Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Texans Boot Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has been shut down in the Texas panhandle.

American Life League's (ALL) Stop Planned Parenthood, or Stopp International, says it took a long time, but their campaign against Planned Parenthood finally got some results. "For 12 years in the Texas panhandle, there has been a fight against Planned Parenthood," he notes. "Planned Parenthood, in 1997, operated 19 clinics in the Texas panhandle."

Then the state reduced funding for the organization, and pro-life workers also continued in their efforts to shut Planned Parenthood's doors. "And as of December 31, there will no longer be any Planned Parenthood offices in the Texas panhandle," Sedlak explains. "They will all be gone."

The two remaining clinics in Amarillo have disaffiliated with the national organization. Sedlak says other cities can accomplish the same goal if they are determined, and information on that is available on the Stopp website.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Marriage/Love/Romance by Emily Gunn

"I fed myself a steady diet of romance movies and novels when I was growing up. I even read all those so called "Christian romance" novels. This was the sum of my knowledge about marriage and romance. Suffice it to say I was an idiot when I got married. I totally bought that you would know that you'd found the "right one" when everything clicked and you heard or at least felt the background violins. So, when Colin and I had difficulties or conflict, I not only felt the defeat of that argument in that moment, I also felt the defeat of Hollywood telling me that I'd married the wrong one. I was sure I'd made a mistake until we made up and I felt "in love" again, and then I thought maybe it wasn't a mistake. Until the next argument came along. I bet y'all are so jealous of Colin finding such a catch as me,eh?! Anyway, it's been a long time coming, but I'm starting to learn to look at marriage with a biblical perspective and not a Top Gun, Princess Bride, Sixteen Candles one. Uh-oh I think I've dated myself with those pop culture references from the eighties."
"So, now that I'm so old and a little wise, I realize that marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and His church's relationship. There will be many opportunities for the husband to learn to love someone despite their total lack of love-ability, and there will be plenty of opportunities for wives to learn to honor and respect their husbands despite being absolutely sure that they're wrong. Only in this give and take and bowing the will of oneself for the other can we truly find happiness and joy. Through being considerate, patient, forgiving, we will truly know the indescribably close bond of being husband and wife. Only then will we know the depths and beauty of being truly "in love." Marriage is for happiness, but it's not through the path that Cameron Diaz or Bradd Pitt will lead you. It's through a lot of sanctification and selflessness. And it is truly a beautiful thing."
Visit Emily's Ceilidh here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Vision Forum Year End Liquidation Sale Starts Today

There's some really great buys here. I got a sneak peak (no doubt since it's 2:30 am and I am still up) and Vision Forum is being more than generous with the low prices.
And since I never did rave over one of my favorite books when it came out, what better time than now to let you know that if you haven't read, "To Have And To Hold" well....WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? It's incredible! The first copy that showed up in our congregation went through the church like wildfire as it was passed from one reader to the next. You'll love it. And now that it's 60% off, well, you have no excuses. Here listen to this:

To Have and to Hold emphasizes the sanctity of the marriage covenant in the sight of God, whereby no man or king may invalidate the union:

“[T]he King demands that the lady be sent home forthwith.... His Majesty cannot conceive it possible that she hath so far forgotten her birth, rank, and duty as to have maintained in Virginia this mad masquerade.... The ship is to bring home also — and in irons — the man who married her. If he swears to be ignorant of her quality ... then shall he be sent honorably back to Virginia with enough in his hand to get him another wife....” I interrupted fiercely. “My wife and I were married lawfully, in the sight of God and of man. What God has joined together, let not man tear asunder! She is my wife!” (Excerpt from pg. 91)

It illustrates the nobility of pure womanhood and the importance of a wife identifying with and supporting her husband’s vision:

“We drank of the same cup then, your Honor, and we will drink of it still. We twain were wedded, and the world strove to part us. We stand suffering for that which is right and true, true by the laws of England, and most of all, true before the God who ordained that a woman should follow her husband, yea an though a sovereign should command otherwise!” (Excerpt from pg. 260)

