Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Message

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and joy, but
for some it is a time of painful memories, and hurt.
No matter what happens, we always have at
Christmas the greatest memory ever, God
becoming human and to redeem us.

Right now, there are some friends in our lives who
have lost loved ones this year, we know of people
who are suffering from non-self-inflicted torment,
and those who are struggling wearily with disease,
namely cancer. I'm so sorry for what you're going
through, and Jesus wants to help you through it.
"Jesus hears your tears, like a prayer."

I wanted to share with you a couple verses from
my top favorite Christmas carol. I hope it
encourages you.

"Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?

Who is He to whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

'Tis the Lord! oh wondrous story! 
'Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!"

May the Lord grant you peace, comfort, and hope at this time 
of rejoicing. 

Oh, speaking of which, I want to share with you another

God Can

"Who can take a beggar in off the street,
Give him clean clothes and food to eat?
God can! I know God can.

Who can reach the heart that's turned bitter and cold,
Make it brand new so it shines like gold?
God can! I know God can.

God can take away all your pain,
Make the sunshine, chase the rain,
Yesterday, today, and forever the same:
All you gotta do is just call on His Name.

Who can put the family back together again,
That let their guard down and the devil crept in?
God can! I Know God can.

Who can reach down to the trembling hand
Of a child that's abused and they can't understand?
God can! I know God can."

For some,  their pain will never be completely healed until eternity
(for those who are covered by the blood of Jesus). For others, some
pains can be completely healed here on earth (physical, emotional). 
But whatever it is, nobody can bear it, alone. We all need someone
to lean on, someone to be there through the good times and the bad.
Jesus is that very one! And He can bring and use people in your 
life to be part of that ministry. But He is the only one who can meet
your greatest and deepest need! He is waiting for you to call on Him.

"I will not leave you orphans; I 
will come to you."
John 14:18

A Christmas Gift

This morning, I heard a text tone on my phone but
kept my eyes shut as I was still in bed. Annah came in and
told me to check my text. I did. Our cousin Jennifer gave
birth to Sofia Elizabeth James this morning! We've been
waiting and wondering when she'd arrive! She was born
on Christmas Eve! Nora and Adalynn, I'm sure, are happy
with the name of their new baby sister, as they're, especially
Adalynn, fans the Disney princess, Sofia the First. I think
they gave her a pretty name. I wonder when we'll get to
meet her!

Life is good. God is good.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

He is a Gentleman: A Lesson from FROZEN

I'm sure many of you have seen the Disney
animated film Frozen. There are so many lessons
to learn from it. I know many of you will think
I'm "getting religious" on you, but here is
lesson I noticed in it: Anna's patience.
The definition for patience is long suffering,
and she certainly bore that. 

Anna didn't understand why Elsa would not come out of her room. 
All she knew was that she'd had a relationship with her sister, \
and now, for some unexplained reason, Elsa had cut it off.
Anna missed her sister, and Elsa missed her. But Elsa 
was afraid, afraid to open her bedroom door and let 
her little sister back into her life, for fear of
accidentally hurting her again. 
Throughout the years, Anna came knocking on Elsa's door,
always asking her to come out or let her in so they
could be together again. But Elsa's answer was always the
same: a closed door. 
What stood out to me about this was that Anna never once 
forced herself on her sister. I'm sure there were times she
felt inwardly angry, but we never see that part in the
knocking scenes. She was persistent, always asking 
and at times pleading, begging. But never once did
she say something like, "Elsa, either let me in or I'm
going to drag you out!" Not once did she ever barge
in uninvited. She always first knocked on the door,
asked for admittance, then...waited. Her waiting 
seemed endless. But she did wait. She waited
for her sister to open the door, and invite her
When their parents died, Anna tried harder than ever to 
reach out, but was left outside unanswered. Yet, she 
was still at that unopened door, waiting.

"Elsa, please I know you're in there. People are asking where you've been;"
"They say have courage, and I'm trying to..."
"I'm right out here for you."
"Just let me in."
"We only have each other, it's just you and me. What are we going to do?"

But it was always the same: no answer, Elsa wallowing in fear and a false sense of guilt.

