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As God by creation made two of one,
so again by marriage He made one of two.


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May 2004

The Welcome Home Blog
Go get your cup
and read on.

God is the LORD, there is no other.

Blogging’s therapeutic for me, and I pray encouraging for you. Each days’ blog
is a bit of journaling of slices of life here in our home and ways the LORD’s working.
~March~

Someday my children will read “mom’s blog” and catch a glimpse of some of what was “important” each day,
some of the “snap-shots” of the day, what was going on in the world and what really stirred up my thoughts.

May 27, 2004  I read with great interest articles pertaining to homeschooling—specifically, lately, articles featuring homes-chool graduates.  Since we have another home-school graduate (this week!!), it’s particularly good to read a positive article and to see others who’re doing well in the business of training up children in the Way they should go.   Here’s a great rebuttal(!) to the  imprudent Quinn Cotton article on the horrors of home-school(ers).  This, by a PhD, no less, is a very interesting look at some angles of homeschooling that rarely surface.  Home-schoolers are quite delightful—and I could write volumes on the reasons we do home-school and don’t send our children out to the government schools.  This is the real world—I mean, you can just *tell* it is from the pics below!

Such a blessing to follow Roger Bennett‘s progress in treatment/transplant process.  You know… one thing about life, every twist and every turn reveals another marvelous angle of the LORD.  His ways are past finding out—they are higher than our ways, He doesn’t think as a man thinks.

Deuteronomy 31.8:  “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”


May 26—extra. Now… I couldn’t resist putting up a few more pics.. another slice of a day in the “life” of our family. 


Stephen’s Lincoln Log/book
tower! Built this morning,
it’s still standing! He had a little help from Naomi and cheering from Andrew & Ami

Having given up on the dryer repair,
Timothy went on to some other useful work… gathering up all the “give-away’s” for Dad.
But before Wes loaded up the give-away
clothes, everyone had to try something on.

These are the clothes we decided *not*
to keep from the collection of
pass-around’s we have received lately.
“Large families” seem to never ever
run out of clothes and… fun!

Timothy has outdone himself, here.

May 26, 2004  Ever green and ever wet… Another rainy day in Washington!  Just in time for Memorial Day weekend—overcast and rain.  Now, one thing rain does is keep us cozy! AND makes me thankful to have a dryer.  Now, if our dryer was working, that would be great.  So, Wes is on the phone… who has great dyers on sale —today— ?  Now, this wouldn’t matter all that much if we weren’t planning on going to a conference this weekend and didn’t want to bring clean clothes to wear.   But… this makes me smile… what a gold mine of goodies: socks, clips, combs and toys we found under and behind the washer/dryer and amazing stuff *in* the “lint trap” housing—drill bits, screws, barrettes, nails, sand, chains, bolts.  Thrilling.  We figure we do 5 loads a day and so we’re now behind just a tad.  A new machine sounds great… but in the background I’m hearing the price… great—woooo, very great.  So, maybe they’ll find parts and rebuild the motor…

Today was the last piano lesson for the year—the lesson book is now filled with summer goals for pieces to learn by September.

We had our neighbors in for dinner last night.  What a blessing it was to be able to spend time with them, to learn more about them and to hear about their work.  Another sweet blessing was to learn that she minored in communicative disorders/ASL in college.  She commented that I sign to Naomi and then said she’d love to “practice” again and will work with us to understand  the “deaf culture.”  She shared many things with us that we’ve already made use of this morning.   You know, it’s marvelous to me how the LORD works, how He orchestrates our days and constructs the elements of our lives.

Friend, Barbara, sent me an interesting article this morning—it’s sort along the lines of the wild anti-homeschooler/conservative (whatever that means) families article I linked a couple of weeks ago.  Well, this one is particularly interesting to me and the logic is just a ridiculous. Why Large Families Don’t Deserve Tax Breaks.  It seems to me, these two individuals have quite an axe to grind.  Large families, as portrayed in this article, are not worthy of tax breaks because the have stupid children?  I wish this person knew the LORD—perhaps then he’d see that tax credits or incentives have absolutely nothing to do with parents who decide to allow the LORD to give them the number of children*He* desires them to have—by birth, adoption or any other means—how narrow also is his research.  What a limited view this person has… sad, too, because he would have had a wonderful time at the table last night—eating the best meal (made for the most part, by our third-born! and cleaned up, for the most part by our fourth and sixth born) and enjoying the best conversations, humorous stories of the fifth and eighth-born, hearing the goals & dreams of the fourth-born, all around the table there were fun conversations; O, the sweetness of the ninth-born and then the endearing giggles and ways of the tenth and eleventh-born children.  At many points our neighbors were just in stitches over the children and as they related many stories of their own, we enjoyed them so much—both very competent and both from families of four children, by the way. O, it’s sad how much that author is missing.

It doesn’t matter how many tax breaks we might get… we still buy lots of milk, lots of groceries, lots of books, lots of music lessons, machines and materials, spend lots of money for goods and services from doctors and INSURANCE companies (!), in addition to tires and dry-cleaners, repaimen, WASHER/DRYER retailers—all this buying and paying keeps the economy buzzing—and, boy, is it buzzing around here today!  A lot of families pay for and don’t receive tax credits or exemptions for home-education books, materials and conferences and yet, still pay (a BUNCH!) for government $chools.

May 24, 2004  If ever I feel discouraged, all I need to do is to look around at the smiling faces of all our children, or to look out at the beauty of God’s creation or to recount or rehearse any of the ten thousand blessings the LORD’s bestowed on us or think of where I’d be today if I didn’t know Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord… and then… if I need think further, then I begin to think of where I’m not!  I’m not in ill health, I’m not alone, I’m not afraid of the future, I’m not where I was… Then, need I look further, I think on Roger Bennett’s life, his journey through Leukemia and I marvel at the grace of God.  Take time to read through his “midnight meditations” and you’ll have a glimpse of our wonderfully gracious God and LORD.

