Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!


Well, here we are again. :) We've been together on this blog for a whole year. Last year, we started out setting goals - and while we might have done ok, we didn't do too well at all on the whole.
SO! Who's up to setting new goals this year? :) I'll start, and you can post in the comments section - and I'll ask once a month how we're doing. Be honest, OK? :D
I will read at least one verse FROM MY BIBLE daily, not online, not trying to find a verse for our devotional, but FROM MY BIBLE.
I will post at least once a week to this blog.
I will send at least one card to someone a month.
I have a couple of others I MIGHT do, but those three for sure are ones I want to commit to. Your turn!!
Dear friend, as we go into 2009, may you know with all your heart that God loves you, that He cherishes you and longs for you to intimately know Him. Seek Him, know Him, and be IN Him in '09!!!! BE BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas, Christmastime is HERE!


Hello, dear friends! How are you this beautiful day? It's SUNNY here - I know Kenn will be THRILLED about that. he's been bemoaning the fact he hasn't seen the sun in days. It makes him even crankier. LOL!

It's the 19th of December. Only a few more days until we celebrate the birthday of our King! Our church held its birthday celebration on Wednesday - it was a HUGE party. :) There was dancing everywhere, and so many carols - so much jubilation! Many, many different ways of giving thanks for the amazing grace that came from Heaven were shown Wednesday night. It was amazing.

Have you been too caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season? Have you been able to just SIT, and dwell on His amazing love for you? Or to celebrate the gratitude in your heart towards Him? I would encourage you to do so! :D

The picture above is one of our newest acquisitions for our decorating in the kitchen (I'll try to get a few pictures from the open house up soon....). He was originally made to be a paper towel holder, but I LOVE this little snowman's attitude: HUG ME! BE HAPPY!!!!!! :D

I encourage you, dear friend, to bring someone to your house this season. A close friend you want to enjoy, a friend who's having a difficult time this year due to stress or loss, someone you want to get to know better. Welcome them. Treat them to an hour of your time. Share a season of peace and hope with them. Bless them - and you will be absolutely AMAZED at how blessed you are in return.

YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the winner is....

SUSAN! :) Congratulations, Susan! I'll wait for your email to pooh0612@aol.com to confirm and send!!

I generated the winner with random.org; it was difficult to make myself do it that way. Those of you who are my close friends, know I would have picked each one of you if it was fair! LOL!!!!!!!!!

BE BLESSED, dear friends. Tomorrow's the open house, so I need to fly! I hope you're stopping by if you're local!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

There's still time to enter!



It's not too late to enter the blog drawing - GO HERE to read details and enter!
As Christmas draws nearer, I hope you're taking the time to focus on what we celebrate: the birth of the Messiah, the Long-Awaited One. Our email devotionals are about the Advent this season, and it's been very interesting to dwell on the different viewpoints of the characters involved.
My heart particularly hurts for Israel itself: they'd been away from hearing God for so many years, hungering for their Messiah to come. Still, many of them didn't recognize Him when He did come. Have you ever wondered if you would have?
We live under God's grace now, because our Messiah came to fulfill the law. Be sure and thank Him for willingly giving up the comforts of Heaven to be born in a stable in Bethlehem, and live on this fallen world for 33 years to fulfill the demands of the law for EACH and EVERY one of us!
Be blessed, dear one. YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's BLOG CANDY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And not just on MY blogs, either! If you hit the button below, you'll find lots of people who have things to give away! We're all drawing a winner by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12!
For this blog candy, please leave a message - a nice one! :D - about anything on my blog. If you have someone you want this shipped TO, when you win just tell me the address - and I'll put in a gift card for you, too. :)
Shipping only in the U.S. Sorry, everyone, but I just can't afford it this year!
Have FUN playing, and if you're a crafter be sure to check out my other blog, too!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Peace on earth, good will toward men....

Happy December, my friends! Thank you for those of you who have checked in; things have been rough for me the last few weeks - but I KNOW my God is in control, so I continue to struggle back to rest in Him. :) I KNOW you know how it goes. What's that saying? :Life is what happens to you while you're making plans"? :D

ANYWAY. This picture is my little tree in the stamping area. I love this tree; it's silver, but it's a 4-footer. Maybe that makes it easier to love? :D The stamping area is done in blue, white, and sliver; it's VERY peaceful. I can sit in here and work just by Christmas lights. RUDOLPH is on the TV behind me, Kenn's upstairs working, and I am sitting here counting my blessings again. I'm HOME. I have some of my loved ones here with me during this special time of the year. God send His only Son to live a humble life - to live and be tempted by things we're all tempted by, to know pain and joy. I am so blessed. I live in a beautiful home. I am loved.

So are you. :) I hope you find a quiet moment to sit and count your blessings this week, too. It helps keeping Christ the middle of your season! :)

TOMORROW WILL BE A BLOG CANDY DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you're interested in reading our Christmas newsletter this year, you can find it HERE.

Be blessed, my dear friend!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I know I've been a stranger lately....

I've been busy, and I'm not sure where God's leading me with this blog anymore.

With that said, :), here's an article I'm reprinting with permission - I think it will help you out! :) (Written from a secular viewpoint, but worth reading!!) ENJOY!

Organize and Simplify Your Holiday Spending

Now that the holidays and holiday shopping are upon us, here are 10 simple ways to organize and simplify your spending.

1) Decide on a budget. Decide how much you can spend this holiday season. Once you have your number, determine who you're buying for and how much you can spend on each person to keep at, or under, your budget.

2) Use one credit card. Rather than using several different cards, consolidate all of your purchases on one single credit card. If you have to return something, you'll know which card you used. You won't have to carry tons of cards in your wallet everywhere you go. You'll only have to pay one credit card bill at the end of each month.

3) Think lightweight. When buying gifts for family members and friends that you need to send through the mail, keep the weight of those gifts in mind. The lighter the item (think gift cards!), the less the postage. This is especially true for your international packages.

4) Buy gift cards, for yourself. Determine what your shopping budget is and buy gift cards in your favorite stores for that amount. Whenever you purchase something, use your gift cards. When your gift cards have run out, you've reached your budget.

5) Buy family gifts. Rather than purchasing gifts for each person in a particular family, get one family gift that the entire household will enjoy, such as a game or movie tickets.

