Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Bigger Family, Part 1

Today, I am mulling over a lot of things. I’ll just spill my thoughts here. Warning: this may not be real organized and it most certainly will ruffle some feathers.

This is about our Church family & how it gets along. I’ve talked about doing a post on denominations for awhile, but have put it off due to lack of organization & time to get it organized. Today, I’m just putting it out there. Disorganized & all.


Keith & I loved our church in Korea. The interdenominational group was so interesting! We had all colors, nationalities, backgrounds, etc. under the sun, but we had the Lord & English in common so that made us FAMILY!! Pretty much instantly. It got me wishing there weren’t the denominational divisions we have here going on all around us. We are one family, One Body, One baptism, aren’t we?

Blood Relation:
After this last week with Mom at the hospital, I saw & appreciated my family at work. There are many members & we all play a role. God put us together to get the job at hand done. We don’t all do things the same way. Some may think I hovered too much while others felt I didn’t tenderly care enough. I’m just now starting to get old enough to think, them’s the breaks. But I am also appreciating more how everyone plays a different role; each one is needed. Our family needs some to hover, some to do the detail work, some to remind, some to just sit & care. It works the same way in the Family of God. We are just as “Blood related” there. We need each other. This spiritual family we’re born again into works like the other. It’s not coincidence. God designed both of them to reflect Himself. Duh!

Family of God:
Just like in my kin, there are those in the Family of God I love, respect, glean wisdom from, etc. that I don’t see I to eye with on everything. In fact, there are some I don’t have much in common with except that we’re blood relation. But just as with my biological family, I have a loyalty I feel with them. You know, the “don’t say anything bad about my brother” thing? I can say it, & we in the family can talk about it to a certain extent, but there’s a line. There needs to be respect & honor in there or I turn it off.

Rockin’ the Boat:
You can get away with not rocking the boat pretty well if you want until, tell me if you’ve experienced differently, you have children. Then it starts. This caught me off guard, honestly. I wasn’t expecting every little thing to be so evaluated. Bottle or breastfeed, exclusively or partially, work, part time, or stay at home, when to start feeding them, what to feed them, too many clothes on them or not enough, homeschool, charter, or public schooling, community sports or not, etc. etc. etc. Decisions, decisions, opinions, opinions. It comes down to what God shows Keith in leading our family, & me following his lead. Thankfully, Keith & I have great parents who are very supportive, yet throw in their wisdom when needed. I pray we have that balance with our children as the years go by.

Lines & Where to Draw Em:
The lines are drawn on spiritual issues when it starts into the “unscriptural” category. I’ve heard some great men of God being thrown under the bus over one issue or another being accused of being unscriptural. If that’s what’s going on, they should be. And we MUST be diligent to study, dig to find what God really says about these things, and not form our own opinions or just listen & take someone else’s word for things. This takes a whole lot of work, thought, & prayer. But if they’re sturdy, we need to back them up! Period.

With Others:
Another part of that though, is finding the line to decide these things for others & start preaching against someone because of something you’ve found. If you care, you will share when you find things that are off. It’s hard to do that without throwing the baby out with the bathwater though. And, I’m sorry, there are just too many wonderful things these guys have taught me to throw them all out. Plus, you’d be ditching literally every last one of them. And to top it all off, you’d throw me out & I’d do the same to you. We’d find at least one thing we disagree on between us! As Grandma Jean used to say,

“Everyone’s a little off except you & me. And sometimes I wonder about you!”

The Bigger Family, Part 2

“Everyone’s a little off except you & me. And sometimes I wonder about you!”


That being said, I list here some of the things I appreciate about these men/ministries in the Bigger Family. I’ve heard at least one warning about every last one of them, even the Donut Man! I do not list the complaints here to avoid promoting fodder. Although I don’t agree 100% with any of them, I love each one & I’m sure if we had the time to sit & chat, they’d find things to disagree with me about & perhaps would, as iron sharpens iron, straighten me out on a few things I’m “sure” I’m right on. If you haven’t heard any their contravercies yet, you either will in time, or perhaps you’re in a crowd of folk that have a “whatever you believe is nice for you” attitude which is somewhere between unloving due to apathy & so far watered down they don’t amount to anything (no salt & light left). Go find some friends who will challenge you to dig a little deeper spiritually. Start chatting it up with your friends about spiritual things. The old saying about not talking politics or religion is for the birds. That’s where all the good conversations take place! That being said, here’s my list of brothers/sisters & things I appreciate about them…

Michael & Debbie Pearl I love her book Created to Be His Help Meet. Their writings on parenthood have also given me the courage to do what I need to do at times when everywhere else, we hear tenderfooted parenting. They say some things out there that no one else has the courage to say. I like that.

