Friday, May 30, 2008

Heaven Abound

His love was as big a mountain,
His love was as deep as the sea,
His life was given to this world,
So that we could live eternally.

Heaven abound,
Spirit enwrapped,
The gift of my Saviour,
Salvation intact.

I pray to receive His forgiveness,
I pray to give thanks for my life,
I feel His Spirit around me,
Each day and in the dark of the night.

Heaven abound,
Spirit enwrapped,
The gift of my Saviour,
Salvation intact.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Gift

"Yes, Father."
"I have a gift for you."
"A gift? Thank you, Father. This is a beautiful box. What is in it?"

"Pieces of you, Daughter. I have put this gift together for your journey. It will become your responsibility to keep it safe."

"Oh, Father, I love my gift, but why do I need to go on a journey?"

"You are beginning the life that I have created for you, Daughter. It is a hard journey, but because you are mine there is joy for when we meet again. I have two of my children who are waiting for you and they will raise you to remember and yearn for your home here."

"What do I do with my gift, Father?"

"Those who will care for you in your early life will care for your gift, as well. Then, there will come a time when they turn the gift over to you and you will need to choose how to care for it. There will be times when you are tempted to give your gift away, Daughter, even one piece of your gift at a time. However, if you choose to keep your gift whole, you will be rewarded for there is another who has a matching gift. In time, I will send him to you and he will trade you - his gift for yours. You will know him because his gift will be whole, as well."

"Father, I am not sure I understand."

"You will, Daughter. When you make your choice, the understanding will be there."

"Well, happy birthday little girl. Daddy and Mommy have been waiting for you. "

Monday, May 26, 2008

Selfish Hearts

His heart was crushed with pain, his eyes were full of sorrow.
How can a man lead, if his wife won't follow?
He held his own tears as he told them what's in store,
"You need to understand, your mommy doesn't live here anymore.
She's decided to leave, and we need to take care,
We'll continue to love her and keep her in prayer."
Another family pulled apart by the actions of a selfish heart.

Sometimes you want to scream at them,
Sometimes you want to cry,
Just always remember this: that there
But for the grace of God, go I.

Her head bowed low and shoulders shaking,
The loneliness she felt left her heart aching.
Her treasure was priceless, if she had waited on God's time.
Instead she forsook Him and sold herself for a dime.
The man she married had little to offer,
Though he promised so much before reaching the altar.
Those who loved her had let her go on her own,
Because she refused the truth she said she'd known.
Another life fallen apart because of the actions of a selfish heart.

Sometimes you want to scream at them,
Sometimes you want to cry.
Just always remember this: that there,
But for the grace of God, go I.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The $10 Horse - A Frugal Heritage

It's very hard to teach an 8 year old about being cheap with her money. As I have mentioned before I have an addiction to yard sales and I have passed this passion on to my daughter, the Duck. She has money burning a hole in her pocket, but each Saturday morning we have lessons in wise money management.

This past Saturday had the ultimate test. A toy size horse, the size of a shetland pony so she could pretend to ride it. Now, the Duck already has one, but this horse had clydesdale qualities with longer, plusher hair and a fancy saddle. The reaction to seeing this horse was one that her future husband could only hope for - they saw each other from across the room (garage), they slowly came together, she reached out her hand and called out "oh, mommy, it's sooo soft!" I have to admit, I was tempted to just say 'yes, buy it' and allow the love affair to live on. Fortunately, my cheapskate voice spoke up first - "ask how much it is."

The young lady selling the horse was obviously older than the Duck, and had outgrown her infatuation with horses, but she figured she saw an easy sale. She wanted $10 - more than half of the Duck's current yard sale fund. She wasn't negotiating the price.

Instant devastation! The Duck loves horses, but she has learned, in an 8 year old understanding, the value of the money God provides to her. She walked away.

This was a proud moment for me as a mom. My little Duck was officially a tightwad! Oh the joy in seeing the fruition of soooo many discussions about money management!

And then God took it one step further. A family friend arrived at the same yard sale. This woman's twin daughters are two of the Duck's closest friends and they, too, are horse crazy. Our friend bought the horse for the twins. So, do you see the blessing of the Duck's frugal choice? She still has her money AND she can play with the horse anyway when she visits her friends. Our Father in Heaven truly does use all people and things to show His love and glory to His children!

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:3&4

Just ask the Duck!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Frugal Failures (for Frugal Friday)

(this is where the Frugal Friday logo would be if I could figure out how to get it here!)

The 'frugal' word gets used alot these days, especially in the blogworld. I prefer the old-fashioned word - cheap. I am cheap; a real tightwad. My husband will attest to this fact. Although he is the money manager of our home, the cash he gives me bi-weekly for groceries is made to go a long way. The 'left-over' grocery money is deposited into a savings account as my special fund.

