Monday, September 29, 2014

A Weekend with the Grandparents

Saturday we did something we have never done before.  My parents had come to visit for the weekend. We watched our HS football game Friday night, but Saturday my mom and I went shopping all day - something we haven't been able to do in many years.  
(Pretty waterfalls along the river.)
My dad and my three boys played golf, something else that hasn't been done in a long time (if ever!), but then we all met at Medicine Park, OK, a neat little town about an hour from here.
(Heart shaped hole in the tree!)
 We ate at "The Old Plantation" restaurant. It was GREAT! The homemade hamburger buns were delicious!  I remember going there when I was a Sophomore or Junior in high school - so a long, long time ago!
 We enjoyed walking along the river - crossing the bridges and seeing the beauty of God's creation and man - made creations.
 My husband had actually performed a wedding here a few weeks ago, so that sparked our interest in the little town.  We had taken pictures here several years ago, but it was Memorial Day, so too crowded to look around much.
 This suspended fishing bobber was hanging in the tree, but it made for a unique picture!
 In a few weeks the fall colors will make this place even more beautiful!  We'll have to go back!
 I could hear the boys mumbling as I took these pictures. For some reason I don't think they were saying, "I am so glad Mom likes to take so many pictures of us all of the time!".  No, I don't think that was it at all! :)
 They didn't complain about this picture, though. I think they were excited to get to be on this special mini-trip with the grandparents.  We all were! It was like we had gone somewhere far away!   But were back to the house in an hour. How nice!  It was relaxing, too.
Thanks for coming, Grandma and Grandpa! We enjoyed you being here! Sorry it had to end so soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tuesday's Blessing

Tuesday night I got to do something that I had wanted to do for a few a months after hearing about it at a nearby congregation.  They do a thing called, "Tabitha Tuesday". It's so neat! They meet together (ladies of all ages) and learn something - cupcake decorating, sewing a little bag, pie crust making - lots of things that could be used to serve others and encourage the ladies to be like Tabitha/Dorcas. 
I wanted to do something similar and ended up being able to do it at my home, but invite all ladies in town or nearby.  I was really thinking there might be 20 or 25, so had tables and chairs everywhere, but it ended up being nine of us.  For the "1st go-round" that was just perfect, and I'll know what works best for #2 when more come!
 I told the ladies that the "blessing" part of "Tuesday's Blessing" was that they were getting a 'free' craft project to do, but also being blessed with a night out to be around other women.  As a young stay-at-home-mom for many years, I remember being thankful for times like that when I could be around women.  I am still a stay-at-home-mom, but I lost the "young" part somewhere along the way! :)
 The ladies used burlap, paper, material and paint to create their own fall themed banners.
 One lady made one to look like the one I had purchased at Kirkland's!  It turned out GREAT!  It was also great that our Oklahoma State University Extension Office lady has access to many sewing machines and part of her job requires her to do things in all of the towns in our county!  Thanks, Carol!!  (I never remember her 'official' job title! Sorry!)
 Another cut out leave shapes from another sample I had purchased, then polka dotted them around the letters spelling HARVEST.
 This one was so clever!!  Laura made one huge pennant and will hang it alone on a rope!  So cute! I never would have thought of that!
 This paper one isn't finished, but looks great already! The fall papers at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's were so pretty!
 And this one is fall-themed material cut into the lady's last name.  She will string it and hang it, as well.
 Kaci's WELCOME banner isn't totally finished, but she's got a great start on it.
 This is after the craft night, and there are LOTS of supplies left!  We'll be having another one in a few weeks!
 My plan is to have these events at least once a month. There aren't many free evenings in my calendar, but hopefully it will continue to be successful.
 We'll have to adjust the schedule once basketball starts. That may be hard to do!
 But the first "Tuesday's Blessing" was a huge success and many more are excited about coming next time.
 It was a blessing for me and a blessing for the ladies who attended.
Some of the ladies already  knew each other, but some met for the first time. A few were also relatives of each other.  But we all enjoyed laughing, learning about one another, and getting time to just enjoy the company of other women.  That is my passion, and I believe that God has given me this "ministry" outlet to bless others.  And maybe it will inspire others to be a blessing to someone else.  That's what "Tuesday's Blessing is all about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday, Lauren!!!

TWENTY!!  TWENTY YEARS!!  How in the world is it possible that I have a 20 year old daughter?  I distinctly remember turning 20, myself, and it doesn't seem like it was that long ago! But it was.  It has to have been.
(Lauren and her three brothers....plus a little cousin :)
 Lauren is at college, but was able to come home last weekend.  On Sunday we were able to get the local/area family together for a family meal. We didn't "officially" call it a birthday party (I don't want the family to think we're doing these birthdays forever, you know?!), but it just worked out that it was time to get everyone together for a meal, and Sundays after Bible class and worship are the perfect time to do just that!
And if all of the area/local family gathered together, we had to do the traditional "cousin" picture.  This time Grammy happened to be there, too.
I hadn't gotten any candles out, but Lauren went hunting for some herself! She didn't have a "party" last year, so she was excited to have a cake with candles this year.  Next year she will open her time capsule that was made on her 1st birthday. That will be really exciting! I can't wait to see everything again!

Lauren,
In honor of your 20th birthday, I decided to write 20 things I love and appreciate about you.

