Thursday, December 25, 2008

To All My Friends and Visitors


A day to celebrate the gift that can never be matched. A day to reflect on what parts of our lives still need to be given to Him. A day to remind us what we should remember every day of the year.

P.S. Every year I wish I had put together a Christmas letter to send out (like the Parunak's, thank you) - ah, well, maybe next year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Year End Summary

As Mary posted on last week's Show and Tell, testimonies should be easy to pull together when we are asked to do so. Generally, every Sunday evening our church has a personal testimony by someone - this past Sunday was my turn. I thought I would share the Top Ten list here:

Things I have learned (or am learning)...

#10. ...that my little blonde shadow (the Duck) recycles what she sees in me and sometimes it is really ugly! When I look at Matthew 19: 13 & 14, when Jesus is scolding the disciples for keeping the children away from him, I can't help but recognize that some of my sin can be passed onto my daughter and keep her from following Jesus freely. When I see my sarcasm or my bitter voice or my scowling look come from Duck - it breaks my heart to know that I put it there and I pray for my own self control for these areas;

#9. much damage the feminist philosophy has done in my life. I continue to learn that there is so much more contentment in God's way, James 3: 17 & 18;

#8. ...that I am never going to run out of things my life that need change, Ephesians 4:28 (let her that nagged, nag no more - let her that criticized, criticize no more - let her that manipulated, manipulate no more - etc.)

#7. ...that the more I seek to change my life in ways that are made obvious to me in scripture, the more some people will disdain me, John 15: 18 & 19. There is another nurse that I work with who takes every opportunity to express her opinion of SAHMs whenever I am within ear shot. Specifically, "anyone who is employed should make themselves available to work at all times - to h*#! with your families". Yes, you read that right.

#6. ...that everywhere I go, I am being watched. The other end of the spectrum when I work outside the home is that some staff members are genuinely curious about the choices I have made for life. One woman (non-Christian), who is my partner at work 80% of the time will shoot odd questions at me, at odd times. One day out of the blue, she asked me "do you ever swear?" (nurses are worse than sailors). Another day, she started a conversation with, "so, I've started reading the Bible...", and has had several questions about the scriptures since that time. Thankfully, I have been able to answer her questions about scripture or with scripture, 1 Peter 3:15.

#5. ...that chocolate is not the answer to everything...a very sad revelation. When I read 1 Corinthians 10:31, I cannot honestly say that I eat for His glory. In fact, most of the time, I eat strictly for my own pleasure. Because of that choice, I wear my sin in the form of too much weight.

#4. ...that making my grocery list during Sunday morning sermon is probably not the best use of time. I have been examining how I spend my time each day and looking for areas for improvement, i.e. do I need to use the computer everyday?, what time do I need to start my day?, is Duck getting my full attention during school?, etc. Ephesians 5:16

#3. talk less and listen more, EVEN WHEN I KNOW I'M RIGHT! That challenge is the strongest when applied to conversations with my husband - but I believe the Lord has held my tongue for me many times. Ephesian 4:29; Proverbs 10:19 - which leads into the next one.

#2. let my husband make his own decisions. He may have things to learn, too, but he doesn't need me as his teacher. Proverbs 31 talks about a man who can "safely trust" in his wife. That means he can tell her his thoughts and plans and decisions without fear of criticism or complaints - I want my husband to have this security in me.
If we look at the qualifications of bishops and deacons in 1 Timothy 3, it can't be ignored that the wife's behaviour is also noted - why? Because if a man is going to be strong leader, his wife has to stay out of the way.

1. ...that I can open my bubble, even though I will be disappointed or hurt by those I let into my world. What brings me to this conclusion? John 14:27 and Psalms 62:5.

And how was your year?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Eyes of Nine

This is very late, but it is posted with much love...
There's beauty in the eyes of nine,
The way they have a lovely shine.
But not just in how they appear,
With their blue/green sparkle so very clear.

The beauty comes from what they see,
It can be so different from you and me.
The interpretation of the world around,
Can be far better than those who surround.

Eyes of nine are still amazed,
With God's creation found these days.
They aren't blinded by the bitterness that comes with years,
Or distracted from the glory that is so clear.
The eyes of nine laugh without sound,
With a heart full of love for those around.
Such a blessing the gift of sight, this time
Looking through the eyes of nine.
Happy birthday to my little Duck, December 2, 1999
My wish for you - Psalm 27:14. Look it up!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Definately Winter

I realize Canada is known for the snow...but do we really have to live up to that reputation? These are shots around house from Wednesday's storm.

What do homeschool kids do for snow days? Get started on the annual snow fort, of course. Why should public school kids be the only ones to get the day off?

It may look like it took awhile to find the car, but that's all part of the fun!

This is the view looking down the hill from our driveway. You will notice their aren't too many people who attempt to drive in this weather even after the plow has been by the street. The stop sign before the green house is the challenge for the season. And how is your weather?

For more Show and Tell, go see Mary.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

When I was making the transition from full time, oustide-the-home employment to being full time in the home, I had some strange thinking patterns.

a) I used to think it would be great to sleep in whenever I wanted. Now when I do choose to sleep past 8:30 a.m., I pay for it all day long playing catch up,

b) I used to think, "what will I do with all my time?". Now I look at the clock at 3 p.m. and wonder where the time went,

c) I used to think my husband would never be able to handle all the responsibilities afforded to him as the head of the house. Now I praise him for his accomplishment and give thanks that he is willing and capable to do it,

d) I used to think that boredom would be a problem for me as a SAHM. Now I covet moments where I can 'do nothing', even for a few minutes.

e) I used to think I would appreciate still having a part time job outside of the home to get away. Now I find any amount of time spent working outside of my home is inconvenient and interfers with the routine and organization of my home,

f) I used to think that my executive experience would lead me to be efficient, organized and on top of all my home and school plans. Now I know I can't treat my husband and daughter like my employees and I need to be more flexible with my plans,

g) I used to think that 'housewives' must have limited intelligence. Now I struggle with fixing kitchen appliances, grade 4 math, and cooking a turkey safely - never mind remembering to get the garbage out to the curb on time,

h) I used to think I had everything figured out to be a success as a SAHM. Now I know I will never know it all, there will always be something more to learn and improve on within myself.

i) I used to think that if being a SAHM became unbearable, I always had a career to fall back on. Now I know my life as a SAHM will be what I make out of it - and I take that challenge to build my home very seriously.

