Monday, December 19, 2011

Ten P's In a Pod - Book Review



Link to Vision Forum product review.
Link to Amazon product review.

We received this book as a gift from a sweet friend.  My sister, Annie, and brother, Andrew, read it together with me, and we really enjoyed it (sometimes my mom got in on the readings, too). It is the true story of a unique family who travels together, sings together, prays together...and they make the Word of God a big part of their day, from which they reap rich spiritual rewards. It is an inspiring, convicting, and often humorous book for the whole family. (There are some fun and quirky illustrations, too.) Read for yourself!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Poll Results...

Do you celebrate Halloween?
Yes
  0 (0%)
No
  1 (14%)
Not since I was a child
  2 (28%)
Only an alternate version, such as a Harvest party
  0 (0%)
No, because of the pagan elements
  4 (57%)

If you're curious, I voted no because of the pagan elements, including the fascination with the occult and blood and scary things--all this I believe influences children to see these things as "cool" or "fun."

Next poll is similar, only on Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Homekeeping Book & Magazine Giveaway

There is a giveaway going on here, for a book and The King's Blooming Rose magazine subscription!  Deadline for entry is Dec. 5.

Stepping Heavenward - Book Review


Written in 1869, this is a fictional journal of a young woman--her beginning, doubts, disobedience, growth, marriage, difficult in-laws, children, and her older days--and is still pertinent to women today.

It's good to read a book (the second time) in which the main character, at least in the main, listens to and learns from her mother and other older and wiser people. The main character has a lot of flaws, yet she wants to please God, and slowly grows. I can relate to many of her struggles, so I find it interesting and helpful. No perfect books can be found, except the Bible in its original language, but I still think this is a book worthy of five stars, or maybe four and a half.

The author, Elizabeth Prentiss, also penned the famous hymn, "More Love to Thee, O Christ."
 Quotes from the Story:
'Our course heavenward is like the plan of the zealous pilgrim of old, who for every three steps forward, took one backward.'

'The question is not whether you ever gave yourself to God, but whether you are His now.'

'She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
    Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!' 

'This is the testimony of all the good books, sermons, hymns, and memoirs I read--that God's ways are infinitely perfect; that we are to love Him for what He is and therefore equally as much when He afflicts as when He prospers us; that there is no real happiness but in doing and suffering His will; and that this life is but a scene of probation through which we pass to the real life above.'

'People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as someone has remarked, that "this is the age of obedient parents!" What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority? And how well fitted will they be to rule their own households who have never learned to rule themselves?'

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Count Your Many Blessings



 Nothing can compare with this Book, yet sometimes we take it for granted. It has always been there, the Book that we love . . . yet do we?  May it be so!  What a wonder it is to have survived, and what a wonder to know it is the inspired Word of God, applicable to our modern-day lives!


Tea...birds...cozy blankets. Little gifts from God that are especially enjoyable this time of year.

more oatmeal

A well-stocked bookshelf is much appreciated.  I need to weed out some of my old, yesteryear-loved books that are not so brilliant as I once thought, but I am blessed by having gotten some good deals and having some great old books from my dear father. (This is not my bookshelf in the photo, by the way.)

deer

We have an abundance of deer around our place, and they are so interesting and fun to watch, especially when the little fawns are running around!

 There are so many more things I am thankful for...
The great grace of God
A wonderful church family and messages
Family
Letters from far off friends
Sunsets
Nieces and nephews
Paint and art
Reliable transportation
Freedom of speech, etc.
Family coming for Thanksgiving...

 What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Tehran Initiative


David Shirazi is on a big mission for the CIA--To enter Iran once again, find information on the nuclear weapons the Iranians are building, and stop a possible war.

This novel continues where the previous one, The Twelfth Imam, leaves off, yet it would be understandable even without reading the prequel, as a segment of the previous novel is included, and various recaps are offered throughout the book. However, reading the prequel does offer further character development.

I read this book in three days, which is probably a record for me with a book this big.  There were parts of the book that were a little tedious and boring for me (political speeches, etc.),  but most of the time it was hard to put down, and easy enough to understand for a layperson like me. There is some violence and torture, so if you are squeamish, or don't believe in violence, you might not like this.

I like that this book is based on some truth, and that it inspires us to speak out for the faith and be concerned for the souls of others.

There are a few things I didn't like, such as the appearance of Jesus, though at least His words were in keeping with the Bible (basically direct quotes).  I don't believe Jesus will come to earth again until after the tribulation (and in the air before the tribulation).  I also wondered at the use of deception/lies in some cases, though the characters were admittedly sorry to have to deceive their family/friends. During wartime/espionage, I think I can go along with deceiving, which is what was usually the case in this story.

All in all, I enjoyed the book.  It made me think more about the world around me, not just my little corner of the world, and the possible future. I look forward to the sequel.

I was given a complimentary copy by Tyndale Publishers, and I have given my honest review.




An interview with Joel C. Rosenberg
author of The Tehran Initiative

1) This is the second book with CIA operative David Shirazi. Where does the story pick up from your previous bestseller The Twelfth Imam?

