Sunday, March 30, 2008

Job Was More Than Patient

We often use the phrase, "the patience of Job" to refer to someone that endures through a trial. Yes, he is patient. He is patient with his three friends, though I think at times he is about to lose his patience with them and frankly, I would have.

I've been reading the book of Job and I am noticing that Job displays something much more than patience. He displays an utter faith and trust in the justice and mercy of God; in God's complete sovereignty. In the midst of sitting in his ash heap, covered in boils and listening to his less than comforting friends he says these things,

"In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." ~Job 12:10

"To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His." ~ Job 12:13

"Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;" ~Job 13:15

"Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." ~Job 14:5

As I continue to walk the path of trial in my life, God is showing me that He is in complete control. He is busy burning off the dross in my life, leading me to the place where I can say with utter conviction, "Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Won! I Won! I Won!

I'm very excited to announce that I won a $50 gift certificate to Christa-Taylor in a drawing that Coralie was having over at her blog Life More Abundantly.

I can hardly believe it...I rarely, if ever win anything that's worth anything. But this is huge for me because I've been looking, desiring to, yearning for a denim skirt. Do you know how hard it is to find a denim skirt for a short little pear shaped, over 40 (but not looking it) woman?

Okay, maybe you don't but let me tell you, it ain't easy! And Christa-Taylor has one! Here it is:

Sorry it's a little "digitally" looking. Don't you just love it?!? I can hardly wait to spend my money. And Christa-Taylor is a great place to spend it. To explain a little about who she is and what she is about I'm going to plagiarize Coralie,

Christa Taylor, a young woman from Washington State, had the same complaint, so she decided to do something about it. features a full line of hip, contemporary, modest clothing. Designed by a young woman for young women, Christa’s clothes are something on which dads and daughters can agree.

Christa-Taylor is a family run company, with Christa’s dad and brothers actively involved in the business, and it is operated with a Christian world view. Taking seriously the command in scripture to support widows and orphans in their distress, Christa sends 5% from every purchase to
Warm Blankets Orphan Care International. Christa calls it “Mission beyond Business,” and it’s yet another reason I am so excited to offer the following giveaway.
I hope you will visit her web site and browse around. She has beautiful things that young and 'not quite as young as I used to be' will like. What I especially like is that they are fashionable and modest. I think that's what helps it transcend the age thing. I am particularly enamored with her skirts. I've been working on expanding my skirt collection for some time and am excited to expand it further.
So a big thank you to Coralie and Christa Taylor! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
P.S. Sorry that the type is so squished together here at the end. Is there someone out there who could explain to me what I can do to keep it from doing this when I mess with the font and alignment?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Reading

So I'm kinda just lovin' these reading challenges! Katrina over at Callapidder Days is hosting the Spring Reading Thing 2008 and here I am putting in my two cents. I have at least one book left over from the Winter Reading Challenge at A Joyful Heart and a few that I started in the in between time.

So here is my list:

And that's not all! (Of course it may not all get read but one needs to have goals!) I'm also planning on reading these:

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon

Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters by Stacy McDonald

Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This is a read-aloud with my kiddos that we have already started.)

That should keep me plenty busy this Spring. There are, of course, a few that have been read case you hadn't noticed the well worn bindings of the Narnia series. My already in progress books have book marks sticking out the tops. I'm looking forward to each book on my list and I hope that I can read them ALL!

If you want to see more book lists (and there are some good ones out there) be sure to head over to Callapidder Days and check out the Mr. Linky list.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reflections on Easter, Part 1

When I was a girl growing up in the church my father pastored, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter was special. Since we were Baptists we didn't call it Holy Week, just Easter Week. I do remember that we had that week off from school and it was called Easter Vacation...not Spring Break...and there were a lot of preparations for celebrating the Resurrection.

