Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy Fell Apart

I hear him playing...his different voices
                                                               his giggling

         his contented play...............then he

This seasoned mom knows it isn't a hurt scream, no blood, not an emergency....but what?  So I ask, "what is wrong?"

In his character voice he says, "it is him screaming!"


                   Because his Mommy fell apart!!!

I burst out laughing as I glanced on the mommy now with her parts spread across the floor....I know how she feels at times.  Notice her arms of surrender.  I know that position well, I am using it a lot with my adult children...I give,  you know better, I surrender.  She does still has her ears in place with nice green shoes, but she is in for a "make-over".

The potato head son....well he put her back together.

What do you think?  I think that sums it up for most of us moms....there are just days that we can't see straight and this entering menopause mother is starting to also have a beard!
Now where are my glasses?

Have a great day....I hope you don't lose any parts!  My Simple Pleasure....Child's Play.
;Project Simple Pleasures2

Prayers are being lifted for all the ones who were affected by the horrible storms here in the South...from Texas up, prayers for the loss of life (200 at this count) and property.  I will not blog the rest of this week so I can spend time in prayer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We Were Part of History

I believe all creativeness comes for our Creator, Gen. 1:1, not from our own abilities, therefore, I celebrate creativity.  This past weekend we were able to be part of a very creative idea.  In our birth city (we all had not been back in years) we were able to enter into a world event.  Our family is a musical family, which brought an even greater depth of enjoyment.  So mulitple generations...ages 95 to 5 entered into this memory-maker event.
Click on Play Me and you can see this project all over the world.
My Hubby, who writes and composes music.

Pianos were spread through out our home town inviting you to come play.  Over 400 have been played around the world as an art project inviting everyone to play and decorate the pianos.

My daughter who writes, composes and leads praise and worship music.

Right along the Colorado River in Austin, Texas,  music was sent into the air.

My son who can play any instrument put before him, yet hates to play for an audience.

Music Filled the Air!

My son with the heart of a rock star and loves being in front of people...he is at home in the world of music.

Psalm 150:3-6 (New International Version, ©2011)

3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
   praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
   praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
   praise him with resounding cymbals.
 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
   Praise the Lord.

My daughter who loves an audience and boldly played for everyone and talked to everyone

We only had time to locate four of the fourteen displayed throughout the city. Check out the web page telling about this project all over the world.  Now I am researching all events that might be coming near us this spring and summer.  What a way to be part of history and create memories!!

Truly our God is a creative God....let's enjoy His creations!

Play Me I'm Yours...Austin...click to see web page.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another Month of 5's

Well this family just had to continue the theme of  5's (click 5 to read), which I shared in January.  April brings another month of three birthdays - yes, we have three birthdays in January and three in April, only two of our children have their own birthday month.(they also didn't fit in the 5's this year)

Here are our otters!!  Yes, I have discussed their part in our family and they are all April birthdays.  Otters, Lions, Golden Retrievers - Oh My. (click title to read)

Now for the 5's - Son  turned 25!!!

Daughter - multiple of 5 - 20!!!!

Greatest Dad and Husband ever - and still on the parenting and husband journey 57!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Happy Birthday to our April Otters!!!                                                    We couldn't laugh without you!
Yes, one celebrated a birthday on Good Friday and another on Easter....we had a full weekend!  We had the joy of celebrating birthdays and Easter with my 95 year old mother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew's family.  I hope you all had a great Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jesus Sang at Passover

image from photo bucket

This yearly celebration of Passover was different as Jesus assembled his disciples in the upper room.  He led his disciples in one of the Seven Jewish Feasts, which he observed throughout his life. (Luke 2:41) During the evening meal, Jesus led his disciples in singing of Psalms.  Tradition suggests they sang through seven hymns called the Hallel, which means "Praise God".  These songs were from Psalms 115-118.  The final hymn, called the Great Hallel, Psalms 136 was sung last. (some sources differ on which Psalms)

Jesus sang before Golgotha.

Mark 14:26 "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
also in Matt. 26:30

Everyone in Jerusalem that evening sang the same hymns as Christ!  He, the author, sang his own compositions.  Jesus was singing about his own fulfillment of these hymns. The angels heard the singing  throughout Jerusalem being led by the author. Is that not a visual?  Doesn't this make you just stop in your tracks and shout Hallelujah to the King?

As I read through these scriptures this year, preparing for Passover and Easter, I was just so moved to imagine my God singing.  He was encouraging himself in songs, he was singing about himself.  He engaged in singing Psalms before His darkest hour.

Psalm 118:22-23 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and will worship the Lord.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord, in the very presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord’s house – within you, Jerusalem.  Hallelujah! (Psalm 116:17-19).

I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and put me in a spacious place.  The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  With the Lord for me as my helper, I will look in triumph on those who hate me (Psalm 118:5-7).

I will not die, but I will live and proclaim what the Lord has done.  The Lord disciplined me severely but did not give me over to death (Psalm 118:17-18).

Heb. 2:12 - " I will declare your name to my brother. In the midst of the assembly, I will sing praise to you."