It clearly shows the role of a godly man, both as a valiant, fearless warrior, along with his duty to cherish and serve his wife:

“What is mine is yours: it’s little beside my sword and my name. The one is naturally at my wife’s service; for the other, I have had some pride in keeping it untarnished. It is now in your keeping as well as your own. I do not fear to leave it there, madam.” (Excerpt from pg. 86)

Do I need to go on?
Some other favorites? Well okay...
"The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision" is 70% off. Sorry, I should have told you to sit down first.
But since you're already sitting look at these other's that are a steal. They are some of my favorites.
"So Much More" at 55% off
"The Best of the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy" 16 CDs for the price of 3 and a half!
And you know what? ....there's so many others that I am really glad I have. You can be certain that it's what you're looking for from the description. I have never been disappointed when I purchased something from Vision Forum. Happy shopping! I'd love to hear what you get!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Reader Comments: The Blessings Of Biblical Entrepreneurialism

Andrea and I received a lovely letter from a reader, in response to our LAF article, "Dig Your Well Before You Need It," originally a response to, "Bringing Home Rebecca" titled, "What If He Dies?" It is as follows:

Dear Kelly and Andrea,

This morning I read your recent article on the LAF website and wanted to comment on it.

Your article is so true! I'm sure you have heard many examples of the success of what you are recommending, since God does prosper those who follow His ways. But I still wanted to say that yes, you are right! Entrepreneurship and economical stability can succeed even when the head of the family dies.

"So what happens when your husband dies or loses his job? You then have no job skills, no recent work history, and a mortgage to pay and kids to feed. Life insurance and unemployment are never enough to last more than a year. So how, exactly, do you plan to get by when your source of financial support goes away? Husbands don't live forever. Jobs don't last forever. Unless you have a backup plan, you're stuck trying to make ends meet on welfare or church assistance--neither of which goes very far. ALL women should keep up their education and job skills in order to serve their families in times of crisis. Taking off a little time here and there to be with infants is understandable. But don't fall into the trap of letting job skills go to seed."

Here’s what happened:

My faithful father did pass away at a relatively young age, four years ago, leaving a wife and two nearly-grown children and a legacy of hard work and good planning. And we didn’t have a mortgage, didn’t run out of life insurance, didn’t use welfare or church assistance, and the women didn’t have to start working—unlike the doubtful fears expressed in the question above. Of course, there was much work to do in managing his late estate; and we always love to stay industrious—but not out of worry of where the next meal would come from, thankfully.

Here’s how we were prepared:

My parents had built several houses and sold them, enabling them to build our then-current house without a mortgage, and eventually an out-of-town ranch as well. We did a lot of work ourselves, not on the actual framing and finishing of the houses, but on the landscaping and extra improvements which added value to the properties.

My dad had established a consulting firm thirteen years before, and through working at home had been able to have low overhead and greater savings. He had invested in life insurance ever since the start of his professional career, and the resulting payment was much greater than what would “last a year.” This aided in purchasing income-producing commercial properties and in allowing my mother to never have to work.

A few lessons that were realized:

Being out of debt was key, for it freed up all of the new resources (life insurance, etc.) for their best possible use. Out of debt, you can use resources without a feeling of guilt or worry. With no debt, it’s amazing how far money can go toward real needs—with some left over to invest in property or otherwise. If a family saves money and gets out of debt, it is incredibly fulfilling to be able to pursue entrepreneurial activities together, invest in greater income-producing potential, and enjoy the blessings of life. I realize there are many variables about type of vocation and state of the economy, but being debt-free will always, always, be a step in the right direction.

