Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The hardest arithmetic to master
is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Eric Hoffer
God knows the way that you take and when He has tried you, you will come forth as gold.
Job 23:10

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you spend ....

In light our current Global Economic crisis and our local School System woes, I found this quote to be quite accurate and relevant!

If you spend your own money on yourself, you care how much you spend and how well you spend it. If you spend your own money on someone else, you care how much you spend, but you don't care how well it is spent. If you spend someone else's money on yourself, you don't care how much you spend, but you do care how well it is spent. And finally, if you spend someone else's money on someone else, you don't care how much you spend, and you don't care how well it is spent. That is government. - Milton Friedman

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And the winner is ...

Mocha Latte Frappacino wins!

Saturday night I was officially introduced to Starbucks. I know. I am probably the last person on earth to try this over-priced, but very popular coffee. I was content
with my bottle of water as I sat there lounging on the cute little sofa. But then suddenly, out of nowhere I snapped! I wanted coffee! Too inexperienced, and frankly embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, I coaxed my daughter to join me in this java experience. The aproned young girl behind the counter was taken aback when I announced it was my first. With a startled look she inquired, "Where do you live?" So to make things interesting, I sorta told her a half-truth. "A remote West Caribbean island," I replied. (Well, I do live there in my dreams)Anyway, before I could say 'I'm just kidding I live in a rural community with the closest Starbucks being 100 miles away," she was mixing up all sorts of concoctions for me to sample. Except the samples were full cups. It was a difficult evening. I had to choose between three different delicious flavors. But after the vote was in and the cup was empty, it was unanimous. I love Mocha Latte Frappacino! She said. "maybe next time you come to the states they will have the diet version!"

Gratitude is the heart's memory

443. cooking a birthday breakfast for my daughter

444. scripture that comforts

445. dear friends that held my hand today

446. my family

Remembering Jonathan

me and Jonathan - 1964
So teach us to number our days,
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12
Only a year older than me, he has always been more like a cousin to me than an uncle. Thomas Jonathan Tanner, III. The last born, the baby of my grandparents, this farmer's son. He learned about farm life early on and became a man much too young. And like his father and grandfather before him, his life would be short.

And so today I am reminded as he slipped away from this place, this world, leaving so many brokenhearted, that one day I will depart from this world. And reminded also that God's Kingdom is not of this world. To leave this place means eternal joy, abundant joy. Matthew 16:24 says For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

Philip Yancey writes, "View death not as the disease that permanently spoils life, but rather as the only cure to the disease of life. For sin has permanently stained all life, and only through death --- Christ’s death and our own – can we realize a cured, sinless state.”

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rejoice always ...

Starbucks Therapy Session - 2/14/09
Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This past weekend was filled with many different experiences. There was the excitement of cheering for state-qualifying swimmers. Then there was the fun of just hanging out with my family. We did minimal shopping, visiting Target, Old Navy, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx, and did lots of window-shopping at Perimeter Mall. One hangout we frequented was STARBUCKS. On Saturday night, we were there for two hours talking, laughing, even crying long after the coffee was gone. A lot of different things were shared. Dreams. Joys. Fears. Hurt. Concerns. And Wisdom. At one point I announced that I often feel like running away from it all. The messy, the grimy, the confrontational part of life. That's when my 10-year old niece chimed in...

Running from your problems
will never solve them!

That was profound coming from her and we all had to take notice. One of those 'Out of the mouths of babes' moments, ya know?

Well, if you're a Christian, you know that Christianity is supposed to be about joy, in spite of circumstances. I know that, but lately I have had a hard time living that out. I was reminded of some simple, but crucial truths through the dear people, those closest to me, as I spent my time with them this weekend. God used these people to speak to my heart as I walk through yet another fire.

When I got home and off to myself, I revisited some familiar scriptures and even a favorite quote by John Newton.

In the first part of Romans 8, Paul talks about how things go wrong because the world we live in is full of evil and sin. We are often shocked when things go wrong. As a Believer, I am reminded that anything that goes well is a miracle of grace.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35

Everything is necessary that he sends. Nothing can be necessary that he withholds.”- John Newton

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gratitide List goes on and on...

436. my sister, Kathy

437. teenagers gathering around the table

438. Sue Harper's cake

439. Guy's almost famous home-made ice cream

440. celebrating daughter, Savannah-Jane's birthday

441. traveling to see Taylor and Dominica

442. seeing Savannah-Jane swim at STATE!

No Greater Love

Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

It is difficult to grasp the love our Heaveny Father has for me. Nothing can compare. I am amazed that He loves me and gave up His life for me. Me, "chief of all sinners." He died for me "Just As I Am," yet He had a sinless life.

Peter testified, "He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth" (1 Peter 2:22). Even his enemies knew they could find no fault in him (Matthew 22:16)
"I find no guilt in him," Pilate said (John 19:6).

John Piper wrote, "... the life he gave for us was no ordinary life of human value—which would be great enough. It was a sinless life. A life of perfectly balanced joy and sorrow, tenderness and toughness, justice and mercy, grief and anger, speech and silence, prayer and action. This life, of all the lives that have ever lived, was the most valuable life. The most worthy of living, the least worthy of dying. This is the life he gave for you—that you might live."

