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Friday, December 30, 2011

Aftermath

Well, today I am doing the dreaded after-Christmas cleaning.  Not only are there gifts to put away, but there is grime from parties thrown, and I am trying to disinfect while hubby recuperates from his yearly New Years bug.  Oh - fun, fun!  It was a warm, breezy day (at least this morning), so I opened up the bedroom to air it out.  I also hung out all of the bedding in hopes of blowing away the germs.  In between the cleaning, I started the tax return with any information that I already had.  The year is fast waning ... I hung the 2012 calendar today.  Hard to believe that another year is past!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time

Today I am thankful for time off.  I am enjoying time with my hubby (even though he is fighting sickness).  I don't think that we have had a whole week off together since we arrived in NC in October 2008.  It is nice to regroup and to relax before starting another round of adventures.  We have done a little window shopping and a little house hunting, but are mostly enjoying a relaxing week of peace and quiet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Unexplainable Savings Plan

One of my favorite jobs in the home is accountant.  With hubby's direction and approval, I create a budget and then help us stick with it.  Every year at about this time, I wrap up the budget sheets and present an "annual report" to hubby.  We evaluate what needs to be changed, if funds should be moved, if we need to tighten up in some areas, etc.  Every year at about this time, we both scratch our heads and marvel at God's goodness to us.  We feebly try to do our part by shopping wisely, saving for the future, and giving to God's work and His people,  we try to live a life of faith ... but God does far more in stretching the budget and in providing for our needs and wants.  Truly ... little is much when God is in it. 
Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together,
and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete
withal it shall be measured to you again.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where is my Joy?

Psalm 119:14
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies,
as much as in all riches.

David had a proper view of God's Word and material blessings.
I often have to do a priority check after Christmas and Birthdays.
We show our love and gratitude to others with gifts.
Oh, our delight to give and to receive special items.
I received many riches this Christmas ...
...a watch, a ring, a necklace ...
It is easy to joy in these riches.
Do I joy in God's Word just as much and just as easily?

Enjoyed the Celebration

I do hope that you had a wonderful Christmas day.

This may have been one of my best yet.

I just love when Christmas day is on Sunday.

We started the day with a little extra sleep
(after hosting a party the night before).

Church service at 11.

Church fellowship meal at noon.

Another service at 1 with the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

Tried to find a solid church with an evening service.  No success.

Invited friends over for fellowship and help with leftovers!

Joined some other friends to look at lights in a neighboring town.

So thankful for our church family who shared time with us this holiday season 
in the absence of our own families.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I wish you and your family
a very
Merry Christmas!

* * * * * * * * * *

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.



Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

* * * * * * * * * *
Christmas is more than a baby in a manger.
Jesus came to earth to die for you.
If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior,
won't you repent of your sins and believe on the work of Christ to save you?



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve



Christmas Eve Service.
Here.
Tonight.
The house is all cleaned.
Made room for 12 big people and 2 itty bitties
in a single wide living room.
Now ... must prepare refreshments.

The nativity above will help to keep our two little guests
involved in the reading of the Christmas Story.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gifts of Love

It is an unseasonably warm day today. 
Beautiful sunny skies after a few days of drippy, drizzly, pouring ... mess.
Surely not looking a lot like Christmas here.
Despite the weather, I am preparing for a Christmas Eve service
here at the Bickish mansion tomorrow night.

I survived the girlie party yesterday.  It usually takes them awhile to warm up ... but they sure did!  Poor hubby was home and had to listen to all of the giggling and friendly competition during the games.  He was also a great help ... while I was finishing up the games, he was washing all of my baking and dinner dishes :)  What a sweetheart.

My girlies brought some sweet, well-thought out gifts which showed that they had thought about me.  One student had asked me weeks ago about my favorite animal and made me a poster with pictures of otters all over it and included some fun facts as well.  Some students had noticed my love of apples (as seen in my kitchen decor) on a previous visit and brought gifts according to that love.  Each student was quick to tell me that the gifts were not expensive, but the value to me was great because it showed their love and interest in ME!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunday School Party

I am working on the final details of another Sunday School Party.  5 girls will spend some time at the Bickish Mansion this evening.  Of course there will be pizza and chips.  They will once again make their own dessert - Stained Glass Cookies!  That also is their craft :)  We have some games to play with Christmas themes.  Our devotion comes from

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,
and loving favour rather than silver and gold. 

and

Luke 1:28 and 30 
And the angel came in unto her, and said,
Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God.

It is easy to get caught up in materialism at Christmas ...
...the silver, the gold, the toys, the gadgets, the games, the clothes ...
... you name it. 
What matters and what will last is God's favour on our lives!
Mary was poor as seen by her offering in the temple following Christ's birth.
That is, poor in the world's eyes
She was not chosen for her riches ...
...but for her character and relationship to God. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crowded Out

Is Christ crowded out of your busy life
With the toiling that each day brings?
with the strain and stress of the cards that press
You've no time for the King of kings.

"No room in the inn" for the Christ-Child blest,
"In a manger so low He lay;"
In the hearts of men o'er and o'er again,
There's no room for Him still today.

"The foxes have holes and the birds have nests
But nowhere for His head divine."
Had the Son of man, should He come again
Find a place in you heart and mine.

The hearts of the ones whom He died to save
Is the home which He seeks today;
By His life bought yet He is crowded out,
And "Away with Him," still they say.

There's coming a day in the great sometime
If for Christ you have never room,
You will knock and wait at the pearly gate,
Crowded out there will be you doom.

Refrain:
Crowded out!  Crowded out!
You've no time for His service, you say;
While for pleasure and business you always have time,
Is Christ crowded out today?

