Sunday, March 30, 2008

Family Squeeze

I may have mentioned that my mom is in an Assisted Living 5 minutes from my house, and I am the one responsible for her care. My FIL has Alzheimer's which has recently been complicated by falls and resulted in my MIL making the hard decision to move him into a facility where he can receive more care than she can provide at home. My man spent a couple of weeks down there in January helping out, and it continues to be a source of stress for us.

With our children still in their growing years, we are in the throes of what is known as The Sandwich Generation: adults caught between two generations, caring for our parents at the same time that we are caring for our children.

Interesting that it's called a Sandwich - that brings to mind a vision of two soft and pliable pieces of bread on either side. I think it should be called a Vise, as some days I feel like each inflexible side is pressing in until I'm going to be squeezed to death!

Some of you may relate as you are in this same situation.

I just received this marvelous new book by Phil Callaway called The Family Squeeze: Tales of Hope and Hilarity for a Sandwiched Generation.

He has absolutely nailed this whole situation! I love how he sums up this station in life in the first chapter: ". . . wedged between the demands of elderly dependents and energetic teens -- neither of whom think you know too much." Yep, that pretty well describes it! Some days I can't please either end of the spectrum!

But even more importantly, he has given it an eternal perspective and a reminder of the hope that God's presence brings in the midst of what can be a very frustrating time.

He made me laugh. And he made me think. And he reminded me to be thankful for the opportunity to honor our parents in their last days. And "to form each and every decision in light of eternity, mindful that our lives pass quickly but decisions made here last forever." [from the Epilogue]

Because I have enjoyed this book so much, (and ahem, since I myself have benefited from several giveaways!) I purchased an additional copy of this book which I would love to pass along to one of you, especially if you are in this Sandwich Generation. Just leave me a comment by 2:00 p.m. CDT Wed. (April 2), and I will draw that evening. Please feel free to let others know about this by linking to this post on your website as well.

May each of us turn our squeeze into a hug with God's help!


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Outback Steakhouse Giveaway. . . . .

It's really annoying sometimes how often God puts opportunities in my life to apply scripture. Like Philippians 2:4, telling me to look not only to [my] own interests, but also to the interests of others. Or Romans 12:10, exhorting me to honor one another above yourselves. Enough, already! I get the picture!

So I will cheerfully (really!) pass along this exciting tidbit that Sandy told me about: Promises Fulfilled is having an Outback Steakhouse $25 Gift Card giveaway! Now how cool is that?! Don't know if you've ever been there, but Outback Steakhouse has some awfully succulent steaks. As well as that Bloomin' Onion.

And they are celebrating their 20th Anniversary. (Just like someone else I know this year!)

So go by Promises Fulfilled and enter her drawing. Because, even if you don't have one in your town, you can still win. And then your scripture application can be to share it with me!

After all, I haven't won anything in at least a couple of weeks!


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This made me think of Lisa. . . .

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

The description fits me to a T. ("You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.")

I really need to read these books!


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Thursday, March 27, 2008


She's gone.

I hugged my sister good-bye and back she went to South America yesterday. Of course, yesterday was also the day American Airlines chose to ground a certain type of plane, thereby cancelling the first leg of her flight! It's a long day under the best of circumstances as she has to fly to Dallas and then Miami before her final destination. They got her rescheduled pretty quickly, but by the time she was in Miami, the entire AA network was a mess, and her flight out of Miami was 2 hours late leaving.

But she made it safely there, and after leaving our house just before 7:00 a.m., she made it home about midnight. Nothing like coming home rested from vacation!

Meanwhile, I've had a rock in my midsection ever since she's been gone, missing her. I know, I know! What an oxymoron I am! Can't live with her, can't live without her!

We were talking with my pastor on Sunday about some of the dangers she faces, including the armed robberies she has experienced, and the fact that she was making sure that I know where all of her important papers, passwords, etc. are kept in case something happens to her. I told the pastor (in my sister's presence!) that it seems like there could be a happy medium between her being in my spare bedroom and being killed!

It's easy to banter about the situation, but the reality is that each time I tell her good-bye, it is in the back of my mind that it could be the last time. That's true for any of us, of course, but living in a dangerous, impoverished, and politically corrupt third-world country (which borders one known for its drug trade) raises the risk.

