Monday, August 30, 2010

Music Monday - Surrender

Next month I am joining in on CJ Carleton's on line study of "A Fresh Brewed Life" by Nicole Johnson. I know, a study involving coffee. She had me at brewed. If you are looking for a study you should check this one out. CJ is a Canadian Christian author and speaker and has a heart for mentoring young women and encouraging others to become mentors. I did a webinar with her earlier this year about mentoring and enjoyed it thoroughly.

This morning I read the first chapter of "A Fresh Brewed Life"(I'm writing this Sunday night). It was about surrendering everything to God. All our dreams, our hopes, our desires, our hurts, our pain, our.... And not just neat and tidy, but honestly, truthfully and messy. This is something I struggle with. I was not raised as a Christian, but in the world and I still struggle with wanting to have complete control. How can I control my life if I've surrendered it over to someone else.? So, I surrender certain portions of my life over to God and let Him control those areas while I "control" the rest.

I can just hear Dr. Phil asking me "How's that working for you?" I can tell you, it doesn't. Surrendering only part of me leads me away from God in all aspects of my life and into chaos. We are told in Job 22:21 to "submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. " Submitting/surrendering is to yield oneself to another's authority or power. God tells us when we do this, we will not only be at peace, but that we will prosper. Prosper in our knowledge, love and faith in Him. If I want the full gift that Jesus died on a cross and suffered all the indignities for, then I MUST surrender to Him not tomorrow, but NOW.

If you are struggling with this now, ask God to help you to let go of everything that is keeping you from Him and embrace all that He is waiting to give you if only you would ask Him. I know I am.

I chose the hymn "I Surrender All", not just because of the theme of surrendering, but also, because Nicole Johnson in this chapter encouraged us all to look at hymns and reflect on their words. I love the old hymns and think that we should sing them more.

I Surrender All
J.W. Van Deventer

All to Jesus I surrender;
all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.

Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
humbly at his feet I bow, worldly pleasures all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now.


All to Jesus I surrender;
make me, Savior, wholly thine;
fill me with thy love and power;
truly know that thou art mine.


All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to thee;
fill me with thy love and power;
let thy blessing fall on me.


All to Jesus I surrender;
now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to his name!


Now go and share your Music Monday with Shawntele at Saved by Grace.
Friday, August 27, 2010

Caffienated Randomness: School Starts and Books

Yesterday, my little girl had her first day of school. She was excited, as she is a social creature like her mother and wanted to be near to her friends. As well, she enjoys learning new things. I enjoy reading non-fiction books with her and encourage her to go on the internet and using some of her reference materials look up what she has read about. (Usborne Interlink books are great for this).

Nicole before going to school.

Her brother was a little upset that he wasn't starting school. He wanted to go pack his knapsack. I had to explain to him that preschool starts in 3 weeks. I don't know if he understood that, but he understood that it wasn't a school day for him.

This summer I have realized that she is growing up. She is no longer my little girl. She is becoming a young woman. It has made me question myself: Am I mentoring her as I should? Have I taught her what I should? I hope so. I have been reading "Bringing Up Girls" by Dr. Dobson which has strengthened some of my beliefs and has made me think of decisions that I have made that I'm having to re decide. For anyone raising a daughter I recommend this book, it has really opened my eyes about many things - sleepovers, sex education, the father/daughter relationship.

Now to go to something completely random, I haven't forgotten about the Lost and Found Book Club. As a reminder for those you are new around here, the point of the Lost and Found Book Club is a book club in which we review titles that are sitting around our houses in those lovely large book piles of books we started and never finished, looked good in the store or just got shelved and never looked at again.

This summer we were all to read "Captivating" by Stasi and John Eldridge. Now I hope someone else is reading this book or has read this book this summer. My only question is how you want to discuss the book. Do you want to do through a discussion forum on Blog Frog or Facebook? How does a webinar sound? What works for everyone's system? I'm thinking of having our first on line meeting on September 7.

