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'!