- Mrs. C. H. Morris


Another not so well known Christmas carol. 
Quite the convicting message. 
What is taking my time that should be given to Christ?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Hanukkah


Today is the first day of Hanukkah. 
We have not converted in our study of the Hebrew tongue, but we do try to keep aware of Jewish celebrations.  The celebration is actually a beautiful remembrance of God's blessing on the Jews ... when oil that should have lasted for about 1 day, lasted for 8 days.  The unfortunate part is that the Jews celebrate God's provision of oil, and ignore His provision of their Messiah.

We went to the mall in Charlotte today in search of some more Hebrew speaking vendors.  We prayed that we would be able to give out some more Barit Hodesha (New Covenants).  We were excited to arrive and see a program set up in the center of the mall for a Hanukkah Celebration hosted by a Jewish Preschool!  We gave one Hebrew New Testament to an Orthodox Jew there selling menorahs. 

We then found kiosks with 4 other Jewish young people.  We were able to give New Testaments to 2 of them and hope to go back when it is a little quieter.  We even shared a Hanukkah donut with one of the girls!

God is good.  He loves the Jewish people and He loves Israel.  Shouldn't we?

Just a note.  It was during Hanukkah (the festival of lights) that Jesus declared Himself to be the Light of the World. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


A Christmas tree made out of poinsettia lights.
Seattle, WA


Loving this season of the year!
****
Preparing to host 2 parties this week.
****
Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A New Job

Well, we were praying ...
    ... and God answered.

While we still wonder what a Bible college education has to do with our present course, we have been praying and asking God to show us whether we should stay here or move.  We knew that the position at Kmart was perfect during the school semester but would not adequately meet our needs after college.  We are thankful that on Tuesday, God gave hubby a job at a farm and tractor store/shop.  He will work as a diesel mechanic and a parts man for awhile.  The position is 8-5, M-F which allows for hubby to be in church for all services as well as to be involved in organized visitation on Saturdays.  What a blessing!  While we may wonder about the Bible college degree, we no longer wonder about his Diesel Mechanics Degree or his time ripping apart tractors on the dairy farm :)  It is just a reminder that God's timing is perfect ... and I sure needed that reminder this week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Willing Acceptance of God's Plan

Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things;
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him
from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm;
he hath scattered the proud
in the imagination of their hearts.
 He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham,
and to his seed for ever.

Every time that I read or am reminded of this "Magnificat" (Mary's Song),
I am amazed at Mary's strength in adversity. 
Sure she is respected today and held up as a godly example,
but the looks, comments, and opinions during her day were
probably less than favorable.
Her eyes were on God, her Savior.
She realized her true position before Him
and the honor of His calling.

How many times do I complain in my call?
Why don't I sing this as my own "Magnificat?"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Room in the Inn

 No beautiful chamber, No soft cradle bed,
No place but a manger, Nowhere for His head;
No praises of gladness, No tho't of their sin,
No glory but sadness, No room in the inn.

No room, no room for Jesus, Oh, give Him welcome free,
Lest you should hear at heaven's gate, "There is no room for thee."

No sweet consecration, No seeking His part,
No humiliation, No place in the heart;
No tho't of the Savior, No sorrow for sin,
No pray'r for His favor, No room in the inn.

No one to receive Him, No welcome while here,
No balm to relieve Him, No staff but a spear;
No seeking His treasure, No weeping for sin,
No doing His pleasure, No room in the inn.

-A.L. Skilton

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Icing

While I can't attest to these cookies myself.  Both hubby and the Hebrew class seemed to enjoy them.  Don't get me wrong ... I wanted to try them, but I am a chocoholic who abstains from chocolate because I can't stop once I start (kind an "acceptable" addiction that I don't want to accept).  I did not use the frosting recipe suggested, but rather used some canned peppermint icing (forgive me).  You could add peppermint extract to the given recipe to achieve similar results.

Frosted Chocolate Delights

1/2 c shortening (I used butter)
1 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c chopped walnuts (I used choc. chips since I was using peppermint icing)

FROSTING:
9 TBSP butter, softened
4 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6-8 TBSP milk

Cream shortening and brown sugar.  Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla.  Beat in chocolate.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Gradually add to the creamed mixture.  Stir in nuts (or choc. chips)

Drop by TBSP 2 in apart on ungreased sheets.  Bake at 350* for 11-13 min. or until firm.

For frosting ... cream butter and sugar.  Beat in vanilla and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency.  Frost cooled cookies.

* * * * * * * * *

I also made some homemade peanut butter cups. 
I no longer eat these ... but I know that they are DELICIOUS!




Friday, December 9, 2011

Mazel Tov Ishi

Congratulations, My Husband

Done!

This is the last day of classes.
No finals to take.

Have some treats to take to Hebrew class to celebrate.

It is a small enough school that the official ceremony will have to wait until May.
The question is ... Will we still be here?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Education

Can I be thankful twice today?

I am thankful for education. 
 I love to teach and I love to learn. 
I think I could gladly be a perpetual student. 
I am thankful for a hubby who loves to learn ... and encourages me to keep learning.
I have enjoyed the time that hubby has been in school
because there is always something new to read,
... to study,
... to research. 
So now what? 
We ordered Rosetta Stone Modern Hebrew yesterday. 
We will continue to study Biblical Hebrew on our own,
but would like to be able to speak in hopes of ministering to God's people - the Jews!

Accountability

Today I am thankful for my Sunday School class of five pre-teen and teen girls.  While not what I would have deemed my "calling" or gift, the uniqueness of this age has been a gift.  It took awhile to realize that my influence could extend past the walls of the classroom with this age.  Not only did they need a challenge from the Word each week, but a challenge to be more Christ-like throughout the week.  Who doesn't need that challenge?  Unfortunately, I have found it hard to find adult accountability partners.  I am not sure if we become embarassed as we age ... Perhaps we are scared that someone will discover that we are not a "Super-Christian."  BUT ... these girls are not afraid to put my feet to the fire and accept it from me as well.  What a joy to be approached on a Wednesday night and asked, "How are your devotions going this week?  Have you done them every day?" 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Negative Example

I have often thought that I learn best by negative examples.  Perhaps you have done it too.  You see an outcome, an action, or an activity that you do not like and you make a concerted effort to avoid it in your life.  Perhaps it was in your marriage, in your parenting style, in the way that you serve.  The negative example and result sometimes speaks far louder than the positive example.

