Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spiritual Birthday

Yesterday I turned 36 years old. Spiritually, that is. On December 28, 1973 I stopped trying to work my own way to heaven and trusted Christ as my savior instead. I believed Him when He said:
  • He is "the way" and that I was on the road to destruction.
  • He is "the truth" and I am nothing but a liar.
  • He is "the life" and I was following a culture of death.
  • He is "the bread of life" and I was starving.
  • He is "the water of life" and I was dying of thirst.
  • He is "the alpha and omega" and I am extremely nearsighted.
  • He is holy and I am sinful.

It has been a bittersweet journey at times, but since I am no longer traveling alone or without The Guide who knows every possible danger or pitfall, I know I shall safely reach my destination when my trip is done.

This is why I am making plans now to read my Bible through in 2010. It is something that I have done almost every year - if not every year - since I became a Child of God. The Bible is my spiritual GPS.

And this is why I am encouraging YOU to read through your Bible in 2010. Did you know that it only takes the average reader approximately 10 minutes a day in order to read the complete Bible in a year? Who doesn't have 10 minutes a day?!

So if you will commit with me to read through the Bible in 2010 grab my "Take Ten in '10" button and boldly proclaim it! This is not just for individuals using my reading plan. It is for anyone who will make the commitment to read through their Bible in 2010 and will let others know of their intention on their own blog.

The reason I'm posting my own schedule is because I cannot post others' without infringing on copyrights. But I did list several last week and encourage you to find one - any one - that will help you read through the Bible in 2010 by allotting 10 minutes or so each day toward the completion of that goal.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Take Ten in '10


I am making plans now to read through my Bible in 2010. Won't you join me?

Last week I listed several good schedules for reading the Bible through in a year's time. That post can be found here.

I also mentioned that I have devised my own schedule for 2010. This one includes some of what I consider to be the best features of the others combined into one program. Here are the elements that I included:

  • 2 separate scripture portions which can be read at one sitting or broken into morning and evening readings.
  • Catch-up days. I have scheduled Sunday to be the day left unscheduled as I intend to be reading scripture as part of corporate worship. Any readings that were missed during the previous week can be made up on Sunday.
  • Readings that are not sequential. In other words, the readings do not follow the Genesis through Malachi or Matthew through Revelation sequence. Instead, they are somewhat randomly ordered with more lengthy and/or difficult books coupled with those that are easier reading.
  • If reading through the whole Bible is too much for you, then read only the second portion. This would allow the reader to complete the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs within the year.
  • The schedule for the following week will be posted each Saturday (except this week).

I hope you'll join me. Are you ready to begin?

Bible Reading Schedule for January 1st and 2nd, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010:

Old Testament: Genesis chapters 1 & 2

New Testament: John chapters 1 & 2

Saturday, January 2, 2010:
Old Testament: Genesis chapters 3, 4, & 5

New Testament: John chapter 3

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

...not even a mouse.


After my adventure I found evidence of where a rodent had been hiding of late. Let's just say that those of you who were so worried about my Tupperware bowl and the Muddy Buddies might want to avoid my kitchen altogether now.

About the time that I was done patting myself on the back for my vermin extermination skills I happened upon another one. Only this time, it was of the Speedy Gonzales variety and he surprised me half out of my remaining wits. Does that mean I'm down to 1/4 of my usual allotment?

The second one was hiding under my dining room table, which I just happened to be standing near at the time, because I was wrapping a few presents for the Bear. And by that I mean gifts the Bear was giving not getting. The gifts for him were wrapped at another time and in another place because some surprises are good, unlike having mice jumping out of hiding places or sitting near clean laundry.

'Twas the night after Christmas and Lulu and her dogs arrived this evening, having braved the Christmas Blizzard of '09 to drive across the country, so there are bigger creatures stirring in this house.

And we are glad indeed!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Don't Do Mousework


Remember when I told you that housework is bad for your health? Laundry is too, evidently, because I thought I was going to have a fit when I went to get the clean clothes from the laundry room this morning that I'd washed this weekend but hadn't had time to fold.

See this little guy? Yeah, I know the picture is blurry. That's because in order to get a better one I would need to be closer. No snarky comments about my tattered laundry baskets ! These do the job just fine.