A: The Tehran Initiative begins about sixty seconds after The Twelfth Imam leaves off. I’ve tried to create a near seamless connection between the two. And there’s another book coming, The Damascus Countdown.

2) You started writing The Tehran Initiative when the Arab Spring began earlier this year. Did events impact your writing or the storyline?
A: Actually, I was well into writing The Tehran Initiative when the “Arab Spring” began and it was a little eerie because the novel opens with the assassination of the President of Egypt and Egypt descending into chaos after the leader’s fall. Fortunately, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wasn’t killed, but he certainly fell quickly and somewhat unexpectedly and Egypt is still reeling from the aftermath. The novel really focuses a great deal on the intense desire amongst many Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa to build a global Islamic empire, or a “caliphate.” And that’s certainly a growing theme among the Islamists in the region this year.

Perhaps what struck me most curious since the publication of The Twelfth Imam and while I was researching and writing The Tehran Initiative is that the so-called Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has began speaking more publicly about the coming of the Twelfth Imam. He used to be silent, or nearly so, on this subject. He let President Ahmadinejad do all the public talking about Shia End Times theology. But Khamenei has become more bold over the past year or so. He has told people that he has met personally with the Twelfth Imam, though we don’t know what he meant. Did he meet with a flesh and blood person? Did he see a dream? Or a vision? We don’t know. But Khamenei has also asserted that he is the personal representative on earth of the Twelfth Imam, as well as the so-called Prophet Muhammad. These developments – along with his support for Iran’s aggressive nuclear development program – suggest Khamenei senses the time is very short before someone claiming to be the Twelfth Imam emerges publicly. In part, that’s why the Iranian government released the pseudo-documentary film in early 2011 called, “The Coming Is Near,” about all the geopolitical signs that they believe are indicators that the Mahdi’s arrival is increasingly close at hand. Whether it will really happen or not remains to be seen. But the Iranian leadership is certainly convinced. Most of them, anyway. And, of course, the Bible tells us in Matthew chapter twenty-four to expect false prophets and false messiahs in the last days. So we can’t rule out the possibility that we’ll actually see false messiah emerge from the Shia world.

3) You’ve earned a reputation of writing stories that seemed ripped from tomorrow’s headlines. What is going on in The Tehran Initiative that we can see unfolding in the news?

A: I think the biggest parallel between The Tehran Initiative and current events is the growing sense amongst Shia Muslim leaders – particularly in Iran – that the Twelfth Imam is coming any moment, coupled with Iran’s feverish efforts to build nuclear weapons, and the Israelis’ growing isolation in the world and feeling that they may have to hit Iran all by themselves.

Did you see Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic address at the U.N. in September, or read the full text? You should. It’s instructive. Ahmadinejad is not a world leader worthy of the world stage. He is the evil leader of an Iranian death cult. A recent U.N. report indicates he is making progress in building nuclear weapons. He is calling for the arrival of the Twelfth Imam and wiping Israel “off the map.” He aspires to be a mass murderer beyond the scale of Adolf Hitler. He deserves to be in prison, or an insane asylum. His U.N. speech was further proof, if more was needed.

Like Hitler’s speeches in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, Ahmadinejad isn’t hiding what he believes. He’s pretty clear. He denied the Holocaust. He blasted the U.S. for bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice. He blamed the terrorist attacks 9/11 on the U.S. government. He insisted that his so-called messiah known as “Imam al-Mahdi” or the Twelfth Imam is coming soon. He insisted Jesus Christ will come with the Mahdi to take over the world. He called for a one-world government when he called for “the shared and collective management of the world.”

Consider these excerpts: “This movement is certainly on its rightful path of creation, ensuring a promising future for humanity. A future that will be built when humanity initiates to tread the path of the divine prophets and the righteous under the leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor to all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet. The creation of a supreme and ideal society with the arrival of a perfect human being who is a true and sincere lover of all human beings, is the guaranteed promise of Allah. He will come alongside with Jesus Christ to lead the freedom and justice lovers to eradicate tyranny and discrimination, and promote knowledge, peace, justice, freedom and love across the world. He will present to every single individual all the beauties of the world and all good things which bring happiness for humankind.”

Though most world leaders do not appear to understand what Ahmadinejad is really saying, students of Shia Islamic eschatology or End Times theology do. The Iranian leader believes the end of the world as we have known it is increasingly close at hand. He believes the time for establishing an Islamic caliphate or global government ruled by the Mahdi is rapidly approaching. What’s more, he believes that the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to acquire nuclear weapons and use them to annihilate the United States, which he calls the “Great Satan” and Israel, which he calls the “Little Satan.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands what Ahmadinejad means. So do some of his top military advisors. That’s why they believe Iran is in the eye of a gathering storm in the Middle East, and that the chance of a major war is growing.

“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite is true; it continues full steam ahead,” warned Israeli Defense Forces Home Front Command Chief Major General Eyal Eisenberg in a speech earlier this month. Also noting recent uprisings in the Arab world and growing tensions with Turkey, Eisenberg said, “This leads us to the conclusion that…the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing.”

