Friday, December 26, 2008

Good Intentions 2009

I stopped making actual *resolutions* years ago. I felt like every January I was just setting myself up for failure by *resolving* to do so many good-intentioned things. By April I was always painfully aware that I hadn't lost 15 lbs, I still swear when I stub my toe, and I am short temperered from time to tim.
So last year, I didn't resolve to do anything, but I did *ATTEMPT* to make a spiritual improvement in one area, verses 15 resolutions in the physical; I told God I would make an attempt to *DO THE HARD STUFF* this year. Well, God has quite the sense of humor, doesn't He? I was sure put to the test.
My Step-Brother died, My dog died, my Aunt died.... but I did the hard stuff that was required each time, versus just doing the bare minimum to get through the situation.
Now, I am not looking for sympathy, or to pat myself on the back. I want to encourage whoever is reading this to do the same. When a loved one dies, go to the nearest family and cry together.... make them a meal... clean their home, and above all, even when your tired of hearing about death, loss, and mourning...LISTEN TO THEM. Let them tell the story for the 100th time.
When the elderly neighbor needs a ride...give it to them and go even further by taking them out for a slice of pie. Listen to them talk. Make them feel alive and valued.
Go to the Childrens Cancer Ward, or wherever is hardest for you to go. For me, it's just attending the funeral that's hard. But you know, going, and plodding through gives the people you love support, and it makes you grow so much spiritually.

Make a list of the things you would like to do the very least, and then challenge yourself to *attempt* to do some of these. It makes you appreciate life and all the little things that normally get you down seem like water off a ducks back in comparison. You'll be a better person for it and you know what? This is where the rubber meets the road for a lot of Christians. It's the difference between lip-service and a servants heart.
My *attempts* for 2009? I haven't decided. I'm almost afraid I'll get what I ask for again. But you know, I'm richer for it. I have confidence through the strength of Christ that I didn't have before.
Attempt to do the hard stuff. It won't be easy, but it will be rewarding.
Happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Celebrate Christmas

Here it is...Christmas Eve... I'm so excited. For one magical day, I turn into a kid again. So does my husband! We were a bit late on getting the tree up, but we managed last weekend, and it is beautiful.
Many Chistians do not celebrate Christmas, or refuse to have a tree, or anything to do with Santa Claus. I respect their right to do so. BUT, not I. I teach my kids and grandkids about Jesus, Mary and Joseph...the angels & wise men... AND about the man Saint Nicholaus, who really lived at one time, and excemplified an unselfish nature by giving to the needy all the time.
Christmas trees were supposedly once used by pagans... Well, they aren't anymore, and I've never been a pagan, (not even sure if I know any pagans either), and I have decided MY TREEwill represent eternal life through Christ. I will remind my family that it points heavenward as a reminder of why we celebrate.
Since God made the world, (pagans included), and made the pine trees, and all the material we use to decorate it... I still say GOD GETS THE CREDIT, regardless of what some ancient religion did thousands of years ago.
I will be baking cookies, and playing with grandchildren... visiting my folks.. and making phone calls to the family up north. Tinsel is dripping from my ceilings, and the wreath is on my door. Whoo-hoo! Christmas time is finally here!
May yours be everything you want it to be.
Blessings In Jesus!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas Ya'll

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve yellow roses
eleven blueblonnets
ten gallon hats
nine cowboy boots
eight enchiladas
seven jalapenos
six armadillos
five chili beans
four oil wells
three pickup trucks
two tumbleweeds
and a possum in an oak tree

Chrsitmas in Texas is, well.. *different* than the traditional Christmas's portrayed on cards, and in the movies. As a child, I imagined a traditional Christmas as sort of a *New England-ish* affair... Snow covered firs and blue spruces... piping hot mugs of spiced cider... A real Currier & Ives event.

But here in Texas, Christmas day is rarely cold, let alone snowy, we tend to decorate the cactus along with the dog house, and the B-B-Q grill, and many celebrate the day with homemade tamales along with the usual ham, turkey, and cranberry salad. Everyone knows someone's Mother or Grandmother who still makes tamales and sells them by the dozen. I never realized how unique a Texas Christmas was until I went to Ohio and experienced a more *Northern* holiday. It was pretty much everything I had ever dreamed of; snow, pines, caroling, ...very picturesque. But no tamales!

This Christmas the high in the Fort Worth area will be about 65 degrees. We have family coming from Ohio. I am excited to host them. I wonder how they will interpret the way we celebrate? Will they notice the chile-pepper lights on the Christmas tree? Will they even like tamales?

My husband grew up in Germany and he tells stories that are so nostalgic. I have a picture of him and his brother, when they were about 10 and 8, with a European Saint Nicholaus, in Stutggart, and it looks like something out of a fairy tale.

On one of my groups online, the girls are sharing Scottish, Irish, and English holiday cookie recipes. It is a sign to me that the concept of Christmas is relative to the country, or state, or island you live in or on. How fascinating to think of people all over the world reverencing the Son of God in different ways?

Here's a story of a South Texas Christmas... It's very cute, and gives one an idea of how different it can be.

One things for sure; I am thrilled to be celebrating the birth of our Savior. Traditions, as long as they reverence Christ, all come from the same source, with the same intent: To honor his birth.

Merry Christmas to Ya'll... and to Ya'll a Good

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Final Proclamation Of Joy To The World

I wanted to share this with you.:-)

(Taken from the Mennonite Weekley Review)

Each Advent we begin a new liturgical year, with its telling of stories familiar and new. We embark again upon a series of re-enactments, beginning with Christ’s first coming, God’s incarnation in the form of a child.
We participate in the paradox that by pretending certain events have not yet taken place, we will gain new, unexpected truths from the stories of how they came to be.

Advent holds further paradoxes as well, which we shall see as we wait for the Christ born in a manger in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago to be born again this year.
Each Advent we long for the Christ child. Women who have given birth remember the waiting, belly protruding, for the baby to come. Others recall the wonder of placing a hand on a round stomach and feeling the baby move inside the womb.

We wait for the joy of seeing the infant arrive, of holding the tiny child and feeling as never before how much we want to nurture this new life.
We know it will not be easy. The child whose arrival we await each Advent will not stay small and helpless. He will grow into a leader who demands of us more than nurture. He will require our whole lives.

It will be difficult to follow the way of this Savior whom John the Baptist heralds, yet it will bring joy. In The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer asks, “If we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us? … Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows the journey’s end. But we do know that it will be a road of boundless mercy. Discipleship means joy.”
This joy is a paradox. It is what we ultimately seek, yet is not a comfortable feeling. It is not the glow of a fireplace or the warmth of a quilt.

Instead, it is dynamic contrast in Handel’s Messiah.
It is Mary’s emotion as she sang, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
We celebrate with Mary her child’s birth, and see the truth in the dramatic reversal of fortune she describes. Indeed, in past months we have seen some of the proud scattered in the thoughts of their hearts, and some of the rich sent away empty.

Yet there remain so many lowly ones yearning to be lifted up, and hungry ones crying out for good things.
Christ inaugurated God’s reign during his time on Earth. Yet we long for the time when it will break fully into our world so much in need of restoration.
Even on Christmas morning, we still wait for the day described in Rev. 11:15: “The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. And he shall reign forever and ever.”
Each of our re-enactments of Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, prepares us for that day, when we can truly declare joy to the world.

Celeste Kennel-Shank

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiness...It's A Tough Gig

I wonder about this world and it's values, or the lack-thereof. I know there are lots of people with strong Christian values, and other people with just good moral values, but it seems that we are overwhelmed by pop-culture that says we should shun anything moral, or pure and just go for sheer hedonism.

When I consider what the Bible has to say about holiness... it seems clear to me that Christians are to be the opposite of pop-culture. Now, you may be picturing a NERD in your head, but I don't think that is the general idea. I think when pop-culture tells us to put our 6 year olds in clothing that looks like something a streetwalker would wear, with *HOT* spelled out on the bottom of the pants...we should excercise some common sense. What happened to keeping our children pure and innocent? *BRATS* dolls are another common sense no-no, imho, but yet I know mothers who will defend their decision to let their little girls have them. They look like hookers! How can you say this is acceptable?

