Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Evening

I mentioned earlier today, that I am not a Halloween fan, but I realize that I can still have a fun time with my family.  My son and daughter-in-law were excited for their son's first Halloween.  I'm glad they dressed him in something cute.  They came over tonight, and we had a wild, fun evening.

Knowing my son wanted to cook supper at our house, I ate a big, late lunch.  It's a good thing, because it took longer to cut the peeling off the pumpkin than he thought it would, and even with my help, we ended up eating a late supper.  We took turns getting up to hand out candy.  

It was fun cooking with my son.  He really is a great cook, and he even plated our food for us!  What a treat!  He made a Thai pumpkin soup, and Pad Thai.  We also had edamame, green soybeans, that you eat the insides of.  It was worth all the commotion to enjoy the delicious meal!

I'm not a Halloween Fan

I taught fourth grade a couple years at a Catholic school.  I explained to my students the reason I did not want to decorate the room for Halloween.  I told them my own children dress up and go trick or treating, but I don't let them dress up as a witch or the devil.  I said people don't take evil seriously.  The first year, as I was speaking, one of my "talkers" piped up and said about me, "She must be a Christian.  My friend's mom is a christian, and she doesn't like Halloween, either."  I said to her, "Elizabeth, you're a Christian."  She said, "No I'm not, I'm a Catholic!"  I'm glad other students knew, and told her that Catholics are Christians.  LOL

I'm glad this year's Halloween will be over soon, so I can go into thrift and other stores and not run into these kinds of representations of evil.

May the peace of God be with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Story

I had a busy day, but was able to spend time in the lovely 67 degrees to clean up some plants killed by the freeze.  I also got my veggie garden ready for a compost application.  As I was hoeing weeds, I was thinking of my blog, and got the idea to write some of my testimony.  I was thinking of starting with my childhood, and then was thinking about going back to my parents and their childhoods, but decided to save those for another time.  I thought I'd borrow some photos and scan them to put in a post.

I think I'll start with the fact that I was a Sunday school drop off child.  I went to church with a neighbor friend from the third grade to high school, and was confirmed there in the sixth grade.  My parents went to this church for a few years, as well.  In high school I went with another friend to her church, then in my junior year, went to church with my boyfriend and his family.  I remember reading the Bible and not quite understanding what I was reading, yet I considered myself a believer.

My high school boyfriend and I have been married for 36 years.  We both fell away from God in our twenties.  He was more an agnostic, and I proclaimed myself to be an atheist.  I had always been a "good" child, but considered myself a late bloomer, and did some things that do not bear repeating. 

In 1978, we had a son, then in 1982 a daughter.  We had settled down by then, and I was acting more like an adult than I had been in previous years.  During this time, I started wondering about God.  I could see others believed, but did not know how to.  When our daughter was a couple years old, I started asking friends if they believed in God.  I got a variety of answers.  Those who said they did, were uncomfortable talking about it, and none said anything about Jesus, that I could recall.

When our son was 5, he went to preschool in a nearby church.  Around that time, he decided he wanted to go to church.  I decided that I wanted to take the kids to church so they could learn about God, and maybe something would catch for them that hadn't for me, and they would believe.  Once we started going, I decided that I should read the Bible, since that's what people who go to church do.  I tried getting my husband to go, but he still hasn't.

In July of 1984, I was working in my herb garden, and don't remember what I was thinking about preceding this, but do remember asking "Jesus, is it you?" and immediately I was given the gift of faith.  Oh, my!  What a trip it's been!  I think I'll stop here, and add more next time.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hebrews 12:1-6

I was looking for verses that have the cross in them to put with my photo. I decided to put more of the verses that came before and after the one with my cloud photo here.  This chapter came after the one that talks about how God's people acted with faith.  Next, comes how God disciplines those he loves.  My study note says God chastens us in order to correct our faults.  I am not one who believes that every time something bad happens to a Christian, it means they did something wrong that they are being punished for.  John 9:2-3 says, "His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?  'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of god might be displayed in his life."  I'm not even a Bible expert, and with sin in the world, I don't think we can know why every bad thing happens.  We can, however, and I have had to do this, ask God to see us through our difficult times.  He truly is faithful.

Wow, I did not set out to write all this.  I am also reminded that Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Hebrews 12:1-6 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:  My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

May we all run with perseverance!