It started on Palm Sunday in which I recall the choir entering the from the rear of the sanctuary (as opposed to entering from the sides of the choir loft), waving palm branches and singing a selection from the Easter Cantata. Jesus triumphal entry was also emphasized in Sunday School that day.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday usually didn't involve any special church services. But my Mom was busy at home getting our Easter clothes ready, helping us color Easter eggs and making Hot Cross Buns. She also helped make unleavened bread for....

The Maundy Thursday Dinner. I remember what we did at this dinner (I will describe it in a moment) but I never really knew where this tradition derived from until I looked it up on Wikipedia. Essentially it is a commemoration of the Last Supper. I remember that these dinners were solemn and candlelit. We were served family style, by the the deacons and deaconesses, a meal of roast lamb, rice, spinach with vinegar, raisins and dates, a huge bowl of peeled oranges (I always wondered who got the job of peeling all those oranges), unleavened bread and grape juice (remember we were Baptists!). The meal was shared and then communion. There were usually hymns sung at intervals during the evening and one year there was a dramatic presentation of some of the events of Jesus' week of Passion. Sometimes there was a foot washing ceremony. This simple event was probably my favorite part of the whole week, leaving a deep impression in my heart and memory. I haven't celebrated it in years and I truly miss it.

Friday at Noon there was some sort of Good Friday service. Sometimes just our church had one and sometimes there was a community service in which pastors from several different churches in our small town participated. I don't know if stores were actually closed between Noon and 3pm, but I know at one time that was a custom in many towns in our country. My in-laws had to wait to get their marriage license until after 3pm because the court house was closed in observance of Good Friday...that was 1952.

Saturday was spent in final preparations for Sunday. I remember helping my Mom and other ladies in the church, decorate the sanctuary with Easter Lilies. Then we went home for a little play time, a good scrubbing and bed. I'm sure my Mom was busy ironing our new or refurbished Easter clothes and preparing Easter breakfast.

On Sunday Morning my Dad usually participated in the local Ministerial Associations Sunrise Service held in an amphitheater at the area cemetery. When I was in High School and Jr. College I attended a few of these. I hated getting up so early, but I was never disappointed that I went. It is a wondrous thing that our Lord has done for us.

Easter Sunday Morning church service was jubilant! I posted my favorite hymn from those services yesterday and there were others such as "He Lives". My impressions of this day were those of joy, happiness and rejoicing. Jesus won the victory over sin and death and I, yes me, I benefit from that victory. Hallelujah!!!
The culmination of Easter Week was on Easter Sunday Evening when the choir gave their Easter Cantata. When I was in High School I participated in it. It was wonderful.

Fast forward 25 years to now. Easter Vacation has become Spring Break and more often than not it is not even taken during Holy Week. Sometimes it is before, sometimes after. I've not attended any churches in the last 20 years that have had anywhere near the observances my church had when I was growing up and certainly not the Maundy Thursday observance. I haven't attended a Good Friday in several years and they never happen in the middle of the day anymore, usually in the evening. Palm Sunday seems like any other Sunday. There are usually still Easter Lilies and special Sunday morning music on Easter and if you're fortunate a teaching on the Resurrection.
It leaves Easter feeling somewhat....errr flat. I'm not big on ritual and tradition. After all, I grew up in a Baptist church and they don't tend to be big on a lot of ritual. And now I attend a church that has even less ritual than I grew up with. Most of the time this is not a big deal to me. But lately (and by that I mean the last few years) I find myself missing certain Christian observances. Observances like Lent, Holy Week, Advent, and some kind of remembrance of the Ascension. I understand that these observances have been "pushed aside", so to speak, because quite often ritual and tradition have a way of becoming meaningless. But they also have a way of bringing meaning to events and to our lives.

I have some more thoughts on rituals, Christian customs and religious observances but as this is getting to be quite a lengthy post I think I will make it a two parter. To conclude this post I would like to say that I still glory in the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior and all that that means to me, I just wish that it were more of a celebration with my Christian brothers and sisters.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Favorite Easter Hymn

Low in the grave He lay
Jesus my Savior
Waiting the coming day
Jesus my Lord
Up from the grave he arose
With a mighty triumph or' His foes
He arose a victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose!
He arose!
Christ Arose!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The End of My Winter Reading

The Winter Reading Challenge over at A Joyful Heart is almost over. She extended it another week because of her own busy schedule and I was grateful because this is the first chance I've had to sit down and write any sort of post.