Being self-employed was, I think, a major factor in having the freedom to increase profit, save money, and not have even a mortgage. Being self-employed, we (but especially my father) had the freedom to be creative with our time and efforts, and also received all of the reward from our own labor. Our family worked together on everything and supported each other’s income-making endeavors. My brother and I worked hard at everything (in the house, farm, and business) from a young age, and though we never got an allowance nor got paid by the hour at first, we were well-compensated by being given wonderful opportunities and eventually being given a stake (directly or indirectly) in the profit of those endeavors.

With no debt, income and profit can span over generations,--such as enabling my brother to be grafted into my father's business, established at an early age, and capable of now supporting a family. You can be frugal and save money from the beginning of starting a household in order to reap exponential, generation-spanning rewards later on. I am so very thankful this was the pattern in our household. A little sacrifice in the beginning really does pay off in the long-term.

God’s providence has been paramount through this whole journey—from leading my parents to be self-employed and out of debt, to enabling us to be in a good financial position when my father passed away. Being in that advantageous position, however, made all the difference between being made destitute from a hard trial, and being able to weather it more than sufficiently. Having parents who invested so much into our lives has given us a great head-start for wherever we go in life. May we always use our abilities and financial freedom to serve God and others in a powerful way!

I’d encourage you to take the step for self-employment and debt-free living! It's a matter of living for the ease and luxury of the moment versus having a vision for future success and blessing. You’ll honor God and you’ll be more prepared either to sustain a hard circumstance or to prepare your children and grandchildren to start out strongly and prosper in life. Or both, in our family’s case. Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Fine Reading: Matthew Henry On The Proverbs 31 Wife

A particular description of her and of her excellent qualifications

She is very industrious to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection. Those that are good really will be good relatively. A good woman, if she be brought into the marriage state, will be a good wife, and make it her business to please her husband, 1 Co. 7:34. Though she is a woman of spirit herself, yet her desire is to her husband, to know his mind, that she may accommodate herself to it, and she is willing that he should rule over her.
(1.) She conducts herself so that he may repose an entire confidence in her. He trusts in her chastity, which she never gave him the least occasion to suspect or to entertain any jealousy of; she is not morose and reserved, but modest and grave, and has all the marks of virtue in her countenance and behaviour; her husband knows it, and therefore his heart doth safely trust in her; he is easy, and makes her so. He trusts in her conduct, that she will speak in all companies, and act in all affairs, with prudence and discretion, so as not to occasion him either damage or reproach. He trusts in her fidelity to his interests, and that she will never betray his counsels nor have any interest separate from that of his family. When he goes abroad, to attend the concerns of the public, he can confide in her to order all his affairs at home, as well as if he himself were there. She is a good wife that is fit to be trusted, and he is a good husband that will leave it to such a wife to manage for him.
(2.) She contributes so much to his content and satisfaction that he shall have no need of spoil; he needs not be griping and scraping abroad, as those must be whose wives are proud and wasteful at home. She manages his affairs so that he is always before-hand, has such plenty of his own that he is in no temptation to prey upon his neighbours. He thinks himself so happy in her that he envies not those who have most of the wealth of this world; he needs it not, he has enough, having such a wife. Happy the couple that have such a satisfaction as this in each other!
(3.) She makes it her constant business to do him good, and is afraid of doing any thing, even through inadvertency, that may turn to his prejudice, v. 12. She shows her love to him, not by a foolish fondness, but by prudent endearments, accommodating herself to his temper, and not crossing him, giving him good words, and not bad ones, no, not when he is out of humour, studying to make him easy, to provide what is fit for him both in health and sickness, and attending him with diligence and tenderness when any thing ails him; nor would she, no, not for the world, wilfully do any thing that might be a damage to his person, family, estate, or reputation. And this is her care all the days of her life; not at first only, or now and then, when she is in a good humour, but perpetually; and she is not weary of the good offices she does him: She does him good, not only all the days of his life, but of her own too; if she survive him, still she is doing him good in her care of his children, his estate, and good name, and all the concerns he left behind him. We read of kindness shown, not only to the living, but to the dead, Ruth 2:20.
(4.) She adds to his reputation in the world (v. 23): Her husband is known in the gates, known to have a good wife. By his wise counsels, and prudent management of affairs, it appears that he has a discreet companion in his bosom, by conversation with whom he improves himself. By his cheerful countenance and pleasant humour it appears that he has an agreeable wife at home; for many that have not have their tempers strangely soured by it. Nay, by his appearing clean and neat in his dress, every thing about him decent and handsome, yet not gaudy, one may know he has a good wife at home, that takes care of his clothes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jack

