Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do You Read The Fine Print?

Being a label reader is crucial in America.
People don't always tell the whole truth in their big, bold words.

You have to read those little words to get the real picture.

As soon as they can read, I train my children to read labels.
The word "juice" isn't good enough.
 100% Vitamin C, 10% Juice is unacceptable
and so is Juice COCKTAIL.
We only want 100% JUICE.

There are nasty truths you discover in the small print on the side of the box.

Once I discovered the granola bars I picked out
had less nutritional value than a Snickers candy bar.
(I resisted temptation to eat Snickers for breakfast,
thought I might have been able to nutritionally justify the purchase.)

I knew some breakfast cereals have more sugar than candy,
but when I bought the generic of an approved cereal, I got a shock.

The Kellogg's brand only uses sugar, but the
Safeway Corn Flakes has high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup and sugar.

Years ago, I made an executive decision for the family
and began eliminating white flour out of the house.
I didn't advertise it loudly,
I didn't say we'd never have it,
(Romans 7 tells me being told NO creates more desire)
I just made gradual changes.

I prefer whole grain breads and sprouted breads.

In a hurry at a grocery store I don't usually frequent, I grabbed a loaf of bread.

Stone Ground Whole Wheat for under $3? I was impressed...

...until I read the label.  The third ingredient was high fructose corn syrup.

I put it back.

We can be enticed by the big, bold words,
but deceived by the fine print.

We must be wise.
We must be careful.
We must be observant.

There are things they don't really want to tell us,
but the law requires them to, so they use fine print.

Nothing in fine print is ever good news.
~ Andy Rooney

The big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away.
~ Fulton J. Sheen

Do you know the difference between education and experience?
Education is when you read the fine print;
experience is what you get when you don't.
~ Pete Seeger

That's what makes the Bible so wonderful.
There's no surprise, no deception, no fine print.

It's all just big, bold, honest words from a Man we can trust.

That's why it's called the Word of Truth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Do You Wanna' Be Found?

Yesterday while I was blogging on things
my daughter, Rebekah, found something that was lost.

For a month after my grandkids left,
I couldn't find my counting bears.

We knew they'd been tucked away in the living room,
somewhere out of the hands of little kids
who kept eating and throwing them.

We looked, laughed, looked and laughed about the lost bears.
But we never found them, until Beka's memory was sparked.

Brookelyn had fallen in love with my large, aluminum coffee pot,
and carried it around for a week,
 after loved filling it wif "tweasures."

Beka found lotsa' "tweasures."

Bubba Dumps, our silly nickname for Brayden,
loved this dump truck.

 A random block from the set Bubba loved.
He called them "ABC's."  Isn't he smart? 

(I'm thinkin' all the  "tweasures" weren't just things Brookie treasured,
but things she didn't want Brayden to treasure?) 

A missing paci - am I surprised?

This camel is really a "tweasure," one of the only things left
 from the1993 trip Scott and I took to Israel.

The missing stamp from our once-again complete alphabet set.

A dress-up bracelet Brookie loved wearing.

Beka's keys!
How can you play adult-running-errands without car keys?

And there at the bottom of all the "tweasures,"

we found my counting bears.


Now I can finish learning to count.

Yesterday, I blogged about being found by the Lord in salvation.

We rejoiced that though we once were
we've been

We will be found again, at the end of our life,
either by death or by rapture.

When we stand before the Lord in Glory we need to be ~
found in Him  
found blameless  

We were thrilled when we finally found some missing plastic bears.

But, at the end of my life, I don't want to be
found hidden away, useless and unavailable.

I want to be
spiritually ready to bring
praise, honor, and glory  at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

How do you wanna' be

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lost and Found Mission

Our 8 year old daughter, Rebekah, was given a digital camera for Christmas,
and we quickly discovered it came without a memory card.

Big brother Jon remembered he had an old one kicking around his room.

Beka had a thrill when I downloaded her first batch of pictures.

Look what we found!

Little Baby Brookie

Isn't she adorable?

Isn't she a good eater?
I wonder if  rice cereal is a beauty treatment?
Do ya' think it keeps away baby acne?

