Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holes In Our Pockets?

With Christmas behind us now, my thoughts turn to the new year.  What things in my life may God be changing?  What disciplines am I finding myself lacking?  Good questions for me to ask.  Good questions for everyone to ask.  For starters, I am looking at my devotional times.  Are they as they need to be?  Has my life in Christ grown significantly in 2012 because of my daily times with Him alone?

Then there's the question of common devotions.  When the family (and friends) meet together in community around the Word.  Can we make changes to encourage our loved ones more in Christ?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together says, "But every common devotion should include the word of Scripture, the hymns of the Church, and the prayer of the fellowship"

These are the things I am pondering as the new year presses upon us.  May we take time to query ourselves to see if there are holes in our pockets.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How can it be that Thou my God . . .

". . . let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.  So that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Jesus was human.  Jesus was a man . . . fully, totally human.  [We should] bow in worship, that God would go to such great extent to understand us, identify with us, represent us to the Father.  God gave him a heart beat so it could stop.  The Father gave Him breath so He could stop breathing.  Blood so it could be shed."  
Rick Holland, Uneclipsing the Son: Getting Jesus Right

"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Peppermint Bark

This is always a hit, and Christmas wouldn't be the same without it.

17 oz. white chocolate chips or white almond bark
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
7 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate almond bark
6 Tbls. whipping cream
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract

Cover baking sheet with foil.  Mark a 12" by 9 " rectangle on the foil. Stir white chocolate until melted and smooth and candy thermometer reads 110 degrees F.  Remove from water if in a double boiler.  Pour 2/3 cup white chocolate onto foil and spread to fill the rectangle.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermints.  Chill about 15 minutes.  Stir chocolate, cream, and extract over medium low heat until just melted.  Cool 5 minutes.  Re-warm white chocolate.  Working quickly, pour white chocolate over dark chocolate and spread to cover.  Sprinkle with peppermints.  Chill about 20 minutes.  Move chocolate onto a flat surface and trim edges.  Cut it crosswise into 2 " wide strips.  Slide candy off the foil and onto work surfaces and cut into squares.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Gift Granola

Cooking oil spray
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/1/2 cups light brown sugar
6 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup craisins

Place rack of oven in the center and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 11"x17" pans.  In microwave safe bowl mix oil, syrup, and sugar.  Microwave until sugar melts.  Whisk until lumps go away.  In another bowl mix oats, walnuts, wheat germ, and coconut.  Pour the syrup over the oats mixture.  Bake 10 minutes.  Stir.  Bake 10 more minutes.  Keep your eye on it though to prevent burning.  Cool until room temperature.  Add raisins and craisins.  Store in airtight containers.  Best if used in 2-3 weeks.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Music in Our Home

I love Christmas music.  There is a rule in our home that we can't play it until after Thanksgiving.  I confess to breaking my own rule this year at least a couple times.  Now that we are in the thick of it, I thought I'd pass along our new favorite cd this year.  It is beautiful as only Fernando can do beautiful.  Hope you will enjoy it along with us!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some of our day . . .

Auntie Ticky and her baby girl

I was pretending to be helpful in the kitchen . . .

Amo making gingerbread men for all of us, but especially for the grandkids :)   

The Gift of Bread

I enjoy giving gifts of food at Christmas (well, at anytime really).  At Christmas it just seems even more right and hospitable to pass around some of the foods that make our time around the table memorable.  This year I made bread for neighbors, sports moms, and church families.  I bought kitchen tea towels from  and wrapped the loaves in them.  Now that's a nice gift!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bread Making 101

English Muffin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
5 1/2 cups white flour
2 Tbls. active dry yeast
1 Tbls. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup (or whatever) yellow cornmeal

