Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How Serious Is It?

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

  • How serious is it?

    I have had a "heart cry" for a long time.  I have felt that I have no right to talk about it, but an incident happened last night that makes me realize that I must share what has been on my mind.  If the Lord gives a burden we are to do something about it, so with His help, I will try to put it into words.  They are coming to you out of love, with no condemnation and with a humble heart that realizes I myself am still a work in progress.
    I am a 43 year old mother of 6 children, a wife to "my man",  a grammy and a mother-in-law.  Obviously, I have not always been at this stage in life, and many times I reflect on my youth.  Regrets? Many! Was it all bad?  Absolutely not!  But, I cannot help but think about the regrets as I witness the youth of today.   I continually think of what I was like at each stage that my teens go through and think of what I would do differently in my life if I was that age again.   Looking back, I realize that I have wasted so many tender years pursuing the fleshly or carnal things of the world.  It seems like todays society is promoting "me" more and more - it's all about "me" and how can I maniupulate all circumstances, events, etc. to satisfy and meet the needs of "me".   That is in no way what the scriptures teaches (not then or now) and we all can recognize the results of that way of  thinking.   There are so many distractions for our youth, due to the advancement of technology and general decline of moral standards.  It is very difficult for them and I spend alot of time contemplating this issue.  The youth stage of life is not to "have fun" and "live it up".  It is a time to prepare for adulthood.  A time to learn good work ethics, responsibilities and to realize that there are consequences to actions.  Also, most importantly, a time to establish a relationship with the One who makes all the difference in the world - Jesus!   The One who can guide you and give you strength to overcome temptations.   One of my regrets is not establishing that relationship in my young years and succumbing to the peer pressures of that time.   Oh, how can I convince you dear young people how serious it is to evaluate this time of your life?  Just 24 hours ago, Solomon and our friend, Tucker, were in a car accident.   When we stood at the scene and viewed the damage, a realization overcame us.  All people involved were ok, but it was only by a matter of seconds and it could've been very, very different.   Instead of an ambulance ride for everyone, a coroner could've been called.  Instead of  looking around in the E.R, they could've been opening their eyes in eternity!   Tears still flow when I think of  how our lives could be very different today.  This life is serious business and could be ended without warning or having a time of preparation!  It does matter what we are doing with our lives now.  It does matter how we are spending our time.  It does matter what we are listening to now, for it effects our thoughts and moods, which effects our actions and on it can go.  It does matter how we present ourselves now, for we are to represent Christ.  How we dress has a huge impression on how people view us.  Ladies, are we dressing modestly?  Are we promoting men to look at us with lust or respect?   Are we jealous or envious of others?   Are we developing cliques and leaving freinds out?  Or appearing superior to them?  Are the movies that we watch something we would want to be watching if Jesus walked in?  How about the words that are coming from our mouth?  Or the places that we visit?  Or the websites that we view?  The list can go on and on.  All these things effect our spiritual life and it does matter, for one of these days, we will die in some way and we will face the One who is the Judge and our destination will be announced.   Let all of us put aside the flesh, take hold of the things that are spiritual, the things that change our hearts and gives us strength to live the life that the Lord has for us.    To all the adults,  please let us take seriously our position as examples,  and encourage our youth of today to travel the high road, the straight and narrow way even if it means they have to stand alone.  It will be so worth it!!
    Until next time................

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

  • Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to Everyone!
    When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for our family to divulge to friends, the happenings of yet another year, and to inquire of the well being of those we have not seen for some time. A decent respect for the sanity of mankind requires that this correspondence not bore the readers with redundant details.
    We hold these truths to be self evident that all our family is created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unconquerable desires, among these are chocolate, pizza and the pursuit of an extra hour of sleep.
    The following is a recollection of various happenings, etc. for our family in 2009:
    Most exciting news: the birth of Oakley Paige to the proud parents of Gordon and
                                                      Kelsey on October 3rd.
    Most troubling news: the new President that got put into office
    Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving
    Family’s favorite meal: homemade pizza with homemade soda
    Favorite getaway: day at Camp Swatara
    Best Deal: the purchase of Solomon’s "96 dodge pickup
    Most thankful for: the freedom we enjoy in Christ and the liberties we enjoy
                                    In our country
    Most consumed food: eggs (about 28 at each breakfast)
    One thing uncles do not do: change poopy diapers
    Most mundane chore: milking cows and endless laundry
    Biggest endeavor – Dave teaching civics at our home-school group
    2 happiest outcomes: the boys heart checkups, good water from new well
    Addictions: computer, talk radio, music, and pursuit of the Truth
    Most played games: chess & basketball
    Most faith stretching: enduring the low milk price
    Most discussed topic: politics\world events from Christian perspective
    Most amazing realization: His mercies are new every day
    Favorite new song: The Promise
    Most awaited for moment:  passed driver’s permit test
    Toughest tongue twister: good blood, bad blood – say it 3 times real fast
    Goals not met: to lose 30 pounds (it’s all that pizza! )
    New names for Dave & Brenda: grandpa & grammy