Geneva Leather Bound Bible for $12.84

This just in from a reader:

"I just bought a Geneva Bible for $12.84! First, I signed up to attend the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. As soon as I signed up, Vision Forum sent me a "passport" coupon worth $25 to spend at their website catalog.

Next, I found the
Geneva Bible on sale at the Vision Forum catalog website on sale 50% off ($35.00). I selected it and put it in my electronic shopping cart.

Finally, I put my passport number in the "Redeem Passport Gift Certificate" portion of the check out. It was automatically deducted AFTER I paid the tax on $35. So the total amount (shipping being free for orders over $25) came to $12.84 (the $10 difference plus $2.84 Texas sales tax)."

Everything Is One Sale At VisionForum.com and Free Shipping

Vision Forum is offering discounts on everything in the store! The sale will last for just 3 days, ending at midnight on Wednesday, December 17.

Once again, all toys will be 20% off, and all books, audio and DVDs will be 30% off. But here's the best part: a long list of new and old favorites will be 50% off! I've highlighted some favorites.

50% off items will include:
*Thoughts for Young Men
*All-American Pop Gun
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*Teach Them To Your Children
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*Ten P's in a Pod
*Swiss Family Robinson
*Little Bear's Outdoor Adventure Guide
*True Story of Noah's Ark
*Umbrella Doll Stroller
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*Western Revolver Cap Gun
*The Coral Island
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*20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
*Gulliver's Travels
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*Frontier Tomahawk
*Air Burst Rocket System -
*Men of Science, Men of God
*(DVD) Putting on the Whole Armor of God
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*Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
*Candy Factory
*The Family
*(DVD) Measure Twice, Cut Once
*Juggling Balls A-08-204
*Ice Cream Maker
*Ping-Pong Gun (A personal favorite of Gator's)
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*Fighting the Flames
*The Book of Psalms For Singing
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*(DVD) History of the World Boxed set
*Silk Ribbon Embroidery
*Princess Ka'iulani Doll Dress
*Coming In on a Wing & a Prayer
*(CD) Bible Lessons for Manhood
*Rubik's Cube
*1599 Geneva Bible
*Prairie Bonnet Multi-Print
*Swiss Military Field Telephone
*Edison Light Bulb Kit
*John Gill's Commentaries 9-vol SET (With Free CDROM and Book)
*Jonathan Park Hat (Blue) Child's Size Adjustable

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do You eBay?

Do you eBay? I do...now and then that is. When I get the bug. I like the fact that it's easy to use with lots of handy tools when selling and buying. I particularly like being able to make invoices and print postage right here at home and then ring in the post man with the click of a button so I don't even have to go out to mail packages. It's easy to study the market to see if your Aunt Margie's ugly favorite lamp will sell. It's predicable. So you know if you are wasting your precious time on purpose or not. There's buyer protection through PayPal. Oh, and I totally love doing my accounting and am able to download my info already itemized and organized right into my accounting software. Okay that's a lie...I hate accounting, but this feature makes it's okay.

So, I added a link to our side bar. It's all the ahthelife auctions. We arrived at a point where our 1000 sq ft loss in the last move has put the squeeze on us a little to much. Feel free to peruse. Some listings start at a penny. I'll be diving out into the garage periodically for a while...and who knows what I will find...one man's trash is well....you know...the perfect gage gift this year...I hear Santa does his shopping on eBay for all the naughty children since coal is such a no-no these days....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cast a vote for manliness...

