Yes, Christmas IS coming too, but what I'm talking about is this amazing collaboration kit called ONE NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM - a shared work of well over a dozen talented and generous designers.
This kit will come available for FREE download over the first part of December. Please share the good news with all your scrapping friends - its going to be well worth it. Keep your eyes tuned right here to see a list of all the creators of this magical - spiritual themed kit!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thank you Yaxin and family for a fun and relaxing (and informative) evening!
Monday, November 26, 2007
I hope this is the beginning to a good week for everyone! I know I'm talking to a bunch of 'turkey tummies' for those of you who live in the USA, with Thanksgiving just behind you. I can smell the mouth-watering scent of homemade turkey soup and casseroles drifting over the border. Hopefully the long weekend gave you a good rest (other than frantic Black Friday shopping) and that you are refreshed and ready for the upcoming busy month leading up to Christmas.
We had our first few flakes of snow fall on Saturday. Nothing that hit the ground, or changed my world to white magic. But enough to get me thinking about making my Christmas Cards, making a List – and checking it twice and to haul out the decorations. I'm planning to decorate using as much natural materias as I can. The first day of 'real snow', when it happens, I've made Miles promise to rent Polar Express. That is one of the most beautiful movies to me. I won't allow myself to watch it but once a year so that it's a fresh treat for my eyes!
a face... I SEE A FACE! do YOU see the face?
will this become another tourist attraction to our town?
Miles picked it out one day, down by our fountain in town.
Speaking of decorating, you may want to check out the new Christmas themed desktop wallpapers available at Vladstudio! There are several themes to help you welcome in winter. Just click here to be taken to the studio.
the fountain in town...
much prettier frozen than flowing LOL!
Now is also a good time to pick out various bulbs to 'force' for over the holidays. Paperwhites, are Amaryllis and Narcissus are good choices. If you've never done this before, you may want to visit Martha Stewart's site to read (and print) an article, or watch the informational video provided.
You can get to the article there by clicking here.
You can get to the video there by clicking here.
Actually – the entire Martha site is a great resource for all your Christmas craft ideas!
grasses all frosty from an 'inversion' we saw this weekend!
Another thing we see arriving in the stores are pomegranates. I've been intrigued by these beautiful fruits since I was a child. I came across an article in a magazine the other day which explained how to properly get inside of one – and since, upon searching the internet, I've located the same information, along with some pictures. Oh how much easier and neater this looks than the way I've dealt with them in the past. To find out more about these fascinating fruit (which were brought over by the Spanish to California waaayy long ago) just click here. There are some delicious sounding recipes available on the site too! Click here to visit.
Miles and I are still making our way through the second Chapter of The Beautiful Fight, by Dr. Gary Chapman (link to the right) In this chapter, Dr. Thomas is asking us to try to visualize Christ living in us using the parallel of how we sometimes can be the recipients of organ donors. Did you ever think of it in this way? I think its a very powerful way to call it to my attention. I'm a 'visual' learner and I can completely relate to the way he demonstrates his idea. Breifly, he tells us how a famous sports hero became the recipient of an organ from the body of a 44 year old housewife. The sports hero met the family of the deceased woman (a loved wife and mother) and through the sports hero sharing his story, the donor became 'famous' too, through his – her memory lives on. Dr. Thomas is asking us to visualize Christ living in us as no less of a 'physical thing' for us. We should be conscious of Him inside us as we live and go through each day. Try to think of His Spirit within as a physical thing.
I hope I'm doing the book justice to this point – I'm afraid that though I understand what I'm reading, its not always easy for me to re-share it out in a clear manner. Perhaps the following may help, after all, its always good to follow up with supporting scripture!
“For the Scriptures declare
that rivers of living water shall flow
from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me.”
Don't you know
that you yourselves
are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16
It is strange we go on living our everyday lives -
So carelessly, stumbling, dully we plod
Our commonplace paths, and forget that we walk
Every day, every hour, in the presence of God.
Martha Snell Nicholson
(in other words - live joyously,
knowing that God LIVES IN US
its not merely a thought
its as real as the hand on the end of your arm!)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This video of the Lego Scorpion is the only video that is mine... I see there are some more videos linked - I must have clicked a button somewhere... just disregard the others!