She still loves her deet-dee.  (pacifier)

And she's still adorable.

It instantly brought us back to the time when she was so small,
she fit doll clothes and when she smelled like a  baby.

I love the smell of baby!

She loved to be held. 
Now, a busy 3 year old, she might let you hold her occasionally,
when she isn't pretending that her Build A Bear Monkey won't stop climbing on her,
when she isn't busy exploring with Dora,
when the "westwant" in her playroom isn't open to serve plastic pizza,
when she isn't coloring another picture for "du fwidge."

We were mostly thrilled that pictures that once were
were now

Don't those words just send spiritual shivers through your body?


Or, did you  skip the shivers and go straight to singing?

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."

Luke 15 is all about lost and found things.

The shepherd went after one lost sheep, although he had 100.
Luke 15:7 And Jesus said,
"...there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner
 who repents than over ninety-nine just persons
who need no repentance.

 The woman went after one lost coin,  although she had ten.
 v. 10 "... there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
 over one sinner who repents.”

The father longed after one lost son,  although he had two.
v. 32 "for your brother was dead and is alive again,
and was lost and is found."

The Father sent His Son on a lost and found mission.

Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man has come to seek

and to save that which was lost.”

I was found in 1982.

When were you found?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cut and Paste is Amazing Functionality

I just learned something.

I tried coping pictures from Facebook,
and surprisingly, it worked.

 copy (right click on mouse, copy)
and paste (control v) 

This is one of my favorite pics of granddaughter, Brookelyn.

Grandson Brayden is smirking about driving without a license.

Jana Rolandson
Jana and Grace are comparing bellies. 
Guess which one has a baby in it?

Bethany and her childhood friend, Brianna, enjoying a moment at the Pacific Ocean.

Daniel Peltier
Son Daniel and hubby Scott showing we still have
just a little bit of
 Midwestern Red Neck left in us.

Favorite SIL, Aaron, and son, Jon, enjoying some male bonding time.
Yea, video time is bonding time.

I like cut and paste.

When I find a recipe I might try,
I said might,
I copy it into a file in OneNote.

When there are great craft ideas I might want to use in the future,
copy and paste.

News articles that make me angry passionate,
copy and paste.

A wealth of information can be easily
copied and pasted
into my computer to be retrieved at any time I might need it.

The information is there, I just don't always use it.

Rows of tantilizing recipes, never tried or tasted.
Lists of adorable crafts, never created.
I may have enthusiasm and intention to use all this information,
but it happens less than I care to admit.

Sometimes it seems my spiritual ambitions can be the same.

Copying the Word of God can be pretty easy.
I am convicted about having a morning quiet time
and have been pretty consistent through the years.
Studying the Word is important to me,
and I have tried to study on a weekly basis.
Fellowshipping is necessary, so I regularly attend my local assembly.

But,  pasting the Word of God,
applying it to my life where I need it,
can be tricky.
It's easier to paste the Word of God into someone else's life.

Knowing the right verse for someone else's life is easy,
isn't it?
Having the perfect advice for someone else's life is easy,
isn't it?

But, pasting the Word of God,
in faithful confidence,
to our own situation, can be challenging

If we have faithfully pasted the Word of God into our lives,
we should have the peace that passes understanding,
no anxiety,
no lack of sleep,
no crabby attitude towards others because of our trials.

Do I really do all things without grumbling or complaining?
Am I really counting it all joy during the testing of my faith?
Am I trusting in the Lord's plan for my life?
Do I believe all things are caused and allowed by Him?

Maybe lack of fruit is because I am only
copying the Word of God
and not
pasting the Word of God.

A new day is before me,
a new week stretches ahead,
and I know this walk of faith will bring me
many situations that require me to
cut and paste
the Word of God
into my life.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sportin' Minnie Pearl Type Faith

A few weeks ago, daughter Bethany insisted on taking me shopping. 

For clothes.

I generally don't like shopping, unless I am going to a thrift store to look for anything vintage or any dishes from the ....ummmm.....errrr........aahhhhhh......"several" sets of dishes  I am collecting.

