Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - China


Update: Chinese church leader given severe prison sentence

Alimujiang Yimiti (36), a Uyghur Chinese house church leader who was arrested and imprisoned in January 2008 has received a 15-year prison sentence for allegedly "providing state secrets to overseas organizations." The verdict, which stunned Yimiti's lawyers and family members, was read to him in prison on October 27. One of Yimiti's lawyers, Li Dunyong, has reportedly filed an appeal on his behalf. Li Dunyong also stated that Yimiti's Muslim background was a factor in his legal battle, stating, "The whole case is about religious faith issues which are being used against [him] for his conversion from Islam to Christianity, by biased law enforcement agents, prosecutors and the court." (Source: ChinaAid)

Pray that Yimiti will continue to draw near to his Heavenly Father amid his trials.

Pray for Yimiti's wife and children, who are suffering many challenges in his absence.

Pray for spiritual and physical strength for the thousands of Christians in prison for their faith in Christ.
Monday, December 21, 2009

Music Monday - Glory to God


My husband grew up in the Christian Reformed Church. Most members of this denomination are from a Dutch background. My husband's parents both immigrated from the Netherlands after WWII. One of the traditions of CRC church is to sing Ere zig God during Christmas services. They do say you can sing in English, but there is something lost in sound. I have, however, put the translation of the song for you.



Glory to God! Glory to God!
In the highest, in the highest, in the highest!
Peace be on Earth, peace be on Earth
To the people whom God delights in.

Glory to God in the highest, glory to God in the highest!
Peace be on Earth, peace be on Earth, peace be on Earth, peace be on Earth
To the people, to the people whom God delights in,
To the people whom God delights in, whom God delights in.

Glory to God! Glory to God!
In the highest, in the highest, in the highest!
Peace be on Earth, peace be on Earth
To the people whom God delights in.

Amen. Amen.

Now share your favourite song on Saved by Grace.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Caffienated Randomness - "Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening...."


This week, our Caffeinated Chieftain has asked what our favourite Christmas Songs are. To tell you the truth I haven't met a Christmas song I didn't like. However, I'll give you my top three (you can even dance to two!).

The song that reminds of Reason for the season is Who is This Child. It reminds us why He came and what the purpose of Christmas is.



My favourite childhood Christmas song is Suzy Snowflake. I had a record (yes Virginia there were big large black disks that spun around and made music) that had numerous Christmas songs by artists from the 50s and 60s. Growing up where we received little or now snow (I can count on one hand how many White Christmas' we had) I could imagine the little mischievous snowflake calling me to come out and play.



The other Christmas song that I love to hear is of course Elvis' Blue Christmas. Who cannot listen to this song with singing "wohoho?" This was the song we often played while decorating the tree.



Now go post your favourite Christmas songs at Under Grace Over Coffee.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - China


House Church Leader Targeted by Authorities China

The leader of a house church in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, China was released on November 30 after authorities arbitrarily detained him without warrant on November 23. Officials and local villagers targeted Shao Wangui after he and his brother, owners of the Xinba Shoes Factory, refused to pay a fee to support the building of a Buddhist temple in their village. Wangui also asked the members of his house church to refuse to support the construction project. When the village secretary found out about Wangui's actions, he began initiating a campaign of mistreatment against the known believers in the community. In late November, local "vandals" destroyed the brothers' factory as punishment for their refusal to provide funds.

Pray that this experience will bring Wangui, his brother and the members of this house church closer to Christ.

Pray that the persecutors will know Christ's love, forgiveness and blessing through the lives of these Christians (Romans 12:14, 21).

Pray for boldness for Christians in sharing the Gospel, despite the dangers that they face.
Monday, December 14, 2009

Favourite Christmas Memories

Today Donnetta at My Quiet Corner is hosting a Christmas get together where everyone can post their favourite Christmas memory. So, come along and join us .....


Today I was out Christmas shopping. This is the one act every year that could turn me into Scrooge. However, when I was out I remembered the time I went Christmas shopping when I was young, maybe 5 or 6. My grandmother had given one of my aunts money to allow me to pick out and purchase my own gifts to give to our family. I remember buying my grandmother Calgon. I thought she needed the break! I bought one of my aunts a wobble pen. These gifts were simple but came from love.

The gift that I really comes to my mind, however, is a trophy of Snoopy. His arms were wide open and the brass plate read "I love you this much!" I purchased this for my grandfather. I always remember when I was little the bear hugs he gave us. His arms open wide and always inviting us in. He was always one for hugs, even when we got older. The great things about his hugs is that he hung on for a long time to make sure that you know how much you were loved. I still remember the smell of his aftershave, Old Spice (I think I bought him a bottle the next year.)

This is the one of the things that I miss about my grandfather since he passed away 12 years ago. Since accepting Christ, I have a new father whose arms are open and inviting me in. Who wants to hold one to me with dear life and never let me go. I sometimes want to wiggle out of His hold, like I did with my grandfather. However, no matter what I do, and where I go, His arms are always there welcoming me in.

Now go and join the conversation at My Quiet Corner and share your Christmas Memories.

Music Monday - Ornament

I don't know how many of you have heard of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. My husband introduced me to this band when we were dating. We listened to the cd "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" over and over until I know all the songs by heart.

Last year we were blessed to have seen them in Concert. It was truly amazing. We had seats 4th row from the stage and enjoyed every minute of the concert. I can't wait until they come back so that we can take Nicole to see them (she has become a fan as well).

My favourite song by TSO is Ornament. It reminds us what is important and what we have made important.



ORNAMENT

There is an ornament
Lost inside the night
There on a Christmas tree
With a thousand lights

No one can see her
She's standing all alone

Somewhere she glistens where no one can see

I don't believe I can say what had happened
All of those words that we put into play
No longer matter, I should have known that then
I just know you're far away

On this Christmas day
On this Christmas day
On this Christmas ....

Somewhere the wind
Carves moments in the snow

And if he sees her
He never lets it show
He just drifts behind her
Erasing every step

Tinsel and garland are whispered
through trees

I don't believe I can say what
had happened
All of those words that we put
into play
No longer matter, I should have
known that then
I just know you're far away

On this Christmas day
On this Christmas day
On this Christmas ....

