The Son is always shining, regardless of the weather

Celebrating Some Births

Posted under Birth stories - Jan 4th, 10 - 2 Comments

usWe have had a wonderful Christmas break—celebrating the birth of our sweet sixteen-year-old daughter (22nd); celebrating the birth of our dear Lord and Savior (25th); celebrating the birth of our marriage (29th); and celebrating the birth of a new year(31st/1st)! Wow! It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

However, it also happens to be the most germ-carrying time of the year, as well. So, we are currently not well. I don’t know about you, but the birth of germs is one birth we do not celebrate around here! All six kids seem to have the flu right now. Once again, we will trust in God’s plan, and His timing.

100 Things About Me and How God is Good in the Clouds of Life

In the tradition of blogging, when you get to your 100th post you are supposed to write “100 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF”. So, here goes…

1.) I almost drowned at my sixth birthday “pool party”.

2.) The funny thing was that I accepted the dare to swim across the pool in a floaty race.

3.) A funnier thing was that I offered my floaty to my opponent…because she didn’t have one.

4.) Funniest of all, was my sweet mom (who also could not swim) jumping in—with her clothes on—to save me!

5.) My parents made me join the swim team.

6.) I learned to swim, and I swam fast (esp. when there was a snake swimming right beside me). I later became a lifeguard, and taught swimming lessons.

7.) When I was in ninth grade (at high school), I took a fall down the stairs, from the top to the bottom, and broke three of my ribs.

8.) I found out my kidneys were refluxing (I had three ureters), and had an operation to fix it. One kidney was the size of a quarter on the X-ray. They told me that at least I had one. One year later, my little kidney miraculously recovered and I had two normal-sized kidneys. This was the first time I realized that nothing is impossible with God! The doctors even called it a miracle.

9.) I wrecked my first car.Thankfully, nobody got hurt.

10.) It was raining that day.

11.) You know, I still don’t enjoy driving in the rain, and my younger sister still doesn’t enjoy it when I drive.

12.) I was in drama in high school, and I got the lead in the Jr./Sr. Play.

13.) I played a new high school teacher in “Up the Down Staircase”.

14.) I must have liked it, because I have a degree in teaching, and I am currently teaching high school to Paige.

15.) However, the real drama started when I had kids. I had no idea, when I joined the Drama club, that I would be a lifetime member!

16.) More drama came when I had a miscarriage.

17.) I was told I wouldn’t be able to have any more children (when I only had two). The LORD is so good and in control…I have six blessings!

18.) I hemorrhaged with my third and seventh child. These were close calls! Praise the Lord for His mercy to me!

19.) Then…the most painful experience ever…kidney stones were developing. I had to have one surgically removed.

20.) More drama came when my oldest was diagnosed with cancer in 2002.

21.) The doctors initially thought it was allergies, and I had to ask for an MRI.

22.) More drama came when I attended funerals for children…

23.) Some (total of ten) of our little friends who had lost their battle with cancer.

24.) My heart was breaking.

25.) It really was.

26.) On our Make-A-Wish trip, I realized I couldn’t breathe very well.

27.) An elderly couple passed me when we were hiking on Mount Rushmore.

28.) I jokingly told my hubby that I wanted to die in Texas.

29.) I seriously knew something was wrong.

30.) I thought I was out of shape.

31.) I had a lot on my plate at the time (I mean this figuratively and literally)

32.) But I didn’t think it was my heart.

33.) However, my gynecologist thought it was my heart.

34.) She is the one who discovered I had a problem.

35.) When she was listening to my heart, she said it was irregular:

36.) Atrial fibrillation.

37.) She told me to go see a cardiologist.

38.) I told her my husband always makes my heart skip a beat, but I hesitantly set up an appointment with a cardiologist.

39.) At first, the cardiologist reassured me that it was probably nothing more than caffeine-caused.

40.) I drank Coca-Cola at this time. Not to mention, that I also consumed way too much chocolate!

