30 September 2008

Remember GOD; Forget the Guilt

Last week in my small group we talked about our priorities.

Yikes! The priorities talk! Guilt! But, maybe all moms feel self-reproach for not being able to do everything, though. Maybe all mothers feel weighed down with condemnation because as more kids have been added to the family, the priority list has slowly felt like less about what is eternally valuable and more about what errands, cleaning, and schoolwork absolutely must done and what emergencies must be taken care of today. Oh, the guilt guilt guilt of it all!

"Guilt is the source of sorrows, the avenging fiend that follows us behind with whips and stings." ~ Nicholas Rowe

"Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving." ~Erma Bombeck

It's no surprise what the priority list should look like.

Everybody knows what it's supposed to be, right?

It's actually pulling that off and still knocking out my own hauswife-homeschooler-and-mother-of-a-large-family to-do list that's the challenge. Somehow it feels like my things creep up the chart and God's stuff slips down.

Speaking of condemnation, I read somewhere recently that if we're not spending all day, every day in the Word that we should rethink our priorities. ACK! How disheartening! More fuel for the ol' guilt machine. As much as I would like to be a student of the Word in the original Greek and Hebrew, all day, every day, it's simply not possible for everyone, including me. I truly wish that it were.

So what does making God first and foremost look like?

Well, my Bible study beauties and I learned (again, not a new concept here) that making God our #1 priority means spending time in His presence every day. No excuses! It means giving Him Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication daily. The way to know and be close to God is to be in His Word, on my knees, Bible and notebook in hand, and with worship songs on my lips. Every day.

We talked about the concept of tithing our time to the Lord. Scripture says that a tithe (that 10% of my income -- I say of the gross, many disagree, but I won't digress on that particular polemic landmine right now) already belongs to God. It's holy, set apart, separate... meaning not mine, but His alone.

So, my time tithe, my quiet time, would also be holy, set apart, separate... meaning not my time, but His alone.

Michael and I have a devotional time with the kids every morning first thing. We pray, read the Bible, read a chapter of our book by Josh McDowell, then pray for our nephew Lincoln who has Down's Syndrome, Abby Riggs who is battling leukemia, Firewot, Abeba, and Teyiba, the three girls we're supporting in Ethiopia through World Vision, and then for our family, our church family, specific requests, praises, etc. Later, during our school day, the kids and I have individual Bible studies together.

But, this week I got busted.

None of that counts as my personal, private time with God on my face in worship. Confession: Some days, I have to say, my quiet time lasts about 5 minutes. Some days I don't even spend one minute alone. Ouch. It's high time for me to cut out whatever needs to be cut to protect that precious appointment. I need more time with the Father. BUT, hold the side order of guilt!

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8.1)

So, starting now I'm making God priority #1. Daily quiet time is a must. Guilt's getting flushed.

Whooeeee, what a relief! The luxury of delving into the Gospel 8 hours per day is not really an option at this time in my life, with the things that God has already called me to be and do. Being quietly alone with the Lord studying the Bible, giving him my time tithe every day is.

THANK YOU to those who've been praying for my Grandmother Ortlund this week as she's been so sick. I know she has really needed and appreciated the love, support, and supplication. As of last night she was feeling much better, getting release from the ICU hopefully today. Praise the Lord!

29 September 2008

A Little Monday Luau

We woke up to lighting, and thunder, and rain this morning, so we had a little luau to celebrate the beautiful weather God gave us... paka ua maika'i! Here are a few photos of our hula honeys.

(By the way, those are "I used the potty" stickers on the girls, and that's a wind-up toy brain on the ground. LOL!)

27 September 2008

So You Think You Can Dance!

That's right, we are going with the three older kids to tonight's show! We can hardly WAIT!

26 September 2008

The New Survivor

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes. There is no fast food. Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week. Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing. Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care. He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function. Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if... he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice. If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right...

to be called Mother!

(Thanks for this, Rox!)

25 September 2008

Cookies from Snakebite

Jackie and his fireman hero

Snakebite decided to express his thanks to the cool firemen who took us to the hospital after his encounter with the baby rattlesnake by bringing them homemade chocolate chip cookies and singing them a song. It goes a little somethin' like this.

(to the tune of "Edelweiss")

Firemen, firemen
Thanks for saving my liiiife
Without you I'd be dead
I'll be eternally grateful

Thanks for taking me to the ER
So I would not be dead foreeever

Firemen, firemen
Thanks for saving my liiiiiife!

Man, I just love my boy, Snakebite!

23 September 2008

Darth Vader Being a Jerk

OK, so everyone is tired of videos, but this one is a must watch. It was sent to us by Poppy. Even if you're not Star Wars crazies like us, you'll love it!

