About Me

Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Friday, December 29, 2006
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. It is very late friday night; we've just returned from Houston. I have been riding in the car so long I feel like I'm still moving!! We had a great visit with our oldest son and his family. Too short- but fun. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law will be here one more day, and then they head back to North Carolina. We have really enjoyed having them here.

I haven't been home very much at all. I've missed all of you and know I am hopelessly behind on reading and writing. I hope to get back to normal by sunday. Please know I've missed every one of you. Just in case I don't get to write sunday I want to wish you all a blessed and happy New Year. It doesn't seem possible another year has gone by. I pray this new year will be filled with God's peace and presence for all of us.

  posted at 11:10 PM

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

May the gift of God fill your hearts and lives this Christmas.

With love and prayers, Linda
  posted at 11:12 AM

Friday, December 22, 2006
Not So Final Word

Today was the “BIG DAY’ – the day we were supposed to get the final word on the sale of our property. We did get the word. However, it is not the final word. It seems they would like yet another extension on the contract to try to work out something for the financing. Without getting into all the boring details, the guy who did the feasibility study for them has scared them to death about potential costs. We’re not sure what is going on. I found out myself that some of the information he gave our buyer is simply not true. So… to make a long story short, our agent is going to do a bit of investigating and then request a meeting where we can all discuss any questions the buyer may have. It really is frustrating not being able to deal with people face to face. I know that’s what agents are for, but I really think some problems could be avoided if we could just talk to each other (buyer and seller). We are going to keep our property on the market during this extended two week period, and if we get another buyer these people will have 24 hours to match the offer or lose the deal.

Of course that means we can’t sign the lease on the apartment and will have to let that go. We will also have to wait on finalizing things for our new house. We had a meeting to pick out the colors, etc. yesterday. Everything is going to be so pretty – if all of this works out.

We are continuing to pray that the Lord will show us exactly what we should do. This is one of those times I wish I could get a little glimpse of where this particular path is leading. I think the Lord would have us walk by faith – with absolute trust that He knows where we’re going and all will be well.

When I checked my comments, I was just overwhelmed by the love and encouragement you have expressed. I wish I had the words to tell you how much you all mean to me – how knowing you are praying for us blesses me. I feel so honored. I cannot thank you enough. I’ve said it so many times, but that doesn’t make it less sincere or true – meeting all of you has been one of the best things that has happened to me in a long, long time. I just had no idea where it would lead the first time I wrote a post and sent it out into cyberspace. The blessings that have flowed back have been amazing.

Thank you all so very much. I am blessed.

And…it is almost Christmas!! I am looking forward to it. We get to sing in choir this weekend. On Sunday our daughter is going to meet us in the afternoon, and then we’ll go to my Mom and Dad’s for dinner. After dinner we all head out to our son’s little church for their Christmas program. Our little granddaughters have a part in the program. I love those programs. What could be better than watching those little ones?

Christmas Day my husband’s brother and his wife and their son and daughter-in-law arrive from North Carolina to spend a week here. We are all going to celebrate Christmas at my son and daughter-in-laws’ house. There will be quite a crowd for the traditional lasagna dinner.

I don’t know how much time I will have to get on the computer – not much I imagine. I will get caught up after the first of the year. In the meantime – have a blessed, joyful, wonderful Christmas dear friends. I feel a bit ashamed of myself for not realizing that I could have exchanged addresses and sent cards and gifts. I still have much to learn about blogging it seems. Please know I love you all and send you prayers for God’s richest blessings for now and the new year.

Merry Christmas,
  posted at 8:18 PM

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A Christmas Poem
I have written a little poem about our "different" Christmas this year. We are still waiting to see whether the sale of our home is going to go through, but in the meantime we continue to get ready to move. We're praying hard for all of this to go ahead. We are resting in Him.

This first part of this little poem was "born" in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. I finished it up today.


It doesn't look like Christmas around our house this year.
You see, we've got a buyer, and we're moving out of here.
Instead of lights and tinsel and a wreath on our front door
There are piles of cardboard boxes covering the floor.

The Christmas tree is packed away; the rooms look rather bare.
There are no Christmas cookies - the ones we've baked each year.
The tins and bowls are packed away - the oven scrubbed and clean.
No lingering scent of cinnamon to enhance the Christmas scene.