My Saturday in the Garden

I was very thankful for God's blessings yesterday, even though I was sad to admit the gardening season is about over.  I was getting ready for the 26 degree low we are supposed to have tonight.  I put pots aside for DH to dump on the compost for  me, so I would have time to do other things.  He also pulled the morning glory and moonflower vines for me.  I pulled most of my pepper and tomato plants, and harvested some fall planted radishes and my sweet potatoes I'd planted in a tub.  I'll need to finish this week.  Our school is closed for fall break, so I  have the week off.  Knowing that, I let myself get sidetracked a lot taking pics of butterflies, and flowers, so I'll remember what they looked like before the freeze.  I saw one butterfly that I'm not sure if I've seen before.  I couldn't identify it from my book, though.

Here is a Painted Lady.  I have seen lots of these this summer.  It looks like this one has had a bird take a bite out of it.  

I don't know what kind of butterfly this is, but it looks like something ate part of its wing, as well.  These two butterflies were fun to watch, and they didn't seem to mind me being around.  I was trying to think of some spiritual tidbit about us moving forward, depending on God, even when life around us is difficult, but nothing that I was writing came out well.  

Here are the pots, and some buckets of pulled plants lined up for DH to dump.  Some of them were ready, others were still going strong, but I know that none of these will survive the freezing temps.  

I looked up in the sky to see if there were any clouds to take pictures of, and look what were the only clouds there, evidently put there by a jet or two.  

Have a blessed day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Daily Bible Verse

I checked on the "add a gadget" feature to see if I could find a link to a daily Bible verse.  I was not familiar with most of the ministries offering them, and wanted to choose the NIV version.  After narrowing it down a bit,  I decided to try the one from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.  I used to listen to a daily short radio program he had called, "A Word With You".  I liked the way he applied Bible teachings to every day life.  His doctrine isn't in 100% agreement with the church I'm a part of, because he talks about making a choice to follow Jesus.  

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  

So, when we come to faith, it is God who has given us that ability or desire.   In our sinful nature, we do not desire the things of God.  Once we are Christians, God continues to give us the desire and ability to do things out of love for Him, and to further His kingdom.  I  have found this draws me closer to Him, but always know that I am already saved.  It doesn't mean all sinful thought is gone, or that I am always in tune to what God would have me do with the time he gives me.  

I am not about controversies, and do not care for arguing, as that is not Biblical, either.  I just wanted to say these things to get them out there.
I know that when we get to Heaven, we'll find we didn't understand everything of God perfectly.  The end of the "love" chapter, 1Corinthians 13:9-13 says, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror: then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part: then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love."

These verses are a comfort to me, because I don't have to know and understand everything of God in order to be His child.  I don't have to get my life in order before following Jesus, either.  He's in the process of doing that for me.  Praise God!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Familiar Verse, John 3:16

 I decided to write about a verse that's familiar, and add the verse that comes next, that is not as familiar, but very comforting.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:16-17, NIV

I like the note in my study bible that talks about the gift of eternal life as a present possession.  One of the songs I want sung at my funeral is Amazing Grace, with the verse that is one of my all time favorites.  Its, "When we've been there, 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing His praise, than when we've first begun."

I find there are periods in my life that I forget this, and don't have a heart of praise, but God is faithful to draw me back to Him.  He fills me with peace and joy so I can enjoy a taste of what is to come.  That gift of eternal life is something I own right now, though!  Praise God!  Thank you, Jesus!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A New Blog

When I first became a Christian, I was so into reading God's Word, that I couldn't figure out why many people thought they couldn't find the time.  Now that I've been a Christian for over 20 years, I find myself having spells where I don't find or make the time to stay connected to God.  I get so into whatever my interests are, and find myself spending more time on them than I'd planned, and then it's time for bed, and I haven't had my devotional time with God.

What is so cool, is that He is always there, and accepts me when I pray and lets me stay connected to Him.  Well, I had a very busy day working with a group from my church at a local kitchen that provides free meals to whoever comes.  It wasn't my month, but we don't currently have a leader and regular members of this group right now.  I wasn't thrilled to do it, because it was a beautiful day, and I would have preferred to be in my garden.  But even with that, I turned to Jesus for a better attitude, and then needed to help a young teen who decided he didn't want to be there helping have a better attitude, too.

I didn't plan on this being a long post.  Anyway, I have been sleeping well lately, but tonight, my dog and husband have both been snoring, and my bladder has woken me up a couple times, and I'm not sleeping well, even though I was so tired I went to bed on time for a change.  Lying in bed, around 3:00 a.m. I got this idea that I should start a separate blog to write about my life in Christ, and help me be connected to Him.  This way I can be more open about it and not put off anyone just wanting to read about gardening types of things.  I better get back to bed.  It seems like my first post on my other blog was about being up past bed time.  LOL  Now my first post here is started in the middle of the night.  I'll post more about the title of my blog next time.