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

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rest, Relaxation, Wildflowers Galore (and a couple of Robert-isms)!

We went away last weekend (Memorial Day weekend), to a very secluded spot in Northern California. We stayed in a cabin on 120 acres. The couple who own the land run their own winery just down the road from where our cabin was located. But they were far enough away that we could not see their house or hear anything but the crickets chirping, katydids buzzing and birds singing.

One thing we could not hear were the chiggers in the grass. Robert had never heard of chiggers or katydids and thought at first that I was just making up those words. But, there just happened to be a dictionary in the cabin, so I looked up chiggers and katydids and he was so surprised to see them right there in print with a definition.

But true to form, he changed these words. Chiggers became "jiggers" and katydids became "lady-twits". I love it! Robert-isms - how fun! Robert speaks his own language and I am privy to it. Some people may not be able to understand his jargon, but most of the time there is a faint hint of the English language, so his meaning is usually distinguishable.

Here are more pics of the trip:

These looked like wild penstemons to me.

Can you see the wasp?

There was no fence for these cows. We stopped on the road to take the photo. There were quite a few more.

Another wildflower.

Cool looking fence with an alligator on the other side.
We stayed in a cabin on this property.

I was really hoping this bug would stay put while I was shooting the picture.
Some of my favorites.

Sophie went with us and had the most fun, I think.
Of course, Robert makes his own fun anywhere and everywhere!

More wildflowers.

And more.

And more.

Our little house in the big woods.

Sophie loving the grass and freedom (no leash) and open spaces.

Still more wildflowers.

This looked to me like a wild butterfly bush.

This picture was taken from our front window when we woke one morning.

That's me at the front door.

You guessed it...more flowers.

Now you know what I like.

Sophie running free. Yippee!

Pretty river...

...and meadow...
...and mountain...
...and horses...

...and wild rose.
Only a few of these types of photos left.

Wonder what the history is.

This wild butterfly bush is the last of the wildflowers. Whew!!!


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take the Challenge - Talk to Yourself!

Here is a challenge for you: Talk to yourself! Yes, talk to yourself. That may sound odd. We have always heard that it is alright to talk to ourselves as long as we do not answer. Well, it could be that it is really okay to even answer ourselves.

Think about this. Most of the time we do not talk to ourselves. Rather, we listen to ourselves and this gets us into more trouble than just about anything else. Martin Lloyd Jones said, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself?"

You may wonder what the difference is. What exactly do we hear when we listen to ourselves? Well, if you are like me, you hear very much the same kind of complaining I hear as I listen to myself. Typically, it goes something like, "Why am I the only one cleaning up around here?" Or, "O, brother, I have so much to do today. Why does my life have to be so complicated?" Or, "There I go again. Won't I ever learn to get this right?" Or, "Jerk!!! What do you mean pulling our in front of me like that? You must have gotten your driver's license out of a Cracker Jack box!" Or, "Why did I say I'd do this? When will I learn to say "no, no, no!"?" Or, "I really should have been given the credit for that. Why did so-and-so slight me? She must not like me. In fact, she always uses my ideas and takes credit for them, herself." And on and on and on...

If we would actually just listen to the record that is replaying in our heads, how disgusted we would be at what we hear. When we listen to another person giving verbal expression to these same kind of complaints (that we excuse in our own heads), would we not like to rebuke that one for such words? These kind of thoughts are always and only about ourselves. And the only way to change these base self-focused thoughts into God-glorifying thoughts is to do what David did in Scripture - talk to ourselves rather than listen to ourselves.
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." Psalm 43:5

"My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God." Psalm 62:5-7
"On a daily basis", C. J. Mahaney says, "we are faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth...about who God is and what He's accomplished on the Cross for us in His Son, Jesus."

You may wonder what the harm is in having such thoughts. After all, isn't a thought just a thought? I'd have to say "no" to that question. Wrong thoughts dwelt upon always give way to outward actions, whether that is a sharp, unkind, disrespectful word to your husband or mother, etc., or an act of violence toward another human being. Every murder started out as thoughts of hatred.

