Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Strength in Weakness
"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:5-7
How do people do it? How do they withstand the Katrina-like blows that pummel their lives? The wind, the waves, the surges of heartbreak one after another. How do they survive... and still lift their faces to the Lord? How can they be so strong at their extreme weakest?
Today was an awful day. Some very heavy things hit me off guard. But somewhere in the middle of that storm, God's voice was telling me that He provides sufficient grace for this trial, and when I am weak He is always and still very strong. So I want to say to the glory of God that if there is anything in this ministry that is powerful, it is from weakness. Trust me on that.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me... For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Well, here I am - present and accounted for. It's the hard times and the unhealthy times and the hurting times that reveal my weaknesses. And it's also during those times that God shows up strong.
We often treat suffering like a dodgeball game. Anytime anything painful comes at us, we jump out of the way. We spend our whole lives trying to avoid anything that will hurt or be hard. But there's a better kind of life - a deeper, more fulfilling kind of life - that isn't about avoiding every pain. It's about finding God faithful and powerful in the midst of whatever thorns He allows.
There's something about our weakness that opens the flow of God's strength.
When you are in the midst of a trial, there's a power coming into your life that you've never experienced before. When you see a hard thing coming, try saying, "I may not want this, but I know I'm going to see Christ working in my life in an incredible way."
God never allows a thorn but that He provides sufficient grace and strength in our weaknesses. Sufficient grace is not just enough to survive, but enough to have supernatural joy in the midst of anything He allows us to go through.
Anyway...if you put that health scare along with the fact that I am just FINALLY starting to "get" that my mom is gone...and this was our first Christmas without her...and there may be something wrong with my thyroid which could be leading to my sheer exhaustion....I have been pretty down in the dumps. Whether it is one of those things, or a combination of some of them or all of them...I don't know....but life has been kinda blah over this Christmas season. I am trying to turn it around...but I am having a hard time. I am still having fun with the kids, etc...but it takes more energy out of me then it usually does. All I want to do is be alone and/or sleep. Hopefully with Christmas behind us things will look up....but with the one year anniversary of mom's death coming up...I don't know. I have never been an emotional type of person...I don't get depressed...so this is all new to me. I've been doing a lot of praying though....
MaKenna got a bunch of girly things. Here she is in one of her new dress up outfits!!
Jake's highlight was all the GI Joe stuff and his new hunting Bow! He was thrilled!!!
Cam loved all of his bionicles...but HIS highlight was his new and very own Muzzle Loader!!!
Friday, December 25, 2009
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Major got a Little Einsteins thingie....here he is with his Papa trying to figure out how it works!
Here Major is opening some clothes! He was very meticulous about how he opened.Once the present was delicately opened, he would then proceed to rip every last piece of paper he could find into tiny little pieces. Kept him busy for a long time....Then after he watched papa hold up a shirt that he got for Christmas, Major had to grab one of his new Christmas shirts and do the same thing! He really looks up to Papa!
Here we all are!! If you notice...mom STILL made it into the picture! She may not have been there physically, but she was there spiritually!!
Here are the kids...with a "spiritual" Nana looking on in the background....
When we were loading the truck and getting it warm for our short, but scary drive home in a blizzard, the kids went down to papa's play room. Major learned how to play the pin ball machine! He LOVES it! He ESPECIALLY loves to pull the thingie out that makes the ball go!! He did really well! When he did his last ball, and he lost it...he put his head in his hands and shook his head! It was PRICELESS! I wish I had my video camera!!
Of course, in able to reach the paddle pusher things, he needed two stools!
Then we got home...while Jeff was putting the other kids' things together, I went upstairs and put the drum set together for Jake. Ahhh...it felt good to use a drum key again and to "tune" the snare, the tom and the bass. Good times...anyway...Major took to it like Bee takes to Honey. He LOVED it! I think I have a couple of musical kiddos on my hands! Let's hope so!!!Look at him! He looks like a pro! Even Jake said, "He's better than me mom!!!"
Now the kids are all snug in their beds...while a blizzard plows through! It isn't supposed to let up until Saturday!!! We have warnings going out constantly....thank goodness it is Christmas because everything would be closed anyway!!! We are expecting about 15 or more inches of snow...with 40 mph winds. Definite white out, blizzard conditions!!!
Do you think Santa will make it???????
