Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday Foodie - Heavenly Ice Cream Pie

Heeee! I’m so excited. “Why?” you inquire? I thought you’d never ask. Today is an extra special Friday Foodie. My bloggy friend, Bridget, who writes the cute-as-a-bug and equally delicious cookie (and occasionally some other food stuff) blog over at Bake at 350 is hosting a new fun carnival/event on her blog: Flavor-of the-Month.

She will choose a new theme each month and anyone with a blog who wants to participate will bake whatever type of food she has chosen for the month, post it on their own blog and then link back to Bridget’s blog. That way you can check all the blogs that are participating and get all kinds of new, delicious recipes.

The first theme Bridget has chosen is Pie! Yum.

It took me about 5 seconds to decide whether or not I’d participate and about 60 seconds to decide which pie I’d be making to contribute.

It’s called Heavenly Ice Cream Pie. And no, I didn’t pick it because of the name. I actually didn’t even remember the name it had been so long since I’d made it. (So many recipes, so little time.) But it really is as good as the name indicates. The possible ice cream combinations are endless and thinking about it makes my mouth water.

So please link back to the Flavor of the Month post at Bake at 350 and check out all the other delicious pie recipes. And while you’re there, you have to scroll down and see the cute little flip flop cookies that Bridget made in honor of summer. She’s a whiz with a cookie cutter and royal icing.

Heavenly Ice Cream Pie

1 baked pie crust
1 12-oz. jar chocolate fudge topping
1 pint each vanilla, chocolate and coffee ice cream
whipped cream

Cashew Crunch
6 tablespoons uncooked quick oats
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted or lightly salted cashew nuts
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Cashew Crunch ingredients in a bowl and then transfer to a cookie sheet. Spread evenly and bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan.

2. Spread ¾ cup of the chocolate fudge topping over bottom and up sides of pie crust. Sprinkle with half of the Cashew Crunch mixture.

3. Top with the ice cream, adding it by the heaping tablespoonful and alternating flavors to achieve a marble effect. Pack down the ice cream as you go. When the crust is filled, press down on ice cream with a spatula to get rid of any air pockets. Cover with plastic and freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.

4. Just before serving, warm remaining fudge and top each slice of pie with whipped cream, a sprinkle of the remaining Cashew Crunch and drizzle with the hot fudge.

Yep, if you're going to take a picture of an ice cream pie in July in Arizona, ya gotta hurry.

Thursday Thanks - Colorful Reminders

The delicacy, extraordinary colorings and sweet fragrances that blend to create the beauty of a single flower are awe-inspiring. They embellish our lands and enrich our lives.

A single, half-wilted dandelion, when picked with love by a child and offered up to his mom on a spring day can bring tears to her eyes.

A bouquet of them, tied with a ribbon, can embellish the glow on a bride’s countenance.

A vase of them offered to an ill friend can express our love and get-well wishes.

We hold flowers in high esteem throughout our lives and we appreciate the precious gift that God has given to us in them.

But even so, in the Lord’s eyes, the beauty of them pales in comparison to the beauty He sees in each one of His children.

We are each different in our gifts and talents, personalities and characteristics, but we are all made in His image. And as much as the Lord adorns and cares for the flowers of the fields, His Word says that He will care for each of us even more.

“Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? And why are you anxious about clothing?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they
grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths?

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘With what shall we be clothed?’ For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

So this week I am thankful that the Lord has blessed us with flowers to brighten our world, to enhance our lives, but mostly to be a constant reminder to us of the grandness of God’s love for us and the palpable and personal way that He shows it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Promised Land - Are You Ready?

In the first post where we talked about living in our own Promised Land here and now in this life, a life of spiritual abundance as we enjoy an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I asked the question, “Do we dare to dream of a life in Christ like that?”

That’s the first question we need to answer before we embark on this journey of spiritual abundance, because the journey isn’t easy. It will require sacrifice and there will be warfare. We must make up our minds that no matter what, we’re in this ‘til the end.

The Israelites thought they wanted out of slavery, but shortly after they set about on their journey to the Promised Land, they began to grumble and wanted to go back. The journey to freedom, they reasoned, was too difficult.

So, what say ye? Are you with me? Have you wandered long enough in a spiritual desert?

Okay, let’s go!

As God handed the reigns of leadership over from Moses to Joshua, He gave him these encouraging words,

“Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:6)
“Only be strong and very courageous.” (Joshua 1:7)
“Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:9)

Think He was trying to tell him something? I won’t go into a whole study on the meanings behind these words, but I will say that they do not mean to find strength within ourselves. They mean to hold onto the Lord, trusting and obeying Him in all we do, and He will give us the strength and courage to do what He calls us to do.

