Monday, October 31, 2011

Cherishing the Special Moments

There's nothing I love more than the thought of dropping my responsibilities at any moment and snuggling up on the couch with the kiddos and reading a good book together.  It is such a special time to be able to just sit and cuddle with the kids and as they grow older, the opportunities for that cherished time together will become less and less, I'm sure.  Reading to my kids is something I've done since they were infants and I'm so thankful that, no matter what they're doing, they'll drop what they're doing and come running if it's storytime.  It doesn't matter what we're reading,'s more the joy of just spending that time together.

Every day, we all look forward to our storytime (and sometimes we even have extra storytimes just for fun!)  Usually it's before bedtime, but sometimes it's also in the afternoon or on the weekends, on a lazy morning after we've all slept in.  On days where we occasionally have to skip storytime, we all miss it so much and feel like the day isn't quite complete without it.

Not only is it such a sweet time to spend together, it's a great opportunity to share ideas and things that I want to teach my children.  I love choosing stories that will teach them a great moral lesson or something that has really had an impact on my own life.  I also love experiencing different things with them through books...things we might never get to experience together otherwise.  Oftentimes these stories generate wonderful discussions about everything under the sun.  They give us an opportunity to share things with each other that we might never think to bring up otherwise.  And sometimes they're just plain fun and silly so we can giggle together!

I'm so, so thankful for the gift of time to spend with my children and so grateful that we can spend time reading and sharing in this way.  It is such a blessing!  I think I'll be taking an extra few minutes the next time we read together just to enjoy it even more!

History of Halloween

*Caution:  There are images and movie clips that are inappropriated for children in this film.
View with them at your families' own discretion.*

While the filmmakers of the documentary below see no harm in it, I don't advocate celebrating Halloween or participating in these practices because of where they come from.  However, I appreciated the thorough history they showed in this film about how the celebrations that take place on this day well as how they evolved into what they are today, so I thought it was worth sharing.

The video has 5 parts, but the first 3-4 are the most informative about the actual history of why the day came to be celebrated.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This Is The Day

I LOVE summertime in the rocky mountains! Today was just one of THOSE days...the weather was absolutely perfect...not too hot, not too cold. Our view (as always) of the mountains was breathtaking. We had a little garden work to do this morning, so we headed out into the beautiful sunshine and were picking peas. After about 20 minutes of this, the kids were starting to get bored with our "chore," so my daughter, always the entertainer, burst into song. And this is what she sang,

"This is the day,
(my son and I had to echo) This is the day,
That the Lord has made,
(echo) That the Lord has made,
We will rejoice,
(echo) We will rejoice,

Well, needless to say, we all burst into laughter...I just love the spontanaity and joy that children bring into our lives! We're so blessed! It certainly was the day that the Lord made...and every time I pick peas now, I'll be singing a new song...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Honey-Pecan Crusted Salmon Salad

This is one of my favorite salads…especially in the summertime, when the temperatures are hot and I don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. (You can also grill the salmon this way in tin foil if you don’t want to heat up the kitchen by using the oven.) It’s just the right balance of sweet, salty, and tangy. Enjoy!


Romaine Lettuce, enough for 4 salads
Roma or Campari Tomato
Sun Dried Tomato
Red Onion

Chop lettuce, top with diced fresh tomatoes, chopped sun dried tomatoes, diced red onion, and capers. Drizzle with Lemon-Caper Vinagrette (see preparation below). Top with Honey-Pecan Crusted Salmon (see Preparation below).


1 Tbsp. nonpareil capers
2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
3/4 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup olive oil
Handful fresh parsley
3/4 tsp. dried tarragon

In a blender, combine 1/2 capers with vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and mustard. On low setting, slowly add in olive oil until well incorporated. Fold in remaining capers and herbs. Drizzle over prepared salad.


4 Tbsp. honey
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. melted butter
4 salmon fillets

Sprinkle each fillet with salt, top with pecans and drizzle with honey and butter. Broil on bottom shelf (so as not to burn pecans) 12-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Serve on top of prepared salad.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Criminal in the Congregation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I want to bring attention to something that I’ve dealt with several times in my life as a believer.  Sometimes, Christians can become too accepting because we want to demonstrate forgiveness.  The concept behind this, at it’s heart, is very commendable.  However, when it comes to forgiveness, the lines between right and wrong can become very grey.