Do I trust God to take care of her? Absolutely! But I also know that His promises are for His presence and eternal safety and His glory. Physical comfort and safety are not necessarily guaranteed. Just ask the apostles or any of a long list of those who have been martyred for their faith.

And yeah, I beat the socks off of her in Scrabble. But the victory wasn't as sweet as I anticipated. Because we have never had such a lopsided marathon. And I worry that the effect of living in such a high-alert, tense situation is beginning to take its toll on her.

Of course, I wasn't worried enough to "throw" the game! What would be the honor in that?! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. . . . .

So if you think about it, please pray for her and for all the missionaries serving around the world. And the ones back home who love them could use a little prayer too.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Savoring Life, Savoring Friends!

Life is full of moments to savor.

And now, thanks to UPS, I have proof!

I have in my very possession two brand new books from Tyndale: Life Savors and Life Savors for Women, compiled by James Stuart Bell & Jeannette Gardner Littleton.

I can hardly write this post for picking them up to look at them!

You see, these books don't have just ordinary chapters contributed by any ol' writers. The first one, Life Savors, has contributions by none other than our esteemed and oh-so-gifted blogging sisters: Linda Crow at 2nd Cup of Coffee and Lisa McKay, The Preacher's Wife!! Linda's chapter is titled The Pinch Perspective, and Lisa wrote The Handwriting on the Transfer Truck. The other volume, Life Savors for Women, contains My Sister's Neighbor, by CWO Editor Darlene Schacht.

Not surprisingly, the words they penned were heartwarming, convicting, encouraging, and inspirational. I'm sure the other writers are equally as gifted (the books just arrived an hour ago), but these three entries justified the purchase price.


Now, how do you get these wondrous tomes, you may ask?

Well, because I can't help organizing any info that comes my way, I put together a clickable list just for you, complete with ISBNs for each of the books below.

(Did I mention that Lisa & Linda & Darlene wrote part of these books?!)

By clicking on Tyndale's site, you can also enter your zip code and it will tell you which stores in your area should carry it. HOWEVER, a word to the wise: call first! Although Lifeway, Family Christian Stores and Barnes & Noble were listed for my city, none of them actually had it in stock, although they could all order it.

So woohoo for Darlene, Linda, & Lisa! And enjoy savor your books!

ISBN #1414317344 Life Savors
Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 1414317352 Life Savors for Women
Barnes & Noble


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beauty Is Not EVEN Skin Deep!

When my kids were each in 1st grade, one of their assignments was to make a relief map of Texas. You've probably done something similar: you know, the flour/salt/water combo that you shape into various degrees of lumpiness for a three-dimensional model.

That's what my chin looks like.

I don't know how I can be so lucky cursed blessed in this glorious time of my life to have both barnacles of old age and acne that is worse than anything I ever experienced in my teens.

So off to the dermatologist I went this morning to get some drugs treatment.

And yes, while I was there I did tell him what a lovely brochure that was about those barnacles and how that made me feel so special. He laughed and said (1) he didn't write it, and (2) he's had them too so it can't be old age! (He's about 4 years older than I am.)

As it turns out, I have a classic case of perioral dermatitis. NEWS FLASH: Please note that the linked American Academy of Dermatology website says that this mostly affects YOUNG women! Take that, ye olde barnacles!!

The doctor said it's probably caused by hormones. Great. Haywire hormones: just what I need! And it is also probably what is causing my little eye problem to keep flaring up.

So he gave me a prescription for antibiotics plus some samples to start right away and sent me on my way.

Well, almost.

You see, he had a newbie greenhorn resident with him. So he had to explain it all to her. In great detail. And then he said those fateful words.

"You know, I want to take a picture of your chin. No one will even know it's yours."

So out of the room he goes and comes back with the camera, zooms in CLOSE, and immortalizes my relief map flare-up so all his upcoming residents will be able to see what a full-blown case looks like.

And no, I did NOT ask for a copy of the picture.

Forget the egg on my face. I'll just be walking around with a paper sack over my head.