6) Simplify toyland. Many young kids will find just as much joy in playing with nested Tupperware containers, drawing on scrap paper and filling a bucket with snow, as they would with a store-bought toy. This is not to say you should be a scrooge this holiday season and I'm not suggesting you don't buy your kids any toys. But try to keep the volume of toys you plan to purchase in mind, especially since many toys are forgotten quickly after the wrapping paper is removed.

7) Shop early. Last minute shopping can result in overspending and tons of stress. You're in good shape if you could get all of your Christmas shopping done at least two weeks prior to December 25th.

8) Increase your income. Do things around the holidays that bring in some extra money, such as a part-time job at a retail store, babysitting, becoming the official neighborhood gift wrapper or selling quilts or whatever crafty thing you make.

9) Get creative. Rather than running to the mall whenever you need a gift, how about giving something you made using something you might already have in your house. Some ideas are hand-stamped stationery, homemade bread or fudge, a quilt or homemade soap. You could also give a gift of a service, such as free babysitting to a friend with kids, or free snow shoveling to a neighbor who is not able to do so.

10) Stick to your list. When you go shopping, go with a list and only buy things on your list. Keep your attention focused on those items you originally set out to buy. When people browse around and window shop, they tend to spend a lot more then they originally intended.

by Maria Gracia - Get Organized Now!
http://www.getorganizednow.com
FREE Idea-Pak and E-zine filled with tips, ideas,articles and more to help you organize your home,your office and your life at the Get Organized Now!Web site!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cool email I received today!

BE BLESSED!!! (It DOES actually make a bell, but it's too wide for any of Blogger's layouts. SO, if you want it, email me and I'll send it to you. :))

THE BELL
I KNOW WHO I AM
I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14).
I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know Who you are!? Keep this bell ringing...pass it on 'The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you And be gracious to you; The LORD turn His face toward you And give you peace..' Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, November 17, 2008

Greg McDougal!

Go watch this video, and tell me what you enjoy about Greg. Leave me a comment!

Go to his website, www.ahouseformykids.com, and leave me a comment about he and his family.

For every comment you leave, you're entered to win a copy of his NEW CD, TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS - duets with MANY musical guests, including THE OAKRIDGE BOYS!

All you have to do to win is leave me comments. :D They MUST have something to do with the two lines above. No vague, "Enter me!" kind of entries will be counted. :D

ENJOY. And bless Greg and the new foundation in any way you can - prayers are most important, but financial blessings are the way God uses His people to be His hands!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Wednesday Afternoon!

PHEW. I think I usually block November out of my mind. :D I'm SO busy, I can't even think!!!!! Those of you who follow my stamping blog know I've been out of town on business, teaching two to three classes a week, and trying to keep all the OTHER balls up in the air - I've got a craft fair this weekend, and prayers for God's prosperity, whether that be meeting people, networking, or sales, would be greatly appreciated!

Isn't this hawk awesome?? I admire these birds - they are SO majestic! - but I have a tendency to forget that their prey is other animals and birds I love. He comes around our back yard every now and then, but this is the first time I've been able to get a picture of him; he's very wary of movement!

I chose this verse to go with this picture today because of something that is deeply troubling me - and it has to do with the church we used to attend. If you still attend that church, please know that I'm not trying to be ugly or gossip; I hope you know me better than that. But there is something I need to talk about: God's insistence that we LOVE one another, not only in a certain church body, but AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.

As Christians, we are supposed to be known by our LOVE - for one another, for Christ, and for the world. Unfortunately, what I've seen happening the past 20 years or so is a building of walls in MANY of our church bodies; have you ever been in a sermon and heard something like, "Thank God we don't do what that church down the road does!"? Or, "Unlike so-and-so, we truly believe in the (fill in the blank)!"? Doctrine and theological differences are NOT reasons to build walls, my sisters.

Those walls are WRONG. We are to show LOVE to each other, not disdain. Now, we don't have to LIKE each other, at least from what I can read. :D But we DO have to show love. How?? Guess what! There's a whole chapter in I Corinthians that DEFINES love and how to show it!

It's NOT easy to love people who are different, or who we PERCEIVE as being different or having done something wrong to us. But that same chapter says we're to keep NO RECORD OF WRONGS. As a matter of fact, God tells us that if we don't forgive, we won't be forgiven (Matt. 6:14, Luke 6:37). Harsh, right? Nope. Take a look at the parable Jesus told us in Matthew 18:23-35!

That church has had a revolving door since we began attending ten years ago. People just leave. Regardless of the reasons involved, there should be nothing but love expressed toward each other, on both sides. Or, as Paul said in the Galations passage, we'll be destroyed by each other. Do you know how many people don't go to church anymore because of the hypocrisy they've seen? It's so very, very sad. The very place we should be able to go and be OURSELVES, and accepted for who we are, is the place that's become a place to put on a false front and pretend that everything's OK - because we might really get hurt if anyone knew who we really are.

It goes back to that poem I posted last month. We all NEED to be able to be honest about who we are. There is NOT ONE righteous among us, but in Him, we are ALL given HIS righteousness. Who are we to judge each other????

Sisters, LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER, FOR LOVE IS FROM GOD. If I have wronged you, please tell me so I can ask forgiveness and get us right with each other and with Him!!!!

We are LOVED by God; isn't it time we let the WORLD know we're His, by showing His love for each OTHER????? His GRACE is abundant enough for ALL!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What a beautiful morning!


Good morning, girls. I'm sorry I've been so absent lately; I call this my busiest month of the year, and it's definitely living up to that so far. :)


Did you go take the personality test in yesterday's post??? I'd love to know what you came out as. :D


It's THANKFUL NOVEMBER; I challenged you to post, SOMEWHERE, one thing you were thankful for each day of this month. I KNOW at least one of you is having an awful month, having to make life-or-death decisions with a loved one. While I know that doing this exercise won't make those decisions - or this period in your life - easy, I DO know it will help your heart to remember what God has done for you.
SO! Are you doing it? You should have six things on your list so far, since it's the sixth of November. :) Here are mine:
  1. I'm thankful for my hostess club stampers, who help me keep in business!
  2. I'm thankful for our new church, new pastor, and new lessons.
  3. I'm thankful for new friends!
  4. I'm thankful for a beautiful home and loving parents who grace us with it.
  5. I'm thankful the election is OVER!
  6. I'm thankful for my husband running errands so I don't have to!

