"Only one life, 'twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well, That's Different!

If you are a polite Minnesotan of Scandinavian descent you may use the above phrase when you are in a disagreeable situation. This diminishes its meaning when something really IS different.

Today, here in the frozen land of the North, I spotted two bluebirds. Really, that is DIFFERENT! I watch for their return every year, as a sign of Spring's arrival, but it seems to me they haven't just arrived----they must have never left!

It's quiet here today with just two young ones home. That's different too. We all need "down" time after the holiday melee.

Tonight is "Feed My Starving Children" night. Our church has a monthly slot to work filling packets to send to needy people around the world. I strongly recommend this organization. There is everything to like about it: low overhead, high volunteer participation, successful delivery to needy situations worldwide. I want to put in a strong "plug" for it, as it can also use financial support.

I'm plugging two other things this Christmas:

The Star

This is a plausible explanation of what the magi saw at the birth of Christ. Fantastic, convincing, and something to boost your faith.


This little film will touch your heart. It's taking YOUTUBE by storm, and it's a must-see.

Two issues near and dear to my own heart: life and evidence of God's work.

May you have a blessed New Year!

Draw nigh unto God, and He will draw nigh unto you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

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Love Letter

Christmas is a love letter from our Lord. Practically no one can avoid it, so we must all "read" it; the carols, the lights, the smells and tastes.

As humans we have difficulty comprehending the magnitude of the Creator. We struggle with the problems of evil and sin. We hide in a daily agenda, lose ourselves in the mundane of existence.

But then comes this rush of love from heaven. Christmas.

Deep in our hearts we know the truth, but it is humbling to admit it.

What could be more loving than God wooing His creation back to Him, away from everlasting hell?

So read this letter. Respond in love. Find the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus, savior, God become man, in the most precious form known to mankind, an infant.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jansson's Temptation

So many thoughts and expectations this day before Christmas Eve.

In my home growing up, Christmas Eve was the night we opened gifts, gathered with family, and enjoyed a Scandinavian feast. Christmas day was a festive dinner and quieter activity.

We are still privileged to have my wonderful parents and partake of a true Swedish Smorgasbord on Christmas eve after attending a Christmas Eve church service.

May I describe that feast?

Every year there are hundreds of Swedish meatballs, Swedish potato sausage, fruit soup, brown beans, rice pudding (with an almond hidden inside) and Julekage (a Scandinavian Christmas cake/bread).

My mother varies the side dishes, but we usually have a cabbage/apple combination that is delicious with several salads.

And I contribute the "Jansson's Temptation."

Several years back my Swedish friend joined us for Christmas, and prepared this scrumptious concoction for our feast. I've made it for this event ever since!

Basically it is shoestring cut potatoes, onions, whipping cream, and a few anchovies with LOTS of butter.

Terrible for your heart, but truly a dish that "Jansson" could not turn down. It really is good.

After we are all borderline miserable with the stuffing of delicious food we adjourn to the Christmas tree and open gifts. The one who got the almond in the rice pudding opens the first gift.

It's a very nice tradition.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


We got through a day of fun, sights, and window shopping yesterday, all during a dentist appointment and a German final for my son. Poor boy, he had all the agony while the rest of us frolicked!

Macy's annual Christmas show (downtown) was on the agenda--"A Day in the Life of an Elf," as well as a wander through the Mall of America (our second visit this season!).

We had a wonderful time, but I think our impressions of it all cemented the dreariness of materialism on display this time of year.

It all seemed so empty.

When you are reduced to a few Christmas trees and some elves (no creches, and even Santa was behind a wall where we didn't venture!) all you have is a few sugarplums and cupcakes.

Where's the meaning in that?

It seems (for the world) that Christmas this year is nothing but an expectation of an Xbox update.

How lame.

Granted, Christmas for the world is supposedly "tight" this year. Every penny must be put toward that techno upgrade, right? (You can't help be a little cynical, and I apologize.)

I am so thankful that Christmas has deep significance.

All the pagan frills that have been overtaken by Christianity are simply pretty decor to vary the seasonal scheme.

I enjoy the beauty of a lighted tree and candlelight in this darkest of seasons as much as anyone. I love the festivity and the warmth of celebrations. I love the expectation of a sweetly chosen gift from a cherished child or friend. I love the hope of giving "the perfect gift!"

But the true meaning of Christmas, God's gift to us in Christ Jesus, God incarnate, is what gives the whole season purpose and joy.

God, in flesh, a child in a manger, Savior of the World.

May we worship Him in spirit and truth!

God bless you as you continue your preparations for this holy day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Too Much Caffeine

My husband found an old espresso pot at the Goodwill last weekend. He paid $2 for it. Usually our trips to Goodwill are for donation alone, but he found this little gem.

My son spent a few minutes on YouTube watching how to use it, and since has made some wonderful coffee for me to enjoy.

I think it's how I made it through the week, cleaning, baking, preparing for a ladies Bible study that met here this evening.

I tend to use lots of exclamation marks when I'm caffeinated. Life just seems so exciting!

So please pardon the hyper posts this time of year. I blame the caffeine. (And the sugar-high from the the Christmas cookie samples.)

Still lots of preparation to go, all fun, to be sure.

The Bible study was on Isaiah, and I was struck with how unpopular a message he had. Yet much of what he wrote predicts things yet to come. Unpopular things.

How compassionate of God to warn us through Isaiah of what our future holds. Heeding His warning will bring us everlasting peace. Guaranteed.

Now that is something to be excited about, and perhaps we could all try to exhibit a heightened concern for people who really don't know God.

Something to ponder on coffee break tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lucia Buns

I made Lucia buns this morning because I am half Swedish, and it's fun to do it! The cardamom and saffron flavor is so delicious!

I used the bread maker, so I didn't have to work the dough by myself. I coated them with butter, egg and sugar, and popped them in the oven. They are "s" shaped with raisins in each circle.

I have the tree up and decorated, all the boxes back to storage, and the house looking rather presentable.

My husband and Cherie braved the wilds and cut our own tree this year. It is a Frazer fir, and very fresh. It may last through the month! We put (just) white lights on it. Over the years I've collected meaningful ornaments that are white, gold, silver, or glass/clear---so it looks like a tree of snow!

As we hung the ornaments we remarked that everyone's tree is so different, but each person has such a distinctive style! "Each to his own!" Certainly with Christmas trees that is true!

A few years back I got an artificial tree on an after-Christmas 90% off sale...and now we can have a colorful tree downstairs in the family room, too. The kids love that tree! Holiday splurges.

My son made Spritz today, Cherie made gingerbread. Margaret had two finals: psychology and math. She's done after tonight, and I am SO glad to share life with her again for a few weeks! My eldest son starts finals tomorrow. It's a birthday tomorrow----but we won't celebrate until the weekend. College students!

Monday, December 12, 2011

There is No Rose----Stroope

French Final

Margaret is taking her first "final" today. It's in French class. I'm waiting for her call, so I can pick her up and take her for breakfast at McDonalds (a simple pleasure!). The final started at 7:30, which seems early to this night owl family.