Make your own free clipart like this @ with free web based tools (hundreds of image generators that run through a web broswer, no software to buy or install).
Made with free image tools @


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Sunday, March 23, 2008

7 Things - But Definitely Not Perfect!

I've been a bit slow, but I'm finally getting around to the meme that Angela tagged me for on her family fun blog. Don't know why it's so hard to come up with 7 things about myself. I guess my insecure side worries people will either think they're silly or boring. How crazy is that?! Anyway, here they are:


1. I can say the alphabet backwards in less than 5 seconds.

2. I love to have my fingernails squeezed. Especially my thumbs. (Sorry, Xandra!)

3. I love hymns. I always had a reputation for knowing all the verses and the page numbers in the old Baptist Hymnal. Learning songs is just easy for me. I also know (from memory) the last verse of The Star-Spangled Banner. A friend in college was shocked to discover there even WAS more than one verse. (There are actually 4 verses originally penned by Francis Scott Key.)

4. I have always and only lived in Texas. And as a kid, I always felt sorry for people who lived in other states, especially those with "boring" shapes such as Colorado and the Dakotas!

5. Being outside in the sun gives me a migraine. This is a definite problem because of #4.

6. I like to organize things. (And yes, my spices are alphabetized. How else would you find the one you need?) It's actually a disease, I think! Put me in a meeting or give me some data, and I can't help lining up those ducks in their rows!

7. I love to bake. Always from scratch. Well, I do make angel food cake from a mix; what would I ever do with all those leftover egg yolks?! But anything else is the old-fashioned way. Pie crusts, too. (They really aren't that difficult!) I've actually cut back, though, because baking leads to eating. . . . .

Even though I'm supposed to tag people, I know lots of you have already done this because you've been blogging lots longer than I have. However, if you haven't, and especially those of you who are new blog buddies, consider yourself tagged!

The Rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2.Share 7 things about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


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Thursday, March 20, 2008


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

but made Himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself
and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

My richest gain, I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

But whatever was to my profit
I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss
compared to the surpassing greatness
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whose sake I have lost all things.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered Him stricken by God,
smitten by Him, and afflicted.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.

~ ~ ~

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy,
to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Scripture References:

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I've Been Mugged

Fortunately, it's not what you're thinking. I won a mug!
But this is getting embarrassing!

One of my favorite things to do with my coffee in the morning is to stop by CWO's Internet Cafe and read their daily devotion. (Some of you are even the writers who bless my heart and convict me on a regular basis.) This morning, on my usual visit, I saw that they announced the winner of their February giveaway.

Dare I even say it? C'est moi.

(It just sounds better in another language! And that is all the French I know. Don't have much need for it down here in Texas. We're more into "hola" and "gracias" and "hurry up with the salsa, por favor.")

Anyway, I'm going to be receiving a mug from Mugs of Truth and some credits to use at their music store. Hopefully I can figure out how to get the songs on my iPod without my girl absconding them!

I promise that CWO said they used a random number generator. And here I've always said you could put my name in 9 times and someone else's name in once, and theirs would be picked.

Good thing I won some music since I guess I'd better change my tune!


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing

WaterBrook Press (March 18, 2008)

Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness presents a world of wonder and a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to discuss for its layers of meaning about about life’s true treasure and tangle of the beautiful and horrible, temporal and eternal, and good and bad.

"Fun to read! Every page has word-play, a pun, or clever dialogue that makes me giggle, and the story is full of insight into life. The characters have great names and come to life and stimulate the imagination. Andrew is such a gifted storyteller; this book will be a treasure to both children and adults.”
–James Bryan Smith, author of Room of Marvels; Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, and Embracing the Love of God; co-author of Devotional Classics with Richard J. Foster

Sometimes, in order to find out who we were supposed to be, we need to get lost in other worlds: Oz, Camelot, Narnia. In On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Andrew Peterson provides new and needed places like Aerwiar, Skree, and Glipwood–places where we need to get lost and found.”
–Michael Card, author of The Hidden Face of God and The Parable of Joy, and singer/songwriter of more than thirty albums

“Totally fun! Andrew Peterson, a natural storyteller in the oral tradition, has nailed the voice needed to translate a rip-roaring fantasy tale to the written page.”
–Donita K. Paul, author of DragonSpell, DragonKnight, DragonQuest, and DragonFire

Author/Singer/Songewriter Andrew Peterson, a 2005 Audie Award finalist for his readings of Ray Blackston’s Flabbergasted trilogy, wrote and produced the popular Christmas play and musical Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tale of the Coming of the Christ, and the album by the same name, which received the 2004 Best Album of the Year, World Christian Music’s Editors Choice Award. Andrew’s received critical acclaim for his seven albums and is at work on an eighth. He lives with his wife Jamie and their three young children near Nashville, Tennessee, where he reads storybooks aloud to his family each evening.

