Archive for the ‘Practical Christianity’ Category

The Gift – a book

Friday, May 8th, 2009

There’s a portion of a song that goes something like, “If you can’t be with the one you love, Honey, love the one you’re with.” (Is that by Will Young?) (Correction on 5/9: My friend Chris, who knows everything about music, told me that this is by Stephen Stills. He also wants you to know that Stills means something by those lyrics quite different from what I say.)

That line can have a variety of meanings, but one spin is reminiscent of the parable of the Good Samaritan told by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Samaritans and the Jews were traditionally enemies, but when a Samaritan took pity on a wounded Jewish man, Jesus said that it was the Samaritan who was truly the neighbor to the Jew, not those who would usually be called “neighbors.” He showed his neighborliness by his behavior.

Think of family love. More and more folks are opening their hearts and homes to adopt children who are not “bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh.” Does this mean they’re not really “family”? Does this mean that the real bond, the stronger bond, is the biological bond? I think most of us realize that it takes more than biology to make a family; you need genuine LOVE.

Sometimes we hear that adopted children worry about this. They wonder if they’re REALLY a part of the adopted family, or if they’re more a part of the birth parents.

I recently purchased a book by Karen Craft and Meghan Branscomb entitled The Gift. This book is a bit about adoption, and a lot about family love. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I do recommend it to you! You can find out about ordering this book on the site Just Sharing a Story.

just-sharing-a-story-cover

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

simple-woman-daybook-small1

Hosted by Peggy

For Today…March 15, 2009

Outside my Window…It will soon be dark on this breezy, chill Sunday. We experienced some slushy rain or wet snow early in the day that didn’t stay, but the foothills did keep their fresh coating of snow. Since I am feeling a bit chilled myself, I’m not venturing out for a walk this late in the day, but will continue to appreciate the warmth emanating from our woodstove.

I am thinking…of the sermon we heard this morning on James 1:2-4,

‘My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.’

The world thinks that joy comes from avoiding trials, which makes sense if the goal of one’s life is to be comfortable, healthy and wealthy.

For the Christian, trials are part of one’s sanctification. Though trials are not ‘good’, in and of themselves, they are used of God to:

  1. Deepen our trust in God
  2. Build our character
  3. Teach us discipline, and
  4. Make us more like Christ


From the learning rooms…We para educators at the Middle School are going to receive some training on the 16 ‘Habits of Mind’ of successful learners. At this point, I will simply list the ‘Habits of Mind’ for you:

  1. Persisting
  2. Managing Impulsivity
  3. Listening with understanding and empathy
  4. Thinking flexibly
  5. Metacognition (Thinking About Thinking)
  6. Striving for Accuracy
  7. Questioning and Posing Problems
  8. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  9. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  10. Gathering Data Through All Senses
  11. Creating, Imagining, Innovating
  12. Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  13. Taking Responsible Risks
  14. Finding Humor
  15. Thinking Interdependently
  16. Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

(This list is from an article by Arthur L. Costa.)


I am thankful for…time to think and reflect, a quiet evening, our dog lying companionably at my feet, and so many more things. The rest of the family are at church this evening, while the two daughters just recovering from flu and I remain at home. I think I’m still well. Every so often I get really chilled, so am trying not to get to close to others, and am washing everything on ‘hot.’

From the kitchen…Today was a ‘day off’ for me, thanks to daughter Laura who showed hospitality to all the members of the family who are well, plus some out-of-town friends who are here for a visit. (Hi, Shawn and Tammy! I enjoyed seeing you this morning at church, and visiting with you both a bit there.)

I am wearing…typical attire for Sunday and this time of year. My clothing themes are COMFORTABLE and MODEST. OK. Here you have it: I’m wearing a deep red stretchy Tee with a black/red/white low-waisted over-blouse, dressy black long-ish skirt, and black leggings.

I am reading…The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Think: Lose the 3 Ps:

  1. Processed foods
  2. Packaged foods
  3. Prepared foods

There’s a lot more to the book, but that’s how far I am into it, and must say I feel like I’m learning some valuable information. I have always thought of us as eating a healthful diet, but there’s room for improvement!


I am hoping…to stay well. Each of the children has been sick with this terrible flu. I don’t want it! This is a trial I do not wish to welcome!

I am creating…lots of vegetarian dishes lately (though The Life Force Diet is not a vegetarian book). I personally am cutting back on all animal products, but especially dairy products, to seek to gain control of my slightly ‘over’ blood cholesterol level.

I am hearing…the quiet hum of my husband’s computer, and a daughter coughing upstairs. Did I mention that this flu ends up with a body-wracking, headache-inducing cough? Poor kids.