I especially don't like shopping for clothes.  I especially don't like shopping for clothes for me.  While some women feast on clothes, I am in a famine.  I might buy one pair of jeans every year, will buy a few new shirts, an occasional blazer and every five or ten years a new jean skirt.

So, when Bethany took me shopping, she made me try on these jeans.  Then she made me try on a new shirt. Then, she made me buy them.

A week later, I was excited when I got a last minute invitation to a planned dinner event, "Oops, sorry, Honey, I forgot to tell you...." because I already had something to wear.

I ran out to the living room to show Bethany my new outfit, and realized I was Minnie Pearl Style. I had forgotten to take off the price tags.

It reminded me of time Scott and I eating in an elegant Mediterranean restaurant, enjoying a wonderful breakfast buffet.  A beautiful woman walked by our table, her brown, curly hair bouncing to the confident staccato beat of her high heeled shoes, and a size 12 decal screaming all the way down the side of her leg….

I made sure the stickers came off.

A lot of my shoes have thrift store tags on them.  This pair is no exception.  I was thrilled to find identical shoes - new! - to replace my favorite pair of brown heels.  At least this store has stickers.  I have a pair of black sandals with the markered price "$3.99" on the bottom of the shoe.  I have to remember to sit crossed left over right, and not right over left.

When the  price tags  showed, they gave evidence of the cost of my jeans and shoes. In my case, they  showed stingy I am.

But, there's something I wear that was very, very costly. In fact, it's so expensive, I couldn’t have purchased it with my own money.  It's so valuable, it can't be replaced.

It can't be stolen. It won't fade or wear out.  It'll never lose its value. It'll never be out of style.

There's a bigger price tag place on my life….

1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought at a price;
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God’s.

All aspects of our lives need to show we were purchased with something precious. We should show our spiritual price tag.

*how we spend our time….reading Bible, praying, fellowshipping, worshipping
*how we spend our money - giving to the Lord, supporting missionaries, serving the saints, meeting needs
*how we speak and think - the words of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14)
*how we treat our family, friends, neighbors, strangers
*how we use our gifts, talents, abilities
*how we use our homes, cars, belongings

If we're wearing HIS price tag, our bodies are not our own. They belong to Him. That's why it's only reasonable we live for Him.

If we buy something and someone else takes it, we call it stealing. If He purchases us and we don't live for Him, we are stealing from Him.

If we turn out to be faulty goods, there are no returns. He always loves each purchase, they are precious because of the cost.  (Remember, He knew we were faulty, that's why He purchased us.)

If we're dissatisfied, He never is.  He always remains faithful.

The price tags on my clothes?
          They need to go.

The price of my salvation, the precious blood of Jesus?
          That needs to show.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brawling Women

Proverbs 21:9 
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop,
than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

A "brawling woman" sounds like someone who had a few too
many barley pops at the local tavern and is giving out knuckle sandwiches.

The Lord isn't describing a Christian wife, is He?
If "brawling" doesn't indicate a bar fight, let's look into the meaning.

"Contentious" is the word chosen in New KJV translation.
 NIV  translated it "quarrelsome."

In the Bible Knowledge Commentary, it says a man would prefer
living on a corner of a housetop
"where one can at least have peace and quiet
rather than in a spacious home with an
argumentative, contentious wife.  
A wife who causes strife
makes a home unpleasant and undesirable."

Putting yourself in the picture yet? 
I am.

I guess the "corner of the house" has been replaced with
current sayings like
"being in the doghouse"
"sleeping on the couch"
"being in hot water"
but a wife's reputation to be cranky remains the same.

Yea, that's my husband on the corner of the house.

No, I wasn't being contentious (this time), he was putting up Christmas lights.

But, this picture makes me think about the Biblical admonitions.

Men fight with their fists, women fight with their tongues.

Pr. 19:13, "And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping."
Pr. 27:15, "A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike."
Pr. 21:19, "Better to dwell in the wilderness,
than with a contentious and angry woman."

The Lord really understands women, right?

He also understands men.

