Thursday, March 31, 2011

Impracticality & Hilarity

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I'm having two rather random thoughts, that I figured I'd post so they can stop floating around in my brain.  Gotta clear up space for other things, ya know. 

First, I painted my nails with my daughter and brother's impractical hot pink...and as always...It drove me batty.  I know that there are women who keep their hands nicely manicured at.all.times.  I am not one of them.  It might have something to do with my short, square little hands.  It might have to do with my current activities.  In order to paint my nails I need them a little longer...and I find it impossible to type, play the piano, open packages, anything MomE related...argh!  I also tend to associate it with a certain level of high maintenance...or pampering.  That makes me feel guilty in a mild sort of way.  I use my hands to work hard...and I like them to look...practical.  I admire the graceful hands of others...but my hands do better pulling off the practical, useful look!  HA!

Second, I know it boggles the mind that there could be more...I just spent a considerable time driving...on a weekday...through construction.  I found myself repeatedly saying, "I wish I could give them a piece of my mind...*grumble, grumble*"  My smarty-pants Loverbrains said, "Wouldn't you miss it?"  Then, I got to thinking...where did that saying come from?  I mean, why would I share my superior brain with a bunch of idiots?  AND, I definitely need the brains I currently sharing allowed.  HA!  I know...DEEP thoughts all around today!

Today will demonstrate Domestic Engineering at it's finest!  It's always a feat to get the house back in order after a trip.  One super, major Mom let me do all my laundry there before I I just have to unpack the suitcases into the drawers...and voila.  No mountain of laundry.  I'm SO blessed!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hodgepodge Better Late Than Never

1. April rolls in at the end of this week and in celebration of that infamous date (April 1st) answer this question-What is something foolish you've done?
I dread April 1st...and keep a wary lookout all day long.  Even though our family contains some real tricksters (fools?)...I can't remember any April Fool's Day jokes in our family history.  I do remember a time I pretended to drop my Dad's expensive gold pen down the heater vent at Friendly's for a gag when I was about 10...I said, "Dad, I dropped your pen."  He said, "Well...pick it up."  And I said, " I can't...It fell down the heater vent."  When he really started to sweat...and his eyes began to bulge out...I popped it up from my lap and said, "Gotcha!"  It was great comedic timing...if I do say so myself!
2. With April comes Easter and that classic edible treat known as tell me...what's your favorite way to fix/eat chicken? That wasn't what you were expecting, was it? I 'fooled' you. teehee.
Phew...glad that question turned a weird corner...I hate peeps...yuck!  I love marinated and grilled chicken...It's fabulous.  It's hands down my favorite way to eat chicken.  If you have a great marinade recipe...please share!!
3. What's the best museum you've ever visited? Or your favorite? Or the one you'd most like to visit?
I've visited several museums...and my Loverbrains just got a chance to visit The Louvre (I'm SO jealous.)  I think my favorite...would be the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain...containing the works of Velazquez, Goya and Greco.
4. You know what they say about April showers...what's your preference-a shower or a bath?
Depends on what I'm trying to accomplish...For washing quickly and efficiently I prefer the shower.  For relaxing and shaving my leg, I prefer the bathtub.  BUT...usually it's the shower...Cuz, I don't enjoy cleaning out the tub and toys to take a bath.   
5. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"...fact or fiction? Why?
From my depends on the condition of your heart.  My husband travels ALOT...and at first I didn't handle it very all.  I was jealous (still am occasionally) and allowed bitterness to really take root and fester...and his absence made things hard...but...when I finally identified some problems...and addressed them and worked on them...There are ways that his frequent travels do make my heart grow fonder.  I appreciate more what he does when he's here...and look forward to his return with a loving and eager heart.  My Mom teased me as I threw on make-up to go pick him up at the airport a few days ago...that you'd think he'd been gone 6 months instead of 8 days!  Hehe!
6. What's your favorite product made/grown in your home state/province?
Kettle Corn by Popcorn, Indiana...I don't buy it very often...I can't keep myself out of it.  I find myself stuffing my little cheeks saying, "Take this away from me and hide it!!" 
7. What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?
I keep tabs on where world conflicts are see if they'll interfere with Loverbrain's travels.  If they are anywhere's heavy on my mind.  But, the truth is...I've really backed away from watching the news too much.  I tend to lose perspective...especially with many Christians around me who call these the last days.  It's not that I don't agree...It's just if I focus on it too much...I find that I'm not as effective for the purpose of furthering God's Kingdom.  I do better at keeping calm and trusting God to totally control the world and it's events, if I watch the news a little less often.  I'm not suggesting mimicking the Ostrich, with her head buried in the sand...I need to be current in order to actively evangelize...and in the good old USA get yourself out and VOTE your conscience, please...but I try not to get all churned up about stuff...Cuz, God's ultimately in control...not me!
8. Insert your own random thought here.
My brother showed me a bunch of these...totally cracked me up!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Loverbrains' Return, Lucious Chocolate, Lovie Quilt!