Be sure to hurry on over to The Art of Manliness, and cast a vote in the Old Spice sponsored, "2008 Man of the year" contest.
Jennie Chancey has nominated her husband Matt Chancey and he is a finalist!
Jennie writes:
I knew my husband was a real man from the start. Not only did he wear impeccable three-piece suits and natty ties at age 19, but his favorite movies were all made before 1959, and he knew how to swing dance with verve. He loved the classic John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara movie, “The Quiet Man” (a long-time favorite of mine), and I quickly learned that Matt’s similarly quiet, calm exterior hid a multitude of talents and abilities. His genuine friendliness and loyalty have served him throughout the years and kept him in touch with everyone from the local postmaster to heads of state in foreign countries. I never cease to be amazed at what real manliness can accomplish.

In many ways, my husband is a self-made man. He has never followed a “typical” path but has eked out his own, meeting fascinating people and taking incredible detours along the way. Two years of junior college left him chomping at the bit for real life and greater opportunities, so he dove head-first into the world of law and politics as a teenager. Working as an intern for a law firm near Washington, DC, Matt lobbied for good causes and became increasingly disturbed by the lack of integrity and (yes) true manliness in the halls of government. He made another leap, starting his own business at age 22, doing research and writing while keeping chickens and hunting with black-powder rifle in the wilds of the Shenandoah Valley (he has long admired the great agrarian apologists like Richard Weaver and sought to emulate their ideals—manly men never just sit and watch the world go by).

Matt’s work branched out to include things as diverse as leading a two-week tour through Asia with 25 distinguished businessmen in 2001 and serving on the board of an organization devoted to helping refugees in Sudan. His service on that board grew with his love for Africa and the people there, and at least twice a year he can be found trekking into the wilds of Sudan and up the White Nile to bring relief to Darfurian refugees. In short, Matt is a far cry from today’s “metro-sexual” or video game addict. He is a true man’s man.

Matt reads widely, adding new volumes to our family library and constantly introducing his family to authors and ideas. Once a year, Matt hosts “The Gathering,” a much-anticipated event that honors one man for his contributions to American thought, culture, and theology. Guests of honor have included a noted historian, a principled statesman, and a great southern orator and pastor. For three days, the honoree is surrounded by men who pepper him with questions, learn from his answers, and honor him for his life. My husband’s desire to pay homage to real manhood shines through in each of these events. One year’s Gathering took place in England and Scotland, as Matt lead a tour through some of the greatest sites in Western history (and stopped in pubs that have been gathering places to greats like Cromwell and Gladstone).

He’d never sing his own praises, but, as his wife, I never tire of doing so. My husband can read G.A. Henty’s historical fiction aloud to our children at the dinner table and fix the brakes on a 1964 Ford pickup. He can deliver food and medical aid to a refugee camp on the border of Darfur and stand up in church the next week to tell about it. He can write a terse letter to the editor and compose beautiful poems to his wife. He plays piano masterfully by ear and sings with a wonderful baritone. His many facets shine in every situation, and he has never met a stranger. Because of his genuine manliness, our sons have a role model they can look up to on a daily basis, and our daughters have a hero for every bedtime story. Most of all, I have a husband I greatly admire, respect, and love passionately. He will always be my Man of the Year.

PS – The photo was taken in the upper Nile. My husband, cool as a cucumber in the 120-degree heat, demonstrates that it is possible to be well-dressed even in the far reaches of Africa. His companions are Sudanese freedom fighters.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LAF Feature: Dig Your Well Before You Need It

Written quite a few months back, a revisit to our post on financial responsibility seems timely when with every turn of the head one reads "Economic Crisis" and "Bail Out" Jennie Chancey one of the founders of Ladies Against Feminism has linked to our post Dig Your Well Before You Need it.

