Saturday, December 30, 2006

Building a toolbox


Can you see him?
That's my boy helping my man put together a toolbox.
At least I think that's what you call those huge red boxes on wheels that you put tools into.

Did two boys ever have more fun?

Clouds

Sallie, over at A Gracious Home, pointed me over to this site on different clouds. It's is quite neat seeing some of these clouds...some of which were new to me. WARNING: if you have dial-up...this page will probably take FOREVER to download as it is very picture heavy.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Blogs I've Appreciated this week - 3

Blogs that I appreciated this week"

The Shame of Shame at Brain Cramps for God. I find too often it is easy to get locked into the feeling of shame without actually doing anything about it. This post reminds us that if we are ashamed because we did something wrong then we need to repent and get on with doing what is right.

I can't really say I appreciated this post...all it did was make me think a bit...and I'm not sure that's a bad thing. :) To Deny Hell posted by THEOdyssey.

This odd look at God's plan in sending Jesus to earth just made me laugh. And part of me wonders if I should have lauched. Jesus the Spy posted by Tantalizing if True.

What do you love more than Jesus? Do you love Jesus more than anything? More than These is an simple post, but I appreciated it. It was posted by Light Along the Journey.

I learned how to make laundry soap this week! I find that Teaching Diligently often has neat posts. I want to try this out myself sometime.

I'll leave you with this last post over at Pyromaniacs, written by Dan Phillips. Four faces. Give it a read, might make you think, and then realize God's blessings just a wee bit more. Thanks to Connie for the suggestion to read it.

To love, to discipline, to rebuild

Today's passage comes to us from Zechariah 10-12.

The start of chapter 10 speaks to us of the futility of trusting in things other than God. If you ask God for something that is needful, then he will provide it. BUT if you ask the household gods, or your false spiritual heads for things... well that's a completely different story. They don't really listen to you anyways.

Israel is suffering because they are sheep without a shepherd.

God is NOT pleased with this at all. He cares deeply for his people, and wants them to be majestic. The people he put into place to guide and lead his people are NOT doing their jobs. Therefore, they will be punished. He will make his people into warriors and they will put to shame all who come against them.

As God says
6"I will strengthen the house of Judah,
and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
for I am the LORD their God and I will answer them.
7Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and be glad;
their hearts shall rejoice in the LORD.
Even though God had
scattered them among the nations,
yet in far countries they shall remember me,
and with their children they shall live and return.
God promises that he will make
them strong in the LORD,
and they shall walk in his name,"
But I have to admit, it seems a bit strange to me. God in chapter 10 speaks of how he will build up his people. How he will punish those who did not lead them as they aught. How his people who were scattered will be gathered together again, and they will be strong and walk in HIS name.

But in Chapter 11 we see God's wrath being poured out on Israel.

God will break the shepherds. God will bring covenant.
We find God saying
For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares the LORD. Behold, I will cause each of them to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand.
And it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. And I'm not sure if Vv7-14 are what Zechariah is doing/acting out from God or what.

And then we have vv 15-16 were it seems that God will be bringing in a really bad shepherd for his sheep. One who will not care for them at all, to the point where even the strong and healthy are at extreme risk.

But this will be be brought to woe. He will be struck down.

WHY? Because in Chapter 12 we see God is the God of Salvation! God will care for Jerusalem and Israel. Judah will be redeemed! YEAH!!!!!

Any who come against her will be hurt, damaged or destroyed.
7"And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. 9And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
God will care for his people.

I have to admit, much of this reading I didn't really understand. It was, it seemed, going from one extreme to the other. BUT a continued theme of God throughout the Old Testament is that he cares for his people. He gets angry with them when they turn from him. He chastens/disciplines them, they come back and God restores them.

Those themes continue in this book of Zechariah. Praises be to the God who cares and loves us enough to get angry when we turn aside, and then takes us back when we say we are sorry and live the way he wants us to.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

As fierce in his anger, As true as his love

Today's reading comes to us from Zechariah 7-9.

In Zechariah 7 we find the people coming to God asking whether they should fast in the 5th month or not. God brings before them the very fact that when they fasted in the past, they did it just for themselves...not to worship God.
"Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted? 6And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?
And in the past, when God asked the people to
Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart."
The people refused to listen and hardened their hearts against God so they wouldn't have to listen, so God was fierce in his anger toward them and made their land desolate.

BUT THEN in Chapter 8 we find these words
14For thus says the LORD of hosts: "As I purposed to bring disaster to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts, 15so again have I purposed in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not.
So God can go both ways, he can be purposefully fierce in his anger, as he can be purposefully true in his love and jealousy for the people. God is going to bring a time of peace and rejoicing to his people. For as we read
20"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts; I myself am going.' 22Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD. 23Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'"
Can you just see it? The people have gone from a time of exile and ruin to a time of peace....where children can play in the streets once again.

In Chapter Nine we find God bringing judgement on all of Israel's enemies. The Land of Hadrach and Damascus, Tyre and Sidon, Ashkelon, Gaza and Ekron, Ashdon, and Philistia, These will all be punished, and some will be made "remnant for our God; it shall be like a clan in Judah". And Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

The Jebusites were The Jebusites were a Canaanite people. They inhabited Jerusalem before the Israelites took it over. They were a conquered people in some ways, and yet they couldn't be driven out. David bought a threshing floor from for the full price. He didn't want to give something to God that wasn't right to give to God. I got this information from this Bible Study site.

The last part of Chapter 9 is filled with promises of a coming king of Zion! It is a fore-seeing of Jesus Christ the Messiah. It is a time of rejoicing!

Read these words of promise.
behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
It will be a time of peace and freedom. No more war, no more prisoners. Unity in all the land. It will indeed be a time of restoration.

God will protect his people. God will save his people.

And in that day, God's people will be like jewels in a crown, they will shine forth on his land.

Can you just see the glory of God shown?
That is what jewels do...they are set in a crown and show the importance of the one wearing it.

We are the jewels in God's crown and we show forth his glory and importance.
That is what we do!

Ah.... just praise the Lord for all he has done. For the salvation that he has given us.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Timeron

Okay....Wanted to load a nice picture but blogger is saying no way to that idea. Has been doing so all afternoon. ARGH!!!!

let's try this from photobucket, not sure how it will work..but giving it a shot anyways. okay...that picture was just WAY too huge to share here... BUT my hubbie darling helped me out AND I learned something new....now to remember it! :)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Today my sweet old pig (correction --- our sweet old guinea pig) died.

He had turned from a sweet old pig into a rather crotchey old man with "issues".

He died just after lunch today, the boy was in bed.

Timeron was a good pig....sired several good looking youngsters. Brought us in some needed cash. :) He liked to nibble fingers ... not to hurt, just to check you out. Was calm for nail clippings. Liked to swim -- has a daughter the same way. He was for most of his life a good solid well-behaved pig.

