June 30, 2005

Bless your Feet (4 part series) - Part 1


Why Feet?
Why would I do a four part series on feet? Am I some kind of sick, twisted housewife with a foot-fetish? No. Although, while researching this topic, I ran into more information than I ever wanted to know about those who are! The internet can be a scary place.

OK - What do feet have to do with spirituality? Well, a lot, actually. When I got the idea in my noggin to write this, I had no idea how many references the Bible would have to feet... 320, to be exact. That's an army of feet! But they weren't all talking about natural feet, of course. That's where the real lesson comes in. Most of these verses refer to our spiritual tootsies: the direction we are headed - our spiritual "footing". So I'm going to discuss our spiritual feet (the direction our souls are walking) and our physical feet (those ten piggies and such - peeking out of your flip-flops).

Spiritual Feet
I constantly use lotion on my feet - to keep them soft and minimize the effects of aging and constant wear-and-tear. A few days ago, while putting some on, I thought about how feet are linked to God's plan for us when a cute little Bible song from my childhood days popped in my head.

"Oh, be careful little feet where you go! Oh, be careful little feet where you go! Cuz the Father up above... is looking down in love... so be careful little feet where you go!"

Go figure that a simple Sunday-School song could bring about the desire for me to research the deeper meaning of feet in the Bible. That's just like my Jesus - always using the seemingly un-important, natural, overlooked and un-appreciated details of life to bring about life-changing, deep revelations. I started to wonder if I have the kind of Spiritual feet that are as well-taken care of as my physical feet?

Pedicure of the Soul
What kind of services would be listed on the wall in God's nail salon? What can he do for our feet?

  • He GUIDES our feet: According to Luke 1:79, the Lord has plans to "guide our feet into the path of peace". I don't know about you, but I'd love some peace. I'm tired of stubbing my toes and getting blisters. I think I'll follow the Lord.

  • He DIRECTS our feet: Psalm 119:105 (my favorite Psalm, by the way), says that God's Word "is a lamp to our feet"... making our "path straight" - showing us how to live.

  • He PROTECTS our feet: Psalm 56:13 and 116:8 tell that God can keep our "feet from stumbling".
  • He SECURES our feet: Psalm 40:2 says "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." This one could be my theme-verse. I could never thank Him enough. I praise the feet who took the nails for me.

Feet are Important, Too
In the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul discusses how we who are Christians are all part of one body of believers... and that we each have spiritual gifts to build each other up with. Some are preachers, some are teachers, some are encouragers, and some are servants. Each job is not better than the others, they are equally as important. So, in his analogy, the feet are just as important as the head - even though the head is seen by all, and admired. Those who get dirty changing diapers in the nursery so that young mothers can listen to the preacher are just as important as those writing best-selling Christian bible-studies. Everything we do for God counts... whether it is washing feet, or standing on a pulpit.

1 Corinthians 12:21 - The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"

Most Famous Feet
What did the man who's feet we pierced do to our feet while he walked this earth? He washed them. He healed them. He helped us to stand on them. He led them. He saved them.

Psalm 22:16 - Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.

_ ________________________________________ _

Note to readers: I am breaking this down into four different posts, on four different days, because I'm sure you people have real lives and wouldn't bother reading it otherwise. And, of course, I'm pathetic and have no web traffic, so it couldn't hurt to make you come back again for the other three segments.

Stay tuned soon for more on feet (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)... or click HERE for part 2!

June 29, 2005

Yummie Blog Junkie

Never eat anything bigger than your head. - B. Kliban

I promised myself I would stay away today... looks like I have a case of blogitis. Well, at least I'm enjoying myself. Sorry if you aren't! I promise I won't post a big long essay today - you're probably still twitching a little if you actually made it through yesterday's mental drooling.

So, today, on a much less serious note, I present to you a delicious link that I created to share tried-and-true recipes that our family loves (forgive me for only having three recipes posted so far!). I plan on adding one each day after I cook (if it is good enough to pass on), and at other times when people request recipes and I have to type them anyway. I have a mental list of a few that are my favorites that will go up when I get the time to dig out the cook-books, also.

In our house, we all cook. Even the kids like to help in the kitchen. I want them both to know how to cook when they leave home. Kevin doesn't cook as often as I do, but when he does, he rarely makes something that isn't a crowd pleaser. Our whole family could vouch for this. A lot of our family members are also very skilled in the culinary arts. I have a hard time making menu plans for the week, since I have over 100 (haven't actually counted them) cookbooks and I LOVE international foods. I get a lot of recipes off of Allrecipe.com (linked on my food page) when we are looking to use up a single item before it goes bad and we can't think of anything interesting to do with it ourselves. Anyway, check out my foodie-blog and let me know what you think.

Here's the link to "GATHERING MANNA" (Heather's Recipe Blog) - click the image!

June 28, 2005

Wisdom from the Back of My Yearbook

Wisdom is what's left after we've run out of personal opinions. - Cullen Hightower

Blast from the Past
I ran in to a girl I went to high school with today at the mall. It's been over a decade (just how long I will leave to your imagination), so it took me completely off-guard. It was nice to see a face from the past. It reminded me of the journey I've been on and how far I've come on it. When I got home, I got out my yearbook. Don't ask me why. I have very few friends left from those days. I moved away from my home town before my senior year, married my husband and stayed away... so all the friends from those days faded away as the years went by.

The Folly of Youth
As I looked at the faces and read some of the wit and logic left in the back of my yearbook by my classmates, I began to see that the wisdom we thought we all had when we were young is not the same thing as the wisdom I pursue today! I have heard it said that youth is wasted on the young... and that may be just about right!

"Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." - George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

To cut my classmates some slack, I am sure what I wrote in their yearbooks is far less enlightening. I thought, for humor's sake that I would share a few of the finest morsels of insight I was entrusted with. Of course, I have left out a few that were sweet and encouraging (can't find any fault in that!) - I say this to redeem the rest of our graduating class!

