Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Peek Into Grandma's Past


In preparation for a class I'll teach on being a "keeper at home" for some young mothers at my church, I came across several nostalgic writings that have me counting my blessings as a modern homemaker. I think you will agree. Copy these down and tape the first one above your kitchen sink and tape Grandma's Wash Day above your washer and dryer.
A Perfect Day
Grandma, at her start of day
Milked the cows and fed them hay
Slopped the pigs, saddled the mule
And got the children off to school.
Did the washing, mopped the floors
Shined the windows and did more chores
She cooked a dish of home dried fruit
Pressed her husband's Sunday suit.
Swept the parlor and made the beds
Baked a dozen loaves of bread
Split some firewood and lugged it in
Enough to fill the kitchen bin.
Cleaned the lamps and put in oil
Stewed some apples she thought would spoil
Cooked a supper that was delicious
And after that, washed all the dishes
Fed the animals and sprinkled some clothes
Mended a basket full of hose
Then opened the organ and began to play
'When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day'


Grandma's Wash Day
The following recipe for washing clothes was given to a new bride by an Alabama grandmother many years ago. It was found in an old scrapbook and is reprinted here exactly as it was originally hand-written, spelling errors and all. (By the way, the word "wrench" in this piece is our word for "rinse", but it was pronounced "wrench" in the south so I guess they spelled it the way it sounded.)

WASHING
Build a fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.
Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make 3 piles – 1 pile white, 1 pile colored, 1 pile britches and rags.
To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don’t boil just wrench and starch.
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed.
Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.
Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Now should this all sound a little far fetched to you, you should realize that these were just a few of the chores that women used to attend to. In some writings about Sarah Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards we read:

“Sarah, as mother to this large family, overseer of operations for farming, cooking, clothing, washing, cleaning, and admonishing, and much of the educating, was the embodiment of the Puritan ideal of industry. If she truly was, as Samuel Hopkins implies, “a deputy husband” or the de facto manager of the house and farm as well as the mother of eleven children, her accomplishments were monumental.” George Marsden

“She took almost the whole direction of the temporal affairs of the family, without doors and within, managing them with great wisdom and prudence, as well as cheerfulness.” Samuel Hopkins

There was an occasion when Jonathan interrupted his studying to ask if it wasn't time that the hay was harvested. Sarah told him that it had already been done (by herself and perhaps several of the children) two weeks earlier and that it was stacked in the barn. 

My mouth is stopped! What a lesson about feeling overwhelmed and complaining about the little that I actually do. Time to count my blessings - one of which is the privilege of having meaningful work to do, and to do it...
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Goodbye Mama

A photo of my mom, a little over a year ago.

On Monday, November 2nd (2009), I said goodbye to my mom. She was 82 years of age. She died suddenly without any warning. She had been in fairly good health, living at Merrill Gardens Senior Residence, close to my home. She enjoyed playing Bingo, and attended craft classes there and also went to Prime Timers every Thursday to play "Chicken Foot" Dominoes.

So it was quite a shock to loose her. She died because several very large pulmonary embolisms lodged in her pulmonary arteries blocked blood and airflow. I got a call at about 1:00 p.m. from Merrill Gardens that she was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, minutes after she arrived, she had already been put on a ventilator and drugs had been given to induce a coma. I never got to see her awake.

That's the hardest part. She did not know that there was someone there for her. The last time I saw or spoke with her was a few days before when we played our weekly game of Scrabble.

Naturally, I keep thinking of all the things I should have done, but I know God's sovereign will has been done and I rest in that. Still I miss her so much. My heart just sinks when I realize again that she is gone. Death is such a thief.

Meanwhile, there are many changes I want to make immediately in the way I relate to those I love in the here and now. Mainly, I want to stop being so busy and just hug my children, husband and others I love and spend more time with them also. I think about how nice it would have been to give just one more hug to my mom, so I want to take all the opportunities to do that with those that are still living.

Goodbye, Mama. How I miss you.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bee Well - A Safe, Simple, Inexpensive Cure for MRSA

Now, nearly four months after surgery and 3 1/2 months after having contracted a MRSA infection in the incision of my knee surgery, I can praise God for having healed me (of the infection).

For those of you who do not know about MRSA, it is a staph infection that is resistant to antibiotics. MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Staph infections, in the past, were treated with Methicillin. Now, however, if a staph infection is resistant to that drug, which was my case, Methicillin is no longer effective in killing the bacteria. In fact, MRSA has outsmarted nearly every antibiotic there is.

For over three months I struggled with MRSA and then, as quickly as it came on, it was a thing of the past. Here is how it happened:

First, you should know that the elders of our church came over and prayed for me about four weeks ago.

Now for some background about my infection:

It had started to worsen. The first site cleared with two rounds of Bactrim (sulfa antibiotic), but some staph bacteria mutated, survived and became resistant to Bactrim, which is how a second outbreak occurred. The second site had been lanced and a third and fourth site were beginning at the time that my pastors came over to pray for my healing.

My surgeon did not want to put me back on antibiotics, because the MRSA would mutate again and get stronger. I had tried 4 or 5 remedies that I had researched online, and also some complimentary treatments suggested by a naturapathic doctor, including tea tree and lavender oils, colloidal silver, mega doses of vitamin C, golden seal, coconut oil, Purification from Young Living Essential Oils, etc. These had kept the infection from becoming full-blown but nothing would kill it. Meanwhile, with all the clinic co-pays and money put out for complimentary treatments and prescriptions, we had spent a small fortune.

After the pastors come to my home to pray for me, I went online again and typed in "what kills mrsa". Bottom line - it seems that all the articles that came up heralded the wonder of something called Manuka Honey from Australia and New Zealand. I found articles about twenty years worth of studies that had been done with the remarkable results published in medical journals. And the FDA here in the U.S. has actually approved a calcium alginate wound dressing (derived from sea algae) with Manuka Honey incorporated into it.

Seems this honey kills the protein in the bacterial cell wall, therefore killing the bacteria. Also, when it comes into contact with a draining wound, the bodily fluid contacting the honey stimulates the honey to make its own hydrogen peroxide, The sugar in the honey, being hygroscopic, also acts to kill the infection by drawing out its fluid, basically dehydrating the bacteria. Futhermore, the honey contains powerful pathogenic bacteria-fighting phytochemicals from the the pollen of the plants gathered by the honeybees. And manuka works on any type of infection, not just MRSA.

