Thursday, March 30, 2006

Look At Me!

ChewChew ....ChewChew.....look!
Look at me puppydog.
Look, take your picture! ...Chewy... look!
[Seven,Eight, Nine,Ten pictures later]
Okay! Gooooood boy!
You want your good boy snack?
Good puppy...

Living goes on in Alaska with my little opinionated shihtzu. I love it!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Curses and Blessings

"You don't know anything!"

"You will never amount to anything"

"You are an idiot!"

"I wish you were never born!"

"You are ugly!"

"I hope you have a kid just like yourself!"

These according to Wellspring Ministries, are curses. The opposite of blessings. You all might have to put up with some of my thoughts still coming from the seminar that we attended in February. :-) Just skip this blog if you don't want to read about this.

Throughout the years I have heard words like these spoken by parents and sadly, I have said some of them myself. (I did not say my parents spoke all these words to me.) I am repeating some words learned from others talking about curses at the seminar too.

Definition of curse:
curse (noun)

  • a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one
  • something that is cursed or accursed
  • evil or misfortune that comes as if in response to imprecation(cursing) or as retribution
  • a cause of great harm or misfortune
  • "Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest."Proverbs 26:2

    "For you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others." Ecclesiastes 7:22

    It is sobering to learn that as parents/leaders/spouses we can bring down "great harm", "misfortune", or "injury" to our loved ones/friends by uttering mean words in retaliation during times when situations in our lives are not perfect.

    I have told myself to cover my mouth, to shut it, before saying anything hurtful. I did't realize the power of words, especially words spoken in anger. I never realized the readiness of the Evil One to work out those angry suggestions in my childrens/friends lives.

    I've asked God to forgive me, I have spoken sincerely to my children and others from my sorry heart and asked them to forgive me so this evil foothold can be removed from their lives and our relationship. I have also had to forgive myself for words I hurt others with.

    I believe the tactic the devil uses in so many homes throughout the ages is to "divide and conquer". First he divides our bonds of caring, love, trust and puts division, strife and hatred in it's place. Mistrust. Suspicious thoughts. He fills us with insecurities about our value to one another ---so much every new day that we begin to believe his lies!

    All lies I tell ya! Just stop in the middle of those feelings/thoughts and shout.... WHAT? That is NOT TRUE! Through the living blood of Jesus Christ you leave me now - you are a lying spirit! It will have to leave because of Jesus Christ, He gave us the victory!

    Now to blessing. The opposite of cursing is blessing.

    When we say things like, "you are doing well in school", "what a great job", "you are a good helper", "What a great uncle!" these are blessings. (Picture of Uncle Kris and Ashlee during a recent 4-wheeler/snowmachine ride).

    I have read different beautiful blessings in poetry form too.

    "God bless your heart."

    "God bless you!" (After sneezing!)

    "Be safe!"

    The definition of blessing (noun): (Both,curse and blessing definitions, are from Websters.)

  • the act or words of one that blesses
  • approval, encouragement
  • grace said at a meal
  • to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word
  • a thing conducive to happiness or welfare
  • (verb)to speak well of
  • (verb)to confer prosperity or happiness upon
  • There is much more to what we say than we give credit for, especially when we are in a position of some influence in others lives. I need to learn how to bring blessings and not curses into others lives. This has been a great lesson for me.

    "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." Romans 12:14

    P.S. Much of what I say in my blog is said to Christians (but all are welcome to read). In order even understand God's words we need the Holy Spirit in our heart to help us. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives only after we believe that we are sinners and that God made the Way back to right standing with Him. We can only get to that place through the blood of Jesus Christ. One must believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, repent and walk/talk with God. Then the Helper (Holy Spirit) is dispatched into our own spiritual warzones and His control begins in our heart and lives, rather than the control the Evil spirit has had since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden. Why blood? It is so disgusting! That is a whole other topic.

    I hope you have a very good day and that your heart can understand God's love for you and your family today. That is a blessing from my heart to you! :-)

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    New Bag!

    I just made this beaded bag. The colors are hard to see with this picture but you can sort of see it. It was not as big as the tooth fairy bag so seemed to go fast.

    The colors are hematite and garnet red. It has 43 garnet gemstones worked into the strap and the fringe and pewter pressed glass bicones.

    It is beautiful here in the Valley today. My husband Doug (who is healing quite well) and my son who gets a week off from his bus driving job for spring break invited me to join them where they were burning a pile of brush. We roasted moose weiners and enjoyed the SUN!

