thankful.

     I am thankful for the safety of my home. So many tonight are unsafe. I am thankful for the kindness of friends who hear. There are so many left unseen. I am thankful for a job to do. Many have no calling. I am thankful for the healing that has come. There is much brokenness to repair. God give us the grace to respond with giving and gratitude by helping the one next to us. For while we can not fix the big hurts of the world, we can help the small one next to us.

Butterfly Wings



Image from: http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/images/content/blueMorphoZ.jpg

When I am failing
Can no longer sing
Brush past me softly
With butterfly wings
Gentle reminder
Of Your tender care
Whisper like velvet
That You are still There
Touches from Heaven
So different they seem
I always notice
Awake in a Dream
Flashes of Beauty
One brush of Your Love
Hope, like a butterfly
Rises Above

Thankful for so many things,this being just a few...

I can remember way back when I was in elementary school and at lunch time we all had to fold our hands and say
 “Thank you for the world so sweet-Thank you for the food we eat -               
   Thank you for the birds that sing-Thank you God for everything”


My how times have changed. I do respect the fact that there are those that believe differently than myself. And one size does not fit all.  I try to live my christian life in such a way as to “let my light shine” but also to be sensitive and not be “in your face” with my beliefs. I have absolutely no problem with others who do not believe as I do or have a different lifestyle, we work together, worship together and share together and we disagree-agreeably. But what I really dislike is others of different persuasions and lifestyles trying to use politics or force or whatever the vehicle in an attempt to force their way of thinking on others. Or those that don’t believe at all believe they have the right to the public arena but I dare not celebrate my beliefs in public.

The world being created by such is trying to shape others into a mold of their choosing.BUT this way of thinking does not win!!!

 I still thank God for this world, and for my food, and for the birds that sing and I thank him for everything. I heard on Mission network news the other day that in spite of all that is going on that muslims are turning to Jesus at the rate of 1000 per day. Also, I remembered this morning of a precious Jewish lady that was dying. I visited her multiple times over those few weeks and one day she said to me in a hushed voice”Come here into the front room with me.” She stretched out  on the couch and said to me-“Look right there” and she pointed to a spot in front of the fireplace-“Do you see anything.” I told her-No-not really. She replied to me “Yesterday I saw Jesus standing there-and he’s still there-he must be real isn’t he?” This led to a conversation of “Yes-He is very real and if you want to you can  ask him to come live in your heart and he will” and I witnessed a staunch Jewish lady relax with only the peace that God himself brings.

These are mere tidbits-The moral of the story is this : The gospel of the Kingdom WILL be preached in all the world. The gates of hell SHALL not prevail AND as the times grow darker the light shines brighter, the darkness Cannot snuff out the light and HIS glory shall FILL all the earth as the waters cover the sea!

I am exceedingly thankful!!!



OH DEER...





'Tis the season once again in which everyone is posting on social media the things for which they are thankful.  This week I am thankful for the Lord's provision and protection once again...

Almost three years ago we bought a little green Kia Soul.  Green is my favorite color, although I have been rethinking that, at least with regard to green vehicles.  As a matter of fact, I don't believe that I will ever own another green vehicle.  EVER.  In the last two years, our Soul has been the victim of 5, count them: FIVE deer hits.  My husband's van added number 6 to the 2-year grand total on the same night that I hit #3 with the Soul.  We have joked about Alien Green being a deer magnet, being on a first-name basis with the owner of the body shop, and instructing the body shop to repaint it Blaze Orange, mix deer repellent into the paint, and add a cow catcher onto the grill and a 3-D decal of a shotgun to the hood...

All joking aside, this last hit occurred on the Interstate at 65 mph, just after midnight.  We hit so hard that the hood flew up and the driver's door jammed closed.  We wondered later why the airbags didn't deploy, although we were thankful that they didn't, especially after my coworkers told me about a recent recall involving airbags that have been exploding and firing metal shrapnel at crash victims!  After moving off the road to inspect the damage and determine if the car was still driveable, another car came along, hit the deer and went airborne, just like a scene out of The Dukes Of Hazzard.  I'm dating myself, I know.  We decided we needed to leave for our own safety when yet another vehicle came along and clipped the deer a third time.  We limped home in our poor little Soul, then my wonderful husband made the call to the insurance company to file the claim and arrange for a rental vehicle for me.  He worked as an insurance specialist for years, so he knew just what to do.  That, to me, was such a blessing and another example of the Lord's provision.  I am so blessed and grateful to the Lord for protecting us through all these "Oh deer!" moments, and for providing the husband who watches over me and cares for me in the most practical of ways.  







During This Time of Year

    This time of year is awful for ones weight. It starts in October with Halloween. The candy I buy to "give away", ah yeah! With our family it's, "CANDY, YUM"! I've learned not to buy it several weeks before Oct. 31st. I end up buying more, like twice before trick or treat night, it's ridiculous.
    My husband is the worst, for eating candy. This year I bought a Big bag of candy, I mean HUGE! I stashed it away and Paul STILL ate some, Ahh! The weather was dismal on trick or treat night, and there had been a "Trunk or Treat" near by, a few days before, so not many kids were out. Sarah helped a family in our church with a haunted porch, and Paul was in route to Florida, taking some stuff to our home there.
    I gave away lots of candy, and had plenty left over. I took some to the kids who helped with the haunted porch also and still had allot left. God had reminded me of an idea I heard a few years ago, of a way to use excess candy bars after Halloween, for Christmas. So, I was thrilled to have left over candy bars.
    The other night I decided to employ that idea. I usually start baking for Christmas, in October. This year, I just had not figured out my total plan for goodie trays. It's still evolving in fact.
    I took those candy bars out of the freezer and had Sarah smash them up. Then I put those into the cookie batter, instead of chocolate chips. I now have one item made and placed into the freezer for Christmas trays. The candy bar cookie idea turned out great.
    With a little information gathered a while back, and a reminder from my heavenly Father to put them to good use later, we can share them again, during this time of year.

