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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Year's End

And holiday end!

What a couple of weeks it has been at Corgi Hollows!

We said good-bye to my now "daughter from Canada" yesterday. She spent the last 10 days with us, and I claim her as my own. I thoroughly enjoyed her visit. She's Margaret's friend, and now my daughter. I love her.

My grandson visited. Heaven.

We saw friends, sat quietly, read books, watched a couple of movies; "Hidden Figures" and Keira Knightly's "Pride and Prejudice." We did a little shopping and a lot of cooking.

We sampled a Chinese restaurant in a nearby town and pronounced it "great."

We finally got to Giordano's, which has come here from Chicago, and the kids loved it.

We visited the Mill City Museum, downtown Minneapolis, which I HIGHLY recommend. I've been there dozens of times and I love it each time! Some of the kids went to see "A Christmas Carol" at the Guthrie Theater.

Yesterday I attended the funeral of my very good friend's dad. He was a world famous intellect, and I was privileged to know him. I commuted to the University with him and his daughter back in college on occasion. My friend grieves, but she is one of the strongest women I know. Her father is with Jesus. What a comfort.

I wanted to connect with several people over the break, but it wasn't to be. I have such wonderful friends and I love spending time with them, but now that I'm a working gal I think of them---and wish for time spent with them!

Can you believe it? I'm lined up for subbing five days at the the beginning of the new year already! It promises to be a very busy spring for a substitute teacher!

I did not send my stack of Christmas cards. Thank you to ALL who sent us cards! I love getting them, and usually I love sending them! It wasn't to be, this year!

Maybe Resurrection Sunday?

I didn't even get my gifts sent to my two brothers in New York and Chicago! They are still sitting under the decrepit tree that needs to come down today. Maybe I'll get to the post office next week....

It's been crazy fun, nuts, and wonderful all the same.

Corwyn wins hearts everyday. She has a sweet personality, very friendly, very affectionate. She is a cuddly thing, and loves to warm your lap on these frigid evenings. Blackberry just dozes by the fire. She complains when it's time to go out...

Topaz, the enigmatic black feline, has truly conquered all of us. His gem-like eyes fix on his next victim and there is no resistance. He wins. You must pet him, hold him, even against his wishes. He's powerful.

Predicate, the ghost of the house, especially since Corwyn came to live here, appears from time to time.

You have heard how cold it is, right? Minnesota weather at its best: minus 10? Minus 20?

It's cold! We try to walk up the road a bit and the air is like knives in the sinus. Ya, youbetcha, it's COLD in MINNESNOWTA!

I read yesterday that we may be in for a mini Ice Age again.

I hope not, but I'm grateful for a shed full of wood out back.

We have the most beautiful fires. Ed is a scouting expert at making a perfect-looking fire and it truly is a work of art each time.

Ed's blood platelet counts are still abnormally low, so I tend to slip into bouts of worry. I'm so human.
I know his days are in God's sovereign hands, and I DO give up my fears to God every moment, but I do pray for Ed, too.

I want this whole cancer thing to be DONE, OVER, Vorbei, as the Germans say!

But we're not done yet!

Actually Ed will need to go to the clinic for blood tests for the next 10 years. Every month for now, then at greater intervals. We will be praying for excellent progress each time.

I look up and say to the LORD---"Maranatha!"

He cannot come soon enough for me.

As wonderful and beautiful as life on earth is for us Western Christians it cannot compare to the glories of Jesus' face.

I had a dream I was able to sing in both the Northern Lights Chorale and the Minnetonka Choral Society this spring, just like my husband is going to do. It was such a nice dream. Impossible for me, but nice! I'm looking forward to choir rehearsals already!

It's pipe organ season now too! I'm excited for Sunday afternoon concerts around the Twin Cities. Usually they happen at 3 PM or 4 PM, so let me know if you want to join us! It's the most excellent way to calm the mind and heart for the upcoming week.

I live in the musician's dreamland.

Happy New Year!

May 2018 bring the LORD'S return! May it be a blessing to you and yours.
God bless you!

Sunday, December 24, 2017


For the Sad Today

It was years ago when I started listening to New Age music and darkened my soul. Since then I have had bouts of blue, not clinical, but definitely affecting.