For those who are just coming home full time, or those who have been there for awhile, I hope you share in the desire to persevere, to learn and to grow as wives, moms and women.

So teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.
Proverbs 90:12

Friday, November 21, 2008

Growing Gracefully

Claiming to be a Christian comes with alot of responsibility on our part. We are called to be peculiar people - that means we should be different. Different in the way we behave, the way we raise our children, the way we manage our marriages, and so on. It also means we, as Christians, should be analyzing ourselves for areas in need of change for God's glory (Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31). And, let's face it, there is always going to be something in our lives that has room to change and grow. It really is a necessity.

The book of Ephesians, as a whole is a great book to study the subject of change. To take each chapter, each verse and pull it apart can be tedious, but it is worth it. Paul wrote this book when he was imprisoned. His God-given wisdom surrounding the need for change is given with first hand experience. In chapter 2, Paul describes the conversion experience in which all Christians share.

And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Ephesians 2:1-5 (additions mine)

This conversion, this change, is the saving grace from God. We have no choice in the matter (John 21:18). God does the changing in us, for us.

Our eyes have been opened so that we may see outside of ourselves. Paul talks about the standards to which Christians should hold themselves up against in chapter 4. Specifically, we should have change from our former life.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ; (before salvation)
Ephesians 4:17-20 (additions and emphasis mine)

Going right into verses 21 & 22 clearly states that now we are hearers of the truth. Therefore seeing and hearing the truth should cause us to want to change our lifestyle for our Saviour's sake.

If so be that ye have heard him and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (after salvation)
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Ephesians 4:21 & 22 (addition mine)

Let's talk about the free will we are given. The term 'putting off' in verse 22 is talking about an act of change that we must do ourselves. This is where true 'free will' comes into play - AFTER we are saved. We must decide to follow the will of the Lord.

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Ephesians 4:23

If we are to be renewed in our minds, we must consider what we are choosing to feed it. Are we choosing to read, watch and speak Godly things? Or, do we choose to continue to read, watch and speak worldly things. Because after all, we should 'put on the new man':

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Ephesian 4:24

AND, we should be prepared to work hard at the changes. How?

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Matthew 7:7&8

God is faithful to lead us if we constantly seek His will in every area of our lives. Why should we seek His will?

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in therat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Matthew 7:13-17

To whom are we choosing to read, watch and speak? If not God, who are we choosing to follow?

Turning back to Ephesians 4, verse 27 should be like an arrow to the heart of Christians choosing to keep one foot in worldly ways.

Neither give place to the devil. (4:27)

The devil only needs a small crack in a Christian's life to create a huge chasm. Satan picks and chisels away at that crack so as to be unnoticeable. For example;

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world:
Philippians 4:14&15

Perhaps as a Christian woman, I am obeying in appearance by serving in my church. However, my spirit is grumbling about it. That grumbling will make it's way to the surface for all to see. Whether it is the bitter look on my face or the misery of my attitude. The witness I should have as an obedient server is destroyed by the grumblings. Satan chipped away at that crack until the glory for God was destroyed.

Going back to Matthew 7:17;
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
What does our tree look like? In our 'free will' are we choosing to follow the world's way or God's way in the different areas of our life? Is there noticeable change on display for God's glory?

Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:28-32

Choosing to be different is our witness. Choosing to change is the standard. Philippians 2:12 tells us to work our your own salvation with fear and trembling. Why? Because the change is our choice; choosing to seek God so that He may worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Repeat - His good pleasure, not ours.

How do we start? With verses like Ephesians 4:28:

Let him that stole, steal no more

And applying it to our specific needs:

Let her that gossiped, gossip no more;
Let her that manipulated, manipulate no more;
Let her that dishonoured her husband, etc.

Christians can fit into two categories. Those who choose to seek Him and those who choose to nail Christ to the cross repeatedly. Those who fight through the trials and temptations and choose righteousness, and those who choose to sit back on the assurance of salvation and avoid change. Saying "God will forgive me" is not an excuse for willful sin (Romans 6:1-6).
God does not turn a blind eye to those who choose to struggle. He provides them the strength to fight (Phillipians 4:19). And, of course, there is a reward.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:7

Growing in Christ isn't easy. If it was, everyone would do it. Choosing the hard things, choosing the narrow path, is truly a glory to God. Examining our lives daily, dissecting our choices, and refusing the world's way is a standard for which all Christians should reach.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the work, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and staightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James 1:22 - 26

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Easy Recipe

Not too long ago, I told everyone about our household use of kefir. I use it in pretty much any recipe as a substitute milk, yogurt and sour cream. So, I thought it would be appropriate to show off one of the more popular items on my monthly menu. It is easy to make and well liked by all ages - so far.

Broccoli Fettucine:
1 bunch of broccoli
2 tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can chicken broth
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 cup plain yogurt (or kefir)
6 cups cooked fettucine

1) cut up broccoli in bite size pieces and steam:2) saute onion and garlic in butter, add soup and pepper here;
3) add both cheeses, mix until melted;4) stir in yogurt (kefir), broccoli;

5) finally, mix all in casserole dish with noodles;

Bake covered casserole at 350 degrees F x 30minutes (until bubbly).

My husband is not a vegetable lover, but he often requests this supper. Add some garlic bread to the plate and no one will leave hungry!

For an excellent dessert using kefir, click here.

Happy cooking!