1 Peter 3:1-2
"Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands,
that even if some do not obey the word, they,
without a word,
 may be won by the conduct of their wives,
when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

Did you read that middle line?
Without a word.

Men don't like to be nagged.
You don't win when you nag.
Oh, and it's coupled with submission.

Does that mean you never have a say?
Our husbands married us because they admire our faith and our brains.
They want those faith and brains in action.

Does that mean you'll always win?
Do you want to, anyway? 
Didn't you marry him because of his faith and brains?

We can't have the dripping faucet kinda' action.
Or the kind of action that sends him to the
21st century variation of the "corner of the house."

The action where you wisely state your opinion,
allow him to state his opinion,
then pray,
especially if your opinions differ,
until you have an agreed upon course of action.

We "win" when we
walk in the Lord's will as a couple.

We need to keep our husbands off the roofs.
It's safer inside, anyway.

Monday, March 21, 2011

When Cheerios are Comfort Food

Weeks after the grandkids visited in November,
I found a precious reminder Brayden left behind.

I opened the drawer to my vintage coffee table,

and there was a snack he was saving.

I left them there.

They reminded me of my sweet little man-cub, Bubba.

Wouldn't ya' know, when he came back months later,
he went looking for those Cheerios?

For a few days after the grandkids leave,
we find little reminders.

Little toys tucked into odd corners.

Things put in drawers randomly.

Pacifiers (deet-dees) hidden in places a child shouldn't have been.

Sippy cups set down as if the kids will finish them any moment.
My Gramma heart doesn't count it a mess,
she counts it a memory.

So, when I opened that little drawer and heard the Cheerios rattle around,
I was comforted.

I told myself as long as were  Cheerios in the drawer,
Brayden would come back to finish his snack.

Though I miss them, long to hold them,
 and wish I could be with them each moment,
I'm comforted knowing they'll be coming back to visit again.

I won't be separated from them forever.

The Lord Jesus knew when He left the earth,
He would need to provide comfort  for the believers,
until He could come back for them.

However, He didn't leave a
He left a

He sealed the believers with the Holy Spirit,

As we read His Word,
pray to Him,
speak to one another about Him,
and listen to messages about Him,
our hearts should be burning with that same love and longing -

He's coming back.

Sometimes, we want Him to return to deliver us from sickness.
I admit -I look forward to leaving behind a cancer-cursed body.

Sometimes, we want Him to return to deliver us from relationship problems.
I admit -  some relationships might only be healed
by being in Heaven together.

Sometimes, we want Him to return to deliver us from trials.
I admit - I look forward to Him wiping away my final tear.
I'm pretty sure He has cases of my tears bottled up.

Sometimes, we want Him to return because we long to be with Him.
We long to thank Him, face-to-face, for suffering for us.
We long to worship at His feet with a pure, sinless heart.
We long to sing praises with myriads of angels,
to the One who deserves all glory, honor and praise.

We  long for Him because we love Him.

Until then, we have this comfort sealed in our hearts,


Sunday, March 20, 2011

MM Meditation - Scorners Tell Him to Come Down

During Sunday morning worship a few months ago, we were singing the beautiful old hymn, "Nailed Upon Golgotha's Tree" and meditating upon the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the lines says,

"Scorners tell Him to come down,
Claim His kingdom and His crown."

I continued to meditate on this thought for several days.

The suffering of the Lord Jesus was necessary for redemption. Some refused to understand, scorning instead of repenting.

Just as people don't understand the purpose of the Lord's suffering for our redemption, they don't understand the purpose of our suffering in the life of a Christian.

Scorners tell Christians to come down from their place of suffering.

They don't understand the blatant teaching in the Scriptures that suffering has to be a part of the Christian's life because it was a part of Christ's life.

In the midst of our suffering, whether over health, or finances or relationships, we are often advised in ways to avoid the suffering, rather than be refined by the suffering.

When you suffer physically, you might be told that God does not desire for you to suffer, and that you need more faith to be healed.

If there is a troubled relationship, you might be advised to quit the relationship.

Troubles might be viewed as surprises to the Lord, instead of part of His plans.  In reality, He causes or allows the troubles, and tells us not to be surprised.

