Monday, July 30, 2007

Reflecting on Blogs

I've been struggling as to how I might best do this post. You see, there have been some awards circulating around Blogland and two dear young bloggy friends have seen fit to give one of them to me here at this blog. I want to thank Bethany and Beka for reaching out in love to me and especially, for their words that touched the heart of this Nanna. They are two of my favorites in Blogland and I didn't want to go another day without acknowledging their kindnesses, along with the spirit in which each was given. Please go visit them--they are both sweetie-pies and both honor the Lord, especially with their many hymn posts.

If you're wondering about the "struggle" aspect of this, it's this: The award given to me is called the Blogger Reflection Award and it originated here. (I don't know if the link is working to the right page.) From my understanding of it, recipients are to pass this award on to five other bloggers. That's where I'm having the problem. I cannot think of just five bloggers to pass it on to. Here at Nanna's Reflections, for the past year and more that I've been here, I have been visited by and gone to visit many folks, all of whom are special. Needless to say, some are more special than others, but I still don't want to pick five. I think awards are good things, though, because they help us to honor others, not just focus on ourselves. I know that Jesus wants us to be encouragers of fellow saints who walk along the pilgrim way with us, so awards are in keeping with that.

I visit the homes of many folks and each is unique in its own way. Different homes are a pleasure to visit for various reasons, not all the same. Some homes are not a pleasure to visit, so I don't go often. I think blogs are like that. For me, there are some which are pleasant to visit, but not all for the same reasons. So I'm passing on a "general" award to those blogs which I love to visit and to those who "dwell' there, while telling why I like to go see these bloggers.

1. The gorgeous ones - Some homes are like showplaces, having beauty, but no warmth. I'm not talking about those. Im referring here to those homes (blogs) displaying beautiful graphics, prose and lyrics, and sometimes music, all put together in a way that brings glory to God. The ones I love to visit are more than just artistic--they are warm, cozy, and inviting. You feel as though you could stay there all day.

2. The family-oriented ones - Often these blogs have lots of photos and interesting stories about their families. I feel that I've really gotten to know many of them as they tend to be very friendly people. The home is important to them, so we are quite likeminded in that area. They are dedicated to building a Christian environment for their husband and children in keeping with Proverbs 14:1, so I visit often to see what's going on at their house.

3. The well-written ones - Some people have a way of expressing themselves that touch the soul. They are quite articulate, even artistic, with the way their words flow, even when they are telling you about ordinary daily activities. I admire these folks, because they use their giftedness to encourage the rest of us. Some are family oriented and some have quite a bit of biblical content. I consider a few of them close bloggy friends and love calling on them whenever I can.

4. The down-to-earth ones - I can't think of a better way to put it. These dear people expess themselves in exactly the way they would if they were talking to you. They tend to be individuals who love Jesus, family, and other bloggers. Their close walk with the Lord emanates from almost every post they make. Needless to say, I go there as much as my tight schedule allows.

5. The inspirational ones - While most of the above groups have much inspiration in them, there are certain blogs which have a devotional focus. Honestly, some of these are places that the pages could be printed out, stapled together, and you would have a devotional book to use during your quiet times with the Lord. There are one or two which are rather didactic; others which turn their sufferings or their joys into inspirational pieces of literature. They all are special to me and help me in my daily walk.

6. The versatile ones - These people have all kinds of interesting things. They may be dispensing important information or trivia, having some fun activity, honoring someone or something, engaging in nostalgia, and a bunch more. You may find a poem, recipe, weather news, and loads of great pictures! And more often than not, they have something to say about the Lord. I've recently discovered a couple of grandmoms like this and I've thoroughly enjoyed dropping in on them to see what they're up to!

Well, you can see I've cheated terribly with this award. Not only did I not give it to individual blogs, but I had six categories instead of five! But do you understand why I couldn't bring myself to giving it to just five people? So, if you're reading this, you probably fit into one of these groups and you may consider yourself to have been awarded for your blogging efforts by Maxine at Nanna's Reflections.

Happy blogging!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sad things

Yesterday, I woke up sad and I stayed that way for the better part of the day. It was funny, I went to Bev's Girl Inside blog and she had posted something from Amy Carmichael that hit the nail on the head for me. I wanted to comment there, but didn't since that blog is specifically directed at teens and young ladies. :) (She has since told me I am welcome to comment there.) But as the day wore on, I kept getting sadder, and certain external incidents didn't help matters any.