Come, Christmas
Stay, Christmas
Watch over her this day
Keep her
Protect her
From harm now in every way

Shelter her
Gently
There in your arms she'll be
Until the day
When you
Bring her back home to me

There is an ornament lost inside the night

Now share your song this week with Saved by Grace.
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baby its Cold Outside!

As I'm writing this the temperature is -33C. However, with the windchill its -50C. Tomorrow looks promising as it may warm up to -30C, with the windchill being -40C. For my southern friends that would be a high tomorrow of -42 F with the windchill. However, I'm snug as a bug in my little house.

I have been looking at all my friend's Facebook status'. They are all complaining about the weather. However, all I have to say is "Baby It's Cold Outside!"

Sacred in the Ordinary - Reading

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment...

This week I had a cookies exchange with my friends. I was stressing because I hadn't finished cooking the appies before everyone showed up. I really didn't get to visit with people because I was busy cooking, dealing with kids and making coffee ....Andrea!

In the middle of the confusion Thomas wanted me to read to him. Just sit down and look at his picture book with him. I didn't have time (or felt I didn't have time). Finally exasperated I sat down with him and looked at his book with him. That's all he wanted time with Mom. Time to sit on my lap in the middle of confusion and relax. RELAX! That's what God wants us to do too. To sit down and relax in His lap with His book.

Relax!

Now go write your Sacred in the Ordinary at My Quite Corner.


PS: Thank you Andrea for taking over when Samuel needed me a few minutes later. You are the toddler whisperer!
Friday, December 11, 2009

Caffienated Randomness - The Christmas Movie Edition



This week our Caffeinated Chieftain is inquiring about our favourite Christmas movies. I have a few and they all have to do with Dicken's Christmas Carol.

The first is the classic version "Christmas Carol" with Alistair Sims. For those who are not aware, this is not the first version of the movie, however, it is the most popular. In the 90s someone thought it would be great to colourize black and white movies and this movie was one of the first. It is my opinion that the only way to watch it is in the original Black and White. There is something lost when you watch the "touched up version." By the way, this is my husband's favourite Christmas movie.

And who doesn't like the Muppets. I loved watching the Muppet Show growing up (some may say I haven't grown up). The Muppet's Christmas Carol with Michael Caine playing Scrooge is hilarious. It is a show that you can watch with your children (even though mine refuse to) and not be afraid of what their watching. My favourite lines have to be:
Gonzo: I am here to tell the story.
Rizzo: I am here to eat the food.

Finally, Scrooged with Bill Murray. I laugh and cry every time I watch this version. I love Bobcat Goldwaith's character, the voice of reason that goes postal. I finally bought this movie and can't wait to curl up and watch it with my hubby.



Now go and record your favourite Christmas movies at Under Grace Over Coffee.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Somalia


Christian from Muslim background martyred in Somalia

The body of a 23-year-old Somali convert from Islam to Christianity, Mumin Abdikarim Yusuf, was discovered on the morning of November 14 in Mogadishu's Yaqshid district. On October 28, members of al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group, apprehended Yusuf and searched his home for Christian materials after a 15-year-old Muslim boy accused Yusuf of trying to convert him to Christianity. In an attempt to extract evidence against him and to gain information about other Somali Christians, the militants knocked out all of Yusuf's front teeth and broke several of his fingers. They then shot him twice in the head and discarded his body on an empty residential street. Since it is unknown whether Yusuf disclosed any information during his torture, the underground Christians who knew him have relocated for their safety. Yusuf's Muslim family members are also in danger as militants have accused them of failing to report his conversion to Christianity.

Pray for all those mourning the death of this brother in the Lord.

Pray for safety for the relocated believers.

Pray that Yusuf's faithful witness will be a testimony to his Muslim family members and that they will turn to Jesus for their salvation.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Music Monday - Can't Live a Day Without You

Last week I started working out on our new treadmill. I decided that I wanted to listen to praise music while working out to get my mind focused on God while walking. One song really struck me while working out and it especially hit me during an intense part of the work out. I just started singing along (while tried to while I was trying to breath). I hope you all love it as much as I do.



I could live life alone
And never fill the longings of my heart
The healing warmth of someone's arms
And I could live without dreams
And never know the thrill of what could be
With every star so far and out of reach
I could live without many things
And I could carry on, but

I couldn't face my life tomorrow
Without Your hope in my heart I know
I can't live a day without You
Lord, there's no night and there's no morning
Without Your loving arms to hold me
You're the heartbeat of all I do
I can't live a day without You

I could travel the world
See all the wonders beautiful and new
They'd only make me think of You
And I could have all life offers
Riches that were far beyond compare
To grant my every wish without a care
Oh, I could do anything, oh yes
But if You weren't in it all

Jesus, I live because You live
You're like the air I breathe
Oh Jesus, oh, I have because You give
You're everything to me

I couldn't face my life tomorrow
Without Your hope in my heart I know
I can't live a day without You
Lord, there's no night and there's no morning
Without Your loving arms to hold me
You're the heartbeat of all I do
I can't live a day without You

Now go and post your Music Monday choice at Saved by Grace.
Saturday, December 5, 2009

Countdown to Christmas - Adori Graphics


I've many times raved about Louise of Adori Graphics. She has an amazing talent. She, in her spare time, designs blogs. She creates her own vector graphics. I used one of her freebies for my blog and had her jazz it up for me (have you seen my sidebars). If anyone has been to my cooking blog, Cooking With the Evil Twins, you can see her work based on someone's ideas.

Not only is Louise very talented. She is very generous. Right now, Louise is having a Christmas Countdown Giveway. For the next 20 days, you can enter to win some cool prizes to jazz up your blog. Check out her blog daily to find out what the next giveaway is.

Sacred in the Ordinary - Hoar Frost

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment...

We have had an amazing November. It was beautiful and warm. We usually have snow mid November but we really had nothing. The kids wore runners and lighter winter jackets all month. Gloves and toques were optional. However, December has brought us winter weather. We finally have a small skift of snow. The temperature has dropped from highs of 8 C to -18 C within 7 days. What a difference. However, the one part of winter that I enjoy about living in the prairies is the hoar frost. I love the way it looks. Everything is covered with a thick frost. It makes everything pretty, including the storage center across the street from my house. It reminds of how Jesus covers us with His grace and love making us shiny and new before God.

