November 18, 2009

Thankful Anniversary

Dan, I am thankful for 9 years of marriage with you, and I am thankful for you.

I love you.

Your girl

October 27, 2009

For God So Loved the World...

Today Timothy decided to teach Samantha John 3:16.  This provided about an hour of entertainment for me, as these were some of the things overheard:   

  1. Timothy said to "repeat after me". T: "John 3:16", S: "John 3:16", T: "For God so loved the world." S: "IT HAS MY FAVORITE NUMBER, NUMBER FOUR!!!!" 

  2. When he got to "but have everlasting life", Samantha was getting a bit bored.  She was distracted and not responding, so he kept saying, "Say but... say but...say but now"!!!!

    October 13, 2009

    Samantha and Daddy at the Zoo!

    Samantha has always been very confident about what she likes. Her favorite color is (and always has been) red. Her favorite number is (and always has been) 4. And her favorite animal is the elephant, as evidenced by this picture taken at Mountain Mike's a month ago...

    During the month of October, all kids are free at the San Diego Zoo, and active duty military are free all the time. Sunday I asked Dan if he would find an hour or two this month to take Samantha to see the elephants.  Dan quickly accepted my request and took Samantha this morning! 

    She was immediately in heaven when she saw this before they even got to the front gate.

    Our girl loves to pose silly for the camera!

    This is a bird that's extinct.

    But here is what they really came for.

    My Baby Girl made a friend at the zoo today.

    I wish I could post the amazing video that Dan took of her at the kangaroo exhibit saying, "Daddy, we need to go to the elephant AREA!" What a precious memory Dan will always have of this time with his daughter.

    September 11, 2009

    My 9/11 Tribute

    As I reflect on the day, and its significance, I can't help but think of my cousin Chris who serves honorably in the U.S. Army.  This is how I feel like 9/11 gets the closest to me and my family.  If the tragedy of this day had not happened, my cousin would not have served multiple tours in Iraq.  And he wouldn't be returning soon for another year long deployment.  One more year away from his growing children.  One more year away from his beautiful wife.  
    So Chris, thank you, for working to give us enduring freedom.  Thank you, Tabatha, for persevering as single mom. 
    The two of you are amazing examples of dedication and sacrifice.

    September 9, 2009

    Proverbs 9

    Invitations of Wisdom and of Folly
     1 Wisdom has built her house;
           she has hewn out its seven pillars.
     2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
           she has also set her table.

     3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls
           from the highest point of the city.

     4 "Let all who are simple come in here!"
           she says to those who lack judgment.

     5 "Come, eat my food
           and drink the wine I have mixed.

     6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
           walk in the way of understanding.

     7 "Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult;
           whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.

     8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
           rebuke a wise man and he will love you.

     9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
           teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 

    Aren't verses 8 & 9 so true?  Wise words fall on deaf ears (casting pearls before swine).

     10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
           and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 

    Lord, help me to fear you.  I think I prayed this at the beginning of the Proverbs study, but it continues to be my heart's need and desire.  May I fear you so that I fear nothing else.

     11 For through me your days will be many,
           and years will be added to your life.

     12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
           if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer."

     13 The woman Folly is loud;
           she is undisciplined and without knowledge.

     14 She sits at the door of her house,
           on a seat at the highest point of the city,

     15 calling out to those who pass by,
           who go straight on their way.

     16 "Let all who are simple come in here!"
           she says to those who lack judgment.

     17 "Stolen water is sweet;
           food eaten in secret is delicious!"

     18 But little do they know that the dead are there,
           that her guests are in the depths of the grave.

    One month ago today, my pastor issued the Proverbs reading challenge!  I really had no idea what a life changing experience this was going to be.  I had no idea how much I would discover about myself and my folly.  And I had no idea how it would prepare me for some events and conversations.  I love the idea of coming back to the Proverbs a couple of times a year and re-read it just to be reminded of the amazing truths! 

    WW & SEW: 1st Day of 1st Grade!