"Börk, börk, börk!"

22 September 2008

YouTube Homeschool Songs

I think this one, in particular, is hysterical. All you homeschool families, our secret is out!

21 September 2008

Entertaining an Angel

Almaz & Ray Ray in Ethiopia, August 2007

Have you ever met an angel?

And, I'm not talking about Earl.

Saving Grace's tobacco chewing, laid back, everyman angel is an interesting interpretation... except for the fact that he treats all religions and cults, isms and whatever else exactly the same, as if their gods are equal to and even the same as the Triune God of Holy Scripture. Yeah, just a tiny little hiccup. That's Heaven Hollywoodized.

I mean a real angel.

I have several experiences in my back pocket that I wonder about. Maybe in Heaven I'll recognize my kindergarten teacher, or the precious girl who heard me weeping in the Westmont chapel and came and prayed for me the day my mentor died. Maybe the nurse who was so kind to me when I was pregnant and very sick in the hospital afraid of losing my baby Margie was an angel in disguise. Maybe the Christian author who counselled Michael and I through a very tough season of loss of some important relationships was the real deal. That would make a lot of sense. That guy has got to be an angel! People like that make me consider the issue. The Bible says that we brush up against angels occasionally and may not even know it. So who are they?

I have some suspicions about a friend of ours.

Her name is Almaz. She was born in Ethiopia, and fled to Sudan with her brother as a pre-teen where she lived as a refugee for 5 years. She came to America, went to college and grad school and after 15 years here enjoying the blessings of being a full-fledged American, she heard the call of God to open an orphanage in Addis Ababa... which she did almost single-handedly.

She left her home, all the creature comforts, safety, and wealth of America to go back to her homeland and do what she could to help the masses of orphans there. Can you imagine doing that? It's beautiful!

She loves these tiny babies and older kids as if they were her own and works tirelessly to make sure they are nurtured, given plenty of clean water and food, clothed, educated if they're older, given medical attention, and she makes sure that they're hugged, and kissed, and loved... and she then matches these little ones with Forever Families.

Like us. Almaz held Ray Ray before we did. She held Grace, and Hope, and Caleb, and Daniel, and Miles, and Brenner, and Nina, and Ruby, and Silas, and Elijah, and Solomon, and Isaac, and Gracie, and Abraham, and so many others before their parents. She loved them before we did.

Her heart is huge. She's so passionate for Ethiopia's orphans.

This week we were enormously blessed with a visit from Almaz! Almaz, the Yateses (Almaz says "Yets"), the Paschalls ("Pssklls"), and our family (pronounced HOUSE-um with an "s" instead of a "z" she got right!) enjoyed an evening together at our home talking about Almaz's life, her work, what's going on in Ethiopia and at Hannah's Hope right now, what her vision is. It was absolutely awesome!

(Since I mentioned Almaz's beautiful Eetyopian accent I should mention that she very sweetly told me that I've been mispronouncing Ray Ray's birth name, Betelihem. Apparently, it's not Be-TELL-ee-hem, it's Bet-luh-HEEM. Nice mama, huh?)

Some of you know Almaz. Some of you have met her in Ethiopia when you were meeting your children for the first time. She tells me that she is not an angel, but I think when we get to Heaven we'll discover her secret.

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing
some have unwittingly entertained angels."
Hebrews 13.2

19 September 2008

Just Call Him "Snakebite"

Jackie: "Hey, Mama, you've got to come check out the snake that bit me!"

That's what I heard as soon as I pulled into the driveway coming home from horseback riding.

Jackie told me that he was out on his bike when he saw this cute little baby snake and thought he'd bring it home to show me. Sure, I've told him tens of times that I wouldn't BUY him a snake, but he thought that just maybe if he caught it would be OK to keep his little pet. So he grabbed the snake and rode home on his bike.

After playing with it for about 10 minutes, it got tired of all the fun and bit him. Jackie, my guy with a very high pain tolerance and not enough fear for an eight-year-old, just kept holding him until he noticed that his thumb was bleeding pretty badly and that it was starting to look like a plump Ball Park frank.

So, he put Baby Sammy the Snake (if it has a name, Mama will be far less likely to make you put it back, right?) down on the driveway and put a plastic bowl over the top. That's about the time that I drove up. Now, we've had our share of accidents, cuts, bumps, bruises and ouchies, and I tend to be the calm parent in emergency situations so I didn't really worry much at first. Not until I noticed that the cute little baby snake was shaking its little snakey bootie did I get concerned. Oh my, it just happened to be a rattlesnake.

