Friday, December 28, 2007

Book Meme

I have been tagged for this book meme by Leah @ The Point. So here goes...

01. One book that changed your life – I have to say only the BIBLE. But the first Christian book I read that pointed me to the Bible and initiated the change in my life was a book by Derek Prince and I don’t remember the title. I loaned out that book and never got it back. Also, Stormie Omartian’s “The Power of a Praying Wife.”

02. One book that you have read more than once – “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. The Lord spoke to me so much about the power of unconditional love through this book.

03. One book you would want on a deserted Island – Okay, Tam I read what you put and I really like the idea so I’ll copy you…”How to Survive on a Deserted Island.”

04. One book that made you laugh – Well, I’ve pondered on this one for a while. Before I rededicated my life to the Lord, I read Erma Bombeck “A Marriage Made in Heaven…” and I remember laughing at her writing style. But just a few years ago I thought I’d get motivated to crochet and bought a book titled “Teach Yourself Visually to Crochet.” It had simple projects I thought I could handle as I used to crochet as a child with my aunt. That project is still unfinished as I have trouble counting. (I guess I better pray that I get rescued quickly on that deserted island as I cant follow self-help books very well without personal guidance.)

05. One book that made you cry – “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom. I just fell in love her Corrie and her sister and their bravery in those unimaginable circumstances.

06. One book that you wish had been written – My family’s history. I don’t know much about my dad or my mother’s side of the family and I wish I knew more about them.

07. One book that you wish had never been written – Having children that I screen what goes into their minds I wish certain children’s books had not been written, such as “The Golden Compass.”

08. One book you are currently reading – Okay, I cant read one book at a time, so currently I’m reading “Get Out of That Pit” by Beth Moore, “Twelve Extraordinary Women” by John MacArthur, and “Sugar Shock” by Connie Bennett and Stephen T. Sinatra.

09. One book you have been meaning to read – I plan to read aloud “The Cat of Bubastes” by G.A. Henty to Chase in January.

10. Now I am suppose to tag 5 people. I am tagging Marina, Annie, Angie, Karen H., Fran and anyone else who wants to participate.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Can you believe this????

I took this picture with my cell phone of what I saw today...

I went to Wal-Mart for a few things. I expected a lot of people and I expected long lines. But I did not expect to see Valentine Candy taking up three fourths of the candy aisle the day after Christmas!

Have you seen anything unexpected or interesting this season?

Blessings in Christ--

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Blessings

One of the things I like most about holidays is spending time with family.

From my family to yours, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Blessings in Christ--

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Ski Trip

First of all, I want to thank all of you who prayed for our safety! God answered those prayers and kept us all safe. This was the first time our boys Stephen and Chase have skied or snowboarded. Actually the first time they've played out in the snow as we dont have that opportunity living in the south.

On the way...
As soon as we left home and got a few miles down the highway, we noticed that the speed odometer quit working on us. We had no way to determine how fast we were going. My sweet husband drove the whole time so that if anyone got a ticket it would be him. (Nice for Stephen and I as we didnt have to take our turn to drive due to technical difficulty.) Then we tried to determine how fast we're going by clocking how long it took to go a mile. None of us could figure out the math. If you know how to calculate, please let me took us 52 seconds to go a mile. How fast were we going? That felt like a good speed.

Then I noticed how much the roadside scenery has changed from the traditional farm house with windmills and water tanks for livestock to large (really large) windmill farms. I've included the photos in the slide show above (which I tried to make larger, but couldnt figure out how).

Skiing Day One...
We check Chase and Quince (both 10 years old) into ski school. We get fitted in our boots and skis at the rental shop. Point Stephen to where he needs to go for snowboard class. My friend, Melissa and her daughter take a class also. I refused as I have skied before (once in each decade). I figured I'd just go up the short lift and warm up. This day was the pre-season opening and only one lift was open, so David (Eldon's friend), Eldon and I get on this quad lift. It keeps going and going. I quickly learn that on the first time up, I'm at the top of the mountain which is 10,677 feet according to all the signs. There's only one way down--ski! So off I start--very slowly. Slow is the pace I kept all throughout this adventure. And by the way, this day the wind is blowing and the snow is falling. Yeah! more snow!!