    For more Wordless Wednesday, go to 5 Minutes for Mom.
    For more Special Exposure Wednesday, go to 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

    Children's Classics: Back to School

    This definitely is a "non-traditional classic," but I do think it will be in the future, and it fits perfectly with this back to school theme.  Wemberly Worried is one of Kevin Henkes Mouse Books, and if you want to read more about all of his books you can click here.  This one in particular deals with how worried Wemberly is about the 1st day of school: 
    Wemberly's parents think that she worries too much. So does her grandmother. "'Worry, worry, worry,' said her grandmother. 'Too much worry.'" So imagine how poor Wemberly feels on the first day of school. She has a whole list of worries. What will school be like? Will she make friends? Will people laugh at her doll, Petal?

     Just a very sweet book that could really open the lines of communication about what happens at school.  And all the better if your child is already comfortable with other Mouse Books!

    September 8, 2009

    Proverbs 8

    Wisdom's Call
     1 Does not wisdom call out?
           Does not understanding raise her voice?
     2 On the heights along the way,
           where the paths meet, she takes her stand;

     3 beside the gates leading into the city,
           at the entrances, she cries aloud:

     4 "To you, O men, I call out;
           I raise my voice to all mankind. 

    I love that wisdom is not silent or whispering, impossible to hear or find. She is calling out!

    13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
           I hate pride and arrogance,
           evil behavior and perverse speech. 

    Verse 13 struck me in light of the book, Fearless, I just read.  What does "fearing the Lord" look like?  It's hating evil, pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech (not hating or judging the person who may do those things).  

     22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
           before his deeds of old;
     23 I was appointed from eternity,
           from the beginning, before the world began.

     24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
           when there were no springs abounding with water;

     25 before the mountains were settled in place,
           before the hills, I was given birth,

     26 before he made the earth or its fields
           or any of the dust of the world.

     27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
           when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

     28 when he established the clouds above
           and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

     29 when he gave the sea its boundary
           so the waters would not overstep his command,
           and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

     30 Then I was the craftsman at his side.
           I was filled with delight day after day,
           rejoicing always in his presence,

     31 rejoicing in his whole world
           and delighting in mankind. 

    This is the coolest passage!  Awesome!

     35 For whoever finds me finds life
           and receives favor from the LORD.

     36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
           all who hate me love death."

    If we don't choose the way of wisdom, we only harm ourselves.

    September 7, 2009

    Fearless by Max Lucado

    Max Lucado, in his latest release, Fearless, dares us to "Imagine Your Life Without Fear!"  He then takes us on a journey inside the lives of Jesus and his disciples.  We feel like we are in the middle of the action, frustrated that the disciples don't trust Jesus after the miracles they've witnessed, yet identifying with them knowing we are just like them.  Each chapter explains a specific fear common today.  Topics include the fear of not mattering, the fear of not protecting my kids, and the fear of worst-case scenarios. Through Lucado's masterful writing, I was able to identify many fears that I deal with.

    If I were to say anything negative about the book it is that reading fear after fear is quite depressing.  But I guess the only natural conclusion to a life filled with fear is hopelessness?  Having said that, Lucado gives multiple scriptures in each chapter to help us overcome our fears.  And then the culmination of the book "The One Healthy Terror" (Chapter 14) addresses this perfectly.  The way we avoid fear of life/death/money/health/people/calamity is by fearing our Lord, letting Him reign supreme.

    I highly recommend this book, whether you are already Fearless or still hope to be! Click here to read Chapter One.