So I plunked down some more money and within a few days had my liquid gold. I put the honey directly on my knee and covered it with a dressing. It changed dramatically within hours the first time I used it. It took only days before the MRSA was gone. My doctor cleared me of the infection last Wednesday.

Now I keep not only Manuka honey on hand, but also the calcium alginate wound dressing mentioned above with the honey incorporated in it. I plan to treat any infection from now on with Manuka.

Since doctors can use anything that is FDA approved, it wouldn't be out of line to ask your doctor to check it out if need be.

Click here for a link to the article about the product that has been approved for medical use called "Medihoney". (This is the information you would want to give to your doctor if you contracted MRSA.)

Go here for a site that sells Medihoney.

Go here for another article about Manuka Honey.

Finally this link will take you to the site where I bought Manuka.

Prayerfully, you will never have a need for treating an infection of this type (or any for that matter). But it is good to know that even the worst types of infection can be easily cured and inexpensively at that.

But behind this wonderful cure was God's providential hand. Not only did He bring my attention to this resource, but He created it to begin with. And, it was only after the pastors came over and prayed for me that things changed for the better. I had run out of options but God intervened.

Though I had done much research into MRSA and tried many supposed cures, the infection would not relent. In the Old Testament there is a story about a king named Asa. He had turned away from the Lord in his advanced years and then he contracted a foot disease. Second Chronicles 16:12-13 reveals Asa's self-reliance: "In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians."

God directs us in James 5:14-15 to call on the elders of the church when we're sick: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up."

But I had not done that. After reading about Asa, I was convicted about all the research, doctor's visits, complimentary and conventional treatments, etc. that I had so rigorously pursued but had never complied with God's directive to call on my pastors. Though I had prayed that the Lord would heal me, I had not sought Him as James says to.

God honors His Word. He is faithful to do so, though I know this action on the part of the elders does not always result in physical healing for varied reasons. God could have allowed my infection to continue. Sometimes He allows the affliction to remain because He will receive more glory. I think of Joni Eareckson Tada, who God did not heal even after her elders prayed for her. But as a result, Joni has brought God much glory during the course of her lifetime in a wheel chair. And God's grace has definitely been sufficient for her.

There are also people who ask for this intervention of God through the elders who have motives that are centered on self. Or perhaps they refuse to repent of sin. God does not hear that prayer. James 5 even addresses the issue of repenting so that healing may take place.

But there are those times when God does heal. In so doing, He confirms, supports and establishes esteem for the leadership of the church. One of the elders told me, "There is nothing magical about our prayers." But there is something more than magical about God's ability to either heal or provide strength and grace amidst our disabilities and weaknesses .

He is my Jehova Rophe (healer). But had He chosen not to heal me, the Lord Jesus would have made His grace sufficient for my affliction, as He did when He told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." And like Paul, I would also have been able to say, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Buttons for You!

If you are a blogger and if you're like me, buttons, Scripture tags and blinkies are a must for your layout - so much fun! So, as of today, I am offering free Scripture tags. Here are the first three I designed just for you. Take all three if you'd like.

Here's how to do it in case you need directions. Just copy the code in the scroll box.Then, to add the tag to your blog (Blogger), go to "Layout", and, on your template, select "Add a Gadget". Select "HTML/JavaScript" and paste the code into the body of that box. Add a title if you like and save it.

All I ask is that you leave the link back to my blog in the code. That's a nice way of saying "Thank you for the button". When time allows I will add more buttons, so check back periodically.



















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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The New Andy Griffith Show

Do you remember those cute little chicks I got in May of this year? Well, take a look at them now.



Ellie with her frog friend. Ellie is a Golden Laced Wyandotte. We have two Wyandottes and they are the most aggressive of all the chickens. Ellie's sister, Juanita, is at the top of the pecking order. She calls all the shots.



Mrs. Mendelbrite - she's my fav. So daring yet gentle. Mrs. M. is always the first one out of the coup, first to do anything and everything. She comes running to me when I go into the backyard. She is supposed to be the largest of all the chickens, but she's the smallest. That doesn't hinder her a bit though. Mrs. M. is a Plymouth Barred Rock.



Hilda Mae. She is also a very gentle soul. I think she has the most adorable face. Hilda Mae is a Black Australorpe. She's a beautiful bird, completely black. But in the sunlight her black feathers have a sheen of various shades of green to them - almost look iridescent.



What a pretty girl. Miss Crump is a Black Sexlink. Now I know you are already wondering what the name is all about. The name was given since they can be sexed after hatching because the females are different in color than the males. We have two Black Sexlinks. They are supposed to be the best layers of all the five breeds that we have. (None of our chickens have actually started laying yet. But this could happen any day now.)



Miss Crump again (on right) and her sister, Thelma Lou, are both Black Sexlinks. All the chickens we have are brown egg layers. I didn't plan it that way, however. And though they will all lay brown eggs, they will not be alike. Some are much darker than others and one of the breeds tends to lay an egg that is pinkish brown.



Four of our eight chickens decided to perch on an old Adirondack chair in the backyard. Cute, huh? But we will have to be especially observant before we sit down here. Mrs. Mendelbrite is, of course at the top. She was the first one on the chair several days ago and now the other chickens have followed her lead. Below Mrs. M. to the left is Clara Edwards, a Rhode Island Red, a breed acclaimed to be a very good and proficient egg layer. In front of Clara is the other Wyandotte, Juanita, and on the other arm of the chair is Miss Crump.

 

Here is a closer look at the four beauties on the chair. The only one I seemed to have missed in my photo shoot is Aunt Bea, Clara Edward's sister (looks just like her), also a Rhode Island Red. By now, I'm sure you have surmised that I named all the chickens after women characters on The Andy Griffith Show from way back in the '60s (my favorite show of all time).

