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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: booking travel.  Some places I will never visit except by reading or viewing; however, it is the next best thing to being there.  It's why I enjoy House Hunters International.  I also love reading books "abroad."

The author of the Miss Read books, Dora Jessie Saint, died this year living nearly 99 years in England.  She writes as a unmarried school teacher in the rural English countryside.  Vicarious living can be refreshing visiting another time, another place.  I often read older books which are safer from unwanted language or corrupt morals.  Jane Austin is the ideal.  (remember the following quote?  "In vain I have struggled.  It will not do.  My feelings will not be repressed.  You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," Darcy's proposal in "Pride and Prejudice.") 


"Never judge a book by its movie."
J.W. Eagan

"A library is a hospital for the mind."

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book."

"A good book should leave you...
slightly exhausted at the end,
You live several lives while reading it."
W.S.

"I like nonsense.
It wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingrediant in living."
Dr. Seuss

When Jay was two, if I wasn't paying attention, he would hit me over the head with a book
and command, "Read me!"  Gentle reader, I advise a kinder approach.



"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written."
John 21:25
Attitude of Gratitude: screwdrivers.  Sometimes life needs fine tuning, or more likely, batteries changed.  My two year old grandson Zane is quite handy with a screwdriver.  He can quickly dismantle toys in a flash.  The other day his mother went to open the sliding door and the handle fell off: the mad screw-driving toddler at work again!  He can find a screw driver faster than you can say, "the Energizer Bunny." His concentration is marvelous looking like a surgeon at work.  Do you need your batteries charged? 

Summer is upon us as May days have flown away.  Plan your summer with things to look forward to like family camp the last weekend of July at South Lake Tahoe.  Find a pot and plant at least one vegetable like basil, cilantro or a tomato if you haven't already.  Cheat if you must and buy herbs at the store and leave out on your kitchen counter to be aromatic.  Go to the Farmer's Market.  Go to the river.  Fish.  Swim.  Sip lemonaide!  Open your windows at night to a gentle breeze.  Find good books that refresh your soul and read at least a Psalm a day. We all need to plan for relaxation for restoration. 

"A soft sea washed around the house
A sea of summer air."
Emily Dickinson

"Sunshine is a welcome thing."
Jimmie Davis

"Look at the trees,
Look at the birds,
Look at the clouds,
Look at the stars...
And if you have eyes
You will be able to see that the
Whole existence is joyful.
Everything
is simply
Happy.

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments where our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

"To see the summer sky
is poetry though never in a book it lie--
True poems fly."
Emily Dickinson

"The Lord sustains all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down."
Psalm145:14

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: fellowship of believers.  We weren't of the same age, the same body build, the same interests, not even of the same political party (sigh).  We don't have the same hobbies, have the same income, drive the same cars, have the same tatooes, or watch the same television shows.  Some are dog lovers; some cat lovers while others aren't pet friendly at all.  What else can make us have a great Sunday afternoon together from 2 weeks to those looking at 70 years old?  Some swam, some braved the steep slide, some sat under umbrellas, some in the jump house, some on the trampoline, some on the swingset, some drinking soda on the porch, all with smiles on their faces.  From the beginning of the Early Church, Christians like to eat together and hang out at each other's houses.  Thank you to Greg and Tina for opening your place for us all to fellowship. 

"We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy."
Joseph Campbell

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely,
 to risk life, to be needed."
S. Jameson

"...they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God..."
Acts 2:46-47

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: a small green tomato, the first of this year's garden.  It's a promise that inspite of slugs and sow bugs,and a less than green thumb,  a harvest is coming!

"It's difficult to think of anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."
Lewis Grizzard

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell a little like dirt."
Margaret Atwell

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
William Shakespeare

When I was dating my man, my father took him out to show him his little garden in the back yard of our coastal town.  He had coaxed and carefully tended his tomato plant and sure enough, it was producing one big, beautiful red tomato almost at its peak of ripeness.  My guy grabbed it off the vine and began munching just as he had done growing up in Kansas.  My dad was speechless: it was his one and only garden baby he had been coaxing along just waiting for the prime time for picking.  Amazingly, my father still let him pick me to marry.

"But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His  Son..."
Galatians 4:4

Pick Jesus!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: a nation who remembers.  It seems more people are aware of the sacrifice paid for our freedom.  Perhaps it was the soldier from our twin cities who was laid to rest this month, a casualty of war who makes it impossible to ignore the cost.  May we learn from history so we won't have to repeat it.

When I was a preschool teacher, my heart was stolen by three year old red headed Joshua.  One Easter week when teaching about Jesus' death on the cross for our sins, he said, "I would die for you Miss Celia."  He melted my heart!  There is no way he could understand what he was saying, the same way our young men and women go off to serve and truly believe they may not return, but our hearts are deeply touched.

"The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it, and change.  So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear, or anger, but in wisdom,
understanding, and love."

"Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."
II Timothy 1:14

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: those who have given their lives for our freedom.  I have a cousin who served in Vietnam, but spiraled into drugs and alcohol to deaden his pain from that experience.  He remembers serving with Doug Revers who was terribly disfigured with chemical burns, but miraculously survived.  My cousin  finally became free from addictions but now is slipping away with alzheimers.  His clouded mind worries he might be drafted again. "No way!" he says, "Not me!" There is more than one way to give your life.  His gentle heart was forever changed by these events.  A dear friend also served in Vietnam who was left for dead, not once, but twice being the only to survive in his unit.  His wounds meant months in the hospital with multiple surgeries that left him severely injured.  He became a VA chaplain and served until his body no longer cooperated.  I honor John Powers' service.   Thank you for those who have paid the price. 

I also think of the winter of  Valley Forge where our soldiers often didn't have shoes, or enough blankets or food, many perishing before they could see the freedom their lives paid for. 

"No, first we need a Department of Peace. 
 If we are going to develop expertise only in war,  that is what we will have." 
George Washington, 1776

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought."

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
Henry Ward Beecher

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues."
Cicero

"It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."