In spite of all that's missing around our house this year,
We sense with joy and wonder that Christmas is still here.
It's come without the trappings we've been used to from the start.
It's come because He's living deep within our hearts.

  posted at 12:55 PM

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
A "Weird Meme"
I have been tagged by Susie (one of the sweetest bloggers out there) to do a meme on the 6 weird things about me. The rule is that upon completion, you must tag six others to do this meme. Don't forget to let them know they've been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blog.

Okay - here goes:
1. I talk to myself all the time. I usually wait until there is noone around, but I have been known to mutter to myself when my husband is within earshot. Then I have to admit I was actually talking to myself and not him. I also (and this is truly weird) tend to address my comments to Mr. E. If you've seen the movie "Emma" this will make sense. If not - just chalk it up to my weirdness.

2. I have the thickest, curliest hair known to mankind. Now I know those of you with straight hair are going to say the usual, "I wish I had curly hair." - but trust me you don't. I cannot just wash my hair and let it air dry. I would look like Larry of Three Stooges fame if I did. I tried it the other day just to see if maybe I could get that cute curly look some women have. Forget it; it just got progressively bigger and bigger until I could hardly get through the door. So - I use those orange juice can size rollers I swore I would never use again after high school. I let my hair grow long for a change and there is no other way to control it.

3. I have absolutely no sense of direction. None. I actually went for a walk while we were on vacation and had a hard time finding my way back to the hotel. And I only went a few blocks away (knowing myself to be directionally challenged). I have learned not to offer helpful suggestions when we are driving around looking for a place. I could swear we were headed in the wrong direction, when it was right all along. It's best not to make suggestions.

4. I have the worst eating habits in the world. When offered the choice between a piece of fruit and a piece of candy - the candy always wins - hands down. Is it any wonder my cholesterol is hovering near the 300 mark?

5. I am terrified of heights. I can remember as a little girl walking on the dock where the ferry landed (we visited my aunts who lived on an island every summer) and feeling whoozy because of the spaces between the boards. I am a total washout at theme parks. My idea of an exciting ride is the Merry-go-round. Other than that I'm the one standing with my two feet planted firmly on the ground waving at all the other brave souls spinning around way above my head.

6. I probably know the lyrics to every old Broadway song or 40's and 50's music that exists. I can still remember hearing Perry Como and Bing Crosby and Andy Williams (all of you young ones - look it up!!!) on the radio. My parents always had music on - and I had a music teacher who loved all those old songs. We would spend the entire class time with her playing the piano as we lustily sang all those old tunes. The guys just loved it

There you have it - 6 weird things about me. I'm sure I could go on and on, but I won't bore you further. I'm going to tag Michelle, Christina, Morning Glory, Erin, Diane, and Susie . Wow!! If I managed to get all these links right I just may go have myself a couple of dark chocolate candy kisses!

Have a blessed day,
  posted at 1:39 PM

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Unto Us A Son Is Given

I was listening to Christmas music on the radio yesterday as I was packing. One of my favorite parts of Handel’s “Messiah” came on: “For unto us a Son is born; unto us, a Son is given. And His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace….” I can hardly listen to it without crying. The announcement that He has come; the Son of God has arrived!

I started thinking about the excitement we feel at the birth of a new baby. When our little ones are born, we cannot wait to tell everyone. We are so taken with this precious new life; we want everyone to share our joy. We are so proud. We’re just sure there has never been a more perfect baby. We make phone calls; send out announcements and share pictures with anyone “fortunate” enough to cross our path.

I thought about how the Father must have felt at the birth of His Son, and I wondered at His restraint. Oh sure, there were angels praising God with glorious songs, and there was a special star in the East waiting to guide the seekers to the Savior. But just think of the celebration there could have been. How He must have wanted to shout to the world, “This is My Son; My Beloved Son. He has come because He loves you. He is perfect and holy and I love Him with all my heart. The prophecy has been fulfilled. Messiah is here.” He could have shouted the news in a voice the whole world would have heard. He could have caused the heavens to explode with glorious celebration. He could have rocked the very foundation of the world. Instead this holy baby came quietly and humbly into a world that was so busy and preoccupied hardly anyone noticed.

It will not be so the next time He comes. The whole world will see this coming. Rev. 1:7; “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him …” Matt. 24: 30 – 31 “…they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” What a glorious coming that will be.

Until that day comes; it is our privilege to spread the word. We must tell others the glorious news. “Unto us a Son is given!”

Christmas Blessings,
  posted at 10:40 AM

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I Want to be a Who

I just finished watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". It is my second favorite Christmas Program (A Charlie Brown Christmas being my favorite). I always get a bit choked up when all the Whos start singing in the end - even though "Christmas" had been bagged by the Grinch. His realization that Christmas doesn't come from a store just warms my heart.

