The Welcome Home Blog



thoughts on the news and slices of the homelife
of a quintessentially joyful homemaker
between sips of coffee during January 2006


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An Heirloom Marriage

24 week Bible Study on Marriage
The "lessons" will begin to be
posted again January 9

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Kegel.  You will never regret doing these pelvic exercises---but you will regret it if you don't.
Drink H20
sleep well and
walk whenever possible

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My Utmost For His Highest

When you want to say,
Welcome Home,
how do you do it?

The Stranger

A few things...

This is my blography - simply my personal thoughts; this blog is just a small part or purpose of this website. The chief aim of this site is to bring glory to God and good food of His Word to families.  May each visit fill you with fresh bread and lingering words to savor. 
Someday maybe my children will read "mama's blog" and catch a glimpse of some of what was "important" each day, "snap-shots" of the day, what was going on in the world and what really stirred up some of my thoughts.  Whatever is "documented" here will pale in comparison to the importance of their lives to me:  really, my husband, my children —they are my story — they are my legacy. 

So... I'm a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ, my LORD and because of Him, I'm a help-meet for my husband, the mother of eleven children and a daughter-in-law and happy gramma to three.  I share slices of life because of what God is doing and has done --- and with the hope of being an encouragement to others to press on toward the mark (Philippians  3.14)

Some days I find it difficult to escape to the quiet area to write.  But, it is on those days I am most likely perfecting domestic skills or the craft of being a keeper at home.

But that's one of my life goals after all... that of being a quintessential keeper at home and all it connotes.

Would that it be said of me in my home and of you in yours:

Proverbs 31.28-30  "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

I've not "arrived," but in the course of following and serving the LORD Jesus, and being a help meet for my husband, that's where I'm headed.

A few pages on this site:
Prayer Requests
see ways you can help
Woman To Woman
The Welcome Home
dear-to-me Blogs 
I try to read at least every couple of days:
in no particular order
no particular agenda;
some thoughts might
surprise the reader,

some might astonish;
but all inform.
Coffee and a Muffin 
change of address
James White
Emilee's pen stripes...

Homemaking on the Homestead

And do you know that there's like a gazillion other great blogs?
Be careful... you'll end
up like this: at your computer all day.  Do you think I am kidding??!!??


I'd probably link to Phil Johnson's stuff but... which would I choose to post here?
(as always... my disclaimer: 

As with any link on our site:  we don't necessarily endorse everything that's said and, of course we don't endorse every link that may be posted on a site. 
As Sarg (hillstreetblues)
used to say: Be careful out there!
These are a few of the  places we regularly visit on the Net!
A few websites...
(I have more to add when time allows)

Verse For Loving Hearts 
Glenys Robyn Hicks writes quality Christian verse for all occasions. 'Verse For Loving Hearts' is a home-based business in Melbourne Australia, offering a compassionate and confidential service for expressions of heartfelt emotion... personalized house plaques, words for greeting cards, in fact,
anything at all that you need to express..   examples of glenys work
Christian Moms of Many Blessings


The Hope Chest

Our Favourite Websites


choosing home

Washington Weather


Making It Home

This month's feature article is written by Candy Brauer with a topic that has become widely popular these days and that is in making a home management binder.   -cs

Making It Home
Rediscovering the power of Homemaking

A magazine for homemakers
and families, Making It Home
is not a "professional" or corporate magazine, does not have a 'commercial' feel or look.
It's a magazine written by brothers and sisters in Christ
for encouragement and edification.


Titus 2.3-5
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

oikouros, oy-koo-ros'

from 3624 and ouros (a guard; be "ware"); a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a "good housekeeper"):--a keeper at home.

Hence this blog:
Views and slices of life; and thoughts,
 between sips of coffee,
 of a quintessential keeper at home 

Those who know me better, know that I tend to remember things by how the moon looked at the time of the event...
or that wherever my loved ones happen to be, we can look up and see the same moon... the same moon smiling at them is smiling at me.

moon info


I'll be Seeing You

I'll be seeing you
in all the old
familiar places
That this heart
of mine embraces
all day through
In that small café,
the park
across the way
The children's carousel,
the chestnut trees,
the wishing well

I'll be seeing you in
every lovely
summer's day
In everything
that's light and gay
I'll always think of you
that way

I'll find you in
the mornin' sun
And when
the night is new
I'll be looking
at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

My VOCABULARY and stuff

Yes, I do use an inordinate amount of olde English spelling. (I use the KJV, too)

bcz = because
I use bcz, bcz because is longer to type.

Truthiness  =  using concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts that are true.

It's noon!
This pink robe is code for: I should be working, cleaning, teaching or gardening or doing something other than blogging (and it's also a pretty fair indicator that it's also still my attire on any given morning)

Big Jar Mayonnaise Mama
refers to Barbara's blog comment on moms who shop at Costco



What a day! 

January 31, 2006

I will be adding slices in bytes rather than all at once today.  And, what a day it has been!

If there was ever a good time to make and eat Aebleskivers (and *any* time's a good time!) today's a very good day to do so.   In the name of freedom of speech, buy Danish, eat a danish pastry, fry up some aebleskivers and have some Danish butter-cookies and Havarti cheese!  That's for the low-carb part of your diet! 

Denmark newspaper editorial cartoons (you can see copies of them here on this man's blog) associating islam with violence or intolerance set off an international Muslim uproar that's escalated into protests and outrage.  These have led to boycotts of all things Danish.  On the news pages of Worldnet Daily there are links to pics of protests and flag burnings and demands for apologies for the editorials. Palestinians in Gaza were chanting "War on Denmark, death to Denmark" in protest and they burned Danish flags and claimed there'd be targeted attacks in Denmark.   All this fury and boycotting and pleas for support makes me wonder if the Google-boys might be rethinking their caving to Chinese officials and censoring or limiting Google searches in China---no small feat.

Then, this morning, Samuel Alito was sworn in as a United states Supreme Court Justice by the new Chief Justice, John Roberts.  What a day this will be for him as he's no doubt introduced at tonight's State of the Union Address by President Bush.   And, no doubt, there will be no shortage of news and commentary following the speech which is already being posted in bits and snippets on the net.     It will also be remembered that, on this day, Coretta Scott King passed away.

But before all this news and stuff of the day... as our family was gathered for our daily morning Bible study, we heard noises, and then a barrage lights and sirens coming down the way.  Anything like this causes no small stir in our home!  Immediately, Wes finished reading and closing with prayer (we're sorry LORD, for our impetuousness) we all ran to the porch to catch a glimpse of what might be going on---sirens blaring, traffic blocking, we finally saw that a small airplane had crashed in the slough.  Talking with our neighbor, we were commenting that there had been only a few incidents in the last ten years.  So, really, the fluke of two planes down in the same month was really unusual and I quickly added that no one had died, so that was a blessing and the other planes weren't damaged that badly.  But then, Kathryn reminded us that one of them, several years ago had flown into the other neighbor's home. I shrugged... yeah, I guess you're right---there was that one.

I wasn't going to add to my comments regarding Christians and filmmaking ---- and this doesn't really qualify for that category, but in portraying a drama, I think the Phillips' children just may carry off the most awards for most darling portrayal of missionary life.  I don't know if my mother-in-law (a real-life missionary) would think the setting and provisions were completely accurate. ~wink~  You can see his blog here.

edited 2pm

The last of the Slices of End of the Spear

January 30, 2006

I wrote several comments about the movie, The End of the Spear (January 15).  I stand by what I have written about that movie, about the life choices of the actor, and maintain the stand that homosexuality is abomination.  I will not change that stand.  I will risk remaining "narrow," and if it is thought that I am being judgmental, I will trust the LORD as I stand on His Word.   I wish to say that I have also written to the producer of that film, have expressed my concern for what was done and the message it carries. I did that bcz I took a stand and wanted him to know it though I believe I will likely never have a reply.  I did not write him to receive a reply.

An amazing coincidence: as I have been reading links and updates on this in the last couple of days... a friend of mine wrote me this evening and sent a prayer request from author, Randy Alcorn (whom I respect very much) and in the letter, a couple of links:  End of the Spear , plus,  Mart Green (head of Every Tribe Entertainment, producer of End of the Spear) & Steve Saint answer Questions.   I had read some of them earlier.

Much has been added to this topic on the Jason Janz Sharper Iron site since I linked to it on January 15.  I believe it is worth rereading--it has even been updated additionally in the last couple of days.  I appreciate Jason Janz unapologetic stand and what appear to be sincere apologies when apologies were due.  I appreciated reading Randy Alcorn's comments, admonitions and exhortations, as well.  They are lengthy, but worth reading and heeding.

I am not purposefully violating Matthew 18 when I point out trends in the church, people who are driven by a purpose, or when I point out developments in ministries---I point these out using links and quotes.  I write many letters, to which I almost never receive a reply, but I do this for a couple of reasons.  I want to give an opportunity (even if I don't expect it) for dialogue and I also want to be sure of my source if I quote from a website and not a news transcript or audio.  When I post a lengthy or separate piece, I receive and note permission.

In the case of this movie, regarding the choice of the actor for the movie, I have very specific reasons for this stand, sort of parallel to my belief that the Bible, for example, could not be translated accurately by a person who is not redeemed by the LORD.  I can appreciate the different points of view for the sake of conversation, but Scripture is clear and I believe it is becoming so casually handled and so quickly dismissed or misquoted that it is very difficult to tolerate listening to those who've bought into the dialectic praxis---the: hate the sin/love the sinner/accept the lifestyle as "alternative" just don't, as a Christian live that way.   I believe it's all a further decline of society, the weakening or feminization of authority, the casual dumbing-down and/or watering down of scriptures to the point of misinterpretation and disrespect for God's design.

I appreciate the desire of  ETE and the attempt to further tell the story that needs to be heard; I pray the LORD will cover all of this and that it will be used for good and God's glory.  I pray the Saint family will be blessed as the LORD works on their behalf, showing Himself strong.  And finally, I appreciate men like John MacArthur, and Randy Alcorn for their devotion to the cause of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel.   Here's a commentary of the actual movie as I will not have one.

Movie aside, I am extremely grateful to have a copy of Steve Saint's book, End of the Spear and pray many will read it, pass it around and receive the intended blessing and the proclamation of Jesus and salvation through faith in Him.  May the LORD be honoured and as far as the movie is concerned, my prayer is this, though I have not read of the movie crediting the LORD or of it actually telling the Gospel, proclaiming Christ, I pray God will redeem it for His glory and not allow the enemy further use for shame.

