other night to go carol around the neighborhood and then go to our house for cake, games, hot chocolate, and fellowship. It was a wonderful evening! We celebrated my birthday along with a friend of mine that I have known since I was 8 years old. It was great! Since then my family and I have been trying to get ready for our family that is coming into town for Christmas, and all of the things that go along with that. I love this time of year, the chilly air, relatives, lights, Snow, and parties. I love to get together with the brethren and fellowship. My family with another family is also putting together a Barn Dance for New Years Eve. We are so excited! I have to say though, I have never called so many gyms, community centers, or churches. Dad and I were both calling places these last few days trying to figure things out. As usual everything will come together at the end, it always works out that way. :) Sigh. I have been thinking back on this last year though and all of the changes that have taken place. All of the new brothers and sister in the Lord I have met, and fellowshipped with. All of the friends that are now in college, married, and starting a family. It is amazing how quickly something can change. When we had some of our friends over to go carol through the neighborhood, and fellowship with, I was sitting in one of the rooms looking at all of the groups talking, laughing and enjoying themselves. We have all changed so much, but at the same time, we are still ourselves. It is like watching a family grow up and seeing them mature together as well as individually. It brought to memory the verse that says Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 He (the Lord is perfecting His children, and I have been blessed to see it). I was thinking about it again this morning and read: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good work, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. He desires us to walk worth of the vocation which He has set before us. I am seeing my family in the Lord do just that and I am richly blessed by their willingness to be molded by the Lord.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Psalm 18:1-36

This passage of scripture reminded me what our Lord has done, and what He has promised to continue to do for the sake of His children. May His Word bless you today.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my strength in whom I will trust; my buckler and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of the ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears.

David begins the passage above describing the strength and trustworthiness of our Lord. Then he talks about how hard it was to endure the trial he had been in. He was human & he was afraid. David knew from experience who he needed to put his trust in, so He cried out to the Lord for help. This next passage is full of David's testimony to the Lord's answer.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went up a smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him his thick clouds passed, hail stones, and stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightenings, and discomfited them. then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of the many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also upright before Him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight. (Interesting that David would repeat this verse) With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful: with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down the high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. ( A promise that I claim; He will enlighten my paths). For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God save the LORD? of who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

God faithfully keeps his promises. He promises to care for us. It never ceases to amaze me that He cares so much for me. He loves us all so much that He gave His only son, to redeem our lives.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

New blogger..:)

My brother now has a blog. :) He is just getting started so there isn't a lot on there yet, but you should check it out. He loves to take pictures, and if you visit you will see that he is good at it as well. I am sure there will be more pictures here as well, so keep visiting. :)

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I read Christian brother's blog this morning and he had a new post about communication. It is very good, and if you get a chance you should read it His post reminded me of somethings. Last year I did a speech on communication and the lack there of. My friend found a quote for me that went like this: "60% of all communication is miscommunication". Why is that? I think Micah has it right on with what he is saying in his post - "Let's talk. We have forgotten how to communicate with the brethren . We have begun to think all life is fast pace, large groups, computer screens, and telephones. We have forgotten how to sit with a person, or two people and just talk. To tell them what the Lord is doing, can do, and what we are learning from that."

We are afraid to share with our brothers and sisters in Christ and our fear and disobedience is robbing them from the blessing of seeing Christ being manifest through us. I wrote someone a few weeks ago about this very subject and we were talking about being willing to make ourselves vulnerable, for the Lord's sake. He said, it was hard to make yourself vulnerable to criticism, misunderstanding, and just plain old judgment, but once you have you are richly blessed. The brethren can comfort you when you need comfort, sharpen you when you are getting off track, and encourage you that you are not the only one out there with struggles, heart aches, and on going lessons. We as a body of believers need to go back to the basics and learn to love each other as the body of Christ. We cannot do this if we don't know each other, and we have to communicate to get to know each other. Thanks Micah for bring out some great points and making me think about this again.

I long to know my sister and brothers in Christ. To see what the Lord is teaching, blessing and bringing them through. I desire the Lord to use me to bless them, and the only way that is going to happen is if, I get to know them. I would highly recommend going to read Micah's post if you have not yet. May the Lord richly bless you all.


Morning and Evening / Dec 1

I 've been talking with a group of young ladies and this concept came up over and over again just this last week. So when I read 'Morning & Evening' this a.m., I was richly blessed. It is during the trials of our lives we can grow the most, we bless those around us (if we let the Lord use the trial), & that God can be glorified through our obedience. Our Father in heaven puts us into the trial and when it is time He will bring us out. Child of God do not yearn to be out of the fiery situation, learn from it, embrace it, learn what He has brought thee here to learn. God holds the moments in His hands; let Him place us where He wills.

December 1
Morning Verse "Thou hast made summer and winter."
Psalm 74:17

My soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son. Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: He casteth forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord's sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction! How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Week of Thanksgiving / Barn Dance

This Thanksgiving weekend went fast. :) Since Wednesday I've been running, which has been fun. I got off Wednesday at noon, which made it great for going to do some shopping. That evening I helped my family make pies for Thanksgiving dinner, clean house,& got the vegetable platter put together.

