Sunday, September 30, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude:  having a little help here.  Raising kids wasn't a piece of cake the first time around, and isn't easy as pie the second time through.  The best thing about it is that we are not alone.  One of the most astounding verses in the New Testament says, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven.  For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost."  Matt. 8:10-11
Now that is some quality face to face time! 

As for us, "Grace is the face that love wears when it meets imperfection."  That's our face time with those we love.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: imaginary fall.  Turn up the air conditioning, put on your sweater, and light a pumpkin spice candle.  So far we have an imaginary autumn.  I can't wait to go to Lake Tahoe next weekend and relish the real thing.  It's nice to dream.  Whether weather cooperates or not...

"preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction..."
 II Timothy 4:2 
"A little faith will bring your soul to heaven,
but alot of faith will bring heaven to your soul."
Dwight L. Moody

Friday, September 28, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: surprised by beauty.  C.S. Lewis writes, "Once in those very early days my brother brought into the nursery the lid of a biscuit tin which he had covered with moss and garnished with twigs and flowers so as to make it a toy garden or a toy forest.  That was the first beauty I ever knew.  What the real garden had failed to do, the toy garden did.  It made me aware of nature - not, indeed, as a storehouse of forms and colours but as something cool, dewy, fresh, exuberant at the moment, but it soon became important in memory.  As long as I live my imagination of Paradise will retain something of my brother's toy garden."

I looked through a book last week that was devoted to pictures of such little gardens made to look like faerie houses.  God has a huge garden that He is enjoying the turn of the season.  As Creator He too can see, "It is good."  How sad when we don't have eyes to see what He has made for our pleasure.  This week I have seen simple leaves laying on the ground which have taken my breath away.  I contemplated taking them home, but they will shrivel becoming brown and brittle: I must absorb their beauty in the moment and be grateful.

"To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else."
Emily Dickenson 
"I thank God for this amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite,
which is yes."
E.E. Cummings
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know...
what are the riches of the glory. .."
Ephesians 1:18


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude:  simple solutions.   Murphey's Law #58: Now that I'm not as limber as I used to be, I get  the itchies between my shoulder blades where it is hard to reach, you know like trying to lick your elbows...oh, you don't do that?  Anyway, I came up with a simple solution.  Now I use one of the deer antlers I have laying around for decoration.  It works perfectly and is always at hand.  TMI? 

Here are some other simple thoughts...

"Lord, help me to trust you with the details more and relax about insignificant details,
beginning tomorrow at 10:41 AM EST."
"Everybody hates me because I'm so universally liked."
Peter De Vries
"If you have nothing, then you have everything,
because you have the freedom to do anything
without the fear of losing something."
Jarod Kintz
Psalm 19:7
"The testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple."
We don't have to be the brightest bulb in the pack to shine for Him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: a delicious feast.  "The world is so full of a number of things, we should be as happy as kings (queens)." (Robert Louis Stevenson)  Sometimes this ol' world is as delicious as a feast with many courses: we become full but don't want to stop eating.  In the words of my great grandfather Uncle Bud, "I could chew some more, but I can't swallow any more."  There are so many books to read, so much music to listen to, beauties to see, children to play with, things to taste, things to write, art to create, sermons to listen to, treasures to find,  and friends and family to share it all with.  The best is that it doesn't depend on our outward circumstances.  God is in the small things too. 

"In all ranks of life, the human heart yearns for the beautiful;
 and the beautiful things that God makes His gift to all alike,"
Harriet Beecher Stowe
"When Christ ascended,
Triumphantly from start to star,
He left the gates of heaven ajar."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
"In Thy presence is fulness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever."
Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: blueberries, waffle, & coffee & cream.   What better way to start each day.  Well, not if you drop half your waffle and the dog eats it then tops it off by drinking your coffee too.  Monkey see, monkey do or in our case, weimaraner see, weimaraner do.  I claim some privileges around here, and my coffee is off limits!  What habits do your little hobbits catch on to?  Is anyone imitating you? 