In studying Genesis 16, I see in Sarah a negative example.  I can sympathize and empathize with Sarah.  She had a promise, but was not seeing the results.  She had already waited 10 years for her heart's desire and was losing hope.  In her desperation, she made a poor choice.  She chose to give her servant to her husband.  Now Abraham did not have to listen, but I can imagine that he may have been tired of seeing his wife's sorrow, he may have been losing faith as well, perhaps he just wanted to "just fix things."  In the end, her poor decision only compounded the problem.

How about you and me? 
Do I whine and complain to get my way? 
Do I wait for God to give me the desires of my heart? 
Do I encourage our husbands, friends, family to do wrong so that I can "fix" things? 

***********

It is another drippy day here. 
There is a promise of a break tomorrow. 
All of the rain reminds me of this verse.  

Proverbs 27:15 
A continual dropping in a very rainy day
and a contentious woman are alike.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Clutter Breeds Clutter

It is one of those strange scientific laws that is easily seen in a home.  Cleanliness breeds cleanliness and clutter breeds clutter.  Unfortunately the clutter has been winning in the little trailer here.  Typically, I do a really good cleaning before the Christmas decorations come out.  Not so this year.  In all the fun of decorating, the clutter was growing.  The part that I don't like about decorating is finding a spot for all the displaced things in the house.  Some just go back in the totes that the decorations came out of ... but some things are needful around the house.  I have spent some of the past two days fixing the clutter problem ... oh does that feel good.  A place for everything and everything in its place!

I think our personal and spiritual lives are the same way.  Bad eating choices breed more bad eating choices.  Good fitness choices breed other good choices.  A poor use of the tongue breeds more ill speech.  Good Bible study habits breed better study habits.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.

Just as it feels good to walk around and work in a tidy, clean house, so it is a blessing to make right decisions and to walk with the Lord.  May I not let the "clutter" of life overcome my daily walk with the Lord.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quaint and Charming Cookbook

I am not cooking tonight, because a good friend of ours is introducing us to a BBQ restaurant that our town is known for.  This includes the "best sweet tea" in the area and red BBQ slaw.  I am really looking forward to it.

Yesterday, I was not planning to cook either.  We were going to be distributing tracts at the fair grounds and were going to enjoy a bag lunch.  However, hubby wasn't feeling well, so some friends filled in.  That left a Sunday dinner unprepared.  My pastor's wife had mentioned that she was having Potato Soup and on the way home from church, I thought, I could throw together some Potato Soup.  I quickly went to this quaint, little cookbook, Just a Matter of Thyme which my Sister-in-law gave me as a shower gift 9 years ago.  It is a sweet book because of the pictures (drawings) and the handwriting-like font.  While not a "Taste of Home", every-recipe-is-a-winner book ... it does have some classics like this quick and easy one that saved the day yesterday ...

Stuffed Spud Soup

2 lbs frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 c butter
1/2 c chopped green onion (I used white onion)
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper
3-4 c half 'n half or milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
bacon bits, parsley flakes, chopped chives, and/or sour cream for top

Saute onion in butter. 
Add soup, half 'n half, and thawed potatoes
(mine were frozen - still works but needs to warm a little longer). 
Stir in cheese and heat gently. 
Garnish and serve.
Serves 8-10

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Season Kick-off

Tonight, we dug out the Christmas decorations ... Christmas village, 3 nativities, stockings, and a few wall hangings.  While we began our work with scented candles and Classical Christmas CDs for ambiance, some carolers from the college came to cheer our spirits even more ... I have been a caroler many times, but have never had any on my door step. :)  Thanks Guys!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Opportunities

Today, I am thankful for opportunities that God gives us.  They are different for each person.  Our present study of the Hebrew language has opened a new door of opportunity for us.  I am sure that you have seen the kiosks for Israeli-made beauty aids in the mall.  Our Hebrew teacher encouraged us to use our knowledge of the language as a way to minister to the Jewish people working there.  Hubby went last night - not only do I have some really nice lotions, but he was able to give away 3 Hebrew New Testaments and was invited back by 2 of the men.  Hubby was on cloud 9 last night!  What an opportunity!

Tomorrow starts Christmas at the Fair.  We will be handing out tracts again.  Pastor and his wife said that while they were unpacking the tracts, people were asking for them.  Christmas is such an open door.

Will you pray for Maayan, Osher, Ben, and the people of Cleveland County who will receive the gospel this week?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Embarassed and Twitterpated

My dear, sweet hubby embarrassed me during his preaching yesterday, and yet thrilled me at the same time.  My husband loves me, and he is not afraid to say so.  There were numerous comments made to me following his chapel message about how much I had to pay him to get him to complement me.  I know that the comments were made in jest, but it made me think about the rarity of sweet comments between married partners and made me think of something that my brother said during our marriage ceremony.  It is not hard for a wife to sweetly submit to someone who is lovingly leading me.  On the flip side, it is not hard for a husband to lovingly lead someone who is sweetly submitting.  If I do my job, it is easier for him to do his.  If he does his, it is easier for me to do mine. 

So who does their job first? 

I don't remember having to make a choice in my home.
Hubby might just have beat me to it :) 
Perhaps you will have to be the one who makes the first move ... why not? 
What do you have to lose?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Things First

Proverbs 24:27
Prepare thy work without,
and make it fit for thyself in the field;
and afterwards build thine house.

