Friday, February 24, 2012

Merry Mail, 2-24-12

I have been so busy with "life" that I have not been able to blog lately (and I miss it!). Thankfully, I have still had some opportunity to be online. Here is what I have found interesting:

Kevin DeYoung references an article in Christianity Today that explains some of the best ways to practically help the impoverished people of the world. One of the top ten ways to help the poor is to switch the brand of coffee you drink. Wow!

7 Marks of Humility - Do you consider yourself a humble person? You know that by admitting it you might actually be taking pride in your humility. Catch 22, eh?

Green Monster Smoothie - I tried a version of this super yummy (and healthy) drink this week. I used rice milk, banana, pina colada coconut yogurt, 1/2 tsp vanilla and then fresh spinach leaves. It was so yummy that my 2 year old was begging for more. She woke up this morning and wanted to blend up another yummy drink.

The Contraceptive-Abortifacient Mandate: The Gospel Coalition put together a wonderful FAQ regarding the latest piece of legislation that will require hospitals to provide contraceptives, even abortive contraceptives (think morning after pill) against their religious beliefs / conscience. It is a scary world we live in when the government is mandating what a hospital can and cannot provide.

"LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday, Feb. 16., to discuss the recent U. S. Health and Human Services Ruling regarding contraceptives. On behalf of the LCMS, Harrison spoke to the issue violating citizens’ freedom of religion and freedom of conscience." This is an excellent speech regarding the freedom of religion.

Human Implant Chip: I haven't read all of this yet, but it is definitely something to research and pray about. We are definitely living in the last days, my friends.

Quote of the day: "Grace has the power to do what nothing else can do, rescue you from you, and in so doing, restore you to what you were created to be." {Paul Tripp}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


God creates and loves families; therefore the people in our own families are actually gifts from the Lord (yes, even that husband that drives you crazy sometimes). They are all given to enrich our lives and to draw us closer to God.

So this Valentine's Day (and every other day of the year), love others because Jesus Loves You!

Look at each person that comes into your life as a chance to live out the gospel with grace, truth and love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Baby Shower

Oh, my sister is expecting her first baby and I am so excited for her!! I can't wait to have another nephew and I know my girls will be thrilled to have a little cousin to hold and dress up (watch out Aunt Shannon - he'll be sporting click-clack dress up shoes and princess attire before you know it!).

Saturday was the baby shower and let's just say that lil Lewis will not have problems finding something to wear. :)

I made him a little rag quilt (learned how to make these via youtube. How blessed are we that we can just go out and watch videos of anything?! That is a post for another day.) and sewed a boppy cover to match. It was kind of hard to let that go - it was SO snuggly! My girls both snuggled with it before I wrapped it up.

My darling daughter and I are dairy free. Since I was bringing her as my date, I wanted to make sure there was something especially yummy, special and dairy free that she (and I) could enjoy. So I made some chocolate covered strawberries and Oreo truffles. If you have not had these before, you are missing out. They are wonderful!

Here is how I made them:

Oreo Truffles

1 package of Oreos
1 8 oz package of cream cheese - softened
(we used dairy free cream cheese)

2 - 8 oz packages of semi-sweet Bakers chocolate

Crush the Oreos in a food processor into fine crumbs.

Combine cream cheese and Oreo crumbs until well mixed (you could do this by hand, but I didn't want to end up with tennis elbow, so I used my mixer). Refrigerate for 30 minutes so that it is easier to handle.

Melt chocolate squares according to the package directions.

Roll Oreo mixture into 1/2 balls. Cover these with the melted chocolate using two spoons (one slotted) to keep the crumbs out of the chocolate.

For half of the truffles, I added about 1/2 tsp of mint extract to the melted chocolate (super yummy!). Nothing beats chocolate mint in my book!

These will harden pretty quickly. If you would like to decorate with sprinkles, you will need to put these on right after you have dipped them into the chocolate (before the chocolate hardens).

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Surprised? I hope not.

One of my many goals in life is for no one to be surprised if Jesus returns for the church - His Bride - and I am gone. I imagine the confusion that will be taking place when the church is raptured. I think of the many people who thought they were Christians (because that is the same as being an American, right? Wrong. More on that coming soon.) wondering why they weren't taken up into the clouds. They were left behind.

But when people see that our house is empty (I am praying fervently for our girls), I do not want anyone to be surprised.

