Friday, September 28, 2007

Donna Martin on a Meek and Quiet Spirit.

"I have been a born again Christian for nearly 20 years, and I’ve studied the Bible and attended college level Bible courses, but I have never studied the meek and quiet spirit that scripture speaks of. When I found a book by Matthew Henry, a Puritan pastor, which was written in the late 1600's on this very subject, I decided to read it. As I passed from chapter to chapter, I questioned myself of whether I had this spirit he spoke of. Scripture shows in 1 Peter 3:4 that God places great value in the ones that possess a meek and quiet spirit, so I hoped that together we can see where we stand in this gifting. "

Read her post in it's entirety here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Something to look forward to!

Andrea and I had the blessing of meeting and speaking with Mrs. Duggar at the 2006 SAICFF. She was gracious enough to share some personal one-on-one time with us, getting to know us, and encourage us in our commitment to be stay-at-home daughters preparing to be wives and mothers some day. While there were many seminars and films being shown in several different meeting rooms making it very difficult to pick which to go to there was one we both unquestionably put a star by. Q & A with Mama. One of the stories she shared is captured here in a message that is on the Duggar Family Website. Enjoy! It's something to look forward to!

A Message To Mothers From Michelle Duggar

It was 1:00 AM in the morning as I stood folding laundry with tears streaming down my cheeks. Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, "LORD I NEED YOUR HELP, I can't do it all! I feel so inadequate! Diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kisses, correction..." My list seemed to go on and on.

Then it was as if a still small voice said, "Michelle, it's easy to praise ME when things are going good, but are you willing to praise ME now?" Immediately the scripture that says, "Offer up a sacrifice of praise", came to mind.

I said, "OK Lord, I will praise you even now! It really is a sacrifice!" So through the tears I began to sing, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". In my heart there was a release as if a burden had been lifted. I finished the laundry at 2 AM and went to bed.

Days later, I was at our piano teacher's home (at 7 AM) trying to catch up on paperwork while the children were taking their lessons. Instead, I kept drifting off to sleep! The teacher noticed and asked, "Are you OK?" I replied, "I'm fine, I'm just tired. I was up late finishing laundry."

As we talked more she said that she actually enjoyed doing laundry and that she would be glad to come and help me! That weekend when she arrived we had mountains of dirty laundry, and when she left we had nice, neat, orderly stacks of clean laundry! For 10 years now, our piano teacher, whom we consider a part of our family and loving call "NaNa" has faithfully come (now twice a week) to help us with laundry! GOD sent "An angel" in answer to my cry for help.

He is faithful to hear the humble cries of his children. "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up." God lifted my burden (literally mountains of laundry!) and freed me to meet the more urgent needs of my family. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory..."

Remember mothers, where God guides He provides!

With Love,
MichelleProverbs 3:5-7

Ang & the Invisible Woman

Honesty 101 is now in session.

I've been wallowing in my small little problems. Rolling my eyes (and wiping tears from them) when yet another minor catastrophe bombards my day. I feel like nobody notices or cares quite enough about the woes of Ang's world, and so I talk about them all day long to be sure everyone is listening.

"Angela Marie Stump!"

"Yes, Lord?"

"I'm listening, and I'm not sure I like what I hear. You want recognition for each diaper you change and pity for your circumstances from a stranger? What about your eternal reward? Is my 'well done' not enough for you?"Hmmm. Right. Needed a little perspective, didn't I. Well, I found it with the help of the Bible's promises, and a short story someone forwarded to me. I'm condensing it, but here's the part that got me:

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip! and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought this for you."

Read Ang Stump's post in it's entirety here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The White Haired Man On George Street

Do you ask yourself often, what can "just one person" do? Can one person really make a difference? Before you answer, remember with God anything is possible.

Listen to the testimony of Mr. Genor and how God used him down in a tourist place called George Street. It's the most incredible witnessing testimony I've every heard in my life. It's my prayer it will touch your life and challenge you to sell out for the Lord.

Designed for Him...

