Friday, December 23, 2011

The shepherd that got left behind

My name is Simon. I’m a shepherd; well actually, I’m a shepherd in training. That’s why I got left behind..

I’m still a little irritated by that even though I know SOMEBODY had to stay with the sheep… It’s just that all of the others had such a great adventure without me.  But at least I got to see the angels.

I’m sorry I’m babbling on… thinking that you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Here’s what happened…

 We had the fire going pretty well and half of the men were heading toward the tents to get a few hours of shuteye before it was their turn to watch the flock.
There was the usual grumbling and joking around the fire that night, but things really were pretty peaceful. The kind of night you really didn’t mind being a shepherd, you know what I mean? The stars were shining, the air was crisp, and there was plenty of food to eat.  We had killed a coyote earlier in the day and the smell of the roasted meat was making me really hungry.

As we began munching on our late night snack, I suddenly realized how quiet it was.  The usual night sounds were missing. No cricket noises or sheep shuffling… nothing! It was really strange. Each of the guys around the fire seemed to notice this at the same time. Even the men who had been in the tents wandered outside with worried looks on their faces. It just wasn't natural.
That’s when it happened.

All of a sudden, a bright light appeared.  I’m talking a BRIGHT LIGHT!  An angel started talking to us. Yep, an honest to goodness angel! And let me tell you something! Those angels are scary!! Have you ever been so scared that you were frozen in place? That’s how we were. 

The angel told us not to be afraid (yeah, right) and that something great had just happened! The Savior of the World had been born!

Did you catch that?  The Savior of the WORLD!!! Not just of the Jewish people, not just the religious people, but all of us!!! The whole World!
Well then a bunch of angels appeared all at once and started singing. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!

As soon as they finished their song, they disappeared. We turned and looked at each other. I don’t remember who said it first, but soon everyone was agreeing that we needed to go find this baby, this Savior, as soon as we could.

We all headed down the path at a quick trot. Then all of a sudden Tom, the lead shepherd stopped in his tracks.  “We can’t leave the sheep” he said. “Somebody has to stay here.”
Everyone looked right at me. I knew it wouldn’t do any good to complain, so I turned and headed back to the flock, after telling my friend Bob to pay attention to every detail of the trip.

Well, when they got back, they couldn’t stop talking about it! Over and over again, I heard the same story! They found the baby just where the angels said He would be. Each shepherd said the same thing… that when they went into the stable, they were overwhelmed by the feeling of peace and holiness that they had never felt before. It changed their lives.

It really did! From that time on, each shepherd that had visited the baby Jesus was a changed man. They were kinder, gentler, and much more honest than they had been before.

Now don’t feel sorry for me. It was just a few years later when I had my turn to meet the Savior… but you know, I’ll have to tell you that story later… I’ll come back around Easter time to fill you in on all of that.

Have a great Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gabriel: Part Three (a skit from Children's Church)

Part Three:

Okay, so I don’t have long before I have to go to my next assignment, but I did want to tell you about the shepherds. 

They were ordinary folks, just the kind that the Almighty really likes, you know? So He decided that they were the ones that should hear about the Messiah before anyone else.

So as they were sitting there watching their sheep, one lone angel appeared in the sky. (Smiles big) I’ll let you guess who that was.  To say those guys freaked out a bit is an understatement.

I told them where they would find Jesus and then a bunch of my buddies appeared and we all sang a glorious song. We were so excited that God’s plan was unfolding in front of our very eyes.

I heard that as soon as we left, the shepherds picked up their stuff and ran to Bethlehem to find Jesus.

The next time I was part of the story was much later… I had the chance to show up in one of Joseph’s dreams, to warn him about King Herod coming after Jesus. Joseph, being the wise man that he was, obeyed the warning immediately and took his family to Egypt until it was finally safe for them to return to Nazareth a few years later.

So now you are caught up with my part in this fantastic story of God’s plan that involves each of you! All of this planning, all of this miraculous stuff, all of this love pouring out of heaven was for each and every one of you! It reminds me of something I heard somewhere before….

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life….
What a great idea…. Have a great life! See you in eternity!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gabe: Part Two:

Gabe: Me again! I wanted to catch you up on the Mary and Joseph story…

I had the honor of returning to earth with another message from the Almighty. This was the third time in just six months time! Let me tell you, there were some big goings on in that little town of Nazareth!

This time I was here to visit Joe. Most of you know him as Joseph, but I call him Joe. I feel like he and I have a “family” connection seeing as how I’ve seen him in his pajamas and all.

So here’s the deal, right after I visited with Mary, she went off and visited her cousin, Elizabeth (Zacharias’ wife- if you remember me mentioning him the last time I was here.) She stayed there for about three months.

When she returned, she went to visit Joe. Now, Joe had already heard some rumors that he just really didn’t want to believe. But when he saw Mary, he started to suspect they might be true.

And sure enough Mary told him that she was pregnant. She proceeded to tell him the rest of the story, but to be honest; I don’t think that Joe was really listening. He was devastated. He loved Mary. And now, he was going to have to break off the engagement because…. Well, because she must have another boyfriend!

He went home really depressed about the whole thing. And what do you do when you are really depressed about something? That’s right, you go to bed.

So Joe went to bed and although it took him a long time to go to sleep, he finally did fall into a restless slumber.

That’s where I come in to the story again.

To be honest I was a little irritated that Joe didn’t believe Mary. But remembering he was only human, I gave him a little bit of grace in the circumstance and didn’t scare him too badly when I showed up in his dreams. (waves his sword around a bit)

“Joe,” I said, “ Don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Well to his credit, Joe woke up from that dream and did exactly what I told him to do. He went straight to Mary and married the girl… and just a few months later they had a son…. and they named him Jesus.

Now some of you may think that this is the end of my part in the story, but I tell you, there’s a whole lot more.

I haven’t told you about the shepherds or the threat on baby Jesus’ life. So stay tuned! You won’t want to miss it!

Gabe's view (a skit for children's church)

Part One:

Person dressed in military stuff, carrying a sword. Brings angel costume along into the room.

G: Hi I’m Gabriel! My friends call me Gabe! I’m an angel.
I know I don’t look like those fancy angels that you see in all of the paintings that have been hanging around for hundreds of years, but trust me, most of the angels look like me, not some wimpy little angel in white, wearing wings. But listen, don’t be afraid, okay?

Since most of you are used to seeing that kind of angel, I did bring a costume along. Hold on a second. (Puts on white robe and attempts to put on the wings.) This wing thing isn’t as easy as it looks.

Okay, now where was I?

Oh yeah, my name is Gabe and I am the one who got to deliver the incredible news to Mary! Do you know what incredible news I’m talking about?

That’s right! The fact that she was going to be the mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world! Here’s how it went down:

I got my orders from God and buzzed right on into Galilee, to a small house in the town of Nazareth. From a distance, I saw Mary sitting peacefully next to her bed. I entered the room and hovered just a few feet from her nightstand. You should have seen the look of shock on her face when I started to speak.

I said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

You could tell that Mary didn’t have any idea how to take these words. She looked confused and frightened. So I said what an angel always has to say when they visit someone:
“Do not be afraid”.

I told you! I am one scary dude when you aren’t expecting me!

Anyway, then I told her that she was going to be the mother of God’s own son and that her son was going to be the Savior of the world!”

I expected her to be blown away, asking me all kinds of questions. But she only asked me one… and she asked it as if she already believed that this was all going to happen to her. She said, "How is this going to happen? I’m not even married and I've never been with any man."

That’s when I explained to her that God was going to be the Father of this child, not Joseph. She accepted it all right away And responded with “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.”

I was amazed at this girl’s faith and acceptance. It was awesome! (I had just had an experience with a man named Zacharias that wasn't nearly so positive!)

So with my job accomplished, I headed back to heaven, waiting for my next assignment.  I didn't have long to wait. Mary's fiancee Joe, needed to hear a Word from the Lord.

(to be continued)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

To the Siblings of Jesus

Dear James, Joseph, Simon, Judas, and sisters,

I imagine you aren't used to getting a lot of attention, at least compared to your big brother. But I have to be honest;you fascinate me. What was your family life like? I wonder, what was it like having a truly perfect big brother?
Did you get tired of people saying, "Why can't you be more like Jesus"?
Did you roll your eyes and respond by saying "He's only my HALF brother."?
When you went to synagogue did the rabbis expect you to act just like him?
I know at least one of you became a follower of Jesus the Messiah. Was that weird? coming to the conclusion that your brother, the guy that you shared a room with was God? It had to have been a bit strange.
After you got saved, did you rethink every conversation you ever had with him? I would have..

There sure were a bunch of you... at least 7 kids in the family, from what I read..