I threw out the invitation to hostess a women's gathering on Thursday evening, so until then it will be high speed Christmas decorating and baking! So glad the kitchen is now a lean mean cooking machine! LOVE it!

The kids are still finding their way around it, though :)

Had the joy of a sweet luncheon with my gal cousins on Saturday. I am the youngest of eight girl cousins (I think Louisa May Alcott had something like that!). My eldest cousin is the same age as my dad, so we are a spread-out batch. Only six of us were there Saturday, plus a couple of cousins-in-law, and we had such fun. I think we are all genetically influenced in the humor department. We all laugh at the same things!  We had fun.

Finals and festivities and French. What an interesting December!

Another friend lost his job on Friday. I could only say----"God provides!"

If you have a friend in need right now, help them choose to be faith-full. Help them trust that God is the Provider. That He cares.

And reach out and help however you can!

We've been talking a lot about being salt and light lately, the implications thereof. In this dark world there is a need for Christ's light.

There's the call. Off to breakfast!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hard Again-in the Pain Department

I visited a medical specialist today and got the news that my condition is worsening. I'm grateful it's just a pain issue, not a disease, but it still seems "grayish down" to me.  Living with pain and the constant strain of it is wearing.

This week has been full of a kitchen cleaning project (I emptied ALL the cupboards AND drawers, cleared all the counters, and ruthlessly eliminated the dross of a dozen years living in this house) No wonder I am exhausted and hurting!

I also got to Orchestra Hall to hear my son sing in his college chapel choir. Such a spirit lift!

Christmastime is a dark time of year. I remember coming home from school as a child, to burning candles, holly sprays, pine boughs, and cider with fresh cookies, all beautifully made. These little splurges got us all through the solstice.

Although I believe Christ was born in June, December 25 was when the Magi came to Bethlehem,when the "star" shone over that little hamlet looking southeast from Jerusalem. Christmas helps us celebrate Christ's blessed birth, just as the wise men did. It gives us hope in the hard times.

Can I say one more time (for the zillionth time) how grateful we are for my husband's new job? He loves it, it's perfect. We are feeling a way to breathe deeply again.

This time we breathe out thanks and praise, giving honor to the One who provides so richly.

Bless you this season. Bless you with Christ's love and peace, His wisdom and strength. God bless you with His salvation and joy.

It is the ONLY way to endure!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Clip about Israel

I want to Walk as a Child of the Light

Concordia Choir, Christmas 2010

We were privileged to hear the fantastic Concordia College Choir yesterday up at Moorhead, MN, performing their annual Christmas concert.

Last year we got to hear it too. This piece was so moving to me. I hope you can sing it in your heart today.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Aperture Mittens

My daughter has started blogging again. I am biased, but I love her photography almost as much as reading what she writes.

Since college life takes time, but not inspiration from her, this blog, unlike "Hello World," is less talk and more art.

I hope you enjoy her photos. They always make me smile.

Aperture Mittens

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WORDS - Northern Lights Chorale.m4v

Northern Lights Chorale, Cum Sancto Spiritu


" It is a tremendous privilege to have the entire Bible in our hand, and understand the prophecies from a backward look! From our vantage point, it all fits together."
Gordon Addington, Discovering the Bible

I'm going through this book this year, and I've been so blessed by the insight given! December is devoted to highlighting the prophecies concerning the first and second advents of Jesus.

We start in 1 and 2 Peter, then move to Jude and Revelation. Also the readings are from Daniel and the minor prophets.

As we see time unfold before us we can rejoice that God's plan is sure and true. Studies on prophecy keep our faith fresh, current and exciting! If you haven't started an in-depth study in this area don't wait. The Word of God has so much to direct and guide for each day. Scoffing at Biblical prophecy seems to be the mode of the day, but we believers find it to be enticingly reassuring!

It's December. What a joyful month for believers, celebrating the first Christmas, the time of the Magi bringing gifts to the Christ Child. Advantage--Christian!

King James Version

So you saw the article in the National Geographic about the King James Bible?

After skimming it I was arrested by one sentence fragment: a moral vision that is now unacceptable...

Did you see it?

Since when did Christianity become "unacceptable?"

(The text implicates.)

On the other hand, the beauty of the influence of God's Word just shines through. It can't but help it.

To those who believe it is life. To those who do not it is foolishness.

May God open the eyes of the spiritually blind.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Take Heart

I have overcome the world. Jesus encourages us in difficult days.

I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to face the bleak dark days of December, but I take special joy in celebrating Christ's birth.  I hope you can find time to prepare for Christmas. It marks our passing to remember holy days each year. Traditions are built that will hold memories of scent and sight beyond our own lifetimes. There is a holy permanence in holding the rituals of family customs. I hope you can pass on your own traditions to the generation that follows you.

Most importantly, the faith that gives us hope.

I hope to write more about some of our own family traditions, those of my husband's family and my own, which we have incorporated to pass on to our five children. For now, it's off to a busy day's work!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pud's Pecan Pie

Years ago, when my husband and I lived in Louisiana, whenever we would drive across the miles of southern landscape I'd see pecan tree groves. By the time I got home I was always hungry for pecan pie!

 I met a dear friend there, who was a southern belle gourmet if ever you could ask for one! (Ala Paula Dean)

I got several memorable recipes from her. She always shared!

This is her luscious pecan pie:

1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes.

Enjoy with whipped cream!

James 3: 17-18

But the wisdom that comes from heaven
is first of all pure.

It is also peace loving,
gentle at all times,
and willing to yield to others.

It is full of mercy and good deeds.

It shows no partiality and is always sincere.

And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace
and reap a harvest of goodness.

What a beautiful word for this Thanksgiving holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift or Curse?

Well, I must take it easy for six weeks, so says the doctor.

"Does he know you have five children?" says my dad.

"Thanksgiving and Christmas!" say I.

"The things people do to get out of work!" says my husband (kidding, I hope!)

What will I do with this busy time of year, foot up, monitoring pain? (If it hurts it's in the wrong position, and NOT healing) As you've probably heard, there is little to be done for a broken toe. It's taped up to the next one, and that does help the pain.

Toes are important. They can literally run your life.

I'm considering becoming a dictator.

Or maybe I'll hole up and read.

At any rate, school will go on, dogs will be cared for, people will be fed, bathrooms cleaned, and LAUNDRY will be tackled.

And we'll enjoy a lovely time of year. Maybe I can see this as a gift. It is a choice I have!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Corgi Doings

This is unusual. The weather has been mild and dry, but today we had a good snow. Misty is reluctant to go outside for any reason whatsoever! Dogs tend to have this problem on the first snow, then they love it!

It's a weekend of activity with grandparents visiting, a concert, and extra activity. Unfortunately on Tuesday I broke my little toe, and it HURTS. I thought it would be better by tonight. It's worse. Guess I'll be visiting my favorite doctor soon!

