Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today I am thankful that even though blogger messes with my mind I know that my God is in control and that he supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory.
Last night I sent an email to a sweet sister that I met through WFW yesterday. She is struggling with a few things right now and I wanted to encourage her. One of the things I shared with her was that this has been the absolute hardest year of my life. It has taken every ounce of strength that I could beg our Savior to provide. It has taken every word that the Holy Spirit could speak for me because there have been times that I have been so spiritually confused that I had no idea how to pray. There have been times that I have wondered things that I feel guilty to even speak or write here. And, I won't because here what I desire to write is only words of encouragement. It has taken every ounce of strength I could muster not to write out the pain I have felt for the last 8 and 1/2 months.
But today I am here to tell you that God is good and God is faithful. And I believe and trust these words more than ever now . . .
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord,
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways."
In some ways today I am just as confused as I have been because God is working in our lives and in our ministry. I am joyful and anticipating bountiful Blessings but I am confused because I have no idea what is going to be happening next. I wait. I trust. And I give Thanks for our God supplies. Our God hears. And our God loves.
Thankful Thursday is hosted by Iris click here to go to todays post and linky.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I haven't gotten farther than the first few chapters and the dedication but I am totally excited about this book. I had to share it with my WFW.
This is a photo from a chapel service at the boys prison where we serve. I thought this photo was really cool because I managed to capture the video. I love this verse as it describes our heart for these boys.
Here's the info. about the book. Check it out.
Oh I am in love. I love okra. And he also brought . . .
He knows I love salad. And he brought . . .
This reader is sorry to have missed book one. A Despicable Profession is Book Two of the American Spy Trilogy. Here's what the editor of Mystery Magazine has to say . . . "Hal Schroeder is destined to join the ranks of classic characters in American fiction." From the author's site . . . "Hal Schroeder, the hero of A Despicable Profession, is only 25 years old. He is not well-seasoned. He is young and cocky enough to think he has all the answers. His immaturity drives the action, as we watch Hal learn the painful lessons that veteran agents like le Carré’s George Smiley already know. Too many spy novels, in this man’s opinion, are steeped in cynicism, which breeds lethargy. The protagonist does what needs to be done, coolly, professionally. But without passion. Not Hal Schroeder. He thinks he’s a cynical hard guy but his youthful enthusiasm always gets the better of him. Which is usually, but not always, for the best." I had to keep myself from trying to cast actors for the movie version. I'll let you to your own imagination. But this reader would definitely want to see the movie!
A Despicable Profession was an easy and fast read. I enjoyed the book. Not usually a fan of WWII or any war novel's I was pleasantly surprised. And I stayed interested through all 300 pages.
Here's a short synopsis:
May, 1946. America is basking in hard-won peace and prosperity. The OSS has been disbanded, CIA does not yet exist. Rumors swirl about the Red Army massing tanks along the Elbe in East Germany.
Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder gets an offer from Global Commerce LTD to be a trade rep in Berlin. He flies to New York to meet his new boss. Hal’s jaw drops when former OSS Chief Wild Bill Donovan strides in. Schroeder, who survived perilous duty behind German lines, says he is no longer interested in being a spy. General Donovan assures him that’s not part of his job description.Hal comes to doubt that when he meets his immediate superior in Berlin. It’s Victor Jacobson, the case officer who sent him on repeated suicide missions in WWII.
You can purchase on-line at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This book was published by Blue Steel Press. You can visit there for more info. and to read an excerpt.
This book was provided for review by Pump Up Your books.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The book is about the author Jeff Alt's amazing story. It is a biography that chornicles his amazing 2,160 mile hike along the Appalachian Trail to raise money for Sunshine Home. I was amazed and impressed.
Normally I am not much of a fan of biography's but A Walk for Sunshine captivated me from page one to two hundred ninty seven! The author shares his ups and downs while making the long hike from Georgia to Maine. The first couple of chapters gives the reader an overview of the authors strategic planning, fundraising for the walk and a little background about why he would spend an estimated six months on the trail.
As a lover of the outdoors and nature I was fascinated and captivated by the story. And I learned as fascinating as this adventure was I realized that I would rather read about it than sleep in a hikers shelter in the middle of the mountains with field mice sharing the nights lodge. I must add here ...ick!
The author shares at the end of the boo a few pages of more information including his: gear list, info. for parents wanting to hike with children and suggested reading about adventure hiking.
I enjoyed Chapter 36. In this chapter the author shares a little more with the reader about how to do a fundraiser.
The post script included information about Cerebral Palsay and info. about The Sunshine Home in Maumee Ohio.