Here's what I think it was like at the dinner table.:

Mary: (setting the veggie bowl in the middle of the table) Time to eat, everyone! (All nine people come running into the kitchen and squish around a table made for eight.)

Jane: Mom, Simon keeps bumping my chair! make him stop, Mom!

Mary: "Simon, stop bothering your sister. If you can't behave, I'll have to have Jesus sit between you." (Simon rolls his eyes, but stops bothering Jane.)

Mary: Joseph, I told you that you should have made this table a little longer. Do you think you could add a couple of feet to it?

Joseph: Yes dear. How many more feet do you want me to add? It already has four. (All the boys chuckle)

Mary: (Smiles tolerantly) and Joe, remember the twins need to start their carpentry lessons soon.

Twins: (they groan in unison) Do we have to?

James: (One of the twins) I want to be a fisherman!

Joe jr.: I want to be a tax collector!

Mary: Joe Jr. Don't you say such a thing! Both of you are going to learn your father's trade... just like Jesus did.

Twins: (Groan again)

Jill: Mom, you know, Jesus doesn't want to be carpenter forever. He has bigger plans, don't you Jesus? (All motion at the table stops.)

Judas: He wants to see the world, don't you, Jesus?

Joseph: Jesus, is this true?

Jesus: Aw, Dad. You know that I have to be about my father's... my other father's.... business.

Joseph: that again? Mary, do you hear what your son is saying?

Mary: yes, dear. Judas, pass the peas to your brothers, please.

Joseph: Mary! Did you hear... wait a minute. You knew this already, didn't you?

Mary: Yes, dear. For a long time. and so did you,

Joseph: humph. I'd rather forget all of that supernatural stuff. I'm telling you Jesus, you should just stay here in Nazareth, and work in the shop. It's safer here. Who knows what kind of trouble you'll get yourself into out there in the world.

Mary: (Looks sternly at Joseph) Ahem.

Joseph: (quickly responds) but if you feel like that's what God wants you to do, who am I to stand in the way? Just visit your mother and me, every once in a while, okay, son? (squeezes his shoulder and walks out the door.)

Jane: Mom! Simon's doing it again! Make him stop!

Mary: Okay that's it, Simon!. Stop being so bad! Move to the next chair... Let Jesus take your place...

(Normal table craziness continues..and fades away.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A wedding that makes me feel old

My nephew is getting married today. He was two years old when I married his uncle Gregg.

This event has made me realize that I have somehow been thrown into the "Older" generation. I am peers with the PARENTS of those who are getting married and having babies! When did this happen? How did this happen?

Inside, I'm still the age of these fledging children. When I look in the mirror, I am surprised that I see some grey hair. A few deep set wrinkles are even appearing!

Does anyone actually feel the age that they really are? Is anyone out there shocked that there are at least as many generations younger than you than are older than you?

Okay, maybe it's just me. I have to keep repeating to myself: I will be 50 next month. I will be 50 next month. I will be 50 next month.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things that Amaze me

Today I found out that there are not a plethora of fireflies in California!
Now, this "fact" may not be entirely accurate, but according to a young lady on the Disney channel (who was from California), the first time she ever saw a firefly was when she visited Maryland!

I have to confess that I have never even questioned the fact that there might be places that don't have fireflies. How many other questions have I never asked??

After having these revelations today, I wrote on my facebook that I am amazed at the things I don't know. One of my friends asked me how I can be amazed at the things I don't know, because... well because I don't know what those things are...

argh! How many things don't I know?

Why do cats spit up hairballs?
If a dromedary camel mates with a bactrian camel, how many humps will the baby have?
What really happened to Enoch of Bible fame?
What was the older brother's final decsion in the Prodigal son story?
Just how intelligent is a dolphin?

How about telling me a fact that you think is amazing. I'd love to learn more and be even more amazed.


One year "blog" anniversary

I've just realized that this blog is almost an entire year old. A few months ago, I went back and checked to see what the exact day to reach this stellar achievement would be and found out we could celebrate on the 23rd of July. Now, at the time of this discovery, I thought that it would be awesome if I could hit the "100 blog entries" mark before I hit the one year mark. I had all sorts of plans...

And then my life went into a whirlwind of activity. Since my last blog I have officially become the children's pastor at Solid Rock Church. (Yeah!) I've also been preparing to become the director of our after school program (Oh my!) and will soon be heading off to Wisconsin for a week or so... and if I am going to hit my "100 blog" mark, I'll need to write 20 more blogs in the next thirteen days, seven of which, I will probably not be near a computer!

Can I do it? I have lots of ideas... some entries may be quite short, but I'm going to give it a try!

Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Favorite song?

My favorite song for today is "Mean" by Taylor Swift. I won't go into WHY it's my favorite song today, at least not in this post, but I will say that my favorite song changes daily. I'll also tell you that I use the word "favorite" ALL of the time. When I teach children's church and I'm talking about a Bible story, I nearly always say "This is my favorite story" or "This is my favorite Bible character!" The kids respond with "You always say that!". I can't help it. It's true! They are all my favorites!

So, what I want to know from you is what is your favorite song for today? What particular lyrics resound in your heart, just for today?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14th - Over the Years

Today is June 14th, Flag day here in the US. It is also the day my mom passed away nine years ago. It's a day that I will never forget but really don't want to dwell on.

while I was thinking about it the other day, I remembered that the year after she died, on exactly June 14th, I was diagnosed as having a concussion. It got me to wondering what happened on other years on that exact day. I was really curious, but how in the world can you find out that information?

Well,my wonderful hubby has kept a journal of sorts since about 1976. It's not much each day. he writes in teeny tiny handwriting on a small Hallmark calendar. He writes things like the temperature, any special events, phone calls he makes to family, projects that he works on, etc. It's just a tiny slice of his life, a life that I have shared with him in some way since 1984.

So here's the list of the last 28 years of June 14th.... (the Parentheses are my comments)

2010- painted the pool house. (What? we have a pool house! Never even thought we would have a pool!)

2009- left for vacation in Wi.

2008- missionaries come to our house for a cookout (four days before we moved to Georgia)

2007- lunch at the mall

2006- Visited Bay Beach in Wi (This great little amusement Park in Green Bay Wisconsin. Tickets for rides are only a quarter a piece!)

2005- hubby's parents visiting from Wi. Out to eat at Laddie and Dukes (Hubby's family lives in Wisconsin. We lived in NC so it was wonderful having them there.)

2004- First day of VBS (So many years of vacation Bible School! So many great memories!)

2003- Got a concussion in Illinois (Kept telling everyone I had a "coma".)

2002 - Mom died after a kidney stone operation (Devastating, but saw and felt God's peace like I never have before.)

2001 - Teen Challenge had a walkathon

2000 - dentist appointment

1999- Bought phones for hubby's parents.

1998- Out for a steak dinner

1997 - Travel to Maysville, Kentucky (The home of Ulysses Grant! Also the middle of our trip to Wisconsin1996 - Hubby day off, he got a haircut. (I'm not very observant. I don't always notice when this happens.)( And I am 2 months pregnant with my third born!)

1995- Discipleship Dynamics class ( a great church class about Leading people to Jesus through building relationships.

1994- Old friend, Sharon Sweiger, visits (Hubby and I actually met for the first time at her house in 1984.) (And this year, I am 7 months pregnant with my second born!)

1993- Hubby wins $45.00 (I have NO idea how he won $45.00!)

1992- returned to Greensboro from Wi. Flight delayed (Ihad a 6 month old on this trip. We sat on the plane for over an hour before we took off! fortunately, the baby slept the whole time.)

1991- hubby and 5 brothers visits uncles ( and I am about 3 months pregnant with my firstborn.)

1990- Hubby fed horses at horse co-op

1989- Hubby going home from visitng fiancee (me!)

1988 - Visited (and dated!) a girl named Emilie. (We weren't dating at that time.)
1987 - pre-hubby, newly back, living in Wisconsin- goes swimming in the river.

1986- pre-hubby says "talked to Linda for a few minutes". We weren't even dating at the time.

1985 - pre-hubby says "called Linda" (We were dating, but had just got unengaged)

1984 - three days before my car accident. (Totaled the car... not wearing my seatbelt.)(Hubby and I have been dating for about a month now.)

1983- Exactly One month after I graduated college (That's not on his calendar, I just know that date. It was important!)

So that's it, a walk down memory lane for a day that I really did need to know that good things happen over the years. It was a great exercise for me. If you have a chance, you should do it too!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Dates I remember....

I read a post the other day (sorry, I can't remember whose it was. I was doing one of those linky things...) by a person who remembered people's phone numbers from her past. seven (or ten) digits long, with no patterns to help you remember.... I've never been good at that.

