Wednesday, December 31, 2008

News!



Craig took this picture on Christmas day. And today, the last day of 2008 we learned that we'll be grandparents again in 2009! Aimee and Robert are expecting their third around September 9 (which is Aimee's 26th birthday) our blessings overflow. "Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness, goodness and that you do not change! Thank you for loving us. Thank you for 2008 and for the hope and promise that you are still King of the earth and rule over the affairs of men and we can (and should) trust you in all ways in 2009. Be gloried in our lives. Amen."

Friday, December 19, 2008

More isn’t always better.






The waterfall was green, full of leaves and allege. So I added algaecide, I didn’t measure, just poured in what was left in the bottle. Craig said I should have used a tablespoon or two. I bet it was about ¼ cup. That’s why we’ve had bubbles for over a week. Here is a close up and what it looked like the next day when the wind blew bubbles all over the garden. It sort of looks like snow, don’t ya think?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Not lukewarm








Today Aimee and her girls used gingerbread to make . . . dinosaurs, because Ethne liked that shape better. Emeline got some marshmallow cream frosting on her foot and knows better than to waste good food. .



I never know how to dress during this season. Not winter in El Paso, where it’s often in the 70’s, but this season of life known as pre-menopause. I’m either cold trying to warm up or sweltering trying to cool down.
Recently, when I was unzipping my fleece—again—I thought of Jesus’ words in Revelation 3: 15-16 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I realized that when I’m hot I’m very busy trying to cool down and when I’m cold I’m making an active attempt to warm up. But when I’m lukewarm, or as ‘Goldilocks put it, “just right,” I don’t do anything. I sit. I’m comfortable, without a care; in fact I guess the word is complacent.
I see in a new way that comfort and ease and prosperity can easily lead to complacency. And that just makes the Lord sick. “Lord please change my heart and make me care about other’s comfort their needs as much as my own. Thank you that you cared enough to leave your place of power and glory to come here, to our place of need. Thank you that you are not lukewarm about anything. Amen.”

Thursday, December 04, 2008

changes




About the pictures: the one of the girls is the least blurry of the ones I took (and I have a point and shoot camera!) the other is Aimee and Robert in front of their new place.


Well, Robert and Aimee and the girls are finally living all together in Austin. Craig and I got to stop in a see them in their new little house. It's close enough to Robert's work that he can ride his bike. His office is awesome and looks like the kind of place a creative person would enjoy (and be productive). The girls just seem 'right' again, having both their daddy and mommy and being a family. . . it did my heart good to see them that way, even though I'm really missing them.
Thanksgiving was a bit odd this year since Craig's family in SD all got real sick (so we didn't go there) and all our kids where other places. Since it was our 31st anniversary on Nov. 26 Craig and I flew to central Texas to visit the hill country and see if we could find a 'place' where all of our family could gather together from time to time. We found a perfect log cabin and are praying to see if this is actually God's plan for us or not. One thing I've learned over the years is even if I really want something that looks good, if the Lord says 'no' it's because He knows (best). Here is a wonderful video Robert made, starring: Ethne, Emeline, and Aimee, Davy and Kimmie Arnold (close EP friends) and Jimmy and Megan (Robert's youngest brother and his wife). It's so much fun, enjoy!
(just cut and paste this link)
http://vimeo.com/2427513
love and blessings,
Sue

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Thank you, Grammy."


This is a picture of our grandson, Caleb.