Thursday – Thanksgiving. We had two young people come be with us for the day, because they're in college and couldn't go all the way to New York with their folks & visit relatives. We also had a gentleman that just started coming to church with us this year. He doesn't have family near the area. The young people are a lot like my family : lots of fun, a little bit loud, and full of love. The older gentleman hadn't been to our house before so my friend decided that she was going to see if she could make him feel more at home, & she did an excellent job! I think by the time he left, he felt a lot more comfortable and had enjoyed the afternoon. The young people hung around until later in the evening and we all played games and laughed a lot. A joyful heart is good like a medicine. We should all be very healthy. :)

The next day was Friday, the day of the Barn Dance. If you have not read my other barn dance posts you need to. It will explain a barn dance. (to read it click on the header for this post and it will bring you to the barn dance post). I'm always amazed at how much fun it is. We had this one in a gymnasium, which was so much better than outside. It was definitely too cold to dance outside! The ocassion was for 3 young ladies that had birthdays this last month. It went really well. The dresses as usually were amazing. I got there at one in the afternoon, so I could help decorate, girls with their hair, & dresses. It was a riot in the girl’s bathroom; hoop skirts everywhere,( you have to realize that hoop skirts with crinoline take up a lot of room. Once you are in one you take up 3 times as much space as you usually would, if not more.) :) there were also dresses hanging on stalls, cabinets littered with hair accessories, makeup, and pins. :) There were girls one right after the other lining the walls, waiting to get changed, their hair done, or just watching the mess going on. I am sure that we were hilarious to watch. I never got to actually stop and just watch everyone, but from what I could see going on around me, it was amusing. After we were all ready, we went out to learn some of the dances, or visit. I had a wonderful time visiting with the people that were wandering, or as the evening progressed, the people I danced with. I really enjoyed getting to know some of my sisters in the Lord better! I met a neat couple from Virginia. They were my age and been married for about a year. They had a little girl that was adorable.
We had a competition during the last dance, to see whose circle could dance the longest. It was invigorating & tiring. ;) It was my favorite dance and the young man I danced with knew what he was doing, so he could actually make the part where you spin around fast go faster. I love to spin! We had a fabulous group;as a matter of fact it was so good, we won. Lol… The gentleman were wonderful gentlemen as usual. They checked on all the young ladies to make sure we weren't going to fall over, and then went to get us water. It was a perfectly wonderful night. During one of the dances, (this one is done in long lines) the young man that I was dancing with started doing a jig (or at least I think that is what you would call it. I do not know a lot about dances). It was neat to watch! He was fast!! :) I got to dance with my little brothers, and father again which is always so special. I love the fact that the families are the focus and everything is done as family groups! The little children are included for almost everything. It is the way it ought to be. We ended up going till sometime after midnight, and I was personally ready to stop. We all helped clean (it is amazing how much more quickly it goes, when there are so many helping). What a blessing! We all started to leave about then. Some of the families had to travel two or more hours home. I am so glad that they were able to make the trip. I can now connect faces to blogs that I've read, or people that I have heard about.

My funny, but crazy brother decided that it would be fun to go home and watch a movie after we got done cleaning. I do not know how he does it. Anyway, he had a friend come over after and they watch Chariots of Fire. I tried to watch it with them and made it about 30 minutes and had to desert them. I could not keep my eyes open anymore.

Saturday, we all slept in, which was wonderful. There was a bunch to clean up from the night before, such as our clothes, hair stuff, food containers, and so on. All of that stuff was basically in piles in the house, or still in the car. We spent the afternoon doing that. My brothers and 2 of our friends then went to see a group in Springfield that does improvisation. We had a great time. We went to get coffee afterward, need I say more. :) My family even got home and into bed rather early compared to the rest of the recent evenings.

Sunday was very restful and a really nice day. I talked to a few of my sisters in the Lord about what the Lord has been doing in our lives. It is fascinating that so many of us are dealing with the same things. I think it has to be the fact that we are all so busy with the holidays and the things that go with them. We all in different words basically said that we were having to constantly, persistently remind ourselves to be faithful in our time with the Lord, and stay focused on Him first. It is so encouraging to know that there are sisters in the Lord that understand what you are going through and are willing to share what they are going through. We can then all pray for one another and lift one another up by sending verses, notes, or giving each other a call if the chance should come up. The Lord has been good to me, by giving me this body. He is faithful, even when I am not.
After our church activates were over; verses, orchestra, bells, and choir. A group of us went to one of the family homes for chili and pictures of the barn dance. It was great getting to see picatures of things I missed. The pictures turned out beautifully and it looked like everyone had a good time. The people that took the pictures knew what they were doing, because they were perfect. The photographers captured what was taking place during each part of the evening. Fabulous…. After we looked at the 398 pictures!!!..... (if I have that amount wrong there, I am sorry. I think that was what they told me the amount was. : ) We all spent most of the evening eating and played a few family games. In all it was a busy but unforgettable weekend, and I came away richly blessed.:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Quote on Attitudes

I received these from a lady that is ministering in China right now. They blessed me, and thought they might bless you all as well.

" I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou quotes ( American Poet, b. 1928)

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... We are in charge of our Attitudes. "
Charles R. Swindoll quotes

" Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny."
Frank Outlaw quotes

" Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"
George Sheehan quote

" The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."

" Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.
Mary Anne Radmacher quotes

" There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.
Washington Irving quotes

" Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."

" The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be"
Marcel Pagnol quotes

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.

I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.
Pietro Aretino quotes

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill quotes

One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering. "

" The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. "

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. "

You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Trusting God

My Mother sent me some great quotes and verses that blessed me this morning and I wanted to share them with you all.