I found a dead baby cardinal right outside in the back yard. I think it had flown into the sliding glass door by accident and broken its neck. I put it into a plastic bag and into the trash; immediately afterward, there was the clicking sound of its father going from branch to branch calling for it. As you know, one of my greatest pleasures is feeding and watching the birds, with cardinals being my favorites. I always have appreciated the way their families are set up and how diligent the males are in the care of their babies once they leave the nest. So, seeing this anxious beautiful male bird (and he was anxiously calling!) flying about our yard and the adjoining ones made me very sad.

During a telephone call, a dear sister was telling me about something that is happening in her life which is a real struggle for her, and I must say, rightfully so. There are going to be some changes to her current circumstances which are going to be very difficult and she's taking it all pretty hard. She's had one trial after another for years and years, so thinking about her made me sad all day long.

Then, I read the news article about a pastor from San Antonio who was struck and killed by lightening while out hiking with his two teen sons. It was the youngest boy's fourteenth birthday and their mom was back at the campsite making a birthday cake. Sometimes you don't want to read the news; these things make you so sad. I had some difficulty getting this family off my mind.

The news gets worse and worse as time goes on. Big yesterday were the reports of the murder of one of the 23 South Korean Christian hostages being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan. More persecution of the saints; it's happening everywhere. The last I heard, the remaining 22 are still in the hands of their captives. Sorrow upon sorrow for the families and friends of these dear folks. We can't help but feel a sense of deep sadness when we hear these things.

Sorry to make such a gloomy post. But believe it or not, I feel better today. I can't explain why, but I woke up today in a completely different frame of mind. In my morning devotions in the book of Matthew, my companion Mr. Ryle quoted a verse that jumped out at me. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning," says Psalm 30, verse 5. About that verse, it was said by another divine that "mourning shall last but till morning." Thank God. I pray He'll help us to remember that.

Later I saw my cardinal couple come to the feeder and this time I didn't hear the peculiar sound from somewhere in the trees--the sound that the young ones make as they follow close behind. They probably only had the one, but I have no doubt that they've already started a new nest. They're not like us, you know.

But as for my friend, the family and loved ones of the pastor in San Antonio, and those Christians going through unspeakable torment in South Korea and Afghanistan, this verse is a promise. The darkness of now makes this promise difficult to fathom, but it's a promise nonetheless. And any promise from our God is one to be believed. Let's all remember it when were down and out, but even more so in times of adversity. During the midnight hours, let's remember that there is coming a morning of joy. And it may not be until we see the light of the Son face to face.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sneaky Nutrition - Wheat Germ

So , do I have any sneaky moms out there who are ready to serve some more underhanded vitamins and minerals to their unsuspecting husbands and children? Here's another nutritive powerhouse for you. We're long overdue, because I've been too busy serving up birthday cakes and the like and I'm finally ready to get back to being a scoundrel. I really intend to crack down on this household and get back to more healthful eating!

Wheat germ is great for these purposes. For best results, you should keep it CONCEALED. Don't let the people in your household see the label on the jar. I repeat, it is important that you do not allow them to see the nutrition facts! Seeing the percentages of Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Thiamin, phosphorus, and zinc may have negative effects on their enjoyment of the finished product. I don't know how they would feel about the fact that the same two tablespoons of this ingredient also would give them some potassium and fiber. They probably won't care that there is very little fat in it, and no saturated fat, but I wouldn't take the chance. JUST SLIP IT IN WHEN THEY'RE NOT LOOKING and they'll never suspect. Sneak a few tablespoons in pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, meatloaf and whatever else your deceiving imagination can think of.

I recently saw a smoothie which might make a refreshing beverage or snack for this time of year. You can find it here. I don't know if you can get any of your folks to drink it, but it's worth a try. The rascals who put it together have included bananas, yogurt, and orange juice, adding even MORE potassium and magnesium, as well as calcium, no less. What nerve! I don't know if you can pull it off, but I'm not too hopeful about it working here for several reasons.

Anyway, here is this entry's recipe, for you, my dear partners in the crime of trying to nurture our families. In all seriousness, this dish is really scrumptious. We like it best for breakfast, but it also can be served as a dessert:

Applesauce Bread Pudding

1. 7 to 8 slices bread, white or whole wheat, or some of both. (Number of slices may vary, depending on size of slices.)
2. 3 eggs
3. 2 cups canned skim milk, undiluted
4. 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
5. 1/2 cup sugar (or less)
6. 1 tsp. vanilla
7. 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
8. 1/2 tsp. salt
9. nutmeg
10. wheat germ (about 1/4 cup)
11. raisins, if desired

a. Spray a shallow baking dish and break up the bread into it.
b. In a bowl, mix eggs, add milk, then stir in applesauce.
c. Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt to egg mixture.
d. Stir in wheat germ and raisins, if desied.
e. Pour the mixture over the bread pieces.
f. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 35-45 minutes.