I got this idea to name them when the other Rhodey had a problem with her backside as a chick. She had something called "pasty butt" (no kidding). Naturally I started calling her by that name (Pasty Butt), which just wasn't fair to her. So the idea came to call her Aunt B - the B being short for...well, you know. From there, all the chickens got their names, courtesy of the cast of women that frequented The Andy Griffith Show.

It's funny though, Aunt Bea has really lived up to her name because she had another problem with her backside when she was about 2 1/2 months old. We guessed that a cat must have gotten into the yard and reached through the chicken pen to grab the closest chicken by the tail feathers. Your guessed it. Aunt Bea was the target. She lost all of her tail feathers to that cat, though, thankfully, she did not become his next meal. She is just now getting those tail feathers back in. Hopefully, she can remain healthy in the end!

Speaking of the end - this is it!


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Reasons to Refuse the Swine Flu Vaccine for Your Children (and Yourself)

Here is yet another doctor (Dr. Kent Holtorf - an infectious disease expert) warning about the swine flu vaccination. If you have not yet had this vaccine, please watch the videos I posted last week. You may be inclined to opt not to have it. Also read the comment at the bottom of that post from the nurse who refuses any flu shot.





An article from Lew Rockwell lists nine reasons why flu vaccines should be refused:

1. The swine flu is simply another flu. It is not unusually deadly.
2. This is the first time both seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines will be administered. Both seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines will require two inoculations. This is because single inoculations have failed to produce sufficient antibodies. This is an admission that prior flu vaccines were virtually useless. Can you trust them this time?
3. Adjuvants are added to vaccines to boost production of antibodies but may trigger autoimmune reactions. Some adjuvants are mercury (thimerosal), aluminum and squalene. Why would you sign a consent form for your children to be injected with mercury, which is even more brain-toxic than lead?
4. This is the first year mock vaccines have been used to gain FDA approval. The vaccines that have been tested are not the same vaccines your children will be given.
5. Over-vaccination is a common practice now in America. American children are subjected to 29 vaccines by the age of two. Meanwhile, veterinarians have backed off of repeat vaccination in dogs because of observed side effects.
6. Modern medicine has no explanation for autism, despite its continued rise in prevalence. Yet autism is not reported among Amish children who go unvaccinated.
7. Researchers are warning that over-use of the flu vaccine and anti-flu drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can apply genetic pressure on flu viruses and then they are more likely to mutate into a more deadly strain.
8. Most seasonal influenza A (H1N1) virus strains tested from the United States and other countries are now resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Tamiflu has become a nearly worthless drug against seasonal flu.
9. Public health officials are irresponsible in their omission of any ways to strengthen immunity against the flu. No options outside of problematic vaccines and anti-flu drugs are offered, despite the fact there is strong evidence that vitamins C and D activate the immune system and the trace mineral selenium prevents the worst form of the disease.

For even more information, please review the full article on LewRockwell.com.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Congratulations, Lydia!


The give-away for John Piper's book, Don't Waste Your Life, ended on Saturday, September 26th and the drawing took place yesterday. So I am happy to announce that we have a winner. And the winner is......Lydia M. Congratulations Lydia. I will be mailing your book out this afternoon. Enjoy reading as you are challenged to live a life that is centered in Christ and as a result of that, joy-filled and purposeful in bringing Him much glory.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vital Info About the Swine Flu Vaccine - Watch This First!

Did you know that most doctors and health care workers (at least 70%) will refuse the swine vaccine and other flu vaccines? One of my dearest friends - a registered nurse - will not be injected with any flu vaccine. Why is that?

With the new swine flu vaccine ready to be administered to the public in a few days, and knowing health care professionals will opt not to get it, I thought it important to do a little research on the subject. I borrowed the following videos from Dr. Joseph Mercola's website (available also on youtube). If you are considering this vaccine for yourself or your children, please watch these videos first. The last four are an interview Dr. Mercola did with the renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock. It is quite an eye-opener - very much worth the time to watch, even if you have to watch just one segment at a time.


In the following video, Dr. Russell Blaylock dispels many myths that have been generated concerning the swine flu by simply revealing accurate statistics and documented information.


Dr. Blaylock explains the dangers of the vaccine in the following video, especially concerning young children and pregnant women (hazardous for the developing baby and mother).


Continuing on in this next video, Dr. Blaylock talks about the toxic "other" ingredients in vaccines, such as mercury and aluminum, explaining the connection of these toxins to long-term and delayed brain dysfunction and disease.


In this last video, Dr. Blaylock talks about protection against getting the flu during the winter months (listen for the info about vitamin D3). He also explains how to be protected from flu shot side-effects should you be required by state law to get the vaccine. (Some states have passed such laws regarding this. California - the state I live in - does not require it.)



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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Out of Sour Cream?


It's been a while since I posted a tidy tip, so I'm happy to be at it again now nearly three months after surgery. Thank you all for being so patient. I cannot guarantee that Tidy Tip Tuesday will be consistently ongoing as it was before, but, here's one for today anyway.

No need to run to the grocery store if you're out of sour cream. Here are a few substitutes that really work well:

1. In blender, combine 1 cup cottage cheese, 1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar, plus 1/4 cup of whole cream top milk (ideally milk that is not homogenized as this process creates many allergy problems). Blend until creamy and smooth.

2.Or use plain whole milk yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, substituting the same amount of yogurt as needed for sour cream. If you are using the yogurt in a recipe that requires cooking , add 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder or corn starch to prevent the yogurt from separating.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09-09-09 - A Big Day for Me!

It's kind of a weird thing when a day with digits like this comes around. I guess this is really a rare thing. Today's date with its set of repeating single-digits, will not happen again until for nearly a century (until January 1, 2101), or, for those who are real purists, it will be a bit less than a thousand years (mark your calendars for January 1, 3001).

But it is doubly odd and rare for me because today is my birthday. I am 60 years old. But then, my birthday numbers have been odd from the start. Here are some other strange facts about my birthday numbers in general:

I was born on 9-9-49 at 4:49 in the morning.

On 9-9-99 I turned 50.

My phone numbers have always had 4s and 9s in them (given randomly to me by the phone company). This is true for both my current home phone and cell phone. (Home phone has two 4s and two 9s.)