Voddie Bauchum is another one of those who stir the church thinking pot a bit & it’s what I like about him.

Bill Gothard Next to my parents, this man has had the most influence in my character, etc. I am so grateful my parents took the effort to get me to his conferences through the years! Those seven principles have had a huge impact in my life & in who I am today.

Doug Philips His promotion of getting back to family & family based worship is wonderful. I appreciate his celebration of the genders, too. It’s great to be a woman & I want my daughter to embrace that early on. I want my boys to be all boy & love it! That’s been lost in the last generation & Doug’s reclaiming it. Thank you!

Ken Ham Can I just say I LOVE teaching Genesis? I’ve loved it since before I heard Ken’s phrase “back to Genesis”.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss Honestly, I haven’t heard one negative thing about her. I keep waiting. She’d be the first to say she’s not perfect, but usually someone who says the things she says can’t stay under the radar too long without someone getting their toes stepped on & dissing her. But when I do hear it, I will still respect her right up there at the top. She is showing us how to be a woman (single or married), Godly, under authority, serving the Family in so many ways. I just love her, can you tell?

Billy Graham He has faithfully been sharing the Gospel message for decades. He has lived a God-honoring & long life, never once disgracing the Gospel with scandal. He has been used to reach Presidents when no one else could. I so admire & respect him for that!

James Dobson Adventures in Odyssey, That the World May Know, Focus radio, The Truth Project are just a few of the many ways he has blessed my family. Thank you, Dr. Dobson, for doing the ministry God put before you.

Jerry Falwell Keith & I wouldn’t have met, I wouldn’t have spent four years in Korea to name just two ways this man has probably more personally changed my life than anyone besides my own dear parents. Two of my three sisters-in-law are mine due to his ministry. My husband was discipled through his ministry. My life would look completely different if he hadn’t “taken that mountain”. I will be forever grateful!

Rick Warren He’s kind of the Billy Graham of our generation. See above – same as for Billy G. Actually, Keith & I have discussed how similar Rick Warren & Jerry Falwell are. People wouldn’t normally say that, thinking Jerry was always wearing a suit & Rick always wears a Hawaiian shirt, but they both are willing to try great things for God, are reaching out to the lost with a smile, take a lot of hits from Christians & non alike, & dream big!

The Donut Man My family has been so blessed by his ability to put God’s Word to music in a fun way. Music makes it stick! God definitely gave him a gift & I’m thankful he is using it.

Anyone have others to add to the list?

The Bigger Family, Part 3


Let me remind you, this whole three part post is all about how we are in the same family, yet undoubtedly see things differently. God is very creative, isn’t He? Heaven will be so great! We’ll get to fellowship without the shackles of sin blinding us to things like we have here. I used to honestly despise denominations (splits the Body), but I’ve come to see the need for them over the years. We’ll spend forever together in Heaven, but for now, we make do with what we’ve got. Denominations keep us from rehashing all the same old issues. At least with them, we can camp out with like thinkers to some extent. (Is that a plus? Maybe that’s why the waters have been so muddied between essentials, non-essentials, tradition, what’s truly Scriptural, etc.) Keith & I are more Evangelical Free than anything which holds tightly to a few major issues & more loosely to the “extras”. Although our membership is currently with an Alliance church. They are surprisingly similar. It kills me though, when those who’ve grown up in one denomination have no clue what’s out there in other denominations. Like some we’ve talked with only know about the Alliance colleges, camps, etc. & don’t trust or care too much for anything other. Sad. And that seems to happen with every denomination! GARBC, Southern Baptists, Wesleyan, you name it. When you close yourself off to the other parts of the Body at large, you really miss out!! As you can see, I’m still not sold on the need or good of denominations.