I heard a story of a group of American prisoners of war during the Second World War, who were made to do hard labor in a prison camp. Each had a shovel and would dig all day, then come in and give an account of his tool in the evening. One evening 20 prisoners were lined up by the guard and the shovels were counted. The guard counted nineteen shovels and turned in rage on the 20 prisoners demanding to know which one did not bring his shovel back. No one responded. The guard took out his gun and said that he would shoot five men if the guilty prisoner did not step forward. After a moment of tense silence, a 19-year-old soldier—the age of my Griff—stepped forward with his head bowed down. The guard grabbed him, took him to the side and shot him in the head, and turned to warn the others that they better be more careful than he was. When he left, the men counted the shovels and there were 20. The guard had miscounted. And the boy had given his life for his friends.
Can you imagine the emotions that must have filled their hearts as they knelt down over his body? In the five or ten seconds of silence, the boy had weighed his whole future in the balance—a future wife, an education, a new truck, children, a career, fishing with his dad—and he chose death so that others might live.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Our wedding day - December 21, 1985
Husbands, love your wives,
just as Christ loved the church
and gave himself up for her.
Ephesians 5:25

It is easy to love someone when they are agreeable, kind, attractive, or considerate, etc. With my rapidly depleting hormones lately, I am sure I don't make the cut when it comes to being easy to love. I am snappy. Irritable. Moody. I honestly don't deserve the affection my husband consistently gives me. On a daily basis He encourages me, forgives me, and mostly sacrifices so much for me. If there is any Bible verse that he personifies, it would have to be Ephesians 5:25. I know he's not perfect, but he sure is close when it comes to this obeying this command.

And when I thought about this tonight and read this verse I was reminded how much God loves His church (not the building, but the Body of Christ) in spite of our imperfections. He gave His all, sacrificially.

I can honestly say that I understand that.

I get it.

And not because of a sermon.
Not because of a Sunday School lesson.
And not even because of a song I heard.

But because of the scripture being lived out.

Because of the love of Christ dwelling in him.

My Guy.

1 John 3:18 says: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

John MacArthur writes, "Sacrificial love is undeserved, yet it goes to the furthest extremity, as exemplified in Christ. It says, “You don’t deserve anything, but I’ll give you everything. You don’t deserve anything, but I’ll die for you. You don’t even deserve My best, but I’ll give you My life.” And Paul is saying that we are to say to our wives, 'You may not deserve all those things, you may be a sinner, and you may not be all that you could be, but that is never the issue. I love you and commit myself to you, even if you are the least deserving. And I will give you everything I have---even to the point of dying for you.'”

Sunday, February 8, 2009

1000 Gifts List

Bathtime at GiGi's

431. Playing with Malli
432. Bathing Malli
433. Feeding Malli
434. Strolling Malli
435. Reading to Malli

My Grand daughter

As ye have therefore received
Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk ye in him:
Rooted and built up in him,
and established in the faith,
as ye have been taught,
abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

First she lay in my arms, looking into my face, immobile just taking in nourishment. That was short-lived. No longer content with that, she rolled over then sat up, wobbly at first, but she gained strength and balance quickly. Sitting was not enough and she learned to push with her feet and scoot on her belly retrieving what she wanted, whatever her eyes were fixed on. Each day her legs became stronger and she went from a belly-scoot to a full-fledged crawl. Determined, she is everywhere now, pulling up on furniture, getting stronger ever day. Before long she will take her first steps. She will tumble and she will fall down. After all, walking is just one step away from falling. But I am certain that she will keep at it until it becomes second nature.

My grand daughter, growing so fast. She fills my life with so much joy. Watching her grow is a lot like this journey, this walk, that I am on.
Author F. B. Meyer says, "We received Jesus into our hearts by faith. . . . In the same manner we must live always and everywhere, receiving from Him, by faith, grace upon grace, and allowing what He works in to work out in all manner of godliness, tenderness, and Christlikeness. This practice of looking to Jesus for grace in every circumstance of life tends to become more and more habitual."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Children of the 60s - Remember Mr. Bungle?

To watch the video, remember to pause music on my playlist first.

Listen , my sons, to a father's instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
Proverbs 4:1-2

I lose my appetite everyday when I sit at the table with my students. Manners are non-existent! People, we are raising some "Mr. and Ms. Bungles!" That's right, from my experience in the classroom it seems manners are not a part of child-rearing any longer.I just may show this to the kids tomorrow! And ask their parents to watch it, too!
Watch it and laugh at the corniness of the 1960s, but note it wouldn't hurt for schools to get back to the basics! And for parent to be parents!

Black History Month

Scroll down and pause music on my play list before listening to this segment of an interview of Morgan Freeman by Mike Wallace!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,I sing because I’m free,For His eye is on the sparrow,And I know He watches me. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me;

His eye is on the sparrow,

and I know He watches me.

Words by: Ci­vil­la D. Mar­tin
Music by: Charles H. Gab­ri­el


“The majesty of God’s forgiveness is lost entirely when we lose what has to be forgiven. What has to be forgiven is not just what we do but who we are, not just our sinning but our sinfulness, not just our choices but what we have chosen in place of God. . . . When we miss the biblical teaching, we also miss the nature of God’s grace in all its height and depth. In biblical faith it is God’s grace through Christ that does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”
- David F. Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 167.

Monday, February 2, 2009


“Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did.”
- Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God

Add nothing

“The message of the gospel is that you are saved by grace
through Christ’s work and nothing else at all.
As soon as you add anything to it, you have lost it entirely.”
- Timothy Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: Living in Line with the Truth of the Gospel (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), 13.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nothing to Prove

“You don’t have anything to prove to us or the world.
The work is finished at Calvary,
and that work has unlimited meaning and value.
Keep your focus there.”
- C. John Miller

The Gratitude List continues...

Johnny Jump-Ups that were used for decorating Moma's cake
428. celebrating Moma's 70th birthday with family
429. sharing our love story with Savannah-Jane and Travis
430. a Sunday afternoon nap