Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Just a short note to say Happy New Year to all my blog friends. I am excited to see what 2009 holds for all of us (The Rapture? maybe). Anyway, I pray that you all have a blessed New Year! (And who knows? Next time you visit Waiting for the Shout, things may look a little different - New Year...new look? Maybe ;-).

Revelation 21:3-5

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Breaking My Blog Fast

**UPDATED** I added a few more pictures to this post. Yesterday, Blogger was not working correctly and it would not let me add any more pics and it still will not allow me to post captions beside the pics......maybe blogger is mad that I took such a long break~!


So, Christmas is over and so is my blog fast. It was a much needed break since things have been so busy around here. You probably dont know this, but I tend to put unessecary pressure on myself to meet my goal of blogging three times per week (even when I have nothing to say-- as you all well know and if you didnt know, you will find out by the end of this completely boring post). And, yes, I do realize that blogging is not my job, but when I set a personal goal, I am just anal OCD enough that I feel I must meet it (with the exceptions of weight loss and exercise of course). On a side note, I would like to point out that even though I have taken an extended leave of absence from the blog, I have not lost my mad striking skilz.

Thank you all for your Christmas wishes. I hope your Christmas was a blessed one filled with lots of fudge, cakes, non-dry turkeys, sweet potato casseroles (much like the cold one that I make ), appropriate presents that you did not have to return, relatives that did not get on your nerves, and most of all Jesus.

Speaking of gifts that you dont have to return.......I wonder, is there anyone left in the world (besides my Father in Law) who still likes fruitcake? Seriously, I would hate for Claxton to go out of business, but why are people still giving fruitcakes for Christmas gifts? Just curious.

We had a good Christmas here. Seems like they go by way too fast. My house looks like a tornado swept through leaving a wake of toys and games behind. Somehow, we ended up with more toys than Toys R Us (how would one make a backwards R on this thing?). We never buy the boys toys for Christmas, only clothes, they love that ;-). And Santa brings them three toys each. The vast majority of toys come from the grandparents and aunts - for which we are eternally grateful, because while they junk up my house, they also provide hours of entertainment which in turn allows me to do laundry, clean, and blog. So, lots of toys = win/win for everyone.

As I type, Lake is playing a Playstation game that Aunt Lisa got him. It is called The Bible Game. The player plays games like Daniel in the Lion's Den (played to the song "Indescribable") and The Tower of Babel (where you try to get the tower to fall), and then there are Trivia Questions, which are not easy. It is really a fun game (I lost at it last night - I landed on Wrath of God in the Grace of God final round and locusts ate all my points - sounds cheesy, but it is actually a great teaching tool).

We sang this song in church yesterday

And Kaden has been walking around the house pumping his hands in the air singing "We praise our hands in the sanctuary"......gets his mad lyrical skilz from his dad who makes up words to songs because he has lyrical altzheimers......

So, in the spirit of all things "SALE", I went to Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond, KMart, Lowes, Decorator Warehouse, and Stein Mart to purchase leftover Christmas stuff. Got lots and lots of stuff on the cheap (like I have somewhere to put it all). If I am not mistaken, I have enough wrapping paper to last until the year 2020 or until Jesus comes back. (Hopefully the latter will come first! - Woohoo! 2009 might be our year, people!)

Every year for Christmas, the hubs and I give all our family members a calendar with pictures of our boys on it. (Because what says I'm cheap"I love you" more than a personalized calendar? And doesnt EVERYONE want to count down their year with MY kids? ;-) (Seriously, all those calendars ARE expensive...$18 a piece!.....and I have lots of family......whatever.) This year, apparently there were snow storms that caused outages at 2 of the three Fuji labs that our Wal-Mart uses to make their calendars. I was told that the calendars would likely not make it by Christmas Eve. But God.......wonder of all wonders, Wal-Mart Photo Lab called at 7 pm on the 23rd and said "Come and pick up your calendars!".....Praise the Lord, 2009 can proceed as scheduled for our families. I was worried that we would have to continue 2008 for a little while longer until the calendars came in and I am seriously ready for 2008 to be over, people! OVER!

Well, I am sure there are a thousand and one other things I could bore you to tears with (like ALL 250 of my Christmas pictures), but I will save those for later....cause there is only so much boredom a person can take in one day (I like to spread out the boredom so it isnt so boring, if you know what I mean).....I will be back later in the week and hopefully back on my three posts per week schedule next week. Thank you those of you mom,dad who have read to this point.......Here are a few pics from Christmas - blogger is acting weird or there would be captions.....











Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hey Blog Friends!
I have not forgotten you or my blog. I have been so busy with Christmas preparation and a few other things that blogging time has been non-existent. Today, I took the kids to the mall to have their pictures made with Santa (it's a tradition now) and I went to Belk to pick up some make-up.....the lady at the make-up counter reminded me several (and I mean SEVERAL) times that they give professional makeovers for just $35. It's enough to give a girl a complex. Anyway, I will not be back on the blog until after Christmas so I wanted to wish all my blog friends a Merry Christmas. You all bring me lots of joy and happiness. I love your comments and so enjoy the fellowship that we have even though many of us have never met in person. You guys are a blessing to me and such and encouragement.

I am praying that all of you have a Jesus-filled Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!





Friday, December 19, 2008

While You Were Sleeping




"While You Were Sleeping"

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Long Time, No Type

So, in the past few weeks I have violated my own "blog three days a week" rule. I hate it when I break my own rules. As I said in my earlier teeny tiny post, I have been too busy doing life to write about it. If I told you all the things that I have been doing over the past week, your head would spin. And you know what? I bet if you told me all the things you have been doing lately, my head would spin too. We are all WAY too busy, especially at this time of the year.

I wish I had some spiritual truth to impart to you, but it seems that I have been too busy to hear any truth being spoken over me lately.....oh wait, maybe that IS the spiritual truth I am supposed to share. When we get caught up in a flurry of activities and responsibilities, our ears can become deaf to the voice of God. And He desperately wants to speak to us.

Have you ever felt disconnected to one of your children? You talk, but they are too involved with something else to listen to you...like what they are doing is more important than what you have to say to them. I bet that is exactly how God feels with us. He speaks, but we are so involved in our whirlwind lives that we cant hear Him .....or we choose not to hear Him.

I think too often we see God as this big deity somewhere up in the sky who is waiting to rain on our parade that we forget that He loves us like no one else ever could. He loves each of His children equally, yet differently, just like we love our own children equally yet differently. When our kids ignore our voice, many times it is because they are afraid we are going to correct them or discipline them......we do the same thing with God. And many times that is exactly what He does....correct and discipline, but I wonder how many times we ignore Him when He just wanted to say "I love you, daughter" or "I love you, son".............I wonder how many rhema words I have missed because I was too busy or too stubborn to stop and listen.

