Saturday, April 26, 2008
The sad fact is that in less than two weeks it will have to be filled up again. I am wondering when will the price of gas become prohibitive for the mobile lifestyle that we as Americans have become use to.
When will we begin to alter our way of doing things to accommodate the projected $4.00 a gallon this summer? I have been giving this a lot of thought and I am wonder what will be the turning p0int for me. What allowance will I make to be able to get in my car and run to the store for the gallon of milk or loaf of bread? Would I be willing to walk or possibly borrow my son’s bicycle? This thought pains me to no end.
I have often thought of the times of long ago when you family meal was grow on your own property, you were responsible for your own vegetable garden, providing for your own meat. I have wonderful memories of listening to my grandmother tell of her days growing up on the family farm and how she would go out to the garden to harvest what ever crop was in season. You did not pick and choose in those days. You ate what was growing and there were times when there was not meat on the table. We as Americans have become a spoiled people. I have often thought that if I was responsible of growing and providing for the need of my family then surely we would all starve to death.
I have begun to think of exactly what will be my cut off. When will I alter the way I live, or will I simply make the adjustments and give something else up in order to increase my gasoline budget?
So what am I willing to change about the way I live? I have already begun to consolidate my trips in the car. On the Sundays that I have meetings I just drop my daughter off at UMYF and then hang out for the 90 minutes until my prayer meeting. I get caught up on my bible study or journaling and I am not wasting any unnecessary gas. I possibly would have n the past made the trip back home, but not any more. Now that I live further away it is just too wasteful to travel the extra miles only to turn right around and retrace my steps.
What are you changing in you life to accommodate the rising price of gas?
Is there something you are doing that is making a difference?
What will I give up?
What will I do?
What are you doing?
What are you willing to give up?
When I am faced with these types of questions I always think about one of my all time favorite television shows. What would Caroline Ingles do? I am sure that she had an extensive vegetable garden, a milk cow, chicken coop, she walked into town every week to sell her eggs to snooty Mrs. Olsen and she sat after supper and churned her own butter. Her bread was rising under a towel in a bowl bedside of her wood burring stove and Charles was out plowing up the back forty planting the wheat crop that would put shoes on Half Pint for the coming winter.
$67.41, WOW! I will be considering what I will be changing in the way we live and possibly how I drive from now on, or I hope that I will begin to make some small changes.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Many post ago, I found myself whining about the pitiful state of my back yard. I shared that I seldom found a reason to even look out there due to the vast barrenness of my tiny patch of ground. I do not even recall if I even prayed about this particular issue. I was just content to complain and bemoan how awful my backyard was. Well God in His infinite wisdom quite possibly got very tired of my internal whining and has graciously given me something to look at in my back yard after all.
Several days ago I awoke to an anxious ruckus in my back yard. I sat on my sofa drinking my morning coffee and was promoted to rise and investigate the source of the strange disturbance.
To give you a brief bit of background, just after moving into our new house my sister gave me a bird house as a birthday gift. A sweet small wood house with a tiny perch on the front. Having no trees in the back yard (yet!) I had to purchase a wrought iron shepherds crook to stake in the ground to hold the bird house. I placed it in the back yard as more of a decoration. I had no hopes that there would be any birds that would choose to take up residence in this small sanctuary.
Well I’m not an ornithologist, however I suspect I have a courting pair of Blue Birds in my back yard. For several hours that day they squeaked and carried on. They swooped and darted around. They would come to rest on the top of the crook and they would flutter and flap their wings. At first I became very alarmed. Their behavior reminded me of how momma birds act when one of the babies has fallen out of the nest. I possibly thought at a baby had flown into the house and was not able to figure how to get back out. During a lull in bird activity I snuck out to the backyard to investigate to see if in fact there was any sign of life from with in the bird house. There were no noises coming from with in the house so I rested a bit more easily that there was no reason to panic that a baby bird was trapped within.
However the activity has remained constant around this tiny house. My guess is that this courting blue bird has staked his claim on the perspective home for his future family. He and his sweetheart have been swooping around this birdhouse for the past two days. It has been fascinating to watch.