I'm glad he lasted until after Christmas. :)

And More Visions

Our passage today covers Zechariah 4-6, and there we find more visions. :)

We have A Vision of a Golden Lampstand in Chapter 4.
We have A Vision of a Flying Scroll in Ch. 5:1-4
We have A Vision of a Woman in a Basket in Ch. 5:5-11
We have A Vision of Four Chariots in Ch. 6:1-8 and
We have The Crown and the Temple in Ch. 6:9-15.

A vision of A golden lampstand involves Zerubbabel. According to Wikepedia, he was
the grandson of Jehoiachin, penultimate King of Judah. Zerubbabel led the first band of Jews, numbering 42,360, who returned from the Babylonian Captivity in the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia (Ezra). Zerubbabel is also noted for laying the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem the next year. Outside these important events, little else is known about him.
His name means: "the one sown of Babylon" or "the winnowed of Babylon", or "Seed of Babylon". So basically he is partly assyrian in his origins.

The lampstands are a message to Zerubbabel so that he knows everything done is by the power of God. As the Lord of Hosts says "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit".

I have to admit, this is a good thing to remember. That it is not what we do, it is all what God does.

The vision of the Flying Scroll
Then Zechariah sees a sroll that is 20 x 10 cubits. He doesn't understand so he asks God to explain it. God's response is that it is a curse that goes out over all the land. This curse will cleanse the liar and the thief, and those who swear falsely by God's name.

Sounds to me like God is warning folks that he will be taking action against people soon. And how much he dislikes people using his name in vain. Good reminder to me to watch what I think and do with my time and abilities and words that come out of my mouth.

Next we have A Vision of a Woman in a Basket
There is then see a vision of a woman who is sitting in a basket. This woman is iniquity and wickedness. She is kept in the basket with a leaden cover over her. This basket is carried away by two winged women. It is taken to Shinar where a home will be built for it.

I have to admit...I don't get it. To me this just seems like a very strange vision for a fellow to be having. Why would God want to build a home for wickedness in Shinar. So just what is the land of Shinar? According to Answers.com Shinar is a "country on the lower courses of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers", it usually refers to Babylon. It is mentioned 8 times in the bible.

So is God saying the Babylon is the home of iniquity and wickedness?

Next we have A Vision of Four Chariots
Once again we meet another form of God's patrollers. Just as Satan roams over the earth, so does God. I don't know if the different colours of the horses mean anything, but I do know that I don't see it as a bad thing that God has servants that roam over the earth doing his bidding. Seems a good comfort in fact.

The end of this reading brings us to The Crown and the Temple
Zechariah is told to take silver and gold from various exiles and to make a crown. This Crown is to be set on the head of the high priest Joshua. And to Joshua is to be said
'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. 13It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."
The crown is to stay in the temple of the Lord as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. I tried to figure out how these people were but was unsuccessful in that endeavor.

I did find this passage helpful
15"And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God."
The people of Israel will get a temple built IF they diligently obey the word of the Lord. The diligence of obedience results in having things happen that should happen. God helps the faithful.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's a bit of a shocker

Our boy owns this book.

It's a simple little book. Man wants an apple on April fool's day, man gets an apple from a man who wants to play an aprils fools joke on him, and the joke ends up being turned back on the original joker. It's actually quite intriguing to follow the story of what happens with this apple.

Anyways, our boy loves to look at this book while he's sitting on the potty. He'll sit there for 10 minutes just 'reading' away quite contented.

I was quite shocked when I went looking for a picture of this book so I could blog on it. The lowest price I found for it, and that was used, average quality, was $42. The highest was $70 and that was brand new. I"m SHOCKED!

We got this book free at a garage sale. No one wanted it and the lady just wanted it gone.

It's a simple little book. Technically a bit too advanced for his age level.

Written by an individual named Jan Loof. (scandanvian perhaps??)

As I told my hubbie, now I feel really bad that our boyo ripped a page in the book tonight as he was a bit too aggressive in finding the exact page that he wanted (where the apple falls on an old woman's head) Just loves that page for some reason. :)

So... a dilemma.... do I continue to let our boy look at this book over and over and over again, knowing that he might totally destroy it (or might not)? OR do I monitor his actions closely while letting him look at it, knowing that it might make him more pushy with it? OR do I hide it on him and see if I can sell it for $40?? :)

Visions and Promises - Zechariah

Today we read from Zechariah 1-3.

This book starts off with a call to return to the Lord
"The LORD was very angry with your fathers. 3Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.4Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.'
God says to the people, return to me and I will return to you. Turn from your evil ways.
In the past their fathers ended up turning back to God. Why? Because they faced God's word and his statutes.
6But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us."
The Zechariah saw some visions: a vision of a horseman, horns and a craftsman, a measuring line, and Joshua as high priest.

Now I have to admit... I don't do visions well. I read them and think...oh... so??? They really don't tend to mean a whole lot to me. So if you want depth of understanding for this passage...you'll have to look elsewhere. :)

In this first vision Zechariah sees a horseman, who behind him as a bunch of other horses
"I saw in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen, and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses
These horses are sent from God to patrol the earth. They report back to God saying that the whole earth is at rest. I read that and I think, okay..so that's good right? But then I read this
12Then the angel of the LORD said, 'O LORD of hosts, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which you have been angry these seventy years?' 13And the LORD answered gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. 14So the angel who talked with me said to me, 'Cry out, Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15And I am exceedingly angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was angry but a little, they furthered the disaster. 16Therefore, thus says the LORD, I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy; my house shall be built in it, declares the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. 17Cry out again, Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.'"
And I quite honestly have no earthly clue! Is it good that the earth is at rest? From the answer I would hazard a guess that no, it is not, otherwise why would the angel ask God to have mercy on Jerusalem? Why would God be jealous for Jerusalem? Why would he be angry with the other nations? I don't quite get it. When I looked up various commentaries cited at the World Wide Study Bible site it was suggested that one reason that God was unhappy was that the whole world was at rest BUT his people still did not have their Jerusalem rebuilt. The Temple had been destroyed and his people had no place to worship him. Quite frankly...that made sense to me. :)

Next vision was of Four horns and Four craftsmen which symbolized the destruction of Israel and the wrath that was to come to the nations oppressing her.

Then we get the man with a measuring line whose job was "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length." And God's promise that he would be all the protection that Jerusalem needed.

In the final vision of this section we see the high priest Joshua. Satan is wanting to accuse him, and is instead rebuked by God. Joshua's filthy rags are exchanged for new and God promises him that
If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here.


So...even though I didn't understand much of this reading, I do understand God's promise. If I hold to God, he will hold to me. That means I need to walk in his ways, I need to remember his promises to me, I need to keep his laws and statutes and so forth. If I do so, God will remember me, God will provide for me, God will be my shelther.