I feel I did pretty well on my list. Some other books crept in and since I have a tendency to have more than one book going at a time there are a couple on my list still unfinished. I think I've started them all but there are some that still have a chapter or two waiting to be read.

So here below are the books I planned to read with some brief thoughts on their content, enjoyability and/or usefulness.

Passionate Housewives Desperate For God - I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was challenged by it's call to selflessness and servanthood. I wrote a whole post about it here. This is a book I will be definitely picking up again in order to spur me on toward being that Titus 2 woman I really want to be.

The Hermit of Eyton Forest (A Brother Cadfael Mystery) - I must admit to enjoying a good mystery novel. Sit me down in a cozy chair with a steaming mug of coffee and a cozy mystery novel and why, it's sheer bliss. I enjoy this particular series because it is also historical. (Although I don't particularly enjoy historical novels, just ask my Mom. She's been trying to get me to read them for years!) The author, Ellis Peters, writes not only a great mystery but includes insights into the social structure of Medieval England and the civil war that existed at that time in history. (The 1100's.)

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) - This book is in the "juvenile" section of our library. I picked it up because I had so enjoyed The Westing Game by the same author (Ellen Raskin). They are both labeled mysteries but what they really are are elaborate word puzzles. A great, fun and challenging read.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - I missed this one as a kid. Probably because I saw the movie first which, of course, it bears little resemblance to. (This is why Son can not see the Lord of the Rings trilogy uneil he's read the books.) Even so, I found the book just as delightful as the movie. This was a read-aloud and my kids hated to have me put it down. That's a pretty good vote in favor of it, I think.

Black Ships Before Troy - We are about halfway through this one. It is also a read-aloud. Son is enjoying every minute it. Daughter, at six years old, not so much. This retelling of the Iliad by Homer is quite engaging and readable. (Where, I would like to know, was it when I was slogging through the original in Humanities 101 twenty some years ago?) We actually read the Aenead for Boys and Girls just before this. A little out of order I know. Don't worry, I keep reminding the kids this is the prequil to that.

Archimedes and the Door of Science - WOW! You could do a whole semester of science using this book. We haven't finished it yet but even when it gets a little abstract in talking about geometry the kids have enjoyed it. Each chapter explains in an understandable way just what Archimedes discoveries were and how important they are to us today. I highly recommend this book!

HTML, XHTML & CSS: Visual Quickstart Guide - After the first few chapters this is really a "how to" book. I am not finshed with it yet. It's one of those books that, for myself at least, I need to read and do. I haven't had a lot of time to practice "doing", hence the reading isn't happening either. However, what I've read so far is clear and easy to understand.

Age of Opportunity - This is a must have, must get, must, must use parenting book for parents of pre-teens and teens. Paul David Tripp is the brother of Tedd Tripp who wrote Shepherding A Child's Heart. They must have had some awesome parents. I've been telling friends that Paul's book is the sequel to Tedd's book. It is insightful, convicting and practical. For a more indepth review, check out this over at Amazon.

The Borrower's - I love this book. I loved it as a child and I loved reading it to my children. This was another one they would have been happy if I would have just read it straight through. My daughter spent days looking around our 1970's ranch-style house in search of holes where a Borrower might live. (It's a slab foundation and no holes were forthcoming.) She's now been checking for evidence outside. This is another one I recommend.
The One-Year Bible - Well, what can you say about the most awesome book of all time. I try to read through the Bible using this format every year. I don't follow the January to December format exactly. I usually get back to Genesis sometime in August. So, I've been at it this time since last August. I just finished up Esther in the Old Testament and did you know that the Jews celebrate Purim tomorrow!? God is so awesome in how He arranges our lives. I, of course, am not Jewish and don't celebrate Purim but it was neat to look at the calendar and know what that holiday was that was listed there.