Bringing it all in for a landing, let me tell you what I think personally about a few “contraversial” issues…

I believe God created everything. Did He do it in seven literal days? Well, I think hooking the Gospel on that is like arguing over whether or not Adam had a belly button. It’s sure not worth losing fellowship over.

I believe in the inerrancy of scripture. We have several translations in English. To say the KJV is the only infallible one is just plain ignorant. We received His message in Greek & Hebrew. Translating from one language to another language always has variables. The KJV is one of the ways we can read what God has revealed to us. Not the only way.

I believe children are a precious gift from God & we should embrace each one as such, not desire to control how few we can have. We don’t do that with any other of God’s blessings (money, cars, health, etc.). I think Satan has blinded us enormously in this area.

I believe music is a powerful medium God has given us to communicate in multiple levels. My spirit tells me at times by the way it is done that no matter what the words are saying, it’s not of God. Just like films & books, I can’t lay my finger on it sometimes, but I hear or see or read things at times & just know it’s of God or not by my spirit’s response. BTW, I am so thankful for churches that are starting to take on the film industry & produce Godly stuff – that’s been lacking until recently. It’s another powerful medium of communication & I’m so glad these guys are taking it on.

I believe I am most fulfilled in being a homemaker & wife & mother. When I said “I do” to Keith, I took on that role never to look back. My education was to prepare me for that role. I have no aspirations or yearnings of working outside the home “once the kids are in school”. This is a full time job & I am proud to do it. I desire no other & thank God He gave me this position.

I feel we need to strike a balance between training up our children to live Godly, holy lives, and reaching out to a dying world all around us. Too many are doing exclusively one of the two. Some are too busy building ivory towers to protect their children. Others reach out so much their children don’t catch the Gospel! We were given both the Shema & the Great Commission to implement in our own lives as well as pass on to the next generation. If not, we fail.

I believe there are genuine believers in the American Catholic church today. I do not understand the thinking behind some of the theology & think they are way off in some areas, but they are none the less my brothers & sisters. And while we’re at it, I do not believe you can lose your salvation. (Interestingly enough, some brothers/sisters I’ve talked with would badmouth the Catholic church for their additions to the Gospel while at the same time say a person can lose their salvation if they do or don’t do such & such. How is that really different? “Jesus plus what I do or don’t do” is the same thing in any denomination! I really don’t get that.) Although with some denominations, it is just a matter of semantics. I have spoken with some who believe you can lose it & we boil it down to the same thing in the end. I believe those who “lost it” never really had it to begin with. Once you have really tasted of God’s goodness, you don’t spit it out.

So, there you have it. Tawk amongst yourselves.

An Empty Red Envelope


Have you seen this idea? I’m participating & thought you might want to as well…

Get a red envelope. (For those of you who live close, I got a bunch on the cheap a few years back I’ll be glad to pass on, just let me know.)

On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message:———

“This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because
that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with

Put it in the mail on Feb 28th. Then forward this email to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.

Do not attack or say anything mean to President Obama. I may not have voted for him and I may not like his policies, but he is still the President of the United States of America and this is not the place for hate speech.

Thanks, Aunt Connie, for passing this on to us!

WFMW: First Aid

I’ve only posted this kind of thing once before, but I felt this idea was worth passing on. For years, I’ve tossed those extra ketchup packets in the freezer after a fast food trip & used them for mini ice packs when the kids bump their head or bang a knee. They work great. Can’t remember where I heard to do that, but whenever I mention it, people tell me it’s a great idea & they’ve never thought to do that before. Even nurses. What’s great about it is first of all, they are free, plentiful, & can be tossed when they’re done with it. Secondly, they are the perfect size for little hands. And thirdly, perhaps most importantly, they don’t totally freeze up but rather stay slushy, so they kind of wrap around the wound instead of having all those sharp edges like ice cubes do. My kids have always used them. So, if one of their friends hurts themselves, they ask if the injured wants a ketchup packet which can bring strange looks, but my kids haven’t noticed that yet.


Pumpkin Squares That Won’t Make You Round


Here’s a great substitute for pumpkin pie. And let me tell you, they are delicious! This recipe makes 9 servings, 2 points each.