And perhaps the strangest thing of all is how the calender is even shouting at me today about my age:
Today is:
09 - 09 - 09

But turn these numbers upside down and you get:
60 - 60 - 60

It's enough that I turned sixty today without the calendar rubbing it in! And then there's the thought that at the age of 60 one's life is also turned upside-down. But do I feel that way? Not at all! My life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). What is 60 when a glorious eternity with your beautiful Savior is before you? I've just begun to live.

But in thinking about my life here on planet earth, I have had some questions as of late that have caused me to think about what I am doing with the remainder of my time here below. Mainly one question keeps popping up: "Am I really doing God's will?" "How do I know?" Perhaps, as a woman, you've had these thoughts also. It seems that being down with my knee surgery and also the anticipation of turning sixty have stimulated these kinds of musings.

This morning as I met with the Lord, however, those questions were answered. I read in Ephesians 1, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God..." As my eyes rolled over that statement, I stopped and asked, "Can I say that, Lord? Am I doing your will? Please confirm to me what your will for my life is."

As soon as I finished praying, 1 Timothy 5:9-10 came to my mind. "A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been faithful to her husband, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work."

This is God's will for a woman's life. This text is laying out when a widow should be supported by the church. She had to have been faithful in the things listed - the things of God- or, as it hit home to me, God's will. Though she is now a widow, the activities listed were what she did during her lifetime which included her married years.

Parts of or all of this text apply to all women depending on their marital status. But when I read it I knew exactly what I should be doing. Being faithful to my husband, loving my children and grandchildren, sharing my home and sustenance with the saints, being willing to do even the lowliest work for the body of Christ, coming to the aid of those with urgent needs, and generally devoting myself to good works are the things laid out as God's will for the Christian woman. (Other texts also reveal this. Read Titus 2:3-5 and Proverbs 31:10-31)

It was a comfort to be reminded of these simplicities. Sometimes I just want to make things so difficult. Shouldn't I be out in the far-away lands, suffering for Christ? Well, yes, if and when God were to call me to that. For now He has not.

This has been a a blessed day from the beginning - another birthday accompanied by the Lord. He confirmed to me that I am doing His will and that His will is never burdensome, but a joy. I so needed that!
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Honored to be a Guest at Keeper of the Home


I’m honored today to be a guest poster for Stephanie over at Keeper of the Home. She has a new little pink bundle of joy and had asked for post submissions (prior to the baby's birth) from guest bloggers to take up some slack for her while she cared for the new baby during the first few weeks. Please take a moment to click over and read my post entitled Beautifying the Heart and Home.


And...thank you, Stephanie for the opportunity to write for Keeper of the Home!
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Book Give-Away for a Comment

Leave a comment to win Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

I will be giving away another book soon. This time it is Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper, for a comment****. From now until September 26th, leave a comment and some way for me to contact you should you win - your email or blog link, etc. is fine. You will be entered and may even win**.

This is one theme God has really impressed upon me while I've been recuperating from surgery. During this time, I listened to an incredibly convicting sermon about not neglecting so great a salvation. John Piper's book centers on that idea also. Our lives are not about us. Our lives are all about the God of the universe and His redemptive plan for mankind. Anything less is vanity, temporal and will count for noting in eternity.

Here is a synopsis of Don't Waste Your Life from the back of the book:
Most people slip by in life without a passion of God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. This book will warn you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, read this book, learn to live for Christ and don't waste your life!
So now that you know what the book is about, if you would like to enter the give-away, here are the rules:

1) Leave a comment* here and provide some way for me to contact you if you win*** - an email or blog link is fine, as long as there's an email address attached to the blog link.

2) Get an additional entry for blogging about this contest by putting it on your website, blog, facebook, twitter, or any other networking site you have. Then make sure you let me know by email (sharon-sharealike@pacbell.net) where you've posted it.

Note: You do not have to leave a comment to win. Winning isn't based on what you say. One winner will be drawn randomly...so, it's fine to simply leave your name and email.

* No duplicate comments please.

** Winners will be selected by random, impartial draw, and will notified by e-mail.

*** You will have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

****Comments will be open through September 26th, 2009 and I will announce the winner on this blog on Monday, September 28th, 2009.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life - Occupy Your Time for Christ's Glory

The world outside my front door.

This is the message that I am hearing right now from the Lord. Thought you would like to listen in. Please take a few moments to watch this video - for Christ and for eternity. Then go and make known His glories. It does not matter where. The world is the stage and you are already a player if you know the Savior. Outside my front door, thousands live in deadness. Outside my front door many are desperate to hear the good news. What will I do? What will you do?



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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spiritual Mother - What to Look for...What to Be


As I gear up to begin (in about a month) mentoring some precious sisters from my church, I am reminded of the heart qualities that a "spiritual mother" should possess and am challenged to examine myself afresh. These are not characteristics that any of us should work at possessing, as if we could produce these in and of ourselves. Rather these are qualities representative of Christ. The only way these traits will show up in any of us depends on the relationship we have with Him - the time we spend with Him.

When we do that - spend time with Christ - the simple fact is that we begin to resemble Him, like 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." As we behold our glorious God, the resemblance to our Father and to our Savior becomes more and more striking and obvious in us.

It is a work that the Spirit of God performs in us as we look to Christ in the Scriptures and are amazed and delighted by who He is, so much so that sin begins to loose it's grip on us. He becomes our treasure and a grand transformation takes place. As this on-going transformation occurs, we discover that loving, pleasing and serving Him become our priorities. We give up our own plans to do His will.

Does this mean that we will never sin again? Of course not. But we will be so concerned with God's glory that temptation will loose it's power resulting in an even greater sensitivity to sin. When we do sin, we will be grieved and confess that sin sooner than if we were concerned with pleasing ourselves, rather than delighting our magnificent Lord.

So anyone you or I sit under for mentoring, (what we tend to call a spiritual mother) should exude Christ-like characteristics as a result of having been at His feet (time spent captivated by Him in His word and in prayer). Then she will be empowered to get up on her own two feet to obey and depend upon Him.

So, what are these characteristics? Following are a few traits you should look for in a woman professing godliness, though this list is not comprehensive. If you are searching for a woman to disciple you, look for these qualities. But do more than search for these traits in another woman, strive for them in yourself also, as you sit at Christ's feet.

