Monday, November 29, 2010

Mission Unaccomplished

I’m a lady on a mission. I’m contemplating how to make a homemade sweet potato pie for my boss for the holidays.

I started working for the man fifteen years ago. He is a dream boss. God gave me the desire of my heart when I prayed to be able to work alongside my husband in business and then he gave us a dream boss. Over the years our association with him has been pleasant, fair and rewarding. He has taken us along with other co-workers on wonderful vacations to the Bahamas, Hawaii, Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica and a Mexican Riviera Cruise.

And all I’m doing to give back is baking him a homemade pie? It’s not just any pie. Dream Boss is from the south. When he grew up in Georgia, he enjoyed Sweet Potato Pie. He talks about it often. He pronounces it “pa”. I heard my husband promise this southern gent a pie on the phone this morning to be delivered by the weekend! So I’ve got a week to find a recipe.

One of these days I’m planning to get together with Jackie from Fresh Oil Today who hails from Georgia and has fond memories, also, of Sweet Potato Pie. Due to her family priorities we can’t meet for a while. Meantime, I’m hunting for the best recipe!

Wish me luck! If you’ve got one, please share!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Passing Through Baca


There’s a place between point A and point B, point B being where you arrive, that I saw in scripture this week. It is a valley and you weep there. Psalm 84 talks about this place. Starting with verse 5 the psalm says:

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion
.

Baca is a place. It is described in the Bible dictionary as meaning “Balsam tree” or “weeping”. It describes a person forced to go through a time of weeping and found that God turned tears into a well, providing water! Just think of that.

When I drive to California from Arizona to visit my kids, I have to pass through hours and hours of desolate desert. In this arid place, I make it through to the other side by listening to encouraging sermons or playing my favorite praise songs in my CD player. Another thing that strengthens me is imagining my daughter’s lovely face or my granddaughter’s giggles. I am determined to get to the other side!

God knows of those times when we are in that spiritual place of Baca. It is His strength we need in order to endure. We’re just passing through like on my desert highway. Eventually we are going to get to the other side. What we learn in this valley strengthens us in the Lord and then we can be poured out for others.



As we enter into the holiday season, it is a great time to nourish our souls in the things of our Savior, Jesus. We can do that amply at Spiritual Sundays, hosted by Ginger and Charlotte. Click here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Parrot


Laughing is a good exercise after all those calories at dinner yesterday. Here's a funny story my daughter sent me. She is the only one who really understands my frustration with my very old cockatiel that I've had for 30 years and he drives me nuts with his loud squaking especially when the house is noisy!

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Kim hosts Friday Funnies at Homesteader's Heart. Log on for more humor!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tonk-oo

For breakfast this morning, my husband was served pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon with tomato juice. I took him into town at 5:30 a.m. and Denny's served him a complimentary breakfast because today is not only Thanksgiving Day, it is his birthday. Okay, I'm not a big spender, but I'm thankful today that Denny's is always open, gives you a free breakfast on your birthday and celebrates with you!

On the way back home, we stopped at the grocery store and my hubby ran in for a can of evaporated milk so that I can make a pumpkin pie this morning. I stayed in the car with the heater full blast on this very cold morning and warmed up to the beautiful testimonies of thanksgiving that poured out of the Christian radio station. One story in particular gripped my heart.

A father spoke of taking his three-year old little boy on a camping trip and was amazed at how grateful his little one was over the smallest thing. How unusual for a three-year old who typically thinks only of himself. When he helped him with his jacket, or seat belt or handed him his sippy cup, the boy would say "tonk-oo". Over and over that day, he heard "tonk-oo" interspersed in conversation. He could not hold back the tears as he witnessed the thankfulness of his son for common everyday occurrences. This father shared that the experience taught him to be thankful for everything his Heavenly Father has provided for him. He wondered if our Father God sheds a tear when we remember to say thank you for all that He provides.

I join with this theme of "tonk-oo" to Father God today and thank Him for all His provision this past year and for every member of my family. "Father God, you have blessed me this past year in so many ways. Tonk-oo."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shaking the 'Tude

I had just noticed the opened box of pasta that fell in my pantry and spilled everywhere when the phone rang. There I stood in the walk-in pantry picking up handfuls of spaghetti and talking to my husband simultaneously. He heard the irritation in my voice and urged me to cheer up; “it’s only spaghetti,” he said. I was on my way out the door planning to wash my car and do some gardening on a beautiful sunny afternoon! Time ran out to do the gardening, but my pantry got swept clean and organized! While washing my car I adjusted my attitude. It really was “only spaghetti.”

Whining! It will spiral you down every time! I noticed this past week in my study time that God provided so many miracles for the Children of Israel in the desert yet they whined and complained because they missed their former lifestyle in Egypt. I exclaimed: “Yeah, but you were in slavery!” to an empty room. And yet, I’m guilty of that too.

What about Jonah? Here he is a man of God complaining because the vine that God provided him for shade withered. We really like to control God sometimes.

