Thursday, July 31, 2008

Christmas In July

Christmas will be here before you know it. Go ahead and laugh, but they already have Halloween decorations for sale in the stores. They have been there since mid-July.

SO, all my frugal readers... Part of being able to have a GOOD Christmas is having it taken care of ahead of time. Start a little savings account. Break out the knitting needles.... acrylic paints, whatever your craft of choice and lets get a jump on this thing!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting some ideas for inexpensive and creative Christmas gifts to work on now, in the heat of summer. You'll thank me come January 1st.

So here is the first suggestion:

The Ozarks Mountaineer. You don't have to live in the Ozarks to appreciate the homespun stories, pictures, and history. Just have a little *mountaineer* in ya. Mom, Dad, Husbands, Wives, Grandparents, and neighbors will be delighted. This appeals to the folksy type of person (a.k.a.:ME) and those who love history and a good story. They even have a *Mountaineer Hunt* where they have cleverly placed a picture of a Mountaineer somewhere in the pages. It's a hoot.

This was the Christmas issue... the picture below is *Christ Of The Ozarks*. For those who have never been to The Ozarks; it is beautiful! The Mountaineer isn't full of touristy stuff, but has a decent balance. It will make you want to visit for sure.

Here's a link for subscriptions:
You can browse around and get a feel for it.

Here's a little history on the magazine:

The first edition of the Ozarks Mountaineer was published in March 1952 and from that point on was dedicated to perserving the history and folklore of the Ozarks region.

The magazine was founded and run for 15 years by native Ozarkians Roscoe and Velma Stewart. This husband and wife team worked hard at the day to day chores of running the magazine.While Velma Stewart admitted that she didn't have the vision for the Mountaineer that her husband did, she worked with him to make it a success.

In 1967, they handed the reins of the magazine over to another husband and wife team, Clay M. and Shirley Anderson.This couple brought the magazine through its first quarter century and well into its second. Indeed, Clay Anderson was still owner and editor at the time of his death in October of 1993.

Over the years, the magazine gained a wide variety of contributors and readers. Some well-known contributors were M.E. Oliver, Townsend Godsey, Jimmy Driftwood and Mary Kennedy McCord.A well-known reader who later became a contributor was Vance Randolph, who was made famous by his books about Ozark life.
(From the Ralph Foster Archive)

And... to put you in the mood:

Christmas Time's A-Comin'
Christmas Time's A-Comin'
Christmas Time's A-Comin'
And I know I'm goin' home.

Snow flake's a-fallin'
My old heart's a-callin'
Tall pine's a-hummin'
Christmas Time's A-Comin'.

Can't you hear them bells ringin', ringin'
Joy, don'tcha hear them singin'
When it's snowin',
I'll be goin' Back to my country home.

White candle's burnin'
My old heart's a-yearnin'
For the folks at home when
Christmas Time's A-Comin'.

Can't you hear them bells ringin',
ringin' Joy, don'tcha hear them singin'
When it's snowin',
I'll be goin' Back to my country home.

Holly's in the window
Home where the wind blows
The cane foam's a-runnin'
Christmas Time's A-Comin'.

Now that you have that little tune in your head- get busy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Liberals Versus Conservatives

Here's the problem as I see it: The Liberal Mennonites still see themselves as genuine Mennonites with the same heritage and love for their Anabaptist History as the Conservative Mennonites. Unfortunately, the sentiment is not returned.

I am always curious what determines WHO is Anabaptist and who isn't?

I have blogged about this subject before, but as I step back and take a broader look at the subject, I can clearly see issues that are not biblical with both groups. The liberals have women pastors, and do not teach modesty, or the headcovering BUT, they do tend to encourage a *personal relationship with Christ*, and have youth groups, camps, and things that I found very empowering and edifying when I was a member.
The Conservative groups tend to make rules *for every ones benefit* but aren't Biblical. They are assumed. Of course no one is forcing them to attend this church and that is usually the response you get when the subject is questioned.

Speaking for myself, I lean towards the Conservative Mennonites and their practices. I found myself being the outcast, the oddball in a group of Liberal Mennonites who thought I was being *legalistic* for wearing my headcovering, but yet accepted me as Divorced and Remarried... The didn't practice modesty, yet had a wonderful fellowship and love for each other, and demonstrated the Love of Christ in their daily lives.