The last major responsibility at college was finished this morning.  Hubby preached on the above text with the focus of taking care of your spiritual field before looking to your physical house.  I will be no good as a wife, as a Sunday School teacher, or as a student if I am not cleaning up my life - removing rocks and pests of sin and watering the soil with the Word of God and prayer.  The early settlers realized that without good fields, their houses would soon be empty.  It was the produce from the fields that would feed and sustain them.  Have you looked to your fields today?  Spend time in His Word and in prayer.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Holed Up

It is what I fondly refer to as a "Seattle Day."  It is gray with rain.  Not cold out, but looking at the day makes you a little cool.  I have enjoyed some warm coffee this afternoon.  I just love the flavored creamers ... it almost makes Starbucks obsolete in my mind :)  Hubby is off to work and I think that I will dig out some Christmas decorations tonight and possibly start the card making process.

I spent some of this afternoon shopping on line.  I used my credit at One King's Lane to get a quality wood toy for my gift closet.  The toy was free, unfortunately, their credit did not cover shipping.  Oh well. 

Are you having a gray day or enjoying a beautiful fall day or perhaps getting a taste of winter?
Enjoy it ... whatever it is!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Online

I have yet to get the thrill of Black Friday shopping.  Yes, I love a good deal - but, oh the insanity.  As hubby left Kmart last night at around 10 am, there were already people in the parking lot waiting for the 5 am opening!  I was actually going to try to go to Office Max this morning for some antivirus software and flash drives, but aborted the idea in favor of shopping Amazon.com.  I figured that it was a bad sign when the software was already sold out online.  So Amazon.com got my business and I only paid $5 extra and saved sleep and gas!

At least two of my readers signed up for Plum District and received $5.  If you order something today and use the coupon code GIVE10, you can add another $10 to your credit.  It is only good today, but you should at least check it out!  If you did not sign up, you can still earn the $5 credit in addition to the days sale.

Good Day

I greatly enjoyed a very restful Thanksgiving.  Hubby and I slept in for the first time in months, enjoyed a quiet breakfast, and then a nice long time of Bible Reading.  We also enjoyed reading the Psalms together and recounting our reasons to give thanks. 

Last year, hubby gave me the day off from cooking and took me to our dear friend, Ryans (a buffet), for dinner.  We liked it so much, we planned it again this year.  You see, hubby enjoys the Thanksgiving meal, but not the fact that he has to watch me cook for hours when he would rather be enjoying my company.  We went to see Ryan, but he had so much company that we decided to see our friend Denny instead.  We had a very good turkey melt with turkey, stuffing, Swiss cheese, and cranberry mustard spread with gravy for dipping - YUMMY! 

At 3:30, hubby headed for work and I mowed the lawn for the last time of the season and raked and mulched some of our leaves.  When the sun went down, I worked to put away some fall decorations and to begin planning the Christmas fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks

Trials, which make me rest on God more completely

Hubby, my true love, and the one who understands me

A  -  Abilities

N  -  Neighbors, near and far

K  -  Kin, we love each of you from NY to AK to AZ

S  -  School (and it's completion next month!)

G  -  Gardens, and all things green and growing

I  -  Industry, the means God often uses to meet our needs

V  -  Victuals, my daily bread (and often extra)

I  -  Individuality, I am glad that I am "me"

N  -  Nest, a place to call home

G  -  God, who gives us all good things to enjoy

Even if I had nothing, there is still reason to give thanks.

Habakkuk 3:17-18
Although the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be in the vines;
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat;
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a time to mourn

Today's "woman's work" involved ministry at a funeral.  While we do not mourn for the dear lady who passed away on Monday for she had placed her faith in Jesus Christ, we mourn with those left behind and pray that the Lord will work in a mighty way to save those who do not have hope for their future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

They are HERE!

We are so thankful that our order of Christmas tracts arrived yesterday. 
***
It only took 2 WEEKS! 
***
Did you order yours? 

Wait

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God:...

Rest in Him, my fainting heart.
He is your refuge and strength.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Almost there ...

There is something so exciting about finishing ... Yes?  While there are yet 3 1/2 weeks in the semester, the work is done.  There is just one message to preach for a class next Monday and another message to preach in chapel on Tuesday.  Papers ... done!  Finals ... graduating seniors can skip them with an appropriate GPA! 

It is exciting to finish and yet it comes with a heavy weight.  Now what?  Sorry, I can't answer that for you yet.  We are still waiting on God for His clear direction ... in the mean time, we will serve here where we are and are searching for a job that will be more suitable to meet our needs.

If you live in the Shelby area, come here hubby at chapel on Tuesday, November 29.  Chapel starts at 9:00 am.  If you live out of the area, you can watch chapel on live video feed, or you can download the sermon after the service at the college website.  There will actually be two students preaching that morning and I am not sure if hubby will be first or second. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clear

Can I admit that my moods are easily affected by the weather?
Cold, grey days easily bring bad moods that must be battled with God's help.
Oh, the time that I would have in Seattle when it was grey from October until April!

I am thankful that the grey days help us to appreciate the beautiful clear days. 
Yesterday we had some severe storms, but today ... welcome back, Mr. Sun! 
It is certainly true that our trials and struggles help us to appreciate
the good times and the blessings even more.

I also think that everything looks clearer and brighter after the rain.
Today I clearly see that my lawn is littered with leaves that must be raked...
... but not today ... I will be teaching piano lessons this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proper Boasting

Psalm 44:8
In God we boast all the day long,
and praise thy name for ever.
Selah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Stew

Ready to go into the oven.

While I am not a huge stew fan, I do try to make this fall specialty at least once a year for my hubby who could probably enjoy it every week.  It is a simple beef stew that is baked in a pumpkin and then served out of the pumpkin shell.  I think that hubby likes the novelty of the pumpkin.  I like that most of the mess is cleaned up before serving to company!  We were sharing a meal with friends on Saturday night and I made hubby's stew.  I was a little disappointed that it was more soup-like on Saturday night, but by Sunday it had thickened up and was a more traditional stew!

