Monday, December 20, 2010

Chronological in One Year...

I finished early! I completed reading the Bible in 1 year TODAY. I had read bits, pieces and most of the Bible before... but never chronologically. Chronologically puts the Bible stories in order based on the timeline of history not in the standard Old Testament then New Testament books of the Bible.

Am I excited? Yes, I completed my goal. Am I proud? No, not exactly. I became a Christian in 1982, and I am just now reading the Bible in order in entirety. I have read Genesis multiple times before stopping, and not completing the goal.

Why read the whole book? Context. Imagine picking up a novel and starting in Chapter 10 then skipping to two pages in Chapter 2, and rushing back to the last chapter... yeah, I know. When you start in Genesis (which is also first chronologically), you begin with creation through to Revelation (the end of God's plan). In the old testament, you understand what sin is, why we need a Savior, why the sacrifices were made in the temple and how Jesus becomes our sacrifice to cleanse us from our sin. You realize the depth of the need for a Savior. You appreciate GRACE and what that means so much more.

Does reading the whole Bible make you a "better" Christian? Depends... I don't feel "better" - I feel the weight of sin in my life more. I feel the need for a Savior more. I feel the need to practice my faith in the world more. I feel the need to excitedly tell others of this GRACE I have found. Am I better? I am more aware of how sick and dirty and sinful my life is really without Jesus. I realize what a blessing and undeserved gift it really was to receive Jesus as my Savior. If I were to make a list of all my sinfulness, and things to do that would please God in my life... the list would be endless. Thankfully, I have a Savior to help me. I have the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin, and I have the Holy Spirit to guide me to make the choices that God wants me to make. It made me "better" aware of all the areas the potter needs to shape me... "better" aware of God's love... "better" aware of who Jesus was and is...

Am I more knowledgeable? No, reading the Bible made me aware of how much more I can learn about the Bible, the customs of the times, history, and Jesus. I could read it a hundred times and learn something new every time... It has increased my desire to learn more. To deepen my studies, and to understand what I have read better.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11

For God so loved the world... thank you God for the Bible to show us YOUR WAY!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

for grandparents

We spent October 31st at out Church's annual Trunk or Treat sharing Jesus's love with others. We gave out candy and ate candy. It was a memorable night for all!
The Squash was the Railroad Engineer for all of 10 minutes. He thought it was fun getting candy, but once he had some... he wanted to eat it! Right THEN! He did not want any more candy, and he was very, very selective on what candies he accepted and kept!
Sweet Pea was Cleopatra. This picture was snapped right after she won a contest for prettiest princess. She loved it, and had so much fun!
Pumpkin was a cowboy. He got a gun that used to be his mommy's gun when she was little. He takes really good care of this antique gun, and carries it everywhere I will let him on his belt. Pumpkin could not understand why he did not have a holster to put it in... He loves his cowboy outfit, and had a great night.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I went to see some old friends sing. I left full of WORSHIP.

I went to see the SHOW, but felt the PRESENCE of God.

I went to watch, but was REMINDED of God's grace through the years.

I wanted to touch the singers and cling to them for they brought me near Jesus with their words.  But not really...

REALLY God wanted us there and he used  two incredible people that are just as imperfect as me to show us how to WORSHIP.

I wanted to weep with the TRUTH spoken. I wanted to go back to yesterday, but yesterday was not as great as I remember it. I wanted to go back to that church family where I felt the presence so near. It was a place where I ministered and a place were I was ministered to. But God changed it.

The place exists, but it is all different. The people are different. I am different. I can't go back.

God has created a new harbor for me. A new place to minister and a new place to share God's love with others. Yet I sometimes long for yesterday.... for there were many GOOD yesterdays of WORSHIP and LOVE.

I was reminded though that I did not have to be with those singers or people to feel his PRESENCE - that God was always with me. I remembered though that the amazing thing about GOD's FAMILY is that even though I worshiped with people of YESTERDAY I realized they still are HERE and still WORSHIP even if they are not with me. They WORSHIP and one day we will WORSHIP together again in a better place in the PRESENCE OF GOD AND JESUS....