God Bless,

Kelly for the Reins Dames

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gianna - Aborted and Lived to Tell About It.

Gianna, Aborted...and Lived to Tell About It

I have been in awe of Gianna Jessen since I learned about her recently and saw her videos. I am only half way through her biography but I want to share a little about her. Gianna suffers from Cerebral Palsy due to her traumatic abortion survival. Living with this disability means therapies and surgeries along with a daily challenges it affords her, but Gianna thanks God for it.

Learn more about her by watching her testimony here.

What the videos do not contain are the trials and courageous stories of her youth. Gianna was blessed with a tenacious adoptive mother who was not intimidated by the doctor's reports that Gianna would never crawl and never walk. It was the dedication of this loving woman that has in part inspired Gianna in her Pro-Life work and ministry.

Gianna's adoptive father walked out on Gianna and her mother when Gianna was a teen. They started over and when they did, they poured out more love and help on others who were in worse shape than them. Her mother working more than one job at a time they always had more to give to those in need.

Living with cerebral palsy was challenging enough but Gianna's junior high years proved to be difficult and challenging in a whole new way. Ostracized again and again, Gianna and her mother decided to adventure into the world of homeschooling after the school counselor offered to get Gianna some "volunteer friends," and still Gianna was about to learn about the world and it's vast complexities in a greater degree than she already was acquainted with.

Gianna began public speaking at a very young age presenting herself just as she is, a radiant spunky and joyful child with a story to tell. She sang and/or spoke in many states here and countries abroad, expounding on the importance of forgiveness, telling her story and inspiring many. Hear Gianna sing "Come Gracious Spirit" here. It wasn't long before she would learn that the evil that had deceived her birth mother was still a strong hold in her country, growing larger and evolving into a many headed monster.
Gianna flew to Montgomery, Alabama to testify before a health committee meeting. After giving her testimony a Pro-Death speaker stood and fully facing Gianna rather than the committee contended that handicapped children, like little Gianna, were a burden on society. Though the animosity was a shock to little Gianna, it only strengthened her resolve.

At 14 she spoke before an Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who was at the time one of the most powerful groups in the country. They had assembled to hear testimony for and against the controversial abortion causing pill RU-486 already banned by the FDA. As Gianna spoke she was heckled, she was shouted down, ridiculed and intimidated by members of Act Up a homosexual group. The motion passed 4-1 allowing importation of the abortion pill, Mike Antonovich casting the lone dissenting vote. Gianna received a letter from supervisor Antonovich commending her and letting her know that her testimony challenged many that day causing them to question their beliefs. "...the Lord will recognize you and all of those fighting for the sanctity of life."
Shortly after she would be in Atlanta, Ga braving the "death-scorts" or volunteers determined to help pregnant mothers into the abortion mills. Gianna and 11 other teens were attempting to shut down a 60,000 sq. ft. building dedicated solely to abortion. Posted in pairs at as many doors as they could cover it wasn't long before Gianna found herself in a face off.

"She looked up. A security guard, legs spread and arms behind his back, stood facing her. She caught his eye and tried to talk to him. 'Your clinic does late term abortions, doesn't it?' she asked.

'No,' he replied.

'I've hear that hey do, I've hear that they don't do anything but abortions here and that many of them are late-term.'

'They might do a few.'

'My birth mother aborted me,' said Gianna softly, keeping her eyes on his. 'She was seven months pregnant. But I survived.'

The guard just stood there. His eyes were troubled now. Gianna could see questions in them-doubts and uneasiness.

'I have cerebral palsy because of the abortion.'

The guard never said another word.

That day ended in arrest but her ministry took off eventually. TV producers were calling her and Gianna was able to witness to the nation via a talk show.
Gianna is truthful about her emotional struggles, her attitude towards her birth mother and the doctors, the bitterness that she has faced and the difficult realities that are hers. But you will also find that what follows is a message of God's sovereign grace and hope in the Lord. That He has mended her and that He has been her Saviour in all ways. When asked about how she found out that she had been aborted Gianna testifies to God's graciousness.
Gianna was asked by Morrie Povich, "When did you find out the real story about the abortion attempt?" the conversation follows.