Pumpkin Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 T vegetable oil, divided
1 c water
3 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 med onion, chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T instant beef bouillon granules
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pumpkin (10-12 lbs)

In a dutch oven, brown meat in 2 T oil.  Add the water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Stir in the bouillon and tomatoes.

Wash pumpkin.  Cut a 6-8 inch circle around top stem.  Remove top and set aside.  discard seeds (and roast for a snack) and loose fibers from inside.  Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan.  Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace the top.  Brush outsides of pumpkin with remaining 1 T of oil.

Bake at 325* for 2 hours or just until the pumpkin is tender (do not overbake).  Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out some pumpkin with each serving.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Return to Childhood


I bought a jump rope the other day.  I imagined that it would be a simple and inexpensive way to liven up my workout routine.  I quickly did a little research and found that 10 minutes of jumping rope is as good as a 30 minute jog ... of course, I am not able to do it for 10 minutes straight just yet.

I got started on Tuesday and by Thursday, I was feeling it.  I even taught hubby how to jump rope and he is feeling the challenge to be able to jump longer than I can :)  I like a good challenge.  It sure is hard to believe that I used to spend my entire recess time jumping rope - sure wish I had stuck with it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

11*11*11

Memorable Date - Is it not?
Only comes around once every 100 years!
It is Veteran's Day.
A bittersweet day.
Wednesday, our little town buried a young soldier killed in Afghanistan.
A painful reminder of the sorrows of a nation at war.
Thinking of all those who are in harms way today...
...And all those waiting at home.


I will be celebrating with my favorite veteran.
We celebrated 3 years separated from the Navy on October 31.
O.G. is giving hubby a free lunch today - and he offered to pay for mine :)

Here is the extra sweet part ...
... a niece arrived this morning to make the day more memorable.
Happy Birthday, little one!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Credit

Another daily deal site is offering you a free $5 credit just for signing up.  As I said, this is a good way to collect a stash of simple gifts for holidays, birthdays, or just to encourage a friend.  Check it out here.  It appears that these deals are good on fast food, groceries, or auto repair in your local area similar to the Entertainment Coupon Book,

Iron

Proverbs 27:17 
Iron sharpeneth iron;
so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Today, I am thankful for a friend who is working VERY hard to be healthy and fit. 

Her discipline encourages me to say "no" to the unhealthy snack
or the second portion
and inspires me to get out on my walk/jog/run.

Even "weight loss cheerleaders" need encouragement to stick with it sometimes!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prudent

Proverbs 19:14b
...and a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Prudence
1. ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2. shrewdness in the management of affairs
3.  skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4.  caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

Prudent
1.  marked by wisdom or judiciousness
2.  shrewd in the management of practical affairs
3.  marked by circumspection; discreet
4.  provident, frugal

Well, that will keep me busy today ... and tomorrow
 ... and the next day ... and the next ...
What a challenge!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What is Leading You?

Psalm 43:3a
O send out thy light and thy truth;
let them lead me; ...

How often I let my emotions, my feelings, popular opinion, my heart, polls, my experiences dictate my actions!  Here the Psalmist reminds me to be led by God's light and His truth ... The Word of God.  That is guidance that will never fail.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds

One treat around this house for the fall is roasted pumpkin seeds.  The pumpkins are used for decoration throughout the fall and then they give their seeds for snacks and their "meat" for pies, breads, cookies, and other baked goods.  For our early Thanksgiving dinner, my folks brought two winter squash - YUMMY!  These veggies also volunteered their seeds for a snack!

Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
4 T melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce


Fall Flavors Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
4 T melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice


Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
4 T melted butter
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Remove seeds from pumpkin.  Wash in big bowl of water.  Strain and let dry for 30 minutes to a day.  Heat oven to 275*.  Mix dry seeds with melted butter mixture of your choice.  Spread on cooking sheet.  Roast for 10-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.  (Mine have taken as long as 45 minutes to get crispy).

Friday, November 4, 2011

House Hunting

I am such a girl in that I love shopping.  Really I do.  While I love clothes and shoes and jewelry, they are not the temptation that home decor and kitchenware is.  I am working on controlling the spending aspect, but I sure love to dream and learn from others in the areas of decorating and making a house a home.  I love stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Kirklands, etc. 

Because we are in a position of simply keeping all of our options open, hubby has actually started house hunting here.  We got to tour a trailer yesterday - what fun!  We are not buying today or tomorrow, but if God provides a minsitry and a job here in Cleveland County, it sure would be nice to have a home of our own :)

Boost the Profits

I mentioned a free $5 credit at PlumDistrict last week.  Until Monday, they are offering a $10 credit.  So if you did not jump on it last week because it didn't seem worth it ... I know that you can get something for free now.  And like I said before, I held mine "too long" and they added $5 to it.  Sign up here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good News for Christmas

Our church recently found another opportunity for tract distribution in our area.  Our local fair grounds conducts a "Christmas at the Fair" in early December.  The fair is 3 days and we will hand out tracts from a booth as we did in early October.  Because of the seasonal aspect of this event, the church decided to have a Christmas tract published.  It just finished publication this morning and is available for purchase at printmytract.com.  Many thanks to all those who worked on this tract and gave much valuable feedback.

Please let your pastors know about this tract.  The smallest order is 1000, but if 10 families in a church gave out 25 tracts a week in the month of December, they would be gone in no time.  Think of all the opportunities for distribution to shopping clerks, in Christmas cards to unsaved loved ones, and on your church visitation.  The website says that printing and shipping take 2-3 weeks, so don't dawdle too long!

Extra Hours

Are you remembering that this weekend is "Time Change"?  I, for one, will be thankful for the extra hour of rest on Saturday night.

I am also thankful for the extra hours that hubby has been getting at work.  His school workload has slowed and the retail business continues to improve through the holiday season.

God is good all the time!

