Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

For Christmas this year Doug's folks sent us a book "In Search of...The Real Spirit of Christmas" by Dan Schaeffer. I sat down to read it shortly after.

"Christmas seasons come and go, often leaving us with vague pangs of regret. Why does the Christmas spirit seem so elusive? What is the real Christmas spirit anyway? Even those who know the Reason for the season can find themselves wondering if they've missed something."

Last night I read this and the glory of Christmas is the fact that because of Christmas we are so blessed!

We have fallen into favor. And the Christmas spirit will fill our hearts when we realize that each of us receives the gift of Christmas the same way Mary did. Our faith is not an accomplishment; it is a "gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8-9). The grace we have received is not payment for good behavior, but an act of mercy.

As Jesus was born physically in Mary, so we have been born spiritually into Him. Gabriel's announcement echoes in us as well. We have been highly favored. The Lord is with us!"

That is just incredible!

We are in a deep freeze up here. BLEAH! Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what we are enduring right now. haha

Many blessings to your and yours - my fellow Believers. May our God comfort you too in this sin-sick world; may He prove His never-ending love in your lives daily; may He strengthen you; may He make aware each minute of 2009 that He will soon return as the victorious King and Lord of all that He is! Stand firm in His righteousness to the end.

Happy New Year from us up here in cold, cold Alaska. (I'm looking or maybe I should say LONGING for spring already!)

P.S.!!!! Not to worry - all dogs pictured are indoors and toasty warm!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Whirrrs and Brrrrs!

whirrrr-rrrr, slow, speed up, whirr-RRRR-rrrr

The new noise on my laptop the last few days has me concerned. Last time that happened on my desktop computer... the hard drive fried. So I am kind of concerned.

So while I sat out this awful cold spell up here in Alaska I opened the laptop the other morning just to see if I can get to the fans easily. No, not without some instructions to back me up, so I have been reading online and have printed out a lot of information. I have ordered parts from Parts-People.COM and now I am anxiously waiting for them! I've never ordered from this company before so I hope my experience is good. (They are in Austin, TX)

HOPEFULLY... my laptop won't klunk out on me before I change some things. ha

IF it does... I have a new iPhone! So no worries. Little bit slower, little bit harder to type on the screen but I won't be totally cut off from the internet, haha.

The iPhone is so much fun! I love it. Doug gave it to me for Christmas and I've been sitting around in the living room looking at this small gadget like my son and his wife did before me. I have downloaded Mahjong and a pirate game called Booty Blocks and even a book, Pilgrim's Progress so I can read when I am stuck waiting somewhere! It is an incredible little gadget! I was looking for a good Bible to download to it too, but there are so many to choose from, I could not decide.

I let Moto out the front door a few minutes ago and just standing in the doorway, my nose got nipped! That is just crazy cold. It's blowing pretty good in Wasilla I hear (gusts to 70 mph), no wind here at home... just cold, cold, cold!

We drove to Wasilla last evening to have dinner with Kris before he left for Arizona, and it was twenty degrees warmer than it was here (12 miles away)! That is what wind does there... brings up the temp for them. But the high winds get irritating afer awhile. I think I might rather have extreme cold than strong winds.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Nothing Traditional but Devotion!

"Roam," "ramble," and "meander" all mean to move about from place to place without a plan or definite purpose, but each suggests wandering in a unique way. "Roam" refers to carefree wandering over a wide area often for pleasure (as in, "I roamed over the hills for hours"). "Ramble" stresses carelessness and indifference to one’s course or objective (for instance, "the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point"). "Meander," which comes from Greek "Maiandros," an old name for a river in Asia Minor, implies a winding course and lazy movement, and it is still sometimes associated with rivers (as in, "the river meandered through the town"). "Meander" can also be used as a noun meaning "a winding path."

For Christmas we (me, Doug, Kris and my Mom) did something so foreign to my family. We had a lazy day absent of the usual cooking and baking for a robust Christmas dinner for a whole army! Instead, we got up late, ate fresh baked cinnamon rolls (I prepared the night before) with broiled ham and boiled eggs, Doug read a Christmas devotional to us by Margaret Manning (A Slice of Infinity), we opened gifts, and enjoyed each others company. Later in the afternoon Kris drove us in a super, duper snowstorm to Anchorage where we MEANDERED through Anchorage looking for a place to eat (Sicily's Pizza), for homes dressed in holiday style and a movie that we all would like to watch together!

(I caught my happy Mom with her hair a mess after she took off her knitted cap! hehehe)

Even though we left so much of our Christmas day to chance, we had fun! After we ate, we went to see Seven Pounds (I give it my thumbs up, but it is a tear jerker) with Will Smith (great actor!) at Century 16. We got home late that night! We did not realize how many people go watch movies on Christmas day! That is most people I've seen at the theater - EVER!

This was a very different Christmas for us all...but we enjoyed it a lot! One can celebrate the birth of Christ no matter what is done together.

Why? Why didn't we do the usual? Because of conflicts in the family - family plans were changed - and to keep the peace. Sometimes we as loving family members have to do things like this. It's all good. At first I tried to be depressed about it all, but that is no way to REJOICE over my salvation through the birth of Jesus Christ!

"O, Come Let Us Adore Him"

Our horizons have been exposed to the possibility of perhaps, maybe next year... meandering around a different town, maybe even in the Lower 48 for Christmas! I am open to change! It can be fun, if you keep your heart where it should be - adoring Christ Jesus --- my LORD Jesus!

It's been two years today since my sister Millie was hospitalized. I sure miss you Sis, Ahka, Chamai, ... Mil.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mary & Women & Christ's Love

I was overdue a week, and as Doug and I were attending a friends wedding I could feel that contractions were beginning. I ignored them for a while thinking that these things take time anyway. Besides, we were poor Bible students at the time and my husband was so looking forward to the reception where there was going to be a feast fit for a king!

As the ceremony progressed I knew the contractions were leveling out and becoming very regular! So I asked Doug for his watch. He looked at me in horror and whispered to me "No!" But yes, Kim was on her way and she was not going to be considerate for anyone's wishes but her own!

It turned out that this birth was very hard. Not hard because it took long but that it happened way too fast! The doctor did not make it to the hospital in time. Kim was born as I cried out in pain while being pushed through the swinging delivery room doors by two night nurses! They held Kim and then looked at each other and one said, "Now what?"

I always recall that night and say that she was the worst pain and delivery I ever went through of all five deliveries!

The hard trouble that came on women in childbirth is a curse that came with death at the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. Mary also suffered in childbearing.

