May 252012
 

I love the warmer days of spring that melt into the hot days of summer. When I walk my Chihuahua in the morning quiet of my backyard (after the school buses have run and the noisy neighbors have retreated to the confines of their homes), I enjoy the blooming snowball bush that was my mother’s and all of the other beautiful flowers in the yard and green leaves on the trees.

When I stand out in the quiet, I notice it’s not so quiet after all. Image

The birds chirp and whistle and tweet and sing beautiful (almost deafening) melodies as they compete for God’s ear. One sounds like a cat and another sounds like a cell phone. (I really do call that one the cell phone bird). The squirrels chatter and bugs make all kinds of humming noises. Makes me want to stay outside forever—until it gets hot, at least.

But what about the kinds of creatures that don’t chirp and hum? What about the ones that hiss and growl? Now I must admit I am fascinated with aligators and I love to watch the show Swamp People. But I would not really want to be face to face with a gator.

One morning this spring, I saw a bird flying away with a snake. Image

(No, it wasn’t a Cobra.) But the chills ran down my spine just the same at the sight of that. And then I thanked the bird for carrying off that slithering creature. He was not welcome in my yard. I didn’t want to go back outside for the rest of the day.

Walking my neighborhood or just the simple act of getting the mail can be challenging sometimes because of the loose dogs that run around. All I have to hear is one itty bitty beginning of a growl and I’m straight for the door and into the safety of my house. The last thing I want is to be on the 6:00 pm news in my stretchy pants with no makeup on because I got mauled by a pit bull.

Have you noticed that in nature—for the most part—the things that chirp and peep and make light humming noises are usually harmless? And the things that hiss and growl and buzz loudly are not so harmless. Some things only make those noises because they feel defensive but most of them could tear you up, eat you to pieces, or scratch your eyes out if the mood struck. Many of them, like my snake enemy, very well could end your life.

So are you a chirper/peeper or a hisser/growler? Image

I’ll confess, in the morning, I’m usually a growler. I have been known to hiss at people before I’ve had my coffee. But I am trying to get into the habit of being a chirper/peeper all day…even in the mornings. I don’t want to gain the reputation for being the kind of person that could cause your fur to fly.

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Psalm 100:1-2 says: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

I think that’s a good habit to get into especially this time of year. If we practice chirping and peeping and spreading joy to all of those around us, maybe by daylight savings time when we start having shorter days and lose some of our beloved sunshine, we’ll be new creatures!

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around the web…

 Posted by on May 17, 2012  No Responses »
May 172012
 

I have been blogging around the web posts on my personal blog for a few years, and thought I might also share some of my finds here at Habits.

Five misdiagnosed symptoms | The Cripplegate

In the Emergency Room, decisions of life and death are regularly made with extreme pressure and very limited information. Symptoms present themselves and a trained, discerning mind diagnoses the real issue. Get it right and the treatment plan takes over. Get it wrong and not even the best treatment plan is able to fully help.

But what about diagnosing spiritual problems? Only God is omniscient and has a full, uninfluenced view of the human heart (1 Samuel 16:7). As believers, our discernment must be driven by the insights and fruit Scripture directs us toward as His Word exposes and corrects issues of the heart (Matthew 7:20; Hebrews 4:12-13). Many more could be added, but here are five symptoms that are commonly misdiagnosed by pastors: Continue reading »

Mar 292012
 

Have you ever seen The Truman Show with Jim Carrey? Mr. Carrey plays Truman Burbank in this 1998 satirical comedy-drama. Truman is the star of a television show which is set in Seahaven and follows his life 24 hours a day, every day of the year—every day of his life. His birth was even filmed as the first episode of the show! People all over the world watch this show religiously. They are addicted to it like people are to soap operas.

The problem is: Truman doesn’t know he’s the star of a show. The show’s creator, Christof, orchestrates everything that happens to Truman. If an actor isn’t playing his role as he should or the producers fear their secret will get out, he is fired (killed off the show). Truman’s world is nearly perfect and each day mimics the one before. Each morning he says to his neighbor, “In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night.” He takes the same route to work every morning, says the same things to the same people day after day. Truman is married but when life becomes too hum drum, he starts to dream about getting out of town to explore the world. His mind drifts to the face of a beauty he met in high school that was forced to move to Fiji, or so he thinks. You begin to see the viewers of the show root for him to find freedom. Although it’s a perfect life, it’s a false one.

One day in the 30th year of the show, a spotlight falls from the sky. Another day, Truman hears the producers talking about him from his car radio. Then he sees his father, who supposedly drowned when he was a child. Every time he asks questions, the producers rush someone in to explain away the issue and to calm Truman’s concerns.