I was impressed with the authors dedication and with his commitment in doing something so noble to help this wonderful home.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone from nature enthusiast to the CEO. My Cowboy read a few chapters and really enjoyed it. It is both informational and humerous.
Ten years after his amazing hike Jef Alt continues as an avid hiker and has written other books about his adventures. He is the host of the annual Walk-With-Sunshine a fundraiser inspired by his original Appalachian Trail Journey. For more information about the offer and to purchase the book click here.This book is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
As the boys sat and listened to the message I could get these words out of my head.
Call my name. Are you in a place where you need the reminder that all we need to do is seek our Lord and Savior. Call His name and He will be there with you.
Maybe your just needing to take a minute and just rest. Turn your volume down and enjoy this wonderful message in song.
Friday, September 24, 2010
'Yaweh Sister' as she begins by sharing with the reader how to understand God's teachings by entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is a great study book for all women. Olsen shares her faith with stories and anecdotes and then points the reader directly to scripture. Each chapter ends with study questions. It is a great book to read through even if you don't take the time to answer the study questions.
I did a little research and found quite a few reviews. It seems everyone is talking about It's No Secret. I found this site that actually has the 1st Chapter posted so you can go over there and read it.
Here's what a couple of other people are saying . . .
Here's another bloggers review I found on Amazon http://atitus2woman.blogspot.com/2010/09/its-no-secret-review.html
This review is from: It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know (Paperback) I totally loved, loved, loved this book!! Once I opened it, I couldn't put it down! Rachel is so down to earth and REAL about her struggles and failures, that it felt like she was writing my story. I really loved the chapter called, "Turn the Beat Around". She talks about truly resting on the Sabbath, and what it means to really trust the Lord by resting. There are Bible study questions at the end of each chapter to help you dig deeper for yourself into the decoder ring that God has given us in Christ. This book is a MUST for any Bible study group, and I know it's on the list for the 'next do" in my group!
And from the book ... "Just a few chapters into It’s No Secret, I felt like I was sitting with a wise and witty girlfriend who had opened her heart and drawn me in with memorable stories told in a spunky yet sensitive style. It’s clear that Rachel Olsen cares about her readers and longs to share the secrets she’s come to know…”Ann Krocker author
For more info. here's the authors website and an interview with the author is hereauthor interview http://www.wendyblight.com/2010/09/meet-my-friend-rachel-olsen-author-of.html.
Thanks to Karen Davis at B&B Media Group Inc. for offer this book.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I hope you enjoy!
Tackle it Tuesday A New Project
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11 (NIV)
I believe he uses us to encourage one another. Just as the Two Mom's over at Tackle it Tuesday have encouraged so many in the areas of organization and mommy tips etc.
I want to Tackle Tuesday by encouraging you too.Today I want to begin a new weekly Tackle it Tuesday project.
I want to share with you what God has placed on my heart or what I learned each week. It might be a devotional, a verse, a tip who knows.
But it is meant to help you and encourage you. And possibly help you maybe be a Happy Momma or make your baby Happy or help you have a Happy Husband.
Today I want to share what I read this week in 15 Minutes with God by Emalie Barnes.
This particular devo. talked about telling and showing your children you love them.
I know your thinking well I am a SAHM. We take our children to church. Or maybe your thinking it's too late my kids are older they aren't babies little children anymore.
Here is a little of the devo. "Oh look,Daddy,I catched it!" That's good boy get ready for another make more and dad proud of the next one. "Look,Daddy I am only 8 and I can through faster than anyone on the team. Yea but you gotta work on your batting. You can't play in the big league if you can't hit. "Look, Dad I am sixteen and...." Yea but you need to."Although not meant to these conversations were not edifying or building up the boy.I know these are a bit of an exaggeration. But a point is being made here. Emalie went on to tell of a story about a father frustrated because his son wasn't into to sports. But instead was into motocross. The dad wasn't into out doorsy things or getting dirty or dust etc. He went to their pastor asking him what to do.The pastor wisely told him. "How much do you love your son? Enough to get grease on your hands?"
Sometimes we get so busy 'taking them to church' or 'grading papers or planning lessons' or 'cooking dinner'. That we forget why we are actually doing all that. Sometimes maybe our husbands didn't have fathers that were daddy's and they don't know how to be a Daddy like in Emalie's first example.
Do you show your children by your actions that you love them? Or are you just busy running around and taking them to games and practises and driving home thinking about what you are going to cook for dinner.Or; do you say to your son "Wow that was a great game I saw how you hit the ball. And I saw how you clapped for your team. And I saw how ..."
