Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gotta Love Giveaways!

Another Giveaway!
I am going to cheat and let you read Jasmine's words rather than bother with retyping :)

Another Giveaway...
This one from Miss Jocelyn courtesy of Christa Taylor! Head on over and leave a comment to enter! From Miss Jocelyn:
...You've gone and looked at C-T and now you're wanting to put some of the items on your wish-list... well, how about a chance to get something early with a $25 gift credit from the C-T store?
You can enter a chance to win the $25 GC by leaving a comment, and, if you want to enter again tell your friends and when they come to enter make sure they say who directed them here because if they say YOU did then you get ANOTHER entry! So if you tell 15 friends and they say "Sarah told me" then you get 15 more entries.
Pretty neat, huh? So go on over and enter, and don't forget to read Christa Taylor's interview on A Pondering Heart.


There is a fun giveaway over on Jasmine's blog that I thought you all (specifically my female readers) would enjoy!

Family Culture, Part 2

A Sister's Contribution to Family Culture

As I have been thinking about family culture, I have been asking the Lord to show me how I as a sister can contribute to the culture in my home. What I have done is looked up what my father calls the “one another” verse and separated them into basic categories. As with all topics I present before you, this is not an all comprehensive study but rather some fundamentals to help you in your personal study. You will notice as you look up the following references that some are in the context of the church. The reason I believe they are still applicable in the family, or at least the believing family, is this: the church is the body of Christ, or Christians, therefore a believing family is part of the church and under the same obligations. Profound, isn’t it? :)

Mark 9:50, “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
Romans 14:19, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12 & 17, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.”
Romans 13:8, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

1John 4:7, 11, 12, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
1 John 3:11, 23, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”
Prefer one another:
Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
Ephesians 5:21, “submitting to one another in the fear of God”

Colossians 3:13, “forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

1 Peter 5:5, “likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject to one another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud and giveth race to the humble.”

Same Mind, Unity:
Romans 12:16, “Be of the same mind toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend* to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.”

Romans 15:5, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 12:25, “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”

1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”


Romans 15:1-2, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”

Romans 14:19, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make of peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

Romans 15:14, “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly with all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”

#In the above verses, the emphasis is mine#

*i.e. humble yourself.

I Voted!!!

Today was the day that I have spent the last several weeks sitting on pins and needles waiting for. I have had every emotion from anxiety to elation fill my heart and mind as I eagerly awaited the day I could cast my vote for the first time. Last night Daddy and I reviewed the sample ballot and made sure we knew exactly who we would be casting our votes for (my mother is still a Canadian citizen and can’t vote here). Although my experience wasn't as moving and historically deep as Jasmine's it was a huge moment for me. For two generations my family has voted strictly republican, I know that for my Grandmother and my two Aunts this is a truly historical moment as women, through Gov. Palin, take another swing at the glass ceiling, and I can't share in their estcasy, but truly, there is no feeling like a good, clean conscience. One that says I did not cast my vote for a presidential candidate whose VP is guilty of rejecting her God ordained role, one that reminds me that I did not vote for the socialistic "change" promised by the other presidential candidate. Rather, I can say confidently, I voted for a man who believes in the sanctity of marriage, the LIFE of the unborn and the value of protecting that life, a man who wouldn't stand for the UN and their abhorrent policies. I cast my vote for the third party, one I never new existed until this year, but by God's grace, I am able to say that I voted, not out of fear or a determination to "keep Obama out of office" regardless of what compromises it takes to get there, but on principle, on biblical foundations, and tonight, when I go to sleep I will have the joy of knowing that regardless of the outcome, I voted for a biblically qualified, professing Christian.
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

Catch Up (Sort of)

Sorry it has been so long everybody, and unfortunately, I don't have much for you tonight.
Right now I am trying really hard to keep focused on what needs to be done in the physical world as opposed to the world wide web. Long story short, it'll be awhile.
Until then, I would encourage you to check out the following blog : Sisters with Standards I just finished looking at it and I loved it!
God Bless,
until next time!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Family Culture, Part 1: Home and Family

A center of Industry and Joy
Peace and Contentment.
Filled with
Laughter, Love, Forgiveness,
And Grace.

