Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 08

We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving Day. ...a calm and quiet meal with just 4 of us--Bourbon Turkey breast(a Southern living recipe see my recipe blog for the recipe, toasted almond green beans, caramelized parsnips and carrots, corn, peas, sweet potato, mashed potato, cornbread cranberry/apple dressing, regular dressing, Bourbon gravy and regular gravy, 2 kinds of cranberries, rosemary rolls, apple pie and pecan pumpkin pie. Very satisfying ;-). Just a quiet relaxing day.
Gram was in pain so we did not visit very long with her. Yesterday was a better day for her. She still managed to crack a joke making a rhyme with Skipper's name.
Thankful just for the small things of a blessed day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free online Christmas music and Contentment

I had to share this with ya'll. There is free online Christmas music here: Most of the music is really great!! So listen for a while and get in the spirit .
aaaahhhhhhhhhh--I have a 15 bean soup simmering on the stove and a nice hot gas fire agoing!! This is Contentment. But an old puritan book called THE RARE JEWEL OF CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT--TELLS THE MEANING of true contentment LIKE THIS in referring to Philippians 4:11--
"The word rendered 'content' here has great elegance and fulness of meaning in the original. In the strict sense it is only attributed to God, who has styled himself 'God all-sufficient', in that He rests fully satisfied in and with Himself alone. But He is pleased freely to communicate His fulness to the creature, so that from God in Christ the saints receive 'grace for grace' (John 1:16). As a result, there is in them the same grace that is in Christ, according to their measure. In this sense, Paul says I have a self-sufficiency, which is what the word means."
"But has Paul got a self-sufficiency? you will say. How are we sufficient of ourselves? Our Apostle affirms in another case, 'That we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves' (2 Corinthians 3:5). Therefore his meaning must be, I find a sufficiency of satisfaction in my own heart , through the grace of Christ that is in me. Though I have not outward comforts and worldly conveniences to supply my necessities, yet I have a sufficient portion between Christ and my soul abundantly to satisfy me in every condtion.........Because he had a right to the covenant and promise, which virtually contains everything, and an interest in Christ, the fountain and good of all, it is no marvel that he said that in whatever state he was in, he was content."
Another book, referrs to this aspect also! I know the new book called The Shack has been controversial, but one of his statements concurs with the above old quote. He has God say, "By nature I am completely unlimited, without bounds. I have always known fullness. I live in a state of perpetual satisfaction as my normal state of existence."
So contentment is a satisfaction in all that God is....and in Him my soul is abundantly satisfied..
so I can be content without the music , smells of simmering soup, and toasty fire, but it sure is nice!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am Crazy

I lost it this year. Last year I thought I was bad because I put my tree up before thanksgiving......but my little town has had their Christmas decorations up for a week now and I saw a tree done all in white (see the post that is before this one) and I couldn't wait to put the tree up. We have a tiny artificial tree that we purchased years ago when we were pretty poor and we didn't want to keep dumping money into a real tree. So this one has some memories. Soooooooo......I have done it all in white--I still have a few more things to put on it....

I know I should have waited, but I enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am not one who cares about blending the two---Christmas gives me a very thankful heart for all Christ has done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today's thoughts

Life goes by so quickly.

I find Alzheimer's is a particularly frightening disease. The thing that makes it so hard is to see the anxiety and fear in my mother-in -law and there is nothing that I can do to ease this for her, except to ask for a dose of some medication. It is hard to be there and not be able to provide comfort---she is usually too unfocused for that and the wheeling around in her chair is her way of dealing with the anxiety.

It must be so frightening to have a portion of your brain not a Christian the ability to focus on the Word and on Christ brings peace and joy.....but what happens when you loose that mental ability? I find this in some ways to be a mystery of God's providence. We are exhorted in the Bible to fix our minds, re-new our minds, be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving to make our requests known to God........BUT what happens when you can't do this----when you no longer retain the ability? I know God's Spirit can commune with our spirit and peace comes from him, yet usually the mind plays a part....when the mind is diseased it is a great heart ache.