I have rearranged the furniture in my sunroom as to accommodate my camera and tripod. I felt like a National Geographic photographer patiently hiding in the African savanna trying to catch the perfect photograph. The birds still are not used to the presence of people on the other side of the glass and have a tendency to fly off as soon as I draw near to the camera. However a solution presented itself. I found that if I waited until I found the birds perched on the fence then it was only a few moment before they would glide over to the top of the crook. Well I hit the video button on my camera and was able to capture this Romeo blue bird. He proudly perches atop the crook announcing to the birds with in his hearing that this house has been claimed and to officially steer clear. Juliette Blue bird is a bit more difficult to capture. But I was so excited to actually capture him of video that I had to share it with all of you.
Is there a Blue Bird Wedding in the works???
Will there be a Blue Bird family setting up house in my backyard?
I am waiting and watching.
Is God cool or what!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wise in her years, warm and loving with her smile. Her small and fragile hands bent with the years would lift to grasp mine in a greeting. I would lean down and embrace her, I can still smell the familiar scent that was Miss Pepper.
She would at times reach up and place her hands upon my cheeks and look into my face. You knew that she loved you, I knew that she loved me. I will miss her more that words can express.
As sometimes happens the flesh is weak, her body failed her and the years began to take there toll. I would enter the sanctuary and find her place empty. Her loved ones would report the changes and decline in heath and mobility that simply made trips from the assisted living facility impossible. I had to settle for substitute hugs and reports on how she was doing.
I have to praise God for how amazingly beautiful this saint of faith. She was a true example of grace, wisdom and the love of Christ. I never once saw her without a smile on her face or a hug and a kiss offered to me.
Then sadly one day she was not there, then again and again.
I am familiar with that kind of waiting. You sit by the bedside and you are torn between wanting to selfishly keep them with you and wondering how much longer the lingering and suffering was to last. You watch as the breathing slows and the body draws up. It truly is a blessing and a curse.
Then that moment of the very last breath comes and you recognize that at the very moment you have been in the presence of Jesus. He has just come and ushers the one you love home.
So I grieve for Miss Pepper’s family and I grieve for myself. I know they will miss her terribly. I will miss her. I will miss that precious sweet smile and the gentle touch of her hand upon my cheek.
My pew buddy is now free from the earthly body that failed her and has taken up her eternal place with her new pew buddy Jesus.
I want to be like her when I grow up!
PR 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained by a righteous life.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The newly appointed reverend pointed out that I have the power to solve my own problem, who knew! Apparently not me. I am giddy with the power. I no longer have to squint until my head aches. With a click of my mouse I have control over my little universe and it has gone to my head. I want larger type, click and I have it. Click, click, and click. Thank you Jesus and whatever Microsoft programmer thought about putting this miraculous button at the top of my page, and a big thank you to the new reverend most high for sharing this wonderful solution with me. If all life’s problems could be solve this easily and by the way where can I get a button like that for my life.
If you are interested in submitting someone you love for this highly desired recognition, I will be accepting applications for consideration for other individuals that you feel are worthy of this honorable recognition.
GE 27:1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see,
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
We were asked to look at the similarities between the two groups of people. But what was different about them. What made the wise virgins wise and what made the foolish virgins foolish?
The wise virgins had come prepared to the banquet. They were ready with there full and trimmed lamps and they even had a back up stash of oil in case of an emergency. Who can we compare them to in the world today? I think if I m honest then some days I am very much like the wise virgin but then other day I am sadly like the foolish virgin as well. I know the importance of daily doses of the word and prayer and over all I try to be diligent. However being human I fail quite frequently as well. My goal is to be more like the wise virgins and less like the foolish ones.
The foolish virgins had no stash of oil, there was no plan B. When that midnight cry came the foolish virgins began to scramble and panic. It was time and they realized that they were not ready. The tried to borrow some oil from the wise virgins and were told in very firm words NO! If we give you our oil then we may not have enough for ourselves. Go and buy some oil for yourselves. On the surface this may seem a bit harsh, but if we translate this into practical application what this means for me in my life is that I can not borrow someone else’s faith. I can not fill my life up with the storehouse of faith from someone else’s life. I must invest my own study time, prayer time, worship time, service time and that will fill up my lamp.