Little boys are playing video games with very suggestive content and some parents don't seem to mind. I've actually heard parents say: "Well, their going to learn about it sooner or later". *IT* can be violence, divorce, racial hatred, and sex. (I'm sure there are others)... But it is the parents JOB to protect our children. They don't NEED to learn everything all at once. Yes, they will most likely be exposed to everything in their lifetime. But if given the proper love, and training, they will recognize SIN AS SIN... not water it down as something we just endure. AND it's never going to be the popular descision! You will always be the one who seems like a wet blanket...raining on the kids parade. But in the end, they will love you for it. Just think how proud your making God???

So as you consider all your holiday shopping and what you'll buy for the kiddies... please take into consideration what they are being exposed to. Whatever you give them, they will interpret as acceptable. Movies, Games, dolls, and clothing... we all have a choice to make.
The Bible says: *Be HOLY as I am HOLY*... Who's side are you on? Gods, or the worlds?

Furthermore; Be verbal about sin. When there is something that is just plain WRONG, ...say so. Explain WHY it's wrong. There's going to be a day when little children become vocal and opinionated teens and they need to know where the line is, EVEN if they challenge it.

Be brave. Take a stand. Be Holy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

You know, here we are again... it's mid-December and the yuletide season is in full swing.
Admittedly, I suffer from holiday depression and have no idea why? It all starts when I hear the first broadcast of *I Want A Hippopotamaus For Christmas* and ends with *Old Lang Syne*... lol..
I just get so overwhelmed.

So this year I decided I was going to be proactive and had all my shopping, with the exception of stocking stuffers done by the end of November. Mission Accomplished! Also, to help curb the oppressiveness of poverty between December 25th and March 1st, I started a savings account to accomodate my Christmas budget. WHAT A DIFFERENCE A LITTLE CHING-CHING MAKES!!

So, now that I'm on a roll, and have succesfully managed what usually beats me down, I have been in a chipper Christmas mood, whistling carols, and greeting everyone with a *Merry Christmas!* Is it possible that organization and a little extra spending cash can have that big of an impact on your emotional status??? Guess so.

But that brings my thoughts around to those less fortunate. This year the company I work for; Bimbo Bakeries has helped sponsor a family from Keller, Texas as the crew for *Extreme Home Make-Over* builds them a new home after their home was flooded.

And, they have adopted two Metroplex families who are in need this Christmas. Both families are single parent households, with many children. One family is supported by a mother, who is caring for 4 of her own children, 2 of her grandchildren and battling cancer while she cleans homes to make a living. It makes you stop and appreciate what you have. We are not wealthy, but we are capable, employable, and in good health. It's amazing what we take for granted.

The company has all the employees involved. We had staff meetings and discussed the best way to assist them. Our conclusion was to have anyone who wanted to participate donate specific items and money to be given to the families on behalf of Bimbo Bakeries USA. Once the meetings were over, my office was a-flurry with activity.... everyone discussing what they could do to help. (Again my heart leaps out of my chest with pride).

Apparently everyone was so excited, most of us went out last night after work and shopped for the families. This morning I was thrilled to pull into my company parking lot and see so many employees carrying boxes, and bags filled with household goods, clothing, and food.


The whole idea that I work for a company that cares about people makes me love my job even more. I know just how blessed I am. Do you?

So from my house to yours.... from Scott, Kelly, Hutch, Star, Porch & Minnie Lou;
Have a blessed Christmas Season.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OH JOY! It's Christmas!

Here it comes with a vengance; Christmas. The media portrays it as something financial along with *predictions* of how well retailers will fair.
Where is Jesus, I ask?
Families will get together, and some just long enough for it to turn nasty. I am kind of stunned at just how dysfunctional some of my own family has become... and always relieved that there are plenty of good-natured normal relatives still alive and well.

I am very blessed to have a handful of people whom I'm related to either by blood or marraige who know Christ, and don't forget WHY we have the holiday in the first place. They help me tolerate the insanity of December, because for me, this month is like a non-stop full moon in the county emergency room. Whatever the most inappropriate thing to do or say seems to take center stage, and it really is all I can do to plod on through the retail madness and family nuttiness that always, always, always accompanies Christmas. I think it's the devils way of raining on our parade and causing division... It's his way of keeping the focus off The Savior. He's just jealous... and looking steal our joy. It is VERY easy to just throw your hands in the air and surrender.
However, the season is not without it's joys. Christmas-time can, and has been filled with love, kindness, and surprises. Sometimes its something simple like hearing from an old friend, or seeing a toddler all dressed in velvet open presents under the tree. A sprig of mistletoe here and there, some holly on the hearth & baking pies and Christmas goodies brings out the best in me, but nothing, and I do mean NOTHING warms my soul like reading the Christmas Story found in Luke 2:

Luke 2
1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Isn't it glorious???
So while I might get a little overwhelmed at my to-do list before all the family (functional and otherwise) descend upon my humble abode for celebration and merriment, I have never forgotten why we are celebrating. That knowledge keeps me centered when it seems the world is spinning off it's axis.
Because of this child, this innocent babe, conceived in a virgin vessel, and left to die alone on a cross years later for our sins...we can rest assured that those who know Him and are dedicated to Him will live on together for eternity. Blessed assurance.
So regardless of how wierd you old Uncle Pete is, or how crazy cousin Nancy may appear, now is the time to open your home, and heart and be the candle on the hill. Try to lay old grudges aside. Give a hug to those least expecting it. Let it all go and let them see Jesus in you. Don't let the devil get a foot-hold just because your siblings are self-centered, never help with Mom and Dad, talk behind your back, and generally do all they can do to rub you the wrong way. Just don't let it happen. Rebuke it, and claim joy, kindness, and a sense of calm in Jesus Name.
Keep claiming it too and watch old red-legs run.
May your Christmas Season be Merry & Bright.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

End Times Revelations (Pun Intended)

Ok, so I've ranted about the election, and PRAISE THE LORD, it's about to be over. I will certainly do the Snoopy Dance once the candidate is elected to office! How about you?

Here are a few things that I have become painfully aware of since this election campaign began:

People have VERY strong opinions about who they and everyone else should vote for.

Those same people are not shy about bombing their friends and family with e-mails blasting the candidate they are not in favor of, even if they are lies. Most of the misinformation came from a forwarded e-mail they are assuming is correct, and didn't bother to validate.

My normally calm and tact e-mail (Yahoo) groups that typically cater to *Titus 2* type women, headcoverings, keepers at home, homesteading, and gardening have become battle grounds for political banter. It always starts with the ASSUMPTION that Christians will automatically vote Republican, and it's always insinuated later when the mud-slinging starts, that REAL CHRISTIANS wouldn't dare vote Democrate! Isn't it odd that in the 1930's & 40's, it was considered the exact OPPOSITE??? A real Christian wouldn't dare vote republican! Why can't CHRISTIANS see that both candidates have issues, and support things that are not biblical. I hate it that we have to pick the lesser of 2 evils, when the Bible clearly states that we are to have NO part of evil. So is this an exception?

Lastly, there are an alarming number of people who believe this is the beginning of the end. Somehow, through much delusion, people have pegged BOTH McCain and Obama as The Anti-Christ, (see previous rants). This has become a kind of catalyst for the *End Times* fanatics, and Christian Survivalists.

As I have observed and pondered all of this, I found that not all the people who study *End Times & Prophecy* are not ALL fanatics. Some women have genuinely studied Revelation, and The Book Of Daniel, for years as something of interest. They don't seem to think that the Anti-Christ will be a leader of the USA. More likely Isreal. The do not see either candidate as a threat to the Christian world, just to business as usual. I am very relieved to know there are level headed, educated people who do not allow paranoia to lead them, but instead; The Holy Spirit.

Shouldn't we all? It is refreshing to hear comprehendable discussion about The End Times and I appluad these women for speaking up and leading others to a reasonable place in their Christian walk.

