Thursday, November 25, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness - 10 Years and Christmas News

Wow, this week has been another crazy and exciting week. It started off with a fever of 102.3 and finished with a town car ride.

Sunday, Thomas ended up with a one of those weird fevers that come and go for no apparent reason. As a result, I missed Bible Babes this week. I was a little depressed as we were starting Beth Moore's, David:: Seeking a Heart Like His . I had to watch the introduction by myself, so no one was there to hear me laugh and shout out (maybe that was a good thing).

Tuesday was a great day as I spent the morning with some friends over coffee and taco dip.  Don't let anyone tell you different, this was a great breakfast. We had a lot of fun talking about Christmas, men and kids.

Wednesday was C-R-A-Z-Y! I had Big Cook, speech therapy, and was helper mom at gymnastics. By the end of the day my feet hurt. I was wiped out emotionally and physically and had no capacity to do anything. I did however wash the floors as I couldn't stand to look at them any longer.

Thursday started off with Sam head butting me in the face. If he had hit me any harder, he would have broke my nose. He's been teething his 2 year old molars and they have been causing all of us nothing but grief. Poor little guy!

Have I mentioned that Thursday was also my 10 year anniversary! My husband and I have an on going "joke" that our anniversaries are jinxed. Something invertibly goes wrong - snowstorm, kids sick, we're sick, etc... This year we had originally thought about going away but couldn't find childcare. However, my wonderful hubby did tell me that we would be going to dinner at my favourite restaurant earlier this week. We arranged for a babysitter to arrive at 5:45 pm, as my husband said we needed to leave by 6 pm. When he came home, he came baring a dozen red roses. The babysitter arrived and I gave her all the instructions she needed. My husband then said we had to get going. I was expecting to drive into the city in our little car and grabbed my gloves for the cold drive in. To my surprise, there was a town car waiting for us with the driver opening the door for us. I felt so metropolitan and very New York Housewifish. We had an amazing dinner at my favourite restaurant (Mussels, Lamb and Butter Tart Flambe).  It was a great evening. My husband definitely deserves a lot of brownie points for that one.   I'm still excited about my dinner as I'm writing this.  

Now the Christmas part of this random blog.  Next week we will be starting Advent.  I'm planning on blogging around the themes of Advent - Hope, Love, Joy and Peace respectively.  I'm hoping to blog about what they mean to each of us and what they mean to me personally.  I'm also going to be Christmasfying Caffeinated Randomness during this season.  I'm hoping that you will all join me in the following themes.
December 4 - Our Favourite Things 
December 10 - Christmas Decorations  (I may even VLOG this one)
December 17 - Our Best and Worst Holiday Memory
December 24 - Christmas Eve Traditions
I can't wait to start and hopefully this season we will focus on the reason that we celebrate Christmas together. 

PS: In the spirit of Christmas, there may be a giveaway.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Update: Pakistani woman sentenced to death for blasphemy

On November 7, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman imprisoned in June 2009 on charges of blasphemy was sentenced to death. Asia, a mother of two from Punjab province, Pakistan, was also ordered to pay a hefty fine -- the amount of which is equivalent to an average laborer’s two-and-a-half years' salary in Pakistan. Asia is the first Pakistani woman ever to receive a death sentence for blasphemy.

Pray that this court ruling will be reversed and that Asia will be released

Pray that Asia will rely on God to sustain and encourage her as she suffers and for God's comfort and peace for Asia's husband and two daughters.

Pray that other suffering believers in Pakistan will remain steadfast in faith, serving God with joy and perseverance in the midst of opposition.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ALL the Pieces

The Babes and I have started a new study, Beth Moore's, David:  Seeking a Heart Like His.  I've read some of her work, but I've never done a Beth Moore study.  I've heard lots about them and so, I'm excited and apprehensive about this journey I'm taking.  I know that this study is going to push me to places I don't know if I want to go, but I know that I need to go.  Ok, to be open and honest with you, I have to inform you that I'm only on day 1 while I'm writing this.  I've already laughed and questioned my own walk all within 55 minutes.

