Sunday, December 28, 2008

Isaiah 9:6

Christmas 2008 is past and we are poised to turn the calendar once again. But before we do, I'd like to post something from a card we just received. It was printed by Zion's Hope. I'm probably infringing on a copyright here...but this is so good, I had to share.

For Unto Us a Child is Born: Jesus, unlike all others, is perfect humanity because He was virgin-born and without the Adamic sin nature.
Unto Us a Son is Given: Jesus is undiminished deity because His goings forth were of old, from everlasting. In Bethlehem, He became a man without ceasing to be God.
And the Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulder: Jesus is of the tribe of Judah and from the family of King David. He possesses inherent royalty. One day soon the kingdoms of this world will rest upon His shoulders.
And His Name Shall be Called: Jesus possesses unique identity. The four names that follow, which no other being possesses, describe characteristics of His coming kingly rule.
Wonderful Counselor: Jesus possesses faultless discernability in that, as the King of all kings, He will always make the right decision for the citizens of His kingdom.
The Mighty God: Jesus possesses absolute authority because He is omnipotent. What His wisdom decrees, His power will perform.
The Everlasting Father: Jesus possesses enduring longevity because He is literally the "Father of eternity." The Kings of Israel came and went; when Jesus returns, He will be here to stay.
The Prince of Peace: Jesus possesses perfect tranquility. Some of the good kings of Israel brought a measure of peace. Jesus is literally Sar Shalom, The "Prince of Peace."

As the greetings of "Merry Christmas" become "Happy New Year," you might not feel much conviction as you say it. 2009 looks more frightening than happy, peaceful and prosperous. Now more than ever, we need to turn to Yeshua, our only hope, our only anchor, in this tsunami we call "life." May the perfect tranquility of the Prince of Peace be yours in this new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Blu Christmas

Look at that face. mmm hmmm. Yeah, he's gorgeous. Suave & silky. He's also a Bread Thief. A few weeks ago it was a nice loaf of herbed Italian bread. Christmas Day, it was half a loaf of warm, home made bread. If it's on the counter, it's up for grabs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Enough Already

Give it a rest.
You're 55.
Ridiculously rich.
Have another piece of sweet potato pie & call it good.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WhoVille, Oklahoma

The Turkey & Carb Fest, Black Friday, Cyber Monday...yep, they're already past and the Christmas Season is in full swing. It surely comes sooner every year! And I hate to say this, but the older I get, the less I feel like holidaying.I sure don't want to turn into one of those scroogy old folks who head off to Cancun for Christmas. It doesn't help that I'm dealing with a whopper of a cold right now. But doggone it, I scheduled my extra holiday time off for this week so I could deck the halls and by golly-fa-la-la, I was determined to get it done and over with.

I wearily put the tree together & fluffed it out. Carelessly wound some lights around it. And then -- oh my gosh, as I type this, I'm realizing I had a Grinch Experience! (cue WhoVille song) As I started unpacking ornaments, the memory reel started rolling. My heart grew warmer and redder and bigger and stronger! (maybe it was the fever, but no matter).
  Isn't it funny how fragile, cheesy, cheap, gaudy Christmas ornaments carry so much power as to trigger warm fuzzies of Christmas past? For example: below is my all time favorite - a pear shaped glass & guess what's inside? YES, a partridge in a pear tree! Joe bought it for me, I don't remember the year, maybe '76,'77? I don't know what it is about this particular ornament, but I feel that young man's love all over again when I see it.

After the overwhelming success of the Partridge in a Pear Tree, he began a tradition of buying me a special ornament every year. Lately, we've been picking them out together. Last year, it was this cute penguin couple. Awwww!!


Memories....

1975 - our 2nd Christmas, but the first one that we could afford to buy each other presents.

1979 - the Christmas I was pregnant; our last Christmas a deaux. Wow, next Christmas, this ornament will be 30! Is that considered vintage?

I just love this angel sitting so delicately on the moon. I had seen it at Marshal Field's (late 70's) & mentioned to a friend how I wanted to go back & buy it. Our office had an ornament exchange & she made sure I got this one. I always put it on the tree last & always near the top. I've lost touch with that group but this ornament always reminds me of them.

A glass globe, given by a friend who has a great heart for missions, to remind us of why the Babe was born.

Gifts from loved ones and friends, ornaments bought at special Christmases, or as souvenirs from special places. They all represent love in some fashion. And rightfully so. It was Love that started this whole crazy thing!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Current Obsession

My poor husband. You've heard of 'football widows'? He's a "24" widower. My current obsession is watching entire seasons of 24. Blame the kid. He has all six seasons on dvd and when I found out, I asked to borrow season one. I had started to watch it when the show began, but couldn't keep up. And now that I've started.....I can't stop! Joe calls it a "high suspense soap opera", which I'll give him credit, that was rather insightful.

Signing off now; Jack is about to save the world again....

(picture taken at RiverWalk entrance)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Journey Story

This is so deeply embedded in my life, it consumes me. Over the years, it has become so entwined in my soul that my heart beats to the same rhythm. So when a change occured that resulted in something missing, something incredibly important to my own well being, I did not ... fare well.