"For in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel
  I exhort you therefore be imitators of me."
I Corinthians 4:15-16

"Whoever said that diamonds are a girl's best friend,
never owned a dog..."
even a coffee slurping cur.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude:  God's cousin.  I asked Hank what his Children's Church lesson was about.  He said, "You know, what God said..."  "Yeah?"  "Well, you know God's cousin..."  That stumped me before I realized he meant Jesus' cousin John the Baptist.  The day before that he said his head was so full of Children's Church lessons, it would explode!  Umm, I think he has a little room for more.

"For the word of God is living and active and 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."
Do we treat the word of God as living and breathing?
Do we need a sign: BEWARE OF BIBLE? or
Did you know God has a cousin?
It's in the Book.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: fall.  I feel like we have just put summer in the oven and it hasn't baked into fall yet.  I keep checking, but the toothpick comes out gooey.  The instructions say that it is fall, but it is not done, not cooked to perfection.  Nonetheless, I will enjoy the anticipation.  

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen..."
Percy B. Shelley

"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light,
With skies a deeper blue,
and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled.
The season comes full with the first frost,
The disapperance of migrant birds,
and the harvesting of the season's last crops."
G. Wolff & J. Dennis

"...he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so..."
Psalm 1:3-4

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: cookies.  It is harder to find gf cookies to indulge my sweet tooth, but that's a good thing for my waist line.  Noah is having a hard time finding cookies at all.  In a hot political conversation around Auntie Laura's dinner table he said exasperated, "Yeah, somebody fix this country cause I want a cookie in my lunch!"  Big Brother, Uncle Sam or Michelle Obama have had their way limiting carbs in school lunches, so no more cookies, or pizza, or regular size sandwiches.

"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.  So far today I have finished two bags of M & M's, and a chocolate cake.  I feel better already!"  Dave Berry

Something that is more satisfying and filling is...

First, fill your mind with truth
Second, fill your life with service,
Third, fill your heart with love.
Thomas Monson

"Then our mouth was filled with laughter..."
Psalm 126:2

Quick gluten free eating out tips: nothing at Taco Bell.  Only milk shakes & hot fudge Sunday at McD's. If fries are in the same oil as other products they are not gf & McD's are not gf.

Recommended g.f. product: "All Natural Real McCoys Really Good Rice Puffs Baked Vermont White Cheddar Rice Puffs."  Break Open if you are craving cheese puffs.  Just REMEMBER, just because it is gf doesn't mean it is healthy: my blood pressure has gone up because of the extra salt.  (I was only trying out gf products: I will have to limit my new comfort foods.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: big, pink flowers!  In toddlers church Sunday,  I asked them, "If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?"  Two year old Jane jumped right in and said, "Pink flowers, big pink flowers!  They are SO pretty!!"  This was said in her little Minnie Mouse voice.  Have you been enthusiastically thankful for something lately?  It makes me want to go look again at my little pink rose bush.  Is your gratitude on the tip of your tongue.  Would that be one of your top three wishes? 

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
Albert Camus
"Lord, make me now
As happy as the field.
With flowers enriched..."
"For all my days,
Seasons shall bloom
In memory..."
Eileen Saper
"Live in each season as it passes:
breathe the air, drink the drink;
taste the fruit."
Henry David Thoreau
"Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape lay as if new created
in all the freshness of childhood."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"I am the rose of Sharon,
The lily of the valleys."
Song of Solomon 2:1
Gluten Free tip of the day...Kettle Chips.  Most are gf: check the label.  Warning, my blood pressure has gone up since eating the salty things!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: anticipation.  If you plan something ahead to look forward to, like Ladies Retreat, you can enjoy it in anticipation, enjoy it while being there, and enjoy it in happy memory.  I am also anticipating the soon to be published book I wrote, "Miss Ruby from Texas."  I am reviewing it today for the last time before its publisher prints it. 