Tomorrow the chorale sings its fall concert finale. I'll post video as it is made available.

Lots of ingredients are filling the kitchen for the fall feast days ahead. Misty posts herself nearby to catch the crumbs.

Feeling an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for God's goodness. I'm still stretching my feelings into relief out of the sense of doom and gloom that characterized our past year. What a lovely feeling.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tonight's Thought

This story is old, but I thought I'd chime in. Creationism versus Evolutionism will never go away. It will always be here, as long as humans live on this earth, (or anywhere else in the the universe.) We have different worlds---one spiritually enlightened, one physically bound. Even God says that the things of the spirit are of the spirit, the flesh of the flesh. The Bible says God holds all men accountable for what they believe. One who does not believe in god will be held accountable for that, and vice-avers. The Bible says that God is evident in Creation. If you believe in God you will be overwhelmed by His creation, the wonder, the design, the infinite science of it. If you don't believe in God you must come up with a viable explanation for why you are here. Most people are born with conscience. It isn't easy to explain, but when you go against it, you start to think of ways to avoid incrimination or judgement. Therein lies the pursuit to eliminate God. God is real to those of the spirit. (Jesus says "be born again---of the spirit) not real at all to those of the psyche and mind. When you stop fighting your own moral battles and allow God to reconcile with you, you will never be more sure of the total picture. Creationists are seekers, just like evolutionists. They come from different hypothesis, and seek to "prove" their own theory. So much fruitless discussion over such different arguments! Both sides consider physical evidence but see such divergent cause! Really it is fascinating.
Evolution was an idea held by Darwin (though not original with him) He wrote "The Origin of the Species." Even Darwin, our main protagonist for evolution, said that if the cell were to be found to be complex, he'd have trouble with his own theory. There you go, Creationists; molecular biology, DNA, cell research--- Utterly complex. Don't fight evolution. Darwin has been disproven! Pursue pure science, not theory. Delight in the design you find. Evolutionists, try to be slightly open-minded to the possibility of a spiritual world that you may not have experienced yet. Look at the structure of the stars photographed by the Hubble and just try to imagine a God so powerful that He made each one. Just try.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Same Story, New Witness

Dying Man's Message

This takes 8 minutes to watch. I find these stories to be more and more common! My wonderful mentor, Hazel, told me her story years ago, and I have been blessed to re-tell it many times. Here is another man's testimony. Heed his warning, if you have never believed and received Jesus as your savior. It's not too late!


We are in the middle of three Northern Lights Chorale concerts. Last Thursday we sang for a club of retired musicians, Saturday we had our joint concert with a fantastic high school choir, and next Sunday is our "fall finale." I am busy with keeping healthy, keeping up the house, (driving cello), school, and practicing extra.

One of my dearest friends is having a difficult week. Her mother-in-law passed on Sunday evening, and she is fighting two exhausting illnesses at once! Pray for her. Oh, and she has 10 children. I'm headed over there today with a little encouragement (I hope).

I'm still wondering what is missing in my own life periodically, and I realize it's that dark cloud that was over my head all last year! How freeing. Still getting used to it!

How I wish that we all could have a lighter outlook. I now know the discouragement of waiting.

Thankful that our hope is in the Lord.

I heard a phrase on Sunday that I posted on facebook, and will post here too. It's clever and though provoking. I'll leave you with this until I can get back to blogging!

Does your god conform to your behavior or does your behavior conform to your god?

Monday, November 7, 2011


I made my husband eggs and toast this morning and off he went to work. :)

It's early still and school is humming along (we already did science, social studies, literature) They are working on math right now, soon to get to spelling, handwriting, and grammar.

I leave shortly for my monthly book club. The book to be discussed is "The Other Wes Moore," by Wes Moore.

It was okay. More depressing than else.

I have been inundated with information over the past week. Aside from the relief we experienced knowing my husband would again be working, family life went on with a buzz.

My youngest son and I attended a 32-hour seminar which teaches basic principles for character building and spiritual growth. I have attended this seminar countless times over my life since I was 12 years old, but every time I go it hits me in a new way, a new emphasis. Certainly it speaks to my current circumstance.

There is a wonderful section on fear and worry. I need to be reminded of how to deal with anxiety constantly. Really. I am a slow learner. I let fear creep into my heart all the time. One of my biggest fears is for my dear friends and family who don't see Christ alone as their hope. They tend to live a life that shows no spiritual fruit, no enduring faith in what all the Bible teaches. They are in bondage to flesh, living without repentance. My heart aches for them! Thankful that I am not judge, but grieving their spiritual loss. But I should be giving my assumed rights up to the Lord, and giving Him my expectations and trust. I should face my worries head on, dealing with them as they enter my head! It is a hard lesson for me. For anyone?

As we all know, our hope is in the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. He cares for us. Even unto death.

Last night we attended a prophecy event. If you like prophecy, which I always have, this would have been fun for you. Nothing new to us Bible readers, but fascinating developments within the church itself: as it says in Jude, Timothy, Revelation, and Jesus' messages in the gospel, there will be WOLVES among the SHEEP in the last days.

Well, who are they? They are certainly there. God's word is true. We've been in the last days since the time of Christ.

Discerning hearts and spirits that have been born again can rely on the Holy Spirit for truth regarding those wolves. Measure the teaching of anyone you hear against Holy Scripture.  Read the Word. It is our hope, our source of spiritual knowledge. It is alive and comforting, helpful and directive.

Remember what Scripture says about the world uniting in the last days? There are those who hunger after power. The spirit of anti-Christ is alive and well throughout the world, wishing to draw economies, religion, and philosophies to a grand oneness.  That is simply straight out of Revelation.

Ask yourself if you have been deceived in to believing unity is what God really wants. It isn't. Christ came to divide. He brings not peace but a sword. He is either the only truth or a massive lie. You cannot sit on the fence.

Christ saves. He gives salvation freely out of His great love for us. Get in the fold!

In the sky the constellation of the Big Dipper has wonderful significance for our last days. It is situated in the sign of Cancer, the crab. Most civilizations have known it as Ursa Major, or the big bear. In ancient zodiacs it was the Sheepfold. It is a beautiful picture of how Christ Jesus is gathering His own "sheep," saving them from the judgement of damnation to come. Every time I look up at the Big Dipper I see a symbol of my hope in Christ.

Jesus saves. He is ready to "take us," as he took Enoch. Blessed hope.

Don't put your trust in any church, creed, or religion. Only in Christ alone. Certainly watch your philosophy, that it is pure from the influence of WOLVES in sheep's clothing.

Learning of different "wolves" at the meeting last night, of their philosophies which are even only slightly askew (and therefore more deceptive) gives me hope that we will see Christ soon.

If you want more information email me. Fascinating stuff!  I am overflowing!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Margaret's Touch

Today "Corgi Hollows" takes on a new look and sound. I hope it doesn't irritate, but rather inspire!  Hope you like it.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I've had a long lesson in grace this week.


