Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Gift

I know it's late, but I found it at Livingsword's blog and it is so cool I had to post it on my blog. It's a fast paced video using scenes, once again, from "The Nativity" showing our chaotic world against the backdrop of the event of our Saviour's birth. It just moved me to tears to think of Jesus having survived the chaos of this earth to make it - to make it here so he could save us!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Reasons Why I Like Christians

Here are examples of amazing Christians. When we find amazing Christians, it's not just that they do lots of great things for people, since you can find people who can do a lot of things with their time, it's that they are acting in the power of the Holy Spirit and they are bringing about change that will last for eternity - they are bearing spiritual fruit.

The first two examples come from the Mpls. StarTribune. One is of Vernon and Helena Satterfield - a working class couple who adopted four girls despite the fact that they were burned out of their apartment and Vernon lost his job. They serve God and their community faithfully, despite the odds.

The other is of three woman who started the Dorcas Widows Fund after the story of Dorcas in the new Testament. They are raising money for Ugandan widows who were forced out of their homes after their husbands died and the husbands' relatives seized their property.

The third example, coming from Far East Broadcasting company, is of an amazing Christian woman named Ruth who was newly married in 1985, and moved with her husband from Jakarta to South Sulawesi, the Indonesian island of his birth, where they both worked as doctors.

They made many friends, but knowing they were all Muslims made them sad. Their pastor advised them to reach their friends through radio, because they always have their radios on.

Ruth and her husband started to do research and began to write radio programs and train broadcasters. A few years later, the first Far East Broadcating Company broadcast in Sulawesi was finally scheduled to air.

Two weeks prior to the first broadcast, Ruth returned to Jakarta to visit her dying father. While there, she received the devastating news that her husband had collapsed suddenly, and died.

Shocked and grief stricken, Ruth faced the prospect of raising their four children on her own. She was also faced with the decision to return to her family in Jakarta...or stay in Sulawesi to fulfill her husband's dream of sharing Christ through the radio. Ruth waited on the Lord for direction. And His plan..in spite of her overwhelming circumstances...was to continue the broadcast. For the next eight years, Ruth completed seminary, managed the daily broadcasts, started two neighborhood centers for children and raised her own kids. She also taught English and served as a translator to earn a living.

Ruth's studio was once bombed and she had to move. She has felt the impact of the spiritual warfare that living in a Muslim nation has caused. Yet many lives have been touched by her ministry. Time does not permit to tell of the many testimonies of those who have been touched by her ministry.

But the point of telling these stories is that I guess it depends on what you look at as to whether or not you like Christians. There are plenty of amazing Christians out there who do amazing things for God. Some go unnoticed, but God knows.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oh Holy Night - Josh Groban

A video with scenes from "The Nativity." I dedicate this to KD. I just got this (three days after Christmas) by email from a dear friend.

Gaysdefendmarriage.com by David Benkof

Gaysdefendmarriage is not gays defending the marriage of gays. David Benkof is an amazing Jewish man who is also gay who is also conservative, who believes in traditional marriage and wants to fight for it.

He sent me this email:


Dear GaysDefendMarriage.com user:

I just wanted to let you know that now that the Prop. 8 campaign is over (though as you know the Proposition lives on) I have decided to revive GaysDefendMarriage.com. All are welcome for lively and respectful debate.

Today's post asserts seven things I believe about marriage. Later in the week will be a post on why I think Prop. 8 must be retroactive, and a post on the hidden issue of lesbian alcoholism, which isn't getting the attention it deserves because of the gay community's MarriageMania.

No need to ask to be removed from this list; I don't foresee using it again.

Best,

David Benkof
GaysDefendMarriage.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Angel With Apples - Not

Turns out the story is fabricated. Here is an article telling about it.

Here is my correspondence with Peter Kubicek who sent me the article:

Dear Ms. Eden,

I tried to post a comment relevant to this story, but appear to have been
unsuccessful. I must have done something incorrect in the required
registration.

I am a survivor of 6 German concentration camps who is familiar with this
compelling, but completely fictitious tale. The story has been oft-told and
oft-discredited by serious Holocaust scholars. Should you be interested, you
can e-mail me.

Peter Kubicek

I wrote back:

Honestly, I'm not interested in how true the story is. It's a moving story, that inspires one to believe in love. That's all that matters. Why do you need to spoil it? Don't you see that it doesn't really matter what is true?

That's the thing about art. Art is true. Believing is all that matters. Suspending disbelief is more important than proving what is true. There is a cool quote about how important it is to believe in something meaningful, even if it isn't real in the movie "Secondhand Lions." You should see the movie.

I am a lover of the Jews and can't even imagine the horrors of the concentration camps. God bless you and strengthen you as you manage life trying to live down what you experienced. I will pray for you Peter.

I can imagine that it may bother you the idea that this man might make money off his story if it gets made into a movie and then it would be money made off a lie. But remember - people make money all the time off their cleverness in writing well or making up any clever idea or any form of art. That's the nature of the beast. I get anvious all the time over people like that. But I also say, "more power to them."

Blessing and Happy Hanuakkah Peter.

Dear Gabrielle,

I love reading good fiction, as long as it does not pretend to be more. Fiction masquerading as truth is, at the very least, dishonest.

