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Faith's Firm Foundation: July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Food Friday: A Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper

It's Summer.
This is Minnesota.
I'm of Scandinavian heritage.
That means: Of course we'll have Tuna Ring Salad at least once!
I grew up Lutheran, Scandinavian, and ya sure, you betcha, I talk Minnesotan!
Maybe this isn't actually a Scandinavian dish, I guess I've never researched that, (does anyone know??) but it's such a standby for anyone born Minnesota Lutheran Scandinavian, that I associate this dish with my heritage.

So, I thought I would share with you a Minnesota Memory from my growing up years of what a traditional summer picnic meal looked like!  Besides its being, well, tradition, there are two other good reasons for you to make this recipe in summer! It's easy and it's cool on a hot night when you don't want to heat up the kitchen!
I have one more very important reason for making Tuna Ring Salad!  My son loves it and he always requests it!

So, here is the recipe, handed down from my Swedish mom, followed by the total "traditional summer picnic" meal--A Minnesota Memory for me:
Tuna Ring Salad
Yield: I'm going to say 4-6, but this depends on your family; as is the case with most of my recipes, you can increase the ingredients for the size of  your family, or use less of an ingredient like celery, for example, if someone doesn't like it (like my son!)
  • 1 box of ring macaroni (we use Creamettes)
  • 4 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can tuna, drained (I use tuna packed in water)
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip (add more according to taste) (I use Hellmann's Light Mayo sometimes)
  • onion, chopped (more or less to your taste); or use dried minced onion

  • Cook macaroni as directed on package. (I don't salt the water.)
  • Boil the eggs.
  • Cool both the macaroni and unpeeled eggs in the refrigerator. (Run the eggs under cold water and then place covered with cold water in the fridge for faster cooling.)
  • Mix cooled macaroni with celery and onion.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice on tuna (about 1 tsp).
  • Peel, wash and slice eggs, reserving some for decorating the top.
  • Mix tuna into macaroni mixture, then mayo/salad dressing and then carefully mix in cooled, sliced eggs (which will fall apart somewhat--that's ok).
  • Refrigerate until serving.
  • If salad seems a little dry, add more mayo/Miracle Whip.
  • Arrange reserved slices of egg over top of salad and sprinkle paprika over all. 

For a true Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper experience, serve with salty potato chips, dill pickles, cut-up watermelon, buns with butter, and slices of luncheon meat and cheese.  A cold pitcher of lemonade and maybe some homemade sun tea and a pan of "bars" and pail of ice cream for dessert will just about do it to complete your Minnesota Memory Picnic Supper (from my 1960's Minnesota experience)!

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Meanings of Wedding Traditions (Part 2)

In June, we began to learn about the Meanings of Wedding Traditions.  Today, I want to continue sharing two more deeply meaningful symbols of God's covenantal relationship with us through the blood of Christ, which are exemplified in the wedding ceremony.  This has been a fascinating study for me, and has deepened my appreciation for, and enjoyment of, the wedding ceremony.

First, let me encourage you to go back and read Part 1 by clicking on the link above!  Second, allow me to remind you where in the Bible we see some of the symbolism of the marriage covenant.  Did you realize that marriage is not a contract, but a covenant, and a picture of the covenant between God and His Bride, all those who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ?  In Genesis 15, we see the picture of a covenant.  The word "covenant" comes from a word which means to cut.  When God made a covenant with Abraham, He made an animal sacrifice, and cut the animals in half and placed the two halves opposite each other, leaving an "aisle" between.  That ground in the middle, that path, was considered "holy" ground.  God initiated the unbreakable covenant with Abraham, by walking between the two parts, down the aisle. That is where the blood covenant is established and where the union is made.

Today I want to tell you the Biblical meaning of two traditions which have, in many modern weddings and marriages today, been tossed aside as unnecessary and archaic, or inconvenient, at least.  I hope you will agree with me after reading that they are deeply meaningful and symbolic of essential Truths of Scripture!