People should not die routinely. - N

I love weirdness. - C

Party! Have fun & don't do anything I wouldn't do. - Michelle

Dude! You're tres cool! Pretty gay yearbook, hu? - Kris

I hate Cindy!!! Well, this is really a blast and I don't want to excite myself too
much. Love ya,

Live and let live! And always party for the moment! Later Tater - Debbie

Keep cool. Roses are red, violets are blue, I got brown hair and so do you. - Melissa

METALLICA! - Brandon

Be yourself and don't listen to other people. They are just jealous toads. - Iggy

I wish I weren't so poor and pathetic so I could have a yearbook and you could
sign it.
- Cathy

Save the airheads! - Jen

And by far, my favorite:

Every year a mass of swirling lives take places in a civilized world where they are lost. Our friendship has endured what humans can not. Our souls are meshed. Victory or death! Remember that year when Tina, Natalie, Patricia, you and me went to the mall and were all depressed because we didn't have boyfriends? That was so hilarious. Don't get freezed in the frozer. Moe died. If you were me, I would have been institutionalized a long time ago. - Karen

Carpe Diem
Some of the best advice from those yearbook days is that "life is short". That's something I am keenly aware of as a homeschooling mother. Time passes all too quickly. My babies are already almost ten years old, and there's only about ten years left before they are fully-functioning, independent thinkers. Granted, they may hang around (hopefully) into their young-adult years at home while they continue higher education, but their personalities, dreams, desires, gifts, and souls will be forged by then. Am I ready? Am I leading them faithfully toward the goal of who I want them to become? Psalm 90:12 says "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Numbering our days tells us that there will be an end to them. We are on a cosmic time-limit... and the eternal clock is ticking away.

Am I making the most of these days I have been given? This question hits home like a brick on the forehead lately. As the planning season begins for the next school year, and as our lives are turned upside down with a pending move to another city, I've been wanting to get a more concrete grasp on what direction we need to head. What are our goals? What is the big picture? The last few years, it has seemed as if God has continually pulled the rug out from under us every time we tried to settle in. I'm tired of wandering - like the Israelites in the desert -I want to plant some roots - in the right soil. I want to quit learning the hard lessons and start building on them. I want to have wisdom from all of these experiences that will guide our future endeavors. I want to build my kids - not just their minds, but their souls as well. When all is blown away in the end, I want to make sure that the RIGHT kind of wisdom is found in them.

Two Kinds of Wisdom
The bible says there is a kind of wisdom that is actually foolishness. Jeremiah 8:9 says - "The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?" That's the same question I ask of myself today. What kind of wisdom am I imparting? Is it a worldly wisdom? If so, God says that kind of wisdom will disappear one day, and it is fruitless.

Isaiah 29:14 - "Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."

1 Corinthians 1:20 - "Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?"

I mean, think about it... I know lots of people are out there with degrees from Harvard, Oxford or Berkeley who believe we came from apes! I may not be a molecular biologist, but I know my great grandpa wasn't primordial soup. I also know some politicians who have managed to gain the prestige and following to make it to a "high office" in the United States Government, who can speak on live television without breaking a sweat... and yet are professed Socialists.

Even the devil has wisdom. In Ezekiel 28, the Lord gives a lament concerning the King of Tyre - a passage that could only have been written about the devil himself. He says that the devil was in Eden, and God had made him "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty". It says that the devil was blameless until wickedness was found in him and he sinned, and that he became proud because of his beauty and corrupt because of his wisdom and splendor.

Got Wisdom?
We all desire to have wisdom (although some people leave you to wonder if this statement is broad enough). We don't want to be labeled as a fool. We don't want our kids to grow up to be vagrants or criminals. We want our kids to remember us as good parents who taught them good things. But do we all turn to the right places - seek out the right sources - when we are looking for wisdom? The latest self help books are only as good as the theology behind them. The source of every good and perfect thing is the Lord who made everything. The Bible tells us in Luke 7:35,"But wisdom is proved right by all her children." Our kids are learning every day from us - whether it is the right kind of knowledge and wisdom or not, they are learning. In the Psalms, we find a wealth of blessings that are promised to those who obtain godly wisdom; respect from others, prosperity, and power are only a few. The right kind of wisdom can even give you a face lift! Ecclesiastes 8:1 - "Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance." Move over botox!

On the other hand, if I fail to gain godly wisdom or to impart it to my kids, I and they could suffer the kinds of curses listed within those same passages in Psalms: madness, folly, the rod of correction. So I asked myself, "What kind of wisdom am I imparting to my kids and others?"

Smarty Pants
Where do I get wisdom? Well, that's a no-brainer. God gives wisdom. He created the universe and everything in it. He made us and numbered our hairs. He wants us to have His blessings (wisdom included). Proverbs 2:6 tells us "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" and James 1:5 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him".

So is it that easy? Well, yes and no. After we get godly wisdom we must LIVE it. Living it is the hard part. James 3:3 says "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom." There seems to be a theme that links these two words: humility and wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 says - "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Wasn't the devil scolded for his pride in himself that turned to self-worship (and ultimately wanting to be God)?

hu·mil·i·ty n. The quality or condition of being humble.

hum·ble adj. (hum·bler, hum·blest)
1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
2. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.
3. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.

hum·bled, hum·bling, hum·bles
To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.

So if wisdom comes from humility, the act of being humble (meek, modest, respectful, submissive, and unpretentious), then I guess the obvious conclusion is that the experiences in life that are the most humbling are those that are working in us to bring us wisdom. Wow. What a great lesson. I guess I'm on my way to becoming a spiritual genius (read my previous posts to figure out why).

The Purpose of Wisdom
Now, assuming we've got some wisdom, what is it for? What do we do with it? How can we use it? God's Word clearly states that it is given to us to lead others to God (Daniel 12:3 - "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever"). We are supposed to...

  • Share what we are given

  • Go and tell the world.

  • Shout it from the mountain tops.

  • Give the reason for our hope.

  • Let others see it in our lives.

So that is the real question here - "Is everything I do and say leading others to Christ?"

The Bad News
Having godly wisdom doesn't always prevent you from your own stupidity. We all can fall down. Part of our falling down is learning the lessons we need to prevent it from happening again. King Solomon was labeled in the Bible as having "wisdom and very great insight", and a "breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore", yet he was not infallible. He was also credited for falling prey to his lusts and turning away from God. His entire nation for many generations were ensnared by the idols he built to foreign gods on the Hill of Corruption, East of Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:13). There is no magic pill for a life without any mistakes, but I am sure we will make less of them if we obtain godly wisdom now. Fearing the Lord is only the beginning of wisdom. Getting it is just the starting point.

Is wisdom a rose garden we've been promised? No. Will it keep my bank account from going negative or my body from getting sick? Not always. We can make wise choices in those areas, but we can't know the future or prevent life from happening. Jesus was wise (Matthew 12:42 says he was "greater than Solomon") and yet he was persecuted and killed. While we may gain the respect of some after we attain wisdom from God, we - just like Jesus - may also loose some friends. Just because we have "wisdom the world can't contradict" as stated in Luke 21:15, doesn't mean that one day, we also, will not have to face persecution or death. Yet without the true wisdom that God desires to give us, once on the other side of our last breath, there is no more time left. I shudder to think of where we will be if we fail to get it. I think all of us know what God has in store for those without it - or at least we have heard the warnings. It is a place where all the wisdom of the world fails us. It is a place where eternity is met with only regret and agony.

