"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

February 28, 2014

Special friends

A very dear man left this earth, this week. He was the father of my husband's childhood friend and he and his wife used to spend part of their winters, here in Florida. We always enjoyed getting together with this VERY sweet couple. We had a lot of fun hanging out with them at their RV park, visiting and reminiscing about their son and my hubby, when they were young. They made my hubby feel like he was apart of their family when he was a kid, which meant a lot to him. In fact, because of all their precious visits here, our whole family feels like we were somehow related to them. -He was a wonderful man and he will be missed!

We have some very dear neighbors who lived next door to us for about 16 years. Our kids were probably each other's first friends because our oldest kids played together as toddlers. Our families spent every New Years Eve, and a couple of Easters and one Thanksgiving together. We also went on a couple of beach vacations together.
Then they lost their house...
It was sooo sad and we were all heart broken when they had to move.
They actually don't live far from us but we just never see each other anymore. Also, their kids and half of ours are grown and busy working or going to school. But, thanks to our daughter, who has had it on her heart to reach out to them, we are getting together for dinner tomorrow. Since it is still too painful for them to come here and be this close to their old home, we are taking dinner over to their house! Hoping to be a blessing to them!

Hope you have a great weekend with special friends!


February 26, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Having given birth with midwives four times, I have a special place in my heart for them and it is probably why I love Exodus 1 even more. 

And... it could be why I love this show: 

 which starts again at the end of March! Yay!
(my family has already warned me that they don't want to walk through the living room and accidentally see anyone giving birth on a 60" screen - LOL!!!!
so I'll have to watch it on my tablet)

Anyway, back to Exodus 1:
I think this is one of the saddest verses, especially after all that God used Joseph to do in saving Egypt (and the world).
"Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph." 
During the famine, Joseph brought his family to Egypt and I think there were 70 people, now they are a huge number and Pharaoh feels threatened by their numbers, lest they ever rise up against them by joining Egypt's enemies in a battle.
So, he comes up with a plan to limit the number of future soldiers..
 He wants all the baby boys to be killed at birth and who better to do that than the Hebrew MIDWIVES!

I've known some gutsy, tenacious ladies who are/were midwives, so this verse makes me smile:
"But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive."
(hooray & applause)

I guess the births of lots of baby boys did not go unnoticed by Pharaoh because he calls these two brave midwives, Shiphrah and Pauh, and asks them: 
"Why have you done this thing and saved the male children alive?" 
Their own lives were probably on the line for this and I love, love, love their answer, which I'm guessing wasn't the truth:
"Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women;
for they are lively and give birth BEFORE the midwives come to them." -In other words, "We always get there too late." LOL
-So, all of you pregnant women out there, pray to be "lively"! : )  It means 'having vigor for life, bearing quickly and easily.' Amen!
Here's what God thought of what the midwives said and did:
"Therefore God dealt well with the midwives...and it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them."  
He gave them families of their own!
Someone had to 'call the midwives' for them! : )
Best reward ever! Love it!!!


February 25, 2014

I keep thinking about this...

quote which hit me while reading Cross Roads, by Wm. Paul Young

"The world has no meaning apart from relationships.
Some are just messier than others,
some are seasonal,
others are difficult,
and a few are easy,
but every one of them is important."



February 24, 2014

The funky flu and then the fun

First of all, can I just say how glad I am that no one tragically died on the season finale of this show last night! ; )

On Wednesday we got hit with this weird flu bug. The kind that gives you this splitting headache that never goes away, dizziness whenever you stand up and a total lack of energy. BLAH!
But, I read this book while I was down and it was awesome! -Great faith builder in God's power to heal and redeem lives. Love, love, loved it!

On Friday, it was hubby's turn to join in with the 'fluishness.' So, he took the day off and we had a relaxing fun time together and made it a half day of school for the healthy feeling kiddos.

Saturday, we were better and off and running to pull off our annual 'Thank You' party for the addition that our dear friend put on our house 9 years ago. While I cleaned and cooked, Hubby repainted our front door and the shutters on our house, which really brightened things up.  Andrew made us place cards.

Joy set the table with the china and the silver 

and then we felt the need to play the theme song from this show. LOL 

Joy made us these for dessert: 

During dinner, Joy and Andrew were 'the Help. ' : ) Zac grilled steaks for us. We hoped to Skype with Nate during the party so that he could say his 'thank you' to Carlos too, but there was some time zone related confusion, so that didn't work out. 
All in all it was a special evening and though we try every year, we can never really express our thanks to the Lord and Carlos for all that was done to add on to our home! : ) 

Then about 14 hours later, we gave another party! 
-A breakfast social for the sweet people in our Sunday School class. I made biscuits and sausage gravy. (thank you Pioneer Woman! So yummy!) Oh, let's clarify, I made the gravy and I heated up FROZEN biscuits. ; ) 

Anyway, it was one fun weekend! 