Around the house…things are looking neat. We’ve been doing some extra cleaning to try to make this a healthier environment. Outside, my husband has the fruit trees pruned. I’ve asked the children to think about what they want planted in our garden this year. My favorite fresh garden veggies are broccoli, zucchini, and leeks. I think we’re also planning on Romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Tomatoes take a lot of TLC to prosper in our cool, short, damp growing season, but we’re going to give it a try!

One of my favorite things…is playing Lexulous on Facebook. This is a spelling game like Scrabble. If you notice that posts have been scarce lately, well…I’ve been relaxing playing Lexulous at the end of a busy day rather than blogging.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow I’ll try to schedule a doctor visit for our 13-year old son to see how badly he injured his nose while (unsuccessfully) doing a flip on a friend’s trampoline late Friday. I was told there was lots and lots of blood, yet he sounded fairly calm when he called home to tell us about the mishap. It didn’t seem like an emergency room issue at the time, but his nose is swollen, and he assures me that it still hurts. So…We’ll see what the doctor has to say.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

old-family-photo

This is an old family photo taken at Rick’s parents’ place many summers ago. Five of the children are grown now. Only the youngest four are still at home, and the youngest is 13 years old, and taller than me now.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Titus 2 Blog Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The following is the invitation to the Titus 2 Blog Party being hosted by Michelle of She Looketh Well

 

I found out about this ‘party’ through my blogging friend Linda at Remote Treechanger. Thank you, Linda.

Are you a younger woman?

Newly married?

A mama with little children?

or

Are you an ‘older’ woman?

Married for years?

Children all grown?

or

Are you somewhere in the middle?

Some ‘littles’ and some ‘bigs’

or

Are you a single woman?

Young or old?

or

Maybe you are unable to have children?

Maybe a widow?

(I hope I didn’t exclude anyone 😉

What is the point to all the questions?

I just wanted to make it clear that each and every one of you are invited to the Titus 2 blog party!

 

There have been some questions about who the party is really for. My desire in hostessing this party is really for any Christian woman, regardless of her season in life, to gather in one place, to get to know one another, to encourage each other, and I guess, to get some of the lesser known blogs, or newer blogs noticed. I thought a party would be a great way to do it. I have ‘stumbled’ across so many precious Godly women’s blogs that are maybe new or virtually unknown.

So, in answer to the questions, it is for all of you!

 

Please accept this invitation.

Put the party button on your blog.

Write an invitation post (this one is a lovely example)

Encourage others to invite their readers.

Then be sure and link your blog up the week of the party!

Don’t forget the prize giveaway.

Its the perfect gift for any woman.

Who doesn’t love a giveaway?!!

Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.

(Oh, and leave a comment when you have put the button on your blog, I love to go see it!)


She Looketh Well . . . Blog

Simple Devotion

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Hosted by Peggy Hostetler of ~The Simple Woman~

For Today…November 26, 2008

Dear Lord,

I bring you my shortcomings…Lord, You know I hate it when I let my feelings get ‘hurt.’ You say in Your Word that it is an honor to overlook an offense, to be slow to anger, and to be patient. I especially desire to honor you in my closest life relationships, with those who know me the best.

I bring you my worship and praise…that with You there is forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7). When I look to You, for forgiveness, for your grace, and for sanctification, my heart is light!

I bring you my prayer… Please forgive me, Lord, when I act as if I sanctify myself by my own works, when it is Your grace I need, not only for salvation, but for sanctification as well.

You spoke to me…in the book of Esther recently. When Esther is faced with danger if she does the right thing, her cousin Mordecai encourages her, saying, ‘Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esther 4:14b). We each have our own challenges and calls to duty, custom made for us by the Lord. In whatever situation I find myself, I will be brave and faithful, by God’s grace, to do the right thing.

An Interview with the President-elect

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Here is a link to an interesting interview with President-elect Obama that occurred four years ago concerning his religious faith.

There are so many wild ideas flying around the blogosphere concerning the President-elect that I thought you might enjoy this. I found out about this interview on Tim Challies’ blog. There’s plenty of food for thought here. Enjoy.


 

Sunday Musings

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

This has been a busy, enjoyable Sunday.

One of the blessings was seeing our pastor and his family again. They were back in church with us after their vacation in Kauai, Hawaii. We missed them, and are thankful for their safe return.

The pastor’s sermon this morning was based on Numbers 20:1-13, the part in the history of the Israelites in the wilderness where Moses struck the rock to bring forth water for the thirsty people, rather than speaking to the rock, as God commanded.