 My sweet Loverbrains returned to me yesterday.  He brought me Belgian Chocolates...among other things. really is different than other chocolates.  Very, VERY smooth...and almost a honey kind of sweetness!
AND...My Mom and I have been finishing and binding the baby quilt for my *soon to pop* friend!  Don't worry, I didn't get any chocolate on the quilt!  It is bound in brown soon!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm STILL special!

When I see my children reading with my Dad...*sigh* Well, it's just a sappy moment.  I'm sure it's no shock to my "few and faithful" that I'm a Daddy's girl.  It was nice that when I arrived for my visit Dad hugged me (not just his grandchildren) and said, "It's good to see you, Kid...and not just read your blog!"  HA! 

And, I figure while I'm on this point...and it is my blog after all...I'll say that my Mom also always makes time for me.  She says that she loves her grandchildren and misses them terribly...but she misses me terribly too.  We always go out "junking" together.  We hit all the new consignment shops and Goodwills, flea markets and antique shops.

I want to remember this when my kids are grown and have kids of their own.  To make my kid's feel special and much as they are NOW.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Praying for Rain?

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A few years ago our mother/daughter theme was something like, "April Showers bring May Flowers"....and the speaker's application was that God is Faithful--and we shouldn't be afraid of life's rainy days.  In fact, if we want truly deep faith--and not shallow, lukewarm lives--we should pray for a little rain; at the very least being grateful for the rain when it comes.  Not if it comes...when it comes.

I was thinking of those songs/prayers/studies that make me squirm.  You know, lines like "do whatever you must do to make me more and more like You"....or studies on Job....or this painful doozy of prayer.  "I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency."  Yowsa!!  But, being afraid *superstitious* of those things...makes me feel downright awful.  Do you know why?  Because I realize my faith is SO small.  Evidently, my memory is short too.

There is not a single area in my life where God has not been completely and totally faithful.  He is absolutely deserving of my TRUST--and obedience.  If I truly identify with Him...I'm told in His Word that I will indeed share in His sufferings.

"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."  2 Cor. 1:5
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."  Rom. 8:17

I wonder...if that's how that crazy passage in James 1 works out..."consider it joy when you face trials of many kinds."  The only way my trials are going to end with joy is if I come out refined and more like Christ.  Then, it's worth any and all pain and injury suffered.

Now, no grumpy comments about my sadistic suggestions that we all pray for pain.  I don't suggest we go around whipping ourselves the way those crazy flagellants did in the 13th century.  I do think we should be wholly grateful for the good from God.  BUT, we need to be thankful for the bad too--and see it as God's transforming song.
Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, “I know. I know.

That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart—and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty.
Can I believe the gospel?

That God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son?’

~Ann VosKamp

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Word FILLED Wednesday: COLD for His Purpose!

I have been exceedingly blessed this Winter to have escaped any major illness.  I tried to maintain my thankfulness during this last we endured a horrible cold and fever. 