I know many GOOD, GOOD Mennonites who are not Conservative in the traditional sense, but are absolutely conservative by worldly standards. They live out the Love of Christ in their love for mankind. It is apparent in their behavior, not their clothing that they are followers of Christ.

I also know very good, GODLY Conservative Mennonites, but they seem to be so focused on rules, obedience, and modesty to such an extreme degree that they are hard to relate to. Reasonable modesty is rejected as selling out and being *in rebellion*.
Anyone who is indifferent to what they consider offences are obviously blinded by the world.

So this begs the question: Is one wrong and one right? Is it not possible that there are fanatical conservatives who have lost the big picture, and are so hung up on every little rule that they forget about loving everyone? Is it not possible that there are Liberals who take their liberties too far and push the envelope to the point that they are unbiblical?
Isn't it entirely possible that there are good SAVED people in both groups and that perhaps it takes a heart to please God (obedience) and a Covenant Relationship with God through his Son Jesus to make a whole Christian?

Is it possible?
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another... 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law...25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:13-25)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Being A HelpMeet; Challeges & Rewards

I have never found anything as gratifying and frustrating as marriage.
Here you are, committed until death with a man who at one time you were SO in love with that you never noticed his shortcomings.

But give it a few years and that same persons habits can be like nails on a chalkboard. Not to worry; you annoy him even more. :-) So how do you get past the trials, tribulation, and dirty socks? (Not to mention; kitchen messes, dirt tract in on your clean floor, and a hundred uncompleted *projects*?) EASY; Look in the mirror. Stop pointing fingers and start thanking God for all the wonderful things he DOES do! What comes around goes around. Don't you want him to do the same for you? Well, lead by example girl!
The Bible says we are to be our husbands *helpmeet*. The word itself signifies that we are a team-mate, companion, a navigator, a confidant. We are someone they can trust to open their hearts to.

Here's a couple of good web-sites for the helpmeet impaired:
The Helpmeets Helper
A Helpmeet For Him
Literal Definition:
The Hebrew meaning of the phrase "help meet" in the Word of God is simply "one who helps." The Bible teaches that it is the wife's duty to HELP her husband.
You may not agree with that, but it is God's plan. Many women have simply sold-out to the ungodly influences of the feminist movement and refuse to accept any such teaching. While I'm happy that women get equal acknowledgement in the work force, and the vote, and the ability to own property, I think we threw the baby out with the bathwater when we thought we could work, raise children and basically could do without a man for all practical purposes.
If your marriage is suffering, the healing starts with you. Your humility and determination to be the best you can be for your husband will do two things: It puts you in the will of God, and also reflects the genuine love of Christ. It is a selfless love. It is humble, and it seeks no reward or pat on the back.
"But my husband is awful, worldly, doesn't understand me, (fill-in-the blank). I highly recommend that you go back to your early days, before you married, had children, and the finances weren't a wreck, and imagine your husband, in a field of golden hay. That is ALL that is there. No house, no children, no debt, no arguments. What did you see in him then? It's still there. You need to re-evaluate why you married him and stop worrying about things that will pass in time: Teething babies, Mother-in-Law woes, bills, and all those annoying habits he has.
Love him *warts & all*. Jesus loves you that way too.
Have you ever known someone who just hates their job and complains about their boss endlessly? Yes, there are bad bosses... but think how much better their job would be if the put that effort into being a better employee and going above and beyond what needed to be done, than cry about how awful their boss is? A good employee anticipates what needs to be done and doesn't give her employer a chance to be dissapointed in them.
Can you compare this to a tired marraige?
Wouldn't it be benefitial to put your efforts into improving yourself verses nagging and complaining, or worse; blaming your husband? Of course he has his faults. But by polishing your skills, your setting an example, and trust me, if rubs off. Maybe not immediately, so don't get discouraged, but it genuinely does.
Work on communicating in a way that doesn't put him on the defensive. Own your feelings and words. Avoid comments like; "You never, You always, etc..." Try avoiding the word "YOU" altogether. Instead say: "I would appreciate____________. I like it when____________."
Be positive. Don't threaten the relationship under any circumstances. Im outta here!" Is a threat. You married for better or worst, til death do you part. Take *threats* out of your option list.
Evaluate your responsibilities:

Do you have *his and her* chores? Jump at the challenge of helping him mow the lawn, weed-eat or take out the trash. Try to anticipate his needs. Learn how men think, and communicate.
Created To Be His Helpmeet
Men are simple, yet complex. They are wired differently (mentally) than women, and understanding how you can compliment him in all that you do is key to you BOTH being happy.
Now, I have put a lot of pressure on women to do a lot of work in the relationship. Aren't we going to anyway? Why not work smart- Not hard???
Be your husbands best friend... the one he can depend on... his partner. Are we equal? No, I believe we are unique. Different... and have different roles. Both are equally important.
Be blessed to be your husbands choice above all others.
Be your husbands helpmeet. Help him meet all the challenges he faces and by your shining example, he will be inspired to meet yours.
The rewards of a long and fruitful marraige are immeasurable. Not only for yourself and husband, but think of the seeds of determination you are planting in your own children. What a precious gift that if nurtured, can go on for generations.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wal Mart & Muffintops (Stop The Insanity)

I am endlessly amazed at the Wal-Mart Freak Parade. Is it JUST the Burleson Wal-Mart, or is this a nationwide pandemic? I have been to many Wal-Marts, in various cities and states, but the Burleson Wal-Mart takes the cake, (or muffin), by a country mile, pun intended.

By sheer volume, it is the most disgusting display of belly-buttons, bad ink, offensive t-shirts, and gives a new meaning to *proud flesh*.
I am sure each generation has something to mark their existence, to separate them from the previous one. Baby Boomers, Gen-Xr's, etc all have trademarks. I am not as much offended by the flesh as I am the ugliness of it. I am aware that modesty is a virtue, but lets face it; a trip to any public place will put any Christian face-to-face with worldly values, or the lack thereof. We can't expect people who don't know Christ to embrace our values.

But, is it too much to ask that the skin shown is at least lean and tone? I'm a little overweight, and with age comes gravity, and sadly, I have a better body than most of the overweight 20 year olds I see.

When did obesity become attractive???
Now, I believe there are a lot of obese people with beautiful personalities, AND tan fat is definitely more attractive than pale, white fat... I know I shouldn't care... BUT, why is this being tolerated??? Even more confusing; Why is this being embraced?
I was standing in line waiting to check out, and I see a muffin-top with a tramp-stamp in front of me. I was scrambling to get my camera phone turned on because I wanted to prove to the world, the uniqueness of the Burleson Wal-Mart once and for all, when in walks a woman who looked like the Johnson County version of Brittney Spears. She was sporting a fedora, and was easily 6 ft tall in her ankle strap stiletto's. She wore a black halter top, that was modest in comparison to her gauze-thin white skirt that generously displayed her black t-back thong and all of her behind. Clearly, she was between shifts at the Cabaret.

In all of my confusion, I never did get a picture. I had to *Google*; Muffintop to get the picture on this post. But it is pretty dern close to what I see every week as I try to shop for laundry detergent, strawberries, and pop-tarts... along with hundreds of other Mothers, Fathers, and their children. Will I live to see a day when simply band aides over our naughty bits will suffice? When will store-owners step in and ask people to dress decently?
Honestly, we are becoming so desynthesized that nudity no longer shocks anyone. At one time, nudity was reserved for burlesque theatres. The general public, including small children where not victimized by others lack of self-respect or need for attention.
If Wal-Mart were a nightclub, where minors where not allowed, I could see where a dress code wouldn't need to be enforced. All that separates Wal-Mart from some of the seediest clubs I can imagine is a liquor license and a DJ...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Stop Laughing, It's Not Funny!

In all fairness to my cat *Porch*, he had very little say in the event and was good natured enough to go along with it....and continued to sit there on the couch, in baby clothes, for two hours.
To the right is a stuffed cat in a dress beside him. He bit me when I tried to take it away or take the clothes off him.
And people say I have issues. :-)
Have a great weekend! Laugh, Live, Love....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

You Know Your In A Cult When:

The question has arose many times within my circle of friends about the Texas FLDS Cult and how do you KNOW when your in a CULT?