This works best if you have an electric dough mixer.  If's good exercise for those arms!  Spray your bread pans with cooking oil and sprinkle the cornmeal in the bottom of the pan.  Combine 3 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and soda in your mixer bowl.  Proof the yeast by adding it to the water (in another container) with a pinch of sugar.  The best temperature for yeast to grow is 100 degrees F to 115 degrees F.  This is exactly where my tap water is, which makes it easy.  You might want to test your water with a thermometer first and figure out by touch just what that feels like.  After adding the 2 Tbls. yeast to the water with a pinch of sugar...set it aside to "grow".  The reason we proof yeast is to make sure it is still living and will actually raise your bread.  It is not fun to make bread only to watch it do nothing.  After about 5-10 minutes your yeast should be looking alive with little bubbles and it will actually grow in the cup.  Add this yeast to the mixture in your bowl and start mixing.  Add the milk.  You can do this 2 ways.   1) warm it up slightly but make sure you don't get it hotter than 100-115 degrees F. or you will kill the yeast.  2) just put the milk in cold.  I have done it both ways with success.  The warmed milk is better because it helps the yeast along.  Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough.  I have taught lots of people to make bread, and the most common mistake is putting in too much flour.  This dough will be sticky when it's "just right".  In Texas with our fairly humid climate, it takes on average 5 1/2 total cups of flour.  In the summer, it would probably take the full 6 cups.  Experiment, but stop yourself before you add too much.  In an electric mixer the dough will start to pull from the sides of the bowl and be smooth and elastic.  By hand, it will began to feel more workable and elastic.  This next step is the best part of making the bread.  There is only one rising time.  Take the dough after flouring your hands.  Divide it in 2 parts.  Use a pastry cloth to roll out a pretty loaf with each 1/2 of the dough.  This is best done by hand.  Just think playdough!  Raise the bread loaves.  At my house, the best way to raise dough is in my oven.  I set it at its lowest setting 170 degrees F.  I put the bread on the middle rack and turn the oven off. With the door closed, the dough will stay warm and in a perfect environment for rising.  When the dough has just begun to peek over the sides of your pan, turn the oven on 400 degrees F.  Bake the loaves right where they raised for 20-25 minutes.  Once they begin to golden up, take out of the oven and put on cooling racks.  This bread is good right out of the oven, or sliced and toasted.  

Just a taste of that Southern hospitality . . .

Welcome Home!!!  My family drives up in the old white, '96, extra long, manual, crew cab pickup.  "Throw your stuff in the back!" I hear.  Oh boy, it has been awhile.  I took a deep breath and heaved the heavy box over the side.  Just missed not making it.  Phew!  That would have been embarrassing.  The other bags followed suit, but thankfully 6'2" Joseph was there to do the rest.  "You're sitting in the front Ticky!" they call.  After saying hey to everyone I hop in front.  We start off.  The truck rumbles down the road.  Thwack! my knee gets the stick.  Ouch!  Ok, watching for that now . . . Well, I tried to watch for it.  My knee wasn't real appreciative of my attempts to keep clear by the time we got home.

Day after coming home we went to church and to a sweet family's home for dinner.  "Charity, come look at our garden!" the five year old calls out.  I step out the back door and down the porch steps.  Bang, boom! "gotcha!" Oops, I stumbled into a crossfire between neighbor boys playing WWIII through the fence cracks.

Sporadic idea Sunday afternoon that I texted to my sister:
Me: "Hey! So I think you should meet me somewhere and I'll pick up Nora [my 9 month old niece] and bring her back to you this weekend :)"
Mary Beth: "It's a buy one get one free deal."
So I ended up with a 9 month old chubby cutie and also a 3 year old sweet little girl.  Not a bad deal, but about 5 times what I had initially asked for  . . .

Monday afternoon I took the girls and Natey into town and did a little bit of shopping at the local HEB.  There was a sample station with coffee.  Sample stations always scare me because there's a high chance that I might be stopped as "too young."  I take a deep breath, assure myself that I have to look older because I am a senior in college and I have three kids hanging on me as well as a cart with a few groceries in it.
Guy standing next to the sample station with thick southern drawl: "She's too young and too little for coffee!  Look it, she's got three kids bigger than her!" I smile sweetly as the lady suspiciously gives me a cup.
Guy: "Ma'am, you are way to small to have all those kids!"
Me: "They're not my kids, those are my nieces and this is my little brother."
Guy: "Oh gosh, I'm glad.  You scared me there lady!"
I think the sample lady then greatly wished she hadn't given up the cup so easily as I gave Elsa (3) and Natey (10) each some of the coffee.