We had this critter running about in our kitchen the other day. Miles has been working part of his school hours with the Gifted Kids in the district, and they are learning all about robots. They've been putting together some of the Lego Mindstorm sets, and they are very fascinating and interesting. These robots can detect color, light, noise and I don't know what all else... except they are amazing. Half of the kids made a regular robot kind of guy, while the others made scorpions. The girls in the class are just as keen as the boys. The robots can be programmed differently, and modified, and the kids have already morphed the stinger into a catapult!
I have to relate a story Miles told me about one of the girls in the class. Bear in mind these girls are between grades 3- 5. They spent one session exploring architecture, and the lesson challenged them to make structures out of straws. The guys - in their guys way of thinking, even at such a young age, just went ahead and built functional and not so exciting looking structures which did what they were supposed to do. The one girl, she was fussing so much that Miles softly said " (name), good grief, this isn't a Barbie Doll House!" The girl buried her face in her hands, shoulders quaking and Miles was thinking "OH my GOODNESS - I've brought her to tears, how insensitive of me!"...
...only to discover she was laughing her little head off - and we all know what its like when a grade 3-5'er gurl gets the giggles! (wink)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
"Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art"
Just recently, a friend of ours disclosed her age to us. Upon my telling her we were merely a year apart in age, she commented “Gee – look what you have to look forward to” (speaking about the wrinkles in her face) Really, her wrinkles are not too bad. Actually, I'd not truly noticed them before she pointed it out. Her eyes simply glow with life, and her manner is so young and enthusiastic that the lines on her face were probably simply airbrushed out of my comprehension somewhere between my eyes, ears and heart. I wanted to say "Gurlfriend, you look beautiful to me"... but I knew she wasn't really wanting to hear my platitudes.
It makes me sad that she places such emphasis and importance on her physical looks. It causes me to think about people who work in the movie and television or modeling industry. It must be so difficult to age when your entire life is lived around a certain image of youthfulness... so much so that people do serious and stupid things to try to keep hold of the image of youth – even when they ARE old! Too sad that when someone's so busy getting 'nipped and tucked', or buying whatever new beauty product which promises to 'take ten years off' – that they miss the REWARDS that come with age.
And really – I mean come on, some women who have repeated plastic surgery, well they look like a cat when you pull the skin back on it's face. There's something almost evil looking about them. Come on, you know what I mean? There's always some extra tightness about them... just does NOT look natural! And I was thinking – like if you had one of those nips and tucks where there were some small scars and you had to go round maintaining a certain angle so no one would see... Oh, each thing would beget another thing which you would expend a great deal of energy on trying to fool people.
Yes, I do color my hair. I won't do that always. Eventually I'll go gray. When I'm 100% gray to start. I don't like the in between stage. I know some women in my life who have all gray hair and it looks lovely, in fact it creates a radiance to their face I don't see with colored hair.
I draw my own line at buying cosmetics which peel etc. No acids, natural or otherwise on this face. I am not fake-tanning. I loved the look and feel when I did do that in the past but one of the gifts of aging is the realization that a few extra years on my life would be a better choice than skin cancer.
Age is a quality of mind,
If you have left your dreams behind,
If hope is cold,
If you no longer look ahead,
If your ambitious fires are dead,
Then you are old.
Another gift I intend to embrace, is being able to relax a little. I'm not saying that I won't dress up and look nice (specially for my sweet husband!) - but I'm going to enjoy the particular beauty that comes with aging. I honestly believe there is a unique beauty for every age. I wonder if some of the women who choose to 'arrest' their physical appearence to a certain age get emotionally messed up because of it? Do they then try to modify their actions and personality to further fool others? Are they really just fooling themselves in the end?
Actually, I had two young women from my church demand to see my driver's licence recently because they could not reconcile the 14 year difference between what they thought my age to be, and what it actually is. Now, I would be lying to tell you that I wasn't flattered on some level, but its merely on a superficial level. How much more do I treasure compliments in regard to my 'inside self'. I think the accolades for these qualities are acknowledgments of God working in me, and when God's working in me – the outside no longer matters at all! Its just a shell! I know some people who are physically attractive who are like a worm eaten apple – and yet others (most of the population, really) who glow from the inside out, so you define a beauty from about them which overcomes anything reflected in their features.
