Friday, December 31, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness - Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar

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What started as having a quiet New Year has become a large family gathering.  It all started when I was pregnant with Nicole.  We didn't know what to do, but wanted to do something, so we decided to spend New Year's Eve with my in laws eating Olliebollen.  I think I ate a whole bowl by myself and did not make any apologies for it.  We spent Nicole's first New Years at her Oma and Opa's and again it was pretty quiet.

The third year, however, was the year the tradition started that at least 4/8 of my husband's siblings would be at my in laws every New Years.  It became a large fun family gathering (except the year the deep fryer wouldn't keep the heat).   The kids play in the basement, while the adults talk, play games and watch the end of year hockey game which usually includes our favourite team, the Edmonton Oilers.  This always leads to some good rivalries.

This year we get to attend and I'm excited to see everyone and catch up.  I'm also excited to for the kids to see their Oma and Opa.  They adore their grandparents and I know it is highly reciprocated.  I also am looking forward to the Olliebollen as my husband has a rule that we can only eat it on New Years Eve (there have been times that I've cheated!).  


I'm looking forward to 2011 and all that it has in store for all of us.  I don't have resolutions for year, but I will be working on goals through the 3 in 30 project.  So January I will be working on:

1.  Working out 30 minutes/day at least 5 times a week;
2.  Read my bible daily in the Bible in 90 Days Challenge;
3.  Clean out and organize Nicole's Room  - Don't ask - this is something I've been avoiding for months. 

I hope that everyone of you have a great New Year's Eve and spend it with the ones you love.  I would love to hear what you're resolutions are so that I can pray for you this year and encourage you each in what you would like to accomplish in the New Year. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Pakistani pastor beaten with bricks

On November 1, 10 Muslim extremists in Islamabad used bricks and hockey sticks to beat a Christian clergyman who is the subject of a fatwa demanding his death. The Rev. Dr. Suleman Nasri Khan, pastor of Power of the Healing God's Church, suffered a serious head injury, a hairline fracture in his arm and a broken bone in his left ankle in the assault. He was able to identify two of his assailants as Allama Atta-Ullah Attari and Allama Masaud Hussain.

The attack follows Islamic scholar Allama Nawazish Ali's October 25th fatwa (religious ruling) to kill Khan. The fatwa was issued after Khan protested anti-Christian violence in Kalupura last month. Khan, a former fighter in Afghanistan, had relocated to a rented apartment in Islamabad after fleeing his home in Gujrat because of death threats against him and his family. Muslim extremists previously attacked Khan in 2008, after hearing of his conversion to Christianity. His 3-month-old daughter was killed in that assault.

While fighting in Afghanistan's civil war in 2000, Khan found a New Testament lying on the battlefield. He immediately threw it away, but he says he heard a divine voice extending an invitation to him. When he later embraced Christ, he began preaching and studying, and he earned a doctorate in biblical theology from Punjab Theological Seminary in Kasur in 2005.

Thank God for Khan's faithfulness. Pray for a full recovery.

Pray the Lord will continue to strengthen him and protect him and his family from further harm.

Pray for all Christians in Pakistan and Afghanistan who boldly follow Christ.
Monday, December 27, 2010

B90 Challenge

Last year I planned to read the Bible in one year.  That was one of my New Year's resolutions.  In fact that has been one of my resolutions for the past 10 years.  Obviously I have never actually completed it.   Did I do it in 2010 - NO!.

I purchased a One Year Bible thinking that this would encourage me, but I disliked the jumping around through the Old and New Testaments.  My church this fall decided to read the Bible together through the Church year, but again, I disliked the jumping around.  I like starting at the beginning and working through it.  Previous years, I would get stuck in Deuteronomy.  I did get through it this year and actually enjoyed it.  I have read different books of the Bible thanks to Bible studies - the Pentateuch, Judges, Ruth, Esther, Psalms, Jonah, the Gospels, Acts and some of the Epistles.  I'm currently working through 1Samuel thanks to doing Beth Moore's study of David.   Upon reflection though, I realize that it isn't just good enough to read some of the Bible.  I need to read God's whole word.  I need see how my life is reflected by those of faith who have come before me.  