Cheering is natural for me. In High School, I jumped around in a short skirt shouting out practiced routines. As Grammy I pour it out spontaneously in generous quantities whenever the little ones are within earshot. The problem is that there is a great distance between my home and the places where these little people live.
Recently, I got to visit the two boys living in Indiana. While there I observed and commented on all the wonderful things about each one of them. Our grandson, Caleb, noticed that I noticed. This response is so unique and surprised me so much that I can’t stop thinking about it. Each time I’d say, “Good job, climbing,” as he worked his pre-school legs up the ladder of the slide, he’d stop, while still holding on tight, turn his head, look at me with sincere eyes, and say, “Thank you, Grammy.” He did this when I praised him for eating well, showing kindness to others, picking up his toys or obeying.
His simple comment of, “Thank you, Grammy,” was filled with real appreciation and that had an amazing effect on me. Being thanked for encouraging, for loving, for taking notice is—very encouraging and it made me feel loved and noticed. Like a trampoline, all the affirmation I offered him, came right back at me.
It got me wondering about praise and God. How He deserves it, commands it and receives it. When we notice Him and His kindness and say “Thank you,” we are not initiating the process we are simply responding to what He has first offered us. Paying attention to the ways in which He is loving us may help us to respond appropriately and cause us to develop a more thankful heart of praise.
I’ve been testing this theory. Trying to take notice of the innumerable ways the Lord is declaring His love for me each day. On a crisp fall afternoon, when the sky appeared to be using all it’s might to be blue and the air whispered a cooler breath, I noticed and said, “I love You, too.” I awoke on another day, remained in bed for a moment and considered that my heart was beating, and I was surrounded by freely supplied air just waiting for me to breath and that the sun had risen, again. I responded, “I love You, too.” My husband’s embrace and eyes filled with acceptance and delight caused me lift my heart to the One who brought us together and I whispered, “I love You, too.” My husband heard me, thought I was talking to him, and gave me a kiss.
As I’ve noticed and commented on the fact that the Lord is loving me I am aware of how much I love Him too. I want to respond with words of praise and thanksgiving and bounce that love right back at Him. Just like our little Caleb, who stopped what he was doing long enough to appreciate the fact that I appreciated him and say, “Thank you, Grammy.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good-bye kiddos






I wanted to share some more pictures since I leave for home tomorrow. I'm leaving behind these three beautiful grandchildren (plus the two I saw at the start of this trip). When I get to Texas, 2 little granddaughters will be waiting for me, but also preparing to move to Austin within a few weeks. I feel so full and know I will soon feel so empty. These precious children are growing up so fast and are so far away. . . I am ever grateful for prayer and the impact Craig and I can have on their young lives as we lift each one up to the One who loves them perfectly. video

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grandchildren



Hi
Well today I'm not making any political comments, because in the grand scheme of things I care most about the loved ones in my life. Like these precious grandchildren. Here is a video of Cameron sliding his stuffed tiger down the banister and Kayla catching it. This game lasted a long while and provide many smiles. video

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Running with Integrity

Being fastest doesn’t mean you’ll win the race, at least not in America. If you didn’t hear about 24-year-old Arien O’Connell who had the fastest time in the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco but wasn’t acknowledged as the winner since she didn’t register with the ‘elite’ group, here’s the link.

And did you hear about governor of Alaska who has a proven track record of standing up for life, keeping her promises, exposing corruption and speaking the truth plainly? She’s not part of the elite group either, so those who are don’t want to acknowledge that she’s qualified to run. All it takes to be a runner in a race is to run. And all it takes to win is to be the fastest; or in this case, get the most votes.

I think some other runners in this race don’t like it that someone that has not joined the elite group is running. But what I like most about Sarah Palin isn’t part of the elite group. She seems to be so much like so many of us. Just a mom from a small town, who cared enough to get involved. I thought, “Wow, in my country, any citizen who cares enough to get involved can make a difference!” That truth gives me that old, almost forgotten feeling of American pride—a hope that in my country anything is possible. Others say the fact that Sarah isn’t politically correct means she’s unqualified to serve our country. I get the feeling they don’t really want her around.

I welcome the thought of having someone in Washington who isn’t afraid to identity with the masses instead of being given special treatment by those who consider themselves elite. Sarah Palin has proved by her personal choices that she views human life as immeasurably valuable, something to be honored, and protected. That takes great courage because while being a woman politician is politically correct, being pro-life isn’t popular—but it is right.