41.) My excuse for this was that some nights I had very little sleep.

42.) I had six kids who sometimes needed assistance at night.

43.) Particularly the one going through chemo. and the baby.

44.) So, I had some tests done on my heart, just to make sure everything was okay.

45.) I was familiar with the wait that often occurs after tests are performed.

46.) So, I had gone by myself to get the tests done.

47.) I did not know the doctor would give me my results that very same day.

48.) He did…and the results were that I had a hole in my heart, probably since birth.

49.) He told me that a lot of people don’t know they have this problem, and they are usually dead by my age. Nice, huh?

50.) He told me I really should have died giving birth to my first child, or running in high school.

51.) I said, “It sure felt like I was dying giving birth to my first child, and running in high school!”

52.) I was feeling okay, but…broken.

53.) Kinda like I got a defective part.

54.) I was determined to smile in the face of adversity.

55.) I left the office, and I was driving home on the busy highway.

56.) I started griping to my Lord. “Why this road, Lord?”, I asked.

57.) I told him things like: “Haven’t we paid enough to the medical profession?”

58.) A truck in front of me had some voting signs in the back.

59.) Just then, one sign flew up and covered my windshield.

60.) My prayers changed drastically.

61.) The sign flew off (that’s one dangerous way to get people to vote).

62.) However, it was there for seven very long and scary seconds or so.

63.) I told the Lord that He could have taken me right then.

64.) I told him I wouldn’t complain anymore.

65.) Mostly I didn’t, but sometimes I would forget…(remember, He is the only perfect One!)

66.) Jesus gave me peace about the situation.

67.) I told many to pray for my husband.

68.) He was really helping me out a lot.

69.) I was taking it easy,

70.) And popping aspirin and Plavix (to avoid a blood clot).

71.) I had an operation to try to try to mend the hole in my heart.

72.) The procedure was performed on our wedding anniversary.

73.) Operation was not successful.

74.) I was thankful to still be alive. There is no 100% with surgery.

75.) The hole was too big for the Amplatzer device.

76.) They told me they needed to order a different part.

77.) I suggested going to Auto Zone over O’Reilly Auto Parts.

78.) They laughed, and thankfully did not take my suggestion.

79.) I recovered from the first failed operation.

80.) I had another operation to fix the hole.

81.) This was a somewhat experimental operation.

82.) I told the doctor I knew where I was going, and I wasn’t afraid to die,

83.) but that I had put in my request with the Lord that I might finish my job as a mother of six.

84.) Operation 2 was done over Spring Break.

85.) Operation 2 was unsuccessful.

86.) The new part would have caused more problems than it was worth.

87.) I was a little discouraged,

88.) but told myself that God sees the big picture.

89.) I knew it must be for a reason.

90.) I slowly recovered from that surgery (my femoral arteries wouldn’t stop bleeding, so they had to apply tremendous pressure.)

91.) They signed me up for open-heart surgery.

92.) I had it on Mother’s Day weekend—2004.

93.) I referred to this time as Mother’s DayMONTH!

94.) Everyone was so kind.

95.) The operation was successful. Praise the LORD!

96.) I could breathe like I never could before. The body SO compensates.

97.) The Lord really does see the big picture!

98.) Had they done it the other way, they would have missed the second hole that they found.

99.) I am thankful that my heart trusts in Him…my Savior and my Lord. He has been with me all the way! I put my trust in Jesus at a young age by believing that He died on the cross for my sin, and He rose again on the third day. I have hidden His word in my heart, and I have enjoyed a daily relationship with Him. I have witnessed so many answered prayers. Since that time, there has been no fear of death, but many close calls. It has been  reassuring to know that He holds the keys to life and death!

100.) How is the status of your heart? Find peace and hope and life in Jesus!