Emalie suggests thoughts for action:
* Write your child a love note or draw a picture for a young child
* Spend one on one time with each child
* Put a note on your calendar to remind yourself to do the above again nextweek.
I hope you all have a great week. I hope that you are able to Tackle your own projects today. And I hope in some way that what I have shared will be a Blessing to you.
Have a Blessed week and I hope your days are filled with happiness.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Disclaimer #2. And the author only asked me to review not say something nice about it.
BTW . . . I read it in just a couple of days. Now understand if I hadn't had such a busy weekend I probably would have read it in a few hours . . .
. . . Now does that face not just draw you in. Whoever thought of the cover was genius I have to say. Yes this was one that I enjoyed from cover to cover and I have to ask 'Miss Allie' when do we get to read book two? I know that there just has to be much more to come. Especially since 'Van's and Joe's story had such a happy ending there must be more! You know maybe a 'girl friend for Joe! Can't you just see Allie with a bunch of Joe puppies! Opp's sorry...just a thought.
I am not even going to give too much away about the story. You can go to Amazon and buy it and you can go to the author's site too for nore info. I found a few comments there.
Feel-good debut novel…
Larkin makes writing look easy… Stay has everything a summer read needs: humor, heart -- and, endearingly, buckets of dog slobber.
The Miami Herald
A charming tale of love, loss, discovery, and healing.
Modern Dog Fall 2010
What I really liked about the book . . . 1. It was easy to read. 2. The characters were fun and you were pulled into their stories. (Although I personally thought a couple were jerks in the way they treated Allie but they redeemed themselves)3. It was a fun sweet story. I love a good novel and I especially like happy endings.
What you 'might not like' . . . Because I love my faithful followers I have to share one thing about the book that might bother you. There are a couple of places where there is some language that you might find offensive. It didn't bother me at all. In fact I thought it made it more real. Van the main character is a little like me at times and probably alot like the rest of us and during 'high stress' situations sometimes not such pretty words just happen to slip out. I mean who could blame her when the dog has a big accident on the floor. I mean Joe is a big dog!
I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read more from Allie Larkin. Here's a photo of the author and her dog
These guys are just too cute. And yes my dog could be a relative! I'll have to take a photo of us so you can compare. (I'm not as cute though!)
Here is a photo of some of the decorating at McFadden Ranch.
I happened to drive in one day and luckily I had the camera! The everygreen they actually cut from the woods surrounding the ranch. I thought that was so cool. The already promised me they would cut some for me to decorate with!
Our ministry is already working on programs for the holidays. A Holiday to Remember is a special program that goes from Oct. through Dec. For many of the youth it is the first time for them to ever have a real holiday experience. For many it is thier first time to hang evergreen or decorate a tree.
The last few Mondays I have been sharing with you my Journey into ministry. And I do have a post today or should I say tonight. So I hope you will come back. And, I have book reviews this week too. It'll be a busy week around the blog.
So are you thinking about the holidays? Maybe as you begin to think about your family traditions and making plans would you think about sharing yourself to someone that might be forgotten.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In some ways I did devote myself to them but it is always easy for me to get absorbed in other things. It was during that time that I begin quilting. I spent many hours playing with fabric while the kids hung out playing nintendo (yes it was a long time ago) or watched t.v. Don't get me wrong we spent a lot of time together. Our horses at the time were at a rented pasture and so everyday after school we sent straight there and spent the afternoon riding, feeding, cleaning and bedding them down for the night. It was a really pleasant and enjoyable time. It was a time that I wouldn't change for all the money in the world. I firmly believe that the horses played a huge role in keeping my kids 'out of trouble'. By the time we got home every evening it was dinner time and then homework time and bedtime. This went on all through their growing up years.
As I think back I think about the time I spent with God. And, if truth be known if I were to logg those hours it would probably fit into a really small spreadsheet.
As I think back it makes me wonder if unintentionally I was putting my kids and my desires above God. Was I unintentionally making idols out of the things in my life?
Is there a possibility that things like my quilting habit, my children's activities and even my church activities were things that got in the way of my relationship with my father? Sadly I probably could answer yes.
I thought of these words . . . Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,' and 'Love your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10: 27.
Dear sister are you going through a time in your life when your responsibilities are draining you? Are you like me are you eagerly accepting your role as wife and mommy seriously? Are you spending time with your children and securing their future by allowing into your lives things like sports and activities that 'keep them out of trouble'? Like we did with the horses
If you are I commend you. But are you like me are you putting all these things before your relationship with your Father?
Today I urge you to join me in taking some time to sit still and be with the Father. Take some time and just rest and relax and offer Him your heart.
Take some time and . . .
