Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bible Reading Schedule for January 2-8, 2012

(The complete 2012 reading schedule is available at the tab above or as a printable pdf file via email upon request sent to

January 2-8

Monday, January 2nd
  • Genesis 1, 2
  • John 1, 2
Tuesday, January 3rd
  • Genesis 3-5
  • John 3
Wednesday, January 4th
  • Genesis 6, 7
  • John 4, 5
Thursday, January 5th
  • Genesis 8-10
  • John 6
Friday, January 6th
  • Job 1-3
  • John 7
Saturday, January 7th
  • Job 4, 5
  • John 8, 9
Sunday, January 8th
  • This day is set aside to read any scheduled scripture portions that were not completed earlier this week.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Forward to 2012

Sample picture entitled "Winter"
Yeah, I know.  It's been awhile.

Once I finished my 52 day birthday celebration at the end of November I just kind of fell off the map again.  Or so it seemed.  Actually, soon after I completed that series I took a trip to a different part of the map with Pastor Dad and The Bear because we just couldn't let 2011 end without a family vacation.  That's one of the perks of homeschooling, you know.  Just pack up and leave when everything else on the schedule says "go for it!"  So we did. I'll post my pictures soon. (Probably Friday.)

One of the things I did while on vacation was think.  As Fen says these days while tapping his head in his best Pooh Bear imitation, "Think! Think! Think!" I did a lot of my thinking while confined to my seat while crossing the country on those jet planes that took us to our destination and back.  I prayed while thinking about what I want to do with my little piece of the blogosphere, too, and I feel like the Lord gave me a focus and a mission. I've been charting the course and making preparations ever since.

I am convinced that Bible reading is one of the most important things we must do and yet it can also be one of the most neglected things.  I became convicted that we need constant encouragement and not just the yearly mention of it as New Year's Day approaches.  With that in mind I outlined a few ideas of how to proceed.

For starters, I will be updating the Bible reading schedule page this week so that anyone can find the Bible reading plan at any time.  Feel free to print it out once it appears.  You'll know when it does because it will say "2012" and not "2011" on the tab.  I've been editing last year's schedule by . . . well obviously, changing the dates . . . but also by moving some of the portions to fit a better chronological timeline and to keep things within a 10 minute reading session.  It only takes 10 minutes a day for 6 days each week to read through the Bible in a year.  That means no one has an excuse for not reading.  No one is so busy that they can't read for 10 minutes each day.  Okay, I've been known to hide in the bathroom a few times just to have a few moments to myself but running water into the bathtub while reading my Bible tends to drown out noise while providing an inviting hot bath at the end of the reading session.  That's just my way of getting away from it all.  You'll need to find your own Happy Place occasionally.

As an added incentive I've also decided that each Saturday the scripture portions pertaining to the following week (like we did for Take Ten in 2010) will be posted as a weekly reminder.

On top of that, I would like to encourage memorization and perhaps a bit of discussion this year so for now, this is how I anticipate the weekly posts to appear:

Saturday:  The schedule for the following week

Memory Monday:  A list of verses to learn or review from the scheduled passages.  Just pick one.  Or if you memorized them all as a child, review them to keep them fresh.

Timeline Tuesday:  Just a little historical background or other tidbits concerning the passages we're reading.

Wisdom for Wednesday:  A s.h.o.r.t. devotion highlighting something from the scheduled reading segments.

Thursday's Tune-Up:  Okay, I intend to meddle a bit each Thursday.  Besides reading my Bible in 2012 I would also like to exercise regularly and do a bit of creative work in order to keep my body and soul healthy as well (the Bible reading is for spiritual health). You can be my accountability partner and I'll be yours if you'll let me.  I think part of the whole man-as-image-bearers-of-God thing is that we are triune beings, too.  We're body, soul, and spirit (or physical, emotional, and spiritual components if you prefer that terminology) and each has needs that must be met.  That's something we'll explore each Thursday.  Think of it as a weekly check up.

Free Friday:  It's just what it says.  I'm leaving it open for whatever suits my fancy.  (Warning!  Grandchildren pictures and more of  the "my crazy life" variety stories just might show up here each week.)  Friday is my potpourri bin for life's minutia.

Well, that's it!  Here's my Bible reading/healthy living/exercise/this-is-what's-going-on-around-here-on-the-Hill-in-2012 blogging plan.  

Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Being Left-handed is Dangerous to My Health?

Do you want to know one of the reasons I home-school?  It's because I wanted my children to avoid labeling as much as possible.  God only knows how much labeling I endured (and that isn't meant as an oath, just a fact that there is only one Person who could keep track) as a child.  And it wasn't just adults that did it.  Peers were just as apt to assign invisible Post-It notes.  It's the way our society keeps track of its own:  into what mental file folders do you fit?

  • She's a Christian? Check
  • She's an only child? Check
  • She's shy? Check
  • She's left-handed? Check
All fodder for the friendship mill or conversations among teachers, and we all know how teachers talk among themselves.  Hey!  I was one!

Okay, except for the shyness thing, and sometimes the Christianity label, I really saw no reason to panic as a child  - and still don't - as an adult.  And then I read this piece in the Wall Street Journal and it is brought to my attention that I survived childhood as a left-hander (actually, I'm more likely the "mixed-brain" type ominously portrayed in the article) only to be stunned by brain dominance research in my mid-adult years.

Personally, I don't know why they bother with these type of studies.  It isn't like there's some sort of cure for left-handedness.  To me, it seems like someone is trying to assign a birth defect where none exists.  I find this insulting, and more importantly, alarming! Are they going to start doing prenatal testing for left-handedness like they do for other types of so-called disorders (which I am also against testing for, by the way)?

Oh, please!  I'm 52 years old and have lived a very nice life so far thankyouverymuch. No schizophrenia, no ADHD, or no other negative labels that they claim have been associated with my handedness.  I also have two left-handed grandchildren who seem to have avoided the ominous labeling so far (they're home-schooled).

Normally I would be making some snide tongue-in-cheek remarks about this anomaly of left-handedness but this is serious business.  If all of the recent debates over sex-selection abortions, which is another one of those "in utero" conditions over which the baby has no control, teaches us anything it is that someday in the not-too-distant future medical science will find a way to test fetal brainwaves for signs of brain dominance.  This will then be used to talk to expectant parents about conditions that their child might develop due to predominantly left-handed or mixed-brain tendencies. 

It all sounds like some horrible B-rated science fiction movie but recent genetic news suggests otherwise.  Google the words "designer babies" and I guarantee that the top results will not be for clothing store websites.