Just as we don’t seem to understand the nature of the enemy in Iraq, so also, we seem (as a nation) out of touch with the terrorism that’s going on all over the world.  We just received a note that New Tribes is offering a CD of the Burnham Story.  The Burnham’s, New Tribes missionaries to the Philippines, nearly three years ago were held hostage by Abu Sayyaf terrorists for 375 days.  At the end of their captivity two years ago, Martin was killed in a battle between Philippine military and the Abu Sayyaf terrorists and then Gracia, though wounded in the crossfire, returned home to the United States where she was reunited with her children and her family. About a year ago, she completed her work on the book detailing her story, Martin’s bravery and determination and God’s protection and provision: In the Presence of My Enemies.

In the presence of my enemies is how I feel at the gas cha-ching, cha-ching station, now—OR—when I go to buy milk!!  Wow!!  Our 15-passenger van now sounds like a cash register…  just turning the key: cha-ching, cha-ching.  Put it in Reverse: cha-ching, cha-ching!  Put it in Drive: cha-ching, cha-ching!  Go to the library for the fifth time in a week: cha-ching, cha-ching!  So… now that it takes cha-ching, cha-ching $75.00 to fill the van… every trip’s a cha-ching, cha-ching precious time of cha-ching, cha-ching, traveling together—and every trip is worth it, by the way!  What do you think:  Will the rise in production = savings at the pump?

Speaking of travel… it was such a blessing to us to be able to go to the Gaither Homecoming Concert in Tacoma on Saturday night!  Thank you, Mom.  What a thrill it is to see and hear believers filling that dome with praise!  To see the thousands of little twinkling lights all over the dome (tiny flashlights in the hands of those in attendance). We love to hear the songs of the faith, to laugh and to praise the LORD for His goodness.  It was also very moving to sing I’m Proud to be an American… to see the lights and to thank the LORD for His provision and for all who are daily fighting and laying down their lives for our freedom—for our freedom to gather, freedom to sing, freedom to worship God.   Let freedom ring—for it was for Freedom that Jesus died, paying the price for sin that separates man from God… that He rose again, that He lives today and that His gift of salvation is free to all who would believe.  Acts 16.31

I think my favourite was Lynda Randle who sang a couple of songs, one of which was a tribute to Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972)—and if you’ve never heard her ring out Amazing Grace, or Sweet Little Jesus Boy… well… you’ve just gotta hear her!  We didn’t buy it, but Lynda’s got a new CD Tribute… it looks great!  

We did buy Anthony Berger’s piano CD—what a gift he has!  I like his music style, but for certain to me, no one anywhere plays like Legacy 5‘s  Roger Bennett!  We also talked to an area promoter who has blessed our family by asking the children to usher at concerts and who extended an invitation to do so again at the Legacy 5 concert in November —but it’s in Portland!  We told him we’d be there if at all possible—what blessing it would be to be able to go!  Like this man said, what you see is what you get—and that’s not always true of people in the limelight.  It’s sort of like show-biz is a poison to people—all of us would succumb to it, I suppose.  The feeding of the pride of life or whatever.  It sure doesn’t seem that way with them, though.

As is always the case, when we attend a function like the Gaither’s, where there are many believers gathered, we see people we haven’t seen in years, or run into old friends and try to have a quick conversation—always amazing them with how the children have grown and that, yes, there is another one or three!  I love to bring the children to see “old-timers” and to give them a glimpse of what’s gone on before them.  So many young people today think that everything’s about *them* and I hope to impart to the children that life’s not all about them—they are *part* of the big picture, but they aren’t *the* big picture.

If you’ve got a webpage, *and* are infanticipating or expecting a baby, then you can post a daily updated custom graphic by Lilypie that will allow your viewers to follow the days remaining in your pregnancy.

If you had a baby due on December 31, 2004, the graphic would look like this today:
Lilypie Baby Days

*No, Mama, and No, Mom, I am not pregnant—remember, I am in my mid-wife crisis.
No new babies… but another great-grandbaby *is* due in early November!

May 23, 2004 

 This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms118.24

Update: Corrections to May 22 links.

May 22, 2004  A powerful, powerful article by William (Book of Virtues) J. Bennett: Remembering Why We Fight,  is such an important commentary on our time.  However, you’re not likely to see this in any mainstream paper.  Bennett:  “This was not a matter of poor military training any more than it was a matter of poor military judgment. This was a matter of poor human training and poor human judgment. We don’t need to read the Geneva Conventions or the Code of Military Justice to know this.”  Later in the article which was adapted from a speech he’d made, he went on to say, “Our enemy is horrid, wicked, inhuman. Those are the adjectives for 9/11, and for 5/11. Not “inhumane,” as some of our soldiers acted at Abu Ghraib.  Inhuman.  The moral equivalence, and the adjectival equivalence, needs to end now.”  A very concise, very accurate assessment of recent events.

Post the Ten Commandments: lose your job.  Wear a “Ten Commandments” lapel pin: lose your job.  In America, no less.  I’m sitting here thinking… could Christopher Word (yes, that’s his last name) have been also fired had he worn a name badge with his last name on it?   In the article, we read he referred to himself as “an average Joe.”  Well, he’s an average Joe with, by the way, a cool last name: Word.  But he was wearing a pin—motivated by faith; obviously wearing a Ten Commandments-pin in Alabama is a political statement—and for that, he was fired.