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Job 13:15

Behold , I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 4:22


To Thee I bring my care,
The care I cannot flee;
Thou wilt not only share,
But bear it all for me.
O loving Saviour, now to Thee,
I bring the load that wearies me.
Francis R. Havergal

He that lays his affairs and himself on God hath no pressing care; no care but the care of love, how to please, how to honor his Lord. And in this, too, depends on Him, both for skill and strength; and, touching the sucess of things, he leaves that as none of his to be burdened with, casts it on God, and since God careth for it, they need not both care. His care is sufficient. Hence springs peace, inconceivable peace.
Robert Leighton

Your afflictions are not eternal, time will end them, and so shall ye at length see the Lord's salvation; His love for you sleepeth not, it is still working for you; His salvation will not tarry nor linger; and suffering for Him is the nobelest cross out of Heaven. Your Lord hath the choice of ten thousand other crosses, besides this, to excersize you withal; but His wisdom and His love hath chosen this out for you, beside them all; and take it as the choice one, and make use of it. Let the Lord absolutely have the ordering of your evils and troubles, and put them off you, by recommending your crosss and your furnace to Him, who hath the skill to melt His own metal, and knoweth well what to do with His furnace.
Samuel Rutherford

Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith!
1John 5:4

What is victory over the world? It is to trust and then obey what God has said. It is to cut off as far as we may, every hold which everything out of God has over us; to study wherein we are weak, and there seek in His strength to be made strong. Be your temptation the love of pleasure, it is to forgo it, if of food to restrain it, if of praise of men, to put forward others rather than yourself, if of being right in the sight of men, be content to be misjudged, and keep silence; if of self-indulgence, use hardness; if display, cut off the occasion, and give to the poor; if of having thy own will, practice submission of it to the wills of others.

Brother Rutherford knew of what he spoke; see a short bio below.

A Brief Life and Times of Samuel Rutherford
by William Carson
Before and During his Exile
Rutherford was born about the year 1600 near Nisbet, Scotland. Little is known of his early life. In 1627 he earned a M.A. from Edinburgh College, where he was appointed Professor of Humanity. He became pastor of the church in Anwoth in 1627.
Anwoth was a rural parish, and the people were scattered in farms over the hills. He had a true pastor's heart, and he was ceaseless in his labours for his flock. We are told that men said of Rutherford, "He was always praying, always preaching, always visiting the sick, always catechising, always writing and studying." Of course it helps when you get up at 3:00 every morning!
His first years in Anwoth, though, were touched with sadness. His wife was ill for a year and a month, before she died in their new home. Two children also died during this period. Nevertheless God used this time of suffering to prepare Rutherford to be God's comforter of suffering people.
Rutherford's preaching was unparalleled. While he was not a good speaker, his preaching drew great attention. An English merchant said of him, "I came to Irvine, and heard a well-favoured, proper old man (Dickson) with a long beard, and that man showed me all my heart. Then I went to St. Andrews, where I heard a sweet, majestic-looking man (Blair), and he showed me the majesty of God. After him I heard a little, fair man (Rutherford), and he showed me the loveliness of Christ."
In 1636 Rutherford published a book defending the doctrines of grace (Calvinism) against Armininism. This put him in conflict with the Church authorities, which were dominated by the English Episcopacy. He was called before the High Court, deprived of his ministerial office, and exiled to Aberdeen.
* This exile was a sore trial for the beloved pastor. He felt that being separated from his congregation was unbearable. However, because of his exile, we now have many of the letters he wrote to his flock, and so the evil of his banishment has been turned into a great blessing for the church worldwide.

After His Exile
In 1638 the struggles between Parliament and King in England, and Presbyterianism vs. Episcopacy in Scotland culminated in momentous events for Rutherford. In the confusion of the times, he simply slipped out of Aberdeen and returned to his beloved Anwoth. But it was not for long. The Kirk (Church of Scotland) held a General Assembly that year, restoring full Presbyterianism to the land. In addition, they appointed Rutherford a Professor of Theology of St. Andrews, although he negotiated to be allowed to preach at least once a week.
The Westminster Assembly began their famous meetings in 1643, and Rutherford was one of the five Scottish commissioners invited to attend the proceedings. Although the Scots were not allowed to vote, they had an influence far exceeding their number. Rutherford is thought to have been a major influence on the Shorter Catechism.
During this period in England, Rutherford wrote his best-known work, "Lex Rex," or "The Law, the King." This book argued for limited government, and limitations on the current idea of the Divine Right of Kings.
When the monarchy was restored in 1660, it was clear that the author of "Lex Rex" would could expect trouble. When the summons came in 1661, charging him with treason, and demanding his appearance on a certain day, Rutherford refused to go. From his deathbed, he answered, "I must answer my first summons; and before your day arrives, I will be where few kings and great folks come." He died on 30th March 1661.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another good word quote

In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get
through, but rather how many can get through to you. -Mortimer J. Adler,
philosopher, educator and author (1902-2001)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Waltz Class

I had my first waltz class this last Tuesday evening. I was so much fun! I've always wanted to learn how to Waltz and Swing dance. I have never done it, but my mother and I have talked about it since I was in my mid-teens. I think it's beautiful to watch a couple that knows how to waltz together.

