Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Cranach suggests making it Missionary Day, since St. Patrick was a missionary.

I’m all for that.

One funny piece of missionary history is that Augustine was sent by the Pope to the Angles/Angels and when he arrived, King Ethelbert took him to Queen Bertha’s Christian church. Sometimes God (and Christianity) precede the missionaries.

Ancient times

Scribal Terror discusses the fact that smiths were considered magicians. He begins with a prayer from St. Patrick:

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

National Geographic has the reconstruction of a Roman temple, circa 28 BC.

The Temple of Apollo was Augustus’ first temple project and may have played a role in the emperor’s effort to secure his power.

“The new reconstruction closes a substantial gap in our knowledge on the architectural history of the time and … opens up possibilities for reassessing many aspects of Augustan culture,” Zink said.

Stir Fry recipe

Marinate meat in:
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp Splenda
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil

Cut up garlic and onion. Cook in oil.
Add mushrooms and bell peppers and jalapeno.

Add more oil.
Cook meat till just done.

Add all together.

9 year old boy wants to be a soldier

In fact, he’d like them to relocate an Army base to his backyard, so he can be a soldier all the time.

That the Army can’t do.

But the Army offered to help Make-a-Wish foundation, if someone wanted to be a soldier. And one little boy, with kidney disease, said that was his dream. Not Disney World, not Hawaii. Being a soldier.

Go read about it here.

I found it via Blackfive.

Pray for Colorado

According to Life Site News:

The bill SB 182 states that hospitals must supply any “essential health service.” The government department of health is free to determine what “essential health service” is and can remove a hospital’s license for failing to offer any such service. Thus, SB 182 would allow the government to declare abortion an “essential health service” and take licenses from hospitals that refuse to perform them.

The bill is set for a final vote tomorrow.

30-day Low-carb diet solution simplified for easy remembrance

5 oz meat/eggs
2 small carbs

5 oz meat/eggs
1 small carb

2 oz nuts or cheese or a combination of themOR
1 fruit helping (1/4 apple, 1/2 cup blackberries, 3/4 c fresh strawberries) and 2 TBS peanut butter

5 oz meat/eggs
3 small carbs

What is a small carb?

Any lettuce
1/2 c green beans
2 c raw broccoli (1 c cooked)
1 carrot (1/2 c cooked)
1/2 cucumber (medium sized)
1 c green beans cooked
2 c mushrooms raw
3/4 c mushrooms cooked
1/3 c green peas
1/2 c summer squash or zuchini cooked
1 raw tomato

1/4 med apple
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 c blackberries
1/2 c cantaloupe
1/2 c currants
1/3 c grapes
1/2 orange
1/2 peach
1/4 c pineapple (raw)
3/4 c strawberries
1/2 tangerine
1/2 c watermelon

30-day Low-carb diet solution

begins for me tomorrow. Based on their description, it should take me three months to be at my goal weight. And supposedly I will have upped my HDLs. And hopefully I will be able to lower my thyroid medicine.

Palm Sunday

We didn’t do any waving of palms or dancing in the aisles at church. But just the memory of those things brings me to thoughts of what the Jews felt when Jesus was coming on a donkey.

Lion Chasing, take two of notes

“Worship is forgetting what’s wrong with you and remembering what’s right with God” (67). Instead of complaining, worship.

“I’m convinced that the people God uses the most are often the people who have experienced the most adversity. This isn’t necessarily what I want to write, and it isn’t necessarily what you want to read, but it’s true. Adversity can produce an increased capacity to serve God” (73).

Dr. Martin Seligman said: “Explanatory style is the manner in which you habitually explain to yourself why events happen” (qtd in Batterson, 92).

“There are lots of different explanations for every experience. And while you can’t control your experiences, you can control your explanations. And the truth is your explanations are more important than your experiences” (93).

“The more you’re willing to risk, the more God can use you” (102).

“Small changes and small choices become magnified over time and have major consequences” (103).

“Success is doing the best you can with what you have where you are” (131).

“One of our greatest spiritual shortcomings is low expectations. We don’t expect much from God because we aren’t asking for much” (133).

“More often than not the only thing between you and your dream is a rational excuse” (140).

“A willingness to fail is a prerequisite to success” (145).