When I find my thoughts dwelling on the home, I marvel at this precious gift from God, all it is and all it represents. Nearly everyone has hear the old adage, “home is where the heart is” and certainly this rings true, there are many houses that are nothing more than a place to lay your head and lack the warmth of love and of vibrant family life. And then there are homes, filled with love, industry, fellowship and life. Often, though not always, these homes are not immaculate. In many you will find signs of young, inquisitive life, whether it be toys, books, or puzzles out of place or original ‘wall art’. I have been blessed with being in a wide range of homes, some are beautifully ‘picture perfect’ (though these homes generally belong to older, Titus 2 women who no longer have young ones about) and are so warm and inviting. I have been in homes that are more like mine, there are definite signs of young children and are just as pleasant and inviting.
What is it that makes homes so precious to us and what is it that makes houses little more than a place to sleep? Ultimately, the family culture; Van Til said that “culture is religion externalized” therefore, simply defined, family culture is the outworking of a family’s beliefs and priorities. It is a manifestation of what a family truly holds dear and believes to be important. This will evidence itself in everything, from the decorum to the atmosphere and all in between.
As a daughter in my father’s home, I love the way my mother has decorated our home, the colors are warm and inviting and there is a scriptural theme woven into many of the rooms in our home. Our kitchen is one of my favorite places; we have a chicken and French country theme, with vanilla crème as our main color, followed by a deep cherry red and then black accents. Mom loves her chickens and we have several in the kitchen. The Biblical theme for this room? Forgiveness and restoration; Christ warned Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed and after His resurrection He forgiven and restored Peter, exhorting him to “feed My sheep”.
As a daughter who has joined the ranks of “women” I am excited about the day when my husband and I will weave our family culture and begin our own home, and as I think of one day beginning a home, under the blessing of God, within the covenant of marriage, I ask myself, “What are practical ways I can prepare myself for this season while I am still unmarried?”
I believe there are three main ways in which a daughter can prepare to one day, with her husband, beautify the home she will be responsible for managing.
1st, realize that entering marriage doesn’t make your character magically perfect, that is, what you bring into marriage will be woven into your family’s culture and thus, the atmosphere of your home. We could compare family culture to a tapestry; because it is very difficult to remove the threads of poor character, it is best to weave good character from the beginning. Now is the time to cultivate a joyful, submissive heart, to learn to persevere with grace through trials, rather than to throw a spiritual tantrum over circumstances. Now is the time to learn humility, forgiveness, a love for children and a delight in the responsibilities of the home. While we will never be perfect (not in this life anyway!) we can lay the vital foundations. Marriage is an edification tool, so we can’t expect that if we try to ‘learn it all’ now there will be no disagreements or hurt feelings, for such is no the case. However, there is a lot of heartache which can be avoided. Just as we would not think of building a house without proper tools and equipment, so let us purpose to enter marriage having, by God’s grace, done what we can to develop good character.
2nd, when it comes to decorating, have fun reading books, looking through home magazines and beginning to form ideas. What is it that makes home look like home? What do certain colors, themes and texture say about a home? Learn how to be frugal with decorating. How can I achieve a look I like without spending an exorbitant amount of money? Now, I know in our culture it is perceived that men have no interest in the appearance of the home (I say perceived because I am not so sure that is accurate, I know that the men in my home do have preferences) however, I think that a wife needs to beware of monopolizing this task. I hope that my husband will have preferences and that he will desire to have some input when it comes to the appearance of our house and it’s reflection of our family culture. So, again, have fun learning and toying with ideas, but don’t make them so airtight that they are exclusive of your future husband’s wishes, tastes and preferences.
3rd, learn now to delight in making and keeping your home beautiful. Decorate the table nicely, fill vases with flowers, and help keep the home orderly. Learn to enjoy repetition because especially with little ones, you will find your self refolding the same blanket several times, moving cushions back to the couch for the third time that day, washing dishes and resetting the table with little or seemingly no time in between now and the last time you had to do it. If you are impatient and grumpy concerning the number of times you have to do something your attitude will translate into atmosphere of the home.
Enjoy the niceties and finer decorum, but learn also to delight in and see the value of the more mundane, repetitious tasks. Let us also keep in mind that Christ, Who is the Source of true beauty, must be Lord of our homes, or all is in vain.
God has called women to delight and in manage the home. Let us seek to bring godly character and beauty into the family culture and atmosphere.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hold Tight

It's not normally my policy to post twice in one night (mostly because I do not have the time) however, my father brought home some interesting articles that I wanted to refer you all to.
These articles are very interesting and I highly recommend you read them, even if it means printing them off, which is what I have to do because I get headaches from trying to read long articles on the computer :)
"What Happened?"
"What's Coming?"
"What Can I Do To Prepare?"

