Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CHRISTMAS LOVE

This is a great story I just had to share. I hope you and your family had a wonderful, blessed Christmas!

Thought for Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old.

For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, Snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

And, I believe, He still is.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Ride Around the Block

It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco.
The pastor of the church was looking over the cradle when he
noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures.
Immediately he turned and went outside and saw a little boy with a
red wagon. In the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus.
The pastor walked up to the boy and said, "Well, where did you
get Him, my fine friend?"
The little boy replied, "I got him from the church."
"And why did you take him?"
The boy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to
Baby Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for
Christmas I would give him a ride around the block in it."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Brand New...

My favorite scripture is 2 Cor. 5:17, so when I got this email, I just had to share it with you....

Legend has it that in the days of the old west, there were two teenage boys who were caught steeling sheep. The small town wanted to make an example of these boys, sending a message to the community that they would not tolerate such behavior, so a motion was passed to put a brand on their foreheads of "ST" for "Sheep Thief."

Well, one boy couldn't stand the ridicule and shame and fled from his hometown, never to be heard of again.
The other boy allowed the humiliation to mature him quickly, and he decided to stay in that town and never again be a source of shame or pain to its citizens. He devoted his life to the Lord, worked hard and eventually started a general store.

As the years past, the people of that town grew to love this branded man, and knew he could be trusted with anything. He had become a pillar of the community, his store thrived and he had a wonderful family, with many grandchildren.

One day, a young man came to that town and saw the old man in the general store with the brand of "ST" on his forehead. He couldn't help but be curious, so he asked another old-timer, "Say, what's with that fellow with the "ST" on his head? What does "ST" stand for?"

The old gentleman scratched his head, thinking back over the years that he had known this man, his goodness to the town, and love for its people, and simply said, "Near as I can recall, "ST" stands for "Saint."

"When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun!" (2 Cor. 5:17 TLB).

Have a fantastic day in the Lord, realizing that no matter what you have done in the past; no matter what "brands" others have placed on you, when you come to Jesus Christ, He can turn your brand into "brand new" by the power of His love and forgiveness.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Did Jesus Fold the Napkin?

I'm always learning....This I had not heard before.

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His Resurrection?

The Gospel of John (20: 7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes. The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Is that important? You'd better believe it! Is that Significant? Absolutely! Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition. When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it. The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master had finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table. The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm done". But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the servant knew that the folded napkin meant, "I'm not finished yet." The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!"

May this truly bless you and give you peace...............

Life is Short, Live for God!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

This is one of those questions that many people ask when they are faced with an illness or loss of a loved one.

After two years of major health problems for my daughter, there are many times that I want to question, why her? She was only 14 when she got her first headache, and that headache has not gone away yet. She has a headache every single day, 24/7, it is an extremely rare condition called New Daily Persistent Headache.

Then she started having stomach problems and we found out she had bladder cancer! After her surgery and recover from that, she still had stomach problems and found out she had PCOS, cysts on her ovaries. And right now, to top everything off, she has mono....

It makes a person wonder why God allows suffering? If you are looking for the answer to that question, you can go to the same place I went when I asked that question about Becca.... an Alpha Course at my church. Pastor Jason and his wife Beth went participated in the course first, then brought it back to our church. It's a wonderful program that helps not only the non believer answer some very difficult questions, but helps the believers answer them as well.

The Alpha Course is offered all over the world. Check to see if there is one in your area! You won't regret it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many f you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love , and remember : I LOVE YOU, JESUS

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Penny

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the ver y wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.

He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.

Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.

He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did thi s man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"Look at it." He said. "Read what it says." She read the words "United States of America"
"No, not that; read further."
"One cent?" "No, keep reading."
"In God we Trust?" "Yes!" "And?"
"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.

It seems that I have been fin ding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And, God is patient.

The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross
+ 3 nails
--------
4 given

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

California Fire Survivors Give Thanks

Sunday October 28, 2007 8:16 PM

By CHELSEA J. CARTER

Associated Press Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Survivors of firestorms that destroyed more than 2,000 homes in Southern California found reasons Sunday to be thankful even as the damage toll mounted and firefighters worked to contain blazes.