This evening (Monday night), I've been reflecting on the question Beth poses in Day 1 regarding my relationship with God - How often would you describe yourself as being with God heart and soul? Before I go there, you need to read 1 Samuel 14 v 6-7.  This is where Jonathan and his armour bearer are going to go fight the Philistines "single handedly."  Jonathan lets his armour bearer know what they're going to do (v. 6).  The response of the armour bearer shows his complete trust - not just with Jonathan, but with God.  "Do all you have in mind.....Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."

Heart and Soul - reflect on that for a minute.  We are called to love God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 6:5).  Notice the ALL.  That's where my answer to the aforementioned question comes to play.  How would I describe myself as being with God heart and soul.  Often - Not likely.  If you could all see my prayer journal and see how often I've given my "all" to God, you may be shocked.  There are a lot of holes in that calendar.  After reading this, rarely is not an answer as I have maintained somewhat of a regular dialogue with God.  Occasionally - BINGO!

Occasionally - I put God in a pretty box that I keep at arms reach and sometimes I give Him my heart and soul.  Unfortunately, more often than not, I give Him only a part of me.  Not the complete me: the broken, hurt, lonely, shamed, messy me.  I give Him what I like to refer to as the "face."  The image of me that I want to be:  the quiet, meek, humble, compassionate me.  In giving only this part of me though, I'm only hurting me. I'm not opening myself up to ALL that God has for me.  I'm not allowing Him to complete me the only way He can (think Jerry Maguire but on a spiritual level).

God wants each of us to give our all to Him so he can give His ALL to us.  If we can't do this than we will miss out on so many of the blessings that He has for us.  Starting today and through this study, I am going to give God the messy, broken, hurt, lonely, and shamed Michelle in all her brutal glory for He is the only one who can fix her and put the pieces back together.  He will complete me in His time and His way and in that I'm excited.

 I'm linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness - You Know You're Old When.....

Photobucket" />

This last year, I've been becoming more and more aware of my age.  Specifically that I'm getting old.  I'm not upset with getting older.  I embrace my age and can't wait to turn forty and see what the next decade has in store for me.  I'm going to refer to that decade as the decade of no toddlers and diapers (unless God has other plans).   No, this new awareness of my age comes from my dear precocious daughter you says it like it is and reminds me of my childhood every day.

Saying all this and in the style of  "You Might Be a Redneck" (thank you Jeff Foxworthy for your simple and honest humour), here is my edition of You Know You're Old When......

1.  Your idea of the latest top 40 music is the  latest Mini Pops cd.  Thank you my daughter's friend for re-introducing this phenomenon to me.  I was jealous as a child that I didn't get a mini pops record.  I guess that in itself ages me too. 

2.  You refer to yourself as Tammy Faye Baker when you cry with mascara on.  I actually had a young woman ask "Tammy who?"

3.  You play either the 70s on 7, 80s on 8 or 90s on 9 when listening to satellite radio and you know all the words.

4.  You call your daughter's cd player routinely, her Ghetto Blaster.

5.  The clothes you hated as a kid are again back in style as Retro.  Namely: stirrups.  Yes Andrea, I may just purchase those leg warmers for you.

6.  You talk about the good ol'days of sitcom tv.  Why can't there a be another Family Ties, Growing Pains or Silver Spoons?  

7.  You go to buy a DVD player and ask to look at the VCRs.

8.  The cashiers at McDonalds look like they're 5 and the managers not much older.

9.  A child asks if you have ever seen a typewriter in person.

10.  The toys you grew up with are part of the museum exhibit on the 100 years of Saskatchewan.

11.  You're kid's teachers are younger than you or went to high school with you.

Finally, my favourite.  You know you're old when.....(drum roll please)

12.  Your children start referring to your childhood as the pioneer times or olden days. 


I want to thank all my Facebook and Bloggy friends who helped me with this list.  You know who you are and you know how vintage you all are to me.

