August 31, 2010

Phoebe's 15!


I posted this on Phoebe's birthday ~ Saturday.   If you want to see a slideshow of photos, go to my blog.

Phoebe's beard
Today is a special day at our house.  15 years ago this afternoon, we received into our hearts and home a beautiful, brown-eyed bundle of joy whom we named Phoebe (Greek – Bright and radiant).
I had been praying for a little sister I could share a room with, since I had two brothers (I was the middle child at that point), I wanted someone I could talk to, play with and share “girly” experiences.

A giant!
Phoebe is one of the quiet, mature young ladies I know her age.  She has wise words to share, sweet gestures to make and acts of kindness to those around her.  And, she is very smart!  Oh, and one other thing I LOVE about her – she is a talented pianist!

Jo and Phoebe
P - Patient.  Playful.  Prayerful.  Pretty.  Pianist.
H – Hopeful.  Honest.  Helpful.  Happy.
O – Obedient.  Optimistic.  Orderly.
E - Eager.  Earnest.  Effective.
B – Bold.  Beautiful.  Big-hearted.
E – Exuberant.  Exciting.  Essential.

I am so thankful that Phoebe is a part of our family.  She is such a blessing, and she shows it every day when she works in the kitchen, edits videos, does her schoolwork, plays with Jaden, talks to Mom, or folds the latest load of laundry.  Beyond all of those things, she has a passion for people – especially evangelizing them, winning lost souls for Jesus Christ!  God has truly gifted her with a sharp intellect, a wit that few possess.  She has been able to put all that to use in her creative video editing jobs and in her input for our Ministry.

Reminiscing with Mother
I love you Phoebe!   May the Lord richly bless you day by day as you serve Him, and give you many more joyful years of life!

1000 Gifts

121. heart to heart conversations with Joel
122. ‘A more beautiful you’ ~ the message is powerful!
123. country drives
124. Sunday fellowship and dinner with friends
125. Sweet, cuddly babies
126. Names and their meanings
127. The kitchen
128. A pantry full of food
129. Cameras
130. Early mornings and productive days
My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

August 19, 2010

Maafa 21

"Three generations of imbeciles are enough..." - Maafa 21

I was privileged to watch this documentary 3 times recently, and it left a tremendous impact on my life.  If you are concerned about the "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" issue, you MUST watch this film!

For further information click here.  Or you can watch the full movie on YouTube.

This film is not for younger audiences as mature issues are discussed, and a highly offensive Planned Parenthood commercial is shown (as an example of what PP does with tax payers money).

August 18, 2010

1000 Gifts

101. Unexpected gifts
102. Brothers who clean
103. Johanna’s beautiful piano music
104. Exuberant laughter
105. Renewing your mind
106. Thunderstorms
107. Homemade meals
108. Laundry baskets
109. Powder blue sheets
110. Clothes line

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

August 15, 2010

Sunday Meditation

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

August 14, 2010

Who Am I supposed to be?

Jasmine has written another insightful article that I think you should read, regardless of age or sex. :)  You can check it out here, and read her blog here.

I'm going to be honest with you: at that point in my life, I was so anxious to shape myself into that ideal woman that I would have had a book burning and filled my shelves with cookbooks if that's what it took.
Great stuff Jasmine!  Thank you for providing encouragement through this article and your wonderful blog. :)

August 13, 2010


A while back we ran across a "recipe" for laundry detergent from the Duggar family.  It is inexpensive.  Smells wonderful and is super easy to make.  Keep in mind that this is a recipe for liquid laundry detergent.
Step 1.  Assemble supplies
Step 2. Read instructions carefully
Step 3. Shred soap

Step 4. Add shredded soap to hot water and stir, stir, stir!  
Step 5. Add Borax and Baking powder to soap mixture, stir well until Borax and Baking powder are dissolved

Step 6. Pour soap mixture into laundry detergent container
Step 7. Add Orange oil (essential oil) to detergent soap

Step 8. Shake detergent soap well, add hot tap water to "top it off" and let sit (it will be extremely hot, so beware).  After it has sat for a while it will gel, and before each use, you will need to shake it a bit and then pour onto awaiting laundry.
*Please note that this is a rendition of the Duggar's original recipe, I didn't follow the exact instructions because I was not making 5 gallons of laundry detergent.  If you want to read the original recipe and see others, click here.

Yours for happy, inexpensive and (healthy to boot) homemaking!

August 12, 2010

Nature by Numbers

This is truly an amazing video!  If you want to see it in HD, click here.

Christopher Hitchens, Cancer & God

It was recently revealed by famed atheist Christopher Hitchens, (author of God is Not Great), that he is dying of cancer.   In a fascinating interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hitchens discussed his cancer and God.
It saddens me to think that this man, who is a creature made in God’s image, has spent much of his life writing and speaking about the fact that there is no God.   What makes me even sadder is what he had to say about his battle with cancer and prayer:
On the topic of prayer, Hitchens noted that the prayers about his cancer– both the people praying for his health and those who have “lavish websites… praying for me to suffer and die”– are meaningless to him, even “Everyone Pray for Hitchens Day,” which he says has been designated to be the 20th of September. “I don’t think souls or bodies can be changed by incantation– or anything else, by the way.”
This morning I was reading Romans chapters 3 and 4, and I ran across these verses:
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:
“ That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”
Even if Mr. Hitchens never becomes a Christian, we cannot be arrogant and glory in the “I told you so’s” because we could just as easily be in his place.  We need to remember these sobering thoughts:
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:
“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
We do need to take time to pray that Christopher Hitchens heart will be softened to Jesus, and that he would be saved.  Of course, we can only pray that God would do a mighty work in his life and heart to transform him, if God so wills.  I would encourage you to join with me as we pray not only for the healing of Mr. Hitchens body, but more importantly, the transformation of his soul!