Fire officials kept an eye on warm, dry weather that moved in behind a moist, tropical system that allowed fire crews to make gains Saturday. Winds up to 15 mph were expected but weren't considered a problem.

``This is fire conditions that we can actively fight, unlike the Santa Ana winds,'' said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

But there was a possibility of strong offshore winds in another seven days, he said.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

De Colores!


I returned home yesterday after a weekend retreat in Chautauqua NY at a Koinonia retreat. Wow.... that's about all I can say right now! lol!

Here's a little description of the Koinonia....

Koinonia is a term derived from the early Christian Greek of the New Testament. The term meant "Christian Fellowship" or "to gather together for the purpose of Christian Fellowship".

The term has been adopted as the name of the ecumenical Christian movement that came from the Roman Catholic experience called Cursillo, which means "short course" in Spanish.

Koinonia is a lay group that has developed out of the ancient purpose and activity of Cursillo. Other groups that share the purpose and activity of Koinonia are recognized by different denominations by such names as: Crysallis, Kairos, Walk to Emmaus, Footsteps, Great Banquet.

To me, the weekend was unbelievable. I came home with a brand new relationship with God. I came back with many, many new friends and lots of wonderful memories.

I can't wait for our group reunion at the end of the month! To my wonderful new friends, Dody, Maria, Bonnie, Patty, Darlene and Judy, I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beautiful Sight in Texas

IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE

On a lonely stretch of highway just outside of Groom, Texas (near Pampa) stands a 19 story tall cross that can be seen for miles from any direction. The arm spans are 110 feet across. It is constructed of a welded steel framework covered with steel sheeting.

This cross is the result of the efforts of Steve Thomas and family of Pampa, Texas. It took 250 welders eight months to complete, and weighs 1,250 tons. It stands alone, unsupported by guy wires, and can withstand winds of 140 miles per hour.

Steve Thomas' son, Zack Thomas, is an All-Pro middle linebacker for the Miami Dolphins.

The cross is truly an awsome sight to behold. It is a dedication to the love and sacrifice of
Jesus.

It is a spectacular sight at night, and is open for viewing 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and the site is truck and RV accessible.


It is anticipated that 10 million people a year will pass by the cross and a thousand a day will
stop.

On a small hill facing the cross there are three bronze cross statues depicting the crucifixion of Jesus between two thieves.

The base of the cross is surrounded by life-sized bronze statues of Jesus depicting twelve stations of Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary.

To view the website with this information and additional pictures, you can go here.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Creation Museum!

Our church group went to the Creation Museum last week and had a great time! The place is beautiful, and I love the way they explain how dinosaurs were part of the Creation!

I definitely recommend anyone that is near Kentucky to stop by! But give yourself at least 4-6 hours to go through it!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Legend of the Cherokee Indian

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shines through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

If you liked this story, pass it on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bible Stories by Children

Bible Stories
STORY OF ELIJAH
The Sunday school teacher in a little country church was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces, and laid it upon the altar. And then, Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times "Now, said the teacher, "can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?"
A little girl in the back of the room started waving her hand, "I know! I know!" she said, "To make the gravy!"
____________________________________
LOT'S WIFE
The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, "My Mummy looked back once, while she was driving," he announced triumphantly, "and she turned into a telephone pole!"
____________________________________
GOOD SAMARITAN
A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then, she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?" A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up." ____________________________________
DID NOAH FISH?
A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ?"
"No," replied David. "How could he, with just two worms?"
____________________________________
HIGHER POWER
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, " We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?" One child blurted out, "Aces!"
____________________________________
MOSES &THE RED SEA
Nine-year-old Joey, was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school. "Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt . When he got to the Red Sea , he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved." "Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked. "Well, no, Mom. But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!" ____________________________________
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible; Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse. Little Rick was excited about the task -- but, he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous.
When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know." ____________________________________
Church Smiles
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments," answered the lady.
____________________________________
While driving in Pennsylvania , a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign... "Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.''
____________________________________
Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about. The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt." Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about. He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."
____________________________________
Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Angel Tomato

This was at the stand of Brenneman's Produce, Vicky Brenneman had sliced open a Tomato and this is what she found. She put it on display for all to see. I thought this was awesome, to see something simply to uplift our lives and make us smile . Photo by Dennis Ober

Wilma's Bag

I got this in an email the other day and just had to share it. What a great story! Enjoy!

