Monday, December 29, 2008
I am trying to spend time with my family so I won't be blogging until Monday, January 5.
I will still run Thankful Thrusday on New Years Day in case any of you would like to link up!
God bless you all,
Thursday, December 25, 2008
What a perfect day to host a Thankful Thrusday Meme, it's Christ's Birthday! To celebrate, I am going to list 5 things that I'm grateful to God for. If you would like to join in, just copy the button on my sidebar. Post 5 things that you are grateful for, and then come back here to link up with Mr. Linky.
1) I am thankful that Jesus was willing to come down and be born a human. Giving up His status on the thrown to start life here in a lowly manger.
2) I am thankful that Jesus lived a sinless life and said that I can have victory over sin because of what he endured.
3) I am thankful that He chose to follow through on God's will and he died on the cross for my sins.
4) I am glad that Jesus was raised from the dead so that I could have an eternal relationship with Him in heaven!
5) I am thankful that He chose me... and you!
Dear Lord, as I consider the amazing gift of your son this day, I thank you. Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt gratitude for all that you've done for me and my family. Amen.
Monday, December 22, 2008
First, we have never celebrated Santa Claus. We always wanted the focus to be Jesus birth, not the big red jolly fellow. Secondly, instead of reading "twas the night before Christmas", we read the actual biblical account of Jesus' birth from the book of Luke. Then we talk about it, open forum style. That's it. After considering what we do, I thought, "There must be more!" but there's not.
I think that it would be great to do more. I would love to spend more time giving to the needy. It's just not my season for that, maybe when my youngest is a little older I'll add that in.
The truth is, my kids love the idea of receiving gifts and they look forward to that part of Christmas just like all the other kids out there. The idea is that we've planted seeds and each thing we add is like watering it. Now it's God's job to cause it to grow, not ours. After doing all you can do, just leave it in His hands and He will cause it to grow and bear fruit in its right season.
How about you? Do you have any helpful suggestions for my friend, Spring? If you do, please leave it in the comment section so we can all benefit from reading it!
I want to take this time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
Authors Note: The only other post that I will be running this week is the Thankful Thursday Meme. Then, I'll be back on Monday.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
'Twas the day before Christmas, I sat down to write
About toxins and diet and cardiac fright,
As I put pen to paper I thought to myself
"I wonder what's sitting on Santa's med shelf?"
So rather than writing my letter to you
I e-mailed his wife and asked "How do you do?
Inquiring 'bout Santa's own internal clock."
I told her I realized he'd lived a long time,
And asked if his secrets to life were like mine.
Did he eat lots of fish from the cold-water sea?
They're healthy and tasty and mercury-free.
If he cares not for fish in their natural way
He can swallow some fish oil just four times a day.
They'll keep his blood flowing and free of hard plaque
'Cause kids want their Santa to keep coming back.
I asked if his energy level was high
To make toys for tots and fly fast through the sky,
She said "yes, 'tis so " but I'm worried a tad
His CoQ10's dropping, is that really bad?"
It is, I replied, for as Santa's engaging,
His tissues and organs will just keep on aging.
He needs to replenish coenzyme Q10
To visit our houses again and again.
She leaned on her keyboard and wrote with a sigh,
"I really love Santa, he's just quite a guy.
But 'tween you and me, I'm concerned 'bout his girth,
He increasingly looks like the shape of the earth."
I told her a secret of some people's diet,
They eat lots of food but they never will fry it.
These folks live in Asia and some live in Greece
They tend to outlive us by quite a fair piece.
So I thought up a diet, I call it the PAMM
It's healthy, it's tasty, it isn't a sham.
If Santa stays with it, he'll soon come to see
His heart will beat longer, and stronger with thee.
Then Mrs. Claus asked me what I'd recommend
To get rid of toxins in Santa, our friend.
These poisons surround us, they live where we do,
We breathe them and drink them without any clue.
I said "Tell your husband to get in a sauna,
He'll sweat out the toxins like nobody's gonna.