1. Do you see Christ-like characteristics in her? What are they?

2. Does she love God and her neighbor? How does it show?


3. Is she submissive:
* to her own husband (if married)? Is she always respectful toward him in public and in private conversations?
* to the elders of the church?
* by being in agreement with other "older, godly women" - her peers - concerning Biblical womanhood as briefly described in Titus 2:3-5?
* by being supportive of church ministries? Does she regularly attend worship service, mid-week Bible study, Sunday School, etc, where she is placing herself under the teaching of God's word?


4. Is she serving in the church – not just in her own private ways at home (both are necessary).

5. Does she talk much about her own difficulties or does she talk about and know that Christ is sufficient for all of life’s trials?

6. Is she a generous woman? Does she extend her hand (resources) to those in need?

7. Is she humble? Does she prefer and honor others by
* practicing best case analysis or does she speak ill of others and impugn motives?
* letting love cover petty disturbances, or is she bothered by these?
* giving way to her own plans to let another shine?
* speaking the truth in love to those who have offended her as Matthew 18:15 commands?

8. Where does she really put her confidence? Is it in Christ or in some sure-fire method that she uses?

9. Does she seem to have all the solutions or does she leave room for God to act through prayer?

10. Does she know and apply Scripture?

11. Is her house in order, or is it neglected? Could you say that she is the “guardian of her home”?

12. Does she consistently do her husband good and not evil (if she is married)? Is she truly his helpmate, giving priority to his plans, assisting him as the left hand assists the right?

13. Is she a nurturer, caring for her children, or, if single, nieces and nephews, or other children that need TLC in the body of Christ? Does she "wash the feet of the saints" (willingly do the lowliest task); is she hospitable; does she assists those with urgent needs; is she known for her good deeds (1 Timothy 5:10)?

14. Over all, what would you say her driving force is? Is she concerned for God’s kingdom and glory so that it affects every issue of her life, or is she consumed by something else, even if it is good?
Can you add to this list? Have you personally benefited from another woman in a mentoring situation (either formal or informal)? Would you be willing to share your experience with others here on this blog? If so, either email me at sharon-sharealike@pacbell.net or leave a comment and a way I can contact you.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Soul Food Chef

My good friend, Bev, sent me a link yesterday that is so very interesting. With one little click I was taken to the NPR (National Public Radio) news website. And what did I see there, but an interview between NPR and Bev's son, Tim Hammack.

Tim is a gourmet chef who left a very promising career at Bouchon in the Napa Valley to work at...Well, you'll never guess so you will just have to follow this link yourself to hear the 3 minute interview. And by the way, Tim was also featured in the New York Times, etc. and will be featured in Guide Posts magazine and more.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

An Update and Some Musings on Suffering

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. "

The last post I put up was three weeks ago, (go here to read the first post about my knee surgery) so I thought it might be time for an update on my recovery. I apologize for being so lax in getting back into blogging, but I have just not been motivated for various reasons.

Overall, my progress has been good. I did get back my range of motion and then some. (Thank you, Jehova Rophe!) I can now bend my knee 100 degrees which is pretty good from what I understand. That 100 degrees may be the full extent to which I can bend because scar tissue is preventing further progress. I'll find out more about that this Tuesday at therapy.

Also, I was cleared for the MRSA infection (how thankful I am for that!), though there still is one little red spot that concerns me. It hasn't gotten any larger and I am praying that it will soon disappear altogether. The doc gave me the ok to start my physical therapy again, but as soon as I used the CPM machine (continuous passive motion machine), I put my hip out and had to stop exercising for another four days. However, I 'm now back at it again.

Throughout this ordeal, the Lord has seen fit to continue to place many physical trials before me. Total knee replacement surgery, in and of itself, makes for a very challenging recovery, let alone all the extra bumps in the road that I am experiencing. I am still struggling with the thrush and fungal infection in my stomach. That should begin to improve now that I am off of the antibiotic, which by the way was Bactrim, a medication that I am allergic to and was told that I had to take it regardless of my allergy.

But because I am allergic to Bactrim, it has caused a new problem. Namely, I have developed a stomach ulcer as a result of having taken two rounds of it. So I've been prescribed yet another medication to treat the new problem. And because of the intense pain that the ulcer has caused, I am again taking more of the Percocet (pain medication). Eventually, the pain will subside as I heal and, God willing, I will try again to get off of that narcotic.

Sometimes it seems that there will be no end to this. At times I become very disheartened. "Where are you God?", I have asked on many days. I know what it means not to be able to pray as Romans 8:26 describes, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words..." How thankful I am for this sweet promise. The Spirit of God is praying for me.

The other day I picked my Bible and looked at this verse in Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." (Job 13:15) In the margin I had written, "Would I be able to say this, Lord, under great trial? Strengthen me in my puny struggles to embrace You, O God, as my refuge and strength." I just cried when I read that, knowing that I had already, by God's sufficient grace, committed myself in such a way in the midst of my little trial.

And as I sat and tried to read on in the book of Job, I realized that I couldn't even get past that one verse. I thought, "Job could not have written this book while he was suffering so greatly because I cannot even read it in my meager sufferings." It gave me a new perspective on those who suffer chronically and on the sufferings of Christ as he drank in the bitter cup of the Cross. As a result, God has laid on me a new burden to pray for those I know of that suffer chronic physical disabilities and pain. And it has also impressed upon me afresh what my salvation cost the Lord Jesus Christ - so great a salvation.

"Lehman Strauss, in his book, Waiting on the Lord, said concerning his most severe trial, "This unexpected trial has changed my well-laid plans, but I know that God's plans are far better than mine." That is what I am learning to say. Though I had not planned for such a lengthy recovery, God planned differently. Though I planned to be up and back into my daily routine by now, God planned differently.

His plan is best and by His grace I will give Him thanks for it. He is producing endurance in me, conforming me to the character of Christ, teaching me to have a heart of thanksgiving, and impressing upon me the importance of not neglecting so a great salvation. I would never have planned for those things, but those are the things of that are of the greatest importance to God - eternal things. My plans were only temporal.