You might think I'm being facetious, but mark my words!  Someday being left-handed could be another one of those quality of life issues.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Easy Night in the Nursery

I'm the designated Wednesday night church nursery worker. It has to be that way because most of the adults are elsewhere in the building working in the various departments of our children's ministries. Sure, I could be one of those workers, too, if I really wanted to be.

I don't want to be.

I'm perfectly content in my small corner with the small fry. My helper changes from week to week but I'm the permanent worker.

The little ones were especially good last night. They decided to "read" books.

Miss Lili and friend choosing a book

Could you turn it this way?  I'm having trouble seeing the pictures!

Hey!  Where'd you go? I thought we were reading!

I don't want to read anymore.  It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.  And mine has changed to thoughts of Cheerios.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 52 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Never stop memorizing scripture!

Well, it's the last day of the quest that I began on my 52nd birthday. I'm not sure if you learned anything new, were encouraged by something you already knew, or were in some way entertained by the ramblings of this old lady, but I must admit that I enjoyed writing them! I also found it helpful to review some of the things I've learned during my years of growing up and growing older. Thanks for sticking with me these last 7+ weeks!

This last word is a reminder that memorizing Bible verses is not just for children. God's Word is what guides our lives. The Psalmist even describes it as a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). Think of the Bible as your spiritual flashlight!

As important as the Bible is for moment-by-moment guidance it would seem reasonable that we should be committing it to memory to light those dark paths. And make no mistake! When Psalm 23 says that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death it isn't talking about the time immediately before we die. Each of us is walking through that valley right. this. very. moment. Need a light to help you see your way through it? That would be the Bible.

Aging and other um, life changes can make it harder to memorize scripture. I've found that putting verses to music can help. Or sometimes I'll pull out a recorded Bible version (we used to have a fantastic Alexander Scourby version on cassette tapes that is now available in mp3 format) and listen to someone else read it repeatedly. Or I'll take out pen and paper and dictate it to myself just to see if I can do it correctly. I'm one of those teachers who believes that we all have a learning style and you probably already know what yours is. I require a little bit of everything: auditory, visual, and kinetic.

There are so many silly songs and thoughts rattling around in my head that prove that repetition of the kind above works for me. If product advertising utilizing commercial brand logos and accompanying jingles can get me to memorize something whether I want to or not I know that the process will work with scripture memorization as well.

So maybe your Sunday School class no longer has a sticker chart for you that shows that you've said your memory verse this week but I'd like to encourage you to secretly make one for yourself, find a verse each week (or month, if that's more do-able), and get busy memorizing. It is my intention to do the same so maybe we can encourage each other along the way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 51 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

God is more interested in our devotion than our devotions.

I heard one of my friends say this about 20 years ago as part of a woman's seminar and it stayed with me. I did not trust Christ as my Savior until I was in my mid-teen years so I was probably spiritually in my adolescence when I heard it.

I began regularly reading the Bible soon after I trusted Christ but many times I could recall very little of what I'd read. Like a physical teenager, as a spiritual teenager I heard what my Parent said but I wasn't always listening. Later, as the parent of teenagers of my own I became acutely aware of how disrespectful my behavior toward my own parents and my Heavenly Father had been. My children were not (and the teenager at home now is not) bad (nor was I) but I saw evidence that the act of not listening is arrogant and disrespectful.

Once I realized that God wanted my love and respect and not just the legalistic act of reading the Bible my spiritual life changed! I repented of my disrespect.  I began paying attention to what God was saying and started showing devotion when I had my devotions. This made all of the difference. When God spoke through His Word He found a willing listener.

Monday, November 28, 2011

To the Descendants of John and Hannah Bridges: A Petition

(Important Edit! Anyone may sign the petition!  You do not need to be a descendant.  Your help is greatly appreciated.)

It has recently come to my attention that there is an active petition that the descendants of John Bridges and Hannah Garland Bridges may sign requesting that the township provide an access drive to their graves. The cemetery containing their remains and those of several other family members is now landlocked and it is impossible to visit there without disturbing the residents who live in the closest house.

John Bridges was born in York Co., Massachusetts, now Maine, and migrated west following the Revolutionary War. It is well documented that he is the first resident of Anderson Township, Hamilton County, Ohio having arrived in 1790. The township itself is proud of its history and the name of Bridges is a prominent one in the community.

If you are a descendant or the spouse of a descendant please visit HERE and sign the petition. I did not write the petition but I did sign it. The township has agreed to accept an Internet petition but they require valid mailing addresses for each signer. There is no space provided for this information so my suggestion is to put it in the "Comment" field.

Thank you very much for your help. The last time I visited this cemetery was in 2004 on behalf of an out-of-state descendant who wanted pictures of his ancestors and it was not an easy endeavor.

Day 49 Postscript

Yesterday I posted this:
You don't need to know how God will work everything out. You just need to know that He will work them out.

And today I was finally catching up on some of my reading of friends' blogs and saw the perfect post here written by one of my missionary acquaintances that provides the explanatory material for yesterday's tidbit.  It was said so much better than I could ever say it.

(By the way, the blog title "More Than Survival" comes from the author's  battle with depression.  Yes, missionary wives are women just like we are.)

Day 50 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Make opportunities to show hospitality.

The Bible encourages hospitality in many places. Sometimes it makes a simple statement about how we've freely received so we should freely give. (Matthew 10:8) This admonishment was for the disciples and preachers as they went forward healing the sick and performing other miracles. Perhaps the circumstances are not quite the same today, but when I think of all who helped us when we were the family of a struggling ministerial student I can't help but want to help others. That's one of the reasons I try to open our home to visiting missionaries and guest speakers if at all possible. We might only be having chili and sandwiches but we're willing to share our humble meals. I guess I think of it as Jesus's version of "pay it forward."

That tends to segue into another one of my favorite verses about hospitality.  Later in the same chapter (Matthew 10:41) Jesus said that those who receive a prophet in the name of a prophet would receive a prophet's reward. I like the sound of that!   :)

Other scripture passages (I Timothy 3 and Titus 1) make hospitality a requirement for a man who desires to pastor. Most of the pastors I know need a hand making that happen.

Okay, so perhaps you're reading this and you're not blessed to live in a pastor's household. That's okay because God expects you to be hospitable, too! The writer of Hebrews tells his readers (that's us, by the way) to entertain strangers because some who had done so entertained angels and didn't even know it! I suspect this to be a reference to the visit Abraham and Sarah had from the men sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but it doesn't specifically say. I doubt I've served angels around my table, (although there have been times when I've suspected some young ones of being of the fallen kind - just kidding) but we're told of the possibility of heavenly visitors and that's good enough for me.