February 19, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

I'm in Lamentations, which isn't my favorite ; )
 but I love these verses:

"This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed.
Because His compassions fail not. 
They are new every morning; 
Great is Your faithfulness!"
Lamentation 3:21

He's so very faithful!

February 18, 2014

Jesus in the O.T.

I haven't mentioned this here yet, but Hubby was asked to teach a Sunday School class at church and he's been doing it for the last 6 weeks or so. It is something that he has always wanted to do and it has been a  blessing in his life and hopefully in the lives all those attending.
They offered him the chance to teach the popular marriage class but we joked that he's too nerdy for that. ;) He really wanted to teach on the Old Testament.
This is the class title he came up with: "Jesus in the Old Testament:  How the Old Testament's covenants, characters and consequences pave the way for Jesus' restorative work in our lives."
The premise is Luke 24:27
"And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."

He's writing his own material and he spends about 10 hours a week studying for the class.
The class is awesome! I love it! (that's my unbiased opinion) I'm always amazed by the scriptures from the New Testament that he ties into the Old Testament stories and the life applications he points out. He's an anointed and gifted teacher and when I read this quote this week, it reminded me of him:
 "The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life...The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of divine unction because the man is full of divine unction." ~E. M. Bounds


February 17, 2014

A lovely Valentines Day and a lazy Presidents Day

For Valentines Day, we decided to be non-conformists who go out on the night after Valentines Day instead when it would be less crowded. Maybe that is a sign that we are old...
-Our oldest had reservations made at a steak house a week in advance and looked very handsome leaving the house with roses and a heart shaped box of candy. Too cute.
I made the rest of the fam, one of our favorites: Monte Cristo sandwiches!
And we had white chocolate pretzel snicker doodles for dessert. We had a fun evening in.

The next day, the kid-taxi was up and going early. Then we stopped off to walk around a farmer's market. The rest of the day, I helped, I mean, cheered Hubby on as he worked on pressure washing our house without a pressure washer. ; ) He said he was 'under pressure, so he was washing.' It was an awesome display of those biceps, I love so much. And we found out that we don't really need to repaint our house. It just needed a good cleaning. Yay! Then we went out for our Valentine Date, which was fun.

Sunday was an awesome day of worship. I love everything about our Sundays!

Today, has been pretty low key. I did make report cards for the kiddos though, so I'm feeling accomplished. I think it is time consuming and I only have to make two this year.  ; )

Friday, we are looking forward to our annual House Party, in which, we thank our dearest friend for giving away the better part of a year, and adding on to our house (for FREE) back in 2005.

That was our weekend! Hope yours was full of love and fun!

February 14, 2014

Because nothing says Happy Valentines Day like...

 Fox's Book of Martyrs!!! ; )

This was my first Valentines Day gift ever from my hubby when we were dating!!! 
 We still joke about it and he has a dear friend who still teases him for it. ; )

 So, for fun I set it out today. 
~Part of the sweet inscription says 'I know this isn't a very mushy book...' LOL 

 But, I really wanted to read that book at the time
so I loved receiving it! 

           I'm so glad that God put two nerdy Bible geeks together so many years ago! : )


February 12, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Blessing our children with The Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh

When Jacob was about to die, he blessed Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. He declared that all Israel would bless their sons with this blessing, which I found intriguing.

Manasseh is the oldest and his name means- making forgetful
Joseph named him this because he said "for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." (Gen 41:51)
His second born son was Ephraim and his name means- fruitfulness
He was given this name because "God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."

The notes in my Bible say that their names "were memorialized in a blessing which Yahweh established to be used from antiquity throughout the church age."
And Genesis 48:20 says "By you Israel will bless saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!"
So, why would we want our children to be blessed like they were, I wondered...

For starters, Jacob gave these grandsons a portion of blessing with his own sons.
Then when it was time to lay his hands on them and bless them, he gave the blessing of being a firstborn to Ephraim, who was the youngest. (notice how whenever they are listed in the Bible it is always as Ephraim and Manasseh and not Manasseh and Ephraim)

~There were no evil feelings towards one another when the younger received the blessing of the older. What a big difference between them and their uncles, who sold their father for those very reasons! Envy, arrogance and competition ruined the previous generation but they were blessed to be free from all that negativity. They got along and loved each other. "Look how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

~They were born, raised and brought up in the secular society of Egypt, but still followed God and the teachings of their family. They did not stray from the ways of God because of the environment around them. I think we want all of children to be able to 'swim upstream,' as I read in this quote by a rabbi: "How does one know if a fish is healthy? If he can swim upstream; against the tide of society." Amen!