My daughter is a blossoming chef and from time to time she will come to me and ask if she can cook dinner or she will want to make desert. My usual response is in the affirmative, however I will caution her to not get ahead of herself. The very first thing she must do it to make sure that she has all the necessary ingredients before she starts cracking her eggs. She has learned from experience not to get her hopes up for chocolate chips cookies until she actually checks the pantry to see if we have all the ingredients. Now you can’t really compare running out of semi sweet chocolate chips and the spot that the foolish virgins were in, but you see where the similarities lie. I can in a pinch run next door and borrow a cup of sugar but sadly this will not be the case when I find myself in a spiritual crisis. When life gets hard and things turn dark and scary, and the reality is that we never know when something bad is going to happen, I want my lamp trimmed and ready. I want my pantry/lamp to be full by my own accord. The hard cold fact is there are no shortcuts to a full lamp. I must commit to a life of prayer, study, and service and when I do that it will assure that I will be ready when the hard times come.
The next observation that was pointed out to me is that because of there lack of preparation the foolish virgins had to rush to make alternate arrangements. They had to make the proverbial trip to the Wal Mart at the last minute for a bottle of lamp oil. It has been my experience that a last minute fix is rarely permanent. If it is thrown together quickly and in a rush it usually will fall apart just as quickly. Sadly when they returned with their oil and trimmed their lamps they found the doors closed. They had missed the invitation. The ran to the door and banged and banged only to be told that it was too late. There they stood with the receipt for the oil in their hands and the oil in their lamps burning brightly and it was too late. There was nothing they could do but return home and weep. Their quick fix had failed.
A quick fix is good at the end of a long day and you need to get a meal on the table, a can of cream of mushroom soup and two cups of minute rice is a woman’s best friend in my book. A quick fix is good when you look down as you are walking out the door to see your hem dragging and you apply a quick piece of duct tape or a safety pin (confession time ladies I have even resulted to the stapler if I was in a real hurry, but I know that my secret will be safe with all of you).
When cancer comes to visit a quick fix will not do. When your rebellious child breaks your heart a quick fix will not get you through the night.
The eternal fix, the eternal filling up, the eternal strength and love of Christ is what I want for my life and the eternal fix is what God want for your life as well.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
6 "At midnight the cry rang out: `Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9 " `No,' they replied, `there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 "Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!' they said. `Open the door for us!'
12 "But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
I was reading this passage today in my bible study. One of the questions asked was what do the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins have in common? As I thought of the comparison between the two the firsts and most immediate answer is that the common denominator is that both groups had a desire to be invited to the wedding banquet with the bridegroom.
However what happen is like most things in life, sometimes things appear to be unfair. But when has life ever promised to be fair? Bad things happen to good people every day and evil people succeed in greater numbers every day as well.
But the deeper message in this parable is one of readiness. I must be ready to give an answer for what I believe in. We read n 1 Peter:
1PE 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
When I read this parable I have to decide who I want to be. Do I want to be a wise virgin who has trimmed her lamp and has plenty of oil on hand, or do I want to be like the foolish virgin and come unprepared to the party.
In the world we are surrounded by the so called foolish virgins. These are the people who never look beyond the moment. They are the people who assume there will always be time to believe in God later. These are the people who belong to the church of “I’m a good person” They believe that being good is all that is required.
I know what I want and that is to be ready. I want my lamp to be trimmed and full. But how do I achieve this. I must keep my proverbial lamp full with the oil of the Holy Spirit which comes from a daily dose of God’s word. It means spending time in prayer and worship. It means seeking out the will of God in my life. It means making the hard choice to live for God and not in the world. It means that I must stay on my knees and grounded in the word. When I do this my lamp will be trimmed and ready for that midnight cry.
Sadly both groups of people in this parable desired the very same thing however only one group was allowed access to the wedding banquet. At the midnight cry I do not want to here the words “ I tell you the truth I do not know you.”
Is your lamp trimmed and ready? God’s word can fill it. His love can supply all the oil your life will ever require. Raise your trimmed lamps high and praise God for His faithful promises and His endless love.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I am also more grateful than I can verbalize for our amazing Heavenly Father.
You see, we went to Callaway Gardens yesterday.
There were moments when the vistas before my eyes were almost too beautiful to comprehend. It was like being in heaven or receiving a very small glimpse of what it will be like.
It was breath taking. I so needed to be filled up with God and His creation. Step by step along each path there was a new sight to see.
