Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cleaning out the Drafty folder

Yeah, so Blogger thinks my "most recent" post has gone 3 months old. Wait til I finish up the one from April that has been languishing in the "Drafts" folder since the now almost 1 year old was a mere 3 months old, LOL. Gotta get that folder empty before the new year; or that's the goal anyway.

I have things that need thinking about and mulling over and working through (like grace and parenting, and their intersection in my sanctification--nothing too heavy), and I desperately need to get the old thoughts out first. My poor tired brain cells need room to smolder, LOL.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” -- Matthew 2:1-2

Who were these “wise men from the east?” They were most likely advisors to the Persian royalty, but why did they travel all the way to Jerusalem to worship the recently born “King of the Jews?” The answer may lie in events that occurred over 600 years prior to Christ’s birth. The book of Daniel, and the second chapter in particular, records the tragic captivity in “the east” of many Jews including Daniel. During his time there, Daniel prophesied of Christ’s advent and was promoted to the chief “wise man.” It is virtually certain that most of the Jews viewed their captivity as a catastrophe, but God may have used Daniel and others during those difficult times to plant the seeds of the Gospel “in the east.” All we know for sure is that six centuries later these “wise men” (and there were likely many more than three despite the Christmas tradition) appreciated a fact about the newborn King that we sometimes fail to recognize: He is more than King of the Jews. Why else did they risk life and limb to worship Him?

So as we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, we also hope that one of your joys in this season will be reflecting on who the manger-born King is and what your relationship with Him is. If you are uncertain and would like to talk more about these matters, then please feel free to visit, call, or write. It would be one of the joys of our Christmas season or the New Year to get together with you.

Although we have had a somewhat difficult year (as we know some of you have had as well), God has displayed His faithfulness throughout the year. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ that He blessed us with Daniel Earle on January 9th. Daniel continues to grow and develop along side Kenneth and Hannah. My employment with the insurance company was a trial for much of the year as I struggled to sell enough policies to make ends meet. Additionally, I was repeatedly applying for either a second job or for new full-time employment. Although the economy did not do us any favors on either account, God provided through gifts from many of you and others, too.

Autumn found Melinda taking on her first quilt. Learning how to quilt while finishing a project that someone else had started was a tall order, but by God’s grace she completed the work by Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I interviewed for three different positions at SC’s Dept. of Juvenile Justice and was hired in mid-November as a probation officer. So both Melinda and I are learning new tricks this year. Although my mother was not able to make her annual trek to our home for Thanksgiving, we did enjoy the day with some friends on their parents’ farm in GA. The kids enjoyed a tour of the farm which included cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, cats, and German shepherds.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, our thoughts and prayers turn to each of you who have enriched our lives over the years. Thank you very much for your love and fellowship. May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and in the New Year.


Written by Sheep Dog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She "gets" it . . . Grace!

Have been reading lately on the SGMSurvivors site. SGM being SoverignGraceMinistries, headed up by CJ Mahaney. As a group they publish a lot of music that's popular with the "new" or "former" Fundamentalist guys I went to grad school with. And of course there's the church plants. Supposedly they're a grace-drenched group of churches (but NOT a denomination, ROFL); but when so many of the survivors stories on this site, and on others like it, sound just like the stories told by our friends fleeing Fundamentalism . . . I have to wonder. But anyway, Kris-one of the SGMS moderators-wrote a great post a few weeks back, trying to explain the divergence between what's *said* and what's *practiced*--or at least what seems to be the take-away message from SGM teachings. This comment is incredible. The post is here. Check out comment #283. About getting preached at to "not try so hard" yet the focus is all about trying harder.  She gets it!! :-) This is how grace is presented at our church too. :-S All about submitting to God, humbling yourself so you can get more grace from God. It's insidious!! 
Merry Christmas everybody!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I should have asked Mike

Do be in prayer for the family and friends of Mike "Metochoi" Mahurin. He's Home for Christmas. A brilliant mind for logic, a deep love for people, a soundly Biblical hermeneutic, and unswerving in his pursuit of Truth. He will be missed.

I always meant to ask him his views on the connection between grace, sanctification, and parenting philosophies. I'm assuming there is a connection of course, I just wonder what he would have said. He'd been in the pastorate (and a parent) long enough to have thought it through. And he loved logic. And he dismantled Gothard's eisegesis & God's will-as-bull's-eye theology every chance he got. I wish I had gotten the chance to know him better. *sigh*

I should have asked...

ETA: Mike's obituary

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

Traditions abound!

Pancake breakfasts and family pictures are two biggies around here. So in honor of Christmas traditions fulfilled, here's the newly minted Eggnog pancake recipe and the end result of our family's Christmas picture adventure. Enjoy!!

Eggnog Pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. powdered milk

Stir together thoroughly. In separate mixing bowl combine

1 1/2 cups eggnog
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup oil
plus enough milk to equal 2 1/2 cups liquid total.

Mix with dry ingredients until just combined, scrape bowl & beat for 30-45 seconds. Cook on hot griddle. Eat!

Chef's notes: Batter will be a bit thick so they cook slow, but they brown faster than regular pancakes. Also, low-fat eggnog does *not* taste as good as the regular. Just sayin'.... Also, adding the powdered milk to the wet ingredients (allowing it to dissolve before mixing into the flour) will do wonders for the texture of the pancakes.

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Decorating for Christmas

I have it easy. All I have to do is sit and watch Christmas come into living color. Putting up the tree and decorating it is hubby's area of expertise. Don't worry--I have a job too. My job will be re-packing all the ornaments in their little boxes just so. I love it, and it's better for our marriage this way. Repacking ornaments and putting that 300 ct. string of lights back on their little holder thingie is my concession to my OCD tendencies, LOL.

When he was all done (before it was attacked too many times by the baby), the tree looked something like this:

Not to be left out of the decorating fun, the kids requested lights for their room:

But lights for their room weren't enough. Noooooooooooooooooooooo.......... they wanted pretty Christmas lights OUTSIDE too, just like Ms. A next door. *eye roll*

Since Hubby and I have always talked about decorating with lights outside anyway, we decided to let the kids think they'd won. 2 trips to Lowe's and Hobby Lobby later (2 trips each, I might add), the house now looks like this:

So the outside of the house is "looking very Christmasey" according to BD#1. Yeah! But not 30 minutes after "the lighting" outside, Ms. A called. Remember her? The one whose lights the kids liked so much they bugged us into decorating outside too?? Apparently we've started a war. :-D

Ms. A said she's in trouble with her mom (who lives on the other side of us) because for years her mom has been the only one on our street to decorate outside for Christmas. But now....

As hubby said, this is a war we can't afford to fight. There's too much time between now and Christmas!! LOL

(And for the record, Ms. A's mom was kidding. We couldn't have asked for better neighbors--on either side! I still can't believe when we were looking at all those houses, we completely forgot to pray about our future neighbors. The Lord sure blessed in spite of us!)