What I do is remember birthdays; Birthdays of people that I haven't seen in 35 years... Birthdays of my brother's old girlfriends, family birthdays, old friends...

January 8
January 11
January 17th
January 22
February 1
February 2
March 6
March 11
April 23
April 24
April 27
May 12
A week or so after May 12th (Okay, so I don't remember ALL birthdays! :) )
June 3
June 9
June 10
June 13...

On these particular days, throughout the course of the day, (when I finally find out what day it actually is) my first thought is "Hey that's so and so's birthday!" and I wish them a silent across the miles, wonderful day.

Which brings me today, June 13th, an old high school boyfriend's birthday. Happy birthday, Mark! (and yes, admittedly, I do remember his family's phone number too.)


Why I love Mondays (and yes I know it's Tuesday)

I kind of like Mondays. Maybe it's because on Mondays I can relax a bit. Sundays are my big intense day, the day I work toward each week. So on Mondays, I breathe a sigh of relief (if the children's service went well) or a sigh of regret (if something didn't turn out quite right), then I take a deep breath and start all over again.

It's kind of like a mulligan in golf, a do over, a blank slate,a fresh start. I like those. I wouldn't say that Monday was the absolute favorite day of the week, but it comes close.

How about you? Tell me the reason that you love your favorite day of the week...


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"W" * Did I really never post this? Is my A-Z never going to be finished?

Oh horrors! I just realized that my draft for the letter "W" for the "A to Z challenge" never got posted! So, I didn't do all 26 letters last April! Yikes!

So, even though it's late, and in order to say that I did indeed finish the challenge, I need to print it now....


The World and the Word and the Woman at the Well. (We'll call her Wendy)

The woman at the well heard the Word from the Word and her world whirled in a worshipful way.

If you heard me try to say this sentence you would probably laugh. When the letters "w" and "r" are in a word together I end to lose the "r" sound. I think it comes from having a mother who was raised in Rhode Island... you know where they "pak the cas in the paking lot."

In elementary school in Pennsylvania, all of the teachers knew that my mom was from Rhode Island and when they heard me speaking without my Rs, they just smiled and said, "Oh she's just picking up her mother's accent."

It wasn't until 6th grade that someone realized that it didn't matter how her mother talked, Linda needed to learn to say her "r"s! So, I entered speech class at 11 years old in the sixth grade along with lots of other 1st and 2nd graders. I didn't really mind. I think it got me out of math class or something... and the homework was easy. I just had to practice things like "Robert ran down the road running after the rabbit."

It seems though, that I must have missed the sessions with words like "World War one", and "rural".

What does this have to do with the Woman at the Well?

Well, nothing really...She could probably say her "r"s just fine...


Monday, June 6, 2011

My three favorite games....

Oh, the frustrations of Not being a technical computer person! I just tried linking up with a blogfest and I'm pretty sure I didn't do it completely correctly... my name is on the list, but I'm not too sure that people will be directed here! Oh well... I'm supposed to put down my three games that I love. I'm going to add a bonus. I'm also going to tell you three games that I hate!

Love em:

Bananagrams: Any word game actually, but bananagrams is my newest favorite game. It's a bit like Scrabble only each individual comes up with their own crossword puzzle. If you are a word person at all, you will love this game!

Pictionary: An oldie, but a goodie. My sister and I used to smear everyone at this game. She would draw for about two seconds and I would come up with the answer. Used to irritate everybody else that played with us! :)

The games that my son and I make up while swimming in our pool: Over the last few years, we have come up with dozens of games. A huge part of the fun is creating the rules and scoring for each game. Yesterday's game was throwing a ball into an innertube. Each ball scored was worth 1000 points until you got 5000 points. then you were allowed to starting betting on each shot. It was a lot of fun, even though my son won each round that we played.

Hate 'em:

In truth, there is only one form of game that I hate and that is the trivia games! I am terrible at them. The only problem with that is that my husband loves them and doesn't really like word games. this makes it tough for us to find games that both of us enjoy.

How about you?
What are your favorite (or least favorite) games?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Year's resolutions revisited

June 1st- We're getting close to the halfway mark in the year 2011. How are you doing on those resolutions that you made so many months ago?

I really only had two that I wrote down. The first one was to use the Wii fit program regularly and at least get more fit if not lose some weight. I did that until about six weeks ago. Not sure what happened, but I think I just got a bit discouraged. I kept losing and gaining the same two pounds.

The good news (ha ha, get it? Good News!) is that I completed my second resolution! I wanted to read the Bible completely in four months. It actually took me 4 1/2 months but I finished on May 15th. I loved reading it in it's entirety at a faster pace than I ever had before. the only negative was that I pretty much had to stop reading everything else for awhile!

My next step is to study some of the books in more depth. I was fascinated by how much of Isaiah is actually in the Gospels. It wasn't just the direct quotes from Jesus either. A lot of the Sermon on the Mount had ideas that were based on sections of the prophet's words.

Last week, I started comparing the Gospels and Isaiah, but got stuck on the first couple of verses in Isaiah. I had to go back to 2nd Chronicles and find out about Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezachiah because that's the time period that Isaiah prophesied. (yep, I'm getting distracted by the details again! :) )

Anyway, I'll work on that for a month or two and then I'm going to attempt the 4 month reading schedule again. Anyone want to join me?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Other Side!

Now that I am done with my London blogs, I just want you to know that I also visited Portugal. It was a beautiful place. Artists should go there and paint.The towns and scenery are fabulous.
But the reason I liked it the best was that I GOT TO TOUCH THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN!!!

Speakers Corner- Part 3 of my London trip (What Would Jesus have Said?)

One of the most interesting moments of our entire trip to London was visiting Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.Hubby had left me alone there while he tried to rent us some bikes (see previous post if you are curious as to how that turned out.)

While I waited for him, I wandered through the crowds of people heckling five different speakers. The first "speaker" wasn't actually speaking. She was sitting in a folding chair reading her Bible. Behind her were signs that said things like "The Messiah has already come" and "Jesus is Lord". She didn't actually have anyone around her, but she didn't really seem to care. She was letting her signs do the talking.

The second speaker was also a woman. She was actually an older woman, grey hair, bun on top of her head, almost mennonite looking. She had a tight crowd of people around her. I couldn't actually hear what she was talking about, but what ever it was, she had some very intense responses happening just inches from her face. I was feeling a bit bad for her, but she didn't seem to mind.

The third one was a man and he was loud. I arrived just in time to hear him answer the question "Does God hate homosexuals?" with a very loud "Yes!". And I, little timid Linda, responded with an astounded "No, he doesn't!" the man and I argued back and forth for a few minutes with a few comments tossed in from the crowd. I asked him to show me where it said that in the Bible and he responded with the fact that children are a blessing from the Lord. I agreed with that. And then I waited. Then he said that it takes a man and woman to make a child. I agreed with that. and then he said that proved that God hated homosexuals. hmmmm. We tossed around the phrase "love the sinner, hate the sin", but I wasn't really getting anywhere. So I moved on to the next speaker.

This is the speaker that affected me the most, but I'm not sure I can write down the conversation because it was even confusing while I was there. The man was a Messianic Jew. He was accusing everyone around him of everything that he could think of. I finally just asked him why he was doing that, and did he really think he was going to change anybody's mind by yelling.

That's when he turned on me. He told me I needed Jesus. I told him I loved Jesus with my whole heart. He told me to look at what I was wearing. ( black jeans, pink short sleeved shirt, with a white longsleeved shirt.) He stopped that vein of conversation very quickly and then and said that I think I'm better than Jewish people because Christians think that now they are God's chosen people and have taken the Jew's place. I told him that I didn't believe that. He asked if I knew of any time that the christian community tried to befriend the Jewish community. I told him just the week before, my church had a service together with a Jewish congregation in the city. He yelled back that he didn't mean for me to make them all feel good but that I needed to tell them about Jesus. I responded that you needed relationship for our words to mean anything... He just kept yelling.
I finally just shook my head and started to walk away. He kept yelling and said that not to walk away and was I afraid...
Meanwhile, my hubby had come up and started to defend me by arguing back. I appreciated that a lot but by that time, I was done with the noise and adamant attitudes...

I pulled him away and we continued our wonderful sightseeing in London.

I really did enjoy the experience but also went away with the knowledge that if someone believes something strongly enough that they will get up on a stepladder in Hyde Park, that you will not change their minds by arguing.

I also wondered how Jesus would have reacted to the whole scene. I could just see him walking from speaker to speaker, showing love and speaking truth.... What would their reactions have been to Him? Some would continue with their diatribes, but maybe some would really hear, really see... and follow Him.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tears in London (Part two)

If I told you right away where the next place was that I cried, you would think I was a nut case, so let me ease you into the story.