I keep going back to the fact that God has a purpose and season for everything. I am trying to learn and yet what am I learning? One thing would be, of course, that life is a precious gift and I shouldn't waste it on stupid arguments or on things that do not reflect the glory of God. Man, is that a hard thing to do---I tend to get so distracted by stupid stuff! Again and again I go back to needing to be fully alive to the moment that I am in and to seek to be fully alive to God. I wish the spiritual part of life was not a battle---that it would flow more easily. I loose sight of the aspect of warfare. I need to soak up more of His word and be more taken over by the Spirit of God and not so into self. It surely is hard to balance living in the world, but being in the Spirit.

The song below is a good prayer for my mother-in-law---you need to turn off the music on my sidebar to listen to this one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Content in the Fall

I have not been blogging much lately--mainly posting things on my recipe blog. Recently we have switched to a mostly vegetarian diet without much oil, dairy, or meats. We have been eating whole grains (including rice), beans, vegetables and fruit. The result is a blessed 50 point drop in my Cholesterol levels for which I am so happy. Plus I am down to my ideal weight!! YES!

I love this time of the year and have been enjoying the warmth of flannel sheets and cozy fires! Camellias are in bloom and the orange and reds of the trees are refreshing. The smells of pumpkin pie and apple butter just add to the warmth. The camaraderie of Fall festivals have been another source of small town thankfulness.

Fall cleaning has kept me very busy with many trips to the Good Will store and to the garbage!! I feel so much better after having decluttered so many of my closets and bookshelves!!! I can't believe all the "stuff" I was hanging on to.

Now to escape with a cup of cinnamon tea and a good book.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A new song; unearthly happenings.

Hi--I was reading this today and wanted to share it---I love the thoughts:

Beth Moore describes her feelings about what the psalmist means when he refers to singing a new song: "He means that a whole new level of praise begins to erupt from a delivered soul. It's as if a lid pops off of an undiscovered canyon somewhere deep inside, and a dam of living water breaks, rinses, and fills it. A testimony of God's goodness springs from the well to the lips. Music comes alive and suddenly puts words to what you feel."

She says it isn't always a song new to us--but a new level of praise or awareness.

She mentions the time she sat in a hospital room with Carrie McDonnall--Carrie was a Christian relief worker in Iraq and gunfire opened upon her and 4 other relief workers. Her husband of 22 months died and she was the sole survivor. She was riddled by bullets.....but she experienced something miraculous (others have experienced this too). Beth says, Carrie said that God seemed "to open her ears for a time to hear the music of heaven......Whatever the occasion for the music, Carrie testified that it was like nothing her ears had ever heard. She described a choir of countless voices, but my favorite part of her account was that she heard one set of harmony in one ear and another totally distinguishable set in the other." (Perhaps what she heard was the homecoming of her husband David and the other fellow workers).

I like how Beth describes God--and us-----"The originator of surround sound, God chases you down with melody and hems you in with harmony until your raptured soul finds liberty and your aching feet find stability. Christ, the King, the Creator of the Universe, seeks and surrounds you with songs of deliverance."

She talks about what it would be like to see our life on DVD played out from heaven's viewpoint: "We won't just hear the music; we'll see the movie. Surely all the best parts are held in heavenly archives that will be opened to us when we're there. Only this time, we'll get to see the whole picture: The raging war in the unseen realm that took place over our heads as the angels of light fought the angels of darkness. We'll see exactly where Jesus was and what He was doing while every event unfolded. We'll hear the voice of God commanding the elements to cooperate. Our bonds to disintegrate. And, after all our waiting, we'll get to know the exact moment when God yelled, 'Now!' Or at least I think we will. Because our King is a drama King. If He holds the score that contains the song of our deliverance, why wouldn't He also have the nonfiction movie that the songs were written for? After all, what's a score without a scene?"