Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Gas

I actually got gas today for $1.99/gal. Can you believe it?!

Tithe Sermon pt. 5

B. God gives us a continuing way to demonstrate that we know all we have comes from Him and to reflect our continiung gratitude - the tithe.

1. The fundamental basis of the tithe:
Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein."

2. The purpose of the tithe is set out in Deuteronomy 14:22, 23. It is to remind you always to put God first in your lives.

"You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always."

3. The tithe is mentioned throught out the Old Testament from the first to the last books.

a. When Abram rescued Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom, he gave 10% of the recovery to Melchizadek (probably a preincarnate appearance of Christ). Genesis 14:18-20.

b. When Jacob had his vision at Bethel of angels ascending and descending. Genesis 28:10-22.

c. When Moses brought the law of God to the people, the tithe command was there. Deuteronomy 12.

4. God instructed His people to pay a tithe of one-tenth of their increase to those devoted to His work. The tithe was to underwrite the work of God in the world, the work of God in the midst of the people.

a. At the time of the Exodus, God separated out the tribe of Levi to do the work of the sacrificial, priestly and tabernacle operation and maintenance functions. No land or inheritance in Canaan supported the tithe.

b. Levites also took on the religious instruction function for priests and Levites, for the King (copy out the law), and the people; also judging disputes according to Biblical standards.

c. The tithe was specifically to be used for poor relief.

Charlotte Mason quote

I just read a CM quote that I need to apply to my own life.

"The habit of holding oneself well in hand, the being impervious to small annoyances, cheerful under small inconveniences, ready for action with what is called 'presence of mind' in all the little casualties of the hour--this is a habit which should be trained in the nursery. 'If you are vexed don't show it,' is usually a quite safe teaching, because every kind of fretfulness, impatience, resentfulness and nervous irritability passes away under self-control."

Back to the sermon...next post.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 4

8. Don't we have reasons which are overwhelming to be grateful to God!? What good thing do you have that didn't come from God? How are we to show our love and gratitude to God? Obedience, a broken and contrite spirit. "If you love me you'll keep my commandments."

a. Now let me ask you this-God's kingdom work on earth-the spread of the gospel and the work of the church and its prescribed ministries to the world-How is it to be paid for? By supernatural means or natural means?

The answer is that God gives grateful believers the privilege and the responsibility to finance His work from the resources He has given them, by responding to the tithe command.

b. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8:18, "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
He gives you wealth to establish His covenant.

c. As we know from the Scriptures and the parables of Christ, we hold all our earthly wealth as stewards for Christ.

1. We are sojourners and pilgrims, citizens of heaven, not piling up treasures on earth.

2. The tithe is tribute money demonstrating tangibly that God is the full possessor of all, and
that you are the grateful steward of the 90% He has given you.

3. Douglas Wilson said: How much better it is to be the blessed steward of 90% than the
cursed and deluded owner of 100%.
The steward receives his living in the Lord's service, but he manages the Lord's property
to be returned with increase to the Lord. (See the parable of the talents.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 3

6. The opportunity you've all been given to live in this country at this time with this freedom and these opportunities and this material abundance-Where did it come from?
Why weren't you born in North Korea or the Sudan or Iran?

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.

So we're here at this time in this country by the appointment of God.

Now coming to the most important of these questions:

7. Your faith and salvation, your means to escape the damnation which is the just consequence of your sin and to spend eternity in the glorious presence of Christ and of God, free from pain and sin and with unimaginable joys-Where did that salvation come from?

Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


[It's looking like this is going to take more than a few days. ; )]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 2

Continuing...

3. You men who have a wife who loves and respects you, who provides you the comforts of home, who raises your children in the admonition of the Lord-how did that Godly wife come to you? What would you be without that wife? Has she made you what you are today?
Proverbs 19:14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

4. You women who have a husband who loves you and provides for you and who brings you to church and who is concerned for the spiritual health of your family-where does that Godly husband come from?
Christ said no man comes to Christ unless God the Father draw that man to Christ.