Eat garlic and spinach and broccoli galore,
You can easily find them in an organic store."
And finally she asked me about Santa's stress,
"He worries and worries, he's really a mess."
My advice here was simple, the answer sublime,
"Get a dog, a massage, and a good glass of wine."
The mind and the body act really as one,
Each when upset robs the other of fun.
So practice some praying, some mind alteration,
When Christmas is over, go take a vacation.
Mrs. Claus thanked me warmly and wished me good-day,
To Santa I'm certain she had much to say,
And I ask all of you by your health to do right,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Stephen Sinatra, MD is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology and certified in anti-aging medicine, clinical nutrition, and bioenergetic analysis. At his New England Heart and Longevity Center in Manchester, Conn., Dr. Sinatra integrates conventional medical treatments with complementary nutritional and psychological therapies.
Friday, December 19, 2008
His Name Is at the Top
I had the nicest Christmas list,
The longest one in town,
Till Daddy looked at it and said,
“You’ll have to cut it down.”
I knew that what he said was true
Beyond the faintest doubt,
But was amazed to hear him say,
“You’ve left your best Friend out.”
And so I scanned my list again, and said,
“Oh, that’s not true.”
But Daddy said, “His name’s not there, that Friend who died for you.”
And then I clearly understood, ‘twas Jesus that he meant;
For Him who should come first of all I hadn’t planned a cent!
I’d made a Christmas birthday list, and left the Savior out!
But, oh, it didn’t take me long to change that list about.
And though I’ve had to drop some names of folks I like a lot,
My Lord must have the most because His name is at the top!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Blessings to all of you, my friends and family! It's hard to believe but it's time for another Thankful Thursday post.
If you would like to join us this week, here are the rules of the meme: First, copy the Thankful Thursday button onto your post, then list 5 things that you are thankful for today. Finally, come back here and link up below so that others can come and rejoice with you!
Here are the five things that I am thankful for this week.
1) I am thankful for my Mother. She celebrated her birthday over the weekend. She is in very good health and I am so grateful for her amazing spiritual example over the years. She has been my support system, and my biggest cheerleader! She has a servants heart and a passion for health and God that's contagious! I love you Mom! Happy Birthday.
2) I had an opportunity to go to a local coffee shop with my Mom and Sister one morning. We laughed until we cried and we lifted one another up in the Lord! I am so grateful for my family, and that they are believers in Christ.
3) As a follow-up to one of my items from last Thursday, I am again thankful for God's perfect timing. Last week He orchestrated many things in order to send me a special note of encouragement on Monday morning because He knew I was going to be getting a rejection letter (rejecting 2 articles!). The way the encouragement was worded really gave me a peace about my writing. On Friday of last week, the same editor accepted a 3rd article that I had sent them! God knew what was in the works and He cared enough to send me peace through a love letter. He loves you that much, too!
4) I am thankful for my church. After participating in the Bethlehem walk, we were given the chance to follow up with people who filled out a card saying that they accepted Christ into their heart. What a great thing! New Christians need to be encouraged.
5) I am thankful for all of the supportive people that God has surrounded me with. Both in person and in cyber space! You have all been so great and loving and supportive. It has made a huge impact on my life. Thank you!
Father, today I give you the praise and glory for all of these blessings that you have given me. You are the one who gives us every good and perfect gift, and I acknowledge that today! I love you God! Your daughter...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
With the coming of Christ's birth, I am left to ponder the true meaning of Love. God sent His only begotten son knowing that He was going to be cursed and murdered on the cross - even though He lived on earth WITHOUT sinning! He didn't deserve this, and yet He loved us enough to sacrifice His own son for our salvation. The depth of His love is unfathomable to me.
In an attempt to understand God's love in a better way, I decided to look up the Greek words for love.
1) Storge- This means affection. It represents a natural affection that one would feel for a family member. Like the love a parent has for a child.
2) Philia- This means friendship. This is a virtuous kind of love. Representing loyalty.
