Monday, August 31, 2009

MM&M: The Wedding Finale



To Do List

Bought Dress

Picked out location site

Arranged florist

Pre-martial classes

Re-baptized

Profession of Faith

So, everything was ready. All plans were a go. Everything should fall right into place. I spoke too soon.

I took two days off before the wedding so that I could relax and do any last minute running around. My family was slowly coming in from BC and I had to be chauffeur for most of them. The first pick up was my aunt Sylvia. She and her daughter (1 of my flower girls) were staying at Leroy's until the night before the wedding. We had a great visit and joked about the dress she had bought to wear to the wedding. It was my "I will fit into this dress when I lose 20 lbs" dress. When I finally gave it to her, it was only under the condition that she would never wear it to my wedding oh did she hear about that night.

The day before the wedding we had a lot to do. I had to get some appetizers for our open house after the wedding; pick up my aunt Francis and and her daughters, one being my junior bridesmaid, from the airport; get to the Wedding Rehearsal; get to the Wedding Rehearsal Dinner; and go to my ex-roommates new condo to spend the night.

By the time we got organized that morning, we were already a 1/2 hour off schedule. We quickly went to Costco; purchased some appetizers; and went back to Leroy's, where I dropped off my aunt Sylvia and the food. I went to the airport and low and behold, my Aunt Francis's airplane was delayed. So I had to wait 1/2 an hour. While waiting at the terminal I got to watch the media get ready to film fans from BC coming to the Grey Cup, as well as the cheerleaders. Once my aunt and her two daughters came in, we picked up a lunch and went back to Leroy's.

My cousins were all at Leroy's house, goofing around. At some point, just as we were about to leave for the rehearsal, someone spilled pop on the rug. Since the open house was at Leroy's, I started freaking out (Bridezilla had arrived!). My aunts and I quickly cleaned the rug and then I sped off with my cousins to the rehearsal. To make matters worse, we got stuck in traffic. I knew I was going to be late for the rehearsal, but 1/2 an hour late.....I think Leroy got worried that I wasn't going to show up. Everybody was there and on time, but the Bride. We quickly went through the wedding procession and placement issues (ie. where the flower girls would be during the ceremony).

After the rehearsal, we went back to Leroy's and started cleaning up and getting ready for the open house. The phone rang. I answered "The Insane Asylum!" A very serious voice asked for Leroy. It was VISA. It was VISA advising Leroy that someone had stolen his card number and that he had to go make a police report regarding it as they had caught the individual in question. They also advised him that they had canceled his card and would provide him with a new one within two weeks. We started panicking. We still had to pay the final payment for the wedding, we were leaving right away on our honeymoon and we had the hotel for the wedding night. Leroy quickly explained to VISA what was going on. After some desperate pleas, on our part, they said they would arrange to forward a card to him by the next day (SATURDAY) at our hotel (see sometimes they can be helpful). We breathed a semi sigh of relief, as Leroy went to go make the report.

On the way to the Rehearsal Dinner, I had to stop off at my aunt Judy's (I know I have a lot of aunts), to pick up my grandmother. Everyone decided that those who weren't going to the Rehearsal Dinner, would follow us and go to a restaurant close to where we were having the dinner. However, on the way I took a wrong turn and had to drive around to get back to where the restaurant was. Again, we got to the restaurant and everybody was there but the Bride. I think Leroy was starting to get a complex!

At the rehearsal dinner I realized that I had forgotten my veil at the house and I wasn't going back to the Leroy's. Luckily, one of our Ushers, Rob, volunteered to go and get for me.

I went to my ex-roommates new place, along with my sister and cousin. That night we had fun and actually got a little sleep, only after we kicked Rob out.

When we got up, my roommate and I went to get breakfast at McDonalds. Then we started waiting for the hairdresser. About 45 minutes later, she finally showed up. I was freaking out! However, she got it done within 1 hour. The limo was supposed to show up by 8 am. At 8 am, there was NO limo. I was worried that my wedding day was going to match my rehearsal day. We immediately phoned the company, who advised us that they had the wrong address and about 10 minutes later, the limo showed up. By the way for your information, it was the same limo that Ricky Martin had been driven around in when he was in town.

We got to the Wedding Pavilion with 30 minutes to spare. I quickly got into my dress and then the pictures started. However, most of them were not of the lovely bride.....they were of the flower girls. The wedding coordinator came up and announced that it was time. As I was walking down the staircase, I noticed that my best friend had just shown up, something I still bug her about to this day. I could only think about breathing. I almost hyperventilated due to nerves. I finally calmed down sometime during the ceremony, which was short and sweet.

Once we said our vows (traditional, yes I said Obey!) and were announced man and wife, the sun came out as it had been hiding behind the clouds all morning. It truly was a blessing from God.

