Wednesday, January 31, 2007

TOT Grammar Review: more common problems

Flashing back to 7th grade language arts one more time...Three on Thursday (TOT)

ALTAR is of the church variety. Here's a way you can remember this. The one that uses the "A" is for church which should be the first priority like "A" is the first letter in the alphabet. LOL

ALTER is the one that means "to change" like to alter a dress or to change one's hair color! LOL

Hmmm...the best way to remember this one (remember that you are thinking like middle schoolers) is you would want two of the "sweet treats" so "da-ZERT" has two s's! LOL "DEZ-zert" is that big sandy place with cactus and/or camels! *wink*

PAST refers to a time before this moment. The one with the T refers to Time!

PASSED is used mostly for to give ("I passed the salt") and to move ("We passed by our exit"). You'll also see if in "I passed my turn" and "My dog passed on."

Hope this is still helping out for some folks. Da Hubby and I still haven't had time to sit down and get the plurals and possessives chart I made into Excel and then into something Blogger-friendly. So stay tuned for that one!

WFMW: Displaying 40+ Family Pictures

While we live within a few miles of most of Da Hubby's immediate family, most of my family and closest friends are more than 2 hours away. So, while trying to figure out a way to not have my Vikings run screaming from the "strangers" every time we traveled somewhere for a visit, I ordered this from Oriental Trading.

I had to trim a row off vertically but I now can have forty 3 X 5 and/or 4 X 6 pictures hanging on the side of my fridge. We used mostly our own pics from our digital camera but have also had my family and some of Viking #1's local friends give/send us pictures that are also hung up on the fridge. Now, #1 and I can chat about who all these people are while making dinner, doing dishes, etc. Works for me!

Visit Shannon's site for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas .

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

From an angel on earth...

is the only way to explain how her words, her writing today, and her choice of scripture could make so many moms of little ones cry so much in one day! LOL God bless you, Shannon! In the kindest, most bloggy way, you are my mentor and my idol! (((hugs)))

Enough already! LOL

(Update again: this is the view out my kitchen window as of 2pm EST! LOL)

Woke up to ANOTHER 6-8 inches of snow and Da Hubby running the snow blower at 6:30am in the morning! He left grumbling about "if it keeps up like this, you better call me!" LOL Ah, the joy of lake effect "bands" of snow - it could be snowing so hard your roof is in danger of collapsing (oh, yea, that's right! He was already SHOVELING THE ROOF last night) while where he works, less than 10 miles away, could be getting NOTHING!

Anyway, I'm suppose to take Viking #1 out for a play date at Grandma and Papa's today while #2 and I go grocery shopping. We'll see! (Update: My in-laws who spent most of their parenting years in the Upper Peninsula just cancelled on me! LOL That must be SOME snow! LOL So, the kids and I will be snuggling at home today! ;)

Oh, and did I mention how it's not enough that there is this much snow OUTSIDE but that now the snow is now coming into the house to be played in? LOL

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fallen Ministers and Charismatic Credibility

(Wow, just got this in my email. Need to think about it some more. What do you all think? This was written by J. Lee Grady who is editor of Charisma Magazine)

We’ve reached a crisis point. How do we restore fallen leaders in a redemptive way and protect God’s people at the same time?

Suppose you go to the hospital and your surgeon accidentally removes your spleen instead of your appendix. Then you learn that this same doctor cut out the wrong organ from Mrs. Johnson’s abdomen and amputated Mr. Smith’s right leg instead of his left one. Oops!

I guarantee that this quack would lose his medical license no matter how friendly he seemed during office visits. And in this country, thankfully, he could move to the next town and open a surgical practice. We have professional standards that apply not only to doctors but also to dentists, bankers, teachers, lawyers and even cosmetologists.

Unfortunately in our quirky world of independent charismatic churches, there is no such thing as an enforceable standard of professional behavior. A hair stylist has to obey the rules, but our preachers don’t. We make up the rules as we go.

Case in point: Paul Cain, the celebrated charismatic prophet who appeared in countless conference pulpits during the 1990s, stepped down from ministry in 2005 after he was publicly confronted by three high-profile church leaders, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner and Jack Deere. They brought disciplinary charges against Cain because of a pattern of homosexual behavior and alcoholism.

Cain admitted his failures, stepped down from ministry and initially agreed to submit to a regimen of accountability prescribed by a group of men who knew him. But a few weeks later Cain announced that he was moving to California to find restoration from a different group—a church that Bickle, Joyner and Deere knew nothing about.

Then, 12 months later, voila! The church in California announced that Cain was “restored” and ready to preach again.

Bickle, Joyner and Deere did the right thing by releasing a statement on Jan. 21, which said, in part: “We cannot say with confidence that this is a genuine restoration that is according to the principles of God’s Word. It will be harmful to [Cain] and others if he is released prematurely and then relapses into his past failures.”