Artist Justin Gerard has illustrated several children’s books, including The Lightlings storybooks for young readers by R.C. Sproul. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and works as the chief creative officer for Portland Studios.

~ ~ ~ ~

Since I'm new to CFBA, I haven't had a chance to read any of the books yet. However, this one looks like one my kids will enjoy! And although I'm not generally a fantasy book lover, a word-play or pun on every page?! I just might have to read this one with them!


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Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Musings

Spring Break is over and that alarm went off bright dark and early this morning. Dropped my girl off for track practice just before 7:00 a.m. in the dark; these kids should be home in bed! (Forget the kids - the MOM should be home in bed! LOL)

Last week's Ultimate Blog Party was incredible. Three cheers for the gals at 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting it and to Pamela at Happy Panda for coordinating the prizes. They had right at 1500 bloggers participating! Whew!! Glad I didn't have to clean up after them!

And wow! I hit the jackpot! I was so excited to win a blog makeover from Shauna at See My Designs! Thanks, Shauna, for sprucing me up! We're still tweaking a few things, so please be patient.

In my blog hopping last week, I happened across a couple of other contests and drawings; some were connected with the Blog Party and some were not. In addition to Alene at Makeover Monday's contest, Iwas thrilled to win the book The Comfort of Home for Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Caregivers from Lori at Writing Canvas. Also, I "met" Tami at Tree Swing Reading who is doing an "Alphabet Soup" book giveaway for 26 days, and I won Day 8 - The Perfect Life by Robin Hatcher. So getting the mail will be a fun experience over the next week or so while I wait for these to arrive.

It was fun meeting some new friends last week as well, both officially through the party and spinning off other links. There are some great gals out there who love the Lord. And what a bonus to discover some other common connections as well! When you get a chance, stop by and say hello to: Sandy at Jesus and Dark Chocolate, Julie at Pragmatic Compendium, Connie at Little Red Hearts from God, Kim at Scattered Stones! There are others I met as well - I'm still sorting and sifting!

I fixed dinner for our new neighbors/long-time friends Saturday evening as they were still in the midst of their move and we enjoyed visiting with them over my new favorite, Chicken Enchilada Casserole. My boy is pretty quiet, and I think it will take the guys a little while to feel their way back into whatever friendship they settle into. The sweet surprise blessing has been the girls. Their daughter is a year younger than my girl, but the September 1st split puts them two years apart in school, and they had never developed a close friendship. Well, that may be about to change. We live in a 30-year-old neighborhood, and there aren't a lot of kids. My daughter had lost her best friend in bicycle-riding distance to an out-of-state move a couple of years ago and has really missed having a good friend in close proximity. She was over there all day Friday and most of Saturday helping move boxes, helping AG organize her room, and they had an absolute blast together. It made me want to cry to see the gift God placed in our lives.

Well, I'm off to take my sister on some errands. She has just over a week before she heads back south of the equator. Have a great day!


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Friday, March 14, 2008

Being Neighborly

Once upon a time there were two little boys born 5 weeks apart.

Thus begins the story of my boy and a buddy of his. What fun times he and "Buddy" had throughout their toddler, preschool, and early elementary years. We went to the same church where his dad served on the music staff (and who played and sang at our wedding). As school days progressed, it became harder to spend time together outside of church, but they were still good friends.

Over the last few years, as God undeniably led us to a different church (for the first time in 25 years), our paths went different directions. Lives were busy and although the moms occasionally emailed, the boys hadn't seen each other in a couple of years.

Until today.

When I had the delight of putting my kids in our car and driving about 5 blocks through our neighborhood. To a house where a new family is moving in today.


The surprised grin on my boy's face was priceless.