Now, for all the others who are plaguing the internet with lies, misconceptions and paranoia, could you please calm down and just rest easy knowing you won't convert a soul with your bumper stickers, loud opinions, and ridiculous e-mails? I mean, did you EVER consider becoming vegan because you saw a VW plastered with *Proud To Be A Vegan* & *Save A Cow, Eat A Farmer* bumper stickers? Of course not. (I have nothing against vegans, or Farmers...just making a point)

And that point is: Everyone has an opinion, and some people feel compelled to unload it on anyone who will listen.

So if you feel strongly, you can excercise your right to voice your opinion by voting. That's really the only thing you can do that counts.

For me, I'm afraid of either choice and quite dissapointed that Americans pick whoever can buy the best campaign. Maybe I'll let you pick them. I'll just pray for them. Deal?

Friday, October 17, 2008

End Times At Ridgemont High

Look, I believe all Christians should be ready for what a friend called the *caughtupture*... since the Bible doesn't ever use the word *rapture*, but does mention being *caught up*, I love think the term is perfect!
Now, with all due respect to those who love to study Revelation, I believe knowledge is power, but you are fooling yourself if you think you know WHEN it's going to happen.

There are pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation theories in abundance. I don't want to over-simplifiy, but doesn't it just make good sense to BE READY???
And doesn't it make good sense to put your energies towards living a godly life, and trying to be a witness to the unsaved, rather than invest those end time classes? They don't make you paranoid?? Hey, there is nothing wrong with spiritual preparedness, and if you enjoy speculating about Revelation as a class, knock yourself out. It's just that time is limited and it's kind of shooting yourself in the foot to spend time in class when their are souls to be saved, AND the clock is ticking...just saying:-)
Let me break it down for you in a nutshell: There WILL be an Anti-Christ. He will be charming and persuasive and somehow over the course of his rule, we will be required to accept some type of MARK on our forehead or hand for identification. You can niether buy nor sell without this mark. Christians WILL be put to the greatest test in history. It will be illegal to worship God as we know now. At some point we will be told to denounce Christ, or be beheaded. (I'll take a tidy beheading if you don't mind. A small inconvenience compared to eternity in hell.) But without going into gross detail: Christians will be persecuted to the point of martyrdom.
SO, we know that we are close to the *end times* because of what Revelation has to plainly say about catastrophes, terrors, Isreal becoming a Nation, etc... But TIME is relative. So what we may consider *end times* could last centuries or not. Maybe Jesus is coming any minute. Why take a chance??? Get your heart right with God, repent of all your sin, known and unknown, and tomarrow morning, be serious in your walk with Christ. Live FOR Him and LIKE Him.
The flip side of the coin is; How do I know WHO to follow? Well, I'd love nothing more than you all to become Anabaptist and join the nearest Mennonite Church... but.... it's not likely gonna happen. So, lets examine the signs to avoid in a bad church leader and the signs to look for in a good one:
Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe church/leader.

1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

3) No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

4) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

5) There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

6) Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

7) The group/leader will use intimidation techniques and/or public humiliation to retain members.

8) Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

9) The group/leader is always right.
10) The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Phillipians 2:12 ¶ "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" It is NOT the job of another (church/leader/pastor/priest) to do it for you!.

Ten signs of a safe church/leader:

1) A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.

2)A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.

3) A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.

4) A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.

5)A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.

6)A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.

7)A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.

8) A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.

9) A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.

10) A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.
This list comes from the site:
It is my opinion that the above statements are good starting points to validate your church leadership, and determine if your being mislead.
Remember: Even bad leaders have the best intentions. Most have ego's and having them fed is an addiction.

Good leaders are humble and open, and not easily offended.
May God lead you all to a safe Church where His word is being studied and lived out.

Obamccain Superstar

GGrrrrr... This is getting ugly.
I have received no less than 50 FORWARDED e-mails regarding both McCain and Obama.

These don't come from people I share political dialogues or common politial views. They come from family and friends who probably mean very well, but have no idea that the smut they are promoting will NEVER change anyones political position. ITS AN EMAIL!!! And a multi-forwarded on at that.

The latest e-mail came from not one, not two, but 3 different people whom I am intensely close to stating that OBAMA is going to be the ANTI-CHRIST!! Then, I got another e-mail from another very well meaning individual stating that McCain and Palin are the ANTI-CHRIST!

Does anyone really believe this nonsense? People who listen to all the *End Time* propeganda are buying into a clever authors bait and hook to sell DVD'S and books, and study material. Folks, all you need is you bible and I can tell you 2 things that are TRUE: NO MAN SHALL KNOW THE DAY NOR TIME, (so you can flush all the predictions down the toilet), and THIS ISN'T and NEVER WAS A CHRISTIAN NATION! It might have been predominately Christian, but ALL religions are welcome here.

Now, I would love nothing more than to live in a Christian nation. But that would require mandating Christianity to every citizen, and we would no longer have separation of Church and State.
This is a FREE country and as of the REFORMATION, we no longer are required by the State to serve a particular church. It is NOT against the law to be Muslim, but Obama isn't anyway.

I would LOVE to have a Christian President. Both candidates claim to be. One is a war-monger, and the other supports partial birth abortion. When did Murder start being qualified? Like: If I kill a En-Utero 4 week old, a or a 4 year old, it's somehow not as heinous as if I kill a 40 year old? Isn't taking a life Murder??? Isn't it MURDER if your in another country and you don't like those people or what they stand for?? I'm not saying there isn't a time for self defense, but both candidates if elected, will have blood on their hands...anyway you look at it. That's why they say: War is hell.

I also believe that the men serving our country do so with the upmost honor and integrity with every intention of keeping this country safe. But I also know that the government uses them like puppets to do their dirty work (Viet Nam), and there is more going on behind the scenes than just what the media tells us. Politicians of every country use war and killing to do their bidding. Innocent people will die either in another country if we vote for McCain (they already are) as well as our own boys over in Iraq, and innocent, unborn people will die if we vote for Obama.

However, it will take the majority house vote to pass laws regarding partial birth abortion. Simply because Obama is pro-choice doesn't mean he gets to make up the rules as he goes. Lets keep one thing in mind: Abortion is legal and it has been for over 30 years. This isn't new. And do you believe for one minute that abortion would stop even if it was (and it won't) be made illegal? How about we, as Christians WORK SMART, NOT HARD, and give those with unplanned pregnancies better options, and don't have abortions ourselves??? What about lobbying to make adoption less expensive so we don't HAVE to go to other countries to adopt babies unless we just want to? Let's raise Godly daughters... and be forgiving should they *put the cart before the horse*.

So, how can it be that BOTH candidates claim to be Christian? Because this is a CAMPAIGN with agendas. They are government officials running for public office, not to be a Pastor of the worlds biggest Mega Church. THEY ARE POLITICIANS PEOPLE!! When have you known of a President to do everything he promised to do??? They don't because they can't. They don't wave a magic wand and *make* anything happen. And if they DO get out of hand, we have this nifty little ace-in-the-hole in this country called; IMPEACHMENT.

I guess what gets my goat; is the e-mail about Obama sited the Book of Revelation, using it for validity, but it completely LIED. It said Revelation states the Anti-Christ will be of Muslim decent and around 40 years of age. WHERE??? Where does it state that? It doesn't. It was a bold-faced lie to turn ignorant voters who base their political opinions on forwarded e-mails towards McCain. I might want to mention that Islam wasn't even created until 500 years AFTER Revelation was written,,, Please don't get me started. Say what you want about either candidate, but say it in TRUTH. Lying is a sin. It's one of the big 10. So the author of the original e-mail has some explaining to do.

Now, is McCain the Anti-Christ? The e-mail (forwared) I received says that the names McCain and Palin somehow spell out some biblical code that referrences the book of revelation and thus; The Anti Christ. That is just as awful?? Can you THINK of anything more awful to call anyone??

