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Faith
Click on the article title to read the entire article.
This is not a complete listing of these articles.
Many have been consolidated in Let Her Hear: Parables from a Mom.

Marjorie Conrad: A Testimony to God's Trustworthiness
When Marjorie Conrad was asked, “What one thing, in all your years, did you learn about God?”
She said without hesitation, “To Trust Him. To really believe He has me in His Hands.”
Even her favorite verses replays that theme of trust.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It’s not her strength; it’s God’s. Even when she feels inadequate.But, it's hard to let go of worry.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

When she shared her life’s story, that theme of trust is woven through all the happenings of her life to bring her not only into her Savior’s hands but into His heart.

If You Could Live Forever
I’d like to tell you a fairy-tale that only seems like a fairy-tale because of its ending. But the story is true. The ending will change what you think about life.

A man was called by God to find hidden truth and bring it to light. He pursued this passion, instilled by his Creator, to find answers tucked in the Bible’s details, given meaning by his research.
Why I believe...
I was skeptical. Why did I want to live longer? I wasn’t excited to live longer with my increasing aches and pains, and struggles for day-to-day living. But when his wife described a “feeling of wholeness” that comes with the outward signs of youth, and sleeping through the night, “feeling rested” in spirit, mind and body, I was interested. Youth does have that perspective of living life to its fullness, without fear, with great hope and confidence. The attitude she described reminded me of anti-depression medicine without the ill effects or surrealness. I look forward to the aging symptoms leaving my body, not just to look younger, but to feel younger.

Yosemite: A Visit to His Splendor
We recently went to Yosemite.
No one can see the splendor of those mountain cliffs without feeling the spectacular glory that it shows. But in spite of the glory, man still gives the wrong credit. The placards praised the man who discovered the valley, but forgot the Creator Who made it. We see God’s handiwork but don’t acknowledge Him.
We lose its splendor by the jostling crowd, from all over the world, taking selfies in front of cliffs. Our focus is obscured from seeing the mountains’ majesty, but we can't take it all away.

Some of my boys use to pray that they had a fun day.
I would cringe. Not that I didn’t want them to enjoy their day, but there was more to life than pursuing fun.

But they aren’t the only ones who want fun every day. People work to have a fun weekend. To hear the advertisements: “Grab all the gusto.” (Maybe that is dated). They reflect a life seeking pleasure. We are a culture seeking entertainment. We want fun.

Fun is not wrong in itself, but it is the emphasis of that above all else that is concerning. We have become addicted to pursing fun.

Jesus warns us of this. “The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity” Luke 8:14.

Are You Controlled by Technology?
How many times have you almost ran over someone in a parking lot, because they were looking at their phone, not watching where they were going?
Teenagers used to go to their room to shut parents out. Now they can be in the same room, with everyone on their phone.
Even dinner is interrupted by a buzz or a vibration that must be answered.
How many times have you been talking with someone and your phone rang? Do you have to look at it?
Isn’t that why they can leave a message?
My husband asks his teenage patients, “How soon after you text, do you expect an answer?”
Girls will answer, “Immediately, Now.” Guys will answer, "Within a few minutes, maximum 10 minutes."
How can students focus on school, or you (for that matter), if a text shifts their thoughts somewhere else?
Does it matter?

Are You Anxious, Fearful, Angry, Bitter?
Are you trying to do what’s right, but can’t?
Paul struggled with stuff. He wanted to do what is right, but found he didn’t, he couldn’t.
Here's his struggle:

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very things I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evils is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

What does that all mean?

How's Your Reputation?
Do You Value Your Reputation?
Proverbs says, “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1

What do people know you for? A clean house? A good cook? A thrifty shopper? Well-behaved children?
What kind of reputation does God want you to have?

Have you ever read about the Prophet Hosea?
God told him, “Marry a harlot.” (Not a good beginning for a happy marriage.)
How would you have responded?