During discussions with my daughter and other unmarried women across the United States including various countries, it is amazing to hear the diverse interests young ladies hold as the Lord prepares them for their future callings. Considering the beautiful role given to adapt "help meet" to one's husband, it is so edifying to hear how the Lord is working this incredible plan in these dear girls. Many interests young women hold, may be the very encouragment needed to help their future husband "win the battle" to succeed in life.
I spent many years considering "why?"

Read the rest here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Connie's Thoughts

I hope you appreciate this as much as I did.

"I can remember in my younger years. I had to learn a very valuable lesson. If someone was acting angry or unhappy, I just automatically thought that it had something to do with me. Sometimes quiet by accident , I would later learn what the real problem was and in fact it had nothing to do with me at all. This happened to me many times before I finally let the Lord teach me that unless someone directly said to me that they were acting a certain way because of me, I now just take for granted that they have had a bad day for some reason or another that has nothing to do with me. I am so very glad that I learned that lesson because I spent many wasted hours worring about somethings that I had no control over."

"Sometimes we let things that happen around us bother us so bad that we actually lose our tempers over things that are none of our business. These actions could lead to wrath. We need to be very careful how we are using our ears, our mouth and our emotions. We need to be pleasing God above all in our actions."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

At home on the range...

At home on the range.

While shooting sports are generally characterized as being "men only" territory, I have to say that this is a misconception. They are very enjoyable and a great family pastime. Would I rather be rocking a baby than out on the range? The obvious answer is "yes" of course. But it must be known that women are perfectly capable of engaging in such a sport, can still remain "ladies,"and have a fun time doing it.

Part of womanhood is being a responsible overseer of the birds in her nest, be they her children or younger siblings. If a woman doesn't understand a firearm or firearm safety, she'll be afraid to use it or over see the use of one. Knowledge brings much peace. Another part of womanhood is trusting a young marksman as her protector. Since we have no brothers and children at this point we find ourselves very blessed to have experienced what this is like.

One of my favorite times with Gator has been inventing our own target system (multi-colored cans hanging from a clothes hanger) and shooting them with B-B guns. It was a great time of creativity and practice of the range rules. It was also a great opportunity to "Ooo" and "Awe" over his dead-eye capabilities.

Knowing the mechanics of a gun is no different than knowing the mechanics of a sewing machine. Mechanics are mechanics.

There is nothing scary and stressful about guns. They are loud, but so is a grain grinder. They require a higher state of alertness and education, but so does driving a car, using knives, sewing machines and mixers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Three Cheers...

Three Cheers are in order! Two for the Vaughn family for finding this wonderful testimony and posting it on their blog and one BIG one for Pastor Steven J. Cole the author the kindly shared this wonderful testimony.

"How John Calvin led me to repent of Christian Psychology"

An excerpt:

"After about 13 years in the pastorate, God graciously whacked my on the side of the head with a two-by-four to show me where I had drifted off course"

"As this elder and I were discussing Cloud's approach (the author of a christian psychology book), he told me that people like his wife who were from dysfunctional homes could not relate to my preaching because I emphasize obedience to God's word. Because they had strict, cold, authoritarian fathers, they don't relate well to authority. I replied that I thought that I also put a strong emphasis on God's grace as the motivation for obedience. But he responded that his wife couldn't even relate to God's grace--it went right by her. I was a bit taken aback, and so I said, 'You mean that the many times I have spoken on God's grace, she didn't hear me?' He said yes in her 20 years on Crusade staff, never once had she felt God's grace and love on a personal level."

"I thought about what he had said and asked some clarifying questions to make sure that I understood him. Then I responded, 'If you wife has never felt God's love and grace, she is not converted!'"

"This elder got very upset with me. But I stuck to my guns then and do so now, that if a person can sit in church for 20 years and never be moved by God's grace and love as shown to us at the cross, then that person is not truly converted."