As a member of a law enforcement family, I’ve learned that in this occupation, the lines between right and wrong, by nature, must always remain staunchly black and white.  It’s much easier to tell the difference between right and wrong because it leaves out the personal desires of those involved.  When a person is convicted of breaking the law, they receive the consequences.  Regardless of whether the offended person forgives them, the convicted person still reaps consequences (when the system works like it should, anyway).  This is a very Biblical concept.  We see, time after time, where God forgives someone of a sin in the Bible, but the person still has to face the immediate consequences of that sin.  This is called “justice.”  Our God is a very just God.  Thank goodness!  If He weren’t, we’d all be in a heap of trouble because the world, even more than it already is, would instantly go into a tailspin of ruin because no justice would ever be meted out, allowing lawlessness to became rampant.  It would be a bad day for us all.

Back to how this impacts Christianity…  Oftentimes in congregations, we’re faced with people who have done terrible things but then come to faith, or even people who’ve come to faith and then done terrible things.  The other people who are members of the congregation have to decide how to handle the situation.  Do you allow this person to assimilate (or re-assimilate) into your community?  If so, to what degree?  What expectations do we impose on them if they want to be a part of the community?

First of all, we have to recognize that the issue is not really forgiveness.  If the crime wasn’t committed against anyone in the congregation, it isn’t the congregations “job” to extend forgiveness to that person.  That is between the offender, God, and the victim.  However, the congregational leaders can coach them on how to seek forgiveness.  If it was a crime committed against a congregational member, and if that victim needs help in working through unforgiveness, the congregational leaders and members can help them in that, but it is up to that person alone to forgive.  Forgiveness is not something that can be granted collectively by the church as a whole or by anyone who just might be serving as a leader of that congregation, and it cannot be forced upon a victim.

Secondly, the reality is that the consequences are not done away with just because the offender is “forgiven.”  It is nobody’s place to judge whether or not they’re forgiven by God or by the person they harmed.  So is it right to impose consequences?  Obviously, the person will have criminal charges that they might have to work through in the justice system including restitution, jail time, etc.  In addition, if a person is going to try to function fully within a faith community, they need to take steps to avoid temptation to commit that or any other crimes again.  It is the job of that individual, as well as that of congregational leaders, to protect the innocent people who are then becoming involved in the situation through participating within the same fellowship group as the convict.  Taking such steps also ensures that the criminal is not afforded opportunity to hurt others again.  Those are logical “consequences” that are simply imposed as a way of protecting all involved.

I have seen two different approaches taken when this happens in congregations.  I feel the following approach is not Biblical…it can be very ineffective and dangerous.  First, the offender seeks forgiveness.  Then, the people in the congregation extend their sympathy and compassion toward the offender and do not request/require that the offender take precautions to prevent the crime from happening within the congregation and he/she is allowed to behave in any way they like.  Initially, many people probably feel a great deal of discomfort with that person’s involvement in the congregation, but everyone wants to show the convict the “love of Messiah,” so they just go about business as usual.  This method doesn’t work in most cases.  Here’s why.  This method ensures that all the innocent people are unknowingly desensitizing themselves to the harm the criminal has caused to other people. When the offender has not had to change anything about their behavior, they are way more likely to repeat the behavior again at some point.  The nervousness of the well meaning innocent people eventually goes away and they are no longer cautious around the criminal.  That is when temptation strikes the offender.  Hopefully, they don’t give in to it, but what about when they do (as is often the case)?  Then another innocent person is subject to harm (sometimes very serious harm), all because we want an offender to feel loved, welcomed, and forgiven.  Is this what Yeshua (Jesus) meant by turning the other cheek?*

Absolutely not!  Had the congregation made that thief, child molester, or violent person accept a few consequences and precautions, the second offense would never have happened!  Further harm wouldn’t come to the criminal because of the consequences of a second crime and, even more importantly, a second innocent person wouldn’t have been hurt.  The thief should have been disallowed from having anything at all to do with anything financial.  The child molester should have been disallowed from ever being alone with children at any time (concrete steps would have been made to ensure this happened).  A violent person’s past actions must also have been addressed accordingly, such as having an armed security officer always present in the congregation when the convict is there, etc.  A person who’s committed a crime against a child should have not been allowed to have any involvement with children.  Steps are taken to ensure the safety and security of all the innocent people willingly subjecting themselves to the possibility of having harm come to them through the criminal.  These steps may seem drastic to some, but if you don’t take such steps, what could the cost be?  Naivety does not help to protect the innocent.  We must keep in mind that in a congregation, we’re not just dealing with innocent people, but we’re dealing with families and with defenseless small children.  Church is a place where families go to nurture their faith in a safe environment, not to allow their wives, teens and small children to be subject to harm.  The people in the congregation should not be asked to make exceptions and lower their expectations of how a person should behave.  Instead, the convicted person needs to assimilate their actions to the regular accepted behavior of the community.