Thank God someone was bold enough to demand a higher standard—at a time when so many Christians have gone squishy and spineless on biblical morality. It is time for leaders in our movement to show some tough love and adopt some stringent policies about biblical restoration.

Cain’s situation is an opportunity for us to examine our movement’s credibility crisis. We need clearer guidelines on how to handle a leader’s moral failure. Here are four:

1. Forgiveness is immediate. God’s mercy is amazing, and He is quick to forgive a fallen leader who repents. God does not require us to wallow in shame or self-pity. We can eagerly embrace the redemption that Christ purchased for us.

2. Personal restoration is a process. Repentance is not just feeling sorry for making a mistake. A leader must have heartfelt humility and a genuine sense of brokenness for the way his or her sin hurt others. If the leader is in denial about his failures, true friends must confront his deeply rooted pride and deception.

3. Restoration to ministry should never be fast-tracked. Many experts suggest that a fallen leader should step down for a minimum of three years in order to find full healing in his or her own life as well as in marriage (especially in the case of sexual sin). Some denominations only require two years of rehabilitation, but those of us in independent churches have required even less time. As a result of our hurry, there are many unhealed, unhealthy leaders in the pulpit today—as well as congregations that feel exploited by spiritual traitors.

4. Restoration should involve people who know the fallen leader. If a leader fails morally, he will be tempted to run across the country and find a new set of friends who are wowed by his charisma but don’t see his dark side. But true restoration must include reconciliation with the people hurt by his or her actions.

I know some will complain that I am being “judgmental.” The truth is that I know several ministers who fell morally and then returned to their pulpits in God’s time, not theirs. Restoration is possible and it should be our goal.

I will stand with the apostle Paul, who drew unpopular lines in the sand, demanded character of church leaders and warned early Christians to avoid the self-restored Lone Rangers of that era. If we don’t draw some lines today, the flaky prophets and carnal con artists will bring all of us down to their level.

Gotta Love That Lake Effect!

(Update: for some more photos we took yesterday, Da Hubby created a cool little webpage this morning.)

Grrr...the lake effect snow storm warning has been extended until tomorrow! 2-5 more inches today and possibly 1-4 tomorrow! Yikes!

As it is, Da Hubby has to get up on the roof tonight to push some of the snow off! Ought to be interesting! LOL

Viking #1 is enjoying it though! She was "helping" DaHubby snowblow again last night. She makes me remember the winters when I was little! LOL

Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Now THIS is a Michigan winter! LOL

Da Hubby's "snow prayers" have finally paid off. My "Yooper" (from the Upper Peninsula thus "U.P.-er" thus "Yooper" for those of you uninitiated to Michigan lingo LOL) hubby is in his glory! Church cancelled. Twelve inches in last 12 hours and it's coming down so strong that we can barely see across the street! LOL A glorious day of rest to all...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Third Time's the Charm

Was just thinking today...

Joshua 1.6-9 "Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go."

If God says it three times...He must mean it! LOL

Friday, January 26, 2007

Nothing in particular

Just having a regular day - so to speak. Nothing earth-shattering. Ran a couple errands with the kids this morning and then (since they were SO good) we ate at our local Dairy Queen which has an indoor play area.

At DQ, we ran into Viking #1's 4-yr-old friend from church, "E." E and her grandma (who watches her in the afternoons after preschool while E's parents work) and #1 and I had a nice visit. E's mom is the head administrator for an elderly care home which opened this week. Needless to say, her life's been a little hectic lately. E's dad is also struggling with a new job. These folks have become good friends in recent months. They seem so busy balancing their respective jobs and parenting and other responsibilities. I really feel for them. I remember what it was like to work outside the home all day and return at night to another pile of things to do...and that was before I had a hubby and kids! LOL

Anyway, I said all that to say this: isn't it funny how we all minister to each other, a little here and there, as we go through our days? My two "church moms" were there for me last Sunday. And, today, I felt "nudged" to do something for E and her parents. So, I came home, doubled-up a batch of stew I was planning on making for dinner, threw a bunch of good smelling stuff in the bread machine, and offered to feed them and let the girls play after a long week for both families.

It just feels so wonderful to make something homemade and simple and hope that it helps ease their burden a bit. It's one of the reasons I chose to stay home so I would have time for things like this. Just kinda basking in my little SAHM glow today. And, lovin' being home with my babies.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"Three on Thursday" grammar review

Well, I can't believe it's Thursday again already. Does time just speed up once you have kids? Or, is it a factor of just getting older? LOL

Anyway, again, think like a seventh grader and here's my three tidbits for this week for whoever might be interested:

THEN is a time-related/sequential term. "We went walking and THEN stopped for ice cream."

THAN most often refers to a comparison. "I like chocolate ice cream more THAN vanilla."