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Wilma's Bag

By Pamela Perry Blaine


It was a cold winter's day when I first met her. She came into the waiting area of the automotive department at the mall where I was waiting for them to put new tires on our van. I watched her as she put down a large plastic bag that didn't seem to have very much in it. She took off her coat, hat, and gloves and immediately went to work. She was a woman with a purpose and knew exactly what she was doing as she poured the water for a fresh pot of coffee. Next, she began cleaning the counter, scrubbing it with a wet cloth and straightening up the room.

I commented on how nice she made the room look and she asked me if I would like a cup of coffee. "Sure," I said, "the coffee smells wonderful." Then I asked her how long she had worked there. "Oh honey," "I don't work here," she said. "I've gotten to know the folks here and I like to help them out." She explained, "It's just something I can do to make people smile and you never know, it just might make a difference."

"My name is Wilma," she said, "I've been retired for years." I also introduced myself to Wilma and she continued to tell me all about herself. It seems Wilma had lived several blocks from the mall in a trailer court since her husband died. She told me that she took the bus to the mall everyday and brought her plastic bag full of goodies. "Did you see Bill over at that desk?", she asked. "He just loves pretzels so I always put some of them in my bag for him. Now, Margie, over there at the drug store," she continued, "she's always so tired, she works two jobs, you know, and I just like to see her eyes light up when I bring her a Dr. Pepper." As Wilma talked on I discovered that she made the rounds everyday to many places in and around the mall where she brought cookies, candy, or whatever she had to the people that had become her friends.

"My son lives in Florida," Wilma explained, "he tells me that I shouldn't spend my money like this, but it's something I can do to make people smile and maybe it will make a difference," she said once again. "I went down there to Florida to visit my son," she smiled, "he wants me to stay there but he doesn't want me to go out alone and I'm just bored to death, but then I wouldn't want him to know that," Wilma laughed. "I have my friends here." "Why, just this morning, I stopped at the grocery store and I pushed all those carts inside for George." "He works there, you know, and he isn't getting any younger...must be at least 80 and he has to push all those carts inside by himself, so I helped him." (I had to smile to myself as I knew that Wilma couldn't be far from 80 herself)

"Do you ever enter contests?" Wilma asked. Before I could answer, she went on, "I always enter all the contests in the stores and sometimes I win," she said with excitement. "You know those life-sized cardboard figures you see in the stores?" Wilma asked, "Well, I won Patrick Swayze," she laughed, "and now I got him right in my living room!"

"Well," I winked at her, "just as long as you don't keep him in your bedroom." She threw up her hands at that and laughed harder than ever and then went on to tell me about some of the things she had won and shared with her friends. I told her what a nice thing that she was doing and again she said, "Oh, it's just something I can do to make people smile and you never know, it just might make a difference."

It was time for Wilma to catch her bus and my van was ready to go. Wilma's bag was about empty except for some M&Ms for her next door neighbor. I told Wilma I hoped we would meet again sometime.

As I left, I thought about Wilma's bag and all the good that she was doing for others. It might seem to some as insignificant, but it's often the little things that count and make life easier. I thought you should know about Wilma because, "It's just something I can do to make people smile and you never know, it just might make a difference."

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)

© 2000, Pamela Perry Blaine
pamyblaine@blaines.us

Send Pam an e-mail and let her know what you thought of her story!