Sarah Palin, I’m here to say that I’m standing here cheering you on because you are a woman, a mom, a citizen, just like me. The difference is that you are courageous enough run in a race where you are not recognized in order to try to make a difference and watching how they treat you makes me know I could never endure that kind of treatment. So, thank you. You are courageous and real and I think you are being picked on. This is my way of standing up to the bullies on the playground and in the press and taking my stand beside you. “Hey you, Elite guys! This race isn’t over yet. When you throw a stone at Sarah, you hit me too, and I don’t like it. You’ll hear from me at the polls.”

For a short video on supporting life go here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Karissa One Day Old




More pictures of our newest grandchild! I am also trying to post a video.
Love,
sue video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Grandaughter!



Celebrate with us in the birth of Karissa Anne Casnille! Born today (Oct. 15, 2008) 8 lbs. 4 ozs., 19 1/2" long! Here is a picture of our daughter with her newborn. "Thank you, Lord for the blessing of children, children-in-law and grandchildren. We honor you and ask you to give each of these little ones a great and true love for you and your ways. Amen."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Birthdays celebrations!






One of my all time favorite activities is hiking in the forest. Especially with people I love. Well, today I got to do just that with our Josh, Shauna and boys. It's extra special since my birthday is tomorrow! A perfectly beautiful day in IN, enjoying these two grandsons and their parents and the wonderful colors of fall (don't get this in El Paso). Maybe I should plan a fall trip each years (I only wish Craig could be here with me.) When I leave here I'll go to Sara's for the birth of their new daughter (more on that later). Love and blessings, Sue

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Like mother like daughter






We're watching Aimee and Robert's girls for a few days. Today 15-month old, Emeline came home from church and fell asleep in her highchair while eating lunch (first she smeared Mac and Cheese into her scalp.) Her mom, Aimee, used to fall asleep in her highchair too, guess it runs in the family.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hidden Treasure


(Our daughter, Aimee turned 25 recently. To decorate for her birthday party we put out pictures of her from her childhood. We thought that her 3-year-old daughter, Ethne, looked a lot like her when she was age 5 or 6, see for yourself)












The other morning as we prepared to fly out to San Diego, this rainbow appeared in the clouds.





This is how the El Paso mountains looked as we took off.






In a happy three-year-old voice Ethne announced, “I put a diamond up my nose!”

I laughed. I knew I shouldn’t. Diamonds, even the play rhinestone kind, should not be hidden away in a tiny nostril. A quick check confirmed her statement and a hard blow into a tissue failed to dislodge the snug gem. I got the tweezers and went into that tender little nose with great care and little skill.

I stopped. “I’m afraid I’ll push it in deeper. Let’s wait until Granddad gets home.”

By this time, the shine on her face had disappeared and a concerned look had filled her eyes. She sat very still and brave, waiting there, on the kitchen counter for the doctor. “Will he come soon?”

“He shouldn’t be too long.”

But it seemed long.

As soon as he walked in the kitchen she blurted out her confession. “Granddad, I put a diamond in my nose.”

He looked very serious but I saw the laugh tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“You need to get your special light and your long tweezers,” she commanded.

He obeyed. Then with a steady hand he tilted her tiny chin upward so he could take a look.

“Do you see it?” I asked.

“Yep. It’s there.” He released her face. “Did you try to blow it out?”

“Yes,” I answered, while Ethne nodded, “but it didn’t work.” We shook our heads.

He put down all his mysterious medical tools used for such occasions and went to the hall bathroom, returning with a tissue. He covered her tiny nose (with the alien object hiding inside). “Blow!”

She did.

Then Granddad opened his hand. There on the white tissue lay a tiny fake diamond.

I couldn’t believe it! “How did you do that?”

“I closed off her other nostril as she blew.”

I smiled, but it was our little granddaughter who wore a smile that radiated through every cell of her body. An expression of pure joy—that shining, shimmering look of relief mixed with gratefulness—a look that overtakes us when we realize we’ve been spared the painful consequences of our spontaneous, but foolish, actions. She laughed and we joined her.



Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life with young kids


Two of our granddaughters are staying with us for four days over labor day weekend. I'm not sure if a blog is a place to boast but I'll do it anyway. I'm so proud of the healthy snack I made yesterday. Sun Harvest was sold out of the carrot bars that Emeline eats and so we made our own, they are yummy. So, here is the recipe and a picture of Ethne with the Carrot Honey Oat Bars.

Carrot Oatmeal Bars

  • Dry Ingredients:
  • (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
  • (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • (1/3 cup) flax
  • (1/3 cup) cracked wheat (Can use any combination to equal 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Fruit, Oat and Veggie Mixture:

  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot*---(10 oz before peeling and trimming) use the finest holes on your box grater and pack them in
  • Grate 1 fresh apple and add your choice very finely chopped dried fruit—and nuts (optional) to equal 1 Cup
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or plain yogurt

Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside.
  2. Mix all fruit/veggie ingredients together, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter, and sugar, honey and yogurt until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, scrape bowl well, and continue to beat until mixture is thick, and very pale, another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Turn mixer to low speed, and add Dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
  6. Remove mixer or beaters, and stir in fruit and oat mixture by hand until well incorporated.
  7. Chill one hour at least. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
  8. To form bars, lightly grease your hands with oil. (The kids can help out here! It's very sticky!)
  9. Shape gently into small loaves. You can also drop them by spoonfuls to make cookies, but they'll cook faster.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove to cool on rack, and store at room temperature. Makes about 26 bars.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fading Beauty



I said, "Look at the sunset. Grab the camera."
Craig got the camera, pointed--nothing. "No memory stick."
"I must have left it in the computer." I rushed to the other room, "Here. Quick."
"It's not as vivid."
"It only takes a second for the sky to change."
"It only take a second for the glory to fade."
"Yeah, but it's still beautiful."
"Sure is."


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Trouble with Stink (continued)




Discovering the source of the stink was easy, getting rid of it has been hard. The first thing was to get rid of the rotten mass of meat. Wrapped securely in plastic bags it landed in the trashcan (the big one that’s outside). When it left the house the most offensive order went with it. . . but there was still this lingering smell, a constant reminder that spoiled meat has dominated our living space. I did all I could. Armed with a spray bottle of stuff to neutralize odors, I’ve been spraying. Under sofa cushions, around toys, and over shelves filled with books. I threw out dried flowers from our daughter’s weddings, and washed the fabric draped above the windows. Still, at unexpected moments the lingering smell emerges.

The parallels to sin are plentiful. First, we have to get rid of sin. Throw it out, decide to bag it up and discard it. When we do there is great relief and the whole environment of our lives change but still now and then the odor of that sin lingers in our memory, or in a comment or in the pain in the eyes of those we wounded. On one hand, forgiveness is instantaneous. Done. Yet, healing takes time and even though the affects of our sinful choices may lessen with the passing of time, still its impact may invade our living space for quite awhile.

I think the Lord is trying to teach me something about all of this because the other day I woke up and the pool was green. I panicked because it was the day the pool man comes. That might seem like good news, but two week ago when I told him I only needed him to come once every other week, he said, “Okay. But please put chlorine in on the weeks I don’t come.”

“Oh, I will,” I promised.

I meant to. But Sam’s Club was out of chlorine and both my Leslies coupons were expired. The lady at the store said a new one was coming out soon and I should look for it in the mail. It didn’t come and the rains did and that’s when the crystal clear water in our pool turned green.

When I saw that accusing color I remembered my promised and went to Lowe’s and spent over a $100 to make things right. I also removed the pool cover and brushed the green off the sides and turned on the pump. Then I added chlorine. Not a lot, since I knew the pool man would put in more, just some. Then I worked in the yard, because all that rain also brought up the weeds. By the time I returned to the backyard the pool was clear. I couldn’t believe it! Just like that, the green was gone. I just needed to add the right ingredient. Like the blood of Jesus, it takes sin away instantly.

