Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday - A Great Year

Colossians 2:6,7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

What better time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for than at the end of the year.

I have so many things to be thankful for this year.

- I, by God's grace, was finally able to read through the Bible in one year!

- Three beautiful beagles that almost never pee in the house anymore

- A wonderful husband who I've grown to love more than I ever thought possible

- A son who has grown from a squirrely boy into a young man, and God who has given me the grace and patience to manage the transition! (Who now, as a young man, no longer wishes to have his picture taken or be blogged about.)

- A happy home.

- A job that I love.

- A wonderful church family.

- Great neighbors.

- Friends to laugh, cry, and pray with.

What are you thankful for this week year? Check out Welcome to the Nuthouse for other thankful thoughts.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Me!

Are you feeling guilty for failing to return that great magazine that the mailman accidentally put in your mail box rather than your neighbors? Hoping that nobody is waiting for that library book you've had for three months? Then Not Me! Monday is just for you. It's a time for all of us to confess our shortcomings laugh with each other.

I have not, at any point, EVER found myself praying for a character in a book I was reading during my prayer time. Really.

Nor did I decide to save time Christmas afternoon by cooking the wild rice in the morning so that my mother would have something to keep warm in her new

Crock Pot Trio that we gave her for Christmas. And, wild rice does NOT turn to mush in the crock pot. It in no way resembled oatmeal by dinnertime.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Gift of Christmas

John MacArthur from a concert at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA sharing the gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ. For more information go to:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Child is This?

Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message
       and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
       and like a root out of dry ground.
       He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
       nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 3 He was despised and rejected by men,
       a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
       Like one from whom men hide their faces
       he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 4 Surely he took up our infirmities
       and carried our sorrows,
       yet we considered him stricken by God,
       smitten by him, and afflicted.
 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.
 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all.
 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
       yet he did not open his mouth;
       he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
       and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
       so he did not open his mouth.
 8 By oppression  and judgment he was taken away.
       And who can speak of his descendants?
       For he was cut off from the land of the living;
       for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 
 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
       and with the rich in his death,
       though he had done no violence,
       nor was any deceit in his mouth.
 10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
       and though the LORD makes  his life a guilt offering,
       he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
       and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
 11 After the suffering of his soul,
       he will see the light of life  and be satisfied;
       by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
       and he will bear their iniquities.
 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
       and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
       because he poured out his life unto death,
       and was numbered with the transgressors.
       For he bore the sin of many,
       and made intercession for the transgressors.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The White Horse King

While I generally only post the on my book review blog, this one was just too good not share.
The White Horse King is a brilliantly written biography of King Alfred. It is clear this book was thoroughly researched as Benjamin Merkle has brought the events to life in rich detail.

It written in such a way that it can be used for scholarly purposes yet is fairly easy to read. I don't generally read biographies, but this one seemed interesting. I was not disappointed; I could hardly put it down.

Prior to reading this biography I knew little of Alfred the Great, and I believe that is the case for many people. However, much can be learned about Western Civilization and the importance of having a Biblical worldview through studying his life.

As the fifth in line to throne, it would have seemed unlikely that Alfred would ever be king. As a small child his father sent him to Rome, and that proved to be a defining time in Alfred's life.

This was a period of time when the Viking raiders were pillaging most the English coastlands and taking over villages. Farms, churches, and monasteries were being burned and destroyed and many were slaughtered at the hands of the Vikings.

As Alfred ascended to the throne he faced the Viking aggressions with a poorly trained volunteer military. He had already lost much of his family to the Vikings, including his brother who had been sacrificed to the Viking gods.

Merkle has done a fabulous job of describing the tactics of both the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons in great detail. Much time is spent describing how Alfred was eventually able to establish a few periods of peace.

After pushing back the Vikings and taking captive one of there kings - to whom he showed incredible mercy, Alfred turned his attentions to building a better military and fortifying the towns.

This was at time when many years had passed since the Romans had left, and illiteracy was rampant and the people were falling into paganism. King Alfred realized that his people were being crippled by a lack of knowledge of God.