    For the conclusion of this correspondence, we trust with a firm reliance on divine Providence your well being and protection throughout another year and pledge to all our love, thoughts, and sacred honor. (Hee Hee!! You can tell Dave has been studying the Declaration of Independence, can’t you?)
    May the Lord’s blessings fall on each of you! Dave, Brenda & boys

    Until next time...........

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sweet Oakley

Monday, 14 December 2009

  • Sweet Oakley

    She is growing so fast!  She is about 10 1/2 weeks old already and is smiling and cooing at anyone who looks at her.  This being a grammy is awful fun!
    Until next time.............

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home-made Deli Roast Beef

  • Home-made Deli Roast Beef

    Finally, I got to try my hand at making deli roast beef yesterday.  I used an eye round roast, rinsed and patted dry.  I forgot to weigh it, though.  Next time I try this, I will weigh it so I could journal the roasting time.  The roast was coated with olive oil, including the ends.  On top of that,  it was coated with pepper, salt, garlic powder, & onion powder.   The spices get patted into the meat, and I discovered it is better to do this with a flat surface of a cup, for the spices stuck to my fingers.
    raw roast beef
    beef ingred1
    The roast gets placed on a baking rack in a pan and roasted at 500 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce the temp. to 300 for another 30 min.- uncovered.  Use a meat thermometer to check the inside of meat.  I followed the times mentioned above and the roast was still very raw (the inside temp. was 140 degrees), so I roasted til temp. showed between med. rare - well done (between 160 - 170).  We are not too thrilled to eat blood dripping meat.  Take out of oven and cover meat with an aluminum foil tent, or lid for 20 min..  It is then ready to slice.  It will have a dark, hard coating.
    roasted beef
    It needs to be sliced VERY thin and this can be done only if you have a VERY sharp knife.  I found it easier to use an electric meat slicer. 
    sliced beef
    The last step was the taste test and we found it was delicious!!    Other spices of your choice could be added, such as cheyenne etc, as long as it is powdered.   I bagged up the slices and put into freezer for weekend sandwiches. 
    Definitely cheaper than store bought deli roast beef and it was not difficult to make at all.  It was worth the time it took.
    Until next time....................

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lump of Clay

Wednesday, 09 December 2009

  • Lump of Clay

    In the middle of the Great Potter's wheel lay a lump of clay, waiting, waiting to be molded into that beautiful pitcher.  Now for the Potter to work that clay, it has to be soft, pliable, and willing to be worked.  The process of molding that lump of clay can be lengthy, for all the air bubbles need to be worked out, or it will be imperfect.  This process is painful, for what lump of clay enjoys to be pounded, kneaded and then maybe pounded some more.  But it is for it's own good, it is the process towards perfection.  We are the lumps of clay in God's hand.  We are full of "bubbles" and need to be kneaded and pounded, but the Potter's hands work with tender loving care.  The process goes alot smoother if we choose to be soft and willing in His hands.  We need to yield ourselves to Him, and trust Him, for he knows the end result and will do what is best for us. It is not always an easy place to be, in fact rarely is it.  But, when I think of this analogy,  it brings me comfort and peace in the midst of  the workings.  In times when I want to rebel against the kneading (and those are more times than not), I am miserable and certainly not peaceful.  If we endure, the end result will be a vessel worthy to be used by the Great Potter.
    You are the potter
    I am the clay
    Mold me and make me
    This is what I pray
    In His love,
    Until next time........... 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What a Fun Class

Saturday, 05 December 2009

  • What a fun class!

