Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Granny and Cecilia Make Cinnamon Bread

Another Granny movie for the whole family to enjoy....and this time she has a special guest with her - her daughter Cecilia.  As they get creative in the kitchen, they always seem to have silly things happen, so be sure to be stay tuned and laugh right along with them!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gracious and Marvelous Father

August means back to school.  Around this time in 2009 I was a frazzled mess. 

Every year I try to have a schedule for each child to follow just to alleviate some of the problems that can occur during our home school day.  Of course, I allow for flexibility.  As I see problems with it, I try to remedy them somehow.  Two weeks into home schooling I was working the schedule.  It was hot and humid.  We started our day on time (8:00 a.m.), but by 1:00 p.m. I was still at the kitchen table with a headache, no glimmer of hope for being finished the school day anytime soon, and no idea what to do about lunch.  I had to go food shopping.  My plan for a smooth school year was quickly falling apart.  Just as the overwhelming feeling of frustration was hitting me, my husband called to see how my day was going.  After I explained my hopeless state, he said encouragingly, "Why don't you go out for lunch?  It's pay day."  Happily I accepted this option.  I wanted to go somewhere fast, but when we got to the place, it had closed down.  Disappointed, I opted to go somewhere healthy.  We ended up at Saladworks.

Each child placed their order with the salad dressing all mixed into the salad and a fountain drink.  After all it was pay day.  :)  When it came time to pay for the order, I couldn't find my debit card.  "That's okay," I thought, "I'll put up my credit card."  So I did put up my credit card.  The man took the credit card and swiped it through his contraption.  Uh-Oh!  The card was denied.  My husband put a stop to it because of some activity that was on it that we did not apply to it.  "No problem," I thought to myself, "I'll just use the other one we have."  Uh-Oh, again!  That credit card had expired.  You can tell I hate shopping.  Now I have a problem.

Whispering to my children, who were very well behaved and dressed this time, "You have to pray.  I don't know how I am going to pay for this meal."  In a  polite and calm manner, I told the person behind me to go in front of us as I tried to scrounge up enough money in my purse to pay for the order.  This continued to happen for at least five customers, I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life.  The whole time I was asking the Lord for help.  I figured if we handed back the fountain drinks, we may be able to find enough money.  I kept searching and searching.  Whew!  I found $5.  "Thank You, Lord."  I kept searching.  I found a bunch of change.  "Oh, thank You, Lord!  I found another dollar.  Wow!"  I had no idea I had so much money in my purse.  Encouraged by how much money I found in my purse believing God was answering my prayer, I counted the money hoping I had enough --almost but not quite. 

What was the solution going to be?  At that time, I couldn't see a way out.  I couldn't even run to a bank and get money out of an ATM machine. "Where was my debit card?"  That question was still haunting me as well.  "I guess I'll have to cut lettuce or do dishes to pay for the meal," kept going through my mind.  Just as I was getting ready to humbly tell the man I didn't have enough money to pay for the meal, a lady dress in a beautiful bright purple shirt interjected holding out her hand, "I want you to enjoy your meal."  I could see in her hand she held a scrolled up dollar bill.  I graciously told her everything would be fine, and I couldn't take the money.  I thought it was a dollar or two.  I needed more than a dollar or two.  She kindly but insistently said again, "I want you to enjoy your meal."  I could see she meant to help, so I accepted the money and gave her a big hug.  As I unraveled the money, I saw it was a twenty dollar bill.  Immediately tears filled up in my eyes.  The man behind the counter could see how moved I was by her kindness and tried to help me out by saying, "These things happen all the time, Ma'am."

"Not to me," I replied.  I knew God had answered my pray so plainly.   I told the children to find the woman dressed in purple.  She was going to eat lunch with us, but she had disappeared.  The man behind the counter was so kind to me, he even took our trays to a table, and without me even saying a word, he turned off the stupid soap opera on the t.v.  I was glaringly still touched by this incident even though I tried to stop crying.  God had clearly heard my prayer.

Unable to eat, I kept rumaging through my purse to find the debit card.  My son finally said, "Mom, the lady said she wants you to enjoy your meal."

"I know," I said.  "It is such a beautiful story.  I want to tell your father all about it, but when he hears I lost the debit card, that's where the story will end."   I determined to put the debit card problem behind me and enjoy the meal.  Then it hit me.  How could I be so crazy?!  I had given my debit card to my parents to buy food at the food store in the morning.  That's why I didn't have it on me.  Oh, it truly is a beautiful story!

My son then said, "Mom, if she knew what you did with the debit card, she would not have given you the money."