The weather was beautiful...and I gratefully allowed my quickly recovering children to scamper about outside in the sunshine while I sat with eyes closed in the sunny rays.  I felt like a convalescent--unable to focus on reading, or eating, or anything--but simply resting at the Indiana seashore.

You see the purely human terms...was dreadful.  It was a week of FULL activity that I'd been planning for months.  It was to culminate with our Women's Day retreat...which I was coordinating.  And...God took some things off my plate.  And people were gracious and helpful.  And...resoundingly God pointed out that this Day was for HIS glory...not mine.  And he blessed it abundantly--the sun shone--and women grew in faith and unity together.

I was blessed by the speaker.  If she ever meets me again she might not recognize me, so subdued was my personality by cold meds....hahaha!  She shared many things...but really "unpacked" Romans 8:28...and what knowing the truth of it does for us.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

It reduces doubt.  Gives us truth to balance our feelings.  Prevents bitterness.  Reduces negative responses (anger, frustration, depression).  AND...eliminates the need for us to manipulate circumstances.  I truly see how God did this for me just this week....and looking His faithfulness to me throughout the years.

God is good...all the time.  All the time...God is good!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Life Promises For Success

If you are an Ohio State Football Fan....and need a light and quick devotional this book would be a perfect choice for you.  Life Promises is set up with several verses on the left side page, and a very short devotional by Jim Tressel on the right side page.  They were divided into topics...attitude, contentment, success, teamwork, love, etc.

I enjoyed the devotionals that were in Jim Tressel's voice best.  Some could have been written by anyone...and some were just poems or quotes.  Personally, I wish they were all by him.

I generally don't use these sorts of devotionals...they are very light.  BUT...I know a lot of "Buckeye sport's heads" that would LOVE this book...the sport's analogies...the insight into the coaching and team.  If you are busy...or maybe a coach who gets to have devotions with the team briefly before practice each day...I would highly recommend you check this book out.

I received this book free from the Tyndale House Publishers, Inc in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

SDG: More and More Like You...

The prayer of my heart today...

Lord, change my heart from deep within
Purify me once again
Renew my mind to love Your truth
Make me more and more like You.

Lord, cause my will to choose Your ways,
in each temptation that I face.
Until Your glory's shining through,
make me more and more like You.

More and more like You...
More and more like You... whatever you must do, to make me more and more like You.

Lord, now I rest in Your great love,
Secure in Your own righteousness
Because Your Spirit's work of grace
makes me more and more like You.

More and more like You...
More and more like You... whatever you must do, to make me more and more like You.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Marriage Monday: Beauty? Where? Why??

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Aesthetic- having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beautyI often tease my sweet Loverbrains that he is "aesthetically challenged"....because he doesn't notice things.

When we were first married I found it frustrating...He'd say, "Why do you need curtains if you have blinds?  Isn't it all about function??"  "No dear, it's NOT all about function."  Thankfully, he was relatively content to let me feather our nest...and doesn't really protest my none functional additions. 

And over the years it's become sort of a game that I find hilarious now...instead of frustrating.  He'll come home and I'll say, "I decorated for Spring today....Do you notice anything different?"  He'll look around...and if he's really stumped (ie. I didn't move any major furniture) he'll say, "Where?  In this room??"  Sometimes, I help him narrow it down...sometimes (rarely) he notices...but generally he says it looks "nice" and agrees he'd never have noticed on his own.

As jobs have changed and stresses have increased...I know he considers our home a haven of rest, more now than ever before.  I know that it's probably more about the tidiness and tone of the place...the meals, the kids...that creates that for him.  BUT, I like to tell myself that the beautiful feathers I've love of red, turquoise, music and bird watching...are part of what allows him to relax and recharge at the end of a long hard day at war with the work world.  

He does notice the beautiful he should notice...FYI.  When I come down the stairs on Sunday mornings...he always looks up and says, "Oh Honey, You look nice!"  And he stands up and kisses my forehead (he knows I don't like smeared lipstick kisses).  HA!  Sometimes, he even says...."You smell nice too!"

"Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste."  Song of Solomon 2:3

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As of Late: Springtime Colds...aachoo!