    Yesterday was our last class till after the new year begins, so we decided it was time for more of a fun time, instead of "lecture" time.  Mr. Dave had informed me that he & I would have the current events for this class.  I was able to find an interesting article in our recent Newsmax magazine on the decline of manners.  What has happened to the rules of etiquette?  Why are people rude and disrespectful?  It seems the decline began in the '60's and the reaction to the Vietnam War.  "Attitudes towards authority deteriorated and people simply began to live for the moment".  We live in a self-centered society and people wonder why they should care about others and "what's in it for me".  I think this younger generation's manners would turn the generation of our grandparents gray in a day!  I encouraged the children to treat others with respect, open car doors for the women, give a firm hand-shake while looking the person in the eye, carry that grocery bag for the elderly woman, call people Mr. & Mrs. or ma'am or sir.  We need to be the example!!  Dave's current event was on Obama coming to Allentown to talk about what the government can do to create jobs.  He didn't expound on that too much.  Will discuss in further details in an upcoming class.
    We then played the "civics' bee" game.  Boys, who wanted to be called Navy Seals, against the girls, who called themselves Ladies of Liberty.  Mr. Dave would ask questions, alternating teams, and if the answer was correct, that team got to move 3 spaces.  If it was incorrect the other team got a chance.  The questions asked were from all the notes that were given from classes up to this point.  It seemed everyone had a great time.  The Navy Seals won the game - sorry Ladies of Liberty!   Great effort!
    Ladies of Liberty
    Navy Seals
    The last part of class time, we put together grocery boxes.  Each family contributed food, enough of that item for 10 baskets.  The children had to wrap their boxes in pretty paper....
    Then they arranged food in boxes however their creative minds lead them to. 
    The box was finished off by putting clear wrapping over the top, attaching a snowflake that the student made and a card.
    The students are to give their box to a U.S. veteran and have an "interview" with him/her.  When class convenes in January, the students are to give a report on who they gave their box to, along with what war they fought in and any other information they gathered.   These men sacrificed much so we can enjoy our freedoms.  They deserve recognition and thanks.  As the card on box says "A Sincere thank you for your commitment and service in defending our freedoms.  Blessings to you during this Holiday Season!   With respect,....................."   The students did a great job and the boxes turned out really nice.   Thanks to everyone participation!
    Until next time............