Charm is deceptive,
and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
What you see on the outside of any human body is a skin which covers an imperfect being... sort of like going to a library and making assumptions on the content of each book MERELY by its cover. Some are pretty straightforward, and give a good indication, while others are nothing on the outside compared to the contents within. Guess I would have you ask yourself this question. If you were going through a tough emotional time, would you rely on someone you know on the basis of their outward good looks, or would you choose someone who's beauty you've felt from within? Someone who's beauty is formed partly by how they 'dress' themselves with genuine compassion and caring which comes from inside?
Then, no matter what lengths some women go to – at some logical point, they are OLD – no two ways about it. What happens when it all fails? They go from a 50 year old looking 70 year old woman, to a 70 year old looking 90 year old? At some point, old is old. Then who are you fooling? And how much of your living have you eaten up simply to fool other people, who if they loved you simply on your physical appearence did not really love YOU at all?
"So long as enthusiasm lasts, so long is youth still with us."
No, far better than spending your time trying to fool the clock, why not invest that time into the relationships in your lives? What if you took all the effort and money you could have spent on your own beauty, and blessed your family, someone dear or a needy person. You would become immortal perhaps. You would be remembered for far, far longer than even your physical death. Its so important to invest in your family, because eventually when you do become OLD, you will still have your loving family... who will make you feel youthful by sharing the memories you've built with them!
So, to my friend who was warning me about what to expect as my body ages... I'm so ready – I will think of each line in my face as a road on the map of life. Each wrinkle will represent something which I've lived through – some good things, some bad, but each one earned through an experience which enriched or taught me. As each fold is added to my countenence, I'll come to realize that nobody loves me less for how I look. I could compare skin to leather – which looks so nice and shiny when it's new – becomes softer, supple and nicer with age – much more useful, valuable and comfortable, I'd say.
As for old age, embrace and love it. It abounds with pleasure if you know how to use it. The gradually (I do not say rapidly) declining years are amongst the sweetest in a mans life; and I maintain, that even where they have reached the extreme limit, they have their pleasure still.
Barb's "Furry Nice' Christmas frames!
Thought I would revive these furry nice frames from my christmas vault - so real looking you will want to 'pet' them. Come to think of it, they would be idea to frame your favorite ... pet. LOL - Enjoy!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Barb's Rope RV Element
I know this will be a highly specialized element – but I love filling requests and I recently had one from a blog reader – so here you go! I'm still taking requests, if you have something you would like to see. I did have a comment (anonymous) who asked where one might download some of my older elements. I don't have them hosted anywhere, but if there might be something in particular you would like to see revived, let me know and I'll go up into the (virtual) dusty attic and dig it out for giveaway again.
Awwwwwwwww - I got and awwwwarrrrd!
I gots another awarrrrddddd (skipping about in my bloomers with flower petals flying all about and its a nice spring day with downy ducks and sunshine – well you get the picture of how excited I get to recieve an award) My friend and constant encourager and nice/naughty blog buddy (lil angel/w/horns) KIM B. Thank you Kim for considering me oh so worthy, and for managing to award it at a time I really needed the 'pick-me-up'... I will pay it forward to someones 'peshul and nice and wunnerful in the next blog entry! Case you might be one of the one or two people who have not visited Kim before, you better scoot over there right quick to see what kind of a high quality goodie she's giving away today!
What an odd, odd week. I feel sort of “Alice in Wonderland” - like. Nothing is as it seems, seems to be the rule of everything happening about me. I'm hardly trying to be creative as whenever I open a graphics program all the inspiring ideas I've been ruminating on simply fly out of my head, and my hands hover over the graphics tablet and my mind goes “Ack!”