I however didn't get a picture but have found one on the net that looks similar to what I saw this morning.

Now go to My Quiet Corner and record your Sacred in the Ordinary.
Friday, December 4, 2009

Cafienated Randomness - Christmas Ornaments

First of all - Thank you Caffeinated Chieftain, for bringing back Caffeinated Randomness. I will have something to do on Friday's again. It was hard to think of something of my own to talk about on Fridays. I have many ideas floating around my head that seem to get lost or mushed together when I try to blog.

Andrea has been tormenting me on her blog, on Facebook and in face about Christmas and the fact that it is on its way. I've been avoiding it. Trying to put it to the back of my mind. Thus, I haven't been on the computer much, because it seems wherever I go people are reminding me it is coming. It's not that I don't like Christmas, it just seems that I'm always a bit stressed about the commercial side of it. I have to remember that its not about what but WHO!

Today Andrea wants us to talk about our craziest or favourite ornaments. Before I do that I have to tell you about the trees I grew up with. They were not "Martha" trees. There was no organization and no colour concept. They were decorated with love and kindness. The decorations that we decorated were either ones we had made or ones that had been given as Christmas presents. Some of my favourite Christmas memories are of making popcorn strings that went around our large living room, let alone the tree and making decorations in Brownies to put on the tree.

Leroy's and I first Christmas together, I talked him into getting a tree and letting me decorate it for him using decorations I had been given over the years and few he ended up purchasing. We had friends over after I decorated it. I was so excited as I finally had my own tree and loved it. When our friends came over (by the way they had a blue and silver "Martha" tree), I was informed that I had an "interesting" tree. I loved our tree and this small comment took away some the enjoyment of my tree.

Christmas 2007 Tree (We decorate the same way every year)

My great grandmother was always making crafts to give to the family. I am the happy owner of numerous beaded dolls and Christmas decorations. However, the ones that I really loved were the ones she made out of Styrofoam egg cartons. I grew up putting these decorations on our tree every year. They were sparkly and they didn't break unless you sat on them. The Christmas before she died, she made me a box of egg carton decorations for my own. I treasure these decorations and love to see my kids putting them up. The picture does not do them justice. I hope that my children will see the love that she placed in these simple decorations.


Now go to Andrea's blog and blog about your favourite Christmas Ornament.



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - CHINA

Crackdown continues against church in Shanghai, China

On November 15, nearly 700 church members from the Wanbang Missionary Church in Shanghai met together for worship despite ongoing harassment from Chinese authorities Before the service, 10 police officers attempted to prevent Senior Pastor Cui Quan from attending the gathering by blocking the entrance to his home. They also threatened the taxi driver responsible for driving Pastor Cui and his wife to the service. Several church members received text messages containing threats and claiming that the service had been cancelled. Despite this opposition, the believers gathered for worship, though plain-clothes officials filmed the entire service.

On the morning of the following Sunday, November 22, Wanbang Missionary Church pastors Cui Longguo, Liu Quanqin, and Huang Yun were summoned to the police station in Minhang District. The pastors were interrogated on allegations of "engaging in illegal organization and activities." Pastor Liu's fingers were reportedly injured and his personal property was damaged. Officials detained the three along with Senior Pastor Cui until the afternoon to prevent them from leading the worship service. However, the detention of the leaders and threats from authorities did not prevent over 500 dedicated church members from assembling outdoors for their two scheduled services. (Source: ChinaAid)

Pray that the pastors of this church will be strong and effective leaders to their congregation.

Thank the Lord for the enduring faithfulness of these believers.

Pray that they will be permitted to worship freely.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Colombia

Christians taken hostage in Colombia

Sixteen Christians belonging to the Kogui indigenous people group in Colombia are being held captive on their reserve in an attempt to force them to renounce Christianity. The group of believers, which includes men, women and three babies, was captured during a meeting called by the Kogui governor. Community leaders shouted abuses at the believers through the night. They were later taken to a remote area of the reserve and told they would not be freed until they renounced their faith in Christ. At last report, two of the kidnapped infants were seriously ill. The governor and his allies also humiliated non-Christian leaders who had supported the Christians in the community and protected them from being expelled. The governor reportedly intends to capture remaining Christians and force them to renounce their faith. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Pray for the release of these believers.
Pray that their captors will see the love of Christ, repent and come to trust in Jesus.
Pray for other Christian members of the Kogui community under fire in Colombia.
Monday, November 23, 2009

Music Monday -

I finally found something to do on Mondays. Music Monday is hosted by Shawntele at Saved by Grace. I love music. I always have the radio going with either old dance music (disco is great for cleaning) or praise music (obvious).



This week I'm posting He Reigns by Newsboys. This song is loved by my daughter and I. We love to sing it in the van on the way to Church Sunday mornings. I can't wait until we all sing "He Reigns!"



It’s the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
It’s the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir

It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Let it rise about the four winds
Caught up in the heavenly sound
Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals
To the faithful gathered underground
Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation
Some were meant to persist
Of all the bells rung from a thousand steeples
None rings truer than this

And all the powers of darkness
Tremble at what they’ve just heard
‘Cause all the powers of darkness
Can’t drown out a single word

When all God’s children sing out
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
All God’s people singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Now post you're favourite song and post it on Shawntele's blog.
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - Twilight

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment....

Normally by this time of year we are already covered in a layer of snow and hitting highs of -10 C. However, November has been quite warm. The lowest it has been is -6 C. This Tuesday we were breaking records. It reached 13 C. However, I didn't get to enjoy it as my daughter was off school that day due to a cold. It was the second day she was home and by dinner Tuesday I was feeling a little stir crazy.

I have my life pretty scheduled and am usually on the go or having someone over. Due to 'Coles cold, I was home for two days. Around 4:30 pm I went upstairs and started getting dinner ready and was having a pity party for myself. On the radio they kept talking about the beautiful sunset we were having. After hearing about this for 15 minutes, I finally went to our front window and looked out. It was like the sky was on fire. It was amazing. I ran and got my camera and prayed I could capture the beauty before my eyes. I was reminded that God is with us in all our moods. When we're feeling a little sorry for ourselves, he ignites a fire within us and gets us going, bringing us joy in the simple things, like a sunset.