As of late, our family has been hit by a horrible cold.  Lubby had pneumonia, Emmer-bean had pink eye...and I insisted Loverbrains had allergies...until he shared his cold with me.  Ha!  
Lately our household has tripled it's usage of Kleenex and Vick.
Lately I've lamented my ingratitude during the times when I could breathe through both nostrils simultaneously.  Why do I ever take that for granted?
Lately I've realized that what God wants me to accomplish will get done...and all those other things that got "scraped off my plate" this week...weren't among them.
Lately I've started to be really bothered by the house falling down around me...which should be an indicator that I'm getting better, right?  I mean, I actually care about what's around me now!
Lately, I want to be cynical about my Springtime cold...when I should be thankful for the healthy Winter passage.  God is good...sniff*snork*sneeze....All the time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tube Tuesday: Finally Home!

When alarmed by the fury of the restless sea,
Towering waves before you roll,
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand, and finding it God's
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
Oh how lonely death can be,
At the end this long tunnel is a shinning light,
For death is swallowed-up in Victory, (Victory!)

Just think of stepping on shore, and finding it heaven
Of touching a hand, and finding it God's
Of breathing new air, and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory, and finding it "Home"

Finally Home! Don Wyrtzen

Monday, March 14, 2011

WIW: Evangelism: Don't be a bucket.

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"O, if you have the hearts of Christians, let them yearn toward your poor ignorant ungodly neighbors. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell. Many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned as long as you are saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace. Dost thou live close by them...or meet them in the streets...or labor with them...or travel with them...or sit and talk with them and say nothing to them of their souls or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?"  ~Richard Baxter  (cited in I.D.E. Thomas, ed., A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 92)

"The Jews lived under the illusion that God had saved them for their own sake and not for the sake of the world. They thought themselves to be a cul-de- sac rather than a thoroughfare, a bucket rather than a channel. Their view of themselves was that God saved us and we have now become the apple of His eye, we are His very favorite people and don't let anybody else from the Gentile world horn in on our exclusivity."  ~John MacArthur

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: The Dragon and the Turtle...

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari was a nicely illustrated story about two friends.  They attempt to camp out at the base of Mount "Sillymanborrow"...and although they take turns being scared of noises in the night, they do make it until morning.

This story was pretty kids (3 & 5) had a hard time making it through it.  The dragon's name is Padraig...a very hard name to read...I found myself repeatedly wishing it was as simple as the turtle's name, Roger.  I actually looked it up....and decided it's PAW-DRIG or PAW-RIG depending on which region you're from.  Oui!

There was a touch of British throughout the story, "Cheerio, my good fellow, a capital idea" which was sort of fun.  My daughter and I giggled when we read the line, "The boys snuggled down.  Not because they were tired, but because sleeping bags with shiny outsides and fluffy insides are so inviting."  We'd just mentioned that about our sleeping bags the other day.

I really liked the back cover where they put Duet. 31:6, "Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid...God goes with you; he will never leave you." It gave some good ideas for teaching biblical truths from within the book.  They helped each other not be afraid.  They were kind to each other when they were frightened.

I also enjoyed the "Legend of Mount Sillymanborrow" a cute story about a silly man who needed to learn compass skills...that's tacked on to the back of the book.  It was the story that Roger was attempting to tell the entire night...but they kept being interrupted by scary things.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Yearly Lenten Rant...

Originally posted last year....
I was just thinking that my practice of Lent is going to be very different from what some people think of...okay, most people.

I'm not giving up anything for starters. And...while I'm there...I'm getting a little frustrated reading about people giving up things and calling it fasting. Fasting is giving up food...or sustenance. What these people are actually doing is called abstaining.

I'm not thinking that temporary behavior modification is necessarily the direction I want to go...with giving things up. I'm more interested in personal spiritual reform...changing something...maybe actually doing what I should do even if it causes me discomfort because it's better for me in the long run.

Also, one of the points I was trying to make yesterday was that the practice of these important things...should go beyond the traditional celebratory time. Meditating on Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection should go beyond the 40 days of Lent.

