Friday, December 10, 2010

My God

1 Samuel 15:
30 Saul replied, "I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God."
31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.
Did you notice the phrase "your God" in Saul's words? I did. Saul was the man the people chose, but he made excuses for his disobedience (see verses 9-15), made rash commands that put his army at risk (remember in chapter 14 he vowed to kill his son for eating honey? His army was weak from lack of nourishment), and was great in his own eyes (1 Sam. 15:12 states he made a monument in his own honor).

There is more to that passage I quoted above, too: Saul was interested more in his standing among the people than his standing before God (verse 30).

Saul served and worshiped God, but did not draw near enough to call him "our God" or "my God." So, God chose another: David. 2 Samuel 22 (also Psalm 18) shows David repeatedly calling God, "my God," "my Lord," and so on. David made mistakes, but he did not make excuse for them. He repented out of a truly sorrowful heart. God called him a man after God's own heart (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Both men worshiped God, but only one was a friend of God. How is your relationship with God? Is he "my God" or "your God?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote November 2

Candidates in NY State



Office running for


Notes, issues, stance


Bill Small

Judge, O'burg City Court


Dan Haley

Judge, O'burg City Court




James Monroe

Judge, O'burg City Court


"I don't have an axe to grind," Mr. Monroe said. "I have been registered as an independent for the last five years."

Mr. Monroe said that as a political independent, he is not beholden to any political party or any special interests.

"I think there's too much partisan activity. It shouldn't be in the judicial system," he said.


Marcia LeMay

Judge, O'burg City Court


Mary Rain

Judge, O'burg City Court

Rep, Independence

Matt Doheny

NY State Congress



Bill Owens

NY State Congress

Patty Ritchie

NY State Senate


End gov't overspending, lower taxes.

Darrel Aubertine

NY State Senate


Campaign headquarters at 103 Ford St., O'burg, open house Sat. 10/2 at 3-4 pm

Right to bear arms

David Forsythe

NY State Assembly


Right to bear arms


Eric Schneiderman

Attorney General


Pro-choice, supports "bathroom bill", supports same-sex marriage,

branding himself as a reformer who will take on Wall Street, the corrupt New York state legislature and the insurance industry. Schneiderman is a strong opponent of the Rockefeller drug laws, which he argues needlessly put petty criminals in prison instead of treatment facilities.

Dan Donovan

Attorney General


Pro-life, rooting out corruption and fraud in our state government , keep Rockefeller drug laws (long prison penalties for small drug possession),

was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's office before getting elected district attorney of Richard County on Staten Island.

Addie Jenne Russell

NY State Assembly


Hard working farmer's daughter

Kirsten Gillibrand

US Senate



Joe DioGuardi

US Senate


Pro-life, CPA

Jay Townsend

US Senate


Charles Schumer

US Senate




Carl Paladino

(Greg Edwards)




Pro-life, (questionable morals based on forwarded emails)

Andrew Cuomo

(Robert Duffy)







More Election News:
US Senate:,_2010





Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Grassroots Movement

This message came in an email to me today:

When driving to, from, and through Frankenmuth, Michigan, I'm always intrigued with the many small simple crosses in the front yards of the homes we pass by. Those crosses are a statement of support for Frankenmuth's Christian foundation.

Two years ago an atheist living there complained about two crosses on a bridge in town. He requested that they be removed and the town removed them. He then decided that, since he was so successful with that, the city shield should also be changed since it had on it, along with other symbols, a heart with a cross inside signifying the city's Lutheran beginnings.

At that point, the residents decided they had had enough. Hundreds of residents made their opinions known by placing small crosses in their front yards. Seeing this quiet but powerful statement from the community, the man removed his complaint. Those simple crosses remain in those front yards today.

After passing those crosses for two years, it finally hit me that a small cross in millions of front yards across our country could provide a powerful and inspiring message for all Americans passing them every day. I think it might be time to take this idea across America.

We have an administration that says "we are not a Christian nation" and everywhere you look the ACLU and others are trying to remove from our history and current lives any reference to God, prayer, or the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Our administration can't bring themselves to talk about "radical Muslims or Islamic terrorists" for fear of offending them, but they can talk about Americans "clinging to their guns and their religion", or insinuate that our own military troops coming home from service overseas might turn into terrorists. The majority of Americans are Christians, why are we letting this happen to us?

