Friday, November 28, 2008

The Awful Face of Terrorism

Our sympathies and prayers to the people of Mumbai, India. Our sympathies and prayers to the people of that country and others, including ours, who lost precious loved ones to terrorism. May the Lord have mercy on them and on all of us in this threatened world. We're all under threat from this evil. It's definitely a time to be watchful and prayerful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:1-2

Adapted from our praise time in church on Sunday evening, I will list the benefits given to me from my Lord:

  • Praise Him for my salvation
  • Praise Him for my family
  • Praise Him for my church family
  • Praise Him for my heritage and my nation
  • Praise Him for my health
  • Praise Him for my daily provision

And from the sermon on Sunday morning, I was touched by these two verses:

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24

So at this Thanksgiving time, may I offer my thanks most of all for a God who sought me when yet a sinner; for a Savior who loved me and gave Himself for Me, rose from the dead for my justification, and ever lives to make intercession for me; and for the Spirit who strengthens, helps, and comforts me on this perilous journey.

May you, too, offer your thanks for our triune God and may you glory in His name at this time and all times.

Have a blessed and happy day tomorrow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Place Like Home

What have you been doing this week? I've been pretty busy, getting quite a bit done here in my home. I've been working on the home business, teaching homeschooling, laundry (which brought on some plumbing problems which have thankfully been resolved), housecleaning, cooking, family finances, and CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!

I thought I would like to take this moment to proclaim my thankfulness for online and catalog shopping. As one who has never liked the hustle and bustle of going to stores during the Christmas season (or any season for that matter), it's so wonderful to be able to sit in my home and get on the phone or computer to order various gifts for various people on my shopping list. For those of you who like the whole store and mall shopping thingamajig, more power to you. But for me, I like the time, gas, and headaches that shopping from home saves me. That's not to say that I don't find it necessary to sometimes go to stores , but as the years have gone by, it's increasingly not been nearly as often or time guzzling as it used to be. So, how many of you enjoy the whole stores routine and how many of you are like me?

That's all for today, folks. Haven't seen the grandkids since Sunday. Hope to see them tomorrow, though. We have a funeral at church, so please remember a dear sister from church who was widowed this week when her husband (who was saved near the end) went home to glory after a battle with cancer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uber Award

A sweet lady gave me an award last week and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her. This is called the Uber Award and Susan of Penless Thoughts passed it along to me and a few others. I wanted to thank her and encourage you to visit her blog whenever you can. You'll like her frugal tips and I'm sure you'll enjoy all the goings on in her family. She has a very popular blog, and understandably so. I go there often; she's usually one of the first I visit on my blogging expeditions.

Most of you know about my hesitation to "name names" in passing on awards. As I've said before, I am a little quirky about that. So many of you have blogs that fit into the various categories given that I can't bring myself to name a few. I will say, though, that Susan would fit into almost ALL those categories. But some of you have been such faithful friends for so long that I want you to know how much your friendship has meant. And now, especially since the election series, I have made some new friends and I'm quite delighted about that too.

To all of you, or any of you, this award is being offered, so that if you want to pick it up and reward a few folks of your own, please do! Rules and more info are at Susan's blog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Happened?

Cleaning out my inbox, I found an email I had forgotten about. Thinking about the economic difficulties we're having right now as well as the moral climate, it's hard to believe from whence we've come. The title of the email is "Comments Made in the Year 1955." That's not so long ago. Goodness. What Happened?

There were a lot of them; I'll just give you a sample of some:

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.00.'

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.'

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?'

'When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.'

'Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.'

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.'

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.'

'Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more, those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.'

'No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital it's too rich for my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.'

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.'

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.'

Back to the good old days.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Two Girls

Since I'm not having much time for blogging right now (promise to get by to see some of you later), I thought I'd take advantage of a grandmother's ongoing and timeless right to show pictures of her grandchildren. Here are a couple of photos to grace my page with beauty, one month after Shana's birth. Just thought you'd like to know: Selena is loving her little sister!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The World is Not Worthy

And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:36-38

I hope we haven't forgotten them. In all the hubbub of the past several weeks, they've continued in their struggle and suffering. Where are they? They're in Iran, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Iraq, Pakistan, and on and on. In times past, they've been found in places like Scotland and Germany. They will always be there for as long as there is a true Church on this earth. Who are they? They're the persecuted saints now and through the ages. They've been beaten, imprisoned, tortured, burned, drowned, shot, stabbed, and verbally maligned. They've been kicked out of their homes and towns. Their families have turned against them. Why do they endure such? For the sake of a Savior who loved them and gave Himself for them. For the sake of the promise of a better country, a city which has been prepared for them. These are the ones of whom it's said that the world is not worthy. Praise God for them. Reading and hearing about them gives us hope; we're encouraged to press on ourselves in the little that's asked of us.

And we're encouraged now to pray for them, at least for the ones who are still alive. Those who have already gone on don't need our prayers. They've arrived. Hallelujah.

Tomorrow, the 9th, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please hop over to the VOM's
Persecution Blog where Stacy has outlined Specific Prayer Requests for you and your church.