For more Show and Tell, go here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Christian Dog

Okay, obviously I'm being facetious - but Pokey's favourite day is Sunday. Now there are many comparisons to a Christian that I could make with my dog - his unlimited and unconditional love, his longsuffering with children, his habit of joining us for family prayer, not to mention his inability to fight temptation...but today let's stick with his love of the Lord's day.
Pokey knows that Sunday is the day that everyone is going to be home together for most of the day. In fact, he seems to know from the time the day breaks that it is Sunday. He sleeps in with us and then after he has done his morning 'business', goes right back to bed. He takes the fact that it is to be a day of rest very seriously.

In our home, we attend both the morning service and the evening service. So when we arrive home at noon, Pokey is bright eyed and ready for an afternoon of pajamas, snacks and naps - right up his alley. When we start getting dressed for the evening service, he keenly watches from his spot on the bed - again, he seems to know the routine.

Sunday evening is the best part for all of us. Snuggled into our spots in the livingroom. Sometimes we read, sometimes we watch movies. Pokey is right with me in my recliner - his spot is on the raised footstool. Snoring ensues from this little furry body as he is blissfully content in his home. Remembering to keep the Sabbath day holy one commandment he could actually preach on with zest!

Ah, the life of a dog. Especially on Sunday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Something's Missing

One of my favourite hobbies is digging through recipe books and magazines in order to find new ideas for our menu. For some reason, that part of me has never made it to the blog. Today I will rectify that oversite! And where else would we start than with chocolate?

This cake is a no-fail dessert. It is moist and chocolatey - more so than any other recipe I have tried before. Enjoy!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar 2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour 1 cup milk (or kefir)
3/4 cup cocoa 1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp baking pwdr. 2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. salt

- combine all dry ingrdients in large bowl,
- add all wet ingredients EXCEPT boiling water and beat x 2 minutes until smooth (batter will be thick)
- stir in boiling water (batter will become thin)
- pour into greased cake pans (2 x 9" round, or 2 x 8" square, or 11 x 13 pan)
- bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit x 30 minutes (use knife test to check middle)
- cool completely and frost

Perfect Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup hard margarine
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup milk (or kefir)
1 tsp. vanilla

- melt margarine and stir in cocoa
- take off heat and add icing sugar, milk and vanilla
- beat until smooth, adding additional milk if needed
- cool slightly for thickening

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Calling All Blogger Experts

Okay, today I'm doing something a little different for Show and Tell - I am showing and telling you of my ignorance!

Please, please, please tell me what some of the short form texts mean. Often I read blog posts, and then the comments, but the short form text messages leave me wondering what I'm reading!

I have figured out some of them (e.g. LOL - laugh out loud, BTW - by the way) but my knowledge is limited. Also, I am hesitant to use any of them as I do realize that some could be profane.

So, I am humbly asking for the more experienced bloggers to let me in on the lingo - please?
For more S&T, visit here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Taming the Tongue Is Only the Beginning

For a long time my tongue was my worst enemy. After many years of using sarcasm as a defense (and an offense), the wall of tactfulness between my brain and my mouth no longer existed. As soon as snide, biting comments reared their ugly head they automatically escaped my lips. There wasn't an argument I couldn't win with harsh truths and back handed insults.

Even after being dragged out of 'old man world' into salvation, I continued with this character trait. It was the truth I was speaking after all - the cold, hard truth. If others were offended by the truth, well 'that was their problem, not mine".

My husband was the first to start giving me some of my own medicine. Pointing out how offensive my mouth could be to others. Like alot of husbands, his wife's harshest 'truths' were reserved for him. I would say discouraging and critical things to him...all in the name of truth. One day he deflated me with a simple statement, "You may be right, but it would be alot more helpful if you were my cheerleader rather than my coach." Ouch.

Being right and speaking the truth was hurting the hearers. At which point, no one was listening to me anymore. I began to pray and study over the passages I found in scripture regarding the tongue, i.e. Proverbs 15:1,4; Proverbs 17:28 and alot more!

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
1 Cor. 13:1
Slowly I learned to hold my tongue. There have been successes and failures. But God is merciful and He is faithful to finish this good work He has started. There has been a significant change in my conversation and a much improved ability to hold the sarcasm back from my lips. The sounding brass and tinkling cymbal was muzzled.

Then, recently, He had me read the verses that followed:
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1 Cor. 13:2&3 (emphasis mine)
Rats! Still more learning to do. Now, not only do I need to tame my tongue, but the heart behind it, as well. It isn't enough that my mouth is clamped shut if the 'sounding brass' is still resounding in my heart. I have had to realize that the action of obedience without the love, holds no glory for Him. The lack of love is also transparent to those around me - if not right away, in time. My witness is affected by the lack of love in accomplishing the duties of a Christian woman.
I continue to work toward allowing the love that the Lord and His Son have given to me (freely and without hesitation) to be shown to those around me. Surely as I study His Word and grow closer to Him through His Son, the love I continue to receive will overflow - as it is meant to!
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

Twenty years ago I could play the piano.

Yes, I took lessons and did accomplish a 4th grade diploma in the Royal Conservatory of Music (that's actually pretty high). Yes, I took part in recitals and dallied in a garage band. But, more than that, I could sit at the piano, look at a piece of music and play it after only a few minutes of study. My teachers always commented on my natural talent; fellow music students expressed their envy of my abilities.

Then I quit.

Just stopped playing the piano altogether. There were better things to do with my time than sitting at the keyboard (none of these better things fit into the category of godly pursuits - and that is the most detail I will put into that). But, I found no joy in the playing - it came too easy without a purpose. My vanity in the ease of playing led me to walk away.

Now, at 30-something, I am trying to teach my daughter to appreciate the natural talent she appears to have at the keyboard. Problem is, I can't just sit and play anymore. Now, with the obvious loss of a multitude of brain cells, I must sit and study and practice - and then study some more. I even became excited one day at a thrift shop because I found some Royal Conservatory of Music books, "Great! This will help me get back on the horse." Not quite that easy. Not easy at all.