It's time to stand up and make a statement..a small, quiet, but powerful statement. If you agree, place a small white crossin your front yard or garden for all to see that they are not alone. It would be a beautiful thing to see crosses all across America.

God has richly blessed America but America is falling short of returning thanks for it...we can help to change that.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Preview to Christmas Giving

This article is no longer posted on its original site online, so I have copied and pasted from the document I saved.

I don't know about you, but I yearn for every thing I do to be done with relevance and meaning. God has even stirred me to watch my words - that they be few and rich, not watered down by overuse and unimportant blather. (I still need to work on that, but I think I'm improving, with the help of the Holy Spirit.)

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh...

Begging for Myrrh
Stressed out by Christmas presents? Try this simple approach to godly gift giving.
By Trina Conner Schaetz

If you're like most Christian parents, you enter the holiday season intent on focusing your family's celebrations on the "true meaning" of Christmas. We set up our nativity sets, bake birthday cakes for Jesus, and reenact the birth of the Savior so that our children aren't confused about what Christmas is about. Some of us even choose to keep Santa out of our holiday to prevent our children from losing sight of Jesus' birth.

But Santa or no Santa, most families find that the whole gift-giving commotion ends up fizzling our focus anyway. Even if Mom and Dad try to reign in the gift explosion, kids get oodles of presents from Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Bob and Aunt Susie, friends, and even neighbors. As a result, our visions of a meaning-filled Christmas get buried under all the wrapping paper, and by December 26, we start making promises to do things better next year.

In an effort to maintain some control over the lessons learned at Christmas, my husband and I have come up with a way of giving gifts that seems to work beautifully. Maybe you've tried limiting your giving to three gifts per child to echo the three gifts Jesus received from the Magi. But our idea takes this plan a step further. The three gifts themselves symbolize those that Jesus received from the wise men: "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh" (Matt. 2:11).

On Christmas morning, our immediate family takes time to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. Each child receives three presents: one to represent gold, one to represent frankincense, and one to represent myrrh. As we open them, we talk about the special significance behind the gifts that Jesus received, and how they symbolize Jesus as King, as God, and as Savior.

Gifts of Gold
When Jesus was born, gold was even more valuable than it is today. It was a gift that was fit for a king or someone of the highest regard. What a great symbol it was for Jesus to receive such an offering from the wise men, as he is indeed the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Not only did the gold gift signify Jesus' kingly position, but in their book, Gifts for the King, (published by Priscilla and Aquilla Ministries and available at, Bill and Leah Miller suggest that the gold may also have helped Mary and Joseph escape Bethlehem. It may have paid for the family's expenses and protection while they traveled secretly to Egypt to flee King Herod.

This Christmas, explain to your children how the wise men's gift of gold was significant to Jesus and his family. Then give each child her own "gold" gift. The present should be something of great importance to suggest how valuable your child is to your family.

Gold gifts often end up being our most expensive presents. For example, a gold gift might be the bicycle a child has been dreaming about, the CD player she has been saving for, or a piece of jewelry that seems appropriate. For an extra treat, wrap the "gold" gift in shiny gold paper with iridescent gold bows or ribbons.

Gifts of Frankincense
Frankincense is a white resin or sap taken from the wounds of a tree found in East Africa and Southern Arabia. Today, frankincense is known for its antiseptic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. No wonder people in ancient times begged for it. It was probably one of the ancient world's first "cure-all" medicines, healing everything from infections to headaches. Surely Mary and Joseph could use the gift of frankincense with a new baby around.

Frankincense was also a sacred substance. In Exodus 30:34-37, God specifically requests that frankincense be used as sacred incense in his Temple and forbids the Israelites to use frankincense for anything besides his religious purposes. God commanded the Israelites to place frankincense in front of the Tent of Meeting to scent the place where he had promised to meet with them.

Years after that temple was destroyed, God sent his own Son, Jesus, to be a symbolic "Tent of Meeting" for all people. How appropriate, then, that the wise men brought frankincense as a gift for Mary's baby. Jesus had become our Emmanuel: God with us.

With that in mind, your child's "frankincense" gift should correspond with the way he "meets" with God. For example, you could give your child a new study Bible, a devotional book, a journal, or worship CD as a frankincense gift. A younger child might enjoy a Christian video or CD of children's praise songs. Eventually, your children will be able to identify the ways they most enjoy spending time with God and will be able to suggest future ideas for their frankincense gifts. As a symbolic touch, decorate frankincense presents with bright white paper and bows to represent the sacred white incense that Jesus received.

