Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Wailing Wall

For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. . . . But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Revelation 11:9, 11

I knew that TV would make the above possible, but I never thought about live streams online or even iPhone apps.

I just happened to see an article online this week that talks about a new iPhone app that streams live from the Wailing Wall and allows users to email prayers to be placed in the crevices of the wall. Amazing! (You can read the article here.)

Go to The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and you can find out more info about the iPhone app and also watch live streams from the Wall. I find this technology both fascinating and disconcerting at the same time. It just makes me wonder if it's a sign of the (end) times?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Who'd a Thunk It?

Me? A romantic? Nah! I do like the occasional love story, but we're talking The Notebook or Marley & Me (yes, I know it's about a dog), not like Harlequin romances. And I always ask my husband of 20 years when he's ever going to get around to proposing. Although, I think if he had ever gotten down on one knee, I would have laughed.

I happened to see an article online yesterday about the top 10 most romantic gifts. I decided to read it to see what I was missing. The article was aimed at men and what they should be getting for their significant other. Upon reading, I discovered that I actually got a romantic gift for Eric this year! Among the top 10 gifts, buying tickets for an event that your spouse would enjoy is considered romantic. Hey, I did that!
Let me explain. Eric has always liked Neil Diamond even though he won't claim to have lived through the 1970s because it was such a "tacky" decade as he puts it. He has suffered much teasing from family & friends for enjoying Mr. Diamond's music. In the past, we have given him Neil Diamond Cd's for Christmas. I think last year I gave Eric one of his Christmas Cd's (and have had to suffer through listening to it!). Not that I don't like good old Neil's music; I just don't go out of my way to listen to it. (Wait a minute. I think I may have the 45s of You Don't Bring Me Flowers and Forever in Blue Jeans up in our attic. Don't tell anyone!)

Back in November, I happen to find out that Real Diamond was playing at a local theater the day after Christmas. Real Diamond is a Neil Diamond tribute band. Since the real Neil is off touring in Australia and Africa for the next 8 months, I decided to get tickets for this local show. We've seen a Beatles tribute band, so I figured it couldn't be all that bad. Besides, it would be something different to do together and we could have a nice date. (Plus, the theater serves beer & wine!)

Thankfully, I got tickets for the late afternoon show because I was thinking we could go out to eat afterwards. The snow storm that hit us yesterday cancelled the evening show, but not ours'. So we went and had a really good time! They were actually very good! Our seats were in the second row, and "Neil's" mom was sitting two seats away from me. She went around talking to people in the audience during the intermission, and you could tell she's his biggest fan! After the show, "Neil" and the band came out to the lobby to thank everyone for coming. I was standing about 3 feet away from him while Eric missed it since he had to visit the little boy's room.

We decided against going to dinner since the roads were a mess and because Eric has been doing an elimination diet (for medical reasons under the guidance of a doctor). But, all in all, it was a fun time! AND I discovered that I am romantic after all (at least according to that article)! Perhaps I'll start humming You Don't Bring Me Flowers to give the hubs a hint!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

"O Come Let Us Adore Him"

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:11-12

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seeing the Blessings Despite the Heartache

On Tuesday night I began making my rounds taking some goodies to my neighbors. Sadly, none of us chat very often with one another because we're always running to our jobs or other commitments. Only one of these neighbors lived here when we first moved in. We've seen families come and go in the other homes.

I went over to drop off the Christmas treats with this long time neighbor first. The youngest daughter answered the door, and I handed her the plate and then saw her dad come up behind her. I wished them a Merry Christmas, we made some short small talk and then I left. I thought it was odd that we didn't speak longer because we usually do at this time of the year.

Yesterday, I visited three other neighbors and as I was walking home, I ran into the dad from the night before. He was walking his son's new puppy. His son is 22 and has been married for a little over a year. His bride was diagnosed with brain cancer about a year before they were married. I stopped to meet the puppy and to ask my neighbor how his daughter-in-law is doing. The cancer is back and she may need surgery again. Then he told me that his wife also has cancer. Breast cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes. I couldn't believe it. The news just really saddens me. The whole family is very private and tends to keep things like this to themselves, so I'm not surprised that I didn't know before now. (Hence, I'm not mentioning even first names.)

We continued with our conversation, and he told me how it has been so amazing because they have been able to share Jesus with so many people on this new journey they're on. I told him about another friend of mine who experienced the same thing with her husband as he battled colon cancer for 4 years. Only with God's help could these couples witness to others during such personal, difficult trials.