As if those two events didn’t drive home the point of sin needing to be dealt with, I had one more. When I cleaned out the freezers, the one in the kitchen and the extra one in the laundry room, I discovered two packages of meat wrapped in white paper. It was pork, of course, and it was old. Given to us by friends who hunt, who recently shared some of their kill from 2004 with us. I’ve about had it with spoiled meat so when I saw that it was 4 years old, even if it was still frozen, I thought, I don’t want to take a chance at cooking this. What if it’s rotten and that smell comes back? Trash day was a week away and I didn’t want that meat sitting outside in our trashcan in 100-degree heat. So, I put it into plastic bags and stored it in our laundry room fridge, until today when I put the trashcan out. When I lifted the bag destined for the trash from the fridge I saw that it had leaked a river of blood that pooled on the glass shelves and into the white plastic drawers. I sort of wished I could just throw out the whole refrigerator. I’m sick of cleaning up after pork. But it didn’t really take that long and wasn’t too much work and water and a bit of scrubbing cleaned it all up good as new.

Now, Jesus doesn’t throw us out when sin has left its mess all over us. In fact, He came to take sin away. Isn’t that the best? He saw it and said, “I’ll go and take it away.” And He did. I’m so glad.

Some sins are obvious; they drip all over us and cover us with shame. Some smell disgusting and over time, people don’t even like to be near us. Others change us and the color of our thoughts and actions become clouded and undesirable. All in all, it’s a nasty business. The key to getting clean is knowing where to go when you recognize sin for what it is. And that, restoring a life once tainted, a heart once darkened or a mind splattered with impure thoughts, is a wonder. God is our ultimate Cleaner Upper, we go to Him and confess and He simply (but not cheaply) takes our sins away.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sin's Stench

I woke up gagging and knew I’d made a mistake. More than a miscalculation or misjudgment, the choice I made was really stupid and the smell proved it.

Before going to bed the night before, I opened a package of spare ribs that I bought earlier in the day. I intended to cook them at a low heat overnight and serve them to the guys at Bible study. The meat didn’t smell right. In fact, it smelt awful. But instead of trusting my nose, I leaned on my reasoning ability. Okay, ‘ability’ isn’t really an actuate term to use to describe my powers of deduction. Such thought processes for me tend to be unreliable, based more on feeling, instinct or how long it’s been since I’ve eaten a good does of dark creamy chocolate than on logic. I weighed the options.

1. I hate to waste food, so I don’t want to throw this out. Plus it will take time and more gas to go back to store tomorrow morning to return these, and I need this meat for dinner tomorrow.

2. The meat looks nice and pink (the appearance is what fooled me).

3. I just want to go to bed and don’t want to deal with spoiled meat.

4. Maybe, it just needs to be rinsed off and cooked!

So, that’s what I did, put the meat into a roasting pan to cook overnight.

The putrid meat heated slowly all night long. And when Craig opened our bedroom door the next morning odor invaded our room. That’s when the gagging part happened.

It’s hard to describe the smell. Rotten, sour; worse than milk left in baby bottle for a week, in the car, in summer heat. Much worse. Deep. Penetrating. A stench that assails your senses, turns your stomach and convinces you that you may never want to eat again. An odor that makes repeat over and over, “I will not vomit. I will not!” Nothing like a delicate, lovely fragrance but a rotten reeking revolting smell so thick that it almost seemed evil. God intended this disgusting aroma as a way to prevent us from eating something that would make us sick. A warning. Yet, I am the one who brought it into our home, opened it up, ignored the warning and rationalized that it was really okay and instead of throwing it out I provided a way for that decayed meat and its smell to slowly permeate our home while we slept.

Sin is like rotten meat. We don’t have to partake, but if we’re deceived about it’s true nature, because it looks good or we don’t want to be bothered with dealing with it, and we decide to bring it into our life, it will invade the places where we live. I think this may be especially true of sexual sin, addictions, those that we try to hide, as if we could secretly indulge in them without any effect to the rest of our lives. In time, the affect of such unconfessed, hidden sin—sin that we like, that we hold on to, the kind that pulls us and draws us and wraps around us—is that in time it will take over our soul and those we love most will be tainted by it’s odor.