Now I do want to be careful here, I don't want to give the impression that I live by a works salvation notion. I don't. I know that without my love for God and without my belief in Jesus as the sole reason for my salvation, whatever I do is for naught. But that doesn't negate the fact that as I hold to God and his ways, he holds to me.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Boy and His Tools

One of the places that my hubbie likes to shop...ah...lets make that LOVES to shop, is called "Princess Auto". It is a place filled with tools and equipment and stuff of all shapes and sizes AND rather importantly...GOOD prices.

Well, hubbie's mom wanted tools for Christmas, so off we went.
Our boyo has been somewhat under the weather so was rather tired when we got there. But then he noticed....TOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!! Boy oh boy....did our boy oh boy wake up suddenly. Screams of 'AH' and 'what dis?' filled the air. Followed by screams of outrage when mommy picked him up because playing with dangerous tools is NOT her idea of a good thing for little boys to do. Visions of cuts and scrapes and hospital visits filled her head!

Move to another area. Screams of delight ensue. Little boy rushing from place to place, just thrilled to death with awe and excitement. (you'd never know he wasn't up to par then!)
He discovered sledge hammers and those white twisty things that can be used as imprompt handcuffs, and wrenches and gadgets galore!
He even found things hiding under the shelving units helpful little lad that he is.
What fun!

WELL... Gramma decided to get this little tool loving boy the greatest present ever!!!!
He got TOOLS, glorious tools.... ah....little boy in seventh heaven.

I think we'll have to rein him in a little. :)
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Rarely seen footage


Rarely seen footage.

Sassy and Riley actually laying down together.

If I hadn't taken the picture I would have thought I was dreaming it.

I guess this is what happens when you go from two dog beds clogging up the kitchen to only one big one.

Mind you though, it hasn't happened since. Sassy would rather lie on the floor than share a bed with Riley. Riley on the other hand, couldn't care one way or the other.

Christmas Morning

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My family, eating a big breakfast on Christmas day.

Scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, sausage, apple turnovers and so forth.

It was YUMMY! Our boyo LOVED the sausage even though gramma thought he wouldn't.

Gramma and Grandson



This leftover box from daddy's Christmas present just proved to be too much of a temptation for two individuals in our house on Christmas day.

Our boyo just adores his gramma. She will play ALMOST any game with him--- and even though she's well on her way to her 70's -- she is still nimble enough to get into a big box with a little boy.

Oh... the chortles and giggles and grins - and those are just the ones coming from the boyo! His mommy just laughed when she saw these two.

So...even though she HATES me taking pictures of her...I couldn't resist taking this one. :) Merry Christmas to my dear Mom-in-law.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to all

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very wonderful Christmas.
Enjoy your friends, family and your church!
But most of all, don't forget what this season is really all about.

DON’T FORGET JESUS

Christmas is a special time
To reflect on Jesus Christ
The wonder of His lowly birth
Brings meaning to our lives

There really is no other reason
We celebrate this day
The birth of God’s precious son
And the life He willingly gave

But so much seems to distract us
In the busy-ness of our lives
We lose our focus in all the happenings
Not knowing, we leave out Christ

We lose sight of the true meaning
As we endlessly rush about
Trying to find that perfect gift
Seems to cloud our Saviour out

We need to stop and reflect awhile
Remembering our precious Lord
His birth, His life and sacrifice
And all that He stands for

For though the world may celebrate
It seems though for other reasons
Let’s keep in mind that Jesus Christ
Is the true meaning of the season

© By M.S.Lowndes

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This floored me.....

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE to do agility with our younger dog Sassy. She's a great dog! Loves to play with me.

This is me and her doing agility.



Anyways, I'm part of this dog-scootering yahoo group since someday I would like to have a dog (or two) that I can do multiple dog sports with....one of which would be dog scootering. I don't know that Sassy is the dog for that type of sport. But who knows what type of dog God will bring into my life next.




Anyways, one of the people on this group has this for a homepage. Yes folks....it's now RABBIT agility. I had heard of cat agility before....but rabbit agility????? Go figure. On this site I learned that they also have such events as rabbit jumping or rabbit hopping. I just think it's kinda funny. Agility for rabbits!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

For the last couple of weeks my hubbie and I have had this song going through our heads AND have had different words to it at the same time.

To prevent the inevitable...but you're singing it wrong, I thought I would actually take the time to look up just exactly what the words are. This way we'll both know what the words are and lack of confusion will result. :)
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown

He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.

When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Blogs I've Appreciated this week

Blog posts that I have appreciated or otherwise thought memorable this week.

A new blogger is Connie. It appears that on Monday's she'll be doing what she calls Theology 101. In this post she starts off with a list of some of the attributes of God.

I just started reading Even So about.. oh... two months back now. I tend to appreciate what he writes, and he tends to have good comments on other people's blogs to, which tells me a bit about his state of mind. Anyways, this post made me think about some stuff that I've been pondering in my head. It's just so easy to not really think about what a person is doing. To get caught up in the sin of "but this isn't what I wanted". And if you don't check that attitude at the door, it can get so pervasive into a person's life. So check him out.

Holly over at Seeking Faithfulness, opened my eyes to the lies that people tell themselves in order to avoid having to face the reality of Christ. wow... like I knew that people could be stupid/foolish in how they avoid God's truth, but this did surprise me.

I can't say that I read Michael Haykin's blog frequently. I usually check it out once a week or so, sometimes less. What can I say, he often writes history lessons, and I'm not always either in the mood, or have the time. But I do like when he writes about Eminent christian people of history like when he wrote this one. I learn things then, about real people, that somehow connects with me. Anyways, give him a read if you have the time.

And then there's Paul over at Kerux Noemata (no, I don't know what that means either). He wrote this post which I thought was interesting. I am looking forward to his next post on the subject of Jesus and the manger and what it all means. And here is part two. Oh, and part three is here.

Scott is a man that I respect. A solidly conservative biblical man that I wouldn't mind meeting and listening to him and my hubbie chat. :) He's at Ars Theologica and wrote this post on the importance of daily bible reading.

There are a few good posts to be found among the Christian Carnival folks. Lux Venit did it for this week. Read with discernment because folks posting here are from all over the Christian spectrum.

and last but not least. Doxoblogy has posted some stuff this week you might want to check out. He posted a sermon by Martin Luther here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Swimmer?

Found this over at Rev. Bill's. It's worth checking out.

Advent Devotions - Dec 22

So, it's been a busy couple of days, almost forgot to do my devotions today. Yesterday I just didn't have time to get on-line, at least not long enough for devotions. Didn't like that much, so today before bed I thought hold-on....we can't let another yesterday go by so....here I am. :)

Anyways, todays scripture is taken from Romans 15, it is from, well okay, I'm not sure exactly who made it, I think Luther Hour Ministries, but I'm not sure. BUT this is where to find it on-line.