I was reading in Genesis 18 & 19; grieved by the story of Lot, of Sodom and the reality that there were not ten faithful there, that the LORD rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from heaven.  More social engineering in the media: a new show will premier [in this country—it’s already a BBC show]: Wife Swap or The Swap.   A sickening-sad week of degradation of marriage and God’s design in the redefining of “marriage” in our country.  Now, further plummeting into the abyss, this ‘reality TV’ show.   You can make calls, you can sign a petition to make your “voice” heard, you can throw out your TV set, I guess.  The more things are seen, the more they become “normal” and what is normal becomes alright and what is alright becomes: right.  But it’s not right, it’s adultery, it’s immoral, it’s: sin.   This doesn’t just “miss the mark,” it attempts to wipe it out.  Another assault on God’s design—another attempt to defile His creation.  Here’s what’s sick: ABC said, “Never before has a reality series taken such an honest inside look at the American family.”  An honest look.  I grieve for the end of those who mock God.  Even so, Come, LORD Jesus.   (At the AFA site you can sign a petition voicing your opinions.)

May 21, 2004  I cannot believe my eyes when I read of each days’ account of what’s going on in the “War on Terror” or in Iraq.  Now, this: US frees hundreds in Iraq.  Who has the tiger by the tail?  Can the reports of Iraqi prisoners be believed?  I wonder what would have been the outcome of Vietnam or WWII or any other war, for that matter, had they been this propagandized or media influenced wars.

A couple of months ago I shared of a Snohomish man’s journey from the penitentiary to the garden that grief built.  Now, after all these years, Ralph Lowery, in addition to “giving back” to the community, has been reunited “with a warden who changed his life nearly 40 years ago.  Ah, the turns of life.

Wow! Mariners won?  Wow.
No child left behind [no matter what?!]: to what lengths will “teachers” go to ensure this? 

Last night, our friend was sharing an amazing story about a father and daughter who were “found” living in the hillside of Portland’s Forest Park.  Surprisingly, they’d lived there undetected for four years!  What I find the most interesting is that they, the proverbial “they” are not disrupting this family or aren’t determining to split them up because of their living conditions—which, were, by description, “unacceptable,” according to police Sgt. Michael Barkley.   Interestingly, he sought what was best for the family and didn’t succumb to the knee-jerk reaction of calling in child protective services to “handle” this situation.  Instead, a very workable solution was sought and found!  It’s become somewhat of a community effort  (of funding) now to see that this family has what it needs.

We hear very little in America about the persecuted Church.  Mainstream media either ignores or disregards the persecution of Christians around the world.  We receive a publication from Voice of the Martyrs which has shed light on areas around the world where Christians are suffering in defense of faith in Jesus Christ.  At the site you can discover ways to support VOM, receive their newsletter, purchase books and videos and/or see ways in which you might offer help with support efforts to those in bonds.  Another site, Worthy News will help you see a bit more of reality of persecution against the church in the US.

May 20, 2004  Okay—so systematic buzz phrases are popping up all over!  Maybe some could be utilized in our homes. For example, Synchronized Organizational Flexibility (SOF) is what I’m looking for in our home, working together—with this many people in our family, we very much need flexibility, order and action: at the same time! with every member doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

Kelli told me of a site for Herbs at great prices: Trilight Herbs.  There’s a huge selection—thus I need my herbalist to discern which I need.  I was sharing with her some of the “things” I’m dealing with in the mid-wife-crisis phase of life.  BTW—this phase is the phase of not having babies any more and looking at all the *young!* women with *no* gray hair, having babies, pushing swings at the park, their young smiles, beautiful dark hair, and unetched faces filled with hopes and dreams of many tomorrows.  I’ve had no midwife visit for nearly three years, hence: the mid-wife crisis (and the subsequent denial of a “mid-life” crisis).

So, Kathryn’s making Oatmeal-Raisin cookies today.  I’ve just started back on the NO BSF foods so I’ll need to forgo the delightful experience of having a cookie or ten with a cup of coffee (or three) with whipped cream and honey.  So, I’m boosting my spirits with a cup of coffee and cream.

It’s incredible *to me* the seeming contradictions in sports—that because steroids and other blood-boosting drugs were taken by Kelli White, she’ll be suspended for two years (and Olympic competition), yet this summer will be the first Olympic Games in which transgender individuals will be eligible to compete–provided they’ve met the “criteria” set by the IOC.  Ridiculous, given the fact that Kelli White will be “used” to uncover abuses by athletes and now, this!  If a male (to “female”) body isn’t performance enhanced, I don’t know what is!  Considering our amoral and/or immoral society, to what lengths would athletes or countries go to “bring home the gold” anyway?!  What a sick quagmire, this.

As if he doesn’t, or they don’t, have enough trouble, this headline won’t win friends: “Kerry and McCain Shield Communist Vietnam’s Slaughter of Christians Just as the “war on terror is a war against an enemy we (seemingly) don’t know or understand, here is another case of not understanding what’s really going on—who the actual enemy is!   

May 19, 2004  So, I was reading an email and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what in the world was being conveyed: YMMV Your-Mileage-May-Vary?!?!  Whaa…?  Okay… so YMMV applies to many things, I guess.  I was being too literal.  So I found the site that is loaded with acronym’s, hence the name: Acronym Finder [duh!] .com!  You can also find IM and email lingo [warning! there are some acronyms you will NOT want to use, nor will some of them be in*your* daily vocabulary.  This is just a FYI warning!]  They have a quote: “A comprehensive A-Z of every kind of Internet gibberish you are ever likely to encounter.” -Reader’s Digest.    I also discovered something that helped me understand the source of acronyms used in business.  My son continually tells me of the projects he’s on (using acronyms and buzz phrases, of course) and so now I see where these originate! They utilize the Systematic Buzz Phrase projector—and voila! they have a new buzz word for their project!  Try it!  This, then, actually explains to me all the oxymoron’s popping up all over, eg.: artificial intelligence and others.

It seems everyone is losing sanity in regard to the war on terror[ists], what-did-they-know and when-did-they-know-it 9/11 attacks, whose responsible for what and when… yada yada yada.  The blame-game of politics.  So now… Giuliani says he wasn’t warned about the attack  (Newsmax) but then, here’s this: “If that information had been given to us, or more warnings had been given in the summer of 2001, I can’t honestly tell you we’d do anything differently,” Giuliani testified.  Ah politics. Is a bio-chemical strike next?