I am going to end on this note. I want to thank Rachel for hosting this walk down memory lane. It has been a lot of fun for my husband and I to reminisce about this time in our lives as this summer marked our 10 year anniversary of meeting each other. God has been so good to us and has blessed our marriage with three beautiful gifts. I know that not all of our 10 years have been joyous and there have been some pits, but I know that God is with us through everything.
Friday, August 28, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness - Too True



I took the blogthings quiz, as recommend by our "caffeinated chieftain" Andrea. This is "supposedly"my name's hidden meaning. I don't know.....do you think its true?





You Are Powerful and Determined



You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!



You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.



You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.



You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.

Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.

Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.



You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.



You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Favourite Things - Dogs

Filled With Praise


What with all this talk about dogs from Andrea (by the way her Maggie is super cute and "baptized" my baby with kisses today), I thought I let you know what my favourite dogs are:

1. Dawgs

These babies saved my feet while I was pregnant. My feet swelled sooo much that they were the only shoe I could wear. Imagine walking in the snow in -30 C weather in them. Yes, sometimes I even went barefoot.


2. Irish Wolfhounds

I have always wanted one of these. I have been told that standing on their hind legs they are 7ft tall. My daughter is currently on a campaign for a puppy, so honey this is my vote.




3. Hot Dogs

Give me the works. I love a good hot dog (never boiled), with fried onions, sauerkraut, mustard, relish, and ketchup. My son thinks Hot Dogs are to be worshiped. You mention them and he runs around yelling Hot Dog!!! My husband purchased Hot Dog Sticks for camping and he was so excited, he was shaking.


4. Snoopy



The best dog a kid could have.......

Now, on a more serious note. Amy's, the host of A Few of My Favorite Things, 4 year old son Cade was in ICU last night with some breathing problems. He is now on the mend. Please pray for her and her family for continued healing.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

This week's prayer request is close to home as I live in Saskatchewan and have been following this case for two years. I believe this man was set up!

Religious liberty suffers setbacks in Canada


During the last week of July, two court decisions in western Canada have demonstrated the increasingly tenuous state of religious liberty in Canada. On July 23, Saskatchewan's Court of Queen's Bench Justice Janet McMurty upheld the ruling of the province's human rights tribunal that marriage commissioner, Orville Nichols did, not have the right to refuse to marry a same-sex couple in April 2004 on basis of his personal Christian beliefs for The tribunal had also ordered Nichols to pay the complainant $2,500 in compensation.

Nichols had appealed the May 23 ruling, arguing that his religious beliefs should be protected under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. McMurty dismissed his argument, however, in her 39-page ruling dated July 17, concluding that the human rights tribunal was "correct in its finding that the commission had established discrimination and that accommodation of Mr. Nichols' religious beliefs was not required." Nichols has 30 days to appeal the decision. He has not indicated whether he will do so.

Please pray that God will continue to keep Canada "strong and free."
Pray for church leaders in Canada to be courageous in standing up for religious freedom in their nation.
That our passion for Christ will be a light that draws others to Jesus (Matthew5: 14-16)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings......

I have to admit that this week I have nothing. Not because I have nothing to say (something that rarely happens), but I have been very busy since Friday.

First we had my mom and step dad come for a visit with their foster children. Then I froze 27 lbs of baby carrots. Today I froze the beans from our garden and volunteered at our local library with Andrea, of Under Grace Over Coffee. Finally, tonight I went to a goodbye party for a friend who is moving to another province. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a little more relaxing (actually, I will be cleaning the house).

So I will leave you with something to think about this week and will return next week with my "Tuesday's Teaching".
He came to pay a debt He didn't owe, because we had a debt we couldn't pay.
Monday, August 24, 2009

MM&M: The Plan......



Last week our heroine got the ring, now what was she going to wear.........

The weekend following our engagement, I went dress shopping and I didn't go alone. My room mate and I took along our friend Chris. We joked around about our conversions, as we all had not been followers before the Alpha Retreat. Part of the reason, as well, that Chris had agreed to go along was that our friend Joanne's dance troupe was dancing at one of the malls and we planned to go there after dress shopping (by the way, they are now married.)

We first went to the see Joanne dancing, then we went to go dress shopping. We went to a bridal store that was having a sample sale. Not as large as Kleinfelds, but it was busy just the same. My room mate and I went through the dresses. Chris sat down and stayed out of the way. As I tried on each dress, we watched Chris's reaction. He didn't like any of the ones we had picked out. A consultant brought us a dress. We both looked at her like she was "daft." She quickly stated that it looked horrid on the rack, but once on was great. I tried it on begrudgingly just to amuse her. When I put it on, I knew it was the one. When Chris saw me in the dress he said "That's the One!!!!" I quickly put a deposit on it. A plus about my dress is that it was actually one size too large, so there was no stress about losing that last 10 lbs.

Next Hair. Luckily, my room mate had hooked me up with her hairdresser and she immediately agreed to do my hair. In fact, she was willing to do it "under the table" which worked for me as the money would actually go to her for all her hard work, rather than the salon (an overpriced and pretentious place).