This was the view outside my door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - First Tooth

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment

My little guy turned 8 months today and two days ago he finally cut his first tooth. I was very excited as it has been something we have been waiting for for awhile (lots of miserable days). Something so simple, so painful and yet so profound. Another check in his chart; another moment to remember; and another step away from me.



We are given these gifts from God to prepare them for the world, but we just want to hold onto them and keep them little. Yet, they continue to grow and we continue to be amazed by their achievements no matter how large or little, like a first tooth.

Check out My Quiet Corner for more Sacred in the Ordinary.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Veteran's Day in the US. It is the day that we are to stop and remember the men and woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. It is also the day that we remember those who serve our countries knowing the sacrifices that they give and that they may have to give.

I come from a long line of people who have given to and for our country. My great-grandmother knitted socks for the soldiers in the trenches during World War I. She received a certificate for her work and I remember being in awe of this certificate as a child.

My grandmother had 3 uncles who served during World War II. We were very blessed with the fact that they all returned home safetly (including one with wife in tow). One of my great-great-uncles survived the beaches of Normandy. He lay on the beach wounded until the battle had been won.

My grandfather joined the military as soon as he was old enough. His first stint was in Korea during the war. The only thing he would talk about during the war was two things: ( 1) his first job was to take the wounded soldiers from the front lines away from the battle fields and (2) the group of soldiers that would **** you if your boots weren't tied the right way. He said he learned quickly to tie up his boots. I don't know if the last one was a tale to scare a little girl from asking the tough questions or reality. After the war, my grandfather was released, but a few years later rejoined and was posted to Germany during the early Cold War years. He returned to Canada where he met my grandmother. They were married for 33 years before he died.

My sister at a young age felt the call to serve. At 17 she joined the Canadian Reserves. First as an infantry personnel and then later training as a cook. At 23, she joined the Canadian Forces as cook and was posted on a Naval Ship which served in the Persian Gulf shortly after 2001. She is now on a land posting and has come very close to going to Afghanistan 2 times. She longs to be able to serve her country and to use the training that she has.

My step-father joined the military shortly after marrying my mother. He was a stoker on a naval vessel for 11 years. He, also, served in the Persian Gulf after 2001. Two years ago he retrained and moved to the Air Force as a Helicopter Technician. On October 30, he left for Afghanistan. We are sadden to see him there and very worried for him. However, we are so proud.

This past week as my daughter was practicing for her Rememberance Day ceremony, I spoke to her about Remembrance Day. I reminded her that yes we honour those who gave their lives for us, but we also remember those who continue to give including her Papa.

Please pray for those who served and sacrificed selflessly for our freedoms.

Please pray daily for those men and woman who continue to give everything to our countries and for their families who wait for them.

Wednesday's Voice - Yemen

Update: Day of prayer and fasting called for kidnapped foreigners

Four months after their abduction, there continues to be no reliable news on the condition of the remaining six expatriate Christians kidnapped in mid-June by unknown assailants in Yemen On June 12, nine foreign Christians were abducted -- four German adults, three small German children, a British man and a South Korean woman -- after they ventured outside the city of Sa'ada. All of them worked at a hospital in the city. Shortly afterwards, Rita Stumpp (26) and Anita Gruenwald (24), German nurses in training, and Eom Young-sun (33) of South Korea were killed and their bodies found by local shepherds. Still missing are German doctor Johannes (36), his wife Sabine (36), their three children Lydia (4), Anna (3) and Simon (1) and British engineer Anthony S. Their whereabouts and condition remain unknown. Anthony is married but his wife did not accompany him on this trip.

As Middle East Concern (MEC) has noted, the work of the hospital where they worked has been severely reduced as a result, affecting the city and the wider area. No one has claimed responsibility for the abductions and killings, which MEC notes is "unusual within Yemeni culture, and heightens the concern and anxiety." The search for the missing has been greatly hindered by the intense fighting between the government forces and the Houthi armed group in Sa'ada province, which has flared up again since June.

Thank the Lord for the faithful life and work of those killed.

Pray that the remaining hostages will be released.

Ask God to fill those in mourning with a peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of their grief (Philippians 4:7).and for endurance and wisdom for those serving the Lord in Yemen
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sacred in the Ordinary - The Princess

I am tempted to search for the extraordinary. I catch myself longing for the incredible. I fight the urge to notice the spectacular. In doing so, I risk missing the most extraordinary, incredible and spectacular of all... the sacred in the ordinary.

My Moment...

Last week my daughter went Trick-R-Treating as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. My Grandmother made the costume. To many it may have been a simple costume, but it was made with love for Our Princess. My grandmother painstakingly dealt with the Tulle (those of you who sew will know how difficult that is). She even lined the inside of the dress.

One of our friends exclaimed that the dress was good enough to wear to a wedding. When I mentioned this to my Grandmother, she informed me that "Nothing was too good for her Granddaughter!" I felt the love and pride in her voice and not in regards to the costume, but in that little girl who is truly a "Princess" in our eyes.
Friday, November 6, 2009

Liz is Coming, Liz is Coming.......


I am so excited! This weekend I get to go see Liz Curtis Higgs. She is actually coming to Saskatchewan. Ever since I found out she was coming our way, I have been sooooooo excited. I had to go see her. She will be speaking at a woman's conference that is held annually in Saskatoon, Woman's Journey of Faith. I am a little sad that I don't get to go Friday night (the baby wouldn't last the night). But I do get to go Saturday and hear her speak and minister to all the woman in attendance.

When I first became a Christian 9 years ago, the first Christian book I ever read, or wanted to read, was Bad Girl of the Bible. I didn't know there were any Bad Girls in the Bible. The woman of the Bible that I knew were Eve and Mary and Mary and Mary and Martha, and Moses' family thanks to the Ten Commandments. There was something perverse about the title that intrigued and called to me. As a former Bad Girl myself (another post, another day), I wanted to see what her perspective was. I was all ready to see what some Good Girl had to say about Bad Girls. Was I wrong!