Link up you're randomness today.
 
Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Than A Friend

This week, I have had some very raw and authentic times with God.  I've been trying to sing more during these times in praise of all that God has done in my life and continues to do.  I finally got my MP3 player working again.  The first song that played was More Than A Friend by Kees Kraayenoord.  This song expresses all the words and sentiments that my heart longs to tell God.  He is more than my friend.  Thank you God for all the Joy you bring to me through all my circumstances.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Azerbijan

Christian festival raided; believers detained in Azerbaijan

(Source: Forum18)

Police raided a Christian festival and detained four believers in the town of Kusar, Azerbaijan on October 31. Approximately 80 members of a Baptist church were gathered in a believer's home for a celebration thanking God for the harvest when police arrived and began to interfere with the activities. The officials turned off the gas and electricity in order to prevent the believers from preparing their meal. They also photographed and videotaped the service and recorded the names of those present.

Four men -- Ilgar Mamedov (the homeowner), Zalib Ibrahimov, Rauf Gurbanov and Akif Babaev -- were forced to leave with the officers. Seven hours later, the four believers were secretly taken to a local court where they were tried with charges of "insulting people." In a closed hearing, they were each given five-day prison terms. The following morning, a church member who went to the police station to check on the men was told that another trial would be held in five days' time. He also learned that authorities were threatening to give Zalib a 12-year prison sentence.

Ask God to equip these four men through His grace to stand firm in their faith as they suffer and that they will be released and without further legal penalty.

Pray that officials will repent of their unjust actions.

Pray that a spirit of joy and trust will govern the hearts of Azeri Christians as they serve the Lord amid opposition.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From the Inside Out

Last year I got to meet one of my "idols."  A person who I look up to as we have walked similar paths - Liz Curtis Higgs.  I have to admit that I was almost like a tween who had heard that Justin Bieber was coming to town (I'm sure my friends would say I was the tween).  I even got a chance to meet her personally and talk to her.  

Liz and I at the Woman's Journey of Faith Convention.  Even Sam got into the action.
When you first see Liz, you may be shocked.  She's not what you would call a "small" lady, nor does she make any apologies for it.  Liz is Liz.  She's proud of who she is and she's happy.  She's comfortable with herself and who God created her to be.  She's normal, open, humble, funny, and authentic.  She's so comfortable with herself that she informed us that she had allowed herself to go grey.  However, she didn't use the word grey, she said silver, as in a "crown of silver."  She oozes God's joy, peace, grace and kindness.  She is one of the most beautiful women that I have ever met.

I long to be that woman - comfortable in her own skin; makes no apologises; oozing God's grace, love and beauty.  As I have shared previously, I've been praying for that - that my inside matches my outside.  I'm somtimes so focused on my outside too much.  I worry about what the world will see.  What I've tried to hide - my fragility; my hurts; my pains.  I don't want them to see my weaknesses, so I try to protray someone who has it all together.  Who looks good.  Building a home without a foundation.  

This week during my prayer time, I was lead to this verse:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3: 3-4 NIV)
I realized that I've been spending too much time focusing on what people perceive about me and not enough time focusing on my inner self.  The self that God sees. God wants me to have a gentle and quiet spirit.  That doesn't mean that I become a door mat or dishrag, but a spirit that is totally in line with His will filled with all the gifts of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  (Gal 15: 22-23).  

I love how the Message talks about this verse "Cultivate inner beauty..."  It means that I'm going to have to work on it.  It's not just going to happen.  I have to work on my relationship with God daily through prayer and by studying His word.  Through hard work, I may just become like the beautiful Liz!

I'm joining in with Jen at Finding Heaven today for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Martha Monday's - Shiny Sink

Does your sink often look like this in the morning?


Be honest.  I have to admit that more often than not, mine does.  It's not that I'm lazy.  The truth is by the time dinner is over, all I want to do is "veg out."  I'm sure you all know what I mean.