All I am interested in is the truth — that is of utmost importance to me. Phony stories about the Holocaust, masquerading as truth, diminish the truth and thus diminish me. I find your statements, “I am not interested in how true it is” and “it doesn’t matter what is true” strange and incomprehensible. I guess you will never comprehend me and I will never comprehend you.

Incidentally, the “Apple Over the Fence” fairy tale is not the first Holocaust hoax that has been exposed as a lie. And it will soon join its predecessors as dishonorable and discredited tales. I trust that will not spoil your pleasure.

Merry Christmas to you,

Peter

I wrote after reading the article:

I suppose you're right. If he had told the story as fiction that would make it alright. Why didn't he do that? That would have been as powerful, I think. He could say that he thought of the story while in a concentration camp. It does spoil it later to learn that it's not true. Sad.

Thanks for sharing that with me. I just wish it had been a true story.

Gabrielle

I wrote again after more thought:

I'm sorry for not being more sensitive to the seriousness of the situation, but I wasn't believing you until I saw the article. Sorry I wasn't believing you but you have to understand. It sounded like maybe you were just bitter, or something. I see now what you are saying.

Just a joke, really, but a red flag went up when the article mentioned Oprah! Oprah is, in my mind, a purveyor of lies. Her belief system is founded in straying from biblical truth. Maybe she promotes some good things on her show, but basically, I don't trust her.

I read your comments after the article and I see what you're saying. Spreading a fabricated story weakens the truth of the Holocaust.
I will publish that article on my blog.

Blessings to you.

Dear Gabrielle,

It is always difficult to say, “I was wrong,” and I give you a lot of credit for doing just that. Since your yesterday’s letter you many have seen that the whole story blew up as a fabrication and at least you saw the truth before others did.

Best,

Peter

Feel free to write me anytime. Best to you too Peter.

Gabrielle

Love Dare On Christmas

Little did I know that when I read John 14 on Christmas morning for my devotions, and asked God to give me more of His love, that he would say “I dare you,” by having someone call me that morning and scream at me, “I have no where to go for Christmas!”

The problem was that my mom, who is 82 years old, was not welcoming this person into her home, since she had nine people already to feed, plus a handicapped lady who she considers to be emotionally dependent. She was afraid of this person also becoming emotionally dependent and wanting to join us every holiday ever after. I understand her point of view.

I knew that my friend, a person I know from a church I used to attend who is autistic, would not be welcome. Besides, I just wouldn’t enjoy having her over – she is unkempt and unlovely, wears dinosaur key chains dangling from her belt loops, and is out of place. I know it sounds bad. I was having a hard time loving her.

But the people from my old church were having an even harder time. I was calling them, including the senior pastor, a woman. It’s a small church, and Jan, the autistic lady, has been going to this church for about twenty years. You would think that by now they would have something in place for her on the holidays. She used to have a brother she could go to on the holidays, but he died. Other family members simply avoid her.

She had someone from the church volunteer to take her in on Christmas, but the last minute that lady said her back had gone out. This may have been a lie. So, the challenge was to find some place for her to go instead. So I was calling the church members to find someone to take her in for Christmas, and everyone said they were going to someone’s house and Jan wasn’t welcome.

They were all going off to enjoy their Christmas dinner, and were going to leave Jan alone, with no solution for her. I couldn’t believe it. The name of the church is “Lovepower!”

There was one man who has mental health issues who also didn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas. He had called one of the deacons who I called and so we were going to get him to take a bus to meet Jan but at the last minute he backed out.

Jan was still without anything. I so wanted to ask her over but I just knew it wouldn’t work with my family. And I didn’t want to go clear across town, pick her up, bring her out, then bring her back home and drive back home again in the cold of winter on the icy roads. It was selfish.

I finally went to her home, after having dinner with my family with containers of food that I put together for her. We watched” Ice Age The Meltdown” together - she loves animals , as autistic people often do, especially dinosaurs, and I stayed for about two hours. She was very grateful, - it pulled her through, even though it was very imperfect.

I’m going over today with a Christmas gift for her.

I’ve never been stretched so much as I was this Christmas. I spent so much more money than I ever have on gifts. I spent myself dry and then some. I have not money left. I went way beyond my means. But it feels good. My heart was broken for this person, Jan. Even though I was reluctant to give her my all, my heart is pleading to love more.

Monday, December 22, 2008

America The Beautiful

This ecard brought tears to my eyes. It makes me just so proud of America!

Dreams I've had lately

1. Dream about Norm Coleman

I was somewhere, I don't know where and some men were making fun of me because of the sin in my past. Then there were some other men who defended me, and it was obvious they were godly men. Jesus came and took me and the godly men away - we were raptured. Norm Coleman was left behind along with the others who were left behind. It was understood that he would be saved later on but had to be left behind. He would stand strong in the end times. I don't know if it's prophetic or not but wouldn't it be cool if Jesus did come back soon?

2. Dream about thieves

I was living in an apartment or a house with cats and someone came and stole most of my belongings and my cats. I woke up immediately after dreaming this, disturbed and realized what the dream meant. I gave away most of my belongings and lost my cats and all because of manic-depression. Manic-depression is the cruel thief. The real thief is the devil who came to steal, kill and destroy. Since when we have no sin he has "nothing in us," as Jesus said of himself, I know that when I am cleansed of sin the devil won't be able to steal from me any more. Manic-depression will no longer be able to ravage my life.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Angel With Apples

This is the most amazing story that was emailed to me! Enjoy!