I left it there for awhile in the hopes that it would scram in my absence. It isn't that I'm afraid of mice - as in, I think they will give me rabies or something - it is just that I'm not a fan of surprises in general. And I think finding a mouse amidst clean clothes somewhat of a surprise.

I went upstairs to run the vacuum. Actually, my cleaning was interrupted more there by the large animal pest (who routinely insists that vacuum hoses must be exterminated at all costs) than the small animal pest who was blocking the way to the washer and dryer.

Action was required. So first I sucked the breath out of the dog just long enough to incapacitate her (I'm joking! No animals were harmed in the vacuuming of my floor! I promise!). Then I went downstairs to find the little fuzzy huddled in front of the dryer like so:

I enlisted the Bear's help. It turns out that we didn't really need that broom much after all. We tested to see if the mouse would let us near. A few times it ran between the dryer and the adjacent freezer but it would always come back to this spot:

I have a ginormous (Spell check objects to "snarky" but not "ginormous?") Tupperware bowl with lid that I use to make large batches of bread. As we were throwing the bowl over the mouse and sliding the lid under his little body he started squealing a warning alarm for all his mousy kind to hear and heed.

I hope they heard him three counties away because I sure don't want any more paying us an unexpected visit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Free Bible Reading Plans

If the Twitter information on the sidebar is working correctly (ahem!) you might see that I "tweeted" about working on my New Year's resolutions a bit early this year. Well, I just don't want the New Year to sneak up on me and suddenly smack me in the face like Polly's birthday did! There's nothing worse than desperately calling your daughter for help because you didn't plan ahead. After all, it isn't like the date for a birthday moves around like some Monday holidays do. And, neither does New Year's Day. It's been January 1st the whole time I've been alive.

But I digress.

One of the things that I do each year is to read through my Bible. I'd like to encourage those of you who don't make reading the Bible as much a part of your routine as eating and breathing to do so now. I'm sure many of us are planning our physical diet for the New Year so let's not forget our spiritual diet either!

I've tried many Bible reading plans through the years and I've found that they are a lot like clothes for body-types. One size does not fit all. Here are some I've used:

  • Some that were mass-produced. You can tell them by the way they handle Leap Year. They can be recognized by the note at the end of February telling you to combine the reading for the 29th with the one for the 28th on regular years. You might be able to find one you like and use it forever. I had one that I favored until it became torn and practically illegible through my check marks and refolding of the page.
  • Some that leave "catch-up" dates either at the end or interspersed throughout the month, OR both! NavPress usually provides a new one each year. I've used them several times and like the concept very much. (Who doesn't get behind once in awhile? If you don't, don't tell me. I don't need any more guilt trips because I've used all my frequent flyer miles for this year.) There are some editions that I've liked better than others. NavPress's Discipleship Journal plan for 2010 can be found here: http://www.navpress.com/dj/content.aspx?id=138
  • This one came to my attention today. It looks very do-able even though it might appear daunting at first. After all, who thinks they have time to read 3 books each day? But when studied closer it can be seen that 2 of the segments are very short with 1 longer segment. It is arranged so that some of the "heavier" reading is interspersed with lighter reading (i.e. Numbers is joined with chapter portions from Matthew and a segment from a poetic book). Notice also that the Jan. 1st assignment begins at the end of Luke chapter 5. The previous 4 1/2+ chapters are not read until the end of December. Perhaps this is an intentional Christmas connotation. I'm not sure. However, if one were to use this plan for the whole year and then continue using it throughout 2011 one would never notice a continuity problem. This plan is from Rose Publishing and can be found here: Free Bible Reading Plan eChart Download
  • I recently devised my own Bible Reading plan that I intend to unveil this week. By taking the best of other plans and adapting them to fit my schedule I can keep up. (I'm a homeschooling mom. I'm used to taking published material and adapting it to fit a need.) No more marathon reading at the end of the year, either! (Nothing worse than sneaking in the last few pages of Revelation during the annual Watch Night Service! Or so I've been told. :) ) My personal plan has readings scheduled in 2 books each day except Sunday. I expect you to attend worship services, take your Bible, and read the passage being expounded. Therefore, there is no scheduled Sunday reading unless you need a make-up day. My intention is to post the schedule weekly here and via Twitter on the Saturday prior. That way no one can say their participation is hindered by time zones or religious affiliation.