I got to thinking about our situation this Christmas. The Grinch hasn't stolen our Christmas, but "the move" has certainly stolen all the usual trappings. There is no beautifully decorated tree in its usual spot in the living room. There are no decorations throughout the house. There is no wreath hanging on the post of the front porch and no red ribbons and greenery decorating the railing. Our shopping has been very limited. Instead of cookie tins full of dozens of different Christmas cookies out on the sun porch, there are stacks of packed cardboard boxes. The house looks rather stark and cold - with the pictures packed away and my knick-knacks all boxed up.

I am very much a drama queen (more of an inward, imaginative sort of drama queen) - and my feelings tend to hold court when I should be focusing more on faith instead. I love the "feelings" of Christmas. I think I was more disappointed than my children when they had finally outgrown Santa Claus. I loved the excitement and the anticipation of his secret visit. I love the feelings that wash over me at the Christmas Eve candlelight service. The beautiful music of Christmas just gives me goosebumps. So....will the "moving Grinch" steal my Christmas this year?

I don't want him to. I want to be a Who. I want to , by faith, know the real joy and meaning of Christmas. I want this Christmas to come with more brilliance and magic than any Christmas ever has. I want to experience Christmas as the Lord gives it to me - wrapped in the beauty of His presence in my heart and life. I want to give that kind of Christmas too - to unselfishly give of myself in a way that has nothing to do with buying presents or decorating or baking. There is nothing wrong with any of those things - unless they become Christmas.

No - Christmas can't be found in a store. Christmas is, indeed, in our hearts. It comes without fancy wrapping or fanfare - it comes gently and quietly as we accept the precious gift given to us by the Father. It is glorious and eternal. I want to be a Who this Christmas.

  posted at 8:17 PM

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Catching Up

It has been quite busy for us the past couple of days. I actually didn’t even turn on my computer all day yesterday!! I was tempted, but I was just too weary last night when we got home from church. So I made a cup of tea and continued my Fall Reading. The time is getting short, and I still have one and a half books (big books) to read.

Friday was the famous annual Bingo Christmas Party. Some of my very best friends get together every Christmas at my friend Mary’s house. We were all in small group Bible Study together years ago. Mary invited us to her house for a Christmas Party so that we wouldn’t lose touch over the holiday break. We enjoyed it so much we continued it every year. It is always at Mary’s (her request), and we always have the same menu. She makes the best pasta chicken salad we’ve ever had. She also serves fresh fruit, rolls and scrumptious deserts. She also makes a special punch. After we eat, we play Bingo. I don’t know where Mary first played this, but she is also the one who started this tradition.

Every year, after Christmas, when the stores have their big sales, she and her two daughters go shopping. They buy some of the neatest things at bargain prices. She then stores them away until our party. When we arrive at her house, all the gifts are on display – so we all get to have a peek at them before we begin the Big Game. We choose (very carefully – because this is very serious business) our bingo card, take a pile of red and green M&Ms (we use them as markers – but we tend to nibble on them as well while we’re playing) and the game begins. Mary calls out the letters and numbers – and the first one to get “bingo” gets to choose one of the prizes. This year some of the prizes were a Nativity Set, Christmas Pillows, a tea pot, candle holders, bowls, Christmas place mats, and a musical porcelain angel. We play until everyone wins a game.

In previous years I have not been too skillful – but this year I won first!!! Yippee!!! The difficult part is deciding on which prize you want to take. We all tend to worry that we will pick something someone else had their heart set on. It’s such fun. I picked the porcelain angel. She is so pretty and plays “Joy to the World”. She is now sitting gracefully on my piano.

Once everyone has won a prize we go into the living room, and Mary opens the gifts we have brought her. Then over one last cup of tea we just talk. For some of us, it is the only time we have a chance to see each other for a real visit all year. We get caught up on all the good things and all the difficult things. We sometimes pray together. It is just a very special time. These women are like sisters to me. God is so very good. He places people in our lives that flesh out His tender heart toward us. I am so very blessed.

Saturday and today our church had its Christmas Program. It was wonderful. My husband and I sing in the choir. This is our second year, and it just gets better and better. I truly think we receive more of a blessing than the people who come to watch.