Lenten sacrifice: Romance novels

Here I decided to give up reading romance novels for Lent. It was such a leap of faith, because I don’t have a lifetime of experiences with Lent. But it has been a blessing. I’ve done more reading and praying. Maybe because that time of romance novels was filled with Jesus.

I didn’t know you were supposed to use that thing to remind you of God, but God has really used my sacrifice. Thank you, Jesus.

A prayer

Holy God, righteous, worthy.
Your wisdom is more than all of man’s through all ages.
Your hope is more than all other hopes.
Thank you, God, for creating us.
Thank you, God, for making us part of your plan.
Thank you, God, for loving us.

Thank you, God, for my husband and my sons.
Thank you, God, for my home and the conveniences you have given me.
Help me always to focus on the blessings in my life, for you have given me so many.

You are worthy.
You are holy.
You are God.
There is none like you. No one else can touch my heart like you do.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
You reign. You are a mighty God.
Your words are more to be desired than silver. Your thoughts are more than gold.

Lord God, you made the heavens and the earth with your outstretched hands. Nothing is too difficult for you.
Please use the time M spends at both churches to your glory. Please watch over him and bless him and take care of him and grow him for your kingdom.

Listening to God

We had three answers and three questions. Two of them said M should go to church with us. My answer, which I wasn’t sure of, was the one that sent him to his old church again.

God, please forgive me for not listening rightly, if that is what I did. Please protect M as he goes there. And, Lord, please use this for your glory.

God, I see the problems with this church. I know that many things are going wrong there. M sees the good things, his friends, the people, the mission trips, the camp. Thank you for his perspective and his attitude of focusing on the positive.

God, please bless this church. Give them your sense of urgency, your love, your wisdom. They don’t have to be a church I would want to go to, but they need to be the best church of their kind that they can be. Please, God, bless them with pressed down, spilling over blessings so that they become what you have in mind for them. Change them. Mold them. Make them. Turn them into your vision for their church. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

In a pit with a lion on a snowy day.

I now have a new hero, besides Dielli. It is Benaiah son of Jehoiada. Thanks, Mark Batterson, for introducing me to him.

“God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go” (30).

One of the reasons God is great is because nothing is too small for him to pay attention to, not the loss of face of a bride and groom at a party and not a borrowed axe head lost in the river.

–Something we wouldn’t think about. The guy had to borrow an axe head. There weren’t very many of them around or they were expensive or the guy had no money to buy one. Axe heads were something valued. Was this like Jacob’s coat of many colors? Remember the days when three suits of clothing were a huge reward?– Just a thought.

“A request can never be too ridiculous when you’re asking the one who knows no limits” (34).

God is a proud parent who notes every small act of righteousness with pride (36).

“Half of learning is learning. The other half of learning is unlearning” (44). And unlearning is the hard part. God, please give me the insight and strength to present what my students need to know, not only for class, but also for life.

“When we read Scripture, we are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections. In a sense, we are downloading a new operating system that reconfigures the mind” (46). And that is why I need to read the scripture. Forget whether or not someone 2000 years ago had the opportunity to read it daily. Think about it. I have the chance to hold the book in my hand. Abraham would have wept tears of joy to hold it. Moses would have shouted on the mountaintop to hold it. And I put it on a shelf and say, “Well, they didn’t read it.”

“Unlearning our fears is a process of learning to trust God more and more” (49).

If you’re bored it means you are not doing what God wants you to do (57).

God, facing my fears is not something I do well. I am not fearless and I am not a go-forward kind of person. Somewhere along the line I adopted a fearful attitude. Please help me to be who you want me to be, not who I have made myself. Help me to do what you want me to do, not what I think I should do or can do or ought to do or must do. I want to be someone you are proud of all the time. I don’t know how exactly to be that person, but I want to be her.

One Month to Live: Day 30

Wow. It’s hard to believe the book is over. I enjoyed it. It didn’t speak to me a lot in some places and in others it was burning coals on my head. (Sometimes those coals snuck up on me, too. I was reading thinking, “I don’t have this problem.” Then I’d read the questions and go, “Ouch.”)

There are no questions on day 30. It just tells you to keep living this way.

Live passionately.

Love completely.

Learn humbly.

Leave boldly.

I keep forgetting the first one. I’ll try to do that more, though.

A review of the last thirty days:

My life is better than I ever expected it to be.