Don't be afraid to prayerfully share a meal with someone who needs the encouragement. This is the perfect time of the year to do so. There are many people missing loved ones during the holiday season and the thought of being alone is overwhelming. 

Share a meal. Share your heart. Share the love of the Lord.

Possibly entertain angels!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 49 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

You don't need to know how God will work everything out. You just need to know that He will work them out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 48 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

People are more important than things.

So simple yet so profound. Most people would say they believe this but anyone who wanders into a store on Black Friday may wonder about the sincerity of some.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 47 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Never forget that you are always in the presence of the living God.

When we are young we think that when grow up we will no longer need to answer to anyone. This thought is usually directed at our parents. I had this thought as a child and I was (and still am) aware of it in my own children.

While it is true that we eventually grow beyond the "children obey your [earthly] parents" stage of life we NEVER outgrow being God's child. It is also true that earthly parents cannot be with their children at every moment or even be aware of their children's every action or thought but that is not the case with the omnipresent, omniscient Heavenly Father.

The thought that "God is always with you" is not supposed to evoke negative emotions like fear even though it often evokes them. Once the child of God matures spiritually he becomes aware that what his Heavenly Father really desires is a loving relationship with him.

The same could be said for earthly parents.  As children, with maturity we usually come to our senses about our relationship with them but some never mature to that point in their relationship with their Heavenly Father.

Whatever your perception is of what it means to be constantly in the presence of God, start now remembering the fact that you are!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 46 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

People who are the most grateful are those who have been delivered from a recent adversity.

It seems to me that people who live charmed lives tend to take their blessings for granted and those who have come to an end of suffering see their new circumstances something that they do not wish to take for granted!

Take a lesson from American history. Those who gave thanks had endured several years of great emotional and physical distress in at least two countries (England and The Netherlands), and upon two continents (Europe and North America), and had witnessed the deaths of half of their family and church (which were the same people in this case). These are the people who represent this holiday in this country. Other countries and cultures have their own representative personalities. The Bible itself is full of psalms written by individuals who just could not keep their jubilation under wraps after God had delivered them from certain death and destruction.

At this time last year I had no clue that things inside my body were not working the way they should.  This year I am very thankful for my new perspective on health.  God intervened so that surgery was not necessary but even if it had been I'm grateful for the kind of advances in medicine that would have removed the growth that was causing me such pain.

If you're reading this today I pray that between the feasting and the football you'll spend some time today searching your mind for ways that the Lord has worked the seemingly impossible on your behalf and giving thanks in your heart to Him for the mighty works that He has done!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 45 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

A lesson should be learned from each mistake. To do otherwise wastes the whole miserable experience.

How many people do you know that just keep on making the same errors in judgment over and over again? Don't answer that.

Hopefully you aren't one of those people. And if you are, stop it!

We all make mistakes, both intentional and unintentional, both sins of omission and co-mission.  Make amends and make sure not to do the same thing again.

Yes, to err is human and to forgive is divine, but to keep repeating THE SAME errors is just plain stupidity.  Learn the lessons your mistakes were meant to teach you and you'll be a lot wiser AND a lot happier, too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 44 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

When you count your blessings make sure to include your in-laws (of all generations) because they have (or had) a great part in the development of your loved ones.

Your spouse's parents? Check
Your child's spouse? Check
Your spouse's siblings? Check

Each contribute to the development of someone you love dearly whether that be your spouse or your grandchildren.

And while you're counting your in-laws as part of your blessings make sure you say a prayer for them if they are still an influential part of a loved one's life. I'm sure they'd appreciate the Godly guidance.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 43 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

There is great joy in receiving but even greater joy in giving!

I thought this might be an appropriate reminder at the start of this holiday season.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 42 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

The following appears courtesy of my husband. His congregations have heard him make this punny statement through the years. I post it here for your amusement (and because sometimes there seems to be an element of truth to it.) :)
Pastors are paid to be good. Everyone else in the congregation must be good for nothing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 41 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Anyone who truly loves you will love you no matter what.

(I'd like to thank my immediate family for teaching me this, especially my husband and children who make it clear that I'm "just mom!")

People who love you will do so no matter
  • how you look
  • how old you become
  • how much (or how little) money you have
  • how ill you are
Circumstances don't matter to someone who really loves you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 40 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Learning should not end when one graduates. It is to be a life-long endeavor.

A brain is a terrible thing to waste! It would be such a shame for it to be retired by the time it hits its mid-20's.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 39 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If you spend the night wrestling with God don't be surprised when you get up in the morning with a permanent limp.

Take a lesson from Jacob! Only through permanently disabling him could God make him totally dependent upon Him for deliverance from the problems that pursued him. (Genesis 32:9-11, 24-25)

(If you would like to read the devotional I wrote about Jacob,including this episode, as part of a series on depression taken from the lives of people from Genesis click here.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 38 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Beauty changes with age. Give up on the idea of trying to look 15 your whole life.

Not only is it practically impossible to do so but how ironic that great amounts of money and time are spent trying to keep a look from one of the most self-conscious periods of one's life!

A better idea is to reevaluate your features as you age and determine a plan for accentuating the positive while drawing attention away from the negative. After all, isn't that what you did when you were 15? It works just as well when you're 51. (Which I was a year ago.)  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 37 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Every so often, make an attempt to take your prayer requests to God without having a preconceived notion of what the outcome should be.

You just might be surprised at the creativity of the answer!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 36 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

A little bit of practical advice for the traditional Monday laundry day:
Take the time to learn how to treat different types of stains on clothing.

If you do, your clothing will last a whole lot longer. This one doubles as one of those frugal tips I've been known to throw out there every so often.

There are many more that can be researched on the Internet but here are just a few that I've learned by experience through the years {sigh}:
  • Blood stains can be helped along by dousing them with hydrogen peroxide prior to washing.  
  • Tomato-based stains can be removed by wetting the stain and then laying the clothing in the sun.  They will be bleached out of the fabric.
  • Berry stains can be removed by pouring boiling water on them.  (This goes against everything you've ever been taught about not setting a stain!)
  • Some magic marker stains may be removed or faded significantly with rubbing alcohol.  (Crayola used to have a wonderful help line prior to their invention of washable markers.  Perhaps they still do.  I don't know. My kids stopped playing with markers several years ago unless Lulu still does in which case she is responsible for doing her own laundry.)    :)
As you probably know, but I'll say it anyway, always test an inconspicuous part of the fabric for color-fastness before proceeding.  My theory has always been that the clothing is ruined anyway so what have I got to lose by giving it a try?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 35 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Make worshipping God your first priority.