I'd like to encourage you to find one plan to fit your needs and to faithfully and systematically read your Bible in 2010. And drop me a comment telling me that you intend to read through your Bible next year and what plan you will use to help make that happen.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Polly-day!

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Our oldest granddaughter Polly is now 8 years old and we celebrated with a party! Time sure flies when you're having fun. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dinner Theater Grandkid Style

Last Saturday, Pastor Dad and I volunteered to work the concession stand during one of the Bear's games. This was our work crew:

They were more suitably attired, of course, but I don't have a group shot that is more recent or casual. No matter how they dress these three are "more fun than a barrel of monkeys." Really, they are.

Pastor Dad dropped Polly and me off first so that we could get situated in the stand before he proceeded to take Tigger and Sweet Pea to the McDonald's drive-through down the street. We always hope the words "Happy" and "Meal" will guarantee a light-hearted repast, especially since a toy is included.

Polly and I soon developed a system where she would run to the refrigerator for cold drinks while I used my gloved hands to dish out the food. All went well until the others returned. Then Tigger insisted on taking turns ferrying drinks. Sweet Pea, in the meantime, had enthroned herself upon the only stool which was situated in front of the serving window where everyone would be obligated to admire her blinking Avatar toy.

One of the player's dad bought a bottled water and a hotdog. In the background, the noise of arguing could be heard as Polly and Tigger loudly debated whose turn it was to fetch while playing tug-of-war with a plastic bottle that was making slow progress toward its purchaser.

The dad was back within minutes and a similar scuffle ensued. I accused him of dividing his order into two separate ones just so that he could see them in action again.

His response? "You gotta admit that it's a pretty good show for a couple of dollars!"

I guess dinner theater is just as entertaining with wieners and water as it is with prime rib and Perrier.

Stay tuned! Perhaps there will be a few more encore showings in the near future. The season is young and so are they. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

G.I. Joe Has Gone Home

By now we've all heard that the "Greatest Generation" is quickly leaving us. Those World War 2 veterans that remain are fighting another war now, namely battling ill health and sometimes the loss of memory as aging takes its toll on their bodies. Many are retiring from the final battle each day.

My family recently experienced the death of one of its own soldiers. My uncle, Joe, passed away last Thursday. He was not a blood relative but he was still my uncle. He had been married to my aunt for over 60 years before she lost her own battle in 2007. Then he was alone. They had no children of their own but there were nieces and nephews aplenty on both sides of their family.

(G.I. Joe and his sweetheart who waited for his return from war)

( Joe as he appeared in recent days)

Last week, Joe told the doctor and nurse who were attending him in his final moments that he was tired and ready to leave to meet his Savior. Those were his last words.

We are sorry to see you go, Joe, but we thank you for your service to our country, your love for us, and for letting us share your last few days on earth. I know we were no substitute for the sweetheart waiting at Home for you to finish your battle.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

  • I love the original poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  • I love the poignant story behind it, too, including its Civil War era setting.
  • But I especially love this song!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday Wishes!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear Lulu.
Happy Birthday to you!

(And the gift is in the mail. Really. I kid you not. Watch for it.) :)

Hope your day is great anyway.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanks for the Tip, Tim Hawkins!

Click here to see Tim Hawkins perform "Chick-fil-A"


I could eat there 7 times a day.

Where the people laugh

And children play

Oh, I'm in love with Chick-fil-A!


I need waffle fries in front of me

With some nuggets

And a large sweet tea.

Oh, Chick-fil-A, you set me free!*

*Thanks to the manager, or whoever it was that gave us coupons a few weeks ago, Pastor Dad and I each enjoyed a free chicken sandwich at the new restaurant while the rest of our entourage enjoyed the nuggets. Yum! We'll certainly be back!

(No royalties were paid to our family for our endorsement. We just happen to enjoy good food, an indoor playground on a cold day, and Tim Hawkins.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Welcome to Our World

Our blog world, that is. Lovingingly nicknamed the blogosphere, I think. Oh, what do I know?! I've only been here a little over a year myself.

A certain someone that we know has taken up blogging. Please make her welcome.

You'll notice that Lauren is a very lovely young lady. She always has been, but now I've noticed that she either got contacts or just never got around to replacing the eye glasses that were lost when her hap was to light upon the canoe zigzagging the river courtesy of my son, The Bear, and one of his friends. All I know is that her parents have yet to present us with a bill for new eyewear. :)