I said, "It's just like God's grace to us.  Even though we are helpless and don't deserve any good thing, He still grants it to us."  What a marvelous heavenly Father I have.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Have a Good Day!

"And lead us not . . . ."  How often do we really want to be lead?  How often do we think to let God do the leading?  Does he really lead?

In Jesus model prayer he tells us to pray for guidance.  Have you ever been presented with the dilemma of wishing to share the good news with a stranger, but not knowing which person is the right one? Such a situation was the case for my husband last week.  He only had one gospel tract left and wanted it to go to the right person.  He whispered a quick prayer that went something like this:  "Show me who I should share this good news with, Lord."  Moments later he saw a lady walking her dog.  At first he said, "I think I already gave her a tract," but as she approached him he knew it was a different lady.  As they crossed paths, they exchanged pleasantries and at the end of their short conversation she said, "Have a good day."  At that moment my husband knew what the Lord was saying.  He pulled out the above tract in the photo out of his pocket, and as he handed it to her he said with full assurance, "Funny you should say that.  'Have a Good day!'"

God will lead if we let Him.  Praise the Lord for answered prayer.

Who Can Change $1?

All too familiar to all of us is the rising cost of everything; everything, that is, except our paychecks.  Remember the "change we can believe in?"  Try going four years without a raise,or how about a pay decrease.  (No change in our pockets.)  That's what we were looking at during the time of this story.

In October 2012 the mayor of our city announced he was going to give city workers a raise to cover the rising cost of health care.  When January rolled around and we received the pay stub, we were $60 behind our initial pay cut.  Some raise you say.  Well, we were still thankful that we were not behind even more, but we did scratch our heads wondering how creative we could be this year.  True to form the new year also brings resolutions.

My husband likes to give the Lord more money than the year before as a thanksgiving offering.  This year was no different, but he was struggling with how much to give.  He told the Lord he was going to give just one dollar more each pay.  The very week he implemented his decision a letter came in the mail from the city congratulating him.  The letter shockingly stated that he would not have to pay any money for his healthcare for the entire 2013 year.  The city would assume the costs.  Praise be to God!

To us it is so clear that God blessed his faith.  It is just too wonderful. I don't need to believe in "change," rather I need to believe in my God.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Breakfast Burritos with Granny & Polly

For those of you waiting for more Granny and Polly, watch this creative comedy on how to make "SUPERB" breakfast burritos.  This recipe makes about 20 burritos and is delicious for any meal of the day.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You Can't Tell Me There Is No God!

He works on my behalf again.  Encouraged by my brother to tell you this story, I write the details to encourage you.  Do not cease to pray for those you love.  I have a God of wonder, a God of amazing power, and God of infinite influence over man.  I will not doubt Him.  I will praise His name and see Him prove Himself faithful over and over and over again.  He can be your God, too. "...Believe the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:31)

 For years my dear brother has turned his back on God.  Making a profession of faith in Christ alone as a child, he rebelled against him after high school.  All he could see was a list of do's and don'ts and hypocrisy, not a relationship with his Savior.  Of course, this was a concern of mine and other loved ones.  For many years this continued to be the case so much so that I wondered about his conversion.  On one occasion he even stated to me, "I don't want to hear any more of your religious mumbo, jumbo."  Horrified by this statement, I tried to hold back the tears.  Years went by with the statement ringing in my mind.

I would pray for my brother that God would draw my brother to Himself:  a genuine generic prayer, nothing specific.  Holidays came and went with no indication that God was working on my behalf until this Thanksgiving.  My family sat around the dining room table praising God for his blessings.  My brother's wife stated numerous blessings God bestowed upon her and then proceeded to say that she was afraid that God would take them away if she did something wrong.  Immediately I thought, "That's not my God.  She has wrong thinking."  I had to say something, and I did.  I tried to give her comfort in verses like Psalm 34.  It was at that moment my generic prayer changed to something more specific:  There needs to be spiritual growth.  I knew our church was having a Christmas program in December and all my children and I were in it.  If there was ever a time my brother and his wife would come to church, it would be this one time.  In my prayer journal I wrote on November 23, 2012 (the day after Thanksgiving), "E & C come to VBC Christmas Concert."  My children said to me, "they won't come" and I'm thinking "religious mumbo, jumbo" from the past.  Nevertheless, I believe God put it on my heart when he changed my generic prayer to something more specific, and acted on it.  I sent them a Christmas invitation in the mail.  I heard nothing until the night before the program:  They're coming!!!!!  Whew-who!  God worked.  They came.  Seeing this answer was thrilling to me.