To me, all this feels ripped from the pages of The Tehran Initiative. Unfortunately, it’s all true.

4) Readers seem to get very attached to your characters. What goes into creating the characters in your novels?

A: It’s the Colonel’s secret recipe of seven herbs and spices. I could tell you, but then I’d have to….well, never mind….no comment to that one.

5) What experiences in your real life do you draw from to piece together these novels that incorporate geo-politics, espionage, romance, and Bible prophecy?

A: Someone once told me, “Write where you live in your head.” For some reason, that advice resonated with me and stuck. I’m fascinated with politics, prophecy and the Middle East. Living in Washington, D.C. and working in and around the political world for the past two decades has certainly helped provide context for me to write political thrillers. I think traveling extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa has been helpful, too. Somehow, it’s all worked together in a way some people find as interesting as I do.

6) You often incorporate Old Testament prophecy in your books. What scriptures do you draw from for this book and why?

A: There’s no question that I am absolutely intrigued by Bible prophecy, and I like to start with an End Times prophecy – or a group of last days prophecies – and ask, “What if these were to happen in my lifetime? What would it look like? What would it feel like? How might such prophecies realistically be set into motion, and what might be the implications of their fulfillment?” That’s how I approach writing these books. But I don’t think of it like writing a fantasy novel or science fiction. I’m genuinely trying to imagine how it could really play out? I’m not saying these prophecies will necessarily come to pass the way I envision them, but they are interest to war game and see what happens. And given what’s happening in the real world today, I think readers are as curious as I am, and somehow my plots don’t feel that far-fetched.

7) You’ve been successful with your non-fiction books Epicenter and Inside the Revolution and you have a large following reading your analysis of Middle East events on your blog and e-newsletter “Flash Traffic.” Why do you continue to choose writing novels about the Middle East?

A: What could be more interesting? Presidents and presidential candidates constantly focus on the Middle East. Prime Ministers do. Kings do. Generals do. The media does. The economists do. The fact is, the eyes of the nations are riveted on Israel and her neighbors, the epicenter of the momentous events that are shaking our world and shaping our future. The stakes are very high. There is lots of uncertainty. It’s mysterious and dangerous and complex – it has all the elements of riveting political thrillers. And the Bible says the Middle East will become even more dramatic until the very return of Jesus Christ. Why write about anything else?

(Interview provided by Tyndale.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Little Poem

When our hearts condemn us,
Is it truly condemning,
When we refute
The condemnation of others?

Pride lingers still.
 
Let rebuke come!
If we love the Lord
We should patiently take it.

Stubborn is my will.

A Little Poem

Glimpses of truth
In stages
Some through living,
And some through pages.

Stumbling is what
Babies do,
And yet each step
Is awesome and new.

God is the giver
Of strength.
We will see Him
As He is, at length!

-M.A.M. 11/1/11

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Poll Results...Look for New Poll on Sidebar

Do you find making schedules and/or menus is helpful?

Yes
  3 (33%)
No
  0 (0%)
Sometimes
  5 (55%)
Never tried it
  0 (0%)
Schedules are especially helpful
  2 (22%)
Menus are especially helpful
  2 (22%)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Links

Here is a free kindle recipe book for Thanksgiving. (There are a lot of free kindle books on amazon, if you happen to have a kindle.)

Here are some excellent articles by my sweet new friend...

Redeeming Your Time

Are Stay-At-Home Daughters Repressed?

The Blessing of Babies

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Links

Our friend, Sophia, wrote this lovely post about family and young womanhood. Please check it out!  What is a Girl to Do?

Also, this article has inspired me/convicted me.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

In Memory of My Dad

In Memoriam of My Dad


Five years ago today my dad passed from this country into the heavenly country.
We miss him, yet we know he is far better above, and this is all a part of God's perfect plan.

"The very thought of a holy and all powerful God to Whom they had to give an account was something which they could not stomach.  And when we say "man" or "they," we are surely saying you and I.  We must repent of the folly and wickedness of denying God and rebelling against that light and resisting His will." - Keith M.

"You are not going to see yourself as you really are until you see God as He is.
You are not going to see how low you have fallen until you see how high God is." - Keith M.

As my sister, Annie, wrote:
"He [was] a husband, father of eight, preacher, homeschool parent (when he knew none personally), and more. I remember how he taught us faithfully and eagerly, the sacrifices he made for us, how we did things together like biking and talking as we rode along, how he listened to my concerns and offered advice, prayed with me, encouraged me, and gave books when he saw I had an interest in something, or he wanted to teach me something—usually the deepest lessons. I love him for all of these things. And miss him—five years ago last Saturday was his home-coming."

I add my hearty assent to that!  He was not perfect, and would have readily agreed to that, but he was a parent who truly cared about us, and he loved the Lord above all.

My dad and me, c. 1984

Dad, Mom, Grace, Matthew, and John

Dad holding Annie, Mom holding Mark...John, Grace, and Matthew

Dad at work in FL


Giveaway

There's a modest skirt giveaway going on here!  It closes on September 16.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Links!