I never thought about my sink much.  When it was full, I'd either wash them or load the dishwasher.  That was until I did Fly Lady 7 years ago.  The first thing she encourages you to do is to "shine your sink."  I know crazy.  Who ever thought you'd want your sink to shine.  Why should you shine your sink?  According to the Fly Lady "When you get up the enxt morning, your sink will greet you and a smile will come acros your lovely face."  She's right.  When I've emptied my sink the night before, the next morning I'm relaxed and able to deal with things.  In fact, it's almost as good as a cup of coffee, but not quite.


1.  Take out the dishes.

2.  Fill with very hot water to the rim, one side at a time.  Pour a cap of bleach into the water.  Let it sit for 1 hour.  Pull plug with tongs or wear gloves to get remove it.  Repeat for 2nd basin.  Rinse well.  (I do this step about once a month).

3.  Use cleanser and scrub sink.  Rinse well.

4.  Clean around rim and faucet with a toothbrush.

5.  Get out windex or vinegar and shine it.  

6.  Step back and relax.

Now admittedly, the easiest way to get rid of the dishes is the dishwasher.  I try to fill mine before bed and run it just as we go to bed.  This way, I can put them away in the morning.  However, some people may not have a dishwasher (gasp!) or you have too many dishes to load.  As another helpful lady, Sandra Felton, of the Messies Anonymous, recommends it not done until it's complete.  This means that they have to be washed, dried and put away.  I realize that sometimes this feels daunting, but I it's worth it in the long run.

I admit that I don't always "shine" my sink, but I notice the mornings that I've shined them and so does my family.
Friday, November 12, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness - So many

Photobucket

I have decided to be completely random today  "after much deep and profound brain things inside my head".(Thank you King Julian for that great quote.)

  • This week I had a sleep over with my daughter.  In fact, she asked Daddy it that was ok first.  I had a lot planned:  we would watch a movie; stay up; do our nails and talk about things in her life.  

Our Movie


Our Guests and Snacks
Now I have to admit that there isn't a picture of me at the sleepover as I was holding up the viewing of the aforementioned movie trying to take pictures.  We snuggled in, turned out the lights and made it through the movie with a couple of "resting our eyes" times.  As soon as the movie was over, we both agreed that we needed to go to sleep.  In the  morning I made us both Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, Avocado Toasted Sandwiches.  There's no pictures of those as we both were very hungry. 
  • This week some dear bloggy friends announced a change in their blog.  I'm so excited for them and the future of their ministry.  Cherie and Rebecca of Praying Wives Club are changing their blog to the "Imperfect Wives."  I love it as wives we "..make mistakes. Regularly. We pray, do our best, mess up sometimes, apologize, repent, learn from those mistakes (hopefully) and carry on to try again!" (great words Cherie).  They are also going to be hosting a new BlogTalkRadio program starting December 7 at 10 am Est.  I hope you will all join my friends and see how God is working through all of us to become "perfect" through Him.
  • I've become very aware this week about how I have a tendency to say yes then ask questions after.  I'm going to be looking at my personal commitments in the next month and then step back from some of them in the new year.  I find I'm scrambling daily to get things done or I'm always playing catch up.  I don't like feeling this way.  I know I'm going to upset some people, but I hope they can understand that I just don't think this is were God is leading me and that my primary focus should be home.  Don't worry though, I won't be leaving the blog.  This is one of the things I enjoy doing. 
  • This week the boys had their immunizations.   Sam's went well.  He is in the 25% for his weight and 5% for his height.  He is my littlest guy, but definitely my heaviest.  His siblings have always been lucky if they're as high as 20% in the weight department.  Thomas' shots were scary.  After receiving this shots in his 2nd arm, he fainted.  It was a scary minute for a mommy, not knowing what was going on and not sure what to do.  We stayed with the Health Nurse for 1/2 hour and there were no other problems.  I took him home, fed him what he wanted (Pogos) and cuddled and watched Toy Story 3 (someone should have warned me how sad it was).  I knew he was fine when he snuck (is that word?) a 2nd doughnut from the tray that I had purchased for the family. 
  •  I'm excited as the Babes and I are going to be working through Beth Moore's study of David, "David- Seeking a Love Like His."   I can't wait to get going.  We just  have to wait until they arrive in the mail.  Hopefully today so we can start on Monday.  However, if it isn't here, then we are going to have a PJ Party and eat and eat and eat!  It should be fun and exciting no matter what.
  • Finally, did you know you can buy tube tops in plus sizes.  I'm just saying.....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Uzbekistan

