Sunday, October 31, 2010

Daily Bibl Readings for November 1-7, 2010

 "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
 (Matthew 4:4, NIV)

November Bible Readings

Family
Private
1
2 Kings
14
2 Timothy
2
Hosea
7
Psalm
120-122
2
2 Kings
15

Titus
1
Hosea
8
 Psalm
123-125
3
2 Kings
16
TItus
2
Hosea
9
Psalm
126-128
4
2 Kings
17

Titus
3
Hosea
10
Psalm
129-131
5
2 Kings
18

Philemon
(all)

Hosea
11
Psalm
132-134
6
2 Kings
19
Hebrews
1

Hosea
12
Psalm
135-136
7
2 Kings
20
Hebrews
2

Hosea
13
Psalm
137-138
from Robert Murray M'Cheyne's "Calendar for reading through the Word of God in a year"


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ahhh, Sweet Memories


Katie
While I was looking through my files for pictures of Ginger and Sue, I came across these wonderful photos of my children when they were small. I enjoyed seeing them so much, I thought I would share them with you also. This makes me wish I had taken them to the pumpkin patch this year. I wonder if I would still get these smiles and exhuberance?
Cody
It's so easy to forget how joyful fall can be!
I love this hat...she won't dream of wearing one now...
These days he prefers to carve the pumpkin...
We've never been much for celebrating Halloween, short of going to the festivals at our church, but the kids have always enjoyed dressing up...

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!


Friday, October 29, 2010

In Memorium...

...of another of our beloved dogs, Ginger...

Ginger, as a youngster
She always loved to stretch out in the yard...

Always happy...

...and faithful.

She suffered with heartworms, which were too advanced at the time of diagnosis for treatment. She has had over two very good years since the diagnosis, but over the last couple of weeks her health deterioriated drastically, and we had to make the difficult decision Thursday afternoon to have her put down.  Cody is taking this particularly hard, as we have had her for as long as he can remember. We got her from one of his friends in his daycare when he was about two years old.


In her old age...
She was about  11-1/2 years old, and we are all taking it pretty hard. Please pray for my family in this difficult time.

It was only three months ago that we lost Sue to cancer, and it's really hard on everyone.


But we are thankful to God for the wonderful gift He has given us in the companionship of these precious animals.

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father's house,
Cindy <><

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'NT' in a Nutshell: Part 1


Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet DictocratsChances are, if you are a working woman, you have never heard of Nourishing Traditions (NT). I was introduced to it through a Yahoo group in which I used to participate associated with the New Harvest Homestead Newsletter. The ladies there would discuss recipes and classes from time to time, but the concept sounded rather vague and complicated and like something that I just didn’t have time to deal with in my already-too-busy life.

However, while on vacation last year at the lake, I came across a copy of the book in a second-hand store, so I bought it and began to read. Co-written by a well-known nutritionist and a cook, the book is basically a cookbook with a wealth of information in its 78-page introduction on the detriments of the modern, Western diet, and is built upon research conducted in the 1930s by a dentist named Dr. Weston A. Price.

Dr. Price noticed in his practice that he was seeing tooth decay and bone malformations on a more-and-more regular basis that were previously rare. He began studying the diets of these patients where he noticed a trend towards diets that were high in refined flours and sugars and highly processed vegetable oils. He later traveled around the world studying isolated people groups who followed traditional diets and who had not been introduced to “modern” foods such as these refined flours and sugars and vegetable oils.

The health of these isolated populations was then compared to that of individuals from these same people groups who had adopted modern dietary habits, and the differences were striking, leading him to conclude that vital nutrients were being lost through the modern forms of processing foods. The loss of these nutrients consistently led to poorer health and maladies in the people who consumed the highly processed foods, and these problems tended to magnify in subsequent generations.

The information I learned in the book made me reevaluate how (and what) I was feeding my family, and I found that there are entire blogs and websites dedicated solely to pursuing the NT lifestyle. Personally, I don’t have the time to spend days sifting through all that information, and I figure you don’t either, so I’d like to present the basics of what is wrong with our modern diets, why it’s wrong, and what can be done to fix it. Along the way I’ll share with you what changes we have decided to make as well as the things I tried that didn’t work out so well. My hope is to present you with enough information so that you can make a decision about whether you’d like to pick up a copy of the book for yourself in order to consider making some changes within your own family.