Yes, I think that is the spiritual truth that I am supposed to share with you today (or maybe it's just for me). This is the day that the Lord has made, let us slow down to listen and be glad in it......(that's from the BBV - Beth's Blog Version). Have a great day, ya'll!

Monday, December 15, 2008

In case you were wondering......

In case you were wondering, I have not forgotten that I have a blog. I have been a tad busy this past week and unfortunately life has gotten in the way of blogging as it does so often.......I will be back soon to share some life changing information with you.......okay that may be a slight exaggeration, but I WILL be back soon........and I am sure by then I will have something to say...................

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WorthShip

Have you ever felt like seeking God is hard work? I mean we put pressure on ourselves to have consistent daily quiet times, go to Bible study, be at church every time the doors are open, and "be good little Christians". Nothing wrong with trying to be a good Christian or having set daily quiet times or going to church/Bible study (those are all admirable things), but are we doing those things in order to seek God or out of duty? Are our actions sincere or are we simply going through the motions.


No where in the Bible does it say "Thou shalt go through the motions necessary to make a good impression on God and others". God knows our hearts even better than we do. He knows when we are sincere and when we are playing church or trying to get the "Christian of the Year Award". I think all too often we forget that everything we do should be an act of worship to God.......not just going through the obligatory daily routine.



In John 4:19-24, Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well..........

"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."


The word worship in this verse comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "weorthscipe" which literally means "worthship". When we worship in Spirit and in Truth, we are showing God how much He is worth to us...........and sadly, when we go through the motions and "half-heartedly semi-worship" out of obligation, we are also showing God how much He is worth to us.
I think we limit worship to what happens in the pews at the local church, but when we are given new life in Christ, we are called to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.....not just on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesdays at 6:30, but in our daily lives. Everyday worshippers are the ones God is seeking -- people who can worship God in Spirit and in Truth without a worship leader and a 3 bullet-point sermon. See, where you worship really doesn't matter, Whom you worship and HOW you worship Him is is what is really important. The steeple and the pews are irrelevant to a person who desires to worship in Spirit and in Truth.


John 4 says that the Father actually SEEKS those who truly worship Him in Spirit and in Truth........the word "seeks" here means to enquire, desire, to seek after. God enquires about, desires, and seeks after those who drop the Phariseeical obligations and simply worship Him for Who He is.

So, if you see seeking God as hard work......stop working and start worshipping......and then HE will seek YOU!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not much

Busy day today. House stuff. Laundry here, etc. Lake b-ball practice. The hubs Christmas party for work -- figuring out what to wear so I don't look like a dork (hope I win a good door prize ;-). Anyway, you get my point....not much blogging time for me today. But here are a couple of things I wanted to share.....................


A friend of mine from church told me about this site that does a blog personality test. Thought some of you might be interested in trying it (if you haven't already...I am usually the last person to know about these type things). Here is what it said about my blog...............



ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.


I am not sure about the management thing...I have a degree in Management and have never had a problem telling people what to do.....;-) hahhaaha


Another friend of ours at church has a son who is in the running to be in Gap Kids advertisements. If you want to, you can vote for him every day for the next couple of weeks. He is in the 5-10 yr old category and his name is Jett......bottom right corner. He really does look like the ultimate Gap kid, so if you get a chance, cast a vote for him here:

http://gap.eprize.net/castingcallphase2/index.tbapp?affiliate_id=2c


Hopefully, there will be more time for blogging later on.......

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree and a Meme

Since I am going out of town tomorrow (just for the day), I thought I would post my Christmas tree thingie a little bit early..........

So, it's Christmas Tree Friday. For those of you who are playing along by posting pics of your tree and/or favorite ornament, please leave a comment so we can all go to your blog and see your tree. I would make this a Mr. Linky/sticky post, but I have no idea how to do that, so let's just do it the old fashioned way.........it will help you empathize with the early settlers in this vast territory we call blog land.



I took pictures of my trees and I realized that they look just like the pictures of my trees from last year....could be because they are the same trees with the same ornaments. Matter of fact, if you had come to my house 8 years ago, you would have seen the same trees and the same ornaments (well, for the most part). So, if you are a little leery of putting your Charlie Brown tree out there for the world to see......don't be....you are in good company. Seeing everyone's trees might actually give us all some inspiration and cause us to be better tree decorators next year (or this year if you are my sister and don't put your tree up until the week of Christmas and take it down in late March).




This is the tree in our dining room.....it has all the kids ornaments on it.........
























This tree is in our living room. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.....well, the same last year and the year before and the year before.........love the ornaments - they are all gold and glass........next year, when I have a NEW tree (did ya hear that hubs...hint hint -- he doesn't even read this blog ;-) I think we will add some color........


















This is a little hard to see, but it is a tree that has Snow Buddies on it....the tree is really skinny and only 5 ft tall.



















These are some of my favorite ornaments. The one in the middle says Jesus (can hardly see it -- my photographer stinks - I am firing her as soon as this post is published). Then there are the ones the boys made that are in the shape of a cross and an Icthus....you can also see one that is a glass ball with the wise men and the stable on it....................













So, Stephanie tagged me for a meme.....I know you are thinking how blessed you are to get to see inside my home AND inside my head all in one day...........I'm supposed to answer the following questions with one word (anyone who knows me in real life knows that one word answers are not possible for me and following man made rules is a little difficult for me, so I will do my best --- and that's the best I can do).

1. Where is your cell phone? Side pocket of my new purse that I think is so pretty (the purse not the pocket--had been using my old purse for a long time --- very thankful for the new one.


2. Where is your significant other? Work

3. Your hair color? Reddish/blondish


4. Your mother? Donna - for more information, visit her on the web at http://www.anchoredontherock.blogpsot.com/

5. Your father? Eddie - for more information, visit him on the web at http://eddie-eddiesplace.blogspot.com/


6. Your favorite thing? raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings.....these are a few of my favorite things

7. Your dream last night? cant dream if you don't sleep


8. Your dream/goal? too many to list...I am only supposed to use one word in my answers!


9. The room you’re in? den


10. Your hobby? blogging


11. Your fear? that a snake will come up out of my toilet while I am sitting on it


12. Where do you want to be in six years? raptured


13. Where were you last night? a friend's house


14. What you’re not? skinny, rich, gorgeous, a liar, fake, a musician, regular


15. One of your wish list items? new boots


16. Where you grew up? I was raised Blountville.....AKA. Blount-vegas in the great state of Tennessee, Baby!!! I will tell you where I am when I actually grow up.