But to be cheap without standards is foolish. I am sure that all of us have lived through a bad buy. The times when we go cheap on an item only to have the phrase "you get what you pay for" bite us in the end. Just because an item is the lowest in price does not mean it is the best return on investment (R.O.I). My standards for R.O.I. are pretty clear, but recently I had an epiphany about it.

In my grocery shopping, I do consistently look at unit pricing. It has occurred to me that unit pricing does not always give me the best R.O.I. - this is my epiphany. If a chocolate bar is $0.65, but a bulk bag of 4 chocolate bars is $1.99, I would get more for my money buying the bulk bag. However, when it comes to junk food the R.O.I. of the bulk bag of chocolate will also include the fact that I will eat all 4 bars rather than just one. Not a good plan!

So, frugal is good; cheap is better; but R.O.I. is the only way to avoid frugal failures. How's that for wisdom of the ages?

See more Frugal Friday ideas by following the Biblical Womanhood link at side bar.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yard Sale Update

The yard sale on Saturday was very successful! I managed to get rid of 80% of my junk and made a nice little wad of cash at the same time. The Duck sold some baked goods and some of her toys - walking off with a little over $15.

All in all, a nice way to spend a Saturday. However, I will enjoy getting back to being the buyer for next weekends sales! ;0)

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I have an addiction. Well, I suppose if we count chocolate, I have two addictions. Today my confession is coming out because I have a big day happening on Saturday - it is an event that will bring fellow addicts to my home. I am having a yard sale.

The art of the yard saler is generally misunderstood by those that have never been affected by the addiction. Last year, I converted my husband. Wherein once he thumbed his nose at the idea of yard sales, he now has come to the dark side and joined those of us who have discovered the feeling of euphoria when we see a $5 bread maker that is nearly new (only to bargain the price down to $3!).

Saturday I shall unload some of my now unwanted, unused or outgrown treasures to those fellow junkies who recognize a bargain when they see it. I shall empty my storage areas and open my garage doors to invite treasures seekers in for their weekly thrill. We all understand that our addiction stems from the fact that yard sales fulfill our need to be organized and frugal at the same time!

Then I shall have more space to utilize when I begin my own annual hunts! Because the Saturday following, I shall hit the roads with the local newspaper in one hand and a road map in the other. With reverence I say 'thank you, Lord, for yard sales!'

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Legalistic Lines

Where is the line? Without a doubt, I am a black and white opinion type. People who like to say the Bible has grey areas are generally making excuses for choosing their own will and not God's. But there are so many differences from church to church over things like dress, dating/courtship, education, music, etc. Is there a wrong and a right on these issues?

Well, of course there is. The black and white of each issue can be found in scriptures; even if it isn't written as 'thou shalt not' we are responsible for knowing how God would have us live, act and witness in this world.

Take the issue of dress as an example. Modest dress is clearly pointed out as a must for women (1 Timothy 2:9), that is the black and white of the issue. The application of this in our lives does engulf some personal preference. I am the first to confess that if my pastor stood before us Sunday morning and said that all female members would be expected to wear ankle length, loose fitted dresses that were absent from any embellishment or style - I would laugh out loud in rebellion (not a great reaction to authority but I'm just being honest!).

In my church, the women do wear a skirt when serving (nursery/craft class, giving testimony, leading a ladies' study). The leadership of our church has set this as a standard for positions of serving - like a uniform - the men wear jackets and ties for serving. For the most part, I wear a skirt when I am simply attending, too. The idea behind this practice is simply that I want to look my best when I attend God's house and I want to be ready to serve if I am needed.

Having said that, there are plenty of dresses and skirts that do not fit under the term 'modest'. Some of these are seen at church, too. So modesty is not about the type of clothing, it is about how and why the clothing is worn. Does the outfit bring to mind the words 'decent', 'honourable', and 'virtuous'? OR does it say 'proud', 'conceited' and 'vain'? (Regardless of some of the arguments I have heard, the difference in these terms is plain. Any particular article of clothing can be worn modestly or immodestly - but that is another subject - let me focus.)

So where is the line between biblical and legalistic? That line is only found in our individual reasons for the decisions we make. Are we following a dress code to please people or God? Are we jumping on an issue bandwagon without seeking God's wisdom? If the way we dress is only an opinion, (or to be part of the church crowd), rather than a conviction - that makes it legalistic; it will be short lived.

This particular example of dress is one of the simpler issues to discern. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to delve into the courtship controversy. For now, I'll leave the legalism argument with my black and white response: know why you do it; know why you believe it; know why God would have you do either!

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15