Archive for December, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday

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I took this photo a few weeks ago of the sun setting and thought it was perfect for the last WFW photo of the year.
 

The verse…now that is something I hope we remember every day next year.  We have nothing to be fearful of because He has redeemed us.  But not only that but He has summoned us by name.  He knows my name, He knows your name.  And most importantly we are HIS.  As we embark on this New Year I can think of nothing better to remember.

 

I hope that your 2009  is full of His wondrous love and the knowledege that YOU ARE HIS.

For more WFW goodness visit Amy Deanne.

Much Love,

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The Day After

December 26.
Bah Humbug!

I dislike the day after Christmas. There is such anticipation building up to Christmas….from the day after Thankgiving until Christmas Day we are overwhelmed with Christmas…movies, music, lights, decorations…stuff I love.

And then at midnight…no more movies, no more music, most people turn off their lights and start taking down their decorations until next year.

All that excitement and in one day…it’s gone until next year.

And yet I do it again and again every year… and I look forward to it!

I am not a fan of anticipation sometimes…because sometimes anticipation can come with disappointment.

It reminds me of my relationship with Christ sometimes. I pray and ask Him for something…sometimes something small and sometimes something I know He may say no, or even wait for.

And I let the anticipation build….I mean He is God right and He loves me and wants me happy…so of course He is going to give me what I want….Right?

And then the answer comes and I don’t like it. At all.

So I stop praying some and I may skip my time with Him…and slowly my relationship with Him starts to deteriorate.

I realized my pattern earlier this year and thought…Wow when did God become my wish granter instead of my Father who loves me.

I am not one to ask for something from God very often…I would just rather be thankful than request something. But when I did ask for something I expected God to cater to my whims.

So over the last few months I have had to change my prayer life. Umm wow is that hard. I get set in my ways and don’t want to change them.

But I have. I only want what He has for me. And I also have realized it is not about happiness but about contentedness. He has plans for me, wonderful plans, and I kept getting in the way.

Now I want His best as my best.

I, no We, are working on this, together. Just as it should be in a relationship.

And I must say… that relationship? It is getting sweeter every day.

So while I may be disappointed today it once again reminds me of how things could be and how they are now.

And I rejoice in knowing He is changing me….one day at a time.

To YOU…


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Favorite Christmas Ornament…

Kim over at Rainy Day Diamonds (don’t you just love that blog name!) had a fun idea to share your favorite Christmas ornament. I shared about one of my favorites last week so I thought I would share my other favorite this week. This is my favorite “fun” ornament!

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I am not sure where it came from but I love it. I adore anything with the Peanuts gang on it. I was thrilled to find Charlie Brown wrapping paper this year.

So now you know my favorite ornament now go join the fun HERE!

Word Filled Wednesday (on Tuesday!)

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This is not really what I had planned for this week but over and over the last few days the Words of John 1 have come to me. And then I could think of no better way to celebrate Christmas Word Filled Wednesday than with this verse. The Word that we so love and celebrate was also Jesus. I cannot think of anything more powerful to know about the Word of God than to know He became flesh and lived among us. He did not have to…but He did.

To know that the Word we celebrate every week was in the beginning and with God and was God.

I hope as we read the story of our Savior’s birth over the next few days we are reminded that the words we are reading are living and active…

For more WFW visit Amy Deanne!

God in the Small Stuff

At one point in my life I worked at a Christian bookstore. Today that sounds like a slice of heaven. At that time it was not. I had been running from God for a few years and the job just sort of fell in my lap…so I worked at a Christian bookstore without a real relationship with Christ. I remember constantly seeing these books called God is in The Small Stuff. By Bruce and Stan. There were several different books…and I remember thinking to my self…God in the small stuff….yeah right. Like He Cares.

And then we have this week. And this year.

God is an everyday presence and help in our lives and He is constantly around us. The leaf spinning down from the ground, the sunrise, the sunset. These are all beautiful things we can see.

He also gets personal in those small things. For me this week has been about the small things.

