Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We spent Christmas in Pennsylvania with my parents. They live on a small farm in a rural area. We had a great time. We enjoyed a little snow. My daughter was able to sled ride one day. We were actually “iced in” for two days including Christmas day. We had a lot of time to relax. We played some games and worked a jigsaw puzzle.

As I reflected on the Christmas story this year, I thought about how God planned the birth of his son from the beginning of time. Even when he was creating Adam and Eve, he knew we would sin. He knew then that he would have to send Jesus into the world. He knew that Jesus would have to live as a human and then suffer and die to pay for our sins. Knowing all of that from the beginning of time makes me wonder why he created us. So as I reflect on the birth of Jesus, I am grateful that God loves me so much that He sent Jesus to be born, to live, and to die for me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A weekend in review

The hardest thing about writing a blog is thinking up a topic to write about.

I finished my graduate class. I am extremely happy that it is over. I must have been crazy signing up for a class that went into December. It has been hard to keep up at work, take care of my daughter, get ready for Christmas, and finish a class. I need to think twice about taking a class during this term again.

Our football team won the Georgia Class A State Championship yesterday. They played great. It was televised and I enjoyed watching it on TV.

My daughter has spent all weekend getting ready for finals. She only has Math tomorrow and Math is her best subject. She should be fine. Tuesday will be a lot harder. She has her Bible final and her history final on Tuesday. That's a ton of stuff to memorize. Luckily she has done well all semester so this is all review for her.

She told me the other day that she was glad that Bible was about over. She currently hates her Bible class. That really upset me. I want her to love Bible class. The truth is she likes studying the Bible, she just doesn't like the project they had to do. She also didn't like the quiz she had where she had to write out all the books of the Bible (in order). She knew them all and could recite them. She learned that when she was in AWANA as a young child. Learning how to spell them took forever. She has a form of dyslexia and so writing and spelling are real challenges for her. She studied for about 2 hours. She got a 91% on the Old Testament and a 94% on the New Testament. I told her I was very happy with that. I don't think I could score any better.

So, with this class out of the way I should have more time to think about what to write in my blog. I can also go back to reading books I want to read. That excites me. Sometimes I wonder why I am pursuing this other degree. I am losing a lot of hours out of my life that I can never get back - and for what - another degree. Do I need that degree? Will I ever use it? I guess if I knew the answers to those questions, I would know what to do.

I an just about ready for Christmas. The decorating is done; the cookies are baked; the gifts are bought and wrapped. We will be leaving town on Friday to go and spend Christmas with our families in Pennsylvania. Are you ready for Christmas? Be sure as you spend time in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, to take some time to think about the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birth. Take a minute to re-read the Christmas story and contemplate the real meaning of this season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jesus - not just for Christmas

I love Christmas and I try to remember to keep my focus on Jesus. That means that Christmas should be like most days. I try to keep my focus on Jesus every day. Jesus isn't just someone to bring out at Christmas. He wants to walk with me every day, in everything I do.

This video says it better than I can ...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who started this whole Christmas thing?

I don't know the author of this story - it came to me as a forward in my email box but it makes a very good point!

A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season, overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the elevator. She pushed her way in and dragged her two kids in with her and all the shopping bags. When the doors closed, she couldn’t take it anymore and stated, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up, and shot.”

From the back, everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, “Don’t worry. We already crucified him.” For the rest of the trip down the elevator, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Don’t forget this year to keep the one who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think how different this whole world would be. Jesus is the reason for the season!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tough Situation

My daughter needed a new blouse for a chorus concert. Of course, somehow I didn’t get that information until about 90 minutes prior to the concert. I dropped her off for her pre-concert rehearsal and went desperately looking for a black blouse. I went to a department store just down the street from the school and found 5 blouses that I thought might work. I picked up all five blouses and took them in two sizes – I wasn’t sure what would fit and what she would like. So I went to the register and checked out 10 blouses. I paid the bill with my credit card. I was in a hurry and I didn’t pay attention to how much they cost. When I got to the car I actually looked at my receipt. I noticed that somehow I was only charged for 6 blouses. It didn’t make sense because I saw the cashier scan all 10 blouses. I didn’t have time right then to figure it out so I went on to the concert. My daughter found a blouse that would work and she did a fine job in her concert. After the concert we went back to the department store. I needed to return 9 blouses that we didn’t use but my problem was going to be that my receipt only showed 6 blouses. I took all 9 in and fortunately the same salesman was still working. I explained the problem to him. He remembered us - as it was only about 90 minutes since I purchased the blouses. I explained my problem with my receipt and he couldn’t believe that only 6 blouses were on the receipt. Then he couldn’t believe that we were honest enough to bring them all back. As it turns out, the one we kept, we hadn’t even been charged for. He talked to us quite a bit while doing the return and said several times how he couldn’t believe we would bring back the clothes that we hadn’t been charged for. He said no one does something like that. He was impressed with our honesty. To tell you the truth, not returning them had never crossed my mind. My only fear was that someone would catch us with merchandise in a bag that we didn’t have a receipt for and think we were trying to steal them. I am glad I didn’t let my fear keep me from doing the right thing.

