Sunday, September 30, 2007
Oh, if you get time (or want to multitask!) please take the opportunity to watch or listen to all of the sessions here. Powerful, powerful stuff!
Friday, September 28, 2007
In case you're looking for me, today I'm at the cafe where I have shared a story that I originally posted a few months ago here, about entering His courts with praise. Grab a water bottle, put on your sandals and join me in Ghana for this wonderful memory and a lesson I learned from a dear Ghanaian sister!
I've also posted some pictures from our school week and birthday fun and a post about making maple candy over on my homeschool blog.
Have a terrific Friday and a wonderful weekend!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
"The One who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." Luke 10:16
These words made me stop in my tracks this morning after I read them. I realized how often I don't speak out for Christ, for truth, because of my fear of rejection. Oh, I hear others be bold, not just on a computer screen where I think we all feel a certain cyber-courage, but in real life situations, in social situations and sometimes even on mission trips. While I've had my nervy moments, I certainly wouldn't count myself among those who boldy, consistently speak out. And that frustrates me about myself. Today I asked God why. Why, at age 40, when I know where my security lies and I don't really think I've got anything to prove... why don't I just say what needs to be said more often? When too much O*prah-theology creeps into conversations in groups of women, when someone is obviously buying a lie of the enemy couched in the latest Christian fad, when some trite saying is spoken as truth, to which everyone else nods but inside I'm thinking "Chapter and verse... where is that?? Does that line up with Scripture?? I don't think so!" But, so often I sip my Diet Whatever and decide not to cause a stir. I don't want to hurt her feelings. I don't want to draw attention to myself. Besides, maybe I'm wrong... Yes, perhaps I'm mistaken... I'll go home later and look that verse up with my Greek lexicon or see what John Piper says, maybe I shouldn't speak too soon...
And then the moment's gone.
Yep. That's bold alright!
Why am I like that? I think I've still got the dust of rejection clinging to my sandals. I never shook it off. Over the years I've put myself "out there" (though the times are pretty few and far between, if I'm honest) but the rejections have happened. I can even go back to childhood and think of times I was subtly and not-so-subtly rejected- as all kids are at one time or another. There was dust to shake off and I didn't do it. I let it cling to me into my adolescent years, and apparently right into my forties. This morning I read Christ's words, "...the one who rejects you rejects Me..." Even as a child, if anyone rejected me, they were rejecting Him for He also said, "Whoever receives one child in My Name receives Me" Mark 9:37
I didn't really think much about it until today, but as I read those verses by God's grace I was convicted that I've been dragging rejection and its resulting insecurity around with me for years. It's not noticeable to everyone, because after all, it's just dust particles clinging to my spiritual sandals, but it's there.
And I think it's time to shake it off.
Ironing. Yes, the very word conjures up images of either the 50's housewife in black and white, ironing her husband's crisp, white shirts. OR, it makes me think of a big basket of wrinkled clothes, and me chained to the ironing board all afternoon... For years and year I didn't iron. Oh, we pressed things just before we put them on, but I didn't "do the ironing" in a big batch like other women I know. And for the most part, I still don't, except that I figured out what a true blessing it is for my husband to have his clothes hanging in the closet ready for work. I can't always get to it every week, but when I can it really blesses him.
The main reason I've never really "done the ironing" is that our closets are relatively small, and by the time you press something and then "mush" it in there with everything else, it's going to need a going over before you wear it anyway. But during the week, my husband's pressed for time (oh look! I'm being punny!) and the press-and-go maneuver takes too much time. What I've begun doing for my husband's work clothes is ironing them ahead of time and hanging them on a different kind of hanger in the closet.
Everything else we hang is on wire hangers because it all fits better. But when I press a week's worth (or more) of his work clothes, I hang them on these plastic, colored hangers and push the other clothes away from them, so they stay fresh, and he can quickly tell which clothes are pressed and ready to go.
He's got a double row of bars in his side of he closet, shirts on top and pants/jeans on the bottom. I'll spare you a picture of the inside of our closet, but if you walk in there right now, you can tell at a glance which shirts and pants have been ironed because they are set apart by these hangers. (Of course, if what I've ironed is not what he wants to wear, he's free to choose another shirt and iron it himself, but I'm noticing that week in, week out the shirts I've ironed and hung on the plastic hangers are the ones to be worn!)
I don't iron all of our clothes, and the rest of us "press and go" most days, but for my husband's clothes this "hanger system" works for me!