Leroy and I also immediately went out and started scoping sites for our wedding. Unfortunately, we hit a snag. Our perfect wedding date, November 25, was also the weekend of the Grey Cup (Canada's version of the Super Bowl). That year our City was hosting the game. Most of the hotels were already booked for private parties. We were pretty much left with two choices. We went to the Shriner's Lodge. The grounds were beautiful, however, the inside was last decorated in the 1970's. The next site we viewed was the Calgary Wedding Pavilion. Once there, I knew I had to get married there. Luckily, so did Leroy! The Wedding Pavilion also alleviated our stress as they did most of the work. We only had to pick out our flowers for our bouquets, dresses, suits, invitations and honeymoon.

My sister came to visit and we met her at West Edmonton Mall. We had her try on every dress (as she was my matron-of-honour) in the mall. We finally reached the store that had the dress I wanted her to wear. She tried on the dress. Both her and Leroy hated it and vetoed the dress. She tried on a different dress at the same store that she and Leroy preferred. I learned to compromise at that time.

Some of my friends joked that Leroy had a lot of say regarding the wedding plans. I was determined that I was not going to be a bridezilla. As well, Leroy's brother, who had been married a few years before us, joked about only picking out the colour of his cumber bun. I was determined that Leroy should have an equal say about the wedding as it was also his day, not just mine.

As summer flew by we slowly started getting our wedding plans finalized. By the end of summer we began questioning the wedding. Not canceling the wedding or breaking up. We talked about eloping. I was actually ok with it if we got married either at the Cook Islands or at the Venetian in Las Vegas (both as much, if not more as the wedding we were planning). Our Pastor even offered marry us privately if we wanted. We talked about it and decided to wait.

During this period we also attended pre-marriage classes. This was interesting because we had to be honest with each other about of values, plans, dreams before our Pastor. I wouldn't have changed it though. At one point, we had fill out a Values and Plans questionnaire separately (No peeking) When we went through it, we were surprised as to how much we both agreed on.

I also started to take Profession of Faith classes (Catechism for Adults). I enjoyed these classes and learned a lot about God, my faith and my self. The classes strengthened my faith and led further in my relationship with the Father. However, it also left me with a feeling that I wanted to be baptized, again.

As a child I had been baptized. Not that I don't believe in infant baptism (another time), but I didn't feel that my baptism had been honest. When each of my children, subsequently have been baptized, Leroy and I have had to answer questions about raising our children in the faith

First: Do you acknowledge that our children, though conceived and born in sin and therefore subject to all manner of misery, yes, to condemnation itself, are sanctified in Christ, and therefore as members of His Church ought to be baptized?

Second: Do you acknowledge the doctrine which is contained in the Old and the New testament, and in the articles of the Christian faith, and which is taught here in this Christian church, to be the true and complete doctrine of salvation?

Third: Do you promise and intend to instruct these children, when come to the years of discretion in the aforesaid doctrine, and cause them to be instructed therein, to the utmost of your power
I felt that my parents, if they had answered the questions, had been false or evasive. Neither attended church, let alone instructed us God's plan or word. I felt that they had lied. I felt that they had only baptized my sister and I as a show. I wanted to be re-baptized. I wanted my conversion to be pure and honest. This did cause quite a stir. I explained my position to our Pastor. The Church leadership agreed, once they heard my story.

I did Profession of Faith and was baptized on September 24, 2000. I was nervous at giving my testimony in front of Leroy's parents and his aunt. However, once I did I felt free. I felt like a child of God. A new person. I was clean of my past and ready to move on to my future........

Tune in next week for our season's finale of MM&M


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Letter Project

I was reading Musing of a Future Pastor's Wife today. Please read it.

My heart broke reading about the Maxey Family. As a mom, I can't explain the heartache I feel when one of them is sick. I can't imagine what this family has already been through losing one child, let alone knowing they may lose another.

I know I have very few followers, but I felt that I needed to let you all know about this family and ask that you write them a letter of support. Your letter need not be very long. Mine was very short and to the point (what can you say). Please do it immediately. we must show this family God's love and support.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness: Baby Got Book



Today my randomness has been inspired by Amber at Striving for 31, as well as Andrea, our Caffeinated Host. They both have posted the funniest videos from Youtube so I had to add my two cents to this.

When I first moved to Saskatchewan my niece and her roommate used to come over for free food and movie nights. One night they started showing me some of the funniest Youtube videos I'd seen. Some of you may have seen the following, but I hope you re-enjoy the laughs.



By the way, I got book!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Imprisoned Iranians appear before court

On August 9, two Iranian Christians who were arrested by security forces in early March attended a hearing before the revolutionary court in Tehran. According to an August 9 report from Elam Ministries, Marzieh Amirizadeh Esmaeilabad (30) and Maryam Rustampoor (27) were questioned by the deputy prosecutor about their faith and told that they had to recant in both verbal and written form. They responded, "We will not deny our faith." Although a verdict of apostasy had been recommended by the chief interrogator, no verdict was given. At the end of the hearing, the deputy prosecutor ordered that they return to prison and come back to the court when they are ready to recant their faith. Both Esmaeilabad and Rustampoor are reportedly in severely ill health and have lost an extreme amount of weight. They have spent long periods of time in solitary confinement, have been subjected to harsh interrogation and, more recently, have been detained in an over-crowded cell.

