Saturday, November 14, 2009

On The Hunt

Rod and I are not speaking to each other. Probably because he has already left for his day long Horse Packing and Camping seminar and doesn't have his cell phone. Can you even believe I didn't go?
Me, neither.

Nope, I'm just gonna hang around here, clean stalls, feed horses, make cupcakes for church tonight and shop because Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale is still in progress.






We really are different from each other, I ponder, as I slather on my Crabtree and Evelyn "La Source" relaxing body lotion, which I first tried when Amy and I stayed on the 17th floor at the Hilton downtown last August.


When I first told Rod we wanted to stay downtown, he squinted his eyes and turned his head sideways like I was speaking in tongues to him. And there was no one around to interpret.

"Really? Downtown?" He pushed Ruby the goat away from the grain bucket.Again

"Why don't you just stay somewhere around here?"


I shook my head sadly, but affectionately at his naivete. I gestured at the Douglass fir covered mountain behind me, and the bubbling waterfall on the other side of the serene pond.


As if!! Amy and I craved concrete and car fumes, not the scent of warm horses and sunshine. We wanted air-conditioning,big city and bright lights. And concierge service.

So we went and had a marvelous time which we have vowed to make a yearly party for two.



So today, when Rod happily headed out in the Dodge to learn how to pack his wall tent onto Polly and Drifter (really?) it does make me think about our differences. But I need to consider our similarities, not focus on our differences so much.




For instance, we both like to hunt.
Rod heads out in chilly November, usually with his brothers, nephews and Dad to set up camp outside up in the mountains. (You have no idea how hard it was for me to not type that last sentence in ALL CAPS. But as you can see, I resisted.)

They prepare for months in advance, determine exactly where they will go and how they will stalk their prey.They use maps,GPS's and other gear that I have never heard of, but I know that they sell at Cabela's.
They bring along all manner of weaponry, both to protect themselves and to bring the big game down. (It is so stinking hard not to laugh!)


They drink tepid Gounde coffee (use your imagination), gnaw on jerky and sleep on the grounde,too, unless they brought a cot. Sounds comfy-cozy. And they don't shower until they come home. Whew, doggie!


I head out in chilly November, too. I jump into my Trailblazer, turn on my seat-heater, listen to some Jesus Culture as I plan my hunt. It is Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale, after all, so it is serious business. I WILL come home with my prey.



I stop at the Bux to fortify myself with a nonfat Chai. I need to stay in top fighting form. You never know what kind of deranged, credit- card flailing, french-manicured, Euro-shopper I'll encounter on the treacherous escalator ride between Shoes and Savvy.
I need to be alert and focused.It is quiet here in the pre-dawn deep in the racks between the Winter Sweaters and the upcoming Spring Collection. I breathe in deeply and smell the warmth of the cashmere, the smooth luxury of leather and I believe a hint of floral and citrus wafting up from down in the make-up department. I take a deep, energizing breath and straighten my purse straps. I am ready to hunt.



But wait! What's that over there? Why, hello, Clinique special bonus!



You need to be ready to pounce when you see something shiny and sparkly prey slightly different than what you were going after originally. BE PREPARED. BE WATCHFUL.






When both Rod and I do come home, we both are triumphant. Our hunts were both successful. Rod with a bear his brother and nephew both shot and they all tracked for two days and then packed out. (Seriously?)
F.U.N.



I arrived home, exhausted but happy with a pair (that's TWO. Count 'em) of Steve Madden French Engineer boots in Nutmeg, which fashion permitting, should see me through at least 4-5 more hunting seasons. 33% off! SCORE!!


So, although we both do very different kinds of hunting we can still come together and compare our seasons at the end of the day. Or the beginning, like we did this morning.



And if anyone would like our expert hunting guide services for next year, just give us a call. Keep in mind that my service starts with a stop at Starbucks. With Rod's you'll be picking grounds out of your teeth with a Arkansas Toothpick for a month. Of course with me, you'll most likely be paying for your purchases for about 12 months.And your husband might want to take up hunting once he finds out.
Just sayin'.
That's all.





Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If God is Good...



I wasn't really planning on writing this post yet, but I feel I should. Randy Alcorn, who I am proud to call friend, brother, pal has written a book titled "If God is Good...Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil." It came out yesterday. I began reading it last week.


I'm not gonna lie. My usual fare tends to be things like "The Shopaholic Takes Manhattan" and People Magazine cookbooks (with pictures) by Paula Deene. Frivolous?Yes.
Enjoyable? Completely.


So a book about suffering (really?) and evil (seriously?) would not necessarily end up on my night stand. Well, it would. But it would get dusty. Just sayin'.


But because this was written by my good friend, because I trust and look up to this man so much,and I completely know how his heart chases after Jesus, I would set aside Paula Deene and her buttery recipes for a time.


I even began to look forward to what I was going to learn. But I wasn't prepared for the cracking open of my heart as I read and absorbed and reread and cried.


How could I not have understood these important truths before? Did I just become too familiar with "common" doctrine and apathetic to God's crazy love and his willingness to suffer for us?





I have wept the last two days reading this book and when my feelings became too much I put it down and walked away to make dinner or play with the puppy. I'm telling you, the truth of this is washing over me and over me.
My eyes have been focused on myself and my (our) own "suffering" rather than Jesus.
I am so torn apart by not having seen that.
Or known it with my head, but not owned it in my heart.
I am repenting today.





Randy writes, " The cross is God's answer to the question, "Why don't you do something about evil?" Bart Ehrman writes, "I came to think that there is not a God actively involved with this world of pain and misery---if he is, why doesn't he do something about it?"


But what if God did do something about it? What if what he did was so great and unprecedented that it shook the angelic realm's foundation, and ripped in half, from the top down, not only the temple curtain, but the fabric of the universe itself?"




Randy goes on to do what the Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion" could not do; portray with words what suffering Christ went through, both in body and spirit, so he could prevent our eternal suffering.


He lays out what society's various responses are to the question of evil and suffering and then dives into the many layers of what scripture tells us. Brilliant stuff.


I so highly recommend this book. In fact, I insist you go get one. We need to understand about suffering before it happens. Because it will. But we have a God who cares .

Randy writes, " If you know Jesus, then the hand holding your bears the calluses of a carpenter who worked with wood and carried the cross for you. When he opens his hand, you see the gnarled flesh of the nail scars on his wrists. And when you think he doesn't understand your pain, realize that you don't understand the extent of his pain. Love him or not, he has proven that he loves you.
If you hate suffering, does it make sense to choose eternal suffering when God has already suffered so much to deliver you from it?
In your most troubled moments, when you cry out to God, "Why have you let this happen?" picture the outstretched hands of Christ, forever scarred...for you.
Do these look like the hands of a God who does not care?"