I'd also like to point out that NOTHING you could give up for 40 days (or forever) would even come close to Jesus' SACRIFICE for our SINS! That's where some of my Catholic friends kind of irk me. You're giving up Ranch Doritos, huh? Seriously?? You love
Ranch Doritos so much that you consider it a sacrifice, that you'll need to rely on God to get you through for the next 40 days? Maybe that's why I've not even investigated Lent before. So many people are just making it a mockery and missing the whole point anyway.

I guess it kind of comes down to two things...that you should really be checking all the time...

HONESTY--God, how are things between us?

BALANCE--not attempting to work my way to heaven, and not copping out on doing the good works He's prepared ahead of time for me to do. It's like my anniversary...a time where I get to focus my attentions, devotion, reflect on our past and future, and communicate my feelings to my Loverbrains. God created a relationship with Him...and after man screwed it all up...he restored it through the death of His son, Jesus...

"Lent should be a period of preparation that includes reflection and penance." Okay, I just wrote that and now I'm thinking...the time restriction is a problem. I love some of what I've read about people feeling tempted to eat/do what they'd given up for Lent so use those times to pick up their Bible, read it and pray. Um...hmmmm? Shouldn't I always be putting God's Word first...above anything else....EVERYDAY? I mean, after Lent when you can eat Doritos and drink Diet Coke...and read Fiction...whatever...afterwards...will you still be reading God's Word and praying?

Don't justify giving up something because you need to draw closer to God... because said item X was between you and God. If there is something between you and God...get it right...REPENT...and give it up for EVER...not just forty days!

Sorry for the rant...but I felt I needed to clarify some stuffs...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


1. The season of Lent begins on March 9th this you participate and if so, in what way?
I like to think of the Lenten season as a time to reflect...but I'd also like to point out that NOTHING you could give up for 40 days (or forever) would even come close to Jesus' SACRIFICE for our SINS!  So for me...I'm not thinking that temporary behavior modification is necessarily the direction I want to go...with giving things up. I'm more interested in personal spiritual reform...changing something...maybe actually doing what I should do even if it causes me discomfort because it's better for me in the long run. 
2. Traditionally pancakes are eaten on the day known as Shrove Tuesday which is the last day before Lent (March 8th this year). So....butter and syrup? Blueberry? Chocolate chip? ewww, no thanks!! What's your pleasure when it comes to eating pancakes?
Huh...I wondered why there were always those sales at I-hop...We aren't big pancake fans.  I LOVE waffles though.  My parents say that I used to be able to fold and stuff an entire one into my mouth in my teen years.  I don't remember this...well, maybe a glimmer of a memory.  I need to get me a waffle maker.  I'm drooling on my computer...
3. Spring is coming. (It is coming, right?) What's your favorite springtime flower and do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Two questions I know, but they're lightweights.
I love tulips but the squirrels eat them all.  I planted 150 and got 5.  Grrr.  SO, I've converted to LOTS of ones too!  They are so bright and cheerful after the gray, doldrums of Winter.  I also have a whole row of dark pink peonies.  Oh, the poor man's rose...the smell is heavenly!  My sweet Loverbrains and my Lubby have bad seasonal allergies.  I have to keep the windows shut...right when I want to open them all up!
4. "Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than upon what they make us see in ourselves." Author unknown. Agree or Disagree? Why?
I guess I disagree.  I think it depends more on the context of the relationship (where, when, why, how)...and yet both of these are factors.  I don't think you can say it's always one of these more than the other.  It depends...
5. Since it's "March" and also the season of Mardi Gras....have you ever been in a parade? What's the best parade you've seen?
I don't recall being in a any other capacity than candy thrower off a school float, etc.  We enjoy going to fourth of July parades, etc.  I like watching the Macy's Day parade...but considering we spend T-day with my TV-less folks that doesn't really happen anymore.  Funny...I don't miss it.
6. You would jump up and down and shout for joy right now if someone told you___________?
I'm hilariously crazy.  I've been known to jump for joy over successful potty training, pregnant galfriends, and surprise date nights.  I also like to dance to the music at the end of Kung Fu!
7. How clean is your car on the outside? Inside? Is there junk in your trunk?
My Sweet Loverbrains took my van through the car wash last weekend.  Aww!  The inside could use a good vacuuming...but the trash is picked up and in the trash bag.  Overall, not bad really.  I surprise myself!
8. Random Running
Now that the weather is permitting my Loverbrains and I are supposed to be running again.  He went this morning...I stayed inside snuggled in my jammies...I feel super guilty....I'm going tomorrow....I'm going to imagine this....hahahaha!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Life Without God!