Theology Thursday: Antinomianism

Antinomianism.  On the grounds that the Christian is saved by Grace and not by works or moral effort, some Christians have claimed that the saved man is free from all moral obligations or principles.  The term is applied to this view.
It can also be summerized as:

Opposition to the law; or Lawlessness.

August 10, 2010

1000 Gifts

While I was away on vacation I couldn't continue my list of gratitude, and when I came back, I forgot.  But here it is - resuming my praise to Him who is the Provider of all! 

91. Family vacations
92. Newly made friends who love the Lord
93. Above Rubies magazine and the encouragement it provides
94. Worldview books and resources that I can understand and ingest
95. Country air
96. Wednesday night bible study and fellowship
97. Surprise visits
98. Little brothers questions
99. A stove
100. Sandals that are comfortable and cute 

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.

August 8, 2010

The Church Confronting the World

Chapter 7 is a closer look at Bonhoeffer's "life-work" Ethics.  He wrote on this book between the years 1940-1943.  His friend Eberhard Bethge was the one who actually compiled the notes which comprise the current manuscript, because Bonhoeffer was killed before completion.

The Uniqueness of Christian Ethics:

The first chapter is foundational.  It poses a chasm between Christian ethics and other ethical systems.  Other ethical systems aim at coming to a knowledge of good and evil, but say nothing about why this should be a particular emphasis in ethics.  Christian ethics, on the other hand, has a knowledge of why other ethical systems concentrate on the knowledge of good and evil, but rejects this goal as being a false one.

The goal:

Christian ethics focuses on the new mam, the restored man, the reconciled man, the man in God.  When other ethical systems set up the goal of a knowledge of good and evil, man immediately becomes the arbiter of that knowledge and assumes the role of God who alone has this knowledge.

"Instead of knowing only the God who is good to him and instead of knowing all things in Him, he knows himself as the origins of good and evil."

Man's rebellion brings disunion with God, with man, and within himself.

Bonhoeffer treats the Pharisees as the example of disunited man interested in the knowledge of right and wrong, often in a legalistic sense, but who, because of this question, never saw the real issue at hand: unity with God.

Thus the religious life is not a matter of rules, "but solely of living the will of God."  Man's chief concern in all situations is to discern what God's will is.  This must continue through life.  Bonhoeffer does not imply direct inspiration of God's will, but he indicates that "if a man asks God humbly God will give him certain knowledge of His will."

In the power of Jesus Christ man is to do the will of God.  Man in union with God is marked by the stamp of love.

Jesus Christ is the origin of these values (reason, justice, culture) and "it is only under His protection" that they can survive.

Ethics as formation:

  • Reason (it fails to see "the depths of evil or the depths of the holy")
  • Fanaticism (it loses sight of the totality of evil in concentrating upon a particular evil)
  • Conscience (it becomes timid and uncertain because of the disguises of evil and denigrates to a soothed conscience to avoid despair)
  • Duty (commanded duty does not have the free responsibility of the doer back of it)
  • Freedom (it often involves one in doing bad to ward off a worse event)
  • Private virtuousness (one must remain blind to evils around him and be self-deceived
The wise man is the one who sees beyond principles, rules and other screens to the reality of God.


Three attitudes of success:

  1. It is identified with good
  2. "Only good is successful"
  3. "All success comes of wickedness"
Success or failure mean nothing in place of "willing acceptance of God's judgment."

The beginning point of Christian ethics is not rules but the form of Christ and the "formation of the church in conformity with the form of Christ."

August 6, 2010

Photographs from our trip: People and Places

First stop: Tyler, TX to exchange some things with our grandparents ~ Poppy & Grams

Phoebe, Mom, Grams & Johanna

I enjoyed chatting with Poppy!

Nearing the Louisiana border

A Mississippi river

Nearing Birmingham, AL

Tennessee in my rear view mirror

Blue bridges

Rhea county court house - Scopes trial 1925 held here

Clarance Darrow before the court 

Johanna in the Scopes Trial Museum

Joel inspects the photographs

Caleb reading the historical narrative

Historical marker

A river - Kentucky

A red barn

Jo and I

Waiting on our food - Jason's Deli (Knoxville, TN)


The front porch - Sevierville, TN

The family ~ Sevierville, TN

Playing tennis - Sevierville, TN

Jo with her eye on the ball


Two courts played

Jaden enjoyed the playground


The Great Smoky Mountains ~ They are smoky 

Photographs from the trip: Art (Places & Nature)

A bridge

A farm along the way

One of the many strangely named roads

Mt. Orab OH.


A bridge

Crinkly bark

Pine needles

St. Louis Arch

A shed and garden

An old house

Pink house

A pleasing side board




McAlester, OK