As you know, if you have read the book and if not, why not, she starts off telling a story about a bad girl in a bad situation. It really called to me as I had been in similar situations. Then she admits that it was her. She really knew where I was coming. That I needed to hear that no matter what bad thing I had done, that I could learn from my mistakes and that I could be forgiven. I loved learning about women like Tamar, Rahab, Jael and the woman at the well. I didn't even know that these woman had existed. The Bad Girls of the Bible was my starting point in reading the Bible and wanting to learn more.

When the second book, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, came out I immediately went out and purchased it. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the first one. I then found Liz's books about Jacob, Rose and Leah. I devoured them and loved them. Just before I moved I lent these books out and sadly, never received them back. However, I know that the person I was lending them too needed to hear and embrace the message in the books as I had done when I first read them.

Liz became a hero to me. Someone who knew what it was like to be "bad" and be reformed in grace. I am so excited to meet her finally after all these years that I will probably be floating on cloud 9 for weeks and I'm sure that I will embarrass my friends when we go (sorry Andrea).


Monday, November 2, 2009

Good things come to those who wait!

This weekend I was speaking to my mother who was waiting for a phone call. My step-dad had left for Afghanistan on Friday at 6 pm and my mom thought that less than 16 hours later he would call her. I think the flight itself was 14 hours. I told her I wasn't surprised she hadn't heard from him and that he would call her when he could. He is in the military and can't just do anything without permission.

I know where I get it from. I'm a very impatient person. I hate not knowing things, hate uncertainty, like to know things in definite terms. To quote the rock band, Queen - " I want it all and I want it NOW!"

The last few months we have been waiting for Thomas to get into speech and hearing assessment. We finally saw the speech therapist two weeks ago who advised that she thought his issues were hearing. As we had not heard from the audiologist, we called them only to find out that he wouldn't get in until at least 4 months from date of referral (the end of December or beginning of January). We couldn't wait that long, so we went to a private clinic last Thursday. We were hoping for definitive answers, but alas we are still waiting. The audiologist told us that this would be a process. The only good answer we received is that there was no blockage and that the pressure in his ears were fine. Now comes a series of test to see if he can't hear certain pitches. UGGGGGGGGGH For a person who hates waiting this is not good.

Through all of this I felt God calling me to do a study about waiting. We wait for a lot of things that are trivial - dinner, books we ordered. But are we truly waiting?

In Luke 2 (v 25 - 38), we read about Simeon and Anna. Two seniors (in fact, we are told that Anna "was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four (v 36b-37 NIV)), who lived in expectancy of God's promise. We read that Simeon lived "in prayerful expectancy" (Msg) and Anna never left the temple, but worship day and night. These two individuals were waiting patiently for God's promised Messiah. Simeon had been told that he would live until he say the Messiah and trusted in this promise. I don't think I would have been so patient. I would have been like the little kid in the car - Is he here yet? But Simeon embraced the promised, he prayed daily for the promise and waited........
What are you waiting for?What is your attitude while you are waiting?
Are you like Simeon and Anna or more like me and my mother?
Are you living in "prayerful expectancy" for all of God's promises to you?

Just before our verses, we read that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple on his 8th day to be.....while you know. At the same time, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Simeon immediately saw the child and recognized his Messiah. He immediately took the child in his arms and praised and worshiped him. The Bible says Mary and Joseph were "shocked" at this. Simeon then went and blessed them advising them of Jesus' future relationship with Isreal. I personally continue to be amazed when people bless my children. As a parent there is no greater gift. However, knowing you that you were the parents of the Messiah, what a great responsibility.

What blessings of God surprise you?
While Simeon was blessing them, Anna, a prophetess who never left the temple, but worshiped and prayed continually, came up to them. Giving thanks to God for his promised Messiah. As I previously wrote, Anna was 84. She lived in the temple, which was not like staying at the Hilton. While she was there she prayed and worshiped daily, we are also told she fasted. She gave up comfort, never complaining, even in her old age, but lived in worship. I have a lot to learn from Anna. She waited patiently and while she waited she worshiped. As a result of her faithfulness, she saw the Messiah. The promised Savior of Isreal. God had come through with His promises as Anna was a "good and faithful servant."

Do you pray, worship and fast regularly?
Do you worship and praise God for what He has given you?

I'm still waiting. But now I'm praising. Praising God for the gift of my son. For all the joy he brings to our family. I know that God has a plan for Thomas and that if I let go, His promises for Thomas will come. We, all, need to remember that all of God's gifts and promises will come in His time. While we are waiting we need to worship and praise God for what he has given us, not we are waiting for.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may life you up in DUE TIME! (1Peter 5:6-7)
Friday, October 30, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness - My Pumpkin



I'm sad! This is our last Caffeinated Randomness. I vow though to continue with my silliness on Fridays anyway.

As this weekend is Halloween, I thought I would post a video of my dear son Thomas when he was first learning to walk, which coincided with Halloween. He started walking at 20 months. That was the year he fit into the Pumpkin costume that my grandmother had made my cousin 14 years before (I can't wait for Sam to wear it next year). Don't try to turn up your volume. There is no sound as our camera at the time only took the video no sound bits.


video

Tonight we have our Fall Festival (aka Halloween Party) at Church. I'll post pictures tomorrow of my Beauty, Buzz and little Lion.


UPDATE: I want to thank all of you for your prayers and wishes yesterday during for Thomas' hearing test. He cooperated as well as a tired strong willed 3 year old will, however, we managed to rule out a blockage and he can hear at normal levels. This leaves us with pitches which we will have to continue to go to assessments for. I'll keep you updated.
Thursday, October 29, 2009

I wish...........

I was on Andrea's blog today and saw the quiz she took, so I'm copying her. Some of the following may be true, but time to focus on the little things.....that's a laugh.

Your Home Says That You Feel Settled and Calm

You come across as very intellectual. People take your wisdom seriously.

Your hygiene is passable, but you may be hiding some dirty secrets.

You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.

You are not a nurturing person by nature, but you can easily take care of someone you truly love.

You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.

You are a very self sufficient person. You can get along well without much help.

Your friends see you as insightful, encouraging, and progressive.




PS - I'll keep you all posted about the hearing test later tonight.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I know that today is Wednesday's Voice, but we have had some technical difficulties. Ok, I can't open the document from Aunt Dieny. As soon as she sends me a new one, I will post it for you.