In addition, leaders must be aware that a criminal allowed to be a part of your congregation will be representing your congregation to the public in any community setting that they are in.  They need to be held to the same (and sometimes an even higher) behavioral standard that any other member of that community is held to…no exceptions…and they should not make excuses if the convicted person does exhibit bad behavior towards people outside their congregation.

Does this mean that we have to “punish” a criminal for their crimes forever?  No.  If anyone who has committed a crime is truly repentant, they will willingly take steps to ensure that they will never do that thing again; they will willingly face their consequences and make every attempt to right their wrongs (make restitution).  The offender should exhibit prudent transparency with anyone they will be involved with.  Congregational leaders should set the expectations but it is not up to any congregational leader, member, or any other person except the offender himself, to meet those expectations.  The expectations should not be lowered to help the convicted person feel better.  If the convicted person does not follow through completely, their infractions need to be examined with great seriousness by the leadership.  Doing this will protect the criminal, protect those who interact with them, and it will allow the criminal to begin to rebuild their credibility.  Depending on the seriousness of the crime, it make take years, decades, or even a lifetime for that redemptive process to be complete in their lives.  Those are the consequences of sin.  That is justice.  But that is how we are made right with fellow man and with our Creator.




*I recently read this and thought it was something worthy of making note of:  “Generally, if one is struck on the right cheek, the one doing the striking must have used his/her left hand, an indicator of their pretense at superiority; by turning to them the left cheek, you invite the striking with the right hand, thus compelling the attacker to acknowledge you as an equal.”  For more on what the meaning of Yeshua saying this, go to Hebrew 4 Christian's Weekly Torah Portion Reading.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Grain Free Blueberry Muffins


These muffins are delicious!  The texture came out perfectly…not too eggy and not too dense.  Enjoy!

3 Eggs

1/4 Cup warm Water

1 Tbl. Flax Meal

2 Tbl. Butter or Coconut Oil, melted

2 Tbl. Coconut Milk or Whole Milk

¼ Cup Honey

¼ Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

¼ Cup Coconut Flour

1 Cup Almond Flour

¼ tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp. ground Cinnamon

1 Cup frozen Blueberries

Combine flax meal with warm water and let soak a couple minutes. Combine eggs, honey, butter, and coconut milk in mixing bowl. When flax meal is prepared, add to liquid mixture. To the liquid mixture, blend in salt, baking powder, cinnamon, coconut flour, and almond flour. Stir blueberries into batter. Pour batter into a lined/greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes (until toothpick inserted comes out clean).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Grain Free Pancakes & Waffles


We recently created these grain free waffles (and the recipe works the same for pancakes!)  They are soft and chewy and yummy…you can’t even tell they’re grain free…YUM!  And they’re super easy to make.  Who says grain free can’t be delicious and enjoyable?

6 Eggs

4 Tbl. Butter or Coconut Oil, melted

6 Tbl. Coconut Milk or Whole Milk

4 Tbl. Honey

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup sifted Coconut Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

First blend together liquid ingredients and then stir in coconut flour. Let sit for 3-5 minutes so that the coconut flour can absorb some of the liquid and add a bit more liquid if necessary. Pour onto greased waffle maker or onto pan to make pancakes. Flip pancakes when bubbles form in the middle of the pancake and it's done enough to hold together, but don't overcook because they burn easily.

Makes 3-4 belgian waffles or 7-8 pancakes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grain-Free Chewy Brownies

These are the yummiest grain free brownies! I happened to stumble upon a similar recipe and adapted it to our dietary needs and the results were delectable! It results in chewy, chunky, chocolatey goodness!

