Saturday, December 31, 2005

 


My husband and I were very pleased with our daughter's sleep over last night. The girls did not get very far into the movie and decided to interact instead. They spent the evening reading Shakespeare together and laughing. :) We were also pleased things went smoothly because two of the girls in attendance were girls that our daughter has witnessed to in the past. We made certain that the other girls (Christian homeschoolers) invited were strong in their faith and that they and their parents knew that this was an unusual sleep over because of the "mixed" group of girls. The whole evening was bathed in prayer, and things went very well. We hope that one of the girls will go to church with us soon. :)

In other news we are "fostering" a 7 week-old puppy this evening. Puppies are so sweet! :)

As I think about the beginning of a new year, my thoughts turn to resolutions. I haven't made a resolution in several years, but this year I am returning to the tradition. In 2006, it is my goal to:

read through the Bible
keep up with budget (surely we can do it this year)
(dare I say it?) lose some weight
eat at home more often (that's nice & vague)
relish being a homemaker (this one is easy)



I may think of some more resolutions as the evening progress, but for now I must close by wishing you a blessed new year! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A True Girl




Here is a passage from Mrs. Julia McNair Wright's The Complete Home:

A true girl, one who has the right to the name of lady does not desire to call public attention to herself. She must be sought for. She does not parade herself to general view. She is careful not to act or dress in a manner to make herself remarkable either for oddity, display, showy colors, or extravagance. Her dress and her manners are simple and refined. Her good taste regulates her tones, her words and her actions as well as her bonnets. She quietly does what she thinks she ought, and has a large reserve power of intelligence, wit, accomplishment, kind feeling. She does not show forth at one glance all her possessions, as some people who set all their silver forth on their tables at once, but she has an untold inheritance and acquistion of valuable things, which will only be discovered by a long acquaintance, when day by day she will surprise you by having a depth of strength, and culture, and lovingness beyond your pervious discerning. Such a girl is like an inexhaustible gold mine, while many girls are like the bogus mines, started by some crafty speculator, who has scattered a little gold and quartz along the surface. Posted by Picasa
 
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Christian! It is not the ship in the water,
but the water in the ship, which sinks it.
So it is not the Christian in the world,
but the world in the Christian,
which constitutes the danger.

Anything which dims my vision of Christ,
or takes away my taste for Bible study, or
cramps my prayer life, or makes Christian
work difficult, is wrong for me, and I must,
as a Christian, turn away from it!


--J. Wilbur Chapman

(From Slice of Laodicea)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


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Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest.
- Henry W. Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Red Velvet Cake

Anonymous said - could you please post the recipe? I have never had red velvet cake...what does it taste like?

Red Velvet Cake is a chocolate cake colored red with food coloring. I have two recipes. One is my mother's and one is the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel recipe. They are very similar in taste, but the Waldorf recipe uses a smaller cake pan and yields a "taller" cake. The Waldorf recipe can easily be found through an internet search. The link above will lead you to the one I found. Here is my mother's recipe:

Preheat oven to 350'
Grease and flour 3 - 9" inch round cake pans

1/2 Cup shortening
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 ounces red food coloring
2 Tablespoons of cocoa (exact)
1 teaspoon salt (scant)
1 teaspoon soda
2 1/2 Cups cake flour

cream shortening, sugar and eggs
in a small bowl combine red food coloring and cocoa & add to creamed mixture
in a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and vanilla
in another bowl, combine flour, salt, and soda
fold in the buttermilk and flour alternately to the creamed mixture
pour into the 3 - 9" pans and bake for 30 minutes

Monday, December 19, 2005

T'was the Night Before Christmas


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‘T’was the night before Christmas and all through the
town Not a sign of Baby Jesus was anywhere to
be found.

The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in
stores.

No one sang “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed”.
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in
bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart, Papa drank beer from a
tap. As hour upon hour the presents they’d wrap
When what from the T.V. did they suddenly hear?
‘Cept an ad.. which told of a big sale at Sears.
So away to the mall they all flew like a flash…
Buying things on credit… and others with
cash!

And, as they made their way home from their trip to
the mall, Did they think about Jesus? Oh, no… not at all.
Their lives were so busy with their Christmas-time
thing No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake. How
could they stop and remember who died for their
sake?

To pray to the Savior… they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to “Shop til they
dropped!”

On Wal-mart! On K-mart! On Target! On Penneys! On
Hallmark! On Zales! A quick lunch at Dennys. From
the big stores downtown to the stores at the
mall, they would dash away, dash away, and
visit them all!