WHO'S is a combination of "who" and "is" as in "Who's knocking at the door?"

WHOSE is generally referring to the ownership of a possession as in "Whose car is parked in the driveway?"

And, finally...

OK, this may take a roundabout explanation. Both mean a "decrease" but LESS is used if what is decreasing is an intangible, "mass" thing that you can't have just one in less love, less frustration, or less color. However, if you are talking about things you can count and/or itemize, you would use FEWER as in fewer kids, fewer cars, or even fewer thefts. So, the next time you go into your favorite grocery store, check out the "quick" lane. Does it say "10 items or less" or the technically correct "10 items or fewer"? LOL

Well, that's it for this week...anyone have any requests for future Thursday posts? (And, yes, the plurals and possessives "tutorial" is still in progress! LOL)

WFMW: Fantastic "Busy Books" for Kids

I have worn my toddler copy ragged at the edges and, for all the activities we've done out of it, I've probably spent less than $30 this past year.

These books are FILLED with fun and/or educational things - most of which can be done with recyclables or inexpensive materials from the Dollar Store. That's why we highly recommend to you: The Toddler Busy Book (for the 0-3 group)

There is also a Preschooler's Busy Book (for the 3-6 group), a Children's Busy Book (for 6-10), and Arts and Craft Busy Book (for the 9-12 group).

While you are all more than welcome to use these links or my Amazon search link at the right, I got our toddler, preschooler, and children's copies from a book fair for the cost of only one of the books on Amazon. There are cheaper copies out there if you require a "thrifty-er" alternative.
Visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more great ideas!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Forgot the "Before" Pics But...

(Updated below...)

How 'bout a "in-process" shot? LOL :) That is my bathroom vanity with its drawers out and doors off primed with Kilz! The painting bug has bit here too! I'll post the "after" shots when I'm done. Da Hubby is due home from an overnight business trip to Ohio in about 4 hrs. I want to get it back together (well, at least mostly) by then!

Da Hubby got home 10 minutes after the last coat so once he was fed and the paint was dry, he put all the hardware back on for me! What a sweetie after spending 5+ hours on the road! Awww...

Random Thought As I Nearly Slid Down My Porch Steps Today

Has anyone else but me wondered why we add salt to crushed or cubed ice in ice cream machines to make it COLDER yet we also put "salt" on icy surfaces to make it MELT? LOL

Monday, January 22, 2007

In His Lap

As I alluded to yesterday, I had one of those "momma days" where it seemed like everything was conspiring against me getting to church or getting anything done. The short version? Starting from Saturday afternoon: playdate, kids WAY overstimulated, no naps, dealing cranky kids all evening alone while Da Hubby worked on a home project, kids' bedtime, parent bedtime around 1am, Viking #2 up at 4:30am ready for the day, weather bad, van battery dead, overall rotten attitude ensued.

However, I got seriously mad about the time the van wouldn't start. "Devil, you are NOT keeping me from church so GET OVER IT and LEAVE ME BE!" Da Hubby, already at church for praise and worship warm up, via cell phones patiently walked me through jump starting the van from a charger he keeps in the garage.

When I got to church, they must have seen me coming! LOL One woman scooped up Viking #1 and said "I'll get her unbundled...go get your boy." I came back in with #2 and the nursery worker scooped him out of my arms after a hug and hello from Da Grandma. Relieved of the kids momentarily, I took off my coat, dropped off my multitudinous bags in the sanctuary, and went to get some liquid caffeine from the fellowship room in the form of a diet soda. Two of my "church moms" were still mingling, took one look at me, and I burst into tears. The three of us then spent 10-15 minutes letting me vent and them telling me that it was completely normal, yes the devil attacks on Sundays, and how they survived their kids being young! LOL

We eventually "sneaked" into sanctuary during the second praise and worship song. #1 had made it to the toddler room unscathed. I found #2 in the arms of his aunt dozing off having been up for about 6 hours at this point...the little bugger. And, I greeted some of my family that sits around us in our "usual" seats. And, I began to sing...

I could barely make it through the first chorus. I still felt like just collapsing. Then, I had a revelation. I had a place to curl up, cry, and be His lap! My perfect Heavenly Father had his arms open wide and an empty lap just waiting for me. I stopped singing (not that I had a choice choking through tears) and just pictured in my mind bowing at His feet and then just crawling up into the safety of His arms...just as #1 would do with Da Hubby. And, the thought made me smile! And, the sense of Him saying "there, there, it'll be alright" just washed over me.

I've often wondered in exhaustion "well, who's gonna take care of ME?" after looking after home, kids, and Da Hubby. While I have the most-est awesome-est husband, he can't be ALL things to me at ALL times. But, the Lord can! My Daddy can make everything alright! And, a little hug, a little snuggle with Him, a kiss on the head, and I was off on my way through my day again.