Later that afternoon we were at Jiu Jitsu for Nate and Paul Haben, the instructor, came up to me.  After greeting me:
Paul: "You coming back for at least a couple of classes?"
Me: "Yes, I'm planning on it, but quite honestly, I'm scared to death!  I'm totally out of shape."
Paul: "Get out of town!"
and then he proceeds to turn and talk to someone else without even a smile.  Ok . . .

At dinner we sit around and talk.  Conversation is wonderful.  Stories are flowing. I'm sitting back thinking about how good everything tasted and how much I love being home.  Such bliss . . .
Mom: "Ok.  Stop visiting now.  That's enough. Time to do dishes.  Chop chop!"
Right.  That's what I was forgetting . . .

Dark Caramel

Recipes are funny things.  They don't always come from where you'd expect them to come from.  This particular caramel recipe came from a pharmacist my dad used to work with in Pryor, Montana. She loved to take our blood.  She was a goof ball and kind of creepy as she showed us how she drew out blood, separated it, and tested it under her high powered microscope.  However, along with being a kind of vampire in our 8, 9, and 12 year old minds, she also had a great recipe for dark caramels.  I dug this recipe out Monday and gave it a go.  It was the first time we've made it with a thermometer.  Man alive, did that make a difference!  This is the best caramel I have ever had I think.  It's not hard to make at all.  Just be sure to use a large enough pan and don't forget to keep stirring!  

1/2 pound butter
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup light Karo syrup

Melt butter to oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir constantly until it reaches 240* (about 22 minutes after it starts to boil).  Pour into buttered 8x8 baking dish to cool.  After it is cooled, remove from pan and cut into squares.  I'm not a perfectionist, so my caramels are not really the same sizes at all, but about 1"x1" is about right.  Wrap each piece in wax paper.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Coffee and Cookies

I'm sitting in a rocking chair in a bright and sunny living room listening to the sound of birds and wind chimes through the open porch door.  The breeze is coming gently in and I have a half eaten cookie and cup of coffee sitting beside me.  This can only mean one thing.  I'm home.  I love being home.  It is so pretty here and my family is here and I really do think it is where I belong.  Well, at least I know it is where I belong right now.

Nate, Joseph, and my mom just went into town to do some grocery shopping and also so Nate can do his martial arts later this afternoon.  My dad is at work, of course, but will be coming home tonight around 8:30.  Scout the border collie is running from window to window trying to see the last glimpse of the car driving away or a mischievous squirrel springing from the trees to the ground where she may be able to chase it if she can get outside fast enough.  Willy, my husky, is outside laying on the porch enjoying the breeze and cool weather.  Elsa and Nora are upstairs taking a nap.  I grabbed another cup of coffee and a cookie so that I could comfortably wait out the cooling of my lefse dough that I just mixed up.

So this is my plan for this break.  We'll see if it comes to being or not.  I would like to post on activities that we do, recipes that I make, and anything else that takes up my time.  Hopefully it'll prove interesting :)   I am sorry ahead of time for the quality of the pictures.  If you are a photography snob, I am afraid you will be sorely dissapointed.  For one thing, I don't take amazing pictures 99% of the time.  For another, when I'm on vacation, and even when I'm not actually, I don't carry my camera around wherever I go.  What usually happens is I take out my phone and snap a picture from there.  Thus, you will either have to bear with bad photography or no photography.

I hope that whether you are in 2 feet of snow, pouring down rain, sunshiny weather, or somewhere in between you will all make sure to enjoy this Christmas season!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Home, at last.

Texas cowboys

After all the goofy looks and doubtful stares I've gotten for the past three months, I was afraid maybe I was just making it up . . . Guess not.   What I saw immediately after getting off the plane in Austin, Texas. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

“We ought to be Martha and Mary in one: we should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune." CSpurgeon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

He is good? Yes. He is good.

