January 29, 2009

Words of Wisdom

One of the ladies at our church once shared a little piece of wisdom that she would tell her children when they were younger and were less than enthusiastic about doing a job.
"You can do it happy, or you can do it sad. Either way you have to do it, so you may as well do it happy."
This sounds like just a good piece of advice to give little ones - but it applies to "big kids" too, and I don't think it exempts adults either. Much too often I find myself complaining or grumbling about a task I find disagreeable. I may not be outwardly "doing it sad" but in my thoughts I am thinking, "If only I didn't have to do this. I would much rather be _________(fill in the blank)."

Two Sundays ago our elder challenged us all to really evaluate how much we complain and make it our goal that week not to do it. Did I? Welllll.....

Remember why you are doing those seemingly mundane tasks. Remember to do it as unto the Lord. After all, as the quote above explains, you have to do it whether or not you want to; so while you're at it you may as well have a cheerful attitude.

January 22, 2009


The past couple weeks we have started a new ongoing project - faithbooking. A faithbook is basically a scrapbook centered on your faith. We have expanded it to include family history, and things about us so that we can pass these books on to our children and grandchildren - and great grandchildren!

We've been using a faithbooking kit called "This is My Story" as our base and working off of it. The kit comes with a book and pre-made, fill-in-the-blank pages, but we are just using the workbook and creating our own pages. We're only 2 weeks into it. Each Friday we plan a set of pages in our "draft book" - just a marble notebook where we can jot down our ideas before creating the actual page. Then the rest of the week we turn those draft pages into the real thing.

It's a lot of fun; this week was very... um... interesting as we had to do a few seemingly random things. Things like:
• If you were a type of fruit, what would you be and why?
• If you were a room in a house, which would you be and why?
• If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why?
It was rather weird to have to come up with answers to these - it took me forever to think of what fruit I'd be and eventually I gave up and did a flower instead. :-) What kind of fruit would you be? Or room or flower or instrument? Why? :-) (I was thinking, why do we need to write this down? But just think how funny it will be for my great grandchildren to read it...)

But then of course there's the meaningful things too, like favorite childhood memories, people who have influenced my life, writing a letter about myself to the next generation, and things about me like the meaning of my name, etc. Those are the kinds of things we are doing now, though I'm sure down the road we will be making pages about what we believe and why.

Scrapbooking is a lot of fun, though I am a hopeless perfectionist. My mom and sister have finished three pages in the space of time it takes me to make one. :-)

I would encourage you to create your own faithbook in some form. It doesn't necessarily have to be a scrapbook, though I think the scrapbook idea is the most fun (you can put pictures and everything in it and make it look nice); it could be a journal, or my mom had the idea for the scrapbook-phobic people to just do the draft book - even if you don't make the actual pages, at least write it down! Future generations will thank you. Oh - and do it in your own handwriting. You may have beautiful neat writing or horrible sloppy writing - but either way it will be much more meaningful to have everything in your own hand instead of some nice - but impersonal - computer font.

January 21, 2009

ePattern Giveaway!

Hop on over to A Pondering Heart and have a chance to win one of Sense & Sensibility's E-patterns of your choice!

Click HERE to enter!

Make sure you also check out her other items being given away - there are a LOT of great things on there!

Have a great day!

January 17, 2009

For God So Loved the World

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
This is one of the most widely quoted verses in the entire Bible. If you've gone to Sunday School, you've heard this verse. You've probably learned it as one of your memory verses. It's considered one of those verses that you read when you are witnessing to someone.

Generally the verse is read and you hear something like this, "See, God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for us." But here's the interesting thing - rarely is the verse quoted in context. With the context, it actually doesn't mean that "God loved the world so much."

With the surrounding verses, it reads:
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:14-17)
The root word for "so" in verse 16 doesn't mean "so much." It means, "in this way," or "in like manner." So it might read, "For in this way God loved the world."

I had always thought that it meant God loved the world so much, from everything I had learned and been told, until a year or two ago our elder at our church preached on this and pointed out the difference.

All too often I think we read a verse without the context and get a distorted view of what it means. Though even with this set of verses, I don't know if I would have gotten the correct meaning if I didn't know what the root word means. I know there are Bible programs out there that allow you to look up the actual Hebrew or Greek words and what they mean, which is very helpful for getting down to the true meaning of verses such as this one.

January 13, 2009

Movie Review: Fireproof

fireproofThis post is a bit overdue... we went to the theater to see "Fireproof" on its opening day. I was eager to see it, having seen both of Sherwood Pictures' previous movies, "Facing the Giants" and "Flywheel," and really enjoyed them.

Fireproof definitely lived up to my expectations!

It's the story of firefighter Caleb Holt, whose marriage with his wife Catherine is falling apart. They are about to get a divorce, when Caleb's dad challenges him to hold off on it for 40 days and do "the love dare" - a booklet he sends him with specific things to do for 40 days. So Caleb sets out to win back his wife's heart.

He isn't a Christian at the beginning and his heart isn't really in the challenge, though when you watch the movie you will see that changes. :-)

Fire and rescue scenes make it exciting, and there are several comic relief characters that had me nearly falling off my seat laughing.