"It's impossible,"said pride.
"It's risky," said experience.
"It's pointless," said reason.
"Give it a try," whispered the heart.
I went with my heart and wrote this book.  I hope you will enjoy it.  It is sort of like "Little House in the Big Woods" to "These Happy Golden Years," Texas style, the story of my grandmother's life.
"Nostalgia, deep bond we have with the past...
In Greek nostalgia literally means "pain from an old wound,
a tingle in your heart far more powerful than the memory alone..."
and takes us to a place whre we ache to go again."
Don Draper
"Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken (written) in right circumstances."
Proverbs 25:11 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: the creep toward fall.  The heat has turned down a notch, a tease of coming autumn.  Summer is becoming lukewarm.  "For summer there, bear in mind, is a loitering gossip, that only begins to talk of leaving when September rises to go."  (George Washington Carver)  We know it is fall because Bishops Pumpkin Farm is opening Sept. 22!

"The folige has been losing its freshness through the month of August and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty..." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

However, spiritually, it is not good to be tepid.  "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my Mouth." (Revelation 3:15-16)

"I am speaking now of the highest duty we owe our friends, the noblest, the most sacred--that of keeping their own nobleness, goodness, pure and incorrupt...If we let our friend become cold and selfish and exacting without remonstrance, we are no true lover, no true friend."  Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Lincoln called her "the little woman who started the War" because she finally stirred up the nation's passion against slavery.)

"The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end." Harriet Beecher Stowe

"That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong."  William J.H. Boetcher

Gluten-free living...
I came across an extensive list of gf products.  Look up Colella's Gluten Free Product List.  I printed it out to keep with me when grocery shopping.

    Oh joy!  Dove's ice cream dark chocolate ice cream bars and indiv.- wrapped candy are gf! 

"When people feel doubt in their hearts, certainty might be felt in an ice cream." 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: a cup of coffee with cream and meditating on the Word of God.  Morning exercise: walking according to the Spirit.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit," Romans 8:1.  
How wonderful to live out from under condemnation.  Otherwise, condemnation leads to damnation.
Some may be tempted to try to find health in gyms instead of churches.  Those who walk according to the flesh want to hide their sin, but God sees us in the nakedness of our flesh, our sin.  We should be healthy people, but more: whole persons, a holy people free from condemnation. 

"I spent years doing life my own way, not really following God.  At the time I thought it would make me happy to do everything I wanted to do.  But the fact is I was miserable.  You see, if we're not following God's plan for our lives, we're never going to feel peace or joy on the inside.  You may have some fun, but I've learned that having fun and having joy are two different things, and I would much rather have joy on the inside of me.  Fun is based on what you are doing in the moment.  See, the enemy will tempt us to have a little fun.  Fun is expensive; joy is free.  Joy is based on your relationship with Jesus Christ.  When we do what His Word tells us to do, we have the peace and joy that comes from being close to Him."  Joyce Meyer,  "life: beautiful" magazine, Summer 2012.

When I was a new bride and I did my grocery shopping for the first time by myself, I was amazed at all the choices.  I wanted to buy all my favorite things that my parents had not purchased.  However, I soon realized it was all at a cost.  We live by the choices we make.  Even good things may not be the best God has for you.  Walk according to the Spirit, making right choices.

"No man is free who is a slave to the flesh."
"We make our choices and our choices make us." 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Attitude of gratitude: One Nation Under God...My question is which God?  Any god?  Many gods? Or only the one true God?  Why did the Democratic Party vote with a majority to remove "God" from their platform?

 Once upon a time after the Revolutionary War there was a state of Franklin which eventually became Tennessee.  They copied much of the constitution of North Carolina.  I wish we could repeat this part of history:

1.  That there is one living and true God, the Creator and Governor of the Universe.
2.  That there is a future state of rewards and punishment.
3.  That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are given by divine inspiration.
4.  That there are three divine persons in the Godhead, co-equal and co-essential.
5.  ..."no person shall be eligible or capable to serve in this or any other office in the civil department of this state, who of an immoral character, or guilty of such flagrant enormities as drunkenness, gaming, profane swearing, lewdness, sabboth breaking..."
6.  "...that every citizen of this commonwealth shall forever have full and free liberty to join himself to any CHRISTIAN society for his edification..."
7.  "shall provide marriages, in the commonwealth, be regularly and solemnly celebrated between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, before free and single.
8.  "Laws for the encouraging of virtue, and preventing and suppressing vice and immorality, shall be made and constantly kept in force."

These are the precepts our nation was founded upon.