After lunch, Stephen is done with his snowboard class. He decided to go up with us. When we reached the top of the mountain, we decided to go down the backside of the mountain. When one decides to go down the back side of the mountain, there is only one way back to the front side--take the lift back to the top and ski down the front. It's at least a two for one trip on the the back side. Well Stephen just learning was still having difficulty on this day and I skied faster than him even as slow as I was. It was time for the boys to be done with ski school so we leave Stephen with some friends he made in snowboard school and pick up the pace to get to the boys. Slowing down my pace, Eldon decides to leave me alone and goes for the boys. He picks up the boys and they swish several times down the mountain before the lifts close.

Skiing Day Two...
We wake up and check the internet (when it worked) for the temperature...19 degrees below zero!!! We dressed warm in plenty of layers. We all head out for a fun day of skiing. We go to the top and down the easiest trail. The boys are getting bored so Eldon breaks off with them on some intermediate trails. Stephen has mastered the snowboard and can also zip around with the others. After lunch some of us decided we'd try to hone some skiing skills on the bunny trail. This chair lift is a two man lift. Eldon tells Chase (our 10 year old) to ride up with me. Chase has done this plenty of times so I didnt think I had to help him on the lift. Little did I know that someone usually stood behind him and picked him up and sat him in the chair as the chair was too high for him. I'm concentrating on getting myself on the chair. When I turn to my right, I see Chase dangling from the chair as it is taking off from the platform. The only lift attendant is there trying to raise him up, but the chair is raising up too high. I'm pulling him, but nothing is happening. Then I lose it--I start screaming for someone to stop the lift as it is going higher and higer in the air. I'm screaming so loud, I'm surprised it didnt start an avalanche. Chase is holding onto the chair with his hand on the back rail with his legs hanging over the front of the chair. I look ahead and wonder what will happen next as the "Cliffhanger" scene flashes through my mind. Then -- finally the lift stops. The attendant comes over and grabs Chase's legs (now I realize we're only about 4 or 5 feet off the ground at this point) and takes Chase down to his Dad who was to be next on the lift. After disembarking off this lift (which I did not get back on ever again!) I learned, my husband, Eldon is the hero who pressed the big red stop button on the lift!!! Thanks dear! Thank You Lord!! As a mom, I was a bit emotional for a little while. In the meantime, Chase shook it right off and was back up the mountain speeding down as quickly as possible. All ended well!! Needless to say after that incident, chair lift attendants ensured that Chase was in the chair before it left the platform the rest of the time we were there.

Skiing Day Three...
After the excitement the day before, I decided to take the morning off on this day. The temperature that morning was only 16 below zero. A bit warmer. But it was interesting for this southern girl who doesnt play in the snow but once a decade, once dressed in layers and outside moving around, the cold was not very noticeable. Until the hands and feet got cold. Or in the evenings when I could feel my wind chapped chin. The guys came in for lunch at 11:38 MST. I was informed that they got on the lift at 11 am, went to the top, went down some trails on the back side of the mountain, took the lift back to the top, and down the front side of the mountain and walked to the hotel room (in the ski boots which is very hard to do) all in 38 minutes!! They were definitely exceeding the speed limits!!!

