How Did We Get Here?

It is a simple question.  The answer is really just as simple…we, as a country, have turned away from God.  In this ever-changing world, change is the obsession…what is faster, flashier, eye catching…not boring.  A year ago I would have said, “but truth is truth…apples are apples, oranges are oranges, what goes up must come down”…but in a world where we let first graders decide that they are not the gender they were born as, how can I convince anyone that an apple is still an apple and that truth is still truth?

The truth is our country was built on biblical foundations.

The truth is if I jump off a building, without a go-go gadget copter, I will fall.

The truth is an apple is an apple and an orange is an orange.

The truth is if you live in this country and you are an American,  you should respect the country and the people who defend it by standing up for the National Anthem…and knowing the words doesn’t hurt.

The truth is drugs will kill you eventually if you keep using them, and they will surely hurt those who love you until, and probably after, you stop using them.

The truth is you are the gender you are born as, yes changes can be made after, but not before, and those changes tell God that He made a mistake (a slippery slope).

The truth is abortion is taking the life of a human being.

The truth is we are all sinners, and should love each other regardless of what we think of their personal choices.

Why am I saying all this?  I am saying all of this in a last desperate attempt to keep America from voting for someone who is going to take our country far away from it started…and not for the better.

The truth is Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein are all sinners, as well…we can’t vote for any of them as individuals.  We need to look past those individuals to their teams (who are also imperfect).  Stein and her team stand for practically everything the Bible stands against.  Johnson has a nice appeal, but he supports pro-choice, and he supports staying out of people’s lives when it comes to drugs.  Its a nice view…the government shouldn’t be too involved in our personal choices…but their has to be a line somewhere, or before long it will be our personal choice whether or not we rob banks or murder.  Being a teacher and knowing the heartache of the kids who have lost a parent to drugs, seeing babies in the hospital fight for their lives because they are addicted to drugs at birth, proves that those “personal choices” aren’t just personal.  Hillary Clinton would be in jail today if she was a normal person like the rest of us, but seems to be the front runner to lead the country…what does that say about us?  Donald Trump is arrogant and obnoxious.  He has made some horrible choices in his life.  I would not recommend you vote for him if it were solely him you were voting for.  BUT…he has surrounded himself with a team of people who have morals and values…and who will try to get this country a little bit closer to where it was when it began.

I want my kids to grow up in a world that is closer to the way the country was when I was growing up…or even before then!  I do not want my kids to be part of the downward spiral the country has been on…and the last decade it has been on fast forward.

The truth is, in this country where I have freedom of speech, this blog could be considered hate…which is so far from what it is.  It is speaking truth in love.  It is a mom’s desperate plea to make the world a little more safe, a little more truthful, a little better for my children and all children growing up in this world.  It is loving people no matter what, in hopes that they will return the favor to me, knowing that it is my job as a Christian to show Christ’s love.  Knowing that He died for me and everyone knowing how crazy this world would get.  Knowing that He died for us…us…us who think we can plan and make things better than He.

And a truthful question is…if Jesus came back today, would we be embarrassed?

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Wandering in the Desert

Have you ever felt like the Israelites wandering in the desert?  You know what you are supposed to do and where you are supposed to go, but you can’t figure out how to make it work.  Once we realize we can’t do it on our own, and let God do the work He wants to do in our lives, then the wandering stops miraculously and with all glory to God!

There have been some changes in our house this summer, and I knew what God was telling me, but it wasn’t working…so I did my “human back up plan” and wandered around the desert.  Thankfully, and by God’s grace, I didn’t choose one of the back up plan options, and He didn’t let me wander too long before revealing the plan He told me from the start.

I am currently reading a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson.  It is an amazing read.  It teaches us to be confident in our prayers and the answers we are hearing. Do not get me wrong, it does not teach us, and we certainly should not, use God to get what we want.  If we are following Christ, studying His Word and in alignment with Him, He will put His desires in our hearts.  Then we can rest assured knowing that our prayers are what He wants and we are simply praying for His will to be done.  “Thy will be done,’ in every situation, good or bad, hard or easy, God’s will is always the best way.

Yes, it is easier said than done, and no, most of us are not perfect at it.  But thankfully God is!  He is our Rock, our Savior, our unchanging and perfect God!  Praise to Him!

music

So, its about time that I blog about JJ Heller.  We discovered her music on our trip out west this past August.  Listening to her music combined with Adventures in Odyssey comprised most of the time we spent in the car.  When putting a couple thousand miles on a vehicle, finding something of quality to fill the non conversational times is quite key.  🙂

We had, of course, heard a couple of JJ’s songs before, but I didn’t make the connection until our trip.  JJ sings what I would call folk music.  Most of her songs are family oriented or Christ centered…or both.  They are just beautiful pictures of life…whether joy or pain.  My ultimate favorite of hers is “The Boat Song,” but so many are just to listen to without tiring of them.  Often her songs will be found playing in the background of our daily activities whether at home or in the car.

