Monday, December 4, 2017

Hello!

 I just wanted to pop in quickly and let you know that I am still alive and actually doing very well. Life has just been full of other stuff lately and after nearly blogging every day in October I took a huge break in November. I hope to be back a bit more this month! :-)

 Here are a few things that have been part of my life lately.....

  • Our family hosted a craft sale. Most of my November was insanely busy getting things ready for it. I wanted to do the best job that I could and knew that there was an end date in sight so I got up early and stayed up late getting ready for it and used every available moment. Considering the amount of people that came and the amount of sales that were made it was not a successful event. However it was a learning experience so that is worth something and I am incredibly thankful that we didn't lose money on the venture. We just spent a lot of time.
  • A wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends. God is so very good to us!
  • Starting a new music group class for 8 children. It has been a lot of fun and prompted me to practice some unused instruments again (to introduce them to the children) and to learn more about various composers. I have also been able to explore new and fun ways to teach various musical concepts. I am loving it!
  • Preparing for teaching Medieval Music at our homeschool co-op this week. I am loving learning more about it and diving into a different music then I have truly tried before.
  • Megan bought herself a zither. We have all enjoyed learning to play it and I am so enjoying seeing her take of on it. It has been so neat to watch her learn how to write out music for it which has made her learn more about music. Can you tell that we are just really enjoying God's gift of music an extra lot right now?
  • Getting to help my sister Martha and her family unload their possessions in a new home that is about 6 hours closer to us then their last one (though still 2 hours away but that isn't bad). We are very excited about having them closer! They are the new camp caretakers for the camp that our children go to.
  • Having fun going to a Christmas concert (more music!) with Ken.
  • Having my sisters Martha and Keren and their families over for supper tonight. So fun to get to spend time together!
  • Experiencing hail, sleet, rain with thunder and lightening and snow all in one day. That was today.
  • Loving a beautiful sunset over a frozen river.
  • Butchering (well helping - we were so thankful that my parents were able to help us!) 2 deer. The boys went hunting for the first time this year and they both got one. What a neat blessing! We have been enjoying the venison.
  • This week, following our craft sale, I have been enjoying getting some fun reading in. I haven't read to many books just for fun for a while and now I have gone through several this week.
Oh boy, it is time to get to bed. I hope your December is off to a good start!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Redefining Truth {A Book Review}

For the last month I have been reading this book - "The Cost of Our Silence". I am not usually a slow reader, and the book is quite interesting but with all we have had going on I tended to fall asleep after reading a paragraph or two so progress was rather slow. Anyway, it is read now and I am happy to have read it.

   I wanted to read it in the first place because I had earlier had a chance to read David Fiorazo's other book : "The Cost of Our Silence" and I really appreciated being able to learn what he was writing about and I figured this one would be much the same. It was.

  This book addresses a lot of current issues among them talking about things like how our culture is wanting to say that their is no "truth" concerning the gender you are, that there is no "truth" concerning what marriage is supposed to be and there is no "truth" concerning how you get to heaven. On all those issues and more our culture (with the devil working very hard to spread this message) is trying to tell us that these things are up to you- that whatever you choose is truth. If we believe God and the Bible we know this is not so.

   I like David Fiorazo's writing because he presents me with a lot of facts about what is truly going on and he compares that with what God says in his word. We need that!

   Another topic he addresses is the common happening of unmarried people living together as if they were married. This is so very common anymore but that doesn't make it right. I really appreciated these thoughts that he shared on this issue:
"I can understand why so many people choose to live together before getting married (some having not intention of marrying at all). It's what they think will make them happy. Isn't this the ultimate deciding factor? Will the other person (finally) be the perfect one to satisfy me? Will they serve me, please me sexually, make my life better, and make me their number one?

  Marriage however, is about finding someone to commit to be with for the rest of your life, someone you will commit to serve and sacrifice for regardless of life's ups and downs. We do not need a test run (as if we were buying a new car that will meet our needs) in order to the quality decision to love another person for life. We need a mature understanding of covenants, of what "I do" really means, and what true love really is."

If you are married already that is still some good thoughts to chew on. What is our view of our spouse? Is it as someone I can love or serve or are you focused on what they are doing for you?

  Just a couple of other random thoughts on this book:

  • The book is focused on seeking truth and standing up for it so I did find it a little weird that he so often spoke fairly highly of President Trump and his administration (who struggle a lot to tell the truth it seems to me). Now, I did learn some things from this book about some good things that Trump and his administration have done and I am grateful for that insight as I admit I have been fairly negative concerning this administration (not that I would have liked a Clinton administration any better!).
  • In his book he seems to point towards the doctrine of once saved always saved which I do not believe is biblical (You can see my detailed post on that here.) He also seemed to think that being baptized was a work that you do and so then is must not be needed for salvation. I disagree with that thought and you can see why in the post I wrote about it here.
 For the most part I really appreciated this book and will be glad to have it on my shelf to refer back to from time to time.