I watched a movie (can't remember the title, sorry), a movie on TBN about the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. I could imagine the fear of Mary, the pregnant young girl, living in a culture where she would be stoned for being in this condition outside of marriage. Joseph was going to put her away for having become pregnant when he knew that they had not been together. I would have to guess that both Mary and Joseph had many sleepless nights!

Listen to Ravi as he answers a question a lady asked about a friend who chose not to believe the Bible/Christianity because she had read the curse to women. Pain in childbearing. "I can't believe in something that does not believe in me."

What a great response from Ravi - speaking of the great value that Jesus Christ placed on womanhood.

"Go and sin no more."

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just About Merry Christmas!

Like sand through an hourglass.... Christmas shopping days are almost over!

...Then we will feel like we need to shop for all the great-after-Christmas-deals. If I was smart as some... I would do next years Christmas shopping after Christmas! But... I won't.

Yesterday Doug and I went to the Christmas dinner/get-together for Doug's work group at O'Malley's On The Green in their banquet facilities. We had so much good food! We don't normally eat so richly. Since I am feeling really tired today and my bones ache more than usual, I am blaming the diet. Too much fat, too much sugar, too much salt ---- but boy was the food YUMMIE! From crab cakes to prime rib roast beef and rich, black chocolate cake to an extremely good key lime pie with blueberries, who could resist? Had to try everything. I did eat my fresh veggies though, so I was not all bad!

It was fun getting to see the people that Doug works with everyday. I enjoyed watching him interact with each one. We are not the social butterflies though, so we didn't flit from table to table like others do, but we still enjoyed the evening.

Then as we were finishing up the evening together Doug's boss tells us, I will okay a hotel room if you two would rather spend the night than drive all the way home. Wow! We did it. We stayed at Residence Inn! We got up today and went out to do some Christmas shopping. First I had to get shopping shoes because the ones I wore to the dinner were not meant for walking and walking! OUCHIE!

In two more days, we will be thankful for the shortest daylight day of the year --- then we approach the daylight gains to glorious SPRINGTIME! One of my favorite days of the year!

Just about Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nativity Around The World

A troubled woman in Germany left her newborn baby boy in a Nativity manger and hoped that someone would find him there. Now the church is taking donations to help her take care of her baby. KTUU

I surfed the internet for Web Cams of the Nativity scene but I have been finding story after story of disgruntled fighting to prevent people from even using the Nativity scene publicly. The spiritual war becomes more evident to me during Christmas with the stories of those that don't/won't realize why they become so ready to fight Christmas, the Nativity scene, and other Christian celebrations.

Baby Jesus Stolen at the Cheviot Nativity. :-(
Nativity scene in Grossarl, Salzburg. :-)
Graceland Nativity Web Cam. USA. :-)
Cow Fled Nativity Scene - Norway. :-D
A Knit Nativity. Tasmania. :-)
"Presepe" Creators - Nativity Makers, Italy. :-)
Nativity Show (video)- Missoula, USA. :-)
350 Nativity Collection - Echo Bay, Canada. :-)

Wasilla Bible Church, the building, was damaged due to what is alleged to be arson. It was damaged enough that we cannot meet there for services until it is fixed. Pictures at ADN.COM. We met at Wasilla Middle School on Sunday instead. This fire cemented in my heart the truth that God's church is not found in buildings, but it is found in the hearts of those who know, love, and worship His Son, Jesus Christ.

My daughter was the first to call me about our church building. I could hear that she and her children were troubled. I reminded her that God's church is still intact. The building that we worship TOGETHER in was damaged but the Church wasn't! It lives on where ever we all may be, here and after this life.

The world may take away all that remind us of that story long ago --- God sent His Son. They can take all the tangible things away, but what will remain? Continuing faith in God --- in our hearts. They can even place their words beside the scene, but God will continue to brings honest and sincere seekers to Himself, regardless.

Our Pastor had a very good admonition to us on Sunday and his sermon is online now. He spoke on I Corinthians 13:13. After the Fire: faith, hope and love.

"And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Just as we can't see Sleeping Lady during a heavy snowstorm, that does not mean that Sleeping Lady is not there. Someday everyone will see spiritual things as they really are! Everyone will realize that the Babe in the manger long ago was the triumphant Messiah that the Jews looked for! But He came first, as a Babe, then He will come again - soon - as the triumphant King of kings and LORD of lords that they mistakenly thought would be His first coming! He came first to become the Savior and not only of the Jews, but also the Gentiles ---- that's me!

I am so thankful that He loved not only the Jews... but that He loved me too! I was born in the wrong place, but it was not my choice to be born there, but if He came only to be the Messiah for the Jews, I would have been an outcast. But He didn't forget me! He compelled me ---and YOU too, to become one of His own!

In a way, I was like the little baby left in the manger in Germany. I was helpless and could not save myself. Until Christ found a Way for me to be right with God I could not celebrate Christmas with Joy unspeakable and Peace in my heart.

Christmas will continue to be a time when my heart praises God for including me in His salvation plan. I am forever thankful that God sent His Son, as a Baby long ago. The World with all it's righteously-indignant organizations may take/forbid the Nativity in public view but Jesus story still rings in my heart, and His living Church forever.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Seven Random Things

Seven things I did before I was a Mom?

1. Worked my first ever job at The Loussac Library with my sister Kotya.
2. Shared an apartment with my friend Karen, who is now also my sister-in-law.
3. Learned to crochet.
4. Oil painted.
5. Learned to knit.
6. My husband and I flagged mobile homes on the highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks for more money to pay bills.
7. We also delivered floral bouquets to help make ends meet.

Seven things I do now that I know Jesus really loves me:

1. I want to please Him.
2. Try to learn more about Him so I know how to please Him (Bible reading).
3. Try to be a light to those I come in contact with so they can know Him too.
4. Go on the occasional gospel team trip with my husband and share my testimony.
5. Let Him be my defender by not being defensive when wrongly attacked.
6. Sharing the blessings He has given to me.
7. Go to church.

Seven things I would like to do!

1. Travel the Lower 48 with my husband (while we are still mobile).
2. Visit more of Alaska.
3. More bead work.
4. Be with Millie when she first begins to talk again.
5. Be with Millie and see her smile again.
6. Totally landscape (or hire it done) our 13 acres!!!! haha
7. Go on a Mediterranean cruise with my whole family!

Seven things that still attract me to my husband!

1. His sincere gaze, and then his awesome smile.
2. How he is so careful of me, and so worried when I fall down or hurt myself!
3. When I see him studying God's word.
4. When I see him spend time with the kids and the grand kids.
5. His love for the outdoors and me being in it with him!
6. He always considers my opinion as important when decisions need to be made.
7. How he plays his guitar even though he has one useless finger.

Seven favorite foods?