Pray for the release of Marzieh and Maryam. Ask God to give them healing.

Pray that the Lord will encourage and sustain their families during this difficult time.

Pray that the government will be open to change and allow full rights and protection for non-Muslims.

Pray for strength for those who come to Christ despite the threats they may face.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday's Teachings - What Franchise are You?

Last week my husband was playing on Youtube and watching his favourite comics. After a while he found a skit by Emo Phillips (NB: not for the easily offended) that made us laugh out loud. It was the type of joke that you want to tell others, but can never get it right.

However, it got me thinking about the Church. How many of us when asked about "What are you?" answer Baptist, Christian Reformed, Methodist, etc..... Growing up, the only religions I knew were Catholic, Anglican, United, Methodist, and Presbyterian. I didn't realize how many other denominations there actually were. I studied the break of the Catholic Church in history, but never knew the reason for the breaks within the Protestant Church or how soon they had come.

After I became a Christian within the Christian Reformed Church (Calvinist), I started to see the difference. In fact, when I visited with my future sister in law, before becoming a Christian, she told me about the break of her own church and that some people had stayed and some people had left and that neither to two spoke. In the church I attended , there was a visible difference between services - earlier being traditional and later being contemporary. I couldn't understand the rift and why people couldn't work it out, instead of pointing fingers as to who started it and who carries it on (still an issue at that same church today).

Even now, I hear about differences in denominations and the arguments over them. My husband and I just started attending a Free Methodist Church. When I mentioned to our new pastor that we had come from a Christian Reformed Church, she was shocked about us coming to a Wesleyan church.

God calls us to be unified.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:1-7 NIV)

God first calls us to be as Christ to each other. Be humble, gentle, patient and caring. As Christians we are called to a higher standard. What do people see when they look at us if we keep breaking over difference of opinions. Either they see us fighting and mock us as to how we can say we love each other or we become the butt of the joke. The Franchise! We need to be Christ to each other so that others can see Christ within each of us.

God then calls us to be unified in all things as we are united in Christ. We may have differences of opinions over believer's baptism vs. infant; traditional hymns vs. contemporary praise and worship; teachers (Calvin, Knox, Wesley, ...)...... Are we not all believers in Christ? Do we not all follow Him and honour Him. Maybe its because of who I am that I find the divisiveness so disheartening. Most of my Christian friends are from many other denominations. We may have difference of opinions over doctrine, but have we had large fights over them and then never spoken to each other again - NO! The arguments over doctrine and denominations is so bad that Bible Study Fellowship (an interdenominational bible study) have a rule that you are not to mention the denomination you attend so that you do not offend others.

Luckily for us that God gives us grace! Grace to forgive and to be forgiven. How many of us have judged someones beliefs and discounted them before we really studied and prayed about it? Have you been victimized by other Christians over your beliefs and have you forgiven them?

Max Lucado states in his book, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior,
One. One Church. One Faith. One Lord. Not Baptist, not Methodist, not Adventist. Just Christians. No denominations. No hierarchies. No traditions. Just Christ. Too idealistic? Impossible to achieve? I don't think so.....

God calls us to be unified in Him. Is it too idealistic? Is it impossible? Are you willing to start today?
Monday, August 17, 2009

MM&M: The Hike



Last week on MM&M we left our heroine leaving the restaurant with a slightly preoccupied Leroy......

We drove into the foothills of Alberta (remember it was mid-March.) The further we drove into the Mountains, the more snow there was. Luckily I actually had hiking boots.

Leroy pulled into the parking lot by the trail he wanted to take me on. We started to climb. We climbed and we climbed. We continued climbing for about 30 minutes. At that point Leroy started mutter about Plan A and Plan B. My attitude was if we missed the trail we were supposed to take, we could just keep hiking and then turn around. At one point during our ascent up the mountain (ok, not that big of mountain), Leroy went ahead and left me alone. It was a sunny day and the sun was shining off the snow. I started to sing Worship Songs. I was still high from my "Holy Spirit Weekend!"

When Leroy came back, we kept going ahead on the trail. We finally met up with some people who confirmed we were on the wrong trail. They recommended going through the beaver dam as the quicker way back. We ran through the beaver dam, through at least 3 feet of snow. We were soaked and it was starting to get colder.

When we finally got back to the car, all I wanted was to go home and drink Hot Cocoa. I was wet. I was sore (hadn't been on a hike like that in years). I was tired. Leroy, however, wanted to go to Elbow Falls since we were out there anyway.