To read more of what works for others, or to share what works for you visit Shannon. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wrinkle-free Wednesday!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
First, you looked into the eyes of your precious earthly father, who would point your heart to your Beloved Heavenly Father. We couldn't have imagined on that day the things God had ordained for your eyes to see.
That just ten years later those eyes would go across the world to look into the eyes of those He came to save, and those eyes would close in prayer as you prayed with those who would receive Him.
That you would look out into the South China Sea and stand on those shores while new sisters and brothers "went swimming."
And on the shores of the Mediterranean, where a dear new sister in Christ would be baptized, in part because of your heart to share the love of Jesus with her...
Yes, your beautiful eyes have seen great things already. And I know there's more to come!
I pray most of all, no matter what your fifteenth year brings, that you will fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith... (Hebrews 12:2) And I pray that "the eyes of your heart will be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." (Ephesians 1:18-19)
Because of you, my own eyes are getting a first-hand glimpse at something God Himself is doing, and it is my privilege to be your mother. Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.
Monday, September 24, 2007
"When God calls a man He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits no alteration. God's call is founded on His decree. His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people's sins, but not their names." Thomas Watson
Oh, the irreversible grace of our sovereign God! I just had to share this with you today.
Well, there's our smiley friend again with his knife and fork, reminding us that it's Monday! Time for a look at the week ahead in the kitchen! Our kitchen will be a place of celebration this week, because my daughter's birthday is tomorrow. We will be enjoying a birthday dinner and the best treat of all- our friends from China who are stateside (the precious family my daughter lived with in China for part of the summer of '06) will be joining us for chicken enchiladas. We are so excited! We are having a fun week of food, with birthday cake and Tex-Mex, as well as continuing our "food tour" of the United States for our geography study. This is our last week in the New England states. Last week we loved corn chowder and making maple candy. Very fun!
Breakfast choices this week:
Croissants with jam/spreadable fruit
Fruit and toast
(or some combination of the above)
Lunch: grilled chicken wraps, corn chowder <-- SO good. Left from last week's New Hampshire dinner. You've got to try this recipe!
Dinner: The guys are baching it with BBQ and Monday Night Football, my daughter and I are meeting another mother and daughter for dinner before Bible Study.
Tuesday~ Happy 14 th Birthday Bethany!
Lunch: Out for Chinese food after we enjoy the Palace of Wax and Ripley's Museum (Birthdays are a field trip day at our school!)
Dinner: Chicken Enchiladas, corn casserole, black beans, Coca Cola cake (the b-day girl's request)
Lunch: Bagel Bites, salad
Dinner: New England Pot Roast (EYWTUSA p. 22), mashed potatoes, green beans
Lunch: hamburgers on the George Foreman grill, sweet potato fries
Lunch: Leftover Lunch Buffet
Dinner: Rhode Island Red Clam Chowder (EYWTUSA p. 88) and cornbread Later we're going to a dessert fellowship and I think I'm taking Fruit Pizza because that goes with whatever everyone else brings. :)
Leftovers, YOYO ("You're on you're own") lunches, out-to-eat after church/Awana.
I hope you're cooking up some fun with your family this week, whether it's sandwiches for two or take-out for ten... just being together is what's important! Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful Monday and a blessed week!
Be sure to stop by Laura's for some great menu ideas, or to share yours. :)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
How? How can it already be Thursday? It was just Monday! I really think the days are out of order this week or something, LOL. But, okay! If it's Thursday, then it's a great day to be thankful, so I'll just jump right in!
*I'm thankful that "the name of the LORD is a strong tower and that the righteous runs into it and is safe." Prov. 18:7
*I'm very thankful that God is teaching me that "the fear of the LORD leads to life so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil." Pr. 19:23
*I'm thankful I can lean on, fully trust in, place the weight of my confidence on God. And as I lean on Him He faithfully teaches and counsels me. I'm thankful for scriptures like John 13:23, Prov. 16:20, Ps. 143:8, Ps. 56:3, Isaiah 12:2, and Is. 26:3,4 reminding me to lean fully on Him.
*I'm thankful for time in His Word each day where He has been teaching me all of the above. It's my most precious time of the day, whenever I can get it. And He makes it happen by His grace!
*I'm thankful for a very productive week of school with my kids. We've really cranked out the schoolwork this week and have done some fun projects as well. I'm thankful that today there is a nice, beautiful gym that is letting homeschoolers have it for 2 hours for "open gym" time. And I'm thankful that mine are old enough to leave. there. And I'm thankful for the pedicure place nearby. :)
*I'm thankful for two really great phone conversations with godly women this week. I try to limit my phone time and not spend much time "chatting" but God opened up two really great chunks of time for me this week to talk to two friends and really have some edifying conversations. SO refreshing!
