Sunday, December 31, 2006

I Pray you all have A Happy and Safe New Year

I am trying to throw a party together at the last minute! A few friends that I sing with plus my son and daughter-in-law are coming over tonight at 7:00 p.m.

I really didn't want to go anywhere tonight so the next best thing is to have friends over to my house.

I pray all of you have a blessed night ringing in the New Year. I won't have much time today or tomorrow for blogging so

"Happy New Year to you all".

Please be safe and smart tonight.

"See" you in the New Year!
December 31, 2006

My thoughts on New Year's Resolutions


I have heard many people say "I never make New Year's Resolutions, anymore," or they say "I never keep them, anyway." I can remember all too many resolutions I've made and let slip away, too. But I believe New Year's resolutions are worth making. Let me tell you why.

I posted yesterday how I was going to ponder through the weekend some changes that I want to make for 2007. I remember last year around this time of year, I was at a friend's house and another friend asked us what our New Year's resolution was going to be. I froze, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to change or try to change in the New Year. This year I have pondered for several days the changes I want to try and make in my life.

First, we all need changes. Some we find very hard to admit to ourselves. I've heard people say, "I have no regrets about my life. If I had it to do over, I'd do it the same way again." But that attitude is way too blind and self-serving as far as I'm concerned. There is great power in confession--to ourselves, to God, to others. Owning up to our failures is the first, painful step on the road to something better.
I have so many regrets in my life, so many things I would change if I could. I look back over my life and I see pain I have brought on others, I have said things to offend people, sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Yet, He is always there to forgive me. I want to make changes for a God like that.


Second, I think when we change calendars we should look to see how we can make changes in ourselves. How did last year go? What do I want to do differently this year? This time of year always reminds me of a passage of scripture: "Break up your unplowed ground, and do not sow among thorns" (Jer 4:3). It makes sense. The more land you put into production, the more prosperous you'll be. But some of us are stupid enough to try to sow seeds in land overrun by star thistle without breaking up the soil and taking care to root out the thorns as they come up. Call it laziness. Call it stupidity. Call it whatever you wish but changes can be made and lessons learned if we take a look at what things we did or didn't do last year.


Third, New Year's is an excellent time to think about and change things in our lives that we see needing our attention. Sure, we might fail in what we set out to do, but if we fail to plan, then we plan to fail. We can't be fearful of failure or how will we e grow. Failure is not the end. For the person who determines to learn from it, failure is a friend. I don't take failure well but I really do try to learn from my failures and do something about them.

I like to look at the Apostle Paul; Talk about failure! Throughout his life he was opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, deserted by trusted co-workers, slandered, and scorned. Sometimes it seemed that projects to which he had devoted years were turning to dust before his eyes. But during from one of his stints in prison, we can see from one of his letters an unwillingness to quit. "Forgetting what is behind," he wrote, "and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13-14, NIV) No wonder he made a mark on his world. He stopped looking back, and looked forward instead. He didn't let the fear of failure keep him from trying again.

Fourth, New Year's is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God. I have to admit I am very independent and don't turn to many people for help. I think I can do things all by myself and don't even turn to the Master as often as I should. I am too proud and driven for that. There is another way: I need to begin to trust in God's help. One more secret from the Apostle Paul: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength," he said (Phil 4:13, NIV). And God's strength saw him through a lot--through pain, through joy, and through accomplishment.

If this last year, you didn't practice relying on the Lord as much as you should have, there is no time like the present to make a New Year's resolution. In fact, I am going to say a short prayer right now-"Dear God, I want the new year to be different for me." I want to turn to you more for the things in my life that need changing. "Lord Jesus, I know that I'm going to need a lot of help for this. So right now I place myself in your hands. Help me to receive Your strength. Amen."

Happy New Year

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Christmas Week!

I am feeling so much better this evening than I have in days. I have just the slightest headache now. I was feeling so bad earlier in the week I had to not go into my Janitors job. This is very unlike me to not go into work.

Thank you for all of your prayers.

Last week was a very busy week for me, trying to get all of my Christmas shopping done and still work all three of my jobs, attend a party Saturday evening, host a Christmas Eve party after church on Sunday and have people over for Christmas day. I also had to prepare and sing three specials with the trio I am in for our Christmas Eve morning service and still lead Worship. Something had to go so sleep went out the window.

This old body told me never to attempt something like that again. It was so bad Christmas morning on my motor route I had to put my children on the speaker phone and ask them to take turns talking to me so I could stay awake and not get into an accident on my route. It is such an awful feeling to keep falling asleep while you are driving. My body just didn't want to stay awake! That was not a wise or mature thing to do on my part.

I had a get together on Christmas Eve for my mother-in-law's sake. Her sister is dying of cancer and instead of coming to our house on Christmas day she wanted to drive down to see her sister and spend Christmas day with her. I knew my children would want to see there Grandma and give her the gifts they bought for her, so I had her and my brother-in-law over for a Christmas Eve party. I knew they would leave around the time my husband had to leave for work so I thought this would work out just fine and give me time to wrap the rest of the gifts for everyone and still get a little sleep.

As my son and daughter-in-law were leaving out the back door, friends of ours from Tennessee were coming in the front door. I loved seeing them and I am not complaining that they stopped in to see us. They were very dear friends of mine. My children spent a great deal of time at their house when I was home schooling. Karen would keep my boy's while I did the motor route. They stayed for about 3 hours! They left about 8:30 p.m. and I still had to clean up my house, make all of my pies, wrap the rest of the gifts, get the stockings put together and put all the gifts for our children under the tree in some order so we would be able to had them out the next morning.

My husband came home from work around 12:30 a.m. and put all the stocking together for me so I could lie down for and hour. I was able to get ever thing done before I had to leave for work at 2:30 a.m.

Christmas day went just fine; I was able to keep going with a lot of help from coffee. Our guest all came over around 2:00 p.m. we had Christmas dinner, opened presents and ate desert before having to leave to attend a Christmas gathering at 7:00 p.m. at my Step-dad's and mom's house for Christmas with my family, all 50 of us. It was loud and crazy with everyone opening present but I have to say I loved every minute of it.

I am ready for a year before we celebrate Christmas again. : )

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Very under the Weather Today

I had a very enjoyable Christmas this year. I think the children received almost everything they asked for. I'm a bit under the weather today so I'm not going to write much. I think my 3 hours of sleep over 4 days did me in. I slept for 12 hours last night but I still feel pretty bad today. I have a very bad headache and an upset stomach.(Maybe I over ate just a bit) I feel like I have a hang over but I don't drink.



I'll journal as soon as I feel human again.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas













I am just finishing up all my gift wrapping. I have pies in the oven and am very excited to fill all the Christmas stocking. I pray all of you have a wonderful Christmas.

The Birth of Christ

Christ is born
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to the city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end."

Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name, Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

So this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying: "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emanuel, which is translated, God with us." Then Joseph being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And called His name, Jesus.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirnius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up out of Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and of the lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea on the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who had been born the King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered together all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So the said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the Prophet: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel." Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found him, bring back word to me, the I may come and worship Him also." When they heard the king, they departed; and behold the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

And when they had come into the manger, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, the presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, the departed for the own country another way.

Now there were in the country, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, the angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring great tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. Now when they had seen Him, the made widely known the saying which was told to them concerning the Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them.

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, And the government shall be upon His shoulders. And His name will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice, from that time forward, even forever."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I am ready for the Christmas Eve Event!

Wow!!!

What a week I have had! It has been very busy around my house this week. With shopping, trio practice, Worship Team practice, my Grandson's fourth Birthday party, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events to prepare for. I haven't had much time to blog this week.

I have been very busy today, with more shopping this morning, a trip to the Bank, and Roy's BB to get BB sandwich stuff for tomorrow. (That was done all before noon.

This afternoon brought more fun; I went and got the rest of my gift card's I will be handing out tomorrow and Christmas day. I than had to go to work, practice with the trio I am in, went to my grandson's Birthday party at 5:30, home at 9:00 p.m., make sloppy Joes for tomorrow, cleaned my entire down stairs of my house, including vacuuming and waxing all my floors. I am now waiting for my floors to dry so I can walk on them.

I have to still get church clothes out for tomorrow for myself and my children and then it is off to work with me. I have to be at church at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow for Worship Team practice and sound check. There will be no Sunday school tomorrow or next Sunday so I don't have to be there as early as usual.

After church tomorrow we will have our Christmas Eve celebration with my Mother-in-law, Brother-in-law, my oldest son and his family and all of my children. It sounds like it wouldn't be a big deal but I have 6 children and three grandchildren. Just a small gathering is big at my house.

Well I'd better get out of here and get busy.

Happy Christmas Eve to all of you!

Poor Church

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

Not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus.. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the
pews and stare, and the pastor wonder ed why he wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home for the 35 years since then.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid

Who says God does not work in mysterious ways.. I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today, to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you, His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares you know He will see us through.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Dinner

Don't mind me. I'm just sitting here working on my Christmas day menu. I will be hosting a party on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. On Christmas Eve we will be having my mother-in-law over and my husband’s brother along with my oldest son and his family. They will be traveling on Christmas day so I asked if they could come for a Christmas Eve dinner instead.

On Christmas Day we will be having my oldest son and family, my daughter-in-laws parents, and my daughter-in-laws brother. I am soooo looookkking forward to the fun and fellowship this always brings.

On Christmas Day evening we will be going over to my mom’s with all of my family. There should be over 50 of us there.

Christmas Eve menu
On Christmas Eve it is a tradition at our house to have our favorite foods to eat; so I will be traveling all over to fulfill all of my family’s orders. This will include the following. My husband will also help get all the food.

Barbeque sandwiches from Roy's
Chinese food for my husband at Lucky Kitchens
Taco Bell for some of my boy's
KFC for some more of my children
Sloppy Joes for my Brother-in-law
McDonald’s flurries


Christmas Day menu
Turkey
Ham
Stuffing with gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
White Salad- I have no idea what the name of this salad is but it is white.
Cool whip, Cream Cheese, Crushed Pineapple all mixed together for a yummy white salad. Some people put nuts in it but I don't.
Veggie tray/Relish tray
Corn Casserole

For desert
Apple pie
Pumpkin pie
Chocolate pie
Cheesecake
I would say a tray of my homemade cookies but my children have eaten most of them.

That should just about cover everything for our Christmas dinne

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Profitable Day!

A Profitable Day!
My day has finally coming to and end! I have been going strong since 6:30 a.m. this morning. I started out my day running on our tread mill. I try to run each morning, it really helps me feel good and not put things in my mouth that will destroy all that hard work. I hate very minute of it and can't wait until I'm done but I do it anyway. It also helps keep this old body in some kind of shape. I won't say great but it helps.

After getting all the kids off to school the time came to finish up our Christmas shopping. We went to our local mall; I only go there a few times a year. First, I am not a shopper, I hate shopping really. I guess this is a good thing; it causes me not to spend too much money. Secondly, all the people! I really don't like to be in a crowd of people like the mall at Christmas time.

Annnyyywaayyy, we got most of our shopping done. A few stores in the morning and I think we should be done.

Shopping ended the first time at 12:00 p.m. I had to go to work. After work it was off shopping again. It was off to church with me at 8:30 p.m. for Trio practice, we are singing three songs for our Christmas Eve service. I am now finally home trying to unwind from my day.

All in all I have to say it was a very profitable day.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The big Reunion!

This morning as I watched my nephew received his freedom back after 7 months, I was reminded just how blessed he was to be getting out of Boot camp/Jail and going home to his wife and 3 children.

As I stood in the cold at 7:15 a.m. waiting to see my nephew I saw some of what he went through the last 3 months while in Boot camp/jail. The ladies were standing in stocking feet holding their shoes as punishment for something they had done. There were men doing pushup after pushup for something they had done wrong, some men were carrying big wooden logs around for punishment, while other were carrying big water coolers. They use these methods to discipline those that are not listening or getting out of line. My nephews voice was completely hoarse from all the yelling of "Yes, sir" he had to do. They had five minutes to eat each meal, they couldn't talk or they had to go out and do p/t while the other guys ate, they then got a brown paper sack with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in it for dinner. My nephew said a lot of the guys couldn't take it and they were sent back to prison. I think what they are trying to do is get these young and old men and women to listen and follow orders to break them. My nephew said one guy would get in trouble for talking and have to do p/t and get up and talk again. I think that one will be back in jail or prison soon.

The reunion between Jeremy and Terra was just so touching. It wasn't some big romantic or lustful moment. It was a soft kiss on the lips and them holding each other crying, for what seemed like many minutes. (Well, this is how I saw the whole thing, but this is my journal) It was so very touching. Yes, I couldn't help but start crying along with my sister (Jeremy's mom)

Jeremy had to report right to his probation officer as soon as he left Boot camp. Jeff, Chris (Elder and Elder's wife from our church) and I, went to the Big Boy restaurant to wait for the rest of them to show up. It took over an hour, but the wait to sit and have a meal with Jeremy was well worth it. I think he will be on a tether for 6 months. We will find out more tomorrow when his probation officer meets with him to put the tether on him. She did allow him to go out to eat before going home, this I thought was very good of her.

After we got done at the restaurant, Terra took Jeremy home to see his daughter's. (The baby of course doesn't know what is going on but this is the first time Jeremy has seen his new daughter) Terra didn't tell their 3 year old that daddy was coming home today. What a blessed time I bet that was. I bet it was just as great when his son got off the bus at 4:00 p.m. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to I could have seen the reunion between all of them.

