Sunday, November 25, 2007

But for Christ. . .

Tonight we are celebrating the Lord's Supper.

Pastor Ascol usually preaches in an expository manner, but this morning he departed from that. He had a topical sermon about the gospel and what it is. As I reflect about the sermon and about the coming Lord's supper, I can't help but be reminded of my inherent sin nature - confronted with it daily. BUT FOR CHRIST there is no hope . . .BUT FOR CHRIST there is no forgiveness. . . BUT FOR CHRIST there is no redemption. . .BUT FOR CHRIST there is no future (well, there is but it isn't a good one). We need to be continually be reminded about the gospel of Christ. Like Pastor Ascol said, that is how we have REAL life.

Adding to that, that is how we also have REAL joy.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pilgrims v. Indians

Since it was Thanksgiving this week, I took the time to listen to the Pilgrims v. Indians CD that is put out by Vision Forum. This is a presentation by Doug Phillips (definitely one of my favorite speakers to listen to - quite possibly my #1 favorite). I have probably listened to this at least 4 times.

It reminds us of our Godly Christian heritage with the pilgrims and how history is being revised. How the pilgrims viewed the indians as being one of the lost tribes of Israel. They considered them as a people in need of God's saving grace - not some group that was living on land they wanted. They worked with the local indian tribe and many came to a saving knowledge of Christ. It was reported that all of the indians at Martha's Vineyard were converted.

It tells of how his family (along with Richard "Little Bear" Wheeler) went on a vacation to Plymouth one Thanksgiving for the purpose of remembering our Puritan heritage and to pray over his children and to to help them realize the importance of a multi-generational vision. What they found was desecrated historical markers and new markers placed which gave an amended version of the historical record which claimed that the pilgrims were responsible for acts of genocide against the indians as well as

The CD talks about John Eliot, a Puritan missionary who was instrumental in converting the Massachusetts Indians. Note to me. . .find a biography of John Eliot. They had no written language and he devised an alphabet for them. He also translated the Bible into their language - which was the first Bible printed in North America. Another note to me. . .read The Christian Commonwealth: or,The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ, by John Eliot. This was considered the first book on politics written by an American and also the first book to be banned by an American government. Written in the late 1640s, and published in England in 1659, it proposed a new model of civil government based on the system Eliot instituted among the converted Indians, which was based in turn on Exodus 18.

This CD was worth every penny (and much more) that I paid for it. In listening to it again, it says that it is the first in the series "Christian Controversies in American History". Note to me. . .find out what other CDs he has in this series.

Monday, November 19, 2007

30 Day Gourmet

I have been a rep for 30 Day Gourmet for some time now (maybe a few years?). I haven't really done much with it as a business, but use it more as a resource (although I am really surprised at how many people have sent e-mails to me from the 30 Day Gourmet website!

I have done some Once a Month Cooking workshops and have done bulk cooking with other people (where I got all the recipes together, did the shopping and planning, etc.). I would like to do more of it - it's just that everything takes up my time and I have more things I want to do than hours in the day.

Next year I would also like to do more canning. Not just the small batches here and there, but 50 - 100 quarts at a time. I'd like to do tomato products, pickles and strawberry preserves. I have been doing some dehydrated potatoes already. I can get a 50 lb bag of potatoes at the farmer's market for only $8. I did some calculations and found that It will cost me less than 25¢ per quart for spaghetti sauce. I already have over 18 dozen jars so that isn't something I need to factor in. I can do spaghetti sauce, taco sauce, salsa and stewed tomatoes.

If I do strawberry preserves, I would also be able to use them for gifts. I never seem to make enough (this is my favorite kind of preserves) so I would like to make it a point to make a bunch.

Note to me: Contact Becky and Angie - if I have someone counting on me I will take the time to actually do it.

This post is another reminder to me. . .I know that there are opportunities to do classes as well as sell the WONDERFUL resources they have. Is the time it would take me worth the money I would make? Will the reality not really be there until the kids move out?

30 Day Gourmet

Book giveaway at is sponsoring a book giveaway. I was at this site last month but didn't notice that they were sponsoring a giveaway. Dan Phillips indicated he would do this for at least 4 months. I believe they started in September. So. . .I have at least the opportunity for November and December. It looks like they are giving away some great resources - ones that I'd love to have!

I'm listing the November link and the referral ID for my reference. . .it will be easier to find this way! LOL! Note to me: don't forget to come back next month.

November Giveaway
My referral ID is 31829

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seeking Wisdom

I know that no matter how much I am engaged in the task of searching for knowledge and wisdom through and in my human experiences, I know that the source of all truth is God. He must provide the wisdom necessary for the proper interpretation of reality.

As Proverbs 2:6, 10 - 11 says, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.”

I seek to be wise with the decisions I make, but I keep failing – many times miserably. I know that many times I try using intellect and reason and forget that without dependence upon God’s revelation I am incapable of reaching a true understanding of reality. Like the acronym F.R.O.G. tells us, we need to Fully Rely On God. My pea-brain human mind forgets that many times.

Proverbs 8:11 says “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Job 28 and Proverbs 3 also mentions how valuable wisdom is. I know that it is something to be treasured – but I also know that sometimes it is illusive. As I pore over God’s word and pray for wisdom and discernment, I know that I will continue to gain wisdom. . . little by little.