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name:
bring an offering,
and come before him:
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

I Chronicles 16:29

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 34 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Do your best, but don't obsess.

For most (including me), this is easier said than done.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 33 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Consider keeping checking and savings accounts at two separate banks.

I know this post might be a bit controversial but it is a piece of practical advice that I feel compelled to share. You remember that old adage that said, "Don't keep all your eggs in one basket"? Well, it's right and we learned it experiencially a few years ago.

I won't tell you all the ways that your accounts can be breached. I'm hoping that I don't know them all, being the honest person that I am! Again, the only ways I know are those I've been warned about through media and those I've experienced.

Our worst experience happened several years ago when our checking account was cleaned out one night and because we had it tied to our savings to provide overdraft protection our it was cleaned out, too. Since we are diligent to check our accounts we noticed the problem within hours and alerted the bank so they could try to track the theft.

Then came the part about recovering our money. It can take many days for these things to go through all the proper channels so that the money is placed back in the proper accounts but the banker manager at our branch vouched for us and our money was returned immediately. End of story.

Then our banker retired.  We got to thinking about the possibility of a "next time" so we opened accounts at another bank and divided our funds between them.  We're very glad we did because there really was a "next time" and even though it was a much smaller theft it was still a theft. And over 3 months later the bank has still not resolved the situation even though the theft was reported literally within minutes.  Minutes!!

If you listen to Dave Ramsey you know that when it comes to investing in mutual funds diversity is the key. I'm not Dave and I'm not famous but my advice today is to make sure your liquid assets are diversified also. That old "don't put your eggs in one basket" advice still applies today. Those who don't heed it could end up with egg all over their faces.

It's 11/11/11 and It's Veteran's Day

Today's the day we honor our dead heroes:

(All photos taken by the author when she visited Arlington National Cemetery in June 2010)

And our living ones, too. (No pictures of them in order to preserve their privacy.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 32 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If you go above and beyond what is expected of you make sure that after the task is done you neither brag about it nor complain.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told the listeners that if someone asks them to walk one mile they should go two. The principle here is to do more than what is asked or expected. This is such a well-known principle that it has universally become known as "Going the Second Mile."

Too bad most people stop paying attention there. Jesus also told his audience that if they brag about what they do the Father will see no need to reward them for their efforts because the recognition they receive will suffice. (Matthew 5:41 - 6:4) So if you have the desire to be a recognized do-gooder feel free to tell people about the nice things you've done but be sure to notice all of their smiles and remember those pats on the back because it's a possibility that this will be the only reward you receive! And justly, because if the reason you do things is so that others will admire you got what you wanted and God might just consider you paid in full.

That part about complaining isn't specifically mentioned in this Sermon on the Mount passage but researching words like "grumbling" or "murmuring" in any Bible concordance will give a clear indication of God's feelings about that subject, too. Often complainers in the Bible were the recipients of severe consequences.

So do what you do for God. Let your "Second Mile" travels be a little secret between you and God. Then someday God will reward you openly when He reveals your deeds for everyone to see.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 31 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Try to find the spots of color even on the gloomiest days. Sometimes they are hidden right there in the middle of the depressing things and we need to search diligently to find them.

All photos taken today while it was raining.

I was reminded of this while reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. She said that her sister (Betsy?) was always able to find the good in any situation and seemed always able to thank God for everything even if she didn't know why it was important to do so at the time. For instance, she said that in the room where they were confined there were fleas within the straw of their bedding. Even though all the other women thought she was crazy, Corrie's sister thanked God for them. Later it was discovered that the matrons wouldn't come into the dormitory because of those fleas so the ladies were able to have Bible studies without harrassment. Extreme example? Yes! In comparison, what in the world do I have to complain about?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 30 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If you plan to write consecutive blog posts for 52 days make sure you have enough material to write and enough time to post it.

Especially enough time to post.

I rarely run out of things to say; however, some days it is hard to get to the computer and get something typed. Or even several days' worth of material typed.  Jesus said something about counting the cost before embarking on a building project. I should have paid attention.

(That's the story of yesterday's delay. Thanks to both of my readers for their patience.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 29 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

We've all been told that we only get one chance to make a good first impression, but I suggest allowing others the chance to have a second or third one.

Think of the friends you might make if only you'd get past that first impression! It doesn't always work out that way, though, because some people are jerks no matter how many chances they get! But others are not and experience some of the same social ineptitude that we do. They get nervous, or talkative, or jittery and would probably like to have the opportunity to start again. Oh, how many times I've wished that someone had just given me a "do over!" And sometimes they have.

Conversely, sometimes a person can make a very good first impression and they later prove to be "a one trick pony." They know how to put on a good show if it ends quickly enough.

Bottom line? It takes more than a first impression to know whether someone is worth knowing or not.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 28 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If you plan to leave a gospel tract for your server when you eat out plan also to leave such a generous tip with it that the person might actually consider reading your literature.

(Tip for next year: I find this principle useful when giving out gospel tracts to trick or treaters, too.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 27 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

I keep my religious beliefs separate from my genealogical research, that is, until I visit a family cemetery and am reminded that one day I'll be forced to join them!
(Hebrews 9:27)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 26 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Time is a gift from God that must be opened one second at a time.

We're midway through our 52 days and here in the extended High Hill family we've just completed about 6 weeks of birthday celebrations from the oldest of our family's 4 generations down to our youngest. That's how we do things around here. We like some months so much better than others that we tend to group the births! :)

And because "time" is such a wonderful gift that God has granted to us we feel it appropriate to celebrate birthdays as a way of commemorating the "time" that has been given to the celebrant and thanking our Creator for the gift. Are we honoring the birthday boy or girl? Oh yes! But we're also honoring our Lord! The gift of "time" is a wonderful thing to celebrate!

If you know someone who is having a birthday today there is no better "time" than now to help them celebrate this wonderful gift that God has given them to unwrap each moment of their life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 25 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

There are some ailments that nothing can cure except chocolate!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 24 Days of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

We need to make sure that we're doing well in order to keep from growing weary while doing it.

It's hard for a task that a person isn't doing to make them tired! (Galatians 6:9; II Thessalonians 3:13)  That's like me saying that farm labor has made me tired when actually I cleaned house all day.  I might still be tired at the end of the day, but farm labor can hardly get the blame!

Paul admonished spiritual farm laborers not to grow weary during the time of harvest. It's harvest time!  We need to get to work! (John 4:35)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 23 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Do not punish children for accidental behavior but do not reward them for misbehavior either.