What a Merry Christmas those children will have.

I wanted to write all of this down so I wouldn't forget the details of the days events. When we look back on this in years to come we will be able to "Praise the Lord" for what He has done for this family.

Rejoice!"

Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:
Rejoice!"

I am going to run this morning and than get ready to go and see my nephew graduate from Boot camp. He will get out of Jail at 7:15 a.m. I have to meet Terra, Jeff, Chris and my sister (Jeremy's mom) at 6:00 a.m.

I am sooooo very happy for this family that they get their dad and their husband back right before Christmas.

My dad's sugar was 400 hundred last night. I don't know what is wrong. I am so very upset about him. My mom is beside herself with worry.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Twas the month before Christmas

Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
Why the Politically Correct Police had taken away,

The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a "Holiday"

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!

At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.

The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate "Winter Break" under your "Dream Tree"
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me --

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say --

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holiday!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A little long but worth Reading!

Merry Christmas to you all!


If you have any memory of HARD TIMES, This will have meaning, Merry Christmas!

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though; I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight."

I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.

Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood -- the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks andsplitting.

What was he doing?

Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what? "Yeah," I said, "Why?" "I rode by just
today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt."

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the wood- shed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. "Shoes. They're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunnysacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to the Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? The Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible. Then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a little voice said, "who is it"? It's Jim Dodd and my son Matt, can we come in? Mrs. Jensen opened the door and let us in. A blanket was wrapped around her shoulders and the children were wrapped sitting in front of a small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. The Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children -- sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.

I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out."We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat, and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and the Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us." In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.

I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after the Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down the Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had movedaway.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, 'May the Lord bless you,' I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then
yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.

Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand." I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had givem me a lot more. He gave me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered. And remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Collection

Bo and Josh ended up collecting $230.00 to give to Terra for Christmas. Jess (My daughter-in-law) ran it out to her on Thursday so she would have the money this week to get things she would need before my nephew gets out of Jail. We will go see him Graduate from Boot camp on Tuesday morning at 7:15 a.m. and then Terra can take him home. I guess we (Terra, my sister, an Elder from our church and me) will be going to see him graduate and then take him out to eat before he goes home.

Do keep this family in your prayers please. My nephew will be on probation for 5 years. I don't know what this involves right at the time. I do know that he is only allowed to go to work and go right home for 6 months. He lost his drivers license for a year, I really don't know what else.

My dad is still under going many tests to see what is wrong with him. They are now saying he is a diabetic. My mom had to take him to the doctors yesterday to figure out how to give him shots. Goodness, I don't know what is wrong with him. This all started with him having open heart surgery about 8 months ago. Do pray!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A very special dinner Date!

This new and improved Beta-blogger is really becoming a pain. I can't seem to post on any blog but a few. It is very upsetting! I think they should have worked out the bugs before having people switch over.

It has been a very long day today. I got home late from work and back up early this morning to get the kids off to school. I dropped Bo off at the bus stop and off to work again. My employer didn't tell me he wanted me to wash all of his floors today so I didn't bring my mop. He has four big areas, plus a foyer and two long hallways that have to be mopped. His floor is beautiful, it looks like brick but with a very nice shine on it. I have never seen anything like it. He lives in a very expensive area of town and he is trying to sell his house. With having no mop and only 3 1/2 hours before I have to go to my next job, today it was done on my hands and knees. Their was no time to go buy a mop, that was a lot of work for this old body. Praise the Lord for who ever invented mops! My employer is having a party tonight and wanted it to look extra nice. It looked nice but boy am I tired.

I got my truck back yesterday! I had just had major brake problems the week before and it cost me a bit of money to get them fixed. When I heard an awful noise coming from the back brakes again I freaked out. A part on the back brake had fallen off and was making a very awful noise in the drum. As I was walking to get my truck from the garage, my twins best friends mom came pulling up and gave me a ride. What a blessing that was. She said she was just about to call me and ask if the boys could go to a youth function with her boys and then spend the night. So, they are off with their friends tonight.

I had a very special dinner date tonight. He was so very charming! He wanted to sit on the same side of the table as I sat so we could cuddle. I told him I didn't think that was a very good idea but he insisted. We had a wonderful conversation about many different things; Christmas, family, friends. It was great until the phone rang and his older brother was on the line wondering why we didn't pick him up and take him to the restaurant with us. (My special dinner date was my 9 year old son Bo) He was very cute! He wanted it to be just a Bo and mom night out. A.J. was a bit upset but I brought him home his favorite meal from Taco bell so he wouldn't be to upset that we left him home. I had to pick Bo up from my husband before he went in to work. My twins, as I had said spent the night at their friend’s house and Bo is too little to stay alone until I get home. We made the switch at Daddy's work.

I better go get some cleaning done before I go to bed.

A little Wal-mart humor...

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are >retired.

Mrs. Smith insists that Howard go with her to Walmart.

He gets bored with all the shopping.

He prefers to get in and get out, but Mrs. Smith loves to browse.

Here's a letter sent to her from the store.

Dear Mrs. Smith,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may ban both of you from our stores.

We have documented all incidents on our video surveillance equipment. All complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below.

Things Mr. Howard Smith has done while his spouse was shopping in Walmart:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.

2.July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in housewares and watched what happened.

5. Aug 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.

6 Sept 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. Sept 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.

8. Sept 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him, he begins to cry and asks, Why can't you people just leave me alone?

9. Oct 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose.

10. Nov 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, asked the clerk if he knows where to find the antidepressants.

11. Dec 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

12.Dec 6: In the auto department, practiced his "Madonna look" using different size funnels.

13. Dec 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

14.Dec 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"

And last, but not least ....

15. Dec 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lone Senior leads Big Red Wrestling





My boy A.J. had this article written about him in our hometown paper this week.









I am so very proud of how hard he is working not only in Wrestling this year but he made the honor roll the first marking period as well. A.J.'s dad is a very big reason why A.j. is doing so well this year. He is right beside our boy's coaching them on in wrestling but also school work. I am proud of both of them.

Lone senior leads Big Red wrestling

Team veteran draws on lessons learned last season

By Brian Cox, Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: December 14, 2006

A.J. House is one-of-a-kind on the varsity wrestling team this year.

Advertisement
He's the lone senior on a squad made up of 12 juniors, 10 sophomores and 11 freshmen.

Last year, the team graduated six seniors and a good deal of leadership went with them.

House then is the old guy on a young team.

And as such, his coaches are looking to him as a leader.

"I'm impressed with his leadership skills," said varsity wrestling coach Gary Jonseck. "He gives the younger kids someone to look up to."

It is House's second year on the varsity squad. This year he was named one of the team's four co-captains.

"He's doing just a marvelous job for us this year," Jonseck said. "He's giving us everything he's got."

Last year, House went 2-9, usually wrestling at 145. He recorded four takedowns and two falls.