More Freebies or Deep Discounts

Did you have any success with my last links?  Here is another site giving away $10 credits.  I signed up this morning and will be watching to restock my gift closet.  I briefly looked at some toys that would not be free, but would be highly discounted with the credit.  Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SAHW

Do you recognize the acronym?  It is my job title.  Stay-at-Home-Wife.  While not as common as its counterpart (SAHM - Stay-at-Home-Mom), it is nevertheless my title.  After researching the title, it seems that the world has a negative view, for the most part, of my job.  While a SAHM is honorable and busy with the duties of wife and mother, a SAHW is often viewed as a soap opera-watching, bon-bon eating diva.  Perhaps that is why you don't hear of many SAHWs.  I must say that it is sometimes hard to "admit" to my job because of the common response, "well, what do you do all day."  My response internally is often, "How could I fit another job in?" 

I love my job.  I am my husband's wife and confidant.  I am a teaching consultant.  I am a church pianist.  I am a chef.  I am a baker.  I am a housekeeper.  I am an accountant.  I am a personal shopper.  I am a gardener and lawn keeper.  I am a painter (at least of large walls without detail).  I am a writer.  I am a secretary.  I am a nutritionist (though sometimes I ignore my own teaching) and menu planner.  I am a teacher.  I am a decorator.  I am a playmate with special interest in tree climbing and worms.  I am a student.  I am a seamstress.  I am a webmistress.  I am a designer.  I am a cheerleader.  I am a "think tank."  I am an aspiring violinist.  I am a motivational speaker.

I love the variety that my job gives me.  One day I may be working in the yard.  The next day I might be writing curriculum.  The next I might be babysitting.

I am sure that there are those SAHWs with a chocolate stash and a pile of DVDs, but I hope that you will give those SAHWs that you hear about the benefit of the doubt.  It is certainly the most satisfying job I have ever had.
 

Open Mouth ... Insert Foot

Oh, I am going to be laughing about this one for awhile.  It is magnified by the fact that this time it is not me with my foot in my mouth, but rather a person who is involved in Public Relations day in and day out!

I always head to school with hubbers on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and then stay for chapel.  I did so today and then decided that since there were missions displays and representatives in the gym that I would spend an hour there until hubby could drive me home (usually I just walk home).  I chatted with many lovely people promoting church planting out west, deaf ministries, and printing ministries.  As I turned from one display, there was a representative who greeted me with: "you are not as young as many of the girls here!"  Yes, he really said that.  I graciously admitted that I was an older student wife.  He followed this with: "You must have young children!"  Really, he did.  While this is a typical question/statement it is really quite heartless to a woman struggling with her infertility who was just told that she was old.  Had it not been so comical, I might have burst out crying.  Upon relaying the story to hubby, he replied, "the only way he could have made it worse was to comment on your weight!"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Psalm 43:5
Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope in God:
for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance,
and my God.

Such a "simple" answer to the burdens that weigh us down.
Hope in God.
Praise God.
Praise Him not for what He has given,
but for who He is!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

I have had the weekend off from cooking.  We had leftover turkey, pork, and miscellaneous baked goods to eat up.  It was a nice break after cooking for nine (and to think that some people do that every day!)  The chocolate muffins with mint chip were a HUGE success. 

Our pastor's wife recently shared with us her pumpkin butter recipe.  She serves it on sour dough bread, but we have enjoyed it on a lot of baked goods!  I have not tried making it ... yet ... but I have some frozen pumpkin as well as 3 pumpkins outside that may make good candidates for such an undertaking.

Pumpkin Butter - Crockpot

8 C - Pumpkin Puree
2 C - White Sugar
2 C - Brown Sugar
2 TBS Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground ginger
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. All spice
her secret ingredient - a dash of liquid cinnamon (found in the candy or cake decorating aisle)

Cook in Crockpot on low for 4 hours.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Turn it On!

Well, the season of super low electric bills is over.  I think that this may be a record for us.  We made it until October 29, 2011 before the heat had to be turned on.  We missed our goal by just 3 days!  We have had some cold mornings before now, but today the sun did not help as much during the day.

Hubby took me walking a local trail today so we could enjoy the changing fall leaves and just enjoy a hike together.  It was a beautiful day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Alone Again

Well, all of our extra guests have left.  It is amazing the difference that 7 extra people will make in a home that is used to just two.  We had a delightful time catching up with a brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces, a nephew, and my parents.  The Lord gave beautiful sunny days and gave safety on the roads over many miles travelled.  We had a picnic one day and enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage. 

But now we are alone again.  The extra beds, mattresses, and pads are rolled up, the dirty towels are washed and dried, and it is QUIET!  Time to think of hitting the books again ... fall break is almost over.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Thanksgiving

I will be signing off for about a week.  Some family is coming in and we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  It will be a busy week and a full house.  The house has been cleaned and some baking done ahead for quick and easy breakfasts.  Just have to do the last minute straightening and moving our personal belongings out of the way.  Here is one of the make-aheads that I did.  I am not sure if my guests will get any or not ... because hubby is REALLY enjoying them.

Ultra Chocolate Muffins

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c apple juice (I had to substitute water here)
1/4 c water
1/4 c butter, melted
1 T vinegar (any type)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips (I used a combination of mint and dark chocolate)

In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Stir.  In separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.  Mix well. 
Add wet to the dry and add chips.  Mix until blended, but be careful not to over mix. 
Pour into greased or paper-lined muffin tins.  Bake at 375* for 18 minutes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Faith never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is leading."