So they got to have some male re-bonding time while unloading furniture and boxes from the trailer. My girl and Buddy's sister, a year apart in age, renewed a more distant friendship.

And I marveled at the blessings God brings into our lives when we least expect it.

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Sweet Caroline

As a reader, I was excited to find out about Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, which supports Christian fiction. There's so much sleaze and junk out there; I'm always happy to find a good Christian read! So I'll be joining with them to let you know about new releases. This will hopefully enable all of us to find out about authors and books which might not ordinarily cross our paths.

I love the peek into the authors' lives and their faith, and it will even include the link to their website (and blog, if they have one!)

is introducing
Sweet Caroline
(Thomas Nelson February 12, 2008)
Rachel Hauck


When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.

Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.

Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.

But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.


I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.

But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.

After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.

But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.

I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.

Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.

I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.

In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.

With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.

Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas

You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you, at this site: Signed by the

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Words or Actions?

It's no secret that I am a word geek. I love words. I'm one of those people who actually delights in puns; clever plays on words make me smile. And of course, I love to read; a well-turned phrase can quickly transport me into a fictional world of adventure, quicken my heart, or convict my soul. And the blogworld is full of inspired writers who make me laugh and challenge me daily.

But I've been thinking how easily at times the words can roll off of our tongues or through our typing fingers, especially related to spiritual matters, while the heart can remain untouched. How easily we I can pray a lofty prayer and walk away only to ignore a need or grump at my kids.

It struck me yesterday that God must sometimes feel a bit like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady:

Only He might change the words to something like this:

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from her, now from you!
Is that all you Christians can do?

Don’t talk of all
My glories above;
If Me you love, show Me!
Mere sacrifice, I don’t desire.
If you’re on fire,
Show Me!

Here we are together
As you have your quiet time!
Don’t pray with words
Grand and sublime.

If you really love Me
You will just do what I ask;
Take off that spiritual mask!

Wasn't your heart
Changed by My touch?
Don’t say how much,
Show Me! Show Me!
Don’t talk! Obey--that gets My “wow”!
Make Me no unfulfilled vow.
Show Me now!

Sing me no song!
Read me no verse!
Don’t just converse!
Show Me!

Don’t talk of faith, don’t talk of trust!
Your deeds are a must,
Show Me!

I’ve become so weary hearing
You speak empty words.
There isn’t one
I haven’t heard.

Here we are together
And My Spirit is in you:
Your life I long to renew!

Haven’t your arms
Longed to meet needs?
Faith must have deeds.
Show Me! Show Me!

Don’t wait until
Life’s waning years
To put your hand to the plow.
Show Me now!

(c) Mocha with Linda 2008 - with apologies to Alan J. Lerner/Frederick Loewe!

Now I certainly don't mean to suggest that God tires of hearing our prayers. The Bible says our prayers are incense before His throne. But Scripture also tells us that He is displeased when our mouths utter words that are inconsistent with our hearts and actions.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

You have wearied the LORD with your words. Malachi 2:17

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

Oh Lord, may the words of my mouth be pleasing to You. And may I not be content with mere words, but may I show my love for You with the actions of my life.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Prize Patrol

Well whaddaya know?! I've won a prize.

Alene over at Makeover Mondays told me I won her drawing for some foundation and her book Dirty Laundry Secrets.

Makeover Mondays is a fun blog with a four-week online study where she shares a short biblical message and relates makeover tips for looking good from the inside out. Weekly topics have included Cleansing Regimen, A Firm Foundation, and Be Careful Little Eyes. What a clever way to give ourselves a spiritual makeover! Alene's regular blog is Positively Alene.

Thanks, Alene, for the prize and the inspiration.

But you know, as much fun as it is to win this prize (and I won't turn down any others that might come my way!) there's another prize I'm seeking:

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Now that, my friends, will be the Ultimate Party!!

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Musings

Whew! This partying business is exhausting! I'm basically an introvert (yes, really!) and the idea of going to a party with over 1000 people makes me weak in the knees.

But I have been having fun hopping around to lots of blogs meeting some new folks. Some I know will be new friends. There are lots of gals out there who love God, books, coffee, and chocolate!!