As the Israelites were about to set out to cross the Jordan River, Joshua said to all the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

As we set out on this journey, we must sanctify, or ready ourselves. If we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then He has already done the work to make us spiritually clean before God. But we need to make sure that we are acknowledging that fact in all we do in our everyday lives. Have we set ourselves apart from the world’s ways in order to be useful to Him?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

In our minds and in our hearts we have to set ourselves apart so that we aren’t following the world’s mindset of being cavalier about sin. Some Christians are beginning to abuse their freedoms in Christ as they turn their eyes away from the Lord and are being lured away by the world’s temptations and compromises that would lead them right back into bondage.

We have to be ready to put off the sinful attitudes and deeds that hinder us and sanctify ourselves so that we can wholeheartedly follow the Lord.

So let’s first sanctify ourselves by asking God what there is in our lives that is hindering our walk with Him. And when He shows you, don’t rely on your own strength to remove it. Ask God for His strength and power to breaks the chains of bondage.

Paul spoke words similar to those of God toward Joshua to the Ephesians 6:10 when he said, “Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” He spoke these words just before his admonition to the Ephesian believers to put on their spiritual armour.

And those parallel words that God spoke to Joshua were commanded just before he and the Israelites headed into battle to fight their enemy in order to gain possession of their Promised Land.

We will, likewise, encounter many enemies on the way to our Promised Land.

We are soldiers in this King’s army and we must equip ourselves with the proper gear as we journey through this life of service, of trials, of sacrifice, of growing into a bold, courageous, faith-proclaiming, joy-filled, relationship with our Lord as we learn to abide in and trust in Him.

So sanctify yourselves, for the Lord will do wonders among you.

Next time we will begin to look at the armour that is crucial to a spiritual soldier.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Foodie - Grilled Chipotle Salmon Tacos

This recipe for Grilled Chipotle Salmon Tacos is fantastic. Even if you're not especially a seafood fan, I think you might like these. It's the perfect combination of smoky grilled and spicy southwest flavors with the creamy coolness of sour cream. And of course you can change up some of the ingredients, like I used regular chili powder instead of chipotle pepper, since this was the first time we were making them and I wanted to make sure we'd make them again before I bought a bottle of ground chipotle chili pepper for $6, and I also used red taco sauce instead of green. Enjoy.

Grilled Chipotle Salmon Tacos

1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
8 oz. Medium red potatoes, cubed (1 cup)
1 ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup purchased mild green salsa
3 tablespoons lime juice
¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup snipped fresh cilantro
12 6-in corn tortillas, warmed
½ cup sour cream
lime wedges

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse and pat dry. Set aside. In covered saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and cool.

2. In small bowl combine chipotle chili pepper, sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Rub pepper mixture onto fish. Grill fish 4 to 6 minutes per ½ inch thickness or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning fish after half the grilling time. Cool slightly; break fish into bite-size chunks.

3. In medium bowl combine salsa, lime juice and remaining salt. Add potatoes, fish, green onions and cilantro; toss gently to coat.

4. Divide the fish mixture among tortillas. Top with sour cream; fold tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thanks - God's Word

Today I’m thankful for God’s written Word. I can trust it to reveal to me who my Savior is. Through it His splendor and judgment and grace and mercy are known.

And through it I begin to know myself. It is a 2-edged sword that can divide my thoughts and intents. It is a mirror that reveals to me a side of myself that I had never seen before, over and over again. It shows me where I’m lacking and reassures me that I am loved just the way I am.

It is a comforter to me in my sorrow and it leads me in rejoicing His Name. It reveals past truths and warns of the future.

It is a canvas that paints for me a picture of a King, a Lord, a Savior, a Father, a Friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Do You Want Peace Now or Later?

In early 1999, I was a stay-at-home mom of two boys, ages 7 and 9. We had been living in our first house for about 7 years and God was blessing us with a new house that was in the process of being built. My husband had been an employee at his company for about 7 years, and there were rumors of layoffs. I told him that if he was laid off that he’d better call me before coming home to ease the harsh news. Within a day or two, I received a call from him.

He came home, started looking for a new job, and I started praying. Almost from the start the Lord gave me an incredible peace about the entire situation. We had no savings, I had no job and we had two children and a mortgage – the only peace that was possible to have was from the Lord.

God was good to give me the following verses to hold onto:

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end-then you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.

And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:7-18)

We had already put money down on this brand new house, but there was so much in the air at this point with my husband being out of a job that there was no way in the physical realm to know if we would lose the house or not. But when God spoke these words into my heart, I knew that He was giving us the new house.