You can use the comments section to list, everyone, or you can just use it to tell me you're listing. :) I promise you that this will make you feel even more grateful, and lift your heart. Remember the old song!

Count your blessings!

Name them one by one!

Count your many blessings -

See what GOD has done!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FUN personality test!!!!

I'll be back later with a check on how your Thankful November is going.... :)


Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GINNY!!!

It's my friend Ginny's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Please, if you read my blog at all, you know how important uplifting each other is. Ginny and her husband, Phil, and her girls are battling Phil's cancer, plus Ginny has health challenges, too - but their faith is in our Heavenly Healer. Please head over to HER BLOG to say happy birthday and uplift her today!!!

LOVE YOU, GINNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a GLORIOUS Sunday afternoon!


I don't know where YOU live, but here in middle Tennessee, it's a beautiful fall day; the temperature is hovering around 70, with a brisk wind. The pyracanthus (sp?!?!?) is almost to its full, glorious orange-red in the back yard - expect a photo soon. :D
Friday morning, I was sitting here at my desk working and I looked out the window. I didn't get a picture of the hawk that was out there earlier in the day, but I DID get a picture of this first: a flock of wild turkeys RIGHT outside our back door!!! They were between the back steps and the garden - so MAYBE 10 yards from my desk!!!! It's NEVER happened here that I know of, but I'm SO glad I was sitting here to see it!! :D Aren't they funny???
Once again, God blessed me by putting me in a quiet, still place to see the blessing He had for me. Dear one, I encourage you to see the place He has for you. Big or seemingly small, there is a blessing waiting for your notice RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008




Good morning! :)

Yes, I'm actually up this early today. :) Mom and Dad are leaving on vacation, and Kenn had to work early. So, I'll probably take a nap in a little while. :D It's a cool, crisp, still-dark morning. I love this time of day - but I'm not so sure I enjoy being AWAKE.... :D

This is our house. It's a warm, welcoming, inviting place to come - at least, most people seem to think it is. Mom has done an incredible job with it; the decorating, the thoughtful little touches around every corner - she's put a lot of thought into making this house a home.

In the 80s, when I was in college (I know, I'm dating myself pretty badly there!!!), there was a booklet used heavily by Campus Crusade called MY HEART, CHRIST'S HOME. Did you ever read it? It compared our hearts to a house, and how it can't be His home until He has the keys to EVERY door in it.

It occurs to me that some of us don't even really LIVE in our "homes". I see a lot of people whose hearts are more a storage area - some things they don't want to think about take a lot of the closed-door rooms; some things they want to dwell on are just inside the front door, so they can reach those and get out without having to face those closed doors.

I want to encourage you, TODAY, to allow Christ to air out your house. Give God permission to move you!

Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 26:2: Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind....

Psalm 37:4-5: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this....

And finally, let us cry out with David!

Psalm 51
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are proved right when you speak

and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;

you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.


7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.


9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.


11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.


13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will turn back to you.


14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,

the God who saves me,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.


15 O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.


16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.


17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart,

O God, you will not despise.


18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;

build up the walls of Jerusalem.


19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,

whole burnt offerings to delight you;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.

As the sun rises this morning, I am praising God for the good work He has started in our hearts today - and KNOW that He is faithful to complete it. May you allow Him to "clean house" today, to restore the joy of your salvation in your heart. :)

You are LOVED, dear friend. We are highly favored, treasures to Him. We are blessed beyond measure - let us LIVE for Him today! Give HIM the glory for EVERYTHING today!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good afternoon!


How are you doing, dear friend??? I know it's been a while; real life is sooooooo busy for us in the fall - between photo sessions, craft fairs, and classes, I end up wiped out. :) But that's the season for me. I take December off, so I can enjoy friends and family without being SICK the entire month, and to enjoy the quiet winter mornings, the twinkling lights, and a hot cup of tea any time I wish. :)
What season are you in right now? Is it a busy season for you? Do you feel like you're chasing your tail? :) Or are you in a fallow season, wondering what God has for you next?
He's told us there's a season for everything! No worries. Keep chasing after Him, and He will lead you into each and every season, every activity you're to do! Be sure to consult Him, THEN your calendar, before you add something new! :D
My stamping business is keeping me SUPER-busy right now; I've got two craft fairs next month, and I also show my customers lots of new things during this time of year. I'm further ahead than NORMAL, but that's not saying much. :D PLEASE don't let me totally off the hook; leave me a message if I'm gone too long!!!!!
YOU ARE LOVED, dear friend. God loves you. He cherishes you, cares for you, and seeks an intimate time with you! Count your blessings - don't forget! We're going to start posting ONE thing a day in November!!! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good morning!


It's a beautiful day here in middle Tennessee; the temperatures are supposed to stay in the mid-60s for a few days. It's cloudy today, but tomorrow is supposed to be cool AND sunny. Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! :D I love the fall, I'm starting to feel better, and I am blessed beyond measure.
If you don't receive our emails daily that include a photo like the one above (but usually better, cuz it's Kenn's :D) and some Good News to help you through your day, I want to invite you to email me and ask for it. We get SO MANY comments on how it's a breath of fresh air for many people, but I sense a lot of reluctance from many of you, too. :) There's a link on every single one where you can unsub whenever you wish. Please email me and ask to be put on the list, at least for a trial period!
Do you have a favorite psalm? I'd love to know what it is! Mine is Psalm 100.
Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Especially at this time of year, thankfulness and gratitude are themes in my life. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for! My family, my husband, my friends - both IRL and online! :) - my all-powerful, loving God - I could go on and on! How about you? Have you made a blessings list lately?
I'm going to challenge you AND myself: from November 1 until Thanksgiving Day, I challenge us to either post somewhere - my comments section is fine! - or journal one thing a day you're thankful for. Some days will be difficult to find something nice, I know. :D But there's no better way to be in a place of gratitude than to take the time to recognize how much we are, truly, blessed.
OK, dear friends. I'm going to run; I have a big stamping event on Saturday, and it's a lot of work for me. I LOVE doing it, but I'm glad I only have it once a year. :D
Recognize your blessings, dear one. Know that you are loved far beyond anything you could know; trust that the God Who created you and everything you see created you for a purpose. Not only is He your God, He is your Father; allow Him to comfort you, to give you guidance, and to be more than Someone you think about only on Sundays!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

From a Friend....