This New Years I am making a resolution.  I am planning on reading the Bible, but not in one year - in 90 days.  While researching a new bible, I found the Bible in 90 Days.  I looked at the plan and saw that it was chronological.  I'm excited.  However, I think that I need some encouragement or friends to join me.  Are you in?  Amy at Mom's Toolbox is hosting a blogging version of the program.  I will be joining in with her and following her through this experience.   


If you feel a little daunted, according to the publisher it means reading 12 pages of the Bible everyday.  I can committ to that.  I sometimes read a whole novel in one day, yet ignore reading my Bible.  If you still feel daunted you can listen while you read at the site.  

I can't wait to take this journey and I hope that some of you will walk along side me while we do it together.

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

Prayer Request Update

Thank you all for praying for Kelly Jo and Curt.  I thought I would post Kelly Jo's update on Facebook today.  
Curt has rounded a corner. Today he finally recognized our home and Kendalyn, too! When our elders came to anoint him, he didn't know them. Immediately after their prayers, he DID - and still remembers them now. He could carry on basic conversation and recite many books of the Bible. Later, he recognized another visitor. Still a long way to go, but praise God for working in Curt's brain and for this progress!
Saturday, December 25, 2010

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

I am asking all my Bloggy Sisters to prayer for one of my Bloggy Friends, Kelly Jo

My friend's husband, Curt, recently had heart surgery.  All went well, however, the anesthetic has reacted with a previous brain injury leaving him completely amnesic.  She has written that he is watching their daughter to even figure out how to eat with a fork.  Kelly Jo is caring for him, as well as their daughter and foster daughter, who has been up to some schinanigans.  Kelly Jo is up to her limit and feeling completely overwhelmed. 

Pray dear sisters that God provide complete healing and restore Curt's memory.  Pray for strength for Kelly Jo as she deals with this, as well as what daily life has planned.  Pray for peace over this family during this Christmas season as Kelly Jo says it doesn't feel very merry! 

Merry Christmas - Glory To God

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  I'm sharing with you today the traditional Dutch Christmas Hymn Ere zig God which means Glory to God.  It is tradition to sing it at Church on Christmas morning as the last song.  I hope it blesses your family this beautiful Christmas morning.

 


Glory to God!  (2X) In the highest!  (3X)
Peace on the earth, peace on the earth to the people who have God’s favor.
Glory to God in the highest!  (2X)  Peace on the earth.  (4X)
To the people, to the people who have God’s favor.
To the people who have God’s favor, who have God’s favor!
Glory to God!  Glory to God! In the highest!  In the highest!  In the highest!
Peace on the earth, peace on the earth to the people who have God’s favor.
Amen, amen.
Friday, December 24, 2010

Caffeinated Christmas : It was the night before....

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I am currently writing to you the Night before the Night before Christmas and am living to tell you about it.  Never go to Toys R Us on the Night before the Night before Christmas.  What a gong show! Was I insane you're asking.  No, not really.  My husband's work purchased gift cards to Toys R Us for each of the children.  I usually purchase their "Santa" gifts with these cards.  Luckily for me, my hubby was there with me helping with the kids and with the decision making.  I thought the middle man was going to be  hard to buy for - NO!  It was the littlest and oldest.   What do you get a 21 month old and a girl who is 7.  I'm hoping next year will be easier.  


What Everyone looked like leaving Toys R Us today!

Now that you know what I feel like, I think I'll move onto to our theme today - Christmas Eve Traditions.  