I prayed and nothing changed. I cried and nothing changed. I pouted & stamped my foot. I yelled. I became childish and petulant. And then I gave up. Not in broken surrender, but in angry, defeated resignation. I tried to find ways to cope with the void.
But there was only one way and I wasn't willing to do it. Not even out of sheer obedience. And this was the result.
I was even disappointed in myself because I used to teach about this. I was a leader, an example. I knew better. But when the change occurred and I didn't like it, I couldn't do it anymore. Even though I had taught others that we do it for no other reason than because He's worthy. But I used to secretly wonder: if the day ever comes that I'm in a place void of the trappings of worship, will I really be able to worship Him...simply because He is worthy?
I got my answer.
It has been a long, difficult climb. I learned disappointing things about myself. I thought I was in better shape, spiritually. I wanted to quit - quit the game, quit the team, but at those moments, in His dear mercy, He gave me the grace for a few more steps. And a few more. And a few more. If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, at the top of the stairs, at the end of a very long and wearying climb, awaits something wondrous, something unexpected.

A gift. A gift to refresh you and help you continue the journey. A gift .... so that you will have something to give Him when you enter His courts.

  Now I realize something else about worship. I probably taught it at one time and didn't even understand it til now: nothing we do, say, sing, or create is worthy anyway; it's only by His magnificent grace in giving us a gift that we even have something to offer when we come before the King of Kings.

Selah.

These pictures were taken in the Smoky Mts, TN. last month.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Trivial Pursuits

"Get Connected" was a snappy little slogan (way overused) in the church a few years ago, used to encourage people to get involved. Connecting is very important to people. We're pack animals; a tribal culture. We need to communicate.

You've heard of cell phones, right? And texting? Obviously you know about blogging. Do you know what Twitter, Facebook, MySpace are about? They're all 'connecting' tools. We're more connected now than ever. I guess the more scattered & on-the-move our society becomes, the more we search for ways to connect.

But I gotta ask: since when does everyone of my tribe and especially not of my tribe, need to know my every single move? Wouldn't I have to be really full of myself to think I'm THAT important? Or my life THAT interesting?!

Here it comes: Facebook Rant. Facebook has been around a few years. It was hot with the college crowd first, then the hipper young adults. And now the grownups have joined in (probably the Kiss of Death for poor Facebook). Recently, hubby was sent an email inviting him to be someone's "Facebook Friend." He started an account and the list of "friends" has grown exponentially. It's interesting to see how the Facebook society interconnects, interweaves, and increases daily. It's like watching that verse come alive... "and He added to their numbers daily." Except this has nothing to do with the gospel.

Many of these interconnected people are not friends at all - they don't even know each other. Some of the ones who want to be added as 'friends' on hubby's Facebook were not real friends in real life, so why do they want to be his friend now? Another thing that puzzles me is why would you 'talk' to someone on Facebook where everyone else can 'eavesdrop' on your conversation?

Facebook & Twitter are the lamest thing I've ever seen. Why anyone would think the trivia of their lives deserves a fraction of bandwidth is beyond me. It goes like this:
"(name) is drinking 2 glasses of wine."
"(name) is watching Ugly Betty."
"(name) is sitting in traffic."
"(name) just went potty!"


Who the heck cares?! That is NOT connecting. If you want to connect, pick up the d*#@! phone and TALK to someone who really cares about you! And show that you care about them. Spend a few minutes hearing their voice and if possible, see them face to face. Look in their eyes, touch their hand. Feel the connection that happens between people who matter to each other. Talk about real things; things important to them, to their lives, to their soul.


triv·i·al \ˈtri-vē-əl\
adjective 1: commonplace, ordinary 2 a: of little worth or importance; characterized by having all variables equal to zero. In other words: Facebook, Twitter, et al.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Grand Display

...from the Master's Gallery, the Divine Artist
Some snaps from our recent trip to the Smoky Mountains, TN. One word: breathtaking.


"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God,
be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:17

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quiet


"...in quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Title: Reader's Choice

Here's your choices for today's title:

March of the Teapots

An Army of Teapots

There's One in Every Crowd

Actually the title should be, "The Downside of Collecting"

Yesterday I spent too many perfect-weather-Saturday hours washing every teapot on display (forget the ones stored away). I don't know how many it was, but estimate 30-35. I really contemplated packing all of them away, but that would have meant getting boxes, packing material & then finding storage space and hope they wouldn't get broken. So they're now sparkling proudly again on top of the cabinets, the baker's rack & fireplace mantel. I guess washing them every few months is a small price to pay for enjoying their whimsical cuteness.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine!

Is that a stamen in your petals or are you just happy to see me?

Ok,that was bad, I know it. Forgive me. It's day 2 of my vacation and I got up early with ambitious plans to catch some sunrise pictures and get my workout out of the way.


This "vacation" is only 4 days long and the only plans are to putter around the house, play with my toys, and hopefully catch up on long-postponed, understandably procrastinated, chores. Ugh. Still procrastinating. I earned this rest, right?!

