Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stormy Edition WW

Last night we had spring-like storm blow through. The day was moderate and balmy. As evening began to close in, the winds began to howl. The rains came. Trees swirled, power poles were downed, cars were sliding on the roads, and we were without power from 7pm until sometime in the wee hours of this morning.

Some folks say that the weather is controlled by Mother Nature. While Christians know that it is God that controls everything, they too can be heard using the cliche. How is it that we can be so easily influenced by something that is not a Christian concept? I think it is because the expression is so common. But that is another post for another day.

Scientists have all sorts of explanations for various types of storms. The weather people tell us about high pressure systems and gulf streams. These folks are educated in such matters.

As Christians we are versed on different sorts of disturbances. We know of financial tsunamis, emotional floods, physical hurricanes, spiritual depressions, and a multitude of maladies. We not only recognize the signs of coming storms, we know the One who has complete control over them regardless of their cause.

Storms are not all bad. Sometimes He is the one who initiates them. Many times they are for our good. Here Paul and Silas had endured some severe weather. Yet the earthquake that followed made way for their deliverance. A harvest of souls came in its aftermath.

When we praise Him in the difficulties, He gives us just what we need to go through them. The important thing to remember is to praise Him once the storm has been lifted. He wants us to rejoice in our victories. This honors Him and illuminates the Way for others. Many can be reached through the words of our testimonies. He is the Light when there is nothing but darkness all around. He is one power source that can never be extinguished. Praise His name.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--Recommended Reading

A tree grows in Brooklyn

Someone suggested this book to me the other day, and I can't believe I had never heard of it. It is a classic. And after reading it, I can see why. It was breathtaking in only the way that another writer appreciates. Or perhaps I am not giving you enough credit. You should read and judge for yourself.

As a reader, I have always enjoyed being transported to another place and time. This time it is Brooklyn. And even though I have never been to Brooklyn, and my idea of it is probably skewed by late night television, I feel as though I lived in the tenement with Francie. So vividly she describes life that I devoured each word like a hungry baby bird. It is not so much the plot, but the heart wrenching truths that you can feel vibrating from beneath. Sometimes Betty Smith makes you wince with her painful tale. You are there, screaming in agony as another child is born into the world...the impoverished and struggling world that is Brooklyn.

You sit amazed as Francie describes life in the borough. You applaud as her mother scrubs floors and takes in ironing and stretches meals with day old loaves of bread. You wonder, will Francie and her brother Neely survive? Yes, they do indeed survive. Like that tree that comes up through the concrete and refuses to give up life. They struggle. They bend. But they are not broken. This may be fiction. It may be a fabricated tale strung together with vivid images and colorful characters. But what one comes away with, ah, that is the truth. And when you can read a book like this and feel like you have peered deep into the wellspring of life, then you have read a masterpiece.

Thanks Elisabeth Wehner (Betty Smith). And thanks for the recommendation Don!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Only in God

I first heard of John Michael Talbot in 1981. One of my professors gave me a cassette of Talbot's "Come to the Quiet" album. His style of music didn't really appeal to me, but the more I listened the more I recognized the anointing that was upon him. I played that tape until it was worn completely out.

That has been several years ago. I had not even thought about him or his music again until recently. I was surfing some blogs and ran across the following video. Worship with him as you listen to the song. You can order any of his albums from his website.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Semi-Wild Weekend...LOL

Sorry I haven't blogged. I've been on a little virtual vacation. Where did I go? Botswana, Africa, of course. What did I see, you ask? A kimodo dragon (I think that's what it was.) Some beautiful yellow birds that live in funny cone-shaped nests, some white birds, a huge alligator, some antelope, a big snake and a lot of nothing in between. I got a bit frustrated when I could hear some sort of feline growling but could not see her. I imagine she was behind the camera grinning. You see I visited via live streaming webcam in real time. I suggest if you're going to visit, to do so between the hours recommended on the site. Otherwise, mostly you will just see a dark pond. The animals were really active right around dawn, which happened to be around 9 to 10 p.m. here. I loved the bird sounds, although they seemed to irritate Aunt Carla after a bit. She came for an overnight stay. But I don't think she was very impressed with her virtual vacation as much as I was. She did learn to play chess while she was here though, which is probably more her speed these days. LOL.ALLIGATOR

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who's in Your Five?

“Who’s in your five?” This is a slogan that one cell phone company uses today. The commercials are funny. They make me think about what five I would pick if I had a cell phone. There's not even one person that I need to be calling every day, much less five.

Children have their parents and grandparents programmed as speed-dials. Recovering addicts have their sponsors in their five. The circle is for those you need and want to talk to the most. Must be why some teens have more than one phone.

As handy as they are to have, even cell phones have their limitations. Dead spots, roaming charges, low batteries, and they just won't work under water. I'm so glad I don't need a phone to reach the One that is closer than a brother. And I am thankful that His circle is not limited to five; but is extended to all who want to hear His voice. He will even answer before we call Him.

His plan is so much better than any other. I'm in His network. Are you?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Took my baby back for a check on his ears, and he is not only going to need his tubes put back in, but he is going to have to have his adenoids taken out. We have not gotten this scheduled yet, but it will be sometime in the near future. He still has fluid on his ears, and his hearing test revealed a mild but reversible hearing loss. I still do not understand why they aren't taking the tonsils as well. But I hope this fixes his problems.

In other news, I am going to be a great aunt! My hubby's neice Sally is 8 weeks along. Please be in prayer for her and Jeff throughout this pregnancy. She has had a lot of morning sickness already. Congratulations to the excited couple.