"What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth,
Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."  Philippians 1.18

 This from our friend:  (Letter from the office of Randy Alcorn)

Dear Praying Friends

asked me to send this request to you for prayer regarding the End of the Spear movie and the Chad Allen controversy. Many of you are no doubt aware of the controversy that surrounds the End of the Spear movie and the actor who plays Nate Saint, Chad Allen, who is a homosexual activist. Randy has found himself on the inside of this controversy talking with the principle parties involved on both sides of the issue. He was reluctant to get involved but because of the substantial amount of misinformation that is being passed around he felt he needed to address it. After long interactions with the primary parties related to this controversy (including hours of phone conversations and dozens of emails) he has put together a comprehensive response.

He’s asking that you would pray for Mart Green and Steve Saint and their families who have suffered incredible pain from the misinformation that has been dispersed over the internet. Prayer is also needed for Jason Janz who has been involved in the center of the controversy. Please also pray for Chad Allen and his exposure to the gospel through acting in this movie and for the many nonbelievers who will be attending the movie because of Chad Allen’s role.

To get a clear picture of what is involved, you can read the following two articles that are now posted at our website:

Randy Alcorn’s response to the End of the Spear and Chad Allen Controversy:

Mart Green (head of Every Tribe Entertainment, producer of End of the Spear) & Steve Saint answer questions:

If you find this information helpful and think it would be useful to others, feel free to pass it along, forward it, link to it, etc. If you did happen to print it or post it on your website and needed to make a shortened version, we would need to see in advance any edit. Probably the best thing to do would be to link to the article in its entirety. 

But most importantly, pray for the impact of this movie and that God would be glorified and hearts restored in the Christian community through this controversy.

Secondly, as a side issue, I know Randy would deeply appreciate your prayers for him as he is trying to accomplish some writing at a cabin nearby. I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say that he is almost feeling desperate to find the time to write. Four of his writing days were eaten up because of his involvement with this controversy. He doesn’t regret that because he knows God called him to be involved at this time. But he still needs to recoup that time and it would be a huge encouragement to him if he were able to accomplish a lot of writing in the next few days.

Thanks for your prayers. They are invaluable and Randy is very aware of them.

God bless you. Kathy Norquist  Ministry Assistant to Randy Alcorn



January 30, 2006

Everyone wants to be God.  Remember in the 70's... I am Woman, Hear Me Roar.  Seems AOL wanted a piece of the powerful words I am... As they unveiled their  (all caps) i am slogans.  I read this first on WorldNet Daily... the catchy headline about AOL and blasphemy.   I think of all the lies in the lines of that song... all the damage those lies have done.  Tonight I am considering all the ways in which this country/this world is turning its back on God, on the God of the Bible, the Saviour of mankind.  But as I write these thoughts, I understand the Truth of the Word that there will be consequences for all of these lies.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.
Galatians 6.7

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.  Wherefore the rather,  brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Peter 1.8-10

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Corinthians 6.14


 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi:
and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them,
Whom do men say that I am?
And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say,
Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them,
But whom say ye that I am?
And Peter answereth and saith unto him,
Thou art the Christ.
Mark 8.27-29

January 30, 2006
Facing Changes

I was doing some cleaning... came across some old, but very dear-to-me, magazines.  These are magazines that were sort of like companions to me years ago when, after the Lord had impressed on our hearts, through the reading of the Word, that we would leave *all* of our child-bearing to Him... that we would give Him Lordship of our womb and trust Him to direct and provide for any and all children He would give us.  I knew very few people anywhere in person or in print, so to speak, who were on this path.

The further we traveled that path, the more people we met who felt as we did, believed the LORD for His promises as we did and trusted Him for the path, as we did.  It was around that time that I first read a borrowed copy of Mary Pride's, The Way Home.  I would later read the sequel, All The Way Home and it would be through that book (and through friends and other books/publications)  that our "leanings" toward home-schooling would be confirmed.

So, the magazine I received in those days, the magazine that would instantly halt all home-working, the magazine that would keep me on my front step for a couple of hours each time it arrived was: Gentle Spirit.  That magazine was published first as several sheets of paper stapled together in a sort of newsletter format.  It would increase subscribers by the day and went on to have a circulation of some 50,000 subscribers.  That's a lot of "Gentle Spirit-led" households.  This would surely not be limited to the subscriber's address, because I knew of several who shared and passed around their copies to many women.  It was a wonderful time of growing and learning---many felt a kinship with the editor of the magazine because she seemed so 'right where they were at" at the time, her letters, columnists and advertisers also were "kindred spirits."   Month after month I was encouraged in my role in our home/marriage/motherhood.  A few---a precious few, I might add, of my friends felt as I did and they, likewise, would read and ponder their issues from cover to cover.  The magazines would become like chapters in a homemaking manual and each month the next "chapter" would arrive.

So, several years ago as I was, at another time, reminiscing those days, I wondered what'd become of that editor after a staggering series of events forced the abrupt discontinuation of the magazine.  What was not in existence when we began to receive the magazine years before, had then become common: the internet.  It was through some searching around on the net that I discovered smarmy details of her life, the actions by members of the homeschooling community and others.  Years would pass before I would revisit the question: what's happened to Cheryl Lindsey [now, Seelhoff]?  What's happened to Gentle Spirit magazine?

Facing Change.... I guess there are times I wish I were not inquisitive.  There are times I wish things didn't matter so much, or were so important or that things didn't stay in my thoughts day after day, year after year.  But they do.  This did---or, this has.  I was grieved years ago that Cheryl Lindsey would no longer publish Gentle Spirit---my thoughts were consistent with those who felt betrayed or let down by her.  But somehow, I always had a soft spot, a forbearance for her/her actions---I'm not just sure why, now.  I guess it just went along with that "kindred spirit" feeling the magazines fostered.  Plus... she was really an inspiration to me.  When I looked up her site several years ago I was sorry for the obvious "new age" feel it had to it --- she'd previously been so firmly grounded in biblically based Christian living.  I closed that window and all the other windows I had open---windows that contained transcripts of talks, legal proceedings, etc concerning her, her divorce, remarriage and subsequent children. Blah.  That's how it all felt. A once high floating balloon of marvelous encouragement was instantly pricked and it floated to the ground totally deflated.

So, this afternoon... now with the aid of Google and not "Ask Jeeves," I did a search... should'a stuck with the news.  I see that "Gentle Spirit" no longer Gentle Spirit... it is not only "new-agey" but is also a twist of new "christian" feminism/simple living/un-schooling and more, titles that I wouldn't type alongside even lower-case "c"  Christian things.   What was once a wonderful blessing has (to me) turned to sludge in the drain, a revolting shock to my senses as I read some of the headings of sections of the stunningly different site ---the website of the woman that once was such a blessing to me... it's nothing short of sickeningly shocking to me to see the dramatic transformation of someone I once so admired.  So, I reminisce... sorry I'll never be able to pick up a gleaming copy of Gentle Spirit that was edited by a modest, gracious, covered sister in the LORD: a Titus2 woman extraordinaire.  I miss that I'll never open a new issue, read every word, sip my hot coffee and feel the joy I used to feel receiving what seemed like a fresh sisterly dose of kindred-encouragement that I could carry around our home day after day.   What a sad thing it is when one falls away from the Truth.

I will share, by way of encouragement to readers that I *am* very encouraged by a few magazines I receive regularly and *highly* recommend!  I believe ALL of these are very worth subscribing to and keeping for future reference!   There are also numerous websites to inspire and encourage and, as always, the blogs down on the sidebar here.

An Encouraging Word
a quarterly publication for
women of all ages
I highly recommend
 Making It Home
Rediscovering the power
of Homemaking
(I write a column for this one)
The Old Schoolhouse
The Magazine for Homeschool Families... but it's much, much more than that!!
Home School Digest
The quarterly Journal for
Family Discipleship
Above Rubies 
Encouragement for Mothers
and Families
Crowned With Silver
Returning to Biblical Femininity

another magazine I highly recommend for men and women:  whistleblower


In the News


I think of the chokehold islam has on all things not islamic---the control muslims have all over the world... consider Denmark.   I think of the chokehold China has on its people (America is included here; think: Google) and then consider the far reaching effects of terrorism.   It's uncanny the caving to and catering to the whims and demands of muslims.   I consider our friend, Andrew, who is planning for his first meal outside of prison in 37 days and with his first meal, he wants to have bacon... and eat with silverware.  What does this have to do with the catering to muslims?  Here in Washington state, the prisons do not serve pork---in deference to incarcerated muslims.  hmmmm.

The UN's plan seems an awful lot like parts of Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan.

I flipped though the stations today... wanted to hear the top-of-the-hour news and was (unfortunately) a bit early as I heard a man vociferously arguing his point---it was none other than Ted Kennedy demanding something about Samuel Alito doing something against progress or whatever.  I don't really know how well he was received because I feel quite sure that few could actually understand the man.  Poor transcribers---what a job they have.  I wonder if they include side notes describing facial expressions,  volume and gesticulations. So, while it seems it could have been all wrapped up today, a vote will be taken tomorrow concerning the appointment of Samuel Alito to the Supreme court.  I keep wondering why Ted Kennedy rages so.  Actually, I wonder how he keeps being reelected every time.

I'm thinking that President Bush shouldda talked to Cindy Sheehan last August when she was camped out at the border of his ranch in Crawford, Texas.  I'm thinking that the red-hot fire-cracker has become an enormous loose cannon.  What I kept thinking was the media exploited a grieving mother---but then she took to the lights like a fish to water and the media seems to have catapulted her into orbit.  She seems to have become as unpredictable and as volatile as a bucking bronco who's seeing red flags all over the landscape.  Even with no "illusions" of winning, she now talks of running against  California Senator, Dianne Feinstein.  She's go real chutzpah, if nothing else.   Then I read an article (concerning this on her visit to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez) where she will go to Washington to protest the State of the Union Address on Monday; and another, where she said she'd once again put up a tent at Mr. Danger's ranch.  I hope he'll talk to her this time.  As I recall, last August, she said she'd go home if he would talk to her.  One could hope.

This is for the Big Jar Mayonnaise Mamas

January 29, 2006

I would be tempted to rewrite a few of the lines of the story below... but the point is well taken.  My mother and my mother-in-law both sent this to me and undoubtedly, they received it from good friends of theirs.
  When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.  He then asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled  into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the  students again if the jar was full.  They  agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.   Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He asked once more if the jar was full.  The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed. 