[greys] Example Sentences Origin


[greys] Show IPA noun, verb, graced, grac·ing.
elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.
a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. animosity, enmity, disfavor.
mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve. harshness.
verb (used with object)
to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house. embellish, beautify, deck, decorate, ornament; enhance, honor. disfigure, desecrate, demean.
15.to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence. glorify, elevate, exalt. disrespect, dishonor.

The book definition is incomplete. I have seen an overwhelming sense of God's presence and love, and I feel this is His grace.
No, it's not relief, which I also feel, but a sense of His care for me, for my family, for the ones that love Him.
We all knew that God provides in His time. He does. He did.

Many things to celebrate this week:  wedding anniversaries, birthdays, a new job, healthy bodies, connections with the people who matter most to us.

My third son has been gifted an opportunity to play a Bach fugue on a pipe organ tomorrow. He is ecstatic. I hope the experience doesn't disappoint! Expectations are very high.

I am aware that God has mercy, grace, and love for us. Expectations of His power never disappoint.

I hope this encourages you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Reformation Day, and the Year of Horror is OVER!

My husband got a job offer today, and we are thankful to the LORD GOD!

Things will never be as you think they should, but we don't see the big picture! We are thrilled with the prospect for him. Glad that our painful year seems to be over.

Grateful hearts.

And yes, the job is here in the Minneapolis area!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last-Day Christians


This is a news letter primarily about money trends, but I think it has some interesting insight on Biblical interpretation. For those of us who are intrigued by numbers the article on Jude is indeed worth a look.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marge's Elixir

I grew up knowing a woman who was a friend of my mother, and who was very knowledgeable about nutrition. Marge had said that if she could raise her children again she would have fed them mashed potatoes more often than she did. Mashed potatoes are full of "staying" nutrition and kids love them. I think of her advice as I raise my own kids.

In light of our current low immune system status my mom recommended Marge's Elixir. This is an immune system BOOST! I made it on Sunday and force-fed it to the sick among us.

3 Carrots
1 Apple
1 Orange
1/2 Beet


I had some Aloe Vera juice that needed to be used up, so I threw that in too. It affected the taste, but I hope it helped the healing effect. I also had only canned beets, so I used those. Don't let your kids see you add the beet. :) I tell them that most of the sugar they eat is from BEETS but it doesn't seem to make them want to eat them any more.

I learned to eat beets at the Lincoln Del. This Deli had a bowl of the most delicious pickled beets on the table when you sat down! (I think the Health Department must have shut them down eventually. Boy do I miss that restaurant! The French Apple Cake was .....!) Anyway. I like beets. My kids don't.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Today I am a troll. It's in my Norwegian blood, and I can't help it at times. My children have learned to fear me when I announce that I'm having a troll moment. It comes in handy sometimes.

Today my eldest son drove back to college. I always feel his loss, even when it has been often felt. He visited the doctor yesterday with a possible re-lapse of  Mononucleosis from last winter. :(

Margaret is down with acute bronchitis. Chest x-rays today will reveal if it is even pneumonia. She is appropriately medicated, but very tired.

I am experiencing the first cold of the season, too. It curbs my style (except as a troll). Just when we think we have a healthy start to winter with exercise and great autumn nutrition (squash and apples!) we fall under the curse of the chill and fever.

Even the dogs had a spat with each other. Afterward we were all filled with adrenaline and everyone made up with doggy kisses, but it wasn't nice! I think what caused it was the re-arranged furniture, maybe?

I am thrilled that my husband has been chosen as a "finalist" for one of the job opportunities he interviewed for. We must wait the weeks while "they" make a final decision, AND PRAY!

Meanwhile we work out budget difficulties and putter on fall chores, rearrange the furniture(!) and ferry the young ones about. Thankful that the furnace is comfortably sending out pipe sounds and warmth. It's gray and windy outside with frosty nights and cold rain.

My favorite pie apples, "Haralson," are on a bargain right now and I anticipate making PIE tomorrow. That will not feed the troll. Exactly opposite.

You are invited for pie and ice cream, if you dare!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Freaky Fridays

Before the job search, Fridays were always the anticipated end of the work week! A lovely long Saturday and Sunday to get out of routine stretched enticingly before us!

If you have applied for or interviewed for a job opportunity, be aware that the calls of rejection usually happen on a Friday. Before 5:00pm. Not something to look forward to.

So we pray that the phone doesn't ring on Friday! Just a little view into what it is like to be UNEMPLOYED.

So may the phone NOT ring today...(Except if it's one of you readers, that is A-Okay!)

We are going to be raking all those uncolorful leaves that carpet the ground. Frost last night, and more than half the leaves are off the trees. Time to do something about it. Because of the drought they fell from stressed limbs still GREEN! No brilliant yellow and oranges in our yard this year.

A Little Evidence to Support my Music Theory

This New York Magazine article rather gives credence to my point that music affects us in REAL ways.

Drums are sensual and associated with pagan worship. Always. They accompany marching and are associated with war. They impel the body to movement. They affect the heart's rhythm and help us dance.

Rhythm  shares equal status with harmony and melody to produce music.

Balance is key to good music for the mind.

Music is one of God's most precious creations, and we humans, made in His image, have the privilege of producing it better than any other God-made creature.

It is the language of worship. It is of the spirit, and intensely spiritual. It moves the soul.

A study done at Iowa State University proved that music with heavy rhythm was detrimental to plant growth. Classical music made the plants thrive, rock music made them wilt. Fascinating.

I like all kinds of music. I really do. I sing in a choir that sings many styles. I hold to my theory that unbalance can affect anyone in very specific ways.

If you have a problem with alcohol, narcotics, lust, and hatred, you might not want to feed your spirit any heavy drum music. You are feeding your problems. Try it. If you dare.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"So every time Albert Molher writes a blog entry insisting the Earth is ten thousand years old, Adam and Eve were real people, and evolution is false. He’s fighting the last battle and asking people to enter the walled garden with him. Meanwhile people outside the garden see the new battle brewing and aren’t listening to him."   MH-scientismist, comment on Rod Dreher's blog

An Article to Consider

This is an article written in response to a NYT article on stupid fundamentalists. It's worthwhile reading, if you have the time, but I think the comment written on a related article (and quoted above) sums up quite a bit, from a different perspective.

In the last days there will be apostasy. People who see Scripture as suggested material to follow will be easily led down a path to destruction (as Scripture suggests!)

I am with Albert Mohler on this one. I much prefer to be in the safe house than outside. I may not make issue with most theological disunity, but I testify that my spirit resonates with the truth of Scripture, and how it beautifully reflects the world we live in, scientifically and metaphorically.

Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come! Night shall be no more. Light shall conquer darkness, and we shall see Him as He is.

When I think of discernment and spiritual growth I think of those who tell of times in their lives spent alone with the Lord, perhaps forced like Brother Yun, or willingly like Sadhu Sundar Singh, I see a pattern of shock they experience at the moral slide of culture while they were "away."

We must keep current with our world. How else can we tell the Good News? But watch, lest you become comfortable with deception. Don't slide. Don't scoff at saints of old. Learn of them and from them.