The sunrise shots? Nada. Zippity. It was a washed out breaking of day. I drove around to some spots that I know are pretty in the daybreak hours, with a bit of morning fog hovering for effect, but nothing looked good. I ended up coming home and photographing the hollyhock by my driveway!

I love this Velvet Elvis effect!! I think I'll print it for making a card later. Off to my first "chore" project now....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Delete Layer 9

The Delete Key. Such simplicity. Such power.
Made a mistake? Press "Delete"
Feeling a little messed up; need to reboot? Press "Ctrl Alt Delete Restart"
If only life worked that way.

Learning a new software and in the process, kept creating a layer 9. Which I did not want or need. I bet I deleted layer 9 at least 20 times.

More technology bennies: For this post, I wanted a picture of the delete key. However, digital pays more attention to detail than I do. Dust I can't see with my glasses on showed up in the picture. But one click of a Photoshop effects key & presto - artsy photo result.

And no layer 9.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Blogiversary

It's my blogiversary! The picture that started it all:I started blogging a year ago this month. While looking for artwork of afghan hounds, I discovered an artist's blog. It was clean & simple, like her watercolors. At first I thought it was a website, but after realizing it was a blog, I thought hmmm....I wonder if I can do that for my photos? It's nice to have a cyber gallery, even if only a few family & friends drop by to browse.

btw: I've bought 3 of her afghan hound watercolors - all in blue, of course! Still follow her blog occasionally. NBC just purchased some pieces from her for their tv shows. That's kinda neat. She seems like a cool person.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Book Reviews


I might list books I'm reading, but that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with them. "A New Earth" is one such book. It was a hot topic this year because of Oprah. People were sending hysterical emails that she was pushing a new religion. I want to know what people are interested in, stay current, & think for myself. So I read the book. Have to admit, I almost felt like I should put it in a brown paper bag as I left the library in case anyone from church saw me. Sheesh.

So, about the book: my first thought was, this guy has watched The Matrix Trilogy way too many times. Like The Matrix, "A New Earth" is a mish-mash of eastern religion & philosophy. Nothing for anyone grounded in the Word to fear. But we need to know what people are thinking & talking about in our society. Then, instead of freaking out and slapping them with the Bible, be able to carry on an intelligent dialogue.


"What Happened" by Scott McClellan, is another book that rocked a few boats this past spring. It was a big deal because the Bush family values privacy to the point of fanatical secrecy & ol' Scotty here disobeyed the code. He is a former Bush staffer who became press secretary just as the hoopla over the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame started heating up. He supported going into Iraq, but it gradually dawned on him that maybe things weren't so kosher re: those pesky WMDs. He's a rather disillusioned guy now who probably feels better after his print confession (& the accompanying check). Although it gives a tiny bit of insight into the President's thinking re: Iraq, it's not enough to spend time reading the book.

There's my 2 cents worth.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Meet the Newbies

Two new teapots joined the family this summer. This whimsical cutie was purchased recently on shopping excursion to a small town nearby known for its antique stores. I knew it would look great sitting next to the Three Bears teapot. It was a Must Have.


This one was a gift from hubby, procured while on his summer mission trip to Spain.
 
Maybe it doesn't count as a gift, since I asked him to bring one back. But it's just so cool to have one from almost every country he's gone to. And I really, truly appreciate those teapots the most because I know what a sacrifice of love it is for him to shop, OCD-style, until he finds one! He never disappoints. No wonder I love him so. He's not a shopper or tourist and would rather just get home rather than take that last day of the trip to sightsee/shop with the team. Once the perfect (or sometimes, only) pot is found, there is the matter of packing it. In over 40 trips around the world, not one teapot has ever arrived to America damaged. What a guy! Never lost a team member. Never lost a teapot.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Birthday Cake

My birthday was the 17th. All I asked for was chocolate cake from Merritt's Bakery. And, boy did Joe deliver. Three round layers of chocolate decadance. Each layer separated by chocolate cream. The whole thing covered in lucious chocolate buttercream. And finally, the most beautiful sugary trimmings imaginable in sweet ruffles and roses. It must have weighed 5 lbs. Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Comment on "Comments"

I read recently that there is etiquette in the BlogUniverse. One of the rules of polite blog-society manners is to leave feedback if you enjoy someone's work. I confess I'm more reader than commenter and for that, I apologize. It is nice when someone leaves a note on your blog now & then; it lets you know at least one person in the cyberworld cruised by and paused for a moment at your place.
I would like to add something to the etiquette rules: if you want to leave a comment, please introduce yourself. Give your name or at least a web-name or some fun little code name. Comments from 'Anonymous' really just don't mean anything. Sometimes people ask a question about something I wrote. I don't mind answering if I know the person. But when someone anonymously asks a question, I see no reason to answer and, thus, delete the comment.
Here's how I have the comments feature set up on this blog: Click on - you guessed it - "comments" at the end of the post. Another screen pops up & you write your thoughts in the little box. Choose your options for signing your name & submit. Your comment will go to an email address. I then have the option to publish the comment or delete it before it ever sees the light of day.
I'm so glad when you stop by, sit a spell and read my blog. Just take a moment now & than to say hi. Groovy?