And for those of you who missed it because it got buried by the Party Post, I have a couple of recipes posted as part of Lysa TerKeurst's (Proverbs 31 Ministries) Recipe Swap. Just scroll down to my Friday post below the Blog Party post. And Bonnie Bruno from Macro Moments was sweet enough to come back and comment after she made my enchilada casserole about what a great recipe it is! But the funniest aspect of her comment was that she decided to subsitute a can of diced green chiles for the Rotel. . . . . and that's the substitution I made in the original Cooking Light recipe!

It's SPRING BREAK at our house. My boy and his best pal are happily brawling in the living room. My girl isn't even up yet, I don't think. What a bonus to have Spring Break immediately after the time change!

It's nice to be tucked safely in my own house! And wow, today's a good day to be partying in my armchair. It is a messy, rainy day outside. Perfect for curling up with a laptop or a book and a warm drink.

But I can't sit here all day. A girl does have other things that must be done. Like another Scrabble game!

And this afternoon I'll be taking my mom to the dentist. Wheelchairs and umbrellas are always a fun combination.

But how can I complain about the rain when I read words like this?!

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of a man;
The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.
Psalm 147:7-11

Have a blessed Monday!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Party Hearty!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Welcome to my blog! It's fun to be part of 5 Minutes for Mom's Ultimate Blog Party! This reminds me of the old Progressive Dinners we used to have in my church youth group days - you know, appetizers at one house, entree at the next, etc.

Whether you're a first-time or frequent visitor to my site, grab your favorite cup to sip on, make yourself at home, and browse at your leisure. I'm a new addict newcomer to the blogging world, having just begun in January. Blogging's a blast! Love to read 'em and write 'em! Love the new friends I've made and look forward to making more!

A little bit about me:

1) I live in the great state of Texas. Born and raised here. Graduated from UT. However, I prefer Great is Thy Faithfulness to be sung at my funeral rather than a salute to the Horns.

2) I love to read. Especially good Christian fiction. And even better if it's written by Angela Hunt (her blog keeps me going between releases), Nancy Rue, Charles Martin, or others mentioned in my profile.

3) I love words. God's Word. Sung words. Puns. Good clean humor. And Scrabble words.

4) I love serving the Lord.

5) I love the Old Testament, full of God's grace and mercy.

6) I don't like styes. Or barnacles of old age. Or out-of-control testing of our kids in school.

7) I love positive feedback. Especially on my blog. Comments make me happy! So do prizes! So after you leave a comment go to the Ultimate Blog Party site and check out their cool prizes and register to win one. Maybe you'll win a Starbucks card from me!

If perchance I won anything, my choices would be:

#67 - the blog makeover from Shauna at See My Designs
#45 - the blogg makeover from Summer at Summer's Nook
#71 - the blog design credits offered by RS Designs

#123, 60, 39, 49, 140, & 70 would be pretty neat to win as well!

Thanks for stopping by! It's great to meet you and I hope to "see" you again. Feel free to look around my home page - there's a great recipe for some super-easy fudge cookies and a great chicken enchilada casserole over there!

And be sure to stop by CWO's party site too! They have some great activities and giveaways, including a Sony Walkman Video MP3 Player with 4GB Memory offered by Art Bookbindery!

Happy Partying!

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Recipe Swap!

What fun! Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries is hosting a Recipe Swap & Hop today. If you are like I am (and she's apparently in the same boat as well), dinner time can easily turn into the same-ol'-same-ol' three or 4 stand-bys.

With my sister coming in, I was desperate to find something new. I found a fantastic Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe in my All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook. I tweaked it a bit, however, and it was a hit. It's really simple, and much faster than rolling enchiladas.

Since it's Light, you can guiltlessly enjoy the ridiculously easy Fudge Cookies that follow. A gal's gotta have her priorities, right?! These are always devoured wherever I take them, and folks beg for the recipe.


1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 - 1 c. chopped onion
1 1/3 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 can Rotel Original diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 c. fat-free sour cream (I used light)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (10 1/2 oz) condensed fat-free cream of chicken soup
Cooking Spray/small amount of cooking oil
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 c. shredded cooked chicken breast (I used 4 breasts)
2 c. finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Saute onion and garlic in large saucepan in oil (or cooking spray) until soft. Add next 7 ingredients (thru soup), stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Spread 1 c. soup mixture in a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 6 tortillas over soup mixture, top with 1 c. chicken and then 1/2 c. cheese. Repeat layers 3 times, ending with cheese. Spread remaining soup mixture over cheese. (NOTE: Soup mixture will seem scant and you will think this will be a dry dish, but it will spread and get nice and creamy when it cooks.)