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions--and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.  The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.   The sand is everything else--the small stuff.  "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children.  Take time to get medical checkups.  Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.  There  will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.  Take care of the golf balls first--the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand."   

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.  The professor smiled.  "I'm glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."



      blog comments



The Challenger... looking back.

January 28, 2006

Dates stay with me.  I save every old calendar and occasionally look back through them to sort of recapture the events and seasons we've gone through.  Some dates are more prominent than others as are anniversaries of some events more than others.  I will never forget sitting on the family room floor twenty years ago today.  I was folding laundry, 7 months pregnant with the child who will celebrate 20 years in April.  I don't know why the two thoughts are inextricable, but when I think of this day, I always recall the emotion of witnessing tragedy and feeling life inside my womb.  So today marks the twentieth anniversary of the fatal disaster of the Space Shuttle Challenger.   I recall instantly talking to my mother by telephone in California.  I was asking her.... did they just crash?!?!?  Did that just happen???  And then I recall the (for me) famous words of Tom Brokaw, in reference to an official's announcement: We have had a major malfunction, "...Now, that will be the understatement of the year."  And throughout the day and the weeks to follow, I remember watching the news,  seeing the faces of the brave astronauts, hearing of the recovery progress and the memorial services, the extremely heartrending pictures and comments from friends and family of the crew members. 

We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary that year; Wes's pool business was in its second year and our first two sons were growing and learning much by the day.  Life carried on --- but it was not the same.  I suppose it was a "new normal" for, it seemed, the whole country was gripped and moved by the event.  US citizens  and people around the world were touched by the Challenger tragedy and seemed to participate in some way in the lives of the families who endured the loss so bravely.  All the while, the life inside me continued to grow.  I took things quite a bit more seriously, it seemed, and was profoundly influenced to love my family... to not take days for granted and to be a bit more thoughtful about length and content of days and thoughts---to not take experiences lightly or to assume I would always have what I had at that point.  I will always remember the touching and tender speech by, then President, Ronald Reagan.  I'm thankful to have found it today.   Ronald Reagan: The Space Shuttle "Challenger" Tragedy Address

Yesterday's News:   
Washington State has just passed a "gay rights" bill.  But it's not that, mot really... it's not a "gay rights" bill.  It's an open ended, ambiguous bill that gives license to just about anyone for just about anything they want to claim they are to do anything they choose.  It's a sexual freedom of expression, or personal interpretation for any perceived thought a person might have about themselves.  What a careless piece of legislation.  It will likely have a tremendous backlash and trigger a referendum.  Though we have representative government, there's a strong contingent who are not feeling very accurately represented in this state.    It's a pretty sad turn of events.



January 267, 2006

I started writing this a bit late, night before last... and then added to and finished this entry today. Watch Israel.

We're living in incredible times, yes?  Life seems to be clipping along at mach speed.  Inventions and technology notwithstanding, the political and "spiritual" developments are astounding.  Incredible days in which to live.  It's a great mystery to me, but one that God has said will come about, that men will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God --- this, from 2 Timothy 3.4, and the surrounding verses sure are strong descriptions of these days. 

In a Bible study we have here in our home each Wednesday night, our reading (through the Bible) this past Wednesday night brought us to  Acts 17 and we were struck by verse 22 where Paul observes that the Greeks were in all things too superstitious (or too religious).  They were so superstitious/religious, in fact, that they had an alter: "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD" and then Paul tells them: "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you."  Paul seemed at once to be chiding and praising them for all that they were doing in reverence or observation of all sorts of gods, he was acknowledging that they were dedicated, religious---so religious, that they worshipped the unknown god---and that's who Paul would tell them about:

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us:" 
Acts 17.24-27

Reading that, that night led me to further reading and was gripped by the words in 2 Thessalonians 2.

So, again, Watch Israel.  I'm amazed that we are living in these days, these instantly changing, prophesied events, these tumultuous times, these incredibly heartrending and amazing times. I thought all this as I read an article about the influence of the new Hamas regime that's just come to power in the Palestinian state.  I thought of the conniving and the deception of the regime.   The subtle destruction that is taking place. 

Then I thought of all the deception in the news---in the world, in our country, in our state...  I'm amazed at the unabashed endorsement of sin, perversion and immorality.  The diaprax that's taking place not only in the church (think: felt needs, seeker sensitive, pragmatism, contemplation), but in the world, as well.  The oft repeating of a word, phrase or concept until it is the norm or mainstream.  Just consider a word that's being tossed about in the Senate these past weeks regarding Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito: extreme.  Extreme.  It's a despicable position, an evil plot --- it's the word used to describe people who believe there are limitations, ordinances, moral absolutes.  It's amazing how this concept of extreme has been applied to not those who are live counter to the truths Bible but to those who live in obedience to the truths.  Sort of the good being evil and the evil being good. [ Isaiah 5.20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ] I suppose more amazing than anything to me is how this thinking is having a profound influence in "the church."  The "mega-church" that grows and defines itself seeming *by* itself. 

Consider a few quotes from the Pew Forum site.  There was a gathering in Florida of journalists at the Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life and Rick Warren was one of the key speakers.  Rick Warren said, among other things: "So really, anywhere I go is going to be smaller than the group I talk to on Sunday. So it's not like I'm going to get a big wow out of a crowd." And then said, "And I came here because I only speak to influencers, and God has given you a degree of influence."

Later in that talk he shared, first quoting from Peter Drucker: "The most significant sociological phenomenon of the first half of the 20th century was the rise of the corporation. The most significant sociological phenomenon of the second half of the 20th century has been the development of the large pastoral church – of the mega-church. It is the only organization that is actually working in our society."   Then Rick Warren goes on to say: " Now Drucker has said that at least six times. I happen to know because he's my mentor. I've spent 20 years under his tutelage learning about leadership from him, and he's written it in two or three books, and he says he think it's the only thing that really works in society." 

Then consider one of  Rick Warren's conclusions (again, quoting from the Pew Forum article): "But what happened is Protestantism split into two wings, the fundamentalists and the mainline churches. And the mainline churches tended to take the social action issues of Christianity – caring for the sick, for the poor, the dispossessed, racial justice and things like that. Today there really aren't that many Fundamentalists left; I don't know if you know that or not, but they are such a minority; there aren't that many Fundamentalists left in America."


Later today:  I realized that in the Truthy vs. Facty department today, there is no shortage of news.  I saw this again as I viewed  (from a link at Michelle Malkin) a clip of Maureen Dowd in an interview, (When asked if Bill Clinton paved the way for the deceptions or ignorance of George Bush), Maureen Dowd replied, " No,  they're two entirely different things, because when Bill Clinton would, um, deceive, he would throw in a semantic clue that let you know he was deceiving: 'I did not have... with that woman'..."  And then she went on to say, "So it was sort of poignant and endearing. He would let you know he was lying..." and her comments went on.

One thing, among many, that can be attributed to Bill Clinton, is that he gave Americans and journalists lots of fodder for conversation, reporting and commentary.  But he also gave us/them license to distort, for personal gain, the language and tainted the importance using the language to concisely convey truth.  I am thinking that "truthy vs. facty"  would've been employed more frequently in the Clinton admin than what's being conveyed in the Bush admin.  For, as Maureen Down said, " was sort of poignant and endearing."  Americans caught up in the "truthiness" of a situation, not the truth of it of the actual deceit of it.   (Truthiness is using concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts that are true.)

And so it goes.


      blog comments



They say a picture's worth a thousand words.

January 25, 2006

Take a page from the new book...

With sections for everyone... you don't
 even have to be a believer---
or even Amish!  You can just be driven by the "bigger, better, more" machine.
Don't let old ideologies or time honoured rituals hinder mega-growth.
Start today -  the O3K way
After reading the caption:
The Purpose Driven Synagogue,
on this webpage ,
dozens of images flooded my mind.


Disclaimer: no copyright or trademark infringement is intended here. This is simply a spoof on the lengths sought in the whole mega church and emergent whatever campaign.


Coffee time.

January 24, 2006

Okay, so I'm sitting here, drinking a cup of great coffee, taking a break from the dailies, and I take my usual stroll though the news sites and an image grabs my attention---assaults my senses and I  No, make that wuuuuuooooooooow.   We're careening down the slippery slope into a one-world-government, one-world religion, felt-needs theology/theosophy, outcome based education/outcome based religion,  and on and on.  Sounds like words from a hyper sensitive, conspiracy theorist or religious nutcase, doesn't it? Well, so... what to do, what to do.  Watch and listen and wait on the LORD.  

I should have seen this "One________" (fill in the blank) paradigm coming a long time ago... when our son was in the government school, and his cluster of classmates worked on their assignments together and reported their 'solutions' together, wrote their papers together, received a cumulative grade together and moved on to the next assignment together and then, amazingly, received individual report cards---regardless of who actually studied, applied the information and/or wrote the report or the calculations.  He was in the fourth grade at the time in a 4th-6th grade class.   The outcome was what mattered---not necessarily the process or even the progress of each individual student.  That's what I see as one of the gravest dangers of the wave of megamania in the church today---the prescribed result is bigness---not necessarily deepness;  how things feel rather than how things are; bravado but not boldness; group experience but not necessarily personal impact----the hearing of things about an interpretation of the Word of God, but not necessarily *the* authentic Word of God.  

So, why the exclamaiton: wuuuuuooooooooow?  I was browsing a news site and saw an image of music icon, Kanye West---a "rapper"  with a crown of thorns on his head and underneath is the caption: The Passion of Kanye West.  I look up articles about this man, his music, his life---and then the seeming contradictory lyrics of his music.  I do not know the "way" of this man.... but the words are a strange contradiction. I shake my head. Again.  Here in the sunroom: my small office, I look at the pictures on my desk, on my side table and window sill.  I then read some of the titles of books on the shelves surrounding my desk.  A title grabs my attention: In His Steps.  I look outside, and then spy another title: Desiring God.  Then I look down at my Bible---one of several on my desk. 

I think: LORD... what is the end of all of this---why is all of this so readily accepted in our society?  O, LORD, where are the preachers of the Word---and where are the defenders of the Truth, where are the soldiers of the Cross?  And then I consider Psalm 37--- opening the Word, my eyes land on verses 34-37: "Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.  I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace."  In the background, 'melia is sitting at the piano attempting to play a melody and sweetly singing, "Thank You LORD, for saving my soul..."



One of these days, I think I'm going to shake my head clean off

January 23, 2006

When it seemed it just couldn't get any more extreme er...