3) Eros- This is a passionate love. A romantic love with sensual desire and longing. This is the love God intended to be between husband and wife.
4) agape- This means "I love you". But not in a sensual way. This is the love used to describe Jesus love toward the beloved (us). It is a self-sacrificing love. Representing the desire to give love to all, both friend and foe. (Love your neighbor as yourself). This is the word most often used in the New Testament.
I wish the English language had more depth, I really enjoy looking things up in the Greek because the meanings are so much deeper and richer.
I hope that as you enter into this Christmas season, you take the time to ponder God's love for you - and for your neighbor! I hope these definitions will bring more meaning to your love.
To all of you reading this, I give you philia or is that agape? :D
Monday, December 15, 2008
Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Bette!
You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"
Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.
How to Get Along with Me
- * Stand up for yourself... and me.
- * Be confident, strong, and direct.
- * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
- * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
- * Give me space to be alone.
- * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
- * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
- * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.
What I Like About Being a Bette
- * being independent and self-reliant
- * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
- * being courageous, straightforward, and honest
- * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
- * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
- * upholding just causes
What's Hard About Being a Bette
- * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to
- * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence
- * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it
- * never forgetting injuries or injustices
- * putting too much pressure on myself
- * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right
Bettes as Children Often
- * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit
- * are sometimes loners
- * seize control so they won't be controlled
- * figure out others' weaknesses
- * attack verbally or physically when provoked
- * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings
Bettes as Parents
- * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted
- * are sometimes overprotective
- * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid
Friday, December 12, 2008
Good Friday to all of my friends and family in bloggy land. I have been receiving some lovely Christmas cards over the past week or so. I've noticed a trend toward Christmas poems and wanted to share one with you. There was no author name so I will tell you that it was by a card company called, Walter Drake.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Welcome to Thankful Thursday #4! I am so excited to be able to again give God the glory for all of the good gifts that He has given me.
I am also excited to announce that I have added a Mr. Linky code making it easier than ever to link to the Thankful Thursday Meme.
Rules of the Meme: First, copy the Thankful Thursday button on the sidebar onto your post, next list the five things you are thankful for this week and finally come back and link up with the Mr. Linky tab. That way we can all come and visit your blogs to see what you're thankful for.
Ok, now on to the five things that I am thankful for this week:
1) I am thankful for the opportunity to do the fun little things with my kids this week. First, we made a gingerbread house together. Then we watched a fun Christmas movie (Miracle on 34th street) and just snuggled up on the couch. It was time well spent.
2) I am thankful for God's perfect timing. I received a rejection letter on Monday and my sweet friend, Spring, had felt led (on Saturday) to send me a note of encouragement. The best part was that her e-mail went down (sorry Spring!) and I didn't receive the e-mail until Monday Morning! It was exactly the word I needed to not get discouraged! Isn't God AWESOME!
3) I am thankful that when I feel alone, God is ALWAYS there with me. I had scheduled to go shopping with a friend who had the misfortune of becoming sick. So, I took the Lord with me. He gave me great parking spots and led me to some really fantastic gifts for my family! Love you so much, Father!
4) I am thankful for the friends in my life who encourage me. I have been lazy over the past month and I've stopped exercising. But, thanks to the gentle persistence of my sweet friend, Denise, I got back into the gym this week. Now, I'm terribly sore today (THANKS Denise! LOL!) but I know it will be well worth it. :)
5) I am thankful for my precious friends in bloggy land. You are all so encouraging and that is special to me. As a matter of fact, Peggy, over at Amazing Mazes, Messes and Miracles was so sweet that she gave me the Lemonade Award! Thanks Peggy that was great!
Part of the rules for this award is that you list at least 10 other blogs that are also showing a great Attitude or Gratitude. So, if you link up with my post today, then you are tagged! Because if you are linking up then you are showing your BIG hearts of gratitude!
Be blessed this week!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Heather over at Things Above has tagged me! This is a Christmas tag and I thought it would be fun to play along.
1) Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? BOTH!
2) Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped of course, but Santa doesn't come to my house! (Bah Humbug!)
3) Colored lights or white? BOTH! We have a traditional tree upstairs with white lights and the fun kids tree with colored lights is downstairs. The best of both worlds.
4) Do you hang mistletoe? No, don't you think we have enough children! LOL!
5) When do you get out your decorations? Usually the first weekend in December.
6) Favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? Turkey
7) Favorite holiday memory as a child? My parents would wait until after I went to bed on Christmas eve to decorate the tree so I would wake up each Christmas day and it was so beautiful! I was always star struck as I came out to behold the lights and beauty of it all. It was dreamy.
8) When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember believing in Santa - probably why we don't do Santa with our kids.
9) Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? yes/no. Not one of our own, but we go to my parents house and exchange gifts there.
10) How do you decorate your trees? The formal tree has balls and ice sickles on it with white lights. The kids tree has colored lights and lots of homemade ornaments!
11) Snow, love it or hate it? LOVE IT!! I dream of a white Christmas.
12) Can you ice skate? Yep, love it!
13) Do you remember your favorite gift? Yes, it was a barbie head that I could put make up on and change her hair style and color. Now, as an adult, my favorite gift was my blue Yukon Excel that my hubby bought and parked out front with a huge red bow! What a gift!
14) What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? To make sure my kids know that this is Christ's birth.
15) Favorite Holiday dessert? Pumpkin Pie with lots of whipped cream! Yummy!
16) Favorite Christmas tradition? I love them all
17) What tops your tree? An angel
18) What's better giving or receiving? Receiving! LOL! just kidding, I love giving.
19) Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night (I even have the opportunity to sing this at church! God is good)
20) Candy Canes, yummy or yucky? If they're chocolate mint, yummy.
21) What do you want for Christmas? A small digital camera for blogging great pics!
22) Do you attend an annual Christmas Party? No, but we have a new years eve party!
23) Do you dress up for Christmas eve? Nope, just put on my PJ's and get everything ready with my hubby.
24) Do you own a Santa Hat? Yes! Several, the kids love them.
25) Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Hubby and kids. Christmas eve is spent with my family and the Saturday after is spent with his family. Lots of love here!
Now I'm supposed to tag 5 other people. I don't like to put that kind of pressure on others so if you're looking for something fun to post about and you're here reading this then, you're tagged! Just let me know if you post your list.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Shalom! This was the greeting that we used and heard over the past 5 days. Several of the area churches joined together to create an authentic looking and feeling City of Bethlehem. Our home church, Salem Baptist, has built the city on their property. Every year, the people in our town come together to volunteer in the Bethlehem Walk.
This was the first year that we decided to join in the fun and volunteer to work in the Bethlehem walk. It has been such a blessing to our family! Being able to dress just as they did in Jesus' time and then to get into character acting and talking like they did made a real impct on our family!
The entire walk takes between 40 minutes to an hour to walk through. It starts off with the Roman guards demanding that you pay taxes! Then, you have a chance to walk through the town and stop at the different shops. Of course, the talk of the town is of the coming Messiah!
Then they try to find a room at the inn (of course, its full). Next you see the baby Jesus. Another scene is Simeon at the temple where Jesus was dedicated. The scenes continue until the death and Resurrection of Jesus! What an amazing opportunity to experience the true meaning of Christmas!
Last night was particularly fun because it SNOWED the entire night! I was working in the stables with my kids. The ambiance of the snow and fire pits just seemed to add to the total experience. We saw a record 2,900 people walk through last night! I think the snow excited everyone. :)
If you don't do anything else this Christmas, find a Bethlehem walk in your area and take your whole family. You won't regret it! You will walk away with a sense of what it may have been like when Jesus was born.
Friday, December 5, 2008
This was an exciting week for my youngest daughter. She had the chance to go to her aunts house for a sleepover! Her cousin (who is 1 year older) would be coming too! Oh the excitement. Oh the anticipation! Oh the preparations!