I want to make sure I use God's wisdom wisely and teach it to my kids. It truly is the greatest treasure on earth.

June 27, 2005

Prayers for Kate

1 Samuel 12:23 - As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.

I discovered this site today while blog peeping. It touched my heart so much that I thought I would share it with you all. Go see Katie for yourself and read her story. Pray for her to be returned to her family and for her to be healed from her cancer. She has a prayer pager: 1-361-333-KATY (5289), enter your ZipCode and the # key, to let her know you have prayed for her. What a wonderful idea!

Here's an exerpt from her site:

Monday, January 24, 2005
Prayers Coming From All Over United States

Katie Warnecke, 12, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, displays a U.S. map showing where people have prayed for her.

Parent's Prayer Verses

I promised these, and here they are (in order as underlined below in my previous post):

_ _________________________________________________ _

Philippians 2:4 - Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Luke 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Matthew 12:36 - But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Proverbs 31:26 - She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 - Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Deuteronomy 11:19 - Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

1 Corinthians 16:14 - Do everything in love.

Isaiah 26:9 - My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.

* 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Ephesians 6:18 - And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Proverbs 19:13 - A foolish son is his father's ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.

James 1:26 - If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Proverbs 12:25 - An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

Luke 21:34 - "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.

Acts 17:11 - Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Proverbs 3:6 - in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

2 Peter 1:5-8 - 5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7) and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8) For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Job 1:5 - When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.

Ephesians 5:11 - Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 4:26 - "In your anger do not sin". Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry

James 5:16 - Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Psalm 38:18 - I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.

Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Matthew 18:6 - But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Psalm 25:5 - guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Colossians 3:9 - Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Proverbs 13:9 - The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.

Psalm 97:10 - Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

1 Peter 5:8 - Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Titus 1:15 - To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

Ephesians 5:10 - and find out what pleases the Lord. and... Colossians 3:20 - Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Isaiah 43:10 - "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me."

Colossians 3:12 - Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. and Luke 2:40 - And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Hebrews 13:7 - Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

* Luke 12:42 - And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Isaiah 61:3 b - ... They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

* Psalm 23:6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

* King James Version

All unmarked verses above are from the New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.

June 26, 2005

small HTML successes

I am so excited! And it's hard to be excited when it's after midnight and my entire household is sleeping (except the incorrigible kitten). I figured out how to tweak my template to add a blogroll (list of somewhat? like-minded? bloggers), a list of my favorite links, and a list of posts that contain photos (to help relatives and friends find them easier - without having to listen to me gab). You can find these handy tools on my left hand sidebar if you scroll down a bit.

As for this Saturday, we are still without a contract on the house... no showings for almost three weeks (including the weekends). It's very frustrating. Poor Kev is very disheartened. I am sort of numb at this point (and yet hopeful that the end of our tunnel is near)... so pray for us, if you think of it. We could use a miracle sale ASAP. We know that God's timing is perfect, though... so we are staying the course and waiting on Him.

I baked a few loaves of banana bread tonight, and tomorrow we are making an enchilada pie (casserole) as well. Kev made a wonderful Lebanese cucumber salad that you really would have to taste to fully appreciate. It is marinating over-night in the borrowed fridge in our garage (when it rains, it pours! Our 5 year old fridge died - killing with it an uncalculated amount of perishables). Of course, Kevin's salad is sure to be the toast of the potluck lunch tomorrow after worship services. I told him tonight that he's always "trying to show me up"! That's OK, I absolutely LOVE it that my husband is a great cook.

We rode bikes tonight as a family for the very first time - all four of us on bikes together. How wonderful (aside from the screeching voice of my six year old every time we had to go up-hill)! Now if we could just get those training wheels off of Morgan's bike! I miss their cute baby days, but life has never been more fun since they have become their own little 'big people'!

June 25, 2005

Revised Parent's Prayer

I discovered this prayer while cleaning out my mom's file cabinet drawers that were stuffed full of my school papers and other personal items that she has collected through the years. It was typed up the old fashioned way (pre-computer era) - probably one of those copies that got passed around at an office where she worked. I made quite a few of my own adjustments when I typed it for myself. I don't claim to be the original author - only a very thankful recipient and editor, as it is a beautiful prayer. I hope that it will bring you as much blessing as it has me. I warn you, though - it is quite long. I have underlined in the prayer where I have used scripture as part of the prayer, or used scripture as inspiration for what I added. The link to the scriptures I used for the prayer is below.

_ __________________________________________________ _

Oh, God, my Father in Heaven, please make me a better parent. Help me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to respond to their questions kindly. Help me to look not only to my interests, but also to theirs. Help me to see in them the gifts that you have placed, to nurture those gifts and add to them skills and experience. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them, and contradicting them. Let their words be precious to my ears. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Prevent me from uttering words that are careless and do not lift them up. Fill my mouth with sound instruction and encouragement.

May I grant them all of their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage and strength to always withhold a privilege or gift which I know will do them harm - no matter what anyone else thinks. Let me test all things against the laws of Your Word. Let me give light to your Word in every circumstance, talking about it all the day long so that their entire world-view is wrapped up in your promises and truth. Let me base my decisions in love and be consistent in my parenting according to your precepts. Let them see me give you first place in my life and let them see me faithfully devote myself to the study of your Word and prayer.

Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag; and when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue. Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise. Let me fall in love with them every day all over again. Help me appreciate the giggles and wiggles that you have placed in them instead of seeing them as an annoyance. Oh, that I could find joy in their laughter and not be so serious and distracted by the anxieties of life that I miss the short time I have to play with them and pick them up. Let me hold and kiss them each day.

Help me to treat my children as those of their own age. Let me not expect from them the restraint and judgment of an adult. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think for themselves, to discover for themselves, and to make their own decisions whenever possible. Help me to foster an environment of learning and a full knowledge of your Word. Lead me on straight paths in choosing what I teach to my children and help me be a thorough educator, never forsaking the building of their relationship with you or the character you desire in them for academics only.

Forgive my children any sins they commit - bring them to the surface so they may be dealt with early on. Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction or out of anger. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and ask them for forgiveness when I know I have done wrong. May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt my children to lie or steal. Guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness. Let me be used by You to guide them into Your arms by my life.