"The church is the only conscience the government has. 
 When the church is silent, the state can have no conscience. "
Edward Grant
"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near."
Revelation 1:3 

Gluten Free Recipe: brands I like...

Hormel Black Label Real Bacon Pieces or microwave bacon is gluten free.  A quick meal is:
sauted diced bell peppers & onions & bacon Pieces stirred into scrambled or omelette  covered with grated cheddar cheese.  Walmart's shredded potatoes in the cold storage section by the eggs is also gluten free, or slice & saute your own in olive oil.  Udi's whole wheat toast is delicious.  I usually get mine at Raley's health food freezer section.  It is also at New Earth or Sunflower. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: skin in the game.  When we have family, we are invested.  It's hugs or tugs on our heart strings, for better or for worse, in pain and in sorrow.  We are exposed.   
"The little road says go, the little house says stay: and O, it's bonny here at home..."
Josephine Preston Peabody
"May you always be blessed with walls for the wind.  A roof for the rain.  A warm cup of tea by the fire.  Laughter to cheer you.  Those you love near you.  And all that your heart might desire."
An Irish Blessing

"The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain, and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the same common thread that bound us all together." 
Erma Bombeck
"Everyone comes with baggage.  Find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack."

"Siblings are rivals...with a dog it's different:...(we) weren't rivals for anyone's affection.  He never got mad at me; he was never mean; he never told on me.  He never blamed me for anything.  He was never resentful.  If I was happy, he was happy.  I was his and he loved me." 
Roxana Robinson
"I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth;
for I delight in these things," declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 9:24

Gluten Free Eating Out Tip: Applebees has a gf menu.  I tried their lemon something shrimp & it was good.  It inspired me to make my own shrimp recipes at home which taste even better.
Attitude of Gratitude: the best seat in the house.  Observing the twins, chairs are to be conquered.  They learn to sit in them, climb on them, find out how much they can stand and rock in them until they tip over.  Chairs are used to push over to climb up on tables and other "no, no's."  They know how to divide and conquer since Grandma can't be in two places at once.  That's why chairs are moved behind the child safety gate until needed.  Chairs are meant to be places of rest, not destruction. 

Psalm 1 says: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night...Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous."

The best seat in the house is in the congregation of the righteous. 

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."
Abe Lincoln
"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
I will try to add gluten free ideas piggy-backed to my blog.  I have become so sensitive that it is essential to my health and well-being, thus, I guess, I am a fanatic.
One of our favorite new recipes I came up with winging it:   CURRY SHRIMP & RICE or PASTA
pkg of cooked shrimp
rice or gluten free pasta
fresh vegetables: I sliced up yellow & green bell peppers & onions & sauted them in olive oil.
I took them out & sauted the shrimp seasoning to taste with a generous amt. of curry & a sprinkle of cumin & a T. of brown sugar.  Since it is already cooked, I only sauted for 3 min. or less. 
The rice took 20 min. and the other prep. less time, a gourmet meal in minutes!
On the go: Long John Silvers salmon or shrimp scampi entrees are gluten free.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: human to humane.  The definition of humane is "kind, tender, merciful."  Only God can truly change a human heart into a humane heart.  There is naturally that in a human heart that is ugly and selfish.  Watching twin babies the last couple of days, how quickly their tender embraces turned into angry biting.  It is the natural state of things. Just look at our world.  I am thankful for those kind people of God he has blessed me with.

"A kind heart is a fountain of gladness making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles."
Washington Irving
"Keep love in your heart.  A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.  The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness nothing else can bring."
"Oscar Wilde

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear, the blind can see."
Mark Twain

"Love is patient, love is kind..."
I Corinthians 13:4

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Attitude of gratitude: grace.  Our neighbor called my husband over again this morning to tell us he is going to take us to small claims court because our sprinkle is getting the fence wet.  He has already threatened to sue us and has reported us to the city because we are watering our grass too close to our fence.  We have cut back and let some grass die, but it is not good enough.  We need some grace, to give and receive.
It usually means unmerited favor, or undeserved love.  In the beginning of Revelation, we learned it can also mean simply happiness.  Certainly one begets the other:  "Just because..." moment when someone gives unconditional love whether we deserve it or not.  Are we looking for opportunities for offering this kind of grace?