Thank you, Lord!! You are more awesome than words can express! Thanks for being my Daddy!

Psalms 18:30 [As for] God, His way [is] perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He [is] a shield to all who trust in Him.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Attack

I mentioned to someone in a post early last week about how it seems the devil attacks us even harder on Sundays - trying to steal our joy and desire to worship the Lord. Suffice it to say, that is the case here this morning. Just wanted to post this psalm to remind me (and anyone else having "one of those days") to rise up and praise Him despite whatever challenges stand in our way!

Psalm 20
1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

2 May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion;

3 May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

4 May He grant you according to your heart's [desire,] And fulfill all your purpose.

5 We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up [our] banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand.

7 Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

8 They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.

9 Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Accountibility Through Blogging

Didn't have anything particularly earth-shattering to report, discuss, or share today. But, after getting in the daily blogging habit, I felt like I *should* be preparing something. And, as I surfed through some unknown blogs today searching "for treasure" as directed by Jules at Everyday Mommy, I stumbled onto a theme. Many of us use this as an accountability tool!

Lisa shares her progress and discoveries as a result of her commitment to read the entire Bible this year. Shannon has used it to document her weight loss. We're all putting friendly pressure on Debbie to finish painting her dining room - just so we can see what color "pumpkin butter" is. Tonia at Little Old House On the Hill In The Woods used her blog to journal her "30 Days of Nothing" idea. Katrina blogged recently about her "line in the sand" to not buy any more books 'til March! LOL

My initial thought: how odd that we count on complete strangers that for the most part we'll never see to keep us accountable, committed, and on the straight and narrow. But, on second thought, isn't that what the fellowship of Christ is meant to do? To edify and support each other?

Ephesians 4: 15-16: "...but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. "

How cool is that? ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My "Three on Thursday" grammar review

Someone suggested last week that I consider doing this as a regular type of thing. Thanks, Kelly! I'm flattered. So, since it was a Thursday, I figured “Three on Thursday” had a ring to it.

Also, let me say this ahead of time…while I have taught middle school language arts, I am by no means an expert. And, I do NOT always use the proper format in my writing here. Ellipses and dashes incorrectly overused? Guilty as charged!

However, I just wanted to focus on some of the basics so make all of us look a little more professional in the mommy blogosphere! LOL We want people to pay attention to what we’re saying not be distracted by mistakes that are simple to correct! :)

So, remember to think like a seventh grader and here are my “Three on Thursday” for this week:

THEY’RE is a contraction of “they” and “are” and it is only to be used in that circumstance.

THERE is a reference to a place – as in “take it over there.” A way to remember this is that the word “here” which also refers to a place is the majority part of the word! LOL

THEIR is a possessive that means it refers to something belonging to a group of people as in “Their house is on Silvery Lane.”

The first rhymes with “death” and it is a noun (a person, place or thing). “It’s so cold you can see your breath.”

The second rhymes with “seethe” and it is a verb (an “action” word) that refers to the process of air going in and out of our bodies.

“Catch your breath and just breathe in and out.”

OK, here’s the deal. This actually is WAY easier than you think. You know how you can use both “he” and “him” to refer to a male in a sentence? One is used for the subject of the sentence (the one doing the verb) and the other is generally the object or the receiver of the action. For example, “he is throwing the ball to him.”

Well, “who” and “whom” is the same. One is meant to be the subject of the sentence and the other to be the object.

Examples: “Who sent this package to me?” or “The flowers were received by whom?”

OK! So, hopefully without sounding too stuffy or obnoxious, those are my “Three on Thursday”! Class dismissed! LOL

Help Out An Ice-Bound Mom! LOL

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer has a geography project today for her going-on-FOUR-snow-days kids. She's trying to get 675 comments about where people are located and the kids have to find it and mark a map. They also have a competition going on which state will have the most responses. You can leave your name or do so anonymously. Help out a mom who's been "stuck" in her house since last Friday! LOL

Update: As of 1:45pm EST, Shannon has about 555 comments! Only 125 to go! SO, if you haven't already gone over there, please consider doing so!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

WFMW: Keep-Warm Mashed Potatoes

This is probably a "duh" to everyone but me...LOL

I was having trouble having my mashed potatoes still be warm when they hit the table. I tried making them absolutely last but still I would have DaHubby getting back up from the table to "nuke" his plate before he could eat. So, out of the mouths of "babes" - or at least just MY babe -DaHubby says, "why don't you heat the milk up first?" Well, DUH!

So, instead of the cold milk chilling my potatoes, I "nuke" the milk for about 30-60 seconds before mixing it in and "ta-da"- warm potatoes!

Go to Shannon's site for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

For Kelli...