And that wasn’t even the end of the layoffs. My husband was hired and laid off about 4 more times in that same year before the house was ever completed. But I kept reading these words of Moses and knowing that they were meant for us, too. And the part that always stood out to me was this: “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God..”

The Lord reminded me over and over that yes, I am going to give you a land that is better than you could have ever imagined, but do not ever think that you have built this yourselves, it is a gift from Me. Remember to always be thankful for it.

And indeed, my husband secured a job that was better than we would have ever imagined having just before the house was finished being built. And the Lord moved us into a house with things we had not had in our previous house: some space, two bathrooms, carpeting in all the rooms, a garage for all the junk we were blessed with, and a beautiful, sparkly, new dishwasher. Yes! I was no longer the dishwasher! Well, at least I had help.

Compared to where we had been living, we really did feel like God had moved us into the land of olive oil and honey. We even have valleys and hills, and the Lord provided us with our own “fountain and spring” in our backyard in the form of a pool with a waterfall. Amazing and miraculous.

The Lord had given us what we needed in our previous house and we were careful to live wisely on the one income we had, no credit cards, and we tithed faithfully. And now He was blessing us with more. It was nothing of ourselves, but purely the goodness of the Lord.

There are many right now who have been laid off, or their incomes have been cut drastically, and they’re wondering what the future holds. I will tell you what the future holds. The future holds Jesus.

At the first sign of trouble, do you turn to Him or do you try to figure things out on your own? There is much peace that we forfeit by waiting to use God as our last resort. He should be the first place we go when we don't know what to do, and even when we think we do.

If you lack peace today, look to the One who holds everything in His hands. Go to Him for direction and then, when He tells you to, move in complete trust.

Be faithful with what He has given you and remember that it is He who has given it. And when He blesses you, take care lest you become prideful and think that your own hands have made it.

Praise His Name and remember Him. Seek Him in the day of trouble and in the day of plenty. Honor Him in all you do and He will take care of you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Funnies - Planet of the Pets

As seen in a dog’s diary:

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!

As seen in a cat’s diary:

Day 183 of my captivity... My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair - must try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and may be snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can wait; it is only a matter of time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Thanks - The Hope of Heaven

Oh, these bodies of ours. I don’t know about you, but I first noticed my body was beginning to..shall we say, “turn,” (you know, like that brick of cheese you forgot was lurking in the dark recesses of your refrigerator, behind the leftovers) when I was about 29. Nothing big, just the normal aging process beginning to show on my face. Oh, what a surprise my body had in store for me then! I can just picture my DNA molecules getting together on Saturday nights and discussing how they were going to morph and cause me all kinds of grief in the coming years.

Getting old is no fun. And it’s not any easier watching our loved ones get older. And it’s especially heartbreaking when they get ill and when they die.

But God’s Word says, (to paraphrase) Aha! But this is not all there is! I will give you hope by telling you that if you are my child then you have a special place here with Me in my home – your home! Mi casa es su casa!

Okay, what it really says is, “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

I feel a song coming on after that one. And:

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Amen and amen!

I long for my new body and my new home with Jesus more than anything else. No more stiff joints, no more fatigue. No more headaches! No more tears, no more pain, no more suffering. And I long to see my loved ones who are already there. In this world we grieve for our loss of them, but God is good to give us the hope of heaven.

And so, I am thankful that God has made provisions for us in heaven, where we can be with Him forever, where we will laugh and sing and run and dance (we're doing this together, right, Ylisa?!)and worship, without thought of our bodies ever getting tired or old or weak. And all that we do will be for the purpose of glorifying our Lord forever! And not only has He prepared a place for us, but He has given us hope by telling us now! Through it all in this life, we have the hope of heaven waiting for us.

If you have somehow found your way to this blog and you don’t know where you’re going after you die, please go to the tab at the top entitled, “How to know God” and read the post. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ you can have your sins forgiven and have the hope of knowing that when that day comes for you to leave this earth you will be safe and sound in the arms of the Lord in heaven where He has prepared a special place just for you.

I couldn’t find a good video of Rich Mullins singing his song, “That Where I Am,” but I also love listening to a little bluegrass when I can.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Promised Land - Are You Living In It?

When some think of the Promised Land in the Bible, they analogize it to believers ascending into heaven. But I think that thought is too narrow.

There is a Promised Land that God desires us to live in here and now.

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

God wants us to live an abundant life right now! He wants us to be able to breathe, walk, speak, think, work, serve, live to our highest potential as we walk in the Holy Spirit. He desires for us to be able to enter into a spiritual rest, not a do-nothing laziness, but resting in our new life the Lord, no longer wrestling with our old man.