When Robin was less than two she got lost in a crowd at a rodeo.  When I found her I told her to never run away like that again!  She saluted me like a little soldier and said, "Yes, sir!"

"Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ Jesus."
II Timothy 2:3


Attitude of Gratitude: pearly whites!  It's cute when little kids' grins display missing teeth, but not so fun when grown-ups do.  Got my teeth cleaned today.  Neglect is costly!  John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world couldn't enjoy a good steak because of teeth trouble.  Historians argue whether George Washington's teeth were wooden or ivory.  (If you can't afford dentures, find an old piano and a carving knife!)  Queen Mary in English history lost the bloom of youth along with her teeth, and had trouble finding a husband: you connect the dots.  I'm sure many leaders in history were toothless.  Why do you think portraits thoughout the ages showed people unsmiling: even Mona Lisa's smile hid her teeth. We may spend a fortune on braces, whiteners, and dental care, however, it's more important what comes out between the teeth than the teeth themselves:  "The lips of the righteous nourish many."  Proverbes 10:21 or "Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up."  Proverbs 12:25

"Today give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

When the older kids were little, we had a bear head over the fireplace in our family room.  For a little fun we named it the "Toothy Bearie" because we fit the children's lost teeth in his mouth. 

The worst experience in a dentist's office, even worse than going into anathractic shock or having a crown dropped down my throat, was crying because a dentist refused to treat my little girl with an abcessed tooth because he didn't think our insurance was very good: he wanted cash immediately and sent me away because I didn't have it.  He called, apologized, and saw her the next day, but in the meanwhile, my young daughter suffered a life-threatening infection. 

"The Bible says, 'Do not fear 365 times.  That's enough for every day of the year!' "

Martin Luther gave good advice, "Pray and let God worry."

"Kindness is a language that the dumb can speak and the deaf can hear."

"He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy."
Proverbs 14:21

"Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember, day by day,
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
As you pass along the way;
For the pleasures of the many
May be oft times traced to one,
As the hand that plants the acorn
Shelters armies from the sun."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: I am not an orphan.  My father in heaven has promised "He will never leave me nor forsake me."  I jokingly reminded my adult children that their Uncle Dennis and Aunt Sharon were to be their guardians if something happened to their father and I.  This brought a hilarious picture of the three young adults showing up on their doorstep suitcases parked by their feet demanding to be cared for.  Their Uncle Dennis is one of the funniest men on earth and oh, the fun they could have! 

"O Lord, I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:23-24

"O Holy Spirit of  God,
Visit now this soul of mine,
and tarry within it until eventide.
Inspire all my thoughts,
Pervade all my imaginations.
Suggest all my decisions.
Lodge in my will's most inward citadel
and order all my doings.
Be with me in my silence and in my speech,
in my haste and in my leisure,
in my company and in solitude,
in the freshness of the morning
and in the weariness of the evening;
And give me grace at all times
to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship.
Amen.
John Baillie

"I am weak but Thou art strong;
Jesus keep me from all wrong;
I'll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee."
Anonymous
Attitude of Gratitude: Home.  Laura Ingals Wilder says, "Home is the nicest word there is."

"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes."
Harold B. Lee

"The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there."

"It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home."

What troubles such a picture of contentment is whining.  Grumbling is like  mice that creep in to nibble away at peace until we want to scream.  How do we create whine-free zones?  My boys are already practicing for the summer months ahead by fighting over miniscule things: this morning before school they both were in tears over claims to a 49 cent second hand folder.  The first "peace" of armour is our example.  It is so tempting and easy to join in thinking the highest pitch voice is the winner.  Nip it in the bud.  Set the consequences.  Follow through.  Prepare ahead of time for the most uttered words of summer of all time: "I'm bored!"  We may not be able to plant the flag of victory once and for all, but we can win battle for battle.  Find a Bible verse for the summer...

"They did not believe in His word, but grumbled in their tents (homes);
 Psalm 106:24-25

"Jesus...said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves."  John 6:43

One of the largest Wesleyan churches is in San Diego, Skyline, just finished a multi million dollar building.  With a touch of humor, they added a sign on a door, "Complaint Department": it doesn't have a knob and leads to nowhere.  Can you use one of those in your house?
"Give without sparing, pray without ceasing, answer without arguing."

"In this home...
We do second chances.
We do Grace.   
We do real.
We do mistakes.
We do I'm sorry's.
We do loud really well.
We do hugs.
We do family.
We do love."

Make your own family pledge.

Most of all remember, "Love unexpressed is love unknown."
 Teach them French and let them know...

je l'aime bien: I like you
je t'adore: I adore you
je t'aime: I love you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: make-up.  As age takes it toll, make-up rises in value.  Though never having been a priority in my life, a little face embellishment every day is more and more helpful.  I wonder  how it came about being called "make-up," as the word is so close to "made-up" or "make believe."  Make-up deals in a little bit of altered reality to which I am a willing participant.   We were surprised to find three $100 charges for make-up on the Home Shopping Network charged to our account yesterday.  I haven't spent that much money on make-up my whole life combined!  The cyber-bully cops are after someone for hacking my card though we don't know how she obtained access.  Isn't it ironic that a thief is trying to make herself look good!

When my mother was in Christian college, make-up was a "no-no."  Even patent leather shoes were not allowed in case they reflected up a ladies skirt.  One day, my mother came under conviction for her little make-up deception so went out bare-faced on campus.  The Dean of Women came up and said, "Oh, Harriet, you look so pale!  Are you sick?"  She went straight back to her dorm and applied the beauty products!

"It would be mortifying to...many ladies could they be made to understand how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire."  Jane Austen

"The beauty of a woman isn't in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.  The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that's the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides."

"The eye is the lamp of the body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light..."
Luke 11:34

"The most Beautiful People we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, know struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern.  Beautiful People...do not just happen."