Gifts of Myrrh
Like frankincense, myrrh is also a resin taken from a special tree; however, rather than being white, myrrh is a dark, earthy color and has a rich aroma. In ancient times myrrh was used to scent anointing oils, perfumes, and embalming liquids. Today you can still find myrrh added to some soaps, oils, and lotions.

Miller notes that myrrh was more costly than gold or frankincense because it was needed for the sacred embalming process before a person's burial. Still, it seems strange to offer an embalming liquid as a gift to celebrate a baby's birth. But when you consider that Jesus was born to eventually die for our sins, the symbolism behind the treasured gift of myrrh becomes easier to understand. John 19:39-40 confirms that Nicodemus did, in fact, anoint Jesus with myrrh as part of his burial preparation.

I am not, however, suggesting that you give your child a gift suitable for her funeral. Instead, remind your children that even though Jesus started out as a little baby, he was sent to die on the cross to take the punishment for each of our sins. Then, as a family, be thankful for Jesus' sacrifice.

For a "myrrh" gift, present each child with something to "anoint" her body. For instance, you might give scented bath soaps, perfume or cologne, lotion, or shampoo. For younger children, choose colorful bath bubbles or playful tub soaps. To stretch your options a little farther, consider buying combs, hair products, comfy towels, or even make-up if it's age appropriate. If you look hard enough, you might even find something made with real myrrh. Wrap the myrrh gift with earth-toned paper to represent myrrh's rich dark color.

The Real Gift
With a little creativity, these three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh will help remind your children that Jesus is our King of kings, our Emmanuel, and our Sacrificial Lamb. When the extended family arrives bearing even more gifts, your children will already be focused on Christ and be able to receive additional presents gratefully and graciously. They might even enjoy telling other relatives about their "wise men"gifts.

Have fun with this approach. Your kids might not get it at first, but as the years go by, it will become a treasured family tradition; it has for us. No matter how many gifts come flooding through your door, the three gifts will help your whole family remember that the most important gift given on that first blessed Christmas came not from the wise men, but from God: the gift of his Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Trina Conner Schaetz will celebrate the holidays with her family in Wisconsin.

Copyright © 2002 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian Parenting Today magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Christian Parenting Today.
Winter 2002, Vol. 15, No. 2, Page 30

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Word in Season

Sylvia Evans visited our church this weekend. Friday evening, she ministered the word - logos and rema - to the church's elders and deacons and their spouses. She had a 'calling up' word for John, and a confirming and commissioning for me centered around Isaiah 50:4.

Saturday, she ministered to the ladies of our church in a similar manner. How blessed they were! (How blessed I was, too, because in many cases, as I was in my seat praying for each woman sitting before Sylvia, God gave me a picture that often matched something Sylvia spoke prophetically for that woman. I didn't always understand the picture's meaning, but she ended up explaining it. I pray the Lord refines His gift in me, enlarging it, so I can be His voice to speak the Word of life to the weary.)

It was a wonderful weekend! I am excited to see how God will do His work in us as we study the Word and walk in it.

Waken my ear, Lord, and give me the tongue of the learned. Help me only to speak what You reveal, and wait for Your timing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Freedom of Worship

Ground Zero.

Since 9/11, every American knows this term. It has taken on a new life since that day. Before that day, it meant "the point on the Earth's surface where an explosion occurs" (Wiki). Today, it evokes memories of a specific day and place in NY City where the World Trade Center towers used to stand.


We all have pictures in our minds that match terms, and mosque is no exception. When you hear or read the word, "mosque," what do you picture?

Something like this?

Or this?

But, what if it looked like this:

This is a picture of the abandoned Burlington Coat Factory store that Muslims in NY City want to convert into a mosque. This building on this street is not visible from Ground Zero. They are not proposing tearing it down to build minarets and domes, they simply want to remodel it. (This is what I heard from a student who lives near that neighborhood.)

Additionally, it will not be exclusively a place of Muslim worship and prayer, but a community center open to the public of any religion or none, with YMCA type offerings such as a pool and gym.

We get tripped up over words, and the images those words evoke.

What about the word "church"?

If you live in New England, you may picture something like this:

If you are Catholic, perhaps this image:

Would you picture this:

or this:

What about this:

Now to address the subject of the Christian church that wanted to rebuild on or near Ground Zero, but was refused...