I'm not fond of McCain, but dog-gone-it, I like Sarah Palin. (tongue-in-cheek) I don't hate Obama. I have issues with them both. But I am not going to spend time slamming them in forwarded e-mails that in my opinion, sink to the LOWEST level one can sink: Lying.

If you want to make a difference in this country, do it at the polls. Why would anyone feel comfortable sending anyone a political e-mail? Ever? Didn't your Mom tell you that you don't discuss politics in company? Why? Because it's a volital issue and until November, it's only gonna get uglier.

I personally am SICK of it. I will do what I consider to be a choice of wisdom: I will visit both websites, review what each candidate stands for.. review Obama's ideas of *change* (all listed on his website), and McCains concept of leadership, and peace promotion. Then, I will pray.

Everytime you get the impulse to send a forwarded e-mail without checking the resources and just assuming the data is correct, SAVE YOURSELF, and just delete it. Then take the time it would have taken you to pull 50 contacts from your address book and review the candidates websites... then take the time you would take for babbling about who is the Anti-Christ with all your church buddies and PRAY.

You will never sway an intelligent soul with a forwarded, low-blow e-mail. It's still a free country, so vote anyway you want, and then do what the Bible says to do: PRAY FOR IT'S LEADERS.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ma & Pa's Words Of Wisdom

I don't know exactly when it happened, and neither does my husband. But one moment we young, indecisive, impulsive, and basically flew by the seat-0f-our-pants, and THOUGHT we had all the answers. Our parents were old and didn't have a clue, and boy were we COOL!
Then one day: POOF! We are middle aged. Our sleek figures have been replaced with bodies who defy explanation. Cool? What's that? My children sucked the cool right out of me. They think *cool* & *Mom* are an oxymoron.
But something magical DID happen... We became rather WISE.
20 years ago, (my how time flies), we were idiots. We couldn't manage money, time, emotions, or relationships. We made mistakes right and left. It was the most painful time of our lives. Every turn was met with potential failure, and we lived paycheck to paycheck. At one point I was just WEARY of life being so hard! I wondered if it would ever get better, and what could possibly change that would make any difference?
While we were younger, we busied ourselves by making mistakes. You name it- We did it. One after another as far as the eye can see... we messed up. We messed up our lives, others lives, and tormented our clueless parents in the process. We tried and failed and tried again. We reinvented ourselves numerous times and tried to raise families in the midst of all this drama. We struggled, and fought authority. We rallied against all that our parents tried to teach us for the sake of our own pride and arrogance.
And then one day, the kids grew up and a few gray hairs appeared. Old addages like: "You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas" started making sense and our hindsight was 20/20. We no longer bounced checks and as time flew, our credit rating improved. Time really did heal all and tomarrow really is another day.
As I sit here in my new-found contentment at age 46, I realize that wisdom is born from pain. Without the agony of our mistakes, we would have never found the right answers. Our children now come to us for answers to thier problems, be it medical, emotional, financial or spiritual. For all appearances, we seem to have our act together and while there still may be mistakes left to be made, they are further and fewer between.
The most wonderful part is knowing that God REALLY does give beauty for ashes. When you take the worst part of your youth and lay it at Gods feet,... when you humble yourself and set your pride on the shelf... when you take your selfish desires out of the picture and replace them with others needs, God rewards you with wisdom. He also gives you second and sometimes third chances to get it right. As time passes, and you bend your will to HIS, he makes a new creation out of the old.
The funny thing is; by the time the process is in full swing; your wondering where the old you is at? What happened and better yet: HOW did it happen? Time waits for noone. God is busy molding you while you were messing up. He used those seemingly impossible times to make a wonderful person, full of wit, wisdom, and an endless amount of old wives tails, idioms, and home remedies. Lock and load baby! Your ready to fire off the answers if someone will only ask! (Oh and they will!) I mean this metaphorically, for the non-resistant *wink*
Now, it's your turn. Your still not cool. But you are wise. Go pass that wisdom on to those who are in the midst of their own youthful drama and just sit and watch. While they make act like they don't hear you... they do. They just don't believe you yet. Give them a few years, and when they get a little gray at the temples, making more wise choices and fewer mistakes, you can take joy in seeing the process repeat itself. It's a generational blessing for those who take time to witness it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Financial Crunch & Merry Christmas

I have been hearing a lot about the impending doom that is about to descend upon this country. Financial institutions may collapse. I'm not sure what that will mean to the working class, if anything, but I am am being as proactive as I can and keeping my thoughts optimistic.

Will my 401K survive? Probably. It's an ebb and flow process that is supposed to ebb and flow. Duh.

So the best we can do is stock up on water, canned food, beans and rice and plan on just waiting this out. Because we don't have a fortune to begin with, I doubt it's going to be that big of a deal to our household.

So, with all that said; Christmas is around the corner and I have been thinking about what my Grandmother who is 92 says: "Recessions are natural. The economy can't just keep getting better and better. " Well, she's been around since before the Great Depression and I guess she should know. Some my happiest times of my life have nothing to do with how much money was in my bank account, and there usually was little to spare.

Which brings me back to: A Homespun Christmas. Are we setting our children up for dissapointement if we can't afford to buy them everything their heart desires? What will the learn and what will they appreciate?

I suggest that we ALL pull together and teach our children about the dangers of excess. Everyone should make some homemade ornaments together with their children. Nothing makes a childs eyes shine like seeing their handi-work on the tree. And nothing is as beautiful.

Take it one step further; Teach your children a craft NOW. Help them make homemade crafts to give family members. Young children can make wonderful macaroni art. Tweens can do leather-crafting. Teenagers can bead and do woodworking.

I'm not suggesting that noone buy their children store bought gifts, but I am suggesting that you empower your child to be ABLE to give from their heart to those they love in a way that is frugal and meaningful. In thier lifetime, they will most likely see another recession. And you have the opportunity to teach them how to make lemonade out of lemons, and rise above the power and influence of the almighty dollar by simply being creative.

Here's how to make bottle cap ornaments;

Here’s what you need:

- cardboard (we used old baking mix and cereal boxes)- glue (Elmers is easier than stick glue)- scissors- bottle caps (if you haven’t saved any, Grape Expectations off of Kilpatrick and 27th sells them in bulk or by the bag)- small beads (we thrifted them. But, PJs has TONS of them)- yarn (easily thrifted)- a hole punch- ribbon

So, what we did was make a template for the tree with our first box and then used it to (roughly) outline the rest of them. I cut all of the trees out (scissors and toddlers are not friends) and the tiny person immediately got on the job of gluing the bottle caps to the trees. Since I wanted to send some of these off for gifts, I decided to give her one tree and a bottle of glue to go to town with, which was an exceptionally messy success and her tree is by far the funkiest and cutest of the bunch.

Also you can use any color bead and spray paint the bottle cap gold or silver... pretty!

After gluing all of the bottle caps down, we proceeded to fill up the caps with white glue, which was totally fun. After that, everyone can jump in to fill the caps with all kinds of cool beads. This also could be very cool with bird seed, rice, pebbles, you get the idea.
Spread the trees out on a flat surface and let them dry overnight.

The next day, if you want (they are totally cute without it), cut enough yarn to outline each tree and then glue it around the edge of the tree for an added accent.
Then, use the hole punch to make a hole in the top of the tree, string a lovely ribbon (or some leftover yarn, twine would be cool too) and voila - the bottle-cap Christmas tree is ready for display on whatever tree for which it is meant.

Friday, October 3, 2008

MOM!!! She's Biting My Toes!!

This is priceless! Hutch, who is 2, is above all; OBEDIANT. I told him 2 weeks ago that he HAS TO BE GENTLE with Minnie Lou.
Here she is nibbling at his toes with those razor sharp puppy-teeth. Notice Hutch looking at me (with my camera of course) like; *Maw, can ya put that contraption down and give a fella a hand???*
Bless his heart. He's such a gentle giant. And did I mention he's obediant? Minnie on the other hand has a lot to learn, but she's catching on. Trust me, Hutch still has toenails left.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

All Dressed Up And No Place To Go

I'm sure the new will wear off eventually, but as of now, I am still smitten with Minnie Lou! Check out her new P.J.'s!!!