5. You children who have parents who love you and protect you and tuck you into bed at night and teach you the truth about God and sin and the world-How did you get those parents?
Who sent you those parents?
Why aren't you one of 8 million orphans in Brazil, or one the millions of AIDS orphans in Africa, for example?
Why aren't you one of the children of one of the drug addicts and criminals or abandoned by your father as I see every week? [This elder is a judge.]
The Bible says God knit you together in your mother's womb. He selected your parents for you. If you are adopted, God guided your parents to you. Do you see that your loving parents are a gift of God? And parents do you see that your children are a gift from God?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 1

For the next several days I want to blog about a sermon on tithing one of our elders gave. He gave me his outline and notes with permission to use it here. The part that impacted me the most is at the end, so that'll be a few days from now.

A. Let me ask you some questions.
1. The life that's in you-where does it come from?
Gen. 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

2. Your body's ability to heal and repair itself-where does that come from?
Your body continues year after year, with billions of cells carrying on the business of repairing and duplicating themselves, with the immune systen fighting off disease until the time God withdraws His sustaining vitality, and the body, within hours, begins to rot and decay. God is the creator and sustainer of all life. We could not continue to exist for an instant but for His sustaining grace.

More tomorrow, Lord willing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Selah Concert

On Friday I was blessed to be able to go to a Selah concert with my friend from Z'ville. I think we both enjoyed it, although it could have been less loud. I'm really not sure why concerts seem to need to be loud. Anyway, Selah is probably my favorite Christian music group.

I think my friend found Selah (correct me if I'm wrong) because Todd Smith's (one of the band members) wife started a blog after they lost their new born daughter. My friend sent me the link and I noticed the relationship with Selah which I mentioned to my friend. She then acquired the Greatest Hymns cd and liked some of it.

So, we enjoyed ourselves with the concert and good conversation before and after. Thanks for going with me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

AG Swap part 2

Here's the outfit I received from the AG sewing swap. Doesn't Emily look sweet?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blogging

I feel like I should blog something, but not much is going on. Although, when I start thinking about what we've been doing there are things.

Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner. They used to live in Z'ville and have since moved here. The young man used to babysit Amy when she was around four or five (?). Now he has a baby and Amy's going to get to babysit him (the baby). I think that is so cool!

Tuesday I went to the chiropractor and dropped Amy off with some other friends, so she was able to be of help to the mommy by playing with the kiddos for a while. After I was done with my appointment I stopped at Joann and wandered around there for an hour. When I got back to the car I was shocked I had been in there so long--just enjoying myself, I guess. I hadn't even considered looking at the time while I was in the store.

And we're doing school in the midst of it...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AG Swap

Emily got to be the model for the outfit I made for the AG swap. I knitted the scarf and hat then sewed the blouse and jeans. The poor thing needs some shoes, but I think maybe I'll pass on that. We do have a pattern, but I don't think I have time or supplies.

Charlotte Mason quote

We read the following in school this week. It struck me that when we think the worst of someone that "worst" often comes out. Why not have high expectations instead?

"Sympathy is an eye to discern, a lever to raise, an arm to sustain. The service to the world that has been done by the great thinkers––the poets and the artists––and by the great doers––the heroes––is, that they have put out feelers, as it were, for our Sympathy. A picture or poem, or the story of a noble deed, 'finds' us, we say. We, too, think that thought or live in that action, and, immediately, we are elevated and sustained. This is the sympathy we owe to our fellows, near and far off. If we have anything good to give, let us give it, knowing with certainty that they will respond. If we fail to give this Sympathy, if we regard the people about us as thinking small, unworthy thoughts, doing mean, unworthy actions, and incapable of better things, we reap our reward. We are really, though we are not aware of it, giving Sympathy to all that is base in others, and thus strengthening and increasing their baseness: at the same time we are shutting ourselves into habits of hard and narrow thinking and living."