Pam lives in Missouri with her husband, Michael. She enjoys composing music and writing stories. She writes "Pam's Corner" for her local newspaper, The Edina Sentinel. Pam and her husband are active in their church where she plays piano and he is music leader. They have a CD available called, "I'll Walk You Home". The title song is about her lifelong friend who died of cancer. You can hear this song on her website: http://blaines.us/PamyPlace.htm

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hymns

Dentist's Hymn..............................Crown Him with Many Crowns

Weatherman's Hymn....................There Shall Be Showers of Blessings

Contractor's Hymn........................The Church's One Foundation

The Tailor's Hymn..........................Holy, Holy, Holy

The Golfer's Hymn.........................There's a Green Hill Far Away

The Politician's Hymn....................Standing on the Promises

Optometrist's Hymn.......................Open My Eyes That I May See

The IRS Agent's Hymn...................I Surrender All

The Gossip's Hymn........................Pass It On

The Electrician's Hymn..................Send The Ligh t

The Shopper's Hymn......................Sweet Bye and Bye

The Realtor's Hymn.........................I've Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop

The Massage Therapist's Hymn......He Touched Me

The Doctor's Hymn.........................The Great Physician

AND for those who speed on the highway - a few hymns:

45mph....................God Will Take Care of You

65mph....................Nearer My God To Thee

85mph....................This World Is Not My Home

95mph....................Lord, I'm Coming Home

100mph..................Precious Memories

Give me a sense of humor, Lord,

Give me the grace to see a joke,

To get some humor out of life,

And pass it on to other folk.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Why go to church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday.

"I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.

Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!" When you are DOWN to nothing... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!"

All right, now that you're done reading, send it on! I think everyone should read this! "When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say "Jesus, could you get that for me?"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Band Night at the Fair!

We had the annual Band Night at the Indiana County Fair on Tuesday night. Twelve bands from around the county participated and performed their half time routine. They did a fabulous job! Of course, I think our Bobcat Marching Band sounded fantastic :)

The highlight for me that evening was when they combined all the bands to do two numbers together. Their first song was an arrangement of Amazing Grace that gave me goosebumps! It was beautiful! So powerful and beautiful! They audience gave a standing ovation when it was over!!!!

Praise God!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What are your kids reading?

Right now, Jillian, our 13 year old, is reading Dragonspell. She has already read the whole series once and is reading it for the second time. I think she's on the third book right now.

Here's a description of this book:

After 14 years as a slave girl in the village of River Away, Kale is free, because of a dragon's egg. Since she found it, the village elders have decided that she must present herself and the egg to the great wizards of the walled city of Vendela, where she expects to become a servant of Paladin, the earthly representative of Wulder, supreme being of Amara. Her journey is interrupted first by attacking ogres, then by a detour into a cave that hides seven more dragon eggs, and finally by a daring escape aided by dragon-riding rescuers who become Kale's guides, tutors, and closest cohorts on her travels. Two of her precious eggs hatch on the way and become her constant companions–first green Gymn, who heals, and then purple Metta, who sings. To them, Kale is much more than just a slave girl–she is the last of the great Allerion dragon-keepers. This is classic quest fantasy with echoes of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Houghton) and of Christopher Paolini's Eragon (Knopf, 2003). As in C. S. Lewis's "Narnia" books (HarperCollins), Christian allegories and messages are clearly presented and easily found, but it is equally possible to read this as Kale's story as it happened in Amara, a world completely separate from our own. It would be a shame to limit readership by relegating this clever and inventive story to the genre of Christian fiction. There is plenty of room for sequels, and readers will want to know much more about Kale and the remainder of her quest.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

County Ordered to Accommodate Church-Going Park Ranger

How many of us have to work a job on a Sunday? I'm one of the lucky ones where I basically work 8-4, Monday - Friday. I do occasionally get called in to do something quick on the weekend, but it's very, very rare, and I don't mind that. But I would not want to work a full day on a Sunday and miss church. That is "my" day to attend church and to spend it however I want... I have several family members who do have jobs that require them to work on Sundays. I know that my sister quit one job because she asked to be off Sunday mornings for church and they continually would put her on the schedule to work Sunday mornings. It didn't matter that other workers were sitting at home, not attending church, for some reason, they constantly scheduled her for those Sunday mornings.

Well here's the story of one man who won his battle of working on Sundays. *applause!!!*

By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
August 14, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - A former park ranger in Palm Beach County, Fla., will get his old j
ob back, if he wants it, and he won't have to work on Sundays.

Under an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Palm Beach County has resolved allegations that it engaged in employment discrimination based on religion.

Specifically, the county was accused of violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by refusing to reasonably accommodate a park ranger's request for a work schedule that would allow him to attend church and refrain from work on Sundays.