I have always enjoyed hearing my friends families' traditions.  I loved hearing about people attending Candle Light services, going to their grandparents to open gifts, driving around town looking at lights, etc...  I always thought everyone else had a tradition and my family didn't.  We rarely left the house to look at the lights (usually not on Christmas Eve), we didn't go to church so that one was out and I lived with my grandparents.  What I didn't realize is that my family did have a tradition and I didn't know it until I had moved out of the house.  My family's tradition - eating take out on Christmas Eve and hanging out watching Christmas movies on tv.  I know it sounds corny, but it was great.  My grandmother would be getting ready for the big dinner and just wanted to relax a bit before she spent the day in the kitchen.  We would order pizza, Chinese food, A&W, etc..  What ever was close and what we could all agree on.  

The Christmas Eve after my grandfather died, my family decided to get together for our last family Christmas in the family home.  My grandmother and I were trying to decide what to make to eat as it was just the two of us that night.  We realized what were we doing?  We should be going out, so we did.  We walked up to the local A&W and had some teen burgers, fries and milk shakes.  It was great and we finally started feeling like Christmas.  

My fist Christmas with my husband and his family, I was introduced to his family's traditions.  They open their gifts Christmas Eve so that they can spend Christmas morning at church, celebrating the birth of Jesus.  It was a little weird for me at first as I was used to the Christmas morning extravaganza chaos festival.  However, there was something peaceful about it all.  There was no yelling, no screaming, no jumping up and down.  There was quiet contemplation.  Something that I had never had on a Christmas day.  

 When we started our own family, I wanted to try to merge a little of both traditions with our family.  We opened a few gifts on Christmas Eve and our "Santa" gifts and stockings are saved for Christmas morning.  We also eat out or get take out so that mommy doesn't have to cook dinner before the big day.  One year we found our favourite steak house because of Christmas Eve.  Another year, we just ate appetizers.  This year, I have some pizzas in the oven, but I may actually cook as we are having our first ever Christmas with just our little family and instead of having a turkey, I'm cooking a ham as most of the family prefer ham.  

I can't wait to hear what your family does Christmas Eve.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  I will be posting a small gift for all of you tomorrow, so check back in when you can. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Somalia

Somali teenage girl shot to death for embracing Christ

A 17-year-old Somali girl who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death on November 25 in an apparent "honor killing," area sources said. Nurta Mohamed Farah, who fled her village of Bardher, Gedo Region, to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, was shot in the head and chest with a pistol. Area sources said they strongly suspect that the two unidentified men who shot her were relatives or acting on their behest. Farah was killed in Abudwaq District, about 200 metres from where she had taken refuge. Christian sources said Farah's parents had severely beaten her for leaving Islam and regularly shackled her to a tree at their home. She had been confined to her home since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity.

Pray the Lord will protect and deliver Somali Christians from those who persecute them (Romans 15:30-31).

Pray the gospel will continue to spread in this nation despite opposition.

Ask God to bring many government officials and leaders to faith in Christ.
Monday, December 20, 2010

Music Monday - Peace on Earth

Peace: 

1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
2. An agreement or a treaty to end hostilities.
3. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations: roommates living in peace with each other.
4. Public security and order: was arrested for disturbing the peace.
5. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

As you can see, there are many definitions of peace.   When people think of Peace, some think about freedom from war and hostilities.  Some think about reconciliation and hope.  Some think about things that keep us secure and safe in our daily lives.  Others think of the peace that we can feel and be.  

Many people look for it in all the wrong places.  They look for it in external things.  They seek it through meditation and false Gods.  They seek it through the Courts and the Law.  They look to it through military actions.  Where many cease to look for it is through is the only one who can give it. 

This week as we think of Peace, we can focus on Jesus who was born to bring us Peace.  Peace from wars, reconciliation with God, between ourselves and others; the Peace that we take for granted for living in our society and the Peace that passes all understanding that fills our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:7) - the Peace that only He can give us. 

I'm sharing today the Casting Crowns version of I Heard the Bells.  This song was originally written by Henry W. Longfellow.   He wrote the poem after losing his wife to a unfortunate accident and losing his son in the American Civil War.  He was filled with despair and hopelessness, however, still He looked to God for peace.  The place that we should all look to.