 

Preparing for Sunday Worship
In the article Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep It Holy I gave reasons for setting a day apart to remember God.
But how do you set a day apart?
It is with GREAT EFFORT.
The key is Preparation.
Prepare the house.

Saturday was our work day. We cleaned the house (bathrooms, bedrooms, jobs that couldn’t get down through the week), then worked in the yard or barn. Recently it has shifted to include whatever the projects the boys have (moving cows to different pastures, helping others).

During baseball season, the house was a wreck as we run to practice and games, hurry through meals eaten at odd times, so Saturdays were lost to cleaning. I’ve learned to look over a lot of dirt and clutter in order to feel rested for Sunday.

Samuel Chadwick: A Life Knowing God
Do you long to know God like Moses? How do you do it?
Samuel Chadwick was born on September 16, 1860 in Burnley, England. He was small and thin, “always looking as if he had not long to live.”
Training
At eight years old, Samuel awoke at 6 AM to work with this father in the cotton mills for a twelve-hour shift, giving his earnings to his mother. He received one shilling for church collections.
At 10, he wished to do everything for Jesus and began praying three times a day.
By 15, he felt called to the ministry. Lacking education didn’t hinder him. After working his twelve-hour shift, he studied from 7 PM to midnight.
When he became a lay evangelist, he walked ten miles each Sunday to preach to his audience of quarrymen and factory workers.
He was appointed at 21 years as lay pastor of a chapel at Stacksteads, Lancashire.
He attended Didsbury College from 1883-1886 to learn Greek to be equipped to minister the Word.

But education didn’t make him know God.

Do You Have Willpower? 
There are many books for beginning readers, but Frog and Toad are my favorite. They give entertainment with a lesson.

Toad bakes cookies and shares them with Frog. They can’t stop eating them.
Frog suggests putting the cookies in a box, but Toad says, “We can open the box.”
Frog suggests tying the box. But Toad says, “We can cut the string.”
Frog suggests putting the cookies high on a shelf. But Toad says, “We can climb the ladder, cut the string and open the box and eat a cookie.”
Finally, Frog gives the cookies to the birds. There’s no going back.
Toad doesn’t want that much willpower. He goes home to make a cake.

Are you Frog or Toad?
Too many times, I’m Toad. I want my cookies and I want to eat them too.

Scars
 In fairy tales, you can tell who are the good people and who are bad. Little Red Ridinghood was nice to visit her grandmother but the wolf was evil to eat her.

But in the real world, it’s hard to know. Sometimes the bad person is in your family. And the child can’t run home to where it’s safe. Instead, the child is made to think he’s evil because he can’t perform to his parent’s unrealistic expectations.

The child grows up and becomes a parent. He lives what he knows. The cycle continues.

Most men who turn to other men for their sexual fulfilment come from homes were the mom is controlling.
Women who choose a female partner come from homes where the father is absent or compliant.
Women who live in abusive relationships come from families where the father is over-bearing with no love.
This doesn’t even mention the families where the parents’ fighting leads to divorce or separation.
Now the innocent child becomes the perpetuator. The cycle continues. He’s responsible for his actions. He can no longer blame what he does now, on what was done to him. He pays for his own actions.
Exodus 20:5 tells of the father’s sins passing to third and fourth generations.
Evil continues.

As parents, we want to create a safe place for our children to flourish, bloom, and grow. Even the “good” parents responds poorly at times and hurt their child.

What Is in Your Hand?
The widow of Zarephath had enough flour and oil to make Elijah one last loaf. ( I Kings 17)
The Samaritan woman had only a vessel of water. (John 4)
The boy had two fish and five loaves. (John 6)
David had a slingshot. (I Samuel 17)
The woman had one pound of perfume, that she broke and washed Jesus’s feet. (John 12)
So many different things…yet they all did the same thing with them.
They gave them to God.
That made all the difference in how the story ended.
Why?