It's been hard to use a particular word and have it mean precisely what I intend and without it meaning what it's come to mean---and that's not what I mean when I use it.   I used to say,  be sure you're doing what you're doing.  Things like: on purpose, work with  purpose, driven with a purpose, or parent your children on purpose,   And so now, it's almost as if I want to shrink from that phrase---that word: purpose.   Yet, Paul uses it in the Word as he reminds Timothy that he knows his doctrine, manner of life *purpose*, faith and so on.   It's a perfectly useful and powerful word---for chores and training, work, etc.  I want, though, to be Christ centered, Christ yielded, God fearing, God honouring, etc... guided by Jesus---not driven by my perceived purpose.

It seems that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe big and like to talk about it... and want to have others join you (and get bigger).  Sadly, even for the Christian church, some seem to be actively pushing an inclusive theology, an ecumenical manner of living/worshipping---lake it's the new age of the church---gone are the old superfluous, stuffy and binding concepts.

So, in yet another "I-have-no-mouth-and-yet-I-must-scream" moment, I'm reading more and more about "purpose paradigm,  the combined efforts of others and the Jewish communities, the "emergent-church" and Rick Warren for what they're calling Synagogue 3000 or, as I just recently read:  S3K.   The movement with a purpose to increase Jewish worshippers.  It's more of "doing the right things" to achieve a desired result.  I keep thinking... one of these days the deceptions are going to be seen for what they are----the incredible machine will be revealed.

When I read the line: Jewish Emergent, I thought, Omygoodness, this is unbelievable. and then I thought... wait... it's just a matter of time till we have the "purpose driven synagogue" and then---when I saw the site, the pic of the purpose-driven-pastor, and then I sort of had this sick sensation in my stomach.  And then I thought:  what next? purpose driven Islam?  The purpose driven (
© ---sorry) Hindu? Really---nothing shall surprise me after this.  So I thought I'd do some searching on a couple of sites I rely on for "up-to-date" stuff in the "church."  My initial search took me to Slice of Laodicea and an article I vaguely remember reading---but only vaguely.  Then I took a look at another reliable site: Lighthouse Trails Research Project .  Indeed, there are moves afoot to improve Synagogue life----and just as marketers,

So, between these events... the emergent "conversation" church, the purpose driven conversions, the confusing the purpose synagogues, we see a dramatic blurring of the lines------------and it's getting muddier by the day.  Consider the influx of Eastern religion in the church; Christians dabbling in, or immersing in, meditation, chanting, yoga, martial arts, contemplative prayer, etc.  On the surface some of these might seem Biblical, and arguably so, but studied further, they're not Biblical---but are in fact, erroneous and grievous.   Just consider the work of Bruce Wilkinson, who chanted the Jabez prayer repeatedly and thought it was what was needed to accomplish his incredible goal, an attempt to tackle the mammoth problems in Africa---and then having to quit because it was not going as planned---even Rick Warren endorsed the ideas and set up a whole plan of his own to eradicate hunger, aids, disease and poverty. Another man, in the institution of the church---appears not be a scriptural "pastor" at all, but a church business professional---a leader of youth who took a break to "reinvent" himself and his ministry---and that, he did.

These are but a few examples of what's going on all around us---and we're in the midst of the most incredible shift.  And the bizarre thing about it all is the inclusion of Truth---the "right-sounding" things---and then, face it, the very number of followers, the number of "well read" and "spiritual" leaders and church members is staggering.   O, come LORD Jesus.

 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
and shall shew signs and wonders,
to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Mark 13.22

2 Timothy 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Continue in prayer,
and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Colossians 4.2

Stand still... watch and wait on the LORD

newsy stuff

Timothy was practicing Spanish, and Andrew and 'melia were trying to learn more words but Timothy told them it was time to be finished for the day, time to go to bed and say prayers.  So, 'melia and Andrew were saying prayers before bed and melia prayed that we would all have sweet dreams and good sleep and that we would become Mexican.  [I smile at this---she knows Timothy's love for that country and his desire to serve there.  I guess she just wants to be sure she'll be there, too.]

The Marketing of Evil continues to grab attention---it's obvious when a book this profound is written, that the sparks will fly---it exposes too much and though it's called a dangerous book by some of its critics, the real danger is the topics the book addresses.  It's a powerful book---I am amazed.

Even though we don't watch TV, it was encouraging to me to see the Network pulled the television show "The Book of Daniel" from its program lineup.   Ostensibly, the decision was due to the number of affiliate losses and program sponsor losses---I'm guessing the heat was intolerable.

Then, there's some good news, too, or so it seems.  The Conservative party has won the election and Canada has a new Prim Minister.  I'm thankful for this not only bcz I have been asked to pray for the elections by sisters who read this blog, but also after spending a few days reading Canadian papers, I see the tremendous influence of liberal thinking and liberal agenda and the damage that's been done and no doubt continues as it has in this country with the abject depravity and immorality.  So... looks like good news, eh? The Good News, however, is the News that's needed---for improved sinners will still not see Jesus, improved morality will not = salvation.  Pray for Canada.



Modesty and modest dress

January 23, 2006

I receive letters, comments and guest-book entries from time to time regarding modesty, modest dress and questions regarding what to wear and where to buy modest clothes.  I'm sure not an expert, don't have the answers and don't have specific prescribed answers.  But, certainly in light of all the discussions we've had over the years, with all the questions we've received and contemplated, there are some basic issues that can be addressed. Scripture specifically addresses modesty and modest behaviour, gender distinctives in dress and discretion in behaviour.  I've written some articles, listed links to many more articles/websites and have numerous links to websites that feature modest clothing and/or patterns for modest clothing also. 

  "In like manner also,
that women adorn themselves in modest apparel..."

1Timothy 2.9

I have a "gift card" and was at department store in town today to buy (more!) socks and was looking through the clothes for women and girls---clothes to go with things we already have.  What a sad sight it was to see all the provocative clothing for little girls---it saddened me to think of the double standard borne by this society.  On the one hand, there is this insatiable passion to be as skanky as possible (yes, a word from a household with many teens) and on the other hand there's this bizarre expectation that people not cross the line in making advances, that men not look at women as 'objects' or that we could possibly be free from sexual advances, comments or abuse.  I could readily see why the double mark down 'sale racks' were absolutely packed full of ridiculous clothing for little girls---I wondered how many mothers were thinking the same thing.  But sadder, still, was the thought of all the little girls, innocently running around playing childhood games, going to school and outdoors or wherever, looking like hookers that.  I was sad to see the nearly shocking display of "Valentine's Day" clothing. 

It's been many, many years since I spent much time in stores that sell things other than food and used clothing.  It's been a very long time since I spent much time at all at a mall.  So, I suppose this 'culture shock' is a bit self imposed---and after today, I know why and am glad.  I attempt to buy what's needed and then move on... not taking much time to linger, to become familiar with or accustomed to the visual stimulus and impact---and I don't want to become desensitized by the images and "standards" offered there.

 "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout,
so is a fair woman which is without discretion"
Proverbs 11.22

I realized once again, the grave ignorance of a society that demands respect, demands appropriate responses in the workplace and has regulations set in place to protect against unwanted advances, sexual harassment or misconduct.  And yet, often the attire is, in itself, an advertisement and an invitation.  I so wish I could convey what the visual image of a woman does to a man ---the thoughts that instantly flood his mind as he sees all the flesh, the tight and accentuating clothing, the sheer clothing and low cut blouses and dresses.  And then I so wish I could convey to women the importance of modest dress---the response of faith to not do things that cause a brother to stumble, a response of faith that wants to reflect a new, clean and restored life in Jesus. 

A rear view mirror is an imperative device for the automobile.
A full length one for the home is also...  you'd be surprised.

 Then, I wish I could convey to fathers and mothers how imperative it is to teach daughters about modesty and discreet behaviour.  And then, I wish I could convey to mothers the importance of being a living example of both.   All of this renewed my desire to set up our sewing and offer modest dresses for women and girls... but, knowing that's a long way off, I'm so thankful for those who offer the clothing and services.  Judging from what's at the retail store, it's sad to see not "sweetness" and no "innocence" for children and women.  I'd say there's just nothing (almost literally!!)  to wear out there!   See our page:  Modesty and Feminine Attire. 

The only thing I really felt was sweet and clean were the baby items I saw at a distant section of the store---that and the dozen very temporarily white crew socks I had in my hand.  As for one recent letter regarding modesty for men?  I'd say to this woman:  it's very important for men to be/live modestly in attire, speech, and behaviour and as far as attire,  with many of the same "standards" in place:  Tight clothing, revealing clothing, short shorts, open shirts---anything that specifically draws eyes to a particular area of the body... or accentuates an area of the body or any clothing that is not appropriate to the situation/setting.  These are just a few of the things that seem essential to share.

Acts 16.16-34
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:   17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.   18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.   19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,   20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,  21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.   22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.   23 And   when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:   24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.   25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.   27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.   28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.   29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,  30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?   31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.   33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.   34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.


Hot Chocolate

January 18, 2006

While attending a predominantly black high-school in San Francisco, I learned very quickly that there was talk between blacks and blacks and talk between blacks and whites and, though unspoken, there was a protocol that was adhered to pretty stringently.  I guess knowing that, I'm able to understand why (while stupid for a politician) Ray Nagin told the assembly yesterday that New Orleans is a "Chocolate City."  Accused of being divisive (and aren't we all?), Mr. Nagin replied: "How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about," he said. "New Orleans was a chocolate city before Katrina. It is going to be a chocolate city after. How is that divisive?"

I don't know if that's divisive or not, but it's sure not going to when friends and influence people.  Or, as we were saying (on an entirely separate topic) at the dinner table tonight, that's a sure way to lose friends and provoke enemies.  I think he is digging himself a deep chasm or as we say around our house when someone's in trouble:  he's in hot-chocolate.  I don't know where the phrase originated or what we were doing at the time, but it's a phrase we use around here quite often.  I don't know if our phrase of being in "Hot-Chocolate!" will now become a MrNagin or not.  I guess it all depends on how deep he digs his trench and what he uses to try and dig himself out of it.

One of his grasping at straws comments about how he was really talking to the black community of New Orleans struck me as genuine.  I understood that line of thinking---again, bad for a politician, but reasonable, given that there's just sort of a way of communication that is unique to the black community within the black community.  It's not present in the white community and I cannot speak for any other.  It was genuine for him to speak that way, because, like it or not, there is a cultural difference and he knows it.