I guess maybe I'm really bad at blogging.  Whenever I think that I should write something down, it comes in the form of a song I know.  Oh well, my blog, my rules right?  I'd rather have written this myself, but the simplicity of this song hits the nail on the head.  I've been learning, this semester, to trust God.  I thought I did trust God but there's nothing like God teaching me a lesson to show me all my failures in this area.  I can go to scripture and dive deep into theology and learn all about God's sovereignty, omnipotence, omnipresence . . . and still not trust Him.  At least for me, I must grasp this: God is good.  Like Lewis says about Aslan "Tame?!  No! He's not tame! But, he is good."  Tame?  My God tame?  No, He's not tame, but He is good.  I am glad He's not tame.  It made me mad when I first realized it; but really, how lame would that be?  Talk about putting God in a box.  But, God is good.  As I said, I could dive into theology and explain why it is that we know that God is good, but that doesn't seem to help me personally very much.  It is important to know and I have studied it, but when it comes down to it, it is just a bunch of scholastic details that don't affect my heart deep down.  Maybe it's because in my heart of hearts, I am no scholar but a simple girl who wants to simply love God and live for Him.  I love simplicity.  Everything is so much clearer that way.  Ok, all this to lead up to this song that I sing as a prayer to my Father to remind me of His goodness.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God."

You are good always 
And in all ways
You are working all things 
Together for our good
You are good always 
In big and small ways 
I know I can trust You
In everything You do

With the hard winds of life
Blowing out of control
It can feel like I'm all on my own
But You've given me Your word
And I know You'll never leave
And I've never faced a single storm alone

I can't say it's always 
Been a smooth open road
Or turned out the way I'd prefer
But one thing I'm sure of 
You've been faithful to me
And I live to give You all that You deserve

Written by Jon Mohr and brian Johnson
© 2007 Blue Saguaro Music / Brian Johnson Music (BMI)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Children's Hunger Fund Toy Wrapping

I spent the afternoon at the local Children's Hunger Fund warehouse helping people wrap toys for children around California and northern Mexico.  Included with each ty beanie baby bear was a gospel track.  These presents will be given to the local churches who then go out and distribute the gifts to needy kids.  Here's the group I worked with today. We were table leaders which pretty much meant we got to boss.  Fit me to a tee :)  I love my Bible Study!  The pic below is those of us who volunteered for today and then the founder of the Children's Hunger Fund, David Phillips, in the blue t-shirt. Afterwards 5 of us went to In 'n' Out where I enjoyed a vanilla milk shake.  Those things are the best.  Good day, good fellowship, tired feet, time for sleep . . . 

You can check out more about Children's Hunger Fund here 

Friday, November 23, 2012


Before Thanksgiving weekend is over and Christmas floods upon us, I am posting Mikey (7) and Gabe's(5) thankyou list.  Yesterday at dinner with the family gathered around the table on the back porch, they both read their lists.  It was precious.
You might have to noodle on the word to figure them out! Mikey:
tihes I am tafkle for I am thafnd4.
2.Gabe and
3. Elsa and
4. Nora and
5. Papa I am thaful for
6. Mama and
7. Blue strip I am thankful for (that's Gabe's fish)
8. Kelly's babaeys (that's Elsa's fishs babies)
9. Thunder and
10. Zeba and
11. Geese and
12. ducks and
13. home I am thafule for
14. My frog and
15. My bed and
16. my room and
17. food and
18. books I am thankle
19. city and
20. state
ttose are what I am takfule for!

Ar books
Ar room
Ar Bed
Ar yard
Ar house

Monday, November 19, 2012



I had fun with these pumpkins.  Quite easy really.  It could be done with real pumpkins or craft ones.  I used a state decal sticker to give me the state designs, acrylic craft paint, makeup sponges for painting, and star stickers to mark the cities.  Quite "Martha like" I would say!  The bottom one was for my mother in law in Minnesota.  She displayed them on her fireplace.  The 584 is her address.  The 1st was for our home here in Blanco, TX...the star represents the hill country where we live.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God.”