Make me so fair and just, so considerate, companionable, and gentle - that they will have a genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children as a Proverbs 31 woman. Let your Son shine in my heart as a beacon for them. Bless them and the future mates they will marry, protect them from physical harm and the spiritual wickedness that seeks to devour them in this world. Keep their minds, souls, hearts and bodies pure before you. Give them a heart that seeks to obey and please You. Let them desire to know You. Let their earthly father and I be the example of love and loyalty that they need to feel secure and know what to seek out in a relationship when they are grown. Oh, Father, give me the calm, poise, grace, wisdom and self-control that I need to ensure that they see You in my life.

Help me to display order, good stewardship, responsibility and patience in such a way that it will become part of who they are as well. May I bless you in honor for your trust in me to raise them. Let them grow to be oaks of righteousness - plantings of the Lord for the display of your splendor. Let goodness and mercy follow them through their whole lives. May they be bound to You forever, Amen.

Other Quick Links:
Parent's Prayer Verses

Buzz Words: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 24, 2005


Boy, this is a blast from the past. Rather than spend time writing something new today, I thought I would bless this blog with a bit of poetry I wrote in the past. Some day when I get a scanner, I'll post the photo that I have with this in my scrapbook. It is a photo of my husband - when he was only 21... looking lovely as the wind blew through his hair on the balcony of a hotel at night. It is such a blessing to still be smitten by the one you married 13 or so years ago... God is good.
_ _________________________________________________ _

Top So high...
On top of this concrete mountain

The wind blowing through my hair -
Doesn't ask where my feet stand
The stars reflecting in my eyes -
Don't ask why I gaze at them
The moon hung in this velvet sky -
Doesn't ask why I'm up so late...

So small...
The tiny world sleeping below me

No one sees the silent smile on my lips
As I stand on top of the world

_ _________________________________________________ _
Update - next morning... took a photo of my photo to post it here:
(Aint he a looker?!)

June 23, 2005

Unshelving Self

Luke 10:40-42
40) But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

41) "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,

42) but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

(New International Version - NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Seems like it has been ages since I picked up a book and read it just for pleasure. Somehow, like Martha, I gave up my passions for my duties. There's nothing wrong with duties, and I have not begrudged them - a fine Christian husband and beautiful, sweet kids are nothing to begrudge! But somewhere in the daily grind of household management, the once passionate reader and writer in me... and artist for that matter... disappeared on the dusty shelf of "someday I'll get to that". I never stopped collecting books... books that I longed to read. I never stopped discussing the ones I had loved before. But I never stopped to read anything new, either... for fear that the laundry may pile up if I did.

I don't think it is uncommon for women to loose a bit of their identity after they marry or have children. It is only natural for moms to put others before themselves. The baby's leaking diaper is much more pressing than a fiction novel you've been trying to finish for three months. But somehow, through the Lord's wisdom, I feel that keeping yourself true to the gifts He has given you - and feeding those God-given desires - are something just as important and useful as dish-washing. After all, your husband didn't marry you because you knew how to get Kool-Aid stains out of his white t-shirts. Your kids don't love you because you keep the toilet paper from running out (although this does help). Why would God give you a talent and passion for something if He didn't want you to use it for His glory?

I went to a great Christian lecture at a homeschool book fair recently given by Renee Ellison. Her topic was about "Turn Your Head Home Management Strategies". She gave a job description for Mother as being IMPOSSIBLE and INFINITE. I agreed wholeheartedly, yet wouldn't give the job up for the world! She told us, although most of us already knew this, that we needed to stay "close to our fuel" (the Lord). Her suggestion in doing this was to "snatch scripture". She admitted that we all are similar in having too much on our plates to stop and take enough time out each day for prayer, Bible study, and meditation. Let's face it, life is fast paced - especially if you are a homeschooling mom! Her idea of placing little Bibles (she even said she got some at a thrift store for this purpose) in every room where you might stop to take a pause (use your imagination here), for the purpose of "snatching" a verse or two was so unique. I had always thought if I didn't give God at least fifteen minutes, it wouldn't count.

I think you could use this same method with time out for yourself. Planning some morning reading time after the coffee is made and breakfast is eaten is not a bad idea. Spending Sunday night after church in bed with a good book isn't a bad idea either. Even stealing the moments back in the Wal-Mart parking-lot when you are waiting for your husband to get back in the car would be a nice start. I can stash a few good books in the car along with my Bible.

Surely I can find enough time for me somewhere in my hectic, wonderfully busy life.

So I'm going to pull down one of those dusty "someday I'll get to that" good books and read it this weekend. Then, when I make some more time for me, I'll review it for my blog! I thank Renee for her encouragement in that lecture she gave... she implored us to write down our "wisdom" as homeschooling mothers. Not sure if I would consider what I write as wisdom, but I'm sure glad I'm writing it down again!

June 22, 2005

Icons of Evolution (Book Review)

This is a review that I wrote for the book Icons of Evolution - by Jonathan Wells (as posted on epinions.com)... Creation Science is a hobby of sorts - I have really enjoyed Kent Hovind's Creation Seminars - if you ever have 17 hours or so to spare (as if homeschooling and running a household wasn't a "real job"), just hop on over to www.drdino.com and purchase a copy of his Seminar set to watch at home. Even my kids love these DVDs - especially the one on DINOSAURS.
_ __________________________________________ _

"Science is the search for the truth" wrote Chemist Linus Pauling (winner of two Nobel prizes). Most scientists would agree with this statement, and it is written in the first sentence of the introduction of this book. As a scientist himself, Jonathan Wells (molecular biologist) ventures to bring the complex arguments against Darwinian Evolution down to the 'civilian' level so that everyone can benefit from the evidence. He explains very well "why much of what we teach about Evolution is wrong" - as his subtitle states.

What makes "Icons of Evolution" so different is that this book, while scrutinizing Darwin's research and all the many Scientific claims that have been "added" to his work to create what we now call "Darwinism" (or Darwinian Evolution)... does not speak through a religious filter or take sides based on a moral stance. Wells speaks in common language (avoiding technical terms wherever possible) to the average person from a purely unbiased and objective secular viewpoint. His presentation of the large amount of data and research in his book is laid out in a clean, easy to comprehend format. He backs up all his claims with pure unbiased facts and a very impressive and LONG list of scientists who took part in helping him in some way before the book was finished being published.

The author endeavors to tear the Evolutionary Tree apart limb by limb using the very Science that it claims planted it in the first place. He starts with the explanation of the "discipline of Science", claiming that a theory which seeks to be known as "scientific must somehow, at some point, be compared with observations and experiments" - that is - something that can be tested and re-tested against the natural world. He purports that "if there is a persistent conflict between theory and evidence, the former must yield to the latter." Beginning with the basic principles of Science, he takes us through each claim of Darwinian Evolution and debunks the myth bringing all the evidence to light which textbooks leave out or cloud (on all levels).