He has given to each of us specific gifts that He expects us to use. Are you fully engaged in using your gift(s)? That is why we were given the Holy Spirit – so that we could have power to use those gifts for the uplifting of the body of Christ and so that we could live our Christian lives to the fullest.

But as God leads us to our own Promised Land, there is much that would steal our abundant, spiritual lives with Christ. God’s enemy is hard at work trying to do that very thing.

he whispers lies into our ears.

he discovers our weaknesses and then he waves temptations in our faces.

he causes dissention among believers.

he’ll stop at nothing to ruin marriages, families, friendships, congregations, hearts, our witness, and our very relationship with the Lord. (In case you’re wondering, I never, ever capitalize any name, pronoun or descriptive word used to refer to satan or demons. they don’t deserve it.)

Many of us know unsaved people who are walking around, they’re alive, but they don’t have life. They’re down and depressed and overtaken by the world and its temptations of the mortal flesh. There are even those who call themselves Christians who are still walking around defeated, as if they have never received the resurrection power of Christ. But Jesus said that He has come to give life, and not just physical life, but a spiritual life, the life that makes this life worth living.

And Jesus goes one giant leap further. He doesn’t want us to just have a milk-toast spiritual life; He wants to give us an abundant life! He wants us to have a superior life; a life that is exceedingly above or beyond all that we could ever think or imagine!

Do we dare to dream of a life in Christ like that?

God desired to give that abundant life to the Israelites soon after they left Egypt. They should have entered their Promised Land, Canaan, two weeks after they left behind their slavery.

But strangely enough, even after God rescued them in the miraculous way that He did, the Israelites’ mistrust in God kept them in bondage and they roamed the desert for 40 years.

Eventually, of course, the next generation of Israelites did enter into Canaan. But it is believed that the Israelites have never completely and solely possessed the Promised Land. There has always been an enemy coming against them.

So, fast forward thousands of years, and let me ask you this: are you in the Promised Land that God desires for you? Are you living the abundant life that the Lord wants to give you?

And no, I’m not at all talking about a lot of money, or a huge house, or a perfect career, or anything of this world. Remember, we’re talking about our spiritual lives – our lives in Christ, our relationship with Him and the blessings that flow out of that relationship.

So what would a Promised Land look like? What would a spiritually abundant life look like for you? It’s all about our relationship with Jesus Christ. Here are some things I thought of:

- a 24-hour conscious awareness of intimacy with the Lord;
- fully operating in the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit that He has specifically
given to you;
- walking and acting in the Spirit rather than reacting in the flesh;
- choosing to show love to others even at the sacrifice of ourselves.

None of us will live that out perfectly until the day we meet Jesus face-to-face, but I do believe that most Christians are living far below the joyful life that God would have us. And we may not be where we would like to be, but is there steady growth? Are you intentionally headed for the Promised Land or just kind of wandering around? What is keeping you from it? If you don't know, ask God to show you. What are some things that you can change today that would help you get back on the road to your spiritually abundant Promised Land?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Does God Treasure?

It's funny the different ways people will sometimes stumble onto this blog. Many times it's by Google searches looking for "God" or "treasure" or some combination of both. The other day someone did a Google search on "what does God treasure?" Now that was an interesting question.

What does God treasure? God owns everything. He owns the heavens, the stars, the planets, He owns it all as far as the eye can see and further. But God tells us what He treasures:

"Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.." (Exodus 19:5)

The Lord commanded Moses to speak these words to the Israelites but I believe that this is still what God treasures today: someone who has a heart that is completely, wholeheartedly devoted to Him. Why? Because He loves us! In the same way that it brings a parent great joy when his child loves him enough to do what he asks, it also brings the Lord great joy when His children love Him enough to listen to Him and do His will.

And, by the way, the word "peculiar" used in this verse doesn't mean weird or strange the way we have come to think of it. It means uncommon, distinctive from others, belonging exclusively to some person. God wants each of us who receive Him to be set apart from the world, that is, that we would love the Lord over the temporary things of the world, and belong exclusively to Him.

God gave this promise to the Israelites first, and then with the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, believers in Him became grafted into that family of those who would be set apart for God and treasured by Him.

That is what, or should I say who, He treasures: a devoted child whose heart is on fire for Him. It is, after all, a living, breathing relationship that we were called to the day we gave ourselves to Him. What good is a marriage when there is no relationship? What good is there in a parent/child relationship when there is no love? And what good does it do to receive Christ by faith but never listen to His voice, never go to Him and ask what His good and perfect will is and for the strength to carry it out?