An unexpected Christmas card in the mail.
A last day of work that went so smoothly….i was worried it did go so smoothly…haha!
A sweet hug from a little girl with a big heart.
The teen girls I work with playing with photobooth on my computer…and laughing.
LAUGHTER!
A blog comment from someone who stumbled on my blog…it gave me HOPE.
Christmas music, Christmas movies.
Giving gifts to those I care about…and this is just the beginning of the gift giving.
A heartfelt wish of a Merry Christmas by a cashier.
A beautiful Cantata about the love of a Savior who came as a sweet baby
Lunch with some of my dearest friends

and the list could go on…

Oh the little things. They remind us we are loved and cared for by the Creator of the universe. He cares enough to be in the small things. If He cares so much for the small things imagine how much He cares for the big things in our lifes. If we give them Him…

He is faithful.

Always.

Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard

I was so excited to receive this book! I love Jane Austenesque romances! I have not had a chance to read it yet but I will over the next two weeks off from work…so look for a review soon :o)

It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book’s FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Before the Season Ends

Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2008)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linore Rose Burkard lives with her husband, five children, and ninety-year-old grandmother in southeastern Ohio. She homeschooled her children for ten years. Raised in New York, she graduated magna cum laude from the City University of New York (Queens College) with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. Ms. Burkard wrote Before the Season Ends because she could not find a book like it anywhere. “There are Christian books that approach this genre,” she says, “but they fall short of being a genuine Regency. I finally gave up looking and wrote the book myself.” She has begun four other works of fiction in the category.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 12.99
Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (December 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925511
ISBN-13: 978-0736925518

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chesterton, Hertfordshire

England

1813

Something would have to be done about Ariana.

All winter Miss Ariana Forsythe, aged nineteen, had been going about the house sighing.

“Mr. Hathaway is my lot in life!”

She spoke as though the prospect of that life was a great burden to bear, but one which she had properly reconciled herself to. When her declarations met with exasperation or reproach from her family—for no one else was convinced Mr. Hathaway, the rector, was her lot—she usually responded in a perplexed manner. Hadn’t they understood for an age that her calling was to wed a man of the cloth? Was there another man of God, other than their rector, available to her? No. It only stood to reason, therefore, that Mr. Hathaway was her lot in life. Their cold reception to the thought of the marriage was unfathomable.

When she was seventeen, (a perfectly respectable marrying age) she had romantic hopes about a young and brilliant assistant to the rector, one Mr. Stresham. It was shortly after meeting him, in fact, that she had formed the opinion the Almighty was calling her to marry a man of God. Mr. Stresham even had the approval of her parents. But the man took a situation in another parish without asking Ariana to accompany him as his wife. She was disappointed, but not one to give up easily, continued to speak of “the calling,” waiting in hope for another Mr. Stresham of sorts. But no man came. And now she had reached the conclusion that Mr. Hathaway–Mr. Hathaway, the rector, (approaching the age of sixty!) would have to do.

Her parents, Charles and Julia Forsythe, were sitting in their comfortably furnished morning room, Julia with a cup of tea before her, and Charles with his newspaper. A steady warmth was emanating from the hearth.

“What shall we do about Ariana?” Mrs. Forsythe, being an observant mama, had been growing in her conviction that the situation called for some action.

“What do you suggest, my dear?” Her husband reluctantly folded his paper; he knew his wife wanted a discussion of the matter and that he would get precious little reading done until she had got it.

She held up a folded piece of foolscap: the annual letter from Agatha Bentley, Charles’s sister, asking for Alberta, the eldest Forsythe daughter, for the season in London. It had arrived the day before.

Aunt Bentley was a childless wealthy widow and a hopeless socialite. For the past three years she had written annually to tell her brother and his wife why they ought to let her sponsor their eldest daughter for a London season. She owned a house in Mayfair (could anything be more respectable than that?) and knew a great deal of the big-wigs in society. She had, in fact, that most important of commodities which the Forsythes completely lacked: connexions. And as Charles’s family were her only living relatives, she was prepared–even anxious–to serve as chaperon for her niece.

Much to the lady’s frustration, Julia and Charles had annually extinguished her hopes, replying to her letters graciously but with the inevitable, “We cannot countenance a separation from our child at this time,” and so on. Charles was unflinching on this point, never doubting his girls would reap a greater benefit by remaining beneath his own roof. They knew full well, moreover, that Aunt Agatha could not hope, with all her money and connexions to find as suitable a husband for their offspring as was possible right in Chesterton.

Why not? For the profound reason that Aunt Bentley had no religion whatsoever.