The park ranger, who resigned when the county refused his Sundays-off request, also will get back pay and retroactive pension contributions, the Justice Department announced.

In addition, the county has agreed to enforce its existing religious accommodation policy and train supervisors to ensure that they properly handle future requests for religious accommodations.

"Public employees should not have to choose between their religious practices and their livelihood," said Wan J. Kim, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.

"While public employers have the authority to set reasonable standards for work schedules, they cannot reflexively refuse to consider a request for a religious accommodation, particularly where the employer has a policy that has granted other employees similar religious accommodations."

A federal judge must now approve the consent decree.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman as saying that the county is not admitting any wrongdoing. He said the park ranger was asked to work on weekends and he objected: "We're a seven-day-a-week operation," Weisman was quoted as saying.

County officials reportedly agreed to the deal to avoid prolonged litigation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

United States Map

A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl, Shelby. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to Shelby, and said, "Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today."

After a few minutes, Shelby returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. "Oh," she said, "on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our county just came together."

Hmmm, really makes you think, doesn't it!

Monday, August 6, 2007

They're Home!


The girls are home from Church camp! We went to pick them up yesterday afternoon. They slept the whole way home! lol! They keep them very, very busy while they are there. They both really love going there and can't wait till next year already!

Hubby and I had a really nice weekend at our camper in Titusville with Ray and Lisa (my brother and his wife). It is weird to be camping without the girls! We had a very relaxing weekend and didn't do a whole lot except eat! But that's pretty typical when you go camping :)

The girls and I leave on Friday for a Girls Weekend at the Beach and we can't wait!!! Frank's sister is going with us and my niece Breanna, and two of Jillian's friends, so there will be 7 of us all together. We're looking forward to days spent on the beach and relaxing evenings... I can't wait!!!!

One of the things we did last year when we went was to go to church on Sunday on the beach! We found a church that holds their services right on the beach. You bring your beach chairs and they had someone who played the guitar and we sang praise songs and listened to the preacher while we watched the waves rolling in. It was wonderful.... We definitely want to look into that again this year!

Monday, July 30, 2007

It's soooo quiet!

It is so quiet in my house!!! The girls left for a week long church camp yesterday and I just can't believe how much I miss them already. I know, they're 13 and 17 years old and I should be enjoying my quiet time, and I do.... don't get me wrong. But I miss my girls...

I do have to say one thing, I very much enjoyed coming home from work today and the house was still clean! lol! My girls know how to clean up after themselves, but that doesn't mean they always do it! I have a whole week of only having to pick up after myself (or yeah, and maybe Frank ;) )

Wonder what they're doing right now???

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Check out other Christian cartoons at: Christian Cartoons.net

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bloopers in the Church

The following are actual church bulletin board bloopers found in churches across the United States.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles, and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

Evening massage - 6 p.m.

The Pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. Please use the back door.

Ushers will eat latecomers.

The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J.F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."

Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

Stewardship Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All"

The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

Twenty-two members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

Today's Sermon: HOW MUCH CAN A MAN DRINK? with hymns from a full choir.

Hymn 43: "Great God, what do I see here?" Preacher: The Rev. Horace Blodgett
Hymn 47: "Hark! An awful voice is sounding"

On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Potluck supper: Prayer and medication to follow.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the church help.

The 1997 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mimes for God?

I found a very moving article about a set of North Texas twins who let their hands do the talking as Christian mimes.... The article in the Dallas News tells the story of the troubled teens who stumbled into their calling after volunteering to participate in a pastoral installation ceremony for an incoming minister in 1999.

The parents said they were shocked and amazed when the twins, then 19, came out on stage in mime makeup and performed a dramatic dance to an inspiring gospel song. The audience members at the Bethlehem Pentecostal Holiness Church in Dallas rose to their feet, sang and cried during the performance.

Enjoy the rest of the article at Dallas News.


Friday, July 13, 2007

New Version of Footprints in the Sand


New version of
Footprints in the Sand

Imagine you and the Lord Jesus walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your prints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures and returns. For much of the way it seems to go like this. But gradually, your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends.

This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: your footprints that once etched the sand next to the Master's are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints is the small 'sand print', safely enclosed. You and Jesus are becoming one.