Now I have to go finish it.
Go get yourself one or twelve.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lucy's First Post

This post is brought to you courtesy of my friend Nanci, who dropped what she was doing yesterday to come with me to the airport to pick up my little bundle of joy. She kept me calm and sane. Correction. She tried to keep me calm and sane while hugging and comforting Lucy. Thanks, Nanci. I couldn't have done it alone and I wouldn't have had nearly so much fun without you. :-)

So, everyone...say hello to Lucy.










Because I needed another dog like I needed.....well, another dog.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scurvy Predators



I snapped this picture yesturday morning. I was getting our coffee (Starbux Gazebo...today's fave.) and I looked out the kitchen window in time to see this scurvy predator beautiful blue heron. The truck is like a tree stand perfect perch for the bird as he surveys his breakfast our trout pond right below.


I know Rod is not happy that the blue heron hs been making our trout pond his own personal McDonald's drive-thru, picking up his Filet 'O' Fish whenever the mood strikes him.



But to use Rod's work truck to get a better view is just adding insult to injury.
Ouch.



This morning, I was cleaning up the kitchen, when I noticed Lila sitting and staring solemnly at the counter. Once in a while , she would heave a sigh in a much put-upon manner. Finally, I looked over to see what she was staring at so intently.

Ahhh. A girl after my own heart. She just wanted a little butter with her breakfast. She is polite. She won't take it without permission.


Which makes me think of a friend, (I won't mention her name, but her initials are "LINDA")


who, as a little girl would eat butter sticks.


Yes, you heard me. Sticks of butter. I actually have dreamed of doing that.


You'd think she would be as big as an Escalade, but honestly, she is more like a Mini-Cooper.



And she can sing like a blue heron bird.


I wonder if all the butter helped?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Loud voices in my head.


Sometimes all I can hear are the voices in my head telling me what I need to fix or do or focus on now.

Right now.

They tell me all the chores that need to get done, then when I am doing those chores I am thinking about the work I need to get finished afterwards. All the while, there is the dominant voice of worry and fret, letting me know that I should be concerned about the state of our health care system, and how much we owe the IRS, the new contractor's rule changes, are the goats eating too much, the business liability insurance forms, not getting enough work, getting too much work, and did I mention the HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

The voices in my head get louder and louder until I can't hear the quiet voice in my heart anymore.

But I can stop those voices in my head that demand my attention and listen to the voice of my Shepherd.

I choose that. I choose Him.
I need to take a walk with Jesus tonight.

He says, "Come to me, you who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."


He says, "Peace be with you."


He says, "So don't worry about these things, saying 'what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."


Thank you, Lord. I needed the reminder today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

You know you're a redneck when...

You know you're a redneck when...


You take a nice Sunday afternoon nap.

With your goats.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baloney Sandwich: Redux

***I looked back on my blog a year and a day ago and found this. I noticed that I am not feeling all thankful and grateful like I was that morning.

But I heart the Baloney Sandwich story, so I am repeating it.
I can do this.
This is my blog.
Have a good day.




This is just one of those thankful kind of days. Nothing special happened, but I am overwhelmed with gratefulness to God for everything He provides. Nice weather, jobs for our business, watermelon, the birds singing, tough lessons that He helps me learn, family, friends, DVR technology, beef on the grill.In all honesty, my list could go on and on. Couldn't yours?

Here is a very cool little devotional called "A Baloney Sandwich" from the book "Stories Bob Benson Used to Tell."

Read it. Enjoy it. Be thankful to God this morning.
Realize that I typed it up for you with my two-fingered typing skillz. Because I love you.


A Baloney Sandwich
"You have come to share in the very being of God" 2nd Peter 1:4

"Do you remember when they had old fashioned Sunday School picnics? I do. As I recall, it was back in the "Olden days", as my kids would say, back before they had air conditioning.They said, "We'll all meet at the Sycamore Lodge in Shelby Park at 4:30 on Saturday.
You bring your supper and we'll furnish the iced tea.



But if you were like me, you came home at the last minute. When you got ready to pack your picnic, all you could find in the refrigerator was one piece of dried up baloney and just enough mustard at the bottom of the jar so you got it all over your knuckles trying to get to it. And just two slices of stale bread to go with it. So you made your baloney sandwich and wrapped it in an old brown bag and went to the picnic.



When it came time to eat you sat at the end of a table and spread out your sandwich. But the folks who sat next to you brought a feast. The lady was a good cook and had worked hard all day to get ready for the picnic. And she had fried chicken and baked beans and potato salad and homemade rolls and sliced tomatoes and pickles and olives and celery.

And two big homemade chocolate pies to top it off. That's what they spread out there next to you while you sat with your baloney sandwich.

But they said to you,

"Why don't we just put it all together?""No, I couldn't do that. I couldn't even think of it," you murmured in embarrassment, with one eye on the chicken."Oh, come on, there's plenty of chicken and plenty of pie and plenty of everything. And we just love baloney sandwiches. Let's just put it all together."




And so you did and there you sat, eating like a king when you came like a pauper.








One day, it dawned on me that God has been saying just that sort of thing to me. "Why don't you take what you have and what you are, and I will take what I have and what I am, and we'll share it together?"


I began to see that when I put what I had and was and am and hope to be with what He is, I had stumbled upon the bargain of a lifetime.I get to thinking sometimes, thinking of me sharing with God. when I think of how little I bring, and how much He brings and invites me to share, I know I should be shouting from the housetops, but I am so filled with awe and wonder that I can hardly speak.



I know I don't have enough love or faith or grace or mercy or wisdom, but He does. He has all those things in abundance and He says, "Let's just put it all together."Consecration, denial,sacrifice,commitment and crosses were all kind of hard words for me, until I saw them in the light of sharing.



It isn't a case of me kicking in what I have because God is the biggest kid on the block and He wants it all for Himself. He is saying,"Everything I possess is available to you. Everything that I am and can be to a person, I will be to you."



When I think about it like that,it really amuses me to see somebody running along through life hanging on to their dumb bag with that stale baloney sandwich in it saying, "God's not going to get my sandwich! No sirree, this is mine!" Did you ever see anybody like that-so needy- just about half starved to death, yet hanging on for dear life. It's not that God wants your sandwich.

The fact is you need His chicken!

Well, go ahead-eat your baloney sandwich, as long as you can. But when you can't stand its tastelessness or drabness any longer, when you get so tired of running your own life and doing it your way and figuring out the answers with no one to help, when trying to accumulate,hold,grasp and keep everything together in your own strength gets to be too big a load, when you begin to realize that by yourself you're never going to be able to fulfill your dreams, I hope you'll remember that it doesn't have to be that way.


You have been invited to something better, you know. You have been invited to share in the very being of God.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spiritualizing stuff

"Do you have to try to spiritualize everything?" or "Quit trying to spiritualize everything."



Both of these things have been said to me on more than a few occasions and it wouldn't bother me a bit if they were said by unbelievers.(And they have been)

But the times it has made me pause has been when it has been said by believers; people who have been Christians for a long time, usually raised in the church.


I always assumed people are kidding when they say this...until I'd heard it many times, and not always directed at me.