(To Be Contiued)

Friday, August 01, 2008

More of Maui


Here I am under a waterfall in Maui. I had to climb up here. It may look like I'm dead but really I'm wishing I could stay there for a long time, it was very wonderful!

It's beautiful here in El Paso. If we had an ocean I'd think we were in Maui. The sky there is a vivid blue, the clouds and mountains spectacular, just like here. It's cooler there, between 75 - 85, but the wind blows like it does here. I am going to try to post a video. This is the second waterfall I climbed into. It was a lot of fun. I have added the video (it's very grainy, sorry) so you can get an idea of how much fun it was. Blessings, Sue
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_CkH7oMnTk
Let me know if it works.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maui!



Craig and I have just returned from a trip to Maui. What a beautiful part of the world and what a privilege to be able to go and enjoy it. While there we celebrated 33 years since Craig proposed!

In the morning for the first few days Craig attended a medical conference. Then we got to relax and do some sight seeing which included a helicopter tour with front row seats, a hike in the rain forest and snorkeling.
Here is a picture of us in front of a waterfall which I crossed and stood under (I'll post the video next time) and a picture of a rainbow which greeted us one morning when we woke up.

Just wanted to touch base and begin to share this amazing trip with you.
Blessings
sue

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Fiercesome Four

Here is a picture of our four boys when they went with Craig to Scotland earlier this year.

I tend to focus so much on our sweet grandchildren that I thought I should at least give a little space to their daddies (and potential daddy to be).

From left to right you see, Mike (who is married to our older daughter, Sara), next is Josh, our first born (married to Shauna), Eric, our youngest (married to Amy), and Robert who is married to our younger daughter, Aimee.


All together they are a great bunch of guys and I'm very proud of each one of them.

"Lord, thank you for these men in my life and I'm praying for an outpouring of your power and life on each one. Give them hearts fully devoted to you, full of wisdom and servant hood. Guide them as the leaders of their homes. Show them how to love their wives as Jesus loves the church. Enable them to balance truth and grace in raising their little ones to know and honor you. Give them a passion for your Word and your ways. Let them be shining examples of Godly men in their workplace and community, family and church. To the praise of your glory. Amen." I love you guys.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Burnt Toast

When our children were young and we still lived in San Diego, Craig's parents started a fun Saturday morning tradition. They picked up our little ones early in the morning, and took them to their home where they all enjoyed a 'Carbon Toast Party' where they dipped burnt toast into coffee before eating it. The idea of burnt toast is pretty awful and dipping it in coffee isn't very appealing and eating it is nearly criminal in my opinion. Yet, for the children and their grandparents it continues to be a sacred memory of fun times together. So, when Great-granddad and Great-grandmumps came for a visit over the fourth of July, the tradition continued with the great grandchildren. Here are movie #1 and movie #2.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Frog Blog



When it rains in El Paso the water washes rocks out of the desert landscaping and frogs out of hiding. We usually don't know that there are frogs anywhere near us, until the rains come. Then, water fills the drainage area behind our house and the frogs begin to serenade us. Serenade isn't really very descriptive. Saying they annoy us is more accurate. Especially when a few of the critters end up in our pool , form a chorus and begin croaking as we being sleeping. The other night, around 2:00 AM, Craig got out of bed.
Groggy from sleep and wearing a sleep mask so I don't die, I mumbled, "What are you doing?"
"Getting rid of the frogs."
I my half-conscious state I thought he was going to shoot the little noise makers. And, in my typical logical manner, I thought, "That will make more noise than the little froggies." Of course I didn't care enough about this insight to get out of bed. Instead, and I dozed off.
When my hero returned I asked what he'd done, he told me he used the net and got two frogs out of the pool. I listened to the silent night air and fell to sleep, thankful that my husband is a man of action.
The next day, I spotted several frogs on our pool cover, which was wadded up in the middle of our pool. As I tried to catch one in the net,
(which I held in one hand, since I was talking to our daughter on the cell phone), it jumped off into the water. I chased it, shrieking, "Oh no it got away! It's going to die. It's jumped into the water."
"Mom!" Sara, said, "frogs know how to swim. They're frogs."
"Oh yeah. But, they can't live in chlorinated water,can they?"
The answer is, 'not for long,' proven by the dead frog Craig scooped out of the pool that evening.
Well, I was thinking about how we as followers of Jesus, can live in this world for a time, but knowing Him means we've been reborn for another world, another place. Like that frog that jumped into the our pool and never got back out, it's dangerous to try to make this world our home. We're not meant to adapt our thinking or behavior or life to the elements here. This world is only the channel that will take us back to the place where we really belong.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Berries