At the end of our day we closed out visit at the butterfly house. It was full of people, but even with the crowds as I walked through the small enclosure with the butterflies darting around it was such a blissful experience. I felt the tears of joy welling up within me for how amazing this small moment was.
Is God cool or what!
The Christian Research Institute I think I have already posted, but the Apologetics site is a new one. I did a bit of exploring on this one and it appeared to have a lot of information on it. I am inclined to hold information found there credible since it was recommended by BGEA
Christian Research Institute and the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
My accountability sisters and I have spoken about this many times. When you experience an extended period of emotional turmoil it becomes very similar to having a chronic illness. As I again digest this latest episode of turmoil and pain with my rebellious son I have to wonder what will come next.
I m not looking forward to the next ten days (get a job or get another place to live, after five plus weeks of sleeping until 11:30 and little progress in the employment front we have as per usual had to hold his feet to the fire and actually hold him accountable for his actions) It would not matter if was the next thirty days for the result would not be any different.
My conflict comes in wanting the tension, animosity, deceit and disrespect out of my home and wanting peace. My heartbreak at the grieving I am experiencing at the prospect of the life and the potential he is spitting on is at times more than I can bear.
I pray and my sisters in Christ pray.
I call my sisters and they listen to me weep over my heartbreak and still the situation remains the same.
You see I know that when I am weak He is strong
I know that weeping may last for a night but joy will come in the morning
I know that when he comes to his senses he will return to us.
I know this and I believe it with all my heart.
But for right now at this moment I feel as Job must have felt sitting in the dust with his festering skin and expressing his painful situation
JOB 7:3 so I have been allotted months of futility,
and nights of misery have been assigned to me.
JOB 7:4 When I lie down I think, `How long before I get up?'
The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.
I love the psalms for they so capture all the good and all the sorrow of life in perfect detail.
PS 31:9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
and then my promise that I cling to when I can not cling to anything else
PS 119:28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
I pray that tomorrow will be a better day.
Today it hurts to me a mother.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I was so touched to watch this process. These little girls were all in their elementary school ages. It was so encouraging to watch as these young ladies lead by the hand with their father to the alter. Some of them knelt down side by side, one father put a protective arm around his daughters shoulder and she in turn turned her head to his and rested it gently on his side. He then tuned his head to the side to meet hers. They knelt there intertwined together his arms protectively around her and her head resting on his side. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
I have to say that I am ever so thankful for the strong man that is my husband. It is that example that will lead our daughter in the choices she will make. My daughter will know what a man of good character looks like by the behavior modeled by my husband. She will know to value herself by the value my husband places upon her. She will know how a husband should treat a wife by the example that we as a couple set before her as well.
It brings tears to my eyes to remember the scene before me this past Sunday. I can’t help but think and also give thanks for how fortunate those little girls are.
I am also remembering a very small touching moment many (many, many) month ago as well. My wonderful husband walked through the door with a bouquet of flowers for me, but that is not unusually (you see I have a wonderful husband but I already said that) but he did something different on this occasion. He not only had a bouquet of flowers for me he had one for my daughter as well. He walked over to her and handed her the flowers and told her he loved her. Then as he was walking away from her he stopped for a moment and turned around and looked at her and very quietly said “And don’t except any thing less!”
At the time she was just a little girl, and I don’t think she fully understood the implication of his statement, but now that she is turning from her childishness into a young woman these thing will begin to become more important to her. I am so thankful that as she begins on this journey into womanhood she will have a faithful father to accompany her to the alter when she needs to go there.
I am also ever so thankful that she will have this example to show her what a good man, a good Christian man looks like.
I am not sure why this has struck such a cord with me, other than the deep sadness I feel at all the individuals who are being lead astray by Oprah and her friends. I must confess to a good deal of anger as well, it just send me over the edge to think that Oprah is doing this and very little is being said about it, that I can find. I spent several hours yesterday and the day before searching on the Internet to try and find some credible opposition to this latest endeavor that she is perusing. Regretfully I found very little. I found lots of articles speaking out against her, but most if not all of them were written my lay people such as myself. If anyone has found any mains stream religious leader who has taken a public stand against what she and her friends are doing I would very much like to know. I did however spend a few moments yesterday writing several letters to some of the religious leaders that I am familiar with. I have written letter voicing my concern over this situation and have encouraged them to do the research or themselves and to publicly speak out against this movement. I have listed the organization that I have contacted below and if you feel so lead to give them a shout I think it would be greatly helpful. If you are aware of any other organizations please pass them on to me so that I may send them a letter as well.