I need to post this hymn again. There has been so much discussion about war these days. There's something about all the arguing and discussion about it that wearies me. But as I said over a year ago when two people I know where martyred for Christ in a foreign land, I want to remind us that true believers are engaged in a warfare and we're soldiers. Let's never forget that. We may have forgotten because we've had it relatively easy compared to some of the saints that are suffering elsewhere., but let them be a reminder to us that we are indeed soldiers. Last year I posted this hymn as a salute to those two fallen soldiers who had perished while engaged in "battle" for the cross of Christ. I want to post this again (I am so sorry I've gotten away from my Saturday hymn post) in honor of the persecuted saints scattered throughout the world. And while you read this, don't forget: You're a soldier too. Be ready.


Am I a soldier of the cross,
A foll'wer of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause,
Or blush to speak his Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord;
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by thy Word.

Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
Shall conquer, though they die;
They view the triumph from afar,
And seize it with their eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all thine armies shine
In robes of vict'ry through the skies,
The glory shall be thine.

~ Isaac Watts

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thanks for Your Service

Thought some cuteness was in order in the midst of all the heavy stuff.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Must Links

I have more links that are musts. I am almost jumping up and down with excitement after following many links that have led me to other links, etc. etc. So many folks are posting good stuff. Go to Cathy's to get a few of them. I am refreshed and renewed in Christ today! Heaven is my home! I love my country, but my primary citizenship is in heaven! Nothing NOTHING can separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. No government here on earth can take away what Christ is to me. Yes, the days ahead may be difficult; they already have been. Surely we knew we were living in trying times, anyway. God is drawing us closer to Himself--I just know He is. Praise Him!

My daughter Neesie has linked to a beautiful post written by a young black woman. Please follow that link and look into Jasmine's heart and be blessed if you would.

Also, one of the links from Cathy had a link to another post, written by a man named Randy Alcorn, which is a must read. Please take the time--it will be well spent.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

America Has Chosen a President

Well, it's all over, and yes, America has chosen a President. All day I've been thinking about how to close out this series and all day I've been praying for the Lord to make my heart be what He wants it to be at this time. I want to respond to this enormous event in a righteous way that's pleasing to my Lord. It's been hard and I've been floundering since nine o'clock last night. Then, in God's providence, I was led to an article written today by a man who I'm not too familiar with, but as I read it, I knew it was what I needed. I knew Mr. Mohler's response is the response that God wants from me. By the time I finished reading it to my husband, I broke down in tears, because God had answered my prayers. (Guess you've noticed that crying comes easily for me these days.) I would ask that you read it, too. Maybe God will lead you to the same place:

I'm officially closing out the election series, but I think that perhaps I'll keep "The American Dream" as a label that I'll post under from time to time, bringing thoughts and links and other things that seem appropriate, as my dream for this country has not died by any means. Hope yours hasn't either. After all, we have a God to turn to who can do anything.

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Jeremiah 32:17.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Casting My Vote

As I said the other day, I'm glad this will soon be behind us and we can move on. I have never in my life seen a more emotional election. We all know it's a historic one, but never before has there been so much emotion. This has not only been a historic and emotional day for me, but one of prayer. I don't know when I've felt the need more. I went to the polls where the entire room was filled with excited and exhuberant Obama supporters, rejoicing already in their victory. For some reason, I understood their feelings, their sense of history being made. I can't blame them for that.

Then I stepped into the booth and cast my vote for McCain/Palin with tears in my eyes. I don't know why the tears came. Maybe because I felt I was voting on the losing side? Or were they more tears of thankfulness to be able to do this simple act of faith, that I was voting for a cause which I thought was right, just as all those others were? Mine was just different. What will God do with that one little vote of mine? One thing He will do is give me a clear conscience and a determination to be a better Christian in the days ahead. Will the days ahead be more difficult for Christians in America? Only time will tell. Maybe we have had it too easy. Maybe that's why we've become so lax about our faith. Maybe hard times would be good for us. But I have satisfaction in knowing I have cast a vote for the life of the unborn, for family values, parental rights, a free enterprise system, national security, and a bit more I hold dear.

God makes the final call. He alone is the sovereign one who rules over all. If He has decided that He wants my candidate to win, then no one can stand in his way. But if He has determined that His will is different than mine, I will have a President whom I didn't want, but who will be President of this great country and therefore will have my support as far as I can give it, and he'll certainly have my prayers. And I promise to not trash him and bash him for his failures as so many have done his predecessor. I 'll give those failures over to God too.

On both sides, I've read and heard and seen a lot of mean and nasty things directed at the other side. This country needs some serious healing. I hope we can all work on that. And let's all remember something important: there is only one true Messiah. His Name is Jesus. If anyone can change this country and this world, He alone can. Let's worship Him only. And get busy serving Him in whatever lies ahead.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Endorsement

Well, soon it will be all over. Soon we will know for sure. I'm glad. I have to say I'm tired of it all. This has been really something; I've never seen anything like it. Well, we all know God is in control and no one can be President or king or anything else without His allowing it to be. But I did just read an interesting post at a blog today. And what it was saying is that even though God is in control, we, the people, do make the choice. And the fact is that God will give our country exactly what we choose or should I say, exactly what we want. And that's whether it's a good choice or a bad one. So, we the people of the United States of America are going to make one of the most important decisions in our country's history. And God is going to give us the President we ask for. Remember Israel? They wanted a king so they could be like all the other nations around them, and God gave them the king they wanted. Read all about it in I Samuel 8.