It was a difficult season, but it was also a learning process for House, who appears to have learned the lessons well.

Only three dual meets in to the 2006 season and he has already doubled his number of wins over last year. His record stands at 5-4 and he has 10 takedowns and two falls.

"A.J. has been working really hard," Jonseck said. "He sets an excellent example of where hard work can get you."

In addition to hitting the weight room and conditioning, House wrestles two hours most Sunday and Tuesday nights with the Wolverine Wrestling Club.

The extra weight work and mat time is paying off for Milan's lone senior wrestler, Jonseck said.

Earlier this month, House took second at the Blissfield Tournament, where he wrestled at 160. He usually wrestles at 152.

House has helped lead the Big Reds to an early season dual record of 7-4, including a fifth-place team finish at the Blissfield Tournament.

"He's there when we need him," Jonseck said of House.

A Holly, Jolly Christmas Party



















My dad is still not doing well. He called me yesterday and asked me for more prayer. He said he was going in for more testing today. He is still having a lot of trouble breathing. He is having a lung biopsy Jan. 3rd.

Last night was our last night of Awana until after the holidays. We had our Christmas party for the girls. All the Leader's brought gifts for our young ladies that we work with, and two dozen cookies. We bought pizza, pop, chips and candy.

We did two crafts: A Rain Deer and little Christmas wreath. We also had a decorate your leader contest. All the girls had to decorate their teacher like a Christmas tree. It was a lot of fun. The time just flew by so quickly. One of our girls is moving after the holidays. Her day is in a military and it just got back from Iraq, he is being transferred to Florida, I think. I gave her a big hug and told her I would miss her so much. She is just the sweetest young lady. Her grandma brings her to Awana (I have a Big mouth) so I asked her how she was holding up with her granddaughter moving, she started crying. I felt so very bad! I would be crying if I knew my grandchildren were moving away from me as well. I really need to hold her up in prayer and try to keep in contact with her.

I got my girls some shower gel, a lip gloss set and some hair clips.

I am sort of glad we have three weeks off to regroup and come up with some more exciting things to do with them for next year.

Today, I have to take my Truck back in to the shop. The brakes are making noises again? GRRRFRRRRFWEERE!!! It is very upsetting that the brakes keep acting. I do a lot of driving and can't afford not to have my truck in good running order. Oh well, back to the shop at 7:00 a.m.

My baking is all done, Awana is done. This morning I am going to write out the Christmas cards for my route people and try to start handing them out today. A.J. Then off to work with me. A.J. has a home wrestling meet we are going to attend tonight, and then off to work again. Then it's the weekend!

I want to try and get a camera and take some pictures of my Christmas decoration so I can post them next week. I'll try real hard to remember to do that.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Who Started Christmas"

A woman was Christmas shopping with her two children.. After many hours of walking down row after row of toys and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the store elevator with her two children in hand.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened revealing a crowd in the elevator. She pushed her way in and dragged her two kids and all her bags of stuff in with her.


As the door's closed she couldn't take it anymore and blurted out,


"Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot."


From the back of the car, a quiet calm voice responded,


"Don't worry, we've already crucified Him."


The rest of the trip down was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.


Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word.


If we all would, just think how much better this world would be.


Jesus is the reason for the season


Wise men still seek Him

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas cookies


My daughter-in-law and I made these additional cookies today. I made up a little tray of cookies for my friend Bob on my paper route. I posted about him this summer. He is 89 years old. He is a believer, lives by himself and has prayed for me many times over the last 19 years I have been his route carrier. He was over joyed to get a Christmas blessing today.


THUMB PRINT COOKIES

1/2 c. soft butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream together butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Sift flour and salt; mix well. Roll into 1" balls. Dip in slightly beaten egg white. Roll in finely chopped nuts (3/4 cup). Place about 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven, quickly press thumb gently on top of each cookie. Return to oven and bake 8 minutes longer; cool. Fill the thumb print with jelly, fruit or tinted sugar icing. Oven temperature, 375 degrees.

Makes 2 dozen.

Peanut Blossoms

* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 375°F.

With an electric mixer, beat together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the white sugar until fluffy.

Add the egg, milk and vanilla, mixing well.

Stir together the flour, soda and salt. Gradually add to the peanut butter mixture.

Shape cookie dough into balls, rolling each in the remaining sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart for 8 minutes. Press a Hersey's Kiss into the center of each cookie, and bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

MINIATURE PECAN TASSIES

Makes 24 tassies.

CRUST:

1 (3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 stick butter

For the crust, have all ingredients at room temperature. Mix together and chill for at least 2 hours. Pinch off dough and shape into two dozen 1 inch balls. Place balls in 1 3/4 inch ungreased muffin tins. With thumb, press dough against bottom and sides of tins. Set aside and mix filling.

FILLING:

1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. soft butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
2/3 c. chopped pecans

For filling, mix all ingredients together. Fill each tassie 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on cake rack. To remove, run sharp knife around edge and lift out.

Baking Christmas Cookies

This is my Christmas cookie making day's. My daughter-in-law and I made three different kinds of cookies yesterday, we will make 3 more different kinds today. It was a lot of fun baking together. My daughter-in-law is fun and upbeat and of course I get the benifit of being with my Grandchildren all day.

I took one of my routes off each day so I could bake longer. I took Jack with me on my route so Jess could go Christmas shopping. We will do the same thing again today.
It was just a lot of fun!


Buckeyes Recipe

This candy is made with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and other ingredients. Allow about an hour for chilling time.
INGREDIENTS:

* 1 cup creamy peanut butter
* 4 ounces plus 3 tablespoons softened butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 1/2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar, about 1 pound
* 1/2 cup very fine graham cracker crumbs
* 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

PREPARATION:
With a wooden spoon or large mixer with paddle attachment, beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir or beat in confectioners' sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Mixture will be dry, but will hold together when shaped into balls.

Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill in freezer or until firm.

Melt chocolate chips over hot water. Spear a peanut butter ball with toothpick or dipping fork and dip ball into the chocolate to cover most of it. Place chocolate side down on cookie sheet. If desired, leave the top uncovered to resemble the Ohio buckeye nuts. If desired, drizzle more butter over the balls to fill in gaps made by toothpick or dipping fork. Refrigerate buckeyes for about 2 hours or longer, or until the chocolate is set. Store buckeyes tightly covered in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 5 dozen buckeye candies.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Real Twelve Days Of CHRISTmas

Twelve Days of Christmas
Jesus Gave To Me








(Gifts from Jesus)


On the first day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
Salvation full and free.