Jesus died for sinners. Jesus saves. Jesus loves me and you. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." It really is simple. Let the Lord open your heart to Truth.

You will never be the same, and no, the world is NOT going to understand. The things of the spirit are not of the flesh. Come to Jesus quickly! Times are showing that things are coming to conclusion.

As old friends of the faith pass away, the burden falls on another generation to preach spiritual truth to the lost. Never let an opportunity slide, as you will have to give an account for it. (Romans 14:12)

And be encouraged! When people call you "dumb" or  "stupid," and they are frustrated and annoyed by you, take heart. You are experiencing exactly what Christ Himself did, 2,000 years ago.

But make sure you really aren't just annoying! :) Make sure you are loving and serving those you offend! (And that IS hard.)

Food for thought.

I have been thinking more about theology than bees and corgis lately, but during this time of intense waiting for corporations to decide if my brilliant husband actually is worth the gamble in this horrid economy under Obama, I think. I swim at the YMCA almost every day and I think while I'm doing laps. I think as I drive my son's cello down to the U, or ferry my other charges to and fro. Low times are perfect for thinking.

Sturm and drang and angst are all conducive to the artist. If you didn't have conflict to work out life would be vanilla. Granted, I could use a little vanilla right now, after a year of exotic flavors of waiting and pondering.  I think I'm at the point where I want to reflect on the PAST experience of difficulty, not anticipate it daily.  But yes, it is good for me. I am becoming a larger person (though I weigh the same, stepped on the scale tonight!) and that is generally positive.

And I write this hoping that someone else will find hope here, in a hopeless world. People like me actually do tell a life story of hope.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hold Onto Your Hats!

God is working big things right now, for sure in the big world, but also in our little one.

As you know, my husband has been searching (high and low) for work for over one year now. It is interesting to see things in progress as of this past week.

Somehow, in the interest of avoiding disclosure of sensitive information regarding his job search, I can express that things are happening. I am impatient, and I tend to think we are PAST the comfortable time of job loss (is there such a thing?) and it IS getting alarming. I have to sit back and rely on the peace that passes all understanding moment by moment.

And God gets the thanks of my heart in being good to us.

A third interview over the past 5 days. Hmmmm. We can hope. PRAY WITH US! Thank you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are We Alone?

A few weeks back our broker at Primerica gave a little talk that I've been mulling over ever since. He talked about his life and the hard knocks he'd been through, most recently his wife's bout with cancer.

I heard him state emphatically that no one really cares about you, therefore you need to look out for yourself! When cancer hit his wife, people retreated. He heard them say that they were sorry, that they'd be there for him, that they would...

And then they all left. Some even blamed him for "dropping the ball."

I was so sad for him. The point of his talk was to show that he had to find his own way out of the mess, stick up for himself, and-----who cares about the other guy?!

In our own valley of unemployment I have NEVER felt alone. I have felt the strength of prayer. I am aware of the ---hundreds?---of prayers that are said for our family every day. I sense God's presence in the dark moments, the quiet voice repeating Scripture to my spirit, reassuring me that He is there, He hasn't left me. I am buoyed up when someone says that they are praying for us! I know that God uses His people to BE THERE!

We are never alone.

And I am so grateful for your prayers. Our valley still winds before us, but I KNOW that the Pass over the edge exists. Perseverance, trust, hope, and discernment are my companions too.

On the side, I enjoy learning financial services, and realize what a tremendous benefit they can have for people, but I'm clear that the people I help and work with all have a greater need for God to be present in their lives. Age old story!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It Rains and Pours!

But pray harder than ever, please! As of yesterday there were 3 calls to my husband for second interviews, plus a call from a local building supply for a part time shift opening!

Surely something could happen with any of these four possibilities, but we are only "in the running" so to speak until an offer is made.

Pray for the people involved with considering him.

I have had great peace, but my health seems to be suffering some.

Incidentally, the rain really is coming down outside right now, and that is welcome hydration for the grass, most of which had died in the month-long drought.

Shocking news yesterday: an old friend (I grew up knowing him from church) drove around the closed train crossing gates and was killed by a train. It is jarring to hear such news, and troubling. Grief in my old community.

Since we are all really busy with school I have had little time to write here, but I'd love to talk about the quick trip to Chicago for a friend's wedding (lovely), and the last weekend's prophecy conference, Chinese friends getting married, a brief visit from my eldest from college, and my mom's frail health.

Lots to think about!

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

God is So Good

I was listing blessings today, and I find that I am overwhelmed.

The old hymn, "Count Your Blessings," is a truth sayer. When you take the time to think of every blessing, little or big, you are bound to be surprised at the huge number of things GOOD in your life. God gets the credit, and you are happily joyful at His provision.

There was an interview for a job today, for my husband. It went well, but that is no promise of something materializing in the form of an offer, as we all know by now!

So thankful that the interviewing corporation has little to do with the decision to hire him. Really. I'm thankful that my Loving Father in Heaven makes that choice. In the meantime I am resting. I am thankful for each lovely day.

The sun's corona this evening was absolutely stunning, and that was listed as one of the numerous blessings! Why not?

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

I have that plaque hanging on my wall, and it has been such a comfort to me during hard times. Joy comes in the morning.

Another dear old saint who I counted a huge influence on my life passed into heaven this morning. She is rejoicing. I chatted with her a few weeks ago, such a sharp lady, and so in tune with everything! Praise the Lord she is with Him.

Thankful tonight. So many people praying for us, and I am SO grateful! God bless all of you !!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just in Case You Missed This-----


Read this post, and watch the film!

Theological Red Shift

Last night I attended a "fellowship group" where the topic returned to Calvinism for the umpteenth time. Amazingly I kept my mouth shut, (which is no small feat) but I will spout a bit here.

Calvinism is the red shift distortion of true faith into Rationalism.

For us the mind-bending facets of Scripture are just too much. People meet Christ, study the Word and begin to grasp the character of God. The First Love of faith is so heady and wonderful, but Scripture indicates that many lose it, and chides us for it! It is easier to slip back to the limits of human rationale, and use the "if_____then_____" logical form to define our Creator.

The problem is that He really isn't definable in human terms!

God lets us know enough of His character in Scripture to know Him. He stretches us with things we can't understand (believe me, minds greater than ours couldn't) and forces us to accept Who He is-----Someone lovingly willing that no one should perish but graciously electing souls to follow Him. And you won't be able to explain this, but I challenge you to step out of your definitive "ISMS" to know God, personally, undefined.

Sadly, theological "isms" give birth to unbalanced worldviews, and that is the tragedy of tipping the scales into human terms.

Thank the Lord, the Creator of the Universe, the Holy Triune God, that He is so beyond our comprehension! We are mercifully allowed to understand His love for us, to see and believe His salvation, and to serve Him out of grateful love. He touches us and cares for us, his children,  in sweetest loving sacrifice.

Here is a link that is helpful in understanding this issue
And another.