I 'wanna be' a Titus 2 woman. I wanna share my faith and my stories and what I have learned to help you get there before me. At this 'time' in my life I have the time to share myself with you. I have the time to share my faith Journey. And as the older, more mature and maybe a little wiser (at least I hope) I have the time to share with you what I have learned and am learning on my Journey.
Thank you for joining me on My Journey.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Welcome to the 3rd part of Embracing My Second Calling . . . Today I am going to share the beginning of Auto Mission and how God answered my prayer!
He didn't call us to ministry in Alaska! Here is Part 1 and Part 2 is here.
And now Part 3 begins . . .
It was in December of 2004 that God laid the vision of Auto Mission on my Cowboy's heart. The vision came while he was a stage hand during our churchs Christmas Pagent. At that time we were serving our church helping in the youth ministry wherever we could. Sometimes teaching, sometimes managed the cafe in the youth building, sometimes planning parties for the teachers. And it was during that time that we began to realize that even though the local church can provide great programs and events that there are just some kids hanging out that were just not hearing the gospel. Some kids in our local neighborhood might never set foot into a church to hear the gospel.
And one night during a performance as Cowboy sat in the dark God spoke to him. He heard God's voice clear as day telling him to minister to those kids. As he sat and pondered he thought to himself 'how can I do this?' And he asked himself the questions 'What are boys interested in?' Everyone laughs when we share this . . . Cowboy answered his own question 'Boys are interested in two things cars and girls.' And he realized as soon as the thought came into his head. 'Well I don't know much about girls but I do know a little about cars.'
It was within a few short days that miracles began to happen. The first was that we received our 501c3 declaration in 30 days. Everyone we have talked to agrees that this was a miracle we have spoken to other non-profits that spent months and months trying to get the approval.
Exactly 35 days after Cowboy was sitting in the dark one bright and sunny afternoon the doors of Auto Mission were open and boys were coming everyday after school.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Dear Father please be with Joseph. Please give him direction and guidiance. Please listen to the messes and the misery. Please give him strength. Help him to know that you are with him listening to the melody.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Come let us sing for Joy to the Lord; let us shout to the Rock of our Salvation. Let us come to Him in thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. Psalm 95:1&2
Today I ask you to pray for Joseph. Please pray with me that he can keep on singing His heart out to Jesus in 'the free'. This is such a great kid. He has so much potential.
Thanks for letting me share with you tonight what is on my heart.
And now I have something for you . . .
Next week will be a Week in Review I'll be posting reviews on some of the books I have been reading recently. You'll definitely want to come back because some would make great Christmas presents. Or just presents to yourself!
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Thanks for the prayers for Joseph and thanks for the encouragement there a many days that just seeing a sweet comment here is what gets me through!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
You can also get extra points by following this blog. Hmmmm....how about 5 points? And I really need lots of followers over at my book review blog. So I was thinking. Maybe given you about 10 points for following over there.
And, to sweeten the pot a little this month the lucky winner will not only receive a custom apron but I'll include a cookbook.
So come by here and don't forget to leave a comment. And go over to the book blog and check out the new releases and follow and you'll get lots of points.
Now who wouldn't want an apron designed just for you? The drawing is the last day of September. So come on by and leave comments!
Last week I began by sharing about my first calling as a wife and mother. And a little about my family. And some rare photo's. LOL you can go here to read that post.
Today I wanted to share how our (mine Cowboy's) journey began.
Although the ministry of Auto Mission didn't begin until January 2004 God began preparing the way for us back in 2000 while we were living in Missouri. Little did we know then what he had in store for us.
When Cowboy began talking to me about an invitation he had received to go on a mission trip with our pastor neither of us had any idea how the trip would change his life.
I wish I had some photo's to share with you. Unfortunately they are all packed away. We don't have a video either but I did find one on youtube I wanted to share. It will give a little of an idea about what it is like in Ghana.
Cowboy and the group traveled 12 days before Thanksgiving that year. He describes Ghana as hot and dusty. As you can see from the video there are very few roads.
Back then believe it or not even though we did a lot of emailing here there wasn't an opportunity for email while in Ghana. So they didn't bother to take computers.
My Cowboy had gone on this trip with a group of volunteers from the Missionary Baptist Association. Most of the volunteers were doctors from Tennessee and Arkansas. My Cowboy and our pastors were the only team members that were not doctors. They were to assist the pharmacist distribute medications. And they were to share the gospel with the patients.
It was interesting the way they set everything up. Since there was a very long line they had lots of time to talk to the patients about God through a translator.
Cowboy has many stories he could share.