Uzbek Christian fined for having a film of Jesus' life

Uzbekistan has imposed a massive fine on a Protestant man for owning a Christian film. On September 29, police raided Murat Jalalov's home in Tashkent -- apparently on the instructions of the National Security Service secret police. They confiscated 75 DVDs and CDs. The discs included the Uzbek version of "The Jesus Film." The confiscated materials were analyzed by the national state Religious Affairs Committee. The committee declared that the particular film "could be used among local ethnicities for missionary purposes" and was therefore banned. All confiscated materials were ordered to be destroyed.

Please pray for the church in Uzbekistan.

Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of the believers and their desire to spread the Gospel in spite of their restrictions.

Pray for all those involved in church leadership and evangelization; may they be bold and courageous, yet wise and discerning.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pot, Kettle....Black

These last few months I have been witness to some serious stone throwing.   I have seen and read things that make me laugh, get upset, roll my eyes, become defensive and get angry over. It's something that I believe most of us, including me, are guilty of - judging our sisters in Christ.

  • A dear bloggy friend was called out over a TV show she enjoyed. 
  • There was a heated discussion on Lisa Bevre's Facebook page when she asked a question about sleeves or no sleeves during a woman's conference. It got to the point where she deleted the whole discussion. 
  • I've overheard disparaging remarks about a group within my own church.

While reading "Get Out of the Pit" by Beth Moore, she talks about being called out because she purchased flavoured creamer and someone believed that she was "spiking" the coffee.

What is going on?  When did we all go back to Junior High?  Is there a book for the Old Queen Bees and Yesterday's Wannabees?  Is there going to be a Housewives of the Blogosphere?


Now before you all get upset, I'm pulling the "plank" out of my eye right now. I admit it. I'm as guilty as the next person. I judged a fellow blogger who changed her blog's direction to something I disagreed with. I judged a fellow believer for not volunteering in church when we are struggling to get volunteers. I judged ....while I'm sure you're aware of where this going.

God Commands each of us not to judge others:
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12 NIV)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7: 1-2 NIV)
Take it from me, when you judge others, it opens up the floodgates.  Not just in regards to you being judged, but all the other sins that come with it - envy, anger, unforgiveness, coveting......  I have to ask myself - WHY?  What do I get out of it?  What are my reasons?  Is it worth it?  It all starts with a lie that Satan tells us.  It's never done in the light, bur always in the dark behind others backs.  Sometimes it even starts with:  "Not that I'm judging, but...."  Really, what else do you call it?

Chew on this for minute:  It's a reflection of our own hearts. 
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Matthew 12:34b NIV)

That's right - What we say is a reflection of our own pain, insecurities and failures. 

God calls us to be united in Christ.  He speaks about us being 1 body in 1 Corinthians 12:  12-27.  We are each a part arranged exactly where we are needed to be.  In fact, each of us needs the other.  If one of us falls, we all fall.  If one of us takes a stand in support of another, we all stand strong and unbreakable.

I urge us all to humble ourselves and support, lift up, encourage, and always speak God's truth and love to each other.  We represent God to a broken and unbelieving world.  We are all His representatives.  I take a stand now to turn from the juvenile and immature ways that give me a false sense of self and to start being the grown up and take responsibility for my actions.  Are you joining me?