It is so much harder than I ever thought it would be though. Oh my goodness! It was a stretch for my mind to get my feet to go where they were supposed to. I kept wanting to use my right foot over and over again. Then when I thought I was getting the steps down(keep in mind I was just doing 'the box'. This is where you go back on right, out on left, together with right, then forward with left, over with right, and together with left). :) About the time I thought I was getting the simple, but mind boggling right, left, right, left. The teacher put me with a partner. He was very sweet, even when I stepped on his feet.:) He was an older gentleman, & knew how to waltz, which was a very good thing. He was learning how to lead. Leading! What an important word. Growing over the years, I 've been taught that the man should lead, and I believe it. Watching everyone in the class trying to learn to waltz together and my sweet, but poor partner, I realized in another way how important it is for the man to lead. When I forgot to watch for his lead and we both tried to lead we got all messed up, me going one way and him another. It was bad... When he forgot to relay clearly where he wanted me to follow next, and I wasn't sure which way he was going, it was horrible. In waltzing the man has to telegraph to an extent, so that the lady knows what to do next. He will put pressure on your arm by pushing or pulling, so that you will know which direction he is planning to go. When he fails to telegraph what he direction will be, we end up falling, stumbling, and stepping all over one another. . It is such a parallel with life. If you are in a leadership position and not leading, so the followers can follow a clear path, everyone gets muddled up. Since it was on the dance floor and we were learning it was amusing, when we had the little mess ups; but in real life, it would not have been amusing. I needed this gentleman to lead me, whether it was with the feel of his hand moving one direction or another, or a little bit of pressure on the arm of the side that needed to be moving. In life I need to be led, whether it is by the gentle reminder of someone's actions, or words, or a little bit more pressure from some one in leadership who is correcting me before I stumble all over myself and possinbly cause someone else to fall!. Following! Another very important word. For the followers part, I need to be willing without a moments hesitation to change where I thought we were going, to where ever he is now leading. I need to watch carefully for those signals, and then adjust so I am in step with them. After a while the dancing got to be easier. I could quit conciously thinking' right, left, right left', and just waited for those subtle signals. I could usually follow my partner. Towards the end I even got to learn a 'turn'!. That was beautiful to watch and fun to do once I was able. The teacher brought up a really good point that I was surprised and impressed with. She explained how the gentlemen would continue to hold onto one of our hands and gently lead us through the turn and around in a cirlcle until we were back in front of them. She then said "There will be 3 steps before you turn around and can see him again. " Ladies make sure you let him lead you! Let him signal how quickly he wants to go. If you anticipate the steps and try to speed it up you might get there before him.You want to get there together. Walk slowly & let him bring you along." I loved it! My mom and I both looked at each other and had to smile. :) It was great! I had no idea that I would like it as much as I did, or that I would see so many good lessons.

Anyway, this post ended up being almost as much a reminder about leading and following as it was a story about the fun & excitement that I had on Tuesday. I am looking forward to going back this coming Tuesday, learning some more, and practicing my 'following.'. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Laugh out loud, at the movies

My sister and I met my brothers in town the other night and went to see a movie together. As it ended up the guys went to see a different movie than my sister and I did. So much for going to the movies together. :) After we set down, close to the back rows an elderly couple set down behind us. My sister and I were watching the trivia questions about actors & movies, and discussing how many of the questions we didn't know the answers to. About that time the elder man started yelling to his wife about the questions on the screen. It was hilarious! He must have been hard of hearing, because he was yelling out his questions & she was yelling the answers back, which was almost as funny.. :) At one point during the question and answer session, he asked his wife a question, that my sister and I had been discussing. We were all waiting for the answer and two of the other questions on the screen had already been asked and answered. So now the wife hollers in her 'conversational tone' to her husband, "Are they ever going to give us the answer"? I laughing, finally turned around to agree with her and we all started talking. We discussed with each other what we thought the answer was in tones more suited to the room, rather then the loud and amusing tones used by her husband and herself. After she was done chatting with us, we turned back around, and at this time her husband asked her what we had been talking about. He of course hadn't really caught much of our conversation, so instead of asking me to talk louder, he just waited until I had turned back around and then shouted the question so loudly that ,once again ,the whole last five rows could hear.!!! The screen finally did show everyone the answer and the gentleman behind us laughing, shouted, this time to me I think, "Well you all had some of it right. 50% is not bad!" About that time the movie started so it got quiet,....... for a moment......

It was a suspense movie but it was hilarious. I guess the elderly couple acting so naturally had made a lot of the folks feel at home because now it turned into audience participation!! The guy next to my sister kept cheering for the lady trying to get away from this bad guy and bemoaning every bad that happened, slapping his knee and whooping all the while! Every time something startling would happen the teenaged girls sitting toward the front would scream. While all of this was going on the couple behind us would start back up their benevolent bellowing about something he hadn't caught! By the time the movie was over, it was all I could do not to turn around and tell the couple that it was great to meet them and get to enjoy the movie with them. We did end up asking them what they thought and just chit chatting a bit. It was a fun evening and on the way home my sister and I kept getting the giggles over the whole experience. Over all we had a blast!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Poem from Streams in the desert

Great truths are dearly bought, the common truths,
Such as we give and take from day to day,
Come in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.
Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of our soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
But in the day of conflict, fear, and grief,
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Plows up the subsoil of our stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude, and times of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field,
And our soul feels it has not wept in vain.
Our knowledge of God is enlarged when we are brought through circumstances that cause us to draw closer to His will. When difficulties come into our path, we can thank God that He is taking the time to teach us something new and important. We can then lean on His everlasting arms of comfort, and love. The poem made me think of the 91st psalm: He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to bechewed and digested. -Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman(1561-1626)

This is good!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005


The Church’s One Foundation
By Samuel J. Stone
The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is his new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation:
One Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses
With every grace endued.

Through toil and tribulation
And tumult of her war
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth has union
With God, the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O blessed heavenly chorus!
Lord, save us by your grace
That we, like saints before us,
May see you face to face.

Hymn # 289 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Samuel S. Wesley
Tune: Aurelia1st
Published in: 1866

Quotes and word of the day.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims
may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber
barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty
may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those
who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do
so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis

tyr·an·ny ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tr-n)n. pl. tyr·an·nies
A government in which a single ruler is vested with absolute power.
The office, authority, or jurisdiction of an absolute ruler.
Absolute power, especially when exercised unjustly or cruelly:

I have sworn... eternal hostility against every form of tyranny
over the mind of man (Thomas Jefferson).
Use of absolute power.
A tyrannical act.
Extreme harshness or severity; rigor.
[Middle English tyrannie, from Old French, from Late Latin tyrannia,

from Greek turanni, from turannos, tyrant.]

I have always enjoyed C.S. Lewis and when my Mother sent this

to me I knew I needed to post it.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that

life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. -
Rabindranath Tagore, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter,
educator, composer, Nobellaureate (1861-1941)

Well said! We will find joy in our lives when we are doing the work we have been given.


parrhesia (puh-REEZ-i-uh)

noun 1. Boldness of speech. 2. The practice of asking forgiveness before

speaking in this manner.