1. Coffee
2. Cookies ... with coffee.
3. Bacon and eggs with coffee.
4. Fried chicken!
5. Mashed potatoes.
6. Apple pie with fresh ground kona coffee.
7. Baked salmon with rice.

Seven things I say most often:

1. "Oh my word."
2. "Who called?"
3. "Hi"
4. "Bye - bye"
5. "What you wanna eat?"
6. "Wanna go out to eat?"
7. "I'm so hot!" (Doug always says, "Yes you are." haha)

Seven people I would like to pass this Creativ Blogger Award to:

Slimpickin's
Jettie
Marie
Karla
Sandi
Faith
Joanne
Farrah

I got this award from e-Mom. thanks e-Mom! Now I am passing it on to seven. Like e-Mom said, only do this Seven Random Things "if you have the time." I know it's Christmas time and hard to do even more, but hey... you're already just sitting there at the computer anyway! Oh my word! I listed EIGHT, hehehe.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Another Chance!

I bought RaeRae this cute skirt while I was in Hawaii. Her Mom was still changing her outfit when I asked RaeRae to say "CHEESE." She didn't. Instead, she quickly ran to the rocking chair, climbed up, turned around and then gave me her CHEESIEST smile!

Many times in our families or with our friends we wish some words never were said. Our selfish actions or reactions make us fear our good relationship is totally bombed to smittereens. Thankfully time has a way of healing those unhappy words, quarrels, and strife.

Jesus shed His blood in order to clean my sorry heart from all sin. I'm thankful for that because many times, daily, I must repent for inserting my own will in how things should be. Hearts are God's work. His will is done on Earth. Prayer is my work.

Thankfully, family blood is binding! Family is family! Daugher will always be a daughter, son will always be son, brother is always brother, sister is always sister, Mom and Dad will always be Mom and Dad. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, great.... great.... and on and on. We must forgive to make life what we want it to be - peaceful.

Thank God for blood, hah?

"I think I just said, 'Thank you Lord' ... for us to have another chance!" said the child's father.

These thoughts were brought on by the wonderful story I read today. Puppies save three-year-old boy lost in freezing Virginia woods.

I can understand what Jaylynn Thorpe's Dad meant when he said that. Many times, as a Mom, I felt like "uh-oh" I should have kept my mouth shut. It was always when I took my eyes/mind off of my ever-loving Jesus, and my worried heart became overwhelmed with questionable situations then I spoke when I should have quietly prayed.

I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's work. He knows so much more than I how to touch hearts and lives. I know there are times we do need to speak to those that call themselves Christian's about their actions, but most of the time prayer is the best way to deal with those situations.

As word went out that the child was alive and well, family members cheered and cried for joy. "Praise the Lord! Welcome home, Jaylynn!"

I am happy for the joyful end to Jaylynn's adventure! Merry Christmas to the Thorpe's in Virginia!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What Is Good?

Does mankind have a right to define what is good and what is evil? Have you never heard this refrain in culture after culture: "What right does any culture have to dictate to another culture what is good?" Embedded in that charge is always another charge: "The evil things that have happened in your culture deny you the prerogative to dictate to anyone else."

Anyone living at this time and old enough to recall will never forget the outrage of some members of the media when President Ronald Reagan denounced the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," or when President George W. Bush branded three nations as forming an "axis of evil." Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, in the meantime, remained well within his own comfort zone when he pronounced the United States as a "satanic power," according to the same members of the media.

Such moralizing goes on, always with the same bottom line: "Who gives whom the right to pronounce the other evil?" I have heard this question countless times. The very word "morality" has become a lightning-rod theme. "Who is to say what is good? How audacious that anyone lay claim to an absolute!" This lies at the core of our entire moral predicament, and it is truly fascinating, isn't it? But we find an interesting twist here, because this selective denial of absolutes in morality does not carry over into the sciences. [Quoted from Ravi Zacharias book: "The Grand Weaver"]

wow, I typed all of that without one mistake to fix! I usually have many to correct.

I've run into that question in my world. Who's right is right and according to which right standard is that person qualified as being right? When we chose not apply God's standards of right from wrong to our living, we are then "doing that which is right in our own eyes" and there is no more standards that people can live up to anymore. Too much of this is going on in the USA today.

Here is a video I made of something good to do! Practicing aloha - resting. I took the video when Doug and I were in Hawaii.

video

It's Doug practicing ALOHA in Hawaii.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moto & Moose

Moto came home from the vet in the evening and he whimpered, awwwww. He is just a baby dog. Now he is pretty much back to himself but is still wearing the cone if he is alone. He tried probably the first day to investigate the incision area, but when I said no he obeyed! :-)

Now he looks pretty healed up and is doing very well. Thanks for asking to those that did. Noticed the """orbs""" in the picture? I did!

Now here is a moose video I just made. We saw this guy this past week. Since he is a legal bull the guys wondered how he made it through the hunting season so close to people! I think it just was not his time to be all 'burgered up'!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Moto

It's hard to get Moto to show up in pictures he is so black! He is our new puppy. He was born the end of May. His mother was a Sharpei/Rottweiler mix and that is who he mostly looks like. His Dad was a Blue Heeler/Husky mix, and you can see a bit of the blue heeler in his white blaze on his chest.

Today Moto is being neutered. I hope he is not mad at us when he gets home!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

6,602,224,175

That number is the number of the world's population as of 2007. I've wondered when I read Revelation if this number of a man could possibly have anything to do with the world population? But according to this site the population has already exceeded 6,660,000,000. Some have suggested 666 is just showing the imperfectness/adequateness's of mankind, attaining only to six! six! six! (Complete/Perfect is the number seven.) Like God being described as Holy! Holy! Holy! It is truly a riddle, isn't it? So on to wondering again. I am just not wise enough to figure out the riddle, but I am watching, and praying.
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Revelation 13:18.

The great harlot is also a mystery. With harlotry - money is involved. I was listening to Ashley Dupre's interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20. Ashley spoke of her relationship with former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, father of three daughters, in a way that that made herself appear almost noble, for only being an escort and not a prostitute. When questioned by Diane as to whether or not both words mean the same thing, Ashley said something like - no, because we talk. I read more online and learned that she and other escorts received between $2,000 and $5,000 an hour for "talking." She said - her reason for "escorting" had nothing to do with money. Give-----me-----a-----break!

Down through the ages since the fall of Adam and Eve, we've been making excuses for our behavior, actions and reactions. We cunningly devise reasons for why we continue to sin. We give nicer names to old sins. Escort = prostitute = harlot. We don't want to be held responsible for our actions. It's always someone elses fault for the way we behave. In this sad story, Ashley spoke of her biological father who was not there for her as a possible reason for wanting to be an escort. I would guess that she was intoxicated by her God-given beauty. She loved the attention men gave her when she was dressed to kill. She forgot the heartache another woman would have to bear for her silly daring acts of indiscriminate intimacy. I don't only hold her responsible, but him. He is the one that was throwing money around, and money that was not rightly his to throw!