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: teachers.  Have you thanked a teacher today?  School is almost out and your children are given back to you better for the wear and tear of the school experience, you hope.  My boys have made better progress this year whether their grades show it or not.  All we ask is they give it their best.  It is a blessing that they like school in spite of bullys or learning disabilities.

"A truly special teacher is very wise, and sees tomorrow in every child's eyes."

"A teacher takes a hand, opens eyes, and touches a heart."

Thank you to some special teachers: Hank's Mr. Hunter and Mr. Randy who bring Christian examples in my son's life at school.  Laurie Swan and Brenda Lizardo and Karen Crawford have made a difference in my grandchildren's lives with their loving Christian example. 

Reading history you find that truth is stranger than fiction.  I just finished a book about Henry VIII's three surviving children, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward.  It took him six wives to produce these.  He had to break from the Roman Catholic Church and create the Church of England so he could annul some of his marriages, some wives he just beheaded, some just died.  Edward became a boy king when his father died and took up the Protestant cause still as a child.  Unfortunately he died at fifteen.

Upon his deathbed, he was urged to name his cousin to succeed him, Lady Jane Grey who was also fifteen years of age.  As soon as she found she was brought in for a coronation she fainted then lay on the floor sobbing saying, "The crown is not my right and it pleaseth me not."  Jane finally submitted only in obedience to her father.  Nine days later, Mary took power, put Queen Jane in the tower before beheading her.  Jane was one of the most intelligent, well-educated young women in the Kingdom and a strong supporter of the Protestant faith.

Edward's oldest sister Mary was an ardent Catholic, re-established relationship with the Pope in Rome and became the largest persecutor of Protestants burning more at the stake in all of England's history. Unfortunately, these men and women of God who were burned at the stake often times suffered unnecessarily because of wet wood and insufficient fire.  (Fox's Book of Martyrs.)  She earned the title, "Bloody Mary."  She hated her sister Elizabeth and would have gladly beheaded her if she could having to be satisfied with putting her in the Tower or under house arrest and sending spies into her household to try to catch her in treasonous activity.  Finally, after being married in her late thirties,  having had two false pregnancies, Mary finally died childless and her younger sister took the throne.  Elizabeth was a Protestant who immediately put an end to the persecution of Protestants.

How were these step-siblings so ardent in their faith?  Their teachers instilled their faith in them, Mary, Catholic, while Edward and Elizabeth were under secret Protestant guidance as well as their cousin Jane.  Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish and French languages were learned at elementary age as well as works by the early Church fathers.  They also played instruments along with mastering many other subjects.  Their first teachers believed and practiced beatings, but others came along who instilled a love for learning.  An early tutor for Mary, considered the best teacher in Europe wrote "The Education of a Christian Woman":" if any pupil male or female did not work hard, they were to be whipped.  'The daughter especially shall be handled without cherishing.  For cherishing marreth sons, but it utterly destroyeth daughters.' "  As for Jane when found reading Plato with delight at age twelve, she said, "One of the greatest benefits that God ever gave me is that He sent me, with sharp, severe parents, so gentle a schoolmaster.  When I am in the presence of either father or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand or go, eat, drink, be merry or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing or doing anything else, I must do it, as it were...even as perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so cruelly threatened, yea, presented sometimes with pinches, nips, bobs (slaps) and other ways--which I will not name for the honour I bear them--...that I think myself in hell, till the time comes when I must go to Mr. Aylmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly..."

We have been taught to think that we have evolved into great intellects that surpass the earlier centuries from the cave men to now.  However, education has dumbed down to such a low level today compared to what was offered in the early days of our country where early fathers of our country went to university mastering Latin, Greek, and other difficult subjects by their early teens.
I don't know of any elementary school students who have the grasp of subjects like the children and niece of Henry VIII.  Their mothers were killed, banned from court, sent away from their children, or died in childbirth.  Their teachers played vital roles in their lives.  The history of Christianity turned on these hinges.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: cotton.  My father hated the sight of a cotton field or a cotton boll because of his childhood working the fields in Texas.  It wasn't as much as his hardships as that of his mother.  He picked his quota and then helped her finish picking hers lugging her load as much as he could.  Yet, cotton is a gift of God when it comes to comfortable clothing throughout the ages.  Having survived the days of polyester leisure suits and pants suits, I am glad for the return to cotton even though I don't have a clue where my iron is.  There really is luxury in Egyptian cotton sheets.

In fact one of the things I miss most about being pregnant is the loose-wear of maternity clothes.  In the words of  Nacho Libre, "men wear stretchy pants too."  I like stretchy pants, the style reserved for older women who fondly remember those maternity pants days.  I happily lived through moo-moos and tent dresses  in the 60's as well. (Let's not talk about hiphuggers and hot pants.)  Styles come and go.

I had an elderly neighbor in Weaverville who grew up in even more remote Hayfork.  She told of being married at sixteen but allowed to continue in school until the fateful day when her husband rode up on horseback and saw her on the playground.  It was a softball game at recess when she was up to bat: she hit the ball, but never made first base because her bloomers fell down around her ankles.  Her husband forbade her going back to school after that.

Just like Levi Strauss is associated with his pants, Stetson with a cowboy hat, and so is Amelia Bloomer's name associated with the ladies undergarment.   She wasn't the inventor but popularized the wearing of pantalettes in revolt of the Victorian layers of heavy skirts and many petticoats.  Amelia was allowed a lot of autonomy by her husband and published a magazine for women, "The Lilly," which was dedicated to temperance, women's suffrage, unjust marriage laws, and freedom of dress.  At the time being from Seneca Falls the sight of the first women's suffrage meeting (in the Wesleyan Church there), she was associated with the well-known women's rights advocates Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott.  Women's rights or not, however, the bloomers were the cause of the end  of my neighbor's education prematurely.


"Strength and dignity are her clothing..."
Proverbs 31:25

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: Sabboth rest, not just a nap stuck in a busy day, but an attitude of the heart centered on God, soul rest.  It is taking time in the week when you feel like Atlas holding up the world to set it down and realize it is really God who holds you and upholds all things: praise Him.