Christmas time can be difficult for me. I know it can be difficult for many---loss of family, loss of friends. Memories that haunt us of the past.

I can be surrounded by the most wonderful people in the world, and I can still feel a tightness in my heart that seems to have no explanation.

SAD, or seasonal affect disorder, is par for the course for those of us in the dark December northern hemisphere. Certainly this plays a role.

The sun is shining outside, the beautiful music plays on the radio. (Classical MPR is online too, and their Christmas line up is wonderful!)

There's no reason for SAD, but it is there.

Those of you who don't understand depression cannot feel our poignancy.

I've learned to address my thoughts and feelings pragmatically, at least as much as possible.

Physically; exercise, reduced sugar, vitamin C, extra sleep (that means going to bed around 8 PM!)

Spiritually; Daily Bible reading, Praise singing, Prayer, Trust.

Sunshine. Light. Corgis.

Christmas is the time of lights. I've been hard on the thoughts about pagan or heathen influence with Christmas. I know all the background on solstice and Saturnalia. I don't celebrate Satan Clause! Whoops, I mean Santa---

Christmas is a time to read Scripture, sing about Christ's birth (a total miracle) and survive the deep dark winter. BAH HUMBUG!

Lights, Smorgasbord, gifts, decoration, family, church. It's tradition. It's what we need this time of year.

The miracle of Christ with us is to be celebrated each day of the year. Freemasons think Jesus was born on September 11. Some say September 23, some the 26th. Probably He was born in September, as the shepherds were abiding in the fields, and the place where Jesus was born, a sacrificial lamb birthing floor outside of Bethlehem, was clean and empty. Mary treated the baby exactly like a sacrificial lamb, wrapping him in swaddling clothes. Perfect baby lambs were also wrapped in swaddling clothes to protect them from harm or damage before sacrifice.

Isn't God amazing? Such patterns, such exquisite foreknowledge. I can only praise Him!

So, Christmas. Cheer up, friends! Remember your blessings!

To my atheist friends I wish you well, I wish you a Christ experience in your life. In fact I pray that for you. To anyone who hasn't received Christ as LORD and savior I wish you would. I pray for that every day.

This makes me happy, knowing that God has His plan for you.


My Hope Is in the Lord

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Soft Disclosure

Frohe Weihnachten!

It's the final countdown to the ultimate holiday of the year.

I mean that in the sense of "last" for those of you who don't have genius wordsmiths in the family!

I have baked pfeffernusse, Cherie has made gingerbread cut-outs, Margaret has made "Peanut Blossoms," I mixed up Lois's Butter sugar cookie cut-outs, and my grandmother's recipe for "Date-Nut Loaf" is in the oven right now.

It smells lovely and sweet.

My sweet better half has been on mission after mission to procure the ingredients for all of our special recipes that usually denote Christmastime at our home.

My son, who loves Ginger's German Sour Cream Twists, is coming to Minnesota and I'd love to make up a batch. I usually serve those around Easter, but I'm willing to make some now!

I have to bake some Limpa, the Swedish orange rye with fennel and caraway.

I still have those pretty green cornflake wreath cookies with red hots to turn out, plus some chocolate fudge.

I want to make Christmas cookie plates for the neighbors, something I haven't done since I moved here three Christmases ago. I have good intentions.

This past week I had many brushes with Down's Syndrome. I started the week as a paraprofessional (not a teacher) for a two young Down's kids. I had contact with another one, and then I met two teachers with Down's children. I saw some sweet stories online about Down's Syndrome and read about a Down's Syndrome young woman who competed in a Minnesota beauty pageant.

I have such a soft spot in my heart for these people. Corrie Ten Boom wrote a book called "Common Sense Not Needed," and it is available on Kindle. That book is just so sweet and affirming of God's special people on earth.

Of course I was subbing for all sorts of things this week; Science, art, Special Ed. I sub next week, too, all the way up to Christmas! I start out again three days during the week that follows the New Year.
I'm busy.

My work at the deli is sporadic, and Margaret takes most of our shifts these days. It's pretty convenient to have back up for a particular shift! I'm working this afternoon, so come by and buy my delicious chicken! The salads are wonderful, too! I can slice some scrumptious Boar's Head meat for your sandwiches. I'll rearrange the Christmas goodies from the bakery and I'll tell you Merry Christmas. That's what I do.

