Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've been Book Tagged

I've been book tagged by Anita @ Dorset Tales, to show what kinds of books I read.
Although my husband Steve has a large Christian library and loves learning (he's my biggest resource), I'm sorry to say that I'm not much of a reader. I do take on a whole book once in a while, even if I keep getting distracted I come back to finish. I also like to skim through the kinds of books that you really don't have to read from cover to cover, like reference, travel, etymology, flora, health, art, crafts and decorating...

For some reason I can't seem to stay with very many books that I would love to read. I guess I'm very undisciplined in that area, because I wish I could just have it read to me instead. So, as far as Christian growth, I enjoy audio teaching series, and an audio book occasionally. I agree with Reformed Theology, so some favorites are John MacArthur, RC Sproul, Mark Keeler, John Piper, James White, Kay Arthur, some that are on our Christian radio like David Jeremiah, Ravi Zacharias, Irwin Lutzer, as well as a local church that distributes dvd's of their pastor's teachings.
I also like to research from Bible study helps as I study a topic, or need to find a Biblical answer. Mostly commentaries and mostly on-line since it's quicker to find what I need for a topic. I don't rely on any one certain commentator, but I feel safe with the several that we have on our e-sword Bible computer program.

So here I go. I think I have actually read enough books over the years to be able to answer most of these questions below. I can imagine how hard it would be for those of you who are real readers to pick just one book as the answer. (These are not photos of me)

One book that changed my life - Bible
... you read more than once - Lord I Want To Know You (K. Arthur)
... you would take on a dessert island - Outdoor Survival Manual
... that made you laugh - Red Herrings and White Elephants (origin of metaphors)
... that made you cry - Angel Unaware (Dale Evans Rogers)
... you wish had been written - how to lose weight eating everything you want
... you wish had not been written - anything against the one true God (pornographic, satanic..)
... you are currently reading - Twelve Extraordinary Women (J. MacArthur)
... you are meaning to read - the Truth Matters (J. MacArthur)
... you most recently finished - In His Steps or Stepping Heavenward (read them around the same time)
... you never finished - The Last Sin Eater (but plan to)

I always feel uneasy tagging people, in case they don't want to do it, so I will leave this one up to whoever reads this, if you want to take it upon yourself to participate on your blog.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Simple Hippie Quickie Wedding

Steve and I celebrated 34 yrs of marriage on the 21st. We were both only 18 yrs old and knew each other only 5 months before that, 2 strikes against us. We were both disillusioned with the Bible college we were at and decided to leave after the first semester. We lived in different states and even though we were sure of our love we didn't want to test it with a long distance engagement. I think we really just didn't want to spend much time away from other, since we were already used to being with each other every day on campus. We decided to get married before we left so I could go home with Steve. I had a small savings account so his family got us into a trailer park the next day, found a cheap car, some groceries, and the steel mill hired him the next week (just as the money ran out - thank you Lord!). Steve has been a constant provider in a dirty and very taxing job, having to work a different shift each week. A mission field where he has stood out as a steady Christian witness.
I DO NOT think a courtship that short is a good idea, and statistics prove it. My parents tried to talk us into waiting, but you know how stubborn teenagers can be. Even so both sets of parents have always been very supporting and loving. A couple of people thought we HAD to get married, but Deliverance wasn't born for another 2 1/2 yrs.
Anyway, in spite of our foolishness and through all our marital ups and downs we faithfully sought the Lord for guidance and He blessed us with deeper love and hopefully a little more wisdom.

Happy Anniversary honey! You are my True North.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Holocaust Memorial Day

I haven't made any blog entries for a few days because I have been out of state visiting family. When I noticed what today was on the calendar I wanted to get a post in for it, and it looks like I'll just make it on time.

I don't know of any of my ancestors that were victims of the holocaust. I am of German descent (among others), so I hope none of them were involved unless it was to help victims.
If you have never spent some time looking at the photo records of the Holocaust, or watching a documentary, it would be a good thing to do.

In remembrance of the atrocities that were done against our fellow man, let us NEVER forget.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bye-bye Birdie

On my very 2nd post, I told you about the little sparrows that live under our back door awning. When winter finally got pretty cold I assumed they flew south, so I stopped looking. Well, a few evenings ago I saw a sparrow struggling with his feet thumping and scratching on the awning and his head partly stuck through a small rusty hole in the corner. I stood on a lawn chair and gently pulled on his back end, hoping to maneuver his head out. It startled me when his tail feathers popped out. I couldn't just leave him there, I knew I needed to get him out even if he died in the process, so I had to continue. As his head came through the little rusty jagged hole both eyes were bloody.
I was anxious, thinking he must be in pain with his eyes gouged, so after I found a container for him, washed his eyes and put some antibiotic ointment on, I called a couple of emergency vets. A veterinary college said they would check him over for free and put him down if need be. In the meantime I had clipped one of his wings (bad decision) because whenever I'd take him out to put more ointment on he'd get away and fly into the walls, and Scooby would try to get him which I'm sure scared him to death.