"Empty whatever God has entrusted you with in doing good,
all possible good, in every possible kind and degree..."
John Wesley
"Ultimately you are doing what you do for one of two reasons: to serve oneself or to serve God."
"It is our choices that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities."
J.K. Rowling
"No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he had only had good intentions."
Margaret Thatcher
"Grace is never cheap.  It is absolutely free to us, but infinitely expensive to God...
Anyone who is prone to use grace as a license for irresponsible, sinful behavior, surely does not appreciate the infinite price God paid to give us His grace."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: mommies.  We wait nine months, our bodies changing, stretching, retching, until the labor of love to meet our child, not just until they turn 18, but forever in our hearts.  You never stop being a mom.  Here are a few reminders...

"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years
 she served nothing but leftovers.  The original meal has never been found."
"No one wants a martyr for a mother."
"A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled."
Emily Dickenson 
"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.
They have clung to me all my life."
Abraham Lincoln
Congratulations Mark & Lillis on your new little one, Sawyer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: things worth waiting for.  God's providence does not answer everything we want, in the way we want, when we want it.  Sometimes we act like we are in the child seat of the grocery cart begging God for things to fill our cart.  We want sweet treats.  He desires the ultimate good fitting us for heaven to live with Him there.  From the worst crisis, like 9-11, He works good out of what is the unimaginable.  Someday our last breath will go out and we will breathe in the air of heaven. 

"Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way."
Oswald Chambers

"God always answers in the deeps, never in the shallows of our soul."
"God's answers are wiser than our prayers."
"God is subtle but He is not malicious."
Albert Einstein
"If you live each day as  if it was your last, someday you will be right."
Steve Jobs

Monday, September 10, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude:  innocence.  Little Jane loves going to toddler's church.  She woke up and got ready to go to take her siblings to school this morning with her backpack on, and nothing else.  She was naked all over!  I call kindergarten the push out of the garden, when we first must work by the sweat of our brow, where clothing is not optional.  Until then, Miss Jane is enjoying the garden. 

"And they were both naked...and were not ashamed."
Genesis 2:25
"Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither..."
Job 1:21

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.  Comes to  us at midnight very clean.  It's perfect when it arrives and it put itself in our hands.  It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
John Wayne
"I thank God for this amazing day,
for the leaping greeny spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes."
E.E. Cummings 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: know the game where you whisper in someone's ear and they pass it on and you find out how much the message changes from the beginning to the end.  Well, we learned in Bible study with Beth Moore on Revelation, that the message has been handed down from God to His Son to an angel to John to the seven churches and to us.  The difference is that nothing is lost in the translation passing it down through the centuries.  The other kind of gossip is like a group of hens "pick a little, peck a little," "gossips and busy bodies talking about things not proper to mention." (Prov. 5:13).

Verse 3 says, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy...He gives the greeting "Grace and peace,"  happiness and shalom.  We are blessed and have happiness and peace because (v.5) "He loves us and released us from our sins by His blood."  Are you released from your sins?  Don't miss the blessing, and happiness, and peace as we study together.

Be Blessed:

Belong (I Peter 2:9)
Love (John 13:34)
Encourage (I Thess 5:11)
Share (Romans 12:13)
Serve (Ephesians 6:7)
Equipped (II Tim. 3:16-17)
Disciples (Matt 28:19)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: 7 eyes.  I've always thought that was a scary image in Revelation.(Rev. 5:6) "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."  I even hated stories of the Cyclops with one eye.  I'm more of a mom who has eyes in the back of her head kind of person.  But in our study of Revelation with Beth Moore, she said she thinks these are the eyes of the Holy Spirit, seven is the perfect number and they describe the seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:2ff: "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (Christ), the spirit of wisdom, and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord; and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; But with righteousness shall he judge..."  She says that is what is meant in Rev. 1:4 "Grace be unto you, and peace from him...and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne."  I guess if we get grace and peace, I can handle the seven eyes of the Holy Spirit.  As a child, the term "Holy Ghost," was used more often.  Perhaps that's what gave me the spooks.  Grace and peace to you, ladies.  Come to Bible study and pray the Holy Spirit will give us the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord and be of quick understanding.  That's encouraging for us slow learners.