Thanksgiving should be underlined in this verse.  It is so easy to read it, recite it, hear it as “but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known to God.”  By prayer and supplication, I’m good at making my requests known to God.  However, how can the following verse be claimed when that one important word in this verse is left out?  Verse 7 says “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  When the peace of God does not overcome my life in a supernatural non-understandable way, I must be missing something. 

Thanksgiving is the act of praising God for His works.  From the big to the little, God can be thanked.  Not only am I justified by Jesus, sanctified through Him and will be glorified in Him, but He bestows His other unique blessings on His children every day.  I have nothing left to desire simply knowing His great gift, but He doesn't stop there.  Throughout every day there are so many other graces that He gives.  The leaves on the tree, the squirrels chasing each other, the coffee I drink, the warm blankets I cover myself with, the friends I have, the conversations I am in, the people who pray for me, the people I pray for, the cool air, the trials I have, the songs in my mind . . .

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! . . . forget not all His benefits . . .” Psalm 103:1-2

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tradition! I like it.

Tradition is, when anything big, small, wonderful, sad, exciting, depressing, or any other out of the norm thing happens, then first, we must have coffee.  I've had a lot of coffee the last couple of weeks.  Although it wouldn't stop me from continuing the tradition, I have come to realize how important the "we" in "first we have coffee" really is.  The coffee in and of itself is terribly comforting, but I think perhaps only because of my past experiences with "we" having coffee.  It's a reminder of fine conversations, a little bit of crying, and a lot of laughing.  Feeling a bit homesick right now.  Oh well though, I can't have everything all at once.  Must go drink my coffee alone and study for a theology test.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Lovely Girls

I have more lovely girls, but this is two of them. Charity and Nora having a sweet aunty moment in Johnson City, TX.
Picture by Mary Beth Bueno (another lovely girl)

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Prayer Today

This song popped into my head yesterday while I was out walking around the hills and it was in my mind all night and when I woke up this morning and then today in chapel they sang it.
*update* and then again in Bible study Friday night, at a formalish dinner Saturday night, and in service Sunday night . . . Ok, I think perhaps I needed to be encouraged with the awesome truth of my relationship with my Master :)

O Great God
O great God of highest heaven
Occupy my lowly heart 
Own it all and reign supreme 
Conquer every rebel power
Let no vice or sin remain 
That resists Your holy war
You have loved and purchased me 
Make me Yours forevermore

I was blinded by my sin 
Had no ears to hear your voice
Did not know Your love within 
Had no taste for heaven's joys
Then Your Spirit gave me life 
Opened up Your Word to me
Through the gospel of Your Son
Gave me endless hope and peace

Help me now to live a life 
That's dependent on Your grace
Keep my heart and guard my soul
From the evils that I face
You are worthy to be praised
With my every thought and deed
O great God of highest heaven
Glorify Your Name through me 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Funny

Ok, Ok....girltalk we are not. But, I thought we should have a Friday funny. Last week, Mary Beth...who is the mother of four beautiful children age 8 months to 7 was driving to a baby shower in the mid morning. Mikey (age 7) suddenly realized he had absolutely no idea where they were going. "Where are we going Mommy?" "To a baby shower," replied his mother. Sitting quietly in thought as only Mikey can he considered what his mom had said. Then suddenly he had a very exciting thought! "Is is yours?" "No, Mikey...not this time."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Long?

I am praying Psalm 90 today. These precious words written by Moses as he wandered in the wilderness. He knew God was in control. He understood the vanity of life and the expanse of God's Sovereign power. Glory to You Most High. We wait for You to return. "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!" (Selected scripture from Psalm 90)
Beautiful Alaska: "Before the mountains were brought forth..."

My King Reigns

"Blessed are You, Yahweh God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O Yahweh, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O Yahweh, and You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name."
1 Chronicles 29:10-13

". . . there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."
Romans 13:1

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Hope of the Elect

"Not sure who will be president of the United States [this] week, but I know Who will be King of the universe." - Rick Holland

"What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31,38,39 

Friday, November 2, 2012

HE-FCS quirk

I don't have a stapler, but that didn't stop me from binding my notes for my speech on fraud Wednesday :)
Actually, I'm thinking about letting Johnny Mac know about this one.  It's amazing!  It works just like binding a book does, and you don't have papers flying everywhere or a messy staple job. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How might I be Justified before Almighty God?