Well, there it is. My winter reading list. So I think having completed five out of nine books is pretty good. Especially when a few were read-alouds to my kids. (Giggle) I would tell you what is on tap for the spring but there is another reading challenge over at Callapidder Days and that means a different post. I hope you enjoyed this and will maybe pick up some of these books!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Apologies

Did you ever have something nagging at you to be done and even though you are trying to avoid it (for whatever reason) you simply can not get anything else done until you do that one thing? It may not be a difficult thing, just something you want to avoid or put off.

I have been in that state for a few days.

Actually ever since I wrote the Perilous Women post.

Which I followed up with my "rock - n - roll" post.

I feel as though I have been loud and obnoxious lately. Not at all the woman of strong convictions but gentle words that I want to be. Not at all reflecting a gentle and quiet spirit like I want to reflect. Not at all the Titus 2 woman I long to be.

For this I wish to apologize to you dear reader.

There are a lot of things that I could use as excuses for the tone of my writing lately, but they are just that...excuses. There is no excuse for sounding my mouth off the way I did about Oprah. Don't misunderstand me, I still think her philosophy will lead folks astray from the truth. However, I never stopped to think how she may be just as lost and just as in need of a Savior. And it's easy to target those in the public eye, especially if we don't know them personally.

As to the rock - n - roll post...well...that's just a part of my past. It's amusing to listen to the things we used to listen to and chuckle over the clothes we used to wear and the way we used to style our hair...but not everyone necessarily wants to hear about it. Kind of like watching hours of scenery slides of your neighbor's vacation. (Yaaawwwnn, kinda boring.) And since my nostalgia trip included some kind of obnoxious music...well, I am very sorry.

So that is what I have been putting off lately. A heart felt apology for the tone of my writing. I offer it humbly to you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh For Cryin' Out Loud! Lighten' Up Would Ya!?!

So after my last couple of posts I thought I needed to post something a little fun. Last night Husband and I were talking about something(what it was is not really pertinant to this post) and I said, "Well, in the immortal words of the Clash, 'Should I stay or should I go now, if I go there will be trouble, if I stay it will be double, O you got to let me know'....and so on and so on I can't remember the rest of the words."

Husbands response was to leave the room and go sit down at the computer.

"Well," I thought. "so much for that!"

The next thing I hear is this....

We had a good time cracking up over that! Then I saw this and insisted we listen to it too.

Of course that brought up the question, "What is a Casbah?" So off we traipsed to Wikipedia and found this definition: The Casbah (French) or as transliterated from Arabic Qasba (from qasba, قصبة, 'citadel') is specifically the citadel of Algiers and the traditional quarter clustered round it. More generally, kasbah denotes the walled citadel of many North African cities and towns. The word made its way into English from French in the late 19th century (the Oxford English Dictionary says 1895), hence its conventional English spelling.

Now, back when that picture at the beginning of this post was taken, NONE of this would have been possible. And can you believe that that sweet little thing sitting next to her brother listened to the Clash? Yes that sweet little thing is me, June of 1983, the year I graduated from High School. Note the braid on the side of my head and the bi-level cut bangs. And how do you like that Izod shirt my brother has on? Oh yeah, and the pearls....I wore pearls with just about everything!

I also listened to this:

That would probably explain the pearls.

My kids think I've absolutely lost it when I go dancing around the house to Rock the Casbah. Not that I do that very often. I asked Son if he didn't realize that I had a whole life before he was born. His response? "I never thought about it before." Daughter just rolled her eyes!

Well, that's all the fun for today! I need to now put my responsible Mommy hat back on, unbraid my side ponytail and take off my pearls.

Maybe I'll rock this town later on....

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Psalm

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
~Romans 15:13 (NIV)
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in You I trust, O my God.
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you
will be put to shame,...
~Psalm 25:1-3a (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And lean not on your own wnderstanding
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He shall direct your paths.
~Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
~Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)