Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Heaven" Package Give-Away!!

Congratulations and Happy Birthday (who knew??) to Susan over at Not THAT Girl....THIS Girl blog. Yay Susan !! Drop me a note and give me your logistics. Hope you enjoy these books.
Thanks everyone for playing and I will do another giveaway in the near future, so check back sometimes.

***PLEASE remember to leave me your email address if you don't have a blog, so I have a way to reach you if you win!!!!****

There is a huge Blogger Give-away Carnival going on and I'm a part of it. Go here to check out all the fun things you can enter to win.

This is pretty darn fun. I love to give things away. Especially cool things that you should all have, like these books on Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

First we have the ginormous book titled "Heaven". Everything you ever wanted to know and didn't think to ask. It's all in there. The best book on Heaven ever written. But don't take my word for it, ask Rick Warren, or maybe Joni Earekson Tada.

And it's signed by the author. Because he happens to be my good friend. :-)
(If you would like to read more about why he and his wife Nanci are my friends and always will be, you can click here.)

But, wait, there's more!

You will also receive "Heaven for Kids" (Answers kids will understand-based on the best-selling book for adults.)

But, wait, there's even more!

You will also receive "50 Days of Heaven" (reflections that bring eternity to light.)

And did I mention...they're signed by the author.

Cool, huh? And they are each brand, spanking new!

Perfect for gift giving or doing in-depth studies on where we will be spending eternity.

Just leave me a comment and I will draw a name on Friday morning(2/1/08). Make sure you leave me an email address to contact you, if you don't have a blog. Also,as shipping is provided by me, I'll be shipping to the States only.

If this works out, I'll do another give-away in the not too distant future of Randy's three or four novels. Check back occasionally. Should be fun!

Sign up and good luck to you!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Pleasures of God

Today is just one of those days when my gratefulness to God is on a whole new level. Like the highest level before your head spins around and you explode from trying to hold in all your feelings of love and thankfulness to our Father. I know that doesn't sound very pretty, but frankly, I can't always stop the flood of emotions that accompany said thankfulness.
Take this day for example. A freezing cold, snowy clear picture perfect day in ZigZag. Riding the quad with the dogs in the morning is exquisite. The quad has to fight to get over some frozen snow drifts and the frosty air burns my throat. The clear blue of the sky meets the pristine white of the snow and the beauty makes my eyes tear up with joy. I will literally talk to the Lord out loud (not sure if he can hear me over the Polaris's engine, though) and invite him to come with me around our loop. We watch the dogs chase each other and notice deer,rabbit and occasionally bear footprints in the deep snow as we ride.

Just about now, I know some of you are are wishing you lived here,too.
Others are wondering what kind of drug I am on, and if I'll soon be examining my own hand with wonder, awe and a spacey look in my eyes.
No. I'm not and I won't. I'm seriously just so thankful to the Lord for placing us here and letting me experience his stunning creation at this mountain. I know it may only last for a season, and I am thankful for this time.
I'm starting to read John Piper's "The Pleasures of God". To be honest, I'm still struggling though the introduction and forward. I'm not kidding. But there is some good stuff in there.
Anyway, one thing he said is "One way to mediate on the excellency of God is to meditate on his pleasures. One way to see the glory of God is to see his joy." If that is true, and I believe it is, then I know that God takes great pleasure in his creation up here at the mountain, and in me taking great pleasure in it as well. So, he can go on quad rides with me around the loop any time he wants. It's all good.
Also, I have so enjoyed my family this week. Not only is Josiah back home in the states, but Rod turned 50!
I dearly love every gray hair on his old, decrepit head. Not the ones in his ears....or the curly long mutant ones that keep growing out of his eyebrows, though.
Oh, I kid.
Rod is my very best friend whom I choose to spend time with before anyone else. I love him more now than when I married him. He keeps me laughing.
Amy and I took him to his favorite restaurant for dinner where we all had brussel sprouts for an appetizer (I'm not kidding.) and salmon for dinner. We had such a good time together; it was just the perfect evening.
Except for that glitch when Rod described the smell of our curried lentil soup like something in a cow barn. And Amy kept guessing things like , "Hay? Is it like hay? How about udder? Is it like cow udder?" At that point I was looking for a way out the nearest window.
That part of dinner; not so fun. But the rest was perfect. Really.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gluttony and Sloth

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? Proverbs 6:9

and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Proverbs 23:2

Two things come to mind here:

1) Things aren't looking good for me.

2) This is exactly why more people don't read the bible.

But these two deadly sins perfectly describe my living conditions lately. Well, add foot ball (Go Packers!! WooHoo!!!!) And politics. (Go Huckabee! Maybe McCain! Woo!) Oh and quads and bullies and snow. And DeerHunter 05. Trust me. You'd have to be there.