Father, you have called us to live in community with each other. To use
our words to build each other up and to encourage each other. Helps us to
embrace this. Help us to look at each other with Your
eyes. When we judge each other, help us to pray
for forgiveness immediately and bring us into reconciliation. Amen

Join me with Jen at Finding Heaving for the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.





Monday, November 8, 2010

Martha Monday's - "...easy, easy like Sunday Mornings..."

Do you remember this song?  Lionel Richie would have us believe that Sunday mornings are easy.  If you're a mom, you know that this is so not true.  I would never call Sunday mornings easy.  In fact, last year, after I had just rushed in to finish prepping my Sunday School lesson, I told my Pastor that Lionel Richie was a liar.  She was a bit perplexed (have I ever mentioned that she's single).  Another mom, who was in the office with us, concurred with me.  Sundays are rarely easy.

On a typical Sunday, the kids wake up and watch tv.  I check out the computer.  Then I try to figure out what to the feed the kids.  Get the kids dressed (after running around looking for socks).  Remind Nic at least ten times to brush her teeth.  At some point, the grown ups get ready.  Then it's time to tell the kids to get their coats and shoes on.  Then it's time to tell the kids to get their coats and shoes on. Then it's time to tell the kids to get their coats and shoes on. (you get my drift).  Get everyone into the van. Ooops forgot the diaper bag.  Go back, pack it and race back to the van.  Finally, on the way to church.

Is this your Sunday?  Can you see any similarities?  I can tell you that I've been implementing some habits into my life to make Sundays a little easier.  I thought I would share them with you.

1.  Multitasking the night before.  I know as mom's we multitask every day.  However, Saturday night I get a lot done.  It's bath night.  As each one is in the bath, I clean up from dinner and the day and then get our clothes ready.  This way there is little to no ironing during the Sunday rush.

2.  Muffins!  I've started to make a batch of muffins each Sunday night for breakfast the next morning.  The kids want to eat right away.  I don't have to figure out what to get them.  Little mess.  Little clean up.

3.  Pack the bag the night before.  If the bag is ready, there's no running around trying to pack it or wondering if you have your Sunday School lesson or Bible.  This doesn't even have to mean the diaper bag (although in my house it does), it can also be your purse or Bible case.

Now I'm not going to lie and say that every Sunday has become stress free.  That would be lying.  Things are a bit easier.  Now, if I could just get the kids to put on their coats and shoes without asking.  

Do you have any suggestions that you do to make Sunday's easier?  Let me know.  I'm open to all suggestions.
Friday, November 5, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness - You Know You Call Someone Too Much When....

Photobucket" />

I've mentioned before that earlier this year the Babes and I worked through Kelly Minter's "No Other Gods" study.  I learned many truths about my life including acknowledging what my idols were - my phone and through that, my friends. 

I struggle with this.  My friends encourage me, laugh with me, cry with me, and challenge me daily.  BUT....do I share with God as much as I share with them?  NO!  During this study, I shared with the Babes that the phone was my idol and they were my little "g" gods (I still refer to them as that).  My idol even calls me regularly to worship and adore it and it fits in the palm of my  hand.

This is my idol (oh, I mean phone).

Now many of you are probably wondering how much time do I spend on the phone.  Not as much as I used to and way too much to admit.  My husband jokes that I'm on the phone as soon as he leaves and when he gets home from work.  

In September, I did a "No Phone" week.  I would only answer calls from my husband, my grandmother and my mother in law (for obvious reasons).  I was determined not to call people.  I did break this rule a few times to ask questions about school, church and the new library system.  Overall I did pretty well and rewarded myself by calling people on Friday.  What did I learn:

  1. I get more housework done when I'm not on the phone;
  2. I can work more on my relationship with God; and
  3. I use the phone as a crutch when I'm lonely and bored.