I’m on an automobile trip around the world. (It is the hundredth anniversary of the first automobile race this year.) Some parts will be easy. Some parts will be hard. But I’m enjoying the ride and there is a prize at the end.

Describe how you would like your life to be different at the end of reading this book.
I suppose I could say that I would like my life to be more purposeful, that is always true.

Day 3:
If the metaphor for my life is a car ride around the world, right now I am clipping along the Autobahn. I may be going too slow for some people, but I am happy and doing things I want to be doing.

Wow. I don’t know if going through this is really a good idea. It is bringing up lots of frustration and anger feelings that I haven’t been feeling for days now. But reading is reminding me of them. Hmmm.

But not all of them are that way. Day 18:

I consider the last twenty years since I met and married R the happiest season of my life. Each change has brought a different refreshing, but the twenty years have been amazing. So I don’t long for a different time, I already am living “the best days of my life.”

But if I actually only had one month left to live, I’m already doing the things I would want to do. I guess that is a kind of integrity in itself. Day 21.

What an interesting review of my life over the last month. There were a few days that didn’t show up on Google blog search. I don’t know if I didn’t do them or if they just didn’t show up for some reason.

More One Month to Live Music

Well, that stinks. I’ve been singing this one song for days, but now that I actually sat down to put it on my blog, I don’t remember what it was.

CW song about a dad who was a pilot in the war. His brother died. Son goes off, gets married, sells his sports car, has a kid. Asks his dad if that’s okay. His dad says yeah. Life worth living. Life of significance.

When I remember what it is, I will update this post.

Update: Montgomery Gentry’s “Something to be Proud Of”

There’s a story that my daddy tells religiously
Like clockwork every time he sees an opening
In a conversation about the way things used to be
Well I’d just roll my eyes and make a bee-line for the door
But I’d always wind up starry-eyed, cross-legged on the floor
Hanging on to every word
Man, the things I heard

It was harder times and longer days
Five miles to school, uphill both ways
We were cane switch raised, and dirt floor poor
‘Course that was back before the war
Yeah, your uncle and I made quite a pair
Flying F-15’s through hostile air
He went down but they missed me by a hair
He’d always stop right there and say…

That’s something to be proud of
That’s a life you can hang your hat on
That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down
A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out
Like a small town flag a-flyin’
Or a newborn baby cryin’
In the arms of the woman that you love
That’s something to be proud of

So I’m graduatin’ college, that was mama’s dream
But I was on my way to anywhere else when I turned 18
Cuz when you gotta fast car you think you’ve got everything
I learned quick those GTO’s don’t run on faith
I ended up broken down in some town north of L.A.
Working maximum hours for minimum wage
Well, I fell in love, next thing I know
The babies came, the car got slow
I sure do miss that old hot rod
But you sure save gas in them foreign jobs
Dad, I wonder if I ever let you down
If you’re ashamed how I turned out
Well, he lowered his voice, then he raised his brow
Said, lemme tell ya right now

That’s something to be proud of
That’s a life to hang your hat on
You don’t need to make a million
Just be thankful to be workin’
If you’re doing what you’re able
And putting food there on the table
And providing for the family that you love
That’s something to be proud of

And if all you ever really do is the best you can
Well, you did it man

That’s something to be proud of
That’s a life you can hang your hat on
That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down
A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out
Like a small town flag a-flyin’
Or a newborn baby cryin’
In the arms of the woman that you love
That’s something to be proud of
That’s something to be proud of
Yeah, that’s something to be proud of
That’s something to be proud of
Now that’s something to be proud of

So many people think that they need to make a million. They need to have a fancy car and a huge house. Hmmm. Maybe I think that because I have a fancy car and a huge house! (My next door neighbors are a secretary and mechanic and a retail store manager and teacher. I don’t think this is what people mean when they say huge house. But I think it’s a huge house.)

Maybe we can do responses to music in class. I can bring some songs in and ask the students to respond based on how the music relates to them. It’s definitely expressive writing, but I might could move it back towards expository some way. Something to think about.

Spring Reading Challenge

I love reading. I love a challenge. I’m not quite as partial to spring (being an autumn person), but it is my second favorite season.

March 20th, just a few days from now, and I will need to have a list of books I want to read.

I know I want to read more mysteries. I had to take several books back to the library without having opened them because of my work schedule.

I have a few nonfiction books to read.