2/3 c. Almonds
1/4 c. Prunes
1/4 c. Butter or Oil
2 beaten Eggs
3/4 c. Honey
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 c. Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 c. Chocolate Chips (optional)
3/4 c. Walnut pieces (optional)

Puree almonds and prunes in food processor until finely chopped. Add in butter, eggs, honey, vanilla, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and process until mixed sufficiently. Stir in chocolate chips and walnut pieces (optional). Put in greased 8x8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for appx. 35 minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Would A Christian Want To Celebrate The Passover?

Passover_jpgA question has been asked of me a few times recently and it’s a topic that I think warrants fair discussion. The question is, “Why would a Christian want to celebrate Passover?” Especially where we live, we’re surrounded by a decidedly “Christian” culture. Our society celebrates Christmas & Easter, we go to church on Sunday, we work hard, play hard, and we generally try to live lives as good people. So why rock the boat? It’s a fair question.

First, I want to share a true story with you. Growing up, my grandparents had some friends who were married. This couple, although married, did not live together. They loved each other, went places as a married couple, and they were committed to each other in a legal marriage. But they lived in separate houses. As a pre-teen, I thought this was really strange, so when visiting my grandparents one time, I asked the wife why this was. She explained to me that although she loves her husband, they had a very hard time getting along peacefully when they lived together. They didn’t want to divorce, so they decided to live in separate houses. Interesting. And it worked for them, I suppose. However, now that I’m an adult and am married, I think I would find that kind of marriage very unfulfilling. There is so much more to a marriage that you miss out on if you don’t live in the same home. Who would look forward to you arriving home each day? Who would you share your quiet, spare moments with just snuggling on the couch? Who would you steal kisses and hugs from, just because you want to? So much of the intimacy would be lost.

Now, onto another analogy. When we make new friends, we often invite them into our homes for a meal so we can get to know them better. Then, usually, they’ll invite us to their home for dinner and in their home, we get to know them a little more when we see what their life is about by how they live. Now imagine staying with them for an extended period, weeks or months or a year, maybe. Being welcomed into their home – their daily activities – is far more intimate than just spending the dinner hour with them. You get to see them as a person operating in their daily lives. The longer you spend with them in their space, the better you get to know them and what they are about as a person.

This is the relationship I want to have with Jesus. For my own benefit, I want to know who He is in His life, His time, and His culture – His home. When you get to know a person in this intimate capacity, it would be very difficult to walk away without somehow being deeply touched by their life. I don’t want Him to just be my dinner guest. I am the depraved one – I don’t have much to offer for His benefit in my home other than maybe a tasty meal, but oh, the benefits I can reap from dwelling with Him in His! I think this is why the Christian walk is likened unto a marriage. When we “dwell” with Him in that way, His life will touch ours in ways we could never imagine.

This is where celebrating Passover comes in. It’s not just that one thing, though. We can read about His teachings in black and white print and it’s like a black and white television show. It’s a great read…a great show! However, when we learn about His entire culture – what the people of His time and in His culture thought like, how they lived, how they conducted their lives, the black and white show comes alive into vibrant color, in 3-D, High-Def! I’ll never be able to watch the black and white television with the same satisfaction again.

So where do you learn about this culture He was part of? Well, we know He was Jewish so we can start with that. However, a quick history study will show you that Jewish culture today is quite a bit different from the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. This we have to learn through a study of history and learning about what they’ve found through archaeology. Thankfully, the Jewish people are excellent historians and they’ve kept very detailed records for us to learn from. It’s also helpful to learn the history of all that has changed since Jesus’ time so we know how we got from where He was to where we are today. Only then can we effectively bridge the gap between now and then.

A dear friend warned me about getting caught up in a culture basically just because it’s something to be part of. She’s right, there are very real dangers in that. It’s dangerous to become part of anything we don’t fully understand, so we must educate ourselves and understand it as much as possible. If I want to join myself to Jesus, I’ve got to understand Him as much as possible. It is just as dangerous to participate in a Jewish culture we don’t understand as it is to participate in a Christian culture we don’t fully understand. I submit to you, though, that I feel safe with doing anything Jesus would have done because He’s the ONE man who did do things right!