~ Oswald Chambers ~



Noah did not understand rain, but built an ark anyway; Abraham and Sarah could not understand how they could have a son in old age, but they believed God's promise;  Moses' parents did not understand how their little one could survive the Pharoah's edict, but they hid him anyway ... .  Times of trial and testing, if viewed properly, will lead us closer to our Heavenly Father than ever before.  It is such a battle to take my mind and hands off of the problems and to leave ALL in His hands.  Faith would not be faith if I could see it or if it followed human logic! :)






Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Budget Shopping

I am certainly no pro at saving money, but I have read a number of books and subscribed to a number of deal seeking web sites in the effort to be a better home economist.  Our local site (put out by a Christian associated with the college here) is http://www.thedealscoop.com/ .  The more comprehensive nationwide site is http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ .  Many times in the past three years, hubby and I have remarked that if I had known during our 4 years in Washington what I know now, it is possible that he would not have had to work at all while going to school.  There are so many games to play and ways to save money. I used to be embarrased to use coupons!  Imagine that!

This year, I have tried to do much of my Christmas shopping throughout the year using coupons, clearance racks, and free credits from online sites.  I have a growing extended family and this experiment is allowing me to acknowledge each one without breaking the bank ... and hopefully allows me to still have some funds to send them a box at Valentine's Day (that's something fun that is unique to this aunt).  One King's Lane is one such site offering gifts for the home... they are currently giving a $15 free credit when you sign up.  While this is not the best deal I have found (because the credit cannot apply to shipping - you still have to pay $4.95 shipping), it is profitable when you do alot of shopping online any way because you live in "the sticks!"  Plum District is giving $5 to 5 of my friends at this link .  I recently had a $10 credit with Plum District and when I didn't use it as promptly as they thought that I should, they ADDED $5 to it!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Faith and God's Omniscience

Will you allow me to be thankful again this week? :)

I am thankful that God knows all things.  We started a new Sunday School curriculum about 2 years ago.  The teachers chose what part of Scripture they wanted to begin with and from there we would follow a systematic approach to cover the Bible in 6 years.  So, we began the curriculum in Year 5 of the curriculum.  Coincidence?  No!  God's Plan.  He knew that I would need to be teaching Genesis this fall with an emphasis on the faith of these early Bible charaters.  He also ordained that in many of the chapel messages that I heard during the first weeks of the semester would be on faith and standing fast.  Abraham ... the three Hebrew children ...

I am so thankful that the Lord sends those reminders just about the time that I want to QUIT!
Keep praying!  We are still seeking God's direction after graduation.


P.S.  Much of the fall cleaning is done ... just the master bedroom and the catch-all room left!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Strength to do the Work!

I am reading in Jeremiah this week.  I was reminded while reading chapter 1 that God gives us the power, the strength, the words, the abilities to do what He has asked us to do.  Jeremiah had an excuse - he said that he could not speak, but God had an answer for him.

...Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

I too often want to give God excuses: too busy ... too tired ... not my thing ... I am not a people person ... why don't you use "so-and-so."  I am continually amazed that God uses us in His service.  I am also amazed at the way He equips us to do things that we feel inept at doing.  I am slow at learning that it is not about me ... it is only about Him.  The more He pulls me from my comfort zone, the more I learn to rely on Him.

I am thankful for the resource of His strength that is available to me. 
I am thankful that He uses me in spite of myself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ha Isha Ha Tovah - The Good Wife

I am feeling more like myself this week.  Why?  Well, I am back in my home and back to being a wife.  The work at the fair was the best choice for my time last week and it was encouraging to see some of the results in church on Sunday; but, it is good to be back home.  Today, I edited some hubby school work and resumed the fall cleaning.  There is nothing like the feeling after a DEEP cleaning: clean curtains, clean throw pillows, clean walls, cobwebs cleared.  I still have a ways to go, but there is joy in the work - I love being a wife!

The title of the blog - just an example of what I am learning in Hebrew class.  We are over 160 vocabulary words now and hubby and I are able to speak short sentences to one another. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Beautiful Week

We had a brief "Cold-snap" last week.  It was a little hard to wake up and get going in a trailer that was about 55*.  I just can't bring myself to use heat this early in the fall.  I usually try to make it until my dad's birthday (10/15), but a friend a church is trying to make it to 11/1 ... so maybe I can make it that long.

I am thankful that this week has warmed up a bit.  The nights are still cool and perfect for sleeping, but the days allow us to throw open the windows and enjoy the day!  I am thankful for these months when the utility bills are a lot lower as well.

I am also thankful for strength.  It has been an exhausting week, but God is faithful.  I need to get out this morning and get my lawn mowed ... there are many folks who who would love to mow their own lawn and are unable to, but I have still have the strength.

I believe that today will be my last day standing in the booth at the fair.  Hubby will go on Saturday night.  The Spirit is working ... people need Jesus.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Distractions

We've been busy talking with people at the fair and handing out gospel literature this week.  One evening, after we finished, we walked around the fair itself.  I was struck by many things.  The fair - such vanity!  Everything is designed to feed the desires of the flesh.  Food!  Food!  Food!  Games!  Rides!  Lights!  Toys!  There were lights and sounds (or noise) everywhere!  It was easy to feel like a character at "Vanity Fair" in Pilgrim's Progress.  There were so many attractions and displays competing for my attention.  The distractions were also prevalent while standing in our fair booth.  It was frustrating to start presenting the gospel only to be interrupted by the vacuum salesmen, the clicking of the prize wheel at the Miracle Ear stand, or the smell of cooking from the KitchenCraft display. 

The fair is not the only place for distractions.

Proverbs 4:25
Let thine eyes look right on,
and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

God knows our tendency to wander, to get distracted, and He gently reminds us not to lose focus.  What is leading you away from your quiet times with God?  from serving in some way in your church?  from sharing the gospel?  Don't be distracted by poor choices or even "good" choices.  Make the best choice today!  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ALL THINGS

All things work out for good, we know -
Such is God's great design;
He orders all our steps below
For purposes divine, For purposes divine.

This is the faith that keeps still,
No matter what the test,
And lets me glory in His will -
For well I know 'tis best.

So now the future holds no fear,
God guards the work begun;
And mortals are immortal here
Until their work is done.

Some day the path He chose for me
Will all be understood;
In heaven's clearer light I'll see
All things work'd out for good.

