Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday's Sentiments

Today's Quote:

"You may try to run from God's will,

But you can never run from His grace."


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Sigh.  A girl can dream, can't she?
(Nobody tempts me to break the 10th commandment more than Steve Jobs and Apple, Inc.!)

Wordlesss Wednesday

Guess who helped me paint my room?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Overheard In My House, Episode 3


"Mommy, I'm tired.  Can you put me to bed?" ~Amy
Mommy:  Continues to stare at computer.

"Mommy, I'm tired.  Can I go to bed now?"
Mommy:  Continues previous behavior.

Repeat 3 more times.

"Mommy, I'm tired.  Can I PLEASE go to bed?"
"Amy, sweetheart, I'm sorry.  I've been ignoring you, haven't I?"

(long pause)
"Mommy, are you sorry in your HEART?"


Something in that struck me.  Am I?  Am I really sorry in my heart when I treat my kids like they're an inconvenience, an interruption, a roadblock to my oh-so-important agenda?

Sorry in my heart.  Yes, dear one, I truly am.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Overheard In My House, Episode 2

Driving around town today, Amy spied a puddle outside the window:

"Mom, that is a pot of encouragement!!"


When questioned, she replied, "It is a pot of encouragement because it means that spring is coming!"

I think I live with Anne of Green Gables.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday's Sentiments - Sanctity of Life

During the month of January, many churches commemorate "Sanctity of Life Sunday", the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Later this week, I'll post how we mark the occasion in our home.

But today - today, there's something I need to say.

This morning, a friend of mine spoke from the pulpit.

Because she is the one who you may not know about, who you may not consider a casualty of the pro-abortion movement.

She was the 19-year old young woman who had an abortion.  Who grew up, got married, and gave birth to children.  The perfect life.  On the outside.

But lived with the grief and hurt and self-loathing.  And the knowledge that she, the giver of life, had willingly taken a life.  Of her child.

And I need to tell you something.  And she would want you to know.

God forgives. 

If you are her, if you are the silent one, if you are one of the women whose heart and life are aching and you need help.

Please.  Please know this.

God loves you.

Please call your local crisis pregnancy center.  They can help.

My friend has found comfort, and forgiveness, and courage to move on and heal.  She is beginning the process to become a counselor for post-abortive women.

I am so proud of her.

And I am so in awe of our great and awesome God.

A God who promises. . . .

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
   the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
   the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:3

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Few Recipes - Black Beans with Turkey and Rice

Back when I was newly married - or maybe just newly engaged - I received a cookbook entitled, "Jane Brody's Good Food Book".  Surprisingly, I still find myself making recipes out of it even today!  Here's a family favorite: good on the budget, filling and warm, and almost all of the kids will eat it!  Enjoy!

Black Beans with Turkey & Rice

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

15 oz. tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbls. lemon juice
2 Tbls. soy sauce
2 tsp. mustard (preferably Dijon)

brown rice (cooked)
shredded cheese

1.  In a large skillet, brown the turkey with the onion.  Once cooked, add the green pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes or until peppers are softened slightly. 
2.  In the meantime, whisk together the tomato sauce and seasonings.  Add the sauce, along with the black beans, to the turkey-vegetable mixture.  Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.  (Note:  I've also been known to throw it in the crock pot on low at this point.  Works great!)
3.  Serve over cooked rice, with cheese as a topping (if desired).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday's Sentiments

from this morning's communion hymn. . . . .

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

(full text can be found here.)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Why I Do What I Do

As I'm sitting surrounded by a sea of papers, grades, and books, I'm tempted to get discouraged. 

You know, when I fix my eyes on myself, and my woeful inadequacies?  It's all too easy to want to throw in the towel.

And then. . . .  I run across this gem at the Well-Trained Mind Forum.  Not original to me, but speaks so many of my thoughts today.

May it inspire you, as well.

I am training my children in the way they should go. I am teaching them when I rise up and when I lay down and when I walk. I am teaching them that everything they do must be honorable to God and to His glory. I am training them to think biblically and to memorize scripture and to analyze culture in the light of scripture. I am teaching them that they must prefer God, and that taking the gospel to the nations is glorifying to God. I am teaching them that the glory of God is the point of the universe.