This was taken last night. She had a bath and was dried off, combed and put in her PJ's before bed. It actually did get chilly in the sunroom where she sleeps. (You know I'll justify this!)
I did the same to Muttley :-) It's a tradition.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I am crazy about this dog. Yesterday she had her first visit with the Vet. She was pronounced extremely healthy, worm free, and she's 2 whole lbs!

In the picuture, she is chewing on a Ty Beanie Baby and Scott's watch is beside her for a physical reference to her size, (or the lack thereof.)

She's sleeping through the night (Yea!) and is almost potty trained in just one week.

Last night we went outside and played with Star and Hutch. They are enamored with her too.

I can't wait until she gets a little bigger...a little calmer, and finishes teething. She's going to make a great snuggle-dog. As of this morning, she still only has her incisors in and the rest is all gum.
Do I have great dogs or what???

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It's official! Miss Minnie Lou is part of the Hunt Family! Weighing in at 2.5 lbs, Minnie Lou is a scrapper! She has been chasing Hutch (75 lbs) all over the house and Star has taken to being a kind of *Mother-Figure* to her. Poor Hutch... kind of the elephant and the mouse syndrome. I fear he thinks she is a gerbil.

Anyhow, she is not quite potty-trained (which is always a challenge) and still has to be fed every 4 hours, even at night. But last night, I got up at 1:00 am to feed her, and she wasn't in her bed. She had managed to climb up on a rocking chair and she was sitting pretty like a BIG GIRL. She looked quite content and it is apparent that she is not taking attitude from the big dogs, or the cat. Amazing.

With Muttley passing, I worried that I wouldn't love another dog as much as I loved her. After 72 hours, I realize you love them ALL with all your heart. Noone can replace Muttley, or the memories we have of her, but life goes on, and every doggie needs a home. Muttley would want it that way.

Blessings Ya'll!!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

What A Face!

Well, what do you think about this little girl??? She's from a breeder, and full blood Shiztzui....
I think she's adorable!!
I will post other possible candidates if I find any.. but this one may JUST be the one. I go look at her Saturday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Pain Of Rejection

Yesterday, I filled out an *application* with a dog rescue group called "DFW Tzus".
I found a dog called *Sha-nae-nae that was just cute as a button, and the application is normal procedure for the adoption/rescue process. I noticed it was a lengthy one and they asked a million questions. Additionally, I had to agree to having them come to my home to make sure it is dog-friendly, and give 2 personal referrences. Not a problem. I also agreed to spend any amount of money for the dogs health, $40.00 every 6 weeks for grooming, and disclosed information about my spouse, and the other animals in the house.
I took the time to mention that I have a 6 ft concrete grounded fence on one acre, and have rescued 4 other animals in the past who now live like royalty. I also agreed to address special needs...

AND- I was rejected! ME! Muttley's Mom! I wrote back to ask if there is a misunderstanding, or something that could be corrected? Never heard back.

My co-worker Jennifer was also rejected by a similar dog rescue group. She treats her dogs like she birthed them herself. She says these *rescue groups* are kind of an elitist group and rather snooty. SO, I'm going to a breeder and buying a dog, no questions asked. Yup! Just give the breeder your $200.oo and walk away with a 6 week old puppy. Piece of cake.

I am still miffed though, because I feel like there are SO many displaced animals who need homes. Rescuing a dog is a good deed. It seems so shallow to just *buy* a puppy. It seems generous and even noble to rescue a homeless dog... a way to perhaps teach others... to lead by example... to be the good guy!

I understand the rescue's policies and their desire to *match* each dog with a good owner. No doubt there are probably people who don't deserve to have these animals. But ME??? Most people want to come back in their next life as one of my dogs! It makes no sense.

The fact that they are not willing to even negotiate any issue is simply thrusting business to the breeders. The rescue dogs are not free. So if they are almost impossible to qualify for, what's the point? Noone wants the criteria for adoption to be lax, but plausible would be a good start.

Off to the breeder!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Weekend To Remember

OOOOhhhh AAAAhhhhh This is a picture of our hotel room. Pinch me, I thought I was dreaming!!

Ok, ok...Lucky for you, this isn't a rant. It's a happy little blog about my most excellent weekend with my husband.

Scott travels about 6 months out of the year as a touring Audio Engineer. We are pro's at maximizing quality time and keeping in touch while he's on the road. Once in a while, when both our schedules allow, I follow him on the road for a weekend, either locally, or I fly out to wherever the show is.

This weekend was local (Dallas) and I drove out to the Hilton Anatole and enjoyed all the rock-star perks that they had to offer. How kind of them to bring me a night-time snack at 8:00 pm... some kind of strawberry and white chocolate dessert with cold milk... A maid turned down our beds, and it was wonderful to not have to make them the next morning. What a stark contrast to everyday life!

My husband was so happy to be able to share a bit of time with me. We had snacks in the executive lounge on the 25th floor overlooking the Dallas Skyline Friday evening. Later on, we went with friends and had sushi. That's always an experience. I loved the Jasmine tea and seaweed salad.

Saturday I shopped in Dallas and then drove to the Farmers Market in Grapevine. I returned that evening, and met up with Scott about 9:00 pm to enjoy the entertainment which was a private performance for about 500 executives from *Hilton*. The act? Huey Lewis and The News.

How fun it was to sit with my husband at the sound board. There wasn't a bad seat in the house.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Lewis's music: it's kind of R&B meets Doo-Wop. The horn section was tight and you could tell the band was having fun performing. Huey is growing older, but quite gracefully. They play like they are earning their keep. That's what was great. They still play like their dinner is depending on it...with all their heart and soul. (Pun intended)

There was an after-party that lasted until 2:00 am. I sat quietly and watched. I am such a spectator! It was pretty amazing to watch some very wealthy (and probably intoxicated) people do the electric slide like it was their second cousin's wedding. But that's what they did. I guess I had some expectation that they were above such common behaviour? Maybe the electric slide is what unites us all? The dance that supersedes what presumably divides? I don't know, the only thing that seemed to obviously separate the *haves*, from the *have nots* was the designer tag on their clothes, and handbags (COACH in every color but neon), and the rocks on their fingers. Other than that... they were just normal folk trying to get down with their bad selves. There were people who were just staying at the hotel and were not part of the Hilton shin-dig that slid in and merged as if they belonged. No one cared. It was quite a spectacle!

(No, I didn't dance...)

I'm pretty sure I haven't intentionally stayed up that late since the 80's. I was so fascinated by the people that I was surprised to see the clock in our room read: 2:30 am when my head hit the real goose-down pillow, and my skin was caressed by freshly starched Egyptian Cotton sheets. *ZZZZ's* quickly followed. Scott was done shortly afterward.

I awoke about 8:30 am, (Internal alarm clock)... packed up and headed back to my real life.

What a great husband I have to want to share the fun with me. We both came home about the same time and although it was a very extravagant weekend (at no cost to us) it felt SO good to be home. Star and Hutch greeted us like we'd been gone for months... and we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then took a nap. Now THAT'S the good life. The other is just a nice, momentary escape. Thank you Mr. Hunt for making it happen for me! Everyone needs an escape now and then.


Friday, September 5, 2008

The Military Rant Continues...