After learning about why we do some of the things we do in our Christian culture, It really made me take a step back and ask myself if I was okay with doing those things that are nowhere in the Bible. And history teaches us that many, many believers in Jesus have had the same struggle. I guess the best thing to do is ask ourselves, “What would Jesus have done in our situation?” That is why it is SO crucial to understand what He did do in similar situations in His own culture, as well as what He taught the apostles to do.

passoverSo, why do I celebrate Passover?

My easy answer is, “Because Jesus did.” For a more legitimate answer, though, did Jesus just celebrate the Passover (and the other Biblical feasts) simply because it was part of His culture, or was it more than that?

Well, we know that in the Old Testament, God instructed all of His people, Israelite and Gentile alike, to celebrate these feasts. He gave the instructions to do so at Mount Sinai. We know from Exodus 12:37-38 that the children of Israel were present at the mountain that day as well as a mixed multitude of people that also left Egypt with the Israelites…people who also wanted to be part of God’s children. The ten commandments, instructions for the feasts, and all the other instructions were given to Israel and Gentiles together. We can learn from a quick study of the Hebrew language that when Moses recorded the “Torah” (Genesis – Deuteronomy) that “Torah” means “instruction.” This section of the Bible is for “instruction” for God’s people on how to live our lives. Simple enough. We’re free to carry out those instructions with whatever traditions we choose to create, however the instructions themselves are concrete and are for our benefit.

References in the rest of the Bible to the “instruction” section of the Bible (the Torah) are often translated “law.” That is also a fair translation because laws are instructions. In civil society, we make laws to keep us safe. One example is a speed limit. We are, in fact, free to drive over the speed limit, but in accordance with the law, we can be penalized for doing so because it puts ourselves and others at higher risk. The worst consequence would be having a crash happen at high speeds that might injure us or take our lives. Civil laws are given for our instruction and benefit and we’re also subject to consequences if we break them -- the same as the laws or instructions of Torah.

Some feel that these “laws” were “fulfilled” when Jesus died on the cross. Let’s read His words about this topic in Matthew 5:17 and following,

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

If we dig into these words of Jesus a little deeper, we find that “fulfill” in verse 17 means “to complete or to fully preach.” After these three verses, Jesus goes on to explain deeper meanings of obeying the commandments…He’s teaching that NOT ONLY is it important to obey or do them, but it is just as important to have the right attitude about things, too. He’s more fully preaching how to obey! Having the right attitude will keep us from falling into harmful sin. Deitrich Bonhoeffer (a prominent Christian theologian during the time of WWII), in his book The Cost of Discipleship, explains Jesus’ words regarding the rule of law. He writes:

The law Jesus refers to is the law of the Old Covenant, not a new law, but the same law that He quoted ot the rich young man and the lawyer when they wanted to know the revealed will of God. It becomes a new law only because it is Christ who binds his followers to it. For Christians, therefore, the law is not a ‘better law’ than that of the Parisees, but one and same; every letter of it, every jot and tittle, must remain in force and be observed until th eend of the world. Jesus has in fact nothing to add to the commandments of God, except this, that He keeps them. He fulfills the law, and He tells us so himself, therefore it must be true. He fulfills the law down to the last iota.”

Other places in the New Testament teach these same concepts, so we know the apostles were also teaching these things. 1 John 3:4 gives us a definition of sin, “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” The only Biblical law recorded at the time this verse was written was that of the Old Testament. When reading any of Paul’s writings, we have to be extremely careful to understand the context of the things he was saying because he was so well educated that he often wrote right over people’s heads because he often assumes we understand the intricacies of the Torah and he was often addressing a very particular situation in his congregations. To properly understand anything Paul wrote, we must keep in mind that Paul was a “Pharisee of Pharisees” (Acts 23:6), which means that He was an ardent law-keeper. In Acts, he was being put on trial for possibly teaching people against keeping the Torah (law), but was found to be innocent. If he had been found guilty, the religious leaders would have put him to death at that time for being a heretic. We consistently see the apostles and Jesus keeping the law both before and after Jesus’ death. They were keeping the feasts (Pentecost, when the Spirit fell on the believers, is even a feast from the Torah!) and even making sacrifices up until the time of the destruction of the Temple.