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A month long billboard campaign hits my fair city on Monday.  The billboards will strive to "dispel myths about the non-religious" says president of the Center for Inquiry, Ron Lindsey.  "One common myth is that the nonreligious lead empty, meaningless, selfish, self-centered lives. This is not only false, it's ridiculous. Unfortunately, all too many people accept this myth because that's what they hear about nonbelievers."

One of the billboard messages reads: "You don't need God -- to hope, to care, to love, to live."

It's interesting...because I know a lot of nice, non-religious folks.  Atheists, agnostics, "Go Greeners," the whole gammut.  Great people!  And, it's true...they've found they don't need God to have a hope, care, love, life.  I was talking to one of them about this...we agreed (disagreed?) that it's a foundational thing.  They are highly intelligent...I wouldn't presume to insult them by telling them they "only think" they have those things.  We just have a different foundational block.  She says she doesn't need a foundational "crutch."  For right now...temporal...they are hopeful, caring, loving, living.  To's a life and death issue.

They have hope...but it's often "I hope...x, y, z happens" or a rather whimsical, wistful thing.  Hope floats and all that.  My HOPE is steadfast...a very certain trust! 

Romans 8:24, "For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."

They are caring and loving.  Exceedingly generous.  Great parents.  But, Christ's CARE is more than felt needs.  His LOVE encourages the love of our enemies.  It's an action word...we are called to it...even when (or especially when) we don't feel it.

Luke 6:32, "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same."

But the biggest thing is the live part.  I have no doubts my friends are living life to every fullness that the world offers.  Some are enjoying greener, healthier aspects than myself...haha.  They enjoy pointing that out.  The major difference is the life beyond this one.  I believe we are eternal beings....and are headed for an eternal end.

And that...without God... is Hell.

1 Jn. 5:12, "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Jn. 12:25, "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

I find it interesting that the goal of this campaign is tolerance....the jab that we believers don't like non-believers.  I have some of the nicest atheist friends ever.  Long.time.friends.  With recognition that I am one...I say love the sinner...hate the sin.  Frankly, I wish some of them were as "in your face" as this billboard campaign...then we could have more honest to goodness conversations.

As a Christian (especially in a city chosen to represent the heartland of America)....

Am I living, hoping, caring, loving...differently
Am I a the sense that I am CHRIST like!?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Marriage Monday: Trusting GOD!

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Eph. 4:32
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TRUST:  assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.  It occurred to me that trust of my sweet Loverbrains hasn't really ever been the crux of our marital's been trust of God.  Big problems have come for us when I tried to make my Loverbrains fulfill a capacity that only fits God.  Obviously, when I do that...I'm setting him up for failure.  However, I can be fully assured of God's holy character, abilities, strength...and He is TRUTH!  When we both focus on trusting Him with our lives, children, and marriage...everything works out.

I reached a low point on TRUST last Spring.  Having two small children, distant family, and a Loverbrains who travels a lot...I was putting a lot of pressure on myself (and failing) and a lot of pressure on my man (who was letting me down out of sheer exhaustion)...And, I have to say...I felt pretty dumb when it turned out to be a TRUSTing God issue.  