When we got to Elbow Falls, we immediately went up to the look outs. Once we got to the look outs, Leroy went down on one knee and proposed. I was shocked and surprised. I started crying and said "YES!". He gave me my engagement ring, which was the ring I had always dreamed of. We walked back to the car laughing and crying. When we got to the car, Leroy pulled out a dozen red roses from the trunk. On our drive back, Leroy started telling the tale of his day. The fact that on the way to church he found a florist that was open early, and how he had been up all night with nerves. We called everyone once we got back to Leroy's house. We immediately started planning the wedding. By the end of the night we had a date - November 25.

The next day, I went to work. I didn't tell anyone what happened - right away. It turned out that two of the lawyers of the firm, as well as another assistant, also got engaged during the weekend(must of the water). One of the lawyers, who knew I was attending the Alpha Weekend, asked me how it was. I said it was awesome and that I had accepted Christ and Leroy all in the same weekend. She realized what I was saying. Needless to say, it wasn't long until everyone knew.

That night, I didn't see Leroy. My roommate and I met up to go to the Ricky Martin Concert! Before the concert, we started talking. Both of us were all smiles. We joked about finally getting the whole "Happy Smiley Christian" thing. When we got to the concert , we went to our seats.. They were awesome. Leroy had purchased the tickets for us, so we immediately phoned him to thank him.

Next week, follow our heroine in the horrors of Wedding Dress Shopping during a sale!!!!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Favourite Kid's Shows

Filled With Praise


This weekend I posted on my Facebook account that I wished my 3 year old would watch cartoons by himself. When Thomas first wakes up, he usually expects me to escort him to the TV and sit with him for a while. Normally I don't mind this, however, that particular day 6:00 am was way too early as I had been up late the night before. One of my friends responded to the comment. Her response "Admit it, you like cartoons."

She's right. Even before I had kids I loved to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I didn't really need to have kids to have a reason to watch them. In fact, I liked the Backyardigans before the kids did.

Here is my top five current cartoons that I love to watch:

  1. Backyardigans - The tunes are catchy and "I can dance to them" Yeti, Yeti, Yeti.....;
  2. Charlie and Lola - I just love listening to their accents;
  3. Wonderpets - The phone, The phone is ringing;
  4. Veggie Tales - I fell in love with Bob when I first became a Christian. I didn't have kids. My favourite silly song - Sport Utility Vehicle. By the way, Debbie, "It's in the Alley!"; and
  5. Little Einsteins - You get Classical Music and the Masters in one show. Let's Here it for Disney!!!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday's Voice

Eritrea
Christian man dies following torture in Eritrean military prison


A 43-year-old Eritrean Christian imprisoned for his faith in Mitire Military Confinement Centre died on July 23 after authorities denied him medical treatment, bringing to three the number of detained Christians known to have died in the country this year, according to the Dutch branch of Open Doors. Yemane Kahasay Andom, a member of the Kale-Hiwot church in Mendefera, had reportedly endured brutal torture since he was detained 18 months ago and was suffering from a severe case of malaria. Two weeks prior to his death, he had been placed in solitary confinement in an underground cell for his refusal to sign a recantation form. Although the exact contents of the form have not been confirmed, most Christians interpret the signing of such a form as the denouncement of their Christian faith. He has reportedly been secretly buried in the camp.

Thank the Lord for the life and witness of Yemane Kahasay Andom.

Ask God to comfort those who mourn for him.

Pray that the Lord will be exalted, even through the deaths of His faithful followers (Philippians 1:20).
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesdays Teachings - Mary

I have decided that since some of my favourite blogs I have written seem to be written and posted on Tuesdays that I will start a regular column called Tuesdays Teachings. I pray that you all enjoy, learn and apply to your lives what the Holy Spirit is speaking in me.

MARY

One of the stories in the Bible that has always stayed with me is the story for the Wedding in Cana. I know most people think of this story in terms of Jesus' first miracle - which it is - but I often think and have even joked about it that this story is about a son obeying his mother.

We all think and have the image of Mary in our mind as a gentle woman who would never have yelled at Jesus when she was frustrated; was always patient; always had dinner on the table for Joseph when he came home from work.... do you get my drift. The perfect wife and mother. Truly a Proverbs 31 woman. However, I like to think about her in terms of her strength and humanity. She faced down the gossips while she was carrying Jesus - "What do you mean she's pregnant? She's not even married" Yet, this young woman of about 16, went forth and stayed her ground. She never lost faith and went forth with God's plan for her life. Could you have done that, I don't know if I would have had the strength and conviction.

We know that she was also human and lost her temper at least once with Jesus:
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.

After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."

"Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Luke 2:41-50 (MSG)

I love this paraphrase. I can imagine Mary just losing it on Jesus. Anger, frustration, hurt, pain, anxiety, stress and questioning herself - what kind of mother am I that I forgot my son. Then she takes all these feelings out on her son. Luckily her son was Jesus and not Macaulay Culkin.