During this season of remembering our Christ, may you sing!  May you lift your voice; may you enter into His courts with songs of praise.  May we see our Saviour singing over us.  I hope you have time to re-read these Psalms with the thoughts of Christ singing them before he went to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

My family's Seder meal last year, just click on Seder and it will take you to the post.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday - At the Sound of His Great Name!

photo bucket picture

John 12:12-13 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, {13} Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 21:1-7 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, {2} Saying unto them,Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. {3} And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.{4} All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, {5} Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. {6} And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, {7} And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

This is another artist which we heard last week. This song just brought us all to our feet and our hands lifted high....at the sound of His great name.  This video is only the lyrics and the song.  Jesus- Worthy is the Lamb!

If you don't care to listen here are the lyrics:
Your Great Name

[Verse 1:]
Lost are saved; find their way; at the sound of your great name 
All condemned; feel no shame, at the sound of your great name 
Every fear; has no place; at the sound of your great name 
The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of your great name 

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man 
You are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your great name 

[Verse 2:]
All the weak; find their strength; at the sound of your great name 
Hungry souls; receive grace; at the sound of your great name 
The fatherless; they find their rest; at the sound of your great name 
Sick are healed; and the dead are raised; at the sound of your great name 

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man 
You are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your great name 

Redeemer, My Healer, Almighty 
My savior, Defender, You are My King 

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man 
You are high and lifted up; that all the world will praise your great name

Blessings on this Palm Sunday and this week which holds Passover and Easter!  He is Risen!!

Last video for awhile...sorry, they just seemed to say what is on my heart, and I so enjoy music.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Light Up the Sky - Never Too Old

Saturday night, I had the joy of accompanying three of my children to an arena hosting Contemporary Christian artists performing praise to our God.  I have attended concerts like this in the past with my oldest children, but life has taken so many paths since then and I have missed attending these venues.  Saturday night I had my 20-year-old daughter, my 15-year-old son (and his friends) and my 5-year-old. We gathered with over 10 thousand to sing His praises.

My heart's cry, as I heard different performers that weren't my music style, was "Oh God, may I never grow too old to worship you and enjoy others' forms of praising you.  May I come to concerts with my believing grandchildren."  I couldn't understand all the lyrics, but I felt the Spirit of God penetrate throughout the large arena, which normally hosts professional sports and the biggest names in the entertainment field. Tonight, it was full of praise to our God.

When our five-year-old was asked by his Dad how the concert was and what it was like...these were his words...

"It was all Jesus, Jesus and Jesus.  He lights up the sky!"

My heart just jumped - my five-year-old got the message of the night.  Each artist was glorifying Jesus through their songs and testimonies.  Hymns were sung in the middle of Contemporary Christian worship songs.  Mercy Me led  I Can Only Imagine.

I could imagine heaven...all the praises from all the countries, all the different generations.  Charles Wesley, Fannie Crosby, Horatio Spafford, (the writers of the hymns) Natalie Grant, Mercy Me,(contemporary Christian artists) my grandmother, and all believers worshiping before the throne.

This video was played while the artist sang the song.  It is worth watching even if you don't care for the style of music....as my five-year-old has been communicating this message since the concert. If I could send everyone a firecracker with the message of "Light this when you are in your darkest hour,  I am with you!"....  I would - He is with us! (watch until the end of video to understand!!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Peter, Oh Peter

google picture
Continuing on my heart preparation walk to the Empty Grave, I have focused on the 12 disciples this season.  Peter seemed to jump from the pages of the accounts of Jesus' life.  Everyone should be able to relate to some characteristics of Peter.  I know the Lord picked this handful of 12 in order to show us how much He loves us, because in the assortment of characters we can all relate.

Characteristics of Peter from NIV and my own observations:

  • often spoke without thinking, was brash and impulsive
  • during Jesus' trial denied three times that he even knew Jesus
  • rebuked by Jesus "get behind me Satan"
  • later found it hard to treat Gentile Christian's as equal
  • had the courage to walk out to Jesus on the water
"I also say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."  Matt. 16:18

Bread and Wine - Turning   Henry Drummond (this is a small section of the devotional that brought me more understand of Peter and My Lord)
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter...and Peter went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22: 61-62
  --------  But there is something in Peter's life that is much greater than his sins.  It is his repentance.  We all too easily can relate to Peter in his sin, but few of us grasp the wonder of his repentance.  Sinful Peter is once man, and repentant Peter is another; and may of us who kept his company along those worn steps to sin have left him to trace the tear-washed path of repentance alone.  But the real lesson in Peter's life is one of repentance.
  What then can we learn from Peter's turning around?  First, it was not Peter who turned. It was the Lord who turned and looked at Peter. When the cock crew, that might have kept Peter from falling further.  But he was just in the very act of sin.  And when a person is in the thick of sin his last thought is to throw down his arms and repent.  So Peter never thought of turning, but the Lord turned.  And when Peter would rather have looked anywhere else than at the Lord, the Lord looked at Peter.  This scared-noticed fact is the only sermon needed to anyone who sins - that the Lord turns first.

  My prayer - Lord may I have the heart of repentance of Peter. Thank you Lord for turning first upon me.