Western Conservatory is giving away a free subscription to their webinar on marrying well! With a wide range of topics, including the deadly danger of worry and maintaining peace and harmony between families, you will certainly find something to address your questions. To enter, go HERE and follow instructions.

Here are some limited-time-only online films that I recommend:

Why are we seeing so many young people leaving the church? Are youth groups helping or hindering? This is an important film examining what is going on and what we can do about it.

Mr. Burzynski discovered an amazing cancer treatment, but instead of helping to spread the good news, the FDA has done all they could to stop him. If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, please just watch the first 15 minutes. Believe me, it is worth your time.

Poll Update

Have you ever talked with/heard anyone talk about their experiences in a war, and if so, which one/s?


No
2 (15%)
I haven't known anyone who was in a war.
0 (0%)
WWI
1 (7%)
WWII
7 (53%)
Cold War
1 (7%)
Korean
4 (30%)
Vietnam
6 (46%)
Iraq
7 (53%)
Other

Next poll is up!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Review of Courageous - The Novel

Sometimes a novel can be nearly as powerful as a sermon, and for me this was one of those times. It isn't a perfect book, but it caused me to really think about how much (or how little) time I spend with my family, what the outcomes of my choices might be, and inspired me to want to witness to others more and study my Bible more. There are some mature elements (violence, drug content, etc.), but this is primarily a book for fathers and perhaps for teens in trouble. There were also some moments of humor, though one of them which involved deception seemed on the questionable side to me--laugh-aloud funny, but rather unnecessary. Overall it was a fast-paced book for me. The characters could have been developed more clearly or at length, I think. I hope fathers read this and are truly inspired to change their priorities. Fathers are very important, not to mention the other parts of a family!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For His Glory

For His glory, His alone,
May my light shine day by day.
We are called to work and pray,
For His glory, His alone.

No good works for sin atone,
Jesus' work our sin effaced!
So we thank Him for His grace,
For His glory, His alone.

Leaning on God's strength alone,
Humbly let us own Him King.
He's the One who bids us sing
For His glory, His alone.

Joy to serve, with not a moan--
When on His love we rely,
Our hearts with sweet cheer reply,
For His glory, His alone.

-M.A.M. (7-20-11)
John Piper said it better in this sermon. I'd encourage a listen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Patience


Not the most unique/original metaphors here, I suppose, but I hope you enjoy and are encouraged by this little poem, which was written for myself, mainly.


"Patience," said the old oak tree.
"Soon, little acorn, you'll be big like me."

"You'll have to dig up through the dirt.
It'll take some work, but then up you'll spurt.
Look up to the sun and drink it in,

And take some showers till you're quenched within."

"But, oh! It will be so hard to wait!
The trees tower o'er me and I feel so late."

"Do all that you can not to stay in the shade.
Stretch out your leaves and don't be afraid.
The more you take in the faster you'll grow.
Thank God for each inch; shake the bugs off below.
God knows every season, they're in His command,
So trust in His wise, omnipotent hand!"

-M.A.M. (7-16-11)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TSA Invasion of Privacy

TSA is supposed to keep us safe, yet their invasion of privacy goes against our God-given and Constitutional rights. There are a number of people here in TX who are fighting against them by trying to pass a bill against the "advanced pat-down," or groping. Please be in prayer on this and possibly write or call! It could be a huge opening for other states to follow suit, and would be a major blessing for us here.

A dear, sweet woman from our church has recently had some run-ins with the TSA. Please read and imagine how that would feel. Perhaps you've had similar things happen to you.

1st Personal TSA Story (It is not graphic at all.)

Here is a site where you can find more info on how to help in the cause: TSA Tyranny - Keep Austin Free

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to Die Like a Christian Man

Please read this article on WWII veterans and their sacrifice and love for God, family, and country!

Also consider being a part of their online tour--I'm sure it will be a blessing and great learning tool.

Poll Results, New Poll

Do you prefer e-mail or "snail" mail?

Snail mail!



1 (7%)
Either one, as long as it's personal!
4 (30%)
Snail mail to receive, e-mail to send.
5 (38%)
E-mail to receive, snail mail to send.
0 (0%)
E-mail for non-personal, snail mail for personal mail.
5 (38%)

And a new poll is up!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strength for Today...

"Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." - Psalm 37:5 'Roll the whole burden of life upon the Lord. Leave with Jehovah not thy present fretfulness merely, but all thy cares; in fact, submit the whole tenor of thy way to him. Cast away anxiety, resign thy will, submit thy judgment, leave all with the God of all.' - Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Psalm 33:16-17

Psalm 33:16-17

Friday, May 13, 2011

Psalm 33:13-15

Psalm 33:13-15

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Psalm 33:10-12

Psalm 33:10-12

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Place

A Mother's Place

A mother's place
Is in the home,
Watching o'er the
Ways of her own;
To work and care,
Provide and teach,
Extend her hand
Far as can reach.
A mother's words
Are wise and kind,
Her children all
Are on her mind.
She fears the LORD
More than can say,
And we all praise
Her on this day!
-Melissa M., with love to her mom
(Based on Proverbs 31)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Psalm 33:4-9

Psalm 33:4-9

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Psalm 33:1-3

Psalm 33:1-3
I've been memorizing this psalm, so I thought making some graphics for it might help me.
Hope you enjoy it, too!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Important Links and Quotes

I'm sure you are all aware of the devastation from the tornadoes in AL and elsewhere. But perhaps you are not aware of how you can physically help (prayers are always appreciated)! Here is a site for donations to be given. And here is more info about their stories. Please consider their plight--how you would feel in such a situation--and how we as brethren should be helping!