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'"

By faith alone, through His grace alone, for His glory alone.

Faith: Belief in Jesus Christ, God's son, fully God who humbled Himself, became man, killed by men, took the wrath and punishment of God ONE time, dead for 3 days, rose on third, ascended to heaven and there He sits at the right hand of the God the Father.

Grace: God demonstrated His grace by sending His son Jesus to be a man, die, take the punishment that the just God must give, and we are now not only forgiven but adopted as heirs - as sons of God, just as Jesus Christ.

His Glory: Why would God do all of this?  Because He is perfect, holy, righteous, and it declares His glory to the world.  He's the main thing.

How am I to be saved?  Only through faith.  Only by making Him Lord/Master of your life.  Going to church, paying money to the church, confessing your sins, believing that Jesus existed, taking part in communion, or living a good life, or any other work isn't enough, one must have faith, must submit as a slave to the great Master who is perfectly good, loving, holy, righteous, just, powerful . . .

Monday, October 29, 2012

I found Fall in California!!

I found this tree this morning. How pretty watching the leaves drift off of it gently to the ground . . . 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My View the last 4 Days

I wasn't quite as successful as I had hoped in getting 20 hats made Thursday, but that's ok.  I figured a lot of stuff out.  Today Joey came back from a trip to MN where my parents, Natey boy, and Mikey (my nephew) were visiting my grandma and brought me back 21 hats that I had all ready to go from home.  So, my count as of right now is 42 hats.  It doesn't look like that many pinned up on the wall, but it's a lot.  I'm not sure the burlap will hold up too well.

The James 2 Project, as it's been called for a couple of years, started when we were in AK.  It was either dark all day and cold (which was cozy) or light all day and cool.  We were in the middle of nowhere according to most standards, were on the verge of being friendless, although God provided a few select very dear friends, and there really wasn't much to do.  (Although, honestly we did learn to entertain ourselves quite successfully, but those stories are for another time).  James 2:14-17 says "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,' but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." After reading these verses, I was challenged to do something.  I didn't want to just sit around and be cold and lonely, but to do something active and slightly crazy.  Reading Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris had an impact on my moving too.  After talking to my parents, I decided to put my crochet/knitting skills to work as a ministry.  

The project has developed from collecting 200 hats for Samaritan's Purse to hand out to destitute children the first year to collecting 100 hats and some Children's Bibles for some particular children in a particular place in Russia this year.  I'm excited.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The point of the ministry is to show Christ's love in a very simple way by giving the gospel, hats, and Bibles to a group of orphans in Russia. 

 James 1:27 says: "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."  This is just a bit of a round about, long distance way to practice "visiting the orphans."  Wanna help?  Let me know :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Outreach Week = Ministry = No Classes = No Roomate = Take Over the Room = James 2 Project = 100 Hats = Ufda!

Actually though, I only got 4 made yesterday! Do you think 20 for today is too big of a goal?  Not me!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Nora Jane

"You are so precious to me, sweet as can be, grandbaby of mine" Author: Dumbo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vanity of Self Improvement: Session 2

Yesterday I was listening to a John Macarthur sermon on principles for giving.  He pointed out many valid, biblical reason we are to want to give as Christians.  As always, he went through a lot of scripture, but 2 Corinthians 2:9 stood out to me in light of the way I was treated this weekend.  "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."  I think that was the kind of giving that the people I was with this weekend practiced.  No grudges, no guilt trips, no future expectations.  Money was given, time was given, acts of kindness were given quickly and simply because God laid it on their heart.