David was not allowed to build the temple because "of the blood on his hands". That was given to Solomon to do then. I chronicles 28:3 *Wink-Nod to Elaine*:-)
So.... the jury is still out. I am torn. I am completly clueless as to how we can maintain a free country without a military... we wouldn't have the freedom of religion that we value so much without it. And after all, isn't that WHY the Anabaptists came to America in the first place?
But there is still that pesky COMMANDMENT: THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

So maybe God is completely aware that there will ALWAYS be those ready to pick up a gun and go off to war? I mean, hasn't there always been? Perhaps as Christians, we should just follow the commandments. ... I still have not found an exclusion clause to war... accept that the "Thou Shall Not Kill," (Hebrew, I guess?), actually says "Thou Shall Not Murder." It is different from killing in war, for self defense, as a punishment, etc. Yahweh went right ahead and lead his servants into war after war! The Canaanites probably ran around saying, "But, but! your own Law says you shouldn't kill!??? *Wink-Nod to Dorothy* So, is this an exclusion to the commandment?
The big question is: Are we fighting a war FOR God? Obviously, WWII was needed to eliminate Hitler and save millions of Jews from obliviation. Hitler was obviously evil and murdering millions.
A sweet sister in Christ suggested to *Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasars*... and yes, we *follow the laws of the land*... this would extent into a draft. But, when the government clearly allows Christians & pacifists that option to serve elsewhere.... I'm not sure it's still ok.
I know its a kick in the ego for most young men to serve as a C. O. , but doesn't the Bible clearly state that we will be persecuted for our devotion?
There are many churches that preach politics. They practically rev-up the congregation and let them know what their Christian duty is regarding their vote and how to serve their country. We should focus on converting the heathen, the haters, and the mini-Hitlers of this world.
Obviously, there isn't a clear cut answer. But for me, I praise God that I will never have to serve in the Military, and thank him that someone is there to protect me from terrorists, to the best of their ability.
To conclude:
I love the Anabaptists because they are so far removed from this. It is left up to the individual and their conscience to decide how to be a good citizen. Voting and politics are rarely mentioned from the pulpit. Their prayers DO go up to our Nations Leaders. But they simply teach how we are to live according to Biblical standards on a day to day basis, and how to serve each other, and how to be a Godly example to our fellow man.
So I rest my case. I will not support war, but will pray for the soldiers, and do anything I can to help them, and comfort them as they protect the people in another country, and do what they are told to do to protect ours. I'll pray for our leaders in position NOW, and in the future. May God lead them, and give them wisdom. They will definately need it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Big Picture

Continuing my rant on politics and the confusion that abounds... I discussed this topic with some of my closest on-line friends.

Now, I don't know if killing while in the military is murder (breaking the commandment) or protecting the innocent. I prefer to think of it as the latter. Here is an example of a military serviceman helping escort a Jewish man to safety. He's PROTECTING him from harm.
David went to war and definately took lives, which was breaking the commandment. But he was considered a man after Gods own heart (wink-nod Janeta)...

I am still confused. But perhaps less so. Maybe the military is an extention of the police? They are the forces that protect the innocents?
From an Anabaptist perspective, I know this will not fly. I know most Anabaptists will not take a life no way, no how. At least they won't sign up and volunteer to. Many WOULD protect thier own wife and children. Killing would be the last option, but most, when pressed would not stand by and allow anyone to harm or molest their family. So is the military any different?
But from a BIBLICAL perspective, do you think it's correct? I'm not talking about patriotism, and being proud to be an American. That is a given! I am not so much partiotic, as I am humble and appreciative to have the freedom to worship how I choose. To have options...and as many children as I choose. But biblically, what is our responsibility?
How do we respond to threats as a nation, not just an individual? I understand turning the other cheek (That was a one-on-one situation)... but what about serving our country? Taking lives under military order?
Who will answer for the lives lost? Does God see the *big picture* and understand when we are trying to keep our country safe? I hope so... I truly do.
I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rocking The Amish Vote

First, let me say, this story isn't original. The credit and inspiration go to the original publisher. But I did find this story while researching the Anabaptists and statistics on voting.
You see, a number of Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish believe it is a sin to vote. They link this to biblical scriptures about being separate from this world...being a peculiar people, etc... But there is NOTHING in the Bible specifically against voting. (If you know something I don't know, please provide IN CONTEXT, Book, Chapter and verses pertaining to voting specifically).

I was surprised to find Obama with the Amish. I am not against him personally, nor am I against McCain. Between the two, I find Obama refreshing and a better orator, and more geared towards peace.
McCain has years of experience, but also seems so pro military that I fear a draft, and an even more intense presence in Iraq than we have ever seen. I just don't see an end to it.. Do you?? He seems like a sincere fellow though.
Personally, I am torn about politics in general and have only voted twice in my life. Once for Bush and then again four years later for Kerry, because I believed it was a vote against Bush. While he might have accomplished some good things in office, our health care system is in shambles, and the economy stinks. It may not all be his fault, but didn't Einstein say: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome?"...

So, while I DO believe we are not of this world, we are of Gods, and there should be distinct differences between what Christians do and what the world thinks is acceptable, I don't see where voting is a sin??? I can see where there would be a problem when those seeking office rally for votes THROUGH churches.... I certainly don't want politics preached at church. But if they are kept separate, why wouldn't it be our civic duty to participate just like we pay taxes?
I know a lot of Anabaptists who do vote. I know many who feel like it's an abomination. Yet, the Bible is silent about it. Those same people say God will put in power whoever He decides to. Then explain Hitler please??? God surely didn't place him in power... I have read articles on why Anabaptists shouldn't vote, and I'll admit they are well-written and make good points, but ultimately, where in the Bible does it say it's wrong?
Now, the hardest thing for me as a Christian to do is vote for either Obama or McCain. You see, regardless of who you choose, you have blood on your hands. Obama is pro-choice (including partial birth abortion) and McCain is determined to keep on course with Bush's politics in Iraq. Either way, lives are lost.
One thought on abortion: Christian families will always have the option to raise Godly families and chaste daughters. It's the innocent babies that need protection. But we can do more by offering options, and being proactive with Pregnany Centers than we can trying to eliminate abortion. It's been around for thousands of years. Spiritual education will go further to help our daughters than changing laws. Besides, your not eliminating an option, your just making it illegal. The option still exhists. Prostitution is legal in Nevada... should Christians participate? What's the difference?
So, I'm still torn between voting and not voting, and ripped to shreds over who the best candidate is. Like my cousin said: "I don't even have a dog in this hunt!"... Well, if I do vote, it may just be independant.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Generational Dispair

Lately, I have been scratching my head, wondering when America's values have vanished to? Why is it such a crime to be a stay at home mother? Why are Mothers walking around grocery store dressed as hookers, with children in tow? When did this become acceptable??? Why aren't modern day Mothers models for goodness?

Of course this is partly that I am over 40, and I'm sure every generation witnesses something they would consider *shocking* by the younger generation. At one time *bangs* seemed to be risque' to the mothers of daughters who were taking scissors to their foreheads. Those daughters went on the have girls that laughed at the horror of their Mums.

But that isn't the type of horror I'm facing, and I've been facing it my whole life: The *ME* syndrome. It goes something like this; "When do *I* get a break? When do *I* get to follow my dreams? *I'm* not happy in this relationship anymore. MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME. I see it in a male family member who won't apply himself to even WORK and he's over 50, and can work, just chooses not to.. .but lays around complaining and asking *why is this happening to ME?*... He just lost his house and wife... she isn't divorcing him, she just isn't going to support him in his self-absorbed misery.
Additionally I see my children struggle in their relationships. I feel like it's my fault, and I know Scott feels responsible too. We know that out of 5 children, if some of them fail in marraige, it's because we didn't teach them follow-through and endurance at an early age. They may get it right later on in life (We've done our best to be honest about our shortcomings and failures), but it is agonizing to watch them struggle. But God knows our heart... if only those who I pray fervently for would TRY to please God above themselves, they would have a fighting chance. But it's hard when generations before you have failed many times over. I don't blame them. I blame me.

I am guilty of this. When I was young, divorced. I had been properly trained to do so by my parents who divorced when I was 10, and they were also trained by my grandparents who were both divorced on both sides. I'm seeing a trend here, are you?
I can honestly say that when I was young, I didn't have the skills that spelled: ENDURANCE, because I had never witnessed in my own youth by my own parents. It's like a generational curse.

As I look at family and friends who are also saying what I said (some young, some have NO excuse), I hear the old familiar voice of the devil whispering: *Your unhappy, you deserve a different set of circumstances, walk away and it will make you happy, you made the wrong choice* on and so forth. It makes me almost sick. Families are disintegrating NOW at an alarming rate. When I was a child, my dysfunctional brood was the exception. Now we would be considered normal.