I'm also hoping that this cause will be funded before the deadline runs out in 6 days! It is for WWII veterans. We never know if this will be used for their salvation, or how it will edify others.

And lastly, here are some good quotes from Spurgeon (you can find them in the book Humility and How to Get It)....

'As to our own experience of trial and of delivering mercy, it is sent for our good, and we should endeavour to profit to the utmost by it: but it was never intended that it should end with our private and personal benefit. In the kingdom of God no man liveth unto himself. We are bound to comfort others by the comfort wherewith the Lord hath comforted us. We are under solemn obligation to seek out mourners, and such as are in tried circumstances, that we may communicate to them the cheering testimony which we are able personally to bear to the love and faithfulness of God. Our Lord has handed out to us spiritual riches of joy that we may communicate thereof to others who are in need of consolation through great tribulation.'

'Do not think less of the believer who says, "My experience is only this:--
'I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all,
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.' " '

'I find written in the infallible Book that if I trust the Lord Jesus He will perform His office of Saviour upon me. I have trusted Him, and He has saved me. "Is that all the witness you have?" says one. What more witness do I want? I may be able to mention certain incidents which attend my conversion; but these are not my hope. I place no reliance upon what I have thought, or seen, or felt. If anybody could prove that I never saw, and never felt, and never heard anything of the kind, I should not be troubled about it, for one thing I know--I know that I heard that text, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth"; and I did look, and I was saved. What is more, if I did not then look, and was not then saved, I do not care twopence to contest the point, for I am looking now, and therefore I am saved. That is the comfort: we have not to rely on past faith, but still to go on believing. Looking unto Jesus ever; coming to Him always: that is the true position for peace.'

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Portable Patriot Review


This book took me almost a year to read, but it was a valuable read.

First of all, I have to say that I love the design of the book. It may seem a small thing, but it made the book more readable to me. It's a small hardcover book, with a smooth cover, cloth binding, attractive fonts, rough page edges, and a few illustrations throughout. There are even the signatures of the Declaration of Independence signers in the front and back, which helps bring the people and the times alive.

Secondly, the passages were well chosen with a variety of kinds of documents, including sermons and poems, which I enjoyed. I am not at all a legal mind and don't know much about politics, so some of the documents were hard for me to wade through and understand, but with patience and concentration, I did get something out of most selections.

I was impressed with the far-reaching foresight some of the men of that day had.

I was challenged to learn more of the history of America and to help keep the original goals of the country alive.

Here are a few inspiring and insightful quotes from Noah Webster:

"The consideration, also, that the intended effects of a free government, are mostly defeated by an abuse of its privileges, should make us more solicitous to acquire a deep and correct knowledge of its true principles, and more vigilant in guarding against the impositions of designing men. . . . men who seek offices by fair promises, and flatter only to deceive."

"Let them consider that upon them has devolved the task of defending and improving the rich inheritance, purchased by their fathers. Nor let them view this inheritance of National Freedom and Independence, as a fortune that is to be squandered away, in ease and riot, but as an estate to be preserved only by industry, toil, and vigilance. Let them cast their eyes around upon the aged fathers of the land, whose declining strength calls for their support, and whose venerable years and wisdom demand their deference and respect."

I was given this book for free by booksneeze.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Poll Results

Here are the results from the last poll (what time do you normally go to bed):




8:00-9:00 PM
1 (4%)
9:00-10:00 PM
6 (24%)
10:00-11:00 PM
4 (16%)
11:00 PM-12:00 AM
7 (28%)
12:00-1:00 AM
2 (8%)
1:00-2:00 AM
4 (16%)
2:00-3:00 AM
0 (0%)
3:00-4:00 AM
1 (4%)
I work a night shift and sleep in the day.
0 (0%)



Why did I choose such a question? I guess I was curious to see if I was the only night owl. ;) I'm trying to do better, but it's so hard....


And there's a new poll up!





Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hope in God

by Melissa M.
4-13-11

Balanced honesty and humility,
And encouragement every day--
That is what I want to give
In everything I say.

I may be weak and sinful--
Oh, I know it's true, indeed!--
But the Lord is strong to save,
And give victory the lead.