Not only is Chase having a new cousin on his daddy's side, but my first cousin and his wife are expecting around the same time. Congratulations Jared and Leah! So babies will be on everyone's minds this summer. I just hope there's nothing in the water. If it is, I'd rather Carla get it than me ...evil grin.

I hear my 3 year-old nephew, CB has been up to no good flushing unflushable items in the guest toilet. It seems pull-ups will disintegrate and go on through, but not wooden blocks or ceramic balls. Go figure. Ah, the joys of parenting toddlers.

Chase made A's, 1 B, and 1 C on his report card. The C was in handwriting. I suspect he is hurrying through his work. Nevertheless I am extremely proud of him. He is reading on a 4th grade level, and he is in 2nd grade. Daddy gets to go to Donuts for Dads this week. Maybe he can explain to Ms. Kim where Chase got that chicken scratch. LOLOL.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Worship Wednesday

Last week I closed the post with "Blog Your Blessings". Today I will blog a few of mine.

  • I have a merciful Savior who not only saved me from eternal damnation, but One who rescues me from danger (seen and unseen) every day.
  • I have His Word to guide me and help me with everyday life.
  • I have 2 sisters who have enriched my life in so many ways.
  • I have 2 nephews (one belonging to each of them) who light up my life and bring me a lot of joy. And hopefully will help care for me in my old age.....
  • I have my husband of nearly 17 years. He loves the Lord and loves me.
  • I have an extended family that are a support when needed.
  • I have a wonderful church family.
  • I have, I have, I have, I have.......

I have no time to tell you my "have nots" because I have only begun my list of haves. I give God all the praise for the blessings I have in my life. Without Him, I wouldn't have them or be able to enjoy them.

Take time today to focus on what you have and not what you lack. Join the Psalmist and declare, "I will bless the Lord at all times". When you want to complain, remember the scripture that says you can't bless and curse at the same time. Blessing is a choice that we must make. In spite of our mess, we must choose to bless!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thermostat Wars--er,um, Woes


Three days into 2008 and here I sit, wrapped up like a water pipe in a well house. Reminds me of the good old days when if you didn't wrap the pipes, you had a serious problem on your hands and ended up hauling water 5 gallons at a time from a neighbor's home in sub freezing temperatures. Not fun. And it was even worse if the pipes burst at thawing. Then you were hauling for days until a plumber showed up. If your power lines had snapped from ice forming on them, you had an even longer wait. At times the only saving grace was having gas heat. Especially during that big ice storm about 15 or so years back.

And yes, there were even times when the gas ran out in the dead of winter. What fun. No floor furnace. No oven. No hot water. Assuming your water lines weren't frozen to begin with as stated above. Winters sure were an adventure at our house growing up. To this day I cannot face the frigid temps of January without a bit of trepidation, without saying a little prayer that all my worldy comforts would not fail. Yes, I am grateful for them all, God. I may be spoiled, but I know enough to be grateful for my spoiling.

I am grateful for warm blankets, sweater socks, coffeemakers, and my wonderful central heating and air that keeps the indoor atmosphere a toasty 75 degrees. Yes, you heard me right, 75. Hubby tends to sneak behind my back to adjust it cooler but generally I win--even though he adamantly protests that he can only take off so many clothes and that I can always put more on. Fine, I tell him, run around naked. Don't bother me a bit. You get hot, go the garage for 5 minutes. In 11 years of marriage he has learned that you can't win that argument with me. He who pays the utilities controls the thermostat. Period. End of story.

After all, my fat nubby little digits can't seem to hit the right keys when they are frozen. I get paid by the line. The slower I go, the less I make. You can't type with gloves on, I protest. And besides, do you want to want my Raynaud's to act up? "Raynaud's? Oh, likely story," he guffaws. But it's no laughing matter. Cold causes me pain. Pain causes me to be grouchy. And when I'm grouchy, everyone is miserable. "So there," I reply, "you can sit around with your naked sweaty butt and pout all day, but the thermostat stays put!" And with that I trot back to my lovely office, wrap my blankets around my chubby thighs, warm my fingers on my steaming mug of coffee and get back to my typing--all the while listening for his heavy footfalls in the hall trying to be quiet as he edges toward the thermostat. All I can say is, for his own good, there better be an early thaw.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Worship Wednesday 2008

What a year 2007 has been! Among my varied accomplishments, I started blogging here, began my own blog, and recently became the web-master for our church website. Not too shabby for someone who had not been on the internet at all before October 2006. To God be the glory, for He has given me the mind to grasp the skills needed to progress in the computer arena.

Hubby and I closed out 2007 and started 2008 rejoicing and praying the new year in. We attended a Watch Night service at a near by church. You can read about it over at my place. I posted there last night after we got home. Several area congregations came together for the service. The Word of God was powerful and convicting. And the fellowship, food, and fun was exceptional. Nothing like celebrating as a community for Christ.

Seems like I always do a little personal inventory this time of year. And I always find both blessings and shortages. If I started blogging the blessings at this moment, I would still be posting them in months to come. God has granted so many, I can't recall them all. As for the shortages; I thank God that the list is not nearly as long as the blessings one. But I don't want to divulge them at this time. Would rather keep this a positive post. (smile)

So, I close this post with the challenge that was set forth to those in attendance last night. "Break out of your comfort zone in 2008. Get involved in real Kingdom work and reach this world for Jesus." And my personal request of you; BLOG YOUR BLESSINGS.

May God richly bless you all throughout the coming year. Happy New Year.