(This is a true story and you can find out more by Googling Herman
Rosenblat. He was Bar Mitzvahed at age 75)
August 1942. Piotrkow , Poland

The sky was gloomy that morning as we waited anxiously. All the men,
women and children of Piotrkow's Jewish ghetto had been herded into a
square.


Word had gotten around that we were being moved. My father had only
recently died from typhus, which had run rampant through the crowded
ghetto. My greatest fear was that our family would be separated.


'Whatever you do,' Isidore, my eldest brother, whispered to me,
'don't tell them your age. Say you're sixteen.


'I was tall for a boy of 11, so I could pull it off. That way I might
be deemed valuable as a worker.


An SS man approached me, boots clicking against the cobblestones. He
looked me up and down, and then asked my age.


'Sixteen,' I said. He directed me to the left, where my three brothers
and other healthy young men already stood.


My mother was motioned to the right with the other women, children,
sick and elderly people.


I whispered to Isidore, 'Why?'


He didn't answer.


I ran to Mama's side and said I wanted to stay with her.


'No, 'she said sternly.


'Get away. Don't be a nuisance. Go with your brothers.'


She had never spoken so harshly before. But I understood: She was
protecting me. She loved me so much that, just this once, she
pretended not to. It was the last I ever saw of her.


My brothers and I were transported in a cattle car to Germany


We arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp one night weeks later
and were led into a crowded barrack. The next day, we were issued
uniforms and identification numbers.


'Don't call me Herman anymore.' I said to my brothers. 'Call me 94983.'


I was put to work in the camp's crematorium, loading the dead into a
hand-cranked elevator.


I, too, felt dead. Hardened, I had become a number.


Soon, my brothers and I were sent to Schlieben, one of Buchenwald's
sub-camps near Berlin


One morning I thought I heard my mother's voice.


'Son,' she said softly but clearly, I am going to send you an angel.'


Then I woke up. Just a dream. A beautiful dream.


But in this place there could be no angels. There was only work. And
hunger. And fear


A couple of days later, I was walking around the camp, around the
barracks, near the barbed-wire fence where the guards could not easily
see. I was alone.


On the other side of the fence, I spotted someone: a little girl with
light, almost luminous curls. She was half-hidden behind a birch tree.


I glanced around to make sure no one saw me. I called to her softly in
German. 'Do you have something to eat?'


She didn't understand.


I inched closer to the fence and repeated the question in Polish. She
stepped forward. I was thin and gaunt, with rags wrapped around my
feet, but the girl looked unafraid. In her eyes, I saw life.

She pulled an apple from her woolen jacket and threw it over the fence.


I grabbed the fruit and, as I started to run away, I heard her say
faintly, 'I'll see you tomorrow.'


I returned to the same spot by the fence at the same time every day.
She was always there with something for me to eat - a hunk of bread
or, better yet, an apple.


We didn't dare speak or linger. To be caught would mean death for us
both.


I didn't know anything about her, just a kind farm girl, except that
she understood Polish. What was her name? Why was she risking her life
for me?Hope was in such short supply, and this girl on the other side
of the fence gave me some, as nourishing in its way as the bread and
apples.


Nearly seven months later, my brothers and I were crammed into a coal
car and shipped to Theresienstadt camp in Czechoslovakia .


'Don't return,' I told the girl that day. 'We're leaving.


I turned toward the barracks and didn't look back, didn't even say
good-bye to the little girl whose name I'd never learned, the girl
with the apples.


We were in Theresienstadt for three months. The war was winding down
forces were and Allied closing in, yet my fate seemed sealed.


On May 10, 1945, I was scheduled to die in the gas chamber at 10:00 AM.


In the quiet of dawn, I tried to prepare myself. So many times death
seemed ready to claim me, but somehow I'd survived. Now, it was over.


I thought of my parents. At least, I thought, we will be reunited.


But at 8 A.M. there was a commotion. I heard shouts, and saw people
running every which way through camp. I caught up with my brothers


Russian troops had liberated the camp! The gates swung open. Everyone
was running, so I did too. Amazingly, all of my brothers had survived;


I'm not sure how But I knew that the girl with the apples had been the
key to my survival.


In a place where evil seemed triumphant, one person's goodness had
saved my life, had given me hope in a place where there was none.


My mother had promised to send me an angel, and the angel had come.




Eventually I made my way to England where I was sponsored by a Jewish
charity, put up in a hostel with other boys who had survived the
Holocaust and trained in electronics. Then I came to America , where
my brother Sam had already moved. I served in the U. S. Army during
the Korean War, and returned to New York City after two years.


By August 1957 I'd opened my own electronics repair shop. I was
starting to settle in.


One day, my friend Sid who I knew from England called me.


'I've got a date. She's got a Polish friend. Let's double date.'


A blind date? Nah, that wasn't for me.


But Sid kept pestering me, and a few days later we headed up to the
Bronx to pick up his date and her friend Roma.