It was a very pleasant day at church holding my newest grandbaby Elizabeth while she slept through church on her first Sunday.  She was the picture of rest.  She hasn't really cried hard since she was born knowing her needs will be met.  

"Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it...And we who believed enter that rest...And God rested on the seventh day from all His works'; and again in this passage, 'They shall not enter My rest.'  Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to then failed to enter because of disobedience...'Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.'  'So there remains a Sabbath rest of the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall through following the same example of disobedience...there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4 verses.

These verses are more than talking about the rest after working on the other six days even though God did and has told us too as well.  But if we are always up in arms about following the will of God, there will be no rest, only disobedience.  (Think about your house filled with rebellious kids). We need full surrender in order to enter His rest.  Trying to be a Christian without going deeper with entire sanctification is like laying on a bed, not trusting it to hold you up: that is not rest.  Hannah Whiteall Smith tells the story over a hundred years ago of a man walking along a road with a heavy burden on his back.  A kind farmer came upon him with his horse and wagon and offered him a ride.  The man climbed in but still kept his heavy pack on his back.  The farmer offered to let him take it off and put it in the bed of the wagon, but the man said, "Oh, that would be too much trouble.  Afterall, you are giving me a ride.  I can't expect you to carry my burden too."  Are you enjoying soul rest?


  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: the smile on the face of a one year old, make that two smiles (twins!)  There is no smile, not even Ms. Jolie's, that is as fresh or beautiful as a babe's in its innocence, no lipstick, no teeth whitening, no botox, no orthodontics. 

"Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about."

Ann Vaskamp writes of beauty, "Isn't beauty what we wish to burn with before we die?  What else so ignites, hot flame?  Beauty is all that is glory and God is Beauty embodied, glory manifested.  This is what I crave: I hunger for Beauty...I always want to see more beauty-more of the glory of God? Because that is what I am made for--to give Him more glory."  ...This beauty is...but God's 'shining garment's hem...nature is not God but God revealing the weight of Himself, all His glory...How I want to see the weight of glory break my thick scales, the weight of glory smash the chains of desperate materialism, split the numbing shell of deadening entertainment...I want to see God, who pulls on the coat of my skin and doesn't leave me alone in this withering body of mortality; I want to see God, who gives gifts...in rain falling on sunflowers and stars falling over hayfields..." "One Thousand Gifts," a book I highly recommend.  

"So rise, shine, and give God the glory, children of the Lord."

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God hosts,  the whole earth is full of His glory."
Isaiah 6:3

"Paradise: heavenly; blissful; a place of extreme beauty, delight, a happiness."

Eden is translated to mean "Delight"!

"That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful."
Rumi

"Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless;
peacocks and lilies for instance."
John Ruskin
Actually, they are just gifts, gifts of beauty for our pleasure and to reflect His glory.

Attitude of Gratitude:  a little bitty bebe.  Soft as down hair, as sweet smelling as a rose with petal lips pursed to bloom, clinging fingers like a vine that will climb. "How precious."

"For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are thy works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.  How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God!  How vast is the sum of them." Psalm 139:13-17

"Every child needs a lap."
Henry Rabin

When I was pregnant with Laura, little Robin was put out, literally.  Finally running out of lap land, she said unhappily, "Why don't you have your bump in the back!"

"It will be gone before you know it.  The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher.  Then suddenly they disappear."
Dorothy Evslin  
(Hopefully this grandmom will learn how to post up newest baby's pictures soon.)

"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Down where the woodbines creep;
 Be always like the lamb so mild,
A kind and sweet, and gentle child.
Sleep, baby, sleep.
Mother Goose.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: the beauty of a marriage between a man and a woman.  Those words used to conjure up romance: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...pushing a baby carriage.  Now, "them's fightin' words!"  Sad.  It actually doesn't matter what our words say, but what the inerrant, infalliable, unchanging Word of God says...

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?   Do not be deceived; neither fornicators no idolaters, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor theives, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified (cleansed, set apart), but you were justified (just as if you never sinned), in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ , and in the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:9-11 

"...the law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted."
I Timothy 1:9-11

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness...so they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened,  professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of God for an image in the form of corruptible man...Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator...For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error...those who practice such things are worth of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."
Romans 1:18-32

"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."  Leviticus 18:22

We should have the same attitude towards gays as God has: "God so loved the world that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.  We should exhibit redeeming love toward any sinner, love the sinner but hate the sin.  Homosexuality is just one sin in the list, however it is specifically called an abomination.  I have friends who were caught up in the gay lifestyle whom I love dearly but want Truth spoken into their lives.  One has come out of it, through repentance, salvation, and has received the power of the Holy Spirit to  overcome the temptations and live a straight life now happily married.

Our views don't change because we have talked with our family and our opinion has evolved to support the gay lifestyle as our president has done.  I don't believe in evolution but intelligent design of marrige between a man and a woman from creation.  Our views don't change because of polls or popularity.  There was a guy named Noah who alone obeyed God while the world was "flooded" with popular opinion.

It does not suddenly make us haters or homophobes because Christians have always honored God's Word.  There is an all out assault on our faith.  Schools in California are mandated to use sexual orientation to honor gays.  Parents can't be notified.  Harvey Milk may be honored without your consent or knowledge probably on or near May 22.  He was a predator of underaged boys.  California legislators just voted to make it against the law to counsel underage children against homosexuality.  That would include pastors.  In some states, several towns have passed laws that say churches must allow use of their facilities by gays if allowed use by anyone, i.e. weddings.


What should we do?  Vote.  Vote your morals.  Can you support the abortion policies of the most liberal abortion advocate in legislative record, our president?  Can you support the first "gay president," who has spurned the word of God?  To vote for him is to support his policies.  Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: Isaiah 41:10. "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,  Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

"I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened." 
Winston Churchill.

"Do not break your shin on a stool that is not in your way."
Irish proverb

Most fear and anxiety is about a whole lot of nothing.  However, sometimes the baby is sick, the job is lost, the flood comes and the fire burns, the soldier dies.  Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble.  It's the next life that is without tears. 