When we look at John 2, we see that Jesus, his mother and disciples attend a wedding in Cana. When the wine has been finished, Mary commands Jesus to "make" more; Jesus rebukes his mother. However, Mary is determined. She knows what her son is capable of. She is determined to have her way. She tells the servants to do what Jesus commands them to do. Jesus obeys his mother (now if he wasn't perfect, he probably had some comments like our children do when we ask them to do something they don't want to do).

Jesus tells the servants to fill 6 jars with water "to the brim" and then take the jars to the Master of the Banquet. The Master, unaware of the circumstances, accuses the bridegroom of bringing the choicest wine out last. In this first miracle of Jesus, He revealed himself and his disciples believed.

Notice that it took seeing the actual miracle for the disciples to believe after seeing the miracle, but Mary believed from the beginning. She knew who Jesus was. She believed in her son when others didn't. She had faith in Him to help.

We can learn much from Mary and Jesus in this story. Mary believed the Angel when he told her that her son would be the Emmanuel. She believed in Jesus when no one else did. Jesus was a good son, he obeyed his mother, even though he wasn't ready to begin.

Do you obey when asked to do something extraordinary by someone who believes in you?
Do you believe in your children?
How is your faith - limited or blind?
Do you believe in your God faithlesslessly and unquestioningly?
What does it take for you to believe?

Mary believed in Jesus. She believed in Him as a mother, as a daughter of God, and as a child of Christ. Are you willing to believe that in Him all things are possible?
Monday, August 10, 2009

MM&M - The Spirit Weekend




Today in our continuing saga of MM&M our heroine is opening Christmas Gifts..........

So we went to spend Christmas Eve with Leroy's family. While we were opening our presents, every time I opened a gift, my future Sister-in-law kept screaming “IT'S A RING!”. It didn't matter if the box was large (a VCR) or weirdly shaped (a spatula, a joke between Leroy and I). No I didn't get the ring that Christmas. Was I expecting it - NO not really. I knew that when Leroy was ready that I would get one.

Just after Christmas the Pastor of our Church mentioned a new Christian class called "ALPHA." It sounded intriguing and right up my alley. There was going to be a dinner that Friday for those interested. I thought this might explain this whole Church thing to me, as well as show my mother-in-law that I was serious. However, I wasn't going alone. Leroy wasn't really interested in attending, so I "buttered up" my room mate up by saying it would be a free meal.

That Friday we went. We sat. We didn't know anyone. We ate the free meal. Then the Pastor stood up and introduced the video. We watched. Christianity: Boring, Untrue, and Irrelevant? The video spoke to me - What was the point of Life? Where was I headed? What am I doing? Christianity was it true and not the fairytale story that I had been led to believe. I decided then and there that even if my room mate didn't sign up, that I would.

Two weeks later we started meeting at the Pastor's house. Of course I had to get lost the first meeting. Luckily some nice people let me use their phone. I was the last person to arrive so I was hastily introduced to my co-patriots – Debbie, Darin, Rose, Karen, Joanne, Becca, Reuben, Janine, and Shane. The Pastor's wife made a lovely meal, then we went down to watch the next speech – Who Is Jesus? I continued to be engrossed. I went home that night and started to really read my Bible (Luke!). I wanted to learn more.

Leroy and I kept seeing each other. I asked questions and he answered. I attended Church with Leroy ever Sunday – now willingly, if not enthusiastically.

At the beginning of March, Leroy called me at work, asking what my plans were for one weekend and saying his work was sending him on a trip. I told him nothing (I can't believe how gullible I was). Then he said that wouldn't work.

Later that month the spiritual retreat of Alpha was booked. I noticed that it was the weekend before I had row 19 tickets to see Ricky Martin (OK you can all laugh at me now, but remember he was the bomb then). My room mate and I looked forward to that weekend.

We drove to the retreat location. That night everyone played charades (a game I really don't like). So I started talking to Debbie and Darin of our group. Debbie was visually impaired so charades wasn't really a game she could enjoy. Little did I know that Debbie would become my “Evil Twin.”

We watched the movies on the Holy Spirit, the part I really didn't get. I learned that God forgives over and over if we ask – there is no condemnation. I learned that we must be spiritually born to enter into God's family. The Spirit gives us access to the Father and enables us to understand God's word.

When the retreat was finished I must have looked overwhelmed, because the Pastor came up to me. He asked me what was wrong? I can't remember what I said, but it most likely had to do with my unbelief that God would want me and would forgive me. That's when I knew that I wanted Jesus in my life. The Pastor and I prayed and I accepted Jesus right there and then. I was crying and laughing. The joy I felt was indescribable. I felt relief and freedom.

I went home from the retreat that night beaming. I couldn't wait to see Leroy and talk to him about what had happened. Once I was home I called Leroy and told him a little about the weekend. I told him I wanted to see him to talk to him about it, but he said he was busy that night. He asked if I wanted to go hiking the next day. We ended by saying we would meet at Church the next day. I felt a little deflated. I couldn't talk to my family. None of them would have understood. My roommate had gone out to see her friends, so she wasn't there to talk to.