We have three services, Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning. We decided to sing all three. The music was so beautiful. There was the adult choir, the children’s choir, the orchestra and a dance team (which in my dreams I’m a part of – they are so elegant and lovely). The miraculous story of Christmas set to music filled the church. God truly inhabits the praises of His people, and we felt that the whole time.

And so I am home for good now (well for today anyway) and anxious to get back in touch with everyone. I will try to read everything I’ve missed. You are a very special part of my life.

Blessed Sunday,
  posted at 4:07 PM

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Christmas Memories
There is a beautiful Quiet Corner where we have been invited to come and share our Christmas memories. It is warm and cozy and there is lovely Christmas music playing. You must come and visit.

I have so many special Christmas memories - of my own childhood and that of my children. I keep thinking about one from when I was just a little girl, so I think that's the one I'm meant to share.

We had a girls' group in our church when I was growing up, started by an older woman. She was originally from Canada where Christian Girls in Training originated (better known to us a C.G.I.T.). Every girl in the church eagerly looked forward to the day she was old enough to join. I was barely eight my first year in C.G.I.T. It was everything I had anticipated. We had Bible stories and memory work and learned so many crafts. We went camping in the summer. It was just great!! However, the "premier" event was the Christmas candlelight program the group presented every year. I could hardly wait to be a part of it.

The program began with all the girls marching into the sanctuary with lighted candles. The tallest girls were at the front of the line and the smallest at the end. I was the very last one. I will never forget the feeling of walking into that darkened sanctuary. There was beautiful Christmas music playing as we slowly marched up the center aisle - lighting the decorated church with the warm glow of our candles. Our families watched with glistening eyes.

I had a special part in the program that year - along with a few of the other little girls. We did the hand motions to the song "There's A Song In The Air". Our leader (Aunt Ethel) played the piano while her daughter sang in a lovely soprano voice. It was just magical to me. It was Christmas - the real Christmas. It felt like the very presence of God filled that small church.

I think it a wonder that although I know I had the usual Christmas full of presents and cookies and shopping and parties - this is the memory that is special to me. I believe it is so for our children as well. We have the most precious gift in the world to give them for Christmas, and they receive it with open hearts. We worry they will be disappointed if they don't get exactly what they want. I wonder.... Perhaps they would surprise us.

Blessed Christmas,
  posted at 3:29 PM

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Wisdom from Ruth Bell Graham
It seems that so many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the “busyness” of the season – too much to do and too little time. We feel tired and guilty and as though somehow we’re missing the true meaning of Christmas.

Our “Decision” magazine arrived the other day. I always read the back page first because that is where “especially For You” from Ruth Bell Graham is. I love her writings and deeply admire her life. This month’s devotional seemed especially appropriate, and I wanted to share it with you.

Feeling Trapped?

“The man, asleep in the trash bin, was awakened with a jolt. He had been scooped up with the trash by a 21-ton garbage truck. Knocked unconscious, he came to – upside-down and squeezed into an area where a human being shouldn’t fit.

The truck started again and picked up two more loads of trash. When the driver stopped for a third load, he heard some hollering. Getting, out, he looked around. The voice sounded far away, and he could see no one. So he started the compactor. That’s when he heard a banging inside the truck. Thinking something mechanical was wrong, he stopped the cylinders.

The, he later reported, he ‘heard a voice saying he sure would like to get out of wherever he was.’ Fortunately the driver saw to it that the man was freed.

That is the way I have felt at times: too much to do, too far to go, and not enough time or strength to do it all, so that I ‘sure would like to get out of wherever I am.’

Someone has said, ‘God does not promise strength for uncommanded work.’ Perhaps you’re attempting things He hasn’t commanded. When I began to feel compacted and cried for help, God showed me how my proprieties had gotten distorted. He was to come first. Then I realized that I needed to be liberated from wherever I was. I needed to get off of boards and committees, write no more books or articles for the time being and accept fewer outside responsibilities.

This was God’s answer for me. He has a solution for you as well.”

I’m going to try to get my priorities right. I have so much to do this season, but I don’t want Jesus to get relegated to the bottom of my to-do list. Far too often it’s – do all these things first and then if there’s time – Jesus. I want to have a grateful heart at all times, but especially during the Christmas season. I want to spend time with the One who has given me all I could ever ask for and so much more. When I give gifts, I want to give with an awareness of the gift that He has given me. I want my attitude of heart to be like those of the people in “Whoville”. If all the trappings are gone, I want Christmas to come anyway – and come more gloriously than it ever has.