With all of this in mind, it has been my greatest yearning from the very beginning to honor and glorify the Lord throughout this trial. I simply do not want to waste this pain. I want to gain the utmost glory for my Sovereign Lord and the highest good for the body of Christ (including myself) through this valley. Following are some verses that have helped me stay focused in and through this trial - to bring me back from the shadows of despair into the light of His glorious presence. May God use this, His word, to cheer you also in the valley that you face:

Psalm 31:19-20 - "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence..." (I love this reality. My Savior has done this for me many times during this trial.)

Isaiah 41:10 - "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Psalm 25:15 - "My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare." (The snare for me isn't the pain and setbacks, but rather, how quickly my heart can resort to despair in the midst of those setbacks.)

Psalm 27:13-14 - "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"

Isaiah 40:29-31 - "He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

Psalm 73:25, 26, 28 - "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works."

Deuteronomy 31:8 -
"And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed."

Psalm 50:14-15 - "Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me." (God gave me this text the day before my surgery and it has continued to encourage me and remind me that my part in all of this is to have a thankful heart and fulfill my vows to trust Him.)

Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Such a precious promise!)

Isaiah 45:2-3 - "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." (And He has done just that! Go here to read how sweetly God has blessed me in this regard.)
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Come Sing in the Midst of the Darkness

"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut though bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you will know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3

It has been four weeks today since my knee surgery (Monday, June 29th). Though I wanted to put up a post sooner, sitting at my computer desk has been difficult to say the least. Even now, I am in a recliner with Robert's laptop on a lap tray.

This has been a very challenging recovery. The hospital stay was easy until two days after the surgery, when I developed a nasty fungal (yeast) stomach infection. Since then, the course of events has gone as follows:

July 1st - Treated with drug for stomach infection; infection improving.
July 2nd - Home from hospital; infection still improving, but intense nausea.
July 3rd - Home health nurse and physical therapist visit; changed course of pain medication, lessening the amount. Off of stomach medication because it was causing the nausea.
July 4th - Intense knee pain all day, especially when exercising.
July 5th - Spent 6 hours in emergency clinic because of intense pain; was released with new pain medication; returned home and took new medication only to have a severe reaction to it. Switched back to old medication, but increased the amount. Pain is more manageable.
July 6th - Developed thrush (fungal yeast mouth infection).
July 7th - Began treating thrush with probiotic supplement, probiotic foods and prescribed drug.
July 8th - Thrush is better.
July 9th - Since coming home, I am spending 4-6 hours a day on a "continuous passive motion" machine, which bends my knee to regain range of motion. Also have been attempting to do physical therapy exercises though intense pain often cuts this short.
July 10th - Am learning how to manage snacks, meals and medication as meds taken on an empty stomach cause much stomach distress.
July 11th - Exercising is still very difficult and I am discouraged, knowing that my range of motion depends on this.
July 13th - Began to cut back on narcotic pain meds; thrush still present.
July 14th - Cutting back more on pain meds.
July 15th - A most difficult day - spent all day crying with no control. I think I'd become addicted to the pain meds and was coming down from them.
July 16th - A much better day. Went for physical therapy as an outpatient. Session was very painful, but overall productive. Therapist told me to take more pain medication (oh no!) so I'd be able to do the exercises.
July 17th - Went back to old pain medication schedule. Am able to exercise more freely now.
July 18th - In the morning I noticed a little red spot the size of a pea at the very top of my incision (incision is about 10 inches long). Called Kaiser and they said it sounded like nothing.
July 20th - Today, three weeks after surgery, I reached the four-week goal of bending my knee 90 degrees. Yippee! Physical therapist notices red spot, now the size of a quarter, and says we should keep an eye on it.
July 21st - The red spot is now the size of a 50 cent piece. After dinner, I notice that the spot is slightly opened and draining a small amount of yucky discharge. Time to go to the doctor.
July 22nd - Appointment with orthopedic doctor, who says I have a "stitch abscess". He opens and drains it, clips off the bad part of the stitch, swabs it to be sent to the lab and dresses it. Prescription for Keflex (antibiotic) given. Am to return on July 24th (two days later).
July 23rd - Infection is increasing in size - now the size of a medium peach. Antibiotic is not touching it. If it gets into my knee joint the surgery will be destroyed.
July 24th - Visit the doctor who tells us that the infection is MRSA (pronounced "mersa") - the worst possible news. This is the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph bacteria that has the medical world in a panic. The doctor warns of the dangers of this infection and prescribes Bactrim. I am told to stop exercising and using the CPM machine until infection is under control. (There goes all my hard work and range of motion!)

At home this past Friday (after getting the bad news), I called a naturopathic doctor and she made certain recommendations. I am on antibiotics and am also following the course of treatment given by the naturopath. One thing she told me to do was to apply tea tree and lavender essential oils directly to the wound as these destroy the bacteria without creating any resistance. Something is helping because the infection site is shrinking.

Now, for what is really important and why I shared my struggle with you. Through all of this the Lord has been so kind and near. On some nights I would just lay weeping because of the pain. Robert took it upon himself, at those times, to sing to me. He began with "Gentle Shepherd" and has since added in many more songs.

This has been so precious. For one thing, I had never heard Robert sing all on his own before (in over 32 years of marriage!). He's only ever sung with music. So perhaps you can imagine how sweet it was to hear him next to me soothing me in song with thoughts of my kind shepherd. This has now become something we look forward to every evening at bedtime.

Once Robert starts singing, it isn't long before my heart is also compelled to worship. And in that worship, the presence of Christ completely transcends the physical pain and I find myself falling asleep. Oh, how precious He is! This indeed has been a priceless treasure wrought out of the darkness.

In no way am I out of the woods with this MRSA infection. And I am still struggling with the stomach and mouth infections. Robert just got over a week long bout with the stomach flu. He is feeling much better, but has so much on his plate right now. Please pray for us that:
1. We might keep our eyes on our kind and gentle shepherd.
2. We might not waste this trial, but cooperate with God's sovereign purposes and bring Him glory.
3. Our God might restore my health and mobility.
When this "day of trouble" began with the stomach infection, I asked the Lord draw very near to me and also give me a poem to honor Him. That prayer was answered last night. May you be encouraged in your struggle to seek Him, thank Him, praise Him and sing to Him (even, or rather, especially in the darkness of your trial).