Now go and share you're randomness today with our Caffeinated Chieftain.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - Pakistan

Update: Christian exonerated of blasphemy charges in Pakistan

Rubina Bibi (25), a Pakistani Christian woman who has been imprisoned since March for blasphemy was recently acquitted. Rubina was accused of blasphemy by a local Muslim shopkeeper following a dispute they had over a food product she had purchased and tried to return. Rubina was arrested and imprisoned in the Gujranwala jail along with her 18-month-old son, Joshua. On August 11, a judge dropped the charges against her and she was released. Had she been convicted, she would have faced the mandatory death penalty. Her accuser had reportedly offered to settle the matter out of court if she agreed to convert to Islam. Rubina, her husband and their three children have since relocated to an unknown location for their safety. (Source: Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement)

Thank the Lord that Rubina has been acquitted!

Pray that her family will continue to trust the Lord in all things.

Pray that persecutors in Pakistan will know Christ's love, forgiveness and blessing through the lives of Christians (Romans 12:14, 21).
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lord of the Rings and the New Master

Last week I watched the whole trilogy of the Lord of the Rings on our portable DVD while cleaning and cooking (I enjoy background noise while I'm working). I am sure that everyone has their favourite scenes. Could these involve a certain Ranger/King or blond Elf? Watching the series, yet again (don't ask me how many times I've watched it), only confirmed my favourite scene. It doesn't involve human, hobbie or dwarf. It involves the story's most unlovable character Gollum.

The scene I enjoy is Gollum's debate with himself - The Gollum side (evil) vs. the Smeagol side (redeemable). He argues about trusting his NEW Master (Frodo) or just taking the Precious (his OLD Master). He argues about being trustworthy, in fact the Gollum side throws the insult "murderer" to the Smeagol side and he cowers at hearing this testimony against himself. However, through all this Smeagol will not be deterred. Someone has finally shown faith him, believes in him and wants him. He continues to press his point and demands the Gollum side to go away of which he finally does.

Doesn't this scene remind you of the discussion between the Samaratian woman and Jesus in John 4. The woman goes back and forth with herself and Jesus regarding the past, present and future. When Jesus reveals himself to her, she then embraces Jesus as the Messiah and becomes a changed person. She then goes out and spreads her testimony.

When we each accept Jesus as our New Master, we each make a decision to leave our old life and embrace the grace of Jesus. The lies that we hear, the hurts and pains we experienced were all erased at the cross. We are free.....

But are we really? How many of you really can say they're all gone? How many of you still hear the tapes over and over again telling you of your past transgressions as Smeagol did?

Later on in the movie, Smeagol believes that he has been betrayed by Master when Frodo makes a decision to save him that ends up enslaving him. This alleged betrayal brings out Gollum who then takes over and leads them to execute a plot against Master. Have you ever experienced something that caused you to distrust God? I know I have. When trials come or we end up in a pit, we all question WHY ME? Why aren't you there? How could you let this happen to ME?!?

But in all our troubles, we need to trust God. He never said it would be easy.
In this world you will have trouble. (John 16:33b)
We need to each remember that He is with us through it all. He will never forsake those who call on Him.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He has a plan for each of us.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Are you willing to trust your New Master?

Father, Thank you for redeeming us from the sins of our past and for embracing the grace that you give us. Be with us through all our trials. Help us to trust in you and your promises through all our circumstances. AMEN
Monday, August 23, 2010

Music Monday - How You Live....

Last Friday on Caffeinated Randomness I finished some sentences. One of the sentences I had to finish was Take My Advice: I answered : Laugh at something everyday. It will lighten your mood. Now don't take me wrong I still think this is great advice.

I know everyone has advice to give us along the way:
  • Don't Go to Sleep Angry
  • The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.
However, the best I advice I recently received is through song. How you Live by Point of Grace is a filled with great advice to live by.

Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
wear your red dress, use your good dishes
make a big mess and make lots of wishes
and have what you want but want what you have
and don't spend your life looking back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
'cause you won't regret it
Looking back from where you have been
'cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
it's how you live

So go to the ball games and go to the ballet
go see your folks more than just on the holidays
kiss all your children, dance with your wife
tell your husband you love him every night
don't run from the truth, 'cause you can't get away
just face it and you'll be ok

Turn up the music
turn it up loud
take a few chances
let it all out
'cause you won't regret it
looking back from where you have been
'cause it's not who you knew
and it's not what you did
it's how you live

Wherever you are and wherever you've been
now is the time to begin

So give to the needy and pray for the grieving
even when you don't think that you can
'cause all that you do is about to come back to you
so think of your fellow man
make peace with God, make peace with yourself
'cause in the end, there's nobody else

Turn up the music
turn it up loud
take a few chances
let it all out
'cause you won't regret it
looking back from where you have been
'cause it's not who you knew
and it's not what you did
it's how you live

Now share some of your Music Monday advice with Shawntele at Saved by Grace.
Friday, August 20, 2010

Caffienated Randomness: Weekly Questions.....