Hillary Clinton should know it, too, so shame on her for her comments at Al Sharpton's National Action Network event at Canaan Baptist Church of Christ yesterday: "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about."  That would have been a major faux pas on any day from any white person --- but on MLK Day, it was not only that, but absurd.  There are just things white girls cannot say regardless who they are or think they are.  So, thumbs down on that one.

 I recall days in high school where a confrontation was occurring and a black teacher would be totally ripping a black student up one side and down the other---in language I could only cipher about every second or third word and included something about knowing his mama.  I knew that the whole matter was cleared up when the student sat back in the chair, the 'cake cutter' sticking out of his back pocket and the others students all sat down in their seats and class resumed.  It was truly an eye-opener for a girl who had moved there from a very lily-white community in southern California---but I was a quick study and soon learned that some things were said to one another and some things were  *never* said by an "outsider."  I learned in a hurry and I sure had respect for the students.  And I developed an awesome respect for the teachers who knew how to handle delicate situations with the precision of a surgeon.

The LORD really protected me and guided me through those years because, as I look back now, they were clean and safe---and not much in that city seems to be!   I enjoyed that school after my initial shock wore off---always something happening but never remotely threatening to me and I was oblivious to all the trouble and illegal stuff going on every day.  In addition to all that, it's a wonder, really, that I became a cheerleader on an all-black squad.  Though I was readily accepted, I'm not just sure why.   They had a lot of work to do on me, though.  First thing was to lose the stiff, gymnastic/athletic style of cheerleading I was accustomed to and to learn to do things their way, and to learn when they were talking to me and when they were *not!*  I had to learn that when they were telling me something, that sounded demanding or demeaning, it really was all good and I needn't worry.  When they told me "shake your _____ white girl," that was a kindness and not an attack.  I did learn to be a little less structured and they learned to be a little less... whatever. I learned to eat greens with them and they learned to eat salads with me. 

So, I understand why Ray Nagin would speak in the manner he did---it might not have been prudent, but he was sort of a cheerleader wanting the rest of the squad to shake their booty's and get on back home where he thinks they belong.  And as far as his comment about God being mad at them... well, that a whole other matter.  Maybe... one thing's for sure: He can't be happy about all that goes on there and He might be saying... (literally and figuratively) I told you what happens when you build a city on the sand. 


Money talks

January 17, 2006

Or so the adage goes.  Money talks but big money talks louder and the enemy is swifter and more brazen than all the money in the world---so, when the man with (on paper) the most money in the world, has a company with the clout and dominance of, say, Microsoft, it comes as no surprise that the Goliath of the industry would flex its muscle and influence to promote whatever social agenda it wants.  In another "I have no mouth and yet I must scream" moment, I read of the M$ support of the verbiage of the proposal in the Washington State legislature to include "sexual orientation" to jurisdiction of the Washington State Human Rights Commission.  Local pastors are calling for a boycott of Micro$oft. In addition to Micro$oft, Boeing, Hewlett Packard, and Nike were among several companies who signed a letter last week urging passage of a bill that would add "sexual orientation" to a state law.  It's not that they cannot do what they want *in* their companies, it's that they are using their clout and m-o-n-e-y to effect a social agenda.  And money, they've got.  Muscle they've got.  I don't think boycotting them is going to amount to a stack of shiny plastic CD cases.  I think it would, however, be very interesting if Christians walked off the job or quit working for them.  Ouch... that one might hurt a bit.   Last year, Micro$oft switched its favourable to gay-rights position to neutral.  But I guess this year they decided that they've got enough clout and enough money that no boycott would infringe on their lucrative stronghold in the business world.  It's sort of a given that Microsoft can laugh and scoff at boycotts or even public dismay over other decisions they make.  I mean, really... most of us are using the product---that's product$ with a capital $ !!!!!---and we're certainly not going to go out and buy Mac's or Apples.

So, I'm sitting here at my computer... with its XP operating system, this page utilizing the MS Office and the Frontpage program, the pix utilizing the MS DigitalImage program,  my printer is an HP, my kids are running around in Levi's (another supporter) and Nike's and then to top it off, Boeing, HP and MS are indirectly the great contributors to our family income whenever a Boeing employee's swimming pool needs work.  I guess there'd be lots more businesses on that list and we'd probably be eating, drinking or using one or more of their products at any given moment. 

Like the bully who goes under tables and ties kids' shoelaces to the desk, shoots out strings of disgusting language and innuendos against the 'goodietwoshoes' in the class, disrupts order with his demand for acceptance, steals lunch money from little kids or trips "uncool" kids in the line for the bus, or people who molest little girls or bully people into believing that they have no choice but to accept the assault or the giants of a hostile take over of a corporation or any number of other things people do when they're demanding acceptance of something for their personal gain or validation.  No, I'm not talking about Microsoft as the bully here.  I'm talking about a sect of society that's demanding acceptance of sin and immorality in its relentless attempt to redefine God ordained roles, creation and foundation and ultimately, an assault against the LORD God Himself. 

The bully is the homosexual schema to make itself accepted, endorsed and lauded.  The clever and emotionally gripping stories of ostracization, ridicule, isolation and of being misunderstood add fuel to the seeming unquenchable fire.  The sect of society that is blinding eyes and deafening ears with its barrage of imagery, with clever psychology and application of misinterpreted Scripture and with noise.  Noise that is deafening applied to the deafening silence of the church.  No, perhaps not silence, but ignorance. 

The church is buying the mantra: hate the sin, love the sinner, and in so doing, is accepting/excusing the behaviour, accepting the label "alternative lifestyle" and is seeming unmoved by the gravity of the sin that characterizes that special interest group.  It wouldn't tolerate a lifestyle to continue unchanged and still acquiesce  Homosexuality is sin.  It should be considered such --- just as immorality is sin.  Just as incest is sin.  Just as idolatry is sin.  Just as extramarital or premarital sex is sin.  Just as theft is sin.  Just as worshipping another god instead of God is sin.  Just as wanting another's possessions is sin.  Just as lying is sin.  Just as dishonouring parents is sin. Just as murder is sin.  The whole self-centered agenda of homosexuality and all its fragments and splinter groups is wrong.

  He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth Him.
Proverbs 14.2

It's not cool to take this stand.  It's not chic, it's not keeping up with the signs of the times---it's just not hip to be narrow-minded, judgmental, self righteous or holier than thou---or any of a thousand other labels pinned on people who stand squarely on the Word of God and call things sin when they are sin, wrong when they're wrong, and right when they're right.  To stand against homosexuality means to stand against a whole lot of people------and it means to stand against a whole lot of people who are just following the masses and don't even really know the stakes.  To take a stand against homosexuality means taking a stand against the decisions of family members, friends and co-workers.  It means taking a stand against trends and culture.  It means making a distinction and calling sin what it is----if a man was running around with a woman that was not his wife, he'd be an adulterer. He would be living in sin.  If he confessed that sin, repented and turned from that sin, he would have committed adultery, been forgiven and free in Christ.  He would be clean.  It's not the act that defines the person if they confess it as sin and turn from it.  But a lifestyle of that act, the continuing on and living in that sin is wrong and to seek to justify that lifestyle or live in that lifestyle is wrong.

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified,
but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1Corinthians 6.9-11

If a thief stole things, kept stealing and then demanded to be accepted because he was "born that way" or preferred that way or whatever, we would/should say, no; that is wrong, you cannot --- must not do that.  You must turn from that way, for that way is wrong.  You must live honestly and earn money honestly--not stealing from others.  In the same way, homosexuality is wrong, it is against God, His design and His purpose.  To excuse it,  accept it or defend it, is wrong.  The difficult part is to believe this--know this--live this and at the same time, see every person as a creation of God and every person with worth.  To see every person as God sees every person---this, indeed is most difficult.  Every person is in need of redemption---every person has sinned, is born in sin and is in need of the Saviour.  No one is exempt. 

What a small price to pay for the very short time we live on earth... defending the Word of God, worshipping at His footstool and proclaiming His great glory.  Many are saying that Christians are most known for what they're against---perhaps that's what people hear---but in reality, that not what Christians are (or should be saying) saying.  They're not saying what *they* are against, they are saying (hopefully) what the Bible says on this or that matter.  Truth is, the Bible is presents a stinging indictment against us all.  For all fall short of the glory of God, all are in need of salvation, none are righteous, no not one.  For this, this reason, Jesus came, lived a sinless life, God in the flesh, and dwelt among us, died on the cross for the atonement for sin, raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God and now makes intercession for those who who call Him LORD.  It's not my righteousness that makes me free, but the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, my saviour, makes me free.  When I stand before God, it will not be my works, my life, my righteousness He sees, but Jesus---He will stand before me and will be my plea.  I am free because Jesus is my plea.

 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,
that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Philippians 2.15-16


The excellent winter adventure to BC

January 16, 2006

With many thanks to our son and daughter-in-law, our parents and sister and brother-in-law, we sure enjoyed the wonderful trip to Harrison  Hot Springs in Canada.  It was virtually empty some of the time and so we felt very spoiled as we sat in pools and ate meals with very few other people around at any time.  January is a wonderful time to go there.  We sure missed our children, though... so, I sure hope we'll be able to take them there again one day.   We'll watch for a stronger dollar---it's a great value when the dollar is stronger.  I'm so glad we went... and, so glad we had passports as that made crossing the border back into the States much easier---that, and we didn't really buy anything.  He enquired whether or not we'd brought back any vegetables or beef---we chuckled, no, we ate it all. ~wink~  The Border Patrol said that passports are required for adults and apparently will be for children over 14 beginning January 1, 2007.  And all travelers 01/08.  Interesting tidbits.

This is Bridal Veil in BC ---
interesting to see the snowline so distinctly.

Wes always takes shots of barns for me...
I love old barns!

I was knitting and watching Dr. Phil---
A program I'd never watched before.

This is the view from the terrace of the dining room
at Harrison Hot Springs where we had brunch each day.
 It was rainy and cold, but it was beautiful, too!

Each morning we'd go down to the cafe and have a
delicious brunch... and, of course, read the papers
while eating our breakfast together

We went to an italian restaurant in Chilliwack ---
had the whole restaurant to ourselves ;-)
We received great service from our waiter who
was so surprised we're celebrating 28 years!!

we would sit in the pools and spa in the evening and early mornings... though it was raining,
the water was very warm---sometimes hot, from the hot springs.  It was beautiful.