Oh, but we are all sinful. All of us. There is no one that is good or without sin. I definitely am not good. Billy Graham is not good. That sweet lady down the street from you - even she is not good.

Here is what Corrie ten Boom had to say about it all.

"Sometimes I get a headache from the heat of the halo that people put around my head. Would you like to know what Corrie ten Boom is really like? Then I told them what happened the evening before --- how my own sleep had been more important in my eyes than the salvation of young people. "That," I said, "was Corrie ten Boom. What egotism! What selfishness! But the joy is that Corrie ten Boom knew what to do with her sins. When I confessed them to the Father, Jesus Christ washed them with His blood. They are now cast into the deepest sea and a sign is put up that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED. But Jesus in Corrie ten Boom is just the opposite of all these things." Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord
Thank God for His forgiveness. There is nothing He will refuse to forgive when we repent (turn away from) of our sin. Praise the LORD for forgiveness and for peace!

Peace in our hearts is a richness of great value and only can be placed deep inside by God when we believe Him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prayerful Caring

Photo of the little thermometer gadget that Doug brought home for me. Shows the inside and outside temp's with a little guy that puts on clothes (or takes them off) depending on the outside temperature.. He's all bundled up - it's cold today!

What about our loving and caring people, huh? Those that keep a foot in the door for some of us. The door of salvation, the door to eternal life, the door to a personal relationship with God. Holding the door ajar for some who appear to carelessly have shut the door on the face of Jesus Christ.

Quietly they've kept trusting because they know that God too dearly loves someone dear to their own heart. They've never lost hope that one day their heart will be softened, their ears unstopped, their minds enlightened - and all by the merciful reach of God. You have a friend like that? A Mom? A Dad? Aunt, Uncle, cousin?

They just keep on praying.

For those who in anger shut the door;
In ignorance, walked past the door;
With disbelief, laugh at the door.
In busyness, are oblivious of the door.

Yesterday I read "The Shack." In my humble opinion the author (William Paul Young) of The Shack makes our incredible, awesome, powerful God just too man-like, and way too common. Actually the author presented God the Father as a black woman; Jesus as a homely Mid-Eastern man in saw-dusty work clothes; and the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman.

This large and oh-so-stereotypical matronly African-American woman is God (or at least an anthropomorphism of God she chose to take on in order to communicate with Mack). Throughout the story she is known as Papa. Near the end, because Mack requires a father figure, she turns into a pony-tailed, grey-haired man, but otherwise God is this woman. Jesus is a young to middle-aged man of Middle-Eastern (i.e. Jewish) descent with a big nose and rather plain looks while the Holy Spirit is played by Sarayu, a small, delicate and eclectic woman of Asian descent. By this point many people will choose to close the book and be done with it. But for the purposes of this review, let’s just assume you are able to get past seeing God and the Holy Spirit portrayed in this way and let’s press on. Read more by CHALLIES.COM.

This holy three-some banters with each other as they cook together, spend the day together, do things for Mack together. The read was interesting and many times emotional. I talked with Mom this morning (she read the book) and mentioned that I felt the way the author presented God was a lot different than the way John writes about God in Revelation, so majestic. Previously she had said of the book, "It's just too different."

Young's fiction novel hints at teachings from the Bible but does not quote any. Eugene Peterson's quote: "This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress did for his. It's just that good!" Even though it appears to be popular in Christian circles, I feel this quote is an exaggeration.

There are redeeming qualities about this write that I will acknowledge. It will make people more aware of the ever-present God - the Holy Spirit we can count on everyday. He is always with us and never leaves us. The fact that life continues, spiritually, even though we cannot see those that have passed away, they are still alive, spiritually. Another idea I came away with is that God did not come to establish organizations, but He wants to grow relationships. I totally agree with that. We don't need more committee's, more clubs, more churches, but we do need a relationship with God and even with others "of like precious faith."

This is where the heart to pray over and over for someone that we love comes from. The relationship we have - or want with someone we love. This tugs at our hearts because the relationship we have with God (via His Son) is precious to us and we want that for others. It is comforting when we need comfort. It is Truth where there does not seem to be truth around us. It is grace in daily life. It brings us the promise of Life eternal. We want all that and more for our family and our friends who have not met our Savior this way ---yet.

Today, I've thanked God for friends and relationships, ones that included prayer for the Holy Spirit's gentle wooing to continue in my life.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Circumspect

Picture is Doug walking the dogs in Teklanika, Alaska.

Before I left to enjoy Hawaii with Klint and Calli I signed up for Merriam-Webster's Online Word A Day and I have been enjoying reading definitions. If only I could remember to use the words ---in the right place ---at the right time! I could sound so smart, ha.

To refresh our memories: Merriam is the last name of brothers George and Charles, booksellers and printers. When Noah Webster died (1843), these guys bought the rights to publish revisions of the 1841 edition of Noah Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language, Corrected and Enlarged. Thus we gained Merriam-Webster.

At the beginning of the 19th century, when he was 43 years old, Webster decided to write a dictionary because people in different parts of the country pronounced and used words differently. He wanted to create a common source of accuracy. But, in reflection of national revolutionary sentiments, he did not believe the American people should speak and spell in the same ways as people in England. He was quite willing to adapt his version of the dictionary to accommodate American users, and to distinguish them from their fellow English speakers in England. He added words that were distinctly American, such as, skunk and hickory, and he changed the spellings of many words and turned such words as neighbour into neighbor, centre into center, and plough into plow. A Noah Webster biography.
So, now I know why UK friends spell some of their words different. To Noah Webster it was a "proud to be an American" thing. It was a strong and common feeling in Noah's day ("national revolutionary sentiments") to be different from England in language, for they (USA's forefathers) had won our freedom from England's interference into our daily lives.

Sharing the Word-A-Day:

Did you know?

"Circumspect," "cautious," "wary," and "chary" all imply looking before you leap, but each puts a unique spin on being careful in the face of risk or danger. "Circumspect," which descends from Latin “circum-” (“around”) and “specere” (“to look”), implies the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding (as in "he is circumspect in business dealings"). "Cautious" suggests fear of danger and the exercise of forethought that it prompts (as in "a cautious driver"). "Wary" emphasizes suspiciousness and alertness in sensing danger and cunning in escaping it (as in "keep a wary eye on the competition"). "Chary" implies a cautious reluctance to give, act, or speak freely (as in "she is chary of signing papers without reading them first").

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15,16.