That afternoon I went out to go down the easy trail. I had only intended to go down once and be done with the skiing experience. I just could not get past the fear of going too fast. Chase told me that I had nothing to be afraid of that it didnt hurt to fall. I know it didnt hurt to fall as I had already fallen several times. What is hard is getting up again. Well Elise, my friend's daughter talked me into going with her on the back side of the mountain. Actually the trails were much nicer on that side; there were more easy (green) trails on that side. Also there was a good 4 to 6 inches of powder on that side also. So I go up and we stay on the back side for several trips down until the lift closed on that side. On the front side, Eldon decides to take the boys down some intermediate (blue) trails while Elise and I go down the easiest. Elise went faster than I did. Well I fell and I couldnt get up. Finally I get up, but messed up the binding and couldnt get my boot back in. I stop for a while to wait for help. I send Elise on to the bottom. Then an injured young man from Houston waits next to me for help to arrive. It was his first time to snowboard. Finally help arrived for this young man and I learn my problem was just operator ignorance. Embarrassed I was, but decided it was meant for me to encourage the injured young man until help arrived. I think I was the last one off the mountain that day as the snowmobiles were going up to clear the mountain and the sun set. It was a beautiful sun set.

Eldon received a beautiful gift from the Lord on his last trip up the lift with the boys. Being the outdoors, wildlife, hunting type; he had a desire to see some wildlife. He even commented out loud to the boys that it would be a perfect day if he got to see some wild animals. The Lord blessed him with letting him see a 5X5 mule deer and a fox eating a rabbit from the chair lift.

As I thought about those days on the mountain, I had to confess God's word frequently. Fear tried to grip me and it had a good hold on me. I tried to rationalize that perhaps I'm not the outdoor adventurous type I'd like to be. But then when Elise encouraged me to continue on, I did and I overcame some of those apprehensions, but not completely. I wanted so much to be bold and brave, but yet I was so timid. I fought gravity a lot, but gravity is much stronger. Honestly, I haven't learned how to work with it on the slopes. Yet, I learned that I have more boldness and strength in me than I thought. I wanted to give up and quit several times, but it just wasnt an option. The Lord is my strength! He encouraged me through others and pushed me farther than I wanted to go.

This trip was a wonderful Christmas present from my Lord! I had such a blessed time with my family and friends! I learned more about them and myself.

BTW--the speed odometer problem is covered under a factory recall...blessings from our Lord!!

Blessings in Christ--

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Goin' to the Mountains

What does this song have to do with this post? Nothing really, I just really enjoy this song. I hope you do too!

My family and I are going north to the mountains to go skiing. We'll be driving for one day, meeting up with friends and traveling the rest of the way the next day. For those of you who don't live in Texas, from where we live it usually takes one day to just get out of Texas and then another day to get to where we're going.

We are so excited to see the snow cams on the website: Angel Fire, New Mexico.

Last Tuesday when we looked at it, there was no snow. We were starting to get concerned. But the Lord has brought in the snow!!! We are excited. This will be the boys first time on a mountain in the snow. Having lived in South Texas all their lives, they don't get to see snow much.

Also, we're taking a computer but I don't know how much access I'll have to the internet. If I'm not visiting your blog or responding to email, please understand I'm out of town. I do enjoy "visiting" with all of you and I do feel like we're family.

I do want to ask for your prayers for travel mercies and a safe and fun time. Thanks!

Blessings in Christ--

Friday, December 7, 2007

Make Over

When we moved into our home almost 10 years ago, it definitely was a “fixer upper.” Built in 1972, it still had all the original 1972 paint, carpet, and light fixtures. One of my of my goals in owning my own home (well okay, the mortgage company owns it, we just pay them and get to live in it) was to paint the walls any color other than white or creamy white. I wanted to add color to our lives since the mortgage company allows us handle all the maintenance and upkeep.

Being new and inexperienced, I started painting. I first painted my baby’s room. He was only one year old at the time. I did a Noah’s Ark theme. (I redid that room last year.) But the second project was the boys bathroom a.k.a. the guest bathroom. I found (what I thought then) was a great looking shower curtain with water and fish on it appropriate and enticing for the boys. Well I went to work on the paint. I wanted to paint a river on the bottom portion of the bathroom wall with sunshine on the top portion. I got the river to look alright (so I thought 9 years ago), but the sunshine part didn’t look so great. I went several times to the paint store and had them remix the yellow. I’d paint it again and I still didn’t like the yellow. They told me at the paint store if they had to add any more color to the yellow they were going to start charging me as they wouldn’t even know what to call that color anymore—it lost its name. So I had some creamy white paint left over from another paint project and decided to dab white on the wall to tone down the yellow. I still wasn’t happy with it. But decided that’s what it was going to be. Here’s what it looked like:

Yeah, I know—bad. But we got used to it and just didn’t even notice it anymore. After my baby turned 10 years old this year, I went in there but this time I noticed how bad it REALLY looked. I decided it was time for a bathroom make over!