    Proverbs 7

    Warning Against the Adulteress

     1 My son, keep my words
           and store up my commands within you.  
    2 Keep my commands and you will live;
           guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
     3 Bind them on your fingers;
           write them on the tablet of your heart.
     4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
           and call understanding your kinsman;
     5 they will keep you from the adulteress,
           from the wayward wife with her seductive words.
     6 At the window of my house
           I looked out through the lattice.
     7 I saw among the simple,
           I noticed among the young men,
           a youth who lacked judgment.
     8 He was going down the street near her corner,
           walking along in the direction of her house
     9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
           as the dark of night set in.
     10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
           dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
     11 (She is loud and defiant,
           her feet never stay at home;
     12 now in the street, now in the squares,
           at every corner she lurks.)
     13 She took hold of him and kissed him
           and with a brazen face she said:
     14 "I have fellowship offerings at home;
           today I fulfilled my vows.
     15 So I came out to meet you;
           I looked for you and have found you!
     16 I have covered my bed
           with colored linens from Egypt.
     17 I have perfumed my bed
           with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
     18 Come, let's drink deep of love till morning;
           let's enjoy ourselves with love!
     19 My husband is not at home;
           he has gone on a long journey.
     20 He took his purse filled with money
           and will not be home till full moon."
     21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
           she seduced him with her smooth talk.
     22 All at once he followed her
           like an ox going to the slaughter,
           like a deer stepping into a noose
     23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
           like a bird darting into a snare,
           little knowing it will cost him his life.
     24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
           pay attention to what I say.
     25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
           or stray into her paths.
     26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
           her slain are a mighty throng.
     27 Her house is a highway to the grave, 
           leading down to the chambers of death.

    This is so descriptive.  I could visualize the whole scene!  I'm struck by the fact that the young man was fairly aimless as he started going the direction of the adulteress.  It reminds how much we each need to keep ourselves busy doing something productive, beneficial, and service-oriented.  By filling our time and energy with what the Lord directs, we can avoid some of sin's snares.

    September 6, 2009

    Proverbs 6

    Warnings Against Folly
    1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
    if you have struck hands in pledge for another,

    2 if you have been trapped by what you said,
    ensnared by the words of your mouth,

    3 then do this, my son, to free yourself,
    since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:
    Go and humble yourself;
    press your plea with your neighbor!

    4 Allow no sleep to your eyes,
    no slumber to your eyelids.

    5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
    like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

    So many of the proverbs are "preventative wisdom". They help us stay out of trouble. I am thankful, though, for these 5 verses that help me know what to do AFTER I've put my foot in my mouth. Whatever the instruction, humility is always part of it.

    16 There are six things the LORD hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:

    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,

    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,

    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

    Warning Against Adultery
    20 My son, keep your father's commands
    and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

    Wouldn't it be awesome if all of us as parents (both mom and dad) were to warn out children against adultery? And wouldn't be awesome if we would command, teach and model purity? Then when our kids "keep" and "do not forsake" then they will be making wise choices that will strengthen their relationships?

    21 Bind them upon your heart forever;
    fasten them around your neck.

    22 When you walk, they will guide you;
    when you sleep, they will watch over you;
    when you awake, they will speak to you.

    Beautiful words found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

    23 For these commands are a lamp,
    this teaching is a light,
    and the corrections of discipline
    are the way to life,

    24 keeping you from the immoral woman,
    from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.

    25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty
    or let her captivate you with her eyes,

    26 for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread,
    and the adulteress preys upon your very life.

    27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?

    28 Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?

    29 So is he who sleeps with another man's wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.

    30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.

    31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold,
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house.

    32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment;
    whoever does so destroys himself.

    September 5, 2009

    Proverbs 5

    I pray these verses for my son...deep within me I long for him to heed these words:
    Warning Against Adultery
    1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
    listen well to my words of insight,

    2 that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.

    3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;

    4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.

    5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.

    6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.

    7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    do not turn aside from what I say.

    8 Keep to a path far from her,
    do not go near the door of her house,

    9 lest you give your best strength to others
    and your years to one who is cruel,

    10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
    and your toil enrich another man's house.

    11 At the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are spent.

    12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!
    How my heart spurned correction!

    13 I would not obey my teachers
    or listen to my instructors.

    14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
    in the midst of the whole assembly."

    15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    running water from your own well.

    16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
    your streams of water in the public squares?