I do have to ask you all for prayers. Leroy and I found out last week that our Thomas may have a hearing problem. I took him for speech assessment last week. The speech therapist at the end of the speech test, recommended a hearing test as she felt there was a hearing problem. We have both struggled with this over the week. We are hoping that there is only a blockage that tubes would be able to clear, however, we both know that there is a possibility for a more serious problem.

Pray that Thomas is cooperative with the test tomorrow, as those who know him, know how stubborn he can get when he doesn't want to do something.

Please pray that God gives us strength tomorrow to deal with the results of the hearing test and to take the steps necessary to move towards a better future for Thomas.
Friday, October 23, 2009

Harvest of Friends - 20 Weird Questions....

While I was stalking my bloggy friends blogs I came across Lynnette's Krafts blog and her parties. I love parties so I decided to join in and have some fun.




20 Weird Questions That Will Give a Little Insight Into Who You Are
(Pick whichever ones you want to use , use all of them - or make up your own)

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while you're blogging?

Chips or popcorn.

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?

My van. I can't even handle when it's in the shop.

3. Beach, Mountains or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?

Easy Beach. I miss my ocean.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?

Laundry. I'd clean a men's bathroom at a fast food restaurant forever, if someone would come do my laundry everyday.

5. Who do people say you remind them of?

I was once told I look like Monica Lewinsky.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying at home with the fam?

I like socializing with my family.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?

Star Wars! It's my bedtime story when I can't sleep, I put it on and am out within 10 minutes. Can't wait to watch it with the kids.

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?

Is it still on by the time I go to bed?

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?

I've always wanted to learn how to play piano. Maybe once I'm older and grown up.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?

I can clap with one hand. I'll video it one day so you can all see what I'm talking about. My husband and others I know hate looking at me when I do it.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?

He bought me straws!

12. What is something you love to smell?

Pumpkin Spice anything right now.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.

I'M LOUD!

14. When you have extra money (HA!) what's the first thing you think to do with it?

Purchasing something that the kids need.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?

See #13. I laugh the hardest when sharing past crimes with friends and family.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?

Right now, Cleos. I just got to buy the purse I've been coveting for a few months.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?

Scrapbook

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?

Big spender, learning to be frugal

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book)? (Can't be real)

Skipper from Madagascar. "Smile and wave boys. Smile and wave!"

20. Would you want to be famous?

No, just on the sidelines knowing someone famous would be enough.

PRAYER REQUEST!


One of my husband's co-workers, Dale, and his wife have just found out that their baby daughter has an non-cancerous brain tumour. They are going to a neurologist to see what to do. Please pray for strength and grace for this family. Pray for healing of the tumour .

I'll keep you updated.
Thursday, October 22, 2009

And the winner is......

This last month I have been blessed by two friends with some blog awards. At first I wasn't quite sure what to do or the ettiquette regarding the same. Now I think I have it down. Sorry, Andrea for the late thank you!

Cindy from She Sparkles awarded me with this Beautiful Bingo Blog award. I love it. Thank you Cindy. "...I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me." (for those who don't know the quote, google it!)

So my nominations for:

B-For Beautiful, Louise at Adori Graphics. She is sooooo talented. You need to check her out!

I- For Inspirational, Sarahasky at Scratching in the Dust. She has inspired me to look at the world we live in and reinvent how we live in it.

N- For Neighbourly Amber at Striving for 31 She is so open and welcoming. I feel like we're having coffee together, every time I read her blog.

G- For God-focused, Donnetta at My Quite Corner. Her blogs are honest and uplifting.

O-For Outstanding my RLF & Bloggy friend Andrea @ Under Grace Over Coffee. She has welcomed me with open arms into this unknown blogisphere.

Now I know Andrea awarded me a bloggy award a few weeks ago. So once I find it, I will be back to pass it along.

My Favourite Things: 6 AM Edition

Filled With Praise


I haven't blogged about my favourite things since....while I can't remember when. I have noticed however, that neither has Amy. However, she has a lot on her mind lately with the adoption. Continue to pray for Amy and her family as they go through their adoption. Pray that God's love, grace and mercy can be witnessed throughout the process.

Lately my dear little boys have decided that waking up at 5:30 am or 6 am is a great idea. I think its a conspiracy against me. For those of you who don't know me, I am an night owl. I am NOT a morning person. When I attend studies regarding prayer, I am always annoyed at those who go on about getting up at 5 am to pray. I can pray and study God's word better when I'm awake and in a good mood at 1 pm.

Another thing about the morning is I really am not cognitive until I have that first cup of coffee. A few years ago, I used to not drink coffee and my best friend bugged me about it. Now I get it, Debbie. I sometimes refer to it as my children's salvation. They won't die if I have at least 1 cup a day. Ok, I know Jesus is their Saviour, but God created everything. Coffee is His special creation for all of us who need that lift. Now I know I am totally off topic, but my coffee maker isn't set to go off until 7 am when normal people get up. How do these boys expect me to deal with them until that time?

So, since the boys have graciously decided that mommy should be up early, I have to find things to be grateful about getting up early.

  1. Prayer - I am starting to appreciate being able to pray in the morning. My day seems to start off better and we are all in a better mood.
  2. Working out - Sometimes it is hard to find a time to work out when I am trying to do the laundry, clean the house, talk on the phone, do my bible study, talk on the phone, and did I mention talk on the phone . Getting up early allows me the time to get my feet moving and the weights a lift'n.
  3. Kids Shows - Ok, I can watch tv with the kids and enjoy it. I have been able to watch Sesame Street with the kids and get to see my old friends (Oscar) and my new friends (Murray).
  4. Keeping up with my friends - I am able to read my friends blogs in the morning and catch up with people I can't phone up and say hello to (see number 2). However, this is only an option when my 3 year old is nowhere near the computer, otherwise there is a fight (I'll blog about that later.)
Hopefully, the boys will figure out that because the house is dark it is still time to sleep and that a happy mommy is one who can sleep in until the coffee maker beeps.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Columbia

Colombian pastor martyred by guerillas

Pastor Manuel was shot and killed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas in San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia on September 21, according to VOMC's sister mission in the U.S.