Choices can be difficult to make. I knew I needed to make one and frankly, this summer I wasn't sure what I was going to do about this election. I sincerely considered a third party candidate. But I have made a decision early this fall and I'm comfortable with it now. At first I wasn't going to come right out with an endorsement of a particular candidate. Like my endorsement means anything, right? :-) But it means something for me. It's something I'll need to live with all my life. And like any decision we make, we could be wrong. We're fallible creatures for sure. But I've decided to support my candidate for the sake of conscience and what for me is the most intelligent decision I can make. I hope I'm not thinking selfishly, but as a citizen and for the whole, rather than just myself and family. Others are seeking to do the same, I know, and some are making a different decision. We can't all be right. Some body's wrong on one side. Or maybe all sides are wrong. But one thing is for sure, all sides aren't right. (I think Abe Lincoln said something like that once.)

Enough of all that. Obviously, I changed my mind and have decided to announce, at the eleventh hour, which candidate I support. I just wanted to make it known that I am endorsing John McCain for President. Not much of a surprise you're thinking. Not necessarily. It took me a bit of a time to get to this. Like I said, I thought about a third party candidate for a while. But then, in the long run, I felt it was best and more sensible not to do that.

So, my rationale for my endorsement of the Senator from Arizona:

1. I trust him. I think he has proven himself. (Now I did not say he's not made any mistakes!) Also, on this point, I can say I've come to like the man. I didn't at first. Another thing I like is that he's old. Don't laugh--I always like to have older people in important jobs. Always did, even when I was young. Old folks often have a lot of wisdom packed up in that brain of theirs. And those jokes and insinuations about his age which I've heard and read bounce right off me.

2. He's a Republican. Now it doesn't sound too smart to say that, but let me explain: I really believe it would be best if we didn't have very liberal Democrats in both the Congress and the White House. The D's and R's tend to balance each other out, which really is much better for all, in my opinion.

3. He seems to be pretty solid on the moral issues. He has stated clearly that he's pro-life and believes life begins at conception and he doesn't seem to be shaky on his view of traditional marriage. He also is a proponent of parental rights in education. These issues are big for me because I believe the next President will be making some pretty important judicial appointments. This could make a big difference regarding which way our country goes in these respects.

4. Even though, in my opinion, he didn't get some of his points across too eloquently in the debates, I believe he has a good handle on foreign policy. I agree with him on winning the war. I'm very hesitant to let anyone else try to handle that touchy situation.

5. I DEFINITELY am with him on the economy. We have a huge mess on our hands, which I believe to be the fault of both parties, the Congress, the administration, and the corporate world, but that's another story. Whoever becomes President is going to inherit this mess and I feel much safer if the next administration adopts policies as outlined by Mr. McCain. I wanted to talk quite a bit about how I feel about these things, but time won't allow. Let's just say that I am a capitalist and prefer limited government. I would like to see private organizations and individuals, and especially churches, do more for the needy among us, as I am quite fearful about too much big government in our lives. In many countries that has led to tyranny. I also believe McCain's plan of lessening the tax burdens on the larger corporations will in the long run filter down to the main street people by way of jobs and lower prices. I have this sense about him that he's not all gloom and doom about the state of things, but really does believe in the resiliency and capabilities of our people. I tend to agree. I'm kind of dumb about the economy, but that's the way I see it after the whole tax thing was explained by various people with good financial minds.

6. I am thankful that he has a conservative and bright running mate. Now I need to admit: This was a tough one for me. I have been back and forth about how I feel about a woman President if it should happen. (I'm being honest!) I just haven't been totally sure what I think of it and at first didn't even know if it was biblical. I've settled that part of it and have come to be more comfortable with her. For some reason, I've not been worried about the whole experience part of it. From what I've seen of Gov. Palin, she could do it. And I have to say, I think she'd do it well. It's kind of funny. I know he's older, but sometimes folks talk as if McCain's going to drop dead a day after taking office. I think if he were to get into office, the Lord would allow him a year or two of life. Hey, maybe even four years! How ever long he lasted, let me tell you, Sarah would be ready if he didn't make it. Even with my slight hesitation about her gender, I still prefer her over the other VP candidate. So in that sense I'm counting her as a plus on his side.

So there you have it. I know. It seems my preferred candidate is considered to be not likely to make it. But I'll not let the polls or all the yard signs of his opponent all around me stop me from going out and voting on Tuesday. And any one of you who reads and hears it's a lost cause better not let ANYTHING you hear or read stop you from casting your vote! You NEVER know.

But whomever the choice of the people turns out to be, we will have what we've asked for. And we'll pray for him and for our country, yes? And we'll remember that after all is said and done, it's still Jesus who is our Leader and Guide through this dark and often troublesome world.

All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know whate'er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

~Fanny J. Crosby