    17 Let them be yours alone,
    never to be shared with strangers.

    18 May your fountain be blessed,
    and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

    19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be captivated by her love.

    20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
    Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?

    21 For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD,
    and he examines all his paths.

    22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
    the cords of his sin hold him fast.

    23 He will die for lack of discipline,
    led astray by his own great folly.

    Are You Big Enough To Stop Me?

    Timothy was getting belligerent so Dan gave a warning that he would take the Wii away. Timothy said, "No you will not!" Dan, very calmly (I don't know how he did it) said, "Are you big enough to stop me?" Timothy wouldn't answer. There was a 5-10 minute power struggle until Timothy finally bent his will to Dan's, admitting that he was not big enough to stop his dad. Once Timothy finally admitted it, Dan said, "And that's okay because God, my Heavenly Father, is bigger than I am and it's important that Daddy admits that, too!"

    It does this momma good to hear those kinds of conversations coming from the living room.

    September 4, 2009

    Aloha Friday: Class Sizes

    Kailani of An Island Life writes...In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new blog friends!

    California schools (and San Diego Unified in particular) have had some serious budget issues. In light of that our class sizes for K-3 grades are going from 20 students last year to 24 or more students this year.
    What grade is your child in, and how many students are in his or her class?
    1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.

    2 I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.

    3 When I was a boy in my father's house,
    still tender, and an only child of my mother,

    4 he taught me and said,
    "Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands and you will live.

    5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or swerve from them.

    6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.

    7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

    8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.

    9 She will set a garland of grace on your head
    and present you with a crown of splendor."

    I love that he just told his own son what his father said to him as a boy!

    10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.

    11 I guide you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.

    12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.

    I keep thinking about my own personal fears in life and how if I "heeded" wisdom and instruction so many of those things that I worry about would not even be issues.

    23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for it is the wellspring of life.

    24 Put away perversity from your mouth;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

    25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
    fix your gaze directly before you.

    26 Make level paths for your feet
    and take only ways that are firm.

    27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

    Verses 23 through 27 seem like this perfect set of instructions. I love it.

    September 3, 2009

    Proverbs 3

    1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart,

    How many times do I forget my Father's teaching? Over and over!

    3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.

    This reminded me of Deuteronomy 6:4-8.

    4 Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

    6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

    These verses are so famous. Like John 3:16, I can quote them in a heartbeat, and yet I don't really think I can claim them as my "life" verses. ALL my heart? Lean NOT? ALL ways acknowledge him? No wonder my paths seem crooked sometimes!

    7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD and shun evil.

    This is such a good reminder in reading the Proverbs that seems to differentiate between the wise and foolish so clearly. It's not my place to decide I'm wise, but instead observe what defines a wise person and see how my life matches up. (It's been humbling.)

    8 This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.

    9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,
    with the first fruits of all your crops;

    10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.

    11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
    and do not resent his rebuke,

    12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.

    Sometimes the Lord's discipline comes through a human that we don't respect, and I think it can cause me to resent quite easily. I need to remember the Lord's rebuke can come from anywhere.

    13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
    the man who gains understanding,

    I feel a little hopeful that this man "finds" and "gains".

    14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.

    15 She is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.

    16 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.

    17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.

    18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
    those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

    19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations,
    by understanding he set the heavens in place;

    20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.

    Verses 19-20 are cool. It shows why God's creation makes scientific sense.

    21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
    do not let them out of your sight;

    22 they will be life for you,
    an ornament to grace your neck.

    23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
    and your foot will not stumble;

    24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

    Right now I am reading Fearless by Max Lucado. Each chapter deals with a different fear. I love that this proverb shows us a way to fall asleep at night...preserve sound judgment and discernment. Those are broad, and we may have to find what that means to each of us. Maybe not watching the nightly news? Maybe not spending $100 at Target because we'll worry about money later? Who knows, but one directly affects the other.

    25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

    26 for the LORD will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

    27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
    when it is in your power to act.

    28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"—
    when you now have it with you.