I had to admit, for a blind date this wasn't so bad. Roma was a nurse
at a Bronx hospital. She was kind and smart. Beautiful, too, with
swirling brown curls and green, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled with
life.


The four of us drove out to Coney Island . Roma was easy to talk to,
easy to be with.


Turned out she was wary of blind dates too!


We were both just doing our friends a favor. We took a stroll on the
boardwalk, enjoying the salty Atlantic breeze, and then had dinner by
the shore. I couldn't remember having a better time.


We piled back into Sid's car, Roma and I sharing the backseat.


As European Jews who had survived the war, we were aware that much had
been left unsaid between us. She broached the subject, 'Where were
you,' she asked softly, 'during the war?'


'The camps,' I said. The terrible memories still vivid, the
irreparable loss. I had tried to forget. But you can never forget.


She nodded. 'My family was hiding on a farm in Germany , not far from
Berlin ,' she told me. 'My father knew a priest, and he got us Aryan
papers.'


I imagined how she must have suffered too, fear, a constant companion.
And yet here we were both survivors, in a new world.


'There was a camp next to the farm.' Roma continued. 'I saw a boy
there and I would throw him apples every day.'


What an amazing coincidence that she had helped some other boy. 'What
did he look like? I asked.


'He was tall, skinny, and hungry. I must have seen him every day for
six months.'


My heart was racing. I couldn't believe it.


This couldn't be.


Did he tell you one day not to come back because he was leaving
Schlieben?'


Roma looked at me in amazement. 'Yes!'


'That was me!'


I was ready to burst with joy and awe, flooded .with emotions I
couldn't believe it! My angel.

'I'm not letting you go.' I said to Roma. And in the back of the car
on that blind date, I proposed to her. I didn't want to wait


'You're crazy!' she said. But she invited me to meet her parents for
Shabbat dinner the following week.


There was so much I looked forward to learning about Roma, but the
most important things I always knew: her steadfastness, her goodness.
For many months, in the worst of circumstances, she had come to the
fence and given me hope. Now that I'd found her again, I could never
let her go.


That day, she said yes. And I kept my word. After nearly 50 years of
marriage, two children and three grandchildren, I have never let her
go.


Herman Rosenblat of Miami Beach , Florida


This story is being made into a movie called The Fence.

This story reminds me of something God seems to be reminding me of lately - how God can supernaturally bring a person of the opposite sex into your life to bring the perfect choice He has for you to share your life with.

I just saw the play "Shadowlands" the adaptation of the movie at the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis, and it was fantastic. It is the story of C.S. Lewis meeting Joy Gresham, the woman he ended up marrying. He met her when he was 54, a confirmed bachelor - a total surprise. They were people who would find it hard to meet another person who would fit their needs in a mate, and their meeting was a total act of God. It just seems like God is trying to tell me something, especially considering Lewis and I aren't far apart in age. This story is also about an act of God.

And by the way, Happy Hanukkah!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Penguin

Watch them save a penguin from the fate of being eaten by a whale.
video

A Christmas E-Card

Ashland University created this ecard. You need Adobe flash player to view it. This is my Christmas card to you!

A Small White Envelope

It's just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of our
Christmas tree.
No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the
branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas--oh, not the
true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- the
overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a
tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the
gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything
else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts,
sweaters, ties, and so forth.
I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came
in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level
at the school he attended.
Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team
sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in
sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing
holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their
spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the
match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling
without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a
wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not
afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as
each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his
tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't
acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, 'I wish just one of them
could have won,' he said.
'They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart
right out of them.'
Mike loved kids -- all kids -- and he knew them, having coached little
league football, baseball,and lacrosse.
That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a
local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling
headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.
On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside
telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His
smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in
succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition--one year
sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey
game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home
had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The
envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. I t was always the
last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring
their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad
lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents,
but the envelope never lost its allure.The story doesn't end there. You
see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around,
I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But
Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the
morning it was joined by three more. Each of our children,
unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for
their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even
further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with
wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the
envelope. Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be
with us.
May we all remember the
true Christmas spirit this year and always.
God Bless! -- pass this along to those friends and loved ones who you
know are the givers who understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving
and Christmas.

Egg Laser Art







These egg shells were cut with a high intensity precision Laser Beam. This gives a very good idea of what can be achieved with a Laser Beam. This gives you an idea what laser surgery performed on one's eye is all about. Is it any wonder how one's vision can be improved in just a few moments? Science is sometimes wonderful, and it's still on the frontier of gaining new knowledge.

Watermelon Art

Think Summer!











Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Love Finds You

I went looking for a song by 4Him on itunes and only found this title there which inspired this post. Love is finding me. God is amazing.

I have been struggling lately. God revealed that I have unresolved un-forgiveness and bitterness but then He led me to realize that His kids do not sin for no reason. He said he came to heal the brokenhearted (Is 61), and he means that we do not sin for no reason. We sin out of a broken heart.

I realize this so much with regards to my dad who has a broken heart. He just doesn't understand himself. He suffers from lack of repentance - he doesn't see his relentless pride and bitterness, and if he could separate from these, he could have the refreshing of physical healing. If he could separate from these it could end the depression that makes him gluttonous as a way to medicate against depression.