Today's the day! Be a blessing in a small way for a deserving fellow blogging mom. BooMama (as of 8:30am EST) has already had FORTY-ONE comments containing prayers and commitments to do their small part at helping Kelli. Be part of God's blessings on this fellow sister in Christ.

UPDATE: As of 11am EST, there are now 91 comments, prayers, and commitments! Praise God!

ANOTHER UPDATE: And, BooMama has posted an update that as of noon EST, over $1700 has been donated! God is MIGHTY! NOTHING is too big for our God!

YET AGAIN: As of 3pm EST, over 150 comments and $2700 has been raised.

OMGOODNESS: As of 5:30pm EST, over 180 comments and $3000 raised!

Monday, January 15, 2007

She got me again...*sigh*

The embarrassing things your children do to you...

The first time last fall - we are walking thru a Borders bookstore and Viking #1 pulls on my arm. I look down and she holds her finger out for me to inspect...

"What's the matter?"Mom carelessly inquires.

"Take it!"

"What is it?"

"A BOOGER!" She yells as her voice echos off every available flat surface in the store.

So, today we're at Walgreen's. I've got Viking #1 sitting in the cart and Viking #2 in the seat. He's trying to escape and she's standing up asking..."are you done? are you done? are you done? are you done? are you done?"

I put a can of formula and a bag of feminine products on the counter. My delightfully "adult-sounding" daughter with a voice like a US Marine drill sergeant asks as loudly as possible in front of three full lines of customers "Momma, are those YOUR diapers?" *sigh*

So THAT'S where those grey hairs come from!

Coming Soon to a Rapture-Ready Site Near You?! LOL

Our pastor emeritus stepped up to the pulpit do prayer and offering yesterday. Before asking for prayer requests and leading prayer, he cited reading an article with this information. One in four Americans believe that Jesus will be coming back in 2007!

While "Pastor T" was the first to remind us that no man truly knows the time when Jesus is coming, what if it WAS today? What if it had been yesterday? What if it IS tomorrow? What if it is this afternoon? Are you ready? Are your loved ones? Are you praying for those who are on your heart that may not be Rapture-ready?

My first goal in seeking out a church was to find that excited, jumping-up-and-down, oozes-out-of-their-pores, in-love-with-Christ passion of fellow believers. I have found that and more at our church home.

The second thing was something I marveled at in "seasoned" believers...the incredible passion and heart-wrenching prayers of these believers who are on their knees EVERY DAY for their unsaved family, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers on the street and people across the world who need to hear God's "history of grace" - to steal a term from Matthew West and his song, "The Next Thing You Know."

So, "what's your story about His glory?" What if Jesus IS coming this afternoon? Are you ready? Who are YOU praying for? Who ya' gonna tell about "your place in the history of grace?"

Preview for a Tomorrow Event

BooMama is starting an fund drive tomorrow for a fellow "mommy blogger" near and dear to her heart. Kelli has been an incredible witness to many and she is facing some pretty stiff obstacles in the coming weeks and months. Please prayerfully consider what you can do.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Grammar Usage Refresher! LOL

OK, folks...I know this is a pet peeve that for most people is unimportant and bugs only me! LOL But, I figured I'd put my English teacher degree to good use today! LOL For those you are remotely interested, here's a short explanation of some frequently troubling grammar mistakes. Keep in mind I taught middle school so *quick* think like a seventh grader! LOL

YOUR is a pronoun indicating ownership as in "this is YOUR house." It is not to be used like this: " that case your coming too!" The correct version of that sentence might look more like the following paragraph.

YOU'RE is a contraction for "you are" and IS to be used in sentences like "in that case, YOU'RE coming too!" LOL

And, speaking of "too"...

TOO, TWO, or TO?
In general...TOO is used in these circumstances... Like when you have TOO much of something ("too much" means you need the extra o's...get it? LOL) and when you will be doing that TOO (as in more than one activity so more than one "o" again! LOL)

TWO is the easiest...that's the number.

As for TO, it's pretty much for all the other times you hear or see as a preposition ("We are going TO the store.") or as part of a verb/adverb phrase ("TO be or not TO be..." or "I'm going TO need an aspirin!"). All of its uses are listed here if interested.

Finally, I'm remind by using "its" in the last sentence...

ITS vs. IT'S
IT'S is a contraction of "it" and "is" like in the sentence "It's 50 degrees again here today." The use of an apostrophe generally means it is taking place of some "missing" letters for a contraction or it is indicating possession like in "Beth's house" or "Lisa's blog."

ITS is (awkwardly enough after the last explanation) a possessive without an apostrophe! LOL Think of it like this: his, hers, its. They indicate that something belongs to someone - a he, a she, or an it. Get it? LOL

There - that wasn't so painful, was it? No violent flashbacks to junior high English, I hope! LOL So, now you are ready to go "multiply and be fruitful" in your blog writings! *wink*

picture credit:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Interesting Thing About the Beatitudes

I started my journey back to God in 1988. I received a beautiful new NIV Bible that day in honor of my "confirmation" into church. I still use the same Bible and have had a habit since that time that when I found a passage that particularly spoke to me, I put the date next to it. Now, each time I open my Bible, there's a small testament to the struggles and questions I've had over the years and how God's word spoke to me in that moment.