I guess what I am trying to tell you today is, do the right thing no matter what. It will surprise and bless the people around you. Do it because it is the right thing. Do it because it is what God would expect you to do. And, it will bless your socks off.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Remember who gave it to you

I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning - 104.7 The Fish - as is my habit every day. I love the Kevin and Taylor show.

They were interviewing a young guest who talked about her relationship with her Dad. She was remembering how he used to drop her off for school every morning and tell her, "Have a good day. Love, laugh, and remember who gave it to you." He was referring to the fact that every day we have is a gift from God. Don't lose sight of that when you are stressed and working hard.

A short post today. So go have a good day. Love, laugh, and remember who gave it to you!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lie, Cheat, and Steal

Lie, Cheat, and Steal? This is the name of an article in yesterday's Atlanta Journal. It describes a study that was done with a group of high school students. They surveyed almost 30,000 students in 100 randomly chosen high schools in the US. The results were amazing. In the past year, 30% of US high school students have stolen from a store, 20% stole from a friend, 23% stole something from their parents or close relative, 64% of them have cheated on a test, 38% cheated two or more times, 36% admitted to plagiarizing an assignment from the internet, and 42% said they sometimes lie to save money. While those statistics left me amazed, the next one really blew my socks off. 93% said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character. 77% said that when it comes to doing what is right, they were better than most people they knew.

The authors of this survey said that most Americans are too blasé about ethical shortcomings among young people and in society at large. “What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair.”

I put this in context with the paper my daughter was writing last night about Daniel. Daniel was a young man when taken in exile. Daniel and his three friends are examples of dedication and commitment. They were determined to serve God regardless of the consequences. They did not give in to the pressures from a pagan society because they had a clear purpose in life.

Some lessons we can learn from Daniel include the idea that there is strength in real friendship. Friends can hold each other up and hold each other accountable. It is important to choose the right friends – ones that share your convictions.

Daniel’s life demonstrates that there is more to being young than making mistakes. Our first hint of Daniel’s greatness comes in his refusal to give up his convictions. He had godly habits that included a careful physical and spiritual diet. When Daniel was in captivity and they brought him his food, he asked for it to be exchanged for fruits and vegetables. He did this because the meat he was brought went against what he had been taught he was allowed to eat. He held to his convictions. His request was honored and he actually looked healthier eating the fruits and vegetables than the others who had eaten the meat. He was faithful to maintain his prayer habit even when it meant being tossed into the lion’s den. His life proved he had made the right choice.

Do we hold to our faith so strongly that whatever happens to us, we will do what God says. Such conviction will keep us one step ahead of temptation and give us wisdom in tricky situations. Live out your convictions every day and trust God to take care of you no matter what.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm back !!!!

Sorry I didn't get to finish my Thanksgiving posts. Our router went down and I lost the use of the internet on my laptop.

It was an interesting Thanksgiving for us. My husband got his wisdom teeth cut out on Monday (a week ago) and he wasn't up to doing much all week. He laid around, ate soft foods, watched TV, and slept. The longer the week went on, the less patience I had. Wonder what God was trying to teach me ......... We are thankful he seems to be healing fine - slower than we'd like - but fine.

I was able to get some much needed rest. I completed most of my shopping and wrapping. My daughter made all our Christmas cookies - no... it's not too early. The time will fly over the next couple of weeks.

I have just less than two weeks left in my graduate class. I will be very thankful when this class is over. I have not enjoyed a single minute of this class and I see nothing useful about it. Perhaps that is how some of my students feel when they take some of their classes. Looks like maybe I am suppose to learn empathy for others.

Nothing too deep today. I am just very thankful to have a job to go back to. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the snow flakes that fell today - it seemed to put everyone in a good mood (snow doesn't come often in Georgia). I am thankful for a good staff working under me. I am thankful for life, health, and another day to walk with God.