My mother was a wonderful woman who loved to jump in mudpuddles and play in the backyard with her kids.   She baked chocolate chip cookies for us for our afterschool snacks. She and my sister Cindy, ate ice cream for lunch on a regular basis. She was fun!  She had an unlikely hero in her life... Peter Pan. The idea of never growing up appealed to her a great deal.

It seems that there is genetic dispensation toward this attitude. I have been accused of living the same motto and it seems like my eldest daughter is also prone toward being child-like (notice, I didn't say childish. :) )

Years ago, we found out that there was a Peter Pan statue in London (through watching the movie, "Hook"!). Needless to say, with that history in our family, we were going to try to make the statue one of our stops, but first we had to find it.

We got really close on the second day. Late in the evening, we were walking through Hyde Park. We were tired and our feet hurt. We decided to head back to our hotel. As we were going, I glanced up at a sign and saw the words "Peter Pan" with the arrow pointing the opposite direction. We decided that the next day we would begin our day there at the park, rent bikes, and go find that statue.

So early (Okay, not too early.) the next morning we arrived back at Hyde Park and tried to rent a bike. This process, which should have taken about 5 minutes, took us about 45. After putting our credit card in and out of the machine about five times, getting two codes and attempting to take the bikes out of their racks, we finally were riding. We rode for about 10 minutes trying to follow signs to the Statue. We finally figured out that it was in the Kensington Gardens, the park right next to Hyde Park.

We headed that way on our bikes and then found out that you can't ride bikes in most of Kensington Gardens!  So we got Off our bikes and walk them through the park and finally (about 30 minutes later and after asking directions numerous times) found the statue. What I found out while I was there was that Barrie secretly erected the statue in the middle of the night so it appeared "as if by magic". I love that!

 A little girl was visitng the statue at the same time we were. She circled that statue, touching each little animal that was part of its base. As she did so, she told her dad who they were. I don't know if she was making it up on the spot or if she knew more of the Peter Pan story than I did, but it was so very sweet to hear.

So that's when I got teary. I thought about my mom, my sister, my daughter, and the creative genius of J M Barrie. I know that it seems like a little thing when you think about our entire trip to London, but I have to say that it was a major highlight to our trip.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Why I Cried in London: Part one (and all about my grandparents.)

First of all you need to know, I very rarely cry. So the idea of me crying three times while in London (and while having a wonderful time!) was a very strange thing.

Here's what happened. We woke up on our first morning and headed out to see the sights. We took the underground and ended up somewhere near the London Eye. (Actually, I can't remember exactly how we got there.) We turned a corner and all of a sudden, I saw Big Ben and the House of Parliment, my first real 3-d look of the London I have always wanted to see.

As I gazed across the Thames at these beautiful ancient buildings, I suddenly realized I was really, really there; a place that I have wanted to go since I was twelve years old, a place that was a special haven for my grandparents, a favorite painting spot of my Dad's, and the setting for a dozen of my favorite movies. And the tears came.

I explained in my last blog that my grandparents and my Dad took my older brother and sister to London when they were sixteen. I didn't get to go because my grandmother died when I was fifteen and the trips to England stopped for a while.

My grandparents weren't my real flesh and blood relatives. My Grandpa, Frank Rice, a brilliant man, was my Dad's shop teacher in middle school. He was tall and skinny, and from my earliest memories, carried a cane. (He had many to choose from! canes with parrot heads, canes with swords and guns built into them, dog heads, too many types to recount here!) When he sat down he would cross his right leg over his left and wrap his right foot around the back of his left leg. That always fascinated me.
He was married to a wonderful sophisticated lady named Anna who worked as a switchboard operator for the phone company when the phone company was young. There was never a hair out of place and she was always impeccably dressed.
My dad became their "yard boy" during his teen years, and they developed a great father/son relationship. My grandfather taught him all about stocks and bonds and saving money.

When my dad married and had children, Frank and Anna Rice became our grandparents, as real as any flesh and blood ones could be. They were part of every holiday growing up, and many days in between.

I have no idea when they started taking their trips to England, but I know they took many, and while they were there, they made friends. That's just the way they were, talking to people on the street, at historic sites, and in the castles, sharing their knowledge and learning more by asking questions of the people who lived the history, so to speak. They became particularly close to someone at Windsor castle, I can't remember who. (I'll have to ask my siblings- they may remember).

Every time they returned from England, they would bring us something. I had forgotten that until I was searching for souveniers in a shop one day while I was there. I saw "tea towels" with all sorts of british regalia on them and remembered that we had gotten a number of those over the years.

So, I'm telling you all of this to try to explain that when I walked around the corner and saw Big Ben, I was looking at a place that had been in dozens of family photo albums my whole life.... and I was really, really there... and I cried.


Monday, May 16, 2011

I Have Finally Been to London!

"To London to London to buy a fat pig, home again, home again, jiggity jig!"

My Older sister and brother were taken to England by my grandparents and father  when they were each sixteen years old. Sue went in 1973 and Carl, in 1975. It was becoming a great family tradition and I looked excitedly toward the year  that I would go. Unfortunately, my grandmother died the year before I turned 16 and my trip to England was postponed indefinitely.

Ten years ago for my 40th birthday, my husband handed me a styrofoam cup filled with birdseed. On the cup he wrote "feed the birds". It took me a minute, but then I realized that he was making a reference to one of my favorite movies (Mary Poppins)  and telling me that he would take me to England!

Fastforward ten years, and we finally made it! Why did it take us so long, you ask? Well, one month after my birthday, 9/11 happened. And then other things cropped up... four missions trips to Siberia and two to South Africa. A move from NC to GA and going from two salaries to one,  relegated the trip to the "Someday" file.

But "Someday" finally came! Whooee!

My husband, who is a missionary for Global Teen Challenge (more on that later)  and I were training some Teen challenge staff in Portugal (also a beautiful place, but not part of this story...) and because we were already on that side of the pond, decided to visit London at last.

I can't tell you how fabulous this trip was for me. I'll go into more specifics in my next blog, but suffice to say that we saw more in three days then most people would see in three weeks!
Big Ben
Parliment building
Westminster abby
Peter Pan statue
Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park
Speaker's Corner (I'll tlak more about that later too!)
The Underground!
Double decker buses
Madam Tussauds (sp?)
Beatles store
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tower bridge
The London Eye
The Millenium bridge
The London Bridge
The Globe Theatre

That's all I can remember without looking at my journal.... and you would have to add the fact that we got lost three or four times too! :)

A special thanks to my sweetie for making it happen!


Friday, May 13, 2011


I haven't written anything since the last day of the A to Z challenge! I did want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed writing the daily posts and reading other people's blogs, although I didn't get to read as many or as often as I would have liked.

Now to the reasons that I have been so delinquent in my musings...

During the month of March, I was asked to be interim children's director at our church. Since then, I have been VERY busy. I've enjoyed myself tremendously teaching on Sundays, making sure that the sunday school teachers  (oops, I mean Life group teachers!) and Wednesday night discipleship classes have everything they need. I was able to help to orchestrate a community Easter egg hunt, work in the after school program, assist in planning the summer daycamp,  in addition to homeschooling my children, and completing the A to Z challenge! I also had a personal challenge that I was trying to complete- reading the entire Bible in 4 months time. (Didn't quite make it. I still have to finish Romans. Ah well- four and a half months is pretty good.)

I'm not sure what the next few months have in store, but I do promise to at least try to post something every few days!

So until then, have a wonderful, exciting, fun filled, fabulous week!


Saturday, April 30, 2011


Yea!  Ze last lettter Iz here!!


The father of John the Baptist, who didn't believe that he would be a recipient of a miracle. He spent at least nine months not being able to talk because of his disbelief.

When the baby was born, everyone expected him to be named after his father, Zacharias. His mom, Elizabeth, reported that his name would be John. The people grumbled and complained that there was no one in his family by the name of John and that it would only be proper to name him after the father.

The Bible says that the people motioned with their hands and asked Zacharias what the child should be named. He asked for a tablet and wrote the words, "His name is John".  Then he began to praise God.

I love this story.  The only question that I have is why did the people motion with their hands to ask Zacharias their question? The Bible doesn't say he was deaf, it says he was mute.  hmmm

Haven't figured that one out yet.  Any ideas?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"V" is for Vashti

I don't think Vashti has ever gotten a fair shake. (She was the queen whom Esther replaced.) Esther was great, really. And I know that she was there for "Such a time as this". She did save her people from extinction, it's true, but really, all Vashti did was say that she didn't want to get shown off to a bunch of drunk men just because her husband called for her....

I don't know. What do you think?


"U" is for you.

