Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Staying Warm

I always love to get something for free. Today I get to share the love! Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It's also the busiest, so when January rolls around I like to snuggle up by the fire.

With that in mind I am sharing coffee and a book today. Have you tried Nescafe with Coffee-Mate 2 -in-1 coffee +creamer combo? Just add to a cup of hot water and relax. They sent me a free bottle of French Vanilla. Yum!! (You can print a $.75 coupon here)I like coffee, iced in the summer and hot when the temperature drops. I enjoy an occasional cup of the fancy store bought stuff, but usually make it at home. I like how simple instant coffee is, and tastes so much better than it did back in the 80's when Folger's Crystals was busy "secretly swapping your coffee for ours." Instant is never going to be as good as a French Press, half-n-half, and flavored syrup but it's still a quick, yummy, inexpensive way to warm up.

I'm also including a copy of "$10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget" by Peter & Heather Larson and David & Claudia Arp.

Tired of the usual dinner and a movie dates? Looking for new ways to connect with your spouse? Energize your marriage by getting out of your normal routine with the help of these 52 creative date ideas. From outdoor dates to out-on-the-town dates, you and your spouse will have no trouble finding the perfect date that fits your mood- all on a $10 budget! - (excerpt)

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lift Up Your Eyes

**Repost, originally posted on

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. - Genesis 1:1-31

Princeton, MN 10/8/14

This morning I set me alarm for a bit earlier than normal. As the alarm pierced the stillness of the house I quickly silenced it, while saying a quick prayer that My Vet was able to sleep through it. 

Being pretty groggy I decided to quickly check Facebook to see if anyone I knew was already enjoying the crisp morning air so I could stay in my warm bed.

Instead I saw article after article about ISIS, ebola, sexual crimes, and political ads. Happy morning! Aren't you glad you stopped by to read this beacon of joy?

Now that I was awake, I dressed and headed outside, hoping that I would only need to walk a short distance. Immediately I looked up and the stars where bright, and the night sky seemed alive. 

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Luke 21:25

I knew to look to the West. Nothing but trees. I backed down the alley hoping that would work. Thankfully it did.

I got outside a little early so as I waited, I looked at the sky and sang hymns to myself. The world is full of turmoil, and the US is in trouble. I don't believe the goverment hype, common sense and basic rules of economics all point to a giant Ponzi Scheme/ House of Cards. I could bog down in the minutia of my thoughts, I even started, then realized linking to some great sources would be more efficient and thorough.

I don't present all this to make you afraid. I am just trying to describe the thoughts that were racing through my head as I stood outside on this cool fall morning looking at the sky. As I watched the Lunar eclipse happening I was in awe of the vastness of space. I also couldn't help but think how small all that other stuff was. My God is MIGHTY!

There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. Luke 21:11

Seriously did anyone else get goosebumps reading that verse? So much bad news from around the world and now 4 lunar and 1 solar eclipses in to Jewish calendar years, falling on Jewish holidays. 

If you aren't excited in anticipation of what God is telling us. watch this video that shows how God has already been using the sky as a ginormous billboard.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and 
the sky above proclaims his handiwork. -Psalm 19:1

I am grateful to live in a time when knowledge is so abundant. We can spend our time learning about any topic imaginable. Just remember that knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom only comes from God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
Proverbs 2:6-8

No matter what battles are happening on Earth I know that the War is won. My hope is in Him. Lest you forget. Step outside look up at the stars and remember the God who spoke them all into existence and alligned them with future events ...

Made You, Loves You, and Wants to be Your Best Friend Forever!

Princeton, MN 10/8/14
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Isaiah 40-26

The Cup is half FULL

**Originally posted on

My mom taught me that whatever you look to find in the world you will find. I dare you to try it. Pick a number, a color, a car brand etc and see how many you see in the next week. But I digress, this is about why I can see that the cup is half full not half empty.

Cousin Selfie!
This past weekend my aging aunt and uncle and their adult children from Texas decided to make a trip to visit family in SD. As has happened periodically over the years, an email went out from my mom that a family BBQ would be held at a local venue and everyone was invited. Throughout the years the family that lived close would usually make it and maybe one of the cousins from far away would make it. This time everyone sensed something was different so all but one of the 15 cousins from around the country quickly made arrangements to attended.

All was going well, everyone made it safely to town, trays of BBQ smoked ribs arrived from Kansas City, Fried Chicken was delivered from the local grocery store, chairs and tables were arranged, we were set to start the party. Then my mom said she wasn't feeling well and needed to go home. Most everyone accepted that it was the flu and she just needed some rest, but this was highly unusual and had me and my 4 sisters very concerned. After eating dinner, my younger sister excused herself from the party to take the baby to mom's house so she could check on mom. The house was pretty dark so that mom could rest, but that sister's concern was growing.

A few hours later the heat and bugs caused the BBQ to wrap up. Two more of us headed home to check on mom, shortly after arriving she collapsed in the bathroom. We turned on the light to help her and for the first time saw how pale she was. While 911 was being contacted she came around and said "I'm fine" Since she only lives 5 blocks from the hospital, we asked her if she wanted to go there in an ambulance or a car "she responded "I'm fine". In a tone of voice any child with a mom would recognize, my sister informed her "That isn't a choice, Would you like to go in an ambulance or a car?" Hearing the the 911 discussion going on in the background convinced her that we meant business and she chose a car.

This time last year during a girls weekend.
At the hospital, I got mom into a wheelchair and wheeled her into the Emergency Room. Before my sister could park the car, mom was in a room, in a gown, and lying on a gurney. She was quickly diagnosed with internal bleeding and the ER doctor told us that if we hadn't brought her in when we did, she would not have made it through the night at home. It was not lost on any of us that 14 years ago this same weekend we were in this same hospital saying good bye to dad.

After getting her settled in her room and before leaving the hospital, my sister and I got the chance to pray with my mother, we took that moment to cast aside our anxiousness and thank God for the blessings he had already shown in this situation and to make our request of healing known to Him. (Philip 4:6)

How in the midst of this can my cup be half full? The only word that can describe my state of mind throughout was grateful. Grateful that Jehovah Rapha (God who heals) is mindful of us. The number of decisions leading to that night, by so many different people resulted in mom not being home alone, and living.

Back at my mom's house, I needed to pray on my own before succumbing to sleep. When I pray I like to pray through fitting passages of the Bible, I figure what better way to know that I am praying the Will of God than by praying the Word of God? I opened the book of Luke, who better than a doctor to articulate my thoughts? I opened to Luke 7:1-10 in my bible this passage is titled "Faith of a Roman Officer". My motivational spiritual gift is Faith so I've always been drawn to passages on Faith. This title alone flooded my mind with such greats as:

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. " (Matt 17:20)

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matt 15:28)

"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:52)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- (Eph 2:8)

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Eph 6:16)

Wow I haven't even started to read Luke's writing yet! I started to read and got to verse 8 where the Officer is describing his authority over his soldiers ...need only say 'Go,' and they go, or 'Come and they come... And my mind was flooded again this time with a beautiful verse from Psalm 30:5 There will be pain (weeping) in the night, but joy comes in the morning. I finished the passage and easily fell asleep knowing that she was in the hands of the Master.

By morning the bleeding had stopped and mom was much improved. She still needed IV fluids and a received a total of 7 pints of blood, but she is getting better.

I know that this is only temporary, and one day (far too soon I'm sure) our ending will be far less happy. I also know that regardless of the outcome, God has a plan and God's plan is always good.

If you are struggling to see your cup as half-full, here is a song I heard as I was making the long drive home from my mom's. The Chorus is a great anthem to repeat until you believe it.