    Update: I was looking at the shamrock this morning, it has flowers! Such a happy to grow plant!

    If you are interested, I have been working on streaming the 2006 Native Musicale sponsored by the Anchorage Native New Life Fellowship. Today I was working on building a new Monday Night's Online for putting up the weekly Monday night meetings as soon as I can on Tuesdays. Listen to them sometime, the singing and the testimonies are very good!

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    Flawed Memory

    I have been dealing with heart issues in the last four weeks. By heart issues I mean emotions.

    I want to share this heart issue with my readers in hopes it will be helpful as you work with your daily issues.

    Most times things we think about in our hearts are the things that have a major impact in our daily lives. They impact not only of ourselves but the ones we love the most too. Family and friends see and live with the results of our heart issues. We are even led to believe that these topics are not acceptable to cultivating friendships ---so many of us hold them in to ourselves and smile through our tears, don't we?

    I wanted to share a story from my childhood today.

    We traveled in a snowstorm to Anchorage and the Alaska Freedom Band practice yesterday and we saw many cars in the ditches. One car was overturned and sitting on it's roof, another on it's side. We are still getting snow as I type. So beautiful but treacherous too. The people and their cars will suffer the impacts of those accidents, they never will be the same as before the accidents happened.

    Several weeks ago we attended two teaching sessions. First one was the Spiritual Warfare Gathering and then a week long seminar put on by Wellspring Ministries which was the I Found Freedom seminar.

    Both were great teaching sessions. I have learned so much, mostly from the Wellspring Ministries and the teachings on forgiveness and repentance. Such great tools for dealing with "baggage" from the past. Baggage = impacts of sin in our lives. Whereever that sin came from, our own or a sin that someone else commited that forever clouds, tints, and changes our viewpoints of ourselves or of others.

    Some of my baggage left me with feelings of being unaccepted by from my oldest brother, Don. One morning I sat thinking about "where did this ugly feeling come from?" I closed my eyes and prayer that God would reveal to me what I should deal with concerning this troublesome thought/feeling.

    As I prayed I went clear back to the time I was climbing a broken down wall of my Dad's Shugak General Store building. I was five or six years old. As my leg slid down in between those boards, two nails cut and gouged my leg open. I screamed in pain then fell away from the wall I was desperately clinging to. It felt like my bone was going to break as all my weight hung on my calf.

    I frantically turned my head towards the beach and saw Don standing there. In my memory he turned, looked at me then turned away. I believe that from that point the spiritual warfare has raged in my heart and mind. That memory was twisted and then used as fuel to feed the belief that I was not important to him and that Don did not care if I was ever hurt.

    Yesterday I shared this with Don as I told him how I had prayed over this lifelong hurt. He listened to me then said, "Connie, I am the one that pulled you out of those boards."

    I was so STUNNED and I still am! To know that I have lived with this flawed memory all my life has opened my spiritual eyes to the craftiness of my enemy, The Evil One, the Destroyer, the Liar, Satan, the Enemy of God!

    The unseen spiritual war (whether you believe that it exists or not does not change the truth) is going on everyday. The war over my own and all peoples eternity. The war that strives to prevent and to break relationships with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The war that breaks up family relationships.

    In this war, through the years the truth of my past was horribly twisted! My mind was blinded to the truth of the situation and I allowed a lie to twist and confuse my heart....everyday for years!!!!!

    I am still reeling from this truth this morning.

    When we are overcome by feelings of being unloved, unwanted, like we don't matter....we must ask ourselves, where is this feeling, this idea, this knowledge coming from ----in order to protect ourselves, our families, our relationships from this ugly enemy!

    Our enemy, he accuses us day and night, day and night, day and night without getting tired of doing it! We get tired of fighting the fight so much faster! We get tired and then we believe lies. When we believe him he grabs that foothold in our thoughts and begins to wreak havoc, to conquer and divide our families, our friendship.... our husband and wife relationships!

    He uses whatever we give him permission to use. All those years I gave him permission to lie about my brother saying that my brother hated me and did not care to have me in his life. I believed those lies and I became quiet. NOW....I am an old woman! I have wasted a life of believing that twisted story from my enemy.

    All this to share what I hope will make you think differently about the troubles in your life then realize that when those thoughts are destroying your friendships and families ---- realize where they come from. They come from The Accuser, He wants to destroy your life. Kneel down and pray to God, thank Him for Jesus Christ making the Way for us to lead peaceful, joyful lives.