Okay, here's the deal.
God created the perfect world.
Satan convinced Eve that her world could be even more than perfect, if she would just eat a piece of the forbidden fruit. So she did. That was the moment that our world became broken, the moment that death became part of life.

Every one of us bears a crack in our soul created by Eve's endeavor.
The chasm between God, the Holy One and you and me was almost insurmountable.
Almost. And then came Jesus.
The perfect one. He lived on earth, fully human, fully man, and he never ever sinned. not once. And because of this, death couldn't hold him. The curse did not apply. And yet he chose it. He chose to die. For me. For you. For all of us.

And death still couldn't hold Him. Three days later, He rose again.

Now we can live forever.... if only we choose him.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

"T" is for Testament (New)

My secret for remembering the order of the "t" books (and the rest of the New Testament...)

The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and Acts and Romans 1st and 2nd Corinthians.(Just know them, sorry, no trick)

the Paul letters- You know the vowels? A,E,I, O, and U? Tthat's the order of the Paul letters: g"A"lations, Eph"E"sians, Ph"I"lippians, C"O"lossians.... cool huh? A good way that "U" can remember.

(Here comes the "T" part) 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus- they are alphabetical.

and then philemon and Hebrews,  (No trick, but it's only two books. You can remember!)

James, 1& 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John (Jesus' three closest friends, the closer they were to Jesus, the higher the number... )

Jude and Revelation!

Happy Resurrection Day, friends!


Friday, April 22, 2011


Stephen, the First  of Jesus' followers to be martyred...and Saul (later to be renamed Paul) watched while the others stoned him to death. hmmmm.

I love Stephen. I love that he asked God not to count the sin of his murder against those that were murdering him.

My lesson? Surely if Stephen could do that, I can forgive the little things people do to me...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rueben, Rebecca, Rahab, and Rachel

Rueben- First son of Jacob and Leah
Rebeccah- Wife of Isaac
Rachel- Second (favorite) wife of Jacob
Rahab- Ah, Rahab, What a story!

Rahab is best known as the prostitute who hid two Israelite spies when they were scoping out Jericho. In doing this, she saved her own family from destruction. Pretty good story so far, yes?  Well, wait til you hear the clincher!

Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab., Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse who was the father of David, a man after God's own heart.
(Matthew 1:5)

She was the great great grandma of King David! Cool eh?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quirinius or Quirinus?

Okay, so I had to laugh. When I was trying to find out more about Quirinius, the very first fact that I saw was that he shouldn't be confused with Quirinus.  No sir, I sure wouldn't want to do that!

Now I'm sitting here wondering who Quirinus was! Were they twins? Were they of the same time period? Did his mom just spell his name wrong on the birth certificate?  Are they actually the same person, and when he was a teen, he decided to change the spelling of his name? (Some teens do this you know.)

According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was born while Quirinius was governor of Syria, specifically during a world-wide census. That's all I have on Quirinius.... Now I have to go look up Quirinus....


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peter, Paul, and Phillip

Love Peter. The rock. The loud mouth. the denier, the hothead, the passionate one...

Used to hate Paul... thought he was arrogant and pushy.
Have come to appreciate Paul more in the last few years... He sure went through a lot of struggles, but finished strong.

Phillip... Love the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian. He meets this guy on the road, overhears him reading the book of Isaiah out loud, and asks him if he knows what he is reading. The Ehiopian says "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?" So Phillip explains all about Jesus starting right from where the ethiopian was reading.  That is amazing to me. I'm thinking that Phillip knew the scriptures so well, that he could have talked about Jesus no matter where the Ethiopian was reading!

But the really cool part of the story is that after Phillip baptizes the ethiopian (at his request: "There is some water. What keeps me from being baptized?") He disappears and reappears in a city far away!

That's like Star Trek stuff back in 35 AD!


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Obed's parents were the famed Ruth and Boaz from the book of Ruth. Obed grew up and had a son named Jesse who had a son named David, who just happened to become the King of Israel, and a man after God's own heart. That's all I know about Obed, but it's enough.

I know this isn't always the case, but I like to imagine that Obed must have been a good dad and grandfather. I know his parents were filled with faith and it appears that  heritage was passed down through the next few generations.

When this happens, and sometimes it does happen, I wonder "why"? I wonder "How"?  My deepest desire is that my children stay strong in the faith for their entire lives... I've made a zillion mistakes as a parent, I know...but my kids seem to be doing okay, more than okay, they're awesome.

But how will I ensure that they "win the prize"? I will pray. For the rest of my life, I will pray, as my mom did, I'm sure. I will pray that they will not only endure to the end, but that they will finish strong.

I believe in a God who answers prayers like these...


Saturday, April 16, 2011


Nicodemus- A secret follower of Jesus. He revealed himself as one of Jesus' disciples when he helped Joseph of Arimathea take Jesus off of the cross and put him in the tomb. It's interesting to me that he followed secretly until Jesus died and then he made himself known. What good is it to be a follower of a dead man? 

Can you imagine when he and Jesus met again after the resurrection?
I'll bet Nick was happy he stayed faithful!


Friday, April 15, 2011


I have heard so much about Martha and Mary recently that I just really don't want to write about them. Normally, I'd give it a try, but let's see if  can find a different "M".

Methusaleh is good... Melchizedek...Michael...  uh oh, I can feel my ADHD kicking in. I'm only half way through the alphabet and I'm beginning to be bored with my own writing! Not good.

Okay, back to the "M"s. Matthew! Also known as Levi. Writer of the book of Matthew... Tax collector turned disciple. (Appropriate for April 15th!) Took Jesus to his home, invited all of his tax collector friends to hear this great teacher... I'm not sure how the Pharisees came to be at the party, but they were there, making their presence known by their negative "Sinner hating" attitudes. They asked each other, "Why is he hanging around this scum? Doesn't he know what they are?"

Jesus put them straight. "Healthy people don't need a doctor, sick people do". then he added "Now go and learn the meaning of this scripture 'I want you to show mercy not offer sacrifices' for I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners."

Sometimes I think I act like a pharisee.
Sometimes I know that I'm "sick".

Lord, Help me to show mercy.  for showing it to me.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

"L" is for Lazarus

Oh, what a story!

Wrapped up in grave clothes, looking like a mummy, he exits the tomb. He's been in there for four days, yet it only seemed a moment. He's been called away from paradise now by his good friend, Jesus. Nothing less than that would have pulled him away. As  someone unwraps the strips of cloth that bind him, he  squints as  light penetrates through the few layers that are left.  His eyes adjust and he sees a crowd of people. Most look ecstatic. Some look murderous. He continues to search the crowd. Then he sees Him. Jesus, standing tall and sure, smiling in his direction. He takes off running, tripping a bit over what is left of his death clothes. They collapse into each others arms. Yes, being held in the arms of Jesus is better even then paradise.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"K" is for....a math problem.

Keturah- If you read my “H” blog you will know that I did chat about Keturah for just a second the other day.

She is a fascinating study for me because I have so many questions! I didn't even know this was part of the Abraham story when I was growing up!

The Bible says that after Sarah died, Abraham married Keturah and had 6 more sons! Zimram, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah were their names.

Abraham lived for 38 more years after Sarah died. He could have actually had a 25th wedding anniversary with Keturah!

I love the idea that Keturah could have actually been Hagar. If she was, there are even more questions:
I wonder, how old was she when she had Ishmael? Ishmael was 14 when isaac was born (Sarah was 90), Isaac was 37 when Sarah died at 127, making Abraham 137.

If Hagar had Ishmael at 16, she would have been 67 when Sarah died.

6 more sons after she was 67! Wow! Can you imagine chasing a toddler around at 70?!

It was hard enough at 37!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The "J" Names

Why I love “J” names:

Jacob, Joshua, Josiah, Joseph, Jesus

I love “J” names. When I was growing up and playing with my friends, my name would be Jill or Julie, or Jennifer. Interestingly enough, the only “J” name that I used while naming my children was “Joy”, my eldest daughter’s middle name.

My fascination with “J” names continues. Joseph, Joshua, and Josiah are three of my favorite Bible characters. I can’t say much about Jacob though. In my opinion, he’s one of those people that prove that God will use anybody! (And I am quite grateful for that!)

So here are the reasons that I love Joe, Josh, and Jo…

Joseph: Dreamer, trusting God no matter what, wise, and forgiving. Had a rough life, but finished strong!

Joshua: Always wanting more of God (He stayed in the tabernacle soaking in God’s glory, even after Moses left), obedient to whatever God wanted him to do, Great servant, great leader. Finished Strong!