And yet, due to the distressing state of affairs with Ariana, Julia wished to consider her latest offer. With the letter waving in her hand she said, “I think we ought to oblige your sister this year. She must be lonely, poor thing, and besides removing Ariana from the parish, a visit to the city could prove beneficial for her education.”

Ariana’s father silently considered the matter. His eldest daughter Alberta was as good as wed, having recently accepted an offer of marriage–to no one’s surprise–from John Norledge. Ariana, his second eldest, had been irksome in regard to the rector, but to pack her off to London? Surely the situation was not so dire as to warrant such a move.

“I think there is nothing else for it,” Mrs. Forsythe said emphatically. “Ariana is determined about Mr. Hathaway and, even though we can forbid her to speak to the man, she will pine and sigh and like as not drive me to distraction!”

Taking a pipe out of his waistcoat pocket (though he never smoked), Mr. Forsythe absently rubbed the polished wood in his fingers.

“I recall other fanciful notions of our daughter’s,” he said finally, “and they slipped away in time. Recall, if you will, when she was above certain her destiny was to be a missionary–to America. That desire faded. She fancies this, she fancies that; soon she will fancy another thing entirely, and we shan’t hear another word about the ‘wonderful rector’ again.”

Mrs. Forsythe’s countenance, still attractive in her forties, became fretful.

“I grant that she has had strong…affections before. But this time, my dear, it is a complicated affection for in this case it is the heart of the ah, affected, which we must consider. It has ideas of its own.”

“Of its own?”

Mrs. Forsythe looked about the room to be certain no one else had entered. The servants were so practiced at coming and going quietly, their presence might not be marked. But no, there was only the two of them. She lowered her voice anyway.

“The rector! I do not think he intends to lose her! What could delight him more than a young, healthy wife who might fill his table with offspring?”

Mr. Forsythe shook his head.”Our rector is not the man to think only of himself; he must agree with us on the obvious unsuitability of the match.”

The rector was Thaddeus Admonicus Hathaway, of the Church in the Village Square. Mr. Hathaway was a good man. His sermons were grounded in sound religion, which meant they were based on orthodox Christian teaching. He was clever, and a popular dinner guest of the gentry, including the Forsythes. If these had not been true of him, Mr. Forsythe might have been as concerned as his wife. Knowing Mr. Hathaway, however, Charles Forsythe did not think a drastic action such as sending his daughter to the bustling metropolis of London, was necessary.

Mrs. Forsythe chose not to argue with her spouse. She would simply commit the matter to prayer. If the Almighty decided that Ariana must be removed to Agatha’s house, then He would make it clear to her husband. In her years of marriage she had discovered that God was the Great Communicator, and she had no right to try and usurp that power. Her part was to pray, sincerely and earnestly.

Mr. Forsythe gave his judgment: “I fear that rather than exerting a godly influence upon her aunt, Ariana would be drawn astray by the ungodliness of London society.”

“Do you doubt her so much, Charles? This infatuation with Mr. Hathaway merely results from her youth, her admiration for his superior learning, and especially,” she said, leaning forward and giving him a meaningful look, “for lack of a young man who has your approval! Have you not frowned upon every male who has approached her in the past? Why, Mr. Hathaway is the first whom you have failed to frighten off and only because he is our rector! ‘Tis little wonder a young girl takes a fanciful notion into her head!”

When he made no answer, she added, while adjusting the frilly morning cap on her head, “Mr. Hathaway causes me concern!”

Mr. Forsythe’s countenance was sober. “’Tis my sister who warrants the concern. She will wish to make a match for our daughter–and she will not be content with just any mister I assure you. In addition to which, a girl as pretty as our daughter will undoubtedly attract attention of the wrong sort.”

Julia was flustered for a second, but countered, “Agatha is no threat to our child. We shall say we are sending Ariana to see the sights, take in the museums and so forth. Surely there is no harm in that. A dinner party here or there should not be of concern. And Ariana is too intelligent to allow herself to be foisted upon an unsuitable man for a fortune or title.”

Too intelligent? He thought of the aging minister that no one had had to “foist” her upon. Aloud he merely said, “I shall speak with her tonight. She shall be brought to reason, depend upon it. There will be no need to pack her off to London.”


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