    This is so good to hear. I must show love to my neighbors.

    29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.

    30 Do not accuse a man for no reason—
    when he has done you no harm.

    31 Do not envy a violent man
    or choose any of his ways,

    32 for the LORD detests a perverse man
    but takes the upright into his confidence.

    33 The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.

    34 He mocks proud mockers
    but gives grace to the humble.

    35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools he holds up to shame.

    September 2, 2009

    WW & SEW: Circus

    I love that just looking at this picture really tells you where we were! For more...

    Wordless Wednesday go to 5 Minutes for Mom
    Special Exposure Wednesday to to 5 Minutes for Special Needs

    Proverbs 2

    6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
    and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

    No reason to look anywhere else. It is the Lord who gives wisdom!

    8 for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

    This is so amazing to me. There are times when I have chosen to be obedient, but honestly didn't have a clue what was going to happen or how it was going to work out--God was guarding my course, my path! So awesome!

    16 It will save you also from the adulteress,
    from the wayward wife with her seductive words,

    17 who has left the partner of her youth
    and ignored the covenant she made before God.

    Remember here that Solomon's own mother falls into this category.

    Lord, I'm feeling like there is so much for me to remember and keep track of in order to be wise. Please just help me look to you and delight in you instead of worrying about the checklist.

    September 1, 2009

    Proverbs 1

    There are some good comments on Proverbs 31, so go back and read those if you haven't! Since we reached the end of Proverbs it feels like we should be done, but we started this challenge at Proverbs 10! I am going to use this opportunity to sprinkle in sermon notes and questions from my pastor's daily meditations (I've received permission!)

    The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

    2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
    for understanding words of insight;

    3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
    doing what is right and just and fair;

    4 for giving prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young-

    5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance-

    6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

    7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

    Why did Solomon write the Proverbs? Where does wisdom come from? How is the fear of the Lord the beginning of knowledge? What does it mean to fear the Lord? Who is the wisest person you know?

    8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction
    and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

    9 They will be a garland to grace your head
    and a chain to adorn your neck.

    10 My son, if sinners entice you,
    do not give in to them.

    11 If they say, "Come along with us;
    let's lie in wait for some one's blood,
    let's waylay some harmless soul;

    12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

    13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
    and fill our houses with plunder;

    14 throw in your lot with us,
    and we will share a common purse"-

    15 my son, do not go along with them,
    do not set foot on their paths;

    16 for their feet rush into sin,
    they are swift to shed blood.

    17 How useless to spread a net
    in full view of all the birds!

    18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they waylay only themselves!

    19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
    it takes away the lives of those who get it.

    20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street,
    she raises her voice in the public squares;

    21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out,
    in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:

    I love that wisdom is described as bold. Sometimes when I'm in the midst of a lot of people who are speaking foolishly or about foolish things, I don't have any confidence at all to speak wisdom. I feel like what I have to say is foolish.

    22 "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?
    How long will mockers delight in mockery
    and fools hate knowledge?

    23 If you had responded to my rebuke,
    I would have poured out my heart to you
    and made my thoughts known to you.

    24 But since you rejected me when I called
    and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,

    25 since you ignored all my advice
    and would not accept my rebuke,

    26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
    I will mock when calamity overtakes you-

    27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
    when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
    when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

    28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
    they will look for me but will not find me.

    29 Since they hated knowledge
    and did not choose to fear the LORD,

    30 since they would not accept my advice
    and spurned my rebuke,

    31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
    and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

    32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
    and the complacency of fools will destroy them;

    33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
    and be at ease, without fear of harm."

    Verse 32 is so good for me to read. It's not that fools went on a mission to ignore God. They were just wayward and complacent. Look where it got them? Killed and destroyed. Listening to wisdom brings safety and ease. I relax just reading those words.

    August 31, 2009

    Magic Marker Monday: Footprints

    A couple of weeks ago, I showed Samantha how I could trace her foot on the Doodle Pro. Well, it wasn't long before she thought it was the funnest thing to do!