My three year old woke up that morning and got dressed, brushed her own hair and teeth and then disappeared for awhile. Upon returning she announced that she was ready to go.
As I walked past the front hallway, I saw the above picture! She had already packed her backpack (Of course, I had to repack a few things later - that's just between us) and then she placed the backpack, shoes and her blanket literally in front of our front door. This way, she was ready no matter when her aunt showed up to get her. You see, most three year olds cannot tell time.
I saw such an amazing spiritual analogy in this. I thought about the parable of the 10 virgins. 5 of them kept their lamps full of oil and their wicks trimmed while the other 5 became lazy and fell asleep. When the bridegroom came, he only took the 5 who were prepared. Here is what he said:
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
My precious friends, let us be the virgins who are watching and waiting. Just as my three year old didn't understand time enough to know when her aunt was coming to get her, we cannot understand God's time enough to know when He will come. But we can make sure we are always ready!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It's time for Thankful Thursday again! I really am enjoying taking the time to really think about the little things that I'm thankful for each week.
If you're new to Thankful Thursdays, just list five things that you are thankful for each Thursday. In a world that has become so negative, it feels great to give thanks to God.
So, here are my five things for this week!
1) I was able to see a bluebird up close with my 6 year old daughter. The sun was just gleaming off of his radiantly blue coloring. What a treat as we just marveled together over the beauty of God's creation. I'm so grateful for that moment.
2) I'm thankful to have the word of God. Whenever I'm feeling scared, or confused, or sad, I know I can open up my Bible and find God speaking to me through his love letters.
3) I'm thankful for my health. I heard about a woman that was very sick this week, she has an extremely rare disease that may take her life. Oh, how I am thankful for my health - and I pray God will heal this woman of her illness.
4) I'm thankful for the love of my children. They constantly shower me with love notes and gifts and hugs and kisses. I treasure them all.
5) I'm thankful for my van. It was in the shop for 2 days this week! With six kids we are home bound when the big van is broken down. I am so grateful to have it back and to be able to drive around wherever and whenever we need to.
Well, that's my list of things that I am so grateful for.
Dear Lord, I lift up these words of praise and thanksgiving to you. I know that every good and perfect gift comes from you, thank you!
If you would like to join us, feel free to paste the Thankful Thursday button onto your post and then give God the glory!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
My son stared it, he shot my hubby wile he was lying in bed. Then the whole family jouned in! They were running, screaming and laughing. There were bullets flying all over!
Do you think this gun is too big? It's a nerf bazooka and it HURTS!! LOL!!
She's just too cute to shoot! Look at that smile! (Notice the Jedi warrier in the background!)
Now This is a smart child, she's hiding under a chair with my very frightened dog. Hope noone finds them. :)
Making memories, that's what this was all about. Let loose today and live, laugh, love.
Monday, December 1, 2008
My mother shared the coolest analogy with me the other day. She had me think of a seesaw(see above picture), then she explained to me that on one end is our body (the flesh). The other end is where our spirit resides, and if we have asked God into our hearts this is where His spirit also lives. The middle of the seesaw is where our soul stays (Our minds - this is the decision making area).
If you have been a christian for any length of time, you know that there is a real battle going on between our body and our spirit. As a matter of fact, we can see this fact in Galations 5:16-18: "What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature. For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do. If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law."
We also have actual examples from characters in the Bible. Paul is the one that comes to my mind. In Romans 7:15 we read, "I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate."
Paul doesn't stay in this sad affair, though. He goes on to tell that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we have redemption from sin. Now we have a real choice to make. According to Romans 8:5 "Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants."
The key - learn to walk in the spirit. This is easier said than done. Life is busy and we can get so cought up in everyday life that we don't spend time in the word of God except first thing in the morning (if at all). If we are serious about winning this battle and having our seesaw leaning in the right direction, we also must decide to stay in the word and pray constantly.
Transforming our minds isn't going to be an instantaneous thing. This is something that is going to take time and perseverance. So press on my friends for the end result is well worth it!