[From New Latin, from Greek, from para- (beyond) + rhesis (speech).] From political leaders to business heads, very few like to face the truth. Some claim to want candor but follow the dictum of filmmaker Samuel Goldwyn who said, "I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs." If you're not entirely sure about your boss, we recommend starting with parrhesia (sense 2), before giving in to parrhesia (sense 1)

:) I like this word. I do not exhibit it as well as I ought , but I still think it a fascinating word.

The power to command frequently causes failure to think. -Barbara Tuchman,author and historian (1912-1989)

Hmmm. :)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Luke 24:38

"Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?"

"Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?" The Lord cares for all things, and the meanest creatures share in His universal providence, but His particular providence is over His saints. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him." "Precious shall their blood be in His sight." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose." Let the fact that, while He is the Saviour of all men, He is specially the Saviour of them that believe, cheer and comfort you. You are His peculiar care; His regal treasure which He guards as the apple of His eye; His vineyard over which He watches day and night. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." Let the thought of His special love to you be a spiritual pain-killer, a dear quietus to your woe: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." God says that as much to you as to any saint of old. "Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." We lose much consolation by the habit of reading His promises for the whole church, instead of taking them directly home to ourselves. Believer, grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus say, "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." Think you see Him walking on the waters of thy trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, "Fear not, it is I; be not afraid." Oh, those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Ghost make you feel them as spoken to you; forget others for awhile--accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, "Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under His shadow with great delight."

—Morning and Evening

Those are beautiful thoughts. He has promised to be with us, to never leave us, no matter what we feel is going on. He has called us to Him.

Fun Poems

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet
by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Mis Muffet discovered a tuffet,
( Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat- like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it!

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When glancing aside for a moment , she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
Said: " Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
Should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate!- which is barred in Society!

This curious error completed her terror!;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: ' I have vexed you no doubt of it!
Your fist's like a truncheon." "YOU"RE still in my luncheon!"
Was all that she answered! " Get out of it!"

And the MORAL is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
Your are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey!

A Young Lady named Bright
by Edward Lear

There was a young lady named Bright,
Who traveled much faster than light.
She started one day,
In the relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

I thought these were amusing and realized that I had not posted them on my blog yet, so here you go. Once again these are so much better if you read them out loud. :)

Friday, October 21, 2005

2Corinthians 5:14

"The love of Christ constraineth us."

How much owest thou unto my Lord? Has He ever done anything for thee? Has He forgiven thy sins? Has He covered thee with a robe of righteousness? Has He set thy feet upon a rock? Has He established thy goings? Has He prepared heaven for thee? Has He prepared thee for heaven? Has He written thy name in His book of life? Has He given thee countless blessings? Has He laid up for thee a store of mercies, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard? Then do something for Jesus worthy of His love. Give not a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your Master comes, if you have to confess that you did nothing for Him, but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither flowing forth to His poor or to His work. Out on such love as that! What do men think of a love which never shows itself in action? Why, they say, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." Who will accept a love so weak that it does not actuate you to a single deed of self-denial, of generosity, of heroism, or zeal! Think how He has loved you, and given Himself for you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a rushing mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your worldliness, and clear away the mists of sin. "For Christ's sake" be this the tongue of fire that shall sit upon you: "for Christ's sake" be this the divine rapture, the heavenly afflatus to bear you aloft from earth, the divine spirit that shall make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord's service. Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to the arms of labour. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be shaken, resolute to honour Him with a determination that is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with an ardour never to be wearied, let us manifest the constraints of love to Jesus. May the divine loadstone draw us heavenward towards itself.

Morning and Evening---

Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to the arms of labour. I really like that. Love. My mother studied the love chapter this last year and she shared some of the things that she learned. I can not help but think about that chapter now, especially the part about being longsuffering, patient, and humble. When we serve we do it with those characteristics.

Job 35:10

Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow--the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by--who sings from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health, and I can sing God's praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon Him for the music. O Thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune Thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving. —Morning and Evening

I read this yesterday morning, and was very convicted and challenged. Later that day I was talking to someone about what I had read, and how that we need to be able to praise the Lord in the good and bad, ( this person has been thinking a lot about this as well). On top of that, when the preacher stood up after one of the hymns he asked a question: Have you been happy all the day. He then went on to say that being happy all the day is not hahaha.... happy, but finding joy in every instance. After what I had already talked about with my friend and read that morning, I had to smile. The Lord knows how to get a point across.

James 1:2 Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations..

1Corinthians 3:1

Are you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in Him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but the smoking flax He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but He will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though "less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation

I was at a meeting last night and a young man stood up and spoke on the parable of the talents to the 3 servants. He brought out the fact that none of the servants were better than the other when the Master gave the talents to them. He did not expect the servant with 2 talents to give back 10, or the servant with 5 to give back 20. He wanted each of them to do what he could with what he had. The young man that was preaching brought up a good point, we should not be discouraged by what we can not do, but we should strive to do our best with what the Father has given us, so when He comes back we can stand before Him with a gift to offer. When I read this it made me think about what the young man had said, especially the first part & the very end.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Universal Thump.