No Fear
What does fear keep you from doing? What would you do if you had no fear?

My son is training to be a nurse. He recently told me he didn’t study for the grade, he studied to help people. Why? Because what he knew could make a difference between a person’s life or death.
My husband removes melonomas (skin cancer) on people every day. Why? Because it kills people. He’d like to prevent people from dying.
We read in the news of a teenager who died. We say, “He died too young.”
People fear dying.

Do You Cling to Jesus?
The sun had peaked over the mountains on this first day of the week. Mary had wept since Friday. She could find no more tears. She stumbled over the garden path to His tomb. Not really His tomb, Joseph of Arimathea had used his own tomb to lay the body of the Master. Mary had followed from a distance on that Friday to where he laid the Master, when the sky had grown black and the heavens had joined her in her sorrow.

Now she woke with one thought: to prepare the Master’s body. She carried spices and hurried to the garden. She came from her suffering. Her past, with its seven demons still sometimes haunted her, driving her to the One Who had healed her. Now, without Him, Who would fill that empty longing of her heart?

 

Where's Your Harvest?
Spring gives promise of new life, of a better way, of new beginnings.
In spring, I start my garden. I have high hopes of fresh tomatoes, peppers, beans feeding my family.
I always buy too many plants.
I envision lush flowers, great harvests, calming landscapes…

But what do I get?

 

Are You Patient?
My husband is patient. He can wait.
I can hardly wait for my water to boil for making tea.
When I ask him if I can do some project (usually after I’ve planned and want it now), he says, “Wait.” It’s the first time he knows there’s a problem and must consider it. But I already know it’s a problem, solved it and must now wait for him. UGH!
Sometimes I think my husband’s timetable is like God’s: non-existent.
I call my husband’s “Mexican Time,” or "Man’ana” (tomorrow).
Does God live inside of time? No.
Does God think yesterday, today, and tomorrow? No. When He says I’m perfected by His Son, He sees me as I will be, not as what I am. That’s a good thing. 
Do you ask for patience?

What's Your Passion?
"The Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died, “Did he have passion?”—Dean Kansky, Serendipity
What is passion?
Merriam Webster’s dictionary (1828) defines passion as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something; a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way.
Having a passion is not always good. A person’s passion may be vengeance or retaliation.
With passion comes perfection, the need, not only to do it well, but to do it perfectly. That internal drive keeps a person focused.
T.S. Elliot said, “We can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.”
To survive, most of us prefer to be practical rather than passionate. Passionate people challenge the normal, push the boundaries, disregard tradition, reshape the world we know. To be passionate is to be different from everyone else.
What if you don’t have one?

Expecting Jesus
Who did the Jews expect Jesus to be?
A man who announced His coming, was not a religious leader, but dressed in camel’s hide eating locust.
The Messiah came.
He was the Long Expected One.
But the people expected someone different.

Being in the World, But Not of It
Being in the World, But Not of It...Lot's Story
Being in the World, But Not of It...Abraham's Story
Being in the World, But Not of It. How Do You Do It?
Are You God's?

If God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other people do things that He will not let you do.

What Has Changed?
I recently was looking through old photo albums. What dreams, predictions, and promises! I laughed at what I thought was so important back then. I knew it all (well, most of it.) How simple of me! What I thought was so important…yet don’t even give a thought to now…Have things changed?

Don’t I still dwell on things that are so temporary…what to make for dinner? Why do I save this?

Is Someone Else's Attitude Stealing Your Joy?
When someone is nasty to you, what do you do? Do you mull over what they said, wishing you had thought of that great come-back? Or at least had the courage to put them in their place?
What about when someone around you is depressed, does that mellow your joy?
Does someone else's bad, gloomy day, make you bad and gloomy?

As women, we are made to respond. Our husband leads, we respond. That’s how we are made.

But what happens when what we are given is a bad attitude?