On the second day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the third day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart,
everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men,
peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul,
love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
a robe and a crown, a body glorified,
power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men,
peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
mansions up above, a robe and a crown,
a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul,
love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
a street of pure gold, mansions up above,
a robe and a crown, a body glorified,
power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men,
peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
a thousand tongues to sing, a street of pure gold,
mansions up above, a robe and a crown,
a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul,
love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life,
and salvation full and free.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Jesus gave to me:
eternity to praise, a thousand tongues to sing,
a street of pure gold, mansions up above,
a robe and a crown, a body glorified,
power from on high, joy for my soul,
love for all men, peace in my heart,
everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

The rest of the Story

Life has sure been interesting for me the past week. I first want to finish my story from last Tuesday.

After Bo’s little discipleship lesson on the way to school. I called my daughter-in-law to tell what our two boys have been up to. She told me she had a long talk with Josh about other people being less fortunate then he is. How some children might not get very many toys or anything at all for Christmas? She said my grandson started collecting money from people so he could give it to Terra for her children. I told my husband about Bo and Josh wanting to collect money to give to my niece’s family and he told me he just had talk with our boys about the same thing and that he was going to ask me if I wanted to give money to Terra. I guess what we are going to do is put our money together for Terra and the children and Jess will take Terra shopping so she can buy some things for the children, and others. They might need food? Whatever our money will get them.

Terra called me Saturday told me that her husband was able to call her Saturday. I guess he had to run for sometime to be aloud to call her. This might seem rough but Praise the Lord that he only hurt his friend in that accident and didn’t kill him. This boot camp that they sent him to is supposed to be one of the roughest in the State. I think this is wonderful! He shouldn’t have just gotten a slap on the hand. He could have killed someone or himself. Terra said that he passed his GED last week. This was a requirement before he could get out of Jail. They are going to have a ceremony for him on December 19th before he gets out. I’m going!

Sunday, December 10, 2006





We received the proofs back from my son A.J.'s senior pictures a few weeks back. It was so hard for me to pick which pictures we should have made into wallets and other pictures for the Grandparents. We had 15 to choose from. I picked out many pictures for wallets but the hardest was deciding which picture to pick out for Grandma.

These two pictures are "I think" my favorites. The lady that did my daughters pictures two years ago did A.J.'s pics. I loved my daughters senior pictures, so it wasn't a hard choice as to who we would go with for A.J.'s.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Big "Thank You" to all of You!

I am so touched by all of you faithful blogging friends. I haven't even had time to visit your blogs and leave a comment, yet your all so faithful to give me encouagement when I need it the most. I still don't have a lot of time this morning to post of the awesome and some very strange things that have been happening in my life.

I just got home from work and only have about five minutes to post but I just want to say how grateful I am to all of you folks.

The singing was so much fun! My daughter and I lead the ladies in the 12 days of Christmas first. In my Awana group on Wednesday I had my Awana girls do all the movements, well last night we got 80 women to do them also. It was sooooo much fun watching them do all the movement. There were 13 tables with 6 women at each table. I had one table do a little ditty between 5 golden rings and 4 calling birds. We also sang a really fun Martins song called Go Tell. We did a little thing with our cell-phones at the end. It made everyone laugh! I ate waaaaayyyyyy to much and feel very fat today. It was so well worth going. I am very grateful that I was asked to sing and bring some joy to all of those women.

I have to run for now, we are helping move my daughter-in-law's parents into their new home today. It is like a mother-in-law apartmen,t attached to my son and daughter-in-laws home. This is also the weekend of the Jr. Choir play. As I have already journaled, I am involved in as well. We have dress Rehersal today from 2:30 p,m. until 7:30 p.m. The leader's are going to get together at 2:30 p.m. to go over any last minute things that need to be worked out. The children come at 3:30 p.m. for play practice and a pizza party. It is going to be a very long day. I have to clean the church after that,then do my motor route and be back at church by 7:30 a.m. for church. No sleep for me tonight! Just a very busy time of year for me.

Things really should slow down next week!! I pray!

Blessings to you all and thank you again!

If anyone has time, I received this from my mom this morning. I had a son that was in the Navy for Four years he was away from his family for many holiday's so I know how lonely and depressed they can get. I just thought I would add this to the end of my post today.


Lori
I don't know if you have received this but it is really nice to send a care to our service men. It takes only a moment and I am sure it will make their Christmas a better one. It is being done by Xerox.
http://www.letssaythanks.com)


Love
Mom

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Party

Some very crazy things have happen to me this week. Just know time to blog about them. I am singing at a Christmas party at 7:00 p.m. tonight. Fun, Fun I can't wait to journal about everything.

NEVER KNEW THIS BEFORE...

I wonder how many people know about this?

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago and totaled her car. A resident of Kilgore, Texas, she was traveling between Gladewater & Kilgore. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydroplane and literally flew through the air.

She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence!

When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened he told her something that every driver should know -

NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON. She had thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the
rain.

But the highway patrolman told her that if the cruise control is on and your car begins to hydroplane when your tires lose contact with the pavement, your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed and you take off like an airplane. She told the
patrolman that was exactly what had occurred.

The patrolman said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat sun-visor - NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed - but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

The only person the accident victim found, who knew this (besides the patrolman), was a man who had had a similar accident, totaled his car and sub stained severe injuries.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What a true Blessing

I haven't had time to finish my story yet from the other day but God is working through the lives of people to provide Terra and the children with a good Christmas. A Christmas that shows God's free gift of salvation to all. Terra did nothing to deserve the money she will get from our family this season, just as we didn't deserve the free gift He has given to us. I have just had so many responses from my family and friends on the challenge I gave to all of you and to them that I have had extra time to for myself. I will finish my Christmas post soon.

My mom is not just funny but she has a very kind and loving heart as well. I love her with all my heart.


Today as we received the Avon products from Terra and paid for them, we gave a little extra to her. As we were talking (Terra and I) she looked at me and said Thank You. I did not have a response for a moment and God Himself put the words in my mouth. This is so awesome.

I said Terra "God can't hand you money Himself so He has people do it for Him."

Lori I was shocked at what came out of my mouth and Terra said "That's True!"

Wow what a wonderful experience to know God came through instead of me.

As many times as I fail Him He is always there to lead me, to guide me, and
at times I don't even realize it. Yet today I Knew it was coming from HIM!

Finding the true meaning of God's Gift...............His Son, is in the face of those that have needs that when God Himself, uses us sinners that have only been saved by the Gift He has Given to us, JESUS, that we may give to others to show them His Love living in us.

I had to share this not for self but Praise to God!

Love
Mom

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"What Christmas means to me" This one comes from our Video camera personal at my church

I asked yet another one of my friends "What Christmas means to him" This fellow is such a servant. He spends so much time running our video cameras. He made the fliers for me for our "Worship Fest". My heart is touch by his love for the Lord.

Christmas stories, eh?