The beginning of Matthew 5 was part of my daily reading schedule yesterday. And, we've all probably heard several messages on those 12 verses of Matthew called the Beatitudes. But, I noticed 2 interesting notes I had written from 2001 that I thought I'd share.

First - the pastor we sat under at that time gave us new "definitions" to consider of what each of the key words completing the "blessed are those..." statements.

Blessed are the poor in spirit (realized all you lack without Jesus)...
Blessed are those who mourn (saddened by our state without Jesus)...
Blessed are the meek (who still have power under submission, humility, and humble)
Blessed are those you hunger and thirst for righteousness (continually thirst and hunger for "all-God")
Blessed are the merciful (to those in need AND those who wrong us, use empathy)

Blessed are the pure in heart (unmixed, pure motives)
Blessed are the peacemakers ("makers" not just "lovers" so this is ACTION oriented)

And, secondly, a parallel between the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments...consider this: the first four of each deal with relationship between us and God while the remaining ones deal with our relationships with others!

First four: poor in spirit, mourn, meek, hunger and thirsty: between us and God
Remaining 3: merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers: between us and others

First four: no gods before me, no idols, no wrongful use of the Name, keep Sabbath holy: between us and God
Remaining six: honor parents, no murder, adultery, stealing, lying, coveting: between us and others

Kind cool, huh?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thoughts on an End-of-Year List I Missed

I was going through some old e-mails I received recently and have been backed up due to the holidays waiting for me to read through them. I receive an email newsletter regularly from Charisma Magazine. One from Friday December 22nd caught my eye. It was a list of Charisma’s Christian newsmakers of 2006. (This is a link to Charisma's online forums but the article in its entirity appears there.)

J. Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma and author of this article. And, I guess he made his point that while these 10 people were newsmakers in the charismatic movement that they didn't get much attention in the mainstream press - I had heard of only 1 of the individuals and another has affiliation with my own denomination who I'd never heard of either! But, I was moved by some of the things these people accomplished!

Grady put my own thoughts into words when choosing Larry Stockstill for the top of list. This was the pastor who stepped into the Ted Haggard hurricane, began his removal and discipline process but also reminded everyone and advocated God's grace over sinners in his role as a spokesman for New Life’s overseer board. I agree with Grady that Stockstill did believers proud in his handling of the situation.

The other one that jumped out at me was Grady's second choice: Billy Wilson. Wilson is affiliated with my own denomination, the Church of God of Prophecy. Wilson took the reigns of the Azusa Street Centennial celebration when its original organizer, Robert Fisher, passed away unexpectedly. He is said to have been the perfect choice for this enormous celebration (which drew 31,000 people from 131 nations to Los Angeles in April - see the report here) because he shared Fisher's original vision "for unity in a fragmented movement."

I'm proud that someone from my organization which has not been always known for its unity-oriented thinking has such a leader who believes in this type of togetherness- which, incidently, I think is exemplified by all the ladies who are my fellow Faithprints "alumni" who now write here at Blogger. We're all from different backgrounds but able to keep our love of Christ and our dedication to improving our walks in the forefront of our online friendships.

And, on the topic of unity, I found it inspiring that that so many groups are mentioned in Grady's article: nondenominational charistimatics, Pentecostal, COGOP, Baptist, Episcopalian. It brings me hope that some are inspired and driven to follow God's call on their lives to bring healing among different groups all trying to bring God's love to the world.

Feeling lifted up and proud today...but to God be the glory! :)

WFMW: Heathly Eating - Low Fat Gravy

When I first started doing a Weight-Watchers-wannabe program that used something like the Points system, I found this and was thrilled to see that it was only 1 point for 1/4 cup!

Low-Fat Gravy

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free beef or chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch pepper

In a saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms and parsley in 1/4 cup broth until vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch, pepper and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until smooth. Add to pan with the remaining broth. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally; boil for 2 minutes. Yield: 2 cups.

Nutritional Analysis: One 1/4-cup serving equals 19 calories, 1 g fat (0 saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 28 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Free Food.

Go to Shannon's site for additional ideas and recipes!

Monday, January 8, 2007


My dad is like so many others - quiet but a presence. Could send a look that would knock ya on your butt from across the room if you were misbehaving. LOL And, nothing hurt worse than having him not yell but say "I'm so disappointed." What if our Heavenly Father said that to us? I got a glimpse of it this weekend...and I'm still reeling.