Come Sing in the Midst of the Darkness

When it seems that the night will o'erwhelm you,
And the gloom has you close to despair,
Come sing in the midst of the darkness,
Rich treasure God hath for you there.

Cease mourning - His arms are about you;
But the midnight of pain hides His face;
Rejoice and give thanks midst your weeping,
And you'll know His sweet presence and grace.

The darkness will flee when you praise Him;
The night will shine forth as the day;
Great billows of Christ's healing comfort
Will sooth and give peace all the way.

Christ is your rich treasure in darkness.
His presence will transcend the pain.
Tears of anguish will turn to rejoicing.
Christ is all that you need - bless His Name!

"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you will know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Cloud of Witnesses - Daughters of the King: The Martyrdom of the Margarets

A Picture of Radical Christian Womanhood
Here in America we are just seeing the beginnings of what it means to be hated for Christ's sake. Although we still retain our freedom to worship, with all the current effort to carve out a "politically correct" society, it is not difficult to see on the horizon a day when those freedoms could be limited or even removed altogether. Serious Christians can envision, I believe, the making of a government in our country which prescribes certain forms of "worship" and condemns others - really only one - fervent Christianity. Even now, it is alright to attend church, if that church conforms to the politically correct agenda. (The situation with the abortionist who was murdered comes to mind. He was loved and accepted in what could be termed a "politically correct" church.) I think this type of censorship must be how religious freedoms were seized in the past from other peoples and cultures.

One of those societies was Scotland in the 17th century. There were numerous atrocities committed there toward Christians during a period that became known as "The Killing Times" (beginning in 1600). People were imprisoned, tortured, banished, hanged, beheaded or shot on sight for worshiping according to the dictates of their redeemed and Biblically informed consciences.

At the same time, parish preachers were required by law to conform to state church hierarchy or be expelled from their congregations during "The Great Ejection" in 1662. These faithful men, who simply desired to love, worship and preach the crucified, risen and glorious Christ were branded, like animals, on the cheek with either a "C" (for Covenanter) or "P" (for Puritan) and driven from their churches and even their homes.

With no safe haven in any village to flee to, they, along with their families were forced to make their homes in the hills, dwelling in caves or crude huts. Stripped of their annual salary, these preachers and their loved ones lived without so much as a roof over their heads. Having no income, they depended on their compassionate sisters and brothers in Christ for basic needs.

But this cruel banishment did not silence them. They continued to preach Christ whenever an opportunity arose and of course, they encouraged one another with Scripture. They knew too well the fugitive-life that David experienced when he was forced to escape from King Saul. The Psalms must have been especially comforting to their weary hearts in the cold, austere hills and caves of Scotland.

Standing out as one of the most ruthless acts of violence during the Killing Times was the murder of two women, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Though an inexcusable atrocity, this case serves as a poignant witness of the loyalty and courage manifested by so many who have been persecuted for the sake of the Name. The two women, Margaret Lauchlison and Margaret Wilson, were martyred by heartless men for their love for Christ and refusal to adhere to the prescribed worship of the state.

Lauchlison, a 63 year-old widow of a carpenter from the parish of Kirkinner, was known for her devotion to her Savior and for her good deeds toward all. Wilson, a farmer's daughter and only 18 years of age from Glenvenrock Farm in Peinninghame parish had been mentored by the older Margaret. She had dissented from the state-run Presbyterian church, complacent as it was and which her parents attended, to join ranks with those who were were known as "Covenanters".

For their loyalty to Chirst and faithful obedience to His word, the women were tied to posts in Wigtown Bay and drowned as the tide rose over their heads. Lauchlison's stake was driven into the sands the furthest out in the tide so that she would drown first. This was done in hopes that Miss Wilson would recant and swear allegiance to the king as she saw her spiritual mother struggling with death.

As this horrific scene opened, Margaret Lauchlison's final moments actually served to embolden the younger woman's love for Christ so that she was all the more resolved to remain faithful. What her tormentors had hoped would motivate her to recant, instead, insured that she would not.

What did Margaret Wilson see that flamed her passion for her Lord as the waves swept time and again over Mrs. Lauchlison? She saw her faithful mentor fix her gaze upward, and heard her reciting Romans 8 and praying, even as she breathed her last. In the midst of this struggle, Wilson was asked by her captors what she thought of her widow companion now. She replied, "Ah, what do I see but Christ wrestling there!" She saw in her mentor, the same sufferings she knew to be true of her Savior and considered her friend blessed for having experienced Christ's degradation.

Once the water had risen to threaten Wilson's own physical life, the soldiers withdrew her from her stake to safety and attempted to convince her that she should recant. They told her that her life would be spared if she would only say, "God save the King". Of course the King's salvation was something she had long prayed for so she answered, "God save him if He will, for it is his salvation that I desire."

This was not the answer Miss Wilson's tormentors were looking for. So they bound her once again to the stake and just as she was nigh to entering her eternity, they removed her again to higher ground, this time to be implored by her desperate and unbelieving father and mother to deny her Lord. After many entreaties by her parents and the soldiers, she gave her resolute answer once more, "No, because I love the Lord."

She was lashed again to her stake, the instrument by which she would enter heaven and see the One she so loved, along with her friend, Margaret Lauchlison. As she waited for the inevitable, she too, like her mentor, recited Romans 8:35-39, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

So on that cold day in January, 1681, both Margarets entered into eternity with their kind Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Their martyrdom did not accomplish what was intended, rather it simply ushered them into an eternity with the Lord. They had not been separated from His love. They had been united in His love and His presence, where there is fullness of joy.

What an example of radical Christian womanhood! Paul commanded Titus, pastor of the church on the Island of Crete, to teach the older women to be reverent in their behavior, so that they could train the younger women in godliness (Titus 2:3-6). As Miss Wilson's mentor, the older Margaret had done just that. She not only trained her by her life, but Margaret Lauchlison stood firm and faithful as the younger Margaret's example in death also - the example Miss Wilson, herself, followed not many moments later.

I wonder how many of today's Christian women (I include myself) are so resolute in their love for the Savior and so committed to nurture the younger generation of women for God's glory?

