Saturday, December 22, 2012

In Loving Memory Of Sandy Hook Elementary Victims

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air. They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy; they didn't know what to say. They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse. “This is heaven" declared a small boy. "We’re spending Christmas at God's house”.
When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same. Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring, those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had, He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad.
“then He looked down on earth, the world far below, He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe,
then He closed His eyes, and He outstretched His hand, “Let My power and presence re-enter this land!
“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools” “I’m taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!
“Then He and the children stood up without a sound. “Come now my children let me show you around.
“Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran. All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, “in the midst of this darkness,” I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thoughts from Leui...

When someone asks you: "Why did this horrible tragedy happen in Newtown, CT?", answer them: "When you evict God from public school evil must reign."

And evil must obey its own 10 commandments:
1) Thou shalt not worship God (God is dead, the Bible is 'hate speech'). Thou shalt worship other Gods (science, sports, movie stars, islam, buddhism, money, anything but Jesus).
2) Thou shalt worship images ($, porn, superbowl, mother earth, big screen, technology).
3) Thou shalt cuss (a lot - because you're cool and it's funny and edgy).
4) Thou shalt not rest on Sunday.
5) Thou shalt dishonor your mother and your father (they're idiots who have no idea what it's like being you).
6) Thou shalt murder (1 million abortions per year, school shootings, mall shootings, letter bombs, suicide bombs, anthrax letters).
7) Thou shalt have sex (mandatory condom distribution, morning after pill, homosexuality, premarital sex, cheating on your spouse, rape, incest).
8) Thou shalt steal (rip music, pirate movies and software, rob from the rich cuz it's fair and balanced).
9) Thou shalt lie (about everything).
10) Thou shalt covet and feel entitled to anything anyone else has - and demand free handouts, or lie to get it, or steal to get it, or have sex to get it, or murder to get it, or dishonor your mother and your father to get it, or work on Sunday to get it, or cuss to get it, or worship anything but God to get it because "YOU DESERVE IT".

God's law works both ways.
Blessings or cursings.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Clay's

 15 Years and counting.  These two have been our family friends since Mollie was an infant.  We first met Sandy and Harvey at a Home Builders Bible study.  Harvey and Sandy were leading the class and Leu and I were taking our very first bible study together.  We connected immediately and have journeyed together ever since.  They are a wonderful blessing to us.  Not only that but our kids have grown up together sharing birthdays and vacations and tons and tons of memories!  I am so very grateful the Lord has allowed us to walk this path of marriage and parenting with our faith in the center of it all.

Sandy is my girlfriend with the gift of gab.  I love that about her truly.  She can (and does) talk to anybody anywhere.  We can be in another state of this country and she will know someone everywhere we go, it's uncanny!  She remembers every name of every person.  It starts with, "I know that person..."  and in about 3 minutes she will have walked up to them and enveloped them in a conversation.  I wish I could do that.  Sandy is also my cooking partner in crime.  Swapping recipes with her is a bit tricky since she never makes the same dish twice the same way nor does she follow the recipe.  Best of all we share the love of Christ and encourage each other in our walks.  We have been there for each other through births, funerals, blessings, traumas, and even a wedding of a first born!  I pray we  will one day get to hold each others grandbabbies!!  I am blessed to have you girl!

We love you guys!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Proclamation from Abraham Lincoln: Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Taj Mahal

 Like most things with an older home, little by little, you tackle home improvement  projects as you go along.  The shed just couldn't hold itself together one moment longer.  So Doug tried out his karate skills and relieved some stress in the process.

We went to Lowe's to check out their shed-in-a-box kits but none were satisfactory to hubby.  Now Leui is a regular Macgyver and is a do-yourselfer.  So he went to the library, got out some books on building sheds and designed his own plan.  It has been fun watching him create this Mac Daddy Shed.
TA DA!!!  We managed to get out there last weekend and pop that paint on in the 53 degree weather.  Paint, like me,  isn't fond of the cold.  Next year the brick patio will be added as well as some shrubbery.  Way to go Leui!!