    For more Magic Marker Monday, go to 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

    Faith Deployed

    In case I can only hold your attention for 1 minute, then I want to say right off the bat....go buy this book! If you are a military wife, it's a must have. If you are a civilian and know anyone in the military, it is the PERFECT gift.

    Jocelyn Green, the author of Faith Deployed, emailed me saying she had seen my blog on Wives of Faith and wanted to know if I would write a review of her book on Amazon. Completely honored by the offer and always looking for new books to enjoy and review, I took her up on it immediately. I had no idea what a gift she would be giving me.

    Faith Deployed is a devotional book with approximately 80 excerpts written by Jocelyn and 14 other Christian military wives from all branches. Each devotional includes a scripture, 2-page anecdote, a couple of questions to ask yourself based on the reading, and a prayer related to the topic.

    Here's what makes this book a must have for any military library...
    • It's easy to read. Each story is 2 pages! Within a few minutes you can have a great morsel of truth to get through your day.
    • As it's sub-title states, this book is a "daily encouragement for military wives," reminding each of us that we are not alone even during the longest deployment or tenth PCS.
    • The excerpts go to the root issue-what do the reactions to our life circumstances reveal about our heart? Military wives, just like any Christian woman seeking to honor the Lord, must choose to handle life in light of eternity. This book will remind you to do just that!
    • I have to admit that my biggest fear of the book was that it would be shallow. On the contrary, these women are honest, vulnerable, and intelligent. They quote other good authors and scripture. The Holy Spirit convicted my heart time after time through Faith Deployed because the truth they were sharing comes right from the Bible.
    • This book would definitely work if your military member is deployed, but it is completely relevant if your spouse is at home! And then you'll already own it when your spouse does deploy and you need that extra encouragement to look to the Lord.
    I've had this book in my "queue" to read for a while, but it has been a perfect compliment to my reading of the Proverbs. This book definitely addresses how to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and these two excerpts echoed proverbs I've read recently:
    1. Silent But Guilty (Proverbs 20:19)-We shouldn't gossip AND we shouldn't listen to gossip. Are we condoning it when we let it go on? Jocelyn mentioned something a friend of her said, "We gossip whenever we're together because all we have in common is the other people in housing. So that's what we talk about." That struck me so profoundly. If I can't stop talking about people, then I need to find something else to have in common! Or maybe I could just close my mouth?
    2. Taming Jealousy (Romans 12:15)-It has taken me 36 years to really admit that I have a problem with jealousy. Jocelyn writes, " seems to me that the military wife is even more prone to being jealous over how others are treated compared to us, or how and with whom others can spend their time." This morning I got on Facebook and read the status update of a guy on Dan's ship (both of them on duty today): "Duty day...but at least I get to go to church with my family!" I immediately thought, "Why can't Dan???" JEALOUSY!! I thought of this section of the book, and thanked God that I had read it. It's okay that someone else gets something that I don't. It's not going to kill me!
    You won't regret owning this book! You can order your own copy at Amazon or CBD. Jocelyn is also giving away a signed copy of the book on her website. All you have to do is leave a comment telling her the name of a church you have encountered that has been supportive to you as a military family.

    Proverbs 31

    1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him:

    According to Learn the Bible there is a great deal of debate as to who King Lemuel is. There are several options, including Solomon himself. I think the most interesting thing about this passage is that it highlights the proverbs taught to a son by his mother. Then later in the chapter we're going to read about the wife of noble character. I never realized this was how this chapter began! And as far as I can tell it is still King Lemuel's mother who is telling him what to look for in a woman!

    2 "O my son, O son of my womb,
    O son of my vows, >]">

    3 do not spend your strength on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

    4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
    not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,

    5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

    6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
    wine to those who are in anguish;

    7 let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

    8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.

    9 Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy."
    Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

    I think so often women read this to find out the perfect person we should be. Wouldn't it be cool if single men would read this to know what to be looking for?:

    10 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.

    11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.