The particular verse this devotional focused on was Romans 15:13. There we read:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15 is a chapter where Paul is reminding the believers that Christ is their hope. That Christ did not just come for the Jewish people, but he also came for the gentiles, it's even written in the Old Testament. God came for all peoples.

As Paul writes in the beginning of Chapter 15
4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God's word is written down for us. It is there for our instruction. So together, our endurance and the encouragement of Scripture will cause us to live in harmony with each other. God does not want jewish and gentile believers fighting with one another.

I personally believe that God doesn't want any of his children to be fighting with each other. We should be encouraged and taught by his word. We should be able to see from his word how God wants us to treat each other. As we live in harmony with each other, we bring further glory to God!

Hmm... that makes me think you know. That the more we Christians fight with each other....especially over silly things like musical styles, or pews/seats, organ/band/piano, hymns only or all types of worship music, and so on and so forth, the more we are NOT bringing glory to God and therefore need to seriously look at what we are doing. Let us stop and see what we are doing this Christmas season. Let us see that our reason to hope and believe is found in Christ. God sent his son down to earth, he showed mercy to us. It's the least that we can do, to live in such a way that we bring glory to his name.

The 'devotional' part of todays reading reminds us that
This Advent we may eagerly anticipate celebrating Jesus’ birth, but the celebration itself should not be what fills us with joy and peace. What fills us with God’s joy is that our Savior has already come and has won our salvation, and that He is coming again to bring our salvation to its ultimate fulfillment.

Until Jesus comes back for His second (final) coming, we live by faith through an extended Advent season. We trust that just as God has kept His promise in Christ’s first Advent, so He will also keep His promise of a glorious reunion with Jesus. This faith is what fills us with joy and peace as we hope for Christ’s coming. Because God is trustworthy, our hope is absolutely certain and true; therefore we are filled with joy and peace … right now.
Let us then live in that hope.
Let us then live as a people who trust in all the promises of God.
Let us then live as a people bringing Glory to God's name.
Let us then live in harmony with our fellow believers this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

So today our boyo had an appointment with an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT).

We went down with a lady from church since my hubbie had to work and I didn't know where I was going. :) It was nice having her with me.

She introduced me to this nice little restaurant for lunch. They make GOOD sandwiches. AND i never knew that Strathroy had a dutch store so we went there, and then stopped at a thrift shop on the way back. I found our boyo boots that fit his feet properly. only 2.50 and look as if they've never been worn! How cool is that!?!?!?!?

Oh..back the ENT.
Nice man. A bit of wait to get in. TIRED boy...just wanted to go home.

Our boyo has another ear infection. The doc wants him to have an appointment for tubes in February, or more likely, March. Takes 5 minutes in his office. Strongly recommends them being done. Right now our boyo has medium hearing loss which isn't so good with boyo's who are learning to talk. And apparently he's maybe had another small ear perforation which is very much not a good thing so...tubes for this boyo are highly recommended.

Means: ear protection in the bath. Neoprene head band when swimming. means no more hearing loss. :)

Some risk of ear not healing after tubes come out. Some risk of tubes not falling out on their own within a year. Some very small risk of the anesthetic.

But it sounds like a real plan to follow up on so....that's what I'm pretty sure we're going to do.

Anyone out there have experience with ear tubes? Pros/Cons? Any helpful advice? Would be good to know more. :) Thanks.

Advent Devotions - Dec 20

Today's reading comes from Luke 1:46b-55 by way of Goshen College.
46And Mary said,

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
Mary sang a song of praise to God for what he was doing through her.

This song follows a time in her life where she visited Elizabeth who told her that
"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
Sometimes I can just imagine how scary and amazing and how hard this all must have been for Mary. She's pregnant, engaged to be married, a virgin, who just so happens to be pregnant by God, young, and a believer in the Lord God. God called her blessed. Elizabeth calls her blessed. A child, yet unborn, leaps for joy at her arrival. And she is blessed because she believes.

It's no wonder that Mary had to "ponder all these things in heart" (Luke 2:19) It would be too much to think of all at once I should think.

So just what does Mary say in her song of praise?
1. Her soul glorifies the Lord
2. Her spirit rejoices in Him. He is her Saviour.
3. She rejoices because he saw her in her humble estate, and choose to use her.
4. She knows that people will call her blessed because of what God is doing through her.
5. God is holy.
6. God is merciful to those who fear him, throughout the generations.
7. God shows his strength, he scatters the proud in heart.
8. God brings down the mighty, and exalts the humble.
9. God cares for the hungry, filling them with what they need. While the rich he gives nothing, and sends them away.
10. He helps Israel, and remembers his mercy, just as he did with their forefathers.

Mary has much to thank God for, and so she does.

Makes me wonder...
So I truly thank God for all he does in my life?
Do I see when he fills my hungry soul?
Do I see when he blesses me for humility?

These are the things I need to ask myself as I go through this season of advent.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Advent Devotions - Dec 19

Today's reading comes from Lutheran Hour Ministries and the scripture is Philippians 4:5-7.
5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These verses are part of a reminder from Paul to stand firm in the Lord. They are practical ways to stay grounded in Christ.
1. be reasonable....why? The Lord is at hand
2. do not be anxious...why? We can let our requests be made known to God

And the end result?
The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds IN Christ.

God does not want us to be an anxious worried people.
He wants for us to be a people who know that we can go to him for everything, through Christ. That doesn't mean we can ask for things that are wrong, or selfish, or greedy....we come to him through Christ so that our requests are what they aught to be. We come to him with our requests through prayer bringing our supplications WHILE we offer him thanksgiving.

Yesterday we saw how much we have to be thankful for, so when we do bring him our requests, we aught to thank him for all he has already given us.

When we do all this...GOD'S peace will guard us. It will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ.

I read that, and it just sounds so relaxing to me. I know that I am not on duty to keep myself "all proper as a Christian". That if I come to God with all my wants and needs while thanking him for all he has done HE is the one who will guard my heart and mind with HIS peace. I don't need to do it at all then.

Wow... that's a real brain thumper for me today.
I am a person who gets so lost sometimes in my own thoughts and my 'stuff'. I have to fight so hard so many times a day to not get lost in my own brain....and I know that God wants more from me than that. But don't you see, it's not my battle...it's all God's. And that's just way cool. All I have to do is what I already try to do...but just better and with more focus. And what a way to keep me focused on God....to say God, I need help with this, and thank you for all the times that you done thus and such, or thanks for a warm house on a cold day or... you get the drift I'm sure...and then my battle for my mind won't be my battle...it will be God's. He'll guard it. Neat huh?

My brain is full to running over....