Pumpkin Squares
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup Splenda
5 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup low-fat Cool Whip

In saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water & let stand for 2 minutes. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, ginger, & cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat & cool to room temperature. Stir in Splenda. Line bottom of an 8-inch square dish with graham crackers. Pour pumpkin mixture over crackers. Cover & refrigerate overnight. Serve with a dollop of Cool Whip.

Stats: 120 calories, 2 g fat, 190 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein, 23 g carb.
Taken from Light & Tasty Magazine.

Quick & Easy-on-the-Scales Potato Chowder

Here’s a new recipe for those of us Weight Watching…

Point Chopper Potato Chowder
6 cups of water
6 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 envelope of Pioneer Brand Country Gravy
1 pkg. frozen southern style hash brown potatoes
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of creamed corn
salt & potato flakes as desired
I throw in about 2 or 3 Tbl. dried minced onions

Bring the water & bouillon to a boil. Make sure the cubes are dissolved. Add everything else. The potato flakes add “body”, but don’t add too much or you’ll start adding points. I gave this two squeezes on the flake box – I call it two “poofs”. : ) 1/3 cup? This soup is delicious! I added the corn, creamed corn, onions, & potato flakes on my own so haven’t figured out the points exactly yet, but without that stuff (which I wouldn’t think would add more than a point per cup) it’s one point per cup!! Again, this new recipe makes the weekly rotation.

FYI – I did try a new recipe last week that didn’t work, but why bother sharing that here? I’m gonna give that recipe one last chance in a few weeks with a few new tweeks before probably ditching it. The family seemed to like it more than I did. It was Pineapple Chicken from the WW booklet. I added too much ginger for one thing, so we’ll see what happens when I lay off that a tad.



Good Year So Far

(Click on the picture to find out what this is.)

We are having so much fun this year in Club! For those of you (you know who you are) who have stumbled across this blog for “Fruit of the Spirit”, I post these links to consolidate a few posts from my ministry blog for you to glean ideas. I’ve tried to be faithful in posting what we’ve been doing for parents to be informed as well as for future reference, but seeing as how we haven’t covered faithfulness yet, I’ve missed a couple. Maybe during the faithfulness month I’ll go back & catch up.

So far, we’ve talked about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, & goodness. For helps on the verses, go here for the love verse, here for joy, & here for patience.

One cool thing that was added over the snowy weeks in January (kindness was cut short due to all the missed weeks) are the links for hymns found in the column to the left on the Pass the Baton blog. Originally, I was going to get a CD made of our church pianist playing & perhaps me or a few others singing the hymns to give each family a copy of all nine hymns we are focusing on this year in conjunction with each fruit. Didn’t happen. MIDIs are second best, but at least an option.

The experiments have sure been fun. Now keep in mind, these were chosen for their fun factor & I kind of loosely added the hook to the fruit of the Spirit, so some are a bit of a stretch but fun, you have to admit. We added these to the schedule when we found the children were finishing up their awards choices in record time & we needed to keep them quiet for ten or fifteen minutes while the prayer & verse groups finished up. Another very good outcome of the experiments has been that every child takes home something on awards night, even those who forgot to bring their notebooks or who didn’t get any of the assignments completed for the month. We have a few kids with no support at home, so this is especially important for them…

For peace, we made beakers of goo. God can give us peace in the storms in our lives just like the liquid turned to solid. He is our solid when everything around us feels shaky. For patience we made insta-snow. Be patient – snow is coming! For kindness, we made sun bead bracelets. When we are kind, it changes everything around us. We can be cold & white, or warm & color our world around us with kindness. For goodness, we did the petri dish. (See the blog for the goodness connection.) For faith, I’m planning this, but on a much smaller scale obviously. It takes faith to walk on liquid & trust you won’t sink, just like Peter on the water looking to Jesus. For gentleness, we’ll fill test tubes with oil & water. This is a generic fruit experiment. Just as oil & water don’t mix, so blessing & cursing don’t come from the same mouth, And good & bad fruit don’t come from the same tree. And for self-control, we’ll fill large petri dishes with candy (or this) without eating any! Then they can take them home.

More links will be added as the year winds down. I hope to have all the fruit in this post with links at the end of the year.

Watch List 2009

The newest list of most persecuted countries came out last week & for the seventh year in a row, North Korea tops the list.


Click on the list to get more information.