How can I make that happen?

1. While I have no control on Jesus returning, but I do pray for it (so I hope you are ready - click here to find out how you can be ready).

2. I do not want to pass up any opportunity to declare Jesus as Lord of my life and Savior. So beware if you are not a believer (yet) and you drop any seed my way - I plan to use it. I pray that God has the soil ready to receive His message and will grow that seed into a strong branch on His Vine. 

3. I pray for the ones I know who are lost (or just distracted). I pray that God shows you your need of Him, not to improve your life on Earth, but to improve your after-life (there are only 2 choices of where you spend eternity). This means that I, unfortunately, pray for God to do whatever it takes to shake up some lives (He sure did that in my own life). 

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. Ecclesiastes 7:4

4. This thought occurred to me in church a week ago. We have all of these wonderful letters and writings from church fathers that lead and guide our lives (some of it is within the inspired cannon and some is based on the inspired cannon) - why not spend some time writing to the unbelievers who will be left behind that can hopefully help direct them towards the Lord? This could be an expression of love for them and an explanation of the truth that is about to unfold (because it isn't pretty - for more information, read Revelation). This can serve a as a warning and let them know that they can still find refuge if they seek the Lord (it will not be easy, but God will never forsake those who seek after Him).

5. I will stand up for truth. There are so many out there who want to declare some feel-good Christianity that is easy and non-confrontational. If you read about the Jesus of the Bible, He was constantly being confronted. He did not tell people that all roads lead to heaven. No, He declared that the way is narrow and few will find it (Matthew 7:13-14). If you are sitting in a church that tells you to accept Jesus to improve your life - you need to find a new church. Following Jesus is difficult, but it is worth it because He is with you each step of the way. It is difficult to live in the world, but not like the world. But it is easy because Jesus is on the other side of the yoke, making it light (Matthew 11:30)

So, if you are unsure of where you stand with your salvation, please do not waste a moment.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; 
call on him while he is near.
Isaiah 55:6

The day of the Lord
will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:2

Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice
and opens the door,
I will come in and
eat with that person,
and they with me.
Revelation 3:20

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Merry Mail #4

Newsweek has an interesting article about a new trend in DIY Education - aka Homeschooling. This article does not necessarily *slam* people for homeschooling (like much of the media), however there are subtle hints as to the intelligence level and social ineptness of those who homeschool for religious convictions. The author also seems to be skeptical about the benefits of *too much* family attachment, even though it is pointed out that homeschoolers thrive when they go (if they choose to go) to college. Anyway, it is definitely worth reading and I am amazed that Newsweek printed it as a cover story in such a positive light.

Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl (Secret Keeper Girl) is on sale for the kindle version for $2.99. This is an excellent deal! Dannah Gresh has a new book that went on sale this week...Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy: Guiding Your Son from His Tweens to His Teens

Practical Pages has some excellent Art lessons and downloads. I cannot wait to incorporate these into our lessons. It might be some fun *summer school*.

Christian Audio has a FREE audio book - Jerry Bridges "Trusting God"

I read this excellent quote from Paul Tripp and just had to share it:

“When I come to the Lord after I’ve blown it, I’ve only one argument to make. It’s not the argument of the difficulty of the environment that I am in. It’s not the argument of the difficult people that I’m near. It’s not the argument of good intentions that were thwarted in some way.

I come to the Lord with only one appeal; his mercy. I’ve no other defense. I’ve no other standing. I’ve no other hope. I can’t escape the reality of my biggest problem; me! So I appeal to the one thing in my life that’s sure and will never fail. I appeal to the one thing that guaranteed not only my acceptance with God, but the hope of new beginnings and fresh starts. I appeal on the basis of the greatest gift I ever have or ever will be given.

I leave the courtroom of my own defense, I come out of hiding and I admit who I am. But I’m not afraid, because I’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus has done, God looks on me with mercy. It’s my only appeal, it’s the source of my hope, it’s my life. Mercy, mercy me!”    

Paul David Tripp, Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Psalm One

Well, you seemed to like the last printable I made for the Ten Commandments, so I made another one. This one is for Psalm One - a contrast between the wicked and the righteous man. It is important for me to teach my young children that they have a choice - to follow God or to live a life apart from him (gulp). But that there are consequences to a poor decision and the Bible has a lot to say about that.

So if you are like me and learn visually - here is another printable for Psalm One. Enjoy!