How can something that was second nature to me then be so foreign to me now! The notes that my eyes recognize just won't come out of my fingers like they used to come out.

I started to think that this isn't just about age, although that does have something to do with it. More than that, it is about what I put my energy into. The things that come naturally to me are still things that I practice simply by repeatedly doing them. I played the piano everyday, sometimes several times a day. But this isn't just about playing an instument.

This can also be applied to behaviours. I can be pretty good at grumbling and complaining because I repeatedly did it over the years - practiced it we could say. In the book of Proverbs we can read about women who are brash, argumentative and just plain nasty and it reminds me of how easy it is to be that woman because I have practiced these traits over the years. Thankfully these days, because God has shown me my sin, I have seent the need to practice NOT grumbling and complaining and NOT being the nasty woman described in Proverbs. It is only with this practicing that I will ever be the Proverbs 31 woman - the Ruby.

As a closing note (no pun intended) the piano is coming, very slowly, with a lot of retraining. My husband has commented a few times about enjoying the hymns that are now recognizable.

So now, even with the hard work to re-learn this skill (or maybe because of the hard work), we have determined that our piano and the music that comes from it will be to His glory. I can no longer accomplish this skill in and of myself, now I can heartily give the glory to God for any and every achievement made at the keyboard. That is the only way to succeed in all areas of my life as a child of the King.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful singing.
Psalm 100: 1& 2

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Wonderful Trip

I haven't been on-line alot this past two weeks (see my post here), but I do like to keep up with Show and Tell! So let me show you my recent trip to St. Jacobs Village. This is Mennonite country and the downtown and area are filled with fantastic shops and markets.
We stayed in a nearby village of Mary Hill at this Inn:
We were there for a bible study conference on Christian friendship, this is a picture of my hubby and I during game night - we're both so camera shy:
The trip to St. Jacobs would not be complete without visiting the well known farmer's market. It is a huge place, with seperate building for the food and craft market, a flea market, a furniture market and then an auction building, as well. These are pictures of the famous cinnamon bun baker - she's been there for years and has a great product:
Finally, how often do you see a full rainbow like this? We stopped on the side of the road to get the shot - a wonderful trip from beginning to end.
For more S&T, go here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love kefir!

This is a show and tell about one of my new favourite things...kefir. Kefir grains, actually. If you have never heard of kefir, you are truly missing out on a simple way to improve on your nutrition. I first heard of kefir from a post on Biblical Womanhood and I was very intrigued. So my research began.
I came across this site and it answered all my questions & then some! Kefir is a substitute for milk and yogurt (and sometimes sour cream) as it is high in calcium with a greater value in phosphorus and B12 vitamins. It holds the beneficial bacteria and yeasts for our digestive tracts and, even though milk is used in the process, it is lactose free with a high content of folic acid (this actually increases with over-ripening).
Here is my set up for 'kefiring'. I use a glass bowl set out in the kitchen:It sits and ferments (about 1 cup of milk for every tbsp. of kefir grains) until it becomes thick and frothy - like curds and whey. Then it is strained in a sieve, letting the 'whey' go down the drain:Then the 'curds' or kefir remaining is sifted into my refrigerator container:Until just the kefir grains are left in the sieve: Then I place the grains back into the bowl and refill it with milk to ferment again. The grains do grow as they feed on the milk and eventually there is enough to share with someone else who wants to give it a try or simply eat them - some people scramble them up with eggs, but I prefer to blend them and add to recipes along with the kefir liquid.

I use the kefir liquid in a multitude of recipes - specifically, most times when milk, yogurt or sour cream is called for, I substitute kefir.
Most of the time I make my breakfast smoothie with it. These are the final products - one pumpkin smoothie (think pumpkin pie in a glass) and one banana smoothie. Now, the pumpkin smoothie is just because I had some canned pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving.

The banana smoothie has become my traditional breakfast and occasionally I add other fruits for variety, e.g. any fruit in the house that is getting too ripe or if I happen to get a good deal on something in groceries.

There is alot more you can learn about kefir if you google the word - including other nutritional values and also the history behind it. It is a very cool product that gives me some peace of mind about the vitamins, minerals and probiotics my family is getting from it and it has cut both yogurt and sour cream out of my grocery budget!
For more show and tell go here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Falling Down

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
Psalm 37:23&24
Have you ever felt the the water rising above your chin?
'They' say that drowning is a relatively calm way to die but I doubt 'they' ever talked to drowning victims. I am anything BUT calm these days as I feel pulled in multiple directions. The laundry is behind, the dirty dishes seem to procreate on my kitchen counter, we're procrastinating in school, the house is not meeting my standards for organization, Duck is pushing my patience buttons because she wants my attention, the dog is driving me nuts because he hasn't had a good run in days...
How did this happen?! I have a flexible schedule and I see myself as pretty responsible for completing the duties I lay out for myself.
But then...there was our extended vacation - fantastic time, but more time than I expected.
And then...there was the Ladies' Lunch & Study at church - I really enjoy putting together the bible study for the month, but did spend a little extra time creating a new format.
And then...there is the adult's conference coming up - I really enjoy helping my hubby get his presentation in order, but I also had to schedule my nursing shifts close together to get the time off for that trip.
And pastor requested some new labels for the singing team's CD - I am happy to help my computer illiterate leader, but I also had to run to the store when I realized I was out of paper before I could even begin making the labels.
And then...and then...and then. There always seems to be something to pull me away from my home base.
How does it happen? How do I fall behind on everything? Very easily, actually. All the things mentioned above have value in their accomplishment. However, when I am staying up until 2 a.m. each night and getting up at 8 a.m. to start all over again (and when I start getting crabby with my husband and daughter because I am lacking in sleep and feeling rushed) then it's time to re-evaluate.
And, I did just that.
I took to heart the blessing on the night I came home from work and my lovable husband and Duck had already cleaned my kitchen for me.
I took to heart the blessing that there is enough food in my house I can make good meals in a short time.
I took to heart the blessing of having enough clothes in our closet that being a little behind in laundry doesn't really effect our days.
I took to heart the blessing of leaving the math book closed while Duck and I had fun cleaning the house together.
I took to heart the blessing that God is showing Himself to me through verses like the one above.
Just when I feel the water rise above my chin, He graciously lifts me higher and lets me breathe. As He lifts me, I can see my priorities better and get them in line. Slowly, each day the water is beginning to recede.
This new week gives me four days at home before our conference and those fours days are a tremendous blessing of fresh air. When I give my time to Him and I am never disappointed. When I feel myself fall down, I know the Lord is right there to lift me up. I never want to live any other way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Harvest from the Skies