So YESTERDAY was not so important when I have all of TOMORROWS and TODAY to worship and all of ETERNITY to worship with my FAMILY.

We can't live in YESTERDAY.
We can't live in TOMORROW.
We can't live in ETERNITY.

We can choose to live in TODAY.

Thanks Benji & Jenna for making me a part of the WORSHIP. Thank you to my "new" church that I have gotten to be a part of for more than 5 years. You are my family. 

Pause my tunes to hear this beautiful song of worship.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Encouragement from Mr. Scooter Man

Today - while shopping at our local Sam's club... a man in a scooter came up behind me and my 3 kids. He looked at us, and I thought he was going to move away. He simply said, "Good mother. She brought her kids with her." He said it so fast. My initial thought was "where else would they be?" 

The comment caught me off guard. Before I could respond, he had moved to the next line over on his scooter and was not even looking at me. Later, I was still marveling over the comment. At first, I was thinking - wow - I guess I could have left them home alone or in the hot car... 

Then, I felt encouraged. It was one of the few moments when the kids weren't asking for anything at the check-out line. They were behaving. No trying to climb out of the cart. Sweet Pea had her hand on the cart, and both boys were seated in the cart. Wow! Someone noticed. It felt good. 

Thanks Mr. Scooter man. You made my day. 

p.s. You must not have seen us while I was trying to look at books...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sharing from the Heart

On this small bit of space in the outer world...

I want to offer HOPE. Yet hope comes from only one source...

My heart is bursting. I have written to you dear friends a hundred times in my head and two times on paper. Yet, I have not the strength yet to share what touches me the most... what brings tears to my eyes and stings my soul.

The pain and burden that requires healing only comes from above.

I write in my time, and you read in yours. I write what I can share... though it feels like standing naked in front of you.... with my soul exposed.

I could write of the flowers I have been photographing recently... and I probably will...

I could write of the knitting I am learning... of the joy of wool in my hands... the feel of creating something... the constant watching and counting and the refreshment of pulling out the errors to start again. The creation that has no time frame that needs no hurry that requires nothing but time. The work that brings joy. The process of learning something new... perhaps I just did write of my new love of knitting.

But the things that matter most... that I want to share that I crave for you to understand leak from the keys and end in a puddle. Isn't that how we are in real life?

                        Don't you clean the house before company arrives?
                                 Don't you throw all your messes in places they are hidden?
                                              Don't you wipe your child's face before they go out?

Don't you slip on a nicer shirt before you go out and keep the ones with stains for at home?
                            Why do we even keep the ones with stains? 
                                                  Why can't we throw them out?                                
                                                              Why can't we look "nice" all the time? 
                                                                            Why can't I be "nice" all the time?

My song prayer all the day long is "create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a right spirit within me."

I know I need God that I have spots that I can't clean alone. I have patches of rough weather where my temper flares and my heart stings. I have days and hours and moments when I fight back the tears, and want something better and different. Yet, I know that I am on the right path... that I have found the Way.

So do you know the way?
The Bible says in Luke chapter 13 verses 22 to 30:

22Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"
   He said to them, 24"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
      "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
 26"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'
 27"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
 28"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."

Do you know how to be saved? If not, may I show you narrow door...  ask me I want to share it with you.

What does it mean? It means I can get up in the morning. It means I can find GRACE for myself when I drop a whole GLASS (did I mention GLASS) jar of RED spaghetti sauce on the floor less than 15 minutes before a group of LADIES arrived at my house. It means I find GRACE when my 2 year old arrives with GUM in his hair... it means I find GRACE when plans are changed.

GRACE was freely given to me - so why shouldn't I have GRACE to share? My sins are white as snow... 
How PURE is that?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Bookshelf & Summer Reading

Wow... I really, really love to read. When I read fiction, I can't stop until the book is finished. So, it is not at all productive for me to read fiction; it usually wastes a whole day. Here is what I am reading NOW...

Daily reading.. Bible. This year I am reading The Daily Bible. I fall behind... I get ahead. I am going to read the whole Bible in a year. I love the Chronological order. It makes sense. Right now I am reading Proverbs, and this Bible groups them by categories. In the side margins of the book is where the verses are found in the Bible. If you want to read from Genesis to Revelations with no stopping in the typical order then a Chronological Bible is not for you.