I made all the plans and went to work scraping the walls from the ceiling to the floor. Sanded (thank God for power tools) the ceiling and walls. Decided to have more space by pulling out the counter and paint the cabinet white. After a week of work and unexpected work (it’s amazing what you find behind the walls that get wet—mold). Now all the mold is gone. We used concrete boards for the lower walls and mold resistant paint as a defense against future attempts of mold manifestation.

Finally after removing all the yucky stuff we found inside and made the repairs, I got to paint! I enjoyed the painting part, but hated the waiting for the primer to dry. Then waiting for the coats of paint to dry. Then we got to put in all the nice things I wanted in the bathroom. This is the final result

I like the make over bathroom much better! And I know it is clean from the inside of the walls and out!

As I worked on this bathroom project, I thought and pondered with the Lord about what is hidden inside of me. Seeking those things that need to be cleaned out.

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

The Lord through His Son, Jesus, works in us to make us over. It hurts some times with all the scraping, cutting and sanding. He works on us, area by area, to make us a new creation.

2 Corinthians 2:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Let’s let the Lord work on our beauty from the inside out.

1 Peter 3:4

Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Blessings in Christ--

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Feast of Dedication

John 10:22-23 NIV

22Then came the Feast of Dedication[a] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.

[a. John 10:22 That is, Hanukkah]

I love to study the Word of God and I love HIStory! Tonight is the first night of the eight day Feast of Dedication or the Feast of Hanukkah. This festival begins each year on the 25th day of Kislev, which is a lunar month on the Hebrew calendar. It usually falls in November or December on the Gregorian calendar.

This festival commemorates the victory the Hebrews had over Antiochus a.k.a. “The Madman.” He was the bad of the bad. He took power over the Seleucid throne in 175 BCE. It was prophesied in Daniel about this “Madman.” After being defeated by the Romans in Egypt, he turned north and took the land of Israel. He sacked the city, and slaughtered thousands of citizens publicly and disgracefully. He stole gold and silver from the Holy Temple and desecrated the Temple with pagan idols.

However, there was a band of Freedom Fighters lead by Judah Maccabee who rose up and overthrew this “Madman.” This complete story is told in the apocryphal book of 1 Maccabees. The Maccabees recaptured Jerusalem and purified and rededicated the Holy Temple. After this, they established a memorial to remember this anniversary and to celebrate the restoration.

Legend has it that during the restoration phase of the Temple that they only found enough oil to light the menorah for only one day. It would take eight days before more oil could be obtained. They lit the menorah and miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. Therefore, some say that this is the reason Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. Each night of the celebration another light is light. Let’s remember that Jesus is the Light of the World. (John 9:5).

Well the history records the Maccabees victory over the “Madman” in the apocrypha. Jesus observed the Feast of Dedication. There is so much more to this part of HIStory.

I just want to wish all my Jewish friends and Messianic believers out there –

Happy Hanukkah!

Genesis 12:2-3

2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

Source: Light in the Darkness; Hanukkah and the Disciples of Yeshua, A First Fruits of Zion Anthology

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Stephen!

Stephen today is your birthday. It seems time has passed by so quickly. It seemed as though you were only a baby, then a child, but today you are a man--legally! God has blessed me with these wonderful 18 years with you and I pray that He will bless me with many, many more! You are so special!

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10

You are chosen by God! His mercy is on your life and you have His favor--Always live your life for His glory!

Blessings in Christ--