Session 2: Ecclesiastes 2:12-17

  • Wisdom is better than foolishness, but wisdom is not the best.  Even wisdom can become an idol. 
  • Madness: people get so tired of dealing with pressure of the world and they revert to complete madness
  • Folly: lacking biblical sense; doing morally wrong and thinking nothing of it; rude, crude, obstinate (knowing the truth and refusing to do it). 
    • Wisdom not his pursuit - Proverbs 17:24
    • Wisdom not his passion - Proverbs 17:16
    • No delight in wisdom - Proverbs 18:2, 1:22
    • Not protected by it - Proverbs 1:32
  • Even wisdom, as good as it is, cannot be ultimate priority because one event happens to all: death. 
  • Only in death can we reach everything we were ever intended to be.  
  • There are three types of remembering: 
    • Metal understanding
    • Active remembering
    • audible speaking (verbal) 
      • Solomon's "remembering" is the verbal.  
  • God remembers you.  He pays attention to you forever.  That is the wisdom that escapes Solomon.  
  • Hate for life: this is not a genuine depression or intense dislike. Just a stark contrast to love.  He is not fulfilled by it.  It failed to bring him meaning, so he is dissapointed.  This is a confession of failure.  
  • Conclusion: 
    • Wisdom will make you happier than foolishness.  
    • "It is better" are different than the words "It is best."
    • The wise die just like the fool, but see that even though all men die alike, not all men live alike.  Live in wisdom and joy rather than as a fool. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gabe's Iwo Jima

Gabriel Isaac Bueno.....Age 5
Favorite Things: building things, reading, soccer, and mud

Vanity of Self Indulgence: Session 1

This weekend, I had the privilege of going on a retreat with my new bible study Foundation.  I was blessed by all the people who put out and served me.  Honestly, I have never experienced such true, genuine, Christ-centered love from so many people at the same time.  It was quite the experience.  On the way back last night, we were talking in the car about why in the world the weekend had been such a blessing.  The conclusion was that it was because this genuine, selfless fellowship of believers for the sake of Christ is a very good earthly picture of what heaven will be like.

I was thinking about putting everything in one post, but I think it would be too long.  So I'll just mention a couple of things now and a couple of things later.

Johnathan Rourke was the main speaker and I loved hearing from him again.  He left GCC a little over a year ago and I have missed his passionate love of the word.  He reminds me in some peculiar way of CJ Mahaney.  Just a little anyway.

Ecclesiastes 2 was the passage of the retreat and John spoke for three sessions.

The title of these sermons was Disappointing Discoveries.

Session 1: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

  • Holy Scriptures give divine examples that we can look up to and learn wisdom from.  
  • Solomon is the great example.  
  • He was wise enough to enjoy some things to their peak and then stop.  He guarded himself with wisdom.  
  • "The quicker we come to the reality that we will die and be forgotten, then the quicker we will have an eternal perspective and have the mindset we're supposed to." 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just 3 Cowgirls

We had fun this summer when our friend Sam (Samantha) visited us for a week. One of the highlights was going to the rodeo and donning our cowgirl attire. Two years ago Sam lived with us for the summer and worked in Blanco. It was a time of growth for all of us. Sam was growing up. We were getting used to living in Texas. Sam became part of our family that summer. We laughed, cried, argued (just a bit), and learned from each other. Sam is heading into new ventures in life. The kind of ventures almost every young lady wants out of life. We love you Sam. We're thankful for your part in our home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Now Why This Fear?

A couple of weeks ago, I was at church and was introduced to this song.  Enfield is a group that sings at my fellowship group (or Sunday school type thing) at Grace Community Church.  They sang this song from Sovereign Grace Music.  It's called, Now Why This Fear?  It came in a timely manner for me as I have been struggling with trusting in God's eternal plan, in His love, in His will.  He is good.  I am inherently sinful.  I am deserving of hell.  He sacrificed Himself on my behalf to justify me before the Righteous Judge (Himself).  I know all that.  I'm thankful, but I have a hard time living it.  I have a hard time believing it.  What an amazing reminder this song was to me.  Singing this song to myself allows me to talk God's truth to myself.  To talk to myself and not listen to myself is a good thing.  If you are struggling with trusting in God and in His love, learn the words, and sing it praying it to God.  I hope it blesses you as much as it did me!

 Now Why This Fear?

Verse 1
Now why this fear and unbelief?
Has not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for us?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Now canceled at the cross?

