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.
Friday, December 26, 2008
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.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Twelve yellow roses
ten gallon hats
nine cowboy boots
five chili beans
four oil wells
three pickup trucks
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 Night...lol.
Monday, December 15, 2008
(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.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
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
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.
THAT IS THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!
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
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.
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.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
People have VERY strong opinions about who they and everyone else should vote for.
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.
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
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???
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.
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.
Good leaders are humble and open, and not easily offended.
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
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
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
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
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!)
Friday, September 19, 2008
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
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
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
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!
Friday, September 5, 2008
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?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
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.
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?
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
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?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
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 corsets...to 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*...so 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
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Lately, the question has come up about the *Quiver Full Movement*
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 : http://www.blessedarrows.org/ 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.