Here's a flash back... from a trip Wes and I made there nearly four years ago with the little dolly: 
It's a treasured memory I'll never forget:  those days and the gift they've been as the memories have
all been so sweet.'s a long goodbye to the little dolly who's growing up so fast.

daddy and the little duckling ... april 02


The hard line of taking a hard line.

January 16, 2006

It's not hard to take a hard line on social, political, spiritual or moral issues, anybody can take a hard line on just about anything.  Just ask a guy what truck is best or what tool is best---you'll get a pretty hard line answer.  Ask a mother about her children, ask her opinion on anything --- what *mayonnaise* to use---hard liners will have an opinion.  Some issues are a blend that's blurred: political-moral, social-moral, political-spiritual, etc., etc.  Anyway... I'm brought to weeping over the sweeping changes in the world and the swift moving machine that's demanding its way and is mowing down truth and righteousness.

So, I'm reading the headlines and some of the news stories.  I'm numbed by the flagrant arrogance of man.  I'm numbed by the disregard for righteousness and the self-importance and (self)superiority  of man.  Considering these reports and many others that are thought-consuming, it's with anticipation that I read the news of activities in and surrounding Israel.  It's seeming more appropriate than ever to keep a Bible in one hand as the other clicks on the news pieces.  Terrorism against the US seems to me to be relatively small compared to the terrorism against Israel spanning decades, or rather, centuries. The arrogant response to the Israel's threats of retaliation for the Palestinian's reported stockpiling of rockets with extraordinary capability---or so the reports appear.

Speaking of how things *appear* here's a NY times pic of the site of a US airstrike on a village in Pakistan---ooops! Pictures are worth a thousand words---or, possibly, a thousand lies. More on this from The American Thinker. The propaganda machine just keeps on churning along.  Palestine and Israel are just a portion of the strange happenings. 

And then I read further, check mails and do some browsing.  Ah, the Washington State reps are busy... seems like the mill of ideas for [their employment] laws and resolutions just keeps rolling along.  In another attempt to rewrite the law and another attempt to pass bad legislation, we have now:

HB 2661, a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of the Washington state Human Rights Commission to include sexual orientation. There will be a hearing on Tuesday January 17th at 10:00 AM in the O'Brien Building, in Olympia (Hearing Room D) on HB 2661, the bill that replaces last session's bill HB 1515 that failed to pass the Senate by one vote.
(15) "'Sexual orientation' means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, 'gender expression or identity' means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth;..."

Here's a link to HB 2661- see how ludicrous this could get?  See the variables here?  Gender is for life regardless of what one does to oneself or what one thinks of oneself---even if one hates God, hates himself and hates society around him and seeks to change identity permanently or in his/her mind.  Even if one has a determination to redirect society, God has still created that individual and has specifically designed each one.  This vague and ambiguous language opens the door for incredible twisting of current laws
and physical laws, not to mention spiritual laws.

A couple of decades ago, when we still watched TV regularly, I was a Seattle Seahawks fanatic fan.  Sundays were occasionally ordered around games---choosing an earlier service over a later one in order to see the game.  It was a thrilling thing to watch them win and absolutely crushing to see them lose.  I was a George Michael Sportsmachine devotee---staying up till 12:30a to watch the recaps of all the games.  Sad, I know.  Anyway... I heard that the Seahawks were going to be in the playoff's this year... I began thinking of the team: the quarterback and the coach along with Steve Largent and Jim Zorn.  Ah, yes... Dave Krieg and coach Chuck Knox and the old Kingdome.  Oooops, wrong era!  I had to do some quick study to find out that Dave Krieg had been replaced and was not actually the QB any longer---times have changed, some youngster named Matt Hasselbeck---I had to make sure that Qwest Field was even in Seattle when the Seahawks were playing the Redskins on Saturday.  I was still seeing them in the Kingdome----that 67 million dollar structure that was only 24 years old when it was demolished on March 26, 2000.  I remember that so well because it was my birthday---that, and I just remember stuff like that.  I loved going to the 'dome--- to games and Seattle Home Shows and other events.  I recall being astonished at the imploding of the dome----but then, a year and a half later, thought Al Qa'ida  sure knows about imploding buildings!


You'd better be nice to us or we'll call you intolerant.

January 15, 2006

Wowowow, there's lots going on in the news!  Lots going on in our nation/world!  Just when I thought things were really sliding over the edge, I read of another keeling-over-sickening review of a movie and the actor playing the lead role...

I'm weary of the terms bandied about regarding Christians and homosexuality.  I'm weary of the terms: tolerance, of gender-neutral, metro-sexual, enlightened, hip, inclusive, sensitive and the beat goes on.   I wearied by the arrogance of people who are flagrantly flaunting their aberrant lifestyles and then dare Christians to accept their superfluity of naughtiness and demand equality---no, make that superiority (because of *their* openmindedness).  Well, bleck.  Homosexuality is wrong.  And it doesn't matter if I am "sick and tired" of it or not, it doesn't matter if I am fed "up to here!" with it or not. 

Truth is, it mocks God, mocks His creation, mocks God's design and flaunts its insatiable self-importance and self indulgence in sin.  To stand against homosexuality is not homophobic---it's not pride or self-righteousness----and it's certainly not fear. To stand against homosexuality is to stand on the solid rock of the Word of God and defend the truth of God's Word and His supreme glory.  A stand against homosexuality is not driven by fear.  It is not fundamentalism either---thank you very much, Rick Warren, for your latest smear of conservative Christians, saying that Christian fundamentalists are motivated by fear.  In a bizarre statement, he said, [lumping them all together--what is *that*] "Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other."   That was a regrettable statement and ill advised by a man who's in the position he is.   And, that's just more of the same mantra the homosexual community/agenda flagrantly flings at detractors: you're afraid.  Afraid? no. fearing, yes: God-fearing.  Seeking wisdom and understanding in the Fear of the LORD.

Job 28.28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Psalm 111.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. {a good...: or, good success} {his commandments: Heb. them}
Proverbs 9.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Isaiah 11.2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

I'm grieved tonight as I write this... grieved over the state of society, the state of man and the necessary fall and judgment that will surely occur.  I'm grieved for the pride of man and the stronghold of the devil in lives and the course of evil that sweeps up and swallows nations.  I'm grieved that people pass on... buying the lie and setting about to ignore the waves of sin and oppression of the enemy. 

Fifty years ago, five men lost their lives at the hands of their enemies.  Many books have been written, much has been made of the courageous lives and their brave stand for the Cross of Christ and the message of Salvation in Jesus.  Much has been written of men who gave what they could not keep to gain what they could not lose.  

So, another movie is about to be released (1/20) and sadly, along with it, a mockery of the very message of the film.  The actor playing the part of Nate Saint (one of the missionaries killed by the Auca Indians on January 8, 1956) is a sodomite, a "gay" activist.  And the casting of this individual seems to have been calculated.  [by this I mean by the ACTOR---not by the producers, writers or the Saints]  Sad, isn't it? 

I have images of a beautifully decorated, perfectly appointed home, where one would take in the view of the hillside from the terrace, there's the beauty and fragrance of fresh cut roses in crystal vases and enjoy the ambiance of the hundreds of candles that light the home.  And then, on the veranda, dinner is to be served on the finest china, crystal and silver on table dressed in white linen.  The seating has been arranged and great is the anticipation of the salad of spring greens and caramelized walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette, the pumpkin soup and sautéed vegetables, Duchess  potatoes, and filet mignon and buttered rosemary-herb bread, the delicious beverage, and the anticipation of the fragrant, rich cup of cappuccino and white chocolate raspberry mousse for dessert---but first, the centerpiece is set in place and it is a platter of hot, rotting, maggot infested tuna on a bed of manure with a dead rose and wilted parsley garnish surrounded by eau de farmland scented candles... and throughout the evening... the wonderful meal is tainted by the centerpiece that demands to be accepted---the centerpiece that dares the diners to call it inappropriate.   Do you see this is what's happening in the world?

Cinema is powerful---imagery and drama is moving and so it's easy to see why believers want to use this means to 'evangelize' or to 'expose' the world to the message of Christ (or so it would seem)-----especially with a message so powerful as that of the missionaries who lost their lives in the jungles of Ecuador.  But the devious ingenuity of the enemy knows no bounds and will go to any extreme to destroy, discredit or dishonour the Word or work of the LORD.  Though he is a *defeated* foe, his fierce attacks are seeming boundless and powerful. And so it is with the casting of the upcoming film: The End of the Spear. 

So the movie is set to be released... and it's sad that such a powerful story of redemption is tainted by the vulgar rant of homosexuals who demand tolerance of their manner of living---that shows no sign of remorse or desire for obedience to the Word of God.   Sad that such a testimony as each of those men's lives were---and---the ongoing fruit of that work is mocked by actors who siphon truth and righteousness out of everything.  You can read about the actor in the movie End of the Spear, here.

O---the church needs to stand on the Word of God...  some are, as this article by Albert Mohler demonstrates.

As sort of a general rule,  I don't usually share personal requests or deeply personal information here on the blog, but I would like to ask readers of this blog to keep two unrelated situations/families in your prayers.  The first is for a family grieving the loss of their mother who died very suddenly while on vacation out of state... the husband and the children were all very close to this dear woman.  Pray for wisdom as they make decisions and plans for the service they were in no way prepared to handle.   The other request is for a precious mother of many children is not well---pray if it be the LORD's will for her recovery and for wisdom, peace for her husband and direction for the family.


The tidal wave

January 14, 2006

There's more to this---and when I finish reading David Kupelian's book, The Marketing of Evil,  I'll write some more---I'm not sure I'll read all the nauseating book that Mr. Kupelian references in his book.  The book he refers to is sort of the homosexual manifesto written in the 90's and is, from what excerpts my husband has read to me thus far, spine-chilling and sobering regarding the reality and agenda of the machine that is mowing down, mocking and controlling America the world.  The Kupelian book is a must read----really.  It's time for the church to get into the Word---the Bible, not messages that sound good or purposes that seem good, it's time to stop the marketing and strategizing of building and filling buildings instead of building up the body and strengthening the homes, it's time for the church to see the carnage of indifference and compromise.  It's time for the church to turn from itself and look to the LORD Jesus.  He is our only hope.  He is the only hope for this plundered world.  If there really are the huge numbers of millions of believers, then there are millions who need to live out what the Word says.  In order for the light to shine it needs to be set out and not hidden.

Things are changing in "the church" all around.  The church must connect with the Word, reject the world and respect of persons.  The church, the bride of Christ must ready itself and live in accordance to the Word and get moving!  I'm not talking about "the conversation" [whatever that means!!] or "the purpose" [again, whatever THAT means] but about real lives, living real life for and in the Light of the LORD Jesus.