Be careful not to idolize the "sovereignty" of God over God Himself. 

Friday, September 30, 2011


Do you know the character Shasta, in the Chronicles of Narnia? He is the main person in "The Horse and His Boy." For whatever reason this book was always my favorite in the Chronicles. Romance? Talking horses? A black cat?

The other night I was awake, (probably around 3 am) and ruminating about our lives, our current situation of Not Knowing, of plans to be made for cutting back. I tend to fight fear during these mid-darkness thinking sessions, even though I know better.

In my wakefulness my black cat landed softly on the bed, padded his way up to my back and curled up against me.

And I was reminded of Shasta.

In Shasta's night of terror, among the tombs outside Tashban, a black cat came to him. It curled up against his back and its warmth spread to his whole body. It purred and communed with him, offering comfort only a beast can give, but something more. Reassurance.

Those who have read the books know Who that cat was, the God of Narnia in a lowly disguise. Aslan, the great Lion, had come to comfort Shasta in a way that reassured him instead of terrifying him!

And I am reassured that God uses old favorite tales to remind me that He has everything worked out just fine.

elise: My grandma Nita just sent this photo of my aunt, ...

My grandma Nita just sent this photo of my aunt, ...
My grandma Nita just sent this photo of my aunt, uncle, brother, and me circa 1986. Really makes me smile.

Felt I had to share this blog post from my niece. I remember the fun days when my brother (the motorcycle driver) and his new bride lived in an apartment in our family home. My mom is a great photographer---(her genes have come through on at least a few of her grandchildren!) and she routinely brings out old photos to show us. It does make you smile!

Monday, September 26, 2011

How are We Feeling?

What a crazy time. My mother is recovering from her close call last week. I am very thankful that the procedure (ablation) had successful results in correcting her fibrillation.

I am looking upwards. It seems that the Lord has many, many people praying for us, and I can sense the Presence of His Spirit in comforting and helping us to see beyond our circumstances and trusting God to work a mighty thing.

Don't ask me what it is! I can't wait to find out either.

I can only report that God is good. We hear His voice in so many ways: Scripture, teaching, a simple phrase brought to mind.

"Fear not, for I am with you!"

I see Him working in the lives of those around me and I simply rejoice. It befits me to do so, to glory in God, to be reminded that God gets the glory!

God bless you, abundantly!

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

Digital Dead Sea Scrolls

This is exciting to see such a complete version online!

Hillsong - Days of Elijah (lyrics)

These are the days of Elijah!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biblical Impications of a Palestinian State


Hard Day

My mother, who is really a health nut, ended up in the ICU today. She was to have a "routine" procedure on her heart, but due to internal bleeding things didn't work out as planned.

Spending time at the hospital will be on the list tomorrow. Hope she can get well QUICK!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Time to...

Ecclesiastes 3 has 14 "times to" listed. It says we need to give time to balances in our lives.

It even mentions "a time to sew," and that is what has been on my list of things to do for awhile. I have about 4 projects waiting for completion on my sewing table.

Sun shining today, school started, plans for supper done. Guess it's time for sewing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Stiff Upper Lip

When you have read "These Happy Golden Years," by Laura Ingalls Wilder *like* fifty times you sometimes think of things in her terminology.

While teaching a small school under difficult circumstances Pa told Laura to keep a stiff upper lip. What in the world does that mean?

Well, to me it means to set in firmly on what you already know, to hold fast to the solid things of your life, even if they are abstract.

These last weeks haven't been easy for this family. Crazy schedules and unfinished dreams, health issues and an over-arching sense of doom.

I had a nice chat with a dear friend today, and we talked about the two realities of our lives. Read the headlines and your datebook and you may get pretty blue.  That certainly is one reality.

There is then the one who trusts that an awesome God cares about even the littlest of matters. Maybe 10 or 100 thousand people are filing for unemployment each month. God knows each story. God is waiting for each one to call upon Him to provide. Will He? You know the answer!

Though 10,000 fall to my right and 10,000 fall to my left the Lord will sustain ME. That is the reality that sustains me in the gloom of this dark world.

Live in trust. Live in peaceful reality that God sustains and provides. This is the better thing.

And keep a stiff upper lip.

Keep A Stiff Upper Lip.

If hard luck your spirit is riling,
Just face the old world all a-smiling
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If your pocket is empty don't blow it,
If your feelings are wounded don't show, it.
If gloomy let nobody know it--
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If tears come pull out your bandanna,
As you dry them just sing a hosanna
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
It your sky is all clouded with sorrow,
There comes soon a brighter tomorrow,
Just lend all your troubles, don't borrow
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If your clothing is tattered and torn,
'Tis a worse thing to look all forlorn
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
Let your spirits be happy and free,
Then the people who meet you won't see.
The old hat or the patch on your knee
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If at a swift gait you've been running
To escape from a fellow that's dunning.
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
Let me tell you 'tis better to chase him,
And coming up boldly to face him,
Than cross o'er the street and thus pass hin
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If you have been pacing the floor
O'er your debts till your feet are all
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
Lot the other man pace it awhile,
Until he is ready to smile,
And give you another fair trial
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
It times become harder and harder,
And there's only a crust in the larder
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
Tho the sheriff grabs hold of your collar,
And threatens to take your last dollar.
Don't whine like a baby and "holler"--
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
If you're honest and faithful and true,
Your friends will be faithful to you--
        Keep a stiff upper lip.
Don't cheat, don't be tricky, don't lie,
And never, no, never say die,
Keep heaven and hope in your eye--
        Keep a stiff upper lip.

__J. M. Cavaness.
Jayhawker Juleps
J. M. Cavaness
(Chanute: Tribune Pub. Co. 1913)

[24/25] bead weaving.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Word from David Brog

The Death of Great Men

I find the analysis here riveting. I wonder what will transpire in the Middle East, and I can only guess that things will happen fast.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello World

Margaret is swamped with her college load, so I am announcing that her blogging is going to suffer for the next undetermined time frame! Really, she has an excuse, but I hate to see her camera sitting idle for TWO DAYS at a time! I have the joy of seeing her unedited, un-posted photos on my computer, and I freely help myself to them whenever I need an illustration!

Son number two is also swamped. He gets up at 4:30 am to drive to the Park and Ride to meet the first bus headed downtown, boarding at 5:00am. ROTC physical training starts at 6:00am, classes throughout the day. On Mondays and Wednesdays he has orchestra in the evening: then the hour bus ride home to his car, then finally home to get sleep before the daily grind begins again. We have been helping with some of the transportation, at least for his cello, which cannot be lugged around school all day. It has added up to a blast-off with school this year!

I did spend a peaceful evening on the Bohemian River Flats during his orchestra period tonight. The sun was setting through a smoky haze, (the Boundary Waters are burning tonight) and the University looked rosy and tranquil. The Mississippi was calm and many water craft were skimming by. I have no complaints!

On nights like this I hate to think of leaving Minnesota, but not my will...

The firm in Iowa informed my husband that no new plans for employment would be implemented until after next year's election.