Josiah: Youngest King. Heart for God. Finished strong (but died rather young.- If you’ve never read it, you should it’s a great story.) 2 Kings 22-23

And then there is Jesus. my King, my Best Friend. Lord, Help me to finish strong.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Isaac and Ishmael

Half brothers

Same dad, different mom

Ishmael: son of Abraham and Hagar (Sarah's servant)
Isaac: son of Abraham and Sarah, son of the promise.

Ishmael was 14 years older than Isaac…. A teenager when Isaac was born.

That puts a whole different light on some of the scriptures…

Abe and Sarah were having a weaning party for Isaac. That probably means he was two or three years old which would make Ishmael sixteen or seventeen.  Ishmael is caught mocking his brother during the party. This is not good. Sarah tells Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away. Abraham doesn't like the idea, but God tells him that it's okay, that God will take care of them and Ishmael too, will be a great nation.

….So I can easily imagine a 16 year old mocking his younger brother, but what I can’t see is why the scriptures talk about Hagar putting “the boy” (Ishmael) under the bush and holding his hand as they are being sent away by Abraham. No seventeen year old that I know would hold his mother's hand...

Genesis 16 and 21

Anyone have any ideas on this?


Saturday, April 9, 2011

"H" is for Hagar

Hagar- Egyptian servant to Sarah. Mother to Abraham's firstborn, Ishmael.
There isn't a lot written about her, but my imagination paints this picture of the beginning of her story:

Hagar sat patiently waiting for Abraham. She had been told by her mistress to bathe and then come to the main tent and wait. Wait for what? Was she in trouble? occasionally Sarah yelled at her for things that really weren't her fault, but most often, Hagar was just another piece of furniture in the room, silent but ready to be called upon when needed.  

"Why the special attention now?" she wondered aloud.

"Perhaps because Sarah has a desire that she can't make happen without your help", Abraham said from the doorway. He actually looked apologetic and a little bit sheepish. 

All of a sudden, Hagar knew why she was there. She was to become Abraham's concubine so that Sarah could "have" a child. It had been Sarah's desire for many many years to be a mother, but up to this point she was barren. And Sarah was an impatient woman. In this culture, she could have her slave  bear a child that would be considered hers.

Slavery had never been as bitter as it was this moment. Not only was she not able to give her love freely to whom she wanted, but she would not be able to be the mother to her own biological child...

Hagar wept silently. She turned to her master in outward obedience as she wondered where her life would go from here. "Oh God, please help me", she whispered as she laid back onto the bed.

Wow! Did you ever write something and not know where it was going until you were done?
Hagar did get to raise her own child, because Sarah did end up having her own son, Isaac.
Hagar's life wasn't a bed of roses, (If you want to read more about it, read Genesis 16 and 21. I'm trying to keep my posts shorter!) but God did help her.

I was doing a bit research a few months ago, and found something that said that after Sarah died, Abraham had another wife named Keturah. Some people think that this may have been Hagar....

Interesting, very interesting.


Friday, April 8, 2011

"G" is for Gideon and God

Gideon, the mighty warrior… not. At least that’s what Gideon thought. He thought of himself as the youngest son of the weakest family in his tribe. But God saw him as he could be, if he would only trust God and do what he was asked to do.

And Gideon did. Only he almost always asked for proof, which I think is interesting. When God told him to fight the Midianites, Gideon responded with “okay, but first let me make sure this is really you God. Stay here until I can come back with a present for you”. God promised to stay.

Now Gideon was probably gone a pretty long time since he was preparing a goat with broth and some unleavened bread. I don’t know if any of you have ever prepared goat (I did eat it once- my neighbor’s pet goat! But that’s another story for another letter….) I'm pretty sure it takes a few hours, But God always keeps His promises, and He was there just like He said He would be. Fire sprang up around the food and burnt it all up. (Funny, that’s probably what would happen if I cooked goat!)

Then Gideon knew it was God he was speaking to and decided that he should and could do what He was telling him to do. He also did the old "dry fleece, wet ground" thing too.  He wanted to be doubly sure, I guess.

 He wanted to fight using 32000 soldiers. There were 120,000 people in the enemy army. That seems like it would still be a tough fight, but with God on your side, doable. Well, God thought it would be too easy. He knew that if the Israelites beat the Midianites using 32,000 people, they would think they did it under their own power. So he told Gideon to shrink his army.

Gideon sent all who were fearful back home. This left him with about 10,000 people. If my math is correct, that means that there was one of Gideon's men to every 12 of the enemy! God still thought that was too many Israelites. So He sifted them out by the way that they drank from the river. If you cupped your hands and drank, you were in, if you dunked your head down and drank straight from the river you were out. A bit unorthodox way to pick your army, eh?

But think of it this way. Those men would be able to move quickly if in danger. They would see it more quickly, and they were already on their feet ready to roll. But not too many men did this. 300 of them were what was left of Gideon’s army.

We are now down to a 1 to 400 ratio! I can just see Gideon's eyes rolling to the back of his head. "Are you kidding me, Lord?"

But Gideon obeyed and Gideon won again in a pretty unorthodox battle.

That's my God.  Using weak people and turning them into mighty warriors. winning batttles against seemingly unsurmountable odds, and doing it all in ways that baffle this little finite brain of mine.

Go God!  :)


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Problem with "F"

ummm. I hate to say this, but I don't think there are any Bible names that start with "F". Of course my entire research consists of watching the movie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" in which all of the children are named alphabetically with Bible names. The 6th child was a boy. They named him Frank... short for Frankincense because they couldn't find another name.... 

I like that. Creative parenting. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The "E"s have it!

Eli, Elijah, Elisha, Ephraim, Esther, Ezra, ,Elizabeth,  Ehud, Ezekiel, and Emily. Too many "e"s. don't know which one to pick... It's 9:53. I just got home. I think that this is my mulligan day. What's a mulligan? From what I understand, it's a golf term that means you get to take a shot over again.
You guys could just tell me which one you want to learn more about.
Eli- Fat priest with ungodly sons... raised Samuel, who was one of the best.
Elijah- Fabulous prophet. Did lots of miracles, mentored Elisha.
Elisha- Asked for a double portion of Elijah's power. Did some really strange miracles.
Ephraim- Son of Joseph, brother to Mannaseh
Esther- One of my favorite people in the whole Bible. "For such a time as this, she was born."
Ezra- Was in charge of rebuilding the temple.
Elizabeth- Mother to John the Baptist, cousin to Mary who was the mother of Jesus.
Ehud- Great Judge of Israel, who killed a fat king (already wrote about this one though.)
Ezekiel- Don't ask me about him. I'll have to do too much research.

Okay, so, it's up to you!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I won! I won!

I got an blog award! I can't believe it! I've never won a blog award before! Thank you Deirdre from  To quote Sally Field when she won an Oscar, "You like me, you really like me!"

Hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to post it! :)

Thanks again for reading... and commenting!


"D" is for "dat darling Delilah"

Delilah, David, Daniel

I’ve already talked about David a few times, that would be too easy of a “D”. And Daniel, well, you know, everybody knows that Daniel didn’t get eaten by lions… okay, there’s more to Daniel, but really, I feel like writing about Delilah.

Dandy Delilah doted deliriously on Dumbo*. Dumbo didn’t deal deliciously with dis daughter of da devil. Delilah distorted her devotion. Decidedly decadent, Delilah delved into devious doings. Da Dilemma dat disturbed Delilah was dat da dummy was durable and heavy duty. Delilah induced Dumbo to divulge his undisclosed dirt. Dumbo did divulge dat dissecting his do’ did decimate his durability.’ Delilah dispatched her other dummies and did devious dealings to Dumbo .

And dat’s da last we hear of Delilah.

* Dat Dumbo is Samson


Sunday, April 3, 2011

C is for Committed and Courageous Caleb

Caleb- One of the quiet heroes of the Bible.

Twelve spies went into the promised land to explore the area to see what kind of country it was. Most of them came back and reported that it was a great place but “there were giants in the land”. Their advice was to choose a different destination.

Joshua and Caleb came back from the same trip with a different story. They were excited that God had given them this land and said “let’s go get it!”. Unfortunately, the Israelites paid no attention to Joshua and Caleb.

God punished them all for their unbelief and lack of trust by making them stay in the wilderness for forty years until all the men (20 years and older at the time of the exploration) had died. Joshua and Caleb were they only adults to be allowed into the land at the end of the forty years.

So here’s my question. Poor Caleb, who didn’t do anything wrong, had to hang around the desert for forty years. Joshua ended up being the leader of the people after Moses died, so he got his reward (If you call that a reward!) What did Caleb get?

Well, after a bit of digging, I found out three things that I think are pretty cool. First of all, Caleb pretty much got the pick of where he wanted to locate in the promised land. He chose Hebron, where the giants really did live. He still had enough of an adventuring spirit to want to fight the giants!