Christmas Blessings,
  posted at 9:26 PM

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Cookie Bar Recipe
I can hardly believe you terrific cooks would ask me for a recipe!! I am delighted to share (I think it is the same one you mentioned Diane -except it calls for walnuts instead of pecans.) Here we go:

Cookie Bars:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups (one can) condensed milk
Pour melted butter into bottom of 13x9x2 pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over melted butter. Sprinkle chopped nuts over crumbs. Scatter chocolate chips over nuts. Sprinkle coconut evenly over chocolate chips. Pour condensed milk evenly over coconut.

Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
Cool in pan 15 minutes.
Cut into bars.
Enjoy! I love them when they are still warm and the chocolate chips are melty. Yummy!! I make these every year.

Thank you all for your sweet, sweet comments. It has been an especially difficult day. I didn't think I would even bother checking my blog (I really have to be feeling low not to want to do that!). I'm so glad I did. You are just the best. I love you guys!!

  posted at 9:25 PM

Monday, December 04, 2006
Christmas Meme
Time to do the Christmas meme. I have seen it on so many blogs, I don’t know where it originated, so I think it will be all right to just go for it:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
I love hot chocolate with as much whipped cream as I can fit in the cup (and I sometimes just keep adding it as I go). However, when my younger son was still home he and I always used to have a glass of egg nog on Christmas morning. Everyone else thought it was too sickeningly sweet (there is practically no such thing as sickeningly sweet in my world).

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
What with making all those toys and then delivering all those toys there just isn’t time for wrapping too. All the things from Santa were left unwrapped under the tree when I was little, and he did the same thing with my children. Very consistent that Santa Claus.

3. Colored lights or white?
We have tiny colored lights on the tree.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you decorate for Christmas?
I decorate just as soon after Thanksgiving as I can get my husband to haul a step ladder up to the house from the garage and climb up into the attic to get all the decorations down. Some years it’s later than others.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding desert?
We traditionally have lasagna for Christmas dinner. No one wants a big turkey dinner so soon after Thanksgiving. The great thing is, I can fix it ahead and enjoy the day with my family without all that cooking.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child.
I wrote about Santa’s visit to my little sister on Christmas Eve a while ago. That is one of my favorite memories. The other is taking part in the Candle light service our girls club at church did every Christmas. The first year I was old enough to be a part of Christian Girls in Training (CGIT) I was so little I was the last one in the processional line as we walked to the front of the darkened church with our lighted candles. It was breathtakingly beautiful to my little girl eyes. My last year in the club, I was way at the end of the line. We had an amazing leader who influenced my life greatly. She was a true example of a Godly woman for me.

8. When did you learn the truth about Santa?
I really don’t remember. I’m four years older than my sister, so I kept the secret for a long time after I knew. I wanted her to keep on believing for as long as possible.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. We each open one gift and then open the rest Christmas morning. When the kids were little, they used to run out to the living room and grab their stockings. Then they would climb on our bed and open them there. After that they attacked the presents under the tree.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
It has changed over the years. I’ve made a lot of decorations – so it is usually a mix of ornaments. A few years ago I learned how to do tatting and made all the ornaments for the tree. It really looked pretty with the white, red and green tatted snowflake ornaments. We also added some red ball ornaments to set it off. I always like lots of tinsel too. I just like the way it sparkles.

11. Snow – love it or hate it?
I grew up in the North and always loved the snow. However, when I got older it really wasn’t nearly as much fun. If I could just have a white Christmas, and then go right back to my Texas winter weather I would be delighted. I admit I loved the quiet beauty of watching the snow falling at night and blanketing everything in white. I just hated driving in it.

12. Can you ice skate?
I sure can – or at least I sure could. We used to have a little pond not very far from our house. We cleared the ice ourselves (well – actually the guys cleared the ice) and skated for hours at a time. Usually someone would build a fire by the side of the pond so we could warm our frozen toes every once in a while. I hate to think what would happen now if I suddenly found myself in a pair of skates on frozen water!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I have always loved dolls. One year my sister and I got Tiny Tears dolls. My Mom made a whole wardrobe for them, and my Dad made them each a little cradle. I still wouldn’t mind getting a doll for Christmas.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
I love to spend the time with family and to think about the One who has made all the difference for us. I am so thankful that it is He who is the foundation of our lives individually and as a family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Cookie bars – we have them every year. They have everything you could want in a desert – chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut. Scrumptious!!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Every year since my children were small we have had a birthday cake for Jesus. After all the presents have been opened, and we have all enjoyed our big meal – we bring out the birthday cake, light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. I love to watch the little faces as they sing. It is a sweet reminder of why we celebrate.