Thoughts are lofty things, whether good or bad. Second Corinthians 10:5-6 nails it, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ..." "Every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" are those negative self-focused thoughts that pass through my mind. When I choose to dwell on those thoughts, it becomes sin for me. After all, that thought is a "lofty thing raised up against" what I know to be true about my unchanging, faithful God who works everything for my good and His glory.That thought is a lie about God and His sovereign dealings in my life.

So we must be telling ourselves what is true about God. Philippians exhorts us to "think on what is true". How do we do that? We must reorient our minds to dwell on truth, and the way that happens is by the renewing of our minds. Romans 12 :2 is the key. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Our minds are transformed by God's word, the Bible. What goes into our brains comes out as thoughts. One of the things we learn in Scripture is to do what David did. Refuse to listen to the lofty lies raised up against the knowledge of God. Check those thoughts. Bring them into captivity. Give them no freedom to thrive and grow in your mind. When you find your mind wandering, do not listen. Begin at once to talk to yourself about what is true. "God is good and He loves me." "God has graciously forgiven that sin. I will thank Him at all times." "There is no one like the Lord. No one has ever loved me so much. His plans for me are good, to give me a future and a hope." "I love the Lord. My hope is in Him alone. Only He can bring good out of this situation. O, may He be glorified."

So take the challenge! Talk to yourself. Then your thoughts will be glorifying to the Lord.

"...You know me, O Lord; you see me and test my thoughts about You." Jeremiah 12:3

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Bread, Paper Towels and Cast Off Wash Cloths

Bread: When picking up broken glass, first put on rubber gloves, then grab a piece of bread (the heal is good since it doesn't always get eaten). Pick up the glass with the bread, using it like a paper towel. The glass should stick to the bread and since it is much thicker than a paper towel, it will be safer to use. After all visible glass is gone, throw away your gloves and the bread and vacuum the area (using the hose attachment). For once the heal won't go to waste!

Paper towels: We keep a compost bin so all of our fruit and vegetable scraps are saved to be made into rich food for our garden. When making a meal I lay out a paper towel on the counter and all of the fruit and veggie scraps go onto the paper towel. When the towel is loaded with food scraps, I transfer them into the covered compost bucket under the sink, minus the paper towel, which I use for the next round of scraps. It might last for three or four trips to the bucket. This saves dishes, the counter top and paper towels (by reusing the first one).

Cast Off Wash Cloths: I keep cast off wash cloths that are still too good for the rag pile, but not good enough for the bathroom, in the kitchen drawer with the tea towels. I use these to dry my hands with instead of paper towels. Since I am using them on clean hands, they are good for several days. They dry fast in between uses, I save on paper towels and they are small so they don't take up much room in the washer and dryer.

Send me your tips!

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No, Mr. President!

My husband brought my attention to this video by John Piper. Please watch it. It only lasts a little over 3 minutes. And even more importantly, commit to doing what John Piper says those who hope in a Sovereign God will do (at the end of the video).


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Book Give Away - Just Leave a Comment to Participate

I will be giving away this book, By Design...God's Distinctive Calling for Women, for a comment****. From now until June 12th, 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**.

Here is a review that explains what this book is all about:

God did not make a mistake when He made men and women different. He had a distinctive plan and purpose for each. This book is a joyous celebration of that profound fact and an appeal to the church to utilize one of its most valuable resources: its women.

By Design is not about answering feminist arguments or exegeting Biblical passages on traditional roles, submission or headship. Instead, it is an uplifting and practical introduction to God's wonderful design for women. It is also a challenge to women everywhere to explore the significance of your distinctives and return to your Biblical calling. And it is a plea for the church to equip and mobilize you to help a hurting world and capture a culture for Christ through ministries of mercy and compassion.

Like Susan Hunt's previous works, Spiritual Mothering and The True Woman, this book is a strong affirmation of your value as a woman and a great resource for anyone involved in women's ministries.
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 June 12th, 2009 and I will announce the winner on this blog on Monday, June 15th, 2009.