The Bridal Veil

The veil actually has deep significance and symbolism, and it gives me chills just thinking about its meaning!  Let me share with you.  It first of all symbolizes modesty and the virtue of purity of the bride, completing the white wedding dress.  The bridal veil also symbolizes a Biblical veil, that veil or curtain found in the Temple of Old Testament worship, which was there to prevent anyone from entering into the presence of the Holy of Holies, where the presence of Almighty God resided.  Only the High Priest could enter at certain times and after significant ritual cleansing.  If one entered into the presence of the Most High God, the Holy One of Israel, they would die.  This Temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom when Christ died, symbolizing what was accomplished on the cross:  God removed the barrier forever between His Bride and Himself through Jesus Christ's death on the cross and resurrection. The veil was removed! God was the Only One who could accomplish this, as it was enormously heavy, thick and tall. We now have full access to God through faith in Christ's finished work on the cross.  The lifting of the bridal veil says there's nothing between the bride and groom, they have full access to each other, and symbolizes that we can now enter boldly into the presence of a Holy God, because of what Christ has done for us.

The Presentation of the Couple

When the minister introduces the couple to the wedding guests, he is drawing attention to their new identity and the name change brought about through the marriage. Similarly, in the blood covenant, the two parties would exchange some part of their names. In Genesis 15, God gave Abram a new name, Abraham, by adding letters from his own name, Yahweh. The presence of a breath of air (the 'h') into his name symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of us when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved.  We have a new name--we are called by His Name--when we become His and become one with Him at salvation.  God gave Abram a new name, Abraham, signifying the new covenant He had made with him, and their oneness.  We are changed when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, and we are called "new creatures" when we become Christ's Bride!  This is the Biblical symbolism behind why the bride takes on the name of the groom, and not the other way around.  This is why the bride doesn't keep her own name.

Stay tuned for more Meanings of Wedding Traditions to come!
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesdays are Terrific!

The fact is, I love Tuesdays! I don't know exactly why, but Tuesday is almost always a pretty good day for me! I hope your Tuesday is going wonderfully well.

I decided to do two Tuesday linkups today, as long as I've been participating in the Tuesday Tag-Along, and I do love photography, so this seemed a natural. You might like it, too!
Faithful and True Followers and Regulars, 
Thank you for your friendship, which I treasure!
I will never take you for granted!

Welcome, New Friends from Shutter Love Tuesdays! 
Please take a minute to read a few posts and check things out!

Tuesday Tag-Along Friends, let me know you were here!
I look forward to meeting you!
The theme this week of Trendy Treehouse's Shutter Love Tuesdays is "Sports"! Head on over here for all the rules. Oh, and did I say, you also get to vote? If you love taking pictures, or have a family-friendly photo that fits this category, you also might enjoy entering! 

This photo was taken on a 4th of July picture-perfect day, and reminds me of a simpler time.

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First Linkup is Tuesday Tag-Along

Second Linkup is Shutter Love Tuesdays

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Random Thoughts and Praises

Does Minnesota ever get really hot?
90's or 100's Fahrenheit?
This lemonade looks very refreshing today
for it felt almost
"hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk"!
 It's going to be hotter tomorrow.
So thankful for air conditioning.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17
I spent the day quietly.  Extra time in the Word this morning.  A couple of phone calls to friends who I haven't talked to for awhile.  Getting things put back in order.  All our company has gone home.  Though we loved having each and every one of them here, we admit to being just a little tired.  (For the last 6 weekends in a row we have had overnight company staying with us. The last two weeks we have had company. And the 4 weekends before the last 6, in which we had overnight company, were filled with graduation events.) Yesterday after church we all took very long naps.  A few days ago, I thought that this upcoming week would still be a little busy, because I would be attending one Bridal Shower, and co-hosting a Baby Shower at church for about 60-70 people the next night!  But, in just a few days time, both events have been wiped off of my schedule.  This morning, I spent quite a bit of time planning out my week, so that I could get everything done and, especially, not forget anything.  About 11:30 a.m., I got a phone call and found out that, due to scheduling conflicts, the Baby Shower which my friend and I were going to be hosting on behalf of our church was going to be postponed until the end of the summer.  I sat down, took out my notebook and looked at my schedule for today and this week, and found myself checking things off, saying, "Don't have to do that...don't have to do that...don't have to do that..."

