Monday, January 28, 2008


I have lost almost 30 pounds since Christmas!!! I am so proud of myself for sticking with the changes I have made. The first change was "I AM NOT GOING TO DIET!!" Instead I opted for a overhaul on my personal and my family's eating habits. It has made all the difference in the world.

Today I started the 10 Day - Better Body - Challenge, with a group of my friends. If anyone is interested in checking out the website here is the link: Leslie Sansone's 10 Day Challenge
(and it's FREE!!)

Psalms 71:14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.

Think of all the Christians you know personally. Now, can you think of just one of those who is filled with praise for the Lord—but is HOPELESS???

How about this - of all those Christians you know can you find one who is hopeful about the present and future but never praises the Lord???

Hope and praise seem to go together in the Christian life—and why shouldn't they? For the Christian, to have hope is consistent with having faith in a gracious God, meaning He is worthy of our praise. The two go together.

Think about it - the more you have hope in the things of God, the more you praise Him. This is an unending cycle. The two feed off of each other.

What about you? If you find yourself hopeful but lacking praise, check the object of your hope. If you're praising but lacking hope, check the object of your praise. Our hope and praise should always be on the Lord - in Him all things are possible.

Praise keeps hope alive while hope becomes a reason for praise.

"Be not afraid of saying too much in the praises of God . . . . All the danger is of saying too little." Matthew Henry

Friday, January 25, 2008

What are you afraid of????

I belong to a very special board called "Women at the Well." These ladies mean the world to me - we aren't just friends, we are family. Last night one of the Ladies (she happens to be one of my dearest friends in the world, by the way) asked a question ~ and I am going ask the same one. Here is what she asked:

"Is there just something you cannot do? I mean at threat of death, you'd just have to die cause you CANNOT do it? "

People who know me personally are going to bust up laughing when they read my response......and they will all admit that I'm telling the truth!!

The one thing I cannot do, even at the threat of death, is use a "Spiffy Biff." You know what I'm talking about, right....port-a-potties, outhouses, etc. I physically CAN NOT use them. I've tried ~ but no way, no how, will it ever work. I am sure my bladder would literally explode before I could ever use one. Sounds dumb doesn't it?!?!?!?

My husband used to tease me, but now after over 20 years of marriage, he has excepted my bathroom using ways and he very graciously accommodates me.

It's not just Spiffy Biffs either - I have a whole list of personal "bathroom rules" that I follow:

1. No rest stop bathrooms
2. No gas station bathrooms
3. No bathrooms with too many stalls in them
4. I never use the first stall.
5. I won't go into a stall if there is someone in the stall next to me (I need the stalls next to me to be empty)
6. And above all......if at all possible.....hold it until I can get home and use my own potty!!!!!

I know my family and friends are cracking up right now, because they have all been out with me and know how I am.

But even with the threat of death I CAN NOT use those Spiffy Biffs!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Such A Morning Person

Any of you who really know me, know that I am 100% a morning person! I woke up about 4:45 this morning and have already enjoyed 2 hours of peace and quiet today ~~ and will enjoy at least 2 hours more, since no one in my house tends to rise until about 9a.m. (Well, Jeff will leave for work in just a few minutes, but aside from waking him up there has been no other movement in my home.)

I don't know what it is about mornings, but I just love this time. My mind is alert, but not racing with 100 things to do, and I am always wide awake. Now ~ just the opposite can be said for me about evenings. Don't ask me anything that requires deep thought after about 9p.m. My brain has shut down by then!

Today as I was reading my Bible I searched God's Word to see what it has to say about early morning. It was interesting to see that 42 times that phrase is used throughout the Bible. God told many people to "rise up early" and go do something. That's usually when I hear God speak to me so clearly.....when I rise up early and have time alone just with Him. I cherish this time each day.

Do you have a time that it is just you and the Lord each day? Maybe you're not a morning person, like I am, but you still need to have that time when it is just you and God - no distractions from the world around you. A time when God can speak to you in a still, small voice and you are still enough to hear it.

1 Kings 19:11-12 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours....

Now ~ let me ask you ...when you read that did you automatically think that negative or bad things were to follow?? Most people would. Why is that?

Well, I DID NOT mean it in that tone. No way, no how. I said that because there is another new baby in my world!!!! My sister and brother-in-law just had their first baby yesterday morning at 5:11 a.m. and I am so excited for them!!!! Let me introduce you all to Tristan Micah:

Isn’t he BEAUTIFUL?!?!?!? I just can’t wait to hold him!!