Good rule (reiterated to me by so many of you wonderful, encouraging freinds, family and folkses) is to just take some time off. So I'm taking your advice to heart and am going to allow myself till the end of this week to just play! Thanks so much for each and every comment and email I've been sent. I've used the past few days to clean house (mentally and physically), cook, walk about in the wilderness (mentally and physically too), read lotsa magazines, chat and pray with friends, have deep, hot bubble baths. Why is it we have such a difficult time allowing ourselves “time off” - especially in my case where I have no formal physical job? Perhaps this is part of the problem. If I had a 9-5, I would then consider the after hours and weekends as 'time off'
So I've been treating myself to little forays outside, camera in hand, seeking to capture what November has to delight me with. I did a little study of my own shadow as it falls on the carpet of golden leaves, and on the trunk of a ponderosa pine tree. I'm borrowing this idea from my friend Becky's photography. She captured her own shadow in a terrific photo last fall. Had I not seen hers I wouldn't have thought to consider my shadow an actual subject.
Remember that old, old song "Me and my Shadow"?
I was studying the bible this morning, in particular, Matthew 8:5-13. Several things popped out at me, that I'd not considered in any depth before.
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
The first thing which caught my attention was the fact that this Centurion would be bold enough to step out of his comfort zone, and in faith, approach Jesus to ask him to heal his servant. In the first place, this servant must have a special place in the centurion's heart and home to have caused such concern from his 'boss'. Even accepting the fact centurion valued his servant, its amazing that the centurion would step out in boldness to approach Jesus for the healing. Wow. So we have two powerful things going on here – compassion and faith.
The second thing that stood out for me today was the centurion's acknowledgement that he held Jesus in such high regard and admiration that he felt he did not 'deserve' (verse 8) to have Jesus come under his own roof. He respected Jesus, and believed so completely in Him, that he was convinced he could be helped merely by asking Jesus and accepting His words as an order done! Wow x2! Imagine that – it completely sets Jesus apart from any 'earthly' physicians, that he heals with merely a word! Ahhh, but even at that, it took the faith of the Centurian to complete the task – as you'll see in my next rumination.
So, the centurion has asked, Jesus has listened and the bible tells us that Jesus was... astonished, was amazed, was taken aback, marvelled at, was surprised, was surprised at, did wonder, he wondered, was surprised and did wonder at, and wondered. (depending on which version of the bible you're reading from) Yes, Jesus was impressed with the centurion for having such complete faith, so much so he used the centurion as an example to those who He was speaking to – and he urged the centurion to go home to find his servant healed.
This was my first time reading that Jesus was amazed BY anyone. I don't rightly know if there is anywhere else in the bible that Jesus speaks to other people about being impressed by a man. The only other time I can locate Jesus being amazed by men, it was Him being amazed at their LACK of faith. Do you think we have a faith Jesus will be impressed with? I would love to know your thougths about this!
Coconut Curry Turban Squash Casserole
So, I mentioned that |I was cookin' yesterday... I made seven little casseroles and man, were they delish! I'm sorry that I can't give you any actual measurements because I didn't write them down... I have a bad habit of 'guess-tulating' when I am whipping up for the first time. This is what I did, as far as I remember:
I chopped up a whole bunch of cubes of one of those turban squashes, then I mixed 1 can coconut milk, chicken stock (dry) curry, slight touch cumin, squish of fresh ginger - in garlic press, and poured it over the cubes in the bottom of cute (single serving) casseroles. Next, I browned a lb of gr bf and three cloves minced garlic... then I ground up 2 tbsp coriander seed, 1tsp 5 spice powder, black pepper, 1 tbsp curry in a coffee grinder and tossed that in. Then I mixed up another can of coconut milk, 1/2 can water, more chicken stock powder, more ginger squishes and 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley. Then, I added two packages of the dry bread cubes from a stuffing mix (but not the spices) Oh, and 1 tsp dijonaisse kraft mayo and several over-generous shakes of grated parmesan cheese. Mix well! Then, I topped the squash with the stuffing/beef mix and placed it ontop of the squash cubes. This filled the dishes nicely. I put the lids on, put them all on one big cookie sheet, poured water all round them to 1/2 inch depth and baked for 45 min at 350. Then I took the lids off, baked for another 10 min. Mmmm – this recipe was a hands-down success!
A couple of things to share with you after my gleaning of magazines yesterday:
I find my skin gets very dry (and itchy) in winter weather so I was interested to find a tip to help with this. The article I read says to add a few tablespoons of cider vinegar to your bathwater. Another article said to have short showers, rather than bathing at all. Have you heard of other remedies for this problem?