    12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

    13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.

    14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.

    15 She gets up while it is still dark;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her servant girls.

    16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

    17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.

    18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.

    19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

    20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.

    21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

    22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

    23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

    24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.

    25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.

    26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

    27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

    What a picture that is? When I'm lazy I want to eat carbs, which in turn just make me want to be lazier!

    28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:

    29 "Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all."

    30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

    31 Give her the reward she has earned,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

    Lord, thank you for the Proverbs. I want to fear you.

    August 30, 2009

    Proverbs 30

    Proverbs 30 & 31 are considered the "Appendix" of Proverbs, and you will notice they have a different kind of writing style.
    Proverbs 30 holds the Sayings of Agur. According to, "Agur was a man of secular learning and did not consider himself a spiritual man, as he had not learned godly Wisdom; yet, he was a man who was perceptive about the things of God. He first declares that he is ignorant and stupid, as he does not have the knowledge of holy things. He considers all of his secular education as nothing compared to the knowledge of God. This man may not have not a spiritual education, but he did have the sense to ask the right questions, and by reading this entire chapter we find he was a man of spiritual perception."
    Click here to read all of Proverbs 30.

    8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.

    9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
    Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.

    I know when I am given much I think I don't need the Lord.

    20 "This is the way of an adulteress:
    She eats and wipes her mouth
    and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.'

    This is painful to read.

    24 "Four things on earth are small,
    yet they are extremely wise:

    25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
    yet they store up their food in the summer;

    This time of year in San Diego (hot, dry heat getting up to 100), the ants come marching one by one inside houses. And they're looking for water! It's taken me 5 years of living here to get used to this. It's unreal-they are so strong, SO organized. No wonder scripture points them out.

    32 "If you have played the fool and exalted yourself,
    or if you have planned evil,
    clap your hand over your mouth!

    33 For as churning the milk produces butter,
    and as twisting the nose produces blood,
    so stirring up anger produces strife."

    Lord, help me clap my hand over my mouth!

    August 29, 2009

    Proverbs 29:3

    I received an anonymous comment on my Proverbs 29 post. I don't know the motivation of the commenter, but I wouldn't want her to be confused by Scripture in any way, so I would like to take a few minutes to address this issue:

    Proverbs 29:3 says,
    "A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth."

    She said, "Jesus was a companion of prostitutes."
    • Let's first look at the 5 different women who could possibly be discussed as a "prostitute" and "companion to Jesus".
    1. Sinful Woman Who Anointed Jesus (Luke 7:36-50) Location: Nain area (north). A woman who "had lived a sinful life" came to a party at a Pharisee's house that Jesus was attending and anointed his feet. Jesus honored her by contrasting her graciousness with the host's stinginess at the party. Jesus told her, "Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace." And as far as we know this is the only encounter between her and Jesus.
    2. Mary Magdelene (Luke 8:1-3) Location: Galilean countryside (north). She and several other women who had been cured of evil spirits and disease traveled with Jesus and his disciples supporting them financially. She was one of 4 women mentioned at the crucifixion of Jesus and he appeared to her after his resurrection. There was probably no female who was more of a companion to Jesus than Mary Magdelene, but scripture gives no indication that she was a prostitute.
    3. Woman at the Well (John 4:1-36) Location: Sychar, Samaria. Jesus, ignoring racial prejudices, "bumped" into this woman at the well. After explaining that he had living water, he confronted her sexual promiscuity which included 4 past husbands and living with a man who wasn't her husband. It is quite profound that he admitted to her he was the long-awaited Messiah! She told the whole town about him, and as far as we know they never had another encounter.
    4. Woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) Location: Mount of Olives, near Bethany (south). She was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees to pose a question to him. We know by the text that she was committing adultery, which does not rule out the fact that she was a prostitute. However, since the gospels use the word "prostitute" other times chances are she wasn't. After saving her from being stoned, Jesus told her to "Go now and leave your life of sin." This is the only encounter we know of between Jesus and this woman.
    5. Mary sister of Lazarus and Martha (John 12:1-3) Location: Bethany (south). Jesus loved this family very much. In this passage he had come to Bethany on his way to Passover in Jerusalem. At a dinner in his honor, Mary anointed him with such expensive perfume that it enraged Judas Iscariot who would betray him 6 days later. Mary of Bethany was definitely a close companion, but the Bible never refers to her as a prostitute.
    • Secondly, let's marvel at the character of Christ: What was amazingly radical about Jesus is that he was a friend of sinners. The Pharisees used it against him all the time. But Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 9:10), and He wasn't going to let the Pharisees get in the way of that. Plus, as Jesus, he was God of the universe, perfect and sinless. Every person he came in contact with was more sinful than he was.
    • Lastly, let's make sure we interpret Proverbs 29:3 correctly. The type of "companionship" that this man was having with prostitutes was making him "squander his wealth". Why is that? Because he was paying them for sex. That is most definitely not the type of companionship that Jesus had with the women listed above. His companionship was pure and sacrificial in nature.