But he will not, and no one can seem to lead him to this reality. I suffer from a lack of mercy towards him. I see his pride and bitterness and want to watch him suffer for his sins, and am praying to have my heart break or soften towards him.

In this process some interesting things are happening. I've been hanging out at places like "Stuff Christians Like" where Jon Acuff airs out some of his pet peeves about things in the Christian sphere. He does it in a jovial, joking way, but there is a lot of cynicism out there and the people who come to comment have a strong share of disappointments regarding the church. I have my own disappointments. In going there and commenting, I get caught up in the cynicism and realize that we're a bunch of hurting people. Where do we go to find healing?

Yes, I realized suddenly that I was truly hurting. Again, Jesus showed me that I was being sarcastic because I was hurting, like so many others, and so I asked, "where do I go to end the hurt?"

At work we can sometimes put on the music of our choice, and when I put on a Christian music station I noticed that the Christian artists were actually trying to bring healing through their music. You can just hear it in the music. And because of it, you can just feel Jesus. At least, I was feeling Jesus last night at work. Love was finding me. The power of the Holy Spirit was reaching me and trying to heal my hurt. 4Him was singing a new song which I can't find on YouTube that was just touching me. I think it was 4Him. The lyrics sound like "The One True God."

He never fails. Love never fails. Love will always find you. Don't run away. Let Him embrace you and love you today.

I was thinking last night "healing is moving in and so is a hunger for God again."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Holy Night - Celine Dion


No one hits those notes quite like Celine!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Depressed This Christmas?

This season can bring on the worst case of the blues. Remember Isaiah 61 - he binds up and heals the brokenhearted. I feel it coming on again and always know that there is the force of so many out there feeling the same thing. Seek God. Find a shelter in God. Go to a person of God you trust for counsel. Take out the Bible and start reading the gospels. Read Matthew to start and go all the way through. Spend time praying and asking God for help. Believe he will meet you. Go to a church that you trust. Sing songs of worship and pray there. Meet other Christians and don't isolate yourself. God has the answer.

Mentally Challenged Christmas Carols

I stole these shamelessly from Helen.

Depressive (I added this one) --- Silent Night, Lonely Night

Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and ...

Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me!

Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy ... oooh look at the Froggy ... can I have a chocolate ... why is France so far away?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells ...

Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas)


Since I heard this song on "Christmas Vacation" I've always thought it was a "plucky" sort of Christmas song.

On Saying "Happy Holidays"

Helen just left a comment bringing up the fact that Happy Holiday comes from the the original "Happy Holy Day." So, it's not a secular greeting, in fact. Also, I've often used it to encompass several holidays at once, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I have also used it when sending out cards to people that may include Jewish people who are celebrating Hanukkah. There's nothing terribly wrong with saying "Happy Holidays" contrary to what my earlier post says. It was an email a friend sent me, and is talking about when it becomes against the law to say "Merry Christmas."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Angels in Indiana...

or "finding God's love when the love of a spouse walks out the door."


In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket..
Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in t hat had been converted to a truck stop.

It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.

She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.

She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep

This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!

There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station.

In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.

I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.

The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.

Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.

There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty street s as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.

And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

THE POWER OF PRAYER.

I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:

1. 'Yes!'
2. 'Not yet.'
3. 'I have something better in mind.'

God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar.

You maybe going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.



This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards

Let's continue to pray for one another. Here is the prayer:....
Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and internet buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power.
Amen.

Christmas Poem

*Twas the month before Christmas*


*When all through our land,*

*Not a Christian was praying*

*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*

*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*

*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*

*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*

* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*

*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*

*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*

*Something was changing, something quite odd! *

*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*

*In hopes to sell books by Franken &Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*

* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*

*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*

*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*

*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*

*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*

*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*

*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*

*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*

* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*

*The reason for the season, stopped before it started..*

*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*

*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*

*Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS ,

not Happy Holiday !*





Please, all Christians join together and

wish everyone you meet

MERRY CHRISTMAS



Christ is ¡The Reason¢ for the Christ-mas Season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Department of Energy

I got this from Kingdavid. Did you know that Carter instituted the Department of Energy in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil? Did you know that 31 years later that department's budget is at $24,200,000,000 a year?

They have 16,000 federal employees and approximately 100,000 contract employees working to free us from foreign oil.

As KD says, "what a great job they have done!" And at what a price!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cute Cat Cartoon

Jeff Foxworthy on Minnesota

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by,


You might live in Minnesota



If you're proud that your state makes the



National News 96 night search year because



International Falls is the coldest spot in the nation,


You might live in Minnesota



If you have ever refused to buy something



because it's 'too spendy',


You might live in Minnesota



If your local Dairy Queen is closed



from November through March,


You might live in Minnesota



If someone in a store offers you assistance,



and they don't work there,


You might live in Minnesota



If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the
middle of his forehead,


You might live in Minnesota



If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,


You might live in Minnesota



If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,


You might live in Minnesota


If you know how to say -



Wayzata, Mahtomedi, Cloquet, Edina and Shakopee,


You might live in Minnesota



If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy,


You might live in Minnesota



If vacation means going 'up north' for the weekend,


You might live in Minnesota



You measure distance in hours,


You might live in Minnesota



You know several people who have hit deer more than once,


You might live in Minnesota



You often switch from 'Heat' to 'A/C' in the same day



and back again,


You might live in Minnesota



You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow
during a raging blizzard without flinching,


You might live in Minnesota



You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events,


You might live in Minnesota



You install security lights on your house and garage



and leave both unlocked,


You might live in Minnesota



You think of the major food groups as



beer, fish, and Venison,


You might live in Minnesota


You carry jumper cables in your car,



and your girlfriend knows how to use them,


You might live in Minnesota



There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot



at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time,


You might live in Minnesota .