The Martyrs of Scotland by Horatius Bonar (1808 - 1889)

There was gladness in Zion, her standard was flying,
Free o'er her battlements glorious and gay.
All fair as the morning shone forth her adorning,
And fearful to foes was her godly array.

There is mourning in Zion, her standard is lying
Defiled in the dust, to the spoiler a prey;
And now there is wailing, and sorrow prevailing,
For the best of her children are weeded away.

The good have been taken, their place is forsaken -
The man and the maiden, the green and the gray;
The voice of the weepers wails over the sleepers -
The martyrs of Scotland that now are away.

The hue of her waters is crimsoned with slaughters,
And the blood of the martyrs has reddened the clay;
And dark desolation broods over the nation,
For the faithful are perished, the good are away.

On the mountains of heather they slumber together.
On the wastes of the moorland their bodies decay.
How sound is their sleeping, how safe is their keeping
Though far from their kindred they molder away.

Their blessing shall hover, their children to cover,
Like the cloud of the desert, by night and by day.
Oh, never to perish, their names let us cherish,
The martyrs of Scotland that now are away.


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Monday, June 29, 2009

A Little Inconvenience

Just want to let you all know that I will be leaving for the hospital to have total knee replacement surgery in about an hour. That takes place at 8 a.m. today and I should be home by Thursday of this week.

You will probably not see too many posts here over the next few weeks and, in fact, this knee replacement is why I have not put up many posts lately as well. Getting ready for this kind of surgery and long recovery takes some time and attention to detail.

But just keep checking in now and then and I'll be back. Oh, and please pray for a speedy recovery for me and most of all, that God would be glorified through this little inconvenience. (I do take comfort in knowing that I will not be in as bad a shape as the poor fella' in the cartoon above. Well, hopefully not anyway.)
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Origin of Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. In fact, today is the one-hundred-and-first anniversary of this day to honor our nation's protectors and providers of the family. The following video tells the story of how this tradition all began. Take a few moments to watch what inspired this one hundred year old institution.



Now take another minute to view the details of this honorable day first practiced by the daughter mentioned in the above video.

Happy Father's Day to all of you men who are truly fathering and/or grandfathering a child (or children) for their good. Happy Father's Day especially to my husband. (As for my own father, he is enjoying a glorious never-ending day in eternity with his Heavenly Father.)
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Friday, June 19, 2009

All Cooped Up With a Broken Finger

The chicken coop is mostly finished. The chicks will be ready to go outside in a few weeks and they will sleep in their coop at night for protection against predators. We have seen possum in our neighborhood on a regular basis and at one time, several years ago, a raccoon walked down our street very nonchalantly. (Note: To see the original posts about our chickens, go here and here.)

Robert and I started working on the coop a few days ago. Right off the bat, I got myself into trouble. I had been sanding the coop with my "lady-friendly" cordless sander, a completely safe and efficient sander that even someone like me (kind of a klutz) can use. When I ran out of sanding pads, Robert said, "Well, let's go to the hardware store and pick up more." But, since it was just a suggestion, I opted instead to get out the big gun - the belt sander that had belonged to my dad, a very experienced finish carpenter and a man to boot. I've used the belt sander before, but only on very small projects with very little surface area to sand.

As I was sanding the chicken coop with this monster, I kept thinking, "This thing is too powerful for me. I really should put it down." But since I didn't listen to Robert, I wasn't about to listen to my own better judgment either. The thing just had so much pull on the large area I was sanding.

Anyway, I had pretty much finished, breathed a sigh of relief and took my finger off of the trigger switch. As I did that, somehow my left index finger got sucked up into the sander, between the belt and the back casing. It happened so fast, I didn't even feel it. When I realized what I had done, and that I could not get my finger out, I started yelling for help. Robert had just gone into the house for something. He came running out and then went back in the house for cooking oil.

As I worked to get my finger out of the sander, I just knew it was going to be impossible and thought we would probably have to call the paramedics for help. Then I said to the Lord, "Please, Lord, release my finger from this sander." No sooner had I prayed that and my finger was free. I still don't know quite what happened except God graciously made it happen.

That's when I started yelling again for Robert to tell him we didn't need any oil. He came running to my side carrying the peanut oil from the refrigerator which I found very humorous for some reason.

My finger was pretty torn up and was excruciatingly painful. So off we went to Kaiser. This was about noon on Wednesday - day before yesterday (June 17th). We had been at Kaiser in the morning for a pre-op appointment (I am having knee replacement surgery this month on the 29th).

We had only been home and working on the chicken coop for a short time after we had returned from that appointment. And we were scheduled for another pre-op appointment at 1:45 in the afternoon, that same day. As it worked out, we spent most all of the day there, sandwiching in the minor injury clinic x-rays and appointment between the two pre-ops and the x-rays I had to get for those. What a day!

As it turns out, my finger is fractured in several places above the first knuckle and pretty battered, but there is no damage that won't heal as good as new. But you should have seen me at Kaiser. Robert was pushing me in a wheel chair. I was wearing my knee brace, had my cane, my arm was in a sling and my finger was wrapped with gauze and tape. It was quite a sight.

One thing is for certain, however - I've used the belt sander for the last time. Give me my cute little lady-sander and if I run out of sanding pads, it's off to the hardware store for me, like I should have done in the first place at my husband's suggestion.

Nevertheless, we got the coop finished. Here are some pics of the project:


Here's the coop after it was put together by our son, Jeff and son-in-law, Curtis. Cute, but needs some finishing touches.

That's me. This was the day after my little accident. Notice my left finger in a splint and I'm using my cane (knee problems). I'm sanding the edges of a window we cut in the front - with my lady-sander.


Robert, hard at work on the chicken coop. He really was, but stopped to pose. What a ham!!!


The finished product - almost. We still have to put a corrugated metal roof on the top. There is wire in the window to keep unwanted visitors out.



All chicks welcome. But NO ROOSTERS ALLOWED!


This is what we will have is a few months, Lord willing. But there's no way the extras will sell for that price!

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy written by Sharon Kaufman: By Sharon Kaufman. © The Good Woman. Website: the-good-woman.blogspot.com

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