Our family was discussing the surprise of Bristol Palin becoming a Dancing with the Stars finalist. My daughter made a brilliant observation. She pointed out that America loves to see an underdog succeed. That’s what happened with Bristol’s hard work and good attitude. Brandy may have been the better dancer, but she and her partner had an attitude that, apparently, America didn’t like. We watch the show to be entertained and people don’t want to hear about “how unfair the judges are” or” how sore and hurting their dancing bodies are and they just don’t think they can go another day!” No, we tend to raise the bar and promote professionalism which is most evident by our attitude.

I’m determined to improve my attitude this week. After all, it’s the season of Thanksgiving. Skip Heitzig writes: “When our pilgrim forefathers came to this country, what they were up against was far worse than anything we face now. The first year, over half of their band of 110 died. Our pilgrim fathers dug seven times more graves for the dead than they built huts for the living. And yet during that same period is when they decided to carve out a day where they could say, "Thank you, Lord, for all of your benefits."

If our forefathers could be thankful in the midst of their suffering, so can I! Overcoming is the Christian-American way.



Spiritual Sundays is hosted by Charlotte and Ginger.
It is a place to pray for others' requests and be inspired.
Go here for more uplifting posts.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Funnies

TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP.
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS,
I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.
THE LEFTOVERS BECKONED -
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE,
BUT I FOUGHT THE TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT.

TOSSING AND TURNING WITH ANTICIPATION,
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR,
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES GALORE.
GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS, BEANS AND TOMATOES.
I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,
'TIL ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING, FLOATING INTO THE SKY,
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF PIE.
BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES....
HAPPY EATING TO ALL - PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.

MAY YOUR STUFFING BE TASTY,
MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP.
MAY YOUR POTATOES 'N GRAVY HAVE NARY A LUMP.
MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS.
MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE,
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS!!

For more funnies, join Kim here!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If Stones Could Talk

Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’ Isa 46: 9,10


I am feeling like God’s spoiled child this morning. He has proven His faithfulness, kindness and love to me over and over but as the challenges of life build one upon another, I forget! Last night our Life Group reviewed the above Isaiah scripture and our discussion led to the amazing account of the memorial stones of the Children of Israel in Joshua, Chapters 3 and 4.

The Children of Israel were led in the desert for forty years under the excellent leadership of Moses and Joshua. They were in the last stretch of the journey and were tipped off that now it was time to cross the Jordan River. This will not be for sissies. Lions hide in the turns and curves of the vegetation along that river. And wouldn’t you know it, the day of their crossing, the riverbanks spilled over. The banks overflow at times in spring. But God gave Joshua a word and it was fulfilled. They stepped into the river as God instructed and it dried up so they could cross! God told Joshua to select a leader from each tribe to fetch a large stone from the river and add it to the pile of stones that would memorialize God’s faithfulness to His people.

The leader of our Life Group instructed us all to stand for prayer as we ended our study. He waited patiently for each of us to share a stone of remembrance. It was an amazing time of prayer to listen to everyone’s voices thank God for bringing them through the hard times. My husband was thankful for the transition of moving from Chicago to the southwest desert where our priorities changed radically. I shared how the Lord saved me from an oncoming train wreck before I knew Him personally as my savior and eternal life became a sure thing for me.

Silence loomed large in our car during the drive home. We were still thinking about God’s goodness to us and all the things He has done in our lives. What a fantastic way to enter into the Thanksgiving Season!


Spiritual Sundays is hosted by Charlotte and Ginger.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Holiday Pies!


I bet you're planning your holiday menu. Here's a great baking tip from Grandma when it comes to making a holiday pie. For more funnies, go to Homesteader's Heart. Have a nice, fall weekend everyone!





Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spiritual Sundays ~ A Rose By Any Other Name


My husband shared his years of research about the Lord’s name with our friends at Life Group last Friday. “We call him Jesus” he said, “But technically, His real Jewish name is Yeshua. " “Jesus was most likely never called ‘Jesus’ during his 33 years on this earth. For example, our little granddaughter, Susanna, tries to call my wife Grammy, but it comes out Groggy. Trust me, there isn’t anything Groggy wouldn’t do for this little princess. All she has to do is ask! Likewise, when we pray in the name of Jesus, our savior Yeshua hears and answers us.”

This past week our church hosted a Holy Spirit Seminar. I attended the night the teaching was about prayer. As the speaker presented his foundational points, he mentioned that some people don’t pray much for fear that they may pray wrongly. To explain that point, he used an excellent illustration. He said that when a toddler speaks, we may not always know what he is saying, but if his parents are in the room, they know! It is that way when we pray. Our prayers ascend to Jesus and He knows what it is we are communicating. Jesus knows our heart.

Our God is not sensitive about being addressed by a correct name. I picture Him today encouraging us to speak freely before Him at His throne. Even if the prayer is not articulate, His acceptance and love for us abounds.

11“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:11-13

Spiritual Sundays features many inspirational writers and his hosted by Ginger and Charlotte.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Funnies ~ Doormats!

Welcome to another edition of Friday Funnies, hosted by Kim at Homesteader's Heart! No need to take off your shoes before you enter, but a good idea to wipe your feet on my new doormats. What do you think of them? Hugs to all of you who drop by and have a wonderful day!