All of the Christian works of the day were in Latin, and few people outside of church scholars and monks could read it. In addition, most of the Anglo-Saxon people could not read or write their own language. Alfred set up public school system to teach the peasant children to read, and required all of the noblemen to learn to read. He hired monks and other scholars to translate parts of the Bible to the Anglo-Saxon language, knowing that his people needed the word of God in their own language - this was almost 700 years BEFORE the Reformation.

Seeing as America is falling into paganism now, not from illiteracy but from Biblical illiteracy I found it very refreshing to hear that so many years ago one very wise king saw the same problem. People need to know the Bible to avoid paganism, yet so many churches today have abandoned Bible teaching and replaced it with self-help or the social gospel.

I would highly recommend this book for home school classes or for anyone who wanting to understand the importance of having a Biblical worldview.

While I did receive a courtesy review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers, that in no way influenced my review.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blogging Bliss

Yes, I've been away from the blog world for several days now. I've just been so busy putting up Chirstmas decorations---no...we don't have any.... baking for Christmas....(yeah, right)

Truth be told, we only have one computer and it never seemed to be my turn this week. Until the snow fell I had that sliver of time between driving the Teen to ski practice and making dinner to claim the computer as my own. Now that there is snow, that time is spent sipping coffee in ski chalets.

But, on the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

... a HP 100 Mini netbook.  Yes, it is 2 lbs of pure blogging bliss. At 10 inches, it easily fits into my "carrying all my stuff" bag. Yes, right now I'm sitting in front the fire at the Elm Creek Park Preserve, enjoying MY computer time.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Worshipful Heart

This morning started out with a teeneage tantrum from the boy, gruff words from Mr K, major traffic problems on the way to work, and a power outage once I got here.

And  I handled it all with perfect grace ....ummm...grumbling and complaining.

As I sat in traffic feeling sorry for myself I heard this prayer:

"Grant us, Lord, a worshipful heart."

That was part of Alistair Begg's opening to today's radio program.

It struck me. It grabbed me by the heart, shook me up, and brought me to my knees - figuratively, that is. I was driving after all.

God the Father, giver of all good things, gives us the opportunity and ability to worship Him. But until today I never realized that He actaully gives us the desire to worship Him as well. Our hearts, apart from God's saving grace, do not even desire to worship Him. And even once we have become a partaker in His grace, it's so easy to give in to grumbling and complaining and lose our heart of worship.

My prayer for all of us today:

"Grant us, Lord, a worshipful heart."

Friday, December 11, 2009

When Words Hurt

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Most of us heard this as a child. And to a certain degree it is true. We should teach our children not to be crushed when someone else can't control their tongue.

But words are powerful. We can use them to build people up or tear them down. When someone does not control their tongue, it can hurt. If it is someone who is close to us it can hurt quite deeply.

The Bible warns us over and over to control our tongues. Here are a few  from Proverbs:

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (28) Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

Proverbs 29:20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Psalms 17:3 Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.
He who holds his tongue is wise.  A fool delights in airing his opinions.

Here in America we have a culture that is constantly screaming, EXPRESS YOURSELF. Be yourself, you are a great. Let it out. We have culture that is always asking "What do you think and how do you feel?"

As a result, we now have an entire nation of people who seem to feel that they are always entitled to freely express their opinion.

But is this how we are act as Christians? I don't think so.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

So how do we handle it when words hurt?

This past Sunday I was hurt very deeply by the words of someone who I have known my entire life. This is a person who I have a lot of respect for as an older Christian woman and I truly love as a sister in Christ.

I'm certain that she never meant to hurt me with her words, but she did. I actually burst into tears right there in the fellowship hall in front of many people.

I have struggled the last several days with how to handle this.  I have searched the Scriptures and prayed about it.

Here's what I found:

Colossians 3:12,13 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

When words hurt, we must forgive. We must hold our own tongues. And though our flesh may want to bite back we must strive to respond with gentleness and humility. A gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).

Yes, I have forgiven her. We all fall short. There have been many times when I have lost control of my tongue. Sometimes I hear words come out of my mouth that I immediately wish I could have back.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

What do we do when we have lost control of our tongues? Confess to God. Apologize to the one you hurt and seek forgiveness.

God is faithful and will give us the grace we need to exercise self-control and tame our tongues.