Soon 2013 arrived.  My pastor preached a message on "fruit that remains"  and discipleship.  In that message the Holy Spirit was working in my heart and E & C came to mind.  I knew they were fruit that would remain.  In the journal of January 8, 2013 I wrote, "Help me with C.  I will trust you for fruit that remains. Give C a desire to know You better."  I believe God was working on my behalf.  As I continued to pray this way day after day, the Lord changed to prayer to be even more specific.  On January 25, 2013, I wrote, "Lord, please bring E & C to our church.  I believe they are fruit that will remain as You have shown me."  I was so sure that was the case I almost raised my hand in church on a Wednesday evening to ask the church family to pray with me this way.  For some reason I did not do it, and I'm glad I did not.  Meanwhile, unbeknown to me, my brother E was praying on a Friday evening on the very same week I was going to raise my hand to give that specific prayer request something like, "Lord, I want to go to the right church, but I don't know where the right church is.  Please show me."  The very next morning (Saturday) my pastor and his wife visited my brother and his wife.  Shocked by the Lord's complete and direct answer to his prayer, my brother knew God answered his prayer.  Never before had a pastor knocked on his door.  The timing was no coincidence.  He decided to come to my church the next day and has been coming ever since.  What he didn't know at the time was that God had answered my specific prayer as well.  He is presently growing and serving at VBC.  Now what rings in my mind is a quotation from my brother.  "This is exactly what I need.  I'm so glad I decided to come."  Over-joyed and with confidence there is no doubt in his mind or mine that God has heard our very specific, separate prayers.

Only God can forgive sins and give lasting joy.  All praise to God!  I have Him as mine!  You can, too.  I have a God who does miracles.  I tell you I know.  You can, too.  I have a God who loves me in spite of my sinful self.  This I know (John 3:16).  You can, too.  I have a God who paid my sin debt in full (Hebrews 10:6-18).  You can, too.  I have a God who is preparing a home for me in heaven (John 14:2-3).  You can, too.  Believe in only Him, not in self, money, church, works, prestige or appearances.  He alone will save you, too.  "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble". (James 4:6b)  I will not cease to pray for loved ones who need my God.  Because He is a God to me, You can't tell me there is no God.

"O thou that hearest prayer," (Ps. 65:2) let me praise You forever.  May others see you as God and believe You made them, believe You love them, believe You died and rose again for them, believe You want a relationship with them, and believe You want to be a God to them.  In Jesus precious, precious, precious name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Too Trivial?

Sometimes we neglect to make a simple request.  Sometimes we just don't think of it.  I wonder how many times I have missed the blessing because I didn't ask. 

Frank came home late in the evening only to discover he lost his check book.  Like most of us that meant he wouldn't be able to sleep well until he found it.  He and I searched everywhere we thought it could possibly be to no avail.  I called the doctor's office where he was in an attempt to see if he left the check book in the office.  Because of the late hour no one answered.  Finally, we sat at the kitchen table and prayed for help.  (We should have done that from the very beginning.)  It was just a short prayer, and in the middle of his prayer a quick thought came into my mind:  "in the light you will find it."  (In my mind that thought took me to the next thought "in the morning you will find it.")  Immediately upon saying "amen" to his prayer, a knock was at our front door. 

Who knocks at your door at 10 p.m.?  Looking out the front window, we saw it was a man.  Frank, my protector, opened the door as I stood behind him a little nervous.  Phew!  It was our neighbor.  He knocked to let us know we left the lighst on in our car and thought it might run the battery low if left all night.  We thanked him, and he continued walking his dog.  Frank went to take care of the problem, and then that thought, "in the light you will find it," came to mind.  I encouraged Frank to look through the car one more time.  Sure enough he found the book between the console on the passenger side of the car.  It must have slid while he was driving. 

Even before we asked God was working in our neighbor to act on our behalf.  What a wonderful God we serve.  He desires to meet our simple requests.  Nothing is too trivial for Him. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Herb Peddler Loves Lavender

Lavender success

Lavender salt scrub

Homemade lavender vanilla soap bars
She's up to her old herbs and adding something new this year.  What a wonder lavender is!  There is so many benefits to it.  After visiting a lavender farm this year, the peddler has made success growing lavender from seed.  Experimenting with lavender oil, oatmeal and soap was such fun!  It took days to dry, but it was worth it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Old Treasure - New Treasure

Look at the old treasure that showed up at my house the other day.  My parents used to read this to my siblings and me when we were young.  Now it is a new treasure for me to read to my children.  It has some terrific thought-provoking topics to get the whole family thinking.  Each short chapter has Bible references to look up and questions to discuss.  It's perfect for the whole family.  Check it out:  ISBN  0-8024-0061-2.Devotions for the Children's Hour