Monday, December 18, 2006

This Pastor Has Guts! - email mostly true

Here's the email that I received today.
This Pastor has guts!!

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate.

It seems prayer still upsets some people. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable . We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem . We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition . We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest!

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help , may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God."

Here's is the link for the Truth of this tale.

This particular email isn't all that far from the total truth.

As the website says: one person did walk out, Paul Harvey did air it, and it was controversial. The prayer as written above does not appear to be same that was given. Please check out the website to learn more of the whole story.

Advent Devotions - Dec 18

Every year our church gets advent devotionals from LAMP. This is a cross-cultural ministry that shares Jesus Christ with with God's people in remote areas of Canada. Their devotionals are small and written by people who participate in their ministry programs, particularly those held over the summer months.

Today's scripture is taken from Psalm 107 with a particular emphasis on verse 1.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
When I look at the whole of this psalm, I see a song of praise to God for all that he has done.

I see God has redeemed his people from trouble.
I see God has gathered his people in from all the lands.
I see God caring for his people, regardless of the situation they are found in.
I see God answering the call of his people in distress.
I see God being thanked for his steadfast love and for all the works he has done.
I see God satisfying the longing and hungry soul.
I see God disciplining his people.
I see God responding to his people when they realize how wrong they have been.
I see God even responding to those who were foolish, and because of that suffered.
I see God sending out his word to them, healing them, delivering them.
I see God controlling the wind and the waves.
I see God over and over and over again, delivering people from distress.
I see God over and over and over again, bringing people to a place of safe haven.

It is no wonder that people are encouraged over and over and over again to give thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and for his wondrous works.

I see God bringing water into dry places.
I see God turning badness into goodness.
I see God giving people a place to live.
I see God blessing the people, helping them multiply, helping them with their work.
I see God helping the needy.
I see God blessing the upright in heart, and causing the wicked to be brought low.
I see God's steadfast love being considered by the wise of his people.

So we MUST give thanks to the Lord for all he has done. It only makes sense to do so. Wouldn't you want to thank someone for saving you? Thank someone for helping you? Thank God for rescuing you out of circumstances that you have done to your own self?

At Christmas, I am reminded of how I need to thank God for all that he has done.
He sent his own son to save me from my own sin.
At Christmas, I am drawn to remember God's steadfast love in my life.
He changed me from a person who disliked myself intensely, to a person who thinks that for a broken, sin-filled person, I am still a person that God loves, and that makes me okay.
At Christmas, I am reminded of all God's wondrous works.
He gave me a loving hubbie who treats me well, he gave a really nice boy to raise, he gave me a church family, that even with its faults and challenges, is still a source of blessing to me.

I will give thanks to God for his steadfast love, for his mercy extended to me, for saving me from myself and my sinful ways, for all his mighty works in my life.


Oh you people of God, give thanks to the LORD,
for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!

A couple of posts

I get the Washington Post sent to my inbox. Most days, it has nothing in it of remote interest to me (because it is totally US based, and I really have no interest in Bush and Iraq and political reactions stateside) so I just delete it. Not of course saying that I"m not concerned about the war, but just from a Canadian stand point. Today it had two articles that I found of interest.

1. Nothing new here and that's the point. This article can be found here. In an age of consumerism and "I WANT IT", this group of people is seen by some to be rather odd. What do you mean...living for a year without purchasing anything new (other than food and real total necessities)? Isn't it bad for the economy? Isn't it bad health-wise (cause you're getting stuff from other sources and how clean is that!)? Isn't it a bit "hippy-ish"? But I have to admit, I can see the allure of it. To just tone down a life-style.. I like it. I really do.

Why do these folks do it?
For these people, recycling wasn't enough. Composting wasn't a challenge anymore. No, they wanted much more of much less........They call their little initiative "the Compact," which they say has something to do with the Mayflower and the Pilgrim pledge to live for the greater good, save the planet, renew their souls, etc.
Now granted, I"m a person who tends not to purchase a lot of clothes - so for me it's not a huge issue. I also have NO problems going to the local thrift shop and picking up clothes there. That's why God created washing machines right? Just wash it up good and no problems. I often get the boy used toy and clothes anyways. I often have no problems making do with what I have.

So what areas would I struggle with? Storage containers... when I want to get something, I want to get it now so that whatever is "stressing" me I can resolve NOW once I have figured out how to fix it up. Paper... like how do you barter, beg or borrow paper? You can't. Paper to me would be a necessity. Scrapbooking stuff... I like to scrapbook. I don't want someone else leftovers. I can see bartering or purchasing leftover albums and stuff that someone's been unable to use, but the accessories, the paper and so forth? and I"m not sure that I'd want to give that up. So I'd have 'my' stuff to deal with. But overall....I, for the most part, would think it should be pretty do-able.

What about you?

2. 7 Va. Episcopal Parishes Vote to Sever Ties. This article can be located here. I have to admit, I have been keeping some tabs on this story. Why? I have found some articles to be somewhat inflammatory about it. Blaming the churches who are leaving for wanting to cause a split in the denomination. But as I read it, I see the same struggles we are having in our denomination, it's just that we haven't yet gotten to the point of hiring someone, or ordaining someone, who is openly homosexual. Churches are leaving because they see this as openly defying the word of God. And yes I know, homosexuality isn't the end all and be all of openly defying God, it's just a really obvious one that people can totally see. Like for instance, a person who is a angry person is also defying the will of God, but how does one quantify it? When is anger just too much anger?

Statements like this is what it all boils down to.
"But the issue is: Are we going to follow Scripture?"
The issue isn't one over church buildings. It isn't one about love and harmony. It is merely about...are we going to follow scripture?

Now granted, it has been sounding like it's going to get ugly over things like money and church buildings.
Bishop Peter James Lee of the Diocese of Virginia said yesterday in a statement that he was "saddened" by the churches' decision but that he would not yield in seeking to retain ownership of the parishes' land and buildings. The two congregations voted not only to sever ties with the U.S. church but also for a resolution saying that they should keep the property.
And I don't like that. I really really don't. It's like, it's a building. The people who go to that church are the ones that have invested in it. Just let them have it. OR on the converse...if your denomination is really going to be nasty about it, just let them have the building. It's not like you can't start over again. Agree to disagree. But what I think, I suppose doesn't really matter. All I really want is for people to see that God is holy and worthy to be glorified. But in these situations, I suppose that rather hard to see.

Our Christmas Program

This year's Christmas program for church turned out well!

WOOHOO!!!!

God's glory was seen, people were reminded of why Christmas is important, and we had some fun too.

The ladies of the church provided coffee and desserts after the service so we had a nice time of fellowship.

We had guests from the community come in as well. Oh...I hope they really heard the message of God's love. :)

All the stress and worry and bother was, I think, worth it all.