Now, the second thing I'll share an idea which might prove valuable to all you EARLY shoppers (ya YOU Valinda...) (Valinda also gives a neat freebie almost daily folks - better check in there too!) I thought a very neat gift idea – personal stamps! I mean, what else do you buy for someone who has anything? So I just thought to put that idea out to you now, before the big rush is on! If you're in Canada click here
and if you live in the USA click here
I also found a site which I thought was neat and helpful for parents who feel passionately about certain things regarding their children – and would like to 'advertise' so... so if you are such a parent e.g.
Radical parents aren’t afraid to take a stand, especially when it comes to their children’s health. Some parents don’t want their kids to eat sugar. Some parents don’t want their kids' vaccines to contain junk like mercury. Some parents don't want their kids to ingest steroids in their dairy products. Some parents are radical parents which means they aren't afraid to stand out from the rest. Then you will love the 'please don't feed my sugar' website, where they offer t-shirts which hit the point home in a visual way. Just click here to visit.
One way-confused cricket... outside in NOVEMBER?
GO HIBERNATE, little insect!
I heard a few articles on NPR Radio in the past few days, which you might find interesting! The first article is about some cockroach robots that a scientist created so that he could study the habits of cockroaches. I won't go into details because you can listen to the entire article (in audio) by clicking here.
The other article is one about a new (and very strange) dinosaur which was discovered in the Sahara desert recently – called a Mesozoic Cow – it is built entirely different than any found before! Just click here to the article and see a rendition of what scientists think it must have looked like.
Well, I guess I've said 'nuff for today. If I don't blog again over the weekend, have a good one folks!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
November carries a beauty all of it's own... as I walk outdoors I notice the shift of lighting. The lake seems bluer – must be the contrast of the bright yellow leaves of the cottonwood trees in the foreground. Each leaf seems punched out crisply as they flutter precariously at the ends of each branch. The branches themselves give them up reluctantly – but when they do, the leaves dance away on the sharp, biting wind. They caper in the draughts as if they're playing to a conductor's wand as he directs a dramatic piece of music.
They settle in a golden layer, covering the green grass beneath. Once the ground begins to claim them, they start to fade to brown, in spots and splashes until eventually they're merely spidery brown skeletons upon a soggy stem. And then, they're nature's porrige – nutrients and a protection for the grass to be fed upon when spring is ushered in the following year.
On the trails I find an intriguing micro-world has come to life! What appears the eye as a blanket of mouldering brown fodder is suddenly tranformed to a three-dimentional mushroomscape! Due to the large mass their 'lids' hold, they simply lift whatever's on the roof when their stems push upward. The result is a canopy of leaves, grass and even gravel, ground – just off the ground. Its almost like a trick of the eye – only the persistant and patient eye gains the reward!
So this is part of the beauty that November has for me. Stay tuned for more!
Words of Wisdom I've read today:
1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
I hope you enjoy this fall poem which came to my attention recently:
My father was first to hear
The passage of geese each fall,
Passing above the house so near
He'd hear within his heart their call.
And then at breakfast time he'd say:
“The geese were heading south last night,”
For he'd lain awake till day,
Feeling his earthbound soul take flight.
Knowing that winter's wind comes soon
After rushing off those wings,
Seeing them pass before the moon,
Recalling the lure of far off things.
My brother Barry (see my Sis-in-Law's blog) sent me these thoughts to ponder...
Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in America ......do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
Only in America do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
Only in America ......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
Only in America ......do we use the word 'politics' to describe the process so well: 'Poli' in Latin meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.
Only in America ... .do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.
EVER WONDER ....
Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin ?
Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?
Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?
Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
Barb's Rope Camping Elements
These are the last of the REQUESTS for rope elements I've recieved... please, leave a comment if you have a rope-y request, I'm game!
Barb's Handy Tip #314
Transform Pixel to Vector – online!
Wow – handy little site I must say! This would be of good use for some of you scrapbookers, in particular!
This site converts bitmap images to vector art - it's an online auto-tracer. Just upload your image and we will vectorize it for you. Vector art is useful because it allows you to scale an image without making it blurry or pixelated. Vectorization (aka tracing) is the process of converting a raster image to a vector image. Raster images are pixel-based, whereas vector images are represented by geometric shapes such as lines, circles and curves. The site is currently tuned for tracing logos and photos.