"When I was 12 years old. It was on Christmas Day. We were making Christmas dinner. I said, 'Mom, why do I have cerebral palsy?'

"I had asked her that I don't know how many times. But for the first time, she said, 'Do you really want to know why?' and I said, 'Yes, I do,' and she said, 'You'd better sit down, ' Well, your mother was seven months pregnant, and she-- she--' As soon as the words were about to come out, I filled in the words. I said, 'I was aborted, right?'

"Now, don't tell e how I knew, because I didn't know for 12 years, but at that moment--But at that moment, I feel -- this is the way I really feel -- God gave me that. He told me at that right moment as that I could accept it and it just wouldn't be a big boom for me."
I highly recommend the book. I hope you'll find yourself a copy and once finished pass it on. I also hope that it will encourage clarity of vision, and resolve to see it through. Gianna is an excellent example of that to be sure. Gianna's testimony calls to mind Luke 2:49 "And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
Of which Matthew Henry says this: "Herein he hath left us an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father’s business, and to make all other business give way to it. This word of Christ we now think we understand very well, for he hath explained it in what he hath done and said. It was his errand into the world, and his meat and drink in the world, to do his Father’s will, and finish his work"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Items Updated...3 Days Left!

Additional Items Have Been Added at 50% Off!

This special offer applies only to online orders placed at visionforum.com, and is not retroactive. Offer ends at midnight on Friday, December 5, 2008 (CST).

Who We Are In Christ

Finding Freedom From Guilt

"Crystal, it doesn't matter what others think of you. It doesn't matter what others are doing. So long as you are seeking to please the Lord and honor me--that's what matters."

Which is why playing "The Comparison Game" is neither healthy or wise. It only leads to guilt, frustration, and much time wasted. And yet, I think it's something a lot of us women struggle with. We look at other women who seem more accomplished, or more organized, or thinner, or prettier, or better at this or that, or even more Godly, and we start feeling like we don't stack up.

Now granted, there's nothing wrong with being inspired or motivated by others and I'm not advocating that we all seek after mediocrity, but there is great danger in measuring ourselves and our abilities against another. Especially if this causes us to feel discouraged or inadequate.

Our worth is not in how pretty we are, how self-disciplined we are, how well-trained or advanced our children are, how long we've been married, how many children we have, how well we can decorate, how little we spend at the grocery store, or whatever it is that we feel like we might not measure up to another.

All that truly matters is who I am in Christ.

Read Finding Freedom From Guilt in it's entirety here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Praising the Lord...

…for the safe arrival of Parker Xavier Stubbs.
Born November 19th 2008
8 lbs 20 1/2" long

We’re very excited for our covenant family members Tracy and Leah Bussard who are once again grandparents. Leah was able to travel back to the west coast to be with her daughter and welcome her new grandson into the world.

Five Minutes To Danger Mountain

Danger Mountain Mug Cake
Adapted from Life in a Shoe

-1 coffee mug (microwave-safe)
-4 T. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
-4 T. sugar
-2 T. cocoa
-1 egg
-3 T. milk
-3 T. oil
-Splash of vanilla
-3 T. chocolate chips, optional (optional?)

Add dry ingredients to the mug; mix well with a fork. Add egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix well. Add chips, if using.

Put mug in the microwave, and cook for three minutes at 1,000 watts. (note: my little low-wattage microwave cooked it perfectly at 3 minutes. You might want to try less time with yours.) Cake will rise over the top of the mug — do not be alarmed. When finished, carefully remove mug from microwave and allow to cool a little. Tip onto a small plate prior to serving, if desired. Yields one generous serving or two “more virtuous” servings.