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!  :)