Coram Deo,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Costly Grace

"Most of us live in a rather mindless environment.  Life is too fast, and our contact with other persons too impersonal for much serious reflection.  Even in church we are more often encouraged to join this committee, back that project, or serve on this church board than we are counseled to examine our relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  As long as we are performing for the church, few will question whether our profession of faith is genuine or spurious.  How many sermons suggest that members of a church may not actually be saved, although they are members?  How many teachers of the Word stress that a personal, self-denying, costly, and persistent following of Christ is necessary if a person is to be acknowledged by Jesus at the final day?  
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German churchman of the Nazi era who eventually suffered martyrdom for his opposition to Hitler's policies, called this erroneous theology "cheap grace".  He said, "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ living and incarnate." 
The contrast is "costly" grace.  "Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has.  It is the pearl of great price, to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods.  It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him...Such grace is costly because  it call us to follow, and it is grace because is call us to follow Jesus Christ."  My pastor teaches costly grace.
In Matthew 8:18-22  Jesus is approached by a teacher of the law who wants to follow Him wherever He goes.  Jesus responds a bit differently than some pastors.  Jesus replies to him to not be so quick to promise, he wants no one to come with false apprehensions.  "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."  Instead of a resounding YES, Come on!  Jesus matter-of-factly states, You will have to give up some of your comforts!  Unlike us, Jesus rejects emotional enthusiasm of joining The Army.  There is a cost involved, know it upfront!  Jesus determines what following him will involve, it must be on His terms.
Then another disciple said to Him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father.  But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."  Sounds a bit harsh at first.  This man has a father who is ill, not dead.  If he had been dead he would not have been with the crowd, he would have been back home.  Loyalty to Christ must come first, it is a radical commitment to claim Christ as your Lord and Savior.
This helps me when I think about my own family and friends that I have witnessed their confession of Christ but yet see them walking with the world.  They needed a pastor to say this will cost you something too.  It cost Christ everything!  True conversion implies radical transformation.
I am really enjoying this expositional commentary by Boice.  The longer I am a Christian the more questions and thoughts I have as I get to know Jesus.  Boice is user friendly and unpacks the stories of Christ in a teachable way.

Coram Deo,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fiesta Tortilla Soupa

Gone are the days of just tomato or chicken noodle soup for choices.  This new Millennial generation hankers for something a bit more zippy.  I like my tried and true recipes, the ones that never fail, the ones that fall under 'comfort food', but this one is a keeper!  The best part of this soup is the major portion of the ingredients is to dump them straight into the pot.  Other than chopping zucchini and garlic and shredding some chicken, you are on your way.

Fiesta Tortilla Soup
1 medium zucchini coarsely chopped
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 bag of frozen corn
29oz vege or chicken broth
1 16 oz jar chunky salsa ( I used medium)
8oz can tomato sauce
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cloves garlic minced
2 T chili powder
1 t cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Serve with any of these toppings:  shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, but definitely serve with crushed tortilla chips!


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Explorers Wax Museum

 5th grade has the best teacher on the planet!  If I ever go back to teaching I want Mrs. Armstrong to mentor me!  She is so creative, encouraging, thoughtfilled, and fun.  Gabe said, "School is like going to camp, it's so much fun!"
 Meet Amerigo Vespucci "I am ze founder of ze land that you are standing on..."  Push the little red button on the back of their hands and hear a 60 second blurb on historical people.

Thank you Mrs. Armstrong for making learning so memorable!
Coram Deo,


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Frolicks

The Autumnal Equinox really should begin the first day of day.  It just makes sense.  Fall is when school starts, everyone knows that right?  Between volleyball, soccer, school, work, church, and everything else, the days do indeed seem shorter.  No, I do not want MORE hours in a day.  What I need is what NASA recommends: a 26 minute power nap in the middle of the day will make you more productive.  That is what I need to incorporate into my schedule.
 My 2 highschoolers:  Mollie's volleyball team won the championship!  Fantastic games!  Doug has been accepted at Messiah College.  He will be auditioning in December.
Report cards came in today and all the kiddo's are sportin' A's.  We are off to a good start.  Run the race with endurance God's Word declares.  The starting is the easy part, it's the keep-going that gets tricky.  Gabe has had some first's this year.  He has learned to cut the grass AND he has helped to paint the new shed.  This soccer season started in August but it just ended last weekend.  Gabe's team the RIOT played well.  It is amazing how much skill they gain from one season.

 Gabe and his best bud's Matt and Ethan.
 One morning I was working on my computer and I get a text from Doug, "Mom, get your camera."
 Leui's birthday
 Our first fall ladies gathering at church.  We made these cute wreath's out of coffee filters.

 Gabe is striving to keep his room tidy.  Make your bed and don't put your PJ's in the laundry...

The boys thought that wearing just their socks would be a good idea as to not get leaves in their shoes.  But then their socks got muddy.  Then after racking and jumping for a while they stuffed themselves with leaves to be scarecrows...but they didn't get any leaves in their shoes...PHEW!
Early morning sunrise, I love pink!  Hurricane Sandy put us out of power for 5 days last week.  Other news, my mom had her hip replaced.  She is healing and getting around with a cane.  Leui has done some traveling to Ohio, Tampa and Seattle this fall.  I am so thankful that nothing has broken down while he has been away since everything we have is old!
I am trying to capture each moment of our time together because it is so precious.
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12

Coram Deo,