  You can find it on Amazon if you care to purchase it.

Disclaimer: I did receive this book free for purposes of reviewing but all views expressed are my own. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

It Is Very Important to Obey God Who Has Spoken To Us Through His Word

Last week I wrote about God having the Authority in our lives. This week I want to share a few more verses along that line that explain why it is so important to listen to Him and obey.

2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 "For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed- for our testimony to you was believed."

Galatians 1:6-9 "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received he is to be accursed."

2 Peter 3:16 "As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Revelation 22:18 & 19 "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book; fi anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away form the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."

If we choose not to follow God's word - according to these verse we are treading on some pretty dangerous ground. We should carefully study and seek to follow God's word!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Feeling Blessed

 I am so very blessed in so many different ways. I cannot begin to share all the ways I have been blessed with you but I thought it would be fun to share a few. As I was looking through my recent uploads it reminded me of several of my blessings and so I want to share them with you....

 Good friends for my boys. A week ago Saturday some of my boys' friends came over to spend part of the day. These brothers have been friends with my boys basically their whole lives. When my oldest and their oldest were small and before the younger brothers were born I started babysitting him fairly regularly. I did that for many years. That has not happened for many years but they are in our homeschool co-op with us and we get together with them off and on at other times. Thought our religious and political beliefs differ wildly we are still super blessed to have them as friends for our boys. I was thinking about it on this visit how it is very rare for an unkind word to be said, never a swear word and just a lot of good wholesome fun.

Megan my crafter. She is a blessing to me. I love seeing all that she can make! The same is true of Mara. Both of them do a fantastic job of making things and I love to see what they come up with. We have all been creating in high gear lately as we are preparing to hold a Handmade Christmas sale right after Thanksgiving.

This was another picture (and sorry it is funny because I took it through a window) that was uploaded recently. It was fun to see Kitchi and Mr. Sippi having fun hanging out together. They are a blessing to us.

 My parents and the Gil family.  The Gil family are here to tell us of their work at spreading the Gospel in Pakistan. That blesses me to see the courage that they have to do that in a country that is not friendly to the gospel. My parents are hosting them while they are here. My parents are very quick to be hospitable and to serve others and that truly blesses me as well.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, tree, snow, outdoor and nature

Jonathan and his deer. The boys have been hunting lately and Jonathan got his deer yesterday. That was a blessing too! This picture was actually not taken by me but rather my sister Keren but I wanted to share it too.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Who Has Authority In Religious Matters?

   Concerning Christianity and the church who has the authority/power/right to bind commandments on people, to decide what is right or wrong and to execute judgement on the violators?  I would suggest that only God does.

  Through the years there have been many men or organizations of men (and there still are, this is not a thing of the past) that think they can reveal new religious truth, can decide that some area of the Bible does not need to be followed or make up a religious commandment. I believe that those that come up with something besides what is already in the Bible are trying to take God's place and are in a very dangerous position.

   In Christianity God speaks and it is our job to believe. God commands and we should obey. God offers and we accept; man comes and God receives; man submits and God pardons. From Creation onward it is God's role to be in authority and our job to obey.

  Hebrews 1:1 & 2 says: "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."

Jesus is the mediator of God's new covenant with us: Hebrews 9:15 " For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance."

Jesus trained apostles to help spread God's word: "For the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You , and they believe that You sent Me." John 17:8

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Zero Waste (Well not quite) Wrap up


I thought I would pop in at my blog quickly tonight and show you the landfill waste from our month. Oh, I bet that just fills you with excitement!!! (Grinning) Just what you have always longed to see. Not! Oh well, It doesn't feel like I would be truly finished with last months challenge if I didn't show you the results.
   This picture above of trash in an ice cream bucket is my personal trash bin of the month. Everything that I threw away all month except for 3 little creamer containers from the gas station that I unthinkingly threw in their trash can and 1 straw from the restaurant. Another exception is that I did clean a few times at other peoples houses and I did throw their trash away in their own trash cans. My trash contained various business related plastic packaging, a couple of canning lids that were not good enough to use again, a cheese wrapper (from some cheese that my sister gave us that was very yummy) and a couple of food wrappers from some birthday foods that my October birthday boys requested. I think there were a few other odds and ends that I couldn't compost when I was cleaning out my office storage closet. Also there were a few things from the silk wedding flower order that I put together. I was actually amazed with how little trash I was able to create with that job.
This is pretty much all the household trash that the rest of my family created this month. There was another little bag as well and I think they may have thrown a couple of things in the big outside trash bin. They also totally threw things away at their jobs and other places they were at. The bag on the left was the House trash and the wastebasket is what is from activities in our garage. I was pretty impressed with how little was created since most of them weren't really trying. I did look into the trash cans (though not really the garage one) pretty regularly to take stuff out to go in the compost or recycling and I also used a lot of the paper products for fire starter.

   So, not Zero Waste but way closer to that then we would have been if we (I - though Megan was pretty on board as well) hadn't been attempting it.
 



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