A few weeks ago, our Caffeinated Chieftain copied an idea from the lovely Lauren. I was still away. In fact, I was a a glorious hotel in between two National Parks in British Columbia taking pictures of the view.

I was excited about reading her answers, however, I was a little jealous because I sooooo wanted to blog that day and had no access or time to blog. So, I decided that this week I would answer the questions.

I love my husband and children.

People would say that I'm loud and obnoxious or do I just say that?

I don't understand God's plan in my life right now, but I know He has my back!

When I wake up in the morning I have to have my morning coffee to get through the rest of the day.

Life is full of beauty. I'm amazed by it everyday.

My past is full of things I'd rather forget.

I get annoyed when I sit on the fence about a decision that has to be made. I dislike when anybody does that.

Parties are noisy, busy, and a lot of work but worth it.

I wish I had more time. It seems to run away from me.

Tomorrow I am planning on serving pancakes to my family as I do every Saturday morning.

I have low tolerance for family members who think they need to announce who they are when they phone you and you have call waiting.

I'm totally terrified of heights.

I wonder why it seems like I take one step forward and two steps back in my life.

Never in my life have I been overseas. Something I hope to do in the next few years with my husband.

High School was difficult both educationally and socially. Don't ask me how I did in math.

When I'm nervous I get louder, if you can imagine that.

One time at a family gathering I pulled my sister's pants down to below her belly button to show the family her new tattoo. It was "Pookie" from Garfield.

Take my advice: Laugh at something everyday. It will lighten your mood.

Making my bed is something I try to do everyday.

I'm almost always smiling and laughing.

I'm addicted to carbohydrates. I have to have my grains. (Ok, anything baked.)

I want someone to come and do my laundry daily.

Now go and share your randomness with the Chieftain.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday's Voice - North Korea

Underground church leaders executed in North Korea

Three leaders of an underground house church in North Korea have been executed and 20 of their Christian associates jailed. North Korean police raided a house in Kuwal-dong in Pyungsung county, Pyongan province, and arrested all 23 believers who had gathered for a "religious function."

Three "ringleaders" were tried, sentenced to death, and executed soon afterwords. The other 20 were reportedly sent to prison camp No. 15 in Yodok. The arrests and executions happened in mid-May -- the news, however, only recently emerged from the so-called "hermit kingdom." The events have also been confirmed by North Korea Intellectual Solidarity, a group of North Korean defectors based in Seoul committed to raising awareness of injustice and promoting reform in their homeland. The 23 Christians had reportedly come to faith after some of them traveled to mainland China on business and came into contact with the church there. (Sources: Release International, AsiaNews)

Please pray for believers in North Korea who follow Jesus at great risk that they have opportunities to meet together to provide encouragement to one another.

Pray for all those in authority in this nation, ask the Lord to favour them with wisdom, compassion and the light of the Gospel.

Please pray that those in prison may know of the love and presence of their Heavenly Father.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Vacation

Last month, I let you know about the first half of my vacation. As I previous wrote, we had an amazing time in the Rockies. We found new trails and new vistas that we hadn't seen before. The kids also got to touch part of a glacier in the middle of July. They thought that was neat.

The said glacier.

One of the new lakes we saw, during one of our hardest hikes.
Gods Creation in all it's Glory

After the mountains, we drove to coast in 1 day, only to get stuck in traffic at the ferry terminal. We ended up waiting 2 sailings before finally getting on the ferry with some very cranky, hungry children. We finally arrived at my aunt's house where we were staying at 9:30 pm. Which in our time was really 10:30 pm.The next day was my grandmother's 75th party. It went off without a hitch. She was worried and stressed about the party as many of my family members are usually not talking to each other at any given time. However, they were all on their best behaviour.

There were many people she had not expected to see - her ex-sister in law, one of her nieces, and some close family friends that I haven't seen in years. When I saw some of these people, myself, I felt like I was on that old show "This is Your Life." It was a blast. Some of these people, who hadn't seen me in a long time couldn't get over that I had three little ones of my own. They kept saying they felt old. Now that I have a 7 year old, I concur with them.