If we are telling the truth, we have nothing to fear, right? Well this book is full of astounding information that the author believes Evolutionists don't want you to know. If they did, he suggests that (in some cases), our textbooks would have had disclaimers or would have been re-written and corrected up to 100 years ago!

For instance... In the case of Haeckel's Embryos (a drawing depicting the embryonic stages of 8 different species at varied stages of development), the author states "biologists have known for over a century that Haeckel faked his drawings" (he wrote a "confession" of sorts in a letter to Münchener Allegemeine Zeitung on January 9, 1909 which was published in Science, Art and Technology)... and yet as recent as today, Haeckel's faked drawings remain in textbooks from the earliest levels all the way up to college level Biology. Most carry no disclaimers and leave out essential evidence as to the credibility of the artist. Some are re-drawn and re-labeled rather than removed. In a statement that can only be seen as (as Wells calls it) "Atrocious!", Stephen Jay Gould, a historian of Science, acknowledged that Haeckel faked his drawings. He stated, "To cut to the quick of this drama, Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases - in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent - simply copied the same figure over and over again." Gould admitted to knowing this fact for over 20 years. Textbook writers and Scientists and Creationists engaged in a blame game have been going around and around on this particular item for a century, and the public (mainly our children - the future minds of our world) are the casualties of this "mindlessly recycled" lie. Wells quotes Gould as saying it is the "academic equivalent of murder".

He covers: Archaeopteryx, the famous Peppered Moths, Darwin's Finches, Four-Winged Fruit Flies, Fossil Horses and Directed Evolution, From Ape to Human - The Ultimate Icon, and many sub-topics in-between each of those. On each, he goes into lengthy detail in easy to understand dialect. Anyone who can read well will understand this book.

In his summary chapter, "Science or Myth" he brings the book together very well. He covers how all these "icons" (explained away in his book by contrary evidence) have become themselves the evidence that keeps Macro-Evolution alive. Thus, despite sharp controversy, "dogmatic promoters of Darwinian evolution" keep the plate spinning by using "their position of dominance to censor dissenting viewpoints". He describes how organizations such as the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), the NCSE (National Center for Science Education), the NSF (National Science Foundation), the NIH (National Institutes of Health), and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) all fund the Darwinian "establishment and its censorship of opposing viewpoints". He goes on to explain how the bulk of those monies are federal taxpayer dollars... and implies that it is us - the commoners who are lied to by the Scientists and Textbook Writers - who are actually paying for this disservice!

Wells concludes his book with a nice and useful evaluation of ten recent Biology textbooks. He rates them on their use of the selected "Icons" in his book. Shockingly, all 10 books fail to meet any semblance of a standard of truth (to which they claim Science is the pursuit thereof). He also mentions briefly what he considers to be appropriate "warning labels" for textbooks to print on controversial or fraudulent material to warn the student.

Overall, I felt that he did a very good job explaining himself. I commend him for sticking his neck out to be most assuredly "chopped off" by his colleagues in light of his views of Darwinism. With statements such as "nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" by neo-Darwinist Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1973, and the ever-growing number of Scientists who are ostracized from their fields and in fear of loosing their jobs over their opposing viewpoints... it is a brave thing in-deed to write a book on this topic. Especially if you stand opposed to the Macro-Evolutionist 'gate-keepers' of FEDERAL FUNDING (which is the 'grease' that keeps Scientific research 'frying' - and allows Scientists to 'bring home' their 'bacon').

Perhaps my favorite quote in the book is from a Chinese paleontologist who Wells explains gave a lecture in America in which he states that fossil records in his country are inconsistent with the Darwinian field of evolution. After he discovered that his comments (based entirely on Scientific fact) upset the American Scientific community, he states "In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin."

I suggest this book to anyone who wants unbiased fact without any of the common religious mud-slinging that frequently accompanies Evolutionary criticism or support books.

I give the book two thumbs up!


June 21, 2005

Recipe for Disaster

I have hunkered down and decided to get through this entire week without a trip to the grocery store. I might have to give in and go get some milk and meat tomorrow, but we are making our way through the shelves of canned food and soups... one by one. I am bound and determined to save some money - eating out is killing us. Beans are a good source of protein, right? Man doesn't live on meat alone - isn't that the verse? :) Ha! No - here it is:

Deuteronomy 8:3 - He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Wow... that's an entire sermon, right there. I consider myself humbled from this experience, certainly. I can't believe there was a time I hadn't ever used coupons at the grocery store. We got whatever we wanted and let it rot in the fridge while we ate out at fancy restaurants. We let meat go bad because we had a better offer to eat at a friend's house instead, or decided to go out because that was quicker than cooking.

I've heard it said "Give me convenience or give me death." Well, I'm learning that convenience sometimes really does lead to death... the death of luxury, the death of ignorance, the death of pride. Asking for help is humbling. Eating every meal at home teaches you to really appreciate those meals you do get to eat out. How unbelievably spoiled we are in America. I've heard that some houses in California that are being built hardly have any kitchen space at ALL! What is happening to the American Family? We are all about plastic (credit cards), fast food (over-weight), and eating on the run (bad health habits). It's no wonder the doctor, the lawyers and the psychiatrists are making a killing off of us. We create our own stress - we reap what we sew.

Using coupons is also humbling at first, and then it really starts making a lot of sense/cents! Why didn't I think of this before? If I could have the 50$-100$ a week I'm saving by eating smarter that I have spent the last ten years, I could buy a new car in cash - and not pay anyone interest! Talk about eating your money... but wait - it wasn't really MY money to begin with.

Philippians 4:11-13 - I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13) I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Matthew 6:25-27 - "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

So, I'm going to follow God's recipe for being a good steward with what I am given in the kitchen (and all the other rooms of my house)... and stop bringing disaster on the checkbook (that spills over into every other aspect of our lives)! Time to bless my family with culinary joy and stop dining on debt.

Matthew 25:23 - "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

June 20, 2005

Warm fuzzy kitten...

Nothing like a warm fuzzy kitten in your lap... cleaning their fur and purring like a motor. My Minga still smells like the mesquite smoke from the BBQ pit that we grilled on Saturday night. What a cutie she is - playing fetch, trying to talk to us with funny noises, making off with Morgan's little stuffed animals in a flash through the halls... she's a nice diversion for troubled souls.