Facty   Listening to an iPod?  Better keep it down if you still want to listen to it or anything in the future.  iPod's deafening capability could potentially put the company out of business in the next generation; that, or new hearing-aids could be called iPods if their music biz goes under due to the deafness of its clientele.


So, about that fabulous opportunity...

January 12, 2006

It's often---but it's not everyday that my husband says he wants to take me somewhere special.  And it's often, but it's not everyday, that we spend extended times talking or walking together.  So, when the opportunity comes along to both go somewhere special *and* spend extended time together... well, I say: yeeeeeeessss!   What a blessing it was to spend a few days at Harrison  Hot Springs in Canada.  This special Christmas-present-twenty-eighth-anniversary-present was made possible by different family members and our son and daughter-in-law----in addition to our olders-still-at-home watching all the youngers!!!

It was so beautiful----pouring-pouring rain, but beautiful!  I didn't mind the rain coming down at bit as we sat in the pool and spa... naturally heated by the hot springs.  The Salvation Army was having a conference there this week, and so the 'guests' we ran into from time to time were wonderful.  Delicious, over the top meals were also wonderful!  It was truly restful... but I was often restless, wishing to be there and wishing to be back here at home with the family!  Little did we know that *they* were glad for the time to work on their surprise project!!  When I would phone home, they were especially cheerful and interested in what time we'd plan on coming home.  Clever... very clever those olders are!

We came home a while ago to very, extremely, enormously exuberant  children waiting for us at the porch.  I guess we should've known that there was a fabulous surprise waiting for us inside.  I had no idea that my surprises for them would so pale in comparison so as to not even be on the same par as their most excellent surprise!  So, after being practically tackled by one of the middles, and then again by one of the youngers, we made our way up the back steps and into our kitchen and then we were led by the hand to our bedroom --- Omygoodness, WOW! was all we could say to the marvelous surprise that awaited us!  Our olders and a friend had totally redecorated and repainted our bedroom while we were away for a few days.  They painted the upper molding, and the wide baseboards, and even added a chair-rail all around the room.  I couldn't have chosen a better colour and couldn't be more pleased with Kathryn's choice and design.  So, with paint barely dry and curtains freshly ironed and bedding all washed and placed back on the bed, we heard about the antics of this and the previous day as they tackled the project.  Kathryn was glad the hardware store was not far as she made a few trips for paint, more paint and supplies.

It's a lovely colour and so nicely done!   Now... I'm very particular in many ways... and colour is very important to me.  Especially living in the Pacific Northwest(!) colour is tremendously important.  But all the children---especially, Kathryn, know that they cannot go wrong with creamy peaches, apricots, creams and whites... and, for the kitchen, most anything cobalt.   Well, their choices were perfect and we're awfully impressed with the tedious painting of the ceiling, the upper molding and the door panels... and the chair rail, too!  This is a very old farmhouse that's in desperate need of repair in many places and so to update a room instead of replacing or repairing something is sort of decadent.  There are lots of these sorts of inconsistencies in our home---and in our life, I suppose.

They were all giggles and smiles as they told us of the activities and what they encountered over the time we were away.  The true story was a bit different than they reported as we talked to them on the phone---the everything's going fine... just normal stuff wasn't actually what went on at all... I guess that's what added to their excitement.  AND---they were good at masking the busy-ness of each day!!  Now, tonight as they're away at Bible study and we're settling back in... we're smiling too... smiling at the blessings... the showers of blessings.

more later.


So, I have this fabulous opportunity to not BLOG for a few days...

January 8, 2006

And so, I think it's only prudent to take the opportunity... and maybe even write a little about it later.


Daisy chains

January 7, 2006

After writing yesterday's entry, immediately brought to mind was the following piece:

The Eternal Precipice
by Amy Carmichael

The tom-toms thumped straight on all night, and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another with a little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step … it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could not call; though I strained and tried, only a whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were far too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees, with their backs turned towards the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them, and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You have not finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for a while; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called — but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was — the Cry of the Blood.   Then thundered a Voice, the Voice of the Lord: And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brothers’ blood cries unto Me from the ground.”

Amy Carmichael, taken from Things as They Are: Mission Work in Southern India



The subtle washing

January 6, 2006

It's so subtle and is happening so slowly and smoothly that it's hardly noticeable to some people---the faint shift from day to day to the acceptance of immorality.  Think for a moment about the church growth "movement" of the last decade or two.  Consider the shift from Christ centered to man centered theology and from Biblical principles to marketing strategies for growth.  Then take into account the music that fills the minds and the airwaves... no longer Christcentric but egocentric.   Consider the shift from Bible study to "focus-groups" that address "felt needs" or personal interests or individual crisis.  And then mull over the ramifications of the "AIDS crisis" over the last twenty-five years.  Very gradually we've been "indoctrinated" to accept people where they're at---to not condemn or judge behaviour and certainly not attribute to sin the consequences of certain behaviours.  So that's been engrained steadily over time by advertisers and the  massive machine of Hollywood---the pseudo social and political experts, the change agents and shapers of cultural norms--the destroyers of family and morality.  Hollywood's been very cleverly working to redirect the thinking... the subtle washing, the crafty work of emotionally moving videos.  I reflect on two movies I've seen this year... the characters which command acceptance.  The lifestyles that demand tolerance---so cunning is the inclusion of two women as parents of a boy in Kicking and Screaming... Two men as a couple in The Family Stone... and in another movie which we did not/will not see was the assaulting of the sensibilities by a pair of cowboys.    Over the years, homoseuality has been slowly creeping into movies and television so that it's like the proverbial frog in the pot... slowly, as the heat is increased, the frog boils to death---never jumping out of the pot because of the slow acclamation to the heat.

So all this has happened and the church nods off.  All this is happening and the church is busy building bigger barns and catering to felt needs.  Reading paraphrases of paraphrases of the Bible.  Singing inane songs with sensual tones and repetitive lines of few words.   And then, taking into consideration the enormity of church "attendance" and the extraordinary availability of Biblical information, helps, guides, studies, buildings, buildings, buildings, seminaries, and Bible schools, it is deplorable that there's isn't notable Christian influence and appearance in this nation.  There really ought to be a difference... there ought to be distinctively different look and action of Christian individuals... individuals who are not their own---individuals who've been bought with a price, redeemed from the curse of the Law.

I've been thinking of some different letters I've received concerning movies, the sales of clothing with clearly anti-Christian symbols, the legislature and other topics where there is clearly an open antagonistic and sometimes hostile view of Christians---not so much of religion per se, not anti-God, but anti-Christ.   It's actually kind of chic to be religious--not Jesus-religious, but yoga religious, christian-science religious, new-age religious, mystic religious, and the whole gamut of sorcery sort of religious---anything but Jesus.  It's very common for people to accept talk of God---but totally bristle at the mention of the Lord Jesus---which is totally bizarre ---considering the awesomeness of the LORD God---not the pseudo-god who is known as the "higher power" in the world of Emmet Fox, Norman-Vincent Peale or Robert Schuller or all the people currently influenced by them---but God, the God of the Bible, the God of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob---the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Isn't it amazingly ironic---the God is so cavalierly held in mind, esteemed so common as to be used as a household expletive. So, God is acceptable---sort of the universally accepted -word- but not the God of the Bible.

"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me."   John 15.18-21

Our lives ought to be---must be---different because of the terrific price paid on our behalf:  Titus 2.14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."   But, sadly, our lives are often not all that much different at all.  Our behaviour, words and appearance really ought to outwardly reflect the inward change of our lives.   I was thinking back on a situation recently where we were attending a program and I distinctly recall watching the men watching the women in attendance.  The "holiday" attire was alluring and the line of distinction between modest and immodest was blurred.  But what saddened me the most was the tightly packed row of teenagers immediately in front of us.  Throughout the evening there seemed to be a constant preoccupation with the pants and the tops--so involved in making sure the tops were meeting but not covering the top of the pants, the victoria'ssecret tag in view, and then when sitting down, it was painfully obvious that the pants were too low.  I was embarrassed for the young ladies;  I found myself feeling sorry for them as they were more concerned with their view of their appearance than with the statement their appearance was really making.  I felt sorry for the obvious distraction they were to the young men who kept glancing and then looking away.  I felt sorry for the lack of understanding of modesty---not just in appearance but in behaviour.   I was sorry for the parents who were not in proximity to the young people and weren't watching the situation.  And seemingly hadn't been part of the purchasing process, either.

So, when I think of all the anti-Christian rhetoric and the slurs and insulting music, movies and merchandise, I guess I consider the Word and what the LORD has said would happen, I consider the state of the church today--its message, in many places, so anemic.  I pray... come, Lord Jesus---for He is the only One who can save--- Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


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If Coffee Cups Could Talk...

January 5, 2006

What amazing things they'd say... that is, if coffee cups could talk.  I think they'd proclaim the sweet things we've said, the hard things we've shared, the bitter things we've thought and the hundreds of other things we meant to say but didn't---what an amazing thing it would be if coffee cups could talk.  'Guess I'm glad they don't for the treasured secrets would be betrayed and destroyed bcz they were made know and the dreams that never came to pass might be scoffed at and the mulling over disappointments would bring us a bit of shame, I suppose.  But then, on the other hand, if coffee cups could talk, there'd be lots of glorying about the astonishing accomplishments of each of the children, the sweet stories of days gone by and the bittersweet memories that are often shared over a cup of coffee.  

Coffee's sort of the great equalizer here at our house.... and sitting down for a cup of coffee always seems to bring clarity to cloudy things, joy to sorrowful things and laughter to tears.  I'm not sure why it is that coffee's such an 'event' or why it has the effect it does.  And no, it's not the caffeine--- it's the experience, I guess and the slowing down to share a moment in the busyness of the day.  Tea's this way too, I suppose---but I never sit with my husband for a cup of tea---it's always coffee.  But the girls will sit with me for a cup of tea---and of course the favourite is to go up to Starbucks for whatever they're brewing up.  So... if coffee cups could talk, what memories they'd share----

But if Starbucks cups could talk, they'd say cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching.   If the 'conversation starters' on the Starbucks are any indicator, the coffee cups are already proclaiming quite a bit of the thinking of some American minds.  All the controversy sparked by "The Way I See It" quotes on the side of the coffee cups would prove very interesting, by the way.   There's talk from time to time regarding the "anti-Christian" or the "pro-homosexual" messages printed on the cups.   Ironically, I forget to read the quotes bcz I tend to have the coffee so hot that I ask for a sleeve for the cup---but when I do remember to read the quotes, I'm often just shaking my head.