Politics do affect us.

There was a "bite" from California today for him. His resume was duly sent off. Now the wait begins.

I read "When Life Comes Undone," by T.J. Addington the other evening. Click on it on the Books page if you want the information. I find more peace and hope reading people's hardship stories, hearing testimonies of God's work in lives, than ever before. God is faithful. Life doesn't last forever (thankfully!) and we have so much to look forward to, knowing Christ.

I cannot stress enough the need to get right with God, to repent, to trust Him for every thing! Rain falls on the righteous and the evil. We thank God for all He does, always, knowing His ways are not our ways. His ways are higher. The believer has a starkly different perspective on life.

And we get through each day. One day at a time. My children are learning this day by day. It's a very good lesson to add to their college load!

The weather is about to change. Cold coming! What a metaphor for our lives.

Monday, September 5, 2011


In the midst of a celebration it is unnerving to feel vulnerable, but I can't better describe the feeling of seeing a beloved first born son take an oath to serve his country in front of a thousand people at a football game during halftime.

Yes, he was awarded a four-year scholarship to a very nice private college. He has his next several years sort of locked in. Cause for celebration, surely, but also a little melancholy.

Tomorrow my next son starts his classes at the University. It will be an early day for him, and long. How different his life will be for now!

Margaret has survived her first full week of college. It had its moments of despair, but she seems to be ready to tackle this week.

I am ready for a productive school week as well, with some time logged in at Primerica and other fruitful activity.

Perhaps it has been said, but we are truly in a time of economic depression, and it affects ALL of us. Some of us feel the pain more acutely than others. Depressions have ends, but often not soon enough for significant damage to have its effect.

We are all vulnerable right now, and our world should be colored by that dusky presence of our economic woes.

When a brilliant mathematician, electrical engineer, English literature major, peer-reviewed writer, loyal husband and father cannot land decent employment WE ARE IN AN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION.

And we are all vulnerable. Thank the Lord that He is the provider, and not the Economy!

And I am remembering to be thankful in all things. 

Check out recommended books. I'm adding some.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Long Weekend

It's September. It's the month I used to dread as a child, (because of school starting) and long for as an adult---the commencement of my favorite season.

With life changes I may be not as felicitous to see it come to an end. Enough on that subject! We here at Corgi Hollows plan a visit from friends, a trip up to see our eldest son at college, church, and a quiet Labor Day.

The rest of our state will be back in class on Tuesday, and we will be back in our own groove...for now.

I'm still cooking up the next "chapter" of  the life story that left off with meeting my husband! Oh the joys of being an Army Wife!

Soon, perhaps.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


What can I say? Our bodies are worn out and our spirits are lagging, but we serve a mighty God, and He brought the rest I needed.

It was a very hectic two weeks with driving the hour round trip to the U every morning and evening, cooking nourishing meals, and washing dishes (mounds of dishes). I wasn't sleeping much with all the activity, and fall ragweed came into full bloom. For me it means misery! I suffer from seasonal hay fever.

Anyway, I ended up in bed yesterday to sleep off the effects of our frenzy, and I feel like I can face life again today, and catch up with the laundry.

It is beautiful outside. The light is golden, and the trees are ripening into September hues. Our little apple trees are heavy with fruit, and it is good tasting! Perhaps I can fix some apple butter.

Honey harvest must happen here before too long. The bees in the wall of the chapel up at the White Earth Indian Reservation yielded about 3 quarts of useable honey. It needs another straining before we can eat it.  It tastes good! We can't wait to try our own hives' product. I hope my husband can fit harvesting it into all that is happening here.

Another interview tomorrow. This one is for a position in Billings, MT. I can only wonder.

Being a person of faith colors my world. (See the video of Michelle Bachmann below, faith colors her world too). I KNOW that God provides. I am encouraged by people with like understanding and world view, because God has already provided so richly for all of us, and their stories just validate my own story.

It is a blessing to know that we can rest in Him. Our frustrations with not having a predictable day to day must be surrendered to Him constantly! We learn to live in the moment, each day looking up for God's provision.

God gave me two hours to make conversation with a very broken man the other night. I "witnessed" to him. I shared what God is doing in my life, what God is teaching me. I listened to him pour out his heart, his feelings of failure and loss. He is old now, and looking back on a bleak existence, but there is still time for him to catch the fire of God's love too.

It has been a blessing to be part of our Chinese students' lives this past week too, tiring as it was! I can only pray that they will find the love of Christ irresistible and they will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. 

Each day has a purpose. Each day is a gift from God.
We are approaching the "11th hour," when we anticipate God's hand clearly providing. He will get all the glory, because what happens will be clearly HIS work. No one else will be even slightly able to claim any part of that glory. We serve a jealous God, and He will be praised! His glory is what "it" is all about, and our day-to-day lives are only a mask for His generous power, holding our world in place.

In Him we live and move and have our being.

The Lady has Courage!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Francis Schaeffer's shame... - BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too...

Francis Schaeffer's shame... - BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too...

This blog post by Joseph Bayly's son is quite interesting. Joe Bayly was one time editor of Eternity magazine, and wrote many evangelical works. He was the featured speaker at IVCF's Bear Trap Ranch family camp when I was a child. I've been following this blog since I discovered it several years ago.

I have read many of Francis Schaeffer's works, and I have always been an admirer of his succinct thinking, Biblical world-view, and helpful exegesis. I find it absolutely tragic that his son can be such a scoffer of those with a Biblical world-view.

Lately there has been much scrutiny on Francis Schaeffer since Michelle Bachmann has listed him as an influence on her life.

Another link about Franky Schaeffer:

 (Dec. 26, 2012)

Hatred comes in many forms! Sometimes people are so blind they can't even see their own, but project it on unlikely sources.  Fascinating.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I've had a few conversations about getting old, how the aches and pains of aging help us to long for our new home in heaven. Today I'm feeling it: the longing, I mean.
I've been in the car shuttling students hither and yon for 3 days now, and the constant being on the go is wearing me down!
We have two Chinese students living with us right now, and a young man who grew up in the Philippines.
My husband just got back from a trip to the north to remove bees from a wall of a church building on an Indian reservation. Success in removing the comb, but not sure if all the bees were outed. He hopes so. Honey from a naturally formed comb (not supers) is more difficult to extract, so there will be little "profit" from the operation, other than saving the building. (Which is significant)
My eldest is back at school. He's happy. Margaret is wading into her new life as a college student, and I think she's going to swim. It's been a couple of days of adjustment for her. The demands of the new regiment are dawning on her gradually. Spirits are still high, though!
My youngest son has some sort of malady in his ear. He is seeing the doctor today. He came home from Boy Scout Camp with it. Whatever IT is! We'll find out.
School started here at home, sort of. New math books were brought out, work was begun.
I've been cooking, doing dishes, and trying to get laundry done, besides driving all over the Metro area!
Yesterday was the earthquake on the east coast. Surely they are all dealing with that event out there.  (My issues pale in comparison!)
My Corgi and Blackberry are feeling a little neglected, but at least they have many more people to interest them. I think one of the students is a little wary of dogs.
Hoping my pain subsides. I have too much to do to lay around and nurse it! (Like that ever happens!)
A freak wind/thunderstorm brought yard clean up to do too. Maybe I can get my crew of young men to help out?
Trusting in my Lord to heal and help. I have a grateful heart, despite the pain.