My heart is very heavy for this family, but I'm trying to concentrate on the miracles that are playing out as a result of their circumstances. God can do anything! Please say a prayer today for this family, but also thank God for the blessings that are coming out of this!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Nativity Has Gone to the Dogs!

A friend of mine sent this picture out in an email to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I thought it was very cute and forwarded it to several friends. Then I decided to post it here too. I don't know who is responsible for this photo, so I can't give the proper credit. Hope it gives you a chuckle!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Are You Ready?

Is your tree up? Is your house decorated yet? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? If so, are all of the gifts wrapped (and mailed if need be)? Don't forget those stocking stuffers! Have you sent your Christmas cards? How about those Christmas cookies...are they baked and decorated? Have you planned and shopped for your Christmas dinner?

Yes, my tree is up and the house is as decorated as it's going to get. (I chose not to put everything out this year so that packing it all up won't be such an ordeal.) I'm done shopping for the hubby & kids but still have to get some things for the dog. (He gets very excited about gifts!) I haven't wrapped anything other than what needed to be mailed. (And that stuff has been sent.) I do have the stocking stuffers! I actually decided to send Christmas cards this year and have mailed some of them thus far. I've made fudge but haven't gotten to the cookies yet, mainly because I've had a cold recently & didn't want to spread my germs. Christmas dinner? Well, I still have 5 whole days to plan and shop for that! It seems as if I'm in pretty good shape, especially considering that I don't have anywhere that I have to be this week and the kids will be in school through Thursday. I still have plenty of time to get ready!

I wonder if Jesus sees how ready I am to celebrate His birthday? In addition to the above mentioned, I've been in church on most Sundays. I attended the Christmas concert since Cooper had to sing with the Youth Choir and Sam was asked to help with the lighting. And hey, I went to the Youth Group Christmas party with my boys where we ate yummy food and played games. Today, my family did one of the readings and lit the Advent candles during the service! Well, okay, Eric actually did the reading and Cooper lit the candles, but I stood up there with them. Yes, I've been in His Word if my Moms In Touch prayer meetings and watching Joyce Meyer count. I've certainly been charitable with some of my money but not my time by participating in Operation Christmas Child and giving to some less fortunate families and troubled teens in our area.

Oh dear. Maybe I need to rethink how ready I am to celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth. What do you think? Are you ready?

All photos from

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Musings from Mayhem

Mayhem is what life has felt like for the past six months. Not that things here are awful or I'm unhappy. I just feel like I'm looking at things while upside down. I quit my job to return to school, and I haven't been able to get into a rhythm yet in my new "normal". My kids love to tell me now that I'm lazy because I don't have a job anymore. In fact, this morning after I told my family once again that I'm not the maid around here, my oldest asked, "Well, if you're not the maid and you don't work, then what do you do?" (He was kidding around, so no, he didn't get into trouble for that comment!)

I feel as if all I do is read text books and write papers. Therefore, reading your blogs and updating my own blogs haven't been a priority or even enticing to be honest. My down time seems to consist of doing mindless things like watching TV or playing solitaire (with actual cards, not on the computer). Sadly, I've even considered doing the dishes as down time because I really don't have to think!!

I'm enjoying my classes, but I really do miss teaching preschool. Preschoolers are just the right anecdote when you're raising teenagers! I still sub occasionally at my old school. I love doing that because I get to play without all the responsibilities of being a head teacher! Still, I do think to myself, "What have I done? Why did I quit a job that I loved and was quite comfortable with? And one that was so family friendly?"

I've been watching Joyce Meyer on TV recently. She's been talking about how she was in a ministry for 5 years and had a difficult time obeying God when He told her it was time to leave and do something else. She liked what she was doing, was comfortable, and was "somebody". I can relate! Joyce says, "If you can't conceive in your mind that God can do something with you then you will never take even the first step toward a better life than what you have right now." Just like a woman cannot become pregnant unless she is able to conceive, we can't move forward in our lives if we can't conceive that God will show us where he wants us to be and what He wants us to do.

I've been mulling this over for the past few days. I know God was calling me to move on, and I'm sure I'm moving in the right direction. It's just hard to leave the old things behind. If you go to Joyce's website, you can watch this series at your convenience. It is entitled What do You Want Out of Life?