My grandmother with all 7 of her children. They haven't taken a picture like this in 10 years.

8/9 Grandchildren with their Nana. One of my cousins left early to go to a friends. But we won't discuss that.

Leroy and I purchased a bottle of wine for Nana as her birthday gift. Growing up Leroy loved the Edmonton Oilers. His favourite players were Wayne Gretzy, Mark Messier, Glen Anderson. However, in my house these names were the names of the enemy. My grandmother and Leroy now have a little rivalry going on. So when Leroy and I saw that Wayne Gretzky had his own wine, we both immediately thought of Nana's gift. She thought it was hilarious, however, she still hasn't opened the bottle yet. I think she's waiting to beat Leroy with it.

Nana opening her present.

The only downfall at Nana's birthday party was that my middleman got sick. I don't know if it was from nerves of being overwhelmed, stress of driving or heat stroke, but I ended up in an out fit that was not fit for pictures as I had to borrow clothes from people 3 sizes smaller than myself. Thankfully my sister was staying there and lent me a shirt that was a little better.

We had an amazing time on the Island. It was beautiful everyday we were there. One day we took the kids to a beach and I texted some of my friends while standing in the water. Nicole and Thomas loved the beach. Sam wasn't so sure about the sand. I'm certain next time we go, that he'll be able to run into the waves and love it.

The day we left the Island, we were under a tight time schedule. I also slept in by 5 minutes. We missed the Ferry we planned to take by 3 cars. Of course, I've been told that is because of those 5 minutes. So we again ended up in a ferry terminal waiting. Luckily for us just until the next ferry. We drove through the interior of British Columbia and stopped at the D Dutchman Dairy for some unexplained reason (ok, their chocolate milk is heavenly!). We walked through the barns and discovered that Sam is very frightened of cows. He screamed when one moved their heads to allow Thomas to pet it. We also saw a camel, llama and some chickens.

As I mentioned yesterday, we stopped at a hotel in the middle of two National Parks. It was a beautiful place and I can't wait to go back and maybe stay a bit longer. While we were there, I took one of my favourite pictures of the whole trip. It is of Sam with the background of the mountains. It reminded me of how we look to God. Small and insignificant compared to His greatness.

I hope you all had great vacations and took great pictures. I can't wait to hear from you all.
Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Monday - I'm Back Home!

I'm back.....ok, to be honest, I've been home for two weeks now, however, I've been catching up on chores, with RL friends, and all the other things that happen in the summer after you get home from vacation. It seems like for the last two weeks I've had something to do everyday. I've even double booked myself on occasion.

I have to admit to you all that I haven't really been on the computer lately. Not that I'm giving it up. I enjoy the computer. I just haven't had the time. So, to be honest, I haven't really read anybodies blogs for about a month now. I only just by perchance quickly read She Sparkles one day on vacation, to find out that I won an amazing Crock Pot book (Thank you Cindy!). I'm hoping to back track on everyone's blog within the next week to see what you have all been up to. Hopefully you have all had an amazing summer and that everyone is in good health. I'll be blogging in the next couple of days about my vacation to let you know how mine went.

I choose "This is Home" by Switchfoot this week, not only because I'm enjoying being Home, but it reminds me of where I've been and where I am now. While on holidays, I visited with my family. None of which know God or even acknowledge Him. I realized while I was there that was where I could be, not should be. Now, I'm where I should be. He lead me Home and to my new family. I rejoice in this. I'm Home!

This is Home by Switchfoot

I've got my memories
They're always inside of me
But I can't go back
Back to how it was
I believe it now
I've seen too much
But I can't go back
Back to how it was
Created for a place I've never known

This is Home
Now I'm finally where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching for a place of my own
Now I've found it,
Yeah this is home
Yeah, this is home

Belief over misery
I've seen the enemy
And I won't go back
Back to how it was
And I've got my heart set on what happens next
I've got my eyes wide and it's not over yet
We are miracles
And we're not alone


And now after all my searching
After all my questions
I'm gonna call it home
I've got a brand new mindset
I can finally see the sunset
I'm gonna call it home


Now I know, Yeah this is home
I've come too far
No, I won't go back
This is home

Now go and celebrate you're Music Monday with Shawntele at Saved by Grace!
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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.

Mini Me

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