A dear friend sent me this a month or so ago. Some of you know Kenn and I are sick with head colds - so silly when it's 85 outside!!!!! - but I thought I'd let this say what I want to say today. :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!!! BE BLESSED, dear one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beautiful Christian Sister
by Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean livin''
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain..
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.
When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!
Pretty is as Pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

PLEASE go read this post!!!

WOW. I still have tears in my eyes. GO READ THIS. It will make SUCH a difference in your day!!

http://joyfullyliving.blogspot.com/2008/10/eternal-perspective.html

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pleasant Monday Afternoon to You!



Good afternoon! Boy, this day is FLYING by!!! (I'm really hoping this picture is bigger when I publish this blog....)

I'm sorry it was raining outside your windows, girls. :D Actually, I'm not. We haven't had rain in weeks again, so you're getting blessed! :D And I bet it's even nice. I remember New York State, Ginny. :) The rain still makes me feel so glad to have a cozy home!!! :)

ANYWAY. We had an incredibly busy weekend, and I needed most of yesterday afternoon and evening to get my brain back. Phew, I felt braindead yesterday! Today, Kenn had to take off quickly when they called and told him he'd had an early-morning assignment no one bothered to tell him about; he'll be gone all day. So, I've been working, blogging, and trying to make home a pleasant place to be again. I've got a long way to go, but every little bit helps!

Think about this: if pleasant words are a balm to the soul, I think there's something as great about our environments that affects our well-being. Of course, it's usually easier to control our homes than our TONGUES.... :D But I think that's why women really respond to calm places, to colors, and why one of our heart's desires (usually, it's not always true!) is to create a HOME. Not just a house, not just someplace to eat and sleep, but someplace that is a refuge. Someplace that is what a tired soul needs after fighting the fight.

I don't do a good job with following through a lot of times, but I DO have that desire. I've done pretty good about fighting my packrat tendencies, but I have to fight Kenn's, too, and sometimes it overwhelms me. But Mom and Dad have provided us with SUCH a wonderful place to live, I'm determined to continue to fight! :D

OK. I'm off to do some design work, and to work on my home a little. I'd love to hear from you! What are you doing? How do you feel about what I wrote? How was church? (I'll try to remember to post about our services yesterday; I just run out of words to tell you BLESSED we are, every time we go!!!)

Count your blessings, dear one. I know some of you are going through an INCREDIBLE struggle right now. My heart hurts for you. Please know I care, and I'm praying for you. And God loves you. He can take all your disappointment, anger, frustration, lost dreams, and LOVE you.

Until next post! :) YOU ARE BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's FINALLY fall!

Good evening, dear ones! It's FINALLY beginning to cool down here - today was such a beautiful day here. Kenn and I went to the orchard, and took a wonderful drive in the country. It was cool, and clear, and just beautiful. :) I love days like today!


God is SO good. He gives us days like this to enjoy. Have you taken the time to look around and see what He's blessed you with out your window?
You MUST go see FIREPROOF. Seriously. Even if you're not in a relationship, it's SO worth your support and worth SEEING. I can't tell you enough - GO. Check out the link! And take a tissue with you..... :D
Many of you are facing trials again right now; I've heard from several of you. Please remember to lift each other up in prayer, dear ones. You NEVER know when God will bring someone to mind, and how important it is you say a prayer right then!
I'm going to run; Kenn's on his way home from an assignment right now, and he has to leave quite early in the morning.
Be blessed, dear one. Open your eyes to the blessings God has poured out on you already - it will AMAZE you when you start looking. He LOVES you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Here I am. :)

So sorry I've been MIA. I haven't felt really well on the days I've not been busy. Please pray that that cycle STOPS. I'd like to feel GOOD for a bit. :D


Today's post is a poem that I fell in love with in college. It hit me right where I was - I used to wear masks all the time, for fear of others' opinions of me. What I learned the year I found this poem was that everyone has fear of others. We're all in the same place - we need to be loved. Regardless of whether the author is Christian or not, I think his message SHOUTS about how we should interact with each other.


Let me know what you think. :)


Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may be smooth but
my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a fa├žade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,
And my life becomes a front. I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,but what I can't say.
I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings --
very small wings,
but wings!
With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator --
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls
with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.
By Charles C. Finn

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Remember my talking about making posters available?

Well, we've found a way to do this! :) We'll be adding more, but all the flower shots with verses that I have done are uploaded on this site. If there's a picture you'd like a specific verse on, or anything like that, please let us know! :) We're excited about getting to share our work with you!

http://heavenlyperspective.shutterbugstorefront.com/

Enjoy browsing! :)

Guest Article Today!!!


Good morning, everyone! I know it's been a while since I posted, and I apologize - but thank you for coming back. :D
Today, I have permission from Carmen to post her blog post here. I've been struggling to get enough time to write the article I said I wanted to, and Carmen's post was on the Internet Cafe Devotions earlier this week. It's EXACTLY where I wanted to start, and Carmen graciously allowed me to "share the love". :) So that's what I'm going to do. Here, in its entirety, is Carmen's post. Thank you, Carmen!
H.U.G.S.!
More than anything, keep loving each other actively;because love covers many sins.~ 1 Peter 4:8

Have you figured out yet that this life is all about relationships? The Relationship Expert Himself wrote an entire Book about this matter of relationships. The First Four Words of The Ten (Commandments) He gave us had to do with relating to Him…and the Last Six Words had to do with relating to everyone else!

What I’m trying to say, folks, is that it matters to our LORD how we deal with one another…yes, even ‘Sister Scouring Pad’ (the one known for her abrasive qualities). Did you know that our (horizontal) relationships are the TELLING FRUIT of our most vital (vertical) relationship to the Father...the ROOT? We are able to know the true condition of how our Heavenly Father views our relationship with Himself simply by examining our relationships with the 'one anothers' in our lives.

We all have at least one relationship in need of His healing touch, don’t we? 1 Peter 3:8-12 describes a process of His sanctification in us through friction with others…’it is to this we have been called that we might receive a blessing’. We receive this blessing as we do things His way and give up the right to ourselves.