17. What tops your tree?
After years of searching, we finally found a sweet little angel that everyone likes. We’ve had some seriously silly ornaments, but she is just the right touch.

18. What do you prefer, giving or receiving?
I love to give gifts – especially when you know you’ve picked just exactly the right thing for those special people in your life. However, I will admit that I like to get gifts as well.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
My favorite song is the Alleluia Chorus. I think it is positively inspired. I listen to Christmas music for weeks, because I just really like it all.

20. Candy canes, yuck or yum?
They aren’t chocolate, but as I mentioned before I sure do like anything sweet.

  posted at 9:12 PM

Sunday, December 03, 2006
Love in Action

To borrow a phrase from my sweet blogging friend Pamela, it is "just the two of us" here in our house again. My parents are safely moved into their cute little house. They are thoroughly exhausted, but very happy with the way everything has worked out. My mom is excited about making this house their home. Once she gets all her beautiful quilts and pictures and antiques in place, it will be a warm, inviting home. She has a gift for hospitality and a way of making a house into a real home. My Dad says he's just ready to "follow orders". He is very handy and talented too - so between them they will do wonders.

The move went so smoothly. Thank You Lord!! My son pastors a small church in the town where my parents' new house is located. He was sent there from the "mother church" in our closest large city to plant a new church. That is the main thrust of their church organization - The Potter's House. They plant new churches all around the world (when my son and daughter-in-love were sent out, I was praying it wouldn't be to Africa!). They begin by going door-to-door and doing street preaching. They open their home for Bible Study. They go into the poorer neighborhoods and do outdoor concerts to draw people out to hear the word. As a result, many of the people who begin coming to their church are from backgrounds very unlike their own. Some have come from situations we only read about or hear about on the news. They are drawn to the Savior, and when they recieve Him into their hearts, the change is so dramatic. My son says he really is teaching them things we just take for granted but that they have never heard. Even the familiar Bible stories are foreign to many of them. It is exhausting, challenging, rewarding ministry.

On saturday morning our son arrived with six young men from his church who had given up their saturday to come help us move my parents. A couple of years ago my husband did a huge amount of work for one of the larger churches in their community, and they have never forgotten. They worked hard all day long - laughing and sharing and just enjoying each others' company. They made two trips back and forth so that they could move everything for my Mom and Dad. I can't adequately put into words what it was like. They were so eager to serve. It was all done with such a loving attitude. They did it with no expectation of anything in return. A couple of these young men come from backgrounds that are just heartbreaking. They are so in love with the Jesus that broke the chains that held them captive it just pours out of them.

It was a wonderful, exhausting, uplifting day. When I look at those young men, I feel ashamed for the way I have, in the past, taken my salvation so for granted. I have been far too casual, holding the precious gift too lightly. They remind me of Who He is and what He has done for me. My past isn't the same as theirs, but their sin is no greater than mine. I want my life to shine with His love just the way theirs does.

Have a blessed sunday,
  posted at 1:47 PM

Friday, December 01, 2006
Moving Day

I will be away from the computer for a little while. My Mom and Dad are moving tomorrow. We helped with last-minute packing today. We loaded up some of the more fragile things and made a couple of runs to the new house (It's twenty-four miles from here. I know this because my husband clocked it on the way home in the rental truck). Then we picked up the truck and came back here.

I fixed dinner; we watched a little television; and then Mom and Dad decided to call it a day. They are in their eighties and all of this is a bit exhausting for them. I keep praying the Lord will sustain them through this move.

Our son has rounded up a bunch of young men from his church, and they will be here bright and early to help with the move. They are great guys, and I know everything will go quickly and smoothly.

So....it will be a busy weekend. Once they are settled I will have to begin packing up our things. I've acutally packed about six boxes with all the little do-dads I have scattered around the house (oh so many do-dads!). I looked at my framed pictures of the kids and grandkids - and there must be about fifty, with no exaggeration. Somehow it doesn't look like that many with them all scattered around the house. I will have more boxes of pictures and books than anything else. I'm embarrassed about how many boxes of books there will be. I actually weeded out a couple of bags worth to give to the library, but I simply cannot part with any of the others. I just can't.

I will catch up in a couple of days I hope. I hate to miss out on anything. I'm so silly. I just enjoy your company so very much.

See you soon,
  posted at 8:13 PM