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Running

It's the latest craze, it seems, so I've jumped on the running bandwagon (would that be a treadmill?). Most of the skinny people I know don't just walk, they run. So I'm now convinced, since I've received a clean bill of health from my doctor, that I will take up running. I have never been able to run. EVER. I used to do a 20 minute mile in school. You can also see from my photo down below that I'm about 40 lbs overweight (I'm the blonde one.).

I've begun. I can now run 12 minutes! I walk the rest of it uphill on the treadmill and yesterday I was so sore I had trouble walking down the steps.

But I like being sore.

And I've weighed myself this morning and I've lost 2 pounds this week!

Let's see if I can continue!

I made this up using stuff I had around and it turned out really GREAT!

10 corn tortillas cut into strips
1 cup or so canola oil
2 ears corn, kernals cut off
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups fat free ranch dressing
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, diced
3/4 cup montery jack cheese, shredded

In a pan, heat oil and fry tortilla strips until crispy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

In a different skillet, heat it to medium with NO oil or spray. Dry roast the corn for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Take off heat.

In a small bowl, combine salsa and ranch dressing.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, beans, roasted corn, cheese, and dressing. Serve onto large plates and top with a few tortilla strips.

Has pulled their child out of the public school and is going to homeschool come January. They have a new baby coming soon, and their child is only 5, so they have some time. I'm very, very excited!

I was so excited that I was telling some church people about it, but they didn't seem really excited...maybe because one of those ladies is on the school board and the other is running for it...

Which makes me wonder: has homeschooling (or not homeschooling) caused any conflict in your church?



I've really enjoyed meeting new friends online. But it's even better when you get to meet those same people in person. Today I drove two hours to meet my friend from http://fritzandfran.blogspot.com. She is funny, cool, and a great conversationalist. The two hours or so flew by!

Thanks, Jenah, for meeting with me!

So I was walking home from the grocery store the other day and these two very nice young men in white shirts, dark pants and name tags stopped me with the question, "Did you know families can be forever?"

I knew what was coming next. And you know who these guys were: LDS missionaries.

Let me say that I appreciate their dedication and sincerity. And I've got a lot of respect for their focus on families and morals and all the Mormons I've met here in the West have been very nice to me.

But they claim to have some "restored" gospel, but what they are really marketing is a perverted gospel. I've decided that if they are going to proselytize me, then I'll return the favor. I am loving and kind, but I'm also quoting the Bible, the final revelation from God, sufficient to save sinners and our only hope of salvation.

I denounce Joseph Smith as a false prophet, quoting Galatians 1 that states that even if an angel of light appears to you with a different gospel than Jesus Christ crucified for sinners, he is to be accursed. A polygamist, adulterer, and false prophet, I remind them of their hymn Praise to the Man, which I posted here some time ago under the "cult" label.
Here's a snippet to remind you:

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

Praise to his mem'ry, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assasins,
Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame.

Chorus

Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.

I remind them that Paul was thankful he had not baptized more than a few of the Christians in Corinth because he never wanted anyone to sing his praises. In 2 Corinthians 10 he shows his weaknesses and exalts His risen Savior. In Philippians 3 he says if anyone has reason to boast in his works he does, being a Jew of Jews, yet he considers all this loss for Christ. He points all attention away from himself and to Christ.

Joseph Smith holds some keys to the kingdom? Joseph Smith is anointed? Joseph Smith's blood pleads unto heaven and earth lauds his fame? I'm sorry, but this man is burning in hell. I know that's harsh and it's sad, but he was a liar.

The slickest marketing campaign of any religion in history has been the LDS church claiming to "be Christians just like you."

Christ is all. I don't need a mere man to plead for me.

Since I'm doing my big month's worth of shopping at Walmart, I thought I'd post a favorite of Rhett and Link!

"Oh! You said STUPID!" my kids would say if they read my blog...I almost titled this post Stupid Kids' Movies, but then that would imply that I was discussing movies for kids who were dumb ("MOM! You said DUMB!") Ok, ok, ok get to the point.

Yesterday at the grocery store I picked up a movie without checking it out first online at www.pluggedinonline.com (Focus on the Family's excellent online movie and music review site). It was called The Last Mimzy. I'm thinking it was one of those direct to video releases because it was just so BAD, just from a movie's standpoint. What was worse, however, was the worldview behind it.

Here's the premise of the movie: It's the future and the world's soul is sick. Unless the future people can send a stuffed bunny called a Mimzy back in time to find a good person whose love can save the world, then earth will be ruined forever. Yes, I said a stuffed bunny, with a little swirl on its belly.

Of course, two children find a strange container washed up on the beach and it contains all kinds of cool futuristic stuff that Mom can't see because to her it just looks like ordinary material. The Mimzy is inside.

What unfolds is a movie full of Eastern religion: people are inherently good, they've just made some wrong choices, the universe communicates with us by dreams and visions, the earth is our mother and cares for us, we can have power over the material world around us with our minds...

You've also got a wacky science teacher and his girlfriend living together, trying to get winning lottery numbers from his dreams, meditating before Buddhist statues and candles, men in their underwear, women with low cut shirts, the parents as clueless bystanders, cheating on tests with cell phone text messages, oh, it goes on and on.

The most incredible thing about all of this is another mom in town I saw at the store told me it was a good family movie. This gal is a Christian.

Maybe I should start posting about other stupid movies for kids I've seen. There have been too many to count, but it make for some interesting posts...

I know I whine a lot about feeling lonely, but in addition to being a pastor's wife, I'm also the only one in my town of about 2000 people who homeschools young children. We have plenty of buddies to hang out with during the summer and on weekends, but how I long for another family to do projects with, meet at the park for lunch, take turns watching each others' kids. I used to have a friend whose youngest was in half day kindergarten, so we got to go swimming or play in the afternoons sometimes, but now he's a first grader, she's working part time, and the only other homeschooling family in our church has teenagers.

I've also been feeling like I'm missing out on a lot that goes on at the school. It would be so easy to get involved, make a name for myself there. Be the parent who helps with everything and is always there. I guess I must admit that I have a need to be accepted and liked and popular.

Homeschooling here does not lend itself to those things, things I know are not important, especially when I look at eternity.

Meh.

To the file cabinet that contains every single homeschool book we need. He locked it (I don't know why.) then lost the keys.

Breathe. Count to 10.

ARG.

We got everything and more done in my planning book today.

The problem is that my dear almost 8 year old has behaviors that are difficult to describe: kind of annoying behaviors, like when I'm talking to him about something I expect him to do or I'm explaining something to him, he'll make weird faces or laugh...rather than sitting on the sofa, he climbs over the back of it and jumps down onto the cushion. Things like this. I honestly don't know what to do about it. It makes me really mad, but my anger doesn't help the situation.

To me, it communicates disrespect. He would never treat his swim coach like this.

My life WOULD be easier on some levels if I sent him to school, but I know in the long run, it wouldn't be good for any of us.

HELP!!!!!

For those of you who know me personally, it is no surprise to you that I am a homeschooler by default. I would rather have my children in a Christian school, but there isn't one in our town or anywhere nearby. With that said, for the first time ever I am looking forward to our homeschooling year.

This is truly an answer to prayer. I have struggled with delighting in my role as homeschooling mom, and I've asked for prayer from many people about it. So God gets the glory!

Part of what has helped me is that hubby and I have worked out a morning schedule with each of us doing a small amount of chores and our Family Bible Time.

I have planned an entire semester of lessons!

We're doing a four day school week. Our Christmas break will be shorter, too. I think in the end, getting Saturday & Sunday off, as well as dad's day off during the week, will help all of us. I'd like to be doing school at about the same pace as the public schools so that my kids and play with their friends on days off of school.

I'm starting more deliberate, but still casual, schooling with my 4 1/2 year old. I'm hoping that he'll start picking up more as we go along with his big brother.

So, that's where I am. Pray that I can get up early enough and that we have a lot of fun together tomorrow!






I got one of these books from the library, and this is my very subtle hint to my dear husband, who is a faithful reader of my blog ("Why did you write THAT???" Love ya, honey! ;) )that I want all of these for my birthday. :)

The author and illustrator are from Missouri, my homestate (although, unlike Texans, I don't have a Missouri rug, keychain, baking pan, or hand bag...) and so when I read it, I feel like I'm home again. They even include the recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies!!! The cookbook reminds me of an illuminated manuscript. Every page has been handwritten by Shelly Reeves Smith. So beautiful.

Velcro Song

For my friend in KY--enjoy!

I can't hyperlink in blogger from my mac, but if you get on www.foxnews.com and go to the videos, click on the clip about this subject. A woman from Fox News asked people on the street if they were religious or spiritual. It was amazing to me how many people could really not articulate ANY religious/spiritual viewpoint. At all.

One woman did make the "all gods are the same god" argument, but the majority of the folks were dumbfounded. They might answer one or the other, but when the newsperson asked, "How so?" They couldn't explain.

It seems God isn't even on anyone's radar screen on the streets of New York City. I've found that many of my conversations with people who aren't Christians never move from the mundane everyday stuff to the spiritual. That's a huge jump. I think it's because everyone is distracted by the world, meaning if they stay busy enough then they won't have to think about deep things.

Thoughts?

Me: (vacuuming the dining room curtains of dog hair)

Big Boy: (stinker flips off my vacuum) Mom, I'm really worried that something's wrong with [little brother].

Me: What is it, buddy? Is he OK up in the bath tub?

Big Boy: Yes, it's just he has these spots on his feet, and, well, I think he might have leprosy. (eyes WIDE and worried)

Me: Oh honey, I think those are just blisters since he didn' wear socks with his tennis shoes yesterday.

I guess that's what he took from Vacation Bible School: the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers and the kid we mummified in lepers bandages..

Too funny. Just had to share it!

Repentence

I'm doing the Seeking Him Bible study and this week's lessons are on repentence.

It seems that when I ignore my sin, like David says in Psalm 51, I waste away, but when I agree with God about it, He begins to cleanse me and purify me.

In my own life, that means when I'm busy doing "good" things, it's easy for me to ignore the probing by the Holy Spirit that says, "Put that dirty dish down and get down on your knees and pray." Or when a certain 7 year old does something that grates on my nerves, instead of getting mad, I truly cry out to God to give me patience, wisdom, and discernment to know how to deal with something that all those parenting books don't address (that's another post!).

Hubby has often said some very wise words in this regard: You make time to do what you want to do.

If I truly wanted to be ever before Him, worshipping, praying, seeking His face, then I will make time to do it. In fact, it must be my highest priority. I like to tell myself that that sounds legalistic. But in reality, it's the mark of a Christian who runs with endurance. I seem like I'm more of a sprinter...

So I've sprinted tonight, feeling all good and cleansed and all, now I must continue to press on tomorrow when everyone's awake the hubby's working all day.

You'll notice I added a link to the LEFT and be prepared to laugh HARD. I particularly like today's crummy church sign.

*laughing my head off*

Naked Juice

I have a new favorite treat. It's called Naked Juice. I've found it at Sam's in these huge bottles. I like the Blue Machine one and the Mango one.

Problem is, as I was searching for a picture for this blog post, I discovered that it is very important that you keep it refrigerated below 42 degrees at all times.

I put mine in one of those hot/cold bags you can buy at Walmart. All afternoon in the 100 degree weather. So I've had about a fourth of the bottle, and I guess if I don't get sick, then I'll continue to consume it...

Anyway, it's really, really yummy stuff full of good things.

One of these days I'll post something meaningful.

Stellar

You know, I tend to complain about my kids a lot. All of the frustrations that just come with parenting sometimes wear me down and make me whiny.

So I wanted to post today about how wonderful my little boys are being while my folks and my grandma are visiting. They're playing board games, cards, working puzzles together, and reading. My 7 year old turned down playing with the neighborhood boy so he could play Uno with my mom and grandma. Right now he's working a huge puzzle with my dad.

He's been polite and respectful.

I'm just terribly proud of him today.

GO BUDDY!!

Found this on between two worlds. TOO FUNNY!!!!


Reading this. WOW. All other things have totally slacked off as I've been absorbed in this book.

I think I find Islam so fascinating because I have a friend from high school (who is now a neurologist) whose a Muslim. And I see Islam as our future.

Have you heard the statistics (I should probably just find them.) about what percentage of Europe will be Muslim by the middle of this century? It's astounding. I feel like I need to understand Islamic fundamentalism. Of course, my friend doesn't fall into this category--she's not the type whose trying to murder the infidels and force conversion by the sword.

Unfortunately, no one else around my little town is interested in stuff like this so I read alone. Or blog about it!

I have family coming in today so I need to get ready and get this house in order.

Sorry for the lack of posts! I have about 100 pages left--then I'll be back. :)

How can you love someone so much who you've only known for 6 months?

*sigh* babies :)

In honor of the coming homeschooling year, I present Rhett and Link, the most hilarious comedy duo I've ever seen!

A fellow PW shared this, and I thought it was TOO FUNNY. Remember, it's just a JOKE. Here goes:


The results of a computerized survey indicate the perfect minister preaches exactly fifteen minutes. He condemns sins but never upsets anyone. He works from 8:00 AM until midnight and is also a janitor. He makes $50 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $50 weekly to the poor. He is 28 years old and has preached 30 years. He has a burning desire to work with teenagers and spends all of his time with senior citizens. The perfect minister smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor that keeps him seriously dedicated to his work. He makes 15 calls daily on congregation families, shut-ins and the hospitalized, and is always in his office when needed.

If your minister does not measure up, simply send this letter to six other churches that are tired of their minister, too. Then bundle up your minister and send him to the church on the top of the list. In one week, you will receive 1,643 ministers and one of them will be perfect. Have faith in this procedure.

One church broke the chain and got its old minister back in less than three weeks....so don't break the chain.

Between Two Worlds: Caring For Pastors Wives

Finally! Someone's paying attention to us!

You asked for it! I'm still just so excited. I won a rinky dink county fair with some cookies. I guess it doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 pkg butter recipe cake mix
1/2 c. powdered sugar
cooking spray

Beat cream cheese and butter. Add egg and vanilla. Add cake mix. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Shape into balls and roll into powdered sugar and bake for 8-10 minutes on a prepared baking sheet in a 350 degree oven.

The key is NOT to overbake them. Don't let them brown. Let them rest on the pan for a few minutes until they're set up. Cool on a wire rack.

OK. So I guess I'm bragging just a little. OK. A lot. I'm just so excited because all I do is cook and bake and garden and clean, and it's nice to see a tangible reward for all of it. On a side note: I remember being a new wife and mom and finding that the most frustrating part of the experience was the fact that as soon as I cleaned something or put it away, I had to do it all over again. There was never any finality about it. For example, if you write a paper, you have a finished product that proves your accomplishment. A sinkful of dirty dishes washed and put away will somehow find their way back into your sink within hours.

So I'm thrilled at my showing this year:

Cookie Dough Truffles: blue ribbon
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins: red ribbon (2nd)
Peanut Butter cookies: blue ribbon
Fudgy Butterscotch bars: white ribbon (3rd)
Cherry Almond Granola: blue ribbon
Yellow Wax Beans: blue ribbon
Gooey Butter Cookies: blue ribbon and reserve champion, meaning second place in the cookies, cakes, quick breads, etc. category!

It was worth all the extra work!

I got a great question in a comment today about feminism. Michelle asked me what I thought about it all, mentioning that she thinks Jesus was a feminist because of how well he treated women. A great point! Here's my take:

The modern feminist wants more than equal pay for equal work. She believes passionately about the right to choose an abortion and about the victimization of women in our patriarchal society. She typically believes that women should behave more like men. There is, in effect, a denial of femininity. Think about it: a woman must work outside the home, have no children or very few children, be aggressive in her pursuit of worldly success, serve in the military, on the police force, etc. I think the worldview is best summed by Hillary Rodham Clinton in an old Nightline interview with Ted Koppel back in 1992:

"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life."

Her comment implies that she would have been less of a person if she'd stayed home and raised her daughter. This is the feminism I fight against in my own mind daily. And this is the feminism that is espoused by a respected public figure. This is the feminism vomited all over our girls in our culture.

Let me say that I am not an uber-conservative (as one of my PW friends has put it) and I don't believe that women should not be educated or cannot enter the workforce at all. If a woman is physically capable of performing as a fire fighter, and her husband and children are not neglected because of her job, then more power to her. I don't think my little girls need to wear long flowery dresses to be modest and feminine. And while I will train my daughter to keep the home, I will also see that she gets an education to provide for herself should the need arise someday.

Femininity celebrates that God has created us male and female. It delights in how the sexes complement one another, realizing that they have different roles but equal standing before God. It embraces feminine traits and desires like having children and doesn't seek to turn women into men, which I think is the most degrading aspect of feminism.

In a sense, femininity started with Jesus recognizing the value of women in a culture that routinely denied them any rights or privileges whatsoever. And God, through the apostle Paul, tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, a radical statement in the first century when women were basically treated like property.

That's my beef with feminism. Thoughts??

Ruby Bridges



I watched a Disney movie from 1998 that I didn't even know had been made about a little girl named Ruby Bridges who was one of the first little African American girls to integrate a school in New Orleans in 1960. I think it was a made-for-TV movie that I got from Netflix, but it was very well done. I don't know about you, but I've read stories like hers many times in history class, but seeing what she must have endured on screen was powerful. Men and women screaming and threatening a little 6 year old on her way to school, surrounded by U.S. Marshalls.

A sympathetic child psychologist plays a large part in this movie. Since his specialty is helpling children cope with stress and crises, he's particularly interested in talking to Ruby and offers his services for free. After numerous meetings with her, he just can't figure out why she's not more affected by the daily onslaught at school. One day, she turns around and looks at the crowd, something she has been told not to do. The psychologist sees her lips moving and wonders if finally she's beginning to stand up for herself. When he asks her about it, she says that she was praying for them, just like Jesus did for his enemies so long ago.

"Ruby Bridges" looked favorably on real Christian faith and the gospel that transcends all skin colors, that will bring a multitude of people to Christ from every tribe, tongue, and nation.


I got to talk to two good friends last night and today. Friends who live completely out of town and far away and know no one here. It was sooo nice.

So you know who you are! THANK YOU!!!!!!

Best tend to these fighting little boys I have...

(remember the agony these necklaces wrought in junior high? :) )

I'm getting into this whole facebook thing. It's REALLY addicting. I love Rhett and Link!

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