*I'm thankful that you stopped by my blog today! I hope you are thankful, too!
Be sure to stop over at Iris' and read more thankful posts or link your own. Have a terrific Thursday!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I hope you had a great week last week and enjoyed time around your table with your family. We started "eating our way through the USA" beginning with the New England states. We enjoyed a lobster casserole and a Boston cream pie. (I couldn't believe how much lobster cost! I got ONE lobster tail and had them steam it for me. The recipe I used called for 1-2 cups cooked lobster meat, so one $10 lobster tail had to do it for us. It was a great recipe, though!) This week we continue in New England enjoying recipes from New Hampshire and Vermont.
I'm also still loving my crock pot. In the summer I love it because it doesn't heat up the kitchen. During the school year I love it because it cooks dinner while I'm teaching. It's great for any season! Last week I made a lasagne recipe from the Fix It and Forget It cookbook, and it was the best. lasagne. ever. (I cook so much from that book that I've affectionately given it the nickname "Fifi" - the initials that I put in my menu plan notebook. "Fifi" and I cook together just about every week!)
Here's our menu for the week:
Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins
cinnamon toast/ toast with jelly
Lunch: Baked potatoes with all the fixin's
Dinner: Baked fish, Broccoli Cheese Casserole, spinach salad, bread
Lunch: turkey hot dogs, pita chips, fruit
Dinner: Chicken Chimichangas ( from a recipe my fun friend Sandy left in the comments of this post), corn, Mexican salad
Lunch: Lean Pockets
Dinner: New Hampshire dinner- Slow-Cooked Corn Chowder, wheat rolls, salad, orange cake
Lunch: grilled chicken wraps
Dinner: Left-over buffet
Lunch: Leftover lunch buffet (from this week's lunches)
Dinner: French Dip Sandwiches (FIFI p. 103), spinach/parmesan pasta, caesar salad, Vermont maple candy
Leftovers and out-to-eat after church
Oh, won't you hop on over to Laura's and check out everyone else's menus or, even better, add your own if you've never done it before. There are some great ideas over there and I know some of yours would bless the rest of us!
Have a yummy week!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Another highly-regarded professor and author characterizes it as the one spiritual discipline that is "absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation."
Chuck Swindoll says that there is "no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking" than this.
We should all be doing it. Are we? What is it? Join me at the Internet Cafe today and find out!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Mom's Brownies Recipe
Remove teddy bear from oven and preheat oven to 375. Melt 1 cup margarine in saucepan.
Remove teddy bear from oven and tell Jr "no, no."
Add margarine to 2 cups sugar.
Take shortening can away from Jr. and clean cupboards.
Measure 1/3 cup cocoa.
Take shortening can away from Jr. again and bathe cat. Apply antiseptic and bandages to scratches sustained while removing shortening from cat's tail.
Assemble 4 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1-1/2 cups sifted flour. Take smoldering teddy bear from oven and open all doors and windows for ventilation.
Take telephone away from Billy and assure party on the line the call was a mistake. Call operator and attempt to have direct dialed call removed from bill.
Measure 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup nuts and beat all ingredients well. Let cat out of refrigerator. Pour mixture into well-greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake 25 minutes.
Rescue cat and take razor away from Billy. Explain to kids that you have no idea if shaved cats will sunburn. Throw cat outside while there's still time and he's still able to run away.
Mix the following in saucepan: 1 cup sugar, 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, and 1/4 cup margarine .
Take the teddy bear out of the broiler and throw it away -- far away. Answer the door and meekly explain to nice policeman that you didn't know Jr had slipped out of the house and was heading for the street. Put Jr in playpen.
Add 1/3 cup milk, a dash of salt and boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Answer door and apologize to neighbor for Billy having stuck a garden hose in man's front door mail slot. Promise to pay for ruined carpet.
Remove burned brownies from oven.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm late getting my menu up today because I had to put the finishing touches on my kids' school assignments for today, then I whipped up some Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins. That's the way to start the week! Something for breakfast that tastes like a cookie! Yum! If they were attending school outside of our home, I probably wouldn't give them something so sweet first thing in the morning. In a little while I'll give them a snack of crackers and cheese or some carrot sticks to help balance it out.