Input: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF
Output: EPS, SVG, PNG
(click words for some...)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Barb's Rope Horse Element
As the days grow cold and dim with November's chill breath I'm finding my spiritual self 'losing my leaves' as a tree does – and I'm like the barren branches, scratching the sky for the 'more' that my soul is seeking after. There's turbulence in my innermost parts these days and I simply don't know how to deal with it.
Its not about God, its not about my Faith in Him. I DO believe, with all my heart. I'm just at a 'jumping off place', a 'fork in the road' trying to decide whats my next decision. Oh, how easy it would be to just be complacent and stay static, doing what I'm doing – but again, the danger there is I would get what I would get, y'know? And what I'm getting right now is simply not enough. This makes me incredibly sad inside because its scary to accept the cold hard facts because, as our Pastor recently preached, it means you then have to DO something with that. Its time to quit flying under the radar – time to get radical in doing. I'm not sure what this exactly means for me.
God has given you incredible potential.
Don't be afraid to take risks.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity,
but a spirit of power,
of love and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
My emotions have been in a turmoil for a while. I've prayed about it. I've tried analyzing it. I've prayed with my husband about it – for what affects one in a marriage has a direct bearing on the other. Thankfully, my husband supports me 100%. For this, I'm completely broken.
Anything that makes you pray, is a blessing.
“Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you,
and you will honor me.”
I've come to know that many non-Christians will find this hard to understand. I've have discovered that there's a misconception that once a person becomes a Christian, they no longer have the same problems the rest of the world does. And even more alarming, that if we should have a problem, then we will automatically react differently than non-believers. Well, in a perfect world that would be. And in most cases, the closer we walk to God then it is readily evident. But then again, we are human. We are all sinners. Nobody's perfect. And even though we LOVE our brothers and sisters, we don't always LIKE them. And not all LIKE us back.
Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.
“But if we confess our sins to Him,
He can be depended on to forgive us
and to cleanse us from every wrong.”
1 John 1:9
I think what runs us into trouble, is trusting in people, rather than in Jesus. People will always let us down, whether we believe that or not – its by our very nature. So we set ourselves up for disappointment by merely having expectations of others. When we try to conform others to our way of thinking they will always come up short. At some point, its wise to just accept one another. Love one another, but accept each other for the way we are. Accept and move on. Unless you marry someone. Then, you should have expectations – high expectations... OF YOURSELF. Expect you can be the best for your mate – without exception. Work out being your best to the person you promise yourself to. (I'm not talking about abusive relationships)
So begins a journey for me right now. I'm taking a breather from whats 'normal' in my life. I'm taking some time out to explore my options. And I'm finding confirmation that God has something in the works for me. I'm receiving affirmation from so many places – and it frightens and excites me all at the same time.
Victory is gained only through conflict.
“For whatever is born of God
overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that overcomes the world,
1 John 5:4
One of the sources which presented itself to me in the past few days, was the arrival of an Advance Reader Copy of Dr. Gary Thomas's newest book – The Beautiful Fight (link to the left if you would like to learn more) Miles and I've begun to delve into it, and right from the first chapter it's carrying a powerful message. Its making me realize immediately how I was placing so much emphasis on morality that I'm almost missing the point of what God really wants me to experience. I'm measuring my faith so much by what I'm not doing out of love and respect for God, that I can't see past that. I can get so hung up on whats 'correct' and 'not correct' to the extreme that I could not move beyond. Its time for me to find out the 'more' that He has waiting for me. I must be unafraid to embrace whatever God will have us doing in the future, even if this means change – or just a change of attitude within myself.
You can't see around the corners – but God Can (Robert A. Cook)
“Show me the path where I should go,
O Lord, point out the right road for me to walk.”
Gary Thomas is hoping his book will aid in seeking a Return to Splendor – the splendor and passion which moved Christians of the past to declare and stand up for their faith – even when it cost them their lives. An unshakable, steadfast and joyous faith which defined their very lives.
Yeah, who does not desire a faith like this, a walk like this? Are we really living when we are scared to die for it? I'm dying to live this way.