A venomous rattlesnake.

And Jackie's thumbdog had become a Michelin Man hand. It's a good thing we have a fire department just across the road because after calling 911 they made record time arriving in less than 3 minutes. My helper, Rosie, stayed with the other four kids and Jackie and I hopped into the back of the ambulance and off we raced to the ER with the lights and siren blazing.

The EMTs told us that baby rattlers are actually far more dangerous because they've not yet learned how to release their venom in bursts, so they just inject their whole load at once.

That's why they were preparing the defribillation paddles just in case Jackie went into cardiac arrest.

And, that's why they were ready to intubate him in case his air passage closed up.

So, when we arrived in the ambulance at St. Joe's/ CHOC there was quite a crowd of doctors and nurses (around 35) who were very anxious to attend to Jackie. By the time they got him started on an IV push and anti-venom the swelling was up to his elbow and his lips were ringed in white and felt tingly. That would be from, you know, the deadly poison.

Thank Jesus, after entertaining all the doctors and nurses and staff in the ER joking about charging $1 to see his snake, whose head by the way had been smashed by a fireman and yet it still writhed around disgustingly for a long time -- Ick! Just the thought gives me the shivvers! -- Jackie started responding to the anti-venom. The swelling started to go down and his normal coloring came back.

We still had to spend the night, but the ICU had very cool games and decent pizza so he was pretty happy. The therapy dog, Duke, visited which was super fun. His nurse was very nice and pretty. Even though he had to have his IV moved 4 times, he handled it all very well.

Here are Jack & Duke.

This is the punk rattler that bit my baby.
Yes, I took its picture but in my defense,
that was before I noticed the little yellow rattle-bud shaking.

Just so you know how to address our little Jeff Corwin wannabe in the future, I should tell you Jackie decided that his new outlaw motorcycle gang member/ serpent-wrangler nickname is "Snakebite".

We're so glad Snakebite lived to tell the tale.

16 September 2008

I'm a Disciple... Beauty, eh?

What is beauty anyway??? Real beauty.

It's a confusing subject in today's society. Living in Orange County in the plastic surgery capital of the world, it can be challenging to keep a Biblical perspective. Hot bodies and perfect Botox faces are a dime a dozen here in the OC.

Bodacious Baywatch babes abound. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

On the other hand, why is it that some Christians believe that beauty, appreciating the handsome human form and face, and valuing looking your best is worldly and wrong? I think when God said, "It is good" when looking at His Creation, He was saying, "Now that is beautiful!"
God likes beauty. Just look around. He made a lot of it.

But, that's not the only kind of beauty I'm talking about. Do I want to grow older and be as pretty as my two grandmothers? Sure. But, far more I want to be as truly lovely on the inside. What does it matter if you're drop dead gorgeous if you're not eagerly becoming more and more like Christ Jesus?

I've been looking forward to this day for a long time. Tonight I get to team up with four other women to be discipled by a very beautiful woman... my grandmother, Anne Ortlund. This gorgeous lady.

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them all clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women to noble things, but you surpass them all.'

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

~ Proverbs 31.10-31

That blasted Proverbs 31 woman... Man, that chick just does it ALL! She can bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a PAN! That's what I'm talking about. She's absolutely gorgeous! I want to be like her.

That's the goal.

Bring husband good, not harm. Check.
Wool and flax? Uhhhh, no, but working with eager hands... Check.
Food from afar. Check (if you count Chinese takeout).
Get up while it's dark. Double check!
The rest is a little fuzzy... but I'm working on it!

This was taken on the night our family gathered
to celebrate the life of my granddaddy (Ray Ortlund)
who had recently passed away. At the end of the evening
everyone gathered to bless and pray over Michael and I
who were about to jump on a plane to Ethiopia to bring Elianna Ray home!

"It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before. " ~Jane Austen

"It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." ~Leo Tolstoy

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." ~Sophia Loren

"Beauty comes in all sizes, not just size 5." ~Roseanne

"Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician." ~Lucille S. Harper

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone." ~Dorothy Parker

"You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing." ~Marie Stopes

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder." ~Kinky Friedman

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye." ~Miss Piggy

So, tonight begins 9 months of Beautiful Christian Woman Boot Camp. I can hardly wait. I need the discipline, the sharpening, the input, the girfriendiness, the time learning more of the Word from women I trust. Jackie, Lara, Kristen, Jill, and dear Grandmother... here we go!

I'm ready for my makeover.

15 September 2008

Birthday Bash!

Family party for Margot, Buddy & Johnny's birthdays! Nothin's better than time spent with our family!

12 September 2008

Dress Up Fun!