Beholding the Lamb of God

On Sunday, we had our Christmas Celebration at our church. We put on a musical/play based on Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb” CD mentioned in this blog). It was a lot of fun, and it was great hearing people comment on how Lord-honoring it was (thanks, Andrew Peterson). That was our prayer from the beginning. We presented the true story of the coming of Christ from Moses to the cross. Someone told me they never have seen emphasis placed on the death and sacrifice of Jesus presented at Christmas…only the birth. They thought the death was only celebrated at Easter. I had to say that if it wasn’t for His death, His birth would mean very little.

Some of my highlights…

  • Seeing and hearing all the faces of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ…lifting up their voices to the King of Kings! I especially enjoyed hearing my Paige and Michelle sing a lovely duet.
  • It was fun to see my son Benjamin playing the king, as well as Mike.
  • Watching my youngest son play Pharoah (yes, I was concerned when he begged me if he could play the “bad guy”. I think he wanted to wear the cool hat). By his request, he asked Grace, Faith (his sisters), and Allie (a friend) if they could fan him with palm branches (Oh brother, right? Should I be concerned about this?). They graciously did, and I think he was the only one who stayed cool during the play! Mike played Moses, and did a great job!
  • Seeing and hearing Baby James playing the part of Baby Jesus. Ah…the humanity of the Son of God and the Son of Man! A friend at church said this was the first time he ever thought about Jesus crying (it was not a silent night…).
  • Seeing the beautiful cross (made by Mike) appear behind our (foam board) family tree of Christ (based on “Matthew’s Begats”). We had all of the names in the genealogy of Christ, found in Matthew 1, placed on the tree. When we sang “Behold the Lamb”, the tree was moved, and the cross revealed!
  • I couldn’t find my folder…someone had accidentally moved it. So, I had to “wing it” on one song. However, I realized that messing up on a few words reveals my humanity, my imperfections, and it allowed me to share with a few how there is only one perfect, and sweet Lamb of God.
  • It was also neat to see my somewhat reserved daughter, Faith, play an angel—flying solo. She has come a long way this year. It was great to hear and see all the sweet angels singing. I enjoyed seeing the shepherds with their sheep. Thankfully… the sheep did not shed all of their wool (which was the cotton  “baa”-atting that the girls glued onto angel costumes they had made for them). At dress rehearsal on Saturday, the little lambs discovered the sheer delight that could be found from shearing their wool with their own hands—LOL. I am still finding pieces!
  • Seeing Mary and Joseph (Larry and Libby) labor…showing the labor of pain and love that Mary went through (and thankfully our pregnant momma who played this part did not go into real labor…yet!)
  • I also enjoyed trying to visualize what these songs would look like…when acted out, and seeing it all come together. I am thankful for the memories we made as we were remembering our precious Lord and His awesome sacrifice.
  • Glorifying His name, lifting Him up, spreading the good tidings of great joy…that was the ultimate highlight!

Some great verses…

Gen 22:7-8  “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, ‘My father’: and he said, ‘Here am I, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering’: so they went both of them together.”

John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ ”

1Peter 1:18-19  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Rev 5:12  “Saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.’ ”

Rev. 12:11  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Rev 21:23  “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

Kids Naming Kids…Not A Good Idea!

We have a great uncle here in town that is really special to us. He  is the kind of man/friend/relative who would do anything for you. So, the other day, it wasn’t surprising when my seven-year-old said that he wanted to name one of his (twenty, he hopes) kids…”Uncle Andy!” Boy, that really made us laugh. Here is one kid who is not afraid to “say uncle“.

Then, he later went on to mention more names: “Uh-Oh, Nonnie, Grandma, G.G., G.P., Kane, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Troy, Uncle Brad, Uncle Mike, Aunt Cyndi, Aunt Katie,  Aunt Jen, and Uncle Jay,  (and I can’t remember the rest right now)”. Those are definitely one-of-a-kind names and people! I can’t wait to share this info. with his future wife someday! LOL!