As with any information, I urge you to sift everything through the Scriptures. I don’t want to present this information as if it’s a new set of dietary laws – I don’t want to lead you into slavery to food! Please realize that even among the principles we decided to implement in our household there are many that we ignore on a regular basis due to time or money constraints. It’s expensive to eat healthy, unprocessed foods! I try to serve the healthiest food I can on my budget and for the amount of time I have to prepare it…for the rest I pray over it and, as always, ask the Lord to bless it to our bodies and our bodies to His service, in gratitude for the fact that there is food on our table at all.

I anticipate that this series may be a little longer than my previous ones, and I hope you will join me for it, and if there’s info or suggestions that any of you ladies could contribute to the discussion, please comment! We'll continue "chewing the fat" [ahem and ;)] with a discussion about dietary fats on Monday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Overwhelmed



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"To achieve great things, two things are needed:  a plan, and not quite enough time." - Leonard Bernstein

OK, I have a basic plan, and I definately don't have enough time...

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson,  and Albert Einstien. " - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 Yeah, but I'm also quite positively NOT a Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson OR Albert Einstein...

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein

Al, that's a good theory, but in practice - welcome Murphy's Law! Why does it seem that everything DOES happen at once, and at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME??

In the words of my wise husband,  "LIFE HAPPENS. Deal with it." Adjust. Rearrange. Teach the kids a life lesson in dealing with the inevitable. 

I guess it's time to take my own advice. What happened to yesterday's scenes of peace?

So I ask myself, am I acting in obedience to my Heavenly Father? In submission to my husband (in one accord with him)? Have I bathed the day (and the particular situation) in prayer? (Funny how it's so easy to leave that 'til last). If so, then it's time to lay these burdens down  - time to place them in my Father's more capable hands.

Still,


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Come to These Scenes of Peace


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Come to these scene of peace,
Where, to rivers murmuring,
The sweet birds all the summer sing,
Where cares and toil and sadness cease!
Stranger, does thy heart deplore
Friends whom thou wilt see not more?
Does why wounded spirit prove
Pangs of hopeless, severed love?
Thee the stream that gushes clear,
Thee the birds that carol near,
Shall sooth, as silent thou dost lie
And dream of their wild lullaby;
Come to bless these scenes of peace,
Where cares and toil and sadness cease.

William Lisle Bowles


Monday, October 25, 2010

What Is Your Ministry? Part 3

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Now that we know that our ministries should be about ministering to the needs of others, what do we do? How can the working woman be about the business of meeting the needs of others?

The first thing to realize is that it is often possible to minister to someone without that person’s knowledge. We can, and should, always pray for our husbands, our children, our church family, those we know who need God, those who need Him to work in this or that situation, …, this list could go on forever! You may feel led to tell someone you are praying for them or not, but pray nonetheless.


Secondly, be sure to keep your priorities in order. The most important people you need to minister to are those in your immediate family. Your husband and children should always be your first priority, with all but devotion to Christ trailing behind.

It may not be popular with the feminists, but your husband needs to know you are taking care of his household and his children. He needs your attention just like you need his. Take time to discuss your individual days and the trials you are each facing away from home. Pray for each other. If you are working outside the home by mutual decision and for the benefit of the family, be sure to communicate with him about how you can help him as well as about how he can help you – the housework and the laundry must be done, and the burden is often too heavy to carry alone. Talk about your hopes and dreams and his, and be interested in things he is interested in.

In addition, realize that your children need you to be accessible. Talk also with them about their hopes and dreams, their friends, and all the little goings-on in their lives. Don’t try to solve all their problems, but guide them through making the decisions that will help them to solve their own problems. You are building a relationship of trust that will last a lifetime, and they need your guidance in order to stay on Christ’s narrow path.

After you have seen to the needs of your immediate family, look to the needs of your extended family. 1 Timothy 5:4 says, “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” If your parents, in-laws or grandparents are in need of assistance, be sure that you contribute time or money or both toward their care. And perhaps more importantly, don’t forget that just spending time with them can be the greatest gift of all.