Since childhood red raspberries have been my favorite. I remember them growing in the yard of my Swiss grandmother.

When they first arrived in the stores this season, I splurged and bought a tiny plastic container of the luscious berry for an exorbitant amount of money (well, ok, less than a half gallon of ice cream but more than a head of lettuce.) When I got home I placed them in one of the drawer of my refrigerator. Then, completely forgot about them.

How could I forget about something that I really wanted, I would enjoy and that cost me a lot (comparatively?) I'm not sure, but I did and when I finally remembered them, they were moldy and had to be thrown away!

What a shame. What a waste. What a good reminder, that the Lord has provided all manner of good and yummy and desirable gifts, opportunities and delights that are just waiting for us to come and get them.

Often we don't even take advantage of any of them. He's given us peace and we'd rather sulk and be miserable. He paid for our sins, yet we refuse to forgive ourselves. He provided for us to have the best fruit ever, the fruit borne by the Holy Spirit, but instead of gaining the benefit we act like these gifts do not belong to us.

So, here are some new berries. I remembered them and they are almost all eaten. I've enjoyed them and wanted to tell you about the berry lesson.
2Pe 1:3 - His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let's Pary Today Prayer CD's



Hi Fiends,

If any of you have listened to any of the "Let's Pray Today" CD's (see link on left side of this page) and found them helpful, please consider letting my friend, Cathy, know. She's looking for endorsements (see below) and would really appreciate your input.

Thanks and blessings,

Sue

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Hello dear friend, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for supporting Lets Pray Today Ministry and our efforts to transform women’s lives through an active relationship with the Lord.

Our first year has been amazing! We have distributed and sold almost 1000 prayer CDs and MP3 downloads. We have had opportunities to speak at churches, women’s events, retreats and conferences. Kay Arthur as well as the American Association of Christian Counselors have strongly endorsed the entire series. Moms In Touch International has added us to their website and we have been featured in newspaper articles in both Texas and New Mexico. In November of last year we were finally covering most of the costs of establishing the ministry and were able to distribute monies to mission efforts in China through the Bineham foundation. And now, thanks to a generous donation, we are close to being back in the studio to record our new CD entitled “Praying for My Prodigal.”

God be praised for what has been achieved!

While we have been focusing on reaching out to our local communities, we are now approaching a point where we are ready to take the next step toward national distribution. In order to do this, we need to find a distributor who sees the benefit of our ministry and our prayer CDs. Towards this end, I want to personally ask a favor from you. We have not heard back from many of you who have purchased one or more of our prayer CDs. By sharing just a few sentences about the difference these prayer CDs have made in your life or in the lives of your family and friends, you will provide us with the resources we need to secure a distributor.

If you are willing to share a few words with us, simply reply to this email, or you can visit us on our site. If you share personal details which you would like to be kept confidential, we will simply remove your name from any testimonial we use. We appreciate your help and will continue moving forward as God leads.