Our Pastor had us meditate on Eph. 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  I had realized I wasn't being very kind...I was too rushed and too freaked out to be kind.  I wasn't trusting God to meet my needs.  There was no way I was going to be tenderhearted....vulnerability...are you nuts!?  I was telling my Loverbrains he'd let me down and didn't deserve my tender heart...but really, I was saying...God had made a bad match...and God wasn't going to keep my heart safe.

Tenderhearted TRUST was extremely hard for me.  I had to pray for God to hold my feel safe in Him as I tip-toed out to TRUST again.  You know what I discovered?  God is faithful!  He has always cared for me and He always will.   Isaiah 46:4, "Even to your old age and gray hairs  I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you;  I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

I was able to really TRUST my Loverbrains when I focused on Christ's forgiveness for me.  How does Christ forgive?  Completely.  Ps. 103:12, Separates from east to west.  Is. 43:25, Remembers it no more.  All good examples of how forgiveness should be in my marriage...and how it creates a perfect environment for TRUST.  When I am reminded of all God did..."saved a wretch like me"...I think, "Why don't I TRUST Him completely, all.the.time?"  When I know my husband is focused on the same kind of God Trust...we have a great TRUSTing relationship indeed.

God has blessed.  A year later, while our circumstances have not changed, our marriage is stronger than ever before.  We still have two small children, our families still live far away, and sweet Loverbrains is often overseas engineering...but God is faithful.  Praise HIS name! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Strong Coffee! Stronger Lord!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might."  Eph. 6:10
I've been feeling the intense need for strong coffee and my STRONG Lord's might.  I wonder some days if I'm coming or going.  I wonder how much is getting through to my Sweet Boobahs.  There are good days and bad days.  There have been some recent "expressions" from my three year old that made me feel discouraged at first...but the more I thought about it...I realized that he is thinking and processing quite well.

He was horrendous leaving church Wed. night (had to be hauled off the floor...and out like sack of kicking potatoes)...He screamed the entire way home....By the time I got him into bed I was close to tears and barely holding it together.  Did I mention Loverbrains was gone on business?  Yeah, solo mio!  I was praying for him and he wailed, "But I don't want a changed heart!"  Indeed.  Well, I explained that we are all sinners and we all need a changed heart.  The only One that can change his heart is Jesus Christ!

The next day at lunch Emma was singing, 
"My heart was black with sin until the Savior came in, 
His precious blood I know can wash it white as snow.  
And in God's Word I'm told I'll walk on streets of gold.  
What a wonderful, wonderful day, 
my sins are washed away!"  
We break into song around here at the drop of a that was pretty normal.  But, Lubby wailed yet again.  "I don't wanna die!"  Hmmm.  Well, I said that we all die.  And we either go to heaven or hell.  He then wailed, "I wanna red heart. I said I thought he meant white.  Then he insisted he wanted a green heart.  Oui Vey!

Then last night I was singing his normal lullaby request..."The Heart Song"....
"Change my heart, oh God...make it ever true...
Change my heart, oh God...may I be like you!"  
He grouched and wailed, "NO, NO, NOOOO...I don't want that song...I want Jesus LOVES me!"  I had to made me think of how many christians behave...It's what my Dad calls the ala carte approach to God, "I'll take a big serving of the Love, but hold the Justice.  And leave the Omniscience on the side.  And no Sovereignty - I'm allergic to Sovereignty other than my own."

Yeah, so pray for me.  That I will remember where my strength comes from...There is a fight on for this little 3 year old's soul.  I pray that God would mercifully save him...and soon!

"I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 121:1-2 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Audits...

Every believer is meant to be the evidence of what God does in the one He redeems. 

You can't audit the Christian life.  As I am tested, I see (and others should see) God's power.
It's not like those audits I did in college...I can't sit in on life...check out the hard tests ahead of time to figure out their rough parts.

As I'm living this life I should be studying The Book.  As my Dad told me about Math when I was young, "It's not going to come out of the sky and hit you in the head!"  Open your Bible...and read, read, study, study...

Ps. 119:15, "I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways."

2 Tim. 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."

I'll ask you what I've been asking myself...How are you being tested?  What grade are you earning?