Being punished for accidents confuses a child as to what is right and wrong and makes them afraid of trying new things.

Being rewarded for misbehavior confuses a child as to what is right and wrong and makes them unafraid of trying their parents' nerves.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 22 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

With an acknowledging nod at the calendar and a heartfelt prayer of praise that the obnoxious pipe organ-playing Dracula in the neighbor's yard across the street will soon be returned to storage so that silence can once again blanket our neighborhood I submit the following for today's consideration:

The biggest TRICK ever played on someone was when the Serpent told Eve that she would not die if she disobeyed God (Genesis 3:4), but the greatest TREAT anyone ever received was when God Himself paid death's price for Eve and all of her descendants who repent and believe (Romans 6:23).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 21 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If you were a missionary who had to send back a mission letter what would your report say about your activities over the prior month?

You are a missionary if you are a Christian even if you still live in the same community where you were born. The people around you are your field. Natives are often more successful than foreign missionaries anyway.

(Don't try the "but I'm not called to preach" argument to excuse your lack of mission zeal. The Lord commanded all of His followers to advance the gospel even those who weren't called to pastor a flock. Sheep give birth to sheep. Pastors shepherd them.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 20 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

If we would take the time to learn how to cook just one meal that we enjoy from a sit-down restaurant we could save about $25.

Not eating out 4 times a month saves a whopping $100! That's not peanuts, folks!

A couple of national chains have, or have had in the past, some menu items that we really like. By doing a bit of Internet research and experimentation we have been able to imitate them enough to satisfy our tastes. Since each meal would cost about $10 a serving with the addition of soft drinks and the tip the price to feed two people would cost over $25 . It's even higher when the three of us go out to eat!

No, I haven't learned to cook all of our favorite restaurant meals, but by learning to cook just a couple of them we've been able to feed groups for the cost of feeding just two of us. Our family likes seafood - something definitely not cheap! - and sometimes we'll splurge on seafood for our Sunday crowd. It costs more than our usual Sunday fare but much less than feeding all of us at a seafood restaurant!

On those rare occasions when Pastor Dad and I do go out to eat we order something that isn't already on our usual home menu. And if we think our entrees turn out to be so delectable that we'd be enticed into the restaurant more often than we should be we add these menu items to the list of things to try to make at home.

We're not French chefs (or any other kind of chef for that matter) but if we can find a suitable recipe replacement for our restaurant favorites we won't be tempted to overindulge. On the other hand, we won't feel deprived either.  It's a good trade-off.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Date Night at Creation Museum

Pastor Dad and I took some time off last week for good behavior (well, that part is debatable unless taken to mean it was time off designed to inspire good behavior) to attend a conference for pastors and their wives at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky. One of the highlights was the Wednesday evening Date Night.

Date Night consisted of a delicious candlelight dinner accompanied by the talented singer-songwriter, John Elliot, on piano providing a musical concert. We shared the table with three other couples that minister in various locations across the country. From sea-to-shining-sea was represented at our table. We were the only locals at the table but dinner table discussion revealed mutual acquaintances! Small world!

Ken Ham gave an extemporaneous speech detailing how his wife is the love of his life and the supportive woman behind his ministry. What a testimony he gave to acknowledge a woman who is not usually in the spotlight but is the person who keeps life centered!


We enjoyed ourselves very much and wish to thank Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum for the excellent seminars that provided needed encouragement and an evening's restful interlude. As you can tell by our picture, we needed the break because fatigue was beginning to make us look like we had personally just stumbled off that ark behind us. :)
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Day 19 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

It isn't the line on the bottom of the grocery receipt telling you how much you've saved that is important. It is the line telling you how much you've spent that matters.

Just a piece of advice in honor of grocery day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 18 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

God always answers our prayers! If you think your prayers are not being answered the fault might be with your prayer requests and not with God.

God will answer every prayer. But He may not answer in the manner that you desire. (James 4:2-3)

  • Sometimes He answers our requests by making us wait until the time is right.
  • Sometimes He denies our petitions.

Either way, He answers but not in the way we want. But then, God isn't obligated to fulfill our selfish demands. And He isn't obligated to answer even proper requests by the deadlines that we set for Him.

If He did, He would not be God. We would be.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 17 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

And one for the gardener (or just about anybody who needs encouraging):

If there are no roses in your life to smell along the way then stop and admire the thistles every so often.

We all would like our life to be nothing but a journey through a beautiful garden of scented roses (I prefer red, peach, and sterling roses in case you're interested) but life rarely turns out that way. For that matter, gardens rarely turn out that way either! Life - and gardens - grow their share of weeds.

It's funny how sometimes it is hard to tell a flower from a weed. When they're young and tender they look an awful lot alike. And if left to themselves some of the weeds will even show off a pretty flower or two. 

Even greenhouses have problems classifying the two.  This past spring I stopped at a local gardening retailer to buy a flower that I'd seen around mailboxes and in rock gardens. The proprieter wasn't sure what it was that I wanted until I saw one in his perennial area.  When I pointed to it the gardener immediately went and jerked it out of the planter! He said that it was a weed and that the other plant in the bucket was the one he was selling. I was surprised! It was the uprooted flower that I had stopped to buy! He said that he'd sold that flower in the past but that it had proven to be invasive. It's presence in the bucket with the other plant was proof of it.

So if your life's garden has very few roses in it try to find a couple of thistles or other weeds. They might not be as admired as roses but they have their moments of beauty and usefulness. Just watch the golden finches feed off of the thistles!

I Thessalonians 5:18 says "In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Your life may not be a bed of roses but you should thank the Lord if you're growing a healthy crop of weeds, too.  It's all in who is doing the classifying.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 16 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Here's one for the genealogist:

Live your life in such a way that your descendants will be proud to call you their ancestor.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 15 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

One in honor of the beginning of the work week:
No one is indispensable but try to make your work so valuable that your boss and coworkers pray fervently for your healing when you're out for sick days.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 14 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

God created man in His own image. It is sinful for man to try to create God into his own image.
(Genesis 1:27; Exodus 20:3-5)

The Greeks, Romans, and Norsemen were classic and barbarian examples of this. Their gods were men with the same foibles and sins that they themselves experienced. Most of today's popular religions are also built upon the foundation of man as god even if they don't raise statues to Zeus, Jupiter, or Thor.