Friday, August 19, 2011

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Well, it's here. Time to say good-bye to my eldest for the school year. Margaret starts her college classes Monday too, and then it will be just days for my second son to have before his school starts.
Today my oldest boys are suffering. My eldest had 2 wisdom teeth pulled, my other son 4! They are in a lot of pain right now, but we hope for a relatively quick recovery. We were assured that the black and blue might appear by Sunday, but it's uphill from there.
Girls week is over, and I cleaned as much as I could. Not enough! I guess I'll be up early tomorrow morning with the final touches.
We drained the pool today because the air feels cool, and I wonder if we'll be back to any hot days this season. The State Fair starts next week, and that is always a harbinger of fall for me.

Have you been reading the newspaper? I looked at TIME magazine in the surgeon's office today and felt rather sick. I read "The Economist" earlier this week and couldn't help feeling some dread. Today the markets closed low, and Europe is teetering on financial collapse. The Drudge report had a horrible photo of thousands of unemployed people lined up for a job fair. Depression? We were all perturbed by a local report about Siemens hiring several thousand: it's hard to believe. My husband had two interviews with them, and he is highly qualified----even understands German!---but they can be as choosey as the next company, and he was NOT chosen. His math and engineering skills are top notch, so it appears they want top-notch, but rather young? Don't know, but I DO know something.

God provides. The blessings in our lives aren't always good days, but the worst, and hearing His voice in my spirit is matchless. His voice? His promises: I will never leave you, nor forsake you. Fear not! Don't I care for you much more than these? Look how I clothe the lilies of the field? Aren't you worth much more?

What do I mean about the worst being a blessing? It is when we cling to our heavenly Father tighter. The blessing comes from God alone. It is His presence in our sordid earthbound lives. Blessings are often material, but the spiritual ones happen more often when the tangible ones are not on the horizon.

No, I may not be much to look at on the outside, but inside is the voice of the heavens: God's eternal promises are there for me, straight out of Scripture.

I was reading "Islam for Idiots" last night before bed (and I was very tired from cleaning and the activities of the day) Still, I have to say that I learned so much more from  that book! I've read so many different books on Islam, and parts of the Koran, (I just can't get into it!) But this book must have been some theological interpretation of Islam, because some of the understanding was so completely different from what I've read before. Also, the complete lack of understanding of Christianity impressed me! Wow. If they think we believe that they are sorely mistaken!

And now the dilemma: when you are limited in your ability to educate away from false teaching, how does one go about it? The question of the ages.

Scripture itself has so much power, that it can transform a life just by its reading. The Holy Spirit gives the new life to the believer, and voila', the change is evident. One must believe! One does believe.

Let me encourage you believers. TELL the TRUTH of God's Word, every time you can. It's power is enough.

And about the mayhem? Look up. Your redemption draws nigh!
God bless you.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Blackberry, coming out of the field.
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Remember the oak tree I wrote about? Here it is. (Actually, this is the first one I mentioned, cut down, after it died last year--the one that fell in the storm has a jagged stump.) This one is about 125 years old. My son and his girlfriend counted the rings, but I think it is older. Notice the funny projection on the left? I think the rings are indefinite with this add-on.
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Only Girls

Kiwi, the black cat, is the only male in the house this week. Therefore the art of housecleaning and purging will commence, and by Saturday this house will be spic and span (I hope), because on Saturday we have agreed to host another Chinese student, who will arrive that afternoon.
We have hosted Chinese students as they find apartments down by the U for 10 years now. It has been an enriching experience for our family, and we have forged some wonderful friendships through this program. Only a couple of years we chose not to do this, for various reasons, and we had informed the program organizers that this was one of those years (due to unsure life circumstance and ongoing house projects) but they called us and BEGGED.
I learned something from my friends up north this summer, and here it is: If the house is YOURS, you will be always afraid that it doesn't measure up for having people over to stay. I think all my friends can attest to this about this house (it is always humming with activity and a mess, always in need of cleaning) BUT, if the house you live in is God's, He will direct what happens in it, and if He wants people to come and stay in it, He'll make it quite clear. Now, that is the lesson my friends practice, and I've seen it work for years. God does let His thoughts and direction be known, to those willing to listen. I guess I'm willing, but sometimes my own ways get in the path of truly trusting Him.
Now, this works both ways: if the house belongs to God, and you live in it, you'd better keep it up. After all, you are the steward, the servant who wants to do what's right with the stuff God has entrusted to you. That's the part that I can miserably fail on.
So I am cleaning this week. Hope it looks great by Saturday.
We girls will have some fun too. It's what girls do!
I had a nice dream last night, that my husband got the job in Iowa. It was  dream, but so nice, I almost wish it really would work out. Dreams are funny. They do us a service in imagining possibilities. Of course our sub-consciences are grasping for any possibility at this stage. No worries. God always provides. This is a Truth. It is clearly God's word, with no question attached. I Will to trust Him in this. It may be another drop on the roller-coaster, but there's an upward or level track to come.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Song on my Heart


This was played at the recent royal wedding in Westminster Abbey. This is a wonderful song to background your day.

Just Quick

Such strange, unexplainable vision deaths.

I want to update you, and really I can't figure out what is going on, so I'll just tell the story. My husband had a wonderful interview with a company in Iowa and he came home thinking an offer for a job would be forthcoming.
 An email came from the HR/Operations Manager (who did part of the interview) saying that they loved meeting my husband, etc. etc., and that they had put the "cart before the horse," and needed to go before a board to approve this position AFTER ALL.

And this should take at least a month or more....
of course knowing that he might be considering other options in the meantime.


This is our life right now. Needless to say it is stupefying to both of us.
Thanking the Lord that He is really the one who appoints, who saves, who takes care of us. NONE of this has been willful thinking and head-strong blindness, charging ahead where there has been only personal desire. We have been careful to seek out every possibility with care and consideration.

Discouraged? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. I am feeling drained and all the plans for that position (which were considered: buying another house, school options, Life options) seem completely frivolous. They are right now.

Live and learn. Go with the flow. WAIT ON THE LORD.
What else can we do?

Meanwhile I am learning the Primerica schtick and finding it very useful and helpful, very interesting, so I assume it is where I should be right now.

Please pray for our mental health. This Iowa thing had been such a boost to him, and we tend to drop low after a disappointment. We were rather numb yesterday.

God has blessed us with children who are like a balm to our spirits. They are incredible to me. Pray for them too, since we all feel adrift.

Please pray for God to show Himself mighty. Pray that He would be glorified in what ever happens. Pray that we can sustain our situation with integrity for the time being.