Recently, I had the privilege of sipping some very expensive coffee (as in ‘Venti fat-free hazelnut latte, please!’) across the table from a new friend. We both shared our strange love for acronyms. You see, the LORD gave me a brain that can be easily confused, so I have found that acronyms serve me well in remembering what I should do in a complicated situation. Sometimes I do not have time to grab my Bible and look up the appropriate responses. Perhaps this is why His Spirit instructs us to ‘hide (the Word) in our hearts that we might not sin against Him’!
H.U.G.S. is surely one great acronym to commit to memory in dealing with inevitable conflict. The definition of conflict is ‘to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; to clash’. Has this ever happened to you? John records these words from Jesus: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

We have tribulation because sin resides in every human heart. But let’s not kid ourselves - even if you or I were the only one on this earth, we’d still have our issues! Therefore, we can look at conflict as an event and H.U.G.S. as appropriate God-honoring, Christ-exalting responses to a brother or sister. Until the LORD comes back, His Spirit will be teaching us all about His blessed grace and giving us ample opportunity to grow in it and extend it to others.

What would our relationships look like if we dealt in the following manner with each other?

• H - Honestly (Proverbs 24:26; Romans 12:9-10)
• U - Understandingly (Proverbs 14:29; James 1:20)
• G - Graciously (Colossians 4:6; Proverbs 11:16; Ecclesiastes 10:12) AND finally…
• S - Simply (Matthew 5:37; Proverbs 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:7)

Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). This ahava (Hebrew: ‘love’) is the first attribute listed of the Spirit’s fruit because it is from this ‘ahava’ that the remaining Kingdom fruit flows. Ahava, at its core, is a heavenly action displayed through an earthly vessel. It is His very love flowing through us.

Because HUGS are a very SUPERnatural response, they are able to soften the edges of even the harshest Sister (yes, even Sister Scouring Pad or Brillo Britches…whichever you prefer).
Baruch Ha Shem ADONAI!!
Because HE Lives!
Carmen
Join Carmen daily at her personal blogspot

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This, That, and The Other....



Good afternoon, dear friend!!! I'm so glad you stopped by to visit me. :)
Yes, indeed, I do have too many ducks. :D But I'm beating them into submission, I promise. :D
Thank you, those of you who prayed for the insurance by the state to pick me up! It DID!!! Unfortunately, they don't have funding to help out with the premiums, so please continue to pray for that financial burden - it's considerably more than COBRA was, but it's still insurance! :)
Rhonda and I are making plans for her visit for Thanksgiving; I think she's pretty excited. :D She's ready to come NOW, but I told her I need the next two months to get everything done I need to! LOL!!
This photo is part of our fall decorations; this is on the mantel in my stampin' room. Isn't it beautiful??? I love fall, and then comes CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Mom had all the decorations up in an afternoon; the outside will go up when we can get corn stalks from the farmer's market.
I just wanted to post and say thank you. :D And THANK YOU goes out to Karna, also; she sent me a papercrafting book! :) It was very sweet, and I'm blessed beyond measure just by her friendship!
Have a wonderful, blessed day, dear friends!!!! I treasure you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Count your MANY blessings, and see how loved you are. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Tuesday!!


Hi, girls! Sorry it's been so long since I've posted - I'm going away AGAIN this coming weekend, and I'm trying to make sure I have all my ducks in a row. PHEW. I gotta lotta ducks! :D



ANYWAY. We had a lovely time getting away to Smyrna this weekend. :) We went and dropped Kenn's wedding band off for resizing- my gift to him for our anniversary. :D Then, we went and had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings - Kenn loves to play trivia there! :) He has a LOT of knowledge, and always impresses me.

Off to the hotel we went, and checked in just fine. We had a "suite", and it was really comfy. We set up our computers and made sure we both could get online ;), and off Kenn sped to work - just a few minutes away!

I took a short nap, then worked most of the afternoon. But it was so nice to not have other things I "needed" to do distracting me; I watched TV, had a snack, read some of a book I took, and just generally kicked back while working. :D Kenn came back around 8, got changed, and we went to a local restaurant for dinner. We had a really good dinner! Appetizers, and dinner - and we were soooooooo full, but took a piece of their carrot cake with us; we'd been told it was their signature dessert. :)

Back we went, and it wasn't too long - some football scores later :D - that we went to sleep.

We got up about our regular time on Sunday, our real anniversary. We got ready - this is Kenn that morning :) - and Kenn brought some breakfast up for us. We also ate a bit of the carrot cake. WOW, was it rich. We decided to take it home with us, but it didn't survive the heat. It was MUCH warmer than I thought it was supposed to be!!!!

We left the hotel - which was about FIVE minutes from church - about 15 minutes after we normally would leave our HOUSE for a 35 minute drive. Can ANYONE say ANTSY?!?! ::::::::sigh:::::::::::: That's Kenn for you, in case you didn't know. :D

Church was EXCELLENT, as usual, and then we had sushi for lunch and came home to relax and unpack.

There. Now you know the whole weekend! :D It was really nice. Thank you for your well-wishes and prayers for us. :)

God's stirring up that topic in me again, girls. I'll be posting soon, the next in the series of Christian relationships.

Leave me a note, let me know you visited!!! :D BE BLESSED, dear one! YOU ARE LOVED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Updates and Nothin' Much :D


Hi, everyone! Happy Friday! :)
Aren't these beautiful?? Kenn just brought them home to kick off our anniversary weekend. :D It's on Sunday; it will be 12 years, officially. :D They are GLORIOUS flowers - although "peace roses" are deceptively named; they should be called "thorns of death" roses! :D Thank you, My Love, for the beautiful flowers. And for 12 years of ups, downs, and sideways - and love.
OK, you wanted to know how Rhonda's meeting went - so I had her write an update! Here it is:
The meeting I had with my principal and coworker went incredibly well. It really shouldn't be such a suprise. God promises to hear his children when they call to Him.
I had many people praying for me and could definately feel the prayers as they went up. I spent a couple of minutes before going in to the meeting praying once again that God would give me wisdom as I went in.

I don't think it is necessary to tell the contents of the meeting, but I will say this. God held my tongue when I needed to be quiet and wisdom to see what needed to be said at the right time. I truly felt God's presence in the room with me. Because of Him I could walk out of the meeting knowing that I had been obedient to God and as loving as one can be in that situation!

Thanks to EVERYONE who lifted me up that day! I am incredibly blessed to have people care even when they do not know me personally! I pray that God would pour down on you blessings far beyond anything you could ever comprehend!