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Twas the night before Christmas Poem also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas"
Clement Clarke Moore (1779 - 1863) wrote the poem Twas the night before Christmas also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas" in 1822. It is now the tradition in many American families to read the poem every Christmas Eve. The poem Twas the night before Christmas has redefined our image of Christmas and Santa Claus. Prior to the creation of the story of Twas the night before Christmas St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, had never been associated with a sleigh or reindeers! The author of the poem Twas the night before Christmas was a reticent man and it is believed that a family friend, Miss H. Butler, sent a copy of the poem to the New York Sentinel who published the poem. The condition of publication was that the author of Twas the night before Christmas was to remain anonymous. The first publication date was 23rd December 1823 and it was an immediate success. It was not until 1844 that Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership when the work was included in a book of his poetry. Clement Clarke Moore came from a prominent family and his father Benjamin Moore was the Bishop of New York who was famous for officiating at the inauguration of George Washington. The tradition of reading Twas the night before Christmas poem on Christmas Eve is now a Worldwide institution.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
And when you learn how love God with everything you have, it’ll change your life. And probably your world.
We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.
In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.
As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”
Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.
The author of Wild Goose Chase and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. One church with nine services in five locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the D.C. area. Mark has two Masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children. http://www.markbatterson.com/
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Why I Want to be a XYZ Member
I have a few good reasons why I want to be a XYZ member. I would be very happy if you would read on to find out these reasons.
First, I’ve always wanted to be a zookeeper. I have studied animals and Zoology books at school and my local library. I’ve also had a lot of experience with animals because I own two miniature horses, two dogs, a cat and 6 fish. I know many types of animals at the zoo. I have a great care for animals.
Next, I’ve been in the zoo’s classes for about 5 years. I visit the zoo a lot so I know much about the exhibits and the animals that inhabit them. I’ve had a great time studying and learning new things and would love to learn more.
Finally, as I said before I have always wanted to be a Zookeeper and I think this would be a great way to see if I’m up to the challenge of this career. I always stay committed and try my best. I would be happy to commit my talents and time to be in the XYZ program.
So you can see I hope I can be of service to volunteer at the Henry Doorly Zoo in the XYZ program. Thank you.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
by C.D. Baker
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
“Why don’t I have more faith?”“Why am I so bored with Jesus?”“Why are Christians so hard for me to like?” There are many questions we’re not supposed to ask when playing by the religious rules. It makes people uncomfortable. So why is it that Jesus invited questions and even asked some of them himself? What is it that you’re afraid to ask God? It’s a risky prospect to begin asking–but far riskier to continue simply trying to get by without knowing. Author C. D. Baker asked himself 40 soul-searching questions which started a conversation in his heart and ultimately showed him more about God than He ever expected. Can we become more honest with who we really are and find who God says He really is at the same time? Come indulge yourself in daily readings with an honest exploration of your secret fears and thoughts, and know that you will always be welcomed in God’s unconditional love. Search me, O God … and know my anxious thoughts.–Psalm 139:23 NIV
“40 Loaves is something of a collection of the kinds of questions I felt finally free to ask of myself and of my relationship with Christ,” says Baker. “It’s my belief that these questions are shared by many others who long for the freedom to simply ask them out loud. I hope this book becomes a platform that frees others to search their hearts more deeply and be fed with the Bread of life.”
Each “loaf” here is a big question that stimulates discussion, investigation, and contemplation; it will take hours—or days—to digest. Conversational, inviting, disarming, and real, 40 Loaves nourishes self-examination and offers validation for those who feel discouraged, guilty, or even shamed when the realities of their lives don’t match up with the ideals of the Christian establishment.
C. David Baker founded an award-winning business before redirecting his career to write full-time from his small farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books, including six novels, one of which was nominated for a Christy Award. He has contributed articles to the Christian History Institute’s international publication Glimpses, and to Christian Singles magazine. Baker has a Master’s degree in theological studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
-To best illustrate and symbolize each person's personality in your family, have them each choose a living creature like a lion, eagle, etc. or plant like a sagebrush, daisy, rose, etc or some other object like a book, rock, shield, etc. Then, choose symbols in those categories that best represent your family as a whole. Maybe even research the meaning of your family name and think about how to indicate it visually and symbolically. Illustrate all this on posters...or make a family banner using cloth fragments and old sheets and towels, etc.
Holiday Idea #96
Christmas Film Festival
- Talk about and watch your favorite Christmas Movies...after watching them have an Oscar night to decide together your choices of best movie...best actor...best actress...best costumes....etc...etc. Bring out plenty of popcorn to snack on while watching the movies, as well as pickles, carrot sticks, apple slices and other favorite crunchable movie snacks. Finish with Christmas cookies and eggnog or hot chocolate.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Here is a picture of MaKenna and Jake cutting the cookies out of the dough....they got really messy. Cam cut a few...but not like these two did...and Major...well...we opted to cut out the cookies while he was taking a nap.
Once we baked them and let them cool, it was time to frost and decorate them! That is always the fun part! I am not really sure what Cam is thinking here...
MaKenna had to make sure the frosting smelled okay....