The next day we all went to Church early. We were all excited. We were laughing and joking about getting “slapped” by God. It felt great. After Church, we went out for Pannekoek, a Dutch pancake that is really yummy. All through brunch, Leroy looked preoccupied. I wasn't sure what was going on. He kept looking at his watch and he seemed eager to go hiking. I said good bye to the group and we drove towards the mountains.........

Tune in next week to see our Heroines trek through a beaver dam......





Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Favourite: Bed Time Stories

Filled With Praise


Every night before bed, I read the kids bed time stories. I definitely have learned which ones I will read over and over and over and over.........you get my drift. Others, I dread (Sylvester and the Magic Pebble). This week I thought I let everyone know what my favourite bed time stories are:

  1. Green Eggs and Ham - A classic and I do I do like green eggs and ham (or as Thomas calls it Eggs Ham);
  2. Not the Hippopotamus - I almost have this one memorized. By the end you feel sorry for the armadillo;
  3. If you give mouse a cookie - Have you thought about giving a mouse a cookie, if so, DON'T!!! You'll end up doing everything for the mouse (sounds like what we do every day for our kids);
  4. How do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? - Both the kids enjoy this series. They get to see themselves in the dinosaurs action; and
  5. Dinosaur, O'Dinosaur - I WANT MY OWN BANKIT!!!!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Voice of the Martyrs

Leroy's Aunt Dieny writes a bulletin report each week for the Voice of the Martyrs. This ministry accordingly to their site is:

  • Running to help those who suffer for their faith.
  • Remembering the families of today's Christian martyrs.
  • Rebuilding the Church's witness after persecution ends.
  • Reaching out in love to the persecutors.
  • Raising a voice for those who cannot speak.

Dieny gives up time each week to send out e-mail announcements on current concerns and prayer requests. She also goes out and speaks on behalf of this ministry. She is an amazing women of God and a person I truly look up to. In honour of her and her tireless efforts, as well as the importance of honouring those who are persecuted for that which we take for granted, I am going to post her announcements each Wednesday. Please remember these children of the Father each week in your prayers.


Egypt

Two Egyptian Christians arrested following church attack

Police have arrested a Coptic Christian man and woman for allegedly burning down their own house church in the village of Ezbet Basillious, Egypt on July 11, according to a July 17 report from Compass Direct. Christians in the village believe that the arson attack and subsequent arrests of the believers indicate local police corruption and collusion.

When the Church of St. Abaskharion Kellini was set ablaze, the guards stationed at the church had left their posts. The perpetrators reportedly entered the church building through a connecting door from the adjoining residence -- the home of Fulla Assad (30). It took approximately two hours for police to arrive at the church. Assad, her mother-in-law and Reda Gamal (35) were later taken to the police station for questioning. Assad and Gamal have since been arrested and remained in custody at last report. The Egyptian State Security Investigations officers have since followed up on eyewitness testimonies ignored by local police and have arrested three Muslim suspects who were seen entering the church with cans of kerosene and leaving shortly afterwards shouting "Allahu Akbar [God is great]."

Pray that those who are truly guilty will be brought to justice.

Pray that Gamal and Assad will be bold witnesses for Christ while in detention.

Ask God to encourage and strengthen the Christians in Ezbet Basillious.


Monday, August 3, 2009

MM&M: The Mall, the Hospital and Church




Last time on MM&M, our heroine and hero were finally dating and had a first kiss............

After that weekend we spent almost all our free time together. We would watch the news and tv shows. I started to cook him dinner, only after grocery shopping, (all he had in his cupboards were canned carrots and peas when I met him). On Sunday's when Leroy would go to Church, I would tell him to bring me back coffee. Which of course, he did.

About a week later, we were hosting a dinner party at his apartment with Christy and Sean (that's another story). After dinner Leroy's mother called. I guess when she asked what he was doing he let her know that he had some "friends" over. Christy and I couldn't stop laughing "Friends"! "Friends"!

About a week later he told his mom that he was dating me. One of her first questions to him was:
"Is she a Christian?"

"No"

"We have to get her to Church"
I still didn't go to church. I don't why. I had gone to church as a kid by myself when I needed sanctuary (another story for another day). I believed there was a God. I think I was worried about the church blowing up when I walked through the doors. What would my family say? None of us grew up in the church. My grandmother and grandfather were both raised in the church, however, left and never went back. My grandmother to this days proclaims "you can believe, but not go to church."

By the end of the month we were still dating; had been on a short road trip to West Edmonton Mall (Leroy says "it was like taking a kid to a candy store"); and were spending time with my family, who kept coming out to visit. We were also getting ready to move Leroy into his new house. We still hadn't said the "L" word yet though as I wanted to be able to say it and mean it.