    Forgiveness. Forgiveness to all ---not because they deserve it or even because they have asked for forgiveness. Forgiveness because the Lord, the One that loves us, He said to forgive.... 70 x 7... for the same offense! Not because we are such martyrs and good Christians and must do what is right, but because when we forgive, our enemy loses his hold over our thoughts and our hearts. When we forgive, the Lord comes and heals us and replaces hurts, bitterness, anger, jealousy, ________________, you fill the blank....

    He replaces my hurts with peace and joy....longsuffering, gentleness.. kindness... even a loving brother.

    "But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield." Psalms 5:11,12

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Congratulations Winners!

    By now you all saw the winner is Jeff King! I tried to watch the end of the race on television this morning and I guess I just kept flipping to the wrong stations because I didn't see ONE thing about the Iditarod Race Finish!

    How disappointing! I wanted to see that.

    Anyway, Jeff King, Doug Swingley, Paul Gebhardt and DeeDee ---great job mushers!

    To the ones still on the trail---keep hangin' on to those dogs and that handlebar!

    What a grueling race! Looking at Jeff King's frozen face makes me wonder why anyone would want to do this? Their desires to keep on racing in Alaska's bitter cold bewilders me. Same with those that want to climb Denali Mt! BRRRRRRRRRR!

    According to ADN, Martin Buser continues on in 26th! Come on in Buser! We love ya!

    Now that the race is getting over I want to share this story that Doug sent to me.

    A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

    It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastors visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

    The pastor made himself at home but said nothing.

    In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor got up, took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

    The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

    Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

    The Pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

    As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday."

    We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

    What a great story!

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Big Window Into Your Soul

    Looks like the mushers are well into the end of the race now. Looks like it will be a race between Jeff King, Doug Swingley, DeeDee Jonrowe and Paul Gebhardt. They definitely have set the pace for the race this year.

    Martin Buser continues to run well behind the leading teams in 26th position. He is running eleven dogs now. ADN continues to provide very good coverage with lots to read. I enjoyed listening to their AM Audio this morning. Buser and others spoke about wha it is like to continue on racing with sleep deprivation and fatigue which the mushers will battle until the end of the race. Martin Buser said pushing yourself beyond exhaustion can be very revealing and frightening.

    "It's [exhaustion, hallucinations] a big window into your soul, I think. People that don't like what they are seeing they don't run the Iditarod from year to year." Martin Buser

    Jonrowe says she is just trying to maintain the position she is at right now.

    Scratches remain at eleven.

    Three dogs have died.

    It's blowing and cold here. Yuck! I am happy to have a lot of wood and a warm fire in the stove.

    "I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." Psalms 4:8

    ...and that's not referring to Safety on the Iditarod Trail. :-)

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    That Lost & Found Handlebar!

    Driving home from church today we saw a dog sled truck go by and I felt like hollering to him, "Hey you are not supposed to be back here yet!" But I see there have been numerous scratches. There were a lot of rookies in the Iditarod race this year. 83 started the race.

    When I walk my little dog to go potty and stand in the freezing wind I think about those brave sledders and am awed by their stamina. I have no desire what - so - ever to be out there flying through the snow! I applaud all of them, even the ones that had to scratch for one reason or another. Eleven so far have scratched from the race. God bless them all.

    So, what's up with that Buser? Come on Buser, go, go, go! I tried to find the picture I have of my daughters Karla and Kim with Buser, but didn't find it. They were at a ball.. fancy gowns and all! They had a lot of fun. I believe they were raising funds for the Iditarod Race. If I ever find it I will post it.

    Buser lost the handlebar on his sled in the crash but managed to jury-rig a repair and push on. Hours later, fatigued Iditarod rookie Bryan Bearss pulled into Cripple packing the handlebar for Buser's sled. "Yeah I saw that stump," Bearss said. "There was (debris) scattered all over the place. It looked like a sled junk yard."

    "I've got (the handlebar) somewhere tucked inside my sled." ADN

    Sounds like some troubles on the trail.

    Not sure what this all means for Martin's chances to win. Never know, he still could surprise us! I bet he is still sporting that same winning smile!!

    Many of the drivers have rested out their mandatory 24 hrs. I was happy to see Buser has his 24 and 8, just one mandatory 8 left for White Mountain.

    I think the end of the race will be coming up really quick!

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Two-Sided Tooth Fairy Bag

    This is a fun project I have been working on.

    I thought it might be fun to create something to make Dad & Mom's job easier.