After I wrote this post our Pastor called me into his office. The incident had been brought to his attention by people who had witnessed it. I must admit, I was quite relieved to hear that our pastor will be handling this situation. Please pray that our relationship will be restored.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful While Frozen

Colossians 2:6,7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

As I sit here in my cozy office sipping a hot cup of coffee, I am very thankful that though the thermometer outside reads -7 (yes, that's BELOW ZERO), I am warm.

I'm very thankful that my wonderful husband put new tires on my Honda so I had no trouble driving during the snowstorm yesterday.

He also put a new battery in it, so it started fine this morning even though it was so terribly cold.

I'm thankful for the  nearly-invisible 3M windows kits that keep out the sub-zero winds.

What are you thankful for this week? Check out Welcome to the Nuthouse for other thankful thoughts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace Techno - Computer Controlled Christmas Lights from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

An interesting way to share “Amazing Grace” with your community. Christmas Light Show features 45,000 lights, an outdoor sound system, and requires a crew of 3 people each night to manage the traffic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Virtual Cookie Exchange

Do you have a great cookie recipe to share?  Post it on your blog and then hop over to

to check out the others!

Snickerdoodles -- Nut Free

For the topping:

* 3 tablespoons sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cookie dough:

* 3 1/2 cups flour

* 1 tablespoon baking powder

* 2 teaspoons baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1 cup butter

* 2 cups sugar

* 2 eggs

* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

* 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

To make the cookie dough, stir together the dry ingredients and set aside.

With a mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar and continue to mix, then add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Chill dough 1 hour if it's sticky or difficult to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll balls of dough about the size of a walnut then roll them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on an un-greased sheet pan 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed up and the surface is slightly cracked. Let cool on the sheet pan a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me!

Are you feeling guilty for failing to return that great magazine that the mailman accidentally put in your mail box rather than your neighbors? Hoping that nobody is waiting for that library book you've had for three months? Then Not Me! Monday is just for you. It's a time for all of us to confess our shortcomings laugh with each other.

I did not, at any point this week, stay in my PJ's until 2PM.

This did not happen on a day that I had taken off to install Windows 7 on my sweet new Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA drive. Nor am I so much of a geek that I would actually find a hard drive cool.

And that copy of 7 has not been sitting on my desk waiting to be installed since Oct 22, while I continued to use the beta version. I'm always on top of these things.

On that very morning I did not begin making a late pancake breakfast and take a quick minute to see if Firefox was done installing.

This did not happen because of that quick minute.

I was not at any point relieved that I have yet to plastic a few of our windows.... that I could air out the house. Nor would I ever open the windows when it is 33 degrees outside.

*** Yes, my non-frozen tundra dwelling friends, we do actually do plastic over the windows here. And I would never wait until December to do this.

I did not put the pancakes that I burned did not burn outside to cool....

Only to check back later and discover this cat:

from this Not Me! post eating the pancakes.

I did not wish at that moment that I had poisoned the pancakes first.

Nope, not me!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yep, I Taught Him Well

Stock photo

Following the St Anthony Middle School choir concert last night several of "the Teen's" friends wanted to stop at Applebees for a treat.

When we arrived, the boys sat at one table and we parents sat several tables away.

The kind and patient server quickly figured out which boy went with which parent for sorting out the bill.


While us parents were enjoying our desserts the now-slightly-flustered server came over and informed us that our boys were offering to buy food for the table of girls on the other side of the window.

I mean, we're talking real GENTLEMEN here.  Talk about classy...

"I'll get that sweetie, just put it on my mom's bill!"

Yes, we've raised them well.

I looked over to see who the lucky girls were, expecting to see other middle-schoolers, and was shocked surprised ....hmmm.... tickled to see that they were at least 20.

The bravest of the boys came and asked me for a pen, and then went over to the table of girls.

Yep, asking for numbers.

Did he get them?

Not exactly.

But all five  eighth grade boys were high-fiving each other as we walked out the door.

They had gotten their names. Written on a cocktail napkin!  Could their luck get any better?!

Hey, a boy can dream right?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Beagles kisses after a hard day.

Cousins on Thanksgiving Day.


Home....the best place on earth.

This week I'm taking part in "Tuesdays Unwrapped", a time to slow down and notice the gifts around us.
A time to reflect on the small things.

What gifts are before you today?
Check out to see what others have to share.