Through the night he ate some whole grain cereal and took water from a dropper, but still seemed like he couldn't see, still bloody eyes. The next day, the head vet dr said he can see fine and only has some scratches around his temples. Even though I would have been okay with him being put out of his misery, I was happy that his Creator still has use for his little life. But I did feel that when the vet questioned me about my reasoning for clipping his wing she was somewhat scolding me, because she said for that reason the bird will have to live in a bird sanctuary for 6 weeks until it grows out.
So I couldn't take him back to our home, but he'll find a new place to finish his life. That college Vet is kinda far, but I might wonder if the next sparrow I see living under my awning is my little friend.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Perplexing Story?

There seems to be much controversy over the movie "the Golden Compass". So, not having seen the movie or read the books, I did some searching for Christian reviews, and listened to some on tv and radio (not all of them Christian views).
What I found was interesting and shed some light on just what the movie is about according to the books (confusing as it is). Apparently the movie is watered down greatly from the books in order not to offend religious families, so the meaning of a lot of the symbolism is overlooked. I want to link you to some articles loaded with information so you can come to your own decisions. Here is a round-table discussion on Crosswalk, this interview on Fox News, and this review on Christianity Today Movies. I know these are a little long, but you will pick up more and more insightful information as you go along. Hope these will be a help for those of you who are interested.
I also went to the video store and rented "Beyond the Golden Compass". Though it doesn't give much of the religious insight, it explains more of the symbolisms. Call first, because there aren't many copies out there.

In case some of you will be asking, I do not recommend this movie based on what I know so far. Even though Philip Pullman's books are fantasy, they convey his outspoken atheistic beliefs, maybe not as much in the movie. The movie will most likely cause children to want to read the books, and it is the 2nd & 3rd books that get into stronger anti-Christianity and contrary lifestyle so it is best to be aware of what they will be confronted with.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Created For His Glory

Do you ever wonder why God created you? I do, often. But because of what I've learned about Him, He reminds me why He created me.
First of all He meticulously puts us together (Psalm 139:13-14, Exodus 4:11), and we were created because He willed it (Revelation 4:11) . He wouldn't have bothered without a reason.
He tells us what that plan is. In Isaiah 43:7, John 9:3 and Revelation 4:11 He says we were created to glorify Him.

Isn't it awesome that whether we were "planned" by our parents or not, every part of our body, no matter what we look like, was personally put together by the One who created all that exists, in order to reflect who He is? As we go about our daily tasks we give everyone a glimpse of who God is, we display Him.
Yes awesome... and extremely humbling. Every day there are so many things that would keep me from fulfilling the purpose of my creation. But because I have become His child He knows my shortcomings and offers me the strength I need to know I'm forgiven and can still go on to honor Him.

The world cannot understand the joy and fulfillment we have when we no longer wish to pursue our own desires in life and instead pursue a more meaningful purpose by living for His pleasure. We don't really have to wonder what the meaning of life is or why we were put on earth, always trying to fill a void. The here-and-now is not all there is. One day, all that will matter is our relationship with our Maker.
As believers we can count on the sweet fellowship that Adam and Eve had before sin came to stumble us in our desire to be His glory.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Story Behind the Hymn #3- Be Thou My Vision (and a meme)

I've been a follower of Christ for 36 years, but when I first heard this ancient Irish hymn about 20 years ago I thought it was brand new. You're probably saying "Where have you been". I just now read here how old it actually is (find hymn story), estimated between 400-700AD, during a time of great Irish missionary endeavor. I love the words to this song, I wish I really did have such commitment and abandon for the One who has rescued me, as we are instructed to in 1Peter 1:15-16.
If you choose to click on "listen" you may want to bring up another tab to put the lyrics on and sing along (unless you already know the verses). Sorry, I don't know if I'll ever be computer savvy enough to have it already here for you on my blog.

I was also tagged for this meme by Mimi's toes back on January 7th.