I you're looking for cool cups you might check the Espresso Zone or if you know the type of cup you like, look on eBay.


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Choosing... a resolution

January 3, 2006

I guess of all the New Year's resolutions I might seek and hope to keep, I pray would be my daily preoccupation: to be quiet before the LORD, to seek His Face,  to hear His Voice and to obey His Word---and then, my life's desire: to be a vessel the LORD will use.  I think of "choices" and the things I might choose.  I think of Joshua:  (24:15) "...choose you this day whom ye will serve; ...but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  I think of choosing... Lot chose.  Abraham chose.  Moses chose---the children of Israel were chosen. Joshua chose.   Saul chose.  David chose.  Men have chosen to do that which is good and pleasing to the LORD and men have chosen their own way.  The LORD chose the twelve.  Stephen was chosen.  Paul was chosen.  Think of all the choosing---all the choices.  When it comes down to this, which do we choose? 

Proverbs 1.29-33  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

The Vessel

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose? 
“Take me”, cried the gold one, “I’m shiny and bright,
I’m of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!”

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
“I’ll serve You, dear Master, I’ll pour out Your wine
And I’ll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.” 

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was wide-mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass. 
“Here! Here!” cried the vessel, “I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.”

“Look at me”, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
“My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I’m sure I’ll be happy in Your house to abide.”

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
“You may use me, dear Master”, the wooden bowl said,
“But I’d rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!”

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.”
“I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf,
Nor the one who is big-mouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.”

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. “There’s work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you.”

author unknown



I think of the Children of Israel… and the Divine Guidance they were receiving… just think they were guided by a cloud by day and fire by night… to refuse to move meant they had no direction in the daytime and to refuse to move in the night meant they would remain in darkness.  The Children of Israel didn’t know how long the cloud would remain…they were to wait until the cloud moved before they could move, and they remained ready… (Numbers 9) And so we also must be ready.  There will be a choice, a testing of our faith and an opportunity to "chose ye this day..."

So, in choosing... choose ye this day...  

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Big Jar Mayonnaise Mamas

January 2, 2006

I loved Barbara's 12/31/05 blog entry about Big Jar Mayonnaise Mamas.  And *I* am one, too --- a Big Jar (of anything) Mayonnaise Mama, and have the big jar in the fridge and one in the pantry and a bunch of empties that now hold big amounts of other stuff.  So, I'm a big jar mama.  Although I do not like to write big and mama in the same sentence... at least not on the second day into the New Year when the ink isn't even dry from writing my New Year's resolutions and knowing that yes, I did have a brownie for dessert... well, maybe it was a snack since I had a very small dish of ice cream for dessert and I had intended to not do this sort of thing ---well, at least not so soon into the New Year. 

So, I loved reading that blog... but you know--- Big Jar Mayonnaise Mamas wasn't what the blog was about at all... not really.  It was about a woman, the feminista, Amy Richards, who didn't want to be a Big Jar Mayonnaise Mama---in fact, it seems in many ways that she didn't want to be any kind of mama --- at least not an inconvenienced one---which is a trend I see in so many young people: the absolute repulsion to inconvenience. 

If you're sympathetic to the "right of choice" sort of ideology you won't find the topic emotionally gripping, but if you're not --- if you're of the mind that every life is precious, that every life matters, that every life is sanctified by the LORD, then you'll find the story of a woman, a free lance writer in New York, pregnant with triplets (but inconvenienced to the point that she justifies having two of the three killed through abortion) and well, it's gripping, to say the least.  And the big jars of mayonnaise comment was in reference to a comment she made regarding the life she'd have if she were to carry on  with the triplets and be relegated to shopping at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.  I guess if women were honest, they'd all say there's a tad bit of fear that creeps in from time to time---fear that things will be difficult, fear for the unknown, fear of failure or whatever.  But to choose to have two of three lives ended so that there'd be less inconvenience is utterly shameful.  I wonder if she'll ever question how life would've been had she just accepted the lives/blessings being formed within her---had she been genuinely courageous and had allowed the two unborn babies the same freedom she demanded for herself... the freedom to live---the choice she ended.  I vaguely remember reading this story on Michelle Malkin's site---or rather, her reference to another blog, Hold the Mayo, Abort Two Triplets.  I recall being rather disgusted by the thought of selective reduction.  Selective reduction.  Think about that for a moment and it's nauseating.  I guess my inquisitive mind drifts to other areas of "selective reduction" and I'm not talking about liposuction.  I consider those who might feel inconvenienced by the aged or infirm, by the disabled or terminally ill---that kind of selective reduction.  It's sickening, really. Selectively reducing must mean simply selecting which items to reduce...  weight, books, clothes... those sorts of things... but not people---not babies.

In doing some more reading tonight... I was seeing the dramatic discord regarding her position---some thinking evil and some bravery on her part for choosing to do what was "best" for her.  I think back on situations I had solutions for... prayers that the LORD didn't answer according to my request.  How grateful I am for His merciful kindness to me and for His provision.  So... what do we know, anyway?

So, something else Barbara wrote really resonated with me and I've been mulling it over to try to come to grips with the thought and I find myself associating what she said with a couple of parallel situations.  I find myself thinking of statements we've heard from people who defend a particular action or lifestyle that would be illegal or immoral and yet were excused because they were thought to be so passionate or courageous or so vulnerable to be so candid.   It's almost as if for some people, there are no rules---and nasty living is lauded and there's sort of a fascination with the immoral behaviour as if it's required to be accepted.  Or, perhaps because they've been duped or bullied into believing the behaviour needs to be accepted---and it doesn't!   It's as if poor choices or immorality are excluded or excused if the perpetrator is a charismatic or charming personality or if they're seen as trendy or some independent, continental intellect---or the new Hollywood favourite: edgy. 

Speaking of edgy...  If a couple of the slated television shows and a couple of the movies released for this past year's "Holidays" are any indicator of the days ahead in movies and television, we're in for quite an escalated downhill jaunt.   I haven't been able to dive into it yet, but we just received a copy of David Kupelian's book, The Marketing of Evil --- I'll be making some notes to share in the days ahead.   In addition to that book arriving on Saturday, I also received the December issue of Whistleblower magazine.  I think of all the mags we receive, this one is really tops, in terms of solid information and social commentary.  It's really edgy---not Hollywood edgy---but edgy as in right on the cutting edge of exposing social trends.  More on this and other Big Jar Mayonnaise Mama stuff later.

A Big Jar Mayonnaise Mama


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A reflection of the first day

January 1, 2006

I just got off the phone from talking to our oldest son---called to wish him a "Halfy-Birthday" and lamented that I hadn't made him a half birthday cake (again this year!) and that he'd have to wait 6 months for the German Chocolate cake for his birthday.   

I'm sitting here at the desk in my "office" and I'm reflecting on the past year, some of the news stories and the personal stories that were written in the lives of our children in the past year.  After doing my "look in the rear-view mirror" a couple of nights ago as I was closing out the year and writing for that day... reflecting on the events and activities of the past year, I realized that there were so many significant accomplishments and activities that never really received much or any attention here on this blog.
 I suppose it's, in part, due to the personal nature of some of them and I guess it's important to leave some things unsaid---not glossed over, by any means, just unsaid.  I think mothers need to do this from time to time.  Sort of the pondered in the heart stuff that makes up mother's prayer journals.  Then, there are occasional "great-pride moments" that don't get mentioned but are never forgotten. 

I guess I feel that blogs cannot be "tell-all" venues, nor should they be a place of self-aggrandizing, either.  Mothers tend to do too much of both... talking and boasting.  But then, I suppose that's how little boys grow up to be men who think they're "all that" and more.  I guess it's what makes a little man into Superman.  Mothers.  Wait a second, I was talking about blogs and bloggers.

So, I don't usually tell all the stuff that goes on here.  I don't rant about all the things that go wrong or rave about all that goes right.  I guess it'd be fairly boring if day after day I raved about the adorable children I have or if I boasted about all the fabulous accomplishments and achievements daily.  Well, first... because that would take up way too much time and blog space and second, it would be self-aggrandizing---something I said bloggers should never be.

So I am listening to little 'melia singing... at the top of her lungs:

I'm living in a mountain, undermeath the cloudy sky,
I'm drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
O yes!  I'm feasting on bananas from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.

O, well, I guess you gotta start somewhere.  Here's the song.


Dwelling in Beulah Land 
words and music: C.A. Miles

Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling,
Then I know the sins of earth beset on ev'ry hand:
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling,
None of these things shall move me from Beulah Land

Far below the storm of doubt upon the world is beating,
Sons of men in battle long the enemy withstand:
Safe am I within the castle of God's Word retreating,
Nothing then can reach me - 'tis Beulah Land. 

Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God's hand:
Here the sun is always shining, here there's naught can harm me,
I am safe forever in Beulah Land. 

Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation,
Hearing now His blessed voice, I see the way He planned:
Dwelling in the Spirit, here I learn of full salvation,
Gladly will I tarry in Beulah Land.

I'm living on the mountain, underneath the cloudless sky,
I'm drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
O yes!  I'm feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.

Yeah... so it was a slow day... feasting on bananas... this first day of 2006



Another brand new year...

January 1, 2006

I sure hope there'll be something to write.   ~wink~

One thing I know... for today it looks like a clean slate, a year unlived, stories unwritten and untold.    Am I beginning anew or am I fleeing the old?  Do I look ahead with hope for what is before me?  I suppose I can only do this if I look at what's behind me with those rose coloured glasses instead of with a magnifying glass.  I'd like to see my children more with my rose coloured glasses than with my bifocals because I think that's how I hope they'll look at me.  I hope this year I'll see that I am closer to the end than to the beginning and that I'll not be so careless with the time I do have. 

I don't know if I can make another resolution about diets or quiet time or home organization... but, the very fact that I am looking at a brand-new unmarked calendar tells me there are some opportunities to do things differently---that there are days never yet lived... troubles never yet experienced and plans never yet disappointed or interrupted... and yet a bundle of hugs and kisses to give and dreams to live.


Psalm 65

1 Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
2 O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
5 By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:
6 Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power:
7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
8 They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
9 Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it.
10 Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof.
11 Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.
12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing

Thou crownest the year with thy goodness;
and thy paths drop fatness.







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