Remember last week when I re-posted the article about not worrying or fretting because, in my past experience, God has always canceled something whenever I felt overwhelmed or He thought it was going to be "too much"?
Well, He did it again!
I guess He thought I needed a break.
(or...maybe He has other work for me to do?)

Today, though....I went outside...
sat on the deck in the shade...
and read a book.
It is the first time all summer
that I have done that!!
It was wonderful.

Tonight, friends came by to borrow our chairs
and a table for their youngest daughter's wedding,
a small family affair,
which will take place on Saturday.
We heard again how God has marvelously brought
their daughter and her husband-to-be together, 
how wonderfully matched they are
and what a blessing it has been for
the whole family
and all the little ways God has been doing
"abundantly above" all they could
ask or think. We have been praying for a few years
for God to bring around her "special one," in His time.
We are reminded of the
perfectness of God's timing, and
how He continues to show His
love to His children in very special ways.
The girl's mom assured me, as she left, of her
continued prayers for "others."
(near and dear to us...)
Seeing God answer prayers so beautifully,
rejoices the hearts of those who've been praying,
and gives hope to those who are
still waiting for their "special one".
We know that God's timing is perfect,
and we are so grateful for the ways He's shown His
love and for all He has given.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
 Ephesians 3:20-21
Hope you're all having a great start to your week, and realizing in a special way God's amazing grace and love for you!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gorgeous Blooms

Calla lily

I love summer!
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Food Friday: Mexican Dip!

Tonight Dane and Kelsey are having a few kids over for their traditional Game Night while my 20-year-old nephew is here.  I was reminiscing about last year's event, when they'd invited a bigger group. That was the day that I discovered a wonderful new recipe!  I had been looking for something easy to add to the "goodies" they were serving, since it turned out that everybody could come!  You know how that is:  you invite a whole bunch of people, thinking that not everyone will be able to come, and then, lo and behold, everyone's free that night!!  Well, I found this super easy recipe, and it turned out to be absolutely delicious!!  So, here it is:

Mexican Dip (from Kraft Kitchens)
Yield: 24 (2Tbsp each) servings
Ingredients: You can also use regular instead of low fat ingredients, and I'm sure we did!
1 (8 oz) pkg of 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp taco seasoning (we make our own--click on the link to go to my recipe for Mexican Lasagna and the recipe for our taco seasoning!)
1 cup thick'n chunky salsa (we use Tostitos original salsa--medium)
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1 cup lettuce, shredded
2 Tbsp black olives, pitted and sliced

1.  Beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. (I used my hand mixer.) Add taco seasoning; beat until well blended.  Spoon into medium serving bowl.

2.  Add salsa, beans, onions and 1/2 cup of the cheese; stir until well blended.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, lettuce and olives.  Cover.

3.  Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.  Serve with cut-up fresh vegetables. (We served it with tortilla chips, and it was wonderful!)

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Meeting New Friends on Friday!

New Friend Fridays
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I haven't felt like I've talked to all of you this week, so I'm looking forward to getting back here and connecting again--It's been a crazy week, but it's Friday!!
 So, Welcome, Dear Friends and New Visitors!
Before I post my Food Friday Recipe of the Week, (Look here later today!) I thought I'd link up to hopefully meet some new friends! Please take some time and read a few posts before you leave and become a follower or subscriber, if you like what you see here! And don't forget to leave me a comment, so I can come by and visit you!  I love meeting new friends!
Update on our week:
We have had company staying with us for a week now: my brother and nephew came two weeks ago tomorrow, and then friends (a young couple with their 3-month-old baby) arrived on the following Wednesday and left Tuesday.  My brother and nephew will be leaving to go back home to Florida tomorrow. Needless to say, it's been a little busy around here! So, this past week I've been re-posting some favorite articles which I wrote a year or so ago, which you may have not read, or if you have, contain messages which we need to be reminded of (me included!)  Also, I posted my 4th of July/Independence Day Photos! Which I'm sure you will enjoy! 
Today, my kids are working, my brother's with my mom, my nephew is here with me, and it's a little quieter, so I thought I'd try and participate in the bloghops, and post my recipe of the week!
For those of you who are new here, please go here, to find out more about me and this site, or you can click on the topics on the linkbar above or on the Topics on the Sidebar which especially interest you!
There's something for everyone!
Favorite Subjects of mine are:

 Oh...and, I hope you'll be blessed!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Photos from the 4th of July!