I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Hall, Dale, Bernie Herms

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men


And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

I'm linking up today with Shawntele at Saved by Grace on a Christmas Edition of Music Monday.
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Week 4: Peace

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Friday, December 17, 2010

A Caffeinated Christmas: It was the Best of Times; It was the Worst of Times...

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This week we will be discussing  our Best and Worst Christmas Memories.  I think that we should discuss both, because they're both valid feelings during this season. 

video

Thanks again for dropping by today.  Only one more week until the Big Event.  Next week will be Christmas Eve and the theme is for your Families' Christmas Eve traditions.  I love to hear what different people do on Christmas Eve and can't wait to hear yours!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - China

Church building demolished in Jiangsu province, China

A church building was recently demolished in Tinghu district, Jiangsu province, China. On November 19, Chengnan Church -- that belongs to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and is legally registered with the government -- was destroyed on orders of the local government. The demolition came as a surprise, as registered churches in China do not typically face the same intensity of persecution from the government as non-registered churches. In response to the situation, ChinaAid President Bob Fu said, "While the government's powerful backhoes can destroy church buildings, they can never destroy the faith in the hearts and souls of believers. No one can stop the vigorous growth of the church in China. The Cross will surely be hoisted high in China by the glory of God and the sickle and ax will surely fall in shame."

Pray for the members of this church, as they are now without a building in which to hold worship.

Pray that, despite the loss of their building, they will be reassured of their lasting and more precious inheritance (Hebrews 10:36, 37).

Pray that the Word of God will continue to be declared with clarity, boldness, love and power by all believers in China.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've Been Truly Blessed and Am Filled With JOY!

This week I have been multiply blessed and am filled with joy because of it.

I was shocked and humbled when I was blessed with the 12 Days of Christmas by my Bible Babe Andrea (formerally of Under Grace Over Coffee).  For those who are wondering what the 12 Days of Christmas is, it is when you purchase 12 presents for an individual and gift them on the 13th of December and have them dated to countdown the last 12 days of Christmas.  Now Andrea knows how much I dislike the Christmas countdown.  I'm always crying foul whenever someone reminds me how close it's getting.  But today, I was truly humbled that she chose me out of all her friends.  I feel very blessed and wait in seated anticipation of what each of the packages hold.  I've been tempted all day to go and start shaking the packages, but I'll wait.  

I was secondly blessed by winning a giveaway from my friends at the Imperfect Wives.  These lovely women have started ("changed" direction) a blog for those of us who are not perfect, love God and know that we are only made perfect and strengthened through our Father.  They are currently also hosting a Blog Radio show through Christian Women Affiliate every Tuesday morning at 10:00 am (no I haven't been paid for this ).  It is a safe place where we can each share our struggles in our marriages with each other and support each other through prayer and scripture.  Cherie and Rebecca have through this year lifted me up through their words through this year when I have needed it.  I love their openness of sharing their struggles in their marriages to lift us up.  


This week while I'm filled with joy about the blessings I've received from my friends, I'm also filled with Joy about how God has been working in my life.  He has been leading me to places where I am hesitant....ok, resistant to wanting to go.  He has been teaching me how I am to react to situations.  He is an amazing Father who gives so much to each of us.  I may not express my Joy to Him all the time, but I am filled with Joy because of Him.  This Christmas season I'm going to embrace the Joy that He has given me.  I'm going to rejoice with exceedingly great joy!

I linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today.  Share your Joy with the sisterhood.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Music Monday - Hallelujah!

This past month, I've been pretty busy getting ready for our Church's Annual Christmas Banquet.  I have to admit that I haven't been around the blogosphere these last two weeks because I've been busy with that, general life or being sick.  In fact I haven't felt very joyful lately.  Usually I'm getting excited about Christmas gifts and Christmas cookies and Christmas....  This year, I've felt almost apathtic about Christmas.  It's coming and part of me is panicing about being ready and part of me just wish it would be over.  That's the consumerism part.