It wasn't until after Elizabeth was born that I realize I was carrying fear.  Laura almost died last June with 107 fever and was now delivering a baby.  We almost lost Robin and Noah in childbirth.  A year ago Jay and I followed newborn Ezra in the ambulance to the NIC unit in Sacramento while Amy stayed in the hospital with Addie: that night they said his brain had not developed and he would be severely challenged (but that wasn't what God said since he is perfectly fine!).  A year ago my precious niece had a stillborn daughter.  I knew God was with us, but I let fear creep in.  When that happens, fear becomes like a fog that can hide His face.  Fear is the robber of faith.  It is disobedience to His command, "Do not..."  I had slid down from trusting His righteous right hand to uphold me.

We've been through a flood, our extended family has lost homes to foreclosure,  jobs were lost.  Illness has set boundaries upon life.  Yet will I praise Him.  Joyce Meyer said,  "It was a great revelation to me when I realized that I couldn't control the feeling of fear but I could keep it from controlling me."  She says that the word fear means "to run or take flight."  "Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed)..." Exodus 14:13 

"The Lord is my light and my salvation--
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life--
of whom shall I be afraid."
Psalm 27:1

Dr. Gary Smalley says that fear has six causes: "the future, my reputation, money, possessions, time or health."  He also says, "Every problem-great or small-has in it a treasure waiting to be discovered."  Here are his steps for treasure-hunting...
1.  Recognize the pain ...
2.  If needed, go through a grieving period...
3.  During the trial, hang on to the hand of God...
4.  Wait expectantly on the Lord, "like a child on Christmas morning"...
5.  Look for ways to use the compassion, endurance or wisdom you've gained from a trial. 

The quotes from Joyce Meyer and Dr. Smalley are from articles in the current issue of "Life: Beautiful," a Christian magazine sold at Walmart. 



    


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: beautiful, cute granddaughters who are "cutiful!"  Another Gracie story: Grace said, "I don't ever want to get married because I don't want to share my Cheezits!"  She does plan on having 10 children though. 

"It's like magic, when you live by yourself, all your annoying habits are gone!"

But since most of us don't live alone...

"Always be a little kinder than necessary."
Jamie Barrie
(I offered my husband the first blueberry to ripen on the bush today!)

"Laugh when you can,
Apologize when you should,
And let go of what you can't change,
Kiss slowly,
Forgive quickly,
Play hard,
Take chances,
Be generous,
Live in such a way there's no regrets,
Life is too short to be anything but happy." 

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other..."
Ephesians 4:32

Monday, May 14, 2012


Attitude of Gratitude: Harriet Louise Wise Meredith, my mother.  She couldn't help it: she was sprouting wings and wearing halos her whole life.  Known as "Little Harriet," she remembered being saved at age four.  I cannot remember a time I did not respect her, or know she was right.  She was a godly woman.  When we were naughty, she separated us on separate love seats while we thought it over.  All she had to do was press her lips together and look sad for us to feel contrite.  What I missed most when I married and moved away was her piano playing.  What I miss now is sharing the cute sayings of the grandkids or things of beauty she would love.  Now she is waiting to share the things of beauty she enjoys with me.  All in good time.  I don't wish her here, but have a happy heart knowing the utter bliss in which she dwells.  "Little Harriet" will never press her lips together again looking sad, but our family can't help it: when we are happy, we still cry tears of joy.


Jesus loved His mother too and made provision for her while He hung on the cross.
 "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing nearby, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'  Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!'
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household."
John 19:26-27

Rules:
1.  Be kind to your mother!
2.  See Rule #1.
3.  Eat your vegetables.

"The family, that dear octopus  from whose tenacles we never quite escape,
 nor in our innermost hearts ever wish to." 
Dotie Smith

Chuck Norris' 91 year old mother's words of wisdom:
1.  Give them lots of love.
2.  Take them to church and Sunday School.
3.  God didn't give us our children, He only loaned them to us.

 Family Creed
Love  Jesus
Obey your parents
Forgive
Use kind words
Encourage your siblings
Share
Always tell the truth
Sing loud
Practice self-control
Never stay angry
Have fun
No fussing, whining, no bad attitudes
Be considerate, respectful, & grateful

Vintage: a Mother's Creed
There is no love like a mother's,
'Tis the sun that shineth forth;
Then there is no truth like a mother's,
'Tis the star that points north;
There is no hope like a mother's,
'Tis the April in the sod;
There is not trust like a mother's,
'Tis the charity of God.
A. Holden 





Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

My hero husband kept six kids while Laura was in labor so aunties could be there too.  Needless to say, it was very noisy, especially when 2 year old Zane brought out the xylophone to show his mom his skills when we returned.  She said, "Play softly, Zane."  He said, "I can't.  The quiet gets in my ears!"

Attitude of Gratitude #32: noisy noise!  I enjoy the pitter patter of little feet and even the occasional pounding of xylophones.  It is called motherhood.  That's a good thing since I have six children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great grandchild! 

It seemed every time I took my children out for discipline when they were little for being too noisy in church, they were singing, "Blessed Quietness, Holy Quietness," when we came back in.  I finally nailed my thesis to our church door that said, "No nursery, no church!"  That church's oral tradition was that when of the young farm boys was slung over his father's shoulder to have a "board of education" applied to his seat of learning for disturbing the quiet in the service, the poor kid said on his way out, "Y'all pray for me now, ya hear!" 

Y'all have a good and noisy Mother's Day, ya hear!

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness..."
Psalm 1:1-2

See, even God's kids are noisy in church.

Attitude of Gratitude #31: the funny things kids say.  One of my biggest joys in life has been to hear the unique spin on life "out of the mouths of babes."  Write it down or you won't remember.  Trust me.