Finally, as promised, here is a slideshow of photos from the Fun Independence Day Celebration we attended on the 4th of July!  Thanks so much, Greg, Rhonda, Jennie, Sarah, Chase, and Paul!  It was an awesome day!!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love and Marriage: Worth Waiting For (Fruitful Lives)

We have had company staying with us for a week now: my brother and nephew came a week ago Saturday, and then friends (a young couple with their 3-month-old baby) arrived last Wednesday and left yesterday.  My brother and nephew will be with us until Saturday. It's a little busy around here! So, I decided this week I would re-post some articles which I have written in the past, which you may not have read, or if you have, contain messages which we need to be reminded of (me included!) and I think you will enjoy! 
Please continue to comment, as I am checking my blog daily, and love the encouragement of your prayers and comments! I'm thinking about all of you and praying for you!

The following was a very popular post almost a year ago, and also shows us an example which I wish we saw more often of "love and marriage".  As I am in the process of planning a baby shower for Rachel, who recently gave birth to a little baby girl, I thought it appropriate to share about, and think, once again on the beginnings of Derek and Rachel's life together!

Mr. K and Rachel

Derek (in uniform)
Preparing for his Bride
These past few days we've had the joy of meditating on marriage once more as Saturday we attended Derek and Rachel's wedding--the 4th wedding that we've attended and served at this summer! Two days earlier we'd also had the pleasure of attending what the groom's family calls a "Celebration Dinner." I love this custom they've established in their family! Let me tell you about it! When one of the T family's sons marries (this is the third), instead of hosting a groom's dinner or rehearsal dinner, they host a celebration dinner celebrating all that God has done, and honoring and sharing with 100 or so of their closest friends and family: people who've been special to, or invested in the lives of, the bride and groom and their families. It's an intimate evening of loving God and family, with the special theme of gratefulness.
On this past Thursday, the bride and groom and the groom's family, especially, expressed humble gratitude and honor to God, their family and friends. The couple each shared their salvation testimony, retold the story of their courtship and engagement, and the father of the groom charged his son with the seriousness of what he was about to do--he shared from scripture and gave his son a personal challenge, designed specifically for him, to help him as he begins his new role as husband and leader of his own family, and is no longer under the authority of his father, but is now in a relationship of receiving counsel.

It was a very moving evening. There was an intimacy--a warmth, a closeness--in this evening, that was not present even at the wedding. It was a great privilege to be able to share in this special event.  Derek and Rachel shared the story of how God had led them to each other: the patience and trust it had taken waiting for God's leading and timing; and the importance of the parental counsel, prayer and involvement from both of their parents.
Marriage is a serious step, a serious commitment, not to be entered into lightly. Marriage is forever. Mr. T., the father of the groom, exhorted his son, Derek, to be a "good fighter," an appropriate charge in light of the fact that Derek had just finished Boot Camp this past year and is now in the Marine Reserves. Mr. T. told Derek that he must fight against three enemies and to remember Rachel is never the enemy. He must fight against:  his own selfishness (it would not be "my own" time, money, etc., anymore); fear (am I going to have enough work--how will I provide?); and lies (the world, media and people would be attacking the way they live and the choices they make, and speaking lies every day).

And he exhorted him to fight for three things. He counseled Derek to fight for his family, for truth, and for what is right. He shared from the book of Nehemiah and used the example of the building of the wall, in which each family was building right where they were:  at the same time they were fighting their enemies with one hand, they were building with the other.

Then, on Saturday, the day of the wedding, two things especially impressed me.
  • During the wedding reception, as Derek sincerely thanked his parents, he expressed the desire that he might become like his father someday. The bride and groom honored their guests and parents by coming to the microphone and addressing them, taking time to express their gratitude: to their guests for coming to the wedding, and to their parents for how they'd been raised, (and to each other's parents for raising someone so wonderful).  They thanked their parents for all the sacrifices, for everything they had done--it was very special. And the K family publicly thanked all the people who had helped serve (especially Mrs. D. who had planned and orchestrated the serving of the meal, and had been responsible for overseeing everyone and everything--a mammouth undertaking).
  • The second thing which especially impressed me was that Rachel's family, which now included Derek, sang and played their instruments for the 650 guests who attended the outdoor wedding. It was meaningful to me that the couple took time to give something special back to all who were there, not only unselfishly standing in line to talk to each and every one of their guests--before they ate anything themselves--but also sharing music in an unhurried "mini-concert." It was something I've never seen before--the wedding couple getting up during the reception, singing and playing instruments as a family--the bride in her wedding dress--for the enjoyment of the wedding guests.