You want to know what I see as I look with my heart's eye this time of year?
I see a growing family of God.
I see the incredible fellowship between those that have a a soul bent towards Christ.
I see little children raised up to know that, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus".
I see God's name lifted up in accurate, enthusiastic exhortation of His Word.
I see the joy in faces and hear the quivering of voices as the full breadth of God's faithfulness is extolled in praise and worship.
I see the tear-stained cheeks of willing spirits in submission to the only love in the world that is unfailing.
I see opportunities abounding to reveal God's simple truth to a world that we've already been told is "ripe for the harvest".
I see outreach into other countries bringing light into that which was dark.
I see the power of prayer overwhelming despair, hopelessness and anger.

and then,

I see my selfishness in desiring comfort and possessions.
I see my timidity in my witness to others.
I see my slothfulness in not working to my full potential.
I see my unfaithfulness when I control situations that are clearly God's to control.
I see my thoughtlessness when I allow my tongue to overtake my mind.
I see the world in its permissiveness and extravagances tempt me away from
Righteousness.
I see the ones I love, but don't see the ones God loves.
I see the hurt and sorrow in the lives of my neighbor and am 'thankful for I am not like them'.

I see my -sin- all too infrequently.

I ask you, why should I be thankful for this time of year?

Why should I be thankful for realizing the pitiful life I lead for Christ and how short I fall in following in the footsteps of our Lord?

How can I participate in merriment and celebration for a life that was destined to be brutally taken because of me?

But then..
..
How can I be silent over the joy that His incredible Grace and unbelievable Mercy have brought me?

How can I not lay my hands over my eyes and praise Him all the day long for giving me a heart that knows The Almighty God?

How can I not submit to the Spirit that reveals my sin, and then repent -each day- of my failures?
How can I not reach out to those that do not know Him? - For I know how much He
has forgiven me.

How can I not feel the most personal touch of the most incredible person to have ever walked the earth, the very person of God, and not sing as though my heart was bursting at the seams?!

I choose to praise Him - this day, every day. Amen.

Patrick

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The true meaning of Christmas "from my singing partner Joe"

I asked many of my family and friends to tell me What the true meaning of Christmas is to them. This was from a brother in the Lord that sings with me a lot.

I love this dear family in the Lord! They have been such a blessing in my life.

Praise GOD for how he works in our heart, even through our children. So after beating yourself up for feeling guilty, look at the up side. The LORD has given you the ability to raise your son (Bo), and all of your children in a GODLY way. So there is even more to be thankful for.

The things that have been happening in Amy's life have been reminding my family and me of the true meaning of CHRISTMAS. Just last week Amy was wondering how she was going to provide a fun CHRISTMAS for her family (toys and cloths. The very next day she received a call from her aunt Joanne) Aunt Joanne asked her to go their her house to pick up a few things that were left by families who knew Amy's situation. Now don’t get me wrong this has happened quite often in many cases in Amy's life for different holidays and needs. Amy has always been grateful, and then catches herself fretting all over again. This time at aunt Joanne's was different. There were so many things to pick up that she didn’t have enough room in her VAN! She has taken 2 loads from Aunt Joanne and there is still more. It is amazing how the LORD provides just at the right time, and how he never stops giving. Talk about crying, I cried tears of thankfulness. GOD never lets us down and never ceases to amaze us. So that’s my little CHRISTMAS story and it helped remind me of the true meaning. By the way, Jen thought of a great idea. This year we are going to get a birthday cake for JESUS and sing to HIM and use it to teach the boys the true meaning.:)

Congratulations to you and Jim for your new baby niece! See you tomorrow.

What Christmas means to me

This morning as I was taking Bo to school, he asked me about my niece and her family. My niece just gave birth to a baby girl right before Thanksgiving. Her husband is the one that will get out of jail on December 19th, 2006. Bo asked if it was true that they didn't have much money and that their children would not get many gifts, if any, for Christmas. His words melted my heart, I just posted yesterday about how selfish I have become and he is thinking about how other's will celebrate Christmas. He told me how he and my 8 year old grandson talked about this the other day at the Awana sleepover. I am sorry but right now I am crying, because of my very sinful selfish attitude yesterday, not just yesterday but lately. Another reason for my broken heart is my little boy and grandson ministering to me, by thinking and caring about others, not just thinking about presents for themselves. Bo told me that they (My grandson and Bo) decided to put their money together and give it to Terra so she can buy Christmas present for her children.

I have to get ready for work but I will continue this story tomorrow. There is more to share.

Out of Bo’s mouth to his mother's heart, I am reminded of “What Christmas means to me”. No more selfish behavior but a thankful one for what God has done for me.


What does Christmas mean to you? I would love to hear about it. If you will put this in a post on your blog, I will copy it to mine and link over to yours.

"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."

John 3:16

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Greatest gift of all to Me

I am starting to think something is wrong with me. I do feel myself pulling away from blogging, friends, and family. I am getting calls, emails, and comments asking if something is wrong. One friend of mine felt the pressure of my quietness so bad; this person came to my janitor’s job and helped me clean on Saturday. Then this person asked me if they had done something to offend me? I am hurting my friends and I don't mean too. My friend was joking with me but this person asked if the time for us to be friends was up. We have been friends for a year and a half was it time for me to move on. Oh how sad! I really could tell this person was hurt.

I have stopped answering my cell-phone on my route due to many different reasons. For one thing I am working and feel that I should give my motor route and my driving all my attention. I guess there are other reasons I don't want to blog about. That is something I need to work out with myself. I'll try to work it out quickly.

Do we go through different stages of our lives when we are old like kids do? We talk about the terrible two's, rotten three's, unbearable fours, ECT. Do we go through different stages when we are in our 40's? Then do we pull back so far, we only talk when spoken to? I guess, maybe I'm going through something like that. I love all of my friends and need to work harder on this.

Who knows, maybe in a few weeks I'll go back to being loud again?

I do value all of my friendships!

The greatest gift of all to me,
You can't unwrap for all to see.
The gift I treasure isn't gold,
It's not a gift that you can hold.
The gift thats best costs not one dime,
It's only cost is someones time.
No need for coupons or a sale,
A gift to please both girl and male!
It needs no water, food, or air,
But it will grow, if given care.
What is this gift, you ask yourself?
It's nothing you'll find on a shelf.
An outstreched hand, a caring heart,
Can't put these in a shopping cart!
One size fits all, all colors are fine,
No waiting at the checkout line!
This gift most always gets returned,
But thats a good thing, as we've learned!
Please give this gift the whole year through,
To all your friends both old and new.

written by and ©pansy

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The True Meaning of Christmas




C is for the Christ child who was born nearly 2,000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem.

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS." Luke 1:31

H is for the HOPE that Jesus brings to all who believe in Him and trust Him with their salvation.

"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:2

I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

R is for resurrection of Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was both man and God, died on the cross for all of our sins, and then was raised from the dead (resurrected) and is now sitting at the right hand of God in heaven.