One of the final thoughts I need to always remember I find in Proverbs 4:11-13 “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.” Every day God is teaching me something. I just need to make sure that I have a teachable spirit so that I can be receptive (and not stubborn as I so often am) to what He has to say.

I pray that I will continue to find God’s wisdom and discernment in the different situations I come across. I know that I have found that the trials I have had of late have led me to study God’s Word at a depth that I haven’t done before. Even in the passages I find as I do my regular reading through the Bible have provided me with insight I hadn’t seen before. God is speaking to me in mighty and miraculous ways. For that I am eternally thankful. Out of bad things sometimes blessings come. . .

I thank God that he led us to Grace Baptist Church and that Tom Ascol is my pastor. He has been a source of wisdom and Godly counsel. My family has truly been blessed. He seems to have an innate ability to get right to the crux of a problem and see things for what they are. I am so thankful for that. That kind of awareness and discernment often seems to elude me.

Donna Ascol, his wife, has also been a blessing to my family. She has been a wonderful Godly role model for my daughter to see. She exemplifies what it means to be a Godly woman. She also has a truly humble and gentle spirit which is evident immediately. While she isn't accepting of negative things, she also isn't judgmental (that is also true of her husband). My daughter feels very comfortable around them. It wasn't always that way. When we started going to church at Grace, my kids somehow seemed to think that they (and most of the other church members) had some sort of "agenda" and that eventually the "face" would disappear and they would see them for who they "really" are. We have been at Grace almost 2 years now and all of my kids realize that this IS who they really are. I couldn't ask for any better Godly examples to hold before my children.

I wish I had found this church years ago, but I know that God's timing is perfect and there is a reason why it didn't happen until now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Perfect Bible

I do enjoy good satire when I see it. . .

I saw this blog entry a few weeks ago and thought it was great. I don't know how to change the name of a link to show a label of what it is instead of the full link address, so for the moment I'll just have to list the link. If I find out how to do this later, I'll definitely edit this post (reminder to me!).

The Task Ahead of You is Never As Great as the Power Behind You

A friend sent this to me. I think that the sentiment should be remembered not only in relation to our soldiers but to all of us. . .

Friday, November 16, 2007

Early American Favorites

Since I was in elementary school I have loved early American history. Here are a couple of pics of two of my favorites from the Civil War - Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Anti-teenage Behavior!

Our church sponsors English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and I'm the lead teacher. We had our final class tonight for our first ten-week session. It was well attended - we had over 50 people (I should have gotten an exact count, but forgot). We had a nice pot-luck dinner and gave the students the opportunity to "show off" and end with a final pat-on-the-back. They did a great job. I hope that they received as much a blessing out of the class that I did. It was wonderful. They far-exceeded my expectations. I look forward to the spring session. We are going to have a training session to train local teachers. We need to have at least 10 people sign up for the training. After the training classes we'll begin our second 10-week session.

When I got home, I got a VERY pleasant surprise. My 16 year old daughter cleaned the kitchen (without asking!!). She not only cleaned it, she did such a good job that it almost shined "like the top of the Chrysler Building" (couldn't resist the line from Annie).

She not only did the kitchen when it wasn't her turn, but she also cleaned her bedroom!!! That by itself would have given cause for rejoicing - the room looked like it needed to be condemned (well, maybe not that bad). She also took pictures that were on her bedroom walls of our old house (we moved here not too long ago) and put them up with about another 100 or so. Her intention when we moved in was to eventually paint her bedroom walls to be a camo-type design, but if she keeps going, she won't have any wall left to see! I would venture a guess that she probably has almost 600 pictures on her wall now - wallpaper style.

If she keeps this up, she's going to give teenagers everywhere a bad name! You go girl!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Gift of Worship

This is a clip about worship that I thought was thought-provoking. . .

First Post

Well, I have been doing a lot of writing in my journal the last few months. I never thought I'd be the type to keep a journal. . .I didn't really understand those who did. . . .and now I'm one of them! LOL!

I don't know that I'll ever let anyone see what I have here, but at the moment I want to use it to keep track of things I have been doing online, clips I have enjoyed, sites I have found interesting and insightful, etc.

I have done a lot of soul searching and digging into God's Word this year. Not just the cursory reading one might do, but real "down deep" digging. You know, the kind where you use a study Bible, two or three versions of the Bible, read commentaries, and just meditate on His Word.

My brother gave me an iPod and it has been wonderful to load it with sermons and other radio broadcasts that I have enjoyed. I have filled the 1 GB memory and it is great when I am walking or at work or vacuuming or cleaning or doing any number of other things.

Some of what I have been enjoying:

American Vision and The Gary DeMar Show
Desiring God Sermons with John Piper (Bethlehem Baptist)
DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) Chapel Services with various speakers
Reformed Heritage Church - mostly with Gary Wagner
Running to Win with Erwin Lutzer
Trinity Reformed Church - mostly with Dr. Young
White Horse Inn with Michael Horton as moderator
Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL with Tom Ascol
Truths That Transform with Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries
The Mike Corley Show
Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul

I have been enjoying seeing what people have to say on Mark Driscoll's (Mars Hill Church) campaign (Ask Anything) to have people vote for what he will preach on in the beginning of 2008. Today they took the top 50 and reduced it to the top 20.

Again, these thoughts are just reminders to me. I can't leave video clips or pics in my paper journal!