A Grateful Bride and Groom Expressing their Gratitude

...and Singing
Gratitude, honor, humbleness, unselfishness, love of family, faithfulness to God and your mate--these were the themes at Derek and Rachel's wedding:
a great way to start out life together!
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spiritual Attack and Fretting (Part 2): Timely Tips on Tuesday

Reading from Psalms and Proverbs is excellent, but God never ceases to amaze me also by using whatever Scripture is on the schedule in my daily reading plan (I use the "Read Through the Bible in a Year" plan from Discipleship Journal) to speak directly to my heart and situation.

Help for Fretting
God also uses unique and personal ways to teach me and this is how He did it this time:
  1. First, He reminded me that every time I feel truly overwhelmed, and am sure there's absolutely no way I can accomplish all I have to do, He answers my cry for help by removing some upcoming thing I've been fretting aboutOne or all of my responsibilities or scheduled events is canceled because of an illness, or weather, or something (e.g. "Major snowstorm shuts down all travel in Minnesota.") This has happened so often that I have almost come to expect it!  Which in some strange way has helped me not to worry!  What's to worry about if God is going to cancel everything before it happens anyway?!  But He had to remind me of this in my Quiet Time on Monday morning. Then, later in the day, He confirmed this rebuke of my fretting when He allowed my daughter to come down with strep throat! (Not that I'm rejoicing that my daughter got sick!) But, this canceled the event I'd been fretting about: dinner guests coming Wednesday night!
  2. Then, on Tuesday, God sat me down and gave me a "talking-to"! And He used my very own words to do it, as I exhorted and encouraged a friend on the phone "to lean on the Lord, to trust Him to help her, to not grow weary in well-doing and to finish the course well and persevere."  Everything I needed to hear and do myself! In giving me the opportunity to help someone else, God helped me. (Isn't He wonderful?!) 
  3. God finished off this lesson on fretting when He used the words of people close to me to humble me, and I felt very broken, but when I went to my knees before Him, I was now in a very teachable state, as I cried out to Him in prayer. I realized and remembered, there on my knees, that I have been asking for "grace" a lot lately, and that in the Bible, God says, "He giveth grace to the humble." ("But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:6-7)  Instead of worrying and fretting, I needed to be humble and accept the grace that is mine through Christ, and believe that "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)  So, I thanked Him for the trials I had recently come through and the painful, humbling words I had just received, because they were the prerequisites for the grace that I'd been praying for and needed.
God was good to show me that He loves me, He has everything under control, and there's nothing to worry about!

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Spiritual Attack and Fretting (Part 1): Timely Tips on Tuesday

Read "Spiritual Attack and Fretting (Part 2)".
We have had company staying with us for 10 days: my brother and nephew came a week ago Saturday, and then friends (a young couple with their 3-month-old baby) arrived last Wednesday and left this morning. My brother and nephew went to my sister's for the weekend, but came back yesterday and will be with us until Saturday. It's a little busy around here!

So, I decided this week I would re-post some articles which I have written in the past, which you may not have read, or if you have, contain messages which we need to be reminded of (me included!) and I think you will enjoy! I'll also try to post some photos throughout the week, as time permits. Please continue to comment, as I am checking my blog daily, and love the encouragement of your prayers and comments! I'm thinking about all of you and praying for you!