"There is nothing so irritating than finding someone less intelligent but with more sense than we have."  That's the work of the Holy Spirit's quick counsel!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: knights in shining armour.  Hank's favorite play is dress-up.  He has Star Wars costumes, cowboy get up, superhero suits, but my favorite are the knight costumes.  We need heros.  These were honorable men in service of God and king.  I'm reading "Raising a Modern-Day Knight" by Robert Lewis.  Here is Tennyson's quote again.  I have it on our wall at home:

"Live pure,
Speak true,
Right wrong,
Follow the King."
Lewis says, "Modern culture does little to harness the energy and passions of men for good.  This may well explain why men are responsible for much of our social upheaval.  For example:
*Men commit 90% of major crimes.
*Men commit 100% of rapes.
*Men commit 95% of burglaries.
*Men commit 91% of the offenses against the family.
*Men comprise 94% of drunk drivers.
""Boys become men in the presence of a clear vision for manhood.  But as the writer of
 Proverbs 29:18 notes,
"Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained."
  I will give more excerpts from the book.
"Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and widsom of the Almighty there a wall in our path?  Byour God we will leap over it!  Are there lions and scorpions in our way?  We will trample them under our feet!  Does a mountrain bar our progress? ...'Be thou cast into the sea; we will march on.'"
C.T. Studd, English missionary who faithfully served in China, India, & Africa

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: a blameless life.  Blameless doesn't mean we never make mistakes: it means we take correction and go on.  It means the blame doesn't stick because we have a teachable spirit.  It means we know we can't do it on our own; we need the help of the Holy Spirit, the one who is called alongside to help.

Hank has tried to be in a regular classroom.  It is not working.  He is doing his best, but his best cannot keep up.  He is blameless, not because he aces his tests, but because he knows he needs help.  Whether he gets the help in his present classroom or goes back to his special day class, we will make sure he gets the help he needs.

Do you have a teachable spirit?  Do you know when you need help or are you stubbornly trying to do this hard life on your own, not admitting to your mistakes, covering up instead of clearing up failures.

"Be happy when you are blamed and accused wrongly, for then you have the chance to see all the bitter, hostile, or self-pitying response that your sinful soul wants to spew out as if these puny things could in any way defend you!  Watch and see if any of these poisons come out of you when your spirit is pricked by an accusation.  Only then can you see yourself as you are and confess thy sin that is within you and forsake yourself again into the Lord's care."  Teresa of Avila

"I ask not for any crown
But that which all may win;
Nor try to conquer any world
Except the one within."
Louisa May Alcott 
"I will sing of your love and justice;
to you; O Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life--
...I will walk in my house with blamessless heart.
I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
...My eyes will be on the faithful in the land
that they may dwell with me.
He whose walk is blameless will minister to me."
Psalm 101:1-3,6

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: voracious readers.  Second  grade Noah didn't want to go to school the other day.  He wanted to just stay home and read.  His mother suggested he could read and get some wiggles out if he went to school.  He replied, "I got those out in kindergarten."

"Or as another has suggested, we can say that the flowers may be the alphabet of angels,
whereby they write on hills and fields the mysterious truths of the unseen universe."
"The peace of great books be for you,
Stains of pressed clover leaves on pages,
Bleach of the light of years held in leather..."
Carl Sandburg

"There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them."
Joseph Brodsky
"The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn
The more places you'll go."
Dr. Seuss
"Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who live in this world,
both low and high,
rich and poor alike:
My mouth will speak words of wisdom;
the utterance from my heart
will give understanding."
Psalm 49:1-3

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: pain relief.  Wed. Ben was to be put to sleep during dental work at 11am.  By 3pm they finally called his name.  The poor boy had not had so much as a drink of water but never complained.  He was supposed to take it easy the next day, but had so much fun at his grandpa's birthday, he didn't feel the pain until he went home.  Pain is often the natural consequence of our actions, and God uses it to remind us to mend our ways.  It is true spiritually as well.