From Ourselves Improving Character and Conscience by Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Entering a quilt give away

http://pigtailsandsnails.blogspot.com/2008/10/quilt-giveaway.html

I'm entering this give away. But please don't enter because that lessens my chances of winning. : )

Encouragement

This week's Marriage Memo began this way:

Where Is Your Trust?
Dennis Rainey
October 13, 2008
Are any of you a little weary of bad news right now?
For the last month, and especially during the past few weeks, negative news about our economy has battered us unrelentingly. The October 10, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal, for example, began with a huge headline: “Market’s 7-Day Rout Leaves U.S. Reeling.” Other headlines last week included, “Crisis Threatens Defense Programs,” “Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen” and “Searching for a Silver Lining: Prices Drop, Taking Spirits With Them.”
That last one is truly an understatement.
How much bad news can you take? Have any of you turned off your television or pitched the newspaper to the side and said, “Enough”?
But this is more than just bad news—it hits us personally. At times like this, it’s natural for us to be worried. Many of us are counting on our investments for helping our children with college and for living expenses in our later years.
At times like this, we need some perspective. Last week I received an email from Stephens, Inc., an investment firm in Little Rock, that included a memo written by W.R. “Witt” Stephens after the stock markets fell on “Black Friday” in October 1987. Witt Stephens has since passed away, but the firm thought it was appropriate to revive his memo, saying, “His wisdom and good advice lives on.”

In order to read Mr. Stephens's memo and the rest of the article, click on the following link. Due to copyright issues I'm not allowed to put in on my blog. Please read it.

http://www.familylife.com/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=dnJHKLNnFoG&b=3781137&ct=6087127

AG knitting

When you take this yarn...
And this yarn...
And put them together...
You get this. It's a scarf for the AG sewing swap. It's probably hard to see the colors as well as in person, but I love the way they combined.

History of the current economic mess

I received the following in an email from a friend.

Dear Friends,

I am sounding an alarm! For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this is not being discussed on the media or why conservatives leaders are not making their case: Most of America leans conservative and THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!!!! The following is a condensation of a series from the Investor's Business Daily explaining 'What Caused the Loan Crisis':

1977: Pres. Jimmy Carter signs into Law the Community Reinvestment Act the foundation and cornerstone for the impending disaster.. The law pressured financial institutions to extend home loans to those who would otherwise not qualify.

The publicized premise: Home ownership would improve poor and crime-ridden communities and neighborhoods in terms of crime, investment, jobs, etc.

The Results: Statistics bear out that it did not help.

How did the government get so deeply involved in the housing market?
Answer: Bill Clinton wanted it that way.

1992: Republican representative Jim Leach (IO) warned of the danger that Fannie and Freddie were changing from being agencies of the public at large to money machines for the principals and the stock holding few.

1993: Clinton extensively rewrote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's rules turning the quasi-private mortgage-funding firms into semi-nationalized monopolies dispensing cash and loans to large Democratic voting blocks and handing favors, jobs and contributions to political allies. This potent mix led inevitably to corruption and now the collapse of Freddie and Fannie.

1994: Despite warnings, Clinton unveiled his National Home-Ownership Strategy which broadened the CRA in ways congress never intended.

1995: Congress, about to change from a Democrat majority to Republican, Clinton orders Robert Rubin's Treasury Dept to rewrite the rules. Robt. Rubin's Treasury reworked rules, forcing banks to satisfy quotas for sub-prime and minority loans to get a satisfactory CRA rating. The rating was key to expansion or mergers for banks. Loans began to be made on the basis of race and little else.

1997 - 1999: Clinton, bypassing Republicans in Congress, enlisted Andrew Cuomo, then Secretary of Housing and Urban Dev elopement, allowing Freddie and Fannie to get into the sub-prime market in a BIG way. Led by Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, congress doubled down on the risk by easing capital limits and allowing them to hold just 2.5% of capital to back their investments vs. 10% for banks. Since they could borrow at lower rates than banks their enterprises boomed.