This week I'm going to rest and start to focus "Christ"mas.  The reason for Christmas.  The reason that we should be filled with joy.  Yesterday, I shared a verse with you that talks about joy.  
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:10 (NIV)
This verse is reflecting on the Magi.  After they left Herod's palace, they followed to where the star was leading them.  When they came to the place the star was they were filled with joy.  I love the way the New King James Version expresses it "they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy."  Not that they were filled with joy, but that they rejoiced in it.  I can well imagine this joy.  Just think of it in terms of winning the biggest game of your life and the joy that brings.  Now multiply that feeling.  You can't stop jumping up and down.  You can't stop screaming.  You're just so excited and want everyone to know it.  JOY!  Pure joy.

Nothing describes this more musically than Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.  The joy you feel when you hear it is amazing.  In fact there is the story of George II being so moved at hearing the chorus that he stood up.  Which of course being the King, required everyone in attendance to stand.  This is traditionally the explanation as to why you stand when you hear this.  I just think that the music is so moving and so expressive of the joy that we feel towards our Saviour that you have to stand and sing along.

I've shared the version that has been going viral through the internet the last two weeks.  A choral group sang this "flash mob" style at a food court in a mall in Ontario.  I love looking at the people's faces as they try to figure out what is going on.  Isn't this true about non-believers and believers? 


|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|
|: For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
|: King of kings, and Lord of lords, :|
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
|: King of kings! and Lord of lords! :|
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I'm linking up today with Shawntele at Saved by Grace for Music Monday.  Come over and share your Christmas Music with her today.
Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Week 3 - JOY!!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Caffeinated Christmas - The Decoration Edition

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So I've vlogged this edition of A Caffeinated Christmas.  I apologize right now for the video.  It's my first vlog ever and I did it by myself.  I also have to admit that I really dislike public speaking.  For many of those who know me personally I know you don't believe that as it does take a lot to get me to be quiet, but put me in front of a camera or large group of people and I get tongue tied.



I also realized that you may be wondering why my tree in the background is not decorated.  We just got it and are waiting for the limbs to drop.  I'll post some pictures of the finished product when it's done.  But I do have to say that so far it's the nicest tree we've ever had. 


Again thank you all for participating.  I hope you enjoyed watching the vlog and had a good laugh, I know I enjoyed making it.  Hope we see you next week for our Favourite and Worst Christmas memories.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Pakistani Christian killed for "blasphemy"
(Source: Compass Direct)

Police suspect two Muslim militants are responsible for the recent murder of a Christian man in Punjab province, Pakistan. In early November, 22-year-old Latif Masih was granted bail after five months of imprisonment for "blasphemy" for allegedly burning pages of the Qur'an. His release came after the complainant in the case told the court he was not certain Latif was guilty. On November 18, two men arrived at the home of Latif and his mother, Rubina Bibi, and asked if he would accompany them. When Latif and the men were a few yards from the house, they shot Latif five times. The men then fled by motorbike. Police were watching the scene from the street but did nothing to stop the assailants. Latif's brother, Junaid Masih, claims that the two attackers were associates of a Muslim man who had filed the blasphemy charge against Latif -- a charge that Junaid claims was part of the Muslim man's plan to take over Latif's motorbike shop.

Pray that God will grant Latif's loved ones the light of His love in the darkness of grief.

Pray that Christ's Body in Pakistan will continue to be a bold testimony of His love and grace.

Ask God to help Christians in Pakistan to respond in a Christ-like manner to injustice and oppression.
Monday, December 6, 2010

Music Monday - Amazing Love

This week we are looking at love.  Not the passionate love  (Eros) of Valentines Day (which may or may not be a "Hallmark" holiday).  We are not going to be looking at Philia or friendship/brotherly love.  Although this is the type of love I have for all of you.  We are not going to be looking at love of family or our parents (Storge).  However, this is almost the type of love that Christmas represents.   We are going to be looking at Agape.  The love that God has for each of us.  The charitable, selfless, alturistic, unconditional kind of love.  The true love that only God has as He is perfect. 