We pray for you God’s richest blessings – pressed down, shaken together and running over,

Cathy Endebrock and the Let’s Pray Today Ministry Team

Prayer is like riding a bicycle: you can learn about it, you can read about it, you can even watch it. But until you DO it, you’re missing the best part. Let’s Pray Today!!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Craig and I have been viewing some great DVD's on marriage called, Love and Respect. We're learning a lot about the way God designed men and women. Even after over 30 years of marriage, this information is a bit startling because it really goes against the thinking of today's popular culture.
Have you ever thought you understood God's word on a subject just to discover that your knowledge was true but incomplete? This is how I feel, since I speak and teach about what the Bible says about marriage. From now on, I hope I can share in a way that is even more helpful.
The basic concept boils down to the fact that God created men to need respect, just like women need love. Need as in the air we breathe. Need as in food, water, shelter, except this is an emotional need that God created in men that we as women don't have in the same way. And that's why it's so difficult to fully understand or respond to this need in the lives of our husbands and sons. It can be a hard concept because, at least for me, I've really failed in this area. But I'm praying that the Lord will help me to be a better wife and to love my precious husband in ways that will meet his needs.
We often joke about the differences between male and female but don't take the next step in learning to appreciate and be thankful to God for designing us as He has. Now, one area that is considered primarily female is the inborn love of chocolate, which brings us to the picture I posted today.
Recently, Aimee went to find out why Emeline was so quiet and found that she had discovered her older sister's bag of chocolate kisses. Aimee is very careful to not let her girls have sugar and so this was Emeline's first taste of candy of any kind. When she saw her mom she held out the small, partially devoured foil wrapped candy and smiled before cramming it quickly into her mouth. I give Aimee credit that she went for the camera and called me to come and see her baby with her mouth coated with chocolate.
After laughing, I bent down and said, "So, Emeline, how did you like your first taste of chocolate?" She smiled, threw her arms up into the air and said, "Yah! Ummm!"
There you have it, proof that as women we have needs that the men in our lives may not full understand or appreciate and the same is true for them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

When Death Comes

I guess you never stop being proud of your kids, those born to you and those that arrive by the easier method of marriage. I just witnessed an amazing act of selflessness from our son-in-law, Robert and his wife, our daughter, Aimee.

Robert’s mom died in bed on Friday and was found late in the day by Robert’s dad. She has suffered for many years with ill health and while she is finally free from that it is so hard to think of life here without her. Kathy’s passing leaves an empty place in our hearts. She and Ethne (Robert and Aimee’s 3-year- old) were especially close. Last night, while washing her hands, Ethne looked up at me and asked, “Grammy are you going to die soon?”

Do you give the theological answer about God’s Sovereignty and the truth that life ends whenever He says, “Come?” or do you give the answer that will comfort a little heart that is already broken from losing someone who loved her so fiercely?

“No,” I said. “Remember how Gran was sick? Remember how she had to go to the hospital a lot? Remember how she went to see the doctors because she was sick?”

Ethne nodded.

“Gran was sick. I am strong (I didn’t feel strong). I am healthy. I am not going to die.”

“But when you are very, very old, will you die?”

“Yes, I will because every one will die. But do you know what? When I am very, very, very, very old, you will be too. You will probably be a Grammy by then.”

Her eyes grew wide and her smile too and she laughed to think of herself as an old woman. “Well,” she said, “when I am grown up I will go and stay with Pops (Robert’s dad) for two weeks. I will stay with him and he won’t be so lonely. He will be so happy that I am staying with him on the top bunk!”

I scooped her up, and held her and let her love flow into me so that I really could be strong. Then I tucked her back into bed with a kiss that lingered and a prayer of thanks that I could know and love such a precious little child.

As I was saying, the news of Kathy’s death reached our kids late Friday night. Their weekend was already planned out. No one plans, but God’s, included Kathy dying on Friday. On Saturday, Robert and Aimee were photographing the wedding of the daughter of one of our pastors. Then, on Sunday, flying to Austin to shoot a wedding there.

In the face of the devastating news they just received Robert and Aimee made the decision to go ahead an fulfill their obligations to these two couples and not to mention the fact that Robert’s mom had just died. Their grief was held at bay and not allowed to cast its shadow over the joy other’s were experiencing. They cared more about the capturing the wonder of two lives joining as one than about their own pain. Isn’t that like Jesus? If they were your kids, wouldn’t you be proud too?


(To see a picture of Ethne with her Gran and to read Robert's thoughts, click on the 'son-in-law' tab on the left of this screen and click on his flicker tab.)