Friday, December 23, 2011

I Got My First Christmas Present

This is not my Christmas tree, although that would be really neat :) This is a photo taken at the Heritage Hotel during our girls-shorter-than- usual-birthday-weekend-outing. And yes, the photo was taken by a random person that we scout out and ask to do so. (And did I mention the tour of the famous men's bathroom in the hotel?) Back to the post......I love Christmas and I am so ready for it this year. I just had to type those words as that is not always the case as am usually running around but I am ready and even having guests tonight for dinner just because I actually have the time (ok, the prednisone is keeping me pumped up, too but that is another story.) Again...back to the post....I already received my first Christmas present. Wednesday at the doctor's office, after a cystoscopy (where they put a camera (yep, a camera about the size you see at Professional Photography Studios ha) up your you know what and it hurts like, well, I can't think of words to describe that right now, but it's painful. Anyhow, there were NO tumors in the bladder this year which means no surgery. Thank you Jesus! The no-tumor gift this year was just what I needed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Anna

I can't believe it has been 27 years ago since my belly looked like Anna's in this picture :) Yep, 27 years ago I gave birth to one of the best joys of my life. Looking back (the old days), we didn't even know if we were having a boy or girl. When the doctor said, "It's a girl", we instantly bonded and she has been our pride and joy since. Such fun she has been (despite little bit of melancholy she got from her dad :) Did I mention she got her brains from me? Time really does fly by so fast...The thought that she is having a baby girl of her own seems unreal. I am so thankful for Anna's creativity, her style (she keeps me on my toes), her service to her Savior, her beautiful home, her Christian marriage (God bless Chase), her perfection (although that can get her into trouble sometimes), her advice, her help. The list could go on as we have so many great memories. Anna, you've been a great daughter and now I will be a great momma.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just Call Me Tia Karena

Here's the new addition to our Ecuador Family. Yes, my dear friend Sarah had her baby while we were there and she named him one of our favorite names....Caleb. Can you believe it? She had him on Wednesday morning and came home that night! I had the parasite night before, so I think we both look pretty good considering 24 hours ago she had a baby and about 12 hours ago I was in about that much pain, too. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Disappointment with God by P.Yancey

For this month's book review, Philip Yancey tackles three questions no one asks aloud: Is God unfair? Is God silent? Is God hidden? He uses the book of Job in first part of book that sets out to prove the faithfulness and love of God. "Job gained a faith that can never be shaken because it came out of having been shaken."
Using a friend named "Douglas" (a modern day Job), Mr. Yancey asked him, "What have you learned that might help someone else going through a difficult time?" "I learned first...not to confuse God with life. We tend to think life should be fair because God is fair. But God is not life. And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life ---by expecting constant good health, for example---then I set myself up for a crushing disappointment."
"Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse."
"God is like a person who clears his throat while hiding and so gives himself away." (By Meister Eckhardt)
I love the next to last chapter entitled, "Why Job Died Happy".
Another great quote: "I had far rather walk, as I do, in daily terror of eternity, than feel that this was only a children's game in which all the contestants would get equally worthless prizes at the end. (By T.S. Eliot)
Another great book that challenges and convicts! Ok, the York Peppermint Patty has nothing to do with the book, but was just a reminder of the lesson learned about the power of chocolate and mint ..... I mean the power of prayer and God's word.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Missing My Momma

You know what I love about a blog? It helps you organize your thoughts onto paper. There are some days that I miss my momma so bad. I heard a great analogy ...The saying of "time heals" that makes it sound like if you a put a bandaid on it, it will be all ok. This sorrow is not as small as a cut or tear. It is like part of you was amputated. You don't get over it, you just get used to the new kind of normal. You just get used to missing that arm or leg or in this case, your momma.
I miss my momma on days especially when I am sick. She was a great comforter.
I miss my momma on days I wish I could tell her about Anna and the baby (she could help sew which I desperately need help with.)
I miss my momma on days I can't remember what her voice sounded like.
I miss my momma when it comes to a heavy burden to share.
I miss my momma's laughter (and even some of her scolding). (That's weird)
I miss my momma when I think about her prayers (she always got God's attention).

The list could go on.. But the purpose is not to cry over what I miss about her (although I do that), it is simply to remember why I loved her so much.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

When God Doesn't Make Sense by James Dobson

Quotes from the book:
If you think life should be fair or easy, you are Satan's target.

Let God be God! (His timing is perfect, to us it seems late.)

With God even when nothing is happening, something is happening.

Your arms are too short to box with God; don't even try it!

Adversity can have a positive effect by helping develop character and to realize dependence on Him. (Object lesson of a 2x4 piece of wood, it can build a house or knock a man out. You either despair or trust God!

Some things in this life will have to be put in file of "Things I Don't Understand".

You cannot suddenly fabricate foundation of strength (and faith) from nowhere; they must have been building all along.