Speaking of music not growing tiring…my children play their favorite song 24/7 on their IPods lately.  Whether the volume is quiet or loud, the song inevitably ingrains itself into our heads.  My daughter’s current song is Shakira’s “Try Everything” from the movie Zootopia.  It is a fun song with a good message, so of all the ones that have played non-stop in our home, this is one of the family favorites.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.  PSALM 108:1

 

Happy Monday!

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend!  He is Risen!!!  And because of that we have a way to eternal life with Him.  🙂  Our weekend was very special and fun…and warm (yay!)  I ate WAYYY too much, put back on a couple of pounds that were lost with hard work…but that’s ok…back to it today.  I tried a few new yummy recipes that I will share:

The first is super easy…roasted cauliflower…my kids are not big fans of cauliflower, but this was a hit!  Just cut cauliflower into large chunks.  Drizzle with olive oil (enough to toss the cauliflower in).  Lay on a tin foiled baking and sprinkle with sea salt and chili powder.  Cover with tin foil and roast for 15 minutes on 450.  After 15 minutes, uncover and continue roasting for 35 minutes.  Soooo yummy!

Another easy one…lightly oil a baking sheet and place asparagus on it.  Sprinkle asparagus with salt.  Wrap in pairs with 1 slice of bacon.  Broil for 10-15 minutes.

The last one for today is baby portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab and cheese.  That recipe can be found here:  https://www.hy-vee.com/meal-solutions/recipes/Cheesy-Crab-Stuffed-Mushrooms-R1513.aspx  This was my personal favorite!  Really, with all that cheese…how could it not be.  😉

Enjoy the rest of the week!

🙂

 

 

Good Friday

For He was teaching His disciples saying to them, “For the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him.  And when He is killed, after three days He will rise.” ~ Mark 9:31

What a time that Friday was all those years ago.  A beautiful sacrifice of Christ.  But even though he prepared His followers, they were still unsure.  They still did not see the hope of His promise for a time that probably seemed like forever to them.

As we go through our lives, praying for family, for health, for certain situations, we have to remember Christ has already fulfilled His promises to us.  And we deserve none of them.  We have to listen and trust in Him no matter how long those days from despair to hope may seem.

Be blessed today! 🙂

Martyrs

As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.

The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ.  They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation.  They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord.  And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.

Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian.  He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith.  He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real.  He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.

When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith.  We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved.  He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself.  There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven.  He is the ONLY way.  Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.

Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy.  And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.

Faith

This passage from Rick Warren was part of an email message I received and I wanted to share.

Real Faith

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. Philippians 4:13 (GNT)

The key to a faith-filled life is not in trying harder. It’s not in psyching yourself up, but in relaxing in God’s grace, so he can do through you what he desires to do.

Paul says this: “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me” (Philippians 4:13 GNT). Notice that it doesn’t say, “I have the strength for most conditions.” It says all conditions. That includes breaking bad habits and creating healthy ones.

—Pastor Rick Warren

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except the puking youngest child… *sigh*

And so came crashing down the plans for our yearly Christmas brunch…*sigh*

We had great plans, which we hope to piece together throughout the week once all are strong and healthy again.  🙂  The kids had a skit about The Legend of the Candy Cane, we had brunch planned including such yummy things as quiche, she crab soup, crab cakes monkey bread, meatballs, champagne, desserts and other delectibles.  We had a new fireplace to share the “warmth” of Christmas.  😉  Not to mention gifts galore.

You know what though?… my kids (and myself, as well) were most disappointed about not getting together with the people!  We love being with our extended family!  We have been talking all month about how Christmas isn’t about all the frills and gifts, but solely the rejoicing of Christ’s birth.  The birth of our Savior!  Without this glorious day we would have no hope and no future.  And so, tomorrow, we will focus on that even more with our quiet and subdued day warding off illness.  I will miss seeing my family and serving them brunch and giving them gifts…but that will come soon enough.  Tomorrow we will just huddle together as a family and rejoice our king!  And if the kids are well enough, we will spoil them a bit with all the feast foods that are left to be eaten by someone…  😉  Oh yes and there will be presents of course.

Speaking of glorious, we just had an amazing Christmas Eve service at our church that was truly glorious.  Seriously, I would have paid money to see the worship team…their performance was amazing!  And the hope of Christ was clearly stated throughout the evening.

The hope of Christ gives such peace and joy!  I see it in my kids constantly.  They have such a wonderful perspective on things.  When we go to visit Joshua, it is a place of good memories for them.  The cemetery is just another playground where they are able to visit Joshua’s place, decorate it and throw in a game of tag.

I am going to repeat the quote I posted last time, because it is just meaningful to me.  Life changes, love remains…No matter what life throws at us…from a sick kid to a horrible loss…love remains.  Love is the most important thing we can give and receive.  Love from one another is an amazing thing.  Love from Christ, our King and Savior, trumps everything.