-John W. Peterson-

We sang this song on Sunday morning at church.  The words have been a real blessing to me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Left with Nothing (or Everything)

I've been thinking about a question from my brother's blog for the past two days.

"What if all you had today were
the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  

This thought has changed my prayer time for the past two days.  God has given me so much.  I started my semi-annual large scale cleaning yesterday.  Perhaps this will be the last fall cleaning here in Shelby.  I am thankful for the little trailer that we have here.  Perhaps it is not the most structurally sound place that we have lived, but it is the largest.  It has provided garden space and lawn, it has allowed for a clothesline, and we know all of our neighbors!  It has been a place of extreme personal growth and struggle.  Does the above question change your view of things?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Preparation

It seems as though we are always in some state of preparation.  We spend our childhood in school and learning in preparation to be an adult.  Some choose a college and major and spend four or more years preparing for a career or vocation.  Some spend much time preparing for a wedding.  There are preparations when company heads your way.  There are preparations for just about everything.  An event over the weekend caused me again to think of all of the ways the Lord prepares us for ministry.  Paul spent time in the wilderness.  Moses got some time in a palace and then headed to the wilderness.  It turned out that the majority of his ministry was in the wilderness.  David had time in the fields, time as a fugitive, and then he arrived in the palace.  Ministry preparation is not something that can happen in just four years of school - rather, it is years of experiences and acquaintances that mold us, change us, temper us to be more useful. 

The Fair is in town for the next 10 days.  We don't usually attend for the entertainment, but I will be spending 3 1/2 to 4 hours there each of the next 4 days, so will you excuse me if I don't visit with you each day?  We will be sharing the gospel with the 1000's who will attend by handing out tracts and talking with those who will listen.   

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Focus

Psalm 37:4
Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

While our Wednesday sermon should be out of Psalm 38 this week, I am still enjoying the time thinking about Psalm 37.  In addition to the verses, I also read John Phillips commentary on Psalm 37 from his book Exploring Psalms Volume 1 and enjoyed his comments very much.  Here is just one thought from page 280.

"This (Psalm 37:4) is good to remember, for when things go wrong we tend to get occupied with the problem.  ... We must get our eyes back on the Lord.  As long as we look at the problem, we shall become increasingly depressed, but if we look at the Lord we shall rise above our circumstances.  After all, He hasn't failed.  He cannot fail.  Our happiness must not rest upon what happens.  It must be drawn out of the wellsprings of salvation and from our experintial knowledge of the goodness, grace, and greatness of our God."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Freezer Meals

So typically a freezer meal is one that is prepared ahead of time and placed in the freezer in order to "save the day" when there seems to be no time to prepare a meal.  On Saturday, I cleaned our small chest freezer as well as the freezer above the refrigerator and this week we are eating some food that I had lost track of ... maybe it will be a good thing, and maybe it will be a downright creative week :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dripping


 
Jeremiah 14:22
Are there any among the vanities of the
Gentiles that can cause rain?
or can the heavens give showers?
art not thou he, O LORD our God?
therefore we will wait upon thee:
for thou hast made all these things.
 
I am thankful for the rain today (and that of yesterday, and the rain we will get tomorrow).  It has been a long time since we have received any substantial rain here.  It is not quite Autumn here yet, but with the cool grey day it is feeling more like fall.  The house is buttoned up and a candle burns scenting the house with raspberry and geranium.  I am looking forward to burning a pumpkin candle soon (maybe I will even do it this afternoon).  It is a good day for a cup of tea or coffee and some computer work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Happiest Home


Where is the happiest home on earth?
Tis not 'mid scenes of noisy mirth;
But where God's favor, sought aright,
Fills every breast with joy and light.

The richest home? It is not found
Where wealth and splendor most abound;
But wheresoe'er, in hall or cot,
Men live contented with their lot.

The fairest home? It is not placed
In scenes with outward beauty graced;
But where kind words and smiles impart
A constant sunshine to the heart.

On such a home of peace and love
God showers his blessing from above;
And angels, watching o'er it, cry,
"Lo! this is like our home on high!"

- M.A.S.M.

I am not familiar with this author, but I love the focus on contentment.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Psalm 37:25

I have been young, and now am old;
yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.

* * * * * * *

We serve a faithful God. 
He continues to abundantly supply. 
Human reason can't understand it ...
...but we don't have to ...
we just have to leave it in His hands.


Spending most of today cleaning for an older couple.  TTFN

Monday, September 19, 2011

No Fancy Recipes

It has been a very busy week and the next 3 weeks promise more of the same.  Between counselling efforts, Hebrew class, Greek lessons, piano lessons, tract distribution, and church responsibilities ... well, there have been more "tried and true" recipes than new experiments.  I have been thankful for some freezer meals and will be using the crockpot a lot in the coming weeks.  Tomorrow I will be doing Chicken and Rice (with Cheese and Broccoli).  I did bake cookies today - but sadly they were made with Christmas cookie dough that I found in the freezer.  A loaf of bread is about to go into the oven (I can't believe that I am baking at 10:00 at night). 

The piano lessons went well today and all of my students showed up, then tonight I have been working on a sheet to help my preteen and young teen girls to focus on what they are reading during their daily devotions - I think that I may use it right along with them :)  Do you think, really think, during your Quiet Times?  These are some of the questions that I came up with.  What did I learn about God?  Is there a sin to avoid?  Do I need to confess a sin and change?  Is there an example to follow?  Is there something to be thankful for?  What words do not make sense?  I am currently working through the book of Esther.  I have seen a faithful God who uses sinful people to accomplish His work.   I have seen the sin of pride to avoid (Haman).  The first chapter shows the effect that a leader's wife may have on other wives.  I want to be a godly wife that others can look to as an example.  I am thankful for God's protection in difficult situations (the Jews were protected from Haman's plot and God still protects His own).