This reminded me of the time when Paige and Michelle (then age 3 and age 2) were driving with their grandparents (Nonnie and Uh-Oh), and Nonnie asked them what they thought the new baby’s name should be be (Grace). Paige answered, “We wanted to name the baby “Moocus” (as in…gross mucous…), but Momma wouldn’t let us!” We referred to “snot” as “mucous”  back then (and we still do). Maybe it was “snot” a good idea? Well, my parents said they were laughing so hard that they had to pull their car over just to wipe away their…tears!

Our List of Games That We Love to Play:

One of my favorite memories of growing up in my home was playing games together. We just returned from a lovely Thanksgiving with my parents and brother, and we still enjoy playing games together! I have found most of my games at thrift stores, book swaps, etc. One year for Christmas, our family decided to give each family a new game to play. That was a fun way to get some of the new/cool games (like the Cranium games).

We love games, and have game nights…frequently. Sometimes, we have separated based on ages, but usually we all play together (little ones can be partners with the older ones). Sometimes, I have set up game stations (with those games for two) and we have played for a set amount of time (like ten minutes), then when the timer goes off, the winner goes on to play a different game with a different person (kind of like Bunco). The loser will stay and play again. Most of the time, everyone is “game” for playing games. It is sometimes a reward for hard work, and sometimes…it is hard work! We try not to get too competitive with it. We want it to be fun and stress-free, not stressful!

I recommend any of the following games:

Warning: My Long List of Games…

Bible games:

Bible Baseball-All ages (team play). We love this game.

Bible Brainstorm-This is similar to the Cranium game. It involves using words, drawing, acting, etc.

Bible Trivia– My only issue with this game is the title. Is there really anything trivial about the Bible? By Cadaco.

Bible Bingo– By Faith Kids.

Scriptionarylike Pictionary

Word games:

Bananagrams– This has been a fun game. It is kind of like Scrabble, but everyone has their own tiles that they use to make their own set of words (crossword style). Games are fast-paced, and can be played a variety of ways. It fits in your purse, and is great to play anywhere (like restaurants) because the pieces can be washed! This game was voted on as toy of the year last year, and I have to agree. It’s great!

Scrabble-A classic.

Balderdash-a hilarious bluffing word game by Gameworks Creations. You can play your own version of this game with a dictionary. Look up an unknown and archaic word in the dictionary, and one person writes the real definition down on a piece of paper. The other players write down the word and a made-up definition of the word. The person who knows the right answer will read all of the choices out loud. People try to guess which answer is the right one. One point is awarded to you, if people guess your definition. Two points are given if they guess the right definition. Three points are awarded to the one who wrote down the right definition…if no one guesses it.

Boggle Junior

Rummy Roots and More Rummy Roots: These card games have helped to increase our vocabulary knowledge by learning Greek and Roman root words (84 total). Can be played by 8 and up.

The Phonics Game-A wonderful set of games that teaches phonics. I bought this for five dollars at a garage sale…brand new (retails $100, I think)! Again, be watching for deals.

Perquacky– Ages 8 and up. Not as quacky as it sounds. You try to form single words in 2 minutes by rolling dice with letters on them. By Lakeside.

Logic games:

Blokus-ages 5-adult-Strategy game by Educational Insights. This one is awesome!

Chess

Checkers-We were given the BIG set from Cracker Barrel—lots of fun.

Sleuth-(age 10+, 3-7 30 min+) Logic and deduction mystery game by Face 2 Face Games.

Newton’s Apple– 2 players, age 7 to adult. This is made by Briarpatch. This is a great strategy/gravity game!

Mancala-Strategy game. Ages 6 and up.

Geography games:

Take Off-Geography game–fun, but long…

QuickPix-a really fun (and short) geography game-by Aristoplay (www.aristoplay.com)

USA Bingo-by TREND

Multiplication Bingo-by TREND

Electronic games:

Simon

Snap Circuits-My kids enjoy working with batteries and circuits to create different ways to “power” different things. There are hundreds of experiments involving electricity!

Battleship- have an electronic one, 1-2 players, by Milton Bradley

Connect Four-

Math games:

Mighty Mind and Super Mind-(www.mightymind.com) These are great for problem-solving, spatial relationships, etc.