And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth. Exodus 23:13.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just Say NO to Oprah!!!!

So I've been hearing the *M%E#D@I!A^ says that Governor Sarah Palin has all these offers coming in for *M%E#D@I!A^ interviews and that her popularity has not waned since the Obama win (DUH!). I'm saying to Sarah - "Just say NO to Oprah!" I just hope she does not get on the Oprah show. Every show but ---not Oprah! Please!

The *M%E#D@I!A^ also says --- we (Alaska) have a gas line to be approved and she needs the public exposure. I say to the *M%E#D@I!A^ - "Go fly a kite!" I have had enough of the *M%E#D@I!A^'s opinion the last two years, give us a break and you know what? Sarah will continue to do fine without all of your stupid input.

Please Sarah.... "Just say NO to Oprah!"

Let's Go Fly A Kite!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Unspotted

As I sat down to read in James this morning I remembered what I heard Saturday night at a singspiration meeting in Anchorage. Some of Alaska's Natives (and others I suppose) believe that the King James Bible version was written by James (James, Jesus half-brother who penned the epistle James), therefore they wrongly believe the mistruth that since James wrote the King James version it is the only right and true Bible version.

Mistruth. You know what that word means? I tried to look it up, it's not in the dictionary. Haha!

But mistruth is listed with other words that have their meanings changed by the prefix mis.
1 a: badly : wrongly (misjudge) b: unfavorably (misesteem) c: in a suspicious manner (misdoubt)
2: bad : wrong (misdeed)
3: opposite or lack of (mistrust)
4: not (misknow)

One can say that mistruth is - bad truth, wrong truth, unfavorable truth, suspicious truth, lack of truth, not truth. ?

Like all of USA (and via the internet much of the world!) I've been seeing too many TV political commercials and much of it is MISTRUTH! I don't believe everything... and I consider the source!

ai yi ya.

I did vote early, so I cannot be swayed anymore! ha I wish the political commercials were over now!

I will be winging my way to Hawaii soon. I think it might be hard "to keep oneself unspotted" on the beach! But you know what? Sand is such a hard thing to avoid there. Sand. Sand. Sand. Warm, beautiful sand. Sand between the toes, sand on the knees, sand in the shorts.... I am looking forward to this sandy problem! (I know it's not the same as what James was talking about.)

James said, "to keep oneself unspotted from the world." What does that mean? Unspotted from the world?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Prayer

We are blessed to have God's Word aren't we? It is my lifeline to the next life! Many times I think of God's Word as a hints to God's secrets. Or like kids and those cheat books to games that they play on computers; books that give out the secrets places/actions of the ways to win a computer game. God's Word reveals secrets, to those willing to search for them, of how to be like King David, a man or woman "after God's own heart" and the One Way that can be found directly to God the Father and Eternity.

It is amazes me how such small needs can arise that will distract me from taking the time to study it. Or troubles that will steal the time I would take to gain comfort from it. There is nothing more important in my day as making sure my connection to Christ remains solid - for from it flows the ability to love one another; know right from wrong; search my heart to even know when I am wrong; remain strong in the face of trouble; be filled with the Holy Spirit.

One can become fretful with the coming election and with the fears of the unknown. I know this feeling. I was online listening and reading so many disturbing things of this political campaign. I feel troubled for our Governor and her family and many times have found myself praying for their emotional well-being through all of this.

Here is a prayer from Philippians - Paul wrote. I wrote the prayer on the back of a note from Kris to me. He wrote it when he was a little guy and I love it. Each time I open my Bible to where I am reading, there it is and I pray for him and all my children this prayer. Today I put Sarah's name in the blank space. You can put your family, husband, wife, Mom, or those running for office in the blank space.

"I pray that ________ love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that _____________ may approve the things that are excellent, that __________ may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11.

Amen!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You Will Do Fine!

Yesterday, Mom was visiting my sister in Wasilla when I left home to pick her up and bring her to the clinic for the first shot I would give to her. The day before Nurse Ned had shown me the proper way to fill the syringe, to hold the needle and to poke a stuffed paper-box filled with cotton.

Always be careful of the needle. Never put your hand or the syringe in a position that you may accidentally poke yourself or your patient. Always think ahead to what you will need before you will need it. He demonstrated to me how he opens a bandage and hangs it on his shirt just in case the needle causes some bleeding.

He said, "It's easy and you will do fine!"

So when we got to the clinic, I let the ladies behind the counter know that Mom was there. We waited and I tried to watch Disney's Aladdin on the television. "Look there is a good movie on the t.v.," Mom said. Visit this site for a quick Aladdin Character Quiz.

I was Abu, the little monkey. lol (Alert: I had to sign up as a member to recieve the results in my email.)

Soon we were walking down the hallway and into the room with Nurse Samantha. She said, "What are we doing today?" I told her, "Mom gets a Vitamin B-12 shot." "Are you going to do it?" "I am supposed to," I said and laughed. "Oh, you will do fine!" she said.

So she laid out all the things and I did it all. I filled the syringe, swabbed Mom and before I could think long enough to get intimidated I moved the syringe like I was "playing darts." "Well," Samantha said, "you are a natural born nurse!"

It was all over - Mom an exceptional patient! "I reminded myself to relax," she said.

What a relief and everyone that said it would be easy were right! It was easy and now I can do these myself, at home, no driving to get shots! Now I repeat the words my sister Millie always used to say to me, "Thank the Good Lord, Sis!" And thank YOU for praying for me!

As Mom and I worked to get her in the car and buckled in, I heard knocking on the clinic window. I turned to see what was going on and there was Nurse Ned and Nurse Samantha at the window smiling, waving, and giving me the thumbs up sign!

So if you are giving a shot for the first time, let me encourage ya... you don't have to worry, it is easy and .... you will do fine!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh No! Do I Have To?

Summer/fall time with Mom has been mostly quiet and uneventful. Getting to her Dr's. and dentist appointments were do-able. I do not like to drive but have been when needed. Now that it has been snowing and the roads are getting slick I cringe every time her Dr says, "Bring her back in a week."

It is harder to make myself drive in the winter. I find myself thinking about the nursing home application in the file drawer. I think about all the others that make themselves drive when they don't want to, and it encourages me to go. So, like you, I will go again.

We did a visit to the home (early July) when she first realized she should not live in her own home anymore. Alcohol has made her life challenging there and the last binge had filled her with unsaid fears. I can see it and hear it when she speaks of how she should not return home anymore.

My sister called, "We need to find a place for Mom, maybe a home? She can't live in her house anymore." I agreed. My very good friend Myrtle said, "Oh bring her here, she will love it here!" "Here" is a home with in-house 24-hour assistance and freedom - residents are free to come and go.