Starving.

     There is a celebrity that decided to moon us all this week. She has no other talent or skill. She is famous for being famous. The public eye had started to tire of her and look away. So, she mooned us. Those of us UTTERLY uninterested in her behind were deluged with debate and discussion. She was considered brave and beautiful. really. Then, there was a scientist who is a bit of a nerd. He wore a racy shirt with scantily clad, but clad nonetheless, women all over it. He was shamed and his ideas not discussed. He was condemned as sexist by porn stars and preachers. The shirt was tacky. The celebrity a waste of my time.
     This week also saw the end of life for a man that sought nothing but help for the downtrodden. Peter Kassig was by all records a valiant and decent human being. He worked hard to feed the hungry and bring a light on human conditions in desperate need of improving. He went to war torn areas and tried to do some good. He was beheaded for it by people of the same religion he followed. This week, Saeed Abedini, a Christian man, sat in a cell damaged from two years of abuse. His crime was coming to Iran and building an orphanage. Saeed told a man helping him that he believed in Jesus. Saeed was arrested soon after. This week, families displaced by war, because they believe in Jesus, asked only for prayer. They were given aid by International Christian Concern. Speaking of that group, here is a link to all that happened in our world from their point of view: International Christian Concern
   But, my newsfeed was not filled with those stories. It was filled to the brim of PASSIONATE OPINIONS WITH ELOQUENT WORDS about the right or wrongness of this naked behind and that shirt. Please, I understand these things are funny diversions and they are good talking points with teens. Please do not make these things your entire concern. Google the needs of people in the world at war. The Johanites of Iraq, Christians in Nigeria, Buddhists in China, all of them have the right to choose what they believe and all of them need freedom from persecution. The beauty and glory of the Gospel I choose to follow is that it is everyone's free choice. Forcing others into it and forcing others away from it is wrong. Something must be done.

What I like about you.....

I have been working like a maniac over the past several days, so when I sat down to start writing this evening I looked at my 9 year old daughter and asked what I should write about. She replied "You should write about how much you love me."  We started discussing that topic and came up with 10 things that we like about each other or that we both like in general. Her list is first:

What I love about you (and me)

1. How we have fun together
2. How we both like kiwi
3. We both like the Steelers
4. Our favorite puppet from kid's church is Joe Crank (he's been in a bad mood for 20 years).
5. We both like to cuddle up with Dexter (the wiener dog).
6. We both like green.
7. We have a lot in common.
8. We were both born on the 11th day of our birth months (which both start with "J").
9. That you watch Cupcake Wars with me.
10. You let me wear your high heels to play

Now for my turn:  I love you because.....

1. When you are sleepy....you hold my hand (you also hold my hand underneath of the bathroom stalls)
2. You make me laugh
3. You give the best kisses
4. Even when we have spent the entire day together....you tell me that you missed me.
5. You still love princesses and believe in fairy tales
6. Even when you are scared or frustrated you try and try again
7. You play "Go Fish" with the dogs
8. You insist that you will still be sneaking into my bed when you are thirty and still living at home
9. You write sweet notes and draw pictures for the people you admire
10. You were an unexpected surprise and wriggled your way into my heart

Traveling

As part of my duties as a homeschooling mother, I am writing a curriculum teaching history through reading literature. No, that won't replace a solid history class, but it will immeasurably enrich it. As a hybrid history/literature some of my choices aren't obvious. The latest example is The Travels of Ibn Jubayr. I chose it to round out our understanding of the cultures of the Middle Ages. Ibn Jubayr is a Muslim, and his travels are to Mecca to perform Hajj. I was excited to learn about medieval modes of travel, ancient Muslim culture, and interactions between Christians and Muslims of that time. What I didn't expect was to be so impressed with Ibn Jubayr himself. His soft voice, so reverent and deferent to God, his praise for those who did good, his thoughtful appraisal of those who did bad, these all won my heart as well as my ears.

Some quotes.
"This world destroys all those who love it most, and it's sons it devours. The reward of God is the best treasure, and obedience to him is the most noble booty. There is no God but He."
"May God protect us from the abuse of His decrees."
"Enlightened men left weeping for religion, despairing of the happiness of the world, and assured of the portents of the Day of Judgement. To God belongs the future and the past."
"Yet on the whole, in comparison with the men, they are wretched and cheated. They see the venerated House and may not enter it, they gaze upon the blessed Stone but cannot touch it, and their lot s wholly one of staring and feeling the sadness that moves and holds them. They have nothing but tawaf at a distance."

At times I forget that just because someone's faith is different than mine doesn't mean they are hypocrites, and that faithful adherence to one's religion doesn't automatically make someone a bad person. Sometimes it makes them exemplary.