But those who cherish their Lord enough to continue daily in honoring Him to the best of their ability with their thoughts, actions and words, they are God's treasure. They are a special people unto Him that He can use to bring His love into this world by being His feet and His mouth and His hands.

The one who would wholeheartedly follow the Lord is the one whom God treasures because He loves us and desires more than anything for us to love Him, too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Funnies - The Bible, Sort Of

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell

A child was asked to write a book report on the bible. How many mistakes can you find?

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, "The Lord thy God is one," but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, "Give me a light!" and someone did. Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren't embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something. One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham.

Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat!

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, "Close the door! Were you born in a barn?" It would be nice to say, "As a matter of fact, I was.")

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday Thanks - Laughing!

Is that the best thing or what?! I think it's ingenious that the Lord has given us a sense of humor and the ability to laugh. (Should I expect any less?) I can't imagine the world or my life without it. And I think it's cool that that's something we all speak in the same language.

When we’re young we laugh so much and then somewhere along the way, we grow up and we just don’t laugh as much as we did. Why does that happen? Well, I have my theories, but that's for another post.

In school kids used to ask me why I laughed so much. Because I found things funny! God gave me a great ability to see the humor in things and just laugh at them. It’s been an incredible and invaluable gift during times of extreme stress and trials. There are times the sorrow has overcome the laughter and the gift has gotten tucked away for a bit. But God always helps me find and use my gift again.

And the older I get and the more ridiculous my body seems to want to behave, with all its odd quirks and pains, the more I’m able to laugh at myself – like this morning.

I woke up with what I call my “side” headache, aka Cinderbeast (long story.) It’s a headache I get on the right side of my head that can affect that side of my face and my right eye. It makes the muscles in that side of my face feel like they’re contracting. So, I woke up this morning feeling like this:

Now, y'all. Trying to work at the computer feeling like one eye is higher than the other, like a real-life version of this gal, (okay, maybe sans those nostrils) how can you not laugh? (Poor Picasso. I don’t know what was going on in that man’s head. Maybe he had headaches and a sense of humor, too.)

So, this week I’m thankful for my sense of humor and my ability to laugh. It’s kept me sane more than once. Plus, it keeps the frown lines at bay and strengthens your abs.

Your turn! What or who are you thankful for?

(ps...this is my 100th post! Woo!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quote of the Day - Faith or.....?

If fear is cultivated it will become stronger,
if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.

John Paul Jones

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Funnies - Fourth of July

Ode to Fourth of July

Oh, Fourth of July, how we adore thee;
With thy Red, White and Blue sales, both vehicle and sofa;
With thy crowds in the malls and specials on the tube-
Perhaps even time for a quick Jiffy lube.

We grill to our hearts’ content all manner of fodder
Lo! Dogs that are hot and bovine that’s grounded!
Cobbed corn, beans baked, and pies galore!
Watermelon seeds spewed ‘cross the floor.

Oh Fourth of July, we love to gather
‘neath your billowing banner this day
To gorge, then splash – but not too soon!
Lest a cramp in the belly would surely spell doom.

Then in darkness we gaze at the fireflies-
God’s own special brand of flame in the sky;
And reflect on the meaning of this special day-
Freedom that was purchased-a price others did pay.

Oh, Fourth of July, may we ne’er take you for granted.
For we love the freedom of which you remind us.
And above all that is done in silliness and contemplation
May we hold dear our freedom in God's gift of salvation.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday Thanks - My Best Friend

This week I am thankful for my dearest and closest Friend: the Holy Spirit. He means everything to me. This Christian walk is not always a bed of roses. Well, it is, but the thorns are still very firmly intact and I get stuck quite often. But the more I listen to and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, the fewer thorns I will be jabbed with and when I am, the sting doesn't seem quite as evident.

There are times when I can more keenly feel His presence, and I think those are the times when I have sought Him with all my heart. He is a quiet presence who is found when we are still. And He is a presence that responds to the prayers that are made on our behalf.

I have had the blessing of having some very faithful believers in Christ seek the Lord on my behalf and I have been the recipient of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit as a result of those prayers. Without those friends, their prayers and the moving of the Holy Spirit in my heart and life, I would never make it.

Never, ever underestimate the power of prayer.

He has lifted me up over and over all the while extending His love and warmth and patience. He teaches me, counsels me, disciplines me, exhorts me, convicts me, leads me, ministers to me, comforts me, prays for me, gives me wisdom, strength and power. And in addition to all that, He is producing in me all the spiritual fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.

I am so very thankful that the Holy Spirit would allow Himself and all His rushing power to be contained within the heart of a small, insignificant, less than faithful, worrisome creature such as me. He is a gift that I cherish.