And up on the roof, there arose such a clatter As
grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new
stepladder.

He hung lights that would flash. He hung lights that
would twirl. Yet, he never once prayed to
Jesus… Light of the World.

Christ’s eyes… how they twinkle! Christ’s
Spirit… how merry! Christ’s love… how
enormous! All our burdens… He’ll carry!

So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight
Let’s put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy
some good nights!

Hat tip to Melody from the Fruit of Her Hands!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Icing Problem Solved!




My family has a wonderful Red Velvet Cake recipe that has the most scrumptious icing. The last few years, I have had trouble with my icing's texture being rubbery in spots, so I decided to venture off on my own and try some new recipes. I finally decided to use one I found from Country Living magazine. It turned out wonderful. I highly recommend it. Here it is:

1/4 Cup, plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 Cups whole (I used 2%) milk
2 Cups unsalted butter, softened
2 Cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan, whisk (important step) the flour and milk together until smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick -- about 5+ minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature and set aside. In a medium bowl beat butter and sugar until light. Add the vanilla, reduce mixer speed to medium, and slowly (important step) add the cooled milk mixture. Beat for 1 more minute.

Enjoy! Posted by Picasa

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Are You Really a Keeper of the Home?

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Yesterday, while reading Excellent Wife, I was hit between the eyes with this thought: it is possible to be a stay-at-home wife and mother and NOT be a keeper at home. You can do this by either being too busy with outside activities or by being lazy. I have been guilty on both counts. Wow! What am I really teaching my daughter???

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Temptations




I am very tempted to buy this book, but it is not necessary for life at the moment. Has anyone seen this book? It is a 1960's library book for children. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dealing With Loss at Christmas




Right now, I am tired of being an adult, especially as my father is in his final days of cancer. My dad was always a formidable man, someone to stand in fear and awe of. This is no longer true, and it scares even him. We had fun for five years saying that he was just "too stubborn to die" or that he was like a cockroach because you just couldn't kill him. Reality has now come quickly, and it has chosen a Christmas visit. My father was always good at catching me off my guard and finding that my room was not clean or my chores were not done, and now he has caught me off my guard again. I was not ready. I wonder, when Jesus comes, will I be truly ready for Him? Will I be one of the wise virgins with oil in my lamp, or will the cares of this temporal world consume my time and life? Are you ready? Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

Romantic Christmas Memories



One of my favorite Christmas presents from my husband was during the year we were courting. What made the gift so special was the meaning behind the gift. I did not have a great deal of money, and my loved one did not feel that I had a proper winter coat (which I did not). So, after consulting with my mother, he bought a beautiful coat to keep me warm during the cold winter months that lay ahead. That gift often reminded me of his love for me in a way that no piece of jewelry could. I knew that he desired to protect me and care for me. His love was, and still is, a selfless love. Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 28, 2005

Alert from American Family Association

Possibly some of you have daughters who play with the American Girl
dolls or read their books. You may even be thinking about buying a
doll or books for Christmas. Well, it turns out American Girl (owned
by Mattel) is partnering with a group called Girls Inc. to sell a
bracelet, the "I Can" band, which financially supports Girls Inc.
Seventy cents of every purchase goes to Girls Inc. The band is sold on
the American Girl webpage with a large ad and a link to the Girls Inc.
webpage. In addition, the webpage says American Girl is giving $50,000
to Girls, Inc.

The problem here is that Girls Inc. has on their webpage a statement
saying they particularly support abortion and a girl's right to abort
an unwanted baby. They were quite clear about their support for Roe,
so there is no mistake or room for confusion on that count.
Additionally, Girls Inc. supports contraceptives for girls.

They also support and offer resources encouraging lesbian and
bi-sexual lifestyles, actually offering resources for girls. One of
their publications states, "The emergence of a lesbian identity is an
ongoing process, rather than an event."

Of course, American Girl itself is a separate company, unrelated to
Girls, Inc. except now by webpage and the seventy cents on every
bracelet. I checked out the Girls, Inc. website, and it is exactly as
I have told you. Below are some direct links, so that you can see them
for yourself.