More trouble in Massachusetts.   Now… which licenses will they recognize?  If the marriages are already unrecognized or illegal in other states, and out of stater’s are not recognized there?  Isn’t it time for the Federal Marriage amendment?  Write your Reps and Senators today.

24 years ago, yesterday, Mount St. Helen’s erupted, sending lava and destruction for miles.  Obviously, we didn’t have internet in those day or the caliber of the instant media reporting that’s available today, so, news didn’t travel as quickly.  We had one child at the time and attempted to watch any news of the even on a little 12″ Black and White TV set.  I think linking hands holding hangers and tin-foil enabled a fuzzy picture on the screen.  It was clearly one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever seen.  Even today, the resulting damage, the resulting landscape with destruction and regeneration being seen at once is really spectacular!  It’s really incredible to see the consequences of that eruption over time!

Yesterday’s local election had one measure on the ballot: a school levy.  My small vote… didn’t hold much sway as the levy appears to have passed and now, for 20 years, the additional tax will be added to an already high property tax.  We’re doing all we can in our home to eliminate over-crowding in the schools.

May 18, 2004  Here we go… it’s going to be a tough road for senators and reps to bring the Federal Marriage Amendment to a vote—and harder to pass it—especially as Election Day draws near.  Here’s how the House is lining up, and the Senate, on the matter of the Federal Marriage Amendment.  It’s hard to believe that the world in which we live has come to so hate the Creator and His creation—but we know that the enemy is a defeated foe, no matter how things look today, God is the LORD.

O, that there would be more friendships like these!  Friends who’ve helped one another for years with whatever’s been needed at their homes, have built strong community in friendship together.  It doesn’t have a name, but it has a purpose: helping one another.

Maybe Bush will be vindicated now that WMD’s have been found in Iraq.  This will mean even tougher conditions for our soldiers—the enemy’s proven to be meaner, and perhaps more elusive, now.  But with this vindication… what happens?   Enough rope to hang himself!

May 17, 2004  I’m home, and ever grateful to my family for the opportunities they allow me, the love and support they give me and always the very warm “welcome home” I receive after being away.  What a blessing to have the opportunity to go to retreats, to share with women and to hear their stories.  I did present the Married For Keeps ~ Someday an Heirloom Marriage workshops.  How I wish I could have had more time to more fully develop & present the material and supporting Scriptures—and, O, how I would like to have had more time to share with the women.  I always appreciate the way this particular retreat is handled—plenty of time for reflection, good spacing for workshops and teaching sessions—but like any retreat or gathering of women: never enough time for those inevitable questions to be answered.  Women everywhere are carrying so much, are seeking the LORD, His will and His way for them—and as always, women everywhere are carrying aches and past hurts that are disabling them in ways they don’t understand and yet seek freedom from the bonds that cause the repeated cycles of what they think are failures, that prevent them from soaring the heights as they know they ought and more: that they know they long to soar!  So… back home again, my sweet family reminds me of what’s more important in life, what’s best and good and ultimately, how much God has blessed and provided. 

We have a little later start to the day.  But Monday’s are like this.  We start the day later, and because Wes has Men’s Bible study on Monday evenings, we, here at home, end the day a bit later as schoolwork and other activities spill over into the evening.  This is fine—because it works!  That’s the wonderful benefit of flexibility—doing what works best *when* it works best and having patience to work through things till the balance is found!

So glad to have been away from the news for a few days—though that statement is an indictment against me.  The soldiers do not take a break and get away for refreshment from fighting for my freedom—my freedom to be a keeper at home, to love my husband and my children, to read my Bible, drink my coffee, smelling the aroma of a beautiful peach candle, some of our children playing on the porch, some of the children schooling at home, learning Truth and being able to pray and study the Word in safety.  At the same time, the soldiers are preserving this freedom I hold dear, I know they’re fighting for the rights of those who would disagree with them, those who hate the things I hold dear, those who are swayed by the propaganda machine of liberal media—those who distort the truth of history—current and past.  They fight for the right to assemble, to protest, to argue and to agree.  They fight because they are loyal and they’re faithful to uphold the The U.S. Military Code of Conduct. Our friend, Sean, gave a very encouraging word in Bible study sharing the obvious parallels to this Military CoC and the calling of a believer.  One of the Scriptural support passages Sean cited is: [Philippians 3.8-11].  It’s an interesting study and makes for profound understanding of the ‘battle’ faced by believers, the enemy, loyalty to God and to other believers who are fighting the same battle—but Christ is our head and ultimately, the battle belongs to the LORD.  We are to resist the devil—we don’t do battle with him—Christ has that victory; ours is to be strong in the faith, to yield to Christ and resist the devil. [James 4.7] There is much more that could be posted for you—but then you’ll have missed his commentary and the subsequent conversations.  What a blessing it is follow Christ.

Watch the downfall of America.  The implosion… it’s not from without that this country, this once “great nation” will fall.  It will be from within.  The Word says: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

Today history will show is another day in what will be the destruction of this nation.  We watch… God who cannot lie, will not be mocked.  Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.  I believe we’ve seen nothing yet compared to the unfathomable destruction that will come upon this land and we have surely seen sickeningly, shockingly, astonishingly ugly evil and vile things—but what’s ahead will not compare.  This, from Newsmax: “CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two by two they emerged from City Hall, the nation’s first gay couples set to legally marry Monday, breaking a barrier many never believed would fall and putting the United States among four countries where gays can marry.”

Psalms 33.10-22:  The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.  From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.  He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.  There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.  An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.   Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Interesting article “Gimme that Showtime Religion” by John MacArthur.  We’re sure at a crossroads regarding what’s being taught, what’s expected from “churches” today and what the Word really says (and that’ll clearly depend on what paraphrase, rephrase, misphrase, translation, or version is used).  It’s a bit tense for the conservatives in the New Hampshire  Episcopal Church.
 