"I discovered later, and I'm still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith." "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."~Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hodgepodge March-ing...

1. March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday so I'm you like green eggs and ham? Okay-how about this do you like your eggs? Or don't you?  This is SO fun! Check out some of the stuff I'm doing with my kids...HERE!  Below is a cute little recipe video...using GREEN pesto and scrambled eggs.  I prefer my eggs cooked hard...I want the yoke runny but just barely.  My Dad makes them best!
2. Is March coming in like a lion or something less ferocious where you live?
It's very lambie this year.  I always feel nervous when it's so mild...usually means a late snow storm that kills all the blooming trees and flowers.  What?  I'm not a pessimist...I'm a realist...It does often happen that way!  

3. Do you work better or worse under pressure?
I can work well under pressure but I don't know that I enjoy it...or would want to do it on a regular basis.  I prefer to have things well planned and efficient. 

4. March Madness-are you a fan? It's college basketball in case you're wondering. And if you're outside the USA tell us-is there any sort of 'madness' taking place during March in your part of the world?  
I'm an American non-sports I'll say that the month of March is the "maddest" month I've had in a while...FULL of stuff and getting fuller.  Church activities, Kindergarten registration, Loverbrains traveling, Spring Break traveling, and dum dum dum...Jury duty.

5. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
I started to say "I need it fairly quiet" but if that's really true I haven't done much of my best thinking in the past 6 years since having children.  Hahaha!  I remember going through a teen phase where I tried to be "cool" and study with the radio/tv on...and I couldn't concentrate.  Can't believe I'm saying Mom was right!  Sigh.

6. What item of clothing from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
Jeans...I wear a pair almost every day.  I'm an active, involved MomE and they are comfy and durable.

7. Do you use sarcasm?
Nope, never! *Grin*  I saw this t-shirt...loved it..."National Sarcasm Society:  Like we need your support."
I have been trying to be careful though...because it's not often very nice...and that I need to stop.

8. Random Rant on Jury Duty
I love America...I am a proud patriot.  A tiny part of me was excited about jury duty...until I realized that they want to hold me up for an ENTIRE month.  What happened to assigning a specific date...ONE day.  ARGH!  Now, I get to await a call EACH WEEK telling me to show up in court...and then after I show up they decide whether they've wasted yet MORE of my time or if they'd like to seat me on the jury.  No wonder the jury always appears sour and grouchy.  I sure hope "no childcare" is a valid excuse cuz that's gonna happen.  What will they do?  I'm assuming they don't cart you off to jail.  Do you get fined?  Added stress for the ENTIRE month of March...thanks!  God bless America.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TOTALLY Tuesday: Aloha...

We TOTALLY had a belated Valentine's Luau at church Sat. night.  It was wonderful!  My friend Hannah totally SPAMed it up with her beautiful pregnant belly! 
You entered the church to see a jungle (all the church trees) with teekee torches....and nice Hawaiian music...You were greeted with LOUD alohas and a lei.  There were bright colored flowers, grass skirted tables and frozen icy drinks for dessert.

It occurred to us...that it is TOTALLY unfair that all of Loverbrains frequent flier miles take us "anywhere in the continental US except HAWAII and Alaska."  Grrr!
Here is our TOTALLY fun Pastor and his wife...I have to say they are fun...They tried every single one of the SPAM Competition entries...and said they were, DELICIOUS!
Yes, evidently, those who've been there...tell us that Hawaii is BIG on SPAM lovers.  I hadn't eaten it for a few years...but I whipped up a fun recipe.  It didn't win!  HA! 
Here are the costume contest winners...and the winners of the SPAM royalty award!'s me with the crazy Kelly lady behind it all...I'm encouraging her to start a blog to include all her TOTALLY wild and wacky church activities and ideas.  She created Hawaiian balderdash, Hawaiian ALOHA/Bingo, and a interesting version of horse-shoes using leis and pool noodles. 
AND...the TOTALLY fun two of us...We decorated that room to SCREAM.....ALOHAEEE....TOTALLY FUNTIMES!!