A couple thoughts for you:
First, as dearly as I love my country, we have some problems. Two major ones stick out in my mind, 1) we have collectively rejected God and any nation who does so is doomed to failure and destruction 2) we have sold our freedom.
The second problem I mentioned has been traced all over the place to various historic events and people such as FDR, President Bush, the Civil War, and so on. Ultimately, I am not sure where the first great 'compromise' of freedom occured, frankly, as much as I love history, I still have much to learn. (Outside of dates and names most history books don't teach much, so now that I have graduated I am going back and learning what really happened and why, and I am excited for all six of my younger siblings who are going to learn it right the first time!) However, what I do know is this, thanks to militant feminism, teachers unions, socialism-run-amuck-under-cover and our own irresponsibility we have forgotten that freedom means responsibility, it means fighting when we are tired, perseverence, diligence, strong home life, and unwaving faith. We have forgotton that it is the parents responsibility to teach/disciple their own children, not the state's (Deut. 6:4:9, Deut. 6:6-7, Is. 38:19, Ps. 78:3-4, Eph. 6:4, and the book of Proverbs which is written as a by a father instructing his son!). We have forgotten the past and not taught the following generations what America was truly founded upon and what she stands for (Ps. 78:4). I spent years thinking that the reason the pilgrims came to America was because of religious persecution, I had no idea that they had found that freedom in Holland but they went to America so that their children could grow up in the nuture and admonition of the Lord without the destructive influences of worldliness! A far cry from today where we send our children to be educated by the pagans so that they can be "salt"! (Matt. 5:13) But, what happens when our children become indoctrinated by the world and lose their savor? Christianity has abandoned the faith, America has forgotten her heritage and our elected politicians are selling us out! Hello! Wake up call, the answer is not found by giving into despair or throwing in the towel and joining the party of the lost, but in recalling the former things, repenting and returning.
May we truly wake up and may God show us mercy yet a little while longer.

The Precious Fellowship of Christian Sisters

At moments when we least expect it the Lord blesses His people in ways we would never have imagined. I personally experienced this recently when we hosted a family from Pennsylvania two weeks ago. We had met the Phero's, goodness, 4, 5 (?) years ago while we were still living in New Jersey. If I remember correctly it was a year before we moved to the Midwest that we received the news that Mrs. Phero had gone home to be with the Lord. Although it was a time of grieving it was also a time of anticipation. Before her death the late Mrs. Phero had prayed and asked the Lord to send her husband a godly wife and a godly mother for her children and we were anxious to see how the Lord would work all this out. The Lord was faithful and provided Sarah (formally Einwechter) as a fully capable, God fearing wife and mother. My mom flew out to Jersey last fall and had the chance to meet the 'new' Mrs. Phero and she came back with nothing but praise for this woman and, needless to say, I couldn't wait to meet her. By the same token, I didn't expect that the Phero's would head our way and that not only would I have the opportunity to meet Mrs. Phero, but I would also be able to meet two of her sisters, Karen and Abigail.

I had the time of my life getting to know these two wonderful young ladies. With the exception of Tuesday our guests spent everyday out touring various sights of the Midwest. We joined them twice, but we really got to know each other through our night time conversations. We talked about everything from farming, goats, family stories, fireproof, marriage (the 'why' and 'why nots') and everything in between. It was such a blessing!
Karen and Abigail, thanks so much for coming out, your fellowship was such a blessing!
(I was going to 'fiddle' with the car so y'all could stay longer, but I figured your family probably missed you :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sorry it has been so long!

Hello Everyone,
Sorry it has been so long. Things have been so busy, I have much to tell you :)
I am currently trying to plug through two updates and get them ready post, so hopefully I'll have those up soon.
Right now I am still stinging from the smack of the $700 Billion Bailout Plan. As I told my parents, I am feeling very betrayed by my government at the moment, in fact, the more I learn about our current (current includes the last decade or two) politics the more I feel like this country is being run by a bunch of powerful people who enjoy backstabing honest citizens. Don't get me wrong, there are some politians who are are trying to represent and work on behalf of the common American, they just seem to be few and far between.
I appreciate your patience as I try to keep up with all there is to do!