Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Grand Canyon: A Book Review

It (the Grand Canyon) is a solemn witness to the mighty power of God, who is not only the omnipotent Creator of all things, but also the avenging Defender of His own holiness.

This is written in the introduction of Grand Canyon: a Different View by Tom Vail, and it truly is a totally different view from what you would normally find in the Grand Canyon bookstore. Filled with glossy photographs of breathtaking views of the canyon and contributions from 23 contributors (including Ken Ham, John MacArthur, Duane Gish, and John Morris) it tells the true story of how and when the Grand Canyon was formed.

Taken from a scientific (creationist) view this book leads the reader through several essays of the stories and evidences of the Grand Canyon's formation. These are convincing arguments for the Biblical worldview of creation and the flood, against the secular atheist slant of evolution. Toward the end the author shares interesting information and pictures of the life and habitat in the canyon and how they are perfectly suited for their rocky environment. Also, included in the book is his own story of coming from being an evolutionary tour guide to knowing the Great God and Creator. Every page is supported by beautiful photographs and scriptures that inspire awe of our Creator.

Last February I had the great privilege of visiting the Grand Canyon with my three brothers. I had seen many pictures of it but they never communicated to me the size of what I was seeing. My first glance took my breath away; it just so happened that the CD in our car was playing "Our God is an Awesome God,” how fitting! After spending 4 hours and walking 10 miles on the South Rim I still hadn't had my full of it and wanted to find out more. When I saw this book in the Vision Forum Catalog I was elated and had to have it. I read it right away and wasn’t at all disappointed. I came away from this book worshiping and fearing God. Truly I can say with that song:

“Our God is an awesome God,
He reigns from heaven above
in wisdom, power and love.
Our God is an awesome God”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Beautiful Snowy Morning

It is winter wonderland here. I thought I would share some pictures I took breathlessly this morning. The sun isn't going to last though, more snow coming this morning!

Knee deep snow - literally.

Iced Black River behind our house.
Rose bush.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It Snowed!!!

We have "a little" snow here in Michigan. I thought I would share some pictures I took today of all our wonderful white stuff.

Pond across the street.

Side of our house.

Me, all bundled up (high of 13 today).

The nearly covered bush.
Posted by PicasaTracks. Backyard

Currently we are under a winter storm watch, which means...MORE SNOW! Oh the fun of living close to Lake Michigan!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Cure Against Fretting

The beginning of the year is time of hope and new vision. Often we set out to resolve to do better and make all sorts of goals we hope to accomplish. But as the year progresses we fail, and it begins to look as if none of our goals are going to be successful. This in turn leads to us getting despondent and fretful.

Well this week that is where I have been, my resolutions are a little harder than I thought, the excitement of the new year is wearing off, and with the upcoming presidential elections looming in the future I find myself worrying. Thankfully though, when all is despondent the Lord brings to my remembrance “ . . . that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (Luke 18:1). I think it could be rephrased “ ... that women ought always to pray and not to fret and worry.”As the weaker vessel we can often find ourselves worrying about things we can do nothing about, that is in our own strength, but we ought to remember prayer. That is a supplication to the Almighty who will do all things right and according to His pleasure.

Often our worry has a deeper root problem then simply forgetting to pray. We forget that we have a holier goal than our own happiness, a brighter vision than this worldly pleasure, and a far more glorious hope than this world can ever offer.

Our chief end is not to be comfortable and happy! It is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever! What is your goal in life? Perhaps we should think long and hard about that and see if it is something other than God’s glory. Maybe it is money, marriage, children, intelligence, or fame; do you know what all those have in common? It is our own pleasure, not God’s glory. Those things can be used to God’s glory, but they should only be means to our ultimate end and goal. Getting things in perspective can cure us from worry.

With that holy goal in mind we should construct a vision for our work here on earth. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”(Col. 3:23,24) It doesn’t matter what you are doing (as long as it is scriptural, sinning is NEVER God’s call) it can be done unto the Lord. God has called many different people to different callings, as women we are called to serve in the home being subject to our God given authorities (Titus 2:5). Our work doesn’t have to be some famous ministry or changing the way things are done, though those are good for those called to do that; God has commanded man from the beginning to take dominion of the earth for His glory and as women we have a special calling to be his helpmeet in that task. As we live with this vision we should bring all our thoughts unto the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:5) and live according to His law (love, John 15:12). If we are living that way everything becomes holy as unto the Lord.

As we continue down this road of life instead of dwelling on the daily work and routine, we should look ahead to our most glorious hope. The hope that one day Christ will come to claim His bride and visibly rule this earth. We all may have different views of end times but we all can join together in the hope of every knee bowing to our Lord and Master and every tongue confessing His name. We will be His glorious Bride, if that does not bring you fresh vigor for your work nothing will. We have work to do here, but let us remember what the end of that will be.

It is true, this world is full of hardships and many things to cause us to worry. But we are not of this world, in Christ we are a part of God’s Kingdom. Christ has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10), what place does worry and despondency have in that? He also said that we would be full of His joy, the only true joy worth having. So to you and myself I exhort “Thank God for your life and seek Him in prayer every day, not fainting, asking for His wisdom and grace.” (James 1:5,6)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting Started with Card Crafting

Card making is one of my favorite pastimes;it is relaxing and fun, and the end product is something you can share with your friends. But if you have never ventured into the paper crafting realm getting started may be a little daunting. So here is my summary of the basics to get you started.