Next, if you feel strongly that God is leading you to work in the nursery or teach a Sunday School class or serve on a committee or in a church outreach, by all means do it! Just realize that God is not going to expect you to do all of these at once in addition to the commitments you have to your family. Pray sincerely about any task to which you feel led to commit, and talk with your husband about it. Use the wisdom God has given your husband as the head of the family as the litmus test for your commitments – if he has reservations, pray about it more or simply don’t do it. I have found that my husband’s direction in these matters has been spot on every time – particularly commitments I have gone ahead and made that he had felt were too much to take on (which I invariably came to regret later).

Also, if you are aware of any needs in your church family, do or contribute what you can. Send an email or a card to tell someone you are thinking about them. A little, thoughtful note can mean so much, and the time and money requirement for this small gesture is minimal, especially when you do not have the means to take or make a meal. As a Southern Baptist from the Heart of Dixie, I know that we tend to think that if someone we know has had a hospital stay or has sickness in the family that we should prepare at least a three-course meal to take to the family. However, take-out will be just as appreciated when there is a need. You most likely barely have time to cook for your own family, much less for someone else – so, don’t be ashamed to let the Colonel cook for you if you have the money to do so. You can still minister to a need, and it will be every bit as much appreciated by the recipients.

Lastly, look to your coworkers and neighbors. You can do the same for them when they are experiencing sickness or a death in the family, and in these cases you may be planting seeds for the kingdom which, in the future, might bear a crop! Those around you who are unsaved will greatly benefit from your small gestures, and you don’t know what doors God might open in their hearts through your acts of kindness. Also, be accessible. You might not have any idea what hardships and heartaches your coworkers or neighbors are dealing with – problems that might come to light as you are in the process of meeting a need – and who knows that you might be placed in their lives “for such a time as this” to gently guide another toward the Savior.

I encourage you today to begin to look towards how you can be Christ’s hands and feet by your actions as your ministry – your “ministering to others” – grows. I pray that you will be the “seed that fell on good soil” which “yielded a crop a hundred times more than was sown.” (from the Parable of the Sower, Luke 8:8).




Sunday, October 24, 2010

Daily Bible Readings for October 25-31, 2010

Dearest Sisters, I am praying for you as you join me in these Daily Bible Readings, that you may be blessed through the exercise. Please also pray for me to be steadfast in my effort as well. Have a fantastic week!

October Bible Readings

Family
Private
25
2 Kings
6
1 Timothy
3
Daniel
10
Psalm 119
v 1-24
26
2 Kings
7

1 Timothy
4
Daniel
11
Psalm 119
v 25-48
27
2 Kings
8

1 Timothy
5
Daniel
12
Psalm 119
v 49-72
28
2 Kings
9

1 Timothy
6
Hosea
1
Psalm 119
v 73-96
29
2 Kings
10

2 Timothy
1

Hosea
2
Psalm 119
v 97-120
30
2 Kings
11-12
2 Timothy
2

Hosea
3-4
Psalm 119
v 121-144
31
2 Kings
13
2 Timothy
3

Hosea
5-6
Psalm 119
v 145-176
from Robert Murray M'Cheyne's "Calendar for reading through the Word of God in a year"

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. 
"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkenss, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:1-5, NIV)


 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Psalm 111

 
NASA Photo: the "Eye of God"
 
Praise the LORD.

I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be reembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.


NASA Photo: the "Hand of God"

The works of his hands are faithful and just;
his precepts are trustworthy.
They are steadfast for ever and ever,
done in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever -
holy and awesome is his name.

NASA Photo
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
(Psalm 111, NIV)



Friday, October 22, 2010

What Is Your Ministry? Part 2

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In yesterday’s post, we discussed that having a ministry is not about “finding your purpose” or “developing your spiritual gifts” or about being involved in every activity that comes along. Today we will examine what the Bible says about what our ministries should be.

I know this probably goes without saying, but just to reiterate, we all need to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33) Remember John 15:5: I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.Without a firm connection to the vine, we are nothing and we can do nothing. Stay firmly planted on the Rock by being faithful in prayer and Bible Study.