Warning: these pictures are not for those who are made quesy easily!
As I am just cleaning out the garden for the end of the season, my husband is just starting his kind of harvest. This is his second year as a duck hunter and he really enjoys it.
This is the first year that Duck has joined him for a hunt and participated in harvesting the meat. I don't actually enjoy game meats, therefore I do not offer to harvest them! Fortunately, my man enjoys the whole process of hunting, including the part that I consider icky - keeping in mind I am a nurse and deal with lots of stuff at work that my husband considers icky, so its a personal thing.
It was fun to watch dad's version of homeschooling as he showed Duck (the blonde one!) how to find the top and bottom of the rib cage.
Next, how to expose the breast meat and make the first cut to seperate the breast from the bone and then remove it:

And finally, how to turn that into a deliciously moist roast duck breast for dinner!

This is the mallard duck breast, wrapped in bacon and seasoned with lemon pepper and coffee - roasted to a medium well!

Hungry yet?

For more Show and Tell (and likely less gruesome) go here!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Last Ruby Club Meeting

The summer seemed to fly by and suddenly we had reached our last scheduled Ruby meeting (of the six meetings we had originally planned, two had been cancelled due to vacations). We shared some of the personal growth we each had the blessing to recognize in our own lives based on the studies we had completed.

The last topic I wanted to cover involved something that pretty much all women have in their lives. In order to exemplify the issue with the Rubies, I brought a large, camping style water jug filled with water. It weighed approximately 50lbs and was a very bulky shape to hold onto for the average size adult - never mind a bunch of skinny teenager girls!

The full jug was handed to one Ruby and another Ruby was asked to look up a verse and dictate it to yet another Ruby who wrote the verse on the chalkboard:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:29&30
The jug represented all the burdens we, as Christian women, take onto ourselves unnecessarily(we will always have burdens that God does expect us to bear, i.e. following the path of righteousness in our day-to-day lives). I asked each Ruby to consider what kind of burdens they were holding onto unnecessarily at this point in their lives. We discussed how easily our energies can be drained by these burdens. For example, worrying about the choices that our friends are making; trying to organize family members and friends lives; considering how to cause a change in way their authorities behave, etc.

All women carry some burden that God has not asked them carry. The example of trying to cause a change in those around us is a BIG one - 'how can I get my husband to (?)'; 'what do I need to do to bring (?) to see the importance of (?)'

We turned our attention to the book of Nehemiah. In chapter 1 & 2, we read how God laid a concern on Nehemiah's heart for the restoration of Israel. It was a valid burden for an Israelite man, but he was a captive servant to the foreign king. And as he dealt with this new burden, we read how he immediately went to the Lord. And again, when the king noticed how sad Nehemiah was acting and asked about it, Nehemiah went to God in prayer before expressing his burden to his captor (chapter 2:4).

Would a woman have done it this way? Or would we have made a grand plan on how to 'convince' the king to help her; 'manipulate' the king with emotions; 'lie' to the king to get what she wanted?

The scripture tells us that because Nehemiah went to God first with his burden, God provided his desired outcome and alot more! The king gave Nehemiah a free pass to work on rebuilding Jerusalem, AND gave him materials for building, AND gave him members of the army as escorts, AND gave him letters to encourage others to help his cause - because the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord! Just as the hearts of our authorities is in His hand, as well.

Again we asked the questions that have formed our studies - do we care what God has to tell us? Do we really trust Him to do what is best for us - even if it isn't what we desire in our selfish hearts?

Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
Ephesians 3:20

Finally we left with the prayer that we be found faithful in our choices, in our relationships and in our witness for Him.

For the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

Saturday, October 11, 2008

List of Thankfulness

Depending on where you visit from, you may not know that this is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. As I spend my day getting my house ready for company tonight and for our family meal on Monday, these are the thoughts that came to my mind:

1. I am thankful for my sweetheart husband, who is the leader of this family and continues to grow in his leadership skill in Christ.

2. I am thankful that in that growing leadership we have the Young Adults Conforming to Christ (Y.A.C.C.) group that my husband leads and has invited for study tonight.

3. I am thankful for the bread machine that makes the pizza dough to feed YACC when they come.

4. I am thankful for the oven that has faithfully put out delicious pizza each time - even when the pizza slides off the pan onto the element and sets fire to my stove,

5. I am thankful for the oven cleaner that directs me to just spray the oven surface before I go to bed and simply wipe off the grime in the morning,

6. I am thankful for the entire bucket of rags that was needed to simply wipe off the grime,

7. I am thankful for the spatula I used to scrape, scratch and dig out the encrusted, burned remainers of the flaming pizza,

8. I am thankful for my kitchen floor, counter, backsplash, taps and cupboards that also needed to be cleaned after simply wiping off the grime of the oven racks,

9. I am thankful for my washing machine for the entire outfit that I was wearing and now needs to be soaked,

10. MOST OF ALL, I am thankful that my husband and daughter were out of the house while I dealt with the majority of this list this morning!