Surgery of life hurts - But we know the surgeon!

Instead of silence of God, one day we will have the presence of God (face to face). Pain is the 'not yet' of eternity.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gotta see this

At the right of this post is the listing of blogs I follow. Go to my daughter's blog (Tyson). She posted the video of when she told us she was having a baby. It is priceless! I've watched it over and over to see look on her face. We are so happy for them. We cannot wait to hold that sweet baby girl (or boy). :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Amazed at Millington's Connection Round 2

This photo was taken Sunday before Chip and Carly left to go back to Millington (outside of Memphis). We had the fun and pleasure of having Chip stay with us from Wednesday to Sunday. Or should I say, to sleep at our house. The Millington kids connected so with our Agape kids that they drove all the way to be together again. And they kept driving everywhere to do things together. Guess what the first stop was? If you guessed Unclaimed Baggage, you're right!
This was as I called "Round 2", because the Sunday before, Jonathan and Dillon arrived to stay with us. In fact, Caleb rode back with them on Tuesday to ride back with Dillon and Carly on Wednesday. Don't worry about Caleb as he probably slept most of the way.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yes to VBS (and rest)

I love this picture of my VBS 5th and 6th grade girls class and teenage helpers because it reminds me of the memory we made by 'autographing' each others pillowcases. But it also makes me very thankful for dear Mrs. Elsie from our church who made these for me. (If I had made them, they would not have been worthy of a photo, trust me.) Mrs. Elsie is not able to teach this class but to me she used her gift in a great big way! So, in other words, I guess I did not get the gift of sewing!ha What I really meant to say was we do not just teach with our words, but with our lives - what we give to others by serving them speaks loud and clear. Thanks Mrs. Elsie!

MERGE Camp Veterans

This post is dedicated to my dear sister in Christ, Robin. I never dreamed that last year when we went to Merge that we would return (crazy, I know). This picture captures the fun we have as we serve together. I have enjoyed our discipleship classes and our friendship but especially seeing how much she has grown. Being a mother is never easy, but she's a great one as she has such a heart for seeing her kids grow in their walk for Christ. We share burdens and laughs (lots of laughs) and microwave pork rinds. (inside joke)ha

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This is a weird Post

While trying to find a pix for my blog, I remembered this photo. Something got into Kevin's chicken house, so he borrowed a camera and caught this stinking raccoon. (Excuse the mess in Kevin's barn.)ha You know why I like this photo? It is a great reminder of how sin is. We get caught every time. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually it happens. Do I wish I had a camera on me that would show me my sin? My first answer to that is NO! That doesn't make for a great picture. But my second answer is YES, I don't want anything to come between me and God and that's what sin does. Don't even ask me if I have ever gotten caught - Don't even ask me how many times (too many times to count). But you can ask me, What was it like when you were forgiven?
By the way, don't even ask me what happened to this raccoon!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

God At Your Wit's End (Hope for wherever you are

April's Book Review is the book entitled above by Marilyn Meberg. (Her name may be familiar to you from the Women of Faith Conferences.) Once again, it would be impossible to highlight all the great quotes from her book, but the following are some of my favorites. I hope they challenge you to look deep at your faith:

"Faith is believing what we can't see, what is not tangible, and in some cases, does not make sense."

"...I ask myself..., is this discouragement you're feeling due to shaky faith or faulty thinking? I have to remind myself that in order to have faith, I must move beyond mental acceptance. In faith I hold fast to something, or rather, to Someone, whom I cannot see. And that Someone is Jesus."

"I want to leave the battlefield and focus on the ultimate victory that always comes with siding with God. The battle isn't mine; it's God's and He has already won."

"The fact that we cannot see the evidence does not make our faith blind. Our faith is not in that which is observable. It is placed on God."

"We all get in trouble with our faith lives when we forget we ourselves are not the authors and finishers of our faith. We do not earn our salvation; we do not earn our faith. We must know Him, rely on Him.....believers must remember that apart from connecting us to Jesus, faith has no merit. Faith is the cable..the rod..the conduit. Faith is not our savior. It was not faith that loved us and died for us. It was not faith that took our sins upon the cross, died and rose again. It was Jesus. Faith connects us to Jesus."

"Do you believe God is in control of "all" things? Or do you draw a line somewhere and say there are a few things He is not in control of? If so, where do you draw the line?"

"That's what freedom is: I can choose good, or I can choose evil. Both opposites have to be present in order for a choice to be made."

About honest communication with God..."David, writer of Psalms, did not tiptoe around God out of fear that God would judge him, reject him, or hold his thoughts against him. David whined, fussed, and praised, depending on how he felt and what his circumstances were. He was secure in his relationship with God." (He already knows what we're feeling. But we tell Him what we're feeling for the good our our relationship with Him.)

"I believe many of us are afraid to cry out because we think to do so would alienate us from God. The result of that faulty thinking is that we don't go home, where honesty is rewarded and faith is increased."