I realized during this week as to how much I actually do spend on the phone when I'm bored.  I was shocked at the excuses I use to phone people when bored.  I make the most ridiculous things important so that I can call my friends.  I can't say I don't do this anymore, but I don't do it as often.  I shared this fact with my Evil Twin, whom I am guilty of calling every day and talking to for a least an hour a day.  She also realized how much we allow the phone to control our lives.  This past month, we haven't talked everyday and we've both called days of being incommunicado so that we can get our respective studies done.

Saying all this though I thought I would share a story she told me today.  The Evil Twin gave her old phone to a friend.  The friend has deleted all the contacts off the Evil Twin's old phone.  However, there is one number that she cannot delete as the phone will not allow her too - guess which one.  Yes, MINE!   The phone must be so used to calling my number that it's scared to lose it.  Maybe I became it's idol. :)

No matter what your idol is, know that through the cross, we can be free to embrace all the freedom that Jesus promised us and get to the land of  "milk and honey." 


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Iran

Iranian pastor sentenced to death

Christians in Iran are reporting that Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani has been sentenced to death for what is called a "thought crime." Pastor Youcef, a leader in the Full Gospel "Church of Iran" network, was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur'an. VOM contacts confirm that the pastor's trial was held in recent weeks in the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of the province of Gilan, but a formal verdict has not yet been delivered by the court. If a death sentence is officially handed down and Pastor Youcef is executed, his would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades.

Pray that God will fill Pastor Youcef and his family with peace and that they will continue to stand on the Word, knowing that God protects His children.

Pray for those in charge of Pastor Youcef's case, that God would soften their hearts and cause them to overturn their decision.

Pray for all Iranian believers who are in custody, that they would know that God can use their imprisonment for His glory.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Journalling

Last weekend I read the second chapter of the Fresh Brewed Life.  In this chapter, Nicole Johnson encourages the reader to journal.  I've never journaled before or even kept a diary, as I was:  always afraid of what to enter into it; what would happen if someone got a hold of it and read it; and really did I want to keep that commitment.  Since starting this blog I have shared some of my life with you and considered that enough.  I never realized though how cathartic journalling can be and I've only just started. 

Nicole has some great ideas of journalling that have really encouraged me:

1.  Your journal should inspire you to pick it up; "it should beg you to be written in";

2.  Have a pen that you use exclusively to write with.  The pen should be comfortable.  In fact, she encourages you to use pen and not pencil as you may be tempted to erase what you've written.  

3.  Take time to write in it daily.  It may be as quick as 5 minutes or an hour.  

4.  Find a place that will encourage you to journal - a quite corner, a hammock or even a tent under the table.  

5.  To quote her directly - "Your job is to get honest words and feelings down on paper, not justify them  or explain them or make sure they are beautiful: vomit on paper; explode with excitement; weep; laugh;" Be open, honest and raw.

6. Finally, have your bible near.  You never know where God will direct you while you journalling. 

Since I'm not sure a lot of times where to start, I've been using some of the directed journalling questions from the Fresh Brewed Life to steer me on.   The question that shook me while I journaled late last week was :  Imagine yourself completely surrendering to God.  How different would your life look?  In the spirit of being Ephphatha, I'm going to share my journal that day. 

Imagine completely surrendering to God.  How would that look?

Wow, what would that look like?  I don't even know.  It would mean that D1Q1 statement I AM NOT MY OWN would come to complete fruition.  My family life, hopefully, would be better.  I hope I would be a calmer, happier more forgiving person, not judging.  I hop my family would ALL become true worshipers of Jesus.  Not that we would be perfect like the Flanders', but more authentic and honest.  Open to His leading and guiding. 