I want to be like Jesus.
What about you? Are you content with your faith today? Is it fluid? All encompassing? If it's not 'more' for you today, are you willing to face it to make a change? If you're a non-Christian, what are your expectations of a Christian? I'd love to hear from you!
I'll share more about The Beautiful Fight as we read more. I know Sacred Marriage was the most powerful marriage book my husband and I've ever come across (and believe me, we've read many!) So we have a great anticipation this book will be of good value to read.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTER!
(click to see larger!)
All 'stuff' from Shabby Princess Harvest Spice Kit
You know, blogging comes pretty natural to me - I can usually just sit down and compose something in a short amount of time, but I feel out to sea at what to write for my sister's birthday post. See, my Sis is way younger than me - used to be I felt we were an entire generation apart even. Not to the point that she was in diapers and I in Depends, but somewhere in between that.
Time does some magical stuff, and the best thing its done is brought us together as we share 'adulthood' together. In the past decade I've come to know and love her in a whole new way, with a whole new appreciation. Whats more amazing yet, is I don't just LOVE this woman I call my sister, but I really LIKE her too!
I'm sure I was jealous of you Nina, when you were a girl... after all, I was the only girl in a family of six boys before you popped on the scene. Not only, but you were so DARN CUTE! If I think back in my mind, I always see you in that kindergarten picture with long blonde pigtails and the funny, sweet, lopsided grin. You stole my Daddy's heart - something I coveted dearly, so I'm sure in my green monster (envy) reared up. How silly silly silly of me - I missed out on so much with you. But life is lived forward, and I'm just so grateful we can make up for lost time! You're not just my sister, you're my friend.
I pray you have a wonderful day - my heart will be with you today!
Here's a little sweet thought for your day:
to be kind;
to earn a little
and to spend a little less;
to make, upon the whole,
a family happier for his presence;
to renounce, when that shall be necessary,
and not be embittered;
to keep a few friends,
but these without capitulation;
above all, in the same condition,
to keep friends with himself;
here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Happy Birthday Candy!
Smile - Dz- QuoteChallenge
Polaroid: Scarlett heels
Beautiful Rage (red) - scarlett heels
netterscrapalpha - scarlett heels
redalpha - scarlett heels
Brown Branches - DCD Harvest Time Pt. 1
Miles Gets Spoiled!
So the cake got baked on Monday. It was a three-mix affair, two chocolate fudge, one rainbow bits. Nutella filling and peach pineapple jam for the big one. See, there were two cakes... a 'spoiler' cake to fool him, and then the big one.
Everything which COULD go wrong, DID go wrong while I was baking. My friend Becky, tho she was here while I made it, was next door for a bit, for which I am grateful for as I'm sure it resembled a cement plant over here. It was so bad that I had to completely vacuum my kitchen after - I don't know how I got so much stuff everywhere.
So I made a tiny cake - cut off the end of a slab, and decorated it special. The big cake got decorated and sent to a friends house to keep till Wednesday. On Monday's Miles practices Worship music with a friend from our church, so that night was the fooler, as we presented Miles with the miniature cake. I told him I cut the cake into portions and froze the rest so's not to wreck his waistline. So he figured that was that.
Tuesday night I quietly 'informed' people at the school that we would ambush him at the potluck and 'please, don't mention it'... which of course someone did and felt terrible. But I did a quick cover for that one too. The long and short of it is that I did manage to take him completely by surprise on Wednesday - got the monster cake in by my friend B. giving me a ride! It turned out to be a very fun time, and tho my sweety is shy and retiring, I know he was touched. Thanks to all who helped me pull this off.
PS - I could not bring myself to actually eat the monstrosity of a cake...
BARB'S 'HOWDY' COWBOY HAT
And, andandand... it was KIM'S birthday too - and I'm grovelling at you my good friend. You have been so hugely awesome to me - and I still plan to do something nice for ya, but could you please move your birthday just a tad so it does not fall so close to my husband, sister and nieces? Or at least alert me a month ahead! I will find some special way to spoil you yet - I'll make you your own KIM day, k? I'm sure everybody in the scrapping universe knows it was your milestone day, but just in case not, then please hop over and leave some belated birfday hugs for my friend!
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