The whole movie communicates a message a lot of people need to hear. Marriage is worth saving! And of course the gospel is presented in the film as well (I can't remember exactly, but I think it may have a bit of an Arminian bent to it). It's probably the best movie I watched last year!

Due to the mature nature of the film, dealing with marriage issues, I do not recommend that children under 12 or 13 watch it (though of course that is up to the parents' discretion). In the beginning, Caleb and Catherine have a very heated argument which could be disturbing to young children. Caleb also deals with pornography, though it is very discreetly handled (my 14 year old sister didn't even catch on to it).

In summary

• Theme of the movie is great - marital fidelity, marriage that honors God
• Clean - no swearing or bad language of any kind (YES!)
• Good balance of humor and seriousness

Cons (if there are any :-)):

• I would have liked to see the women dress more femininely. They generally wear pants. Towards the end of the movie Catherine wears a fairly low-necked dress (not terrible but not great either), and at the very end wears a halter-top dress.
• I don't remember seeing Caleb read the Bible after he becomes a Christian - he mostly reads the Love Dare book. I think it would have been better if he would have read his Bible more.
• There is a section where Catherine is becoming a bit partial with a doctor at the hospital where she works. Thankfully, however, his true character is revealed, Caleb confronts him about it, and he backs off. So I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bad part, it's just that it IS there, fyi.

You can preorder Fireproof now, and it comes out in stores on January 27th! I would highly recommend you get this movie; both because it's a good movie and to support Sherwood Pictures in making God-honoring films.

CLICK HERE to order Fireproof online.

sherwood pictures dvd setYou can also get a 3 DVD set of Fireproof, Facing the Giants, and Flywheel when you click HERE.

January 7, 2009

Winter Bundle Giveaway

Miss Jocelyn over at A Pondering Heart is having a fabulous giveaway! She just posted week two of the giveaways and you have two days left to enter the week one giveaways. There are a ton of great prizes to be won; head on over and check it out!

Click here for the complete giveaway info!

January 3, 2009

Miracles Happen

And sometimes it's your mother who works them.

This morning I asked mom if she would upgrade my version of WordPress that I use to the latest version. She had just upgraded one of her blogs with no problem so she went ahead and did mine. WITH problems! My entire blog was lost, except for a couple of posts and the ones I still had on the old blogger blog.

In short (not really) my poor mother has sat in front of her computer almost all day trying to recover my blog for me. She tried everything it seemed to no avail - but finally she was able to rescue it!

It seemed nothing short of a miracle! :-)


January 1, 2009

Another Year Has Gone

2009 is here! It does seem as though every passing year goes by faster than the last one, doesn't it? Looking back on 2008 I see many blessings and a few hard times that we've gone through.

We celebrated living in our "new house" for one year in February. It's been wonderful. We live on six lovely acres, 3 of which are beautifully landscaped (by the previous owners). This brings its joys and its sorrows since we have to try to keep it looking nice and have a LOT of trees that always seem to need trimming. :-) We are surrounded on two sides by a golf course and in the winter season it's beautiful because you can't tell it's a golf course. :-) This year Dad bought us snow shoes so we have enjoyed snow shoeing out there.

Also in February my grandparents (on my mom's side) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary - what a blessing! We see less and less of that these days. My grandparents are a wonderful example to us of a strong marriage. In May we had a grand party and it was great to see so many people get up and honor my Opa and Oma (grandpa & grandma in Dutch) for their commitment to each other. We love them dearly and look forward to seeing many more years of marriage for them!

Oh, let's see... what else? I turned 16 in April and had the pleasure of being bombarded with questions about if I am driving yet. :-) I am not - probably this year!

In 2007 my Nini (grandma in Chinese - Dad's side) was diagnosed with colon cancer and went through a very trying series of events to get rid of it. This year we were so glad to see her recover and gain back strength. Praise the Lord!

Toward the fall we were saddened to lose Tara's cat Scamper after a very long illness. We miss him a lot as our kitties are very dear to us. He was very sweet and lovable and we have many fun memories of him. Sweetest of all was that the night before we had to put him down, he climbed the stairs even though he could barely walk and climbed in bed with Tara for a snuggle, and did it again in the morning, though she had to pick him up because he couldn't get up on the bed himself.

scamper 3

We enjoyed celebrating our nation's independence with friends from church. Though our country is far from perfect, we are grateful for the liberties we enjoy.

In August I was immensely blessed by my friend, Raeanne. I have for a long time wanted to play the harp but I didn't think it would happen for a while (if ever) due to the expense. Raeanne is from our church and has played harp for several years and a few years ago upgraded from a small, 27 string harp to a larger one. When we were over at her house one day she offered to let me borrow her old one, as it was just sitting in her closet. I accepted. :-) I am so grateful for her generosity and for the opportunity to start learning much earlier than I would have if I had waited till I had saved enough to buy my own. Thank you, Raeanne!!

I'm sure there's a LOT I am leaving out but this is getting rather long. I can't forget to mention blessings such as, Dad still having a job when so many are losing theirs, blessings in our church - especially the babies that were born this year (including one born New Year's Eve!), and homeschooling, etc.

I am looking forward to what God will do in 2009!