Anna displayed a clear demonstration of long suffering and unconditional love.
She didn't abandon Elsa, ever. She was always there for her, just waiting and
longing to be sisters again.

Jesus Christ is like that with us. He knows what we need most of is Him. And He
wants to give it to us. He longs to have an intimate relationship with us, but 
He is a gentleman. Like Anna, He does NOT force Himself on us. He's 
always there at the door, knocking, asking, begging, but always waiting.
He's just outside the door of a person's heart, waiting for them to open
the door and invite Him in! He may do things to get our attention and draw us
to Himself, but He never forces the door open. He knocks, asks for 
admittance, and waits. He is always waiting. 

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice
and opens the door, I will come in to him (or her) and dine with
him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but
that all should come to repentance." II Peter 3:9

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who 
comes to Me I will by no means cast out." John 6:37

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Surprise 25

It wasn't easy, especially not to let it slip out
but God helped us, anyway, Aunt Jean, our
cousins, Annah anad I planned a surprise
party to celebrate Mom and Dad's 25th wedding
anniversary. We held it a week after their real
anniversary so they wouldn't be suspicious.
We had to sneak pictures and stuff to Aunt Jean's
house. We thought for sure Mom would've
noticed the unity candle or wedding cake topper
missing from her and Dad's bedroom dresser
and we were trying to think of some excuse to
explain their absence. But she never noticed!

We chose silver, white, and pink for the theme
because those had been the wedding colors.
And the company did a great job making a
replica of Mom and Dad's original wedding

Aunt Jean's birthday is November 3rd, and she sent
a separate invitation to Mom and Dad. They thought
it was a surprise birthday party for Jean and asked
Mom to bring her. Mom was trying to come up
with a scheme no how to get Jean to the church
and get her to come inside, thinking she didn't know!
While Jean had already been there an hour or two
ago to help with decorating!

It came together beautifully. It was good to see all our
friends that came. Many of them had other activities
that day, like one family who had a wedding to go to,
but they came to Mom and Dad's party for a while!

Thank you to all our family and friends who helped
us pull it off and gave their time to come!

Mom was completely surprised!

Dad wasn't really. He figured out days before what we were up to!! 
Aarrrgghhh!! Sometimes he's a little too smart. We've said it before and 
we'll say it again: Dad is SO HARD to surprise!!

Oh yes, and we surprised them by putting them on the spot to
dance together in front of everyone!! They danced to one
of their wedding songs, There is Love. I cried watching them.

Little Caroline playing quietly with her balloons.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights;"
James 1:17

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Branson Again!!

The 3rd week of October we went down to Branson again
to celebrate Mom and Dad's silver wedding anniversary!
We went to quite a few craft malls and flea markets and
resale shops. We only spent one day in Silver Dollar City
this time. Dad and I rode the Lost River ride. Since it
was chilly out, hardly anyone was there. The first time
around was a bit slow and we hardly got wet, but not
the second time-faster, and soaked by the time we got off!
Later, Dad and I rode the log flume too! I felt very nervous
this time about the dip where we plummet down, and I was
hoping so much that I could hold on to the rails in our "boat"
and not fall forward. I screamed pretty loud when we
went down, which gave Annah and the other people
watching a good laugh. Boy, that water was cold!
I got to try their Frozen Lemonade this time, it was good.

Mom and Dad dressed up and went to Olive Garden the night of
their anniversary, and then a concert. Of course, we had to stop
by and shop at Ozarkland before we left town!

On the way down to the Ozarks

It is a long drive.
Beautiful sunset on the way in
Autumn colors
Going out shopping again

Mom all dressed up for a special date with Dad!

And after they came back, watching Love Crazy with William Powell and Myrna Loy
Silver Dollar City! They had so many of their craft booths out this time.

And riding the train of course.
It was so good though to get home and see Chloe! Thank you to our friends
who visited and took care of her while we were gone.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Upcoming Post

I'm sorry it's taken me sooooo long, but
here's a little sneak peek at my upcoming
blog post of George's birthday this year.
Leona asked us to make a birthday cake
of his favorite toy ever. In the mean time,
here's a picture of a happy birthday boy.
He loves playing in water.