17. The last thing you did? put some goldfish crackers in a bowl for Kaden


18. What are you wearing? My daily mommy uniform.....jeans, a hoodie, and my Merrell's


19. Your T.V.? black tube type TV currently showing cartoons--- you know the kind they keep telling us will not work in January because the whole world is going digital??? Yeah, that's us. I am not a fan of TV with the exception of January - April during American Idol or while watching Fox News (or Life Today)


20. Your pet? saltwater fish --they hate me---don't ask


21. Your computer? HP Pavilion -- flat screen monitor, yet no flat screen TV in this house---tell you anything? We actually got a flat screen for the new house, but it is still in the box ............


22. Your mood? a little dazed and confused


23. Missing someone? my sane self

24. Your car? filled with travertine samples, cabinet doors, tile samples, paint chips, and various things the kids have made in Sunday School for the past few weeks


25. Something you’re not wearing? Depends undergarments, a kilt, a band uniform, a thong, support hose, parachute pants, a gun, an oxygen mask, leg warmers, braces, a flower in my hair, a Member's Only jacket, a jock strap, welding gear, a shirt with my name on it, a fireproof suit, a turban......this could go on forever---guess that's why you are only supposed to use one word.


26. Favorite store? all stores that have 50% - 70% off


27. Your Summer? Disney..........have I mentioned that I would love to live in Cinderella's castle and my children tell me everyday how much they miss Disney?


28. Love someone? yes, several someones


29. Your favorite color? ORANGE!


30. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday when Kaden said "Mommy, instead of cutting me and Lake out of your belly when we were born, why didn't the doctor just slap you on the back so you could burp us up?" Yeah, that's my boy............


31. Last time you cried? I laughed so hard I cried, a few days ago when I was reminded of the police chase that happened during my high school graduation (yeah, we ARE TN rednecks, people......). One of my friends (Justin) was playing a beautiful piece on the piano while another guy (who I didn't know very well--okay we went all through school together, but we weren't close) ran from the police. He actually stepped on graduates (one of which was yours truly - stepped right on my white gown!) that were seated listening to the guy play the piano.....the guy who was running, got up on the stage and said "You're not gonna take me out!" (or something to that effect) as the deputies lunged toward him.....it went on for about 15 minutes during our graduation. Why was he running you ask? Well, he had sewn a Harley Davidson bandanna to his cap and gown and the school officials would not allow him to walk with our class (I use the term "class" very loosely)........................fun times brought back to memory by Facebook.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Little Less Heavy Than the Last Post and a Chance to Play Along

So, since my last post was a little shall we say, unpopular, I thought it was time to lighten things up a little and you know what that means, right?????............

You guessed it correctly, time for a little randomness (for those of you who are still reading this blog after my last post ;-).................................


First, I would just like to say that I PATIENTLY followed a man on a back hoe for 7 miles on the way home from taking Lake to school this morning. Yes, here in TN people drive farm equipment right on the main highways. It's like living in Amish country except our farmers drive John Deere's instead of horses and we have electricity. Only in Tennessee, people, only in Tennessee.

I am under the gun on the Christmas card picture this year. Normally, I would have already had the picture taken, printed, the envelopes addressed and stamped with this years Christmas stamp. This year, however, I have run into a couple of roadblocks. The first roadblock is that I haven't actually had time to get the boys into their obligatory "Christmas card outfits" that we bought them to take the pictures and the second roadblock is I have no idea of what background to use. And Cassie, you can rest assured that I will not be carrying any furniture into my yard for this.....while your pictures are very good (as usual), I do not have the drive (or the Nikon) to take such fancy pics..................so, any and all suggestions are appreciated.........especially from those of you who are professional or amateur photographers (unlike me who has the point and shoot and doesn't know focus from zoom about photography;-).

So, you have probably heard that the University of Tennessee has picked Lane Kiffin as their new head coach to replace the ousted Phil Fulmer. I don't really know much about Kiffin other than that he is like 12 and has a reputation of not playing well with others. I hear that his dad will be bringing him to all the games, so maybe behavior will not be an issue. Hopefully, he will pull TN out of their losing streak.

I am getting kind of sick of seeing tree hugger bumper stickers on cars (no offense to those of us who actually do love trees). You know the ones I am talking about.....the Subaru Outback with the Universalist Unitarian Church sticker, the sticker that says "Torture is a Moral Issue", "Who Would Jesus Bomb"?, Save the Orcas, Save the Three Toed Tree Sloth, Save the Red-Eyed Tree Toad, Honk if you Love Mother Earth (who is "mother earth" anyway?)............... You've seen 'em, right? These people cover their cars in bumper stickers and think that people following them can read them all without x-ray vision.........accident waiting to happen if you ask me.......(do these people really believe that their bumper sticker is going to put a fire in my belly for the plight of the horny toad????).....Forgive me if this is stereotyping, but it seems that the people who drive these cars are always the ones going 20 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane.

Yesterday morning, I drank a large cup of Mayfield Egg Nog. Good stuff. After I drank it, I decided to check to see how many calories a cup of egg nog contained............To my horror, I found that egg nog is not measured in cups, but half cups and each half cup equals 180 calories. A Half cup of egg nog? Why even bother? By my calculations, I drank 480 calories in one cup yesterday morning...........why is it that all things that taste good make us fat? Just another way that life as we know it, is completely unfair ;-)

This is my new favorite song. Once I start singing it, I cannot stop. I find myself dancing and pretending that Mandisa is actually in my house and singing backup for me.......You have no idea how many times I have actually said, "Mandisa, come on!" like she is really here in my living room..............yes, I do have a problem. The first step is admitting it. What's the second step?

Last night my kids were watching a Christmas show on Nickelodeon while I was checking emails. A commercial came on that caught my attention. There was a bald guy standing with his arms crossed and he said, "If ever there was an all American gay boy, then I am it"........My ears perked up and I said to myself....did he just say "gay boy"?.............before I could switch channels, I heard him say that he is HIV positive.........I will admit that I didn't hear the whole commercial, I was too busy falling all over myself trying to get to the channel changer...........All American gay boy?? What is up with that? My kids have no idea what being gay is and I cant understand why on earth Nickelodeon would think that commercial is appropriate for a children's channel. I was already opposed to most of the programming on Nick (well, the shows that come on after 1 pm). Now we cant even watch commercials on cartoon channels? Does the phrase "hell in a handbag" mean anything to you? It should, because that is exactly where this world is going.............................