Scorners don't understand. 

They don't understand God's plan in suffering, and they don't understand God's purpose in suffering.

If Jesus had listened to the scorners voice and left the cross, He couldn't have purchased our redemption.

If we listen to the scorners and try to leave the place of suffering He has allowed for us, He can't refine us.

Didn't we promise the Lord we'd pick up our crosses and follow Him?  In all our youthful zeal didn't we proclaim devotion to our Savior, vowing to go through whatever He had planned for our lives?

If you're in a time of suffering, He is giving you a chance to do just that.

Pick up your cross, your place of suffering, and follow Him.

Friday, March 18, 2011

BRRRaseBRRall S-S-S-Season

Baseball season has officially started. 
We sat through our first game on Thursday night,
and barely escaped hypothermia.

Sitting on cold metal bleachers from 8 -10pm
proves some serious dedication from parents.

We could see our breath.
I haven't seen my breath more than a few times since we
moved from the North Dakota/Minnesota border.
I don't miss seeing my breath.
I miss seeing my shadow, but not my breath.

As you can tell from my title, our teeth were chattering.

Last year we had a very, very cold season. It rained a lot.
The year before we had a cold, cold season.  It rained a lot.
Come to think of it, every season has been cold and it has rained a lot.

We learned they don't cancel games because of rain.
They only cancel  if the field gets puddles.
It can drizzle for hours and hours before there is
enough accumulated water to cancel a game.

We learned umbrellas, blankets and handwarmers aren't enough.
A propane heater is on our shopping list for this season.


We've leaned baseball season is more than just
freezing while you watch your kid.
It's watching your kid get beaned by a baseball,
sometimes more than once in a game.

We've learned that baseball is sitting in the stands with your family,
(click on link to watch a video of my adorable granddaughter cheering)
eating some healthy and not-so-healthy snacks,
and trying to cheer respectfully, even when you don't like a call.

I've learned important life lessons while watching the umpire.

Last year, Rebekah joined softball. 
I can't believe I didn't blog about it. 
She plays first base and catcher, just like I did as a girl.

I am thrilled my kids chose to play my favorite sport.

It makes it a lot easier to sit on those cold, hard, metal bleachers
because baseball season is really, really cold, and it rains a lot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

God Writes On Yellow Paper

We know God speaks to us through the Bible.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...

The word inspiration is a compound word of two Greek words-
God + breathe.

We know He speaks to us through men who are gifted to teach the Word.

 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the
 oracles (utterances) of God.

We know He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit,
whispering love and encouragement with that still, small, Voice.

And sometimes, He speaks through

a card with thoughts of encouragement,
(from Bevy)

 or a card written with love.
(from Tandis)

Sometimes, He speaks through


a lined piece of yellow paper.
(from Lynn)

A week ago, the Lord asked a dear sister to share this thought with me.
She obeyed, hastily writing it out, folding it, and passed it on.

When I unfolded that simple piece of paper and
read those precious words of encouragement,
I wept for joy,
because the Lord SPOKE to me.

You can tell, this little piece of paper has been well-loved
in the past week.

The Lord could speak directly to us, but He chooses to use others
to build up their faith and love.

One day the Lord told me to call a younger sister,
explain my trial, and ask for prayer. 
I obeyed.  I called.  She listened.  She prayed for me.
At the end of the conversation she confided
in her morning  prayer she had asked the Lord to teach
her to be more faithful in prayer.
I was the second person to call her that morning with a serious request.
We both rejoiced and worshiped.
He hears, He speaks, He loves.

Next time you heard that still, small Voice
telling you to pick up the phone,
send an email,
leave a verse on Facebook
or send a card,

do it.

Don't doubt that Voice you hear.

You will cause worship,

I know.

For the past month of living through a trial concerning
an Innocent Man, the Lord has spoken to me again and again
through His people. 

The timing is always impeccable, is always divine.

It also reminds me to not be so centered on my trials,
that I don't hear Him instructing me
to pick up my phone or my pen.

Speak, Lord, your servants are listening...