I cleaned the house from top to bottom today - in hopes that God would send a buyer... my carpet looks brand new, and the kitchen tile is shining. Someone told me that "cleaning house while your kids are young is like shoveling the walk before it quits snowing"... ah, yes - but seeing it clean is a delight. Being organized and clutter free (for the most part) is peace in your house.

I like the Fly Lady website and her email crew. I couldn't keep up with all the email, so I finally gave it up... but I keep a "control journal" like hers, and I have enjoyed using a lot of her methods and suggestions.

Kevin called me a while ago. He has class tonight. We both try and keep busy to pass the time. I wanted to see if I could really email my blog and post something. This is all new to me. I've been labeled the 'Email Queen'... but blogging is a whole new adventure.

June 19, 2005

Bittersweet Father's Day...

What a day. So much to rejoice over, and so much sadness.

Kaden learned to ride his bike today. We took the kids to the pool after church and a nice lunch out with Daddy. I guess that pays me back for Morgan's first word being "Mama" on her first Father's day! We enjoyed a weekend of resting and family - what a blessing that we have each other and our health. This marks 9 father's days for Kevin... counting the one when I was pregnant with Kaden, of course. Looking back that far, we have only praise for God in all He has brought us through and to. Even in this hardship we currently are enduring, I see His unfailing grace and love. We have yet to go hungry or loose anything, other than money.

The sadness is for seeing Daddy drive away after dinner - into the setting sun without us... another long, lonely week ahead. It doesn't make it easier that I live in a cell-tower black hole, and we have a hard time communicating while he's gone all week. I've been thinking radical thoughts - like living out of a suit case in the back of my truck just to be in the same city with him all week. Or buying a travel trailer.

The facts are these - God knows how hard this is, how our finances look, and how long we can wait for a buyer. So we have to keep trusting and waiting without making unwise choices that won't help our situation. So, if you are reading this and want to say a prayer - pray that He keeps me from packing my bags and heading out across the highway at 2$ per gallon in my SUV this week, and paying for a hotel and eating out for all four of us instead of just one of us... because, Lord knows we can't afford that.


Faith is the assurance of what we have not yet seen. It shapes our world-view and leads us to answers for all of life's questions. It gives us purpose and hope. It sheds light on the proper way to conduct our lives and gives us a rich heritage with many mentors to help when we have questions and need advice.

Below is my artsy-fartsy Faith Project. Feel free to make one of your own if you like the idea (the photos were ones that I took and edited in Picnik):


First things first.

1. God - personal spiritual growth
2. Spouse - edification and relationship of man and wife
3. Children - nurture and train godly offspring
4. Work - strive to do our best at all our given tasks
5. Others - service, hospitality, and fellowship


Aspire to excel for God's glory.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

My 4 Pillars:
Religion (based on relationship)


Instruct your children in righteousness. Imitate Christ to lead by example.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. ~ Proverbs 31:26

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. ~ Isaiah 54:13

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9


Treasure the moment.

I tried to teach my child with books,
He gave me only puzzled looks.
I tried to teach my child with words -
They often passed him by, unheard.
Despairingly, I turned aside,
'How shall I teach this child?' I cried!
Into my hand he put the key -
'Come', he said, 'and play with me.'

~ Unknown

Write your plans in pencil... and give god the eraser.

~ Unknown

It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important.

~ Søren Aaby Kierkegaard


Happiness is a choice, not a feeling.

"Love is nothing unless you give it away."

~ Sunday School song

Love - the feeling - is a fruit of love, the verb.

~ Stephen Covey

To learn more about my faith, here are a few links that give insight:

My Profile
My Testimony
Revised Parent's Prayer
Wisdom From the Back of My Yearbook
What I Write About

Thanks for blessing my blog with your readership! It's good to journey together.

June 18, 2005

Landinvitations of the Seller

Update: 11-22-09... This post was inspired by the book of Lamentations in the Bible. It's a bible-ish spoof on the woes of trying to sell a house while you are already practically living in another city (while the bank account dwindles). I wrote it in 2005 while we were trying to sell our home for 8 months before we moved out of state. What a trip down memory lane! The great thing is - it's over... and we learned some hard lessons through this trail. If you are sitting on some real-estate that just isn't moving, and your funds seem to be leaking out of a hole in your pocket, TAKE HEART! God knows your troubles and He is in control. One day you'll be on the other side of this thing, looking back.

Landinvitations of the Seller

1 Oh, how deserted lay my house from Realtor traffic
once so full of Clients wishing to purchase a home
How like a widow is she, causing bills to mount up from the east and west
and yet, unable to pay them, she ensnares us into slavery.
Lo, half of the year has past and the market is weak.
The fruit of my loins are faint for cleaning their rooms
in fear of the wrath of their mother if yet a Realtor calls.
We miss the pungent smell of air freshener -
Oh, that we could feel again the rush and panic
at the sound of a key in the lock box or the doorbell ringing.

2 Bitterly we weep at night
tears are upon our cheeks from fretting over the market.
Anxiety overwhelms us and we call our Realtor in panic.
He tries unable to console us to cease our weeping.
There is no one to comfort us.
All the buyers are away on vacation,
or held off by the wickedness of traffic.
Helps us, O LORD, for our major intersection
is down to one lane and there is not one
who would brave the traffic for a showing.

3. After all of my husband's harsh labor,
He must go into exhile by way of his truck;
to cross the nation by automobile many hundreds of miles.
It takes him a times, a times and a half times to reach his resting place.
His gas card exceeds it's limits and there is much distress.
And to heap burning coals on my head, alas,
my cell phone has no signal to call out to him.

4. Along the road we mourn and speed - sinning against you.
During the weeks of seperation we lament and watch too much TV
for we must eat alone and all of it must be fast food.
In our house there is the smell of frozen fishsticks.
It is so hard to to cook for only one adult and two children.
The children's groans for greasy food rings in my ears day and night.
There is bitter anguish at the cost of my husband
eating every meal out in exhile. The grease makes us fat before you.

5. We groan and complain day and night
we search for bread in the church pantry
our credit cards sweep down to destroy us through the mail.
We borrow to keep ourselves alive. There is no one left
that has not loaned us something we must repay.
"Look, LORD, and consider our plight,
for we are forced to commute between two cities
and we faint from the numbers on our bills all the day long."

6. "Is it nothing to you, all who pass by?
Look again at the flyer in front of our dwelling."
Come and buy our house while the grass is yet green, and
summer has not devoured it's life.
Is any house like my house? It is so lovely in stature.
We are at least ten thousand shillings below market value
and we overflow with square footage and bedrooms!
Look, I spread a net for your feet. Turn back -
my eyes overflow with tears... will thou just make a bid?