    When my girls were young one of them asked me, "Mom, what does the toothfairy do with all the teeth she takes?"

    Good question!

    As the years passed and each one had to have teeth changed into money, the story was embellished until I finally was telling my five children this:

    OH! Don't you know that the Toothfairy is very fashionable so she goes around looking for the prettiest, shiniest, whitest teeth for her dresses?

    After a long night of hunting for little, loose teeth she loves to take colorful ribbons, attach the teeth on to them then sew them on to her gowns. She does not like ugly ol' rotten teeth (my sneaky attempt at making brushing teeth very important) and if you try to give her one she won't even bother with it.

    Some night if you ever happen to wake up (which is very rare, she is so very good at being carefully quiet *big wink*) and catch her checking around your pillow for your nice lookin' tooth --- it maybe be because she woke you up with all those noisy teeth clicking around on her gown!

    This is the bag I have designed, beaded and just finished ---last night! One side has a picture of the Tooth Fairy and the other a picture of a girl and boy holding up loose teeth and sporting a missing-toothed smile. It's meant to hold loose teeth which can then can be hung up in a very accessible spot ---thus making it easier on our beautiful *ah-hem* Tooth Fairy! *winkety wink wink wink!"

    Now, where is Buser at?

    Happy Birthday to you, Jen!

    He's Movin!

    Right now (12 midnight! I've been beading...) he is out of Nikolai and is in 11th place! WOOHOOO! Go 58!!!! I knew he would move up and give the leaders something to think about! YIPPEE!

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Beaded Alutiiq Design

    I wanted to show a beaded bracelet I have designed and completed. I used the petroglyph designs that are found at Alitak Bay on Kodiak Island. I don't think anyone really knows what the drawings depicted in their day. Some suggest it marked the fishing and hunting areas of those that lived in the area. Could be territorial markings. Some even said whalers did similar drawings to bring luck for the hunt for whales. More info.

    Alutiiq Museum has a book they sell about the petroglyphs. "The Cape Alitak Petroglyphs: From the Old People" by Woody Knebel. The Alutiiq Museum Bookstore site is still under construction so check back another time for the book. I have not read it, I do plan to purchase it and do that soon!

    Bib 58

    I sure hope that Buser has been resting.

    Looks like he did not stop much during the beginning of the race. Right now he is at 49th. I have not heard if he is taking a mandatory stop or not. I hope he isn't have troubles. I'm expecting to see him climb the list and become a real threat to the leaders whenever he gets going again. WAKE UP BUSER! lol

    There are three mandatory stops. Two mandatory 8-hour stops, one on the Yukon and one in White Mountain. One mandatory 24-hour stop to be taken when the driver feels it's best for his/her team.

    You can watch a video of the Restart in Willow here. I watched it at Buser's website. Those dogs are fast!

    We have been getting light snow here all day. Not much accumulation, but very pretty.

    I pray that God will keep all those on the trails safe, racers and workers and doggies.

    I wonder ----if I could get to the Iditarod Trail would I be able to find two sets of blown-off dog booties for my doggies.... ?

    GO 58!!!!

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Iditarod Restart

    The restart in Willow will begin today. It is probably going on right now. I won't be watching live, but will be keeping tabs online this year. I did a lot of reading yesterday about this years Iditarod news. Susan Butcher's leukemia and the groomer Richard Strick Jr. who got caught in the avalanche near Pass Fork in the Alaska Range was definitely heart wrenching. (Story of Strick)

    I admire all the people behind the scenes for all the work they do in preparation for this Alaskan Dogsled race. I watched a video yesterday of those anxious dogs and they are incredible the way they want to just take off so badly! Yelping and jumping! That is so cool.

    I guess my favorite racer is still Martin Buser most likely because he is from this area and especially because I just love that smile! Here is another picture of him from the internet with his family in 2003.

    The Official Site of the Iditarod
    Alaska Daily News Iditarod Photos GREAT PICTURES!
    Cabela's Iditarod Coverage

    Some people say these dogs are mistreated. I suppose there could be the few instances of that as it is in any other type of animal race. I don't believe the Iditarod dogs are mistreated. They are just too happy! SUNHUSKY.COM writes in response to sled dogs being mistreated.

    Someday I will have my camera ready when I see the dogs running past our place here in Big Lake. They train all year and every time I see them they look just as excited and anxious to run faster! No, we don't have snow all year, we barely have enough snow to start the races here, during the summer the dogs around here pull atv's!

    Now it's just about time to head out for church.