He actually helped deliver a baby. He happened to be walking out of the hospital one day when a taxi came speeding up. The driver jumped out grabbed Cowboys arm and drug him over to the taxi. Before Cowboy could do anything he was shoved toward the back door. He opened it to find a young woman. Who only moments later gave birth to a baby boy! A couple hours after delivery Cowboy went to the hospital to see the woman. It was humorous hearing the story because he said he almost didn't talk to her but he knew he only had a few minutes because she would be released within the hour. When he arrived at her room she was eating a fish head! Cowboy did his best to talk to her without getting sick himself! He began to talk to her about how important her job was now that she had a baby and how important it was for her to do her best for the child. He shared the plan of salvation with her and the young woman accepted Christ.
Another time they learned that two villages were expecting them to do a church service at the same time. Our pastor was the only pastor on the trip and he couldn't be in two places at the same time! So Cowboy volunteered. He preached his very first sermon in Ghana. He had no idea when he began walking to the village what he would say. He just prayed the whole way there. He asked God to go before him and prepare the people. He asked God to speak through him and he did! He spoke about heaven. He read some scripture. And he talked to the people about the streets of Gold in Heaven. This confused them. He could see that they were not understanding. And he got a little upset and worried he was afraid he was loosing them. He began to pray and he asked the translator what was wrong. The translator explained the people did not know what streets were!
We never expected how this trip would change Cowboy. We had both been on mission trips before. Both of us as teenagers had been on trips with our youth groups. And then later when we were married we went on a couple of trips to Mexico with our church. On all these trips we spent time doing VBS and singing at night.
But going to Ghana changed Cowboy. I saw a difference in him the night they returned. Which happened to be on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We were at the church having a traditional dinner. Cowboy and our pastor arrived while we were all eating. After many hours of travel and no showers you can imagine what they looked like. They were so hungry they didn't take time to go home because they didn't want to miss such a good meal!
In the weeks and months to follow Cowboy began to change. He was asked by our pastor to lead the Blackby study Experiencing God. During this time was when I first began to realize that God was being the potter he was shaping and developing Cowboy.
I remember when I realized that God was calling my Cowboy into full-time service. I remember that God spoke to me. I knew it before anyone else. And I remember the prayer that I prayed. Which was very short and simple.
Dear God I hear your voice. I accept your calling as Cowboys helper. I realize the calling you are placing on his heart. I know you have a mission field waiting for us.
And then I added . . .
Please don't let it be Alaska.
Friday, September 3, 2010
I have to recommend this one to you. If your a woman you'll love it even if your not from the south. If you are you'll love it because you are from the south. If your not you'll love it because it is just hillarious.
The stories and ancedotes are short and easy to read. If your like me and once you get into a good book you want to read it through non stop. This is one of those you could read in an evening or over a few days just to linger. It is just a simple read and one you don't have to think about. No plot or characters to keep up with and frankly for me that is the kind of book I want to read sometimes. You know those that you can just mindlessly enjoying without any thinkin'.
I checked out the authors site and noticed she is going to be at a couple of book signings you can go over here and check it out. But I thought I would share one I thought was cool. If your in Houston you'll want to put this one on your calendar.
Southern Tea Party an Wine Tasting Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet St.
Houston, Texas 77005
tel: (713) 523-0701
fax: (713) 523-1829
And, btw this one would make a great Christmas gift. Do you know how many days till Christmas?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Here's what I was thinking a soup and salad lunch . . .
I have some favorite cookbooks ready and a pad for notes. It is a little hard to see but the little glass jar holding the pens is from my daughters elephant collection. The jar actually has an elephant on it. I can't decide if I should use the pig or not . . . What do you think?
Here's the plate. It is just a simple solid blue dinner plate. My Cowboy used them years ago for a breakfast that he had to do for his work. Being the plate lover I am I saved them.
The place mat and the runner are Guatemalan fabric. Cowboy went on 8 mission trips there.
And ya I know about the hideous scratch on the table. I cannot get it off. Go back to the top photo it is covered up!
I can't decide on the tea towel as a napkin or . . . or instead of covering it with the runner how about painting black. Yea that's it! But Cowboy has no vision!
Or this look with the bandanna print napkin. Or heck why not both!
Now here's me trying to decide whether to just go with my small collection of fiesta. The bowls are the new ones from Khol's I have no idea about the pitcher but I bought it over 20 years ago at an antique shop. So maybe it's old. Really doesn't matter to me. I just love the blue.
And here is a close up of some of our favorite cookbooks.
One last shot of the fiesta and the print I have on the wall. I thought I would share it. Notice the blue steps at the very bottom. That blue is my inspiration to paint a piece of furniture I plan to be adding behind the table.