- American Girl website offering "I Can" band to benefit Girls Inc.
store.americangirl.com/shop/ican.php

- Girls Inc. homepage
www.girlsinc.org/ic

- Girls Incorporated supports a woman's freedom of choice
www.girlsinc.org/ic/page.php?id=4.3.4

- Convenient access to safe, effective methods of contraception
www.girlsinc.org/ic/page.php?id=4.3.4

- Girls and Lesbian, Bisexual, and Questioning Identities
www.girlsinc.org/ic/conte...lgirls.pdf

- Free your mind: The book for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth and
their allies.
www.girlsinc.org/ic/conte...sgirls.pdf

- Girls and Sexual Health (with sexual orientation on page 3)
www.girlsinc.org/ic/conte...Health.pdf

I hope you will take time to let American Girl know they are making a
terrible mistake by supporting the pro-abortion, pro-lesbian
organization, Girls Inc.

Please send them an email expressing your disappointment and let
American Girl president Ellen Brothers know the company's decision
casts a great shadow over their trustworthiness to put the welfare of
girls and children first.

Click Here To Email American Girl Now!
www.afa.net/Petitions/tak...asp?id=154

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

Monday, November 07, 2005

Where are the families?

The leaves had been just gorgeous here this weekend, so we decided to take advantage of the beauty and play some family frisbee at a local park. What struck me the most about the day was the absence of families. Families do not spend enough time just being together and goofing around. Sure, lots of families can be found at the mall or movie theater, but that doesn't require any kind interaction. Those activities do not build relationships. Do you know more about your family members than you do about your favorite stars? I hope not. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"The reason men worship God in a casual way is because they do not see God in His Glory. If a man has ever had Isaiah's vision of the Holiness of God, he would be changed in an instant. But until men have seen God as He truly is they will be forever guilty of the very same rebuke God gave to the wicked in Psalms 50:21 'You thought I was just like you'."--Jeremiah Burroughs (17th century Puritan)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Help for the Overwhelmed

Does your life seem like a never ending "to do" list? Do you feel like you're exceptionally busy, but you're still not getting anywhere? Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate what you are doing. As this week begins, I find myself asking whether or not what I have planned for the week has any Kingdom relevance. Yes, yes, taking care of the family and home does have Kingdom relevance, but I find that when I am overwhelmed and harried, the things that I do become worldly relevant rather than Kingdom relevant. I lose my focus & sight of the main goal. Am I doing what God requires? Am I walking humbly with God? (Micah 6:8) I find that often I am running circles around God in a panic to get things done. Suddenly, the sacrificial life that I seek to lead before God turns into my sacrifice of God and family for the sake of a "to do" list. So, as I begin this week and this day, I ask myself, "Why am I doing this, how can I glorify God through this, or is this what God wants me to do right now?" Slow down. Pray & think. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tell Me the Old, Old Story

Today, we had our foster daughter watch the Luther movie to give her a better understanding of the reformation. While watching the film, she asked if those who were taught error during that time, were in heaven or hell. It is so exciting to have her ask us such serious questions. It seems as though not a day passes that she doesn't ask us something about God or our faith. We take such discussions with our biological daughter for granted because she has grown up in the faith (at the ripe old age of 15). She has been taught these truths since she was a babe. For our new, foster daughter, these ideas are fresh and thought provoking. She truly grapples with her faith and the doctrines of God. These truths should be just as exciting to us, no matter what our spiritual age. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

Do We Need Reformation in the Church Today?

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THE 95 THESES
by Martin Luther
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.
6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.
7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.
11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Mt 13:25).
12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.
14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.
17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.
18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words "plenary remission of all penalties," does not actually mean "all penalties," but only those imposed by himself.
21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.
38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.
45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.
46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
48 Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
55. It is certainly the pope's sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
61. For it is clear that the pope's power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.
62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last (Mt. 20:16).
64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.
68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.
70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.
71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.
73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.
75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.
76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.
77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written, 1 Co 12[:28].
79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.
82. Such as: "Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.
83. Again, "Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?"
84. Again, "What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, because of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love's sake?"
85. Again, "Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?"
86. Again, "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?"
87. Again, "What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?"
88. Again, "What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?"
89. "Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?"
90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace! (Jer 6:14)
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!
94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Longing For Days Gone By

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Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him.

Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

Your goal: To try and make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquillity where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place.

Yesteryear

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This past weekend my in-laws gave a slide show of old family photos. Most of the snaps were of my husband as an infant and a child, but there were also pictures of church picnics and holidays. What I love most about these old slides is seeing how beautifully everyone dressed. All the women wore neatly pressed dresses, sometimes with gloves and hats. Everyone had neatly and attractively arranged hair. The men always had their shirts tucked in, and there were no baggy pants and slouchy t-shirts. Life was different then. People dressed modestly and with dignity because their hearts and lives were modest and dignified.