The following is an article I wrote last September, at a very, very busy time and one in which I was fighting spiritual attack and the temptation to fret and worry! Here is what God taught me during that time! (Thank You so much, Lord!)
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"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:1

Sometimes I forget about spiritual attack.  I mean, I know it's there in a general sense.  But, sometimes I don't recognize it in my own life.  I don't see that that's what I'm experiencing.  ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12)

We should not be surprised when we experience an attack, especially after winning a spiritual victory or bearing much fruit. But we must remember that God is our helper and protector. And sometimes we're attacked just before God's going to use us in some important way.
Help in a Spiritual Attack
Our family can always expect attack when my husband is scheduled to preach. This week is no exception. (It's a reminder to me to pray for the families of our elders, who preach every week! My husband, not a full-time preacher, is filling in for Mr. T., whose son is getting married on Saturday.) I have also noticed that we can expect to be attacked in the very area about which my husband is preaching! Guess what subject he is preaching on?  Love. Yes, he is scheduled to preach on 1 Corinthians 13:  "the love chapter" of the Bible. The form that the attack has taken in my life is in discouragement, making me feel unloved by those closest to me, and feeling a failure in loving them. But, praise be to God, I have found great help in two ways:
  • First, by going off to my bedroom (my "prayer closet"), shutting the door behind me, getting down on my knees next to my bed, and crying out to the Lord. This is a very important counter-attack. 
"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear,
what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations, is there trouble anywhere?
We must never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer."  
  • Second, during a spiritual attack, I've found it is crucial to bathe myself in the Word of God.
It's very encouraging. Here are some passages that have helped me lately:

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me..."
Psalm 55:16-18

"Trust in him at all times; ye people,
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah."
Psalm 62:8
"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice:
let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait,
and in His Word do I hope." 
Psalm 130:1-2, 5

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
and thy coming in from this time forth,
and even forevermore."
Psalm 121

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Manage It (Victorious in Christ) Monday: You Are Not Alone

We have had company staying with us for a week now: my brother and nephew came a week ago Saturday, and then friends (a young couple with their 3-month-old baby) arrived on Wednesday. My brother and nephew went to my sister's for the weekend, and will come back tonight.  The young couple and baby will be leaving tomorrow morning, but my brother and nephew will be with us until Saturday.  It's a little busy around here!  So, I decided this was a good time to re-post some articles which I have written in the past, which you may not have read and we need to be reminded of their message (me included!) and that I hope you will enjoy.  I'll also try to post some photos throughout the week, as time permits.  Please continue to comment, as I am checking my blog daily, and would love the encouragement of your prayers and comments! I'm still thinking about all of you and praying for you!
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You Are Not Alone
Are you trying to "go it alone," so to speak? Do you ever think you're the only one whose boat is threatening to capsize with waves 10 feet tall on the rough sea while everyone else's is just sailing through on a sea of glass with a gentle breeze at their back? Well, I have news for you, my dear Christian friend: It's a lie from the devil! One of satan's favorite tricks is to make Christians think that everybody else has it all together, and they're the only one with any problems. We feel compelled to hide our "warts" and cover up any known or supposed "defects." We feel we must "look good" and appear perfect to everyone, especially other Christians! Satan tries to discourage us into thinking that no one else faces what we face. No one else is tempted, no one else needs prayer, no one else has sinful habits they're trying to overcome, no one else has any of the problems that we have. Everyone else's family acts lovingly to each other ALL THE TIME! Everyone else's children obey them the first time they speak! Everyone else's husband worships the ground they walk on, and their children rise up and call them blessed every morning! Right?
No, it's not true. We're all imperfect, until we step on heaven's shore and see our beloved Savior face to face. Every once in awhile, I open up and accidentally become transparent, unknowingly, and find out, "I'm not the only one"! I'm not the only one who feels like this! Here I thought she never had any problems, or she always responds to her problems with the perfect attitude, and come to find out, she's thinking the same thing about me (or other people)! Satan wants us to think, "She never struggles like me." Because that keeps us apart, and it keeps our eyes on ourselves, instead of on Christ, Who is the Only One Who can help us. Everyone struggles sometimes.
We need to pray for one another. It's not necessary to tell the details of sin, and we shouldn't be disloyal to our spouse or children, but don't be afraid to ask for prayer. We need to lift one another up to the throne of grace and to intercede for one another. You're not alone. 
"Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trip to Alexandria--More Photos!

Alyssa and Kelsey
Amy, Ana, Alyssa--and Fighting the Wind!
After a hot, windy day, Ice Cream was great!

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