So don't be downcast, O my soul,
Hope in God, your only hope!
His glory is the object,
His strength your saving rope.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Faith, as from the Canaanite Woman in Matthew 15

'This woman is next of all an example to those who think they have been repulsed in their endeavours after salvation. Have you been praying, and have you not succeeded? Have you sought the Lord, and do you seem to be more unhappy than ever? Have you made attempts at reformation and amendment, and believed that you made them in the divine strength, and have they failed? Yet trust in Him whose blood has not lost its efficacy, whose promise has not lost its truth, and whose arm has not lost its power to save. Cling to the cross, sinner. If the earth sink beneath thee, cling on; if storms should rage, and all the floods be out, and even God Himself seem to be against thee, cling to the cross. There is thy hope. Thou canst not perish there.'
-Humility and How to Get It by Charles Spurgeon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Old (Classic) Poems

In this poem, found in The Treasury of David, v's are written as u's and e's were extremely popular, which makes for an interesting read. :) But it is a great poem, based partially on psalm 36.

Thy mercie Lord doth to the HEAUENS extend,
Thy faithfullnes doth to the CLOUDES assend;
Thy justice stedfast as a MOUNTAINE is,
Thy JUDGMENTS deepe as is the great Abisse;
Thy noble mercies saue all liueinge thinges,
The sonnes of men creepe underneath thy winges:
With thy great plenty they are fedd at will,
And of thy pleasure's streame they drinke their fill;
For euen the well of life remaines with thee,
And in thy glorious light wee light shall see.

-Sir John Davies.

And I love this one, written by Jeroninus Segerson, while he was in prison at Antwerp (he was a Baptist martyr). He wrote it to his wife, Lysken, who also was a prisoner there, 1551. (From The Treasury of David.)

In lonesome cell, guarded and strong I lie,
Bound by Christ's love, his truth to testify,
Though walls be thick, the door no hand unclose,
God is my strength, my solace, and repose.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo Set #2


(This is for a contest.)

Sweet Sojourn - Photo Set


(This was fun, and was made as a possibly contest entry. Polyvore is not without its pitfalls, though, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Post on Reading

If you haven't read this post by Chantel yet, please do! Especially if you are an avid reader.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Verses and Message