Speaking of yum, last week I made this Coca Cola Cake recipe. Oh my word! It was impossibly good, and so easy! Well, I guess you can tell I have a sweet tooth. ;)
Here's our menu for the week:
Saturday, September 08, 2007
We had a wonderful week. We started the week at my Grandmother's, where we celebrated my birthday and enjoyed a relaxing Labor Day. After we returned home on Tuesday, I worked to get ready for our first day of school, which was Wednesday. The latter part of our week was swallowed up in getting back into our school routine and by my working on our Awana preparations for our first club night tomorrow night. SO, it felt like a short but busy week! I took one of the best naps ever at my Grandmother's house early in the week. Yesterday I was wishing I could've bottled it up and transferred it to Friday!
Earlier in the week I shared my daughter's list of "40 Reasons Why I Love My Mom" and I said I'd share my son's later in the week. Well, here it is! It blesses me so to read what they think, and to get their "take" on me. They mentioned things I didn't think they noticed! Very interesting... (Note: Never to be one overly encumbered by the "shift" key, I am leaving his lower case letters and typos because I love it. It helps me read it in his "voice." ;) I added [some notes] in brackets where I felt explanation was necessary!
(by Kyle, age 11)
1. She is the GREATEST mother any child could want.
2. She agapes me and fileos the things I make. [We recently discussed the different Greek words/meanings for "love."]
3. She home schools us.
4. She talks to the dogs.
5. She makes the best chicken enchiladas.
6. She is a faithful Christian, mom and wife
7. she knows exactly how to painlessly remove splinters with the "magic needle"
8. she never says "I told you so"
9. She takes us on field trips.
10. She never gets mad when we spill something.
11. She knows just what to do to make cuts disappear.
12. talking stops and attitudes change when she makes her "teacher face"
13. She tells the cheesiest jokes.
14. She speaks "franish" [french + spanish. I am tres bueno at it...]
15. she will accept any challenge to a card game
16. she always laughs at the mention of "Big Tex". [Private joke. I'll spare you. ]
17. she has been driving the same van for ten years.
18. She picked the best husband.
19. She has a deep love for missions.
20. She reads us the bible every morning.
21. She is committed to awana and church.
22. She is never a slave to the phone.
23. She loves a good comedy show.
24. she is extremely "techno savvy"
25. She has many good Christian friends.
26. A simple hug can brighten her whole day.
27. She's very supportive.
28. You can't help laughing when you are around her.
29. She is patient with us.
30. She explains things better than the "math guy" [A video guy in the math curriculum we use.]
31. She'll answer questions faster than you can ask them.
32. she makes math fun (or at least bearable)
33. Sometimes it seems like she knows everything.
34. The first thing she reads in the morning is gods word.
35. She always has time for us.
36. She can comprehend long words like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
37. She has taught me almost everything I know.
38. She can plan an entire year in one month.
39. She always understands exactly how we feel.
40. Whatever we go thru she's been there before.
I love you mom!!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
My kids each did the sweetest thing! They each wrote "40 Reasons Why I Love My Mom." (They had to know they would go straight on my blog!) I got some sweet gifts, but none as precious as their words:
1. She has raised me in a godly home.
Well. Reading this had me in a heap! So, so precious. (I especially loved that she realizes I chauffer her around with "minimum" complaints, and that I only have "freak outs" when necessary. Oh, and I'm "hip." ::ahem:: :) Later in the week I'll share my son's list!
Thank you so much for my birthday wishes. It's truly been a wonderful day!
Breakfast choices this week:
Cinnamon streusel muffins
Bagels with either blueberry or strawberry cream cheese
(or some combination of the above)
Lunch:Make-your-own pizza (English muffins + pizza sauce +mozzarella + pepperoni = fun and yummy)
Dinner: Taco Soup, Mexican salad, and Slow-Cooked Praline Apple Crisp for dessert
Lunch:Chicken Stir Fry
Dinner: Crock Pot Ham, baked beans, salad, yeast rolls
Lunch: Tomato Basil Soup (La Madeline- yum!), grilled cheese sandwiches
Dinner: fried chicken (my family LOVES this and I don't make it very often!), mashed potatoes, gravy, peas
Weekend: LOTS of good leftovers, out to eat after church (and Taco Bell after our first night of Awana!)
Be sure and stop by Laura's for more menus or to add your own.
Have a blessed week!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
We're on our way out of town, heading to west Texas to visit my Grandmother. I've spent most of the Labor Day weekends of my life there. And I usually come back a year older! (Funny how that works... ;)
Oh, how I hope you'll stop by the cafe! And
I'll be back here tomorrow with my "Monday Menu" post to start out our week.