I just started a Beth Moore Bible Study on the book of Esther from the Bible. I loved the Introductory message, and can't wait to jump in. It took a lot of resolve not to do the whole week in one day. It had the most amazing information on Providence... and guess what I have been wondering about... Providence. I love when God arranges that the thing you want to learn more about - you do. It just pushed me to want to learn more about Providence. If you live near me, you are welcome to join next Tuesday from 10-12. If you don't, then you can purchase the audio, teacher guide and student book, etc. (and it is that good!)

Just bought this... and can't wait to start reading it.Seasons of a Mother's Heart

I have used this book called teach them diligently as a reference for a long time. I look forward to doing a more in depth look at parenting with this study guide for the book. This book is full of scriptures to teach your children and to teach yourself.

Interesting series by Alexander McCall Smith called the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The theology is strange... one minute they are praying and I think they are all Christians, then lying and thinking it is okay... so read it for entertainment value not ethics, morals or religious content. It is fun to read it and analyze it to see how Christians are thought of in Africa and their traditions. It would be fun to research and see how much of the books is truth and how much is this author's discretion when writing about religion.

Currently, I am reading the 9th book... and I just started reading the series in the last month. I know - 9 books - yeah, I really liked them. Why do I like them? The main character Mme Ramotswe is a detective in a most unprofessional manner, but solves cases that are unique, timeless and interesting. I love how they find out the truth in situations, and each book solves multiple mysteries that are clean-cut. There is no swearing, sex or terrible violent scenes.

One more in the series... and I think I will have read them all... Also, there was an HBO series from these books that I thought was delightful (though it does not follow the books exactly). I would only watch the series AFTER reading the books. If you are not a reader, then get the series. Warning: Blockbuster had no idea what I was talking about, but our local library has the TV series movie.

I found this book at a garage sale, and I think I paid a dime. It has a copyright date of 1974 (one year after I was born). I am on Square 5 of 63. My legalistic personality is determined to make all 63 squares, but I rethinking that... but we'll see. Ask me about my progress. I started knitting the first week of April for my birthday present.  So almost 5 squares in about 2 months... pretty good by my 3 kid standard... The book was so good it was reissued.

Getting RICH with AMAZON
In case you were wondering... I am not going to get rich with my Amazon links. I thought it would be more fun to see it in pictures. I have had my books listed on the side of my bar for many months, and have not made a single cent off of the links. For me to "make" money, you have to click on the link from my blog, and then actually purchase the book from my understanding. However, it has pages of info on Amazon that I have not bothered to read, so I could be wrong about that. However, I am certain I have not made a cent, and checked it to see that I had actually ONE click off my bar. Thanks to whoever made that ONE click.

Perhaps I will soon write a post strictly on Homeschooling Books which would fill a page. Let me know what you are reading... if you want to join me in reading any of these that would be fun.
p.s. If you know how to have text wrap around these ads, please share the code!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I wish there were not UNSPOKENS.... that we burst out with all that bubbles within. That we reveal the truth.

Jesus said to him, “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6

I wish we could be REAL all the time. When we are happy, we bubble with excitement and shout it out regardless of others. When we are sad, the tears would flow - there would be no holding back the dams.

WE would be REAL.

Yet for the sake of MANNERS and KINDNESS we hold it back and in.

WE can't scream out JOY when the one next to us is sad and in a STORM.

WE can't WEEP torrents when the one next to us has achieved their personal VICTORY.

So, we hold it in and have the UNSPOKENS. Yet the UNSPOKENS leak out in our face and eyes when we least expect them.

Lord - Teach me to see the UNSPOKENS in others, and help me to live a life that brings Glory to you. Help me to say the unmentionables and live with truth and integrity. Thank you for the friends you have blessed me with that carries my burdens and bear the weight of all my SPOKENS. Amen.