They live about a hundred miles away, so it may be a bit before I get to go see them – but you can bet once I get the okay from them I will be on my way!! I don’t see my sister near enough (which is a shame because I love just spending time with her.)

I am just so happy for them. They are two of the sweetest people you would ever meet and I know they are going to make AWESOME parents!!!

Denise ~~ if you and Josh are reading this.....I love you both !!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Time for a Check Up

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24

I don’t know about you ~ but I never look forward to my annual checkups. I put them off as long as possible, but I know they are necessary for my physical health. I’m just thankful they are only once a year.

But as a Christian we need to have a spiritual check-up on a much more frequent basis. Here it is more than halfway through January 2008 ~ have you had a spiritual checkup this month??

With our spiritual checkup, we need the Divine Physician to check our heart to see how it is operating. If we have "not the love of the brethren," we have a heart problem that needs to be corrects. If we have hatred, bitterness, and strife we may actually need open-heart surgery. Remember ~~ if we are open to the love of God, we can even love the unlovable.

If you are suffering from the cancer of bitterness, guilt, loneliness, or discouragement and it is eating away your joy and strength in the Lord, you need to cut out all the abnormal growth that is destroying your victory.
If our ears have become so hard-of-hearing that we can no longer hear the cries for help from others, we need the aid of the Holy Spirit to help us detect those sounds.

If we can no longer see the need for souls to be saved, we have become spiritually blind and need our vision adjusted to see the zeal of winning others to Christ.

If the problem lies in a weakened spine, daily exercises of prayer will strengthen us. As we grow stronger we will develop a stronger determination to live and do as God wants us to, no matter how heavy the load we must carry at times.

Good spiritual health is necessary in developing a strong, healthy growth in the Lord. Continued neglect only leads to the deterioration. In regards to Heaven...our spiritual health is more important than our physical health. Schedule a checkup today!!

I'm a proud Grandma...

Please ignore the dates on the pictures....sometimes I'm tecnologically challenged!!

Braden is 1 1/2 months now and a pro at smiling. He just melts our hearts around here. (Grandpa spent an hour explaining football to him last night. We won't mention that Braden dozed through half of that!)

Brett just loves his nephew and can't wait to take himinto his room to play. We told him it will be a few more months before he is ready for that.

And here is Braden with Aunt Elisabeth!! She loves her title almost as much as she loves Braden.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Trip To Fargo....

We went to Fargo yesterday because Jeff had an appointment at the VA hospital. For months now he has had a knot on his head. It just appeared there one day. The doctors here felt that it needed to be looked at by specialist ~ so that was why we were in Fargo.
After a 1 hour appointment and a 1 hour surgery he now has 17 stitches in his head and the knot has been removed. They tell us is was a fatty tumor (and I jokingly tell him that means for months he was a fathead!!)

Does It Matter Who Our Friends Are?

As a Christian I have been taught by many godly people to take inventory of my life from time to time. It has been a valuable practice to keep my spiritual life, priorities and my home in order.
A few months ago God added a segment of my life that I have not seen the need to take inventory friends and intended family members. By not examining this area of my life before I had made my life more difficult/stressful because I had let people negatively affect me in various ways.
It was a tough truth to come to grips with. Actually, I’m still working on implementing it. It is hard to admit that I have family members who do not want to see me happy. They would rather be negative and mean ~ in other words, a bad influence on me.
How important is it to choose the people we surround ourselves with. People who will lift us up and make us better persons. This isn't just a personal preference, it is a Biblical principle.
The Bible tells us that we get to decide whether we'll walk with the wise or stumble with fools. The question for us is which will we choose?
Proverbs 13:20: "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
I have had to spend some considerable time with the Lord to understand my responsibility for the stress I have allowed people to add to my life by not setting boundaries. It has, and continues to be a tough realize the wrong people in my life can actually mar me and even break me.
When I talked to my husband about this he pointed out that I am frazzled and a tad grumpy after I’m around, or have had a phone conversation with, ___________. I know he is right. This is partly true because I kick myself for not putting a stop to it.
I cannot begin to convey how God has talked to me about the person people always turn to when they need advice and encouragement.
What impact have your friends had on you lately?
This might sound like a strange question, but your friends HAVE influenced you--for better or for worse--more than you think.
Does it really matter which people you choose to surround yourelf with? After all, shouldn't a Christian be willing to have anyone around as a friend? Some argue that Christians should invite everyone into their circle of friends since Jesus Christ was inclusive during His earthly ministry.
This belief seems appealing on its surface, but there is more to the issue than meets the eye. Proverbs 13:20 instructs us that to befriend foolish people will bring harm to our lives. On the other hand, seeking out wise friends who live right will bring about blessings. Proverbs 1:10-16 and Psalms 1:1-3 provides a strong warning against befriending those who engage in sinful lifestyles and are not right with God...including scornful/negative people.
We are not even to walk on their paths but rather turn away from them and walk the other way. And for doing so God says He will bless us.
Psalm 1:1-3 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 15:33 ~~ "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
These scriptures and others indicate that in order to do well, be happy and obey God, we must choose good godfearing friends and avoid negative, scornful and immoral people.
Do our friends sharpen us as iron sharpeneth iron...or do they dull our ‘blade’ and cause us to be less effective instruments for God’s will?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