How did Satan steal our desire to BE a family? Is it because our country is so over-stimulated, over-fed, and self-absorbed that we no longer think we might need to sacrifice our own *happiness* (whatever that is), for our children?

I know in my early 20's, I didn't have any follow-through, or perseverance. I had never witnessed a marriage that lasted THROUGH perseverance in my childhood, so I lacked the ability to reason it through. If I HAD have seen my parents work through their issues and not just walk away, I wonder if that would have enabled me to keep pushing on?

The beauty of becoming a new Creation in Christ is; You get a second chance to learn how to do things right. If Christians would stop engaging in self-gratifying entertainment and go back to working together as a family (*Yes, I am speaking about video games, concerts, etc), and teaching children CONTENTMENT, we could actually produce a new generation of contented adults. This isn't revolutionary thinking, it's biblical. That's not to say that every source of media & electoronic entertainment is sinful, but over-indulgence in any entertainment is not healthy, physically, mentally, and most important: SPIRITUALLY.

I have many regrets, but also many joys. My children are forgiving and embracing. Our lives have been mended and we are all close. My ex-husband and I are even kind to each other. My new husband and I are happy and yes, even content, and when the going gets tough, the tough get on their knees and display humility and ask God to govern their marriage. We have learned through the horrible pain of regret to hang on, plough through, and count our blessings.

But I am perplexed. How do we pass this on to our youth??? How do we teach people who are discontented to become humble and appreciative, when they do not have the hindsight we do? How do we teach Mothers and Fathers to be self-less?

I sometimes think an Economic Depression would be good in the long run, because we would get off our high horses and learn, one way or the other how to appreciate the simplicity of family, the joy of unity, and stop looking for self-gratification. No more going to the movies on a whim, no new videos, no cable,... Just good old fashioned board games, family singings, home gardens, and hard work that teaches everyone to appreciate everything they have and the value of family.

Let me know what you think?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Perhaps it's the Irish in me? But I have a ferocious temper. I'm not proud of it, and it has gotten me in plenty of trouble in the past...but BLESS GOD I'm going to learn to keep it in check!
Everyday, I start my day with prayer. It's not terribly formal, and sometimes, I am getting ready for work as I ask God to order my steps, and guard my tongue.
My day always starts out good...with good intentions.. But eventually, I am challenged to be kind to someone. Usually that person is having a bad day. It's usually one of my customers. 90% of them are very nice and a pleasure to do business with. But give the other 10% a full moon and a little too much caffeine and they are *spring loaded* and ready to fire off. I don't take it personally, because if they actually KNEW me, they would know I am a kind person and only doing my job. But this is where the rub is.
Everyone has a place where the rubber meets the road. It may be that we snap at grocery clerks, or people on the road. We may be sharp with our children or husband, but sweet as pie to the ladies at church.... I'm sure these aren't BAD people who cut us off on the road or bad children that try our patience. They are normal people in a bad moment.
So I summon all my patience and remember my Mothers words: "Pretty Is As Pretty Does"... I think Forrest Gump said it too, but my Mom beat him to it. It never made sense to me until I realized how ugly people are when they are angry. Am *I* that ugly when I am mad?? Probably uglier. My husband says; "Jealousy and Anger are ill-fitting suits for me"... can you tell I have a lot of people giving me their advice? Well, I believe God gives us all strength to overcome our weaknesses. I am not so angry anymore... I let a lot of stuff go. I pick my battles, and I try not to *react* to other peoples frustration. I also try to look for opportunities to turn bad situations around. But sometimes I fail... and I am face to face with that wicked looking woman in the mirror.
Luckily, I am an optimist by nature. It doesn't take much for me to pick myself up, and dust myself off and start off on the good foot again.
What are your weaknesses? What do you work at daily? What challenges you to your very core every day? Do you choose your attitude, or are you ruled by emotion? You can have victory over your tongue, moods, and attitudes. Just ask.... God is there to help. It may not happen all at once, but if He is the potter and you are the clay, ... God can mold you into a positive, kind, and caring person, even if the person in the mirror doesn't resemble any of those things on some days.
So keep in mind:
If *Pretty Is As Pretty Does*, remember: beauty is only skin deep. Ugly (behavior) goes all the way to your toenails.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Spoodle To Call My Own

I am REALLY missing Muttley.
I did better than anyone (including myself) ever expected when she died in May. I am fairly sure there was enough drama going on at the time that it minimized the impact.
My step-brother had committed suicide a couple of months before that... his mother when into the hospital for depression, and 2 weeks after that, my best friend goes into rehab... Muttley dies, and 4 days later my Aunt Terry dies unexpectedly. It's all kind of a blur to me now. But time heals all and I am ready to love again.:-)
So I have been scouring the papers and looking online for a *Spoodle-like* (Cock-A-Poo) female dog. I put an ad on Craigs List and apparently there are many unwanted MALE spoodles, but few females. Oh, I could go and dish out $400.00 and BUY a dog, but that's not my style. I want to rescue one, and yes, I will pay for all the shots, and to spay her, but I don't believe in dropping hundreds of dollars for a DOG, when they euthanize hundreds, maybe thousands daily in shelters across the US.
I have received numerous e-mails and phone calls begging me to take a male... but the problem is: I have a male Rottweiler. He's hyper-alpha-male too. So why torture the new guy?? Hutch (the rot) won't hurt him, but he WILL spend the rest of his days policing the little spoodles every move... because that's what alpha-male-rottweilers DO! We are very good pet owners and very pro-active and responsible. Part of this responsibility is to realize our own limitations. Another male dog isn't a good option for the dog. We would welcome it, but Hutch won't.
I have received numerous pleas from well-meaning people to adopt; Males, special needs puppies, older females, and other breeds. This is my point: SPAY AND NEUTER!! Regardless of how many dogs of every description there are that need homes, I still want what I want. I am SORRY the ugly, old, or sickly dogs get taken last, but I am not a one-woman-charity. Ya know?? I looked on the euthanasia sites, (because of the numerous guilt-ridden e-mails begging me to) but didn't see the cute, fluffy, female-furball I am dreaming of. I saw dogs that had heads like German Sheppard's, and bodies like Jack Russell Terriers. No thanks.
I do know that people are just trying to help. I don't doubt that. But placing a special needs dog with someone who doesn't have the time to address the special needs isn't a very responsible decision. Putting a male in my home with Hutch isn't either.
AND- While I am NOT promoting Euthanasia, we need to remember: it beats starvation. I don't LIKE it, I don't encourage it, but I don't like seeing animals tortured either. That's what starvation is. Irresponsible pet owners should be fined out the wazoo for not spay and neutering their animals. To counteract euthanasia, encourage responsibility... fine the daylights out of the irresponsible. Better yet; JAIL TIME! Put them to work doing community service the first offence and any after that will warrant a stay at the crossbar hotel!
I don't have answers...Ok.. maybe one or two.. In the meantime I'm still looking for a FEMALE, PUPPY, under 25 lbs,... no exceptions. No special needs older dogs, no males.
And make mine fluffy please.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Acts Of Kindness