With incentives in place, banks poured billions in loans into poor communities, often 'no doc', 'no income', requiring no money down and no verification of income. Worse still was the cronyism: Fannie and Freddie became home to out-of work-politicians, mostly Clinton Democrats. 384 politicians got big campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie. Over $200 million had been spent on lobbying and political activities. During the 1990's Fannie and Freddie enjoyed a subsidy of as musch as $182 Billion, most of it going to principals and shareholders, not poor borrowers as claimed.

Did it work? Minorities made up 49% of the 12.5 million new homeowners but many of those loans have gone bad and the minority homeownership rates are shrinking fast.

1999: New Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, became alarmed at Fannie and Freddie's excesses. Congress held hearings the ensuing year but nothing was done because Fannie and Freddie had donated millions to key congressmen and radical groups, ensuring no meaningful changes would take place. 'We manage our political risk with the same intensity that we manage our credit and interest rate risks,' Fannie CEO Franklin Raines, a former Clinton official and current Barack Obama advisor, bragged to investors in 1999.

2000: Secretary Summers sent Undersecretary Gary Gensler to Congress seeking an end to the 'special status'. Democrats raised a ruckus as did Fannie and Freddie, headed by politically connected CEO's who knew how to reward and punish. 'We think that the statements evidence a contempt for the nation's housing and mortgage markets' Freddie spokesperson Sharon McHale said. It was the last chance during the Clinton era for reform.

2001: Republicans try repeatedly to bring fiscal sanity to Fannie and Freddie but Democrats blocked any attempt at reform; especially Rep. Barney Frank and Sen.Chris Dodd who now run key banking committees and were huge beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the mortgage giants.

2003: Bush proposes what the NY Times called 'the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago'. Even after discovering a scheme by Fannie and Freddie to overstate earnings by $10.6 billion to boost their bonuses, the Democrats killed reform.

2005: Then Fed chairman Alan Greenspan warns Congress: 'We are placing the total financial system at substantial risk'. Sen. McCain, with two others, sponsored a Fannie/Freddie reform bill and said, 'If congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole'. Sen. Harry Reid accused the GOP ;of trying to 'cripple the ability of Fannie and Freddie to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership' The bill went nowhere.

2007: By now Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee over HALF of the $12 trillion US mortgage market. The mortgage giants, whose executive suites were top-heavy with former Democratic officials, had been working with Wall St. to repackage the bad loans and sell them to investors. As the housing market fell in '07, subprime mortgage portfolios suffered major losses. The crisis was on, though it was 15 years in the making.

2008: McCain has repeatedly called for reforming the behemoths, Bush urged reform 17 times. Still the media have repeated Democrats' talking points about this being a 'Republican' disaster. A few Republicans are complicit but Fannie and Freddie were created by Democrats, regulated by Democrats, largely run by Democrats and protected by Democrats. That's why taxpayers are now being asked for $700 billion!!

If you doubt any of this, just click the links below and listen to your lawmakers own words. They are condeming!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68D9XrqyrWo&feature=related#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIgqfM5C8lY#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9juJr8CSY4&feature=related#

Postscript: ACORN is one of the principle beneficiaries of Fannie/ Freddie's slush funds. They are currently under indictment or investigation in many states. Barack Obama served as their legal counsel, defending their activities for several years.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dreams

For my dreaming friend.

"Some dreams and wishes, I believe, are of the dormant, time-released variety. They aren't forgotten over many years or through many changes in life. They don't shrink during their hibernation. They simply wait to come true when the dreamer and the wisher need to believe all over again." p. 1

"That's when I understood that sometimes a hibernating dream or dormant wish must be ushered out of its cavelike sleeping chambers and nudged right up to the cliff's edge of possibility. It must take a deep breath and step off the edge into nothing but untamed air. In that risk-taking moment, the wish just might discover its wings and fly." p. 2

From Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sewing break

I have not been at the sewing machine for over a week! I've been too busy this last week with having C & K here, making applesauce almost daily since last Sat., taking care of the zucchini, errand running, and school. I have managed to get some knitting done during school, so that makes me happy.