He doesn't have any motives for loving us, He loves each of us just because.  One of my favourite lines in a movies is "No, I like you very much. Just as you are." (from Bridget Jones' Diary).  Not thinner, smarter, holier, happier, ...., God loves you "Just as you are."  He wouldn't have you any other way.   In fact, God loves us just the way we are so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son on our behalf to save us.  I know this isn't something we think about during the Christmas season, but think, that little baby in the manger died for each of us.  That is the ultimate sacrificial love that only God can give.  This kind of love amazes me.

I know I've shared this song on my blog before, but I had to share it with you today.  It isn't really isn't a Christmas song, but I think it's totally relevant with the Advent theme of Love. 




Whisper in my ear
Tell me one more time
the words i long to hear
that i, i am forgiven

hold me in your arms
draw me next to you
safely by your side
i know i am forgiven

and i will never truly know
just why you love me lord
i am so broken and so desperate
still you love me more
lord, i love your amazing love

there's a beauty in the way
you cherish and embrace me
in all my brokeness i know
i am forgiven

and i will never truly know
just why you love me lord
i am so broken and so desperate
still you love me more
lord, i love your amazing love

and i lift my hands
in worship at your throne
and i raise my heart
so thankful lord for what you've done

I'm linking up with Shawntele at Saved by Grace today for Music Monday.  Join in and share your praise today.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Week 2 - Love

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Friday, December 3, 2010

A Caffeinated Christmas - My Favourite Things

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Oh, this is the wrong favourite things.  I'm looking for more of this kind of favourite thing:

Now don't get too excited.  I don't have anything to actually give away (although watch out I may have one next week).  I also don't want anyone to get too excited as I can't afford to have EMTs on hand at everyone's home.  But I thought I would list 10 of My Favourite Things that I would love to get or have and would love to share with all of you when I win the lottery (this too would be one of my favourite things).

Yes, the new iPod Nano Multitouch.  Look at the rainbow of colours you can get it in.  I would personally like the pink one.  But you can all have whatever colour you like.  I just like the fact that it's small  enough to  fit in my pocket while I cleaned the house or walked around town.  Plus, unlike the MP3 player I have now, you can actually see which album you want.
Call me old fashion or truly Canadian, but I so want my own Blackberry.  You can get them in many colours as well.  I love the QWERTY keyboard.  As a former legal assistant, I know where the keys are for texting.  I also love the fact that you can take pictures, videos or play music with it.  I think every busy mom needs one of these to help keep her life organized.


For all of us busy moms who just want one hour to sit, read and drink a cup of coffee, I think this would come in handy.  I know a few moms who already have one and they say it does really clean and it works for one hour on one room.  Just think, set and  go and come back to a clean rug.  Now if your house is all rug, you may have to spend an hour a day on each room, but just think that's one hour a day of drinking a great cup of coffee instead of vacuuming. 
A netbook.  I know many of you already have laptops, but some of us don't.  Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a little netbook to log on to and read each others blogs, look up recipies, check e-mails, pay bills, ....the list is lenghthy (hint, hint honey!). 
Isn't this the cutest little purse and it's called the Michelle.  It would be like having a little piece of me around with you while you're shopping which I'm really good at.  Plus don't you just love the colour.


This is the cutest sweater.  In fact, I'm wearing it right now.  You'd never guess it came from Avon.  It's so soft.  It works great as a mommy shirt and then going out top.  The boat neck is very flattering.

Now that we're all in cookie baking season, I think we all need one of these.  I was given one from my sister as a wedding present.  I love it as it does all the work for you, especially during a double batch.  You can get them in white, green, black, red, or even purple.  


As this comes out tonight at midnight.  I think no matter if you're one Team Edward (I personally call this Team Cullen) or Team Jacob, that this movie is for you.  Just a bit of fluff for some quiet time never hurt anyone. 
This is the runner that is supposed to help you work out just by wearing them.  For the amount of time I spend on my feet all day, I'm surmising that you're doing the same.  Wouldn't it take some of the stress off all of us if we thought that we were working out at the same time.  Multitasking at it's best.