7 things you don't know about me (with an extra one thrown in)
I used to want 10 kids, and I admire large families. After my first childbirth I didn't want any more, until 2 years later when I thought 4 would be nice. But I waited 7 years to have my second. After that I wanted 1 more -later. I waited too late, I had to have a hysterectomy at 35.
I can't take the heat of summer. I think I might trade for winter instead, but my favorites are the mild temps of Spring and Fall, and the smells - ahhh.
3. I once scared a dog away from attacking our dog by putting myself between
them and hissing like a cat, as loudly as one can hiss, and spreading my arms to make myself look big. The dog gave me a confusing look and backed away.
4. I don't make friends easily. Partly because I'm not a talker (so people think I don't like them), and partly because I'm afraid of people seeing my faults when they get to know me.
5. I don't like coffee, black tea or cola. I do like herbal tea, and occasionally a non-cola soda. I mostly enjoy water and 100% juice (especially fresh apple cider).

6. I had pets all through my childhood, from turtles to rodents to dogs (usually one at a time) so when my parents said we had to get rid of a stray dog we had for a week I got angry and said I was going to have a house and yard full of animals when I got married. My mom said "trust me, you won't". How did she know that? It's teenagers that know everything!
As a teen I would sneak out my bedroom window at night and walk down our street. I just enjoyed the quiet and dark. I only did it a handful of times til some eerie distant noises in the wind spooked me and I never did it again.
When Christ made me His child at 16 and my life was completely changed after reading John 3:16 (for the hundredth time in my life) I didn't know what was happening to me because, though I had heard of people living for God I never knew what "born again" meant and having a new life completely changed. I never sought this and I never "prayed the prayer" I just knew that I had a stronger love for Jesus with such a gratitude for His sacrifice like never before and wanted to learn about Him non-stop and how to live my life for Him and not me.

These are the blogs I'm tagging to do the 7 (or more) things you don't know about me. Please go to see their blogs.
Aimee @ c'est vrai - check out her cute knitted cupcakes in her November archive, she also has yummy vegan dishes.
Angie @ Sonflower - I've just started going there and find her very down to earth, and love the photos scattered through her archives
Barbara @ Ramblings From an English Garden - I especially enjoy going to her "labels" in the left margin and viewing her photos of The Cotswolds, and Sunsets

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dad or Billy?

Ever since my dad was a young adult . . .

people have always commented on how much he resembles Billy Graham.

Once, at a Billy Graham crusade my dad was walking around and lots of people were staring at him, he heard someone say "Look, there's Billy Graham!" You may not be able to see the resemblance in these pictures of dad on top, it's harder to capture it when he's smiling. But when he has his normal serious face, you can see it, like the bottom ones of Billy.

When I was young and saw that youngest picture of dad, I was sure he could double for Ricky Nelson. Like a lot of little girls, I always felt my dad was smart and could take care of everything, I felt safe, and he was handsome too (still is). I would ask mom if I could marry daddy when I got bigger. I think I just wanted to always feel safe, secure, and unconditionally loved. And then I married someone who is smart and makes me feel safe, secure and unconditionally loved, (I think he's handsome too). And that will be another story.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

(Semi) Wordless Wednesday - A Boy And His Pastor

Stephen was 5 mos. old and in the hospital from double pneumonia resulting in respiratory failure, when our Pastor Brown first came to our church 24 years ago. Stevie was his first hospital visitation, and they've been friends ever since.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lookie What I Won

Thanks to Stephanie at NWI Parent: Close To Home, I was one of the winners of her giveaway of 3 HP Photo Books on December 21st. She is also at Adventures in Babywearing. I was really surprised because there were so many commenters trying to win. I've never tried to make one of these but she said I wouldn't have any trouble. My husband is good at computer gadgetry.
Steph has spent many nights at our house with my daughter Deliverance throughout high school, and I can say that she is such a sweet girl. It's always nice to get something for free, and this is a very nice something. Thanks Steph!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Movin' On With A New Year

Yesterday was the 12th day after Christmas so today the decorations come down. It's not a sad time because by now, though I'm not sick of it by any means, I'm ready to move on. With our house being very small, hence not many decorations to begin with, it isn't a major project. As I throw away the last of the stale cookies, I'm reminded of Passover for some reason, even though I'm not getting rid of all the food stuffs that Jewish people do before that day.

I also like to give the house short times of airing-out, when it's not very cold out, just to get a freshness in the air. I'm always hearing that this can kill off some of the germs that multiply in warm stale air, but my Dr says that's not necessarily true. Maybe it takes getting the place really cold for a longer period (which isn't gonna happen). Right now we are having a warm spell for a few days in the 60 degrees, so with all the snow melted the wet earth makes the windy air smell like Spring. But I know we will have a few more snow storms before April showers bring May flowers. Most of the time we will still get a little snow in April, so it's May showers bringing June flowers. That's okay because we usually don't get snow til 6 months after that in November or even December. Why do the mid-range temperatures of Spring and Autumn last the shortest time. They are my favorites (especially Autumn with less gale force winds), although Summer and Winter do have other good points. At one time I figured out that to live in a semi-constant state (is this an oxy-moron?) of middle temperature climate I could live on Mackinaw Island in Summer, with it's northern Great Lakes breezes and Kentucky in Winter. I'm sure other states would qualify for not being too hot or too cold, but these would have the least travel time from my section of the U.S. Alas, we are not rich, and the Lord knows better than me what is best. He also knows that wherever my Steve is, is where I want to be, and I thank Him for putting that in my heart.
Anyway, although I'm getting things back in order, I'm waiting til Spring to do the better cleaning. One of the only times when the fresh wind blows heartily throughout the house.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Time For Friends