This weekend was insane...Viking #2's party on Saturday with my IL's, some church family, and my mom and step-dad. On Sunday, my dad and step-mom were expected for dinner, a visit, and a some delayed Cmas present opening.

But, Sunday morning was church. Da Hubby was on the piano for praise and worship while his partner led the singing. I was singing with about 4 others behind them. We started out with 2 foot-stompers that got everyone REALLY worked up- "Victory Chant" and "I Went To The Enemy's Camp..."! LOL Then, we transitioned into a slower song and then with our fourth song - the Spirit absolutely broke loose!

I found myself crying during song #3 for no "apparent" reason but that fourth song absolutely undid me...

Holiness, Holiness is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, Holiness is what you want from me

Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it

As we finished this verse, the worship leader opened up the altar for prayer...

Faithfulness Faithfulness is what I long for
Faithfulness is what I need

Faithfulness, Faithfulness is what you want from me

Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it

After this verse, my eyes were drawn to the floor in front of the altar where the main aisle meets up with the front area. I could "see" myself laying down on my face praying and sobbing. Now, it wouldn't be unusual at this church for this to happen but I'm new to this tradition, a little self-conscious still, and just couldn't seem to bring myself to walk off the platform in the middle of a song and lay down in front of the whole congregation. I couldn't (or wouldn't) submit to the urge.

Brokenness Brokenness is what I long for
Brokenness is what I need
Brokenness, Brokenness is what you want from me

Take my heart and form it
Take my mind, transform it
Take my will, conform it

That did it...I suddenly had such a heavy sense of disappointment just fall over me I could barely stand up. This weight was *pushing* me down. I could hardly take it and I was at this point crying so hard there was no point in singing. I walked off the platform to the side, walked up to the "kneelers" (as I call them) and kneeled down. But it wasn't enough. I still felt ashamed for not responding appropriately and in a timely manner.

So I inched off on my knees and "knee-walked"to the side of the kneeler and laid down, on my stomach, legs crossed, hands under my forehead and just cried until the tears filled my glasses as they fell straight down from my eyes looking at the floor!

Oddly enough, the book I'm reading came to mind - "The Other Boleyn Girl"- a fictional story of court life under Henry VIII. After reading the things that his subjects has to do in honor of him and all the sins and atrocities done for him and around him as people jockeyed for positions of power, how could I not get on my knees for my Heavenly King when He asked me! *sigh*

I hadn't been paying attention around me but after however much time passed and when I finally stood, nearly the entire congregation was up front either on their knees or standing in prayer or praying with hands on someone else. It was AMAZING!

And, as I sit here typing this out 28 hours later, I can still remember that heaviness but I'm praising the sense of relief and lightness I enjoyed as soon as I obeyed. Wow!

Friday, January 5, 2007

"Transported" nuggets

In the last 20 minutes, I read this entire book. And, I’m nearly speechless.

Transported by the Lion of Judah is Anne Elmer’s true story of a Paul-like experience of being caught up and taken elsewhere at the Lord’s direction while recuperating in a rural hospital alone for 3 weeks following emergency surgery while traveling. Most often in the form of a lion, the Lord speaks to her, sleeps next to her, walks next to her, and even dances for her. He transports her to churches all over the world to show her the work He is currently doing.

Some “nuggets” that jumped out:

“On being hospitalized away from home and alone: “How often do we try to pray our way out of problems, and take authority over demonic situation, when all the time God is saying, ”Quit blaming the devil! It’s me – God!”

During a vision He provided, through her spiritual eyes she could see what appeared at first like dust specks in a ray of light.

“Suddenly I understood…the air was, and is, charged with the creative power of God. He had opened my spiritual eyes to see the air full of His creative breath.”

This is how God speaks things into being – which hit me squarely since I’m currently reading Genesis as part of my reading plan for 2007!

I really liked this one…and it reminded me of many of you who make me laugh, giggle, chortle, and cough out my beverages occasionally while reading your writings! LOL

“It’s time to lay down our false image, and really get to know the Jesus of the scriptures, who was obviously a man with a sense of humor…We are created in God’s image, and so we must have His sense of humor somewhere hidden in each of us.”

Another good passage:

“He showed me that one of the keys to the success in allowing the Lord to do creative miracle was a humble pastor…Another important factor was a unity in worship.” What an awesome responsibility our spiritual leaders have!

She talks about how judgmental we often are in evaluating others from other traditions and denominations. The Lord showed her a church meeting outdoors. It looks “messy”, unorthodox, free-spirited, etc. However, as the Lion comes to sit at the foot of a cross, whether He was visible or not to them she didn’t know, all the followers gather in a circle around the cross silently and in reverent awe. And she writes…

“I am sad at how often I have judged by first impressions, and only seen apart of what was there. I hadn’t seen the cross until the Lord pointed it out tome. I had been distracted by what I didn’t like, and that had stopped me from seeing the heart of this community.”