Comments heard "I liked it", "it went well", "it was meaningful", "too many songs"(this from the organist), "just the right amount of songs, we like to sing", "it was well done", "loved the pastor's story", "I liked the message in it" and so forth.

We had a good age range in participants. Some people just volunteered, a couple needed to be asked, but ah...things went well. :) Even though I did hear that one of the girls wanted her mom to do her part because she was tired from working all day. :)

We had a soloist.
We had a guitar player accompanying the pianist and it went well! Yea for young talent.

Both hubbie and my voices held out for the program! That was a total answer to prayer.
Our boyo fell asleep in the trusted arms of a congregation member. YEA for that. Also an answer to prayer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I don't know about you, but I get these types of things in my Mailbox (email) all the time. Most of the time I just delete them. It's like nonsense right?

Well today I thought, hmm... Maybe I should blog about these nonsense emails, and I'll use the one I got today as a fore-instance. Glad I checked it out first! Went to Truth or Fiction (which helps to verify if true or false) to see about this particular email.

This is what I got in the email:
A "MUST KNOW" - #77

It was about 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren's parents have always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc.

Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called #77 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away.
She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her.

The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't. He told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way.
Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her.

One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

I never knew about the # 77 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a safe & quiet place.
You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them ( i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call # 77 like Lauren did.

Too bad the cell phone companies don't generally give you this little bit of wonderful information.

Speaking to a service representative at **Bell ** Mobility confirmed that # 77 was a direct link to OPP Dispatch.

So, now it's your turn to let your friends know about # 77.
I went to this site exactly and found out this:
The Truth
Whether this particular story is real, we don't know, but the information it conveys is apparently sound.

TruthOrFiction.com talked with law enforcement agencies on both the East and West Coasts.
The consensus was that if you are suspicious about a patrol car wanting to pull you over, especially in an isolated area or at night, it's prudent to proceed to a place where would feel safer.
The problem is that the law says you are to obey an officer who says to pull over so if you do decide to continue, do so in a way that makes it clear you are not trying to evade him or her.
If you have a cell phone, call your local emergency number, usually 911, and you can be connected to a dispatcher who can help decide whether the car attempting to pull you over is legitimate.
Also, as happens in this eRumor, you can inform the dispatcher that it is your intention to comply, but only after you get to the next off ramp, gas station, populated areas, etc. .....
The #77 number is one of them. Some states use *77 or even #55.
The story that suggests using #677 is a Canadian version of this eRumor that inserted the numbers for reaching the Ontario Provincial Police in Ontario.
One of the reasons, according to a cell company we spoke with, is that the 911 calls from a cell phone go to different kinds of agencies depending on where the phone call is being made.
In some areas, dialing 911 on a cell phone may go to a city or county emergency dispatcher. In other areas, the call may go to a state highway law enforcement agency such as the highway patrol or state troopers. ......
There is more information posted on their site. Please check it out.

Evangelism...is it really all that hard?

You have got to check this out. Five simple minutes out of your day. You can listen while you do something else. But listen to it anyways.

If you are serious about your faith and hate the idea of anyone being left out of God's marvellous kingdom. Like seriously think about that for a minute. Do you care about your neighbours, your friends, your family, your grocery clerk, your bus driver, your boss etc.... and you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that he died for your sins...do you really want them to face the wrath of God? Because that, my dear readers, is exactly what they will face if they don't know God personally and intimately as their Lord and Saviour.

Evangelism is a must in our lives as believers. And so often we make it so bloody hard. It really isn't. Evangelism is just talking, really, that is all it is.

So go check this out. Comes from a Website call "the way of the master".

oh HT to Musings.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

How People Find my blog - 1

I find it fascinating how people find my blog.

who is abednego
advent readings goshen
why do we have the 7 fishes during advent
joy advent
and the terrors of death come upon me and i wished that i might have wings like a dove and be at rest
why idols are important to worship
wheat ridge ministries advent 2006 devotions
"nursing child shall play"
anne graham just give me jesus
what does glorify mean


What it does tell me is that doing my devotions on-line is reaching people. I just truly hope and pray that
1. what i write is biblically accurate
2. God uses what I do to reach hearts for him
3. faith walks are deepened

Blogs I've Appreciated this week

New Lumps has two posts this week that I've appreciated. This one made me laugh, and this one made me think abit more.

Then there's Dan. I usually read him here, but he referred me over to here.

I often appreciate the writings of Pure Church. And this series (of which there are several parts) is one that I've appreciated as a pastor's wife.

David over at Live By the Truth often writes articles that make me think. This week it was this one.

The Sparrow's Nest had this one. I liked it because it touches on something that I"ve been working on myself. :)

It seems that almost everyone I read has heard of Kim of The Upward Call. I liked this post of hers as she so often connects the everyday with the spiritual, makes me think more deeply on things.

Steve is a fellow I've just recently started reading. He's over at Walden's Wits. This article I found thought-provoking. Particularly in the light of same-sex marriage being "okayed" by the government. Just shows how little people really think things through. I also like the stuff he does on homeschooling and disabilities. But you can find those for yourself. :)

Anyways, that's a good wrap up for this week. Hopefully I'll remember to do this next Saturday as well. :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Advent Devotions - Dec 15

Today's reading comes from Goshen College. And the scripture is Luke 3:7-18.
7He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

10And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?" 11And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 13And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do." 14Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."

15As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

18So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
John the Baptizer! He's out there, doing the work of God. A man who was a recluse, living off the land with a diet of milk and honey, never had his hair cut and called by God to be a fore-teller of Christ.

He told things like they were. He was blunt. When people said, what should be do? He told them plain and simple. No mincing of words. He was also clear with people when they thought perhaps he could be Christ. He wasn't. He made it clear that all he could do was baptize people with water, BUT the one who would come after him... well, his baptism would be through the Holy Spirit and with fire. That the one who would follow him was mightier than he was. And that he (John) was insignificant compared to him (the Christ). The one who would follow John (whom we know is Christ), would be a winnower and gatherer. He will burn off the chaff, and gather in what is good of the crop.

John exhorted the people with many things as he preached the good news to them.

As I await the return of Christ, and to celebrate all the promises of his birth this Christmas season, I am called by this passage to be like John. Ready to lead people to Christ. Ready to tell them what they must do to be saved. Ready to be used of God regardless of where I have been in my past. Ready to answer questions put to me by people wanting to know more of the God I serve. Let me be ready oh Lord, just let me be ready.

Why are they so surprised?

I find it amazing, how often women are surprised that men think differently than they do.

I have at least two women in my life who have a negative opinion of men. I don't understand it. Well, okay, I can if a person has had numerous bad experiences with men. Particularly if it has been with a variety of men. Then I can understand the caution regarding men. But to just dislike men, because they are men, and they think differently than we as women do? That I don't understand. Perhaps its from growing up with a decent father and three brothers. I grew up knowing and understanding that men are decidedly different than women.