"As I thought about what this elder, my associate, Henry Cloud, and others in their camp were saying, I realised that, in effect, they were saying that the transforming power of the gospel, which has sustained the saints in and through every conceive able trial, was not sufficient to deal with the emotional problems of these late 20th century Christians."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy Funeral Archive

Funeral Service Webcast Archive

Some 4,000 people are expected at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, September 13, to remember and celebrate the life of Dr. D. James Kennedy, the longtime senior minister of Coral Ridge Church and founder of Coral Ridge Ministries, his Christian broadcasting outreach. You can join those who knew and loved Dr. Kennedy, or were touched by his message and ministry by watching the live webcast of his memorial service at 1 pm EDT on Thursday, September 13.

Service participants will include Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman of the Board Dr. James Dobson as keynote speaker; eulogies from National Religious Broadcasters President and CEO Dr. Frank Wright and Amway Corporation Co-Founder Richard DeVos; a family testimony from daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and statements read by a representative of President George W. Bush and grandson of evangelist Billy Graham.

Dr. D. James Kennedy Funeral Webcast in Progress

Go here to see the webcast of Dr. D. James Kennedy's funeral. Click the link on the left next to view webcast.

The webcast is running again starting at 2:20pm central time if you missed it at noon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Cost of Delaying Marriage

Young ladies need to know that this is absolutely true.

What we rarely hear – or perhaps are too fearful to admit – is how liberating marriage can actually be.

Our grandmothers, we are told, took husbands the way we might choose our first apartment. There was a scheduled viewing, a quick turn about the interior, a glance inside the closets, a nervous intake of breath as one read the terms of the lease, and then the signing – or not. You either felt a man’s charms right away or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you entertained a few more prospects until you found one who better suited you. If you love him, really loved him, all the better. But you also expected to make compromises. The view may not be great, but it’s sunny and spacious (translation: he’s not that handsome, but he’s sweet-natured and will be a good provider).

Whether you accepted or rejected him, however, you didn’t dawdle. My late mother-in-law, who married at twenty, told me that in her college circles in the mid-1950s, a man who took a woman out for more than three dates without intending marriage was considered a cad. Today, the man who considered marriage so rashly would be thought a fool. Likewise, a woman.

Instead, like lords or sailors of yore, a young woman is encouraged to embark upon the world, seek her fortune and sow her oats, and only much later – closer to 30 than 20 – consider the possibility of settling down. Even religious conservatives, who disapprove of sex outside of marriage, accept the now- common wisdom that it is better to put off marriage than do it too early. The popular radio host, Laura Schlessinger, traditional in so many of her views, constantly tells her listeners not to consider going to the altar much before thirty. In 1965, nearly 90 percent of women aged 25 to 29 were married; by 1996, only 56 percent of women in this age group were. Indeed, the more educated and ambitious a woman is the more likely she is to delay marriage and children, the Census Bureau reports. And if she doesn’t – if such a young woman decides to get married, say, before she is25 – she risks being regarded by her friends as a tragic figure, spoken of the way wartime generations once mourned the young man killed in battle: "How unfortunate, with all that promise, to be cut down so early in life!"

I remember congratulating a young woman upon her recent marriage to a friend of mine and commenting perfunctorily that both of them must be very happy. She was 24 at the time. She grabbed my hand, held it, and said with emotion, "Thank you!" As it turned out, I’d been the only woman to offer her congratulations without immediately expressing worry that she’d done the wrong thing. Her single female friends had greeted her wedding announcement as a kind of betrayal. A few had managed to stammer some grudging best wishes. Her best friend nearly refused to be a bridesmaid. They simply couldn’t fathom why she’d tossed away her freedom when she was barely out of college. And she, in turn, couldn’t convince them that she really had met the man she wanted to marry, that she didn’t want to keep going out to bars in the evenings and clubs on the weekends, postponing her marriage for half a decade until she reached an age that her friends would consider more suitable.

In this sense, we lead lives that are exactly the inverse of our grandmothers’. If previous generations of women were raised to believe that they could only realize themselves within the roles of wife and mother, now the opposite is thought true: It’s only outside these roles that we are able to realize our full potential and worth as human beings. A 20-year-old bride is considered as pitiable as a 30-year-old spinster used to be. Once a husband and children were thought to be essential to a woman’s identity, the source of purpose in her life; today, they are seen as peripherals, accessories that we attach only after our full identities are up and running.

Read on and find out what really is the cost of delaying marriage.