The Friday he moved into his house, he and a friend were moving his new washing machine into the house. Somehow, when transporting it into the basement, it slipped and landed on Leroy's foot. He was rushed to the hospital. I was oblivious to this as I was out shopping with one of my aunts. When we got home, I found out that Leroy's friend had phoned and left a message of what had happened. However, I didn't know the severity. I went back to Leroy's and waited and worried. I phoned the hospital and was told that they couldn't give me any information because I wasn't family. I finally found a back way after explaining the situation and was told that he was just out of surgery and I could come the next day to visit.

I phoned the floor he was on the next morning to see if there was anything he needed. The nurse was really awesome. She told me, I should bring some comfy loose clothing and that I could come visit anytime. I immediately got a bag together, went to the store and bought him a case of Pepsi (Leroy's version of water) and some dutch chocolate (I still don't know if that was for him or for me). I got to the hospital by 9:30 am.

When I got there Leroy's childhood friend, Rob, was there (thanks to his mom). By the end of the day I had met Leroy's Mom & Dad, his brother, Randy, his brother, Brian, his wife, Sherry and their new baby, Brianne. By the next day I had met his sister in law, Linda, his nephew, David and niece, Sandra. Talk about pressure. However, I think my being there made Leroy's mom feel better as she went home the next morning. Leroy spent a week in the hospital and I was there everyday.

It was around this time that I realized that I was "in love" with Leroy. I realized that my life was better with him in it. He treated me with respect, cared when I was upset, and worried about me.

When Leroy was out of the hospital, he was on crutches and couldn't drive around as much as he wanted because of his foot. We went up to visit his sister, Linda, and her family. I was so nervous that I couldn't stop talking. On Sunday, we went to church. Guess what? It didn't blow up. The music was pretty up beat. The people were friendly. There was coffee. Did I mention that the church didn't blow up? On our way home that night, I let Leroy know that I would go to church with him from now on.

My first Sunday at Leroy's church was a shock. I had never been to church with drums. At first it was nerve racking, but then I came to enjoy it. The pastor was nice. The music was great. The sermons weren't too bad. I was actually getting excited about going to church. I even started to listen to the Christian station.

Leroy and I went to a Franklin Graham Crusade (I admit to see Michael W. Smith). At the crusade I heard the call and felt my heart jump. I could be forgiven. I was loved for just being me. I just couldn't accept it. The old records kept playing saying I was worthless; I was garbage; and I wasn't wanted. In fact I told a girlfriend later "that I was going to hell wrapped in a big silver bow."

A few months later after Thanksgiving, I took Leroy home to meet the rest of the family he hadn't met yet. I had told my grandmother that I was attending church with Leroy and her answer was "a little church never killed anyone!" My one aunt was worried that I had become a "bible thumper". As a joke when we went to visit, when she answered her door, I yelled "I'm here to spread the word of Jesus" in my cheesiest southern accent (sorry to my Southern friends). My family seemed to like Leroy. He was quiet and shy, something none of us are.

Leroy and I started to talk about our future. We had been jokingly talking about getting married for a few months. So by Christmas, we were doing mock planning. I had told him that I needed at least 6 months to plan. He had told me not to expect anything for Christmas..................

Will she get the ring for Christmas..........Will she wake up and answer the door...........find out next week in our continuing saga MM&M



Sunday, August 2, 2009

Caffeinated Randomness: My Yearbook Dreams.


Ok I'm soooooo jealous I missed the fun on Friday, so I'm going to add my two bits anyway. I just had a hoot looking at everyone's "Yearbook " Pictures through Andrea's blog . It made my morning. For those of you who haven't been to Yearbook Yourself now is the time.


Me in 1968, just on my way to San Francisco and no I don't have any flowers in my hair. I once had a friend who worked a block away from Hyde Ashbury in '68. She always said she was the only employed Hippie.

This is my picture in 1972. I'm calling it my Patty Hearst picture. I look like I could join some terrorist group in this picture. I'm frightened of myself.


Now this is what I would have looked like the year I was born. I think I look too wholesome and young. Really I can't stand the hair. The feathered hair would have drivin me mad.

Farrah eat your heart out. I could be the all Canadian girl. I imagine myself driving in a muscle car with the wind blowing my hair and the music loud.

My grad year - 1992. I always wanted a sprial perm. However, at $140.00 a pop it was out of my range (don't ask how much I pay now). I did get perms for another 6 years. I was sooooooooo happy when that craze went out. Never again. My hair won't take in the normal time and when it does it takes about 3 weeks to finally get it the way I like it.

I think this is my favourite hair. In fact this was my hairstyle the year before I graduated. I love it. If I wasn't going grey, I might just grow out my hair to this style again, except I would add bangs.


This is my dream picture. I always wanted to ride a float and wave at people. The Municipality I grew up in had the Buccaneer Queen. The year I was eligible to enter, some person decided that it wasn't "PC" to have a pageant. I was shafted. I don't even care if I would have won or not, I would still have been on the float as one of the princesses.

I hope you enjoyed my trip down "memory lane," as much as I enjoyed the others.


My photo
Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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