Secondly, he was 85 years old when they divvied up the land and the Bible says that Caleb was just as strong as the day that Moses sent him to spy out the land.

And finally at the end of the chapter (Joshua 14), the Bible says that “Then they had rest from war.”

The pick of the land

Healthy strong body and a spirit of adventure

Peace from war.

I’d say those are pretty good rewards for a life well lived.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for The Beautiful Bathsheba

Bathsheba, Barnabas, Benjamin:

Hmmmm- Hard to decide which "B" to discuss: Benjamin, youngest son of Jacob and Rachel, full brother to Joseph...

Barnabas, follower of Jesus known as the encourager...

or Bathsheba, wife and widow of Uriah, Mistress and then wife of David, mother of Solomon, Nathan, Shimea, and Shobab. Okay, let's talk about her.

Bathsheba was married to a soldier hero named Uriah. In fact he was one of David's mighty men. One day, while he is off fighting one of David's wars, David notices Bathsheba. He wants Bathsheba. And what David wants, David gets. He is after all, the king.
A couple of months later, Bathsheba notifies David that she is pregnant. Can you imagine? I can see her sitting in her kitchen waiting to see how David would fix this. She hears of his plan to bring Uriah home so that people would think the baby was his.  She knows Uriah well enough to know that this won't work. He is too honorable to come home when the rest of his soldiers are still in the battle. She is wondering what David will do now.
The next thing she knows is that her husband is dead, killed in a battle that just didn't make any sense. She suspects that David has "fixed" their problem. And sure enough, she is called back to the palace and they are immediately married. 
Fastforward a few months. David is visited by Nathan the prophet and is convicted and repents of his sin. A few more months pass. The baby is born and dies. David comforts Bathsheba and they have another child, Solomon. and then another and another and another.
Talk about a soap opera life! And the most amazing part of the whole story is that through all of this yucky story, God's plan is unfolding. Ultimately Bathsheba and David are the great great great (etc) grandparents to Mary, mother of Jesus (through Nathan) and Joseph (through Solomon ).
I'm so glad that He sees it all and makes it work for good.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A is for... "not manipulating"


Adam, Asenath,  Absalom, Asa, -

Today for the letter “A”, I choose Absalom, third son of King David, a good looking but extremely manipulative man. "Now in all Israel there was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him." (II SAMUEL 14:25).

Yes, Absalom was good looking. He was particularly proud of his thick gorgeous curly hair. He was also extremely manipulative, pretending to care tremendously for his father’s subjects, when really all he wanted to do was be king in his father’s place.

He would sit at the palace gate and listen to the people’s problems. He would sympathize and then say something like “Oh if only I were in power, I could make things right in the kingdom.” Some of the people fell for this line of thinking and made him king. His own father, after years of running from King Saul, now began running from his own son. Eventually Absalom was killed; his long luxurious hair got caught in a tree during battle. Someone came along and finished the job by spearing him to death.

I have been thinking a lot about Absalom lately. I’ve been thinking of him because there have been opportunities in my own life recently where I have had to consciously choose Not to manipulate in order to get my way. It would have been easy, but it wouldn’t have been right.

There have only been a few books that have truly changed my life. One of these books is called “The Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards. The three kings that are written about are Saul, David, and Absalom. Over and over again, David shows himself to be the righteous man, a man who trusts God to fight his battles. He never takes vengeance into his own hands even when the opportunity is handed to him. Both Saul and Absalom are abysmal kings, their actions only benefiting themselves and not their kingdoms or their God.

I want to be a David, not an Absalom. Please Lord, help me.


A-Z Here we come!

Okay, so, I'm really excited about the A-Z challenge. In the last few weeks my life has gotten extremely busy, but I'm going to go for it anyway!

I'm going to choose a Bible character for each day and just have a paragraph or two about why they fascinate me... Keep an eye out for some of the more unique people, stories, and questions that come to my mind!

I'm also quite proud that I figured out how to add the buttons that allow me to visit each of the 800 bloggers that are participating in this challenge! (I am very technically challenged! ) :)

Let's roll!


Friday, March 25, 2011

A Creative School Bus Conversation

Something really cool happened yesterday.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I drive a bus for our church's afterschool program. I pick up six children from one school and two more from another. As always the children were a little bit noisy on the ride back to church. I overheard one of them say "I know Ms. Bell really well". I heard a little boy comment that the phrase rhymed. I chimed in by saying that it sounded like the title to a book. All of a sudden, the children were asking if we could write a book together! I told them that we could brainstorm about it together tomorrow (as in today) if they really wanted to.

They didn't forget. They ran into the church today asking if I had time to help them write the book.
So we began.  We brainstormed for about half an hour and then began to write. We have a wonderful story started. I'm quite proud of them actually. They are so creative.

Tuesday, we illustrate.

The best part of the whole thing was how excited they were to create. I loved fanning that flame.

I'll have to ask them if I can share it with you when it's done.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Two  conversations that took place today in Children's Church-

Conversation one:

Little boy: I'm thirsty
(teacher gets him a cup of water)
Little boy: Excuse me. What kind of water is this?
Teacher: Just regular water.
Little boy: hmmm (sips water)
Little boy: I forgot to tell you that I'm allergic to water. (boy starts to sneeze and continues to sneeze for about 5 minutes.)
Teacher number two: (Takes little boy to the back of the room) I think that your allergy should be about done. It's been awhile since you drank the water.
Little boy:  Yeah, I think so. Thank you Jesus!

Conversation Two: (actually it's a riddle that a boy told me and I forgot to find out the answer.)

a farmer had nine ears of corn. A little mouse was taking the corn away three ears  at a time. How long did it take him? (The answer is NOT three.)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Dandelion By Any Other Name....

Last summer,  my daughter sat in the middle of our yard blowing thousands of dandelion fuzzies into the air. She did this on a regular basis for a few months. Every time she was outside, she would pick the flowers and blow until all that was left was a thin green stem with a tiny knob on top.

I sat with her one day and explained that the fuzzies that she was blowing were actually the seeds to the dandelions and that if she continued to do that, we would have a yard full of the yellow weeds in the spring.
She responded by telling me that she knew all of that and that she was doing it on purpose. Dandelions were her favorite flower.

Today, I glanced out the kitchen window. The entire back yard is carpeted with bright yellow dandelions. I'm sure my daughter is happy.

Did I mention that she is nineteen years old?  :)


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Infinite wisdom from Pennsylvania that May Not Work Elsewhere

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?  


That was a joke we grew up with in Pennsylvania. Of course in order to "get" it, you have to be familiar with New England history and grow up somewhere that Flowers bloom in May!

We live in Georgia now. Our flowers were blooming by the middle of February. Right now, we are in full blown spring. Daffodils, dandelions, pear tree blossoms, forsythia, crocuses (croci?)

So a rewrite for the saying?  How about:

"January showers bring February Flowers, but in hot July everybody glowers".

What do you think?  I'm open to suggestions!

Another "northern" saying when you are talking about March:
"In like a lion, out like a lamb".

In Pennsylvania, the beginning of March was still winter. It was cold and windy. You could still have a good snowstorm. By the end of March, things were starting to look springy. You could go outside without putting on four or five layers of clothing.

Here in Georgia, by the end of March we are contemplating opening up the pool!

So what about you? Do you have some regional sayings that only make sense in your part of the world? I'd love to hear them!


Monday, February 28, 2011

You Call This a Choice?

Yesterday my sixteen year old son asked me a hypothetical question: "Which would you rather I had, a motorcycle or a gun?" Here was my first response:

Me: "Is the gun locked up?"

Son: "What do you mean locked up?"

Me: "Is it in a lock box, something that only you can unlock?"

Son: "No mom. I'd be carrying it."

Me: "It's not loaded, right?"

Son: "Mom, what good would that do? Of course it would be loaded."

I share this with you because I can't believe that I'm trying so hard to choose the gun option. Until this conversation, I didn't realize how really nervous I am about him getting a motorcycle.
Let me explain. I used to ride motorcycles. Not by myself, just as a passenger, but still I wasn't afraid them.

Maybe it's the fact that he's just sixteen and he doesn't even have his driver's license.(He's getting it on Friday!)
Maybe it's that I know of a guy who lost both his legs and an arm in a motorcycle accident just last year.
Or maybe it's genetic. My mom hated motorcyles.

I don't know. but I do know that I'm not too happy about the gun option either. Good thing it was a hypothetical question...

Thank you

The last US World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, died yesterday at 110 years old. He was 16 when he enlisted, lying about his age to four different recruiting agents until finally one of them accepted him. He wanted to fight for his country, to fight with honor, to be a part of history. Finding this out this morning reminded me of something that happened about a week ago.