How Do You Prepare To Worship?
Meditations from Exodus 19-20
If you were to meet God on a mountain top, what would you do to prepare yourself?

How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
Have you ever had someone, perhaps a total stranger, tell you something totally uncalled for?
Recently while visiting, I needed to contact my husband. When I called from the land line of the home we were staying, I got a wrong number. I apologized. I dialed again, this time making sure that the number was my husband’s. The lady answered again. I apologized saying I know that I dialed his number. The third time, I again reached this lady. She answered with an attitude, “Don’t call me again.”
Being equally upset, I responded not to kindly, “Do you think that I want to talk to you? I am trying to reach my husband and don’t understand why you answer his number.”
Stupid things that happen…I remember clearly standing in line at the grocery store with three or four children under seven years of age. A lady asked, “Are these all yours? From the same father?”

Are You Listening?
Sometimes we misunderstand each other. I heard something that wasn’t said. I feel an attitude that wasn’t meant.
Recently I texted my son asking how work was going. (He was helping at church with the two younger boys.) He responded, "Great."
Later when he made a comment about how bad it was with one of the boys, I said, “But you said it was ‘great’.”
He gave me that look of incredulous disbelief. “Mom…it didn’t have an exclamation point.”
“And…? What does that mean?” I ignorantly asked.
“Mom, it was sarcasm. It couldn’t get any worse.”
I laughed. So without a punctuation mark, one word indicates the end of the world? (I better edit my articles better!) “I’m sorry. When I received ‘great’, I stopped worrying about whether the boys were listening, and helping. Instead, I should have been praying harder."

The Earthworm Is My Hero

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

 

 

 

 

 

Special Days
Aug 12th The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Psalm 19:1
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3 ESV
Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars! Psalm 148:3
He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing. Job 26:7

Each star stays in its orbit, continues to shine, and shouts of God’s glory.

July 4th, Freedom
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
I preface this article with a disclaimer. I recognize that Valentine’s Day is probably originated as a pagan holiday of false love, but it is a good reminder to treat your man with respect. I need a nudge periodically to remind myself not to take him for granted, to appreciate what he does and who he is. I use the day to help me to focus.

Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Quotes to remember what we have.

Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men

Veterans Day began to commemorate “the day to end all wars.” When fighting of WW I ended on the 11th month, the 11th day, the 11th hour in 1918, seven months prior to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, American honored their soldiers and rejoiced as they came home.
 
Fall Colors

Why I like fall...colors, crisp leaves, earthy smells, garden's closed, reflections, remembering, colors, sweaters, hearty soups, warming fires, vibrant colors, apple dumplings, pumpkin pastries, crunchy leaves, did I say colors? These are taken from my pinterest board.
 
It was 227 years ago that George Washington issued the country’s initial Thanksgiving Day proclamation. He provides the reasons of this national celebration and requests specific duties of those who request.
 

 

Are You Stressed?
Are the little things overwhelming you?
The little ones are sick, you can’t sleep, your days are just holding babies and wiping noses…wondering if this flu would ever be over. You can’t keep my eyes open, even to change a diaper.

I’ve also been in such a big hurry, doing so many things, that I didn’t know who I was and what I should be really doing. It wasn’t just physical tiredness, I was tired to the bone, emotionally.
That’s when the verses of Matthew bring comfort and perspective…
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and You will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

What Your Reactions Say About You?
How do you respond to our family after a bad day?
Reactions are not pre-meditated, planned, or logical. They’re emotional responses, showing what’s inside, who you really are.
Circumstances do not control your reactions

He Opened Their Minds To Understand
“He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45
Has your mind been opened?
We get stuck in ruts.
We think the same way.
We do the same things.
Routines are good.

Do the Scriptures Burn You?
“Did not our hears burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32
Has the Scriptures burned you?
We speak of the grace and love of God all the time. But His Words burned these disciples, when they needed comfort.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17
God’s breath burns.