Interestingly, I found this story, posted just yesterday:

It is short, so please go read it. I am not clear on whether the church was refused permission to build, or simply could not come up with a solid building plan before a deadline. Feel free to do your own research on this and let me know what you come up with.

With all this in mind, I have to say that I have changed my opinion on the Ground Zero Mosque subject - I support it. I would be a hypocrite not to. I feel strongly that this country was founded upon the desire and need to worship God the way conscience tells you to, in spite of the disagreement of many over what that should be like. Freedom of worship is a basic tenet of this country's heritage, and should remain so.

Friday, August 13, 2010

When silence is not golden

Psalm 32:
1 Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. "Selah"
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. "Selah"
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.

Verse 3 isn't speaking of just not talking -- David here is talking about when we choose to ignore our sin and leave it un-confessed before God. Sin that is not dealt with works death in us, spiritually.

Romans 5:
21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.

So, let's talk to God, tell him our sins, faults of character, bad habits, attitudes, and everything that wants to hide from the light of the Word. Let the Word shine in our hearts; His blood was shed for just such a purpose - to heal all our wounds and sins, making us pure and whole, covering us with garments of righteousness.

Ephesians 5:
11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Please don't be afraid of the Lord's anger. All His anger was taken out on our Lord Jesus when he suffered on the cross for us. He is no longer angry with us, if we humbly come before Him in our weakness.

He will give you strength to overcome!

1 John 2:13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.

Psalm 32:11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Yes, rejoice, because you are clean!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ministry from Every Place in Life

Every place you are in life - is exactly where you should be right now. This is your place to minister the love of Christ, to shine as light in the darkness, and to season the world around you.

Every place does not necessarily feel like a good place to be. You may have made a poor decision that got you into a hard place. Perhaps you even fell victim to a circumstance beyond your control, like an illness or loss of job. None of these means necessarily that you are outside of God's favor and blessing over your life. God can use and bless you anywhere you are!

Joseph was blessed by God in the prison, and forgotten by the very ones whom he helped using God's gift on his life.

Gen. 40:
14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.
15 For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon."

The very place he was in - as unjust as it was - turned out to be the best place of all, because he saved an entire nation from starvation ... and ultimately, the very dreams that put him in harm's way became true.

Psalm 31:
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight!" Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memory Day

A husband lost this weekend.
A marriage celebrated.
A son called home from a Middle Eastern country.
Red, white, and blue and a parade.
Zoo for two little pairs of eyes. Snake skins, feathers, turtles, black bear, bald eagle, and turkeys.
Two shirts for $5.
Family time.

Sorrow always seems to mix with joy. Each dulls the other's effects just a tad.
Lord, be with those who have lost loves this week. Let us truly be your love to the world - bearing the burdens of the weary and weak, giving comfort where needed.

I am thankful for the honor that my friends and neighbors give to our troops, including son #3 in Afghanistan. He reports it is quite hot there most days. We have a list of requests, which we were unable to fulfill. By the time we got to Sam's Club, it had closed. Perhaps we will be able to return later this week.

Back to work in the morning. One last prom this weekend will keep us busy. After that, some less busy days mixed with busy wedding weekends will keep us on the up and down. It's a fun season, though. I love my job, and all that I get to do to make sure celebrations of life, death, milestones, joys, and sorrows are marked with beauty.

It's all part of life. Still, one day ... all tears will be wiped away ... there will be no more night, for He will be our light ... no more sorrow or pain ... and forever with Him I will stay.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is Random

I had a great time with some lovely ladies last night, from a church I miss fellowshipping with. I missed you, Nancy! One of these days, I want to tour your new kitchen ... and maybe take a kayak trip with you ... wouldn't that be fun?

On the way home, I heard an old Petra song: Praying Man. It brought me back to my college days.

My new bluetooth device talks to me. I picked the 'Hero' voice. I'll let you listen if you ask me.

Oh, and if you hear me talking out loud to nobody in particular - it's okay. This is corsage season. My ramblings may sound something like, "Three white sweets ... tipped navy blue ... navy bow ... gemstone wristlet ... heart gems ... glitter ... now, where is this bow? ... ahhh ..." I will be back to myself in a few weeks. I love making the corsages, but sometimes I get stressed about the details. Most girls only get one prom at the most, and pictures last a long time. It needs to be perfect!