Title: The Universal Thump
Author: Elisabeth Elliot

It's so refreshing to find some encouragement to work and to be cheerful and take orders, instead of what is more common today, an outright dislike, even hatred, of work and an unwillingness to take orders from anybody. We've really had just about enough of that, don't you think? So here's an antidote in the musings of a sailor in Herman Melville's great classic, MOBY DICK:

"What of it if some old hunk of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weigh, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunk in that particular instance? Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way--either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content." Most of us are not exactly under the orders of "some old hunk of a sea-captain," but we are meant to be willing and cheerful servants of anybody who happens to need us. Have I a true servant-heart? I should have. I will not be anything like my Lord Jesus if I haven't, for He came not to be served but to serve. He set for us a radiant example of how practically He meant it. He washed feet. Knowing His own origin and destiny, He did it with grace and He did it with love. And what is our origin? Our destiny? We, too, "come from God and are going back to God." Is there any job, then, that is really "beneath us?" Any "thump" that we really mind? "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love" (Galatians 5:13, NIV). Last summer a certain fifteen-year-old worked at a ranch, where his job included not only dishwashing but cleaning out the garbage truck. They weren't jobs he'd have opted for (he'd far rather have exercised horses or even mucked out stables), so I gave him "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV). He wrote me a sweet letter, said God was helping him. Twenty-One Things to Remember
1. Faith is the ability to not panic.
2. If you worry, you didn’t pray. If you pray, don’t worry.
3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.
4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to bestill so He can untangle the knot.
6. Do the math. Count your blessings.
7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
8. Dear God: I have a problem. It’s me.
9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.
10. Laugh every day; it’s like inner jogging. :)
11. The most important things in your home are the people. (Lord help me remember this one...)
12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.
13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.
16. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.
17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it, otherwise its just hearsay.
18. It’s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
19. Surviving and living your life successfully require courage. The goals and dreams you’re seeking require courage and risk taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.
20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while you reputation is merely what others think you are.
21. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

Ouch, these are very convicting. I am always impressed with Elizabeth Elliot's writings and thoughts. She has a way of convicting with out being harsh, but she is firm. This list is wonderful, there is so much here that will keep me busy for a very long time.

Barn Dance

These last 2 weeks I have spent making a old fashion dress. I am very pleased by how it turned out, but I also am glad that I am not planning on doing that again. I loath sewing... I can sew, and I do an okay job, but I become very tense and irritated when sewing. :) Oh well! Anyway, the dress turned out nicely, it is cream and blue, with large sleeves and lace framing in the middle area and collar. It looks renaissance. I love it!

On Saturday (the day of the dance), 30 minutes before we were supposed to be at the dance, I finished the hem of the dress. LOL, I know, I should have had it done long before that, but I didn't. :) My mother and sister made one as well and they all turned out beautiful. My Mother's is burgundy and black, which look fabulous on her. My sister's is a dark green with a lighter green to accent it. She also looked perfectly darling. When we got to the house were the dance was being held, I did a few girls hair and we all headed out. It was a large group, and they were all milling about visiting one another and saying their hellos. We all ate and examined each others dresses. I was very impressed, all the girls did a gorgeous job. A few of the men had outfits as well and they were fun. There were confederate, and union soldiers, gentleman's and cowboy outfits.

The Barn Dance was held outside, most of the dances are done in groups of 6 - 8 couples, facing each other in long lines, or in a square shape. Once the caller (the man that tells you what to do next) calls the beginning of the dance, the young men pick a young lady to dance with (if they haven't already done that), and you get in you lines or squares. It is fun to get to talk to your partner before, after and during the dance, also those dancing in your group. In most barn dances you end up dancing with everyone in your group of the opposite gender, so it is nice if you know the people in your group, even if it is only their names. :) The rules for the young men and women in this group are great. The young men have to come ask for the dance. They take you out to the floor, either offering you their arm, or hand, dance with you. Then most offered to get you something to drink after you were done. They were all so gentlemanly, and they made the evening quite nice. The men could only ask a young lady to dance twice, so we all got to enjoy a lot of different dancers and personalities. The dancing was wonderful, pure bliss. The weather was a little bit cold and if we stood still too long, it got rather chilly. Once we started dancing though we warmed up. I was able to dance with a few people that I had never danced with before and that was enjoyable and educational. Some of the more experienced dancers could tell you how to do things a bit more smoothly, or just how to enjoy it more. :) It was terrific! My father and I danced one dance and it was special to get to dance with him. He ended up calling the dance, even though this was only the second dance he had been to, and I might add He did it very well... My little brother also danced with me and did an excellent job. He got into the dance after a few minutes and could to an extent keep up. He was darling. For those of you that do not realize how cute this was let me expound a little. My little brother is only 7 years old, and usually will not do anything like this. So I was very pleased that he asked me and then danced with a few others as well.

I was able to witness something I do not think many in my age group have the privilege to see. This night of barn dancing was a family evening, so there were children of all ages dancing with the adults. I saw "little men ask their mother's, sister's and other ladies to dance, then these little men become little men, taking your hand in theirs, escorting you here and there, offering you a drink and being the very essence of a gentlemen. I saw men slow down a dance for littler ones, or go ask the little girls to dance. Quite often we would be dancing in a group and there would be a little girl in the group with us. It was amazing to watch the young men instruct the little one as to where to go next and smile at the little mishaps that are bound to happen. It was precious to see one of the fathers take a little lady in pink frills, crinoline, and bows on to the floor, spin her around and watch her giggle in delight. Absolutely beautiful! I saw young men that did not have a partner take little ones to the side and show them the time of their lives. :) I saw Charity. One thing that my Mother and I just loved, was when one of the Fathers took the little one mentioned above in the pink frills out on the floor (to the side), and when the caller said swing your partner, he would lift her up and spin her around till she laughed her little girls laugh. It was so sweet.

It was an excellent evening. I have to admit that getting to be waited on, and feel beautiful, is marvelous. :) The dressed are so full and you feel as if you are floating when you are spinning in them. We finished a little after midnight and our family fell into our beds. :) Surprisingly I am not sore from the dancing. I am more sore from Sunday's activities, a group of us played Volley ball and I my cheekbone connected with the volley ball once, leaving me feeling a little bit dizzy every once in a while. Oh well, it was fun. I served a bunch of points the last game and even got the winning point.