9 Things I Learned From My Grandma

My dear Grandma Gertie passed away yesterday afternoon from a lengthy bout with kidney problems. She’s my dad’s mom. Raised her family about three miles from where I type. In reflection, I want to put just a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned from my grandmother over the years…

1) “Let go & let God.” – That was her most quoted phrase. I think she got it from Al Anon. I didn’t always agree with when she applied it, but it’s still the words I think of most when I think of Grandma. That & “Oh, Lawsy!” accompanied by her high pitched, cute, little giggle Dad inherited from her. You should hear it on a man. : ] Makes me smile just to think about it. Anyway, sometimes it’s true. Sometimes you just need to let go & let God deal with it. Let it go. I think that’s where Philippians 4:6 & 7 come in:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

2) Lipstick – gotta have it. Now this lesson I admittedly flunked big time. I mean I get a zero here. But Grandma taught it by the way she lived. World-War-2-bombshell red until you’re seventy or so, then blushing pink from then on out. That is a fundamental “must have” on a woman. She never said anything to me about my lack of it. (Chapstick only here, please.) I really can’t picture her without it.

3) “A little dab’ll do ya.” – Grandma said this one a lot. It should be emblazoned on my refrigerator in gold letters, this glittering mantra of moderation. If only we could remember to live by it in all areas of life, we’d be a lot better off!

4) Playing a few rounds of Yahtzee & putting a jigsaw puzzle together gives you lots of time to talk with your grandchildren. “You’ve got your onsies & your threesies left…” And she called it Yat, rhymes with scat. Not Yahtzee. It is a great game, you have to admit that.

5) Spending a lot of time around someone doesn’t mean you are close to them. Your children will not tell you how they feel or what they need unless you ask them, pay close attention, & genuinely want to know. So I am going to ask them. I vow to stay close to my young’uns & ask those deep questions, like my folks did for me. I have seen first hand that even when your children grow older, they never outgrow their need for your genuine love & affection. If you don’t give them that, there’s a forever hole in their heart that only God by His grace can fill. And I have seen Him fill it, too! So I know He can: He can do anything! But I don’t want to leave for God to do what He gave me the joy & privilege to do.

6) Keep short lists of offenses. People matter more than whatever dumb thing you’re all tied up in knots about right now.

“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

– Ephesians 4:26-28. Grandma spent more than a few years regretting time spent upset with one or another person. She would be the first to tell you it ain’t worth it!

7) Quilts are a beautiful work of love & art. They were one of Grandma’s love languages. I can not imagine spending as many hours as she did quilting, knitting, & crocheting only to give it all away!!! Some were functional, others were very artsy, but all were made with her children & grandchildren in mind & were her way of telling us we mattered a whole bunch to her.

8 ) Genes are funny things. I see Dad in Grandma’s hands, which in turn showed up with Aunt Barb’s hands. I love those hands. Ever busy little sausage fingers! The eyes & giggle showed up in Aunt Mary Lou. The buxom build, yet remarkably flat back end is my reminder I’m Grandma’s, which I share with Aunt Barb. Grandma may be with Jesus, but there are reminders of her in all of us. That’s the way God made it.

9) Grandma taught me how to slow down & smell the roses, literally. She enjoyed God’s creation more than anyone I know: flowers, birds, seasons, trees, fruit, nuts, & mushroons. Yes, I spelled that the way I wanted to. That’s how she said it. I will forever think of her when I stop & hear birds singing (Grandma Birdie) or teach my children the difference between a geranium & a marigold. She passed that on to Dad who in turn passed it on to us. I’ll always fondly remember her front yard covered with those beautiful daffodils, and I do mean covered. I bet if I could take a peek in Heaven right now, Dad is showing her all the beautiful gardens God has entrusted to his care & she is “Oh, hey! Look at that!”ing about each gorgeous bud & critter. I can see it as clear as if I were standing there.

Well, I’m sure I will think of others as time goes on, but for now I need to call Mom & see if she needs anything & what I can do to help with food, etc. You know how that goes. People are coming in for the funeral so there’ll not be want for things to do around here. I don’t have the picture I want of Grandma on this computer, so that will have to wait. Just had to take a an hour this morning to reflect before life marches on.

PS – My sister-in-law put this on her blog. Love it! Thanks, Valerie!!

(Dad baptizing Grandma a few years ago.)