Woman on a Mission signing off (for now anyway!)
Focus on the Family ~ Dr. Dobson
Global Servants ~ Mark Rutland
Living Proof Ministries ~ Beth Moore
In Touch Ministries ~ Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I’m not a "fou fou" kinda girl, I can go for several days with out giving my make-up drawer a thought. I have reached a place in my life where (at time’s) I can look in the mirror and so totally not care if I ever apply another layer of foundation to my face. The aging process is what it is and nothing I buy or put on my face is going to alter that process in way. But there are times when I look in the mirror and in an effort to avert the “Medusa Effect” I reach for my make-up drawer. Let me also say that for twenty three years I never had a make-up drawer in my bathroom, so now that I can allocate a single drawer souly to the contents of make-up is major improvement in my life.
With this being said I am now faced with a dilemma, not a life altering dilemma, yet it has been a source of frustration and at times down right frightening. You see I am out of lipstick. For years I had two tubes of lipstick. I kept one in my purse and one in the bathroom. It was my shade. Well “My Shade” of Almay lipstick specifically “One Coat Lip Color” #27 no longer exist.
After years of satisfaction I am now forced to find another comparable shade and brand. For me this in not an easy task. I now have four tubes of lipstick in my make-up drawer that miss the mark. I know it was totally unsanitary and probably a huge mess for the store retailers to deal with, but I miss the days where you could actually give a shade a quick swipe on the wrist to actually see what the color would be.
I can say without question that the shade indicators on the actual tubes of lipstick have been less that satisfactory, and the teen ninny tip poking though the clear window of the packaging is simply not enough to judge whether it will be an appropriate choice. So what are you to do but pick a color that you think may work and take your chances? And you get the added bonus of forking out as much as $8.00 for the privilege. Sorta like a slot machine a Vegas!
Today I am not concerned with world peace, or feeding the hungry or trying to resolve the country’s financial crisis. For today all I want is a tube of lipstick that doesn’t adhere to my lips like the finish on a sports car or make my lips glow in the dark or my husband run for cover. Is that to much to ask?????????
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
If you know me then you will also know that I have an extreme issue with Oprah. I am on a mission to make sure that everyone knows the truth about her (in my opinion) very disturbing and dangerous New-Age movement. I urge all of you to read the article “Oprah’s New Age Gospel”
It grieves my heart to think that millions of people are looking to this woman for spiritual guidance. I must confess that I used to be on of them. I faithfully tuned in every day to watch her show at 4:00pm. Well, it so sadden me now to tune in and see the admiration and blind devotion that so many place at her feet, I am now spending that 4:00 pm hour away from that worldly influence. If Oprah endorses it, it must be good, if Oprah is reading it must be a bestseller, if Oprah is wearing it it must be another must have, if Oprah is preaching it then it must be true.
But nothing could be farther from the truth. As my spiritual journey deepened I began to see some very disturbing truths revealed to me where her "spiritual leaderships" is concerned. So may people are putting there trust in the gospel of Oprah and not searching for themselves what the real truth is.
God does not want us to place our hearts upon man made things or man made concepts. He wants our whole heart without reservation grounded in the truth of His word, not the false teaching of a media icon. In further research I found a related article where an author Marcia Z. Nelson has written and entire book “The Gospel According to Oprah” on the subject expounding upon the greatness of Oprah as a spiritual leader.
I would encourage everyone to speak the truth boldly to your secular friends who may be dabbling in the gospel according to Oprah. We who follow Jesus know the truth, and the truth will overcome all imposter's.
I will also confess that I have felt called to pray for Oprah, this has been very difficult due to my extreme dislike for what she is doing, however I would encourage everyone to lift her up as well as all the others who would be swayed by her message to seek the truth.
The truth of Jesus Christ.
I have no officially stepped off my soap box for today.
On a completely unrelated and really irrelevant topic. I am so totally proud of myself for figuring out how to add a link with in the text in my post. YAAAAAA for ME!