I assume we all make a little time to meet with our friends around Christmas. Where would we be without even a small support system for many different reasons from big to small. Most people know they have the support and interest of family members in times of good and bad, but friendships are just as important, and we usually see them more often. Of course there are also those that are long distance friends whom we keep in touch with through phone or e-mail because we will always care about them, too.

Here are a couple of the long-time friends I met at church that I spend some time with throughout the year, Linda & Pat. We got together this time just to enjoy Christmas cookies and some sparkling juice. Stevie usually occupies himself with video games or a movie while us gals talk or play cards, but they always manage some time to tease him, and shove food in his face. We don't know how to look natural when the camera comes out so photos of us usually look lame as we try to act funny. Ahh friends, where you can display your obnoxious alter ego.

Here is another dear long-time Christian friend, Bonnie, and her son Shawn, on a day when my daughter Deliverance was able to join us. Bonnie & I met through our son's Special Education School when they were very small. She lives much further away so I don't get to see her as much but we have the phone, and usually can't spend less than a good hour on it.
I may not have many close friends but I know we feel comfortable with each other and can confide, and cry, and joke, and help, and even expect forgiveness. Friendship truly is a gift from God.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year !

Whether you look forward to another year or not, the fact remains - it's here.
Steve, Stevie & I went to Deliverance & Josh's to have a few hours of together time and to set off a few fireworks we saved from July. It started snowing before we went but it was just a sifting of powdered sugar. Actually quite pretty as you can see in the picture of our house. On the way there the flakes got bigger and heavier. The roads were so slick it took us almost an hour for a 30 minute trip. The snow never let up so we didn't do the fireworks, and we left by 9:30, after seeing the 2 story rabbit hutch that Josh and his brother Chris built for the bunnies (Deliverance designed it). Steve did a good job driving carefully, we passed 3 cars in ditches. I fell asleep in our recliner waiting to hear the gunshots that we usually hear, so I missed it again, no biggie.

People's opinions are split about making New Years resolutions. Some say it helps them accomplish goals, others say it sets them up for failure so they like to just wait and see what the Lord will enable them to do day by day. Looking forward to a new year doesn't cause any pain, but anything from indifference to downright dread does require a certain amount of fortitude to face it. Some people seem to have more than their share of pains or are hit with harder ones than we could ever imagine having to cope with. People go down different paths looking for this strength of mind to live their life and to feel peace with where they are.

Being a follower of Christ I find that strength and peace with Him. I'm not meaning that I don't feel things like frustration, depression, or deep despair. I'm not always a joy to be around and I sometimes make fumbles in my relationships with people, and the list of normal humanness can go on forever. But when I manage the self discipline to emerse myself in knowing who God is, and what He offers, I'm better at trusting Him and putting my life in His hands. The stuff of daily life often gets in the way of that, but I know I have a place to look for that peace again and again. I also have the blessing of a husband whose second nature is to lift me up and make me feel good about myself (even when I know he's just prejudiced) and ready with helpful suggestions when I'm disappointed in myself.

If I neglect the Bible I neglect knowing more about Christ and why I can trust Him with my life. So I'm going to take a step I never have before, make a resolution or set a goal or whatever you want to call it. Since the Bible says I am always in the presence of Jesus, I really do always desire to know more about Him. I know it is a never-ending process because we can never know EVERYTHING about God. I just want to be more disciplined about it and since I've been a slacker for so many years, maybe officially setting a goal will help me not mess up so many days in a row. I'm not going to set myself up for failure by making the goal beyond my character. Keeping in mind my weaknesses I will just place that goal a little higher than it has been. I can use more peace of mind through those hard places, a little less depression (or more contentment), and to learn not to expect those around me to have less faults than me.

Whether you set goals for this year or not, I hope you have improvements in the areas you know that you need them. Growth is one thing expected of everyone, some are slower at it than others (like me), and sometimes we have big setbacks, just don't forget that Jesus is in it with you, and waiting for you to let Him guide you through another year.