Marriage the Great Liberator

For decades, marriage has been viewed with the same kind of disdain as wearing pantyhose. Sometimes it's necessary, but put it off as long as possible; when possible, avoid it; and once it's served its purpose, you can easily discard it. And because of comments like Betty Friedan's (about a woman needing a man like a fish needs a bicycle), over the last 50 years, women have been encouraged to shirk the desire to marry and feel guilty when that desire arises within them....But, Christian thinkers all over the blogosphere-- and the real world ;) -- are encouraging the young Christians in America to resist the world's influence in this area of delaying marriage.

Christian marriage is actually quite the opposite of the jail cell that feminists implied it to be.

Here is the post in it's entirety

The Myth of the Perfect family

"We’re not to serve God by pretending life is easy for us or that we have it all down perfectly, because it’s not and we don’t. The world needs an honest depiction of real down-to-earth people living out real life to the glory of God."

Read the words of a wonderful Titus 2 woman Stacey McDonald as she reveals that nobody is perfect and explains how setting up such false idols destroys the productiveness of the family and the covenant community.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Society vs. the Biological Clock...

The last century of mainstream American society has played a vicious trick on women by feeding us a big fat lie.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Currently Reading...

George Muller of Bristol
The story of a man who practiced true religion by caring for thousands of orphans and provided a living demonstration to the believers of his day that God is able to supply the needs of those who give generously to Him.

Read the online version here. Hardback copies available here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What is THAT......?

THAT...No not that...that is Andrea's foot.
But THAT is a watermelon! A definate blue ribbon beauty.

My First Year of Full-Time Homemaking...A Testimony

Sam and Rebecca Coleman are members of our church and a delight to know. It was just over a year ago that we posted about Bringing Home Rebecca. We asked Rebecca on this special anniversary what this last year has meant to her.
Here is her response:
As I began to think about the joys of being a full-time home-maker it seemed as if all my reasons had to do with me, me, me, and the pleasures I get to enjoy, but really they aren’t. I just have the benefit of receiving joy because of the duties I have been able to perform since my loving husband brought me home from work one year ago. I have been able to be a much better helpmeet to him and it has very much strengthened our walk with the Lord.

For starters, our life simply runs smoother and much more efficiently because I run the household with order, which has given us free time in the evening to study and learn from the word of God. The same time that used to be spent catching up on cooking, cleaning and household planning because I was at work all day. The time that is now spent in whatever pursuit my husband chooses. I have the pleasure of living life on his schedule and I don’t have to ask the boss for time off. My “boss” now tells me when we are taking time off and there’s not even paperwork for me to fill out. I can dedicate my whole schedule to what he feels I should be spending my time on. I no longer have another man to boss me around and demand my time, draining me of precious energy that could and should be dedicated elsewhere.

Being home has allowed me some the most precious opportunities to help our covenant family. I have been able to cook, clean and simply spend time with new mothers and their babies. New babies are one of my favorite joys of this earthly life and because my husband brought me home from work I have been able to help new moms with their new babies in whatever capacity their family needed. And I have been able to just be there to make a phone call or to write letters to those who simply needed encouragement.

Some of the joys come from simply being in my house all day and are more rewarding than I ever thought. Who thought that being able to go the bathroom when I want and for however long I need without co-workers clock-watching would bring such peace to me. It is amazing what a little privacy can do for a person.

I get to eat my breakfast when I want. I am not forced to have lunch at the same time every day and I can start dinner for it to be ready just in time for my husband to walk through the door. And, I am there every day to greet him when he walks through that door.

All day long I get to choose the background noise of my home. I no longer have to listen to the radio station of my boss next door or the overhead music of someone else’s choosing. I get to choose positive, uplifting messages and music that glorify God all day long. Or I can choose to sit and read a book in the afternoon. Or if it gets cold (and that is rare in Texas) I can take my favorite blanket made by my Mammaw and throw it in the dryer to warm it up, then snuggle up on the sofa with a book and see how long it takes me to fall asleep and enjoy one of life’s other small pleasures; a nap in the afternoon.