So, we know that Jesus, as well as the apostles, kept Passover because they were following God’s instruction. We know that Jesus often went against Jewish traditions such as not healing on the Sabbath day, but we never see Him breaking the instructions/laws of the written Torah. In fact, if He ever did break a Torah law, that would have made Him guilty of sinning according to 1 John 3:4 and then He could NOT have been the sinless sacrifice! Well then, since He kept all the laws perfectly, doesn’t that release us from having to obey? No. Going back to Matt. 5:19, He teaches us we should not break the commandments or teach others to do so.  We see him celebrating the Passover with his disciples and He even explained to them during the Passover seder (meal), “This do in rememberance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

So, what are the benefits to the feast days? Each of them teaches us about some aspect of God’s redemption plan. Some teach us about Jesus being our High Priest so that we can approach God, some teach us about Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, some teaching us about God’s desire to dwell with us, among many other things. They all have incredible meaning for Jewish people who believe in God, but they are even more meaningful if you believe in Jesus, too! We know that God has already carried out parts of His redemption plan through Jesus, so we have more to celebrate!

If we choose not to celebrate these feasts, admittedly, the consequences probably aren’t immediate. However, over the course of generations, if it weren’t for the faithfulness of the Jewish people, we might have lost much of this knowledge of God’s redemption plan. I don’t want to risk that happening any further in my family, so I will teach my children these things. The feast days are God’s way of ensuring that we and our children KNOW the promises God has made to them. And when we physically participate in activities taught in the Bible, it goes from being a black and white lesson on paper to a 3D, High-Def, in-living-color movie! So much better! And the lessons we learn through them are invaluable for our lives as God’s people. They give us peace and hope for an even brighter future!



Click the photo for a TV program that discusses this same topic:christiannoeaster

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bring Light

Today I was running around town doing some errands and I noticed how downtrodden everyone looks.  Not once (other than store clerks who are paid to be pleasant) did I see a smile!  I went to 3 different stores and people were just walking around with these glum looks on their faces.  I take that back…I did get one smile from a precious little boy who was just bursting with happiness.  Literally, that one smile made my day!  So refreshing!

When we turn on the news, it’s nothing but doom and gloom.  I live in a small town and usually there isn’t enough worth reporting on that half the news is just silly things to report on.  Not so much lately…it’s global stories of catastrophe, political unrest, and everything else completely depressing.

Aren’t you ready for something wonderful to happen?  If nothing spectacular is happening in our lives at the moment, it can be difficult to find something to smile about amidst all this sadness.  In reality, we have so much to be thankful for!  If we have our health, we can be grateful for that!  If we have food to eat for the next meal, lets be happy about that!  If we have adequate clothing, another reason to be happy!  Most of us, in America anyway, have what we need and so much more so we really have no good reason to be depressed.  Do you have a safe place to lay your head?  Whether or not it even belongs to you, it doesn’t matter…you can rest knowing you are not in danger.  Another blessing!  If it’s warm, yet another thing to be thankful for!  A child who loves you?  A spouse who loves you?  Enormous blessings!  This is just the tip of the iceberg…we can count our blessings all night long and truly find much to be happy about.

Let’s not be brought down by our worries and fears.  Worrying certainly won’t help us today.

Matt. 6:30 says, “If this is how God clothes grass in the field — which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven — won't he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!  So don't be anxious, asking, 'What will we eat?, What will we drink?' or 'How will we be clothed?'  For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.  But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Don't worry about tomorrow — tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough trouble of it’s own!

Instead, count your blessings and I’m certain that you’ll find you’re abundantly blessed in many ways.  Turn those blessings into a smile to share with someone else.  If you have more to give, share some light with others in different ways…offer to help someone with a need they have -- be it a ride, helping with something around their house, an encouraging word or card, a meal…  When you bless others, it’s amazing how those blessings will multiply back to you and you’ll find your sadness melting away!

So count your blessings today and -- at least -- share a smile!

Open-mouthed smile

You’ll be blessed!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

What Could Be Better?

I love it when the kids are off school and we get to have them home with us all the time! If it were just up to me, I’d be a homeschooling mom so I could keep them with me every moment of the day… There’s nothing better than cherished time with family (and friends…because they’re really just an extension of family!) I think nothing brings more joy and solidarity to my life than just chillin’ with my peeps! Don’t ya think?

Just my thought for the day…and now I’m of to have more quality time with the rugrats before they head back to school!… CIMG1833

This is just a pic of some of our silliness -- the kiddos pretending they’re tree frogs. Yes, those are olives on their fingers which they proceeded to gobble up after we took this photo…hehe!