Continuing with the passage in Romans that we started with yesterday, Paul goes on to give us some guidelines about what we are to do:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
(Romans 12:9-16, NIV)

So, we seek God first, then we are to love one another, and show joy, patience and faithfulness. We are to be generous, particularly toward other Christians, and we should show hospitality to one another, especially to those who might be considered “socially inferior,” because status is nothing – we are all equal before God.

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death –
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  (Philippians 2:1-13, NIV)

Secondly, remember that “having a ministry” is an act of “ministering to” the needs of others. Your ministry should be about showing Christ’s love to those around you – to those closest to you first, then to your brothers and sisters in Christ, and then to those whom you can influence by your words and actions. On Monday we will discuss some of the ways that you can minister to the needs of those in your realm of influence that will communicate Christ’s love.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

What Is Your Ministry? Part 1

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What does it mean to have a ministry, and how do you know what your ministry is? Are you constantly pulled to serve with the PTA, teach Sunday School, keep nursery in addition to your regular basis, serve on multiple committees at the church, help everyone else at work complete their projects, keep the house spotless, cook gourmet meals, have children who look like they just walked out of a fashion magazine, participate in the latest outreach at church…and do you feel guilty if you don’t say “yes” to every request?

In today’s world of “purpose-driven movements,” there are articles ad nauseum on “finding your purpose,” “seeking your spiritual gifts,” and the like, creating a feeling in so many people that they are less than acceptable Christians if they’re not working all the time fulfilling some purpose that they picked up in a book or if they are not developing a treasure trove of spiritual gifts that they never realized they have. But I am here to tell you that you won’t find your ministry in the latest best-seller, and there is no small-group program out there to help you “develop” it.

Furthermore, falling for these schemes will take you into bondage, and you will be burdened constantly by what you are unable to achieve. When you are burdened and in bondage, you cannot experience the freedom found in Christ!

Ladies, let me warn you, we are much more vulnerable to an attack by the enemy in this than our husbands are. It is in the feminine nature, as we are created by our Father, to seek to please those around us (after all, we were created to be “helpers,” – see Genesis 2:18) and when we feel we are failing to live up to someone else’s expectations, we worry about what people will think or say, particularly behind our backs.


It is an unfortunate occurrence in the church, but it all too often happens in the workplace as well, and if you are to be a reflection of Christ’s light to those in your realm of influence, you must be aware, and wary. You also need to realize that someone at church asking you to serve in a particular capacity is not necessarily a call from God for you to serve. Responding to a call from God is a different issue – one we’ll talk about in the coming weeks.

I would like for you to consider instead what the Bible says about this:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Psalm 37:7a

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"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him..."

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father's house,
Cindy <><

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you blooming like the Rose of Sharon?


My yard is filled with Rose of Sharon shrubs. The ones in my yard are the offspring of my neighbor’s shrubs, and I have transplanted several from my back yard to prominent spots in front of the house. The shrubs, which can grow to about 12 feet tall, are beautiful and they bloom from June to late September with blossoms ranging in color from pure white to hot pink to bluish purple – often on the same shrub!

There’s only one caveat to having Rose of Sharon shrubs, however – if you have them, you had best be prepared to have more. They reproduce prolifically and their seeds will scatter throughout the yard. Lately my Father has revealed an object lesson to me in my Rose of Sharon shrubs.

I have learned that I need to be more like those shrubs! First and foremost, you see, is in the name itself…the Rose of Sharon…another name for our LORD Jesus Christ. I need to strive every day to be more like my Savior.

Secondly, there is the hardiness of the plant. These shrubs are the most maintenance free plants I know of; if you transplant one in the spring and give it minimal water until its roots set, it will be blooming before the end of summer, and unless you are in an unusual drought, it will not even require much watering through the heat of summer. The shrubs thrive in full sun or full shade. In other words, the plant is not particular about where you put it. It blooms where it’s planted. Too often I find myself wishing for what I don’t have or wishing to be what I’m not, all the while not seeing the beauty of what I do have or what I am in Christ’s eyes. I need to bloom where I’m planted, because I can no more pick up my roots and move them or change what I am than that shrub can.
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