You design your kid's Halloween costume



to fit over a snowsuit,


You might live in Minnesota



Driving is better in the winter because



the potholes are filled with snow,


You might live in Minnesota



You know all 4 seasons:



almost winter, winter, still winter,
and of course, road construction,


You might live in Minnesota



You can identify a southern or eastern accent,


You might live in Minnesota



Your idea of creative landscaping is a plastic deer



next to your blue spruce,


You might live in Minnesota



If 'Down South' to you means Iowa,


You might live in Minnesota



You know 'a brat' is something you eat,


You might live in Minnesota



You find -10 degrees 'a little chilly',

You might live in Minnesota

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Against The Law?

NBC has Banned wearing Flag pins On-the-Air, because it might be Offensive to some...

We've already taken GOD & Prayer out of our Schools.
Some want to take GOD out of our Pledge of Allegiance...


WELL, HERE'S ONE FOR YA!



Crosses are

No longer

Allowed
on Federal
Property!
Well duh..
Let them try and remove these.

10 Reasons I like Most Christians

The other list forces me to think about and write this.

1. They are people who come up to me at a church service and smile. No matter what is going on in their lives they have hope. They are consistently kind, loving and hopeful. Sure, there are bad apples, but I'm saying "most."

2. If I want to tell someone, "God told me He is going to endow me with millions of dollars," I know I had better go to my believing friends, not to unbelievers, who would laugh. Believers will actually say, "sounds plausible, God can do anything." They won't trash my dreams. If I were to say, "I know I'm still going to get married," Christians would say, "God could do that," while non Christians would probably throw statistics at me and say "I just don't want you to be disappointed."

3.Real Christians worship Jesus like their lives depend on it. They will travel hundreds of miles to be in a place where the worship is "hot" and will worship passionately, for hours. They see beyond denominational barriers and care more about if the people they worship with have the same degree of passion for Jesus as they do.

4. Most Christians rejoice when they recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in a ministry and honor a ministry where there is much fruit. They are also aware that numbers, (i.e. Joel Osteen) aren't necessarily an indicator of true success in a ministry. Jesus said if I be lifted up I will draw people unto myself. If Christ is exalted, especially Christians will be attracted.

5. Christians usually fail to pray before they act. It is one of our greatest weaknesses and one of the things we have to remind outselves of, but I love the way Christians are always trying to correct this in themselves. Sometimes I get frustrated with all the busyness of Christians and lack of faith. It's probably what I could say I don't like about Christians, but it's just one of our weaknesses in the West. As I read about Christians outside the West, I learn about incredible faith and prayer that goes on that I can be proud of. But action - there is incredible faith in action everywhere. For example, Franklin Graham's ministries that take huge sums of money to third world countries. That's in the West. But what about all of the Christians in persecuted countries who put their lives on the line as they share their faith in creative ways?

6. Most Christians, having an understanding about loving money being the root of all evil, would never hate anyone for having lots of money. It's always been understood that George W. Bush is a born-again Christian and well-to-do, and not hated by most Christians. The Grahams have quite a bit of money and have always handled it well and are not hated. There are major sports figures who declare their faith in Christ who have lots of money. They handle their money correctly, but that is beside the point. Even if they handled their money poorly. Do most Christians hate rappers and drug dealers with lots of money? Most Christians care about souls and understand that a soul is a soul, rich or poor.

7. There's something for everyone depending on which church you go to. Like one pastor said, "if you don't like the menu, try a different restaurant."

8. I like the fact that Christians don't want to be religious anymore. They have gotten away from formality in church. Pastors wear jeans. People drink coffee and eat bagels during church services.

9. True Christians know that it's not about following a set of rules - it's about a living relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father, and about failing.

10. Christians have broken out and become very creative. There's lots of great music and movies by Christians.

For a long time now I've stopped going to "the world" in any shape or form, and have been aware that the only people to go to in time of need are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I live with a mother who is an inspiration, devoted to her husband, someone who, ah, gives her reasons to forgive and forgive. She continually forgives him, content in her life because she lives in the light of God's love. I also have a sister who married a man who also gives her plenty of reasons to forgive and she does, and demonstrates commitment and love.

I have these examples of faith and forgiveness in my life to encourage me, plus a close Christian friend with terrible health problems who continues to love God and fight the good fight of the faith, dedicating herself to other people's needs. There are so many examples we can find of Christians who "walk the walk" that we should never feel compelled to write a list of negative attributes.