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A Bird's Eye View

My daughter found this robin's nest in a rose bush this afternoon and took a photo of it. She said it made her day. And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess I don't need to say anymore. Just enjoy God's creation (well at least a photo of it).

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Greasy Spoon and Buttery Cup

Greasy Spoons: Coat measuring
spoons with good oil or melted butter before you measure a sticky ingredient. Then measure the honey or peanut butter, etc. They will slip right out of the oiled spoon.

Buttery Cups: Coat measuring cups with either good oil or melted butter before you pour in a gooey ingredient, or better yet, line the cup with a piece of plastic wrap, coated with oil or butter. (Use cooking oil spray if you can find extra virgin olive oil spray.) The advantage is that once you have measured the molasses or maple syrup, etc., you can simply throw the plastic wrap away and rinse out the cup, since it should still be clean .


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Monday, May 11, 2009


There have only been a few Robert-isms posts to date. This is not because material is lacking, but because some of Robert's slips-ups are just not that exciting. Besides, the purpose of these Robert-ism posts is not to poke fun at my husband. So I need to be very careful that I do not come across as being disrespectful. That can be a fine line.

So, I think you'll be in agreement with me concerning this post in that regard. This Robert-ism is just too good to let pass, and too significant to family happiness and unity to be disrespectful.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and all of my children and all but two grandchildren were together at a unique restaurant for lunch - The Union Hotel in Occidental, California. If you've been there you'd know what I am talking about when I mention the elaborate candelabras that are placed on the long family-style tables.

But there was no such candle stand where we were seated. Robert commented that he thought that was good since there were fifteen people at our table, constantly getting up and moving about, visiting with one another (this was a long table and it was miles from end to end - you had to get up and travel a while to get to the opposite end to say "hello").

Anyway, (I know the carrot is dangling in front of you now), Robert's exact words were, "Boy! It's really good that we don't have one of those fancy 'candle-operas" at our table. We would have knocked it over by now."

Of course, you can imagine the hysteria that ensued and the family unity that we all shared as a result of the "patriarch's" lenience with us...no, rather contentedness, that we all were brought together under one hilarious theme.


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Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Come, then Sing, then Fall, then Cry, then Dance, then Fly to Jesus and Live!

This song so inspires me to want to do just what it says - "come to", "sing to", "fall on", "cry to", "dance with", and "fly to Jesus". Every time I listen to it, my heart is so stirred to love my Savior more; and I find myself rejoicing, weeping and singing. This so aptly describes the Christian life! Read the words (posted below the player) as you listen to the song and LIVE!

Note: Before starting this song, scroll to the very bottom of the page and turn off the main play list by clicking on the two bars.

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Come to Jesus
Weak and wounded sinner,
Lost and left to die;
Raise you head for Love is passing by.
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus.
Come to Jesus and live.

Now you burden's lifted
And carried far away.
Precious blood has washed away the stain.
So sing to Jesus.
Sing to Jesus.
Sing to Jesus and live.

And like a newborn baby,
Don't be afraid to crawl;
And remember when we walk
Sometimes we fall.
So fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus.
Fall on Jesus and live.

Sometimes the way is lonely;
Steep and filled with pain.
So if your sky is dark
And pours the rain,
Then cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus.
Cry to Jesus and live.

Oh, and when the love spills over,
And music fills the night;
And when you can't contain
Your joy inside.
Then dance with Jesus.
Dance with Jesus.
Dance with Jesus and live.

And with your final heartbeat,
You kiss the world goodbye;
And go in peace
And laugh on glory's side.
Then fly to Jesus.
Fly to Jesus.
Fly to Jesus and live.
However, knowing how prone I am to wander, I've added one more verse to sing that goes like this:
And when temptation vexes,
And steals your heart away;
Confess your sin to Jesus,
Turn and pray.
Return to Jesus.
Return to Jesus.
Return to Jesus and live.

As Dr. Laura says, "Now go and do the right thing!"


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