It is hard to believe it is all over now and that we will not be getting to go to another dance for about 6 months. (Sigh) It will be fun to do it all again. :)

Here are a few links to explain barn dances.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A bit of poetry & thought

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. -Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

I am listening to Middlemarch right now, and when I saw this poem it made me think of a part I had just finished listening to. Dorthea & Ladislaw are speaking together and poems are brought up. She does not think she would every be very good at writing them, or understanding them. Ladislaw tells her what a poem is, and says some of the same things the poem above says, he also tells Dorthea that she is a poem in herself. Hmmmmm.

Anyway....:) I think I know why I am so horrible at writing poems. I have too much trouble finding words for my thoughts. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Gift of Work

The principal cause of boredom is the hatred of work. People are trained from childhood to hate it. Parents often feel guilty about making children do anything but the merest gestures toward work. Perhaps the children are required to make their beds and, in a feeble and half-hearted fashion, tidy up their rooms once a month or so. But take full responsibility to clear the table, load the dishwasher, scrub the pots, wipe the counters? How many have the courage to ask this of a ten-year-old? It would be too much to ask of many ten-year-olds because parents have seriously asked nothing of them when they were two or three. Children quickly pick up the parents' negative attitudes toward work and think of it as something most sedulously to be avoided.
Our Lord and Savior worked. There is little doubt that He served in the carpenter shop under the instruction of His earthly father Joseph, putting in long hours, learning skill, care, responsibility, and above all, the glory of work as a gift to glorify His heavenly Father. He did always those things that please the Father. Later He chose almost all His disciples from those who labored with their hands. Even the apostle Paul, a man of brilliant intellect, made tents.
Booker T. Washington, an African-American who grew up in the South when members of his race were expected to do the hardest and dirtiest jobs, learned his greatest lesson from the example of a Christian woman. A New Englander, the founder of the Hampton Institute, she herself washed the windows the day before school started, so it would be nice for those children who had been born slaves.
Is work a necessary evil, even a curse? A Christian who spent many years in Soviet work camps, learning to know work at its most brutal, its most degrading and dehumanizing, testified that he took pride in it, did the best he could, worked to the limit of his strength each day. Why? Because he saw it as a gift from God, coming to him from the hand of God, the very will of God for him. He remembered that Jesus did not make benches and roofbeams and plow handles by means of miracles, but by means of saw, axe, and adze.
Wouldn't it make an astounding difference, not only in the quality of the work we do (in office, schoolroom, factory, kitchen, or backyard), but also in our satisfaction, even our joy, if we recognized God's gracious gift in every single task, from making a bed or bathing a baby to drawing a blueprint or selling a computer? If our children saw us doing "heartily as unto the Lord" all the work we do, they would learn true happiness. Instead of feeling that they must be allowed to do what they like, they would learn to like what they do.
St. Ignatius Loyola prayed, "Teach us, Good Lord, to labor and to ask for no reward save that of knowing that we do Thy will." As I learn to pray that prayer, I find that there are many more rewards that come along as fringe benefits. As we make an offering of our work, we find the truth of a principle Jesus taught: Fulfillment is not a goal to achieve, but always the by-product of sacrifice.

By: Elizabeth Elliot

I had a friend a few years ago, do a speech about the children of this society and how that they are not being taught how to work. They are lazy and grumpy about the littlest bit of work they have to do. She did a fabulous job on her speech, and her experience made it even more believable. She has a lot of siblings. Anyway, she made some great points that this article made me think about. Such as, if we do not teach children to find joy in their tasks now, and how to do the tasks efficiently even if they do not like them. We are harming the next generation in many aspects. Those children will grow up and when they do, they will not have a good work ethic, they will not have joy in their daily lives. They will be miserable, and they will not be the example God has called us to be. I think Mrs. Elliot does a great job expressing some concerns, and commands of the Lord. She is giving us a charge.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Poem from Streams in the desert

He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of all my tears.
The stormy waves that marked my ocean path,
Did carry my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on His love for the rest.

He emptied my hands of my treasured store,
And His covenant love revealed,
There was not a wound in my aching heart,
The balm of His breath has not healed.
Oh, tender and true was His discipline sore,
In wisdom, that taught and tried,
Till the soul that He sought was trusting in Him,
And nothing on earth beside.

He guided my paths that I could not see,
By the ways that I have not known;
The crooked was straight, and the rough was plain
As I followed the Lord alone.
I praise Him still for the pleasant palms,
And the desert streams by the way,
For the glowing pillar of flame by night,
And sheltering cloud by day.

Never a time on the dreariest days,
But some promises of love endears;
I read from the past, that my future will be
Far better than all my fears

Like the golden jar, of the wilderness bread,
Stored up with blossoming rod,
All safe in the ark, with the law of the Lord,
Is the covenant care of my God.

I was touched by the part underlined above. I so often do not understand His ways, or what is going on, but He does. He will teach me what ever I need to learn, (mostly trust.:), if I will learn what He is so patiently trying to teach me.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A weekend with the Family

I just got home from a long weekend away with my family. We had a blast. The night before we left, I spent the evening with my Mom and a group of friends. We went to a symphony, and then to eat. The music was beautiful! We set on the highest balcony there and watched the young lady performing, as her fingers went over the piano with great speed and accuracy. She played Beethoven's 5th Concerto. There were parts that made me want to laugh and others that made me want to cry. I have to admit though I didn't actually want to cry until the second half started and it was a piece my Tchaikovsky. There were some beautiful parts, but there were some very depressed sounding parts as well. I had forgotten how depressed some of Tchaikovsky music was. Not anymore...:) I now remember and should for a little while anyway.

We ate at Cracker Barrel, which was terrific. We all talked and laughed at each others stories. It was nice getting to catch up with a few of the people that I don't often get to talk to. The food was of course, good.