1. The most important thing in your life is being a child of God - a Christian.
2. You strive to let your light shine wherever you are, so that Jesus/God will be seen in you.
3. You want others to come to know Jesus and are not afraid to share His love with others.
4. You have a strong faith. You rely on God and talk to Him often. I know that He is guiding you and that you are striving to do His will.
5. You are mature in so many ways.  Much more so than I was at 20...and I was married!
6.  You are a great daughter! We can not imagine our lives without you.
7.  I was afraid to have a girl - wasn't wanting the "drama" that girls sometimes have, but you weren't that way.  Thank you for being you!  Thank you, especially, for not being a drama queen! :)
8. You are a great big sister. The boys may not always appreciate your advice, but they love you and are thankful for you.
9.  You have plans and goals and work to achieve them.
10.  You are funny!  People would be surprised at how funny you can be because you're often quiet and reserved.
11. You're independent.  You remind me of someone else I know.  :)
12. You're creative. It's fun watching you create and do things that you enjoy.
13. You're private.  You're reserved.  You're more like your Dad in that way.  But that's unique about you.  And I appreciate it in you.
14. You are a great example to those around you - both young and old, but also for those your own age.
15. You are not swayed by peer pressure.  You are confident in who you are.
16. You have wanted to be a sports' journalist for many years and it is exciting seeing those dreams come true as you work towards that career. I'm thankful you have something that you enjoy and that you are passionate about.
17. You're not in a hurry to marry and start a family, but when you do, I know you will be a wonderful wife and mother.  I know that you will strive to be guided by God's direction and trust in His timing for all of this to occur.
18. You are willing to help and to serve others, but you are humble and do it quietly.  You do things because it's the right thing to do, but not for selfish pride. Thank you for being that way.  God is glorified by your service.
19. I am so very thankful that God chose me to be your mom.  Being the firstborn was extra-special, but giving us a girl was special too! He KNEW we needed you in our life and He KNEW that you should be the firstborn to keep those boys straight!
20. I love you forever and always.  You may be 20, but you're still my baby girl.  And you will always be my "baby".

Monday, September 22, 2014

THERE IS A GOD; HE IS ALIVE!

This is one of my very favorite songs and most know it from it's unusual page number in some of the song books, 728b.  Why the "B"??  I'm sure there's a reason, but I don't know it!  But it's made for interesting conversations and thoughts!

Here are the lyrics to "There is a God".  They are GREAT!

There is, beyond the azure blue
A God, concealed from human sight
He tinted skies with heav'nly hue
And framed the worlds with His great might

Chorus:
There is a God (There is a God), He is alive (He is alive)
In Him we live (In Him we live) and we survive (and we survive)
From dust our God (From dust our God) created man (created man)
He is our God (He is our God), the great I Am (the great I Am)

There was a long, long time ago
A God whose voice the prophets heard
He is the God that we should know
Who speaks from His inspired word

Repeat Chorus

Secure is life from mortal mind
God holds the germ within His hand
Though men may search they cannot find
For God alone does understand

Repeat Chorus

Our God, whose Son upon a tree
A life was willing there to give
That He from sin might set man free
And evermore with Him could live

Repeat Chorus

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:3

"None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 1 Corinthians 2:8


Thursday, September 18, 2014

How Gullible Are We?

This morning I read something that had been shared from Joel Osteen Ministries Facebook page. Joel misquotes Numbers 11:23 and puts Moses in stories from the Bible where he wasn't even present.  In the comments some point this mistake out, but others say "Amen" as if Joel was speaking truth.  And millions give money to this pop star "preacher".

There are many false teachers in the world.  You should NEVER, EVER take what any man - or woman has to say about God's Word.  Look yourself to see if what is said or written is true.  Of course, we can all make mistakes. I'm sure I do.  And when and if I do, please, please let me know. But there is a difference in making a mistake and in teaching non-truth.  And many who preach/teach non-truth don't really care. Many are about the money.  Some are just blind to the truth.

Years ago one of our family members was talking to a popular denominational preacher. He said that he believed his "denomination" didn't preach as much truth as the non-denominational congregation in town.  Yet that man continued to preach and "save" people with what he didn't believe to be the whole truth.  That is scary, folks.  Scary and sad.  He will give an answer for that some day.  I will give an answer for me. You will give an answer for you.  

Truth matters.  And along those lines, here is Alan Smith's "Thought for the Day" on this very subject.
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                           HOW GULLIBLE ARE WE?

     A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26, 1997.   He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to the alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our  environment.   In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."  And for plenty of good reasons, since:

         1.  it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
         2.  it is a major component in acid rain
         3.  it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
         4.  accidental inhalation can kill you
         5.  it contributes to erosion
         6.  it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
         7.  it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients

     He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical dihydrogen monoxide.  Forty-three said yes, six were undecided, and only one knew that the chemical was...

     WATER!!!

     The title of his prize winning project was, "How Gullible Are We?"  The conclusion is obvious.

     Religion is another area where people have a tendency to be gullible.  Extreme examples can be found in David Koresh's followers and the Heaven's Gate cult.   But it can happen any time we believe someone without checking out God's Word to see if what is being taught is the truth.  Faith does not mean blindly accepting whatever anyone (even a preacher) says.

     The apostle John warned, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (I John 4:1)

     Use God's Word to discern between what is true and what is false.  And if you feel like living dangerously today, pour yourself a big tall glass of dihydrogen monoxide!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

 
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