Christians are often just as guilty. It comes from twisting passages such as John 1:14, Hebrews 4:15, and Romans 8:3 to justify our attempt to make our God seem "just like us." Yet each passage goes on to say that while He was just like us in the flesh, He was a Person full of truth that committed no sin. That obviously is not just like us in some aspect!

How then does a Christian try to make God into his own image? The answer is by arguing and trying to barter with Him when something doesn't go our way.

Bullying God doesn't work.

Just ask the Apostle Peter who spent the greater portion of 3 1/2 years trying to make Jesus into his image. It wasn't until Peter reached the point of actually denying Jesus and then coming face-to-face with the resurrected Christ that he realized that he'd been wrong in trying to make Jesus be like himself. From that point forward Jesus no longer had to hear Peter trying to make Him do things Peter's way! Instead, Peter got his marching orders directly from the resurrected Christ.

Check today to see if you have a situation in your life that has made you attempt to bully God. If so, and we all do, you're trying to make God into your own image. Confess this to God and allow His image in you to be revealed. (II Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:10-16)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 13 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Jumping to conclusions is a dangerous exercise. Many relationships have been killed or severely injured as a result.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 12 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

When you're sad do your crying in private and smiling in public. It holds the potential to make you feel better. Grieving in public and smiling in private is almost guaranteed to make you feel worse.

I don't believe the old adage that misery loves company. True misery wants relief, not recognition. Happiness loves company! Good news just seems to bubble out spontaneously!  (Luke 15 - the parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son)

Conversely, grieving in public witnesses to the world that you don't truly believe that there is a savior that can carry your sorrows.  You must bear them yourself and make everyone who comes in contact with you carry them as well.

Leave your tearful burdens with Jesus in your prayer closet and go out and smile at the world.  Then perhaps someone will be willing to listen to your testimony of the hope that is within you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 11 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Everyone requires a day of rest.

Every week. Even pastors. Even if it must be a different day than everyone else. (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8; Mark 2:27)

Do your best to take one day each week to get away from your usual labors.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 10 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

As much as possible, do not treat pets like children or children like pets.

Grandchildren are the obvious exception to this rule.  

Okay, I can see where it might apply to nieces and nephews, too.   :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 9 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Life is too long to endure it without a proper companion.
Yeah, we probably agree that life is too short but most may not agree that life is "too long."

It is when someone is trying to "go it alone."

Even connecting through social outlets like Facebook, Google+, or Hi5 doesn't isolate a person from loneliness. We all are looking for something or someone to help make our journey through life more enjoyable. Well, that Person has been here the whole time! The Lord Jesus promised to all who are his disciples that He would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Christian, you have a companion even when no one, not even a pet, is around. And He promised to be there until the journey and the job that goes with it are complete (Matthew 28:20).

Unlike making constant and unwise status updates about your innermost thoughts and feelings He already knows them. And He is available 24/7 to discuss them with you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 8 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Life is too short to not make plans for eternity!
Just about everyone in the world makes some sort of preparations for their eventual demise, even those who wish to deny the reality that they will one day have an appointment with death. They buy life insurance, make wills and testaments, sign durable powers of attorneys and living wills, and prepay for their own funeral. We know that to do otherwise is gambling with the future. And yet, many who will acknowledge their own mortality give very little thought to eternity.

Even Christians.

All of the aforementioned products that make up the "death industry" are tools used for the distribution of our physical assets and the disposal of our physical body. But this first dimension of life is such an infinitesimal part of our existence that even a fractional ratio to compare this life with the next is impossible! How can one give a value to a number whose denominator is eternal?!

If you have already repented of your sins and trusted Christ as your savior you've made the only plan for eternal life but I hope you haven't stopped there. You should also have invested in eternal assets. Are you using the physical resources at your disposal now to help you build treasures in Heaven? You will never need a last will and testament for your eternal wealth!

If you haven't repented of your sins and trusted Christ I urge you to do so today in order to obtain eternal life. It's the only planning for your death that ultimately matters.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 7 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Yesterday's word was for those who are married. Today's word is for those who are unmarried:

Someone who desires to have their own way should remain single.

There is no shame in remaining unmarried; however, there should be shame over getting married and then expecting everything to be done your way. There are many decisions that need to be made in order for a relationship to run somewhat smoothly. The decisions regarding some issues are relatively unimportant (which way the toilet paper roll goes, whether the toothpaste gets squeezed from the end or the middle; which set of dishes to put on the gift registry, etc.) but the important decisions that affect the couple physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually (I'll spare you the details) must be discussed honestly and agreed upon before marriage. Some issues will require compromise and some issues are so important that no compromise can - or should - be reached. If you can't agree over the important issues, walk away. Better to have a broken heart before the marriage takes place rather than after.

A married person is supposed to love his/her spouse as much as him-/herself.  That simply means putting the spouse's wants and desires above your own. Ephesians 5:22-33 and READ THE WHOLE PASSAGE, not just the verses that deal with the responsiblities of your intended! You might be surprised to find what is really going to be required of you!

Wouldn't it be refreshing to see couples who are so devoted to each other that each is constantly trying to make sure that their spouse gets their own way?  As odd as it sounds, those are the happiest marriages! 

If you don't think you can be this type of individual, I'd advise you to stay single. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 6 Words of Wisdom

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12

In honor of my parents who are celebrating their 56th anniversary today here is a scriptural reminder for anyone who is married:
Christian men should provide for their families so that they don't prove themselves to be atheists and Christian women should support their husbands and care for their homes so that they don't prove themselves to be blasphemers.
(My own paraphrase of I Tim. 5:8 and Titus 2:5)

In a nutshell this means that our actions speak louder than our words. Or, to put it another way, what we do preaches a more convincing sermon than what we say! Men who ignore the needs of wife and children reveal that they don't really believe God is a real Person and women who ignore the needs of husband and children reveal that they don't believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  There is no room ANYWHERE in the Bible for deadbeat dads OR moms!

Thanks, Dad and Mom, for all of your years of loving God and each other!
Happy anniversary!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sometimes Heredity is Just Plain Quirky!

Have you ever been to the doctor or the dentist and had him mention something unusual about you? I don't mean that the doc was making fun of your anatomy. On second thought, I guess that is sort of what I mean. Specifically I mean that something about your person is different from that of the general population

I had that happen several years ago when I went to the dentist to have my wisdom teeth removed. That's when I discovered that I wasn't having teeth extracted.  I was having a tooth pulled. Specifically, the upper left one. Because that's all I had, that's why!  (I know this wisdom tooth deficiency explains so much about me to some of you.) :)

This one-wisdom-tooth discovery intrigued me on so many levels!