Final Review

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I finally finished this wonderful book last week. I know that I began by posting snippets from each chapter, but life happens and things get left undone. It took longer than usual to read this book because it was so disheartening that I could only take it in small bites.

I will say, however, that I believe this book to be a must-read for any parent of teens or soon-to-be teens, whether you plan to allow your children to attend youth group or not. I believe it is also a must-read for anyone involved in Christian education. Until reading this book, I had no idea just how much of the world's ideas had quietly crept into our churches. This book may be shocking for some (like me), but hopefully it will encourage all to become better "keepers of the gate" for our children. I give this book a 10 out of 10 stars.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Am I Ready For Worship?

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Hebrews 10:19-22

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Saturdays should be typically spent in preparation for the Sabbath, but I wonder if we really prepare rightly - or even at all. It has been said that we only prepare for what is truly important, so I often wonder how much we truly value our Sundays. Sure, most of us show up for church on Sunday with the assumption that we are ready for worship, but somehow I doubt that most of us are truly prepared.

I chose to post the above passage because it covers both the inward and outward aspects of readying ourselves to approach God aright. I have always been taught that it was important to put on our best clothes on Sunday, always having our shoes polished and our hair neatly arranged out of respect and reverence for a holy God, but what about our hearts?

Heart preparation is so much harder. Yes, most of us would agree that having a quiet time before church is a good idea, but there is so much more to it than that. Do I have one holy passion when I enter God's presence? Am I resting in His sovereignty, or is my mind wandering to the many duties of the week that lie before me, or am I noticing what someone else is wearing (or not wearing, as the case may be)? Am I harboring some small sin in my heart, unwilling to give it up just yet? Or have I strayed so far that attending church is just another thing to check off of my list of duties and I do not even think of preparation?

Perhaps our lives seem so frazzled that we believe we do not have time to prepare for worship and that God should just be happy that we made it to Sunday morning services. If we are honest with ourselves and with God, there is time, and God's plan of the Sabbath rhythm for our lives is restful and joyful. Yes, it does require sacrifice - the sacrifice of sin in our lives. Am I so far gone that I do not want to present myself holy and blameless before God? God forbid! I know in my heart that I have much to answer for before God where my heart is concerned; how about you?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Teen Leads The Way In Modesty

Claire Halibur and her mother. Posted by Picasa


Teen offers new outlook for women
By JACQUELINE PINNPosted Thursday, September 1, 2005
JOLIET—

Dressed in a bright colored print blouse and a green skirt, the young woman looked like she had come out of an episode of “Little House on the Prairie.” While she admitted her different style of dress often gets odd looks from passersby; she is determined to serve as an example of modesty for women of all ages.

In today’s culture of teenage sexual exploration through dress and speech, Claire Halibur has found young women who are more interested in covering up rather than letting it all hang out. As a result, the 17-year-old Joliet native has created a modesty movement that offers resources for young women of all faiths.

Halibur and her mother Barbara sat down with the Catholic Explorer Aug. 26 to discuss the group and the issues that arise when young women follow the path of modesty in modern culture.

The idea to start a modesty movement came to Halibur in June of 2004 after the young woman had spoken at an international conference for young women in Wisconsin. “I gave a talk about how modesty and purity can work for young women in this day and age,” she said.
After her speech, Halibur was approached by young women asking for ways to follow the path of modesty. “When I started thinking about it, I realized that there really weren’t all that many resources concerning modesty, unless you know where to look for them,” she said.

That’s when Halibur decided to begin a movement, which would offer young women a place to find those resources and to connect with other girls their age. “I wanted to let them know that if they choose to begin a journey of modesty they will not be alone,” said Halibur.

When the time came to name the new movement, Halibur looked to her faith for inspiration. “The Blessed Mother, for example, should serve as the perfect role model in terms of modesty. After all she is one of the most beautiful and modest women history has ever known,” she said.
That is why Halibur calls her group the Rosa Mystica Modesty Movement. “Because one of the Blessed Mother’s names is the Rose of Mystery,” she said.

Clothing is only one of the avenues Halibur promotes when discussing the issue of modesty. “Modesty also concerns how you carry yourself, how you act and how you speak to other people,” she said.

As an example, Halibur spoke about young women she has seen dressed in halter-tops and short skirts. “Those women may act confident, but all their trying to do is get someone to notice how they are dressed, so they can feel good about themselves,” she said.