I hope you try it and like it. We sure do!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Cutie Pie

I thought I'd let this little fellow hold the spot until I can get to the post I want to make. Note the heart shape on his back. The shop owner in Japan says that this is the first time that a puppy has been born with these markings of all the 1,000 she has bred. She's not going to sell this one, she says, and I don't blame her. He's been on Yahoo's most emailed photo list for a while yet. How cute can you get! What would you name him?

Another fact for Connie's tag: I LOVE DOGS!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bev!!

We have yet another birthday to celebrate in our family. This time it's Bev! Many of you know my daughter Beverly, whose blog is "next door" to mine. (So many people go back and forth from hers to mine, it's like we're next door to each other.) Today, she is turning twenty-seven years old. We are so thankful to our Father in heaven for giving her yet another year.

[About the picture: I didn't realize until a bit ago that we don't seem to have any recent photos of her without Selena. I don't think she'll mind that Lena is sharing her birthday blog post picture.]

This daughter of ours has been a blessing to her dad and me since we first laid eyes on her. And I don't say that lightly. She made a profession of faith when she was four years old and I can honestly say I think it was real. When she first gave her heart to Jesus, we told her that we would be "looking for fruit." Well we saw it, and still see it. We saw her desire to please God as a child, teen, and now a young wife and mother. She's a child of Adam, of course, like the rest of us, so please remember her in prayer that God will continue to uphold her.

If you'd like to read what her sister thinks of her go here. Needless to say, my husband and I are doubly thankful for our two girls!!!

This is the Bible verse that we gave her as a life verse. She learned it when yet a toddler and we put it on every birthday card and cake. So I should put it here too!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-7

If you have time, go over and wish her a "Happy Birthday"!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, dear Bevvy
Happy Birthday, to you!!!!!!!!

Love, Dad and Mom

Monday, July 16, 2007

All Creatures of Our God and King

O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. Psalm 104:24

Amen and`Amen! This week our congregation is giving particular attention to our great Creator and His marvelous works. This will be our focus as we minister from our booth at the local County Farm Fair and was our focus at Sunday services. In adult Sunday school there was a video showing the sophisticated designs of many creatures who defy evolution and then in morning worship we heard a sermon by our pastor entitled "Man--the Most Incredible Creature that Defies Evolution." Not that I was wavering in any way, but I have been strengthened as a creationist.

What can invoke renewed praise and adoration for our God better than a fresh look at His handiworks? Who but God could have done what has been done with and in our universe?! But I come with a reminder that even though we, as human beings, are the most incredible of all His creatures, there is something wrong within us, as we heard once again today. We have sin there, which can only be said of us, even though we're such remarkably created beings. But, this wonderful, merciful, gracious God has come to us in the Person of His Son, shedding His blood in a one time sacrifice at Calvary for all who will come to Him by faith, and He is still calling sinners to repent and believe the gospel and be saved. Now that's something to sing about!

This week's hymn was not on my original list, but it sure is appropriate for giving honor to the One whose glory is declared by all things. The earth is full of His riches!! Allelujah!

Let's sing it together, shall we? The following is not the same video that our church saw today, but hopefully, it will serve a similar purpose. And while we join in, we'll pray for the ones who sing in it so gloriously-that they too will know Him in truth, as is my prayer for each one who visits here with me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Prisoner Alert

Hi Friends,

I am so busy today with the things of my life and then I got an email. I didn't have time for this--I had to do this; I had to that; I had to do the other thing. I wanted to click the upper right "x" button to close it down after reading it, but couldn't. So I clicked on the link and did what was asked and now I'm glad. Maybe some of you might take the time from your busyness to do it too. You don't need to get back to me about it, either you do or you don't--of course, this is between you and God.