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Civics Classes Continued

Tuesday, 01 December 2009

  • Civics Classes continued

    Dave is still teaching the Civics class at our homeschool group.  We have gotten behind in sharing the notes and pictures with you, so it is catch up time!
    Notes on Rome
    • Rome began as a village near the Tiber River in present day Italy.
    • 753 B.C. to 509 B.C. it was ruled by kings
    -Senate – men who advised the King
    • 509 B.C. to 27 B.C. Rome was a republic
    - elected 2 consuls annually
    - plebians – lower class
    - patricians – higher class
    287 B.C. plebians gained equal rights
    88 B.C. reforms needed – Civil wars
    49 B.C Julius Caesar became dictator
    44 B.C. he was assinated
    27 B.C. Augustus Caesar is declared Emperor
    27 B.C. – 476 A.D. – Rome is an Empire
    14 A.D. – Augustus Caesar dies and is declared a God
    106-43 B.C. – Marcus Tullius Cicero lived
    He was a Roman statesman, attorney, orator, former consul who defended the Republic and opposed dictatorship.
    November 6th Class Notes
Rome has fallen!!
2 primary reasons for the fall of Rome
1). Corruption- (massive bureaucracy, inflation, political law)
2). Multi-culturally over-extended (they forgot what it meant to be Roman)
we discussed what it means to be an American?????
Cicero – 106 BC – 43 BC - Roman attorney, orator, and formal consul, who opposed
Rome’s drift toward dictatorship. Opposed Julius Caesar.
  • recognized rules of "right conduct" from a Supreme Creator
  • believed that Natural Law is the Creator’s order in how the world should work
  • believed man’s ability to reason is from God and will lead to common sense conclusions in gov’t, justice and human relations
  • believed that the foundation of Justice is love for our fellowman
  • believed that what holds society together is love of God.
  • was murdered for his political ideas
What happens when gov’t passes laws that violate Natural Law?
Cicero was getting a glimpse of truth
1). That which corresponds to reality as perceived by God
2). Conformity to fact or reality in exact accordance with that which is or has been or shall be
We act on what we believe is really real
History can be rewritten and distorted (historical revisionism)
Examples: Matt. 28:11-15
Denial of Holocaust
If you believe a lie you can be controlled by others!
Absence of truth brings bondage and manipulation
John 18:37
Romans 1:25
Insanity – lose of touch with reality and believing the lie is real.
World leaders can lose touch with reality and disregard Natural Law
Examples: Hitler, Mao
Also discussed whether feelings about something is more important about God’s truth claims.
One of the students giving a current event...
Tabitha's current event
Student who gave a report on Athens...
Havy's report
Our November 20th class was so excellent, as was the Nov. 6th class.  I (Brenda) have been thoroughly enjoying being in Dave's class. 
November 20th Class notes
Europe falls into the Middle Ages or Dark Ages, after the fall of Rome.
Much of Europe develops a political and economic system called feudalism.
fiefs - tracts of land granted by powerful lords to loyal nobles called vassals (Prince, Baron, Duke or Count) in exchange for supplying knights.
  • each fief had a manor (self sufficient agricultural community)
Serfs peasant farmers who gave much of their agricultural products to the lord in return for use of land and protection.Some characteristics of the Dark Ages were:
  • little commerce or use of money
  • trial by ordeal
  • castles
  • poverty
  • lack of or no education
  • loss of the middle class
  • war, disease and famine
  • 30 year life expectancy
  • less then 20% of the population ever traveled more then 10 miles from place of birth
  • ***Although the Middle Ages are interesting times, I have chosen to study it only briefly. Before we get too far along in history we must go back to discuss the most influential person who ever lived and has directly effected American society and government. –Jesus!
    Jesus never did what most influential people in history have done. He was not:
    • a mighty military leader
    • was not born into nobility
    • did not write books
    • no great scientific discoveries
    • never traveled far from home
    • when he left the earth, He did not have an extremely large following
    • Yet He changed the world like no one else.
      Are all religions the same?
      Are religions different ways of comprehending the same truth?
      Can all be true?
      3 Characteristics that are unique to Christianity
      1. it teaches that it is impossible to satisfy our relationship with God by human efforts
      2. Christ claimed to be divine
      3. It is dependent on miracles (virgin birth, resurrection).
      4. Some teachings of Jesus that effect our society today:
        1.) One God for all men
        2.) "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s" - this is foundational to the idea of separation of church and state and limited Gov’t
        1. Human dignity – Jesus reached out to the lowest classes of people (lepers, poor, etc.) Mankind could now have a meaningful valuable life. They could now see themselves created by God for a purpose and to have a relationship with Him, regardless of wealth, status, race, etc.. This is the foundation of true human rights.
        4.) equality of women – marriage was exalted as an intimate companionship, having high ideals of personal sacrifice and service to one another. Women gained more honor and respect under the teachings of Jesus.
        5.) service to others is noble – Luke 22:27, Mark 10:41-45. What a radical idea would have been for His day. Imagine Caesar viewing himself as a servant to others. This is the foundation of public servants.
        6.) all men are fallible; man has a sinful nature. Romans 7:19 Even people elected to public office or in roles of leadership have this sinful nature. All societies would do well to recognize the truth that the nature of man is sinful and the nature of gov’t is to become tyrannical. This is the root of the idea of balanced powers
        1. compassion – because of Jesus, throughout the centuries there was better care for the poor, sick and widows

        Atheists will try to undermine belief in God and claim to have science and reason on their side. They believe that it is foolish and unreasonable to believe in God and that miracles are impossible, but remember Christianity is dependent on miracles. There are 2 ways to confront an atheist, using reason.
        1. because something exists today, something would have always had to exist, because you cannot get something from nothing. Therefore, that something could reasonably be an eternal God.
           2.) Because even the most intelligent scientist would admit that they know only a small percentage of everything there is know. It is very reasonable to believe that God exists in what they do not know.
        A student presenting a current event...
        Adessa current event
        and another....
        sierra current event
        We have a class this friday, so I will update you on that later.
        Until next time.......