Today, our very special friends, the Noble family, came over for a visit while they were passing through Minnesota. It was all too short for us but we had a blessed time with them.
We played Blokus, Jeremiah and Austin played Battleship, and the younger boys were gunfighting! We also played freeze-tag and I thought how nice it was that the Texas weather stays down in Texas where it belongs because I was HOT; even with the "cool" weather and the nice breeze. We recalled memories and shared hopes for the future. It was an altogether wonderful visit. We miss their family terribly!
Wesley-15 - Brooke-14 - Austin-12 - Jonathan-8
We also enjoyed TEXAS watermelon with the Noble family!
Today I had one of those "baking mistakes" or "kitchen blunders" in the process of making a batch of Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. It was the first time that I'd made that particular recipe and it was copied off of the computer (hand written, not printed). Unfortunately, one of the key ingredients, the flour, had been left out of the handwritten copy (I won't tell you who did that!). I thought that the batter looked kind of funny but I figured that it might be a "special" cookie recipe, a flourless cookie - just like there are flourless cakes! I knew that I'd followed the recipe very closely (emphasis on the word VERY) and I double and triple checked. Still I could find no place that I had skipped an ingredient. Finally, I decided to pop the cookies in the oven despite my doubts. When I checked them a few minutes later, they were FLAT, completely and utterly FLAT! At that time, I knew that I had done something wrong. Instead of adding 2 cups of flour like the original recipe called for, I had put in NO flour at all! Mama came to my rescue and found the original recipe, gave me the proper measurementand I was somehow able to salvage the cookies. I didn't think that they were that great, but everyone else seemed to enjoy them, so, if you're a chocolate lover, you might, just might, want to try this recipe. Be sure to add the flour and you'll have a rich chocolate treat!
1 cup butter, softened 1 1/2 cups white sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Today, I went out on a "nature photo shoot". There were hundreds...well, not that many, more like ten...little squirrels romping in our neighbor's yard. Since we have permission to enter the yard (plus, the house is vacant) I strolled over and shot some of these pictures. The squirrels around this area are sometimes a nuisance (just like anywhere else!) but they're also pretty cute!
as far as I am concerned, it is a sin against God!
This is His work and He has called us to it.
To steal His time is to blaspheme against what He is trying to accomplish here!
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Think on that for a minute. What conclusion do you come to?
While reading Systematic Theology, we were covering the section on God's communicable attributes. One of these attributes is truthfulness. We read a few scriptures, (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2 etc.) stating that God cannot lie. Therefore, God cannot do EVERYTHING - which is marvellous!
God CANNOT sin. There are MANY things that we thoughtlessly count as sin but, in some cases are not sinful; such as anger (Ephesians 4:26), wrath (Deuteronomy 9:19), hate (Psalm 5:5), jealousy (Exodus 34:14) etc... God does ALL of these things---perfectly.
It is wonderful to know, to KNOW that we have a God who is PERFECT, who does not need us for anything; that He does not need offerings of food or sacrifices as other gods do (and false ones at that!). He does not need our praises. He does not need our worship.
The day that we arrived, I found a robin's nest with five little blue eggs in it. The next morning, two were hatched and later that day, we looked into the nest and there were four little featherless birds. The fifth egg had been thrown out of the nest as a reject.
Today, Elijah peered into the nest and found one of the little chicks choking on a worm. I was sitting at the table outside, working on a project when he came running up. He grabbed his pocket knife, (the one with the tweezers) quickly explained that one of the birds was choking on a worm and hurried back to the nest. I followed and saw that the story was true. He very skillfully extracted the worm from the bird's throat and saved the poor little hatchling from an untimely death.
Elijah reports that... the mother is contentedly sitting on the nest.
(With 4 of her babies instead of 3; thanks to my brother's expertise!)
I love Texas, I love y'all in Texas, and I also love all y'all who are reading this and aren't in Texas. My heart belongs first and foremost to my King and Saviour. Secondly, my love is to my family; thirdly to my friends-whether that's in Texas or not.
I'm missing Texas, not just Texas but all of our friends in Texas! Would you believe it-I'm even missing the RV! I miss getting together to fellowship after church and during the week. I miss all of the like-minded friends who have been so encouraging and supportive, even if they did not realize that they were doing so. I miss the sight of my father, surrounded by strong men who love the Lord. I miss the wonderful, godly women who are constantly encouraging my mother. I miss seeing my brothers with young men who truly are friends. (By that, I mean, friends who don't always want to talk about worthless subjects - sports, movies, etc., but who love to talk of things that build character, encourage godliness, manliness, etc., who will stick to you even in the hard times.)
I miss all of that. It just makes me more grateful for the love of my Heavenly Father in showing me that HE is the only one who is ALWAYS with me, always near me, and that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He is all-sufficient; he is my provider, my shelter from the storm, and I can rely fully upon Him to care for me. I know that He took me away from my home for a reason. He has a plan for my life that is far greater than anything that I could ever know. I believe that, for one, He did it to remind me that I must not trust in or depend upon anyone or anything but Him and Him ALONE. Secondly, to show me anew that He ALONE is God and that I am unable to do anything to change the fact that He COMPLETELY controls my life (whether I like it or not). Thirdly, to teach me that the design of man is not above that of God, and that He can change anyone's plans, however well-laid, in a flash. I know that He has so much more to teach me and that I have SO much more to learn. I pray that I will be submissive to His will in my life and to say without regret "not my will but Yours be done".
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
1 Chronicles 29:11
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, And You are exalted as head over all.
1 Chronicles 16:29
Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
1 Chronicles 16:28
Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,Give to the LORD glory and strength.
1 Chronicles 16:24
Declare His glory among the nations,His wonders among all peoples.
1 Chronicles 16:10
Glory in His holy name;Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
...and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!
My parents met in the U.S. Navy. Papa was an ordnance-man on F-14 fighter planes. Mama worked for the maintenance officer. Their marriage followed soon after meeting.
After about three years of marriage, they both were honorably discharged. Soon afterwards, papa became a christian. Mama was not at all happy. She left him and was staying at her grandparent's house. She even filed for divorce!
The long and short of it is, that after much prayer etc. mama became a christian. (Praise the LORD) Soon after her conversion, mama left the work-force to stay home and serve her husband. A few weeks later, she conceived me. (For their five years of marriage, my parents had tried to have children but the Lord had never blessed them with any.)
This year, celebrating their 21st anniversary, they are going to Backbone State Park. They need some time away, by themselves, and this occasion presents a perfect excuse! I am so excited for them.
The Lord has blessed me with two of the best parents in the world and I am continually thankful for them.
Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day.
Below is an e-mail that papa sent out to some men in the church. I would have written this post but I thought that it was extremely well-said here.
Don and Cheryl (Jen's parents) arrived safely home Friday night. However, it wasn't without trial. Due to weather, their scheduled flight was cancelled. All other flights were booked. Stand-by wasn't even an option. They were given a hotel room for the night and a next day flight to an airport close to Cedar Rapids (1hr 38min). The Lord had us make a series of phone calls. During these phone calls we were informed that amazingly, 2 seats became available. Problem was that neither Don and Cheryl's hearing is good. Further, they have no cell phone. Result was that they're not responding to their page and we can't contact them. This drove us to some serious prayer. We were finally able to make contact with them - they were able to to get to the terminal - get on the flight - and fly home. The LORD answered our prayer.
Praise the LORD!!
Don and Cheryl look forward to meeting y'all.
The LORD has heard my supplication;The LORD will receive my prayer.
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is thepower of God unto salvation, to every one that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks the truth in his heart;who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at inteerest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.