OKAY, here is the part where you can play along......I think it would be fun to post pictures of our Christmas trees and our favorite ornaments. Believe me, my tree is NOT spectacular in any way (matter of fact the whole back of it is pretty much gone, but it faces a wall, so no one knows). I love looking at other people's trees, so if you want to on Friday, post a picture of your tree and/or your favorite ornament(s). This could be lots of fun.........hope you will play along......I wont tag anyone because I dont want you to feel pressured.........

Okay, enough with the randomness.......Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just How Narrow IS The Way (Warning: This post may not be popular)

**I am going to go ahead and preface this post by warning you that its contents may offend some people. As a matter of fact, this post may actually cause some of you to delete my blog from your favorites list, but these are thoughts that have been spinning around in my head for some time and it is time that I put them down on paper (well, on computer). If you are offended by these words, ask yourself why you are offended................**

Recently in blog land AND in the real world I have been accused of being narrow minded. I wont lie, there is truth in that accusation. I do tend to see things in black and white and I am vocal about my views. Am I always right? Of course not, but when it comes to spiritual views, I make no apology for being narrow. Yesterday, in his sermon, our pastor reminded us of a very simple truth: Truth is ALWAYS narrow. Doesn't 2 + 2 always equal 4????

Lately, I have been thinking alot about how Christians blend in with the rest of the world. So much so that at times it is hard to tell the difference between a follower of Christ and the God-less. I am sure that satan laughs at how much God's people act like his people. Because, the narrow truth is that you are one or the other....you either belong to satan or to God....according to the Bible, there is no 'in-between'.

We know there is no middle ground when it comes to following Jesus, we are either hot or cold....luke warm will get you spewed out of His mouth, right? Matthew 7:13-14 tells us "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it" .Yet, we continue to ask "Just how narrow is the way that leads to life?" Instead of taking Him at His word that the way to righteousness is very narrow, like children, we keep testing the limits to see how far we can go without going to far. I could give you example after example of how we put our hands on the cookie jar and look up at God to see if He will smack our hand or allow us to have the cookie.

As Christians, we are called out of darkness and into the light. We are to put off our old selves. Behold He makes all things new. We are to steer clear of even the appearance of evil, yet you can enter any restaurant and watch those who call themselves Christians drinking the same alcoholic drinks that the rest of the world is drinking. The devil loves for a Christian to give the appearance of evil....and don't we associate alcohol with evil? Drunk drivers, drunken wife /child beaters, etc ,etc.???

Many will argue that in Bible days, the people drank wine.......and it's true, but they drank at least 3 parts water to one part wine, so it wasn't the wine of today. Others would say that Paul urged Timothy to use a little wine to settle his stomach....that is also true, but today we have all sorts of medicines to remedy an upset stomach. And let's be honest, if you use these passages as excuses for drinking, then I have to ask you if you adhere to the Bible in every other instance as you do when it comes to drinking alcohol. See, we Christians love to twist the words of the Bible to suit our own pleasures and trust me, satan loves nothing better than when we twist God's Word in order to justify our sin. How do I know that Christians twist the word of God to suit their own purposes? I have done it myself many times.

As I said earlier, the Bible tells us to stay away from even the appearance of evil. God knew that we would have opportunity after opportunity to ruin our witness just by hanging out in places we shouldn't hang out and doing things that would cause people to question our testimony. Even the Christian now days rarely errs on the side of caution. Fifty years ago, a Christian thought about the appearance of evil and what the rest of the world would think of them if caught in an ungodly place or in a compromised position (a good example is that years ago it was unheard of for a young man to be allowed to be alone with a young woman). Yet today, we think it's okay to go to the R rated movie even though we know there will be cursing and nudity. Many Christians think it's okay to go to bars just to fit in with the crowd, to live with someone that is not your spouse, to cheat the government, to cheat on your wife/husbandto gamble, etc etc. We have forgotten the verse that commands us to do nothing that would cause our brother to stumble. Jesus hung out among the sinners in order to influence them not to fit in with them.

Why do Christians think this way? Because we have "broadened" our minds and in turn taken it upon ourselves to broaden the narrow way. The narrow way has been replaced by complacency to sin, and complacency that remains unchecked will ALWAYS result in spiritual death (and possibly physical death). We have decided that we would rather be popular than good (and that we would rather our kids be popular than good). Unfortunately, what is popular is rarely right. It is as if the emergent church mindset has crept in and taken over even the most conservative. Our deep love of the world has caused us to ask God over and over "Just how narrow IS the gate?", when we should really be asking Him to help us stay STRAIGHT on the path without veering to the right or left.

Might be time to check our relationship with Jesus and ask Him to show you where we are just like the world and where we need to narrow your thinking. The world is always going to call us narrow minded, but the world is not our final judge....Jesus is and the path to Him is very NARROW. At the Rapture, I have a feeling that many who call themselves Christians will be surprised to find that the way was much more narrow than they thought.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Just Checking In **UPDATED to Include Pictures**

***See bottom of post for update***




Thanksgiving, the holiday not the state of mind, is over for another year. I cooked for 2 days straight and I think it might actually have helped my diet (well, the diet I have intended to start every Monday for several years now). When I prepare lots of food, it kind of takes the fun out of eating it for some reason. Suppose I should be thankful for that.

I baked a whole turkey again this year. Apparently I forgot how disgusting it was last year. This is the second year that I brined the bird. If you don't know what brining is, think of floating your turkey in a solution of spices and salt water for 24 hours before baking it....that's brining. It's the kosher way of fixing the bird, but really, we aren't Jewish. I place the bird in a huge clear plastic container in my fridge the day before I cook it.....it looks like some sort of freaky science experiment. I mean really, if you want me to throw up, show me a turkey bird floating in its own ummmm "juices" in my fridge (juices is the nicest way I can think of to explain all the gross stuff that comes out of that fowls orifices). Nasty is one word that comes to mind.

Anywho.........you guys may not know that I love salt. I always got into trouble for eating salt straight out of my hand when I was little (and when I was in high school). Why am I telling you this? Well, because it will let you know that the turkey I fixed was one of the saltiest pieces of meat I have ever put into my mouth. If I say something is salty....it IS salty. I threatened my dad and hubs with their lives if they said anything other than "This is the best turkey I have had in my entire life". They complied and other than a few comments, the sodium content of my bird was not discussed any further. These people should know better than to depend on me for a complete Thanksgiving meal.......I am only 36 years old for crying out loud.......a person should be at least 45 before expected to prepare a completely edible Thanksgiving meal!!!