Jesus, all my trust is in Your blood
Jesus, You’ve rescued us
Through Your great love

Verse 2
Complete atonement You have made
And by Your death have fully paid
The debt Your people owed
No wrath remains for us to face
We’re sheltered by Your saving grace
And sprinkled with Your blood

How sweet the sound of saving grace
How sweet the sound of saving grace
Christ died for me

Verse 3
Be still my soul and know this peace
The merits of your great high priest
Have bought your liberty
Rely then on His precious blood
Don’t fear your banishment from God
Since Jesus sets you free


from The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11, released 15 November 2011
Music, and alt. and additional words by Doug Plank, original verses by Augustus Toplady (1772)
© 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Faerie Queene

“. . . as soon as I looked out of the window, a gush of wonderment and longing flowed over my soul like the tide of a great sea. Fairy Land lay before me, and drew me towards it with irresistible attraction. The trees bathed their great heads in the waves of the morning, while their roots were planted deep in gloom; save where on the borders the sunshine broke against their stems, or swept in long streams through their avenues, washing with brighter hue all the leaves over which it flowed; revealing the rich brown of the decayed leaves and fallen pinecones, and the delicate greens of the long grasses and tiny forests of moss that covered the channel over which it passed in motionless rivers of light.”(MacDonald, 1858)

Home Economics-Family and Consumer Sciences 
Flat Pattern Design 
Charity Jacobson 

 MacDonald, G. (1858). VII. In G. MacDonald, Phantastes (p. 91). London: Smith, Elder and Co.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chap. 6, Humility in Daily Life, Andrew Murray

"I knew Jesus, and He was very precious to my soul: but I found something in me that would not keep sweet and patient and kind. I did what I could to keep it down, but it was there. I besought Jesus to do something for me, and when I gave Him my will, He came to my heart, and took out all that would not be sweet, all that would not be kind, all that would not be patient, and then He shut the door."-George Foxe)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chp. 5, Humility in the Disciples of Jesus, Andrew Murray

"In His resurrection He received from the Father an entirely new life, the life of man in the power of God, capable of being communicated to men, and entering and renewing and filling their lives with His divine power. In His ascension He received the Spirit of the Father, through whom He might do what He could not do while upon earth, make Himself one with those He loved, actually live their life for them, so that they could live before the Father in a humility like His, because it was Himself who lived and breathed in them."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Humility, Chp. 4 Humility in the Teaching of Jesus

"If once we learn that to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature, the spirit of Jesus, the joy of heaven, we shall welcome with our whole heart the discipline we may have in serving even those who try to vex us."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Humility, Chp. 3 Humility in the Life of Jesus

"Here we have the root and nature of true humility. It is because this is not understood or sought after, that our humility is so superficial and so feeble. We must learn of Jesus, how He is meek and lowly of heart. He teaches us where true humility takes its rise and finds its strength - in the knowledge that it is God who worketh all in all, that our place is to yield to Him in perfect resignation and dependence, in full consent to be and do nothing of ourselves."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Humility, Chp. 2 The Secret of Redemption

"The life of God which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow; it is the same almighty power which worked there, and thence onward to the resurrection,which works daily in us. Our one need is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours, and waits for our consent to gain possession and mastery of our whole being."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Humility by Andrew Murray

I've been reading an old book by Andrew Murray called Humility. It was suggested to me by my friend Debbie who is to me an example of humility. The chapters are exceedingly deep, and I found that one reading did nothing for me. After considering that this was something I wanted to read steadily I decided to read each chapter 5 times before continuing on to the next. This is proving a good plan for me, and Humility is becoming ingrained in my day in day out thoughts.

CHAPTER 1: Humility, the Glory of the Creature
"Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is, from the very nature of things, the first duty and the highest virtue of the creature, and the root of every virtue."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bluebonnets, The Texas State Flower

“Bluebonnets have inspired the poet’s pen, the artist’s brush, the cowboy’s dream, and the legislator’s eloquence throughout the broad spaces of Texas. Their royal beauty and enchanting fragrance have a particular message which speaks to the emotions with compelling directness.”

–Mary Daggett Lake, 1926