When the guerrillas scheduled a visit with Pastor Manuel, he believed the meeting was in response to his request to officially have a church. However, when they arrived, Pastor Manuel was shot five times outside his home while his family was inside. One of the guerillas entered the house and yelled, "Make sure that dog stays dead." The guerillas then shot the pastor again, this time in the neck. His wife, Gloria, ran outside to the body of her martyred husband. She cleaned his face and she and her children dragged his body under a tree. She then grabbed her Bible and preached to those who came near. Her 10-year-old son tried to comfort her, saying, "Don't worry, Dad died for Christ and now he is with Christ."

Pastor Manuel and his wife had been pastoring a church in Chopal village, south of San Jose del Guaviare for about eight years. Many churches in the area had been closed by FARC guerrillas but Pastor Manuel decided to open the church regardless of the threats and risks. In April, he was part of an evangelistic event at which three FARC guerrillas and seven members of the paramilitary militia accepted Christ.

Praise God for this family's faith.

Ask God to comfort Pastor Manuel's wife and children.

Pray that Pastor Manuel's courageous testimony will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ.
Friday, October 16, 2009

Caffienated Randomness - A Woman's Week At the Gym


For those who don't know our Caffeinated Chieftain has been through the "wringer" the last 48 hours. Her son had to have his appendix out. Therefore, because I' m also having a day (not on her scale mind you) and because I think we all need a good laugh every day, I thought I would leave this e-mail that I got a few weeks ago from a friend.



A WOMAN'S WEEK AT THE GYM

If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.


Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, I purchased a week of personal training at the local health club. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. Friends seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
________________________________
MONDAY:
Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god-- with blond hair, dancing eyes, and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines.. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring! Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
________________________________
TUESDAY:
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT! It's a whole new life for me.
_______________________________
WEDNESDAY:
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members.. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other crap too.
_______________________________
THURSDAY:
Dracula was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late-- it took me that long to tie my shoes. He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny witch to find me. Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine-- which I sank.
_________________________________
FRIDAY:
I hate that nasty Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic, little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the darn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
________________________________
SATURDAY:
Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
________________________________
SUNDAY:
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun-- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - Egypt

Christian woman kidnapped, believers assaulted in Egypt

A group of Coptic Christians in Alexandria were recently assaulted and arrested by Egyptian officials following an attempted rescue of a young Christian woman kidnapped by Muslims, according to an October 5 report from Assyrian International News Agency.

Ten months ago, 19-year-old Myrna Hanna was kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim man. On September 30, she phoned her father, Gama Labib Hanna, and pleaded with him to rescue her. Hanna, his brother-in-law and another believer, Rafat Girges Habib, then went to Myrna's apartment where they were ambushed and threatened by her father-in-law along with five other Muslims. Myrna was eventually able to leave with her father. Her father-in-law immediately filed a report with authorities and Myrna's uncles and father were promptly charged with abduction and detained. They were all reportedly physically assaulted by authorities. The Hanna family's home was broken into by police and Habib's shop was demolished. Myrna's uncles were released in order to bring her to the police station, where she was handed back to her father-in-law. Her father was released from custody on October 2. The next day, authorities arrested a number of Habib's relatives and assaulted their wives. Officials continued to make arrests until Habib turned himself over to police.

Pray that Myrna will be released from her captors.

Ask God to sustain her and give her an added measure of strength, as she is six months pregnant.

Pray for the safety of Christian young people in Egypt. Pray that those kidnapped will be returned to their families and that they will maintain their Christian faith.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday's Voice - India

Relief camp bombed in Orissa India

A Christian relief camp in Nandarigi village, Orissa state -- where several families fled following the outbreak of anti-Christian violence in August 2008 was bombed on September 27. Four Christians were seriously injured in the blast and the Hindu man that set off the bomb was killed. Five days earlier, the man had reportedly threatened Christians at the camp with violence, demanding that he be given food and shelter. He returned the night of the bombing and, in a heavily intoxicated state, physically assaulted two Christian boys and uttered more threats against the believers present. When the man slipped and fell, he accidentally detonated the bomb. Officials have claimed that Maoist militants were behind the attack but local Christians maintain that the bombing was planned and executed by Hindus.

Pray that the displaced Christians will continue to look to the Lord as their enduring source of strength, provision and wisdom.

Ask God to work in the hearts of Hindu militants targeting Christians so that they will repent and come to faith in Christ.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Books, Blogs & Brownies - Healing Stones


Sorry I haven't really written anything this week. I have been busy - baking, cooking, going to studies, etc........ Plus I have to fight now for time on the computer. My three year old is once again playing on the computer and when I try to remove him, I get pushed off.

I was planning on making my Brownie Bottom Cheesecake for this months Books, Blogs and Brownies, but I ended up making 3 different Amish Friendship Loaves and fresh bread. Hopefully, next month I'll be able to make my famous Cheesecake and then post it to my cooking blog Cooking with the Evil Twins.

I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read the next one and hope that they continue with the series. I enjoyed both perspectives, but have to agree with Andrea that I was intrigued with Sully's, however, I probably relate more with Demitria's as a woman regarding her relationship with her husband and her children. With Sully, once you find out his inner demons it reminds you that even though we suffer through things that the people around us also suffer.

I really could have cared less about who took the pictures. I mean it did close that part of the story line, but if I never found out I would have assumed through a PI. Demitria's and Rich's dilemma was typical of this situation. When one spouse cheats how the trust and respect is returned. So I guess you can tell by now that Sully's inner demons was the story line I wanted to stay with. I was intrigued as to why he left, what he was hiding, what he was suffering from and why he didn't open up about it.

Is it simply enough to be forgiven? No. We have to let go of the wrong we attributed to. We have to acknowledge our contribution in the wrong and accept it. But once forgiven if we continue to "stone" ourselves we carry the burden and continue to be beaten down by it. Once we accept the forgiveness and truly let it go, we can finally be free of the hurt and pain.