In case you were wondering, I didn't go shopping today. I saw several ads for some really good deals, but the last time I went shopping at 4 am on Black Friday, I lost my Christian attitude by 5:30 am and I have decided that it is better for me to pay the difference than to hurt my witness (people get ugly when it's early and they want to be first in line for the "deal of the year").

So, I just wanted to check in and say that I am still alive and still Thankful even though Thanksgiving is over. My dad is here until tomorrow. Tonight we will be going to my sister's to eat some pizza and play some games. Maybe we can take some pictures to prove that we are actually related ;-).



Hope everyone has a great weekend. Have fun putting up your Christmas decorations.....don't want to rub it in, but mine have been up for a month now................








Me trying to look interested while the Geek Squad looks at my sister's new laptop.....I think they are irritated at my lack of interest...or maybe it is my lack of knowledge....not sure. Is it just me or are they looking at me with evil eyes?















My attention span is really quite short for a person my age.

















Proof that Bethanne, Alliekat, and Eddies Place are truly blood relatives (although I do not look like either of them, I am thinking that the adoption stories my sister told me when I was little might actually be true)......






These photos were taken by my brother in law who used to be a photographer for a living as evidenced by the very staged pose. Seriously, its like being at Olan Mills.
The picture on the wall behind me makes my hair look even bigger than it really is (who knew that was possible)....I kind of like it though...remember my motto: "The bigger the hair, the smaller the butt".

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Results Are In and I am Back

The hubs and I are back from a very successful trip to Pigeon Forge, but I am happy to report that our Christmas shopping is done (with the exception of a few things). God be praised. We had a great time, great fun, great food and we are extremely tired. I will be wrapping up many of our purchases today (because we have no room for them in our house except under the tree).
I would show you some of the wonderful deals we got, but most of the people we bought for read this blog.
I have to say that the outlet mall we go to was not extremely busy and many of the stores in it are closing. Unfortunately many of the employees at the stores will be losing their jobs by the end of the year. We really need to keep the people who are losing their jobs in our prayers this holiday season....there are so many that are facing dire circumstances right now and we tend to forget how blessed we really are (or maybe it's just me).

I really appreciate all your comments from this weekend. Even though out of hundreds of hits, there were only 28 comments -- come on people, what's a girl have to do to get you to comment? A giveaway? Yeah, we'll see, maybe I can do that soon too. While I don't know who left each anonymous comment, I have prayed over each one of them and am asking God to help each of you with your struggle in that area. I hope to use this information in future posts and I have another idea swimming around in my otherwise empty head, but will have to see what the Lord is up to before moving ahead with that.

So, my dad is coming to stay with us for Thanksgiving which means that I will be spending today and tomorrow throwing junk in closets and under beds cleaning and straightening. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent in the kitchen (which still has no microwave -- I am like the women in days of old, ya'll). So, my blogging time will be severely hindered by my household chores (dern - where's the maid when I need her? Oh wait, I AM the maid -- dern again).

Since I wont have a chance to blog much this week, I thought I would post some of the recipes that I will be making for Thursday........(in addition to these we will be having rolls, deviled eggs, creamed corn, green beans, dressing, turkey, spiral ham.......can ya tell I haven't had breakfast yet??)


My Sister’s Sweet Potato Casserole (served cold --- it is soooooo good!!!)

Layer 1
Crushed Ritz crackers combined with one stick butter. Press into 8x11 or 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Layer 2
Combine 8 oz cream cheese (softened), 1 cup sugar, and 8 oz. Cool whip. Spread on top of cooled cracker mixture.
Layer 3
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (cooked)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 egg

Mix all together and spread on top of cream cheese/cool whip mixture and refrigerate.
Top with crushed pecans before serving.


Turtle Pumpkin Pie

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. PLANTERS Pecan Pieces, divided
1 cup cold milk
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

POUR 1/4 cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.
BEAT milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin and spices with whisk until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cups COOL WHIP. Spread into crust.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Top with remaining COOL WHIP, caramel topping and pecans just before serving.


Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad

1/2 lb. fresh green beans, cut in half
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed
1 cup sliced stuffed green olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup KRAFT Tuscan House Italian Dressing and Marinade
ADD beans and cauliflower to boiling water in saucepan; cook until crisp-tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain again. Place in bowl.
ADD remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cover.
REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until chilled



O'Charley's Pie

2 cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk
1 pie crust
Cool Whip
Chocolate Chips and nuts

Remove all labels from milk cans. Do not open the cans. Boil the cans in water for 4-5 hours. I usually lean towards 4. While boiling, continue to check water depth. Add water as it evaporates to ensure the cans are covered. Let cans cool for 20-30 minutes. Open cans and pour caramel into pie crusts. Place in fridge to cool. Do not put cool whip on top until caramel has cooled. It will melt it. Top with any toppings. I use chocolate chips only, but many people add the nuts, too.


Corn Flake Cookies (for the kids)

7-8 cups cornflakes
1 cup light karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, syrup and butter in heavy sauce pan. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil for one exact minute. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until blended. Add cornflakes gradually. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool.


One last thing: Yesterday, Lake was in the bathroom and Kaden told him that he was going to performa stunt show for Lake (using his little motorcycles). Lake said okay and Kaden said, "Before I start, remember, no smoking, no food or drinks and no Flush photography"...............

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If You Are Reading This, I Need a Favor

First, I would like to announce that it is snowing in East TN. Some of you are thinking that you would like to see actual proof of snow......knowing that you would not believe me, I went ahead and took some photo proof:

























Now, I know what you Northerners (and Colorado people) are thinking....and no, it isnt a lot of snow, but it is enough to get my kid out of school ALL DAY! Can I get a "Praise the Lord"? Here in the south, we just dont have the equipment to handle ice and snow (Praise the Lord) so an inch of the white stuff can shut down half the state for a day or two (unless the temps stay below freezing and then it could be weeks). Someone better call Al Gore, because I think his global warming theory might be a hoax ;-) (but dont get me started on that!).



Moving right along...........



Well..........This is it. Our annual weekend shopping trip that began the first year we were married and has become a family tradition. We are doing it a little later than usual (we normally go in late October). We leave the kids with the grandparents and spend the weekend in Knoxville/Pigeon Forge doing ALL of our Christmas shopping. ALL of it. We eat where we want to (usually here and here and here). We shop where we want to. We touch and feel everything in every store. We even buy a few "little" things for ourselves. Yep, fun times.


Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year ;-).........



So, you might be wondering what I mean by needing a favor from you.........