*RAK*, or Ransom Acts Of Kindness. Think about it... let it soak in... now go do something nice for someone just because you can.
Think of it as *Paying It Forward*, or jerking a knot in Kharma's tail.
I know what your thinking: Kelly's been hugging too many trees. Not at all... I am just weary of *attitude* and obliviousness.
Once again, on my way to work today, there is a woman in a nice sedan talking on her cell phone, in the FAST LANE, doing about 61 MPH, and oblivious to the 9 cars who cannot safely pass behind her. I needed to exit, so I take a chance and pass on the right... It took ALL my self control to not make a face, roar by, hit my bright lights 19 times.... and instead, I said a prayer for her. This was not easy. I am not very *saintly* in traffic. But she's completely consumed with her conversation and not the least with anyone elses saftey. She needs that kindness. Yes, I am aware that my little prayer isn't a monumental feat.... I am not feeding the hungry or dipensing medical supplies to in Ethiopia.. It's just a prayer. But that's my point; It's a place to start. It's something we can ALL do. Can't we???
Moving forward:
Later in the day I face the same problem I face everyday: Our office bathroom. I stroll into the ladies room and I'm met with a ferocious odor. Ok,. I know that every skunk knows it's own hole, but I am dumbfounded that grown women either do not KNOW about a *courtesy flush* or are, once again; oblivoius to everyone else around them and do not care if others suffer.
So, my solution?? OZIUM!! It's an air sanitizer found at most Wal-Marts, & Targets. It's pricey; About $5.00 for a small thin canaster, but boy is it worth it! It's slim container fits snugly in my purse, (it's about 5" tall) and doesn't mask the odor, it eliminates it with ease. It takes only one or two spritzes in the air to reduce the worst odors and replace them with a lovely vanilla, or new car scent. (Hey it beats the alternative)
That isn't much... a prayer and a spritz... but its a start. At least I didn't rage at either situation. I just took it upon myself to be proactive. See, these are common situations that I can easily anticipate and act kindly towards. I know every morning that someone will be hogging the fast lane, so I allow for extra time, and offer up a little prayer. I know in advance that there are women who are not the least bit offended by their own stench, and apparently are quite proud of it, so I am prepared to be kind enough to assist with my handy can of Ozium. It's a RAK. It's turning a negative into a positive.
But with that said; Isn't it amazing that women do this? Having a housefull of boys, this isn't a new situation... I always thought it was just a boy-thing.. or perhaps just a male-thing... I always think of women as naturally more sweet-smelling in general, and more *conscience* of the issue. Again; what happened to a good old fashioned courtesy flush???
What I have a bigger problem with is applying the RAK theory to unexpected situations. A co-worker who is ugly to me, or a customer who is unkind. Rude people on the street, mean teenagers, a neighbor with a sour attitude, or a mean streak? The list could go on for quite a while, but I think you get the picture... Everyone have encounters with challenging personalites and situations.
I guess the bottom line is: Do I pay them back with equally ugly behavior? What am I SUPPOSED to do? The Bible says I am to pray for my enemies and repay unkindness with kindness. The Bible is loaded with RAK theories, and was Pro-RAK before we ever gave it a name. More than that; we are actually be non-resistant and offer up the opportunity to slap us one more time. (just a reminder of how far we need to go to be gracious)
So, get started today. Blow the dust off the bible on your nightstand and start reading it in a whole new light. Look for ways to bless those who don't deserve it... you may just lower your blood pressure and bless yourself in the process. Until then, I'm praying for you:-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quiver Full Mania: Is It For Everyone?

First, before all the QF Mothers gang up on me, let me say this: I believe any baby conceived is a blessing. I love children and have a large clan myself. But I didn't birth them all.

Lately, the question has come up about the *Quiver Full Movement*

Please see:

While procreation is as old NEARLY as Adam, the Quiver Full Movement by name is relatively new. It is sort of a backlash against feminism.

Am I Quiver Full minded? Lets just say; I think we all have to follow our convictions and not try to BE every one's Holy Spirit. There is NOTHING wrong with a large family. The Duggar's from Arkansas have captured the nation's attention and affection.

But, they are resourceful, organized, and the husband CAN provide for his family.

I'll admit; I had a very unsavory experience on a Yahoo-Group that was QF-Minded. That wasn't the focal point of the group, but more of a peripheral subject that I don't take exception to. The groups focus was to encourage Titus 2 women. I was doing fine on the group until I mentioned that I have 5 children, and I was knocking on 40. The question came up: "Aren't you going to have anymore???"... I told them NO, that I had my tubes tied when I was 21...

The next thing I know, I am BLASTED on and offlist with e-mails about how I can reverse my tubal (Hey, thanks for asking my husband FIRST), and how many women have babies over 40.
I was sent the *Blessed Arrows* site : with no one bothering to ask me if my infembriated ends of my fallopian tubes were still in tact? The answer to all those who weren't listening: No... they are burned. It is not reversible.

Additionally, my husband doesn't want any more children. If God, who opens and closes the womb wanted me to genuinely have more children, couldn't He just MAKE it happen? I mean, women who have tubal ligation's still get pregnant all the time!

Then there was the guilt: Heaps and heaps of it. "You are in sin,,, ,you must restore your body to it's former glory...on and on it went.. no one listening, no one caring if this choice was something we were genuinely convicted about.
You know, you get more flies with honey.

So, I support all my QF friends. No, we never had anymore children, but our Quiver is quite full. We also have 6 grandchildren and counting.

I totally understand the QF mindset. I think there are exceptions: Health, mental stability or the lack thereof, disease, and yes, if you have 10 that you CAN'T FEED...holy mole, ABSTAIN, until you can get your finances under control and feed the ones you DO have.
This whole; God will provide thing is true if you do YOUR part. I know a QF mom of 12 who works from home. I know another QF family who live below their means. They have 13 children in a 900 square foot house. They are saving for an addition, or other home. Children sleep on sofa's and bunk beds. Little ones family bed.

Am I against this? Not at all. Let me tell you what I am FOR: Good Stewardship... In order to have a family one MUST provide and not be so foolish as to think God will just shower provisions on them regardless. I believe God helps those who help themselves. Most well-managed QF families work as a team. Children help in family businesses as soon as they are able to help on some level.

I didn't understand all this as a young person. How could I? I didn't even have a relationship with Christ. One thing at a time.

So no, I am not against The QF Movement. I am all for well-planned families produced by people who can feed and clothe every baby they produce for a minimum of 18 years.

What I am against is: the QF Fanatical, Obsessing, Judgemental mothers who forget that not all of us come to the same understandings at the same time and some, simply do not have the organizational skills, or mental and emotional capacity to DEAL with 12 or more children. Harassing women into believing this isn't Christ-like. Praying for them is. If one person had stopped e-mailing me, and started praying, who knows? Maybe my husband would have been convicted to at least adopt? Maybe that isn't what we, as a family are supposed to do at all?

Maybe I'll wind up helping raise my grandchildren? Trying to back-track into God's Good Graces is ridiculous and nullifies Christs sacrifice... it makes it rather pointless. If the slate isn't wiped clean, ... if I all my sins aren't washed away... A song rings through my thoughts: What can wash away my sin??? Nothing but the blood of Jesus...What can make me whole again?.....NOTHING but the blood of Jesus...

By the way, I did a Google search about *Quivers* (the actually carrying case for ancient arrows)... while there were a few that held up to 30 or more, the average carried 6.

All those over-zealous women who make it their business to tell everyone else what to do and how to do it... can you just hold up a minute and just worry about yourself? Shouldn't your life speak for itself? You live your life the way YOUR convicted and answer questions as they are asked. Be happy and content in the way your following your convictions.

And remember: There are mothers of 1 disabled child that are doing all they can do to meet the needs of their precious offspring. There are Mothers who can't bear many children for physical reasons, or health issues. Sadly, I have heard people say that shouldn't stop them. Walk a mile in their moccasins please. There are emotionally disturbed (Think Andrea Yates) women who are probably not in the Will Of God and have no business bearing more children until they are stable themselves...

Some people simply have harder choices, and while you may be totally convinced to be QF, and following though to the *nth* degree... maybe your not following other convictions that another woman who isn't so QF minded is. ???

All human life is valuable, and precious. But if God will provide, why isn't He providing in Africa? India? Even here in the states? People can't feed their children. Help me here... I am struggling for an answer and don't you dare say they don't have enough faith. Pioneer mothers 100 years ago had plenty of faith. This is just one of those peripheral issues that BOTH a husband and wife must be in agreement with or you ARE out of the will of God.

Sidenote: I am not advocating birth control. That is a personal decision. I am advocating self control.:-)

So, here's my suggestion to everyone who stumbles upon this blog and those who read it regularly: Be kind to each other. Pray for each other. Love each other.
Don't judge, be content in your own conviction.

Those aren't my rules.