I guess that's all for now.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hawaii: Day 1

Today we visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu.

This first photo is of our hotel lobby. Notice there are no doors separating inside from outside. The tropical ocean breezes flow easily through the lobby. The temperature is so moderate and steady that there is no need for protection from the weather. Even when it rains, it doesn't last more than a few minutes. Such heavenly atmosphere!

We enjoyed a pineapple whip in waffle cones at the plantation. The $5 for the garden tour was well worth it.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

About the Surgery

Yesterday, I had laparoscopic surgery to explore where my endometriosis was. Reportedly, the surgery went well, some of the stray endometriosis was removed, plus I had a tubal ligation, and probably a D&C.

Aside from feeling a bit sore today, I'm doing well. I'm slightly light-headed still, and my mouth is very dry from an anti-nausea patch that is still behind my left ear. I'll take that off in a few hours. My headache persists, and I'm thinking it's a side-effect from the general anesthesia, as well as air pockets near my shoulders pushing on those muscles that tend to give me headaches when stressed.

My Pastor brought me a gorgeous phaelenopsis orchid plant - a gift from our church. It's beautiful, and I'll probably post a picture of it soon.

To everyone who has followed me this year, praying and encouraging and supporting me: thank you ever so much! I truly feel the hand of God holding me up through the love you're sending my way. Thank you more than words can say.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lots of appointments

Add one more thing to this month's procedures:

It's the freezing of the uterine lining with the purpose of reducing its thickness, thereby lessening the heavy bleeding, cramping, and blood clot problems that I have had.

So, this month is rather full of appointments, meetings, and procedures ... it's a good thing I have Google calendar on my 'Droid to help me keep it all straight ... from hair, eyes, surgery, massage, meetings with worship team, Bible study, mammogram, doctors ... and that's just my schedule - John has his own agenda I have to work around, because many of these require his attendance, too.

Many, many thanks to all my friends who continue to pray for me, ask me how I am feeling, and give hugs and smiles so freely!

Prayer points:
~ peace concerning March 16 surgery and March 26 cryoablation, as well as skill for the doctors and others attending to me
~ rise in iron levels in my blood, with a renewed energy level (fatigue is my only complaint about my health right now)
~ health to my eyes, with lower intra-ocular pressure, no vision/eye damage from glaucoma
~ good night's sleep - as tired as I am, I often don't sleep well. Sometimes pain, sometimes insomnia, sometimes a snoring spouse keep me from sleeping restfully.

Psalm 4:8 - I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My prayer in the fire

Well, another thing to think about just popped up today ... or, I should say, was just uncovered today.

Today was my appointment with an OB/Gyn. This is step 5 of my 5 instructions from the oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. (Steps 1-3 are scheduled, but not completed.)

I have Endometriosis. Of this, the doctor is so certain that he would stake his practice on it. A laparoscopy has been scheduled to check on its severity and scope. He may be able to laser it away while he is in there. This will be an outpatient procedure and is scheduled for March 16. I've asked him to do a tubal ligation while he's at it. (I might as well, since hormonal birth control is out of the question for the rest of my life because of my hepatic adenomatosis.)

I am tending to feel like I'm falling apart ... again. I felt this way in 2000, when I had two parents die of cancer, two wisdom teeth removed, ulcerative colitis, almost lupus, and a lump removed from my salivary gland. The OB/Gyn recommended asking for a referral to a neurologist for my migraines (to rule out any more serious conditions that a family doctor may not catch). I think I'll wait until next month for that. I'm not sure I can handle more bad news.

Sheesh, now I'm sounding overly dramatic.

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me, Lord, through the flame

I will bring praise, I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice, I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

~ from Desert Song, by Hillsongs

Friday, February 26, 2010

Things I am thankful for today:

  • being able to work, and having a great job, even though I'm tired at the end of the week
  • new tires on the van
  • a cuppa North Country Morning at a favorite Cafe'
  • two sweet little ones having a sleepover at our house!
  • a few minutes with my feet up before bed
  • the music in my heart and mind - taking me to the throne room any time I want to visit

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Blogger, old blogger

It grieves me that I have to sign up for a new Blogger account now that I have an official gmail address.

I will no longer be able to edit my old Blogger, because I've deleted the old gmail account that was associated with my home email address. I am trying to consolidate so that everything is connected to ONE gmail account. I wish there were an easier way.

I guess that's all for now.