The favor is a simple one. I know how many hits this site gets per day and I know that most of you do not comment....EVER. Out of approximately 400 hits, only an average of 12 - 20 of you ever comment......and it is usually the same 12 - 20 people who leave their thoughts.


Here is what I am asking: I would love, love, triple, dipple love it if everyone who reads this post would leave a comment. And not just any comment either. I have a special request.



Please comment anonymously -- no one leave your name/blogspot - click the anon. before publishing your comment -- should make it easy for those of you who are "comment shy", because I will not know who you are.


AND most importantly, leave a comment telling me what your greatest spiritual struggle/stronghold is. For instance, do you struggle with sin (you don't have to be specific or you can - it is anonymous), with having a daily Bible study, anger, knowing where you fit-in in God's kingdom, knowing God's plan for your life, being judgemental, trusting God........etc, etc., etc. Those are just a few examples.


Whatever your struggle or stronghold, please leave it in a comment. As long as you leave it anonymously, I promise, I will not know who left each comment.



I am interested in the major struggles and hindrances that Christians face and plan to use your comments for some future research.



Thanks! Better get to the store and buy your turkeys and pumpkins - they are flying off the shelves as we speak! I hope to post some of the recipes that I will be making next week for our family Thanksgiving dinner which will be held at my house on Thursday (this time last year, we thought it would be held at our new house this year, but dont worry, I am not the least bit bitter about it ;-). Have a great weekend............

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delayed Randomness



So, today started off pretty well. It was 17 degrees this morning so our school system decided to let the kids go to school 2 hours late (another reason why I love our school system). I know you Northerners are laughing right now, but we are Southerners and are not used to cold temperatures. Most of us don't even own heavy coats, much less the parkas our friends to the North love so much. My child doesn't ride the bus, but some of those kids have to catch the bus at or before 7 am in 17 degree weather...........well, I think the 2 hour delay thing is a wonderful idea. It allowed me to sleep an hour longer, I made breakfast, and the boys got to play before Lake had to go to school. I personally wish school never started before 10 am, but then again I live in a dream world most of the time.
Here are a couple of pics I took this morning before school. I am thankful that they still dont mind me dressing them alike. (And yes I know they will hate me for it one day, but I cant help it). Next year, when Kaden goes to school, I will have to stop (well except on Sundays ;-).


I told you in my last post that I would be back with some random thoughts so here I am and here they are:

Many of you probably have no idea about such indelicate things, but let me tell you that hardwood flooring is extremely heavy. How do I know???? Well, the same way I know how to tie steel re bar to pour concrete, the same way I know how to use a shop-vac (expertly I might add), and the same way I know how to moisture seal a home's foundation, and the same way I know how to do all the many chores that should be left to (male) building contractors........my husband allows me the privilege of creating pride of ownership in our new home (his words not mine......aka. we are too cheap to hire someone to carry our flooring). The hubs has graciously allowed me to share in the joy of hauling 216 large bundles and placing them in every room of our new house (approximately 170 lbs each - which I would like to add is more than I weigh! A lot more!).



In case you were wondering, Twizzlers??? Yeah they actually DO make your mouth happy.



Can someone tell me what in the world are table water crackers??? The name puts strange pictures in my mind and quite frankly grosses me out for some reason (kind of like goat cheese - gives me chills to think about it). What is table water anyway and why are they making crackers out of it? Someone tell me so that I don't embarrass myself (any more than usual) while standing around the cheese ball at Christmas parties over the next few weeks............



Someone sent me a quiz on Facebook the other day. It was called the American accent quiz. I took it and the results are in. I have a Northern accent. Seriously, that is what it said. The girl whose husband thinks "you-uns" is a word has a Northern accent? And all this time ya'll thought I a was a hillbilly......


My kids have children's choir on Sunday nights while we are in the worship service. When we got in the car after church on Sunday night, Kaden announced that a kid in his choir class punched him in the stomach that night. Our conversation went like this:



Kaden: A kid in my choir punched me in the stomach tonight.

Me: Who was it?

Kaden: I don't know his name - he's new.

Me: Oh. Did he get in trouble?

Kaden: No, he had little hands so it didn't really hurt.



I guess the kids with big hands are the only ones who get in trouble......hahahaha .......have I mentioned that Kaden is hilarious???



We took the kids to see Madagascar 2 Saturday night. Most of you know that we are not a fan of the movies, but Madagascar is our favorite movie, so we had to take the kids to see the sequel. As we paid for the movie and popcorn I remembered one of the reasons why we don't go to the movies very often:



Movie tickets: $30

Popcorn: $8

Large Sprite: $4.50

The look on my husbands face when he saw how much a night at the movies costs: Priceless




I have to wonder.....if we bailout the auto makers, how long will it be before we are having to bailout the rest of the businesses in the country? When does the bailing out stop and the paying back begin? I know that if the auto industry fails, America will be in big trouble, but where do we draw the line? And what kind of message are we sending to our kids? Dependence on the government is not what we need to teach our kids.....I believe it will instill in them a sense of entitlement. It seems that there are no consequences for anything anymore. Don't get me wrong, I don't have the answers, but I just wonder where all this financial woe will take us (both individually and as a country). I am guessing it is leading us kicking and screaming into dangerous territory......thankfully, as Christians we are not dependent upon the government.


I heard the other day that in a tough economy almost all purchases go down except LIPSTICK. In tough economic times, the sales of lipstick actually go up. Well, duh! When you don't have any extra money, you may not be able to afford to buy new clothes, but you can certainly afford a new tube of lipstick. A girl may be on her way to the poorhouse, but she doesn't have to look washed out on her way there!


The painters are working frantically at our new house. I love the smell of paint (and gas, but that is another issue for which I need help;-). It is nice seeing some actual color on the otherwise white walls. I just hope the colors I have picked out are the right ones. It occurred to me that I could really mess this house up, which is causing me to feel a little pressured.....ummmm a lot pressured. The painters told me that they loved the colors I chose and that they are the prettiest colors they have used in a long time. They said that I had matched and blended my colors very well from room to room. But then again, we are paying them and they want to finish the job, so can I really trust them? Probably not.




I was going to post a pic of the new couch my MIL bought me for Christmas,but I cant find a pic online.......allow me to paint a mental picture for you. It is big and has big arms and big pillows and it's gold. See why I could totally mess my new house up? Yeah, I thought you would.


