December 2008

israelThe more that happens in the Middle East the more I realize what I do not begin to understand. Below is a most excellent visual documentary of the history of Israel, Gaza, and West Bank. There is only so much one can read and digest, so this provides a very interesting visual overview.

Currently there are 2 significant decisions that the Palestinians madethis week which are escaping the mainstream media — at least Fox News.

{Map on left: light orange area=Israel; bottom lavender on the coast =Gaza, annexed from Egypt; larger middle lavender =West Bank, annexed from Jordon, which is the west bank of the Dead Sea}

1. Iran Sets Up Court to Try Israelis over Gaza

2. HAMAS legalizes the Crucifixion of Christians and other Enemies
HT Living Journey

What Really Happened in the Middle East  a production of the David Horowitz Freedom Center; A visual documentary of Israel in relation to Palestine.



During my life as a mother — part of my faith journey and that of our family can be documented by the role of Santa Claus in our holiday celebrations.

Stage One:  I was a ‘collector’ of Santa Claus. I loved him!  The traditional version, the historical version, the chic version, and the classic version. Every nook and cranny had a Santa Claus. Both our girls were avid ‘believers‘.

Stage Two: Santa’s gift giving moderated. He brought 3 gifts for each child and left them in a particular chair in the living room. I stopped obsessing collecting.

Stage Three: We began transferring our daughters’ affection from Santa to St. Nicholas. At least he was real. Thankfully, I had the sense to not fall for the nativity scenes with Santa holding baby Jesus!

Stage Four: Our third child was born and he never knew Santa. I got rid most every Santa figure. We still have 4, I cannot part with them because of the memories. It was liberating to not have to suffer through the moment when your child realizes {often traumatized} that Santa does not exist.

So as my faith in Christ progressed, as I desired for my family to love our Savior and not the Santa; Santa’s role and place in our lives diminished.

I am not going to lie and say it was easy. It was actually heart-wrenching. Even this year, there is a huge part of me that is somewhat, irrationally, sad that we don’t participate with the world. I am not going to go so far as to say that Santa is sinful. But what I will say is that the whole Santa experience is representative of sin in my life.

Drawn into the glitter, the promise of joy, the desire to be satisfied, the magic, the experience,
and the world.

Dividing my heart between 2 masters.

Praise God for humor and laughter! It is short and worth your time to watch!

Uncle Jay Sings the Year in Review


While perusing some of my favorite blogs with mind heavy thinking about ‘resolutions’ I read this from Generation Cedar:

And then, like the demonstration of placing larger rocks in the jar first so the smaller ones fit around it, I will prioritize the day, and put the big stuff in first. The stuff of eternal weight, no matter what others say is the most important. {emphasis mine}

I am prone to think that motherhood is a lot of crying out to God to bear me up, and a lot of smiling, talking and learning to enjoy my children as I try to show them glimpses of a Savior. Can I do those things? Won’t everything else fit in around that?”

graduationAs our children have grown {1 married, 1 college} our homeschooling emphasis slowly evolved from hands-on, ‘unschooling’ philosophy to full-scale panic focused on SAT scores and College applications.

Kelly’s simple reminder is like a breath of fresh air and will be at the top of my resolutions for 2009 ~~ the focus of our homeschooling plan should emphasize,

“The stuff of eternal weight, no matter what others say is important.”


The Simple Woman

 December 29, 2008


this morning from my front porch . . .
silvery, grey dawn; frosted grass, quiet bird feeder

i am remembering . . .
 singing old hymns, gatherings with friends, grateful faces with warm turkey dinners, midnight trampoline jumping (college students), bell choir ringing

i am thankful  . . .
recovering from a stomach virus, my husband’s job, the daily opportunity for holiness, forgiveness, and obedience

from the kitchen . . .
remnants of cookies and cake balls, meatballs, fresh pears and honey crisp apples, finding a simple meal for dinner

I am thinking . . .
Biblically based New Year resolutions, stretching the house budget

around the house . . .
children still sleeping, new puzzle on the kitchen table

I am reading . . .
Proverbs 31 & Galatians

my favorite things . . .
pockets of solitude, thinking about saving money, making our home more efficient

a few plans for the rest of the week . . .
re-thinking kitchen use and organizing cabinet contents, painting dressers in daughter’s room, learning more about the CVS money-saving system, cleaning out the decorations we didn’t use before packing the ones we did, tackling cleaning out the basement in manageable chunks, scrubbing the kitchen floor and behind the stove, cleaning out emails and ‘favorites’ on computer, begin cleaning-out home office and filing cabinets.

a verse of Scripture . . .
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed”
2 Corinthians 9:8

 Here is a picture thought I am sharing . . .



The Old Cross and the New Cross
A.W. Tozer

Unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique — a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill-seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public. {Emphasis mine}

Read the rest of here.

Tip #45 – When the Going Gets Tough, Don’t Go Shopping. Shopping has become an obsession for many people – not unlike gambling, drinking, or overeating. And as the economy goes downhill . . . 

Read the entire article: Saving Money IN REAL LIFE.

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