So I now have to ponder if what was said wrong, or wonder if intentions were misconstrued or I was so out of line that someone would feel they need to gently or jokingly correct me with a wink and a laugh.


I honestly can't see it.



If I were attempting to shove the Good News down some one's throat with a pitchfork or Bible-verse hurling with intent to injure I can see anyone getting annoyed. (including me)



But seeing God revealed in every situation or circumstance is not really a bad thing, in my opinion. In fact, its a good thing.



The way I see it, I don't put God in situations; He is already there.


I just see Him there and say something about it. I am not "trying" to make Him there...He just IS.


He encompasses everything, all the time.


"It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega-the Beginning and the End." (Rev.21:6)



God is not at all confined to church-flavored situations like Sunday School or communion or bible study, although He is there, too.


But He can be found in every detail, every action, every corner of creation.


He is the God of grapes and goats and galaxies. I want to see Him everywhere. Shouldn't we be asking Him to reveal His awesome presence to us...everywhere and in everything?




Aren't we admonished from the pulpit that we should not restrict our worship to Sundays while singing a Chris Tomlin worship song , but be aware of Him during conversations with family and friends, shopping at Safeway in the middle of the week,walking the goats or cleaning the kitchen after dinner?





So I would encourage you not to muffle or discourage the voices that see God everywhere. They are praising God when they recognize Him in the magnificent as well as the minuscule and mundane.


I would question whether some brothers and sisters are trying to impose limits on when and where God may be seen by His children, instead of inviting Him to make Himself known in everyday life.




I will continue find great joy in seeing Him everywhere, like a cosmic Where's Waldo. And speak up about it.


I am not spiritualizing everything.


He already did.




Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed: Blessed is he who comes, the king in God's name! All's well in heaven! Glory in the high places!



Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, "Teacher, get your disciples under control!"



But he said, "If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise." (Luke 19:38-40)




Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!



Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven! Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars!


Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds! Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command, and they came into being. He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked.



Praise the Lord from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths, fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him, mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds, kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth, young men and young women, old men and children.



Let them all praise the name of the Lord. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven! 14 He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A hypothetical, slightly inappropriate situation

***You were warned once. I'm not gonna do it again. Proceed at your own risk.***



I was pondering things this morning as I jogged. About how I didn't feel like running. At all. About how excited I am that the new Glory Revealed CD is going to drop any minute now. About how happy I am that no goats are with me. About how that last insect I inhaled almost choked me to death.

Also about this following, completely hypothetical situation.



Picture this.



Say a wife is making dinner and folding laundry at the same time. Multi-tasking like a hurricane. She is on a mission to get things done. It is a Monday and things will get accomplished.



Suddenly, she realizes she has to go to the bathroom, but because she was like a woman on fire getting chores done, she may have waited a moment or two longer than she should have.

She rushes into the bathroom.



IF her husband had left the seat in the DOWN position, like he usually does, everything would be hunky-dory. Left with the seat in the upright position the humble toilet becomes a veritable Porcelain Death Trap for women, with it's gaping jaws and rushing waters.



So, for the sake of our story, let's just say that the husband left the seat up. Then the poor, unsuspecting wife would probably almost fall into the toilet and wheel her arms around like a big, clumsy ostrich trying to take flight. She may or may not have screamed.

Loudly.

She probably even pulled every muscle in her back, shoulder and neck.



But her injury would obviously be more than physical. It would be mental, too, because hell0-ooo.

She almost drowned in a toilet.



She would probably be justifiably miffed. I assume that she would not have the best attitude as she slapped said husband's Honey Mustard Roast Pork, steamed green beans and Garlic Parmesan red potatoes on a plate at dinner time.



You can't blame this pretend woman for getting upset. She most likely wouldn't even feel like running the next day.

Because of the pain, you know.

But she is a determined sort, (anger is an excellent motivator) and would probably go on her run anyway .

She would probably try to distract herself from the discomfort in her back by thinking about the new Glory Revealed CD that is going to drop any minute....

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Homely Goat

To be perfectly frank, he is rather ugly. Even for a goat. Rod brought the three month old Ringo home for a couple for a couple of reasons.


1. As a friend for Radar, Rod's beloved (yes, beloved) little, bottle-fed, adorable Alpine goat. Goats need company. Or they can get depressed and die. That would be sad.



2. Rod wanted to see what a La Mancha goat would be like. They are a breed which originated in Oregon (like La Marion berry), have no ears to speak of and are reputed to be the most lovable and affectionate of goats.



If "lovable and affectionate" can be read as "extremely needy and the noisiest goat EVER," then yes, I would have to enthusiastically agree.


Ringo bawls for hours in his nice warm and cozy stall. His wail can travel through closed doors and windows for miles. Reader Brenda can verify this fact.




He bawled like a baby crying for his mother for days. He lost his voice and then sounded like a goose with a pneumonia . It was awful. You mothers know how you feel when you hear a baby crying like that. You want to fix it. Fix it now. Comfort the little baby.








So we did. We would go out and hold him and comfort him. This is hard because he looks like an alien goat. Well, what an alien would look like if a planet of goat-like beings invaded Earth. Because he has no ears.


Are you frightened yet? You should see him when he bolts across the yard, full goat speed, and leaps at you. That is scary, my friends. SCARY.


But I am trying hard to love him, no matter that he is strange and different looking. As my daughter pointed out, I am always for the under-dog. Or under-goat, as the case may be. If that is true, then I should be wildly in love with this little guy. No matter that he bawls like a wounded elephant, or that he has chewed my Floribunda rose bush into a pile of thorny, flowerless twigs, or poops (BIG poop, I might add) on my front porch, or chases our cars down the driveway if one of us should ever leave or that he focuses his eyes directly on us in a freakishly disturbing manner.Or even that he smells kind of goaty.


He is still a creature that we need to care for. And we will look past his odd exterior into his little goat heart and love him anyway. Because he loves us. Well, he needs us, anyway.


I hope that God looks past my frumpy, not in perfect shape exterior and loves me anyway. Basically, I am a homely goat, too. (get off your high horse, you are,too) All needy and getting into trouble. But I'll follow Ringo's example here and bawl out my needs,stare directly at Him and race as fast as I can straight Jesus.




I love, love, LOVE how God uses all His creation to point to Himself. If we'll just look, there He is, all around us. All the time. Thank you so much, Lord.



My bloggy friend, Bev, (or as I call her "Crazy Chicken Lady") is catching the farmy flu, as well. Stop by and say "Howdy" to her. Because that is how we farm folk greet each other.

Here I am lovingly comforting poor little Ringo. You can see the special bond we share.
Please pray for us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oh, no she didn't!

Yesterday:


7:00am:Plain Cheerios and skim milk for breakfast.




10:00am: Cleaned stalls and helped Rod clean barn. Worked hard.








11:00: Walked dogs and puppy-goat for an easy mile or so.








12:00pm: Lunched on tuna and mustard on a thin slice of whole wheat. 10 almonds. Cheese stick. Carrots.


1:00pm: Hiked alongside an energetic and slightly mischievous 2 year old horse for more than four miles. Sweat alot.








5:00pm: Rod left to watch Lakers on TV with his Dad and Josiah. I ate tomato soup and 12 Reduced Fat Ritz crackers. (Yes, I'm counting.)



9:30pm: I woke up because I heard Rod arrive home and calling out: "Anybody want some leftover chocolate birthday cake?"



9:31pm: Moving into the kitchen and reaching for a fork before my body even knows I am out of bed. I am a Chocolate Cake Ninja.




9:33pm: Back to bed. I'm exhausted. And full. And happy.
(the second fork is Amy's, my partner in crime who also woke up like the Dawn of the Dead Cake Zombi and helped make the dessert disappear.)







Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goat Science





Owning a baby goat is a science. A BOTTLE-FED baby goat.




It seems like it should be easy. It is livestock. Any farmer can do it.




But we worry about little Radar.




Is he eating enough? Is he eating too much?




Is he acting lively enough?




Is he too lethargic?




Do we need to give him another baby goat enema. (yes, you read that correctly. Just keep on reading and try to forget.That's what I'm going to do.)




Maybe your first question, when you are finished laughing, is: Why did Rod and Diane get a goat? And I'm not gonna lie. There is a small part of me that is slightly embarrassed by the fact that we own a goat. That is probably why I usually refer to him a the "puppy-goat."

I guess I have a certain type of person in mind when I think of people who own goats. I need to get over my biases. So do you.




But you bring up an excellent question. Direct and to the point. Let me pull this strand of hay out of my mouth and hitch up my overalls and give you the short answer.




Because Rod wants to raise a "packgoat."




I went along with the plan as soon as I figured out it had nothing to do with a "packrat." We already have one of those, and his initials start with ROD. Just sayin'.




A packgoat, for those of you not up on your goat science, is a goat that carries or packs your things into or out of camp. Or on a backbacking/camping trip. Gosh, it sounds like a good time.





As I don't camp without an RV or a resort nearby, I say, "Have a merry,good time, Rod and fellow goatpackers. (I wonder if this is like that time he joined the Civil War Cavalry? He and his horse, Eli went to battle a few times before Eli became terrified of the cannon blasts and Rod figured out that those Cavalry guys take their play-acting pretty seriously. Shhhh....don't tell them the War is O.V.E.R.)




Anyway, our baby goat is adorable and follows Rod everywhere he goes. I did put my foot down when Rod picked him up last night and began to put him in our bed. He thought I was asleep.. I was not.

Here is the puppy-goat having morning devotional with Papa-Goat Rod.




He seems pretty intelligent,is not noisy and does not eat too much. Check back with me in a year or two.




I am completely fascinated by watching him. He has a beautiful pattern on his fur....hair? Beautiful eyes that seem to be able to communicate. A funny personality.




I can't help but wonder what God was thinking about as He created goats. Seriously.




Their little cloven hooves that help them balance on slippery rocks, their bleating cry, their horns.




It does just make me praise God for his creativity and his kindness in giving us people these marvelous gifts.




But as much as there is to study about Goat Science, and there is A LOT to learn, there is an endless amount to learn about our God.




I think about all the things He has made, and how we can study them and become, you know, Goat Masters, or Doctors of Goat Science, or of any of the other kajillion things He has created and I am humbled.








Now I am adding is a Charles Spurgeon quote here because it fits, and I don't want to hear any mocking about adding him onto a goat post. Just read it and shush.








He says,




"The proper study of the Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy which can engage the attention of the child of God is the name, the nature, the person, the doings, the existence of the great God...There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our tools are lost in its immensity; so deep that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can comprehend and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-contentment, and go our way with the thought, "Behold, I am wise." But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle-eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, I am but of yesterday, and know nothing."








Yeah. What he said.








Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We laugh. We cry. And there's a Give-Away!

This is my second attempt at writing this post. The first one began innocuously enough giving you information about an upcoming cover story in the May/June issue of Bible Study Magazine about one of my favorite people, Randy Alcorn.



The article focuses on Randy's approach to bible study as well as writing, so naturally,I was very interested to see what they wrote.
I also visited Bible Study Magazine website and found out a little bit about their magazine. It honestly sounds phenomenal and something I am thinking of subscribing to.
The story on Randy is great and he opens up about his thoughts on writing fiction.
“One of the reasons I love writing fiction is that
it can help readers open up the gates of their
minds. Through good fiction that contains
biblical truth, both non-Christian and Christian
readers, who may not believe in certain things
the Bible teaches, can discover truth.” Randy says in the article.
He goes on the explore what his bible study habits are.

See? All this is good and interesting stuff. I know I'd like to read more of that article.

But as I'm writing my blog about Randy and this story, slowly I'm sliding from nicely informational post to scary,emotional post and I'm becoming a bloggy pool of sentimentality, weeping as I type.
Maybe I don't carry it quite that far, but you get the picture. And it isn't pretty.





Because when I think of Randy and his wife Nanci I cannot help but gratefully think of who they have been to me. I am pausing here to think best how to put this so I don't overstate it...





They pretty much rescued me the same as you would rescue someone from, you know, a BURNING BUILDING or a RAGING FLOOD.





They were were JESUS WITH SKIN ON. Oh, yes they were.





They housed me, clothed me, fed me, attempted to discipline me, loved me anyway, were SO THERE for me in every way a person can be there for another person.You seriously have NO idea. They introduced me to their church family where I have been ever since.


They introduced me to JESUS and HOPE and ETERNAL LIFE....and my HUSBAND.





No, I was not a part of Randy's and Nanci's family. They were not obligated to help me, to rescue me. No one paid them to take care of me.


Who does that?





They did.


Un-stinkin'-believable.





Can you say GRATEFUL?


I can.


But not without choking up.









So, all that heartfelt, but mindless gushing to say that you should all go get the May/June issue of Bible Study Magazine, (doesn't the name of the magazine just make you want to subscribe? Me,too!) and enjoy the cover story about my friend, Randy. (Yes, he talks about Nanci in the article, too!)


Also, Bible Study Magazine is teaming up with Randy's Eternal Perspectives Ministries to give away 40 copies of "Heaven." Click here to enter the drawing.


Here is a brief blurb about this oh-so excellent book:









"In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it¿a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ's presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.






God has put eternity in our hearts.







Now, Randy Alcorn brings eternity to light in a way that will surprise you, spark your imagination, and change how you live today. If you've always thought of Heaven as a realm of disembodied spirits, clouds, and eternal harp strumming, you're in for a wonderful surprise.




This is a book about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering on a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as he intended it to be. "



Don't ya want to read more? Me, too! (We are so much alike!) So go enter the drawing to win it.
Randy has done all the studying and reading and research and praying so we can benefit from his knowledge on this subject. You will come away changed.

Randy and Nanci helped change the course of my life. I will always be grateful and always love them both.

I think of how, when I had no family God provided them for me. I will always be just wreaked and broken by the love God showered on me when I so completely deserved the opposite and by the Alcorn's extraordinary example of commitment and grace.

In the years since I lived there, we've shared alot of life's "stuff" from weddings, work, potlucks, church stuff, speaking thingys (engagements sounds too serious and professional), mole-throwing, all things doggy, family stuff and on and on.

There have been more crying times than we wanted. Lots of praying times.

But mostly, when I think of my friends Randy and Nanci, I remember laughing.

Usually at them.

But lots of times with them, too. :-)
***Congratulations to Randy for getting the last of his revisions for his latest book into his editor today!! Yay, you're done!!! Woo hoo!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Birthday Wrap-Up

Yeah. I know. My birthday seems to have stretched on for an eternity this year. I am even tired of all the hoopla.
But, I promise. This is it. The end of the celebrations.
The crew and I went to a weekend of Beth Moore wonderfulness.
I am feeling a bit under the weather so I will not be blogging about the conference today. You may be thankful for this, I don't know. But I did take these pictures. And I tried to keep the text to six words as that was my assignment, both at the conference and when I was putting the pictures together. (Thanks,Jen.)
Enjoy with my blessings.


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Friday, April 17, 2009

B-Day Extravaganza!!


I am not usually one to toot my own horn.




One, because I am not musical. At all. It would not be a joyful noise unto the Lord.





Two, because I like to be all subtle when bragging on myself, so you're not quite sure that is what I am doing. Then you start to question yourself and your motives rather than me and my bragasaurous ways. That's the way I like it. Uh-huh.



But I just have to boast to you about my fabulous birthday week.


It all began with going over to Ashley's apartment. (Ashley being Josiah's girlfriend. Please try to keep up.) She wanted to make a birthday dinner for me. During the week, she sent me this email:



"Hey Diane I was just wondering what thought you might like for dinner on Wednesday and what your favorite kind of cake was?"



FYI: we are keeping Ashley, so please stop sending pictures and vital statistics of your sons, nephews and brothers.





We had a fantastic dinner of chicken enchiladas, corn and chocolate birthday cake. This was topped off with taste testing jelly-bellys with flavors like pencil shavings, earwax or vomit.

Seriously. Oh my goodness. The laughing interspersed with the gagging. It was priceless. The truly hysterical part was when you didn't know if your white jelly belly was coconut or.....baby wipe. Or if the light brown candy was coffee flavored or....wait for it....ear wax.


Oh the joy of seeing Rod tasting baby wipes. It brings tears to the eyes, I tell you.
(Ashley, Amy and Josiah watch Rod as he spits out the really disgusting jelly bellys, which he insisted was dog poo. It wasn't. But it might as well have been.)



We ended the evening watching American Idol together singing and dancing along. And mocking Paula's bent-back fingers hand clapping. Fun was had by all.




Then, last night, Rod took me out for a birthday dinner-and-a-movie date. Although someone did ask to come with us (I won't mention his name but his initials are Josiah) we decided some quiet time would be nice. And it was. Not a jelly belly in sight.




So now we come to the Birthday Extravaganza Weekend!!! Guess who is coming to help celebrate ? I'll give you a hint....she has exquisite hair....she is the Mama Siesta....

Can someone say "birthday exuberance?"
I KNOW!!! I am very excited to say the least. To be completely honest, Beth Moore is not actually aware that it is my birthday we are celebrating this weekend in Portland. She probably pretty much for sure does not know I exist. But I am so much looking forward to spending the weekend at the LPM conference in Portland with my crew.

To wrap it all up in a ginormous bow, Brenda, Jen and I are going to eat at the Melting Pot on Saturday where we will dip all manner of food into a fondue pot and eat ourselves into sweet oblivion.

There you have it. Pretty much the best birthday week. Ever.
PS. Thank you to my Facebook and Bloggy friends who have stopped by to say Happy Birthday to me. You are all more than I deserve. Love you!
Next week: Back to reality. I'm ready.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My running partner

I was tense with pent up anger today when I headed out back to begin my run. I was also about an hour early because I just couldn't wait any longer to start, even though it was still pretty dark and more misty than dry outside. Not like the last two brilliant days.



But my running partner was there ready to go, as always.



I popped my ear buds in and turned on my ipod and called the dogs to start the loop, ignoring my partner. Like I said, I was mad.


And when it comes down to it, I blame him.



It has been one unbloggable, undealable, unhandable problem after another this week. Not one. Not two. Not even three. To make matters worse, now Rod and I are even fighting about it. In fact, I went to bed last night angry and watched American Idol by myself.(Now you KNOW it's bad.)





What am I supposed to do now?



Matt Redman is singing "oh no you never let go, through the calm through the calm and through the storm, Lord you never let go of me..." My running partner moves silently alongside me as the tears finally find their way out of my heart and I begin asking why.



My feet are pounding the trail and my ipod is drowning out the sound of my crying.



My running partner matched me step for step as I pounded angrily down the trail.


I shouted as I cried. Why would you let all this happen?



What am I going to do? I don't even know what to do. I don't know how to be. Why aren't you helping me?


And then, broken.


Don't you love me any more?


So much of it comes down to that for me. Still a little girl with big old abandonment issues.



My running partner has big shoulders and knows me inside and out. Sometimes I shout at him and cry. He knows that and loves me anyway. We have that kind of relationship. It's a give take and take kind of thing we have going on. It works for us.


As we run, jumping over muddy puddles, my mind and heart begin to quiet and I am able to sing along with Nicole Nordeman "When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes You are good, so good. With every breath I take in,I'll tell you I'm grateful again... You are good."


Before I know it, it is time to head for home. I have wrestled through my problems with my patient running partner and I am quietly ready to begin sorting out my stuff. I know I'll begin by reading some letters he wrote a while back encouraging me and others about just the kind of circumstances I'm in right now. He's a great guy. Seriously.


My running partner and I call the dogs before turning the last bend on the loop and heading home on the trail through the woods He made.



Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27:7-10




Thanks to Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee for getting me going with running (and wogging) again for the last two weeks. I really needed the encouragement. Head over to her blog to read all the other 30x5 bloggers that have gotten a much needed boost from her!


Monday, April 6, 2009

So....

My son, having heard all about the wonderfulness that emerges from my bread machine on a weekly daily hourly basis put in a request for a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.


Sure, I was quick to reply. Because what mom doesn't love to give gifts of food to their children, especially once that are warm and fragrant and speckled with plump raisins and spiced with cinnamon?


The yeast didn't work. I made a rock for Josiah.





"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Matt.7:9





Clearly, I will.





Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blog-worthy

I'm going to be losing readers today. I apologize for the following post. After this I should have .5 reader. That should be interesting.

Some things are blog worthy. Like Cap'n Crunch. American Idol. My new bff the Panosonic SD-YD250 Bread Machine. On a scale of 1- thrilled, it makes me sing happy songs of joy. It produces carbs of deliciousness which I slather in butter.

Because butter is still my hobby.




Some things happen which do not make me sing for joy and just are not blog worthy.






Like, say January-February 2009.





I blogged once in a while but not much and my heart wasn't in it. There have been some things weighing on me and it wasn't appropriate to share here (gasp!)


(But thank you Cindy for listening to me blather all the way from Indiana. I owe you a casserole. Or something chocolate. Maybe I'll just be nice to you for a while. We'll see how it plays out.)






But God is working all things out according to His good purpose and that leaves me free to blog about the dogs, ice cream, weight loss(or gain. Don't be a hater.) and little maggotty things.





That's right. Little . Maggotty. Things.





See how I love you and have given you every opportunity to flee or at least put down your pizza?


I am a giver.




So, our story begins a couple months ago. The time line is blurry because, frankly I think I'm suffering from PTSD associated with said bugs.





I had noticed a few tiny little moths fluttering around the kitchen when I would open the cereal cupboard, but I paid them no mind. (THAT,right there, could be my main problem.)





A couple days later there were a few more, and though they were tiny little things, they were not cute and they were becoming annoying.




(Right now you could leave. You could click here and go read how BigMama got to have dinner with Beth Moore! Yes , I'm serious!)




So I began bringing things out of the cupboard and setting them on the island. Because although it sounds like I must live in a barn or a pigpen somewhere, I do have an island in my kitchen. I figured the moths were a good indication that I should probably do some kitchen cupboard cleaning with the Lysol and some hot water.






Well, this next part gets a little hairy. I reached all the way in the back of the cupboard, where I never reach, where things that we don't eat just get shoved carefully stored, and I found this giant container of peanuts from Costco. Well, they used to be peanuts.
Innocent, innocent peanuts.














(CLICK HERE and go read about Linda's 5x30 movement! Seriously, she is always entertaining and witty and charming and hardly ever gross.



Please, save yourselves. I'll be fine. I've learned to deal. But you've still got a life to live.)


If you are still here, make an appointment to see your psychotherapist in the morning.

Or your exterminator.

Or just pick up your monitor and throw it on the floor. All the bad pictures will go away. Except for these next close up ones. They will be burned onto your retinas so that you will see them every time you close your eyes.

Welcome to my world:



See the little moths up near the top? So that is where they were coming from. NOW I feel better. I just want to pull my eyeballs out and kill myself. And now that I've shared all this nobody is ever going to come over again unless they are wearing a moth-proof HAZMAT suit.

Never mind. Nobody is going to come over. I wouldn't come over if I didn't live here. I'll understand when you studiously avoid my eyes at church or the store and hurry on by. Pretty soon, as people are driving by our house, they'll say, "Oh, that's where Maggot Girl lives, isn't it?" Poor, lonely Maggot Girl.

Anyway, I'm sure I don't need to tell you but, every item, food related or not was disposed of immediately and I torched the entire house bleached down everything.

Honestly, the whole thought to this leaves me feeling really itchy and twitchy like I want to tear off all my clothes and keep scrubbing at myself so the maggots will just go away. But the nekked look has not been a good one for me since July 1964.


I'm not even sure what brought all this to mind today. Maybe it was the threat of the Scary Internet Worm on the news.


Or that I saw a couple moths flitting about the kitchen this morning.

Oh, Cindy...let me know where to send your casserole. :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ode to my Ice Cream

(sung sadly to the tune of "Seasons in the Sun" by one hit wonder, Terry Jack. Don't try to pretend you don't know it.)


Goodbye to you, my trusted friend.


We've known each other since we were nine or ten. (a.m.)


Together we watched T.V's realities.


Learned of love and calories,


blocked our hearts and clogged arteries.
We had joy, we had fun,
we had seasons in the sun.
But the ice cream and the song,
like the seasons, all have gone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Movin' and Groovin' or Please Forgive me Lid

Honestly, could I have aged myself any more with the first half of that title? I think not.




So, in the spirit of moving for 30 minutes today I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do. None.

Reader Brenda is bringing my nieces over for their BIG SPRING BREAK FUN this morning. No Florida Beach house for them. Nope. They get Aunt Diane's house. Yahoo.You lucky,lucky girls.




I bet you think we are going to go sky diving, or mountain climbing right? Maybe we'll play with some of the furry farm creatures?




No. if we go outside there is a serious danger of drowning.We live in OREGON. In MARCH. The rain falls in torrents and buckets and rivers.




We are staying inside where it is it is nice and dry, well dry, and making bread. In the bread machine.

This will take approximately 3.7 minutes.

Then we will wait for four hours for it to finish.

Good times.

They'll likely remember this Spring Break as the best time of their lives. Yep.




But this post is supposed to be about moving for 30 minutes and honest to goodness all I want to do is move on over to the freezer and grab this baby out.






Oh, stop. You know you want some, too. The minute anybody mentions exercise, or calories or moo-ving, you know you are right there at the freezer door with me. And who am I kidding with that scoop? I won't lie to you. A big spoon, this little carton and some reality TV spell H.A.P.P.Y. to me.






Oh. and while I'm moving on over to the freezer allow me introduce you to a little friend I like to call "Heaven."

Because, really? No other name will do. The first time we met, my eyes rolled back in my head and I came as close to fainting as I ever have over a food product of any kind. I proudly introduce:Although, sweet mercy the Haagen Dazs makes me so excited that I dance. Still,sadly, no rhythm. Nothing seems to fix that little problem.

Why,oh why did they feel the need to create a "Reserve" blend? Was there really a "regular" Haagen Dazs? I wonder...


But then I tasted the above "Fleur de Sel Caramel" and ohmygoshIhavenowordstherearenowordsitwasTHATGOOD.


Well.


I have completely moved away from the subject of the post...which is supposed to be moving for 30 minutes. This post has taken me about 30 minutes.


I HAVE MOVED (off subject) FOR 30 MINUTES!! YaHOO!!!


One day down, 13 to go!!! This is way easy!


(Please forgive me Lid for being a bad example. I promise I will do some moving, (maybe even wogging!) today.

Thanks for doing this and encouraging us!!

These are a few of my favorite things

You know what I like?
Freshly washed, 600 thread count sheets on a good pillow top mattress. Sleeping in a room with the window open to the cold spring air and the sounds of softly falling Oregon rain while I'm bundled up in a down comforter.

Hearing the sounds of Rascal Flats sing "Life is a Highway" from the barn in the middle of the night because SOMEONE left the radio on out there. Again. NOT.

I think Rod listens to country music just because he has a barn.

I can say that just because I have a blog. And I am up in the middle of the night listening to his country music drift across the yard while he is gently snoring.

I suppose I could get dressed and go turn it off....
Naw.
Complaining is so much more fun. Plus, it makes me sound kinda country.
I'm going back to bed.
Night, y'all.

BIG P.S. That was written at 1:04 am.
I couldn't fall asleep for H.O.U.R.S. I last looked at the iHome clock radio at 4:02. When I did, I seemed to hear Mandisa faintly singing about My Deliverer....hmmm. Strange.
That song would not be coming from Rod's Hillbilly Mecca out in the barn.....

But it WOULD be coming from MY ipod on the nightstand, volume turned so only a canine and someone trying to sleep and annoyed because they thought their husband left the radio cranked in the barn could hear it.

My bad. I may have blogged a tad too quickly. Rod snored through the whole thing.He obviously didn't leave his radio on. I left my iPod on. (Yes, Rascal Flats is on my Running play list on the iPod)
Don't tell him, okay. But this whole thing would make a mighty hokey country song someday. I'll work on it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Face time

I got a phone call from my son, Josiah, this morning.


"Mom, did you see the picture Ashley sent over?"


"I sure did. It is now my desktop background. I love it!" I answered.


Josiah's girlfriend, Ashley, knowing how much he is addicted to he loves the Lakers, bought them tickets to a Blazer/Laker game for Monday night.


Needless to say, Siah was ecstatic with excitement and joy down with that.


Josiah went on to explain how if you look closely, you can see basketball star Kobe Bryant to the left of his head in the photo.


"Oh, uh huh." was my unenthusiastic reply. Because the total focus of my attention was not on Kobe, but on my son's happy face.


I don't care if Kobe or President Obama or Sasquatch is behind him shooting hoops. They all fade into the background for me as I gaze at the picture of Josiah and Ashley.

Don't you just want to pinch their cheeks 'cuz they are the cutest things you ever did see?

No? Maybe it's just me...The Mama.


I love seeing my son and his beautiful, sweet girlfriend.


That's it. I'm good.


This makes me think of our daughter Amy who is staying with us for a few weeks while she gets ready to move out of the state. We love to have her come through the front door after work,(especially when she brings home her Starbucks markouts.) and I am thrilled making food and snacks for her. Her face simply makes me happy. (and I am so kidding about the coffee beans.)


Here is a picture of her with an English Bulldog puppy. Sure, I enjoy a cute puppy. But look at my Amy!



Aren't we funny like that? We just overflow with ooey-gooey feelings of love when we see our kids. My face hurts from smiling that big, but I can't help it.


It makes me think of how God feels about us. I bet our pictures are on his fridge right now.
Or His desktop background.
Maybe He has a screensaver which rotates all our photos...?


It also makes me wonder what it will be like to one day see His face.






Think about it....to actually See His Face. Doesn't this just make you smile, thinking about it?
Me, too

.


I totally enjoyed what Charles Spurgeon had to say about the subject.





they “shall see his face;” by which I understand two things: first, that they shall literally and physically, with their risen bodies, actually look into the face of Jesus; and secondly, that spiritually their mental faculties shall be enlarged, so that they shall be enabled to look into the very heart, and soul, and character of Christ, so as to understand him, his work, his love, his all in all, as they never understood him before.
They shall literally, I say, see his face, for Christ is no phantom; and in heaven though divine, and therefore spiritual, he is still a man, and therefore material like ourselves. The very flesh and blood that suffered upon Calvary is in heaven; the hand that was pierced with the nail now at this moment grasps the scepter of all worlds; that very head which was bowed down with anguish is now crowned with a royal diadem; and the face that was so marred is the very face which beams resplendent amidst the thrones of heaven.
Into that selfsame countenance we shall be permitted to gaze. O what a sight! Roll by, ye years; hasten on, ye laggard months and days, to let us but for once behold him, our Beloved, our hearts’ care, who “redeemed us unto God by his blood,” whose we are, and whom we love with such a passionate desire, that to be in his embrace we should be satisfied to suffer ten thousand deaths! They shall actually see Jesus.


Rev.22:4 "they shall see His face."


I can only imagine. But I'm yearning for that day. In the meantime, I'll gaze into the faces of my kids and smile some more. (It's my favorite.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaires

They've really got it rough ruff. :-)









Monday, February 2, 2009

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Brenda at The View from Here. She won the beautiful ESV bible we gave away this week. Yay for you, Brenda!

No this is not Reader Brenda, for those of you wondering. She did not enter this giveaway for a few different reasons.
1)She just got a brand new bible for Christmas from her husband.

2)It would be unfair for her to enter my giveaway as we are related.

3) She says she never wins anyway. Yes, she is all whiny like that.

Have a great day. I know I will. I get my hair done (about 7.5 months late) and then I go to my tax meeting. Oh, joy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On Being Hated

Or even disliked. I don't think most of us have to deal with this too often because of our faith,at least in this country.
Maybe for being mean or obnoxious or using parentheses WAY TOO MUCH. (I am not talking from personal experience. I'm just saying.)
But Jesus said they will hate us because they hated Him first.
Maybe our faith is getting a little watered down.
A little gray.
A little too nice.
And the problem is we LIKE it that way.
We are comfy-cozy with it like this.
Lord, help me.

Here is a blog that my friend (I accidentally typed "fiend" first. Hmmm)Randy Alcorn wrote yesterday that so spoke to my heart. The title ,"Are You Willing to be Hated for Speaking the Gospel Truth?" made me childishly wonder ,"Why should they hate me if I am bringing Good News?" But only for a second. Go read Randy's blog and let God stretch you and mold your heart like He did mine. Thanks for a great article, Randy. :-)

Speaking of being willing to be hated, here is a video that Sue from Praise and Coffee posted on Face Book this morning and it was flagged for removal because some Face Book users said it was an "abusive" video. (Thanks, Sue!)
Huh? It's not like it was a PETA ad with barely dressed young women posing with vegetables or something.
I think it points out a valid truth in a beautiful way. What do you think?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NEW Leather ESV Bible...Priceless

Maybe not priceless...but kinda is, you know.

You can take your Starbucks gift cards, your Bath and Body Works baskets and your gourmet chocolate bars because I am giving away



TRUTH AND LIGHT. (cue the "Hallelujah Chorus")


That's right, sister.






A gorgeous, brand new, gator-design leather ESV thin line brown and tan bible. This is beautiful and shouldn't just be sitting quietly on our book shelf. It should be changing lives.




Here is what John Piper says about the ESV Bible:

“The ESV satisfies the preaching, memorizing, studying, and reading needs of our church, from children to adults. We are building all our future ministry around it.”



And, here is a little excerpt, from the actual bible you will win, just to get you excited about reading it:


"Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?"
Psalm 8:1-4

When you win this bible, you can read more and even finish that chapter and book. It is that good!




So sign up to party in this give-away by leaving your name and email address in the comments area. You can live in the US or Canada, because I'm all about uniting our nations like that.
I almost missed this giveaway...unbelievable.
Go here to sign up for all kinds of other goodies, and although they may not lead you to eternal life, maybe they will help you look all sparkly or could be they might taste delicious. Perhaps both. Maybe all three. This is good.



Oh, and by, the by, if you actually do have any spare Starbucks gift cards, extra Bath and Body Works baskets or special gourmet chocolate, I am a big, big fan of all three. Huge fan. Love them all. Just thought I'd let ya know.


Diane

Friday, January 23, 2009

Diane is...

To borrow from Face Book....

Diane is...

A) Doing taxes. Git 'r done.

or

B) Doing BOTH her bible studies simultaneously AND writing in her prayer journal while feeding the hungry and clothing the nekked.

or

C) Wogging with Jesus out back on her trails, losing all her winter weight while singing, loudly and 100% off pitch, "All the single ladies...Put a ring on it..." Sounding rather like a cat falling off the Empire State Building. Thanks, Simon.

or

D) Watching last night's episode of "The Office" online with her fuzzy slippered feet up on the tax folder on the desk while licking the Crunchberry crumbs out of the bottom of the mostly empty Cap'n Crunch box.
Wrinkly pajamas still on. Waxy build-up on roof of mouth. Good times.

Diane is....just your basic over achiever.

What are YOU doing on this Friday??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Historic Day

It's an historic day today but this inauguration just does not put me in the partying mood. I'm not saying that Mr. Obama is not is young , likable and ,
charismatic, as well as becoming the first African-American president.
It's just that he is for the killing of babies and I am not.


It's a fundamental difference.

I would love to be happy and celebrate with so many of my friends and a large portion of the country. But he is promoting the killing of children and no matter how much I want to overlook this because, HURRAY! HE IS BLACK! I can't.

He is for killing children. It's not as if he hasn't told us enough times. I'm sorry to rain on everyones' parade but I just can't throw confetti when he is throwing babies away.
I know, I know. I shouldn't use language like this, especially on Barack's Big Day.

Honest to goodness, I keep wanting to type "But I'm happy for him and all the people of color ...." but that would be such a lie. I am so not happy for them or for any of us. I can't believe that this is good for anyone.This has nothing to do with race. But I feel like we're throwing this giant birthday party when a massacre is going on.
It makes no sense. I just can't.

With all respect I don't know what it is like to be person of color in this society. I watched (and read) "Roots" by Alex Haley. I read "Dominion" by Randy Alcorn. They have broken my heart but I know this just gives me the tiniest fraction of a glimpse into that world. I won't try to pretend that I comprehend decades of oppression put upon my family because of the color of my skin. I'm probably inadvertently writing something right now that proves just how politically incorrect and horribly intolerant I am.



I get that I don't get it.

But I know we shouldn't judge someone by the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character. And I know that as President Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into Law ASAP.


The title sounds so good, I even want to support it until I read it and realize that it's passage will mean the undeterred death of millions of children,both black and white, as well as untold other races. All of us.
Here is the video of him promising us the change most of us wanted.













The days of Roe v Wade will be remembered as the good old days as the Freedom of choice act races right by Roe like it was a bump on a log, repealing laws that were enacted over the last 35 years.
Here is what the Family Research Council says:

"Focus on FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act)
What FOCA Would Do:
All sides in the abortion fight agree, if FOCA were to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by a pro-abortion President, it would, among other effects,
provide for taxpayer-funded abortion on demand even late in pregnancy, grant abortionists immunity from legal action,
allow abortionists the discretion to perform abortions on minors without notifying a parent,
and deny health care workers the right to refuse to make abortion referrals as a matter of conscience.

"The legislation (FOCA) would invalidate existing and future laws that interfere with or discriminate against the exercise of the rights protected . It also would provide an individual aggrieved by a violation of the act a private right of civil action in order to obtain appropriate relief " - Planned Parenthood website.

"As a general matter, if FOCA were enacted, it would wipe out a very large number of existing state laws on abortion, substantially impede the ability of states to regulate abortion, and override nearly 40 years of jurisprudential experience on the subject of abortion." - USCCB Memorandum on FOCA

FOCA would automatically overturn state abortion reporting requirements in all 50 states, 44 states' laws concerning parental involvement, 40 states' laws on restricting later-term abortions, 46 states' conscience protection laws for individual health care providers, 27 states' conscience protection laws for institutions, 38 states' bans on partial-birth abortions, 33 states' laws on requiring counseling before an abortion, and 16 states' laws concerning ultrasounds before an abortion.
FOCA seeks to eliminate any civil pro-life opposition in the public square:
"The bill would give women the right to file civil suits against any person or government agency that sought to limit their ability to get an abortion." - MSNBC Briefing Book: Issues '08.

Presumably this would not only include federal and state legislators who merely introduce legislation seeking restrictions on abortion but also against peaceful pro-lifers who pray and offer alternatives in front of abortion facilities."

Did you get all that? If you go to the Family Research Council site, you will also find the report siting that for the states that already have FOCA-like laws in place, their abortion numbers are higher than the national average. So, if bringing the abortion numbers down is what this is all about, than it is already a dismal failure.
And shouldn't we question why on earth they should want to bring abortion numbers down, if in fact, there is nothing wrong with having an abortion? Unless, of course, that it ends a child's life and destroys her mother's and father's lives in the process.

Click here to see what Planned Parenthood has to say about the Freedom of Choice Act. Get your tissues out.


Click here if you would like to read the text of the "Freedom of Choice Act" (S. 2020) introduced in the U.S. Senate on January 22, 2004, by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) and others



I keep hearing about the parades and marching bands and dancers and gospels singers in preparation for the inauguration festivities. I am filled with sadness for what our nation is turning to.
I am not celebrating, Mr President. I am grieving.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gracefully aging

Oh, it can be done, my friends.
I called Reader Brenda last week to wish her a Happy Birthday and to ask her how old I was.


I never remember any one's age including my own and she is the Gatekeeper of all Pertinent Family Information.


It's not right. Here is is. BRENDA'S birthday, and I'm noticing little tiny wrinkles radiating like broken concrete around my eyes.

It is almost like I'm self-centered or something.

Back to me now.


Shattered concrete is hardly an attractive look, especially on a face. Let's be honest here.
Especially on MY FACE. I'm sure it's fine for you.
"Age Defying" concealer just seems to settle like thick putty into the wrinkles making them look even dryer and deeper.
Nice.
"InvisiLift Line Minimizing Tone Enhancing Under Eye Concealer" is as expensive as it's lengthy name suggests and has the unfortunate effect of making lines, wrinkles and creases under the eye appear larger and deeper than they first appeared. It's like magic.



Sparkly shadow on my upper lids in a vain (get it?) attempt to draw the attention away from the bags and wrinkles underneath just doesn't do it for me.In fact, it may just reflect the creases and wrinkles below the eye thereby making them reflect as though in a mirror. Not a good idea.


But I came up with a plan this morning as I was blow drying my hair. Killing two or three birds with one stone, so to speak. Hides my under eye wrinkles and solves my currant hair dilemma in one fell swoop.

And all of you are looking good from my perspective, too.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, again Brenda. You have alot to look forward to.

P.S. I'm beginning to go through the Beth Moore "Esther" study. I'm betting it's good timing and I'm so enjoying it. Whatcha think?