  • As a foodie person I was thrilled that few meals would be missed! (Just eat on the other side!)
  • As the home economist I was glad to pay for only one extraction!
  • As a home-schooling mom I was interested in setting up a Punnett square to see if this was a family trait passed down to my kids.
  • As a hobby genealogist I was interested in determining if this was something that I'd inherited from my ancestors or if I was actually the DNA mutant. (I don't think I like the sound of that!)
It turns out that I am not the mutant!!!! My mom only had the two upper wisdom teeth and so did her mom! We don't have any knowledge of generations before Grandma.

But I only had 1 upper tooth, not the deviant 2. Only time would tell if this would be the trait passed on through my DNA. Then a few years ago the orthodontist told us that The Bear only had buds for 2 wisdom teeth (not 4, but not 1 like me either). So I did pass on the "only the uppers" trait and The Bear might be the only one of my four children to inherit this recessive gene. (I'm not sure now but I can find out easily enough. Well, girls?) This means that for some reason (probably a childhood illness) the tooth bud for my upper right wisdom tooth did not develop but that it did not cause a further DNA mutation either.

Just this week a cousin's child said that she is cutting a wisdom tooth. She's in her mid-20's, which is also about the time I got mine. (Late tooth eruptions is another one of those tooth oddities I inherited. My parents considered dentures for me as I neared my first birthday without chompers. Just kidding.)

Anyway, being curious I asked my first cousin once removed (for all of you who need schooling in generation labeling) about the number of her wisdom teeth. She only has the uppers! Since her grandma was my mom's sister she inherited this recessive mutation from my maternal grandma (which would be her great grandma), too! Now I'm so curious that I wish I could determine which of my grandma's siblings had it (she had 2 sisters and 1 brother) and which of the next generation has/had it (there were 10 children in the next generation) and so on down through the generations.

So while the rest of the homeschooling families are doing Punnett squares for peas and fruit flies, or human heredity like the ability to roll the tongue (I can't), taste the bitter strips (I can), blood types (I'm O+) and ear attachment (mine aren't, I don't think) I'm more interested in diagramming our family's tooth genetics because that's a study I could really sink my teeth into!  (Sorry, I just couldn't resist a parting pun concerning Punnett squares.)    :)

Day 5 Words of Wisdom

Master the action of forgiving and forgetting.

Have you ever heard someone say that they "just can't" forgive that person? Or perhaps you've heard someone say, "Well, I'll forgive you but I will never forget what you did!" Maybe you've even said the same thing yourself.

Hmm. So you know more than THE omniscient God.

I'm guessing that if He can do it - and He said He does - it wouldn't be impossible for us to do likewise. (See Hebrews 8:12 and Heb. 10:17 for the promise of God's new covenant between Himself and those who repent. He promised the same under the old covenant as well as stated in Isaiah 43:25.)

Can an omniscient God do that? I'm counting on it! This is where that "action" part comes into play. Of course He knows and remembers everything! But He chooses not to act on things that have been confessed.

How does this translate into everyday living? Well, if you've asked me for my forgiveness for a wrong that you did against me I am to not only forgive you but to never mention it again. As far as our fellowship is concerned it's just like it never happened! That's the act of forgetting.

Like any action it takes practice to become a master. Practice forgiveness more and one day you'll find that you're a master at forgiving and forgetting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 4 Words of Wisdom

On a more humorous - but still serious - note:

Always be aware of what year your driver's license needs to be renewed.

Yes, I forgot that 2011 was the year I needed to renew mine but the error has been corrected. The woman at the bureau of motor vehicles and I had a good laugh about it. It was more satisfying laughing with a few other individuals who may have occasion to point it out! (Since I've never been pulled over I seriously doubt that it would be a police officer, but it wouldn't be a nice time for that new experience. I was meaning clerks who take down driver's license info.)

And I certainly don't want to retake the driver's test! Brr!! The very thought chills my blood. That maneuverability test is frightening. I can parallel park just fine, but the required "don't knock over the pylons" stuff just gives me the creeps!

I was not guilty of driving even once without a license. I was chauffeured everywhere between the day my license expired and the day I went to have it renewed.

Got a birthday coming up? Take my advice and go check your wallet. Then write yourself a reminder about a month or so before your birthday just in case you encounter any problems.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 3 Words of Wisdom

Perhaps similar to yesterday's thought but with a slight twist . . .

Being "childish" and "having a childlike attitude" are not the same thing.

Childishness loses its appeal somewhere around the time that a child's age reaches double digits.

On the other hand, a childlike attitude is something that an individual should cultivate throughout life. Such an attitude is what causes someone to gaze in amazement and wonder at the many facets of God's creation.

A childlike attitude is also what keeps us learning about things that spark our curiosity, adapting to circumstances, and asking the Father for help when tough situations are encountered. It is the essence behind positive reactions such as awe and thankfulness as well as ones we think are weak such as helplessness and dependence upon a Person more powerful than ourselves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 2 Words of Wisdom

Note:  This post was edited for clarity of thought and readability on Oct. 12th.

Just because I aged another year yesterday and have it on my mind I think I'll state something somewhat apropos:

"Growing up" and "growing older" are not synonymous. 

Obvious? Perhaps to you and I, but some seem not to have mastered the distinction. The increasing addition of candles on the birthday cake each year does not guarantee that someone is growing up. On the other hand, adding to the candle tally automatically means growing older.

Endeavor to be someone whose faith, demeanor,and knowledge are constantly maturing. Those are the real indicators of "growing up" while "growing older."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Counting to 52, Day 1 Words of Wisdom

Note:  this post was edited for the sake of formatting and readability on Oct. 12th.

In honor of my 52nd birthday I'd like to attempt (and I do mean attempt) to blog for 52 consecutive days. But I don't want to just write a bunch of drivel just for the sake of saying that I've blogged so if there's a day I have nothing to say you'll just need to excuse me. Blogging for 52 days takes us up to November 30th. Gasp!

The Bible says that the older women are to teach the younger women many things about godly life, love, and labor.Starting today, this "older woman" will post some of the lessons that I've learned in my 52 years of life and hopefully some of you younger women will find them helpful.

Ready to begin? Here's my first tidbit to offer:

Christians are commanded to make disciples, but Jesus never promised that they'd all turn out to be like John the Beloved. Some may actually be more like Judas the Betrayer. 
We can only act on outward appearances because only God can search a person's heart and He promised to sort out the sheep and the goats in due time.  Usually one doesn't need to wait for eternity for that to occur.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BB Boatin'!