In high school I was a "geek." I was brutally tormented by my peers. For years, I could only think about my revenge - better job, better life, etc..... When I became a Christian my thought process changed. I started to think about meeting these people and seeing what happened to them. What had they done? How had they changed? There are still times I get angry and frustrated when I remember those days and people. But I have to remember that they are not who define me, I am not who defines me. Jesus defines me!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

CHINA - Prominent Chinese pastor detained by officials

Pastor Hua Huiqi was seized by Chinese officials in Fengtai District in Beijing on September 17, according to a September 17 report from ChinaAid. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Pastor Hua called his wife, Ju Mei, on his cell phone and told her that he had been forced into a Public Security Bureau vehicle while on his way to a dinner meeting. Less than half-an-hour later, Hua phoned his wife again and told her that officials had taken him to an unknown location. The phone line then went dead. When VOMC partners inquired about Hua, officials told them he was in their custody but refused to disclose his condition or location. A week before Pastor Hua's arrest, a vocational training ministry that he is involved in was raided by officials

Pray that Pastor Hua will be released.

Ask God to give comfort and strength to his family in this time.

Pray for spiritual and physical strength for the thousands of Christians in prison for their faith in Christ.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings - Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I am so excited this week. I have a guest blogger. I don't have to stress about getting ready this week. As well, I am excited because the guest blogger is my "evil" twin, Debbie.

Debbie is an amazing stay at home mom. She is visually impaired, however, she does not let that stop her. She is Martha and Mary all rolled up into one (I wish I could do that). She is a BSF discussion leader and runs a day home. She always finds times for her friends (except when she is under renovations). I am blessed daily to call this wonder woman of Christ my Best Friend. I hope you are blessed by her words as I daily am.

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples which are not recorded in this book,. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31
This year, in the Bible study that I go to, we are going to be digging in to the Gospel According to John. To start out we read the entire book over the course of a week. It is a wonderful and easy book to read and if you have never read it all in one shot I highly recommend it! There are things that one can see when it is read all in a piece.

There are several things that I saw, several themes developing. One of the main things John writes about are the miracles of Jesus. Unlike the other gospels, John only includes seven miraculous signs. To explore these miracles in more detail, read the book.

The teaching that struck my head and heart this week is related to the miracles in John, but does not have to do with any of them in particular. (Though I really always enjoy a good read of John 9). John does not call THE MIRACLES Jesus performed miracles, rather he call them signs.

Now you may say, miracles, signs, it is all semantics, and indeed, yes it is. It is very important semantics, John is also all about the Word. When we call a miracle a sign it points to a deeper spiritual meaning. A person may stand and gaze at a miracle for a long time, even a life time. When a person sees a sign it leads them to action, they move past the sign to the place it is pointing.

Another benefit of calling a miraculous event a sign is that you don’t get swamped in discontent. You do not ask, why did I get THAT miracle? Rather you will see each miracle as a sign post that points to another truth about God. To move beyond the physical and see the spiritual event that is behind each miracle is what John does in his Gospel and is what I will be praying for in the weeks to come.

My physical eyes may be flawed beyond repair, but I pray that my Spritual eyes will always be open and fixed on my creator, redeemer and guide.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Laos - Laotian Church leader expelled for refusing to deny Christ

On September 3, Laotian authorities arrested a church leader in Liansai village in Savannakhet province for embracing Christianity, according to reports from Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom. Authorities arrested Thao Oun, an elder at Boukham Church who came to Christ 10 months ago, in his home and forced him at gunpoint to the Saybounthong district office. Oun was charged with bringing destruction to the Lao nation and government by embracing Christianity, which the officials consider a "foreign religion to be abhorred." He was interrogated for three hours, during which authorities pressured him to sign a document renouncing his Christian faith. When he refused, he was expelled from the village. At last report Oun had sought refuge in a nearby village. On September 6, local officials surrounded the Boukham Church worship site in Saisomboon village and blocked church members from entering for Sunday morning worship.

Pray for strength and protection for Thao Oun amidst his trials of faith.

Pray that he and the other members of the Boukham Church will continue to be attentive to God's will and faithful in His service.

Pray for Christians who continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings - Be Careful Little Ears


Be careful little ears what you hear
Be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down with love.
So, be careful little mouths what you say!



I love this children's hymn. It is one of my favourites, as it teaches children that God sees, hears and knows everything they do. Something that I forget from time to time. For example, what I choose to watch when I'm bored and there is nothing on tv.

On the Comedy Network, there is a show called Roast. Comedians and fellow celebrities "roast" the guest Celebrity. These "roasts" get very racy (and that's being polite). The jokes are often off key and offensive. This weekend I watched the Best of these Roasts and laughed myself silly. After watching this show, I read my bible passage for the day - Ephesians 5 v. 1-20. Wow! Was God ever talking to me like a Father should. I could well imagine Him standing over me, with His index finger pointing out - kinda like a Mr. Cleaver would have over Wally or the "Beav."

I know we hear that as Christians we are called to live to a higher standard. But Ephesians 5 v 1-2, states very clearly that we are called to live as Christ by daily giving up ourselves as an offering to God. How do we do this? By giving up everything in our lives to Him. - our dreams, our hopes, the music we listen to, the books we read and the tv we watch. Ultimately, letting God have complete control over our lives.

God calls us to stay away from all impurity. Specifically, sexual immorality, greed, obscenity, and crude jokes (should have read my bible before watching the show). We are not to be led astray or deceived by others who do not follow Christ. Have you ever been in a situation you know was wrong, you felt was wrong, but because you were with others you went ahead and did it anyway. It can be as simple as the cool tv show that everyone is watching and you want to be able to converse with them about it. Is that show's themes and language concurrent with how God wants us to live (check out a soap opera and you'll know what I'm talking about)? Could we talk to God about this show? Probably not. Should we watch it? Probably not.

God calls us His Children of Light. He is the light in the darkness of the world. He directs our path to His light through His Word and leads us from all evil. We are called to be the Light of the World, showing the world His love though our actions. How do we do this? By pursuing what pleases Him and avoiding everything not of God. How do we find out what pleases Him? By daily reading His word and being in daily relationship with Him though prayer.

At the end of the passage, God instructs us how to live:
  • Avoid everything not of God & expose them in truth and love;
  • Be careful how you live, making the most of every opportunity in your lives;
  • Understand the Lord's Will in your life, through study and prayer;
  • Do not get drunk, but be filled by the Spirit; and
  • Sing songs of worship together, always giving thanks to God.
I may not always follow this. I may be lead astray and make wrong decisions. But I have a great and forgiving Father, who when I come to Him in complete repentance, lifts me and hugs me and forgives me.

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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