"Oh, the THINKS you can think up if only you try!"
Dr. Seuss


Grace, Grace, pre-school Grace!  Thursday night before her mommy was going to deliver and having contractions, Grace came in to her room at 10:30pm saying, "Mom, I finished all my math pages.  I know! Let's do a science project!!!"  She cried herself to sleep because Laura wouldn't do it.  (She's very smart, but her timing is a little off.)  Since I couldn't find any Scriptures on science projects, this came to mind...

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15

It is not how smart someone is, but how their knowledge is used.  Beware of those who feel they have "evolved," or stand in judgement of the word of God, smarter than God, which was the original temptation, "Indeed, has God said...?...you will be like God..." Genesis 3:1-5  We may be smarter than a fifth grader, but we're not smarter than the Creator of the Universe!  Accurately handle the word of truth: there are a lot of wrong answers out there.

"...when we have the courage to share freely with others all that we know, whenever they ask for it, we soon discover that we know a lot more than we thought.  It is only by giving generously from the well of our knowledge that we discover how deep the well is." Henry Nouwen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What do you want for Mother's Day?  I'm always stumped when I'm asked that question.  This year is easier though: I'm getting a new grandbaby for Mother's Day!  Elizabeth is coming.  She will share her Grandma Juanita's birthday most likely.  What a wonderful heritage this is! 

"There are only two lasting bequests
we can hope to give our children.
One of these is roots;
the other, wings.
Hodding Carter III, 1935

"Babies are such a nice way to start people."
Don Herold, 1889-1966

"When you havva no babies--
you havva nothing."
Italian immigrant woman

"Little children are the most lovely flowers this side of Eden."
Rev. Dr. Davies

"Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babes Thou hast ordained praise for Thyself."
Matthew 21:16

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Please do not read this post.  I'm just letting off steam.  Ranting.  Especially do not read unless you are as intensely interested in Christian history as I am.  So go no further if you expect quotes on flowers and babies and cute stories.  I'm not kidding.   It may be offensive or make no sense to you.
I have no idea why I sit around preoccupied with such thoughts.  I've already posted happy thoughts today, so this one is just because it is running around in my head and I want to let it out.
If anyone is still interested here goes...

Thinking out loud or at least in black and white:

History is His story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Theology is what man thinks about God.  I believe the Bible is the inerrant, infalliable Word of God, however its messengers are not.  The Catholic Church teaches that their Popes speak excathedra" (speaking for God=their word is the final authority) as well as the leaders of the Mormon Church (That's why in the early '70's one of them realized it would be okay to let blacks be Mormons too.  It wasn't a change of policy, it was a new "revelation" from God.  I guess God changed His mind.)  There are many since the Bible canon (agreement as to which books were sacred) was put together by godly men, who have influenced theology even at the point of persecution and death.  Even St. Nicholas, (the one and only Santa Claus...yes, Virginia, there really was St. Nicholas), at the Council of Nicene sometime in 300A.D., got in a fisticuff and punched the guy who said Jesus was not fully God and fully man.  The Council agreed to a creed which has traditionally theological understandings.  Constatine who organized the gathering accepted this until the guy St. Nick punched moved into a place of influence and turned his thinking his way.  This place was Constantinople which is now Istanbul, Turkey and the hot spot of struggle between Christianity and Muslems, the destination of the European armies of children and soldiers to slaughter and be slaughtered called the Crusades.  Guess who has it now!  Hint: it's name is no longer Constantinople.  (St. Nick was even from present day Turkey, they who don't celebrate Christmas and are unaware of his history there.)

God has used several men in history who have brought change in "The Church" and theology.  Wars have been fought, blood has spilled over theses issues, not just between Muslems and Christians, but between Catholics and Protestants.  Slaughters, murders, intrigues is the history of Europe closely tied to the fight over faith.  Even though God used certain men, they aren't often shining examples of godliness even if they did stick out like sore thumbs in their day.  Just like in the Old Testament, men like Abraham, Lot, Moses, David, Solomon,  and many others have murder, incest, and polygamy in their resume.   The Bible tells it how it was often raw and unvarnished as warnings to us.  In the New Testament, Peter denied Christ three times but was transformed after the Holy Spirit came.  This is the whole point, transformation of a soul.  That is the difference.  More on that later.

After the Early Church, the first organized church in the whole world was the Catholic Church.  The more organized, the more corrupt i.e. the selling of indulgences in order to buy salvation.  Martin Luther revolted. Luther lived 1483-1546 and is known as the Father of the Reformation. He says, "The Roman church, once the holiest of all, has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell.  It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness." He posted his thesis on the Wittenburg Church door, most importantly, that we are saved by faith.  Lightbulb!  Somehow this had been lost in the first thousand years or so of the church. He also believed priests had a right to be married and smuggled nuns out of the nunnery in wine barrels to marry off to priests who followed him.  One nun picked him and they had a happy marriage and boistrous family.  Yet, he is quoted as saying,  "I have such hatred of divorce that I prefer bigamy to divorce," and other conflicting statements on the subject when a friend asked and received his support in his polygamy. 

Here are other quotes by Martin Luther on women: "Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips,  and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children."  "Marrying cannot be without women, nor can the world subsist without them...Thereunto are they chiefly created, to bear children, and be the pleasure, joy, and solace of their husbands." "God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will.  'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error."  He was a man of his day.  Remember, in Bible times, it was said that it was better to be a dog than a woman.  Women have been property.  Women were not allowed to own property for the most part till later in the 1800's: it all belonged to the husband, the children and the material assets.  At least he and his wife were happy and it is said that all were allowed to converse noisily at the table.

His horrid view on Jews was also of his time, interestingly he being from Germany: "What shall we Christians do now with this depraved and damned people of the Jews?...I will give my faithful advice: First, that one should set fire to their synagogues..Then that one should also brake down and destroy their houses...That one should drive them out of the country."  WWJD?