Sometimes this is how we homeschool. We are called to homeschool for various reasons but often once we begin, we become isolationists. We purpose to make everything as perfect as possible, sheltering our children from the destructiveness of the real world.

Nothing is wrong with this. But as our children grow older, they need to breathe air outside of the buddle we’ve put around them. To create as perfect a world as possible for them is doing them an injustice. And if we raise our children to believe that the world revolves around them (which often in our homeschools it does because we’re so proud of them and their accomplishments) they will be in for a rude awakening when they get out there and discover that the majority of the people in the world don’t care about them. In fact, much of the world seeks to destroy them because they have been raised to love the Lord and to put self last and to live pure lives.

Unlike in The Truman Show, we have to resist the urge to rush in and change sets to keep our kids from discovering the real world and from experiencing failure. We have to let them make mistakes while they are home with us so they will be stronger when they get out there in the world.

We certainly cannot do a casting call and change all the “actors” in the lives of our children. They will chose friends who we may not particularly approve of but we have to trust that they have been raised right. We have to build the type of relationship with them that if they do make wrong choices in actions or in friends, they will trust us enough to come to us with their burdens.

One day, on The Truman Show, Truman snaps. He has to get out of town. He drags his wife along with him on a joy ride, trying to convince her that no matter what he does, someone will stop him from leaving. At the end of the movie after his wife, the actress, leaves him, he conquers his fear of water (which he fears only because his “mother” has told him his entire life that he’s afraid of it) and sets sail on a boat for Fiji. In an effort to dash his dreams of leaving (because the producers have built an empire around The Truman Show) the people in the control booth cause a storm, flip his sailboat, and attempt to drown him. He conquers even the fiercest of storms and survives. He goes on to sail away to Fiji—until he hits the side of the “sky” which is really the inside wall of the dome-shaped studio. He climbs out of the boat onto a ledge which leads to a staircase—which leads to a door. It is then that the creator calls out to him from the control booth, which is the moon, and Truman thinks he’s hearing from God.

When everything hits him and he finally finds out it has all been a television show—that everyone he has ever loved in his life (his wife, his mother, his best friend) was an actor—he is dumbfounded. The creator pleads with him to stay. He tells him that the world depends upon him. He tries to manipulate him into remaining on the show by saying that he will devastate his viewers. The classic scene in the movie happens when Truman opens the door and then turns around, looks up at the moon, and says, “In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night.” Although the creator of the show is ruined, the viewers are seen rejoicing for Truman. And so is the woman that he has been dreaming of every day since high school. The movie ends with her fleeing her home to rush to the studio to meet him.

I have graduated both of my homeschool children now. And one thing I have learned is that no matter how much you think you can shelter them and no matter how much control you think you have over them, no matter how hard you try to make the world leave them alone and no matter how much you want them to stay home because your world revolves around them, it is beyond your control.

What is comforting to know is that we serve the ultimate Creator of the earth. He cares for us and guides us and does not use manipulation to do it. He has a plan for all of us. We can raise our children fearfully because they were fearfully and wonderfully created by a wonderful Creator! Amen! And we can go on long after the days of homeschooling fully confident that He’s got them in His hands.

Psalm 139:13-14 says: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

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Jan 092012
 

There is a beautiful song called the Heart of Worship, and the chorus goes like this………

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus
Its all about you
Jesus

We were singing this song in church last week, and as we sang the chorus I just kept thinking, this was a description of what my life should be as I live out my relationship with the FATHER that I have through JESUS CHRIST. Let me change the words of the chorus just a wee bit, so you can see where I am coming from.

My life is coming back to the heart of worship
because my life is all about you
All about you, JESUS
I’m sorry LORD for the thing I’ve made my life
When my life should be all about you
Yes, my life is all about you JESUS
 
Continue reading »

Aunt Charlotte’s Banana Bread

 Posted by on December 1, 2011  No Responses »
Dec 012011
 

My husband’s Great Aunt Charlotte had the best banana bread recipe! I never actually ate it made by her, but enjoyed it many, many times made by my mother-in-law. She passed the recipe down to me and I love to make it and fill my home with the wonderful aroma of such a treat baking. I hope you find this an easy and enjoyable recipe for the holidays.

Aunt Charlotte’s Banana Bread

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup oil

4 mashed bananas

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the egg and oil to the bananas and mix and then add everything together. Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Depending on the humidity level, you may have to bake it a little longer. When your fork or toothpick comes away clean, it’s done and ready to devour!

 

Photos from www.sxc.hu