All kidding aside, I did need to focus on thankfulness during this little trial. It did make the task go faster and without frustration - well, without too much frustration. Now my kitchen is clean from the top down for all the cooking and baking that happens this weekend - for this I am thankful, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Top Ten Questions from Non-Homeschoolers

These are the top ten questions I get from people who don't homeschool their kids - both christian people and non:

1. Is it a church thing?

Well...the quick answer is 'no'. There are several families in our church who do not homeschool their children - for various reasons. However, it is our own walk with Christ that lead us to this conviction.

2. How organized do you have to be?

I do believe that God blessed me with the gift of organization - there are days that it fails me, though. Really, everyone has to be organized to accomplish their goals - short and long term - being a home educator isn't any different in that sense. The difference does come out when considering how much I care about completing our goals each day and caring about Duck's future goals, as well. I am putting my organizational skills into my family rather than into an employment situation.

3. What time do you get started in the morning?

The implication here is generally that we must get up at 5 a.m. to be able to accomplish a full day of school and housework. Actually, we start our day at about 8 a.m. - we do have the occasional sleep in/cuddle in mom's bed morning - those are part of the benefits of home education! The schedule I posted here keeps us on track for both school and house stuff.

4. How did you ever pick a program to follow?

There are a tremendous amount of curriculums (curriculi?) to choose from, and it can be very overwhelming to new homeschoolers. When we chose to use Rod & Staff, it wasn't because we felt the program was the most superior - in fact, I find most curriculum cover the same material in different ways - it was because this program used scripture the most. All of the lessons in reading & comprehension are based on actual scripture and I see this as a great advantage for Duck. If she is going to be reading, it might as well be biblical history.

The other thing I point out to people is, I am not tied to one curriculum. I am always seeking out new ideas, used books, etc. to incorporate in school.

5. How do you find the patience?

Hmmm. Do you like your children? Do you believe the public school teacher has any more patience just because of a pay cheque?

Sorry, slipped into my sarcasm there.

Any homeschooler will admit to trials during the week, me included! Overall, I enjoy my time at home with Duck - homeschooling is as fun and fulfilling as the parent makes it.

6. Don't you worry that your child will be unprepared for the real world?

I hope someone can tell me what the real world is soon - so I can prepare for it! As for Duck, she can socialize with any age group comfortably and with confidence. She has held little jobs already at her tender age of 8 (housekeeping for her daddy's workplace, gardening for neighbours and friends, and has babysat parrots and rabbits for friends), and has shown a good amount of responsibility in these jobs.

Quite frankly, the last place anyone will learn about the real world is in public school.

7. What about socialization?

What about it? Let's take a quick look at the socialization found in public school: negative peer pressure, bullying, profanity, conformity, feminism, promiscuity & STDs - do we need to keep asking this question people?!

8. What if she wants to go to college?

Most homeschool curriculums provide direction on completing a highschool diploma for the purposes of meeting the criteria for college and university. Most colleges and universities provide entrance exams that homeschoolers can challenge, or they have entrance criteria for 'mature students' that does not require an official diploma.

I know I have read about how universities are jumping at the chance to have homeschoolers, because they are generally successful students and it looks good on the institutions. I also know, and will teach my daughter, that success is not found in 'higher education'. That with diligence, she can turn an interest or skill into a home-based business to add support to any future family or for herself - this is the path that we are setting her on and as she matures we hope she'll follow it.

9. Are you a teacher?

Yes. I teach my child. That makes me a teacher. Did I go to university to get a teaching degree? No. So far, however, I am able to read and write along with her. I also can read instructions to teach her in each subject. Would a certified teacher be able to teach my child better? No. My child gets my full attention for learning (even a mom with eight kids gives them more one-on-one attention than in a public school class). And I have a fantastic educational assistant - he arrives home everyday about supper time!

10. Why do you do it?

Because I should. Because I can. Because she's worth it. Because no one cares more about her future than my husband and I. Because God gave me that responsibility. Because it is the best choice.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ruby Club Studies

As we continued to build on our earlier topics of mercy and confidence, the next topic we studied in the Ruby Club was designed around the term longsuffering:

LONGSUFFERING - the opposite of anger; quality of self restraint in the face of provocation vs. hostel retaliation; fruit of the spirit

Alot of times the term patience is used as interchangeable with longsuffering. When, in fact, longsuffering is more of an immediate response to an adverse situation. The times when we, as Christians need to turn the proverbial other cheek when we have been offended/attacked. It is another characteristic of God that is a necessity for Christian women.

We read through Ephesians 4:12; Colossians 3:12&13; and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Then we considered whether we were applying these scriptures to ourselves or thinking about all the other people who don't seem to follow this? We talked openly about how easy it is to see other peoples' faults while ignoring our own and how important is to take God's word to our own hearts.

Then we played a game - BANG, your dead! If we died right now, would we see that argument with our sister/brother as important? How about God honouring? Was it really worth getting frustrated with that neighbour/teacher/store clerk? Did you glorify the Lord by arguing with that fellow Christian about doctrine?

Our relationship with God will dictate our ability to relate to others around us. Our success in taking hold of the fruits of the spirit come from study, prayer and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. It is the failures/sin of those around us that give us need to practice longsuffering by applying these scriptures to our hearts.

All of the girls talked about how easy is to retaliate when they are offended by both Christians and non-christians - it comes naturally with our own sinful nature. We talked about whether any of us are practicing the spiritual things we have discovered in our studies. Are we changing in our day-to-day life? Do we want to improve our relationship with Christ through self study? Are these verses we are finding just feeling good to read or are we practicing them?

The girls that attended the studies all seemed sincere in their wish to study more. They also came across as honest about their failures in practicing what they had learned from the studies, i.e. mercy vs. judgemental; faithful vs. selfish; and now longsuffering vs. angry. It was encouraging to see them return each week with completed study materials and thoughtful questions or input for the topics.


When homeschooled kids go camping, there is always something to investigate. These salamanders were discovered under the tents when we were packing up. I found and collected three and they provided great entertainment for all the kids:

"You pick it up!" "EWW!" "There not slimy at all." "I touched it, I touched it!" "Aww, there so cute." "Do their tails come off?"