16 weeks and counting

16 Weeks....that's how long this next term of classes will be. 16 weeks of living with my nose stuck in textbooks, studying, doing assignments and reminding myself ~~~ YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!!!! I can now say I have less than a year to go!!! 11 months and 5 days to be exactly (not that I'm counting or anything.)

Now...on to the next thing going though my brain lately. I just don't understand how people can purposely hurt other people. I'm not talking about serial killers, rapists, etc. I'm talking about ordinary people. People who say the love someone, yet turn around and PURPOSELY do things to hurt that person. It truly breaks my heart.
Being married to a preacher and spending almost all of my adult life serving the Lord I have helped a lot of people through things just like I explained - and you know what, I never get used to it. I still just don't get how one person can do that to other.
Look at what the Bible says:
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
So many people think of love as a mood, a feeling, a sentiment, an attitude, or a passion. But those things aren't love ~ love may contain some or all of those emotions but there is more to it than those emotions.
Love is the selfless commitment of putting the needs of others before one's own wishes or welfare. It's a choice we make and a command we should obey.
It's the opposite of offended pride, bitterness, selfishness, rudeness, and egocentricity.
One of the greatest ways to measure love is through kindness. This is why we should always be asking ourselves, "What have I done for someone else today?" "What have I Done for those I love today?"
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Spiritual and emotional maturity comes as we realize that love is a command that results in a never-ceasing stream of kindness toward others. As someone once said, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
Love is the giving of oneself to another.
Show those you love today just how much you love...remember, we aren't promised a tomorrow.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

Yes - I grew up in the 80's ~~~ if you didn't today's title probably won't mean a thing to you, but if you did that song will probably be stuck in your head the rest of the day!!!

Well, I thought I had one more week of a normal paced life, but I was wrong. My next set of college classes start today (not the 14th, like I originally thought.) That's okay. I'll just jump in with both feet and start the countdown to my next break....16 weeks from now.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Have you ever loved someone so much it hurts? I'm sure most of us have. Love is an amazing feeling. When I had my first child (Jeffrey) I didn't think I could ever give another child that much love. I felt like he had 100% of my heart. But then came Steven ~ and I discovered that I loved him with the same depth and desire that I loved Jeffrey. It amazed me how with each child I had so much love to give, without ever taking away from the love for my other children.

No one knows what it's like to be the object of 100 percent of another persons love. In the first place, everyones human imperfections prevent them from loving perfectly and completely. Secondly, everyone spreads their love around—to a spouse, a child, a relative, and a friend. No one gets all of another person's love.

But what if you could? What would it feel like to be that loved? Again, our humanness would probably keep us from experiencing perfect love in all its perfection. But there is one practical example to meditate on that comes as close as we'll ever get in this life: when God so loved you that He sent His Son into the world to die in your place.

We've heard "For God so loved . . ." so many times that we've perhaps stopped listening. Today, listen to it again...and really think about how much love that must be.

Because God's love is infinite (knows no bounds), the amount directed toward you is boundless. It's as if earth had a population of "1" and you are it! God poured out all His love upon you when He sent Jesus.

If you ever have times when you wonder who loves you and how much, remember the answer you're reading here: God loves you as if you were His one and only love.

God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Something to think about....

Do you know the difference between a reason and an excuse????

A REASON is why you can't do something you really want to do.

An EXCUSE is a way of trying to justify why you can't do something you don't want to do.

Just something to thing about!!

Have a blessed Sunday, my friends!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

For My 2 Special People.....

I admit that I am not the best letter writer in the world. I try ~ I really do...but I just seem to fall short. I now have 2 people that mean the world to me that the only way I can communicate to them on a regular basis is through letters. I want to write to each of them at least once a week - they need to hear from me and I need to let them know just how much I love them.