So, you can see how all these things make “me” happy, but they’ve also made my husband very happy. I am much more joyful and relaxed about dedicating my time and efforts to him and the tasks he sets before me. He loves having me on his schedule and available to him anytime day or night. He has a pleasant wife to come home to that loves him and cares for him. He has peace in the knowledge that God gave me to him to be his helpmeet and now I dedicate my time to one man and one man only. I am blessed far more than I could write about in this one article. Suffice it to say that I am thankful to my loving husband who follows our blessed Lord. I look forward to many more years of home-making, home cooking and of course, the joys of motherhood.
Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing with us. May God bless all the years to come.

Visit Rebecca here at Patriot Ranch

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy

"Dr. Kennedy was indefatigable in his ministry work"

From the Blog of the Executive Vice President of Coral Ridge Ministries, Brian Fisher

Dr. D. James Kennedy Memorial website.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Proverbs 31 &

What exactly IS Hidden Arms?

Hidden arms is a small company, created for the purpose of offering quality concealed carry options for those gun owners in the real world.

Many of us have a concealed carry permit, but no way to practically carry our firearms. A quality concealed carry rig would need to be flexible, small, durable, comfortable, and most importantly, concealable. Unfortunately, most concealed carry rigs just don't fit the bill. They're either too bulky, too uncomfortable, or just plain impractical in today's world.

Hidden Arms offers a better solution, custom created by and for people who carry their firearms with them every day of their lives, and know what's needed for the optimum concealed carry product.

Now you see it....

Now you don't.

What does this have to do with Proverbs 31?
This is our way of:

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Matthew Henry Comments on Proverbs 31:13
(4.) She applies herself to the business that is proper for her. It is not in a scholar’s business, or statesman’s business, or husbandman’s business, that she employs herself, but in women’s business: She seeks wool and flax, where she may have the best of each at the best hand, and cheapest; she has a stock of both by her, and every thing that is necessary to the carrying on both of the woollen and the linen manufacture (v. 13), and with this she does not only set the poor on work, which is a very good office, but does herself work, and work willingly, with her hands; she works with the counsel or delight of her hands (so the word is); she goes about it cheerfully and dexterously, lays not only her hand, but her mind to it, and goes on in it without weariness in well-doing. She lays her own hands to the spindle, or spinning-wheel, and her hands hold the distaff (v. 19), and she does not reckon it either an abridgment of her liberty or a disparagement to her dignity, or at all inconsistent with her repose. The spindle and the distaff are here mentioned as her honour, while the ornaments of the daughters of Zion are reckoned up to their reproach, Isa. 2:18, etc.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Proverbs 31:24
Matthew Henry Comments on Proverbs 31:24
(4.) She trades abroad. She makes more than she and her household have occasion for; and therefore, when she has sufficiently stocked her family, she sells fine linen and girdles to the merchants (v. 24), who carry them to Tyre, the mart of the nations, or some other trading city. Those families are likely to thrive that sell more than they buy; as it is well with the kingdom when abundance of its home manufactures are exported. It is no disgrace to those of the best quality to sell what they can spare, nor to deal in trade and send ventures by sea.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

Now you can tell from the name what "the favorite" around here is.
This recipe does come with variations, but when it comes to the choice of whether or not to add more chocolate to the batch the answer is obvious and unanimous. I have also added my honey whole wheat version along side the terribly unhealthy (guilt, guilt, guilt) version.
Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies
Heat oven to 350' (or 325' if you will be using honey)
In large mixer bowl cream:
1 1/4 cup of butter or margarine softened
2 cups of sugar (or 1 cup of honey)
until light and fluffy. (There's no fluff when using honey)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
beat well.
2 cups of flour (or 2 1/2-2/3/4 if you used honey)
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Blend into creamed mixture gradually.
Stir in:
2 cups of Chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheet. Bake 8 or 9 minutes. (You may have to cook longer if you used whole wheat and honey) Do not over bake! Cookies will be soft. They will puff while cooking and flatten while cooling. (Unless you used whole wheat flour and honey.) Let cool 5 minutes on cookies sheet before removing to cooling rack...Invite me over to have some...;o)