"The person who struggles with major doubts about her beliefs also struggles with her behavior because the two don't mesh...These doubts affect not only our peace, but our actions....Doubt is sin if it translates into an action that rejects God....Doubt is not rejecting truth, it is questioning truth."

"It is common for people to throw up a few smoke screens to distract themselves from or cover up the real problem that is causing them to doubt. One of those root problems may be not wanting to lose personal control. Another smoke screen may be based on anger at God and what He has allowed to happen."

"If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget about the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables - of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair. Our challenge is to love Him for what we do see and trust Him for what we cannot see."

"There's an old Gaelic blessing that gives me a giggle:
May those who love us, love us.
And those that don't love us
May God turn their hearts;
And if He does not turn their hearts,
may He turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping."

"God always delivers us from our distresses just as He promised, but sometimes that deliverance is WITHIN our hears, where the pain of our circumstances has shredded our interior being. God meets us at the shredding place....His deliverance may be simply to give us comfort in that place. His deliverance may be lifting of our heads..our assurance that He is there with us. His deliverance may be giving us the knowledge that we will have His strength to endure even though our circumstances may not change."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Remodel on Master (bath)

OK, I've gotta brag about my man. It's not because Rachel makes me feel guilty about how she talks about Nathan or even my sister going on her marriage enrichments (are those like second honeymoons???)ha Today, the final touches were done on our bathroom. Kevin took pictures after the tile work was finished (last week), but to me, it was not finished until the shade and the prized stain glass window was hung. What a great feeling! But, back to the reason for the post - I am so proud of Kevin as I think he did a great job and his patience in getting it done right was great.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Quotes from "RADICAL" by David Platt

Just as promised in our Bible Fellowship Group, I wanted to post some of the great quotes from 'Radical' to encourage you to read the book. Let me warn you that many are very convicting!

"We've missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves."

"We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist Him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with. We are molding Jesus into our image."

"....cost of discipleship is great. But I wonder if cost of non-discipleship is even greater."

"Accept Him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don't we need Him?"

"...the goal of the American dream is to make much of us, the goal of the gospel is to make much of God."

"In prayer, we ask God for gifts, and He gives the Giver; we ask for supplies, He gives the Source; we ask for money and He give us the bank!"

"Instead of asserting ourselves, we crucify ourselves. Instead of imagining all the things we can accomplish, we ask God to do what only He can accomplish."

"Would you say that your life is marked right now by the desperation for the Spirit of God?"

"...we have unnecessarily (and unbiblically) drawn a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all."

The population of world (at time of book published): 6,783,421,727. According to most liberal estimates 1/3 of world is Christian. That leaves 4.5 BILLION headed to hell."

"We are by nature, receivers. Even listening to God's word we ask, "What can I get out of this?" What if we began to ask instead, "How can I listen to His Word so that I am equipped to teach this Word to others?... when we realize we have the responsibility to teach the Word, it changes everything about how we hear the Word."

"Good intentions, regular worship, Bible study, do not prevent blindness. Part of our sinful nature instinctively chooses to see what we want to see and to ignore what we want to ignore."

"The question therefore is not, "Can we find God's will?" The question is, "Will we obey God's will?"

"Do we believe the reward found in Jesus is worth the risk of following Him?"

"This is the unavoidable conclusion of Matthew 10. To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus."

The main challenge of the book ended with 5 recommendations for the "Radical experiment":
1) Pray for the entire world
2) Read through the entire Word
3) Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
4) Spend your time in another context
5) Commit your life to a multiplying community

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hey Rachel and Sandy

Remember the Christmas baskets you found me Christmas at 90% off at Michael's? Well, I finally finished the project - I spray painted them brown and took off of some of the glitter message of Ho Ho Ho on liner. I just finished pressing the liners and getting them back in baskets. Aren't they cute? What a great deal at $1.49 each. Thanks for thinking of me! I am going to put them upstairs on the bookshelves.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kids on a Mission

In Awana group this Wednesday night, after the segment of Hudson Taylor, we had a relay game with international costumes. The kids loved it. I captured this picture (best one of many) as want to enlarge it and display it in room as "Future International Missions Department". My prayer is that from this class will come either full-time missionaries or great financial supporter and prayer warriors for missions!
But as you well know, kids love to pose for their 'silly' picture which turned our to be very very funny. Thought you might get a good laugh, too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowed In Again?

Sunday night we had 'thunder snow' and we received 6" of snow that made it look like a winter wonderland on the farm. Monday, we got the 4-wheeler and sled and I took videos (waiting for my $10,000 prize winning America's Funniest Video shot). Caleb is still out of school and for who knows how long. Day 1 the snow was fun. Not sure what Day 3 or 4 will be like.ha Don't get me wrong, I love the snow, but is just a reminder that too much of even a good thing is too much!