UNO Spin-This is a classic UNO with a spin…lots of fun.

Goose Egg-Dice game for ages 8+. It’s a fun way to practice multiplication tables (#2-#9) by Tah Dah (www.tahdahgames.com)

Dominoes-Yes, you can stack them up for the “domino effect”, or you can learn the rules and have fun too. We like to play Mexican Train dominoes.

Conga- by Cranium. A fun guesstimate game.

Cards-Golf, Nertz, Bunco, and Hand and Foot, (directions for these games can probably be found online).

Swap-lots of fun

Splash! (like spoons, but with plastic dolphins) 3-6 players, ages 5 & up.

Family Math-An excellent book of math games by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson, and Ruth Cossey.

Yahtzee-By Parker Bros. Ages 8 and up. This is a game of shaking, scoring, and shouting. Fun game, but not recommended if any one in the group has a headache…to begin with!

I SPY Eagle Eye by Scholastic ages 5 & up. This one is fun…testing skills of observation. Be the first to spy the object on the game board that matches the object on your card…and you get to ring the bell (Each card and board have only one matching object).

Mosaic Mysteries-a pattern block design activity-by Discovery Toys. I also use pattern blocks.

Tangrams-Seven piece puzzle-it’s great for spatial skills.

Hi Ho! Cherry-O!-This is a fun counting game for little ones (not too little though…small pieces).

Don’t Wake Daddy!This is an exciting game for all, because you never know when Daddy will “wake up”, as you move your peg forward. My funniest memory of this game was stepping on it (that wasn’t the funny part…it was left in the hallway at night (?)), and I really did wake Daddy with my “ouching”!

Get to know you games:

The Ungame-2-6 people, ages 5 & up by TALICOR-AristoplayThis is a talking game. I use the cards at the dinner table to ask questions of each one. Everyone will have a different answer.

Whonu– A great 15 minute game that gets you involved in knowing people in your little group better (similar to Apples to Apples-another fun one…We don’t have this one, but we have played the Bible Edition, and loved it.).

Girl Talk by American Girl

Life Stories-Ages 6-106 -Gets everyone sharing stories and smiles. This is a great one to bring for family gatherings.

Cranium-The Family Fun Game- This is a lot of fun…it gets everyone involved in some way. It says 8 and up. We have used this with 6 and up.

Silly Expressions-Discovery Toys-A fave of little ones…you know…making silly faces and all that. Okay…it’s a fave of the adults too.

Cadoo

You Gotta Be Kidding!- The Crazy Card Game of “Would You Rather…?”-This one is by Zobmondoa and is somewhat gross. It can be played by 2 or more players, age 7 & up.

Last Word-2-8 players, Ages 8 & up, by Buffalogames.com

Animal and History Games:

Herd Your Horses-by Aristoplay, 2-4 players age 8 & up. You learn quite a bit about horses with this game.

Zooreka- Be the first to get all four animal habitats to make a zoo.

Made For TradeA game of early American life. You learn a little history with this one.

Tornado-Hank the Cowdog game-Ages 5 & up, 2-4 players

Classics:

Life by MB-

Trouble

Monopoly, Texopoly, and BibleOp

Generosity by Sound Principles (ages 9-adult; 2-6 players)

Clue, Jr.- logic game

Active games

Barrel of Monkeys, Cup Stacking, Flog Flipping, Flying Geckos, Charades for Kids, Simon Says, Home-made Scavenger Hunts, and various tag games.Other games we have enjoyed are Operation, Sorry, Picture! Picture!

I haven’t even mentioned computer games, but that will have to be a different blog.

Sorry if this list was overwhelming. I was asked to share my recommendations on the games I have. Here is one more game that is a lot of fun. It is a home-made family trivia game:

Make a family trivia game on 3×5 cards. Each family member might write down an event that happened to them over the course of the year (or life), and then they put their name on the bottom. Then, we divide into teams. One person reads them aloud and the teams take turns guessing whom it is about.