From Helen's Blog

Helen - I finally visited your blog, and found this - what fun. it makes me feel like I have actually lived!!! If you're reading this (duh) cut and paste and bolden the ones you have done!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
Now this one needs some explanation. KD knows I would never go on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
Now what KD doesn't know is, I cannot do this.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous Will Smith, Sidney Poitier
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - allergic
100. Read an entire book in one day

Reading the list - I can see there are still things to do, like walk in Jerusalem.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Look Up Your Birth Song

Here is a website where you can look up the song that was number one in the U.S. on the day you were born. (As long as you aren't 152 years old!) Mine is "Cherry Pink and Apple blossom White" by Perez Prado

Genderanalyzer

Hilarious! I just found this over at Bike Bubba's website. It says that my website is 64% more likely to be written by a woman. Whew!

Me And The Christmas Spirit

It always starts the same way. Christmas rolls around and I think,"here it is again, oh brother." I am the worst Scrooge.

It's partly because of feeling left out of the things that make Christmas special. I have a good family - brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and parents still alive. But I don't have a family of my own, and sometimes that bites. My only family of my own is the animal you see pictured here. He is my child! Sad! But I make do with what I have, and I'm thankful for what I have, and grateful for life itself.

And all of the sudden, Christmas gets a hold of me. Suddenly, I fall in love with Christmas. The songs become a joy and I look for an excuse to go out and shop some more for gifts. I feel happy that I live where we have snow, and I start to get in the swing of the ski season and I'm off cross country skiing practically every night.

I start making contributions to causes and start preparing my Christmas shoebox. I think: if it takes my whole paycheck, so be it! I start thinking about getting together with people less fortunate than me.

Yes, Christmas is here! Hallelujah!

Sexual Sin and Violence

I've always found it interesting that in Malachi, God equates divorce with violence.
Malachi 2:16 (New King James Version)

16 “ For the LORD God of Israel says
That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
Says the LORD of hosts.

“ Therefore take heed to your spirit,
That you do not deal treacherously.”

I've pondered that, and also been troubled over the violence that may exist in my own soul, as the Holy Spirit uncovers un-forgiveness, bitterness, hatred, which is murder.

I've thought about the years of struggling with sexual sin, and the connection between that sin and violence which is connected to murder. I'm trying to get all of that out of my life now, especially as I live with a gentle woman who would never divorce her man, as bad as he may have treated her, and as I associate with a sister who would never divorce her husband, as bad as he may have treated her as well, when I would have divorced these men in a heartbeat.

My own problems with sexual sin may stem from problems with a bad relationship with my father, and a not-so-ideal role model relationship to look at in my parents. I probably reacted to what I saw in my father with negative reactions of violence of my own, because there was violence in him.

I haven't been divorced, but fornication is a relative of divorce. There has been the need for forgiveness. All that is taking place now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The "W" In Christmas

a mother's story

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old.

For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

All parents unable to at tend that evening were welcome to come then.

Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.


As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".


The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:


"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"


And, I believe, He still is.


Amazed in His presence... .humbled by His love.

HAVE A BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON!

Ben Stein's "Confessions For The Holidays"

Go here for the Snopes version. A friend sent me this in a email but it was changed from the original which I looked up on Snopes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

A friend's blog produced this list of 10 Things I Don't Like About Most Christians. I find it very offensive, and untrue. It is not my experience with true Christians.

Look at the list, and find number 5: "they use prayer as an excuse for inaction." Since when? When do Christians pray and then decide not to act because they prayed? What? Our biggest struggle is going ahead and acting without praying. Our biggest struggle is living as if God isn't a part of things, not praying before we do things, not getting His wisdom on a subject and messing something up because we went ahead on it without Him.

Look at number 1: "they consistently seem angry and bitter and worried." What genuine believer, who loves God and is seeking him with a heart of love, is more angry, bitter and worried, markedly than others? It's just not possible. And he is saying "most" Christians. What Christians is he talking about?

And number 2: My Christian friends who truly walk with god, who are spirit filled; it is they who believe in my dreams. No one else does. Everyone else would laugh.
What does he mean?

He is soured on religious people, but I would rather focus on Christians such as my friend who struggles against physical infirmities to hold a weekly bible study in her home, and who lives each day close to God, sensitive to where she might be falling short, or my cyber friend who is involved in bringing food and hope to the people of Haiti.

This list writer is so cynical and he is a pastor. He sounds like a backslidden Christian whose love has waxed cold.

Man! This guy is writing as a Christian about Christians as if he is an outsider. He forgot to talk about "us" instead of them, remembering that he is as at fault as "they" are. He forgot that he will be accountable for his words someday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Flying Man


You must read this article from the Mission Frontiers magazine about Eric Liddell, the subject for the movie "Chariots of Fire." A new film is being made by a Chinese filmaker about him called "The Flying Man."

He is the runner who started out winning Olympic medals and then returned to China where his missionary parents raised him, to do missionary work instead of relishing fame and fortune, only to be imprisoned by the invading Japanese, and to die in an internment camp there. He sent his wife and children away when he realized that it wasn't going to be safe, as soon as the Japanese moved in on them, so he could continue his missionary work, and once in the internment camp, he was offered a way out, but chose to stay to help people instead and therefore died of disease.

What is so inspiring to me is the passion that the Chinese have today for Christ and for remembering this missionary. Even the Chinese government have cooperated in commemorating this man's legacy.

What I can't help thinking about is the plaque that my parents used to have on their wall that said "only one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last," and the words of Sydney Carton in "Tale of Two Cities" who said as he was about to give up his life to save his friend's life in an act of martyrdom, "it is a far far better thing that I do than I have ever done. It is a far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." Eric Liddell went to a far better rest.