I would hope my outside would reflect my inside and that my inside would reflect God's love and newness and cleaning in my life.  I remember walking into Cheri's house on Monday all sparkling organized bleachy smelling.  I thought WOW is this clean.  I want to personally be like this.  I want to have people look at me and say - WOW, she is a reflection of God.  Right now I feel like a reflection of my laundry room - messy, trashy, disorganized, dirty, a little mold here and there.  I'm sure I reflect this.  I'm not perfect, but I am a possibility as the children's song states.  I think of Philippians 3:12 - Not that I have already obtained all this or already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Jesus took hold for me.  Every morning, just by praying and my daily studies, am I pressing forward toward complete surrender.  Will I get there?  I'm sure I will.  When?  I don't know, only God knows.  But, I'm not alone.  He's walking with me.  Sometimes at my side, sometimes carrying me.  But no matter where, always there.
I hope that I've inspired you to look at journaling in a new way and to pick up a book and pen and start writing your raw and messy thoughts.

I'm linking up with Jen of Finding Heaven at for her new meme, the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood.  Come join in.



Monday, November 1, 2010

Music Monday & Martha Mondays - A Match Made through Cleaning

I know I haven't written a Martha Mondays for the whole month in October.  I just thought that before I started tell you what I do that I had better start doing it! :P   This week I'm not only going to do Martha 's Monday, but Music Monday as well with Shawntele.  

A month ago, as I was just starting to think up ideas for Martha Mondays, I was listening to my favourite show on CBC Radio2, Vinyl Tap with Randy Bachman .  For my American friends, CBC is not quite like PBS, but not quite like the BBC either, though it is publicly funded. On his show each week he has a theme and plays music that goes to that theme.  I listen to this as I clean up after dinner and get the kids ready for the week.  That week is was playing original songs and the response songs that followed them (ie.  It's My Party and then the response song was "It's Judy's Turn to Cry.)  The one that made me laugh was Queen of the House by Judy Miller which of course was the response song to King of the Road.  

When I listened to the words I realized that she was singing many of our songs.  Of course, mine would most often start like "up everyday at 5:15 am!"  It got me thinking how important it is to have a clean up song.  Cinderella did; Snow White did; the Beast's servants did; the best was Giselle's in Enchanted, although I do question her choice of helpers.  I always have music playing when I'm cleaning.  It gets me jazzed up and in a happy place when I work.  Sometimes it's ABBA, sometimes it's my favourite praise CD.  Lately, it's been When God Fearing Women Get the Blues, by Martina McBride.  

I think the choice of a cleaning song has to be inspirational or something that gets you moving.  Can you really clean the toilets if you're listening to depressing music?  I say the livelier the better.  If you know the words that helps as you can sing at the top of your voice when dusting or doing the dishes.  I sometimes dance around.  Get the kids involved.  Then work will actually become fun and a time of bonding.  My daughter and I have danced while cleaning her room to her Mini Bops cd (that's a whole other blog).  

This week, I'm sharing the original song that inspired this blog.  I think I'll keep it as the Martha Monday's theme.  What do you think?


Queen of the House - Judy Miller
Up every day at six
bacon and eggs to fix
Four kids from one to four 
pretty soon there'll be one more

I got old floors to wax and scrub
and there's a dirty old ring in the tub
I'll get a maid someday 
but till then I'm queen of the house

No time to fix my hair 
need a new dress to wear
Old clothes will have to do 
cause the kids all need new shoes

I got bridge club each Tuesday night 
he goes out with the boys and gets tight
But when the evenin's through 
he comes a home to the queen of the house

I know the milkman the iceman 
they come every day
They give me tips on the horses to play
And when I got the time to spare I sit 
and wish that I'd picked a rich millionare

I sing up every day at six 
bacon and eggs to fix
Four kids from one to four 
pretty soon there'll be one more
Oh by Syndays I'm mighty glad 
we send the kids to his Mom and Dad
It's the day that makes me glad 
I'm queen of the house

Up every day at six bacon and eggs to fix
Four kids from one to four 
pretty soon there'll be one morez
Oh by Syndays I'm mighty glad... 

Let me know what your favourite housekeeping song is and share it with Shawntele at Saved by Grace.

 
My photo
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.

Mini Me

Mini Me

Middleman

Middleman

Tormentinator

Tormentinator

Friends and Neighbours

Where I travel

Prairie History