This goes on for many miles. But gradually you notice another change. The footprint inside the larger footprint seems to grow larger. Eventually it disappears altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one.

Again, this goes on for a long time. But then something awful happens. The second set of footprints is back. And this time it seems even worse. Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Deep gashes in the sand. A veritable mess of prints. You're amazed and shocked. But this is the end of your dream.

Now you speak. "Lord, I understand the first scene with the zigzags and fits and starts and so on. I was a new Christian, just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you."

"That is correct."

"Yes, and when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps. I followed You very closely."

"Very good. You have understood everything so far."

"Then the smaller footprints grew and eventually filled in with Yours. I suppose that I was actually growing so much that I was becoming like you in every way."

"Precisely."

"But this is my question. Lord.. Was there a regression or something? The footprints went back to two, and this time it was worse than the first."

The Lord smiles, then laughs. "You didn't know?"

He says. "That was when we danced."

By Mark Littleton
© 1990

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Favorite Song

I was inspired by my friend Lara over at Lara's Place to share a song that touches my life. That was easy. The song that has touched my life from the moment I first heard it is 'Praise You In This Storm' by Casting Crowns.

With all that we have been through with Becca's health, I have to remember to praise Him through the storms in our lives. Even though I may not always see Him, I know that He raises me up when I stumble in the wind.

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

"Jeopardy" Bans Bible Category

Found this interesting article over at Tominthebox News.

July 5, 2007 LOS ANGELES, CA - In a surprise move this past Monday, the hit TV game show Jeopardy banned the "bible" category from any future programming.

TBNN was contacted on Tuesday by numerous elderly folks complaining about Jeopardy's decision. For example, Mabel Simmons of Tampa told us, "This just isn't right. I watch Jeopardy every weeknight, except Wednesdays of course, and I love the bible category. I usually know most of those answers. I have no idea about categories such as 'movies,' 'music,' or 'magazines,' but I know the bible. Can you nice young men at Tominthebox do something about this?"

We at TBNN felt like we had to respond.

Unfortunately, we had no success in speaking with Alex Trebek. We were told by his staff that he was simply too busy writing answers to talk with us. Despite four attempts at phone contact, we got nowhere.
Jeopardy staffer Davis Sikes told us that he could speak on behalf of the game show. We began by simply asking why Jeopardy was dropping the "bible" category.

Mr. Sikes responded, "The reasons are quite complicated, and it is difficult to get into all of that right now. We at Jeopardy try to serve all of our viewers and players with a nice variety of answers that will best meet their needs. We greatly appreciate everyone who watches our show."

We thought about that for a minute, and then realized that he had dodged the question. We said, "Thanks. But tell us why again the "bible" category in particular was dropped?"

Mr. Sikes clearly wanted this issue to go away. He finally simply responded, "We dropped it because no one knows the answers. We ran a statistical analysis of all of our different categories. 'Bible' consistently registers the lowest number of correct responses. In fact, only 22% of the 'bible' questions are answered correctly. The next lowest category, 'molecular thermodynamics', fell at 34%. We just had to get rid of the 'bible' category."

TBNN was not willing to buy into this simplistic answer. We, therefore, analyzed the last three years of Jeopardy and found some amazing results. The key finding was that different groups of people who participated on Jeopardy knew far different amounts of the bible. TBNN results show that Jeopardy participants who described themselves as Protestant answered "bible" questions with an accuracy rate of 77%. The other groups are as follows: Jews - 33%, Catholics - 18%, Muslims - 11%, Atheists - 9%, Agnostics - 7%, and Other - 6%.

After compiling these results, we quickly called Mr. Sikes with the results. At that point he came clean. Mr. Sikes admitted, "O.K., the reality is that some people know the answers to the 'bible' category. However, we kept receiving complaints from our Jewish and Catholic participants in particular. They told us that it was simply unfair for them to have to answer 'those bible questions.' They kept using words like 'intolerant' and 'biased.' One young lady even told us we were guilty of a 'hate crime' by making her think about the bible. Well, that got us pretty scared. So we dropped the category."