This time of year everything seems so food related.

I've been musical, too, though.

The Minnetonka Choral Society had their concert last weekend. I sang my duet, Silver Bells, with Justin, the choir providing back up. Our director, Maestro Jere Lantz, gave practically a lecture on all the carols we sang. It was a fun concert! All of the Christmas music we've been practicing all fall has put me in the holiday spirit early and fully!

It's been a very incredible year. I've met SO MANY NEW PEOPLE, and I certainly wasn't even looking for that!

I'm not unsociable, I just have the most wonderful friends in the Universe already.

Since January I started working at the Deli, Substitute teaching, and singing in a new choir. That's quite a few new faces to get to know and learn!

Changes. It's all good.

Ed finished his courses at North Hennepin Community College with high marks in Calculus 3, Japanese Culture, and Communications. Margaret also did well in her pre-nursing classes, even Anatomy. I know, I know, smart kids!! Praise God! Ed really likes his job at the bank. He's a whiz there, too. Margaret will make you your morning coffee most days at the Caribou.

Cherie snuggles and reads and does math by the fire. She literally keeps the home fires burning and enjoys her grandparent's company. We have frequent contact with "the neighbors." This week we had a brief visit with my niece, who needed to go to the airport. Cherie and I spent the day, after dropping her off at the airport, at the Mall of America. We walked around each floor but the fourth. It was quite the work-out! We even bought stuff, which normally I don't do at that mall!

My husband is back to pushing snow off of the driveways, completing various house projects, and keeping up with his job. This house is a gift that keeps on giving----one project after another! Even in the winter months.

Surely you have heard of Hygge these days? It's a Scandinavian word for being cozy and quieting your life in the dark and cold winter months.

I used to practice it regularly. Working outside the home has changed things for me.

It's all good, though. Life isn't dull. Never boring.

Tomorrow there is a sing along Messiah at a Lutheran Church in Roseville. We like this church on Sunday afternoons in winter, concerts with the organ ---- a Casavant with 19 ranks, a tracker organ, fully mechanical. It's one of Ed's favorite organs. Tomorrow it plays with a chamber orchestra, too.

I'd like to go. We'll see.
Enjoy this week!

Echo Chamber

Aren't they beautiful?

We love our echo chambers. Everything we say is agreed with, what we think is stated continually.

They are dangerous, though. There's a world out there that is not echoing your ideas!

I find it interesting, as a conservative Bible believer, to see that there is a certain personality that loves their own echo chamber and refuses to listen to anything outside.

I've been "abandoned" by several liberal mind-set people in this past year. I'm not even a Trump supporter, but they can't handle my conservative views.

I don't back down from relationships because of my views. I pursue them! Isn't that what Christ-followers do? We are to engage! We are to love! We are to serve and help!

We aren't supposed to back away.

Lately I've been thinking about 1 Corinthians 15:21 "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead."

That verse defines my views more than any other in Scripture. It is pivotal. The next verse is powerful too: As in Adam all die, in Christ, shall be made alive.

If these verses are true my life should reflect the Word of God and its teachings.

This includes a "Young Earth" view of history. It affirms the centrality of Christ in the saving of mankind and the earth for a millenial kingdom. It states a worldview that recognizes our need for Christ, and Christ alone.

The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 is powerful. I should memorize it. G.F. Handel quoted it freely in "The Messiah."

It is amazing.

We all love the beautiful promises of Scripture, but we tend to become echo-chamberish when quoting these things.

God defines Himself, and that is LOVE.

But He is a holy judge, and we must recognize His commands for living----marriage standards, selflessness, His story (not ours, not "science's").

Don't we all want to define God our own way? We want a nice little grandfather/mother in the sky who looks like us, who only blesses, only drops candy. This Person would never condemn "love."

No wonder the first commandment, repeated by Jesus Christ in the NT is, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me!"

It's the command we find the easiest to break.

Let Scripture define your God. The God of the Bible is real, powerful, active, and working out a massive plan for humankind.

Believe Him. Don't even try to define Him to fit in your echo chamber.

He won't. He defines Himself, and you can read all about it in His Word.

It's time to leave your chamber.

Clinton Body Count

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Discovering Winter!