She would have her own private room with access to many services she may need (including nurses who administer shots beautifully); she would have three meals a day prepared for her; in the last few weeks as I've watched her health/strength fail something else I am growing to love - emergency care at a moments notice if she needs it.

Even though this home is too far from my home (one hour) I loved it. I loved the staff and I thought she would love it too... but when we got back to my home she asked, "Can I just live with you? I am afraid of those people."

"Those people" ?

I thought back to the tour of the home. I remembered the jigsaw puzzle corners. The private telephone areas. The sitting rooms with open windows over so many blooming roses. The tame birds that look amply fed. The fish that slowly sailed in their tank. The nurses roaming the halls visiting with each other and their friend-residents. I remembered watching that cat walk in and out of resident rooms looking for a gentle scratch (she had become every ones cat). I remembered the resident cars in the parking lot and how I felt relieved that Mom could come to stay here at my home whenever she wanted to. I remembered how restful I felt knowing she would be cared for every day and... night.

I smiled and I said, "Of course Mom, you can live with us as long as you want to."

I love my Mom. I want her to be happy and comfortable. I don't want her to be somewhere that she does not feel comfortable. I asked that God will give me strength to drive, and courage to care for her each day. I ask that God will strengthen and heal family ties to my brothers and my sisters, between my brothers and sisters, all because I know that this would bring joy to her heart. I ask that God would bring her children to see her, to be a comfort her in what nags at my heart are probably her last years here with us. I also have asked that God would fit her into my own husband and childrens lives - beautifully. That her quiet fears would be vanquished and she would be able to accept "those people" that make her feel threatened. Fears that she has not spoken of but I know are there each time she hurries off to her bedroom. I thank God that I have been given a time to learn to be a helper to my Mom ...what ever that may mean. He will give me the wisdom and strength to accomplish each task, pleasant or hard. I ask that my eyes will be opened to the joys that having a Mom like her brings each day and that we would laugh and love more and then be closed to those things that irritate.

Today I stand and watch the threatening snow clouds and I know I will have to drive myself and Mom and I will both experience a new way to get a shot today: For the first time - me giving it, and my Mom getting it from her daughter.

Again I softly hear whispered words: You... "can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jesus Christ is Lord!

[Top picture: Old Harbor Boat Harbor, and the Old Harbor dock at sunrise.]

“We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s Amazing Grace and Glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” Romans 5:2

This was the verse at the Kodiak's Crusade for Christ that we were privileged to attend last week. We spent time with Kodiak Christian's as they took a week to praise and worship Jesus Christ and honor the memory of a dear friend of theirs Nadia Mullan.

[First picture:Alaska Freedom Band, Adam, Don and Doug (missing Steve), Bottom: Me pointing at the Tustemena leaving Kodiak.]

The reason I got to go to Kodiak/Old Harbor was The Alaska Freedom Band was invited to lead the music and Doug is part of that gospel music group, and Doug invited me to go along with him. *big smile* A big THANK-YOU to my daughter Kim for visiting with my Mom the week I was away!

I was also asked to share my testimony. This can lead me to many days of fingernail-biting anxiety but it didn't! I found myself quietly asking God to fill me with His Holy Spirit and give me words to bring honor and glory to His Son... and He did! I praise the Lord for that. Besides that my Mom and my grandchildren were praying for me too! God is good.

Besides Kodiak we also flew back to my hometown Old Harbor. It was great to be back near the ocean and in the place that I spent my growing up years. I got to see many friends and relatives that I have not seen for so many years. It was a blessing and I ask that God will bless them with the knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us all at Calvary, which is the very best blessing that I can ask be given to them or anyone else.

"Jesus Christ is Lord!"

These are the words on a plague seen in the Windbreak Cafe in Wasilla and was a delight for Mom to see for the first time today as we sat down for breakfast after attending the early morning service. Everyone was out for breakfast today as we don't normally go to Windbreak on Sunday mornings but because the Mat-Su Family Restaurant was plugged we ended up eating there.

Mom had some medical challenges lately and we've been to see the doctor too many times. Her blood work showed that she has a Vitamin B-12 deficiency and I will be learning how to give her shots next week! I am hoping I do not fail the test of poking my Mom with a needle for her own good and just faint on Tuesday morning!

Blessings to all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Refuge

Pictures are from the last few weeks Around Home With Mom.

What a blessing to know that whatever comes - God is our refuge.

The people of Old Harbor, "your relatives" my Aunt would say, had a place called Refuge Rock. I remember Dad telling the story of Refuge Rock and the way that our ancestors had fought their wars there. Previous to the Russian's and their guns they felt secure enough to bring their families to this rock for safety as they fought off attacks from other Peoples. But the Russian's new weaponry would bring a sad end to the log-rolling and rock throwing the Alutiit People had been using successfully from the top of Refuge Rock for years.

In 1784, an incident at Refuge Rock became a turning point in Native-Russian relations. A crew led by Grigorii Shelikhov attacked a group of natives on a small islet off the shore of Kodiak Island. Shelikhov's crew was more numerous and better armed than previous fur-trading expeditions. Seventy-one Russians stormed the rock with muskets while others fired cannons from shore. Nearly five hundred native men, women, and children were killed and hundreds more were captured. Tina Pamintuan, A Living Heritage

With all the ugly news that comes, with the unsettling accounts of the stock market, whatever health issues we may face - we can rest assured that God - knows all. What a blessing!

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46:10, 11.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sharing the Love Award

This award is created by Crystal at Memoirs of a Mommy in honor of Noah and the donor of this sweet little heart who ENCOURAGES us to SHARE THE LOVE. The rules for this award are to pass it along to some people whose blogs you love. They make you laugh, smile, leave encouraging comments on your blog. You would like to share some love with them because they have uplifted, inspired, encouraged or prayed for you. Please include this paragraph with the link to Memoirs of a Mommy so that everyone know where this award originated.

Be sure and check out the story of Noah. He had a heart transplant and this award is to raise awareness of the need for organ donors.

My drivers license has a heart on it. Does yours?

"Presently there are 342,500 citizens on the Alaska Donor Registry (ADR) representing 51 percent of the state population and 70 percent of licensed drivers. Citizens with the new driver's license who are on the registry will have a "red heart" on their license. What has been learned about first-person consent and donor registries is that when asked, most people want to donate organs and tissues for transplant but don't complete donor cards or join a registry unless the process can be coupled with a required step such as license issuance / renewal or obtaining a vehicle registration. Greater than 97 percent of citizens who join the ADR have done so during a visit to a state DMV." (KTUU.com). This is the way I became a donor, while renewing my drivers license.