Enough boredom for you for today. More boredom to come so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Focus

So, maybe you have noticed my brief absence from the blog world (or maybe you could care less). Once again, I have been doing life and have had little time for blogging. I have so many thoughts running through my head right now I could never put them all into words. No time to blog sends one into a state of backlog. Unfortunately, the time I have to type this post is quite minimal as well, but hopefully I will be back in a day or two with some randomness (I know you can't wait). AND, hopefully I will be able to catch up on all your blogs at some point today......if anyone knows what to do about the fact that my sidebar thingie does not show updates correctly please tell me how I can fix it.............most of the time, when I do not visit/comment on your blogs, it is because I didn't know they had been updated. My computer is fairly new, so I cant imagine what the problem is......ever heard of Murphy's Law? Yeah, it usually applies to me in most every area of my life ;-).



The Lord has really been speaking to me lately about keeping the main thing the main thing. What is the main thing, you ask? Why, Jesus of course. When I say that I am busy from the time my feet hit the floor at 6:15 am until the time I lay down at night (anywhere from 11-12 pm), I am not exaggerating one bit. Among COUNTLESS other activities, we have been working lots of hours at the new house, we have had church "stuff" to do, and to top it all off, Lake has basketball evaluations tomorrow night (which begins yet another season of round ball for the family). Don't get me wrong, I know that most of you reading this are just as busy as I am. Not for a minute do I believe that I am the only hurried and harried mother who has no time to even breathe. There are lots of us out there.....not just mothers, but both men and women are much busier today than they were 20 years ago.



Maybe it's just me, but when I am as busy as I have been lately, it is difficult for me to keep my eyes on Jesus. It is a struggle for me to stay focused on what is important when I am burning the candle at both ends (even when some of the busy-ness revolves around the church). Ever heard the phrase "idle hands are the devil's workshop"? I think the same can be said of busy hands. It is easy to get distracted when your attention is drawn in so many directions. It is easy to become discouraged or dissatisfied when you rarely have a minute to just be still and know. When we are in the business of busy-ness we are quick to take our eyes off God and it is very difficult to regain our 'Godly tunnel vision'.

God does not want us to be a slave to a schedule or to be held captive by a flurry of activity. God never intended for us to simply go through the motions in life.....if He did He would never have mentioned that thing about ABUNDANT life. We are entering the busiest season of the year for most of us, I am praying that I will be able to keep my eyes on Jesus (it IS His birthday)
and slow down enough to live in each moment rather than look back with regret. The devil loves a busy, preoccupied Christian.....we are easy targets.......we need to keep that in mind this time of year more than any other. When we are in the busy-ness business, we are making life much easier for our adversary and I'm certain that NONE of us wants to do anything to make it easier for satan to attack. Let's try our best to make this holiday season extremely tough on satan by keeping our eyes firmly set on Jesus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lamp Unto My Feet

Most of you know that I started blogging at another site called Jesus Is Lord, A Worshipping Christian's Blog. The blog owner's name is Steve, he and his wife, Missi love the Lord and have a desire to see people come to Christ through their blog ministry. Jesus Is Lord gets thousands of hits every day and many of those readers are atheists. In case you didn't know, atheists are not always nice, especially when it comes to things of God and the church.

I have been blogging at JIL this morning. What we do mostly is read Christian news headlines and post the articles for discussion. This morning, the headlines are particularly frightening. Here are just a few of the ones that I have run across:

Lesbians, Condoms Go Wild In Attack On Christian Church

Thirteen Year Old Girl Sentenced to Stoning (According to Sharia) for Being Gang Raped

Bill Graham Replaced by Homosexual Bishop

Post-Election Harassment Continues Over Marriage Amendment

And those are just a few of the headlines that should concern us as believers. I hear Christian people say that they cannot listen to the news because it makes them depressed. I agree that the way the world is today makes it easy for us to become down and depressed. But God......

I read these headlines and I see the world going to hell in a handbag......it COULD be depressing to me, But God.........

I believe Christians NEED to be aware of current events and we need to know what is happening in our world. We need to know what the Bible says about gay marriage, abortion, homosexuality, stem cell research, end times events, etc. We also need to know about current events, because in Matthew the Bible tells us "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour".

The Bible does NOT say for Christians to keep their heads in the sand and wait, but to actively watch and to wait with our lamps burning. Jesus wants us to watch for Him. Part of watching means that we need to be aware of the signs of His coming..........there are signs all around us, but in order to know what they are, we have to study the Word (which is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path)......are you watching and more importantly, are you watching with your lamp burning????

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Few Birthday Thoughts

So, as many of you know, yesterday was my birthday. I was 36 (I guess I still am 36....for another year anyway ). It seems impossible that I am in my 30's, much less over half way through them!! Only 4 years until I am 40. I feel a mid-life crisis coming on, only I don't know what on earth a woman does in a mid-life crisis. I would get botox, but I'm afraid of it - it's poison for crying out loud. I could make myself a bleach blonde, but I don't look good with really blonde hair (don't ask me how I know that). I could lose 30 lbs, but that would require exercise and you all know how I feel about even the mildest of self-induced exertion. I guess I will just keep on keepin' on, but I'm afraid I don't age very gracefully.



Saturday, we went furniture shopping. I did find some living room furniture that I like, although I am not sure if I will get it or not. I always feel like I have to see EVERYTHING AVAILABLE before I make a decision.....I have shopped in NC, TN, FL, and GA. It would seem to some that I actually HAVE seen everything, but something in me says 'keep on lookin'. Yes, folks, I have a problem and my problem may just have my family sitting on the floor for years. My mother-in-law is buying us a couch for Christmas, so I guess I better decide pretty quickly, huh?



After furniture shopping on Saturday, we ended up at Chili's. I always eat way too much there and come away vowing to never eat another bite of food again. I always break that vow by the following morning. At least I am consistent in something.



Yesterday, after church, we went to lunch and then more furniture/house shopping. I had no idea we would be shopping after church as evidenced by the fact that I wore heels to church. My feet hurt so bad after a couple of hours shopping that I thought they might actually be bleeding. I didn't want to seem ungrateful to the hubs for taking me shopping, so I didn't mention anything much about the EXTREME, SHARP, CUTTING pain in my feet. I DID; however, sit down on every couch and chair we passed using the excuse that I wanted to see if they were comfortable or not. My feet were still hurting when I laid down to sleep last night....heels are of satan....straight from the pit.



Yesterday we were only home for about an hour before we had to leave for church last night. During that time, Lake and Kaden were playing 'swords' (no sissy play in this house). My favorite phrase around here is "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye". Well, that almost happened here yesterday. Unfortunately, Kaden turned the wrong way and his eye met with Lake's sword. He has a bit of a black eye today and a little scratch under it (thankfully, it wasn't serious). This morning, before taking Lake to school, the boys were sitting closely on the couch reading and Lake moved his arm and accidentally elbowed Kaden in the other eye. Kaden immediately put his hand over his eye and said, "Why'd ya have to hit my good eye? Mommy, Lake hit me in the good eye". I was still laughing when we got to school.