The older boys wanted to dissect, which was quickly dissauded by the moms. The little ones wanted to take them home because they "must be scared in the woods". And we had one 5 year old in tears because we put them back into the bush and he said "I already love them!"
We did come home and print out some facts about the little things - like they are called Blue Spotted Salamanders and the 'big one' probably wasn't 'mom' and the two smaller ones probably weren't married ;o)
School is everywhere!
For more show and tell, go here!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Times and Good Friends

We spent last week camping at a provincial park with our good friends. We were only intending to stay for four days and we ended up staying for nine days - that's how much fun we were having there. Our friends have six kids from age 14 down to 2.
The kids had fires from noon to midnight to cook on. We did the obligatory weiners, marshmallows and cherry pies; but we also grilled steak, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, hamburgers - we really became gourmet campers!

The kids rode bikes constantly and we actually had warm enough weather to spend two full days at the beach. The adults weren't brave enough to swim in the cold water, but they didn't care.
There were multiple volunteers to walk the dogs, whether the dogs wanted to go or not!

And, as a final note, let me quote the words of the experienced 5 year old camper pictured below: "Auntie Kim, do want to put your fire out, cause I gotta pee?"

I can't wait to go again next year!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This game is great to find new sites to visit! Janet at Grannymom's Spot tagged me for this one. Take the time to visit her site - she has some great wisdom to share on many topics.

1. link to the person who tagged you;
2. post the rules with the entry;
3. list 6 random things about yourself;
4. tag 6-ish other sites;
5. let them know they are tagged!;
6. let the tagger know when the entry is up.


1. I am a preferred vegetarian - that means that I eat meat but if I have the choice between a meat dish or a veggie, I will choose the veggie.

2. I love lists! I make lists for planning my month, week and day; for planning my groceries and school and even blogposts (I made a written list for this post before coming to the computer) - it's really a sickness.

3. I would rather be barefoot.

4. One of my favourite house jobs is laundry - I like the sense of accomplishment when the clothes are clean, folded and put away.

5. My least favourite house job is cleaning the kitchen floor (usually my loving husband will do it for me) - it only gets dirty again in a few short hours anyway!

6. I have a special chair in the livingroom that is MINE. The whole corner surround my chair is organized for sitting in my chair and having crafts to do, or books to read, or school to organize, etc. It is a great inconvenience when someone else takes the chair, but my family has been trained to stay out!

Well, that's six not-too-weird things about me. When it comes to tagging other sites, I have to say this particular tag game has reached most of the sites that I visit and they have an entry in place. Other than the sites listed on the sidebar (and Janet), I don't visit too many more. But, for the sake of sharing, I'll just list their sites for others to check them out.

1. Mrs. Parunak
2. Mary
3. Chasity

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Camping Pictures

We survived our three days in the wilderness, um, provincial park. It was raining when we arrived and had to set up the tent. It rained the whole first day, only stopping in time to go to bed (wet and sleeping in 4 degree Celsius weather). It was a good, partially sunny day-two, only starting to rain after spending $7 on dry wood and 45 minutes trying to get the fire going. It rained in torrents all through night-two, but did stop in the morning when it was time to pack up and leave.

This is a picture of our 'kitchen'. It's hard to see, but that is an abandoned vinyl table cloth we rescued from an empty campsite and used to shield our picnic table and stove. It's held precariously in place by two dead tree limbs and actually did a good job to ensure we could cook with our kerosene stove.
Please don't misunderstand me, we had a really good time! Hence the dancing you see here. For a bunch of amatuer campers, we managed to feed ourselves and stay fairly warm in the cold nights. My lovely husband was a great camp cook and my dear Duck actually went swimming in the lake that was 'refreshing' to say the least (we don't call her Duck for nothing)!
We liked it so much, we're going back this weekend. Only this time we have extra tarps and warmer sleeping bags - that should ensure it is sunny and warm, right?

Friday, September 19, 2008

They're Ba-ack!

Take a good look at these pictures and tell me what you see.

That's right, no gardening season would be complete without a visit from Bambi and his friends. Those little patches of white you see on the squash and cucumber are taste tests that occurred in my garden last Tuesday night (not a great pic of the cucumber bite - it's on the end of the one at the left of the shot). It's almost adding insult to injury when the deer decide to just take one bite from each vegetable!

I have already picked the majority of bounty from our garden, but there are still three squash, 1/2 dozen cucumbers and one honey dew melon that are maturing. So, since the visit, I have used a big tarp to cover the areas at night - this is effective for the frost warnings that are occuring, too.

So far, Bambi has not been successful at finding his way under the tarp - unfortunately he is knocking all the tomatoes off their vine in his attempts! I'm not too terribly concerned about the tomatoes as they were very poor production this year - so I will sacrifice those as long as I can bring in the squash, cucumber and melon!

As a side story, I must tell you that last year most of neighbourhood thought I was crazy - one night, at about 1 AM, I was chasing a buck down the street. I was wearing my nightie and throwing my green Croc shoes at him. Never have I been so mad at an animal, he would run about 10 feet away from me and stop to wait for me to go back in the house so he could return to my garden! Even though I won the battle that particular night, he just returned the next...sigh.

If anyone has suggestions on dissuading these monsters from my garden, I would love to hear them.

(BTW, I'm not on a country lot - our house is two minutes walking distance from downtown, and the deer still come and eat from the back yard buffet).

For more Show and Tell, go here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Gift - Exchanged

This story starts here.

Daughter and Authentic began to meet together weekly. They both talked openly about the self discipline that had kept them out of the dating scene (Romans 13:10; Hebrews 12:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6; Titus 1:15&16). Both sets of parents were directly involved as these get-togethers were held in one of their homes.

Because Authentic had spent so much time with her dad, Daughter already knew that he met the standards she had previously set for any potential spouse:

1. Authentic was a growing, born-again Christian;
2. Authentic was already involved in church and seeking to glorify God in his service there, as well as within his own family;
3. He was stable in his employment, with clear goals for the future;
4. His leadership qualities were already proven through his work with younger men and in business;
5. He had shown an understanding and commitment to follow 2 Corinthians 10:31.