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. - Galatians 5:22-24

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. - 1 Peter 1:5-7

~~~~

My brother, Joel, gives a message here that I needed to hear. We can be too accepting or too condemning, and I have fallen on both sides at times, but probably more often the latter (in my heart if not outwardly). Here's his message:

Teaching and Correcting in Love and Humility

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are You a Good Person Poll Results & New Poll

4 people answered "Yes"
4 people answered "In general"
3 people answered "No"
3 people answered "Not very"
No one answered "Other"

Well, if you think you are a good person on your own merit, you are sadly mistaken, as the Bible clearly states there are none good but God, and no one is righteous, not even one. However, this could be a bit of a trick question, as we are considered righteous in Christ by His merit alone.

A new poll is up about sleep habits.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What's a Girl to Read?

This article by Elisabeth Allen is very good...something I wish I could have read when I was younger.

What's a Girl to Read?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Video About Idolitry


This is thought-provoking (though I don't like the picture supposedly portraying Jesus). I have been struggling with these things off and on, and not just TV/movies, but computer and other things, too. There is a way in which we can use these things--the heart is what is important--but sometimes we may have to "turn it off." Or, as Matthew and Mark warn, pluck it out.

'And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into *** fire—where
‘ Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’
-Mark 19:47

Don't Expect Instant Maturity


This blessed me. Please take a listen!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Favorite Books

For ylcf.org's March of Books, here are some more of my favorite tomes. I especially love vintage books and illustrations, and these first two red books are also very special to me because they are from my late father's library (as are many of the theological books in my library--he was a pastor). I have not read these two, yet, but I look forward to doing so (carefully)!

A lovely old book from my dad's library, along with some family lace cuffs and a doily.

A charming illustration (there are nearly a dozen inside).


And the second book is one that has a few familiar hymns (without the music written out) as well as many unfamiliar. We have some old hymnals with music that I think are from my mom or dad's library, which are a lot of fun to play through. Perhaps I'll take photos of those later.


A shelf full to the brim of treasured books--mostly from my father in the front row

This next book actually has my brother, John's, name in the front, but I'm not sure he wants it anymore (I will ask). It is a sweet old book that I read once upon a time and would like to read again.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My First Bible


For the 2011 March of Books we were asked to take photos and tell about our favorite copy of a favorite book.

My favorite and most special book is my Bible, and this one means much, a Precious Moments version...the pages long since coming out. It was the first Bible of my very own, given me by a family friend when I was six years old, shortly before moving from NY to FL. My sister, Grace, made this cover for it, and I loved to trace the pattern of the flowers with my fingers. Inside, I highlighted and underlined verses that I liked or had memorized. I remember often reading over the little story lessons that went with certain gray-shaded verses.

These truly were precious moments, though at the time I was not yet born again and to me it was basically just a pretty and poetic book to look at, despite being taught its eternal worth. I am thankful for the seeds planted there, the passages read and memorized with my family.

Hammock Days

There's nothing else like the sensation of resting off the ground, rocking gently, and looking up at a crisp cerulean sky, web of branches, and sunlight sparkling on leaves. I love to watch the birds--even vultures--circling and flapping, and hear the myriad of voices lifted in song. The warmth hits with intensity, but feels good for the moment.

Cool breezes shiver the limbs above, and occasionally a butterfly will ride hopscotch in the air. These are moments that make a smile stretch my face, and praises to God come more readily. Sickness is fading, and I know there has been a reason for it. Maybe to look at God's creation and truly enjoy health when it comes.


Praises be to God for all His gifts! Sight, sound, feeling, smelling, friendship, memory...and most of all...the gift of His eternal love through Christ Jesus. What mercy to us stingy, selfish beings!

Book Review

The Bible And The Closet Or How We May Read The Scriptures With The Most Spiritual Profit: And Secret Prayer Successfully Managed (1842) by Thomas Watson

This early work is inspiring and informative. The language is beautiful, with many Biblical examples set forth for our edification. This is a book I may want to read several times in years to come. It's available for free online on google books, so I'd recommend checking it out! He addresses questions on prayer near the end, and thoughts on ejaculatory prayer.

I give it four of five stars.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Interview with Chantel

The first interview on my blog is here now, by my online friend, Chantel Brankshire! Her blog, Life, Laughter, and the Little Things is that and more. I especially love her cheerful, thankful outlook and encouraging words. She also writes book reviews, which I enjoy.

So, without further ado, here is my interview with her.


Could you tell me something about your family?
My family is a growing, wonderful group of people who I am so honored and privileged to be a part of. I am the middle child of three, (making me the sandwich filling, so to speak!) and have 9 siblings-in-law total, and two sets of parents, and two nephews and a niece. I also have the joy of having two childhood friends as sister-in-laws. I love each one of my family members, and love being an auntie!

Some of Chantel's family at Thanksgiving time

Could you tell me something about your courtship and/or wedding?
Scott and I lived over 1000 miles apart, and it wasn't always easy to have so much distance between us, yet all the times apart make all the times together so much more beautiful, and while romance is a part of every relationship, we were able to become best friends and then lovers, and that is one of my favorite things- being married to my best friend. We got married in Washington state on March 15, 2009 in a little white church not far from the river. Our wedding was small and simple, but we were so blessed to be surrounded by our families, and even though I was so sick, it is a special day that I will always cherish.


Is there a word of encouragement or advice you could give to single (and/or married) young ladies?
God's way and His time are always perfect. It is hard to wait, and hard to not know, but don't let the waiting and the not knowing- whether you are single, newly wed, or an old married lady- keep you from really living, from finding the gold in every day moments, and from the sweet contentment of knowing that He is good, and that He does all things well. All things.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I've always had a really hard time picking out a favorite hobby, but I love writing, and letters, and books, and gardens and barefoot days and sunshine and raindrops. I like to sew and crochet and cook almost all our meals "from scratch". And every day is busy, but when every day things are hobbies, it makes every day very satisfying.

A moose in her AK garden!

Home canning

What is your favorite Bible verse, or book of the Bible, and why?
For some years, I have treasured a good portion of the 18th Psalm. Often, it feels as if it was written just for me, as I am reminded that "as for God, His way is perfect." and that He can make even my stumbling, halting feet like the feet of a deer, jumping on the mountains. It gives me courage, and hope that no matter what today looks like, He sees what I cannot see. He will make everything perfect in His time.

What are some of your favorite books? (Hard question to limit, I'm sure.)
I grew up listening to and reading Pilgrim's Progress. It is a book I turn back to often in my daily life, and feels like an old and trusted friend and counselor. I also find so much of myself in Much Afraid of Hind's Feet on High Places, and enjoy reading about the March Sisters in Little Women. I love books about Christ's life, and love to read my Bible through slowly and savor it.

What are your guidelines for what you read?
When I was a child, I made the words of Philippians 4:8 my standard by which to measure the books I read. A number of years ago, I also read this quote by Susanna Wesley that I try to also make my motto in living.

“Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” –Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)


What are some of your long-term and everyday goals?
I guess I don't feel like I have a lot of important goals right now. My husband and I would love to one day own a small farm or ranch, but while it is a cherished dream, I couldn't exactly call it a goal, for we are learning to hold onto things with an open hand for God to give and take as He sees best.

I suppose my one big goal would be to be more like Jesus, and to not fight against the things that He brings into my life to change me, even if they are often hard and painful. Every day, I am striving for greater perfection in organization and time management and in keeping the most important things, like my spiritual health, marriage, family and the people God puts into my life, first and not be so easily caught up in other peoples' goals for my life.

Chantel and her husband starting their first garden

Who are the people who most inspire you?
People like Noah and Abraham inspire me with the amazing depth and intensity of their faith in following God no matter if it makes sense or not. Early missionaries like Hudson Taylor and Adoniram Judson, and David Livingstone, and Amy Carmichael inspire me by the way they gave so much to serve Him. Corrie Ten Boom, and others inspire me by their faithfulness and forgiveness. But often, it is the simple, trusting sweetness of people who I meet that inspires my heart every day in so many ways.

If you could travel through time, which three people would you most like to meet?
I think this might be the hardest question to answer. Not including Jesus, who I long to meet more than anyone else, I would love to meet Noah and Paul and Elizabeth from the Bible, and Patrick Henry, Galileo and Abraham Lincoln otherwise.