Another church the Lord showed her where the congregation was simple and ”old-fashioned”. They kept chanting something Elmer didn’t recognize and then fell silent as the Lord began to move among them…

“The Lord explained that the chant they had been singing was simply, ”Come Jesus Come,” and that He had no option but to come because they would not go home until He had visited them. That’s when He showed me their picnic baskets, which were all in a back room of the church, saying they had come prepared to stay all day waiting for His to arrive in power and tangible presence.”

And, in the last chapter, she lists those factors she saw common to the churches that most pleased the Lord. And, they were:

They believed the whole of the Bible

They arrived at church with no personal agenda, but just intent on worshipping

They came prepared to stay all day, and often expected to stay all day

They often ate together

They had extended time of praise and worship

The pastors and worship leaders were “faceless.” They were humble people wanting only to serve the Lord.

Just wanted to quickly share what I found...I'm off to cook dinner, then off to church to decorate for the party tomorrow!

Legos in my dreams...

Unable to come up with anything original, witty, or interesting today. Have LEGOS and baking on the brain. LOL Tomorrow is Viking #2's party so I'm in my kitchen baking...hoping that at least THIS TIME something comes out like the picture in the recipe! LOL And, I'm not making just one. I'm making THREE!

LEGOS for cake, LEGOS for decoration, LEGOS primary colors for balloons, LEGOS for balloon weights, and on and on and on...and #1 keeps reminding me to not forget the party hats! LOL Wish me luck!

P.S. I'm still working on that idea from before Cmas about Mary and the Magnificat/Mary's Song in Luke. It was delayed but not forgotten. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ordinary Beginnings, Extraordinary Year

He is God's second miracle to daughter was my first. And, despite our history with infertility and the events of the pregnancy with #1, this was a nice, "boring" pregnancy. Luckily, very little morning sickness. No first tri spotting this time. No pregnancy-related health problems. No worrying test results. Correct rates of growth and weight gain. Our OB said he wished he had more patients like us! LOL

Even the delivery was relatively uneventful - as much as being in labor and delivery a baby can be! LOL Two days before my due date, a water-breaking inducement and he arrived five hours later!

But, our world has been entirely changed by our little miracle man! He's been even "easier" than his sister was (they've both been kind to me parenting-wise)! LOL And, today he is 365 days old! Happy birthday to the "other" man in my life...thank God for His wisdom, thanks to Da Hubby for his support and faith, and thanks to my little man for his flattering choice to make me his mom!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

WFMW: Knit Wits

I stumbled across this in Family Fun - a magazine that I am COMPLETELY addicted to now. Despite its incessant advertising about Disney (which owns the magazine), I find myself monthly ripping out 3-13 pages of ideas to try and/or save for the future. While not all of them were successful, all were fun. But, this one was a REALLY good hit just before Cmas.

This "knit-wit" idea requires only supplies that I gathered at the local Dollar General and cost me less than $5...knit gloves, rubber balls, and rice. I used leftover buttons instead of the pom-poms they suggested. But, with Viking #1 "supervising", I quickly sewed up two new "dollies" that have been dragged around the house, taken out for errands, and taken to Grandma's house more than any toy she received at Cmas! LOL Wouldn't it figure! LOL

Go to Shannon's site for more WFMW ideas!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Was going to hold onto this for a "Works For Me Wednesday" but it's been working so well for us that I thought I'd share it today instead.

I stumbled onto an interesting local barter system ran as a Yahoo group. Have you heard of Freecycle yet? A search of their site led me to my community's message group on Yahoo. It almost seemed too good to be true. EVERYTHING is free! You list things you want to clear out of your house and the only requirement is that they are free. And, using email, phone calls, and cautious, self-protection means like meeting in public places, etc. you can bless others with your extras and gain a few things for your home, for yourself, or for others for no cost.

First, I found a nearly brand new bread machine (something I wanted to try but didn't want to put out the money in case I didn't like it) in which I baked several loaves of bread for the Christmas party of soup and sandwiches we threw a few weeks ago for a few couples from church. I've also got standing posts looking for a kids' bike helmet (was going to use it for Viking #1's ice skating debut) and a hand cranked meat grinder, for example.

Then, this past week when the kids were down for a nap, I did a "toy purge" throughout the house to make room for the new gifts. I came up with about 3-4 brown paper garbage bags filled with stuff. I posted them on Freecycle and within 24 hrs. I had 5 emails. You can pick and choose who you give your stuff too or take it on a first-come-first-serve basis. I chose a woman who I had previously given baby clothes and gear to who is looking out for a single mother at her church.

It feels doubly good to bless someone like that as well as the thrill of finding a little treasure that costs nothing. I've heard that not every community's site works as well as my experience has been with ours but it might be something you want to try. Good luck!