1. Get your creative juices flowing!
The best thing to get you going is seeing what lovely things are available and what can be done with them. I would suggest visiting your local library and borrowing some books and magazines on card making. My favorite is Paper Crafts magazine, but there are others that are great too, whatever you can find.
2. Get your supplies!Check around your own house first, you may be surprised at how much can be used to make cards: buttons, lace, ribbon, old blank note cards ( to re-cover), decorative paper, edging, staples and what-not. Then you can make a trip to the craft store or even your local Wal-mart. I have a few items in my my aStore that you may find helpful too. I buy nearly all my stuff from Hobby Lobby (if you sign up for their weekly e-ad you will get notices when they have 1/2 off sales, which is about every couple months), especially my stamps because they sell many scripture and religious stamps and you can't beat 1/2 off!
Here is a short list of some basics:

Decorative Paper
The cheapest way to get paper is to buy the BIG stack for half off, 180 sheets for $9.99, but if you want to hand pick your patterns get the by-the-page ones.

I use the text stamps the most; the new way I have been buying stamps is clear unmounted, this means you buy as many clear stamps as you want and one mounting block to fit them and you can just stick them on to the block to use, clean it and peel off to store.
Ink Pads
Black is the most use but a few other colors are fun to use also.

Card Stock
This is to make your cards, one 8 1/2x11" page makes two cards. You can also buy this by-the-page, I like to keep a variety of colors on hand.


You can buy these at the store, a thrift store, or make your own using a template.

Glue Stick
An absolute necessary! White glue will warp your paper.

Sharp Scissors
I guess that is a no brainer.

You may also find these helpful:

Like I said, these you may already have but there are plenty on the market to tempt your fancy.

Paper Trimmer
You can just use scissors, but this makes it so much easier.

Exact-o Knife
This is nice to have for precision cuts.

3. Craft your cards.
Now you should be ready to put those things to work. Collect all your supplies and on a large surface lay it out and choose what you want to go into your card. If you need a starting point try using some card maps. That has really helped me, I guess you might call it "my secret". Most of all, just be creative and put together a card of all the things you love.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Show and Tell: Spring Cards

I like to look ahead to Spring when the dead of winter is all around me, so I thought I would make some Spring cards today. I think my favorite is the three flowers one.

God Bless, and may you have a blessed Christian Sabbath!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

5 Keys to Successful Dinners

1. Plan Ahead

Every time you go shopping have a menu and a list for the amount of dinners until next shopping trip. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate just a few things jotted down for each night (like: Mon.~ chili, corn muffins, toppings). Then, each night after dinner, choose which meal you are having tomorrow night and do any necessary preparations ( i.e. soak beans, put frozen meat in fridge, etc.). It is also nice to write yourself a note of what needs done in morning or just make a mental note.

2. Prepare Early

Do as much preparation as possible early in the day when you are bright and fresh. This will go a long way to having a peaceful afternoon. Employ your slow cooker when practical, this is especially nice in the summer when you don’t want to heat the kitchen up and slave over a stove top. ( At the end of this I will share one of my favorite slow cooker meals.)

3. Allow Plenty of Time

Dinner preparation always take longer than I think. Even if most of it is done before noon, I still need to set the table, make the beverage (that is tea around here), prepare the vegetables and do any last minute sides. If you have little helpers-in-training (younger siblings or children) be sure to plan time so they can be a part of the preparations, this will save you time in the future as my mom daily attest.☺

4. Clean as You Go

When you finish with a dish rinse it and put in the dishwasher or sink, wipe counters when you are finished with them, throw away trash as you make it, and clean up spills immediately. It may take a while to develop this good habit, but if you have allowed enough time it will be much easier.

5. Leave the Kitchen Spotless

If possible, as soon as dinner is done clear and wipe counters and table, wash all dishes, and sweep the floor. By leaving your kitchen thus you will wake up to a clean and orderly start in the morning.

My Favorite Crock-Pot Meal:

Sour Cream and Dill Chicken


8-10 pieces chicken (thawed the night before)
pepper to taste
2c. sour cream
2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 onion soup mix packet
2 T. lemon juice
2 t. dill

Place chicken in bottom of large slow cooker and sprinkle with black pepper. In large mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4.
Serve over rice (recipe following) with a side of mixed vegetables.

Soaked Rice
(Nourishing Traditions Recipe)

2 c. brown rice
4 c. warm water
4 T. whey, yogurt, buttermilk or keifer
1t. sea salt
2-4 T. butter

In saucepan combine rice, water, and whey (you can also substitute lemon juice or vinegar). Leave in warm place for at least seven hours (I usually do this right after breakfast). Bring to boil and skim foam, reduce to low and stir in salt and butter; cover tightly. Without removing lid, cook over lowest heat possible for about 45 minutes. Yummy!

These are not original ideas, I have gleaned them over the past couple of years from all the wonderful older women in my life.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A New Excellent Website

I would like to introduce you to my mom's new website:

After working on this project four months it is finally published and up and running. Here are some things about it you may find interesting:

eHomebody blog (offering interesting articles on saving money, homemaking, homeschooling, ect.)

Open House for the monthes of January and Febuary (this includes a gift basket giveaway!)

Homebody newsletter (she is offering three free ebooks for signing up!)

Each week, when you sign up for Homebody e-newsletter, you will recieve
~timely articles regarding issues which affect you, your home, and your

~helpful hints and handy tips for making your life easier and more

~exclusive offers only for subscribers to Homebody

~exciting websites and products for you to explore and enjoy

~book, movie, and music reviews to save you time in wondering whether something is appropriate for you and your family and so much

I hope you will check it out and tell your friends about it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Recipe for a Happy Home

Half a cup of friendship, and a cup of thoughtfulness, creamed together with a pinch of powdered tenderness, very lightly beaten in a bowl of loyalty, with a cup of faith, one of hope and one of charity. Be sure to add a spoonful of gaiety that sings, also the ability to laugh at little things. Moisten with sudden tears of heartfelt sympathy, bake in a good natured oven and serve repeatedly.

Taken from:
Mrs. Dunwoody's Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping: Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice
by Miriam Lukken