I've had various women say... why does _____ do _____? What does it mean when _____ does _______?

My general response is...it's a guy thing. Guys often show they care about someone when they do __________. Or guys think differently than women, you can't expect them to like all the things you like. Men are different. And these looks of amazement and shock. And it just stuns me, why are women so shocked that men are different than they are?

Do you suppose this is why there are so many pressures put on men to act like women? Do you think that because women don't 'get' the differences that they just want men to change? Perhaps this lack of understanding is part of why the feminist movement got so big, and why it has such large raminfications nowadays. I don't know.

I still think it's funny that they have to do studies to prove it though. Check out this link. I did find it interesting though, how this study showed that women gain something by being talkers. That is stimulates something in our brains. :) See...I knew talking was good for me! :) Good thing I like to yap then isn't it? :)

But the bible tells us too that men and women are made differently. Yes, we are both made in the image of God, but how we act reflects differently. Men are to show the glory of God in all they do. Women, show the glory of men in what they do. By doing so, both show the glory of God. Our focuses are the same, but different. Men were created first, women were created to be a helpmeet to man.

Anyways, I just find the whole thing fascinating.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Life for my hubbie today

Okay.... let's just say that life has not gone so well for my hubbie today.

He's tired from this cold. He has a cough that just won't go away.
He's NOT hungry (always a signal that something isn't right).

He's happy eating cookies, but they are not REAL food. Really likes the strudel that his wife tried for the first time today. (yeah...it turned out!)

He finally decides what he wants to eat. Is happy with his decision. Cheerfully places shepherds pie in the oven and walks away, content in knowing that his supper will be ready in one hour.

Comes back in one hour to a ruined supper. Seems our boy turned the oven on to broil. NOT what it was supposed to be on... 400F. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ruined supper. Unhappy man. Hungry man! Wanting to eat.

Wife decides...I'll be nice...I'll go get him another. See if I can't make his unhappy heart smile just a little.
Happy man...except wife brings home two different shepherds pie...decision to make. Goes with the tried and true. Happy man.

Man happy enough now to connect wife with this site which posts this wee article
So that's what I've been suffering from all these years: Irritable Clergy Syndrome! I wonder if that diagnosis may prove useful with all the people who have to put up with me on a daily basis. "I'm sorry, honey -- it's just that my Irritable Clergy Syndrome seems to be acting up again today. . . "
Man laughs, wife laughs. All is well. :)

Mercy Drop

I got this from Holly. She is over at The Pastor's Family and at Seeking Faithfulness. She's a lady with a real heart for God and for encouraging women to follow him faithfully. She's been a blessing to my life. :)



oh...if anyone knows how to post this in the sidebar wants to let me know, I'd be thrilled to learn. Thanks. :)

Listen to this!

Thanks to Rebecca for pointing my way to this!

It's way cool.

Totally made Hebrews 9 & 10 come alive!

Advent Devotions - Dec 14

Today's devotion comes from United Church of Canada. Though I don't agree with much of what this church denominationally stands for, I can still use their site to generate thoughts and ideas for doing my advent devotions. :)

Today's scripture is Jeremiah 33:14-16
14"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.'
Verse 14 - God says I will fulfill the promise I made.

God keeps his promises! He's not like you or me. The number of times that I forget to do something that I promised to do...it's nuts! But because I forget to ... oh...water the Christmas tree, or make supper on time, it makes it easier for me to "just let it go" when my hubbie forgets to do something....like wash the boys' favourite, very dirty stuffies, when the boy is fully distracted by being out of the house. It's like, I can just let it go. Mistakes happen. BUT just because I can let mistakes go with my hubbie, or with myself, or with anyone else, doesn't mean that I can expect God to go around making mistakes or breaking his promises. God is God. He is just so much more than you or I.

And in this passage we see that God doesn't forget the promises he makes. He doesn't go "oops, forgot that at one". He keeps them.

What promise did God make?

That one day he "will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land."

That day is fulfilled in Christ. Jesus Christ, the son of Mary and Joseph, the son of God, comes from the line of David. He was that, he is that, righteous offspring. He sits on the right hand of God RIGHT NOW, where he judges all things. And one day soon, he will come back to earth, as the reigning triumphal king, and will judge all things on earth.

Ah...the hope!

Ah...the joy of seeing God keep all of his promises.

The United Church closes its' devotional asking these questions -
Think about the promises of God. When have you responded with love, faith, or action? What promises have you made in your life to friends, family, community, or a stranger?


What do you do with the promises you have made?
What do you expect God to do with the promises he makes to you?
Do you expect him to keep promises?
Do you act like he does?

I don't know where I heard this anymore, but it was a preacher talking about something. He said that the reason that many Christians don't evangelize and don't live out their faith, or answers the questions of "why do you live this way?" when asked, is because they really don't expect God to keep his promises.

You know..those promises of "I will be with you always", "I won't give you anything to deal with that you can't handle", "I am your rock and your salvation, in whom do you fear?" and so on and forth.

That has stuck with me. And when I think of God's promises, I have to admit, sometimes they feel very remote to me. Like I know they are there, but not until I really need them or have to call upon them or anything. So therefore I don't think about them too much....but these verses, and seeing how God kept this promise, and I know how he keeps others, challenges me to think more about the Promises of God AND how I live my life in the light of them.

All I can do is pray: Heavenly Father, Forgive me for how often I live my life not really seeing, or counting on your promises to see me through all things. Teach me your promises, teach me about your "ever present help". Help me to daily see your promises. Help me to remember them so I don't have to do it all on my own. That I will always know, and therefore live, like a person who knows that you are with me ALL the time. Through your son's name I ask this. Amen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Advent Devotions - Dec 13

Today's devotion comes to us by way of Lutheran Hour Ministries. They have an on-line advent devotion calendar. Today's scripture is Mark 13:22-23.
22False christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
We know that Christ is coming again. We have been told this over and over in Scripture. The book of Revelation spells out in some greater detail what that return will look like, and what it will be all about.

Knowing that Christ is returning means that people will rise up who will do their best to turn believers aside. They will try hard to turn the elect of God away from him. So we MUST be alert. We must be on guard against such actions.

This means that we need to know the truth. If we don't know the truth of who God is, of who Christ is, then how will we know the false from the true?

As today's devotional says
I’m told that those who handle money are taught to look for counterfeit bills in a certain way. They don’t learn about what counterfeits would look like; instead they learn what the genuine article looks like. There are many ways to make false currency, but the real thing is always the same.
The best way to tell truth from false is the know the truth so well that what is false is immediately apparent.
So it is with Jesus. He never changes, but how do we recognize Him when He comes? In John 5:39, Jesus provides the answer: “The scriptures testify about Me.” The Holy Scriptures tell us who Jesus is, why He came, what He did, and what He’s going to do. .... During Advent, as always, it’s important to keep our focus on Jesus so that we won’t be deceived by counterfeits.
Let us know the scriptures so well, that we know Christ so well, that any falsehoods are immediately apparent to us. Let us continue to look forward to the return of the true Christ.