Here are a few photos of my cutie pie babies. I'll tell ya what, having these two little ladies running around the house laughing and squealing is an indescribable joy! Marg, Ricker, Jackie and I loved the show they put on for us. It ended with a big collision into eachother, but we gave it rave reviews anyway. Enjoy!

This morning Evangeline crept into our room shy of 5am to "snuggie" which for her means to hug and kiss for a few minutes and then it's playtime!.. Where is Your Belly Button?, This Little Piggy, Ring Around the Rosey, sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children", Three Sailors Went to Sea Sea Sea... You get the picture.

Those who know me know that 5am is reeeeeeally early for me. The alarm goes off at 6 (which is stinkin' early), but anything before that is sacrosanct. Do. Not. Disturb. Obviously with infants you have to be a little more flexible, but once they're sleeping through the night mama is supposed to be home free, right?

Not so much. Little Evie decided a few months ago that 5ish was the official cock-crowing time. She bounds in daily saying, "Goo Mohhhhhhh-ning! It's time to wakey-wakey! Say 'Thank You, Jesus, for today!'"

I've decided to embrace the new time zone, to go to bed earlier, and just enjoy our special time alone together (because believe me, Michael ain't budging!). This morning we snuggled, played a few games, sang some songs, sorted laundry, took a shower, did our hair and makeup (lots of lip gloss), and read a few books... all before 6:00 when it's time to get everyone up for devotionals and start the day.

I'm tired, folks. Very, very tired. But, I'm so thankful for some precious time with my baby girl. And, don't worry, I'm not too tired to play dress up later!

11 September 2008

Happy Ethiopian New Year! and Remembering 9/11

Daisies for New Year

Here's something new I learned:

Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year, means "Gift of Jewels" and falls on September 11th on the western calendar (Meskerem 1 on the Ethiopian calendar). This festival also celebrates the Feast of John the Baptist at the end of the long heavy rains in spring, when the highlands become covered in wild flowers. Children dressed in new clothes dance through the villages, distributing garlands and tiny paintings. In the evening every house lights a bonfire and there is singing and dancing. Historically Meskerem 1 also marked the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia after her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem.

So, Happy New Year!

Today also marks 9/11, the day that no one will ever forget. I remember standing in the living room watching the news in horror and disbelief, and then calling all our friends and family to pray together and say, "I love you." That day birthed a new patriotism in both Michael and me along with most Americans. Today, we remember.

10 September 2008

The Year of Living Thankfully & Thoughts on Prayer

Just in case any of my bloggy friends were wondering if I abandoned The Year of Living Thankfully (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), I didn't. I just felt the need to keep my thankful list private. Who needs to hear me thank the Lord for the little things like a successful potty training day with the babies, or park day, or that no one got into too much trouble during our library trip? Who needs to know that I'm thankful for A+s, family devotionals, and a good night's sleep? I can't imagine that anyone needs to hear how grateful I am for the respite I find in a good book, a phonecall from a friend, or that people I love who are in the middle of a painful divorce are finally talking to each other. All these things are a big deal to me, but to share them with the blogosphere felt stupid. But, I am still keeping my daily list of the blessings big and small from the Lord for which I'm grateful... I'm just not publishing it. It's good to know that I draw the line somewhere, right?

Anyway, along with thankfulness, the other major thing that the Lord has been impressing upon me this year is prayer. You know how the Lord puts something on your heart, or you're just thinking about something and you see it everywhere? It's that kind of "impressing". It's practically harassment!

I think that sometimes I'm so dense that God thinks about shouting audibly,


Why, as a Christian, is it so hard to remember to pray? When something is going awry do I think of praying right away? Nope. At least not every time, even though I should. When I have a problem, asking Jesus for help or comfort should come to mind immediately, and yet it doesn't. After hours or days (or longer) of suffering or worrying myself sick, I feel like smacking myself in the head when it finally does dawn on me to do the obvious... PRAY! So, for that reason I'm glad that God is hounding me to talk to Him, to hold a running conversation with Him, to get right up close to His ear.

Recently my grandmother, Anne Ortlund, spoke at church on prayer. What an eloquent and exhorting message! She reminded me to pray for everything that's on my heart, not just the wimpy requests, the easy things, but stuff that requires actual God-intervention. That's right... ask for real-live, documentable, scientifically provable, mind-blowing answers to prayer.

After that, my brother Buddy asked for prayer for Lincoln, our nephew who has Down’s Syndrome. He challenged me and others to remember that the Lord raises the dead, so what is Down’s compared to His omnipotence? At first, when I read that request, I’m ashamed to confess that I thought, “Come on, Buddy, let’s be realistic.”

