Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day!

To day is a day the changed history forever. It also changed our daily lives and provided a freedom I can easily take for granted. Martin Luther and many others risked their lives for the truth. I am so grateful for that.

Tim Challies has multiple links on his blog related to this day. Enjoy!

P.S. Has anyone thought of throwing a Reformation Party instead of making it about Halloween? This is the second year I've seriously considered it. :o)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spurgeon

"Think not that Christ hath placed His joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word He will write anew on your heart. He will manifest His love to you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of His people."

"Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it--brings us grace before we seek for grace!"

This has been refreshing my soul this week. I am grateful to be reminded again that I don't have to labor and climb for His joy. His promises are true and in Him is rest. He provides it all!
Read the entire entry here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Day of Rest

I have been thinking about having a sabbath day lately. There really isn't one currently, if I am honest. I know there are differing opinions on which actual day is the sabbath but to me this isn't all that important. Simply keeping a sabbath and having a day set aside for rest from the busyness of life is important. I came across this post at Preschoolers and Peace which further fueled my thoughts.

I was wondering if anyone else keeps a sabbath day? If so, how did you come to that place and what does that day look like. I am not looking for the "right" way, just interested in learning from others and growing in my understanding. I am open to everyones thoughts as long as we are nice :o)

My husband and I have recently talked about making sure we have no unnecessary work on Sunday after church. I have typically planned school for the week on Sunday afternoon but now am working it into my week. Another goal at this point is to make sure all the laundry is done and away by Saturdays end. We are going to pre-pack for church on Sunday mornings and have any meal stuff ready to go. I have a feeling this habit is going to take me awhile to change. We have no desire to make this a law and become legalistic. The heart is to rest and in a way refocus on what is priority...family and the Lord.

Friday, October 26, 2007

His Kingdom Come

I read this post over at Solo Femininity this morning. Our church is growing and pursuing how to better reach those around us with the gospel. We had a great discussion this week in our care group meeting about this very thing. This post encouraged and challenged me.

Our discussion has really prompted me to think. Our family lifestyle does not lend to natural contact with non Christians. My husband works at home, we homeschool our children and I stay at home to help with both those things. When do I have natural contact....very rarely. The grocery store....the doctors office.....all places where real conversation is difficult to start and continue for any real length of time. We are still thinking through this and praying, knowing God will give use some ideas. It is so easy to get so caught up in the go-go and tasks of life that I don't even see the people around me when I do go out.

This quote from a recent message at our church really effected my thinking about people.

Quote by Rhondi Lauterback (not being mindful and ready to preach the gospel)


"I’m figuring out my drink order, counting my change to see if I can add an extra
shot of caffeine to my day. “Grande,” I mumble, barely looking up. “Make that a
triple shot,” finishing the mental math. I plunk my change into his extended palm,
mentally check my to do list and calculate the next three stops I am going to
make. Then a still, small voice stops me. I love him. Surprised, I look around.
Who, Lord? Him? I see the kid in front of me for the first time. A person. Made in
God’s image. I almost missed him.
What keeps me from seeking the lost? At least half the time the answer is that I
don’t even see them. I often don’t see the person in front of me as lost. I barely
even see him as a person. I may see him as an interruption or an obstacle or a
means to my ends for the day. I may see him as a “sinner” and label the sin
without a second thought. I may even see him as my evangelism project. But a
person?"

(Sorry, can't get the quote to parapgraph properly)


God give me the vision to see more then myself...... to see your purpose and Kingdom come every time I go out my front door.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Discontent

Recently there was a sermon on God's sovereignty at my church. Fortunately for my ever forgetful mind these are not rare occasions. As I thought through what was said and the truth I heard, I was convicted. Ultimately everything in this life comes down to if we believe God is in absolute control and if He is absolutely good. There are few things that fall outside these two doctrines of scripture. If they get mixed up or distorted it can cause a lot of trouble. I speak from experience
My area of discontent (really defined as; I am not sure God's plan is perfect or good) is in not having anymore children biologically. We are done. This is largely my husbands decision based on many hours of talking this through and prayer. I don't know that I will ever "be done" with wanting more children. Maybe when I am 80 and need two new hips and have no teeth left I will have lost the desire. There are many ways I could look at this decision. I could get mad and angry. I could manipulate him. I could whine all the time and complain. I could trust God's perfect sovereignty and pursue contentment.
I am to my best ability and by grace trying to trust God and find my peace in Him and not anything else. I realized that either God will change my husbands heart or He will change (and is) mine. If I really trust Him, this too will come to pass as it should. My husbands decisions are part of the plan. If I truly believe God is good then this is what is best for me, my husband, my two living children and my three with Jesus. Can this kind of longing and loss really be good? Crazy as it sounds, I don't only know it to be good in my understanding, but lately my heart has been learning to rejoice in this goodness that was never part of my plan.
In fact much of my current life was not part of my plan. I will be 40 in about 2 years and I am no where near where I dreamed I would be. I dreamed of a life on the mission field and I live in the suburbs of a large Canadian city ( I really don't like the city). I never dreamed my foreign mission field would be Canada. I was hoping for something a little more exotic. I always wanted six children. I never dreamed when I started having kids that I would loose more then I kept. I always hoped to be financially well off by this time in my life....well ain't happened yet. I have been tempted lately to compare my dreams with God's perfect plan. It has done nothing but breed discontent.

Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21

As time has gone on I have become more content with what God has for me. My heart recently changed in how I saw "what has happened to me". I have no idea what will happen even tomorrow much less five years from now. If God is in control...which He is AND if He is good...which he overwhelmingly is.....then all I have for tomorrow is hope! I tended to focus on what was gone and not the character of God. As I continue to get this, it really seems possible to have joy and rejoicing in the worst of situations...even watching your child go to heaven. Even more, living without all three children that I miss daily. There is joy in it, not because it doesn't hurt or cause me to grieve, but because it is what is perfect and best for me and them. It is, as it should be. There is such rest in that.

I don't know if this is really coming across clearly or not. All I know is I deserve wrath and He has given life to me and all my children. When I begin to feel life isn't fair, is hard or just plain stinks, I think of how I really deserve nothing I have. My sin makes me a target for wrath and yet by mercy I will never come close to tasting that wrath. Amazing!

These are three questions from the sermon to ask yourself when things aren't going your way:

  • What didn't I get that I was expecting, desiring, craving?
  • What did I not receive that I felt I deserved?
  • What was said about me or done to me that is worse then my many sins against God?

Forever indebted to mercy!! Grateful for santicfication and that he never leaves me where I am, but draws me closer everyday. He is at work ALL the time in me and you!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Sczebel Clan

I just came across this interview with Pat, Josh and Joel. These guys and their family are some of our dearest friends. I am so grateful to be serving God in the same body of believers. It is a privilege!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I did it!

I am very proud of myself! I learned how to use Google reader and create an avatar. It is a huge accomplishment for me.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Notebook

This year, with my children and their cousins, we started a Thanksgiving notebook. Each child takes a sheet of paper and writes, draws and designs a page telling what they are thankful for in that year. I so enjoy building traditions. I got the idea from a post over at With Great Joy. She keeps a Thanksgiving journal with her family. We used to do a tree on the wall with things we were thankful for but I found I wasn't willing to save it due to size. We skipped the tree this year but I plan to do that yearly as well just for fun. We can never have to many opportunities to be thankful. Here are a few of the pages.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Sleeping "Handsome"


Chili and Cornbread

I am posting a recipe for the Recipe Round-Up hosted my friend over at Motherhood Apologia. The round up is for freezer recipes....brrrrrr! I am someone who is s-l-o-w-l-y growing into to liking to cook. It's a real answer to prayer because I am going to be doing it for the rest of my life. By God's grace I have begun to see it as a form of creativity.....a year ago I would have laughed at that idea.
My Chili recipe is easy and a favorite around here. We add shredded cheese and sour cream. I also make corn bread and salad but not necessary. I freeze it either in single servings for lunches based on how much there is leftover or on one serving for a complete meal. I usually make a double batch when I make it. What I love about this recipe is it doesn't take all day to make. You cook the meat and simmer 20 minutes and your done. It tastes so good too!

Chili

1 pound lean ground beef
1 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. green pepper
1 clove garlic (I add 3 ish but we love garlic)
1 16 oz. can of tomatoes cut up
1 16 oz. can dark kidney beans drained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil (fresh is good too)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook beef, onion, pepper and garlic till meat is brown. Drain if needed. Stir in undrained tomatoes, drained beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings

Corn Bread (not for freezing but easy and yummy)

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. corn meal
2 tablespoons sugar (I always do less)
4 tsp. of baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg slightly beaten

Heat oven to 425 F. Grease 8-9 inch square pan (round works fine too). Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in remaining ingredients beating by hand just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 425 for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 9 servings.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oh My......

Where has the time gone. I just can't get this blogging thing together again. I stopped blogging in the morning because I wasn't getting school done. When we lost our last baby our life routine was thrown for a loop and I am trying to get back to some consistency. I found if i blogged in the morning we started school too late and I also wasn't parenting as I should. If I am going to be "with" my kids..... my face can't be sucked into the computer at 8 am.
I have been getting back into exercise and more focused personal quiet times. And no blogging till the afternoons. Something always comes up in the afternoons. All this just to say...I miss blogging and will get this together at some point. My hearts desire is to put my kids and my health first.....and blogging when I get to it but I still love it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

First Annual Thanksgiving Arm Wrestling Tournament

Has it been over a week since my last post? Between being out of town, a child with the flu and my latest excursion in canning apple butter.....I have neglected the blog world. This year we started two new traditions at Thanksgiving. The first being the kids Thanksgiving Book.....they make a page of what they are thankful for that year (pics on that later). Another tradition popped up spontaneously, a bunch of thirty somethings sitting around relaxing and you never know what may happen. My brother-in-law is the reigning male arm wrestling champ. And yours truly...... is the reigning family female arm wrestling champion. I wear my title with pride and dignity!





Thursday, October 04, 2007

Canadian Thanksgiving

We are off this afternoon to visit family for Thanksgiving Canadian style. Since living in Canada I have accepted that the holiday here, is very different then the States. It just doesn't seem as important here. Oh well, the way I look at it, I get to celebrate twice....which means I get turkey and pies twice.
My most favorite part about Thanksgiving is making pies. I enjoy the process of making them, smelling them in the oven and then eating them. I also like tradition. This year I plan to get all the cousins to make a notebook page (yes I am a homeschooler) of the things they are thankful for....then year after year compile them in a notebook. It should be such fun when they grow up to look through those as a family.
Hope you have a great weekend....I will be making pies and eating turkey.

This is my favorite no fail pie pastry ...if anyone wants to try a pie this weekend.

Pie Pastry

5 cups flour
1 cup margarine
1 cup lard (forgive me...I was born in the southern USA)
1/2 baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 cup COLD water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder then add margarine and lard. Blend in with fork or your fingers till crumbling. Add vinegar and 1 cup COLD water and form into dough. This makes 5-6 individual crust at a time. Roll on floured surface and make your pie. I form the left over into balls enough for individual crust and freeze. Defrost and roll for you next pie!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007