We thanked Mr. Sikes for his candor. As we were about to hang up, he told us one more interesting thing. "We ran those same statistics that you did," said Sikes, "but we broke down Protestants even farther than you did at TBNN. As far as denomination goes, Baptists and Presbyterians tied for the highest percentage of 'bible' questions correct with 86%. Episcopalians came out at the bottom with only 35% correct. Interestingly, one other group that crossed several denominations obtained the highest score - 98% correct. They call themselves 'Calvinists'."

We simply replied, "Thanks."

Friday, July 6, 2007

Warring Nations

As I read my Bible every night, I often get the different nations mixed up... who was fighting who?

You can test your Bible knowledge with the following quiz that I found at Christianity Today. I didn't do too bad! lol! How did you do?

Test Your Bible Power

by Lynn Austin

Warring Nations
Today's headlines of conflict in the Middle East are nothing new. The Bible records many clashes between Israel and surrounding countries, dating from the time God first formed that nation. Test your knowledge of these biblical enemies of Israel (listed below). The questions get increasingly more difficult as you go along.

Possible answers: Amalekites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Canaanites, Edomites, Egyptians, Midianites, Moabites, Persians, Philistines, Romans, Hittites, Arameans.

1. In Jesus' day these enemies had conquered the entire nation of Israel and imposed high taxes. Their soldiers carried out Christ's crucifixion.

2. This nation initially welcomed the Israelites but later enslaved them. God sent Moses to their leader demanding that he "let my people go."

3. This nation overcame Israel's champion, Samson, by cutting his hair. Later, their champion Goliath was defeated by young David.

4. These people were already living in the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendants. Joshua led Israel's army into battle to expel them from the Promised Land.

5. God ordered King Saul to completely destroy these people. Because he disobeyed, one of their descendants nearly destroyed the Israelites. Only Queen Esther's intervention saved the Jews.

6. These traditional enemies of Israel descended from Abraham's nephew, Lot. An Old Testament heroine also came from this nation.

7. This nomadic people purchased Joseph as a slave for 20 shekels of silver. Later, a huge army of this nation was defeated by Gideon and only 300 men.

Answers to Test Your Bible Power

1. Romans. The Roman Empire had conquered the known world by Christ's time. Thus, Jesus was executed by Roman crucifixion rather than the Jewish method of stoning, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy (Isa. 53:5).

2. Egyptians. Egypt was sometimes Israel's friend—appointing Joseph second-in-charge to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:40), allying with King Solomon (1 Kings 3:1); and sometimes Israel's enemy (1 Kings 14:24, 2 Kings 23:29).

3. Philistines. Israel battled this nation often. Its leaders paid Delilah to learn Samson's secret, but he died wreaking vengeance (Judg. 16). Philistines captured Israel's Ark of the Covenant, but returned it after plagues struck (1 Sam. 6). Goliath taunted Israel until David defeated him. The modern term Palestinian is believed to derive from Philistine.

4. Canaanites. The Canaanites' religious practices, which included child sacrifice, were so wicked that God ordered Israel to destroy them (Num. 33:51-53). When Jezebel married Israel's King Ahab, she reintroduced Canaanite religion (1 Kings 16:31). Two Canaanite women, Tamar and Rahab, appear in Jesus' family tree (Matt. 1:3, 5).

5. Amalekites. This tribe attacked Israel soon after the exodus; Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands during battle until Israel prevailed (Ex. 17:14). God vowed to destroy the Amalekites, and Saul lost his kingship for failing to do so (1 Sam. 15:26). Haman, an Amalekite, plotted to destroy Israel, but his plans were foiled by Queen Esther.

6. Moabites. Abraham's nephew Lot fled to a cave after God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. While there, Moab was born from Lot's incest with his daughter (Gen. 19:36, 37). Later, Moab's King Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel (Num. 22). Ruth, King David's ancestor, left Moab (modern Jordan) to worship Israel's God (Ruth 1:16).

7. Midianites. The Midianites descended from Abraham and his wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1, 2). Moses fled to Midian (modern Saudi Arabia) after killing an Egyptian (Ex. 2:15). In the time of the Judges, "Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord." Gideon delivered them (Judg. 6, 7).