~~~

Thank you, Chantel, for taking the time to write these excellent answers!

I'm planning to interview several people whose blogs I admire, so stay tuned for more in the coming months, if God wills!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Indoctrination Trailer

“They are stealing our children, but because they are leaving the body of the child with us, we don’t even know it is happening.”
- Erwin Lutzer, IndoctriNation

Colin Gunn and his family travel in a big yellow school bus across America shooting a new documentary film that explores the origins of the American education system, the effects of public schools on the Christian family, and the turning of the hearts of parents to their children through home education. http://indoctrinationmovie.com/


“It isn’t indoctrination. It’s insanity.” - R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Poll Results

How many times have you moved in your life?

Poll results:
Too many to count! :) - 5 votes (41%)
3 - 3 votes (25%)
4 - 2 votes (16%)
1 and 5 - 1 vote each (8%)

A lot of big movers, I see!
A new poll is up. If you have any questions you'd like to see asked, let me know.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thought-Provoking Quote

"If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!" — Keith Green

I saw that on another blog, and I have to stop and think about that one. Is my heart more joyful in the Lord, or in things like movies and blogging and reading novels? That is a tough one to answer...though I think there is a deeper joy for me when I truly meditate on the Lord and His goodness. But I so often seek after what is not bread, thinking it will fill me. Perhaps it fills me, but with the kind of food that gives a pleasant sensation, but a stomach ache or emptiness in the end. Perhaps I need a break from the internet, and a retreat into the beauties of the Lord!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"The Betrayal" Review

 
I just finished The Betrayal, which I quoted from in my last post. Here is my review.

Maybe it wasn't quite as riveting as I was expected, but it certainly had its riveting moments, and it was all-around fascinating, since I had not known much at all about Calvin's life, just his doctrine (which, granted, is a big part of who he was and a big part of his life). The story is written from the view-point of Calvin's enemy, who plans to take his revenge. I'm not sure if he was a real character, but the situation seems quite plausible. I learned quite a bit about Calvin's life and work, and the ending was touching. Would that my faith were as strong and loving as these martyrs of old, but I am thankful for God's grace and even a small measure of faith! I am glad for such a solid, well-researched work and hope to read more like it in the future!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Music to the Glory of God

"Augustine approved of music but added strong caution. 'When it happens that I am more moved by the song than the thing which is sung, I confess that I sin in a manner deserving punishment.' We must beware of these dangers, dear brothers, in our use of music in worship." (The Betrayal: A Novel on John Calvin by Douglas Bond)

This made me say "Wow." I, who like music very much, am sometimes more aware of or moved by the melody and harmony than the words. The two should both be excellent, but the words in worship should be our focus. An elder at church has mentioned that before, but this quote brought it to me in more force.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quotes


From The Treasury of David:

'God deserves blessing with the heart, and extolling with the mouth--good thoughts in the closet, and good words in the world.'

And to go along with it I recently read these verses in the Psalms:

'I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.'
(Psalm 34:1)

'I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among many people.'
(Psalm 35:18)

'And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.'
(Psalm 35:28)

Painting is from poster.com (Promenade by Monet)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soap Giveaway

Natural handmade soap--lovely! There's a giveaway going on right now for three bars of handmade soap from Apple Valley. Click here to see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review of "Unplanned"

Unplanned

This book tells the fascinating, sobering true story of the journey of Abby Johnson. She worked for Planned Parenthood, believing she was helping women and decreasing the amount of abortions. She was a professed Christian. All the while she worked there, her parents, her husband, and even the workers on the opposing side, the Coalition for Life, were praying for her and loving her. She became friends with some of those peaceful pro-life members, and God used them to help change her mind. Can someone be so deceived as to think they are doing God's will in a pro-choice clinic? Can prayers, love, and outreach toward your neighbor--even one you radically disagree with--make a difference? This book, without arguing, testifies to a resounding "Yes." We are all weak and sinful beings, and even as Christians we can be deceived by semantics, by wanting to make a difference, and by not doing the proper research. This book makes me want to be a more loving and wise Christian, one who truly cares about others and doesn't make snap judgments. The women who undergo abortions--they are wrong, but they are desperate. They are hurting, needy souls. The issue is not just a fight for the lives of the unborn--which is crucial--but also for the lives of the parents and of those participating in the abortions. God can save anyone and use anyone. In fact, each of us is capable of extreme evil, for each is born a sinner. Possibly contrary to what Mrs. Johnson thinks, based on the Bible, I do believe in church discipline and that we are to be careful about the company we keep; however, even in that we are to be loving and seek the other person's good.

I am thankful for this book and the thoughts and questions it stirs up. God's hand was shown gloriously through the story of Abby Johnson.

In exchange for my honest review, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.