May 14-15  Going to a retreat at Camp Gilead where I have the privilege of presenting a couple of workshops using some material I’ve gathered and call: *Someday an Heirloom Marriage!*   So… too bizzy for blogging — praying readers are having sweet fellowship with the LORD… covered under the shelter of His wings!

May 12, 2004                              A Tribute to the Soldiers

It seems that finally some balance is coming to the Iraqi prison scandal.   Sen. James Inhofe served up a dose of reality with his comments regarding the outrage over the treatment of those prisoners.   Rightly pointing out that those prisoners were not taken in on traffic violations, Inhofe exclaimed outrage over the outrage!

In these days of judicial tyranny and misconduct, it’s interesting to read about a judge whose sentences or resourcefulness just might be worth emulation.  So it is with Rockdale County Chief Superior Court Judge, Sidney Nation, and some unusually creative ways he’s sought to administer justice (or at least hope for it!) and to change lives.

Poor little dolly took a spill from the swing and skinned her forehead, nose and mouth… still smiling.

Her teddybear and a nutritious bowl of fruit-loops was also a real help in eliminating the tears.

I just got the Mother’s Day pics downloaded… and once again, there weren’t very many taken that day.  Maybe you’re like this, too: you mean to take great pics of the family when everyone’s together at the same time and then in the busyness of the day, the moments that were great photo ops were being enjoyed too much to stop and shoot!  


Kathryn’s Trifle


Very early and still in pajamas, everyone gathered around!

Early in the morning each Mother’s Day, for years, I have given letters or cards and gifts to our children.  It’s been a joy to me each year to look for special “Mother’s” gifts to give them.  The “mother’s” gifts are those things that “mother” thinks each one needs—for example, this year, all the little boys and one big boy received matching polo shirts and khaki shorts (Samuel enjoyed the gift and the little ones felt special, too; Samuel realized that this was his last year in that department at Wal*Mart—next year it’ll be small men’s).  Timothy received some needed items for an upcoming mission’s trip to Mexico; Naomi, shoes and sandals, and our little dolly received a new pink dress.  Kathryn & Hannah received things for sunny days.  And… Daddy received many needed items—the toffee peanuts were probably the favourite!  I received beautiful roses and some kitchen things, and other gifts from the children.  It really was a wonderful day—it’s been such a wonderful life.  I marvel at the merciful kindness of the LORD.

Kathryn made a delicious lunch for my special day!  Above, is a pic of the dessert she prepared!  In addition to marinated steaks, she made beautiful potato rolls, and spinach salad and raspberry &  lemonade with sliced  lemons and other fruit in the big decanter.  Tara brought fruit salad for us, too.  It really was a very precious day to me.  Our son Michael came home, too!  I gave Him a CD of some music he so loved when he lived at home—but in those days I could not see any value in the music and wouldn’t allow it.  I cried the other day as I heard the song I’d heard many years before on the radio and realized that my boy’s heart was touched by that music and I (because of strong aversion to “worldly music” or what I thought was such) missed an opportunity to hear what he thought and rejected that music.  He got right up and hugged me, he was so amazed and so appreciative that I had found and bought that CD for him all these years later.  The CD (Third Day) contains the song called “Love Song.”  I still don’t really go for the music—but I sure go for that boy, so I pray the LORD will use the words in this song to touch his heart and minister to His grace him.  For many years he’s played the guitar and so loved that and many other songs.  I pray it’s used to God’s glory.

May 11, 2004  What a day in the news!  As always, circumstances or events come about to make a previous atrocity not look quite so bad! Is al-Qaida attempting revenge for the “abuse” of Iraqi prisoners in the beheading of an American contract worker? (AP story)  It’s amazing to me that shaming is the worst offense and another apparent beheading is acceptable retaliation .  Are the liberals outraged at this one?  Is there a reaction in Washington?  Do those who oppose the effort seem to get it?  It sure doesn’t seem so, so far!  Is it time to stop apologizing?  This *is* war, after all!

One of my greatest disagreements to the “Passion” movie was what I *knew* would come from it… the post release peddling of the trinkets and trash “Jesus” wear, books about the movie—(no, not the Bible)—the passion, clothing and other “stuff” related to whatever was in that film.  So now, it’s fashionable to wear “Jesus stuff” and I find it so grievous—so cheap; cheap grace.  The greatest Gift the world has ever been given, the greatest story ever told,  the most significant and important event in all of history, the Person on which every other event past, present and future, hinges: the birth, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension of the LORD Jesus Christ, the penalty paid once for all.  To trivialize it or to attempt to capture it on film is grievous—and then to sport the “Jesus stuff” is distressing.  I find this pretty ironic, however, because in the courts there are battles over the constitutionality of the displaying of religious (read: Christian) symbols and the lack of understanding the Foundation of this country.   So, all the stuff… the hype is there, the Name is there, but It’s sad and paradoxical that Truth is not seen in any of this… it’s just a fad—just cool “Jesus stuff.”  Ahhh… only in America.

I received a letter from the owner of the site: seriousmoms.com, she was interested in linking to articles we have here and, as always, I give general permission to owners of sites who hold to the same basic biblical standards we hold.  It’s a blessing to share because in sharing, we reach more families with the truth of the gospel and with encouragement they need daily in their homes and lives.

I’m made clam chowder for dinner tonight, and of one thing I am quite certain:  I would *never* prepare this again (in this way) unless a change of heart washes over me!  Having only used *canned* clams and *canned clam juice in the past, I had no idea what they *actually* look like, or, worse, what it feels like to chop them up!  So… a tasty soup has been prepared—but those clams are sure gross!  My son and daughter-in-law went ‘clamming’  this past weekend and steamed the clams when they returned home.  My first clue should’ve been that Tara couldn’t stand to be in the same room as the steamed clams!  This—from one who’s an excellent cook, by the way!  So… clams, I hope this is a one meal pot of soup.