However, it was his view on free will that changed church history, a note carried further by those
who followed.  He says, "For, first, free-will led us into original sin, and brought death upon us afterwards, upon sin followed not only death, but all manner of mischiefs, as we daily find in the world, murder, lying, deceiving, stealing, and other evils."  "This is my absolute opinion: he that will maintain that man's free-will is able to do or work anything in spiritual cases, be they never so small, denies Christ."  "Be a sinner and sin vigorously; but even more vigourously believe and delight in Christ, who is victor over sin, death, and the world."  This demolishing of free will sprouts wings and we will see where it takes us. 

John Calvin, 1509-1564, was another God allowed a very influencial place in church history.  He was caught in the middle of the Protestant-Catholic wars.  Many were martyred.   His views have become known as "TULIP," five points of  Calvinism.  Calvinism is dominant in American religion from Baptists to Reformed Church.  He also believed man has no free will and is elected, chosen by God, to either be saved or damned.  Period.  Nothing can be done about it.  Nada.  The definition of sin became "falling short of the glory of God," which of course we all do, thus a "sinning Christian" has evolved from that thought.  An evangelist friend of ours calls this "the biggest lie" of the church today.  Calvin taught then according to this logic, "And therefore the very infants themselves, since they bring with them their own damnation from their mother's womb, are bound not by another's but by their own fault.  For although they have not as yet brought forth the fruits of their own iniquity, yet they have the seeds thereof inclosed with them; yea, their whole nature is a certain seed of sin."  Thus, some babies are born doomed to hell if they die in infancy.  This persists in some Christian circles today as young mothers come to terms with acceptance of this teaching that they cannot know if their deceased child is in heaven or hell.  John Piper, a modern day Calvinist, has chosen to throw out this Calvinistic doctrine saying God's nature wouldn't allow this.  Others have said that God knows that if a baby dies, God would only allow the elect to die, as it would be unjust otherwise.  (But  I ask, if as a Calvinist you believe we have no choice in our salvation or damnation, why would only the damned be allowed to grow up and cause their mischief?)  Let me be quick to add that a mainstream of Christian history has taught that all babies and children are under grace, in spite of being born with a sinful nature, until the age of accountability which is interpreted to mean anywhere from twelve to twenty or so.    

English history fluctuated between Catholic and Protestant control with dungeons, towers, plots, and murders.  Voila! Henry the VIII who began the Church of England placed himself as head since he could not get permission to divorce from the Catholic Church.  One of his wives, Ann Bolen, begged him to allow the translation of the Bible into English out of the Latin, which he refused and Tyndale was burned at the stake for his audacity with the Gutenberg Press. A few years later, Henry commanded every church have the Bible in English for its people.  (The Catholic Church did not allow the Bible to be available in English until I was in high school, and I'm not that old!  Before that mass was only in Latin.)  Henry the VIII is an example of God using an evil man for His story. 

Out of this, Protestants splintered into the loyal Church of England and the dissenters who were put out of their churches, jailed and even killed.  Thus the Puritans, the Moravians, and others fled across Europe and eventually to America.  Criminals,  Puritans, and greedy land speculators were thought worthy of populating the New World.  After years of persecution, men arose who took more controversial stands.  John Newton (former drunken slave ship Captain who penned "Amazing Grace"), Issac Watts, Wilberforce (who worked years within Parliment to stop the slave  trade in England, encouraged on by John Wesley), George Whitfield (evangelist who went between England and America who split with John Wesley over Calvinism), and John and Charles Wesley (John, a missionary to the colonies, an evangelist in England and the founder of the Methodist Church, and his brother Charles who was a prolific hymn writer). 

John Wesley lived 1703-1792 and is considered the Founder of Methodism because of his and Whitefields "method" of small accountability groups called "holiness clubs."  In a nutshell, John Wesley took a stand against Calvinism  (once-saved, always saved, election to heaven or hell, 'sinning religion').  He not only found salvation by faith reading  Scripture and Luther's writings and "his heart was strangely warmed," but also found the truth of holiness or entire sanctification as a second work of grace.  This is not perfection beyond human frailty, but a total surrender of an undivided heart after one has become a Christian.  Sin is defined as "going against the known will of God."  It is obedience to "Be ye holy as I am holy," and to be sanctified, set apart, with the heart cleansed for God's use.  It is the second rest as talked of in Hebrews.  It is being filled by the Holy Spirit. It is still about accepting and living by faith and the grace of God. 


John Wesley sent Asbury to the states who organized circuit riding preachers.  Asbury stayed during the American Revolution and so finally Wesley, (who had not been allowed in the Church of England for years), to finally break with it enough to allow Asbury to ordain ministers into the Methodist organization since of course the new states would not still belong to the Church of the England.  For many decades, this doctrine was predominate in America.  George Whitefield and
John Wesley were united in the effort to evangelize the states but differed in their view on  Calvinism though they remained friends.  Where Asbury visited George Washington to ask him to stop the slave trade as England had, Whitefield chose to buy slaves to make his orphanage profitable. 

Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758, is known as one of the most firey preachers in the early days of our nation, a strong Calvinist who was influenced and who influenced Whitefield who once was president of Princeton University.  His famous line is "sinners in the hands of an angry God."  He preached hell-fire and damnation and election so fiercely, it is said some of the despondent even committed suicide.  However, his views are to the most extreme, repulsive end of Calvinistic thought: "The sight of hell-torments will exalt the happiness of the saints for ever." "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked; his wrath towards you burns like fire; ...he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are tne thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most heateful venemous serpent is in ours.  You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment."  "Hell is paved with the skulls of unbaptised children...{Damned infants are} young vipers and {to God} infinitely more hateful than vipers."    

The Wesleyan Church came out of Methodism before the Civil War first because Methodism refused to go against the slave owning pastors and deacons, and bishops to become part of the Underground Railroad, and to take a stand back to holiness which was being lost in the Methodist movement.  Wesleyans were lynched, shot at and hated, especially in the South. The Wesleyans also early on supported Sufferage allowing one of the first meetings in their Seneca, New York church.

Perhaps we can judge history by their fruits,  being Christ-like, being filled with the Spirit like Pentecost and as Peter preached in Acts 2: 37ff "Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, (note the difference between this sermon and one of Jonathan Edwards!) and said, '...what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself."