My Boyo Makes His Own Fun

Posted by Picasa
Ah me boyo. :) He makes me laugh.

You know the stories about how children can have more fun with a box than with the toy within? Well, I can totally believe it now.

Scenario. I'm sitting at my computer working on the Christmas Program. Totally involved in what I'm doing. I feel a tug on my shirt, an insistent tug that means "Pay attention to me mommy". So I turn around to see what the big deal is, and here my boy has taken an old pampers box, turned it on it's side and made it into a slide.

Oh boy was that fun. Over and over and over again he slide down, chortling away. Then collie and tiger (his favourite ever-present stuffies) had to watch, and then they had to slide too! OH BOY!!!!

What can I say. It was fun. It showed ingenuity. It showed a child having more fun with a box than I could have imagined. :)


Yesterday we went out and found this years Christmas tree.
Turned out to be a good tree too! Nice shape with just one "hole" in it. It's open which is nice. Makes it easier to put the ornaments in so they hang nicely. I like having a tree with some "depth" to it. Posted by Picasa

I was surprised that the Christmas tree farm had no snow, AT ALL! I had dressed the boy up so that if he played in the snow he wouldn't get all sopping wet and all, so I had ended up over-dressing him a bit. He still had a lot of fun though. Gramma kept a good eye on him.

At one point he had a stick and it seemed like he was measuring up all the small trees to see if they were what he wanted.

After supper he helped me put the candy canes on the tree. And after he went to bed, I decorated it up. Didn't put as much on it this year as other years. Kept it simpler (i.e. safer) for a little boy who I know will be just fascinated by having a tree with lots of "toys" on it. The most dangerously breakable I kept in the box and we can include them next year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Advent Devotions - Dec 12

Ha, today is my Oldest brother's birthday. I just realized I forgot to send him a card. ARGH!!!! Why do I always do these things? I'll send him one today and put an apology with it I think. Or better yet, I'll give him a call.

Sorry, I was away for a moment...discovered my boyo was a BAD boyo. He wrecked his crib mobile AS he was tearing up wallpaper and taking down all his crib blankets off the nice rack that we have on the wall...I'm rather unimpressed......he was supposed to be settling down for a nice nap!

Ah well, he's quietly getting into other trouble in the same room that I am in, so hopefully nothing bad will happen now. :)

Okay, re-focus.... :)

Today's devotional comes from Goshen College again, and the scripture is Zephaniah 3:14-20.
14Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
"Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
18I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival,
so that you will no longer suffer reproach.
19Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
20At that time I will bring you in,
at the time when I gather you together;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes," says the LORD.
Do you see these verses?
Do you see the rejoicing that God wants us to do when he does things for us?

God removes judgements from us. God removes fear. God is among us. God is the mighty one who saves. God restores our fortunes. God makes us known. God gathers us in.

Do you sense a theme here? God does all these things and so much more.

This is who we focus on during Christmas.

Not ourselves.
Not our families.
Not the gifts to purchase.
Not the parties to attend.

GOD. Just God himself.

The same God who rejoices over us when we call him Daddy.
The same God who teaches us not to be afraid.
The same God who exults over us.

God. Let us focus on him this Christmas season.

Christmas Meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate, though apple cider is nice too....

2. Coloured lights or white?
Coloured lights in the house, white outside.

3. Do you hang mistletoe?
what on earth for? My hubbie and I can smooch any old time. :)

4. When do you put decorations up?
Quite frankly...whenever I get around to it. Usually whenever I get a tree...sometimes early, sometimes late.

5. What is your favourite Holiday dish?
Not sure I have a favourite. I like some type of meat dish, some veggies, some carbs, some basic junk food. It's all good.

6. Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
We always did Christmas on a day other than Christmas day. It's a memory that I treasure. Keeping the gift-giving so distinctly separate from "Christmas Day". I also treasure the keeping Christ in Christmas....we always read the bible story, and sang carols and so forth. Whas it the best memory? Lighting candles...having my very own one! :)

7. When did you learn the truth about Santa?
Didn't need to learn the truth. always knew it. Funny old man, dressed up in a funny old suit. That's all "santa" ever was.

8. How do you decorate your tree?
With my hands? :) With the various decorations my hubbie and I have collected over the years. No themes, just a hodge-podge.

9. Snow! Love it or dread it?
LOVE IT!

10. When do you open your gifts?
Immediate family - christmas eve. My birth family - whenever we can most all get together.

11. Can you ice-skate?
yes, I do. Well? NOT!

12. Do you remember your favourite gift?
Canadian Kennel Club book of dogs.

13. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Christ, and the glory of his eventual return. Though it may be hard in some ways, the hope of the glory of his return is the best part.

14. What is your favourite holiday dessert?
Not sure, I know it's not almond rings, I like peppernut cookies!

15. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Not sure. Have several.
1. Buy a poinsettia, keep it for a week, and then give it to someone else.
2. buy tickets for the christmas tree raffle from Maycourt ladies
3. do advent stuff
4. get a live tree

16. What tops your tree?
a star

17. WHich do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Giving, especially when I get it right!

18. What is your favourite Christmas song?
Angels we have heard on high and God rest ye merry gentlemen.

19. Candy Canes : yum or yuck?
Yum!

20. What Christmas gift do you hope to find this year?
Oh...not sure. Scrapbooking stuff. New hankies. Something that makes my heart smile. OH>>> and an amaryllis from my mom! :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Advent Devotions - Dec 11

Today's devotion is based on what we did in church yesterday.

The readings came from Malachi 3:1; Luke 1:68, and Luke 3:4-6.

Malachi 3:1 says
1"Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
Luke 1:68 says
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and Luke 3:4-6 says
4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

"The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight,
and the rough places shall become level ways,
6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"

This reading talked about the hope that we have in Christ. There is not a lot of hope in a wee baby lying in a manger, in fact it was a time of hardship. As Jesus grew, other babies died in an effort to kill him. As he ministered, jewish leaders were constantly trying to kill him. One of his own betrayed him. It was not an easy time, and did not seem to be a time of hope at all. BUT >>> the hope is found when Jesus died, and then three days later, rose from the dead!

Our Lord is alive! He is coming again! Hope. There is a real reason for hope now. Jesus, the messenger and the message. He is coming again. Things will be and are being made anew. He purifies us, he refines us, he washed away the dirt from us. Through him, we have the hope of life anew. Through him, we have the hope of being God's children in everyway.

He is our salvation!