I have seen many vague answers and wish to pass on the valuable information I found from a group called: Let Us Reason:

They have a whole plethora of information, but in a nutshell, this could apply to ANY of us, in a church, or even in a internet chat group. These are just some signs to look for. Here is the web address if you would like to bookmark it:

While most conservative churches of Christian denominations are full of good people, it only takes one crazy leader and a batch of kool-aid to turn the whole thing into a disaster. Cults ruin lives and keep people FROM Jesus, rather than KNOWING Jesus. It may not be you that is in a could be a family member or friend. Or, someone who is just being controlled by an individual, telling them lies, and trying to persuade them into cult-like activity to keep their own ego inflated from the unknowing individuals allegiance to them. Sound familiar? Read on:


Are you told not to question what is being taught because the leaders are honest and want the best for you so you must trust them. Has someone replaced your own choices in life.

Are you told not to ask questions why anyone left, your to accept the answers the leaders give you such as: they fell into sin, they didn’t receive correction, they weren’t open or they had a bad heart and didn’t want to be disciples...

Are you told that you must be with their certain church or group to be saved and not by Jesus Christ.

If you want to leave are you being told their is no other church that practices truth, you will go to hell.

Are you made to feel your failures, that your performance is not up to par for the bibles standard
Are you being rebuked for things such as the way you say hello or how you respond to being asked to do something for a leader or disciple. Do they tell you its a matter of the heart how one complies.

Are they putting down other church’s and building themselves up. Do they sometimes use people as examples of what you are to be doing and others on what you are not to be doing.
Do they bring attention to what they do, and ignoring others that may be doing the same things outside their church.

Do they put down others to make themselves look better, calling themselves righteous and others unrighteous.

Do they call those who leave fall away’s and enemies, dogs returning to their own vomit, using the examples of Korah or Judas.

Do they stop you from reading anything negative about themselves calling it spiritual pornography or recommend you not to read it for your own spiritual protection.

Do they recommend for you to be around their people expecting you to be at all the group activities. If not you're spirituality and dedication are questioned.

Do they defend all that they do even though it can be harmful or wrong.

Do they operate by humility or are they arrogant and demand you to obey if you are considering otherwise??

Or is it done subtly by manipulating you into obeying by statements such as, real Christians obey their leaders or if you were following Jesus you would see what I’m saying is right. true disciples did not question Jesus. (???)

Theses are just some of the signs of a Cult Leader. Please see the website for more details. If you know someone who is in a cult, reach out to them gently, as they can become defensive. Pray for them and having a willing heart to help them if and when they reach out. Never ridicule.

We witness the women and men of the FLDS who do not see ANYTHING wrong with the way they live, and many small groups of polygamists defending their faith,,, we have to remind ourselves that they are delusional. They have accepted a lie from Satan. It is a Satanic Brainwashing that is keeping them from walking in Grace and Faith with Christ.
Be their defender, and pray for the Cult Leaders as well. No one is more brainwashed than the one in charge of the lies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

By Invitation Only :-)

I just needed an excuse to post this picture. Everyone needs a sense of humor.

While I am on a roll, let me mention there are a many great *Yahoo Groups* that are oriented to the Anabaptists.

You can search under *Anabaptist, but I can't condone every group. So let me suggest a few groups to search for if your looking to expand your knowlede of Anabaptist doctrine, or simply ask a few questions.

Copy and paste these in your Yahoo-Groups Search Engine, or click on the links:


Anabaptist_Seekers Conservative_Anabaptists HeadcoveringChristians headcovering & earlychristianstoday and additionally:GodsAbundantBlessings ... There are others, but I caution you that some who claim to be Mennonite, or Anabaptist are not a true representation of what you will find in an actual church. Keep that in mind. Most are converts (I am) but I admit it up front and don't claim to have all the answers. I'm still in the *seeker* catagory, even though it's been years, because there is such disagreement over doctrine within the Anabaptist Churches.

You can do a Yahoo search under *Amish & Mennonite* and find additional groups.

I am moderator on *Headcovering, & Open Amish & Mennonite.

On the other lists, I can say whole heartedly that the Moderators are great Christians, and you will be welcome to ask questions and learn as you seek.

Go on now... run along and go check out these groups. But before you go, set the picture as your screensaver on the PC. You know you want to:-)