Just as God used the donkey to talk to Balaam, Henry the VIII to provide Bibles in English to parishes, and the imperfect  men and women of God from Adam and Eve to John Wesley, it is clear that History is His story.  He is in charge.  However, it is important what we believe about God, our theology.  I am thankful to be a saved, sanctified Bible reading Wesleyan.  I do not follow a man, only the Son of man.  Yet, I am thankful to John Wesley who was caught in mob violence, struck by rocks and sticks and attempts on his life, a life of riding thousands of miles to preach the gospel and holiness of life suffering persecution from his church and fellow pastors as did many other men in history.  Salvation is by grace through faith, not that of ourselves.  It is a gift of God.  I believe we choose to accept or reject this precious gift.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that WHOSOEVER believeth on Him shall be saved."

That's why there's denominations and the denomination of non-denominationals. Birds of a feather flock together.  Thankfully, we do not say we are the only ones who are capable of being saved.  Even in cults, there are innocents who believe in Christ alone for salvation.  God is great.  God is good. "For the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit  of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."  Hebrews 4:12-13.

End of rant.


Attitude of Gratitude #30: thankful we live in the present time.  Since the garden, it has been downhill.  The first family had a real skeleton in their closet when Cain killed Able.  Families, societies, civilizations can't get it together apart from God either.  Respected thinkers of all times have said some things that are like dead bones in their closets. We've come a long way, baby!


Quotes: the good, the bad, and the horrid...

"Am I my brother's keeper?" Cain, Genesis 4:9

"Those who will be not governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."  Wm. Penn, 1668

Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less." Susan B. Anthony1820 :)
(I believe one of the first suffragette meetings was held in the Wesleyan Church in Seneca, N.Y.)

"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten..."  Aristotle :(

"All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies." John Arbuthnot, Scottish Doctor 1667 !

"How true is the saying, "It is impossible to live with the tormentors (women), impossible to live without them." Aristophanes, 450 BC !!!


"Behold, my son, with what little wisdom the world is ruled." Count Oxenstierna, Sweden 1583

 "Woman, having received from the Creator the same intellectual contribution as man, has the same right as man to intellectual culture and development.  Matthew Vassar, of Vassar College,1792 *

"...the experience of centuries...has proved that woman is, without doubt, incapable of any aritistic or scientific work." Gudy De Maupassant, 1850  :(

"Somebody's been picking my nose too hard, and it wasn't me!" Grace Mote, 2012 !!!


You've come a long way, ladies!  Congratulations to Delaynii Howard on graduating with her MA in Speech Therapy.  You go girl!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


The Happy Dance

Attitude of Gratitude #29: good gluten free food.  Feeling healthier is a great motivator. I am a newbie in the celiac diet trying out different gf products.  Of course, meat, fruit, veggies are okay as long as they aren't processed with self-basting or pre-treated with other offending spices, but there are some yummy and some awful products out there.  I find that I am exilerated when I find something actually satisfying!  Udi bread, Van's frozen waffles, Glutino frozen pizza and chocolate wafer cookies and simple pleasures as tapioca pudding are good enough for me to want to do the happy dance.  Too bad I never learned to dance, but my eyes can!  Now my stomach won't growl and grumble. Like Hank prayed last night, "Dear God, ... I hope you have dinner in your heart"!

I've tried not to be a grumbler like the Israelites in the wilderness, but God satisfies the hungry...
"I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them saying, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God.'" 
Exodus 16:12

Hopefully, I will lose weight by eating healthier.  Robin had imaginary friends when she was little, "Thip & Thin."  I haven't seen Thin for a long time! 
rather...
"Maturity is moving from a thin skin and a hard heart to a thick skin and a soft heart."

She's not doing the happy dance.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude #28: God's perfect timing.  We've been ready and waiting for Elizabeth to arrive.  God knows and He's not telling.  She will come when she runs out of "womb."  It's like waiting for a flower to bloom.  God calls it, "In the fullness of time..."

Just a little turn in the weather and the garden cannot be ignored.  It is in a fragile state, thirsty and in need of a drink at least once a day.  It is an invitation to come outside and play!  Grace and Mady have both enjoyed picking the first of the strawberries, ripe or not, here they come.  Nice red ones in the fridge supplement their desire.


"Plant Happiness"


First plant five rows of 'peas':
Prayer,
Perseverance,
Politeness,
Purity.

Next plant three rows of 'squash':
Squash gossip,
Squash criticism
Squash indifference.

Then five rows of 'lettuce':
Let us be faithful...
Let us be unselfish,
Let us be truthful,
Let us follow Christ,
Let us love one another

No garden is complete without 'turnips':
Turn up for church,
Turn up with a smile,
Turn up with new ideas,
Turn up with determination to
make everything count for somethig
good and worthwhile.
Amen.
Grace V. Dove

"Warm summer sun, shine kindly here.
Warm southern wind blow softly here."
Mark Twain


"May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
Right beside your door."
(Why do I imagine green wings?)

Attitude of Gratitude #27: silence.  Silence is golden because it is so rare.  I'm trying to discipline myself to turn off the radio, the T.V. and read more and enjoy silence.  It is hard.  I like to try to do two things at once.  It really deflated me to read recently that our brains can't really do that.  I've tested it. It's true.  I can't read and listen to the T.V. at the same time, one is tuned out: I'm only taking turns who I listen to.  I'm not as amazing as I thought.  I need silence.

"Thoughts, rest your wings.
Here is a hollow of silence,
A nest of stillness,
In which to hatch your dreams."
Joan Walsh Anglund

"You don't need to sleep to dream."

"The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent.' "
Alfred Brendel

"Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what.
If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little,
they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big,
because to them all of it has always been big stuff."
Catherine M. Wallace

"In the beginning was the Word,
And Adam's voice the first was heard;
But Eve declared when day was past
'Twas her birthright to have the last."