"For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

I is for Israel who God chose to bring forth the promised saviour of the world.

"Of this man's seed hath God according to [his] promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:" Acts 13:23

S is for the salvation that Jesus offers to all who are willing to confess their sin, believe in Him, and confess their belief in Jesus with their mouth.

"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."
John 3:16

T is for the empty tomb on Easter morning.

" He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." Matthew 28:6,7

M is for the mercy God has shown the world by sending His only Son to suffer for our sins and bridge the gap between man and God.

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

A is for our AWESOME GOD who loves us all unconditionally.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

S is for the shining light that Jesus brought
to the world!

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another funny from my MOM

Tonight, I have to work at my Janitors job, tomorrow morning I work at my house cleaning job then my motor route and after my motor route I am taking Boaz and Josh to a sleep over at our church. My twins are having their best friends spend the night again. (Take a breath) No time to post, so here is a funny from my comedian Mother.













Q: How many women with MENOPAUSE (or PMS) does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don't even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out. And, once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to find the #&%!* light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS PLACE! AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHO CHANGES THE TOILET PAPER ROLL !! . . .



I'm sorry. What was the question?

Trying to survive my long Week!

My Christmas decorations are almost all up, my laundry is almost all done and I am feeling so much better this morning. Yesterday was a bad day, today will be much brighter. I got up at 4:00 a.m. spent time with the Lord, exercised for 40 minutes, cleaned my house put up the rest of my Christmas decoration on my front porch and I am now going to get the kids off to school.

I think I am going to survive my long week. : )

This was late last nights writings,

It's only Wednesday and I feel like my week has went on forever. I had Jury duty on Monday; my goodness what a very long day that ended up being. I was put on a chase involving a hit and run accident that had happen a year ago. The witness gave her testimony (this was the passenger in the car that hit and killed a woman) the testimony she gave didn't match the driver's testimony. The witness excused herself to go to the restroom and never returned. Finally, at two in the afternoon they said we could go, they had to post pone the trail until they found her. The most interesting thing happened to me while I waited. A gentleman sat down beside me and asked me if I use to work at Key bank years ago. I told him yes, I was a bank teller 20 years ago. The man asked me if I remembered him. I didn't! He said he was the bank's treasurer, the guy I use to harass all the time when I work there. I did recognize him after he told me who he was. Goodness, what a small, small world. He told me I didn't look a day older than I did 20 years ago. : ) Very charming! Good thing he was retired or I would have thought he was flirting with me. HEE, Hee

After I finish up at the court house I had to go and deliver one of my routes. I didn't get home until after 6:00 pm. It was a very long day.

Tuesday morning, I worked on laundry all morning. I tried to finish getting my decorations put up as well. I'm almost done! I'll finish up in the morning.
I did my route and took my niece a meal last night. I got to see the baby and my other niece and nephew. It was a nice visit.

Of course I work my janitor's job on Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. so I didn't have much home time. I got three hours of sleep and got up at 6:00 a.m. and ran 2 miles.

Today, was just a long day! I received some troubling news early this morning. I don't do well with troubling news when I only get a few hours of sleep. Let's just say my day didn't go so well. I spent the day feeling sorry for myself. If my news wasn't bad enough I got in my truck at 12:00 p.m. to go deliver my AA news papers and my Truck battery was dead. Click, Click, Click was all it was doing. I am pretty good with doing things with my vehicles. I change my own front brakes and other small jobs. I have never jumped my vehicle before. I was so very afraid I would blow up my truck and our van. Miracles happen, right after I went out to try and jump it, my brother called! He wanted to know if I took a crock pot lid home on Thanksgiving that didn’t belong to me. He only lives 5 minutes from me so I open up my mouth and asked for help. I never ask too many people for help but today I just had too. He ran right over and got me on my way. It is so nice to be loved! I am so very grateful for my brother's help today. After the route, I headed for home so I could get my van before going to church. I didn’t want to get stuck at church trying to jump my Truck battery. I had to practice with the Trio I am in after our church service. I am singing a Christmas song by the Martins on December 10th before the children perform their Christmas play. We are going to sing “Go Tell”. A fun song I think the children will really enjoy! I am singing at a Women’s Christmas banquet on December 8th, Next Friday evening, so I had to talk to my friend about the songs we will be singing, practice times, ect.

I wonder what the rest of the week has to offer me. I guess I will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just Busy

I have been pretty busy these last few days. I'm trying to get all of my decorations up for Christmas. I told myself until all of my laundry is done and all my Christmas decorations are up I can't blog.

Thanks to you all for worrying about some crazy old blogging friend.

: )

Friday, November 24, 2006

A very good Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving was GREAT!!!! I had so much fun with my family yesterday. I'll blog about it when I have time. I have to leave for work.

My mom sent me this email yesterday, she is sooooo very funny. I was happy she told me about the letter from my nephew.

Hi Lori

I know you will want to hear this. I guess you and I are the most alike when it comes to feelings, well looks too, oh gee size too. Okay we are pretty good aren't we!

Sorry I got carried away. LOL

I received a letter from our boy yes Jeremy! I love to get mail from him. He is upset about Terra and if the baby is born yet, if they are okay. He misses his kids and Terra.

He is worried about Christmas and being able to come, he will be able to be out at night if he is working. That is a good thing. Gee can we put him to work on Christmas :o)

You will love to hear this part I was amazed, he can't wait to get back in church, TO SING the HYMNS.

He said he sings loudly AMAZING LOVE HOW CAN IT BE, you know the rest, it is a beautiful song and he is singing it. He said it is stuck in his head. How awesome, how very awesome!

I am so Thankful God has pulled him out of the life he was living, and give him the real reason to live.

He always signs it Love your grandson that touches my heart so much. All those Christmas's I would stop and answer his way out questions about the Bible and Jesus that I know everyone would get upset with me for listening and answering him. Praise the Lord for the little seeds, that went from me, to his Aunt Lori planting many more seeds. And GOD gave the increase.

God is so good, I am so Thankful I received that letter today. On the eve of Thanksgiving a miracle of a young man that I just am amazed at how much God has changed and he needs Prayer for strength as he steps out into life again to face the world.

I love you my dear daughter. I just had to share!

Love
MOM

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I wish all of you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! Many Blessings















I have been very busy baking the deserts for tomorrow. I always volunteer to take the deserts. I am not a real baker as some people are but my family always asks for Aunt Lori's cheese cake. I was very excited to hear that my whole family will be coming to Thanksgiving dinner at my brothers tomorrow.

What a grand day it will be!

What I will be taking to Thanksgiving Dinner at my Brother's and Sister-in-laws.

Cheese Cake
Chocolate cookies
Sugar cookies
Chocolate pie
Pumpkin pie
Banana pie


This is my list unless I think of something else that sounds good when I'm out at the store this morning.