While she doesn’t put down actresses like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie for the way they dress, Halibur does suggest that young women take a good long look at their role models and their lifestyles. “They may seem happy, but a deeper look might reveal a young woman who is really uncomfortable with the way she looks,” she said.

When discussing her own role models, Halibur said she looks to the Blessed Mother and the saints to guide her. “These are women who weren’t afraid to see their bodies as temples and to protect themselves, because they knew they were made in God’s image,” she said.

In particular, Halibur looks at the life of St. Philomena, a young Greek woman who died rather than be forced to marry a Roman emperor. “She was a young woman who stuck to her guns and followed God’s path for her, even though it meant her death,” she said.

Undertaking a journey of modesty isn’t just something for young women, according to Halibur, women of all ages can benefit from her movement. “I have had so many mothers and grandmothers come up to me asking for ideas not just their daughters and granddaughters, but for themselves as well,” she said.

In addition, Halibur discusses modesty issues with young men. “It is their reactions to what women are wearing that promotes this culture of lust that we are dealing with,” she said.

The dedicated young woman suggested that men compliment women on their modesty and encourage them to view their bodies as temples to God. “Women do listen to the reactions of the people around them. And I think with some positive reinforcement things will begin to change,” she said.

While she did admit that her dress and position on the issue of modesty often draws negative reactions from onlookers, she has tried to rise above it. “Many people peg my family and I as Mormons then are surprised when we say we are Roman Catholic,” she said. But more often than not, the family is bombarded with questions and requests. “So many people ask us where we get our clothes or what we mean by modesty,” she said.

Even though her modesty movement has been growing across the country, Halibur doesn’t really see herself as a role model. “All I’m trying to do is share the gifts that God has given to me,” she said. In addition to offering copies of her speech on purity, Halibur also offers a book full of modesty resources and literature. “It’s just my way of offering hope to the young women of the world,” she said.

The young woman also has been working on creating a Web site for members of the movement to access. “I hope to have the same resources that are currently offered in the guide, along with testimonials and other information about modesty issues,” she said.

When discussing the issue of modesty, Halibur suggested talking to girls early about the subject. “At a young age, girl’s minds are formed by what they see in the world. So that by the time they get to be teenagers, they don’t see anything wrong with the way they are dressed,” she said.
But if enough young women take up the cause of modesty, Halibur said change could occur. “We could set the trends and make a new world in which young women could feel comfortable in their skin,” she said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Autumn Morning

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The rarest Autumn morning,
of leaves set all ablaze.
The mildest touch of sunlight,
amid the Autumn haze.
The booted feet of daybreak,
falling to the ground,
The cool clear air a stirring,
God's poetry profound.

October 20, 1969
By Linda A. Copp ©

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Back In The Saddle Again!

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Well, I am mostly recovered. There are still a few "kinks" in my system, such as not being able to eat much, bend over, or lift, but overall I'm doing well. Thank you again for your kind words and prayers.

My musing for today is: If we are commanded to think on things that are lovely, why are so many of our homes filled with unattractive clutter and mess? Shouldn't we strive for loveliness in all areas of our lives? What are you doing still on the computer??? Go clean off that counter and shine your sink! :) oy....

Friday, September 09, 2005

Church Growth Movie

Please visit the above link.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Value of Family

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I have recently become acutely aware of how little people value the family. Even in conservative Christian homes among the youth, there is much talk of not getting married or of having one or no children after marriage. Most cite the burden of children or desires for a career as the basis of their reasoning. Another common thought is to wait a very long time after marriage to have any children.

Our own dear daughter has a friend who claimed that she only wanted one child, at which my daughter laughed and informed her that she would have as many children as God chose. How true. Despite all our efforts to have a large family, we only have one daughter. Others, despite their efforts to the contrary, are blessed with children. How much happier we would all be if we truly left these things in the hands of God.

We (my husband, daughter, and myself) love our little family, and we love our little home. Our daughter desires to be a keeper at home and have a family. This does not preclude her other interests of violin, history, and literature. These are joys and delights she intends to bring to her own family.

What is it about other families that they do not see family as something to be desired?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

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When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Refrain
It is well, with my soul,It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,Let this blest assurance control,That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!My sin, not in part but the whole,Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:If Jordan above me shall roll,No pang shall be mine, for in death as in lifeThou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain
But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,The sky, not the grave, is our goal;Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain