Friday, May 15, 2009
Christian Historical Novels
I love to read Christian Historical Novels. My favorite authors are Brock and Bodie Thoene. The best novels that they have written are the Zion Chronicles and the Zion Covenant. This is a series of stories set in the pre and post WWII era. Filled with adventure, love and spiritual journeys of its primary characters, these stories are, to me, enlightening. Even though they are not true accounts of that tumultuous time in world history I have still learned a lot from them.
Usually, in these novels there is always a moment when one or more characters receive salvation. No, they do not receive salvation the way we teach (as in receiving the Holy Ghost) but Christ is included in every story. I’m looking for someone in the UPCI to take up this issue and write stories like these authors but also add the Total plan of salvation. So far I have not discovered any one that compares to these authors. You have to try their books. If any are interested in more about these authors, I have all the books in these two series. You can also find these books at any Christian Bookstore.
Okay, I love Mardel’s Christian Bookstore. I cannot just go there and stay 5 minutes. I have to look at their music collections and the book section. Hey, its book heaven and they are all Christian! Love it! I can stay in there hours.
I also like Barnes & Noble. Good bookstore. You can get any book you need there but it doesn’t compare to Mardel’s. Oh, and 1/2 Price Books is an awesome store, too!
My favorite Gospel music is Black Gospel. Favorite artists: Hezekiah Walker, John P. Kee, Kirk Franklin. My favorite of all is Kurt Carr. The best song he has out is “For Every Mountain”. That one’s a classic. I don’t know the story behind this song but it is awesome. I also like Israel Houghton and Martha Munizzi which is more Praise and Worship but they usually have good collections.
I really like Mark Condon, too. Love the release, “Worship The King”. Every song on this CD is good and is great for your worship time. You can go to his website and order this CD or you can also get it through the Pentecostal Publishing House.
So, these are just a Few of my Favorite things. Hope you enjoyed this Foray into MY thoughts and Favorite things. Guess I put myself in the spotlight this week… Scary, huh? See you all next week.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wow, we have had some church! God is so awesome!
I wanted to share with you about some things I have been praying about and have seen come to pass because it is good for all of us to go through that list for ourselves. Take time to review things you have sought God on and how he has answered because it helps you keep the right mind set in prayer. I guarantee if you start to think of all the answered prayers and situations God has worked out and all Gods done you will be able to go through whatever you have to.
Sunday night was incredible for me and it was more incredible than maybe just an onlooker would have seen. We had 4 or 5 receive the Holy Ghost and it was so incredible to have the opportunity to be praying with the children that were at the altar. Also did any of you see the little girl setting next to me she would imitate everything I was doing during service. That just opened my eyes because the children really do watch what we do and I think about that responsibility and take it very seriously but while she was doing that I also felt in my spirit the hunger that she had and she did receive the Holy Ghost that night. She was so ready that even before Pastor announced the invite to the altar she was gripping the pew in front of her ready to go and she had the most serious approach about going to the altar I have ever seen in a child.
Here is the neat thing in all of this. A couple of weeks ago I wrote the blog and I talked about when God has you pray for someone and sometimes you know who and you see the results of this well this is my list I get to review with you today of the amazing ways God answers.
It starts with Sis. Duvall and when she got up to say about a year ago about reaching the children in the apartments around the church so that was the beginning of God answering. Not long after that about 9 months ago I was setting at my computer during the day and God had impressed upon me to go pray for the apartments around the church and it was one of those prayer meetings that God was waiting for me to respond and we had a time and I know when he pushes like that some things going to happen so I didn’t need to grow impatient just watch and see.
Then the next phase in all of this is Kids prayer. I knew I needed to start kid’s prayer one of those things God and I had a talk about and he decided to not let me go to sleep until I caught the vision. He is such a good God. So after I knew it was going to happen I started praying a long time before the very first Kids prayer about what direction to go and I just couldn’t get direction and it was about a week before and I was so excited God spoke and told me to pray about the kids in the community and he wanted me to pray about the enemy being silenced. I was so excited God spoke to me about this it was in the middle of the day on a Saturday and I just started to cry and get excited and my son thought I had lost my mind. I was so excited I had to text Sis. Duvall and say I have direction for kids prayer. She might have thought I was a little crazy too but when you have a relationship with God and he speaks to you it is just the best feeling in the world. No, I know she didn’t think I was crazy she is the best in believing in people in becoming what God has called them to be.
So then after we had that very first Kids prayer, we have had incredible results of reaching people in our community. Those kids touched God and watch and see what else will come of Kids prayer. Along with God using kids prayer he continued to impress on me to pray for the kids in the community. I remember a couple of weeks ago and I could not do anything but pray and cry for the children of the community and it was such a gut wrenching prayer that I could only utter the words my babies and I just kept it up until there was that release to stop.
Then Rodney and I had a couple of kids over this last weekend and God impressed on me to talk about him as much as possible so that is what Rodney and I did. We had children’s church going all weekend every time we could use an example we did. Then came Sunday night! You know you just can’t plan God but you can trust him and follow his lead and that has been such a rewarding experience. Every time I go over my lists of prayer or go over situations God has answered and seen me through it is usually following his lead or just seeking his way.
This is not the whole story but a just of it. I wanted to share because God is the mighty God and this is not the end of the story it is the beginning. One of my favorite things to do is hear about the awesome things God has done and then I get that in my spirit and start to pray God I know you did this and you did that so lets see this and that. We serve a prayer answering God! Another thought came to mind before I end. While in prayer one morning I had this feeling of God why do I have such a burden for these kids I don’t know and I have my own children and children that I know in the church already, I am just being real here so I hope nobody thinks less of me but as clear as the day God told me to take care of them and he was going to take care of mine which is ours because I was speaking of our children. So I thought I better share that promise God has given to me. Sorry for writing and writing but I just wanted to share with the best bunch of ladies in the whole wide world.
I love you all sooooo much!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
My dream kitchen is as follows:
Huge open kitchen
dark hardwood floors
matching cabinets (to the floor that is)
Stainless steal appliances
A pantry the size of Texas
Double gas stove (restaurant style)
Pretty wall color
I haven't thought about this much as you can see....ha ha.
But as I sit in my apartment, I have a kitchen that is so small there is no where to put anything, cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a nightmare....and the half broken stove is nothing to write home about.....
I have learned to love it. Not for what it is, but for what I can make out of it.
The best ways to give your house a "homey" feeling
I may not have the fanciest appliances. And I may only be obtaining things like, mixers, food processors, and such for church bakesale (ha ha)....but fancy or not, it gets the job done, and it is done well.
Here is a poem I found, I think it fits my kitchen, does it work well with yours?
My Little Kitchen
God bless my little kitchen
I love its every nook
And bless me as I do my work
Wash pots and pans and cook.
And may the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Thy great blessing and Thy grace
But most of all Thy love.
As we partake our earthly food
The table before us spread
We'll not forget to thank Thee, Lord
Who gives us daily bread.
So bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter in
May they find naught but joy and peace
And happiness therein.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
In my backyard, I have three different kinds of fences--two areas of wood fence, one brick fence, and one iron fence. I've come to love these fences because we live in an area where there are many predators. Routinely I will wake up in the night and hear the howl of a coyote. I've been told that a black panther has been spotted and that there are many wild hogs. My backyard is adjacent to Corp of Engineer land which goes all the way to the lake. If you've been to my house, you know I live close to water and woods. Even though that water looks beautiful and those woods are green and lucious, I know that danger lurks there.
We have three dogs--RazzMaTazz, Zara, and Daisy. Zara and Daisy live in the backyard and love looking at the woods and lake and all of the beautiful things surrounding them. But I know that they really don't have a lot of sense and I feel comforted knowing there is a fence surrounding them. Why? Not because I want to limit their experiences but because I want to keep them safe from predators. If we didn't have a fence in place, Zara would begin to wander closer and closer to the lake and begin to feel comfortable in the woods even though she is a city dog and doesn't know about predators. I watch the little bunny rabbits hop in and out and ignore the fences and am so fearful because I know the chances are slim that they will not be predator's prey.
I know that Daisy would probably stay in the backyard without a fence. When she was a young dog, she had a terrible experience. She decided to leave the protection of the fence and wander. She jumped the fence and was gone for over three weeks. She had on a tag so people could call the vet but no one ever called. We were so worried. We put up signs, called animal control, prayed..but no Daisy for three weeks. After this time period, animal control finally called and said they had picked up Daisy. She had lost a lot of weight and the pads of her feet were completely worn away from her frantic running. Since that time, she loves the protection of the fence. We have to call and coax to get her to leave the protection of the fence.
With Daisy being the older dog, she has tried to share her experience with Zara. We were staying at my parent's house last summer. We had just driven for about 12 hours to bring the dogs here. We were so tired and had finally been able to get in bed when we hear Daisy start barking. She barked and barked and wouldn't stop. Finally my husband got up and went out into the backyard to hush her. He scolded her and came back in. She started again. He went back out and she kept running around the yard. He got a flashlight to see what had her so agitated. She lead him to a hole in the fence and he realized that Zara had left the protection of the fence. We spent another hour looking for Zara and yes, we found her and the next morning fixed the fence! Now, one of our wood fences at home has a board loose. I'm worried sick about it because I know we need to fix the fence or there is a possibility that Zara could go through the hole and lose the protection of the fence.
Ok..why fences? Because the standards that we uphold are our fences. Many times we think our standards are to box us in and make us live a certain way. NO! NO! NO! Our standards are our fence. They keep predators out and keep us safe. They are the guardrails on the highway to Heaven.
We should love our fences because they keep us living where we should. When we begin to resent the fence and try to cross over is when we know we have lost sight of the danger. Also, we need to be like Daisy...when we see someone leaving the yard, do we cry out in warning or do we watch them go and shake our head while sitting in our politically correct hyponotic state? The church of God was not built on passive people. They wanted to stone Paul for his boldness and yet, we are afraid to call sin as sin? To voice concern when the fence is falling?
The more I pray and grow closer to God, the more I appreciate the foresight of our UPC predessors. They put some fences in place that have kept us on the path. TV was innocent in the 50s. TV is not innocent today. We need to put a fence on our media..we are letting predators such as sexual immorality, violence, etc creep into the yard because the fence is broken. I couldn't understand the big deal about Halloween until I lived in a state where pagan worship was everywhere on Halloween night. These fences that seem so silly to some have kept us on a path of holiness. Ok, some of you are as my dear dad would say, "riled up" but that's ok..I'm going to be Daisy and keep barking. If you don't understand our standards and their Biblical base, ask for Bible clarification and scriptures to study.
I am committed to handing over a heritage to my children that will take them to heaven. If I remove the fences, I won't be able to hand it over. I need to go home and examine my fences...are there loose boards and a possibility of predators entering my home? Have I grown complacent and no longer see the danger of something entering my yard?
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
You mean the rod and staff will help me dwell in the house of the Lord forever? It is the Word of God.
I love each of you and want to make heaven our home!
Monday, May 11, 2009
So is everyone ready for this summer?I am but I just hate when the kids get so bored with nothing to do.Here are some places that I thought would be fun for the whole family.
SCARBOROUGH FAIR.I have been to this festival once before with my mom and sister years ago and it was a lot of fun!It is a little pricey but discount tickets are available at Tom Thumb.Tickets at the gate are $21.99,$8.50 for ages 5-12,free for children 4 and under.For more info click here
DFW SUMMER BALLOON CLASSIC.This sounds like fun!The fest features 40 hot air balloons,displays of airplanes,helicopters,gliders and other aircraft.Food,arts and crafts.Admission is free but parking is $10.summerballoonclassic.com
DALLAS AQUARIUM.This is always a kids favorite.While you're there take a stroll through Downtown.
DALLAS FARMERS MARKET.My kids love going to Farmers Market.We give them each their own money to spend and it's a great way to get them to eat healthy!For more info and upcoming events,go here
Those are just a few places you can go to this summer and it fits into any budget.
There are also several museums,Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is our favorite along with the Omni Theatre.
If you got some young bookworms out there,or not,get them into reading this summer by earning a free book.Barnes & Noble has a summer reading program where kids can earn a free book for every 8 that they read.Check with your local library too,most of them have summer reading programs where kids can earn free prizes,t-shirts,or even a free kids meal.
Another good place to look into are your local rec. centers.They offer several different classes that you can sign the kids up for(prices vary).I'll be signing Sara up for a kids cooking class since that's what she enjoys doing.To find the closest rec center near you and for more info visit www.naturallyfun.org
If none of those ideas interest the kids then there's always six flags!and if you buy the season pass,I heard the best price for season passes ends on May 17th so hurry!
So remember you don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun this summer,just enjoy the time you spend with your family and make the best of it!I can't afford to go to every place that I listed above even though I'd like to but I can afford to pack a picnic lunch,load up the bikes and go to a nice park and enjoy the day with my family.Don't forget to take your camera so when the kids are all grown up they'll remember all those special memories.