~And lastly, it means that we bless them to forget anything negative from their past and bless them with a fruitful future. (see the definitions of their names)

So, that's The Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh! I found it very interesting.


February 10, 2014

More of Cali and then home

I planned to have a party for friends and family on my last night in CA and sent out a Facebook invite a couple weeks prior. I made the party for 6:00 PM while I was on EASTERN TIME. And Facebook decided to change that to Pacific time for all those invited.  AHHHHHHH!!!!!
So, everyone's invitation said 3:00 PM!! Many thanks to my sister, who let me in on this major time faux pas the night before.
It was great fun to have my parents condo packed full of people I love.
I made tortilla soup because it is one of Nathan's favorites and he was hoping for leftovers. I wasn't sure how much to make and I was never really sure of how many people were even coming, so I tripled the recipe and well, the people I love will be eating tortilla soup for many days to come. ; )
I hoped to make a fruit pizza for dessert, but no one seemed to own a pizza pan. So, the fruit pizza became cookies with fruit on top.
I made invited everyone to play one of our family's favorite games, which I brought with me: Rhythm and Thyme. And depending on where you are from, some of the words don't actually rhythm. We decided it was made by Texans. : ) That was a lot of fun.
Early Saturday morning, I flew home! I met my handsome hubby at the airport and we went out to dinner and caught up on each other's week. A sparkly clean house was waiting for me and so were lots of hugs.
There's no place like home! : )


February 6, 2014

Cali fun continues

On Monday we went out for lunch so I could eat my favorite food of all time, -rolled tacos with guacamole!!! They did not disappoint. :-)  Since then I've had a chance to eat them two more times.
Then we drove through beautiful Newport Beach. We stopped at Laguna Beach and hiked on the rocks and looked at the tide pools. It was so much fun. Incredibly beautiful!
Tuesday my parents picked us up and drove us to San Diego. twice, actually. LOL I was the co-pilot who got to talking and didn't realize at some point we were no longer headed SOUTH, but north again, back to where we started in LA. :-) Fun!
 Wednesday, we headed to La Jolla. The cliffs are so gorgeous. I was thinking of the wedding picture we had taken there on the beach and I was missing my groom.:-)  We watched the seals swim and sunbathe. Then we headed to Balboa Park. I have lots of fun memories of going there on Sundays after church. Nathan got lots of pictures, especially at the botanical garden.
Now, I'm busy planning a dinner for 15 friends and family members tomorrow night. It is going to be a tight squeeze in my parents condo but should be fun. Then I fly home. -My sweet hubby texted to let me know that there are only 54 more hours til we see each other. Can't wait. Love him!
I know vacation posts aren't any fun without photos. Hoping to post some when I get home.

February 5, 2014

Wednesdays in the Word

Thankful for Jesus' victory over death today.

"Your dead shall live, together with my dead body they shall arise." Is.26:19

"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." Hosea 13:14

"He will swallow up death forever. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces...
Behold this is our God; This is the Lord, we have waited for Him. We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Is.25:8-9

"We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Cor. 15:51-52

"Thanks be to God, who gives US the victory though our Lord Jesus Christ." v. 57



February 3, 2014

Cali fun

Since I'm an introvert, who obsessed over how many books I could actually carry in my carry on, I was as surprised as could be that I pretty much chatted all the way to LA. God had some divine appointments in store instead and I had one heavy carry on.
When I landed, I was picked up by Nathan and my bestie and her family and whisked off to the nearest In and Out. Yummm!! -These Californians use ice berg lettuce as buns!
Then we hiked up to an observatory on a mountain overlooking LA. It was a beautifully clear night so there were hundreds of people there with the same idea. The moon was just a sliver of a crescent and looked amazing in the telescope. The city looked beautiful. Inside, I found out how much I would weigh on each of the planets. We headed home afterwards and my brain thought it was 11:30 and my eyelids wouldn't stay open any longer.
I was up at 5:00 AM and then there was a major mishap with a dog putting a bone into the toilet, which I wont go into.
I enjoyed worshiping at Nathan's church and meeting his church family. It blessed this momma's heart to hear people tell me over and over how much they love my son, what a blessing he is to the youth and how well we raised him. PTL
We had a lovely lunch and then got busy preparing some Super Bowl food. The kids opted to watch from home instead of going to any parties. It was weird to have it start at 3:30 PM. I managed to stay awake until a whopping 7:00PM. LOL Aren't I a fun house guest!? ;)
Better run.~Becky