Pastor Dad and I have had a wonderful week attending a conference in a nearby state. As a matter of fact, the state is so nearby that we didn't need to travel to be a part of it. The conference ended last night but we were not able to be part of the finale since we had services at our own church to attend.

On the following day the host pastor and wife traditionally entertain those who haven't returned to their own homes by showing them some of the local sites. Pastor Dad and I decided to participate this year as a way of getting better acquainted with other ministering couples. 

This year the tour consisted of a tour of the Ohio River aboard the BB Riverboats boat Belle of Cincinnati. It was a lovely day to be cruising on the river

The sun was shining and the temps were so warm that I never put on the jacket that I'm carrying.  And that gleam in my eye is the result of taking a day off to play!  Well, okay, it's really just a glare on my glasses, but I prefer to think of it in a positive way.  :)

After the boat cruise we crossed the river and had a late lunch / early dinner at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse Restaurant.  Mmm!  Mmm!  No pictures of this part of the tour but all the men were wearing bibs if you can picture that.  If not, picture me hitting the "Publish Post" button now and going upstairs to get my leftover ribs out of the refrigerator before the Bear or Pastor Dad beat me to them!  :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Lili-Ladybug!

Source:  A camp friend
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Our youngest grandchild is 1 year old today!!!! Happy birthday little Lili!   I can't believe how fast this year has flown by!  :)

This picture was taken of the two of us at church camp at the end of July.  That means she's 2 months older now (well, so am I, actually) but it's still a very good likeness of her (and me). 

P.S.  I'm the tired looking one in the photo.

Happy birthday, sweetie!  Gram loves you very much!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Quotable Fen

Courtesy of his mother and her cellphone
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A two year old can say the cutest things sometimes. The fact that they don't realize they are saying cute things somehow makes them even cuter! Fen has provided us with several such sayings recently.

  • In reply to his other grandma when she asked who he saw at our church's Homecoming service and dinner.
"Well, not Lisa!"
He obviously feels that no homecoming is complete without her. Several us concur.

  • Also to his other grandparents when he was asked what his mother is giving him next year.
"A baby sister."
He wants a baby brother. Go figure!

  • To me when Pastor Dad and I stopped by their house for a moment to drop off a few items.
"Gram!  Dinner is ready!  Come eat!"
I took the accompanying emphatic gestures to mean that he was being very hospitable. I also suspected he might not like what they were having and was willing to donate his own meal. I didn't ask. And I didn't stay either.

  • To me at Karen's one afternoon when I explained my presence to all of the grandchildren by announcing that I had just dropped in "to stir up trouble."
"That's me!!!!!" said with a gesturing pat to his own chest.
No doubt that title sometimes fits him and a few others in the room who shall at this time remain nameless. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Answered Prayers

Early this morning I went to the radiology department of my doctor's office for my follow-up ultrasound. (Why so "early" you might wonder? My morning coffee was commandeered to meet that "full bladder" requirement. No need to drink more fluid than usual. And if you wonder why I needed a "follow-up" ultrasound in the first place feel free to read about the earlier one here.)

I really wasn't looking forward to today and had a bit of trouble falling asleep last night thinking about the things I'd need to do prior to the surgery that was to follow this procedure.

But guess what?! The ultrasound technician peered down at my anxious face from her stool next to the screen and asked, "Just what is it that I'm supposed to be checking because there's nothing amiss. Both ovaries look great this time around."

To quote The Bear when he heard the news, "Wow!"

All I could say was "Thank you, Jesus!"

I'll still need to hear the "official" word from my doctor but the woman scanning my insides was pretty excited while giving the "unofficial" one so I don't think my cries of "Hallelujah" are premature in the least.

I've already crossed "Have Surgery" off of my Autumn "To Do List" and written "Jump Ecstatically Up and Down" in it's place.

I requested your intercessory prayers, you prayed, and HE answered! Thank you, one and all, for praying. And thank you, Jesus, for answering.

(James 5:16)

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Gardening Update

A few fruits of our labor
In recent years I tried growing a few vegetables in our back yard but usually lost the crop due to the neglect that comes from being away a couple of weeks each July or from some destructive (but industrious) squirrels. This summer has been even busier than usual so I feared that another attempt at victory gardening would only end with me muttering in agonized frustration as the squirrels "high fived"in the treetops once more.

But this year things have turned out differently and we are literally enjoying the fruits of my labor. You might remember my post earlier this year (found here) telling about my spring gardening endeavors (and the battle with storms, not squirrels). There are lots of links in that post that tell about self-watering container gardening and where to buy them or how to make them using empty 5-gallon pails, plastic deli containers, and PVC pipe.

I did both. I bought one and I made a couple of more. This summer we successfully grew
  • broccoli
  • leaf lettuce
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes
  • sunflowers, and
  • green beans
in our containers. We also attempted to grow cucumbers but they haven't produced anything beyond their pretty yellow flowers.

The self-watering containers (which is somewhat of a misnomer: you still must add water, just not as often) took care of the problem that I have keeping things watered during those weeks of church camp in hot July. But what about the squirrel problem? And a problem it is! I have personally witnessed them in the early morning pulling green tomatoes off the vines, tasting them, saying "yuck" (or so I assume they're saying based upon their actions), and throwing them down repeatedly until they've stripped the vines bare! In order to put a stop to such wasteful behavior I have begun covering my planters each night.

We put a wire cage around the box that holds the tomatoes and tied the plants to it with cut up nylon stockings. Each night I drape 1/4 inch mesh cicada nylon netting over the whole shebang. (My garden wears nylons more frequently during the summer than I do.) I remove the netting in the morning after Pepper starts stirring around the yard. (Any earlier and the squirrels get too brazen.)

It doesn't seem to hurt anything if I forget to take the netting off in the morning. It's only if I forget to put it on at night that things can get seriously injured!

This morning when I went out to uncover the containers there was a praying mantis on the netting covering the 5-gallon bucket of bean plants. I didn't bother him because I wanted him to stick around (get it?) and eat any aphids or other harmful insects.

Some of the green beans and the bucket can be seen in the picture below. Since I was merely experimenting this year I didn't bother to camouflage the buckets. Maybe next year I'll paint mine to make them aesthetically pleasing.

These are just a few of the specimens that represent the ripe produce we've been harvesting lately. The self-watering containers combined with netting them at night has resulted in great tasting and inexpensive home-grown vegetables.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Making A Grand Entrance

When I got up this morning my front door looked like this from the outside:

And this is what it looked like inside the house:

Late this afternoon this is what my front door looked like from outside:

And on the inside:

In review, from this:

To this:

Oh, yeah!!!!