Because I try to blog every morning I have decided that I am going to devote one blog a week just to them, send them that blog AND any other blogs from that week. (I'll then print them off and add a hand written note to each before I drop them in the mail.) S0 ~~ Saturday's are for two very special people in my life!!!

HHHHMMMMMMMM......what went on with us this week???? I'll give you a brief recap:

12-30-07: I'd been working a ton of hours, so other than going to church I didn't do a whole lot. (I also knew I had to go to work at 2am the next day, so I figured I better rest while I could.) We had 2 visitors at church - and they even came back for our New Year's service and on Wednesday!!
12-31-07: My day started at 1:30am. I was at work at 2am.......and guess what, I GOT HOME AT 8PM!!!! I'll let you do the math on how many hours I worked. Let's just say I'm glad the last day of the year only comes once a year!!! I got home in enough time to shower and get ready for Watchnight Services at church - they started at 9pm. We had a great evening. When was the last time you played musical chairs?? I can say for me I did just before midnight!!!! We prayed in the New Year and got home about 12:30am. I decided to stay up until 1:30am (just so I could say I stayed up for 24 hours....yes, I'm pretty easy to entertain!!)
1-1-08: Needless to say, because of yesterday, I did just what you see my kitties doing ~~~ I slept ~~~ A LOT!!! When I wasn't sleeping we watched movies or I read a book. That's it. I didn't even cook!!!
1-2-08: Wednesday I went into the office for about half the day. After that I headed of to Nick's to pick up Bredan. Nick was sick so I took Bredan so Aundrea could take Nick to the doctor. We spent the rest of the day with Bredan and took him to church with us. He is such a precious little boy!!!
1-3-08: Thursday was another quiet day. I worked for a few hours and then came home where we spent the evening playing a few games and watching a movie.
1-4-08: Friday I spent the whole day at home....and it was wonderful. We all went out to lunch and then ended the evening by going to Century and watching both the boys an girls high school basketball games. It was a great day!!!!
1-5-08: Today has been a quiet one. We did some housework, grocery shopped (online), and this evening Elisabeth and I are going to the baby shower for Aundrea and Bredan.
SO ~~~ what did you do all week??????

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Patience test...

Psalm 27:11-14"Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

I admit that I haven't always been the most patient person over the years. But I have gotten a lot better. Patience is definitely something that has to be developed over time.

We live in a world that wants instant gratification for everything. Thing about food (how unhealthy is that), the buy now pay later mentality (debt and bankruptcy are at an all time high), then there is the I see it - I want it now logic. None of these things are good or right. None of these things use the logic of "wait on the Lord and e will direct your path." Today's society is take what NOW, even if it isn't good for you or you don't have the money for it.

I don't want to live that way. I want to start each day by asking God to teach me His way and show me the plain path that He has for me. I want to wait on Him and follow His will ~~ and I want to teach my children to do the same...all of my children.

Some of my children are already adults, but I am still responsible to set a good and Godly example for them. I want them to be able to look at me and how I depend on the Lord for all things. No, day-to-day life isn't always easy....but if I wait on the Lord and follow His direction each day than I have done all that God expects of me ~~ and that makes the day a success.
I am looking forward to today. It feels like life is starting to get back to normal (whatever normal is!!!) The holidays are past, the company is all gone, and our regular routine is back in place. For me that is a great thing...I guess you could say I am a creature of habit in many ways. I like a regular schedule throughout he day and love a slower paced life - something that life hasn't been in the last 2 months.
Enjoy your day today. Be thankful for today - don't worry about tomorrow - and keep your eyes on the Lord and He will show you the plain path for your future!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Don't Lose Your Focus

Psalms 123:1 <> Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

How many of you remember what happened on November 18, 1978? On that date 913 people died in a mass-murder-suicide at the Jamestown colony in Guyana, home of the Peoples Temple.

Those who died were followers of Jim Jones ~ the self-appointed founder of what had become a cult. Jones started out as a preacher, but somewhere along the way that changed. He began proclaiming himself to be the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Those who followed him, obeyed his command to kill themselves because they had taken their eyes off God and had become focused on a man instead.

Too many times, people assume their leaders are following God without checking to make sure. It is your responsibility to know God and His Word so well that you can maintain confidence in your leaders' directions.

God's Word tells us to:

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Let's make sure we are daily in God's Word - studying praying, and rejoicing in all that He has done for us. Happy New Year My Friends!!!