I've got an AG sewing swap to sew for next week. It has to go out on the 20th.

Here's some good news in the midst of all the bad.

Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More applesauce

I'm still making applesauce in the crock pots. I'm starting to run out of jars. Who would have thought! The thing I like about crock pot applesauce is that you don't have to run it through a food mill or blender. (I suppose you could if you like your sauce very smooth.) I have two crock pots and I run them both at the same time. Here's the basic recipe:

10 apples of whatever variety you like, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 c water
1 tsp cinnamon

Place apples and water crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, low 8-10, stirring occasionally. Stir in cinnamon when it's starting to look like sauce. Cook until you have sauce at you desired consistency. The times were accurate for one of my crock pots while the bigger one with the removable pot took twice as long (on high).

Tomorrow, I need to shred and/or cube more zucchini to freeze. I'm also out of chicken broth so my last stewing hen will be busy tomorrow. ; ) There are still apples, so sometime I need to get those cooking.

I'm thankful God has provided us with a bountiful harvest. I'm sorry for the times I said, "I never want to see another tomato or zucchini."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Date Night Special

A couple weeks ago dh & I were walking the Target store just looking. They had these dishes marked down from $40 to $20. Oh, I thought they were so cute, but neither one of us thought we should spend the money. So we walked on and left them at the store. Last Friday we're doing our Target walk (it's a shopping walk, not an exercise walk.) at a different Target. We came across the set again only this time they were $10. I am a sucker for "cute" but I'm really a sucker when "cute" is a great price! The 16 piece set ended up in the cart, in the car, in the house, in the dishwasher, and into the cabinet tomorrow. They'll most likely be on the table at suppertime.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Concert

Amy & her friends gave us a concert. It's about 5 minutes long. Enjoy!

video

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Orchard

There's an orchard just down the highway from our house. It might take three minutes to drive there. This is where we bought our apples for the sauce.


K lived in a Russian orphanage for the first five years of her life, so she's not had all the experiences other children her age may have had. Today was her first day to walk through an orchard.

While C and Amy sat under a tree sketching K and I went on our own "noticing project." Below are a few things we noticed.



Applesauce

Praying and instruction giving. I was having a hard time thinking through the process of getting four of us organized, so we started with prayer. God is good. Then came the instructions.

The beauty of God's creation.

First in line is K who made the apples "swim." Next in line is me. I did the peeling. C did the coring and Amy did the slicing, she also took them to the crock pots. Once the crockpots were filled K put the water in, plugged in the crockpots and turn them on.

One important detail...the girls were all decked out in the chicken aprons I made. : )

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New apron


The lighting wasn't so great for these pictures, but you can get an idea. The first go 'round had the lace with more of the raw edge side showing, so I decided to rip it all out and start over. When I went to put it back together the lace was shorter than the patchwork strip. How did that happen? I think when ripping the seam the patchwork strip stretched some while the lace didn't. When I did the second strip I ironed it which must have shrank it back to size. Anyway, I was wishing I had just left it, as it ended up being way more work than I had planned. But I do like it better after I "fixed" it. Unfortunately, I don't have before and after pictures. This pattern came from A Is for Apron. The book is definitely on my Christmas wish list (if I can wait that long).

Our first day with our friends has gone very well. One of the girls, K, was allowed to play with Amy's dolls. K was absolutely amazed that we have so many dolls. I told her we sort of collect them. Her comment to that was that "you probably have so many dolls because it makes you feel like you have more children." LOL!

I'm considering making applesauce with them on Sat. I may regret that decision, but I've been wanting to do it anyway. There's an orchard just down the highway from here, so it's convenient.