May 10, 2004  Next time you see a taxicab driving down the highway, maybe you’ll wonder the length of time the passengers will have been in that cab before reaching their destination!  A local driver will likely never forget the cross country trip to deliver his passengers to Milwaukee… not Milwaukee, Oregon (which was his first stop!) but to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to drive a couple of men to their waiting friends and family!  Cha-ching, cha-ching!

In a week, voters here will vote on a proposal to build another high school to accommodate the volume and needs of students/schools resulting from staggering growth in this area.  I’ve always thought this to be a conundrum that could totally be avoided as we’ve homeschooled for so many years and as we’ve seen the “answer” to crowding schools is: avoid them—stay home!  But then,  inevitably, there will be a negative reaction to this.   Many will react because of a preconceived bias against anything outside “norms,” or against homeschooling in general, or some might have views like the woman who wrote a particularly stinging article condemning homeschoolers/homeschooling.   My friend Julie, who’s graduating with a Master’s in education, plans to teach in a public school next fall, and her response to this article was: ahfahgeddaboudit!     So, as I mull over what the author was saying and what she thinks of homeschoolers and their families, I wonder how many others are misinformed or have a false impression about “us” all.  I know this: the HS’er’s I know are so worth knowing and are so enjoyable to be around!  Conversely, in reality, I wouldn’t much enjoy being around those who espouse opinions represented in that article.


Happy Mother’s Day
I love you Mama, I love you Mom!

May 8, 2004  I’m missing my mom today… thinking I won’t be seeing her tomorrow…  She’s away on a long driving vacation to some wonderful spots around the country!   So… Happy Mother’s Day… Mama!  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, in Indiana!

I received a very nice letter from Crystal at Covenant Wedding Source.  It’s really inspiring to see the ambition of young couples!  For parents who are “new” to the whole idea of “courtship” or covenant relationships for their children, this site features their “courtship story” and it’s really dear.  I’m particularly glad she features Rebekah’s Hope Chest Legacy book on the Covenant Wedding’s Hope Chest page.

The more time goes on, the more I’m convinced that this country is run, in part, by people who pretend to be other people: actors and democrats.  I was just glancing over this article about a planned movie and its financier.  Guess Mel Gibson thought it best to avoid the hassles, and others thought better of it because of the political ramifications.  Well it’s all politics, really—most things are.

In the news… This mess with the Dems and Rumsfeld has gone beyond ridiculous!  No, no, wait: *this* H Res 629 is beyond ridiculous: impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors? Now, this has gotten silly—juvenile, really. Now I *know* they do not understand the enemy.  Now I know they’ve long since lost touch with reality!  “…Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and all the people of the United States of America, against Donald Rumsfeld…” [emphasis mine!]  You know who’s next, don’t you?  Will this maniacal behaviour drive them to charging the Commander in Chief?  Well, it won’t be surprising—an exhibition of foolishness and a further flaunting of ignorance, but really, not surprising.   Keep your eye on this one… it’s bound to heat up!

May 7, 2004  What a blessing it is to spend time with a person who’s walked with the LORD a long time and has a lifetime of wisdom.  So it was with Dick York, last evening.  Knowing him has really been a tremendous blessing to our family.  We had the privilege of gathering with friends for dinner and fellowship around the Word.  This way of walking with the LORD is really what we’ve for so long desired!

I’ve been mulling over the training and engraining of form in and of institutionalized “religion.”  This may seem a radical statement unless one really seeks to understand what we do when we “go” to “church” and why we think that “going to church” is the *right* thing to do.  I received a letter from an organization giving a book recommendation and requesting a site link and so I took a look at the site (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and just read a great article—it’s really incredible how the LORD is confirming His way for us — but to also be providing cautions as well.  I clicked the “Answers for Your Fellowship” on the left-side bar and then clicked the article:  Home Churching or HIM Churching? On the http://www.ntmu.net/  site.   It’s good food for thought.  More on this ‘engraining’ and form another time.

Well, this morning’s perusal of the paper was much nicer than most any other day, for on the front page of the Local section, there was a picture of a (local boy)  soldier: “hey, we *know* him!” we all exclaimed.  We’ve known him and his family for many years.  Well, what also caught my attention was Ryan’s beverage preference: Dr. Pepper!  The occasion for the article and news photo?  O… he just won $25,000 in the Dr. Pepper sweepstakes.  He’s really a remarkable person, very level headed and knows where he’s going—literally!   If you must drink: drink Dr. Pepper!

Well… whaddya think of all the news regarding the ‘abuse’ of the prisoners in Iraq?  O—this whole thing make my head swim!  I continually want to shout: do you understand the enemy?  Do you understand what they’re doing?  They can murder, they can destroy, they can kill, they can seemingly handle all that—but the greatest offence is shame, their pride was crushed in that effort by the soldiers.  There is no condoning what they did—but what if… what if that was a strategy to hit them where the most damage would be done—what if that humiliation was exactly the intent and what if the soldiers were actually acting on orders?  From who?  I don’t know.  I know this thought’s a “way out there” idea.  The immense damage to pride—then the bizarre response of Americans!  Aiya! This is war—war is ugly—war has no pleasantries and no easy roads.  I think we’ve so failed to understand the enemy—their whole lives are dedicated to annihilating infidels.  Their religion demands of them this loyalty.  Until we understand this, and then understand the ways of God (Our Creator, God of the Universe, the God of the Bible) we will never prevail.  This war’s about so much more than our government/military *seems* to understand.  Again… sapping our strength, sapping our defenses, winning allegiance to them, sapping our resources, swaying opinions, eroding loyalties, driving up costs of goods… all these things are the ongoing aims of our enemy: our total destruction and their control.  The fact is that no matter how many people are sympathetic to their cause, we are still infidels to them.  Infidels are to be destroyed—and they intend to destroy, it’s sure.  All the sympathy they (Iraqi’s) are garnering just furthers their cause and their victory—being played right into their hand.