I teach them that they must master grammar because language is the medium through which God gave us His word. If they are to correctly understand the Word of God, they must understand grammar. The Word of God is comprised of words and phrases and clauses and nouns and verbs and indirect objects and past tense verbs and present tense verbs and modifiers. They must master this so that they know what God has said. Further, in order to take the gospel to others we must be able to articulate it in the language we are speaking. Grammar exists for God.

I teach them that they must become good spellers so that they can communicate the gospel clearly when writing. Spelling exists for God.

I teach them history as God's working out of his plan in the universe, to His glory and for His purposes, thereby teaching them about their awesome God who frustrates the plans of the nations and sets up kings and deposes kings and wages war and determines history. My children are being taught that God rules sovereignly over history that nothing in history happens apart from the sovereign rule and purpose of God. As they see their God more clearly, they love Him more dearly and become jealous to see His name proclaimed among the nations. History exists for God.

I teach them logic as God's design for correct thinking and reasoning, so they can think clearly and reason well. If they are trained in correct thinking and reasoning then they can see better the beauty of the mind of their God as it is revealed in scripture. And then, as they take the gospel to others, they will not be mislead by false doctrine. They will see through the humanistic mechanisms of our culture. They will understand better how to explain the truth of God in the face of the depraved and distorted thinking that so characterizes the world we live in. By teaching them logic, I am teaching them to protect themselves AND to better reason with those who are deceived. Logic exists for the glory of God.

I teach them science and math so that they can see the hand of God in the order and precision by which He has created the universe. The heavens proclaim the glory of God, but it is so easily suppressed. Naturalistic thinking pervades even the Christian church and God is ignored. By teaching science and math as a glorious picture of the stunning capability of the mind of God, His glory stands forth to my children. We rejoice over our God, and they are thereby more bold in proclaiming his name to their friends and family. This is glorifying to God. Science and Math cannot be correctly understood apart from their relationship to God. Science and math exist for God.

I teach them Bible. We read the Bible, we ask questions of the Bible, we memorize Bible, we write about Bible--outlining, dictation, etc., we read commentaries and look at maps and check atlases of Bible lands and compare scripture with scripture and interpret our lessons through the Bible. We learn about missionaries and other countries and understand why we need to take the gospel to the nations. We apply Bible to our own culture and try to understand our culture in the light of scripture. The Bible is the backbone of what we do. Children who are biblically saturated are salt and light. Bible exists for the glory of God.

I teach them literature--lots of different stories, biographies, missionary stories, fantasies, etc. Much of this is secular in nature. Why is this important? Because they need to be able to filter everything through the lens of scripture. We take the books that don't mention God, and point out God's absence in the book. This is so crucial God is absent in our culture. This is one of the major sins of Romans 1--they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer. He is simply pushed aside from virtually all television, radio, movies, books, cartoons, children's books, our schools, the work place--He is absent. And this is horrifying and God-belittling and is the epitome of sin. But most people hardly realize it. I want my children to see it and thereby be inoculated against it. I want them to acknowledge God. So, we look at God's absence and talk about it, and we bring God into it. Take Pippi Longstocking--God is absent in Pippi-Longstocking. I do not want my daughter thinking that it is ever okay to conceive of God being absent anywhere, so we bring scriptural truths to bear on stories about Pippi-Longstocking, for example. Literature exists for God.

The Bible tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. We are to look at what is not seen. I want to train my children to look at Jesus--all the time. I want to train them to see God, to be passionate for His glory, and to permeate their lives with Christ and His truths. Children who prefer God are salt and light. Children who prefer God are beacons testifying to His glory.

So that is what I am doing to cause my children to be salt and light to a dark world. I want them to be articulate, God-centered, Bible-saturated, Christ-minded, Spirit-led, highly-educated people who are willing to go to the hardest places on earth and lay down their lives for the nations who have not heard. I want them to treasure Christ more than they treasure their own lives, and in doing so bring glory to God as the world looks on and considers Jesus as valuable because they see my children preferring Him over life itself.

And I am pouring out my life to that end--in raising and training the children that God has entrusted to me, for His glory. I will answer to Him for my stewardship of the children He has given me. More than anything I want Him to say, Well done.