    Proverbs 29

    3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

    I think the way this is written is so profound: "companion of prostitutes" is the contrast to a man who loves wisdom.

    11 A fool gives full vent to his anger,
    but a wise man keeps himself under control.

    I love how it doesn't say the wise man lacks anger, only that he knows how to keep it under control-the fool doesn't know how to.

    15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
    but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.

    Wow, this is SO TRUE!!! Children who are not guided and instructed cause huge, embarrassing scenes.

    17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace;
    he will bring delight to your soul.

    I love that feeling of delight when one of my kids makes the right decision after months (or years) of me trying to train them in the way they should go!

    18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
    but blessed is he who keeps the law.

    Read Romans 7:7 - 8:1

    20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.

    Oh, Lord, help me to slow my verbal responses.

    25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

    I need to remember this!

    August 28, 2009

    Aloha Friday: MOPS

    Kailani of An Island Life writes...In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link below. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

    Tomorrow is my first MOPS leadership meeting of the year. As we gear up for "Life on Planet Mom" I have been thinking a lot about what moms of preschoolers really need. I would love to know what you think.
    If you were going to meet with other moms on a regular basis, what would you most want to take away from that experience? If you've been a part of a MOPS, what did you like the most? the least?

    Veggie Tales Sale!

    Thank you 24/7 MOMS for sharing this awesome deal of the day! Veggie Tales has a ton of stuff 50% of through Monday. Plus, they are offering FREE shipping on orders over $30 today! That's fantastic!

    Proverbs 28

    1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

    That is so true! When we have done things we want to keep secret, we live like someone is going to find out at any second! Oh, Lord, I want to live a life where I would have no shame in people finding out what I do when no one is watching.

    13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
    but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

    I love this combination of words "confesses and renounces". Even fools will admit sins, but it's when we confess them with heart desire to renounce them that true repentance occurs.

    23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
    than he who has a flattering tongue.

    This is tough to read.

    26 He who trusts in himself is a fool,
    but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

    How many times do I trust in myself? When will I ever stop?

    Face of Betrayal by Lis Wiehl

    Face of Betrayal is a suspense novel about the disappearance of a 17-yr old Senate page. Though this case is puzzling to the authorities, it starts to unravel as three women, known by themselves as "The Triple Threat", dig deeper. These three women, reporter Cassidy Shaw, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce are friends from high school who use their knowledge, position, and trust of each other to solve cases.

    I am bothered by the fact that many modern mysteries are often filled with bad language and graphic sex scenes. Face of Betrayal is unique in that it provides all the suspense and plot development of a great mystery and leaves out the filthy parts that distract. In addition to that, the author creatively introduces us to the 17-yr old missing girl by letting us read her blog entries. Who doesn't love an interesting blog?

    I believe you will enjoy this book that weaves you through several suspects only to conclude with one you may not have expected! I look forward to the next installment in the Triple Threat Series, Hand of Fate, due out in March 2010.