Cranberry Steamed Pudding


"To Die For"..a Christmas favorite from my Grandmother - very English, except the English don't have cranberries, and they would have used some other berry. Note: it will not look exactly like the picture as it will be sliced.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup hot water
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp B.P.
1 cup whole raw cranberries

First flour the cranberries with 1/3 cup flour
Then mix the molasses and hot water and set aside
Mix: 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp soda, 1 tsp B.P.
Add molasses mix to dry ingredients
Add the cranberries

Create mold out of large fruit can (2 1/2 size.) Line with wax paper. Fill with mix. Boil water in large kettle and set can in kettle and steam the mold in kettle for 1 1/2 hours. Take out of kettle and out of can and it will create small loaf. Slice in 1/4 slices to serve.

Buttery sauce to pour over:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

heat until comes to boil

Look out - it's rich and fattening!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Brazilian Soccer Players Declare Christ

An 81 year old lady sent me this. Her friends have a son-in-law involved in sports who sends her reports of his world-wide sports programs.

T, a Vietnamese leader shared with me the impact of a recent missions team had on his country when I saw him a couple of weeks ago at a KidsGames conference. The missions team were former national team and top-level Brazilian soccer players who visited Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia last month. Along with soccer matches, clinics, and opportunities for community service, they helped raise funds for schools that were destroyed in the Myanmar typhoon.

What I found interesting was in Vietnam T can't share Christ openly-- it is a restricted country. So stop for a minute and try to grasp this picture. The most famous & popular sports team in the world is the Brazil national soccer team. A team of Brazilians, all committed to Christ, many who played for Brazil's national team were coming to serve the poor, teach soccer, and play the Vietnam Olympic team. The country of 85 million was excited.

With a national TV audience watching, every media outlet present, and every person interested to see how their national team would do against the best, something unexpected happened-- Christ was proclaimed. After each goal the Brazilians (they won 2-0) pulled off their jerseys to show the country that they love Jesus and Jesus loves them. They were wearing "Jesus Loves You" tshirts. It stirred positive conservations in the media, workplace, and schools.

To see this go here.

From Christmas To Crisis

This article tells how we went from getting rid of "Merry Christmas" to our present financial crisis and how they are related.

City Hill Fellowship

I invite you to listen to some recent sermons from the little charismatic church that I attend in addition to the Lutheran church where I sing once a month, where my parents attend.

One is a sermon by the Senior pastor Jim Erickson on forgiveness. Once on the site you click on the sermon series "Say what you need to say" choose part 7 - Sr. Past.

The other is by one of the associate pastors Jim McCracken and it's about submitting to the authorities, and on how to deal with the powers that be today - very good. It's the sermon entitled "For The Lord's Sake" - Special Guest Pastor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Slavery To Sin

When a person comes to Christ, he still can have a lot of sin in his life. This is one of the hardest realities we have to face. The amount of sin a person can still have in his life can be overwhelming, and it does huge damage to oneself and to others.

I realized this when I struggled with sexual sin. It was in my life even when I hungered and thirsted for Christ in a big way. It was a snare even though I sincerely sought to be free.

It is the sins of God’s people that can be the biggest problem in our world. God said that it was His own people’s sins that He was most concerned about when He said, “if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14

This may seem incomplete, but then I wrote an essay entitled “Win Over Sin” that talks about how to get free of sin.

Christmas Quiz

I found this over at Sherri's blog Matter of Fact.

You can consider yourself tagged if you like this quiz.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
if I get lazy - gift bags. I prefer gift bags. What does that say about me?


2. Real tree or Artificial?
I love real trees, but my parents, being older, have an artificial one they put up every year that looks pretty good. I live with them, so....

3. When do you put up the tree?
We procrastinate - wait til about the second week of December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Until like the twelfth day of Christmas - ha!

5. Do you like eggnog?
Love it! And remember the scene in Christmas vacation with Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid and the egg nog - love that scene!



6. Favorite gift received as a child?
A huge, red stuffed dog.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My sister's husband.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom - I always know what she needs.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
I have a cool designer one.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I hadn't even thought of Christmas e-cards. But things are always leaning towards the e-method.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
A second hand radio. My parents were scrimping and didn't have much money. I had a hard time understanding that as a kid.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
It's a toss up between National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story from 1983. they've become classics.

13. When do you start shopping?

Sometimes early in the year, sometimes a few days before - depends.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Yes - ha!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

A cool recipe of my mother's - cranberry steamed pudding topped with a melted butter sauce. Unbelievable!

16. Lights on the tree?
Sure.


17. Favorite Christmas song?

O Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
No. Rudolph, Dander, Blitzen. I think those are three.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star with Jesus on it.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Christmas Eve.


22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Playing those old songs over and over.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Red.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?,

Turkey.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Clothes.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?

?


27. Who is least likely to respond to this?
?



28. What was your most memorable magical memory from your adulthood?
All of my magical memories related to Christmas are in my childhood.

29. Have you ever been involved in a Christmas gift prank?

Yes. Faking someone out by putting a tiny gift inside a huge box.


30. Favorite Christmas Cartoon?
Charlie Brown