Rhonda Binion
So there you have it! :) God is GOOD, all the time!!! :D If I don't post again this weekend, it's because I'm not feeling like doing so. :D Have a WONDERFUL weekend, my dear friend! BE BLESSED!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Honor Thy Father & Mother


Good morning, everyone. I'm SO sorry I haven't posted in a while; I have all these thoughts buzzing in my head, and they won't stand still long enough to sort and get down into writing! ::::::::sigh:::::::::::: I hope you'll forgive me! :)


Today I want to honor my mom and dad. This is them!

Actually, this picture's almost 2 years old. They don't seem to hold still long enough to take a picture of the two of them TOGETHER very often. :)

My mom and dad are REALLY giving. They offered us a place to live when we didn't know what God was doing in our lives - we still share a house with them! They are ALWAYS there when I need them, for anything. When a crisis arises - as they seem to, often, in Kenn & my lives!!! - they are always there, even if we only get a sympathetic ear and good, Godly advice. :)

Mom takes care of me a LOT. She purchases most of my prescriptions; she gives me money to get used clothing and books. She puts up with my mood shifts and a-political attitudes. :D She's been one of my best friends for the last ten years, and I am so grateful for her!!!

Dad is so looking forward to retirement that I think he has trouble seeing straight sometimes. :D He's become much more light-hearted when he gets to stay home, with a ready laugh and a conversation with Kenn coming easily. This week, he blessed both Rhonda and me with a ticket for her to come for Thanksgiving - the first holiday her ex-husband will have the kids - so she doesn't have to be by herself. I haven't seen her since my wedding. :) Thank you, Dad.

I don't tell them often enough how much I love them, how blessed I am by them, how grateful I am for everything they do for me. God teaches me how to love so many times by their examples. I am SO blessed to have Godly parents.

I just wanted to honor them today, in a special way. :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Boy, ain't it the truth!

I received this email from a friend from our old church. It's wonderful! :D

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life,my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.
As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.
I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon - before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love .. I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever,but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. AndI shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)
MAY YOU ALWAYS HAVE A RAINBOW OF SMILES ON YOUR FACE AND IN YOUR HEART FOREVER AND EVER!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A sister needs our prayers on FRIDAY!!!


If you're reading this, I'd SO appreciate your prayers for my dear friend, Rhonda. She's been having some sort of conflict with a co-worker, and IMed me today to tell me that the principal had asked for a meeting tomorrow with her and the co-worker - and Rhonda hadn't mentioned it to the principal.


Of course, Rhonda is a bit anxious about the outcome. Here's what she just emailed me:


I told you earlier that I have that conference with my principal and the teacher I am having a difficult time with tomorrow. I found out it has to do with the main issue between this other teacher and myself. I am verey worried about it. I know, I know the Bible says not to worry, but to pray instead. However, being human I find it VERY difficult NOT to worry over certain things. This is one of them. We will be meeting around 2:45 tomorrow. It would be great to know that there are people praying at that exact time.
Rhonda


Philippians is one of my favorite books in the entire Bible. Here is what I would ask you to claim for Rhonda now - she's having trouble claiming it for herself. PLEASE, let's lift her up to her Father! He knows what she needs!!! :)
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Update on me: the procedure went well this morning, and I'm almost back to normal in that eye. Both eyes feel tired - a response to the numbing drops they put in to be able to check the pressure in my eyes. Thank you for praying, dear ones!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Tuesday! :D


Good afternoon, dear friend! I'm SO glad you stopped by! :) How is your week going? How was your weekend?
Well, let me tell you! My weekend was so full of spiritual truths, and bits and pieces of spiritual "gum" - things I need to really chew over :D - that I can't sift them all out at one time.
I was blessed to be able to hear Priscilla Shirer in person again. Amy and I did a Bible study of hers called DISCERNING THE VOICE OF GOD together, and then I got to see her in person in Branson when I went earlier this year. As a matter of fact, she is the speaker I honestly went to hear in Branson. :)
Anyway. This weekend's conference was Friday night and Saturday morning. She's got one more of these events this year before she stops to have her baby :D, so I won't share everything I got from those two days for a little while. She's worth hearing for yourself! Honestly, every single person who went with our group got something TOTALLY different out of it! :) Plus, shes a communications person, and I would LOVE to be doing what she does - and I wouldn't want someone to "let the cat out of the bag" if I was!
Can I say ANYWAY again? :D Anyway! One of the things she said this weekend, not even as a bullet point :D, was that too many times we exalt our PROBLEMS over God. That's making Him SMALLER than whatever we're facing. We talk about the circumstance we find ourselves in more than we talk about God's goodness, grace, and faithfulness.
Did YOU hear that smack I got in the face??? :) WOW, do I see myself in that statement. I try to be very careful here on my blog to be SURE that God gets the glory and the exaltation, but in real life, sometimes I talk waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy too much about my problems - whichever one is bothering me that day. :)
My reality check will be stopping at least once each day, and asking myself: if I've talked to anyone today, who or what was exalted (lifted above) during my conversation? As Amy told me yesterday when we were talking about it, I'm allowed to express concern and ask for support - but the problem, my fears, or Kenn's reactions will NOT be exalted in my conversations!! :)
Does anyone else recognize this in your own self? Dwell on HIS goodness, my friend, and count your blessings, and claim this circumstance as under His authority. He'll take care of you - He promises! :) HE LOVES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beginning to gather my thoughts.... :D

Thanks, Karna. Like I never post, dear one? LOL! I blog without obligation, but I would love to be able to be a little more consistent. :::sigh:::



ANYWAY. :) Here's the jumping-off place for my thoughts.

Let's define our term. :)

Interpersonal communication: First word, "interpersonal", means "between two people". "Communication" means "a delivery of a message via both direct (the words one uses) and indirect (nonverbal, "body language", tonal delivery, etc) channels."

:D Did I lose anyone yet? In other words, interpersonal communication is something we use every time we talk to another person. To COMMUNICATE is to make a two-way street of sending and receiving information. If it's not getting through, you're not communicating! :) Does that make sense?

As humans, the indirect channels are the ones that actually deliver about 90% of our message - and BOY, if they aren't mis-interpreted half the time! The way you're standing when you say something, the vocal range you use, the eye contact you do or don't maintain - all SORTS of things go into the way we "say" things.