I will be very busy the rest of the day and I am sure I won't be able to post tomorrow. I just wanted to wish all of you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

I am Thankful for so many things the list could go on forever. I have posted many posts about that this month.

I think the Word sums up what we should be thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you

BTW- Praise God they just called and my truck is done. I have survived just fine with the van this week but I really was worried about having to take it on the route the next two days.

This truly will be a great Thanksgiving for me.

Mom and Baby are doing Well

My niece had a beautiful baby girl. She was born at 9:50 AM yesterday. She weighs 7 lbs 9 oz. Mom & Baby are doing well. Her name is Gabrielle Leanne.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

God's perfect will for our lives

Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 117


Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalms 119


Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
A: Psalms 118


Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118
Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118
Add these numbers up and you get 1188.



Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?
A: Psalms 118:8



Does this verse say something significant
about God's perfect will for our lives?


The next time someone says they would like to find
God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to
be in the center of His will,
just send them to the center of His Word!



















Psalms 118:8
"It is better to trust in the LORD
than to put confidence in man."
Now isn't that odd how this worked out
(or was God in the center of it)?

A New Baby

My niece called this morning at 5:00 a.m. her water broke at 2:00 a.m. so today is the day I will be a "Great Aunt" again. I am very excited!

A new baby for "Thanksgiving"

This sure gives me something else to be Thankful for this today.

I am also thankful for my little buddy (Boaz) who is so patently waiting to get on the computer this morning.

My Step-dad is still not doing very well. My mom emailed and asked me to please keep praying for my dad. I am posting her email.

Hi Daughter

Hope you are enjoying my funnies and my serious ones as well.

Dad still needs Prayer, he is not better; he has decided to get the biopsy in January.
I pray he can enjoy the holidays. His breathing is not good.


Hope everyone is fine.

I love you!

Love
Mom

Sunday, November 19, 2006

To Tired to Blog Today!













Oh my, have I had a very long weekend! To make a very long story short, my truck is in the shop for major brake problems. I lost almost all of my brakes early Saturday morning. I am thankful that God was with me, and I had enough brake fluid to make it to the gas station. I am also very thankful that the shop could get my truck in right away and they should have it fixed tomorrow. I had to take our 1993 Aerostar van on the route today, it is old and has very little heat. It is a stick shift! My old truck was a stick shift but I haven't had it for a year, it was a very long route but I made it through.

I had a person help me yesterday get my children to church for a Youth party, this person had no idea I had such a bad morning. He offered to pick up my kids and bring them to church for me. God works in some awesome ways.

I praise God for His many blessing!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Give Thanks With a Greatful Heart

Praise Report

I got some great news from my friend who had the surgery last week. "All is well" Praise be to our heavenly Father. I am so excited and happy to hear I will have my friend around for a long time. I want to thank all of my wonderful blogging friends for praying for her.

I also was so excited to here that one of my favorite singer's will be coming to the Palace of Auburn Hills in February for a concert. This friend I keep telling you about introduce Josh Groban to me. We are going to try and get tickets to see his concert. I am soooooo very excited.

Living for the simple things in life: My Friend

I was asked if we have to be circumcised to be Saved

I was asked this question by someone I work with: "What does the Bible say about circumcision? What is the Christian view of circumcision?" "Do we have to be circumcised to be saved?"

This is what I believe the Bible to teach on this:

Since we are no longer under the Old Testament Law as Christians, circumcision is no longer required. This is brought out in a number of New Testament passages, among which are the following: Acts 15; Galatians 2:1-3; 5:1-11; 6:11-16; 1 Corinthians 7:17-20; Colossians 2:8-12; Philippians 3:1-3. As these passages bring out, being saved from our sins is received through trusting in Christ to save us from our sins, and it is this act of turning from our sin and self-righteousness and turning instead to reliance upon Christ’s finished work on the cross that makes us “circumcised of heart” and that the works of the flesh accomplish nothing.

In Acts 16:3, Paul had a missionary helper, Timothy, circumcised so that his being uncircumcised would not be a hindrance to them as they sought to reach out to the unsaved Jews on their missionary journeys. Thus, although the Bible gives Gentile (non-Jewish) believers the liberty of not being circumcised, it was a liberty that Timothy was willing to give up for the sake of reaching out to unsaved Jews. However, as the passages in Galatians bring out, Paul refused to compromise the issue with those who said that one must be circumcised in order to be either saved or sanctified in Christ.

There are practical issues involved with circumcision as well. Some parents have their sons circumcised so that they will look like all the other males in their culture. Some parents are concerned that their son would someday be in a locker room and find themselves different from everyone else. In some cultures, though, males are not commonly circumcised. There is also the issue of health. Doctors debate back and forth in regard to whether there are any health benefits to circumcision.

SCRIPTURE ABOUT CIRCUMCISION
THE GOSPELS
Luke 1:59-60 Circumcision of John the Baptist.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zecheriah, but his mother spoke up and said,n "No! He is to be called John."

Luke 2:21-39. Circumcision of Jesus.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

John 7:21-24 Jesus teaches at the feast.

Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment."

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
Acts 15:1-21 The Council at Jerusalem

Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: Unless you are circumcised according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved. This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed along with some other believers to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they had reported every thing God had done through them.

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling them about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they had finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

`After this I will return
and rebuild David's fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
that the remnant of men may seek the Lord,
and all Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things'
that have been known for ages.

It is my judgment, therefore that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

Acts 15:22-35 The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers

Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:

Greetings:

We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling you minds by what they said. So, we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabus and Paul -- men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. [CIRP note: Circumcision is not required.]

Farewell.

The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen their brothers. After spending some time with them, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others preached the word of the Lord.

Acts 21:17-25 Paul's Arrival at Jerusalem

When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to their customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses so they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but you yourself are living in obedience to the law. As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, and from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."

THE GENERAL LETTERS
Galatians 2:1-5 Paul Accepted by Apostles

Fourteen years later I went up to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the Gospel I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me was required to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment so that the truth of the gospel might remain in you.

Galatians 5:1-12 Freedom in Christ

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.

Mark my words! I, Paul tell you that if you let yourself be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Galatians 6:12-15 Not Circumcision but a New Creation

Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified through to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.

I Corinthians 7:17-20 Marriage

Nevertheless, each one of you should retain the place in life that the Lord has assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not be uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commandments is what counts. Each of you should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

Romans 2:25-28 The Jews and the Law

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law you become as though you had not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they had been circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision are a lawbreaker.

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 3:28-31 Righteousness through Faith

Where then is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 4:9-12

Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not afterward but before. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Ephesians 2:11-13 One in Christ

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men) - remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, with hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who one were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

Phillipians 3:1-11 No Confidence in the Flesh

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are of the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh - though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If anyone else thinks he has confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness that comes from the law, but that which is found through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in those sufferings, becoming like him in death, an so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.