7. I have called my realtor to lower the price
Three times I have lowered it and yet you look on.
Look there at the carpet - I have vacuumed three times!
"See, LORD, how distressed I am! I am in torment
within, and in my heart I am disturbed."
Is there not one buyer in this city to release me?
My soul is downcast within me. My grass grows high.

8. I thrust forth new flyers into the yard sign with vigor.
I search out the MLS and my competition seeks to distroy me.
But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD's great love
we are not consumed by escrow shortage,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is His faithfulness.
9. I say to myself, "The LORD is the Great Realtor;
therefore I will wait for him."
Restore us, O LORD, and send us a buyer -
fill our house with the clients of realtors.
Keep our gas card and bank account from the pit.
Oh, that we would be moved this summer.
O, LORD, do not forsake your Sellers so long.


Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

June 17, 2005


While cleaning out some old email, I came across an old piece I wrote about Baptism. A friend of mine was baptized not too long ago, and another one is considering it in the next few weeks. I wanted to post it again, as I so fondly remember the day Kevin and I chose to give our lives to God. I have a photo of us at Olan Mills that day, holding our infant son. We had to leave church (fully dressed), get baptized in our Bible teacher's pool, and then rush home to get re-dressed for our photo. It is a great portrait, even factoring in the rush and stress of redressing. Someone made the comment to me that we look so happy in that picture we are almost "glowing". Well - I would say so! That was the first day of our spiritual lives. Not only did we give our hearts and lives to Jesus, wash away our sins, and start afresh... but we did it together. Life is so much more fun when you share it with others... when you "Give it away" as the Bible school song goes... So here's my Baptism Essay - enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On Baptism...

I once heard a great little story that so simply explained the baptism issue. I thought I would share it with you all.

One night, a fire broke out in a little house. The Father and Mother both got out and their little girl was trapped with fire on all sides except the balcony on the second story where she was. Her father, desperate to save her, called out to her - HONEY, JUMP INTO MY ARMS!!!! I WILL CATCH YOU. The little girl looked behind her shoulder at the flames, looked WAY down at her Daddy below... And deciding to trust him, she jumped.

What saved her – the BELIEF she had that her father would save her… or the OBEDIENCE she displayed to his command to jump?

Neither one... Her father's arms.

...But would she have been saved if she had not trusted (had faith) and not jumped (obeyed)? Doesn't the old hymn say "Trust and Obey - for there's no other way"... Our obedience is required - no matter how you want to look at it. It is not the water of baptism which saves - it is God's grace... But we have all heard this before. It isn't something new. I am sure that you all know the verses related to baptism (a short search on Biblegateway.com under baptism/baptized will give you tons if you want to read them all yourself again) - otherwise you wouldn't be having this discussion...

The simple fact is this... Jesus, perfect Savior, God's Holy Son, without SIN, went down into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John. He said that "it was proper to do this to fulfill all righteousness". God was pleased with him and visibly so - and we are supposed to follow in His footsteps. If Jesus did it and we are supposed to obey and follow in His footsteps... Why would we want to teach that it isn't necessary? Have YOU been baptized? Shouldn't we then teach that it is "proper to fulfill all righteousness" and it is "pleasing to God" and lead others to do it - rather than making an issue of it?

Are we totally submitted to God's authority if we lead His children astray? His words are so simple that they confound the wise and analytical... And make us go around and around on these simple issues - trying to make things much harder then He ever intended.

Another story that explains the power of obedience is the story of Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram in 2 Kings 5. A slave girl from Israel told him of the power of the prophets which came from God to heal the sick. His master allowed him to travel to seek his health. Elisha told him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." He was angry and went away complaining. He was expecting something more than this silly request - something easy and quick and less awkward maybe? How could the water in the muddy Jordan be any better than the clean rivers of Damascus? Why would God require this? His heart was full of questions as the text reveals. But Naaman's servants are of simple mind - and must have loved their master... Vs. 13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!"

And Naaman's heart - while still having a seed of doubt - chose to obey God. And his flesh was restored "like that of a young boy's" - and he then knew that "there is no God in all the world except in Israel".

Would Naaman have been healed had he not obeyed? That is the question here - with Naaman's leprosy and our baptism. Are we really sure that God doesn't require us to submit to his orders? With verses like these, I certainly don't want to lead anyone astray:

1 Peter 3:21
and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge[ 3:21 Or response] of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ...

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 2:38
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:18
Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,

Acts 16:33
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

Acts 19:5
On hearing this, they were baptized into[ 19:5 Or in] the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 22:16
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'

Galatians 3:27
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

I know all the arguments on this case. I know that we are not saved by works... And baptism is not a work. It is an act of obedience in response to our Faith. (James 2 - Faith without works is dead - remember. Even the demons believe and tremble.) I also believe that there are exceptions to this rule. The thief on the cross was under mosaical law. Jesus had not died yet and the Holy Spirit had not come down in force at Pentecost yet... And God is in heaven and does what he pleases. Who am I to say that one can not be saved apart from baptism? I am nothing but a servant. I know only what My Master and Savior has done. I teach nothing but what My Master and Savior has asked that I teach. I don't tell anyone who is or is not saved. I only tell them what Jesus did and let them decide in their heart what they must do. I know that my only goal is to please my savior and Father in Heaven... And I know what pleases Him from His Word.

Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

June 14, 2005

Unanswered prayers...

Psalm 37:7 - Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Boy, it's hard to wait on the Lord. Right now, we are in month 6 of a situation that is very much like the sinking of the Titanic. Our boat, however, is our finances... and we are trapped in the economy seats below deck - watching the cold water come seeping in.

We don't always understand why God doesn't answer us right away, or why He doesn't answer in the way we would choose. Sometimes deliverance would hinder our growth. Sometimes it's not in His plan. Whatever the reason, we are told to keep praying - and that the Lord, who has our best interest at heart, will meet our needs in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - 16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Oswald Chambers in his book "My Utmost for His Highest" writes, "Wait for God's timing and He will do it without any heartache or disappointment. When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move." This is so true. When things are in God's hands, there are no regrets and there is peace. When God handles a situation, the outcome is far greater than you could have imagined.

I have been writing in my prayer journal for months about the house selling. Instead of looking at the unanswered prayers, I need to turn my face to the Lord and trust that his timing is as perfect as always. After all, it was a miracle that we were able to buy this house anyway. It was a gift. I need to remember that God is in control.