As Christians, it's vital that we deal with each other in love. If you use an online Bible, you can find hundred of references for the phrase "each other" - and many of the ones in the New Testament tell us to LOVE EACH OTHER - in no uncertain terms. It's the second greatest commandment, according to Jesus - the SOURCE of our love for each other. Must be pretty important, don't you think?

But HOW do we do that? One "message" at a time. :) As I continue with this topic - and it may not be every post, but be something that's definitely a thread through the next few weeks - we'll talk about the ways we're shown in Scripture to deal with each other, even in conflict. It's there, in black and white; if we choose not to hear the message, you've cut off the channel of communication with GOD!!

I pray that this topic will allow us to examine the way we deal with the important people in our lives: our spouses/significant others, if applicable; our families, our friends, our non-Christian friends, and the PEOPLE who make up the Church.

Be BLESSED, dear one! I hope you'll take this little beginning of a topic, and think about it. Examine it; I don't want anything of *my words* to take root in your heart - but if God has spoken to you through this post, don't turn off that communication!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And we have a winner! :D

She doesn't know who she is yet, but I've ordered her book for her. :)


It's been crazy around here, and I haven't been eating right the last couple of days - so I've been feeling really, really tired. I'm doing MUCH better today - I have to start each morning giving God control over everything I put in my mouth. I wish I could be like lots of others, who can eat the junk they want, but I'm not. :D

I'll try to post a catch-up tomorrow, but I'm not promising that's what it will be. God's still leading me to talk about interpersonal communications AS CHRISTIANS, but I'm not sure my thoughts are together enough to actually start that series. :)

Oh, you want to know who won? Well, the winner of THE SHACK by William P. Young is none other than...

RHONDA B.!!!

Congratulations, Rhonda! It may be a week or two before you receive it, but it's on its way. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who am I, anyway???


I realize that a lot of you don't really KNOW anything about me, so I thought I'd just introduce myself a little bit! :D


But what do you want to know?? Or DO you? :D


Let's see. I'm the oldest of three girls, all spaced four years apart. Neither one of them wish to be "outed" online, so I'll respect their wishes. :)


I've lived all around the US, in each region, I think. :) I LOVE the Pacific Northwest, and it would be my permanent home if I were given a choice. But no matter where I go, God brings wonderful, special people into my life. My friends are very important to me!


I really like to TRAVEL, as in go to far places on a plane. :D I am a homebody, though, and on any given day I'd rather stay home and work than have to go out someplace.


I've worked in a lot of different fields! That old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none"? Yeah, that's talkin' about me. :) Honestly, I think the thing that still gives me the most satisfaction is teaching - but NOT what I've done in the school system. I LOVE teaching people when they want to learn - like what I do with rubber stamping and scrapbooking. I love to hear people's reactions when they realize they can do whatever we're working on, and it's pretty, and THEY did it!! :)


I have a BA in communications, emphasis in interpersonal comm - which perhaps explains why my relationships with friends are so important to me! My minor's English lit - one of those truly USEFUL degrees. :D Did all that in El Paso, Texas. :D I've done community theater for YEARS, both on- and backstage duties. I love to be onstage, but it's a bit difficult when you look like I do. ;D


I still keep in touch with one of my best college friends - HI, RHONDA!!!!!!! :) - and she, besides my family, has known me the longest on this planet.
My parents have called me "Pooh" since I was about three. I still collect Pooh, and wear Pooh, and am called Pooh. :D
Then there are my best friends from Ohio I used to do theater with, Karen and Joe. I still have wonderful, cherished memories of our times together, and need to do a better job of staying in touch with them. Karen's husband is also a diabetic, with serious health complications. If you could pray for Doug when you think of it, we'd all be so grateful!


I met Kenn on the Internet, back when the Net was still in its infancy. We'll be celebrating 12 years of marriage next month! If you'd like to read more about that, go HERE and then read some of our writings - links on the right side. Karna actually knows us from the old days when we first got together! :D


I have a beautiful stepdaughter, Kaisa. She's happily married to Jeff, and they live in California. Children are in the PLANS, but not the WORKS. :D


I'm a type 2 diabetic, with eye complications. Speaking of which, I have another laser surgery on the 28th of this month, if you happen to think and would like to pray for me! :) I struggle with my glucose levels, but I know Who's got ALL of me in the palm of His hand, so I try to rest there.


I grew up in a Christian home, accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 6. There have been times of real stagnance (?? is that correct???) - but also times of great growth. God has been calling me to go deeper in Him for a few years now, and I feel like He has planned for this blog to play a role in others' growth, as well.
If there's ANYTHING you'd LIKE to know about me, please don't hesitate to ask. God's brought me through a LOT of trials, and has taught me that praising Him regardless of my circumstances is what He truly desires from me. It's not always easy, but I CHOOSE TO DO SO! :) Sometimes, praising Him is a sacrifice of our desires and will.
So, ask away. :D Tell me about YOU!!! Post to your blog, and let me know you did so!!! I want to know you, my friend. I care about you! I know our Father loves you deeply - so deeply, we can't comprehend it. I also know He wants us to live in His love, and to deal with others from there!!!! :)
Don't forget to enter the drawing for the book - scroll down for details. :)
Have a WONDERFUL weekend, dear one. Rest in Him!!!



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good morning!


My but I'm tired! I've been working hard this week, and now I have a day where I get to stay HOME, but still need to get things done - and one of the things I needed to do was to get busy HERE! I'm sorry it's been a few days since I posted. I always want to do quality posts here, and some days I just don't have the time. :(

Anyway. This post is going to be for housekeeping chores - I'll be sending you a couple of other places to read. But always come BACK - you won't want to miss any of these links. :)

First, one of our friends here at Wannabe, Karna, has started her own blog. I think you'll enjoy her - she's witty and fun, and has been a dear friend of mine for a LONG time! Her blog is called SASSY LASS. :)

Second, I think we ALL forgot about THIS POST. Sorry, girls; let's give this until what, Monday the 18th? I just want as many people as can to get in on this drawing! :)

Third, I know that I've mentioned that Kenn has a blog, but have I mentioned that he's got TWO? He's started his second blog to work on his book; he began this book 12+ years ago, but never felt like he had an ending. Now, he feels like God's telling him it's time to finish it - so he's working on it again! :) You have to read from the bottom up, or it's not going to make any sense to you. :D And PLEASE leave him comments; he wants to make it the best he can. :) GO HERE to read Kenn's book! Oh, and grab a tissue when you come to the interlude about me. :D

And last but not least, my dear friend Becky P. has a friend who's in the end-stages of Cystic Fibrosis - a cause that is dear to my heart because of Greg McDougal's kids. She's trying to get 100 people to post a comment - there's also blog candy involved! - but she wants to get people PRAYING for her friend, Nancy. GO HERE to read Becky's post.