I was witness to a very touching scene at my doctor's office. An old man was sitting in the waiting room waiting for his appointment. Another elderly gentleman came up and starting talking to him.
"They tell me you were in World War II", he said.
"yes, I was" the man replied.
"I missed it by two years" the first added, reaching out to shake his hand.
They spoke for just a few minutes, finding out that both had been in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. They only spoke for a few minutes.

As they chatted, my eyes filled with tears. I was watching them bond in a way that only those who have shared the same dedication, the same trauma, the same sacrifices, can bond. I watched and I wished that there was some tangible way that I could let them know that I appreciated their willingness to leave home and safety to help right wrongs and to keep us safe.

In the end, I didn't say or do anything. I don't know that it mattered to the two of them. I think they left that office with a little warm glow from the meeting and sharing of memories. But in the end, even though I'm sure they are not among my eighteen blogging friends, I wanted to share this with you... and thank them in writing for their service to our country.

Thank you Frank Buckles and all who have served.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Engagement story(ies)

     This year, Valentine's Day messages on facebook were all about when you met your spouses, when you were engaged and the date you were married.  My status was rather long that day... because we were engaged and unengaged a number of times. Many of my facebook friends asked me about it. It's all part of a fun story and a romance that stumbled at first, but when it finally got its' feet on solid ground, has survived and become the adventure of my lifetime.

     If you go back a a few days in my blog, you'll find my Valentine's entry. It is about the day my hubby and I met. We began dating in May of 1984. We went on a horseride together for that first date. I put him on a half-arabian named Al. (he had a fancy name, but I'm not sure how to spell it.) My sweetie tells me that Al helped set the tone for falling in love that day. He was smitten. (Gregg, not Al.) I had fallen for Gregg months before, so as far as I was concerned, it was about time.

     I think the first engagement happened sometime after Christmas and before spring. (I'm embarrassed to say that I really don't know the date.) There was a big boulder near a creek at my parents' house. It was a place I would go to think and pray. My sweetie took me there asked me to marry him. I agreed even though deep down I remember thinking that I could always change my mind later. (Not too good of a sign, eh?) By the time we got up to the house I was so unsure that when my dad asked me what was new, I couldn't even tell him I was engaged!

     The second engagement came just a few months later, exactly one year after our first date. I was working three hours away and he came and surprised me with a visit. We went for a walk and he asked me again, standing in the middle of a beautiful field. This time I said "yes" and meant it. Unfortunately, this time, he  had a few doubts. We stayed engaged for about a month, and then decided to keep dating, but drop the word "engaged" from the equation.

     We broke up totally in October and didn't start dating again until about 2 1/2 years later. (That would be August of 1988 for those of you that are keeping track.)

     The third engagement was very romantic. He took me up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We explored some old buildings and enjoyed the scenery. At one point he handed me a present. It was a little white teddy bear with a gift box in its hands. I opened the box and there was a ring inside. Sweetie again said those words that most women only get to hear once, "Would you marry me?" this time I was sure and said "yes". A few hours later, my new Fiance' was acting strange and looking a bit depressed.

     We sat and chatted for a while. Realizing that he wasn't as sure about all of this as I was, I told him to take the ring back and just give it to me when he was ready. He responded by saying "keep the ring, just don't wear it." So, I put the ring back in the box that the teddy bear was holding, and took him (and it) back home to Pennsylvania.

     In June, Sweetie was planning a trip back to his hometown in Wisconsin. He really wanted me to go with him. One night as we were talking on the phone, he was trying to convince me that I should go with him. I had met his family 5 years before but had not renewed the relationship with them when we started dating again. I shared with him that I didn't think I wanted to start these relationships again if ours wasn't going anywhere.

     I promise I didn't mean for this conversation to be an ultimatum. :)
     Sweetie was very sad when we hung up that night. It was about 11:15 or so when we got off the phone. About 30 minutes later, I got another phone call. "Put the ring on. We're getting married" were the words that he spoke as soon as I answered. I agreed and 4 months later we were married.  It seems that after he talked to me that night, he called his Auntie Phyliss. They talked about his fears and prayed together. After that conversation, Sweetie says he never had another doubt about us again. (I love his Auntie Phyliss!)

    So that's it. The four proposals.That's how we came to be.  Someday soon, I'll tell you about the wedding....



Monday, February 14, 2011

To The Two I Didn't Get To Hold:

Why do I think of you on Valentine's Day?

I guess it's because it's a day that I realize anew how much I love my family; my sweetie (Your Daddy) and the three lovelies that actually made it into this world.... and I miss you. 

I missed your first smile and your first tooth. I never got to hear your giggle or the high pitched squeal during a tickle battle. I couldn't answer your sweet wonderful questions that all three year olds ask.

I didn't get to give you a little valentine heart filled with candy or hang up a "first Christmas" ornament on our tree. I missed your sweet sixteens.

You would have loved being part of this family. And I would have loved having two more strapping boys here to love on, but it was not to be. Instead, you were there in heaven, meeting your Grandma when she left this earth. Somehow that brought me comfort during that sad time.

And one day, we will meet. I'm sure of it. Will you be my blue eyed children? Will you be taller than your Dad? I know I'll recognize your smile. Maybe we can sit and talk about what it was like growing up in heaven.  Until then...

I love you both. Happy Valentines Day.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Dilemma

     I was going to write one of those "I hate Valentine's Day" posts until I realized, I don't really hate it, I just struggle. Each year the week before this infamous holiday arrives, I wrestle with the same two problems. In over twenty years of marriage, I've never been able to solve them.

     I always have the hardest time finding the right Valentine's Day card and gift for my hubby. I will spend hours (okay maybe not hours, but you know what I mean.) trying to find the right card. There are sickening sweet ones, there are funny ones, There are insufferably long poems, there are girlie cards, and "Manly" cards. There are cards that describe the ultimate Superman type of guy, or the super sensitive guy that never says anything wrong.
     The cards are either too gushy, too expensive, or just don't say the right thing, the poems are too long, (did I say that already?) If you're thinking "just forget about the card" I can't do that. Hubby loves cards.

     He's not gushy, a very practical guy, he looks at the back of the card to see how much money was spent (the less the better in his opinion). He does love to get cards so I can't just say never mind and move onto the gift.
     Oh and that's another thing- a gift! What do you get a man for Valentines Day, that doesn't like you to spend money? I could cook a meal, but really, my cooking isn't that impressive. I could clean the house, (he is a total cleanie!), but he kind of expects that anyway. .

     ahhhh, I could write him a story... but it would have to be a true story, he doesn't like fiction much....

     Once upon a time, a very long time ago (1983 to be exact), there was a girl. She was twenty-two and had just graduated from college and begun teaching fifth grade at Fairview Elementary, a school just miles from where she had attended as a child.  She had one of those funky 80's hairstyles that nowadays no one can believe was actually ever in style.

     She was not dating anyone seriously. She  really had no desire to do so, after having been in a previous relationship for five years. She knew she needed a break. The "break" had already lasted about two years and she was good with that. The music teacher at the school was interested in dating her and there were a few others from a drama group that had asked her out. She went more out of politeness than anything else.

     One of the men she went "out" with was a friend of a friend of a friend of hers from college. One night he took her to a talent show that was being produced by a Singles ministry in the area.

     There were many talented people in this group. Lot's of singers, comedians, jugglers, flamethrowers.... Okay the truth is I don't remember any of the acts but one, the last man who sang.
This man was good looking, light brown hair, blue eyes, and a great beard (I'm a sucker for a great beard!) but that is not what got the girl's attention that night.
The man told a story about finding out that one of his friends had been murdered the day before, and how he was so upset that he really hadn't felt like singing that night. But on the way to the event, the Lord spoke to him and told him what song he should sing. He said he looked around his car and happened to find the accompaniment tape (yes, cassette tape! I told you it was a long time ago!) to that particular song.

     He then proceeded to sing the song "It is Well".  The girl leaned over to her friend and said "Gary, Who is that guy?" and that was the beginning of the end of her single heart.

     We did get introduced that night, but only barely. During the next month, I decided to get a little more involved in this group and joined one of their homegroups (Read caregroup, bible study, life group, whatever you want to call it.)

     When I walked into the house, who should be sitting in the corner of the room, but my beloved blue eyed singing guy! And of course, being the suave sophisticated person that I am (not!) I stopped in the doorway and said "Your the guy! You're the guy that sang!"  He chuckled and nodded and the romance of my life began.

     Now, twenty-seven years later, twenty-one years of marriage (yes, it took a long time to reel him in!), three children, four houses, two states, and lots of ministry, here we are.

     Happy Valentines Day, Sweetie. I love you.