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 12 servings.


Melt: 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Add: 1 can sweetened condensed milk
Stir in: 1 c. flour, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 Tablespoons melted butter or margarine.
Drop by small globs onto greased & flour (or parchment-lineed) cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 5 to 8 minutes until set.


Be sure to go to Lysa's site for more recipes!

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Odds & Ends

Ater all these years of having it indelibly etched it my brain that Daylight Saving Time starts on the first Sunday in April, they moved it, and we spring forward this Saturday night. But as much as I hate this time change, my kids are on Spring Break next week, so at least we'll have a week to adjust to it. I'm getting too old for this!

My boy and his best friend are anxiously awaiting the start of Spring Break, not just for the obvious reasons, but for the long-awaited, and twice-postponed, release of the Wii game Super Smash Brothers Brawl on Sunday. It was a Christmas gift pre-order for my boy, and since it's the number one selling game so far in Nintendo's history, I'm just hoping the pick-up line moves relatively fast and that most of the people will be crazy enough to go get it at midnight and be long gone by the time we get there after church.

Those of us in Texas have been dealing with our kids taking the TAKS test this week, with more to come in April. Depending on the grade they are in, students can take anywhere from 1 to 5 tests. And since everything's bigger in Texas, of course testing kids has to be taken to the extreme. It is ridiculous how much pressure is put on the kids and the teachers. Personally, I think when districts deliver tests to schools in armored trucks they have completely lost their perspective and gone over the edge. But maybe that's just me. . . .

I'm feeling very accomplished today. Yesterday I planned and bought the ingredients for what has turned out to be a White House meal. Dined on by President Bush and Presidential hopeful John McCain. Yep, we're having hot dogs tonight!

Speaking of Presidential things, I mentioned in my last post that I am not a political junkie. But Christianity Today had an interesting article that had some rather convicting points, especially at the end, so I link it here for you. (And of course, you could subsitute any candidate's name, in any party, for the one the article highlights.) Are our words and actions in the midst of debates repelling others from Christ? Interesting food for thought.

For those of you watching my Scrabble meter in the sidebar, I promise that I am not chaining my sister to the board. She is playing voluntarily. She has had a bit of a disadvantage in that it takes her a while to get her English back up to speed. And she has drawn some cruddy combinations of letters. But she has beaten the socks off of me plenty of times in the past, so what goes around comes around. Ahh, sisterly love!

And speaking of which, our other sister arrived last night for a 3 day visit. Family togetherness. My stress-o-meter soared up to the top. Prayer and dark chocolate gratefully accepted.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Primarily Speaking, God Has My Vote!

It's Texas' turn.

The eyes of the political pundits and media are on my grand state, as well as Ohio, to see who can add to their delegates and be on the Big Ballot in November.

I'm not a polictical junkie, and the whole thing really gives me a headache.

But having just gone through a study of the Old Testament, it gave me a little different perspective of what the outcome means.

One of the most reassuring verses in the Bible is this declaration of God's sovereignty in Daniel 2:21 : He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

I know Christians (and I've known them on both sides) in the current and in past elections who work themselves into a frenzy over the idea of "What if __________ is elected?" They fear the doom and downfall of America if a certain individual is elected.

Now I don't disregard the importance of political and individual convictions, and I am absolutely convinced of the importance of voting.

But what if our "worst possible choice" is the one who must be elected in order to fulfill God's purpose and usher in His Kingdom? What if that individual's election would result in Christ's imminent return?

Throughout the Bible, God uses the actions of evil kings, nations and individuals to accomplish His will. He is not limited by the electoral process. Nor is He threatened, worried, or panicked by whomever is elected. In fact, according to Daniel, He put that individual there for a reason.

So we can vote as we feel led, and leave the results to Him. He already knows the outcome. We can go to sleep in peace and not lose heart if we don't get our choice.

He is Sovereign.

Including over the U.S. Presidential election.

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