We started this about nine years ago—when we were trying to get to know our new brother-in-law. Each person was given three cards to write three things about themselves that they think people might not know. Many referred to the scrapes they might have had. One had named every dog (at least four) by the name of Luke, and it was really a lot of fun. Come on, we keep track of trivia on so many things…why not keep track of your family’s trivia. We just add to it every few years.

“Yes Day”

Years ago (probably close to like six), I had a problem. The problem was that I didn’t particularly like having to tell my kids “NO” so often. Yes, they need to hear it when necessary, but sometimes their disappointment in not getting to play with Play-Doh, or read an epic book together, or ride bikes was softened a bit by having what our family called “Yes Day”.

Okay, so what exactly did we do on “Yes Day”? Well, when a child would ask me if we could do a certain activity…sometimes my  answer was “No, but write that down, and put it in the “Yes Day Jar”. This was simply a can and not a glass jar—I probably don’t need to explain why, right?—that I had painted yellow with the words: “Yes Day” in red. “Yes Day” usually happened once a month. Sometimes, “Yes day” was planned and looked forward to with great anticipation. Other times, it was spontaneous, and just as fun.

“Yes Day” helped to insure that I followed through on my answers of “No, not now…” (which sometimes was translated as “maybe in a hundred years”  to a few of my children).  We always had strips of paper and a pencil in the “Yes Day”can. So, we got their requests in writing. I would have the child write it down, or have my younger ones dictate their request to me (or an older sibling).

It’s been over a year since I have had a yes day (did life get that busy?), and I was reminded of this when I was talking with some mothers of young children the other day. I think one mom said she felt bad saying “no” to her children all the time. Then I interjected, “There is only one day a month that I say ‘yes’!” Boy, did that come out wrong. Then, I went on to explain the “yes day” idea. This was not my original idea. I believe I read about it from Family Fun Magazine (which was one of the only magazines I read during that time…and a great one at that).

So, we had our “Yes Day” on Monday (yesterday)…and we had such a nice time! The kids could hardly wait! We went out for pizza and then we went on a hike. Next was out for ice-cream, and the park. Back home, we did a 500 piece puzzle, watched 2 movies, and we had some fun food along the way! I am so thankful for my family, and the fun we have together. We look forward to our next “Yes Day”

Save It For A Rainy Day!

A few days ago, Bradley had a problem. It was a seven-year-old type of a problem, but it can probably be considered an age-old problem. He had some birthday money that he hadn’t spent yet, and he asked me what he should do with it. Well, I was just recovering from 102 fever, and I told him he could always save it for a rainy day. He seemed to accept that answer, but I think his brain was a bit cloudy.  I guess my brain was a bit cloudy too, because I didn’t even bother to explain this idiom to him.

So, yesterday, he came over to me and asked, “Momma, could you call the weather to see if it is going to rain today…because I think I want to spend my money” (as in “save it for a rainy day”). Oh, that made me smile! Then, I went on to try to explain that a “rainy day” could be the day he accidentally breaks a friend’s special toy and he needs to replace it, or the day he hears of someone else who is having a “rainy (or bad) day”, and he might want to use his money to get something to brighten their day. Then he said, “I know…I think I will spend half of it, and I will get J.D. (a boy that has been sick) something with the rest.”

TN_umbrella_63Speaking of rainy days…years ago, my girls were afraid of them. I tried lots of things…even singing “My Favorite Things” didn’t cut it. So, I had a brainstorm. We would wait for a rainy day to come, and we would all pile into the car and go out looking for someone who was stuck out in the rain without an umbrella. We always had a new umbrella in our car during the rainy season. So, instead of fearing the rainstorms, we went out in them. We weren’t “Storm Chasers” or anything like that. If it wasn’t like…”raining cats and dogs”(an idiom I have yet to research) where we might get into a flood situation or something, we ventured out.