How faithless of me! I realized that I was denying that God is capable of such a miracle, and that He desires for His children to make our requests known... all of our requests! That recognition shook me.

Do I believe in miracles? Yes, I do! Do I believe that Jesus is still in the miracle business today, and not just in Biblical history? Yes, I do! Do I believe that He will answer me if I pray specifically? Yes, I do!

Obviously, His answer is not always the one I would wish it to be. Sometimes it's YES! Sometimes it's NO. And, seemingly worst of all, sometimes it's WAIT. But, how do I know what He will or won't do if I never ask???

Here's the thing: If I know that God is bigger than any medical diagnosis, any problem, any broken heart or destroyed relationship, if He's the Lord of all creation, of Heaven and earth, of every single thing from the universe and whatever is greater than that to subatomic particles and whatever is smaller... then why should I ever keep my prayers from His throne? or distrust His ability to do whatever He wills?

In Matthew 4:23 the Bible says that Jesus went about “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” in Galilee.

I believe that!

So, I’m praying again for the things that seem “unrealistic”. Watch out!

I'm fully expecting miraculous results!

09 September 2008

2008 Little Ethiopia Cultural Street Festival

Live cultural music

Cultural show



Activities for kids

Traditional food

& much more!

I heard that Heather and Chris are going to be there. Wish we could be there for the whole time, but we've got some serious partying to do for Marg's, Uncle Buddy's, and cousin Johnny 5's birthdays! But, we may drive up for dinner. Anyone else planning on it?

08 September 2008

Happy Birthday, Margot!

I cannot believe my baby is 14...

14 years ago this beautiful little babe popped out of me and I, in awe and wonder and in the most exquisite love (and a good deal of 3-hours-of-pushing delirium) mouthed these lovely first words to her...

"You're so sticky!"

Sorry, sweet sugar. I meant to say that you are a dream come true, one of the best things ever to happen in my life, a pure joy to me.

This beautiful lady at the very moment of life was in charge of the world and had a direction in mind. She's a great leader of people, compassionate, loves the Lord, is wild about horses and all animals, is very girlie and feminine, but can climb a tree with the best of 'em. She's so much like her Papa (not that he's all that girlie and feminine). She's funny and opinionated, competitive and the star of the show wherever she goes. She's smart as a whip and a natural student both in the classroom and out, learning and reading everything she gets her hands on. Tragically, she cannot throw a ball worth beans because she is at least a little bit of Mama, too. She sings beautifully and is musically inclined, though, so I like to think that I can chalk that up to my side of the gene pool. Margot is just a really outstanding person in every way. We are SO proud of her!

I love you so much, muffin. Happy birthday, Marg!

06 September 2008

Aww, They're Just Like Mama

This afternoon I was organizing in the schoolroom when my two cute naked toddlers came running in shouting, "MAMA! May I please have some Perrier?"

No lie.

Welcome to my funny little world.

Americans Adopting HIV+ Kids From Ethiopia

This article picked up from the Associated Press made front page just below the fold in the Orange County Register today. No wonder. It has created a firestorm across the internet from the moment it hit the press. Several blogs have posted about the barrage (literally hundreds) of negative, ignorant, and even hateful comments people have posted to the original article. I'm not going to post that link because I don't want to guide anyone to such ugly words, but I'll tell you what, it broke my heart to read some of these horrible statements... I couldn't get it off my mind. Why would people be so blatantly against such a beautiful act of love and mercy? It blows my mind.

BUT, I love that the issue is being highlighted right now! God bless the Hendersons, the Hehns, and families like them who are taking these lovely little ones who would surely die if they stayed in their home country and giving them a family! May they be weighed down with jeweled crowns in Heaven!

I don't know if the Lord plans to entrust an HIV+ child to us someday, but if He did I'd say, "Hallelujah!" and embrace that little babe as if he/she was bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!

03 September 2008

Scottish Humor

My kids LOVE to tell jokes. Here's a great one for you!

A Scottish tradesman, a painter called Jack, was very interested in making extra money where he could. So he often would thin down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time. Eventually the Presbyterian Church decided to do a big restoration job on one of their biggest churches.

Jack put in a painting bid, and because his price was so competitive, he got the job. And so he set to, with a right good will, erecting the trestles and putting up the planks and buying the paint and thinning it down with the turpentine.

Well, Jack was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder. The sky opened, and rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Jack fair off the scaffold to land on the lawn.

Now, Jack was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he fell on his knees and cried, "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?"

From the thunder, a mighty voice spoke: "Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"

02 September 2008

Coffee Break - Election 2008 Jib Jab

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