But seriously, I have been a hibernating, slothful, donut-eating, coffee-guzzling, football and debate watching,video game playing gluttonous sluggard.

I am hideous. Look away.

BUT....the Lord's mercies are indeed new every morning and today is a new day. I can change my slothful ways and begin eating better again.

My prayer life and bible study times have also suffered during my hibernation. Isn't it funny how everything seems to go out the window at the same time?

Growing up Catholic has made me sometimes chafe under legalistic restraints. That's fine, except that I'll misconstrue some things as legalistic and not do them out of rebelliousness. Like praying before meals. It held no importance as a child to repeat words before eating; more like a meaningless ritual. So as a believing adult, most times I still don't pray before meals. (Gosh, I've grown so much. I'm impressed.)

Sometimes I don't want to follow a reading plan for the bible because it will hold me back from being spontaneous and letting the Holy Spirit move. (Again, I'm astonished at my growth.) I was reading some of my regular blogs and Jess had this .Well worth reading. Thank you, Jess. I got out the One-a-Day and a new journal this morning. I appreciate what you learned and shared.


I was woken up out of a deep sleep at 5 AM this morning to hear Josiah tell me that he made it to Baltimore! Hurray! He is in the USA! He was getting ready to take his first hot shower in months and then go to breakfast and then to a mall. Good thing he has his priorities straight.

Thank you to all to you who have prayed for his safety. He will be home in a few weeks after a debriefing period. One more "Thank you God" and "Hurray!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Snow Days

I seriously love me some snow days. Give me snow over rain any day (maybe not in May or June) and I will do a celebratory dance. A pile of books, some coffee interspersed with hot chocolate, Rod and I out riding quads through the cold drifts is the description of a perfect day to me.

But right now there is a snow storm socking in Afghanistan which means Josiah's plane cannot take off. This means he is waiting, bag packed and nothing to do while he dreams of home.

His girlfriend Ashley has kept in contact and we ask each other daily if we've heard any news. Nothing yet. Still waiting.

Here is Ashley and Josiah before he was deployed. Don't you want to say, "awwwww." I know, me too.

So, we'll wait and pray for safety and patience. Thank you Lord for watching over all of us, for holding us when we cry and joining us when we laugh. Please take care of Josiah and bring him home safely. Watch over and comfort Ashley as she waits for Josiah's arrival. Thank you for her positive presence in his life.Thank you for being our Abba. I love you Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Good Morning 2008

Today, Rod and I are going for another Bomb-voy. Scary sounding, isn't it?

But no, it is perfectly innocent fun. We gather with other diesel truck enthusiasts and hit the road as a convoy for a few hours, then stop for a good meal together.Last time we traveled to Mt. St. Helen's. You can see pictures here . We really enjoy spending time with these good people.

Something that hit me hard yesterday happened during an instant message conversation with Josiah, my son. (He is currently serving in the Air Force, stationed in Afghanistan.

Josiah mentioned that it was now the new year where he was and I asked, "How is 2008, so far?"

Josiah said, "It's dark." Then, "There is bombing going on."


Not quite the New Year's celebration most of us think about having, is it?

Here I am, a mom, sitting comfortably in my office and talking to my son halfway around the world,huddled in a dark hut, in a war zone. (Okay, maybe he wasn't actually huddling. But that is what I picture. And it makes my mascara start running, I can tell you that.)

It is dark at the Forward Operating Base where he is because they have a "black-out conditions" policy after dark.

The bombing is in response to the mortars being launched and it is close enough to Josiah for his hut and the ground to shake. Although it does not go on every single day, it is often enough that it does not worry Josiah anymore, like it did when he first arrived there. "You get used to it." he typed yesterday.

That's something any mom would enjoy hearing. Her son is not scared of the bombing anymore.

In the midst of this I am filled with gratitude to God for our technology which allows this conversation between a son and his Mom on New Year's Eve.

I am thankful for these men and women who are serving their country in these conditions while we have our celebrations and parties.

I am thankful that Josiah is coming back to the United States within a few weeks. He has been away for four years, and deployed during most holidays. I am ready to have a celebration where we don't have to talk on the phone.

I pray for Josiah and his friends' safety and return home. Sometimes those prays can only consist of "Please God, please God, please God, please God...." But I know that he totally understands my pleas. He loves Josiah more than even his blogging mother can fathom and He directs our steps and has dominion over the universe and everything in it.

Then my prayers turn to "Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God, Thank you God...."

Happy New Year to all of you. "May the Lord of peace himself give you his peace, at all times and in all situations. The Lord be with all of you."