My family all went on Sunday to a resort were some of stayed for a few days. I was not planning on staying, but I thought it would be fun, so I called my boss asked for the time off and received it. :)...... We had a good time, we took some of the younger ones to play putt putt golf, and go cart riding. We ate out, swam in the pool, walked down to the lake and just relaxed. I had some time to bond with the younger children in our family and enjoy their sense of humor. Oh, so much fun!!! I was very happy that I was able to stay for the long week end with my family and have that break. Dad and I went out one evening after a full day and saw Flightplan, which wasn't too bad. I enjoyed having the time with him. It has been a few weeks since we have been able to do anything together.

We also got to do something that I think will be rather memorable. We went to a magic show and they asked Aric and Dad to stand up and be part of one of the acts. They had to dress up and sing a song with the performer. It was hilarious, dark wigs on and white outfits. I wish we could have taken pictures, it was funny. What made it even funnier, was the weekend before Austin and I had gotten Mom and Dad on stage in an Improv show. They had to tell about their proposal story and meeting. Dad was on stage 2 weekends in a row and did a great job both times. Aric did a really good job the day that he did it with Dad. He played along and after a few minutes got into the act and did a superb job. We had a fabulous weekend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Quotes and thoughts of the day.

"He that dwelleth in the secret places of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty!"

"As soon as I woke in the morning I threw myself into the arms of Divine Love as a child does into its father's arms. I rose to serve Him, and to perform my daily labor simply that I might please Him. If I had time for prayer, I fell on my knees in His divine presence, consecrated myself to Him, and begged Him that He would accomplish His holy will perfectly in me and through me, and that He would not permit me to offend Him in the least thing all through the day. I occupied myself with Him and His praise as long as my duties permitted. Very often, I had not leisure to say even so much as the Lord's Prayer during the day; but that did not trouble me. I thought it as much my duty to work for Him as to pray to Him, for He Himself had taught me, that all that I should do for love of Him would be a true prayer. I loved Him and rejoiced in Him. If my occupations required all my attention, I had nevertheless my heart turned towards Him; and, as soon as they were fininshed, I ran to Him again, as to my dearest Friend. When evening came, and every one went to rest, I found mine only in the Divine Love, and fell asleep, still loving and adoring Hiim." - Armelle Nicolas

Wow! What a lovely thought. I know that I often find myself focusing on other things, when my focus needs to be on Him and my love towards Him. My mother sent this to this morning and it blessed me greatly.

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

:) LOL Hmmmmm.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Quote for this week.

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

Have you ever had someone ask you a question, and when you answered, you knew they were not listening? This has always been one of my pet-peeves, I can't stand when people pretend to care about your thoughts & answers.
It makes you feel like the person cares about you when they actually listen to what you have to say. It takes little effort.

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever" Winnie-the -Pooh

This is cute and I think it is sweet. Winnie the Pooh a source of wisdom and wit. ;)

“ Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ” (Ephesians 4:29)

Something we always need to be reminded of. The things that come out of our mouth can hurt or lift up. We should guard our speech... We should strive to build others up.

What’er My God Ordains Is Right text: Samuel Rodigast
(1675)( a favorite text of Bach's , for his church music)

1. Whate’er my God ordains is right;
His Holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth,
And follow where He guideth.
He is my God,
Though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall;
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

2. Whate’er my God ordains is right,
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path,
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content,
what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away
And patiently I wait His day.

3. Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Though now this cup in drinking
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it all unshrinking.
My God is true,
each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

4. Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall,
And so to Him I leave it all.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Devotionals from today

Yes, yes, yes. Amen. This is so true. So often I have seen Christians take the approach of either adopting the worlds way and becoming like the world, as well as in the world, or bunkering down and hiding themselves from the world, and are not willing to go tell others the great truth that we know is true. There are so many verses that speak of go tell the others the good news, or go into the world, but do not become as they are. The Lord knew what He had placed us in and he wanted us to learn some valuable lessons that I know I have missed in times past. Love the sinner, not the sin, teach those that do not know him, do not be swayed, and so much more. When you read this devotional I am sure you will get something more out of it, but this is what I saw this morning.

Morning Verse
"Be ye separate."
2Corinthians 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world. He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life. To him, "to live," should be "Christ." Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God's glory. You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal. You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be "rich in faith," and good works. You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world. Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of His presence, delighting in communion with Him, and seeking to know His will, you will prove that you are of heavenly race. And you should be separate from the world in your actions. If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master's sake. You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity. Remember, O Christian, that thou art a son of the King of kings. Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty--let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets--let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

Then rise my soul!
and soar away,
Above the thoughtless crowd;
Above the pleasures of the gay,
And splendours of the proud;
Up where eternal beauties bloom,
And pleasures all divine;
Where wealth,
that never can consume,
And endless glories shine.

Evening Verse
"Lead me, O Lord, in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies."
Psalms 5:8

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offence in the followers of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us turn it to account, and since so many are watching for our halting, let this be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and with its hundred tongues, it will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander. They will shout triumphantly. "Aha! So would we have it! See how these Christians act! They are hypocrites to a man." Thus will much damage be done to the cause of Christ, and much insult offered to His name. The cross of Christ is in itself an offence to the world; let us take heed that we add no offence of our own. It is "to the Jews a stumblingblock": let us mind that we put no stumblingblocks where there are enough already. "To the Greeks it is foolishness": let us not add our folly to give point to the scorn with which the worldly-wise deride the gospel. How jealous should we be of ourselves! How rigid with our consciences! In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds, and impugn our motives where they cannot censure our actions, how circumspect should we be! Pilgrims travel as suspected persons through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance, but there are more spies than we reck of. The espionage is everywhere, at home and abroad. If we fall into the enemies' hands we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf, or mercy from a fiend, than anything like patience with our infirmities from men who spice their infidelity towards God with scandals against His people. O Lord, lead us ever, lest our enemies trip us up!
—Morning and Evening