OK, I think that's all for this post! :) Summer's almost over, and I know you're busy! Thank you for sharing some of your precious time with me. I hope you'll leave me a comment, too.... :) KNOW YOU ARE BLESSED!!! I appreciate and love you, dear one!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Friday!

Gosh, is it POSSIBLY Friday already?!?!? I've been working hard this week to get ready for my Stampin' Up! open house Monday night - you can go visit my blog for more info about it. :D ANYWAY. Kenn LOVES what we call "munchy" meals - things where he can nibble whatever he wants for a couple of hours, versus a real meal. AND he's picky about what he eats - sorry, Love, but you are. :)


So, a few weeks ago I made a bunch of different dips, served them with a couple of different kinds of chips, and he was SO HAPPY. :) So, we've done it once a week.


Last night was the night. I had been to the grocery store Tuesday, found some bruschetta topping - tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, maybe a little balsamic vinegar - on sale, and they also had a crab dip we both liked (a miracle, truthfully!!!) on sale. So I made our favorite potato chip dip, clam dip, and made some spinach artichoke dip, and toasted up some leftover bread I had in the freezer, plus had some potato chips. Oh, and threw a dozen chocolate chip cookies into the oven for him.


I put this plate together JUST FOR YOU, my friend. Sit down with me. Isn't God GOOD? His bounty is overflowing! Especially in America. We think we're deprived if we can't have something we want. But we are SO blessed. So many in this world are hurting for the smallest thing. And look at what we are able to share!
I love you! I'm so glad you came to visit me. I wish you could stop by for a REAL visit, but until then, know that I count YOU as one of my blessings. I hope and pray you'll be aware of how blessed you are today!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

CHECK IT OUT!

FIREPROOF: The Movie

Satan is attacking our families, our relationships - and this movie, from the church/company that brought us FACING THE GIANTS, is setting out to do something about it. PLEASE go watch, pray for the movie's impact, and plan on seeing it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

EXCELLENT thought for your day!

My dear friend Becky sent me this today. It's from Crosswalk's Daily Devotional. I hope you're as convicted as I am. :)

You Get What You Pay For
Wendy Pope

"You were bought at a price."
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

Devotion:
Crocs: now those are some ugly shoes in my opinion! I am not always on the cutting edge of fashion but Crocs are foot fashion that I can not embrace. The colors are loud, the shape is bulky, and did I mention the cost can bust a budget? I typically like to invest my money in knock-offs rather than name brands, especially when it comes to my children because not too long after a purchase they either out grow or destroy the item. Therefore, with a knock-off, I typically get my money's worth. Except when I bought "Crocs."

My children wanted Crocs and kept asking for them. I gave in to the asking but committed not to buy the "real" thing. We went to one of the higher priced stores, not a discount box store, to make our purchase. This store was known for quality, not to mention the shoes the kids wanted were on sale. So with great excitement, we tried on some shoes, found the correct size, and paid for them. My children were so excited they asked to wear them out of the store. How could I resist? Everyone was happy for a few hours, then I heard a loud shout from the back of the car followed by a cry, "My Crocs (imitation or not we called them Crocs) broke." I couldn't believe it. I went back to the store with receipt in hand and exchanged my son's shoes.

Two days later the same shout and cry came from my son. The second pair broke. I don't have to tell you that I was regretting my purchase. I put the shoes in a bag with the receipt and was ready to return them the next time we were out running errands. We found him another pair of shoes to wear that day, and he was ready to go back outside to join his sister bike riding. As we walked out, my daughter rode up only to tell me that her "Crocs" had broken too. Are you feeling my frustration?

A week later, with the love of Jesus on my face I returned, not exchanged, the broken shoes. As I signed the receipt, I said to myself, "Well Wendy, you get what you pay for?" It was then I heard the sweet whisper of my Savior, "Do I get what I paid for?" Talk about heavy. What a loaded question.

I did not feel rebuking or discipline from the Lord but more a sense of disappointment. The disappointment I sensed was for His church, His children - me. He paid such a high price for our freedom and our invitation to eternity, but I couldn't help feeling what He often gets in return is our cheap imitation of Him. He paid the high price for the real thing, and I wonder if we give back the "knock-off" of our service and dedication. Do we take for granted that price paid, and neglect to give Him our best?

My children have real Crocs now. I broke down and made the investment. I even found them on sale. The words of the question the Lord whispered in my ear that day still echo in my mind. God made an incredibly expensive investment in my future by giving me the "real thing" of His own Son. It is up to me to make sure He gets what He paid for: a love relationship with me and a heart committed to making that same love known to others.

How about you? Is God getting what He paid for with your life?

Dear Lord, it is the cry of my heart for You know that You made a worthwhile invest by sacrificing Your life for mine. Forgive me for taking the price You paid for granted. With the help of Your Holy Spirit I can live a life that will not be a cheap imitation, but the real deal. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The moral of the story.... :)

THE PASTOR'S CAT
I received this email from a friend, and wanted to pass it on. This particular story just made me laugh. Every time I think about it, the vision of that poor cat just amuses me to no end. Hope the story leaves a bright spot in your day. DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE DRAWING - SEE AUGUST 1 POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church.

He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down.

The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That's what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke.

The tree went 'boing!' and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten.

So he prayed, 'Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,' and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, 'Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?'

She replied, 'You won't believe this,' and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, 'Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it.'

She told the pastor, 'I watched my child go out in th e yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.'

Lesson learned: Never underestimate the Power of God and His unique sense of humor.

Friday, August 1, 2008

FRIDAY FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Good morning! :)

I have decided that I want to make SURE someone reads THE SHACK. So, from now until AUGUST 11, anyone who leaves a comment on THIS POST will be entered in a drawing. I will pick one person, and will order the book to be shipped directly to our winner!!!!

To enter, just tell me how to get ahold of you, why you came to visit my blog the first time, and the first blessing that comes to your mind! :)

I can't wait to read your entries! Please feel free to post this on your own blogs, to share with your friends, etc - the more people who are exposed to this book, the better! :D