Just so you know, the Christmas stuff is all up and it looks nice. I just keep the blinds closed when the lights are on so people don't know that freaks live here. I figure I only have to hide for a couple more weeks. The funny part is that I have seen several houses with their decorations up and I have actually said, "It's not even Thanksgiving yet, why do they have their Christmas stuff up?". Ever heard of overlooking the log in your own eye while seeing the speck in your brothers? Yeah, this is me, overlooking the log.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Video

So, here is another video. Accept my apologies in advance. I thought it might be time to lighten the mood in blogland, so I kind of changed the subject from the election to a post from last week where I asked if you thought it was too early to decorate for Christmas.

Let me say that I appreciate all your input. Most of you said that you thought it was way too early to decorate. Some of you said it is NEVER too early. Others said if I decorate so soon, I would have to dust my ornaments (good point and a point well taken).

Anyway, watch this video to see what I finally decided about decorating early......I will warn you that this video is very unorganized and hard to understand stream of consciousness and ends very abruptly. I had a short time in which to finish because I did it on the easy share -I had less than 2 minutes to talk....whatdya want, people, I am not Steven Spielberg!!!! ;-)

And I would like to say that I am thankful that the still shot below does not make me look like "Bethanne on Crack" as the other video still did.



video

Maybe you didn't understand what I was talking about. Our house might be finished right around Christmas time. I do not want to move at Christmas because I want to have a normal holiday. I know my hubs will want to move and will think it possible to have everything in its place by Christmas even if we move on the 24th (he has faith in his superwoman wife, ya know). So, I decided to remove all temptation of moving at Christmas ..........Talk about a surprise when he came home to Christmas lights and music. I figure if I keep the blinds shut the neighbors will never know know what a crackpot I am. Yep, that's how we roll in Tennessee people.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Remember When Israel Demanded a King????

As I told you in my last post, I received my copy of the Beth Moore Esther study in the mail on Monday. In the first lesson, she quotes a book called "How To Read the Bible for All Its Worth" by Fee and Stuart. One of the quotes she uses from this book is referring to Biblical narratives (Bible stories)......Fee and Stuart say "the story they (Bible narratives) tell is not so much our story as it is God's story---and it becomes ours as He 'writes' us into it"

This morning as I read 1 Samuel 8 & 9 (see the end of this post for a refresher course on this passage), I remembered this quote and thought it was very appropriate for 'such a time as this'.....................Remember when Israel demanded a king? They didn't really care who or what kind of king, but pretty much any king would do. Samuel prayed and the Lord told him that the people were not rejecting Samuel, but were rejecting God Himself. Are you seeing how America is being 'written' into this story???

America demanded a king. The people are so disgusted with Bush they were ready for any king (regardless of his views). The issue with our country is not about race, party, or political views. The major issue in our country is that America has rejected God. And our rejection of God DID NOT start with the election of Barack Obama. I cant tell you the exact time our rejection of God as a nation began, but I can tell you that over time it has only become more and more clear that America is no longer a nation that trusts in God. America may still be one nation under God (aren't we all under God?), but she is also a nation who is in love with sin (a trip to San Fransisco will tell you that).

In Galatians, the Bible says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows". I believe this also applies to our country. As a nation, I fear that we just might be getting ready to reap what we have been sowing for years. Galatians 6:8 says, "one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life". No matter who you voted for, it is easy to see that over the past several years America has sown to please her sinful nature. We have stood by while innocent babies were killed and used the excuse that it is a woman's body and she has a right to do with it what she pleases. Anyone who claims to be a believer knows that is a lie straight from the pit of hell. We have remained silent while homosexuality has become commonplace instead of an abominable act that is not the norm. I have never read a version of the Bible that said homosexuality was ordained by God, but I am sure if I were to visit a liberal Episcopal church, I could find one. We have stood in silence as the word of God has been perverted to encourage our sinful lifestyles. If you are TRULY a believer, you know that homosexuality is sin plain and simple.....there is no grey area.....it's black and white.

Speaking of black and white.......This election has brought up so many questions and concerns for me (and not just concerns about the candidates). I am concerned by people who call themselves Christians, but vote contrary to the Bible. I am concerned by people who call themselves Christians, but continue to live like the rest of the world, look, talk and act just like the rest of the world. A Christian is not someone who looks like the rest of the world.....we are to be different. Can you truly say that there is something different about you? Whatever happened to being a "chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" 1 Peter 2:9. Don't misunderstand me here, I am not just talking about the election, but about satan's power to deceive.

I have to wonder (and not because of the election) how many people satan has deceived into believing they are saved, when they have never REALLY made the change that comes with salvation. I do not pretend to know anyone's heart (sometimes it is difficult to know my own), but the Bible is clear that where there is no change, there is no salvation. The devil is the master deceiver and he would love nothing more than to allow people to believe that they are on their way to heaven, when in fact, they are still lost and on their way to hell. It is easy to talk the talk, but walking the walk is a different thing entirely. Billy Graham has said that he believes that as many as 80-90% of the people who sit in the pews of churches every Sunday in America are unsaved. If that is true (and I know Billy Graham is only a man not God) then, there are millions of people who think they are "okay", but will split hell wide open. If that thought does not sober you, then nothing will !!!!



So, if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I have been passionate about this election. I am not afraid of what Obama will do as president, but I am concerned that his liberal agenda will cause America to slide further down the slippery slope of sin that she has been on for years. I fear that Christians will be silenced even more than ever in the name of tolerance. I believe our faith will be tested like never before in the history of America. I do not hate Obama (or anyone else for that matter). I hate sin because God hates sin. I hate sin because it nailed Jesus to the cross..........my sin, your sin, everyone's sin nailed Jesus to the cross.

When I voted last week, I voted not by party, but by Christian values and my candidate lost. So, the only thing left for me (and everyone else in America who is concerned) is pray. We need to pray for Barack Obama....pray that his mind will be changed on the issues of abortion and gay marriage among other things. Pray that he will be honest in his dealings as leader of the free world. Pray that he will not continue to oppose Israel. Pray for his safety and the safety of his wife and girls. Pray that prejudiced groups will not plot evil against him --- that his election will help ease the problem of prejudice in our country. Pray that he would not be able to rest until he is in right standing with THE One and Only Holy God. But most of all, we need to pray that God's will be done in America.



1 Samuel 8
When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."
But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."
Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles."
When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."