"Remember, you may choose your sin, but you cannot chose the consequences."
Jenny Sanford
"Temptation usually comes in at a door deliberately left open."
"What afflicts us is a corruption of the heart, a turning away in the soul.  Our aspirations, our affections, and our desires are turned toward the wrong things.  And only when we turn to the right things - toward enduring, noble, spiritual things - will things get better."
John Buchanan
"You can manage your sin, but that is not repentance." 
"The heart of the problem is a problem of the heart. "
"You would think that everyone would leap at the chance to get rid of sin.
Not so.  They want relief, not a cure." 
Dr. Henry Brandt
"God cannot reveal anything to us if we  have not His Spirit."
Oswald Chambers
"Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established,
that unless we love the truth,
we cannnot know it."
"Try Jesus.  If you don't like Him, the devil will always take you back."
"But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."
James 1:14-15

Need pain relief?  Do what Moses did: he took two tablets and called Him first thing in the morning.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: yeast.  Jesus taught using object lessons known as parables.  The sweetened condensed version of one for Toddlers Church was, "The kingdom of God is like yeast."  It was little Jane's first children's church.  She wiggled her little gingerbread figure as we talked about Jesus love bubbling over into every part of our life, our eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, & heart, just like the yeast which was oozing out of its jar.  Since that lesson, Jane keeps reminding her mom, "Mommie, we need yeast!"  Somehow this little child of two takes to heart the words of her Savior.  Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  "And He called a little child and had him stand before them.  And He said, 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:1-4

"First, fill your mind with truths.
Second, fill your life with service;
Third, fill your heart with love."
Thomas Monson
"To be in your children's memory tomorrow,
You have to be in their lives today."
Barbara Johnson
"The creative adult is the child who survived."
Ursula Legren

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: culture of beauty.  I remember begging to go with my mother one fall Sunday afternoon to a symphony at KU.  I didn't know what it was, but I was determined to go.  For some reason, she allowed me.  We were dressed up, my mother with her pill box hat with netting, gloves, and matching shoes and purse and me with  a buttoned down dress with a pouffy skirt and my ankle socks and black patent leather buckle shoes.  My memory is more of the plush theater seat which entertained me by folding me up if I didn't sit just right, but I also soaked up the beauty of the music.  The first record I ever purchased was the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Greensleaves among the selections.  I preferred that over The Beatles any day.  Parents, don't miss opportunites to expose children to the beautiful.

"Music, the heavenly maid."
"Music has the advantage over poetry in that it needs no translation from one language to another..."
"What if earth
Be but the shadow of heaven and things there in.
Each to other like, more than on earth is thought."
John Milton
"Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful;
For beauty is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
And thank God for it as a cup of blesing."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"How lovely are Thy dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned
for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing
for joy to the living God."

Psalm 84:1-2

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude: karaoke.  Singing should come naturally to the Christian.  Singing comes especialy naturally to the Christian with Welsh heritage.  Dad couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, and he knew it, but it did not keep him from singing.  As a Student Recruiter, my father took us to travel with him in the summers with the Pasadena College Choirs and ensembles.  He gave us a gift of the love of music as well as our mother who beautifully played the piano in our home. (I'm so glad it was passed down to our neices and nephew even if it skipped us.)  We weren't raised up on the radio much, but did buy a few albums like  "Wipe Out;" Tjuauna Brass; Neil Diamond; The Carpenters; Peter, Paul & Mary; Simon & Garfunkle;  and my brother bought a few rock albums-The Who?  Now we have karaoke!  What fun it was last night.  I'm so proud of the children who were fearless in taking their turns with the microphone.

"Late & early, my wish
Rise to heaven on the wing of song,
To God, for the sake of my Saviour,
Give me a pure heart."
Old Welsh Song from 1700's
 Welsh music was often sung or played in a minor key.
"Ornithologists say that it is minor music the birds delight to sing."
"Nosonlawen" in Welsh means 'Merry Evening,"
"Only the Welsh could come up with a name like 'happy evening,' to get together to sing sad songs."
"A Welshman is never so happy as when he is sad."
"The Camrian"

We had a "Merry Evening" with happy songs!

"...the righteous sings and rejoices."
Prov. 29:6