Always remember, it is important to tell your family members that you have decided to become a donor so that they will understand and support your decision. Register in Your State
I've heard people wonder if it's a good idea that one should give permissions to take organs if we should get into a bad accident, etc. "Maybe they'll just take organs/tissue and not even try to save me?" I suppose, that perhaps, in a very rare case that could possibly happen. But I've decided to offer myself as a donor anyway. If there is anything that this old body can give to someone else who may have a lot more life to live I will trust the EMT's and all emergency workers would be working to save my life first, if possible. If not, what a wonderful gift to be able to donate something that would give life to someone like Noah --- with so much more life a head of him.

God bless you Noah and the organ donor's family that gave so much to you.

51% of Alaskans have said "Yes!" to donation. Alaska Donor Registry

Thanks so much to e-Mom for "sharing the love" with this award.

...share some love ...because they have uplifted, inspired, encouraged or prayed for you. Thanks to these bloggers for being in my life... I pass on this award to you.

Doug
Marie
Karla
Doris
Connie H.
JoJo
Sandi H.
Connie M.
Nancy
Faith
e-Mom

Greater love has no man than this...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hunting

Moose hunting season up here is almost over. I feel like I missed out this whole week. Doug's brother and his two sons traveled up here from North Carolina to go out hunting. So this last hunt was a guy's thing. So far the moose have been very elusive.

I suspect that having all those ATV's out on the trail have given the bulls ample warning that it is probably best not to be found in the same area. Even so, I know that Dave and his sons have thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of Alaska for the last week and all was seen while enjoying a very nice ATV ride.

Speaking about hunting... how about hunting for your spiritual gift or gifts? I have often wondered what my gift is. Everyone that is a Christian has a gift, or gifts. I found it interesting while continuing to read Billy Graham's book today, The Holy Spirit - Activating God's Power in Your Life that he said -

"In I Corinthians 12:7, the apostle Paul says the gifts are given "for the common good" so we are not to use them selfishly. Instead, we are to use them to help each other."
Well I knew that, but here is what I thought was so very good; Billy Graham continued:
"God has also designed the gifts to help "unite" the body of Christ." ....There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace [a special gift] was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." ... Thus the gifts of the Spirit should never divide the body of Christ; they should unify it."
Are your efforts within the body of Christ bringing people together, or dividing people? This is a big indication of whether or not we are being filled with the Holy Spirit, or being filled with ourselves!

While hunting for our spiritual gifts, we can narrow it down by asking ourselves - what is it that I do that helps/works to unify Christian's around me? Our goal should be the same as the Holy Spirit's - making the body of Christ a living, healthy, and useful being that will be effectively reaching out to a lost and dying world ---rather than struggling with envying, fighting, angry words --- divisions within the church. Those actions are not evidences of the Holy Spirit, but only ---selfish ambitions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nothing New But...

"Governor Palin: An American Woman," which aired last Saturday on Fox News, was the highest-rated prime-time documentary in the network's history, with 2.7 million viewers. ALASKA EAR

This morning my son Kris called and asked me to find out what lastbridgetonowhere.com was about. "Why?" I asked him. "I want to know if they are FOR or AGAINST Palin. There are signs hanging on the bridges everywhere." So I Googled it. It's a new book out about the corruption stuff going on in Alaska's politics."

Corruption and politics - - - so what is new?

But...my Mom had a dentist appointment yesterday so we did that, had lunch, then visited with Millie. Before heading back to the "Great Valley" (despite media negativism about our Wasilla we still consider our Valley home GREAT) Mom spent part of her PFD on a brand-new, Lazy Boy, leather recliner for her bedroom ---- so she has a new chair!

Millie continues to slowly recover. She has not spoken a word to us yet but in her eyes, we can see --- her. She raises her arms, she turns her head when we ask her to "Look!", but not too much was new with Millie yesterday. We all love seeing a bit of her when she does decide to look out at us.

How about the nine-year-old girl who helped her Momma deliver her new baby boy??? BRAVO! BRAVO! Jaidan Lujan!

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Friday, September 12, 2008

TEXAS

May God demonstrate His mercy to all in TX right now. Praying for all in the direct path of IKE.

I took these pictures while we were in Houston in 2006. We also drove down to Galveston and Palacios to enjoy the coast. May God give miracles of grace and mercy now, and may Texas praise His holy name as they trust in Him for deliverance.

Happy birthday to my daughter Kim!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Progress? and Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Today my husband sent me a YouTube link to watch. It was a video pro-McCain. It was a good video done by an Iraq war veteran. Watch it, Dear Mr. Obama.

As I watched the video I saw another video of Obama, while he spoke he was heckled by a group of pro-lifers. I watched that video, then I saw another video of Gianna Jessen, a saline abortion survivor. She speaks for giving babes the right to live. I watched her interview and then saw another which I was actually afraid to watch, but I did. It is a video done by Gynecologist Dr. Bill Lile and he demonstrates how a partial-birth abortion is done.

Oh my word! I knew that these procedures were awful, but to actually see how it is performed has me shuddering for the future of America! American women!!

Those little, helpless ones are our babies! We must at every time we can - stand up for the oppressed. Our defenseless, unborn babies are being quietly oppressed ...and because of our personal rights to happiness?. Is having the right to kill our babies progress for women? If so, it is the wrong way to progress! I can't understand how a person (doctor) who has gone through so much schooling to learn how to protect life can actually stand there long enough to snuff life away like that!

The late 60's and early 70's were the days when our women were becoming liberated, ha! I remember enough of those days to know that I felt guilty for being "just a stay-at-home Mom" then. I agree that many women were kept under the thumb of men before being "liberated" and that is not right either.

Today, as I watched Dr. Lile I wondered, is this women's progress? Has women's progress given us the liberation, the freedom to kill our babies while they struggle to live 90% outside of our bodies? Is that progress? No, it's not!

Babies are a blessing! Don't let the evil one sway you to believe otherwise! Women, you can have your liberation ---by keeping the choice to prevent being impregnated, but the liberation to kill what life has already come from poor choices - that is not a right we should claim. We must protect and nurture our babies, they are depending on us!

Today we celebrate our twins birthdays. What a blessing they have been for Doug and I. I was a new 20-year-old Mom when they were born. When friends would ask - "How did you do it? Two babies at once?" I answer that I didn't know any better. If I ever thought that it was difficult I probably put off as -this was as it was for all women down through the ages and I will just have to do it too. ha! Two years after having twins our third daughter Kim was born. Her birthday is September 12th, in just a few days too.

I realize now when I look back on the early 70's that I remember hardly anything of what went on in the world during those years! I was oblivious to anything other than caring for babies --- for years!