Monday, May 31, 2010


"and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all." Luke 6:19

How many people showed up on Sunday at the steps of a church for Healing? Maybe they did not walk the aisle... and bow on the steps.... maybe they did not sit in a wheelchair... Maybe the one needing the MOST healing was the one in the new dress, new hose, high heels, perfect makeup and a fresh manicure. Maybe the healing was in the heart... maybe the heart was torn a bit. As the music played, and the words washed the soul, how many souls were healed by the touch of the Spririt of God? How many looked for Jesus and found him Sunday? Maybe polite conversation was made in the hall while the sick was dying standing there saying "how are you?" when inside they were rotting. Maybe the eyes were dry, but the soul was weeping?

How do we know? We don't. So, maybe the best thing to assume is that we all need Jesus's healing touch day by day.

Maybe instead of grimacing at the time to shake hands - it is the time embrace and really mean it when you ask "how are you?"

Maybe when you see the tears flowing, it is time for you to Move and put a comforting embrace.

Maybe when you see someone head to the bathroom, it is the time to follow without worrying about interrupting or "missing" something.

Let us seek the hurt. Heal our own broken hearts.    Amen.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It did NOT count... Seeking to Love Better

Lord - Grant me the Love you have for others. Show me how to see them like you do. It should be so easy, yet I stumble.  Amen.

Sweet Pea followed her with no judgments.  Then,  she came to me saying the Little Girl was not playing nice. The Little Girl was controlling the playground equipment ordering all of the kids to lay down and "go to sleep" or be "sent to detention." (I am guessing that most of the homeschooling kids she was playing with had no idea what "detention" was or why anyone would choose to go there.)

This was the Little Girl you don’t want your child to hang out with at the park for fear that they will hear something or be taught something that you would rather protect them from…

This was the Little Girl when asked "where is your mommy?" said her mommy was not there – she lived only 4 blocks away and had come with her brother on her bike.

Yes, four blocks away – I don’t even let my Sweet Pea go to the mail box out of my sight alone.

The Little Girl learned my children’s names quickly and used them as if we had all come to the park together on a play date.

I never asked her what her name was or how old she was.

My children got thirsty – and I brought them all water bottles and a snack of healthy pre-cut apples with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Her mother if she was even at home had sent her with nothing… the Little Girl was thirsty.

I was Thirsty. It was a hot day, and I wanted to drink my own water.

The Little Girl complained to me, and stated she was not going to ride all the way home – it was too far to go for a drink. I suggested maybe there was a water fountain nearby or in the building next door.
I did not want to share. I wanted her to go away.

My children were there waiting and watching and listening. Other mothers were watching.

I gave her my water. She may have said “Thank You” but I don’t remember it. It was casual as if I was expected to bring her water… that it was normal to eat a stranger’s apples and take her bottle of water.

My children would not have gone near another mother to ask for a snack and water on a playground even if it was someone they knew. They would wait to be invited. I can't even imagine my children taking apples from a stranger.

Manners aside… 

My Sweet Pea watched and questioned.  

When the little girl skipped off to play and scream at some other children nearby, Sweet Pea asked quietly, 
“Why Mommy did you give her your water?”

I answered, "The Bible says that what we do for the least of these we do unto Him."

Answer was accepted. Play was resumed. The water bottle went to the side on the bench with barely a sip taken from it. Apples were turned down the second time around. The water bottle was left as waste with only a sip missing…

I was thirsty.

I acted correctly. I said the right thing. To anyone watching or listening they heard it right…

But it did not count… there will be no check in the box for kindheartedness…

I did it – but I did not do it well.

My children may have learned the right way to behave on the playground that day, but
I did not love her like Jesus.

I tried, but failed. Lord, give me another chance.

Unknown to all but me  - in my van sat at least 10 more water bottles in the trunk. They were hot. I waited until I got home to fix an icy cup of water with a lemon. I waited to drink as if I was punishing my heart for not feeling the love.

I pray that my heart follows my actions. That the things I know to be right and want to feel follow my actions…

Lord, give me a heart for others. Give me a heart that melts. Give me compassion and love to the least of these. And Lord, until I can feel it, let me do it anyway.  Amen.

Love one another. John 13:34
You should love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39