Friday, March 27, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - Michael W Smith

Thankful Thursday

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Psalm 128:1-3

This week I am singing praises, both of my sons came up to see me Sunday afternoon! We had a great (but short) visit. I was able to meet Matt's gf, C. and her daughter, Q. I, of course, fell instantly in love.

I am also thankful for the spring-like weather we had this week, which gave us a chance to get out and enjoy our front porch for a short time. The buds have started on our pear trees and my roses. (I just pray the weather doesn't turn too back tonight and kill them)

I am thankful for my friends who allow me to disappear only for a short time before they holler "hey, where are you?" I am blessed!

Last, but never least, my dear hubby who loves me (though I often wonder why), in spite of my mood swings (increasing with age, is this normal?) and never ending childhood joys.

Do you ever find yourself conflicted when reading books--does your faith ever stand in the way of you 'enjoying' other books--secular books? Do you try to read only Christian books? Do you read 'secular' books regularly? Have you ever enjoyed a book but hesitated to share it with your Christian friends? Do you think you should judge a book critically looking through the lens of faith...or do you think that fiction is fiction and that it's just a story? When does entertainment become dangerous?

My answer:

To a point, yes, I have found some books that I just can't enjoy the way I used to. I absolutely love a mystery. but I've stopped reading a few of my favorites because of the language used in the books. As a child raised by a man whom dedicated twenty years to military service, I've heard more than my share of foul language. (and, trust me, said my share of the same words. This is still one area I struggle with when I'm angry, one I'm NOT proud of) So, I personally choose to avoid reading (and hearing in the media) as much of it as I can.

As far as story lines go, characters, etc., those do not bother me. I believe the Good Lord gave us all brains, and expects us to use them. I often find story lines and characters can lead to a great object lesson.

Do I read only Christian books? No, I don't. I admit my favorite author is a Christian, Brandilyn Collins. But, I also enjoy Lilian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who... Series), Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton, and John Grisham for examples. So, yes, I read secular books, and yes, regularly. I am usually reading two to three books in addition to my regular Bible readings. I keep one in my backpack I take to work to read during my lunch and one book on my coffee table for my down time. I'm also reading "Church History in Plain Language" by Bruce L Shelley.

Have I ever read a book I would hesitate to share with my Christian friends?
Probably, but couldn't name one right now. If talking about a "secular" author, I would probably explain the plot or warn of any language or sexual nature ahead of time though. I personally believe we all have something that we struggle with and should steer clear of. For me, it's foul language. For others, it may be something else. I do not read a lot of romance novels because I think they can give a woman unrealistic expectations for a relationship. But, this is just my opinion. Others may not find it a problem.

Do you think you should judge a book critically looking through the lens of faith...or do you think that fiction is fiction and that it's just a story? When does entertainment become dangerous? Honestly, I think it's impossible to not react to certain situations as a Believer. My faith is a part of who I am, therefore, something will offend me or may cause me to stumble. That said, I'm sure there are others that are stronger than I that may not react the same way. I think "entertainment" can be dangerous, if a person loses site of the fact that it is just that, entertainment, not reality. And, the best way to stay grounded is to spend time in The Word each day and in prayer with our Heavenly Father.

Very good questions this week, and great conversations!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Prayers Needed

Another family needs our prayers.
Please click here to read Mia's post, thanks!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - Who Am I

I've probably posted this before, but this song fits how I feel today. Casting Crowns is my absolute favorite group, and this is the first song of theirs I heard. I was hooked at once!

Today's Question
While books and bookstores in general are suffering, Christian bookstores are suffering even more in this economy. Do you have a Christian bookstore that you shop at? Why don't you tell us about your local Christian bookstore and the benefits that if offers. If you don't shop at a Christian bookstore, then please tell us where you get your books, music, and other Christian gift items.

My Answer

Unfortunately, our only Christian bookstore closed last summer. I shopped there for my Sunday School class as well as Christian gifts. Most of the time, their books were too high for me unless they were on the sale table. I can still find a small amount of books through Hastings or Borders here in town, but I lost a great place to find local Sunday School resources when they closed. Now I shop mostly online at for gifts and a good portion of my books I get through

Friday, March 20, 2009

Prayer Request

I received this in my email today from a long-time online friend, please pray for Deanna and her family, thanks!