VOM has a tool on its Prisoner alert site that makes it easy to compose a letter, in another language, to one of our brethren who is being held because of his faith in Christ. Here is a portion of the email I received from one of the people over at, concerning a Son Jong Nam, former North Korean Army officer turned underground evangelist. He is apparently in a North Korean death row basement jail, awaiting public execution. Clicking on the link will take you to the VOM site where a letter can be composed. Actually, it is quite easy to do--just follow the instructions and print out your letter. Here is a portion of the email:

VOM was been joined in the initiative by Brownback, a noted supporter of human rights for North Korean refugees. Brownback sent letters last week, also signed by Senators Baucus (D-Mont.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Vitter (R-La.) asking U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to work to secure the release of the Christian prisoner.
VOM is directing people go to its web site,, where they can compose a personal letter of support and encouragement to Son. The letter is to be mailed to the North Korean delegation to the United Nations, along with a cover letter asking the North Korean government to spare Son's life, release him from prison immediately, report on his current status and deliver the personal letter to Son. "We are asking for prayers for Mr. Son, but also that people around the world take action on his behalf,"
said Todd Nettleton, director of media development for VOM. "Jesus said ministering to a prisoner was like ministering to Himself.
Every letter and email can make a difference."
To learn more about this situation please click here to visit the website set up specifically for this.

Thanks for listening. I just wanted to make you aware of this. At the very least, each of us can pray for this man by name.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thanks so much!

O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. Psalm 71:17-18

A special thank you for all of you who were kind enough to "sign" my hubby's birthday card! Such sweet sentiments! Such godly thoughts that I'm sure he'll treasure always! I am about to print out the comments page and put it into the card to give him later on today when the mail comes with more from other folks. I'll stick this one in with the others and watch his confused face when he opens it!!:) As he reads it, my plans are to tell him about each person who signed and I want to ask him to pray for each one as we have family devotions tonight.

I know the summer is slow and there may be a few cyberspace folks who haven't been by of late, but to those of you who did come, I am so grateful. Some who signed I know personally, but most I do not, even though I do have a feeling of "knowing" you. You are more "flowers of friendship" that I've gathered along my journey and they are adorning the table of my heart today.

On Saturday, we have planned a special dinner with immediate and extended family and last week, at the fourth of July picnic, our church family surprised us with a three day "getaway" for this coming fall in honor of the birthday. And I cannot tell you how much it means to him to read the many loving thoughts and wishes pouring in from the friendship bouquets that have been his as years have been added, flowers no longer buds, but still blooming. A couple of weeks ago, he got a little teary thinking about all the relatives and friends that have gone, so I think the card shower has revived him a bit.

Anyway, I would say that he is having an extended celebration as he reaches his threescore and ten!!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

(I'll probably come back and comment this evening to let you know what his reaction was.)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Please Do Me a Favor...

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday and I was wondering if you would do me a favor? This week, my children and I are having a "card shower" for him where we're asking a bunch of people we know, excepting family and church family, to sort of "flood" the mailbox with birthday cards. Since blogging is such a big part of my life, which rather amuses him, btw, I got the bright idea that I would make a card from the folks in Blogland.

So, if you are reading this it means that you are invited to sign this birthday card to my dear hubby! How do you sign it? By leaving a comment!! Don't say anything to me--make your comment to him, please!! Could you do that?? I would be ever so appreciative! I'm going to print out the comment page and put it inside the card. It will let him know his wife is thinking about him, even when she's blogging. Maybe some of you will want to try this and if so, let me know so I can sign yours! Thanks and God Bless each one of you.

Above is the front of the card. This is the inside greeting:

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Happy Birthday and best wishes from the folks of Blogland!!

Note: The card shower is lasting all week, so I'll probably give this card to him on Thursday. You have until then!! Thanks again!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

More Love to Thee, O Christ

The next hymn on my list ("Blessed Assurance" was taken out of order) is especially loved by many of us who are Elizabeth Prentiss fans. She wrote these words and they were an expression of her life and heart. It was a well known fact about this writer that love for Christ was at the core of her being and her life, which was not without a good deal of suffering. In fact, these lyrics came to her during a time of sorrow over the loss of two of her children.

I regard Mrs. Prentiss as my favorite female author of all time periods. I doubt if I'll ever find writings that speak to my soul as do Stepping Heavenward and Aunt Jane's Hero, and then to top it off, she wrote the beloved words of this treasured hymn. I urge you to meditate on them and bury them deep in your heart. How much better the world would be if all Christians asked the Lord Jesus for more love for Him! Wouldn't you agree that more love for Him will help us to truly love each other better--and our enemies?

The tune and words are here. I especially love singing it at a slow tempo, with reverence. After all, it is a prayer. All you who are wading through deep waters at this time, take particular note of the third stanza:

Let sorrow do its work, Send grief and pain;
Sweet are thy messengers, Sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me, More love, O Christ, to thee,
More love to thee, More love to thee.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Prayer Request for America

The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.

~James Madison

How true it was then. I know it's your prayer, as it is mine, that it will continue to be true. On this anniversary of her birth, pray for our country. Pray that the dream of the great men who framed her existence will live on. May we do everything we can to see that it does not die.