I take heart in the fact that even King David, who was called a "Man after God's own heart" asked God many times in the Psalms "How long, O Lord?" The refining fire of the Lord's charachter-shaping furnace is never painless, and sometimes is an infuriatingly slow process.

Isaiah 48:10 - See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

I am sure that on the other side of this Titanic is a life boat that will take us to safety and a future that is better than we could have hoped or imagined. We will choose to trust in the Lord. I would rather be walking through the fire with God than be without Him.

1 Peter 5:6 - Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

There are a couple of really great songs on the Christian stations right now. I'll have to link a few great Chrisitan radio stations in here soon. Here is one of my favorite 'waiting on the Lord' songs. The lady who sings it has a voice like an angel. She is also blind. It is good to remember that it's NEVER as bad as it COULD get... there are at least a hundred thousand people who have life worse than you do right now. I'll have to post the other song tomorrow... you can download the songs at Wal-Mart for less than a dollar a song.

Owens Ginny - 'Without Condition' Album

"If You Want Me To"

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials
bring me closer to you
Then I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer
my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering
Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to

Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

June 11, 2005

Where Jesus lived...

Matthew 4:13 - Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali

What a wonderful experience! VBS was so fun. It was entitled "Hangin' in the Holy Lands - June 11, 30 A.D." It was very hot outside, and the live animals really added a lot. I lost an earing, and my sandals were too flat. My feet hurt now. I ate lots of fresh baked flat bread (made in a chimenea), and lots of cookies that were given out after the play. I am so glad I went back home for the camera.

Here is a photo of the ruins of the Jewish Temple in the REAL Capernaum today before you start... if only the stones could speak!

Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!
My kids with a lady who directed the project... aren't they cute? Lineaus and Percephanies, the little Gentile children! We were pretending to be Romans.

The kids got bags of money when they signed in at the registration center. They could buy goods and trade things they bought also. Morgan's coins were gone within the first hour, and Kaden still has three in his bag he brought home! Hopefully we can be good teachers of how NOT to handle money, and hopefully soon we'll be like Kaden - with a little in savings! Here is the first stop on the tour - the TAX COLLECTOR! Ouch!

There was a jewlery shop with little bead bracelets for sale. Morgan spent most of her money here. She tried and tried to barter for an oil lamp at the pottery shop, but he kept insisting that it was his only lamp, and was not for sale!

Just outside the camp, there were lepers yelling "UNCLEAN!". The gaurds had to round them up and keep them from the village.

The Sea of Galilee never looked so dry! Must have been a toxic spill, as the fish were all bobbing at the top of the water, lifeless! Never-the-less, the fishermen talked to us and made lots of funny jokes. I got bit by a fire ant at the shore. I didn't know they had fire ants in Galilee! Here's a photo of Kevin ("Marcus" the Roman Statesman, my husband) talking with a fisherman...

Here is a photo of the real sea of Galilee as it may look even today:

Here's a photo of me with a chicken. Very sweet chicken, might I add! Too bad they taste so good smothered in apricot glaze!

And here's a great photo of the kids - who had such a blast today. Aren't they cute little Gentiles? They could pass for Hebrews also... I'm just glad they're mine!

Subscribe to Sprittibee by Email

June 10, 2005

Honee Home

It's always nice to see Daddy's shining face on Friday.

Kevin got home today in time to meet us at the church to walk through the "Holy Lands" for a rehersal of sorts. Tomorrow is the big day for our VBS. We'll be taking the community in small groups through the past - visiting the "Holy Lands" through a living history display. The village is so cute - and everyone will be in costume. A lady at church sewed some of our old sheets up to make us costumes and gave them to us tonight. We're going to pretend to be shepherds who are coming to town to visit the market. Jesus is going to come through and preach on a grassy area. The tax collector will be picking on everyone, and there will be live goats and a donkey. I can't wait to see this. I'll take my camera and try and post a photo tomorrow.

Not a single call on the house this week. Very depressing. I am trusting that God will make a way - a stream in this desert...

June 09, 2005

Murals and Minga

What a day. Whew! I've been on my feet going in circles around the kitchen table today painting away. I feel blessed to have had my mom here to help take care of the kids and keep them busy and having fun. She took them swimming and got some groceries at lunch time to feed us sandwiches. I didn't even realize what time it was, but we ate at nearly 3pm! Oh, well - we slept in some this morning and had breakfast after 9am, so it wasn't that bad. I finished the mural at 6:30 or so... Here's a photo of the final product. It stands from the tile to the mantle in front of my fireplace right now... and will be hung at our church after I put a clear coat on it. I'm not the only one painting. There are lots of the ladies painting one. They used overheads to trace them onto boards, so don't think it's an original! The only thing original on mine are some details (trees, faces, colors, etc.) - and elbow grease.

Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World #illustration #Christianity #painting

No calls on the house today. At least 3 fliers have disappeared this week. Still praying for answers soon on that prayer.

I also caught my little kitten napping in the windowsill beside the door today. She's so cute. Here's a photo of her as well. Enjoy!


June 08, 2005

Late night...

Just got finished with an accounting project today... have 3 days off at home with the kids. I'm up late since I get to sleep in tomorrow for a change. I've been working contract for a CPA for the summer since "school" is out. Can't wait to start back to school. We love homeschooling.

I have to paint a mural on two boards that will be hung on the church wall tomorrow. I promised the kids we would go swimming, too.

The kids have said they miss me being at home. Kaden told me tonight that he felt like there was a "mountain in-between daddy and us" (me and kids), and a "sharp pointy hill" in-between me and them (his sister and him) right now... and that he was "encouraged" by a song that played on the Christian radio station today about "a boy who had the faith to move a mountain". He said (through tears) that he knew that God wanted him to hear that song right then. Wow - pretty deep stuff for an 8 year old.

It's been hard these last 5.something months without daddy here during the week. We're ready for the house to sell.


Some posts on this blog contain affiliate links or sponsored links. I receive a small commission whenever a product is purchased through an affiliate link. Sponsored links are paid for by a company who wishes to improve their Google ranking, but I always check to make sure these are reputable sites and never allow any links that are questionable to be placed.

The links in my "Sweet Linkage" section are either sponsored links or personal links that I find interesting (including the links to the blogs that both of my teen children run).

I occasionally run ads on my blog in exchange for money or traded advertising, or receive products in exchange for a review or giveaway posts. I also participate in campaigns by brands that offer to pay me to write about their products after using them. Any post that is sponsored will be noted as such. All opinions expressed on Sprittibee.com are my own, and any review, give-away, sponsored post, graphic ad, or product that I mention or link to are ones that I believe are reputable and worthy companies.


blog design:

blog archives