For those of you who don't know,our twin daughters, Lexi and Laci, are in the University Children's Hospital. They are closely monitoring their hearts. They have a condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) but they are not sure what is causing it. Our 2 year old, Courtney, will need to have her heart checked out as well as Troy and I. As of right now we are not sure how long we will be here at the hospital, but the girls are stable and are holding their own. We are asking that everyone keep us in your prayers and feel free to add us to any and all prayer chains you may have.

I will post updates as I receive them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What a week we have had!
First, we had four, yes four!, Sunday School classes going this past Sunday. This is an absolute miracle. For years, we've been lucky to have two classes- one adult and one kids. This week we had the adult, kids, teenagers, and new believers, plus two babies in the nursery.

There were two alter calls this past Sunday, and three accepted Jesus as their Savior!

Five adults came forward and committed to stop smoking!

After church my oldest son called me. He and his girlfriend are coming up to see me! Wow, none of my family has been up to see me since I broke my ankle in 2004. I'm SO excited. I know it may sound strange to some, but I miss my kids SO much. Even though he is 25 years old, Matt is my "baby". My first born. I almost lost him that very day. (and several times over the years). By the grace of God he is still with us.

So, as you can see, our God is ALIVE and working miracles every day.
Hallelu Yah!

Have you ever watched Veggie Tales? If yes, do you have a favorite episode? a favorite character? a favorite song? Do you think it's good biblical fun? Or do you think its just silly and more a waste of time?

My answer:
I love Veggie Tales, I do! : ) My husband rolls his eyes at me, but this is the side of me that relates to children so well. I actually own four Veggie Tale DVDs.
"Lord of the Beans", "Dave and the Giant Pickle", "King George and the Ducky", and "Sing Alongs: Dance of the Cucumber". I had four others, but gave those away at Christmas time to my Sunday School Students.

I'm not sure I have a favorite episode, but agree with Becky that "An Easter Carol" has a strong message. I find Veggie Tales a lot of fun, with a good message behind them. I use them often in my classes for clips or just fun. Since the ages of my students can range from three to eleven, I need something simple, yet expandable.

Nor do I have a favorite song
or character. I find all of them fun.
Below is "The Easter Carol Song" I pray you enjoy it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Question of the Week #10

Let's talk firsts. Do you remember your first bible? How old were you? When did you begin reading the Bible? Do you remember liking it? loving it? finding it too frustrating? too boring? too intimidating? Have your feelings changed through the years?
My answer:
I do remember my first Bible. I received it for Christmas the year my mother's father passsed away. It had a white leather, zippered cover. King James Version. I was eight years old. I treasured the Bible because it was from a grandparent I barely knew. I did not read it much for many years. Sadly, by the time I got around to reading it "for real", I lost it in a house fire. I still find the KJV a little intimidating. I tend to stick to the NIV or other "modern" translactions for the most part. Though, I admit, the KJV does have a lot of poetic verses that sound better. Now, I love to read my Bible. Nothing can pick me up when I'm down or give me hope in a dark day better than to read about my Savior.

Question of the Week #9

Where do you go for comfort? When you're feeling sad? anxious? depressed? out-of-sorts? Where do you turn when life has got you down? When you're feeling lost and "disturbed" to borrow a term from good-old-Wycliffe? Do you turn to God? Do you turn to your family? your friends? To food? To chocolate? To exercise? To a book? A song? A movie? Your favorite teddy? These days do come to all of us, and it has always been interesting to me to see how different people cope...coping is an important skill after all! If and only if you feel comfortable sharing, answer a few of these questions...I don't want to make anyone feel too exposed or vulnerable. But this is big, really big, and sharing ideas and thoughts could be helpful, you know...

My answer:

In the past, my answer was food. Chocolate and Dr Pepper were favorites. Now, as a diabetic, that's not such a good idea. (not that it was before). In the past ten years, I've learned to lean on God. That doesn't mean I handle it well. Sadly, it takes me quite some time to deal with some things. Especially if I feel I (or a loved one) has been wronged by the world. I spend time in prayer or reading the Word. Praise music is also a great outlet for me. I'm also very fortunate in the fact that my husband is very patient and logical when I am not. He has a way of wording things to help me see what I need to see without making me feel stupid or wrong. The Lord has truly blessed me!

Sunday, March 8, 2009