Advent! Advent!

I can hear my friend Lynn's voice saying "Advent! Advent!"

She had her memorial service today. She passed away two weeks ago, from cancer. She was my friend, my apartment-mate in Germany, (Hepberg, just outside of Ingolstadt), her dad and my dad grew up together and were life-long friends.

She loved her family, her husband, her Germany, her Lord and Savior. She was a loyal friend, and I'm going to miss her!

We didn't live in the same city in the states, so I hardly ever got to see her here since Germany, but we maintained our friendship via distance.

I couldn't go to the service today. I was teaching. I have too many obligations here these days to travel much. The weather turned nasty this week, and I can't stand driving on very icy roads.

Lynn loved Christmas in Germany! We had a tree, lovely ornaments, and special presents. I'll never forget my Christmases in Germany.

The smells! Oranges, lebkuchen, spices, pine! Apples and chocolates---
The bite of damp winter cold! Candlelight. Crunchy snow. Beautiful carols, Heilige Nacht...

Bright foil packages with special things inside. Tutte (little sacks) full of treats! Germany is a wonderful place to be at this time of year!

I brought a bit of Germany back with me---a few ornaments, an advent wreath. I have good friends that supply us each year with coffee and chocolate from Munich! I sent them some American instant coffee and bite size American candy bars this year. I know there isn't any comparison, but I want them to see how much we appreciate their generous thoughtfulness at remembering our "want" of such European delights!

I'm remembering Lynn and her love of Germany. It goes together with my Advent celebrations every year.

I taught only half a day today, and before I left for school we put up the Christmas tree for decorating. It's a white pine, from Menards---only $18!

It smells so good, better than cut flowers!

Cherie and I are going to get lights on it soon. We decorate less and less each year, but there are some things that never change. Tradition is fun.

I KNOW that Jesus was born in September, probably. I know that Christmas is questionable as a day to celebrate. I've read all about it.

I still think we can honor Christ this time of year by celebrating His birth on earth. I talked about Advent at the jail on Sunday evening. I used it as an opportunity to share the Gospel message. I could tell that half of the women had never heard the Gospel before.

There are many lost folk out there.

Christmas is a perfect opportunity to talk about Christ Jesus. People need to know!

I'm meeting more and more desperate people, both at the jail, and in the schools where I substitute teach. I see the pain, the need. There are tears.

This world isn't easy! So many people suffer daily! To give hope for a future (Jeremiah 29:11) we need to share our faith.

It's amazing how many things fall into line for people who are truly in bad straits when they come to know Jesus! Things may not be greatly improved physically, but attitudes and spirit are transformed!

Jesus is powerful!

We never talk about the decision to follow Jesus resulting in ease, or wealth. We say the opposite! No prosperity gospel preached here!

But there is hope for these dear ones. I don't talk about Jesus at school unless there is some blatant reason to. I do talk about Jesus at the jail. The time I spend there on Sunday evening is considered "church time" for them.

We talk about Jesus.

We talked on Sunday about Advent.
Next Sunday is our Minnetonka Choral Society Christmas concert. I am singing a duet with a young tenor----"Silver Bells."  All of the songs we're singing are really quite fun, and there will be acting of vignettes to accompany the music. Really, it's going to be charming!

I've enjoyed the music this fall, and it definitely put me in a Christmassy mood even before Thanksgiving.

I want to say a word of apology, sort of. I'm sorry that my posts offend some people. They do, and that isn't my intent. I write about the things on my mind, the developments in society and in the church. I take things to Scripture and search for the Biblical answer!

My questions are met with God's truth, straight out of Scripture. My interpretation may not be particularly merciful, but I'm trying to understand the absolute truth. I don't want to water down a truth from Scripture. I want to be right before God.

If you know me personally, you know that I love you. There isn't a question about that in anyone I have met. The kids at school are all my favorites (even the bad ones!). My church friends, my jail friends, my old friends from other times in my life---my family! Everyone knows my love for them.

I must say what the truth is, though, as God reveals it to me through His word. Refute me when I am wrong! Give me good reason to change my words! I want to be teachable!

I must follow Christ. He loves you, and so do I.

God bless.

Lynn, enjoy a perfect Christmas this year. The most perfect one ever, even with your high standards!