I saved the best for last.  Isn't the idea of going on a Women of the Bible Tour with Liz Curtis Higgs not the most exciting thing you can think of.  She is a hoot and I think this would be a trip full of laughter, crying and learning all at the same time.  Just in time for shopping for next Christmas. 


I hope you enjoyed this Caffeinated Christmas.  I'm sorry there weren't any plus sized tube tops (You know who you are?).  I can't wait to see what you're favourite things are. Join us next week for Holiday Decorations which just maybe a VLOG (did that sound like a cheesy promo for a soap opera?).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

HOPE

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were going somewhere or doing something that would place you in harm and hoped that there would be a "get out of jail card."  You know those times I'm talking about.  I've been in too many to even discuss.  We probably see it or actually acknowledge it more in our "rebellious" children.  But we are all just as rebellious against God's teachings as they are and probably more than we want to acknowledge.

Israel suffered from this as well.  On numerous occasions they turned from God, however, God always saved them.  However, during one period He allowed their enemies to triumph over them.  He warned His people through His prophets, but they continued to ignore Him.  If only they had turned from their ways and confessed their sins, what might have happened?  Instead their enemies came and brought their swords against them  and they became salves again as in Egypt (2 Chr 36: 16-20).

However, God had given them a way out:

1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;  from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,  the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.  He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
   or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;  with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together,
   and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
 10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
 12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.  (Isaiah 11 NIV)

Notice how the verse starts.  The Line of Judah had become faithless and turned from God.  But here God is promising hope from a dead tree.  Imagine the White Tree of Gondor in Return of the King.  There is no possibility of life.  You can see this sometimes in the world that we live in.  The turning away from God in our society.  The Godlessness that seems to prevail.   Jesse's line had become dead spiritually, but from this line would come a great hope.  One filled with righteousness and faithfulness. 

When the Hope comes peace will prevail so much that old enemies "will lay with each other (v. 6).  Old vendetta's, hurts, pains, transgressions would not only be forgotten, but would be wiped clean.  This is a time that I personally look forward to because with that same peace God promises a "glorious rest."  A rest that only He can give.  Have you ever experienced a rest like this?  I know at times I've had  a glimmer of it.  When I've have no stress; no pressure; nothing tugging at my soul or tugging at me physically.  Could you imagine a time like this for eternity?

God also promises when the Hope comes to reclaim His people from captivity.  No matter where we are or where we've been He'll make a path for us to come home.  He wants to save His people.  We are His.  Like a true father He'll watch us go our own ways, then He "reins" us back in.  

He offers us freedom.  Freedom from our enemies; freedom from our sins; freedom from ourselves.  This is a freedom I can embrace.  A freedom I long for.  A freedom that was hoped for and given to us one Christmas night in the birth of a child from Jesse's line.  A Hope that I can embrace and look forward to.  Can you?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Iraq

More deadly attacks on Iraqi Christians
(Sources: Assyrian International News Agency, Telegraph, CNN)

Christians in Iraq have again been the targets of deadly violence in recent days, including bombings and gunfire. On November 11, suspected Islamist militants detonated 11 bombs in Christian suburbs across the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, indiscriminately targeting shops and homes. At least five Christians were killed and approximately 33 injured. Fresh violence also erupted in predominately Christian areas of Iraq on the evening of November 15. At least one person was killed and seven others injured when two car bombs exploded in Baghdad. Also that evening, gunmen invaded the homes of Christian families in the eastern region of Mosul and killed two men. The following afternoon, a Christian man and his six-year-old daughter were killed by a car bomb in Mosul.

This recent and devastating wave of violence comes but a few weeks after a hostage siege and bombing in a Baghdad cathedral that left several Christians dead and many others wounded

Pray for God's peace for those mourning loved ones lost in these attacks.

Ask God to make our Iraqi brothers and sisters strong so that they can share His love and Word without hesitation or fear, even in an environment of upheaval and danger.

Pray that those responsible for these attacks will be moved by the Spirit to repent of their actions and accept Jesus as their Lord.
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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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