The sermon was entitled ‘The Danger of Anger.’ Moses was frustrated with those grumbling children of God, and let them know it by his display of anger, rather than delivering the gracious message of God’s provision, trusting that the Lord would sanctify His people in His way, in His time.


The pastor applied this to church elders and to parents, who can become frustrated with those under their charge, when they don’t progress as hoped. Those in authority must beware of being motivated by anger or frustration. We all need to remember God’s graciousness to us. We look to Him for forgiveness of sins, remembering what Christ has done for us. We, likewise, are to extend that graciousness to others.

One thing I appreciate about our pastor’s sermons is that they are meant for the entire congregation, including the children and young people. We are a ‘young’ church, with possibly half of our congregation under the age of 18. (Now I will have to make the effort to count and see if that’s correct!) It is, therefore, very important that these young ones benefit from the preaching of God’s Word!


Today also we shared the role of ‘hospitality hosts’ with another family in the church, and had four families over to our home for enjoyable conversation, and a buffet meal (barbequed meatball sandwiches, salad, apple crisp, and date cranberry bars).

In about half an hour we leave for evening worship, where we look forward to hearing a sermon on Romans 14:1-12 entitled ‘A Warning Against Passing Judgment.’

I hope you all are enjoying a blessed Lord’s Day also.

Father’s Day

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

As I was doing some reading this afternoon, I came across a great Father’s Day post over at Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspectives blog. It is his advice to dads and granddads on being the kind of men God would have them to be to their children and grandchildren. It is a bit long, but well worth the read. Mom’s will like it, too, for the good generic parenting advice.

Change of Plans

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” – Proverbs 19:21 (King James Version)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established.” – Proverbs 19:21 (Revised Standard Version)

This is one of THOSE days. You know, the kind where your well-laid plans will simply not work out. Throughout this busy week, I looked forward to today, hopeful that:

  • I could get some extra cleaning done. Now that I’m working almost full time, there just isn’t time and energy during the week to maintain things at home as nicely as I would like.
  • I wanted to help serve a pancake breakfast/lunch at our church. This is to offset some of the travel expenses of camp this summer for some of our young people.
  • Since Spring has definitely sprung, Rick wanted us to go on a family outing today.
  • And, just in case time and energy permitted, I wanted to pull some weeds and put in a few perennials near the house.

Well . . . Yesterday I initially thought that seasonal allergies had hit me with a vengeance. Sneezing, itchy eyes, etc. Now, however, sore throat, headache, fever and chest congestion have been added to the mix. The sickness which hit several other family members this past winter, which I thought I had well escaped, is now my very own.

When I was a child, I looked forward to being just a little bit sick, so that I could stay home from school for a day, and snuggle under the covers with a good book. (Gasp! Bad example, I know.) At this point, however, I think I’m more at the stage where a little bit to eat and a hot drink will suffice, and then I need to go back to sleep. I’m just too tired to read.

I’m still hopeful, though. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be well enough to go to church. Probably, though, the responsible thing will be to lay low, to minimize passing on this bug to others.

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:13-17 (King James Version)

(Image from Snapshots of Joy.)

What’s special about Sunday?

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I enjoy reading the Reformation 21 blog, but had fallen behind on reading the posts there. Last Sunday, one of my favorite authors at that site, Rev. Richard Phillips, posted a great short article on what it means to keep the Lord’s Day holy. I hope you find it as helpful and refreshing as I did. 🙂

(Image from Snapshots of Joy.)

True Love

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

I John 3:16-18

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

I know this isn’t my usual type of post. I’m not claiming to be a Bible teacher, but am thinking about Love For The Brethren, and am talking out loud to you, Dear Reader. I am at home with my dear Lydia who is sick with flu (boo hoo!), rather than at the evening worship service with the rest of the family. I love the book of I John, so that’s what I picked up to read this quiet Sunday evening.

In verse 16 I note that God the Son, Jesus Christ, has already shown His love to us in laying down His life for us. Regardless of what emotions I might be feeling at any given time, and regardless of circumstances being difficult, the fact of the matter is that God has already shown and is continuing to show ultimate love. In this I take comfort, and my heart is calmed.

Next, in verses 16 and 17, I notice the following things about the love Christians are to have for others, especially for the brethren:

  1. Love is willing to be inconvenienced (and more) for the sake of others.
  2. Love wants to know other people to the extent of knowing what their needs are. It isn’t shallow or superficial with others.
  3. Love is desirous to help meet the needs of those it professes to love at cost to oneself.
  4. Love shows itself by truly loving, helpful works.
  5. Love doesn’t PRETEND that everything is OK when it’s not.

I pray God that He would grow me in grace, that I might love Him more and that I might have this miraculous love for others.

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(Image from Snapshots of Joy.)