We would start praying and looking for people who were in need of an umbrella. We would roll our windows down, and offer them an umbrella, a Gospel of John, a gospel tract, and a small paper that said, “No matter what the weather, Jesus loves you. The weather is always changing, but Jesus never changes!” (these were all in a baggie). They almost always took these, very gratefully. I’ll never forget this one man whom we gave one to. He told us he had just asked God for a sign, and was contemplating suicide when we drove by. Praise God that He puts people in our path, and umbrellas in our car!

Okay, now I need to go buy an umbrella for a rainy day! It seemed like we stopped having rainy days, and when we finally did, I guess my foggy brain (lack of water, right?) also took a rain check on our “Operation: Showers of Blessings”. Now, bring on the rain!

Ezekiel 34:26  “And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”

What a deal!

Posted under Traditions, We Like Food! - Nov 10th, 09 - No Comments

A friend sent me an e-mail that I thought I would share with any other Whataburger-loving person out there. It mentioned if you dress up in orange from head to toe you will get a free Whataburger on Nov. 10 from 5-8 p.m. I said, “What?” She called them, and was informed that a UT orange shirt and a hat will work fine. What a deal! Are you up for this one? I say we all spray our hair orange!! What do you think? I say: “What a burger!” Now, “orange” you glad I told you about this meal deal? :-) And you thought we only loved chicken? We have been talking about traditions lately; and lately, one of our family traditions has been dressing up for free food!

http://www.whataburger.com/whataburger_serves/

P. S. Look around your house. If you have to buy something…uh…it’s not really a deal. We found an orange bandana, headband, ribbon for hair bows, bracelet, socks, flip flops, and orange nail polish. Thankfully, everyone had an orange t-shirt (I had no idea). Well, tonight at “Orange Night Out”, I think our faces might be a shade of orange as well!

My Favorite Christmas CD

Posted under Admit One, How God Provides, Poetry - Nov 6th, 09 - 2 Comments

I have a secret…my favorite Christmas CD is played year-round at our house! Seriously, I never get tired of it. We have been listening to “Behold the Lamb of God” by Andrew Peterson for three years now. It is by far, one of the most Lord-honoring CDs I have listened to. Three years ago, my sister in TN. gave us the CD for Christmas. Two years ago, two of my sisters and I went to see him in concert. It was awesome then, and it still is now. I just heard that this is his tenth year of the Behold the Lamb tour. I really liked that he was touring with his family (as well as the rest of the band…with their families). We had opportunity to speak with him after the concert. I told him that I loved the fact that he didn’t even have his picture on the front of this CD, and I thanked him for honoring the Lord with his lyrics. He was very humble, and seemed to just want to show people more of Christ, less of him (so refreshing).

So many of these songs I can sing along with, and it allows me to remember the faithfulness of God to His people. It recounts the story of the birth of Christ. It allows me to think of God and to marvel on the thought…Son of God…Son of Man. It brings to mind the kind of mind that I want to have…like the one mentioned in Philippians 2: 5-11:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

It tells of our powerful King and our precious Lamb of God…and draws me to a place where I am beholding Him. Where do I behold Him? In the Bible, I find Him there. His CD is available to listen to (all the songs and words) for free (just no downloads available). Here is that website:
http://andrew-peterson.com/players/btlog/beholdthelamb.html

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas! One of our kids favorite songs is “Matthew’s Begats”. Here, the genealogy of Christ is  set to fun, Bluegrass music. We are tapping our toes as we rattle off all of those names in the family tree of Christ! The challenge…singing this while playing the cup game!

Unbelievably Unbreakable, Huh?

I was combing through an old purse and I found a comb which had the words : “unbreakable” embossed on the side. I thought, Yep…it still has all of it’s teeth. Then, a hair-brained thought broke into my childish brain…”Is it really unbreakable? How unbreakable is it?” So, I tried to bend it. Just as I was thinking: “Wow…it is unbreakable,”—it broke!