I've said this before when speaking of my babies: My children are the greatest accomplishments of hard work in my life today, and I pray that they are also our greatest contributions to the world's good today! I wonder how many blessings have been taken from the USA by women's liberation?

My heart goes out to any woman that may be reading this with regrets. What an incredible God we have that forgives through Jesus Christ's sacrifice. God gave His own Son to die for any and all sins that we have committed, knowingly or unknowingly. Seek Him for comforting your heart. Jesus Christ gave His own life - willingly, nobody killed Him against His will, He did it willingly so that we could claim Him as the reason we can stand with a clear conscience before God. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3 READ IT!

Happy birthday Marie and Karla, and happy birthday Kim. We love you.

(L to R: Kim, Karla, Marie)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Marriage Monday-Why Romance Matters

Picture is of Doug and I before we got married.

It's Marriage Monday with e-Mom today. Join us for this months topic "Why Romance Matters."

Consider writing about your favorite restaurant, your favorite song, or the little things you do for one another throughout the week. What tones down the tension, and tunes up the tenderness? How do you encourage your husband to nurture the romantic side of your marriage? I want to know! C H R Y S A L I S

Doug is my fantastic husband and if you've been reading along at my blog you have probably already picked that up. Doug is a man of integrity, hard-working, a great Dad and Grandpa that is loved, conscientious in all aspects of married life and work, dedicated to our family, loves God with his whole heart - but I've noticed that he needs some help in the romance department!

When I was young.. that was a problem. Because when I was young I did not value the more important character traits my husband was developing as a married man! As time happened I realized, oh my word... what a splendid husband my God has blessed me with!

With time, I have valued my relationship with Doug above others and found that I must work to protect it from ruin. Previously, at times I became disgruntled and ungrateful and began to keep track of those things that were not in our marriage such as... romance! Long walks on beaches, lingering glances over candlelit dinners, quiet moments alone, etc., etc., while they can be fun the other more important aspects of marriage should be valued more than those movie-style romantic encounters.

What ever in the world is romance anyway? My idea of romance (and it's absence in our marriage) was triggered by the worlds movies; TV shows; even advertisements. Those ideas did not build up our relationship but made me feel like something was missing in it. Romance is elusive and when I think we have something like romance it just makes me giggle and feel silly.

There was a time in our relationship when Doug and I seemed to co-exist. Do we all go through such times as that? I believe we both took our marriage for granted, and we did not realized it needs to be protected. We both did things that jeopardized our continuing marriage relationship. In my own case, and without realizing the consequences of developing my own friendships, my faithfulness was tested. The evil one works to destroy all that God has called good. He called our marriage good and the evil one worked hard to destroy it while I made relationships outside of my marriage too important. I am happy today to say that both Doug and I realize the value of each other and our marriage relationship. I am thankful and grateful that God protected us from evil - when we needed to be protected.

My advise today is that we, as couples, must value the relationship we have with each other above the silly notions of romance. There is nothing better away from each other, there is just more of the same. We need to keep on building on what attracted us to each other and made us get married in the first place. And there are more important things in a relationship than romance.

Yes, romance does matter, and a bit of it can bring happiness... but we also need to examine what we think is romance and whether or not we are letting this notion interfere with the wonderful marriage we may already be blessed with!

I've helped my husband with romance by buying roses for myself and then telling him what a wonderful guy he is to think of buying me roses! He loves it. He says that I make him look so good! Then we have a good laugh together and I get to enjoy the beautiful roses while they last. When our children see the roses and ask, "Who are the roses for and for what?" For me, just because... from Dad." They giggle and say, "Ahhhh Dad, how romantic!"

This week... he brought roses home for me all on his own, for no reason at all!

That is romance, isn't it? I love you, Doug.

I also love the verses that e-Mom posted and post them now again for you.
"There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden." Prov 30:18-19

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Alaska's Own Sweetheart

Baby Palin and her Mom. (Picture found online.)

Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin.

As we watched Sarah give her VP acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention - we could not help but be touched many times. Maybe because we know her, maybe because she is one of Alaska's own, or maybe just because of the sweetheart that she is ---we all feel a close bond to McCain's choice for a running mate tonight.

I was especially touched when she spoke of her special needs baby -Trig- and the connection that having had a baby born with Downs syndrome created -to all those in the USA who also have a special needs child. We all laughed when her youngest daughter Piper rubbed on Trig's hair after licking her own hand, and then we wondered where Piper had learned to straighten Trig's hair that way - Mom? Dad? We wiped away tears when she spoke of and to Tom Moe, blowing him a thank-you kiss. Tom Moe, the POW in North Vietnam who McCain would smile at then give the thumbs-up sign to before passing his cell after his daily interrogations.

As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" - as if to say, "We're going to pull through this." My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years.

My family and myself continue to be impressed with our beautiful, hometown girl getting nominated to go all the way down to Washington D.C.! Her speech today was great.

e-Mom emailed to ask me a few questions about Sarah. Visit her site if you would like to read that interview.

Check out Meghan McCain's blog here!

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. Proverbs 22:29

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Useless Chasing

Picture of ChewChew with fall seeds in his fur.

Chevy has been chasing after little critters with big teeth. I take him, Chewy and Moto for a walk and when we go down by the dock he hears those beavers slap their tails in the lake. He runs, jumps in and swims and swims until I get worried he won't have the strength to return to shore!

Those beaver appear to be working together to tire him out. One critter will swim out in front of him, then veer off so that he follows, then slap his tail and dive. That seems to excite Chevy so he swims faster. He swims in a circle and sniffs the water. A second beaver, which is a ways off, will slap and Chevy swims off in that direction. When he gets closer the second beaver slaps its' tail and dives. Chevy swims in a frenzy again. Back and forth, back and forth. Today I learned there are not only two of them, there are four beaver!

Doesn't this tree seem to be keeping an eye on you?

These beaver have been cutting down trees in earnest! I told them to leave and not come back if they want to know what is good for themselves. But... they haven't yet. So - when their fur get just right and thick from the cold winter, they shall be no more.

Fall colors were fantastic!

As I watched Chevy today I thought to myself, we people do that too. We all chase after things that bring no lasting - anything! Chevy isn't even happy in the process! He sounds like he is sucking down water more and more as he gets tired out. It's not necessary for life that he chase after those elusive beaver! But he runs to chase everytime they slap their tails. I've watched him jump up from the deck, leap over the edge of the hill, and race down to the lake and jump in - ker-plosh! Then he'll come home later all tired out and barely moving - with nothing to show for all that effort. I don't know, maybe it's fun... in a dog sort of way.

Doug and I went out riding trails this past Labor Day weekend. We had fun together. We saw (before hunting season opened) one bull, one cow with two calves. After opening day - nothing! But we had a great time out there, together, riding.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11.