Is God still on the Throne?  Is He still in control?  Does He have a plan? A very good plan?  Yes, yes, yes, yes—He *is* Sovereign.  Praise His Name!  Pray.  Pray we, as a nation, turns to God.

I just did a search—attempting to find a concise article to bolster this thought or at least validate my thinking—and came across not one, but many such thoughts… so, if you’ve got all day, here you go: Daniel Pipes and lots of thots:  Biography of Daniel Pipes and more.

Yikes!  A does John Kerry seem to have a handle on any of this?  Maybe he did before he didn’t.  I really just shake my head on this one… there’re something like 180 days till Election Day (yes, one of my son’s has a birthday on that day and is counting the days!).  Around the world in 180 days—I’m thinking John Kerry is going to be 180° off where he is today and where he wasn’t yesterday.  Unbelievable.

May 6, 2004
No time for blogging… too much time spent emailing and faxing back and forth for our website stuff.  It’s all fine, but very time consuming and there are many other wonderful responsibilities to attend to at the same time.

If you’ve sent email, I might not have received it as I am at that ‘in-between’ stage with my host & server, et al and so mail is being redirected—but much is falling through the cracks.  It’ll all be squared away quickly, I’m assured! 

  I guess, as you can see for now, all the domains (achristianhome.org & .com and thewelcomehome.com, org & net) end up at the same site: this one! —this was to avoid confusion in the transfer.  We’ll soon have some fun new features along with page updates!  First the technical stuff, then gardening, homeschooling, and Kathryn’s graduation, ministry… and other dailies (not necessarily in that order!).   O, it’s the dailies that mustn’t be neglected—otherwise, an avalanche of chaos will cover us.  We are praying for God’s direction and provision as we seek to serve Him in ministry to others.  We desire to be wise and careful in the choices and paths before us, and we pray for all who might be helped in these endeavors.  Thank you for your encouragement as we, together, follow Christ.

Sola Scriptura ~ Soli Deo Gloria ~ Solo Christo! ~ Sola Gratia ~ Sola Fide

May 5, 2004  Happy Cinco de Mayo!
We have a new Name!  As you can see!  Yes, this was abrupt—well, or so it seems!  I’ve known that my expiration was coming—and I knew I needed to begin changing the files over to the .org from the .com site.  I have a new host *and* a new name!  We still hold AChristianHome.com but the .org seems to fit what we have here better than the “.com” does.  We also have different plans for this site and our other site: TheWelcomeHome.com, too.  It has always been an interest to seek useful things/books/materials/etc. for families in the Christian home, but I’ve never wanted to *sell* things on the “AChristianHome” site as that’s not its purpose.   We would, in the future, like to make available things for the home,  but that will be on TheWelcomeHome.com site.  It’ll be better to keep the two separate.

There will invariably be broken links on our site until I get all the “kinks” worked out!  Plus, lots of inconveniences to others who link to our site—and for this I am sorry.  I will attempt to contact the ones I’m sure of.   I’ll just trust, as I always have, that the LORD will direct to this site anyone He desires to and that He’ll prompt others to share with others about our site.  I won’t fret over it as He is LORD of my life and over all that I do—thus, in all, I seek to honour Him and give Him glory!

One more link regarding the SBC (of which we are *not* members, btw) and Homeschooling: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38322

May 4, 2004  I sent out a Welcome Home letter yesterday with encouragement to mothers for Mother’s Day, which is coming up this Sunday.   I pray now that it’ll be a real blessing to all mama’s.  Mother’s Day is sort of a weird day—I’ve always thought it was a weird day.  Sort of like birthday’s when one becomes a mommy.  Birthdays become these strange days where things are supposed to be done, but mommy is usually the one who does things in the home and so then the family tries to find ways to surprise mommy and yet they need her help to find supplies to make the surprise—it always seems to be very peculiar when the children are young.  When they’re older, it’s a whole different story—they become very clever!  Until then, the day’s sort of odd. Well, that’s how Mother’s Day seems, sometimes, too.  A day set aside for Mother—but mother must needs be in the preparations in some way.  So… that’s why I’ve sort of changed the order of the day in our home and I so look forward to finding ways to bless my family—it’s all because of them that I can & do celebrate!

Let Freedom Ring! the 53rd annual National Day of Prayer is this Thursday, May 6th.  You can read this year’s proclamation.  It’s a privilege we have to pray—O, how I pray that God will be gracious to us as a nation, that He will draw men to Himself and that this tidal wave of perversion will be stemmed and that we would, indeed, be a nation whose God is the LORD.

 The Parents’ Empowerment Act “allows parents or legal guardians of a minor to sue, in a district court, any person who knowingly sells or distributes a product that contains material that is harmful to minors.”  [congressman Duncan Hunter] Now, do you s’pose that parents will begin suing some government schools for the harmful materials they’re presenting to students?

I figured I didn’t much like Seattle’s news lately, so I thought: how ’bout South Dakota. I’m not from there, none of my family’s from there—but, there is a guy who writes a pretty interesting political blog there.  Jason Van Beek’s a pretty funny guy in his writing of the  southdakotapolitics No, it’s not a slow news day… it’s just that the news is so disgusting that I really don’t even want to write about it.  O, boy, it’s sure going to be a long haul till election day… with all the propaganda: the diversion from what’s really gone on or is really happening today.