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Do you ever do that (or is it just me)? Do you test things out? No, I don’t purposely drop bowls on the floor to see if they will break, but I like to test the validity of some claims. There are some things out there claiming to be true, which really need disclaimers. I am so glad that my God…Jesus Christ…is what He claimed to be…the one true God…full of grace and truth. He broke the chains of sin that enslaved us, and brought us freedom through dying on the cross for our sins, and coming back to life again! He is amazingly and believably unbreakable!

I generally like to play by the rules, and I try not to break them. I don’t really feel that rules are made to be broken. However, I am a person who does break some rules. Why?…because I am human, clumsy, and imperfect. Sin can so easily be rationalized by anyone. The only good in me is Jesus. Jesus, the Holy and Perfect One, is the only one who ever lived that did not break even one of the ten commandments.

However, we (as adults) sometimes forget that these “rules” are put into place for our own safety and protection. My three-year-old son (Bradley) knew we had a rule about not standing on tables, yet he broke the rule. Somehow, he felt at liberty to stand on the table, holding his torch high, because after all, he was trying to be the Statue of Liberty (yes, never mind that he thought the Statue was a “she”, and he was more like the “tempest-tost” toddler…). Poor little guy—unfortunately, when he broke the rule, he also broke his elbow!

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How many times have I written about times of falling down—in my blog alone? This thought has really brought me humbly falling down at the feet of Jesus. The Son of God had not one broken bone. The soldiers did not break His legs (John 19:33  “But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:” and so prophecy was again fulfilled—Psalm 34:20  “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.”). I find that fact amazing, as I have had many broken bones, and one of my boys has had two! I really picture Jesus as such a graceful boy and man. I can’t even imagine Him falling down…ever…or scraping his knee.

Yet, His body was broken for us (1Co 11:24  “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me..’ “). He was gracious to take our sin on Him because of our fall (“In Adam’s fall, we sinned all”). Wait, now that I think about it, He did fall…Matthew 26:39 “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Wow. It is my will that really needs to be broken. What a prayer for me!

Now, let me ask a question: Did Jesus fall when He was carrying the cross? I have always thought that Jesus fell when He was carrying His cross. The truth is that I don’t know for sure if He did or not. I just looked it up, and it is not stated in any of the gospel accounts of His crucifixion (see end note). That is the power of a movie, I guess. It might could be inferred, but the truth of the matter is that it does not state that he fell down. When He was crucified, His skin was broken and bleeding; His hair was pulled out—broken; His Spirit was broken, and ultimately His human body broke down (quit functioning), and He died.

I am sure this absolutely broke His Father’s heart, but…His (Jesus’) brokenness allowed the power of sin (and it’s penalty: death) to be broken. God the Father did not break His covenant (Psalm 89:34  “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”). This was “Operation Redemption”, and all part of His plan. He is a covenant keeper. I am a covenant breaker and consequently…His heart breaker, too.

I rejoice in the knowledge of this truth: Psalm 147:3  “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Jesus is in the business of repairing things. After He broke the power of sin and death—He arose! I’ll never forget when my son Benjamin would sing a little song about what Jesus said right before He ascended into heaven. He was supposed to sing: “I go to prepare a place for you…”; Instead, it came out: “I go to repair a place for you…” What a profound thought!

I am so thankful He does repair so many things, including my deceitful heart (Jer 17:9  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”)! And, I love that He is near to the broken-hearted. I am so thankful I am His child; and when I fall, I have a God who picks us up, and keeps me there ( Psalm 94:18  “When I said, ‘My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.”). May I always keep my eyes on Him (keep finding Him in the Scriptures)…and looking upward. But, don’t worry… I’m speaking figuratively here. For my safety, I will make sure to occasionally look down when I am walking (and to not walk in darkness, but in the light)!

Gospel Account’s of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ:

  • Matthew 27:32  “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.”
  • Mark 15:20-21  “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.”
  • John 19:16-18  “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified…And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”
  • Luke 23:26  “And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”