These were standards that Daughter had determined over the last several years and was unwilling to accept anything less in a husband. It was very exciting to find these characteristics in Authentic. But, she made it clear to him that the authority she afforded to her dad would not be given to another man until there was certainty and trust in that man as a husband(Ephesians 5:22-29 &33).

Authentic explained his commitment to treat the girls he had met in his life as sisters in Christ. He had repeatedly witnessed that it was always easier to get to know the true person through friendships rather than when emotions entered into a relationship and people began to "act" for each other. He saw his single years as a time to observe his sisters during Bible studies, group events, church functions - all in a safe arena for both genders to get to know each other. It was in this way he had discovered the character in Daughter that he was searching for in a wife.

When he approached Daughter's dad about Bible studies and then about pursuing marriage, it was because he believed himself to be emotionally and spiritually ready to be a husband and he believed that he saw Daughter was ready to be a wife. He was very pleased that Daughter and her dad had agreed to move forward. However, he also knew there was more to discuss with each other and it was important to continue to protect his heart, not to mention refrain from harming Daughter's heart until they were both prepared to make a commitment(Mark 14:38; Romans 13:14).

Sure enough, although their meetings went smoothly with great discoveries of being like-minded on many subjects, they did come across a situation after a few weeks that became a sticky subject. Although both of them confessed to believing in God's total sovereignty, Authentic stated he believed God gave a married couple the decision on the size of their family. Daughter believed that the number of children a couple received from God should be left in His hands. This gave cause for scriptural study and prayer on both sides and they agreed to put off meeting again until after a short trip Authentic was taking with his dad. This meant almost three weeks apart to consider where their discussions had lead.

Daughter was disappointed at the disagreement, but at the same time she treasured that her gift remained intact. Her heart had not been given away and both she and Authentic had been careful to avoid showing any emotional affection - they were sharing an intellectual and spiritual friendship. Still, the thought of this friendship ending at this time could have brought frustration to her. Instead, her friends and family commented on the contentment she showed day to day (Philippians 4:7).

During the time that Authentic was away, Daughter spoke often with her parents about her belief to leave the size of her future family completely in God's hands. With prayer and study she only confirmed this belief and prepared herself for ending the meetings with Authentic. A disappointment, but she was confident enough to maintain a friendship with him as a brother in Christ.

When Authentic returned several weeks later, his first meeting was with Daughter's dad alone. It was later the same day he asked to sit down with Daughter. Facing each other across the table, Authentic explained that he had spent time studying the whole doctrine surrounding the sovereignty of God. He expressed how he had truly believed in this doctrine, but had never considered some aspects of it in his life now and his life in the future.

"I wanted to thank you for showing me an area that, I believe, God wanted me to examine. After talking to my folks, studying and praying, I believe you were right. Not only about leaving the control of childbirth in God's hands, but several other areas of my life, as well."

Daughter could not help but smile openly at this honest testimony. It was always a blessing to realize how she had been used by God, even in a small way. She continued to listen to Authentic.

"After this amount of time together, I spoke to your dad this morning and he gave me his permission to propose to you." Authentic walked around the table and kneeled beside Daughter's chair. "I want you to know that I will forever seek out ways to be the best husband I can be for you. I will honour your opinions and will lead you and any future family that God gives us in the way He would have me lead. I promise to protect you, love you and serve you for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?"

Daughter was already crying as she felt the joy rise in her chest. The emotions that she had held safely within her were coming to the surface quickly as she simply answered, "Yes."

Now the true romance began as both Authentic and Daughter expressed the feelings they had for each other. They were safely in a committed relationship and they talked freely about their dreams of a life together (Ephesians 5:31-33).

On the day of their wedding, they committed their marriage to the Lord (Colossians 3:17) with all family and friends watching as the matching gifts were exchanged. When they were introduced as Husband and Wife, they smiled at each other with the final understanding of the blessing of God's plan for marriage, not to mention the value of the gift they were both given.

And, yes, they did live happily ever after!


Friday, September 12, 2008

The Ruby Club, update

Actually, the Ruby Club has had it's final meeting already. We had a set schedule that ended with the summer, but since I have not posted on the studies when we did them, I get to remind myself of the lessons we (I) learned.

As I mentioned previously, here, we spent much time searching scriptures for the meaning of mercy, and for examples of it. Another topic we covered that is valid for Christian women was confidence.

We questioned what it means to be confident as a Christian. We searched the scriptures for examples of confidence, both good and bad. For instance, Jezebel (2Kings) had alot of confidence in everything that she did - but it was confidence in herself, bad example. David, as a young man, however (1 Samuel) had great confidence, as well - and it was confidence in God, good example. The end result of each of these lives speaks clearly of where our confidence is to be built.

Confidence for Christians comes from a growing relationship with Christ (Proverbs: 26&27); we find confidence in His love (Deuteronomy 7:6-9); confidence in our ability to make it through trials (Luke 1:37, Phil. 1:6, Phil. 4:13); confident in our future (Psalm 27:14); confident in our relationship with Him (John 10:25-30).

Lack of confidence comes with a limited relationship with the Lord, or no real relationship at all (Ephesians 4:14). As a group, the Rubies considered how easily Satan can pull our focus away from Christ and onto ourselves and our weaknesses/failures. Each of us had an example from our own lives where we were not confident enough to accompish "something" for the glory of God; whether that be missing an opportunity to witness, ignoring God's lead to serve in some way, or following our friends in an action/behaviour that we knew was wrong.
To end our meeting on a positive note, we helped each other find areas in our lives where we were showing confidence in our faith and therefore being the peculiar people we are called to be (1Peter 2:9).
As Christian women we can stand up to adversity and criticism because...God loves us, that makes us valuable - that is where our confidence is found.