Praise God the Lord turns first!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Benjamin's Kitchen - Blueberry Pound Cake

Last summer we made a trip to pick blueberries.
Mixing the blueberries with flour

 As we approach another season of blueberry picking, I - Benjamin, invite you into my kitchen to serve you a blueberry pound cake. 

 My mother loves making all kinds of cheesecakes and pound cakes.  She is trying to reduce some of the calories in a pound cake and here is our new favorite pound cake with blueberries.

Mom's 30 year old Kitchen Aid...she let me use it!

Benjamin's Blueberry Pound Cake

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light butter
12/ (8 oz) block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 egg white
3 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) carton lemon low-fat yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
cooking spray
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes)  Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Fold in blueberries mixture and vanilla..pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake - remove from pan.  Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake.

Calories - 287

Enjoy!!!! Until next time from Benjamin's Kitchen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Treasure Hunt

While we all continue our spring cleaning or in Jewish tradition the leaven removed from your house, we start to toss out things that aren't needed.  Spiritually looking to remove the leaven (sin) in our life is a good place to start, but physically we also clean out the extra items around our houses.

May of these items becomes someone else's treasures.  So Friday my husband and I went to visit a few garage sales.  This is they type of garage sale hunter I am -

  • I drive by first to see if anything looks promising from the safety of my car
  • If I see all baby items I drive to the next destination...making it a challenge to see how many garage sales I can go by in the shortest amount of time
  • I don't talk to the people...yes I am very anti-social...I am out for the hunt, not a new friendship - keep head down
  • I move through the garage sale at record speed, finding any treasures in just seconds
  • I don't bargain with the people
Now when I go with my husband I must put all my strategies away.  Here is how he conquerors garage sales -

  • This is a venue for meeting people - he will talk to everyone and have their life's  stories in just a few minutes.  By the time he in the middle of his conversation I have already retreated to the car.  Stashed in the car are my Starbucks Chia Tea and a book...making the wait bearable
  • He will look at everything, pick up, ask questions
  • Finalizing his final decisions (mine have already been made and pointed out to him) he will start his negotiations - remember the garage sale owners are now his newest best friends
  • He will return to the car with his treasures - we will move forward, only getting to about half the number of garage sale viewings I would have in the same amount of time
So on Friday I had the delight of my husband accompanying me to some of the treasured garages sales produced after spring cleaning.  With him by my side I have to dump my strategies and use his assets.  He returned to the car with stories to tell and bargain treasures for his wife.

My Simple Pleasures this Week.....My Garage Sale Treasures
Two Vintage Tablecloths and 16 napkins...both cloths because I needed the napkins.
My Garage Sale Hero - asking $18.00 he negotiated for $10.00
Two night stand lamps.  The marble matches the tops of my dresser.  The antique brass leaves match the glass on the dresser, side tables and armoire.
Both lamps, without shades, which I will design myself - Bargain $5.00 total for two

A Friday morning of treasure hunting with my Hubby - Priceless - A Pure Simple Pleasure.

Project Simple Pleasures2

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Preparing for the Greatest Love Gift

 I am continuing to prepare my children and myself for the cross.  The greatest love gift ever given and the victory that comes from the Risen Lord becomes my daily focus.

I go and pull out our banner that reminds us of the road to the cross.  In early parenthood, my husband bought me the book, "Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays" by Ann Hibbard.  She gives the instructions for making the banner and devotionals for the road to Calvary. We start at the fall and continue through the Bible reading God's redemptive story.  We finish with the victory of the empty grave.

On Easter morning we flip over the banner and go through the house shouting,  "He Has Risen".  The flip side shows Jesus with his hands open wide having conquered the grave.   Praise and Worship music fills the air.

Along this journey to the cross, we also read other books that remind us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins.  Each child was given a book for Easter and they are enjoyed by all. (2011 my personal focus has been on the different personalities of the disciples...how I am like them, doubting and denying)

Since passover season usually arrives during this time, we also celebrate the Feast of Passover, like Jesus celebrated.  We learn about seeing Christ in the Seven Jewish Feasts.  Some years, we fully celebrate the feasts and at other times, we merely read about them.

This year I will read "the greatest story ever told" to Benjamin from his new Bible.  The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones. This Bible is for ages 0-9, one of the best I have ever used with my children.

As I guide my children to the cross, I will also examine my walk with the Lord.  "Taste and See" by John Piper is helping me see my Saviour in a more intimate way. (This is a re-post from last year so this year I am going through Bread and Wine.)

As we enjoy spring, we also anticipate the EMPTY GRAVE!!!

Last years Seder Meal post - click - Passover Meal
Embracing the Season of Resurrection Life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

May I Pray! May I Knock! May I Enter Your Gates with Thanksgiving!

As I continue to look forward to the celebration of Passover and Easter I am stepping back to prepare my heart.  Unlike other celebrations through the year I don't spend much time decorating, but I take that time to focus on my walk with the Lord.
This piece on prayer is from my pastor Matt Chandler.  He is walking through brain cancer, as we all petition through prayer, believing for his healing.  I believe you will be encouraged by this very short exhortation on prayer.
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