But, here’s another great tribute, a very powerful message:  We must never forget.  we mustn’t forget 2.5 years ago, we mustn’t forget 35 years ago and so on.  The price that’s paid by those who’ve fought and died for our freedom is being cheapened by those who’re so ignorant of the truth—have they forgotten?  Perhaps they never even knew.  All the hype, misinformation and sensationalizing in recent days—war is ugly, it’s not like the movies, nobody there gets to just get up and go home at the end of the day.  It’ll just get uglier—there is no such thing as peace between us.  O, God, save our nation; the most virulent enemy is within, not from without.  Our country is imploding and it’s not wars and rioting, it’s not bombs or planes into buildings that’re destroying our country, the enemy is within.  The Word tells us what the enemy looks like… but the simple pass on…

May 3, 2004   A second reading or proofing of what I’d written below showed me the need for grace—My thoughts were/are stirred over the event in Seattle this past Saturday and I desire to convey not so much the emotion as the message of what transpired. It’s needful to comment that my emotion is not one of anger but of grief over the condition and the trend of our society—it is grievous to me that our nation has turned its back on God and my grief is for my children and their children who will undoubtedly suffer great persecution for the faith.

Free speech?  Not for Christians!  Another media twist and smear job, Saturday’s May Day for Marriage rally in Seattle was slammed and maligned and obviously misreported.  Did I think it wouldn’t be?  No.  No, I didn’t think there would be fair and accurate reporting but, truthfully, I am surprised at the lengths they and the protesters have gone to be nasty.  They didn’t listen, they didn’t get it, they won’t listen, they won’t get it—at least not until they have a change of heart.  The eyes of their understanding are darkened and they cannot see—will not see: the truth.  The rally was *for* marriage and was hosted as an encouragement to those who stand for marriage and family but those who are demanding other ‘relationships’ be equal to or treated as “marriages” surely were determined to crush the speaker’s messages and drown out the singing.   

As the family goes, so goes the nation.  It’s hard to believe the reporting, the misinformation and their ignorance of the Scriptures—but that’s not new.  The local paper was not as caustic as the Seattle PI was in the reporting of Saturday’s event.  The attendance numbers were as inconsistent in the two papers as the reported stories were to the actual event.  But—this is just the beginning.  The abortion “battle” will seem light compared to what’s going to heat up here in the battle for marriage & family—and that will likely pale in comparison to the persecution of the church and Christianity.  I believe the future persecution of Christians will be unlike any discrimination this country’s ever known—and I am taking past race relations into account.  The Seattle Times had a piece that demonstrates the disparity of interpretation of Scriptures or manipulation of Scripture to say whatever one wants it to say—but it stands, nonetheless, the Word of God stands.  God will not be mocked.

We watched a very good video last night—brought such depth of meaning and significance to the LORD’s supper and to the rich meaning of the Passover.  It’s “Christ in the Passover” from Jews for Jesus.  The zeal of the man who shared each element of the Seder and the symbolism was so inspiring and encouraging.  O, what has been carried through the ages, the traditions and Old Testament types of Christ—it’s so incredible what God has done for us: what He’s done for us in Christ.

Have you taken the test on our first page?  I have taken a few of them—o, my, I have forgotten many facts!  I like to keep these things sharp!  They’re great conversation starters with the children.  When you review your answers, there are lists of other tests you can take.  It’s a neat way to brush up on details in the Bible.

May 1, 2004   Happy May Day to you!  We’re seeming to be just clipping through this year!  So many wonderful things coming up… and May is such a lovely month!  It was a wonderful surprise to have a letter from our daughter-in-law this morning (written at 3am) that her friend had had her baby at 1:23a.  O, my, Tara went to help her in labour two days ago!  I guess it’s hard work to hit 123 May Day! 🙂  Another friend has a birthday on this day—very sweet.  So… Tara must be home getting some much needed sleep ~ she’s deserving!  She’s 3 months along with this baby, so very tired, I’m sure.  Sweet dear.

But with all the beauty of Spring, one of the things that Spring brings is: skin.  Lots of skin.  [I’m adding a disclaimer to this previously written message:  this is directed to the fashion in general—not a specific person or persons.]  Now, I’ve had an article for sometime called: The Dangers of Dating and it’s not so much the ‘dating’ that caught my attention this time as the comments about modesty.  The author makes an interesting point: “We should avoid anything doubtful.”   I grieve for immodestly dressed sisters who continue to walk unaware of the snare they lay for all who view them.  This specific issue is gaining some notoriety—and from an unlikely source with a surprising solution!  Now, with the low pants, It’s not only the skin that’s showing, or the peeking tease of the top that just touches the top edge of the pants or skirt—there’s also the undergarments that are purposely allowed to peek over the top of low pants or an  undergarment style that’s highlighted by low and/or snug pants.   These undergarments provide much for the imagination and nothing else.  It seems the trend is present everywhere we go.  It’s expected in the world but should surely be absent in the church.   It’s grievous to me that this should even be an issue—I wonder if I’m more sensitive because my husband’s been gracious enough to share the ways men think.  I wonder, too, if having a number of teen sons makes me very very aware of the plight of men and their predicaments with determining to be and remain pure in the face of, or when confronted with immodestly dressed women. O, that dad’s and mother’s would help daughters avoid the trap they’re in and the trap they lay for others.   There’s much more that could be or ought to be said.  Modesty is a responsibility—and surely, the world’s not going to take it.

Personal Freedom Outreach is a great resource exposing the heretical teachings of religious cults and warnings regarding false or unbiblical teachings in the church.  There are hundreds of articles, resources, etc. for your study for understanding.

You might be looking for good articles on issues or “news” from a “Christian perspective” and you’ll find that there really are many great sources; a few of my favourites are World Magazine, Judicial Forum, Credenda Agenda and Chalcedon.

The crisis of education in government schools is causing no small stir in many groups, most notably, the SBC.  This summer the Southern Baptist Convention will propose that Christian parents remove their children from public or government schools and provide home-based instruction or private Christian School for them. Citing the primary educators of children are their parents, the resolution must first need to pass out of committee before the vote by the Convention.

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.