And I have a whole shelf of books I thought I would read at some point.

I’ll have to decide how many of them I can reasonably be expected to read in three months, while doing all my other stuff.

Thanks, Katrina, for the challenge. And thanks, Deena for the pointer to the challenge.

One Month to Live: Day 29

What reminders of mortality have you encountered this week? How do you usually feel when you face these little reminders?

Allergies are getting bad. I notice them a lot more the last few days. I keep thinking I will quit eating nightshades, but I do it anyway. Most foods I really like are nightshades. However, I look at my mother and I have promised my boys I won’t be like her, so I have to do something.

R’s going to start a new diet soon and I will do it with him for 30 days. Hopefully that will make a big push in my life for getting out from under the afflictions.

How do I usually feel about these reminders? A little sad. Mostly, though, I worry just a bit if R will be bothered by my being old. And then I go on about my business.

What would you want to hear God say to you when you meet him in Heaven? What would you say to him?

I’d like him to say, “Welcome home, girl! We’ve been waiting for you. You did GREAT!” And I’d like a big, non-scary hug.

What would I say to him?

It seemed a lot longer than a few hours on this end, God. But I’m glad to be home. Thank you.

What eternal investment have you made this week? How much time have you spent engaged in God’s word? How much time connecting with people in ways that matter most? Set an eternal goal for yourself and find the time to pursue it in the coming week.

One Month to Live: Day 28

Think of a recent experience when your spiritual beliefs led to a practical application of serving others. What need in others did the experience meet? What need in you did it meet?

I am not sure this is what the Shooks are talking about, but recently I spent $300 to get three rooms cleaned and one room re-arranged. I could have done it myself, but some high school girls were raising funds for missions. So they came over and cleaned and rearranged the teen room. One of their mothers told me, “Thank you for giving them a real job. And they were amazed at your generosity.”

I believe in the need for missionaries. I believe in the good of being missionaries, even on a short term basis, for Christians. So that might count.

How do you usually respond when you reflect on your sins and shortcomings? Does it typically drive you to God’s grace or deeper into hiding

I think it drives me deeper into God’s grace because I know I can’t do it without him.

Think of a loved one who has passed away. How would you describe his or her spiritual legacy? What would you like to emulate about this person’s legacy of character? What would you like to emulate about this person’s legacy of character? What would you like to avoid?

Grampa Guy: He showed that love is a decision and not a feeling based on appearance. Avoid: Lack of sharing Jesus as he knew him with his family.

Grama Bunny: She loved me no matter what. Avoid: Judgment of others.

Grama H: She was generous with her time and goods. Avoid: Tendency to create drama if there was none.

Grampa H: Hard worker and dedicated to standing in the gap for his family and not passing on a legacy of physical abuse. Avoid: Negative talk.

Pappa Wiley: Loving man- loved God, loved his wife, loved his children, loved his grandchildren, loved his internet friends, and loved his church family.

Six word autobiography

To God’s glory, living life fully.

mrschili had a post asking for your autobiography in six words. This was my attempt.

There are some very great ones there including:
I took a trip to fabulous.
I am myself and that’s enough.
Boldly going where hearts laugh freely.

I arrived at her blog via Heros Not Zombies whose subtitle is becoming not being.

I got to that blog via Phil Wilson’s Mathematics Weblog where I read a fascinating discussion of creativity.

I arrived at Phil’s via Casting Out Nines which is also a mathematics blog, but fascinates me nonetheless. There are few people less math-y than I am, but I read it anyway. Which probably says something good about Robert’s blog.

The whole living to God’s glory is something I am learning and wrestling with.

One Month to Live: Day 27

How important is comfort to you at this stage of your life? What convenience would be hardest for you to give up?

I have to admit I was pre-prepared for this by a story. But my answer to what convenience would be hardest for me to give up would be… indoor flush toilets.

Story: A woman is asked what modern convenience in the kitchen she would most miss. She says her microwave. She thinks it is interesting and asks her mother. Her mother says her refrigerator. They go together and ask grandmother. She says running water.

Also, one of my friends’ has a house that burnt down. But her toilet didn’t burn down because it is an outhouse and not connected to her home. (She is a missionary.)

I would miss flush toilets the most.

How often do you let opportunities pass you by because your contribution feels too small? How do you respond? Why?

I generally respond more like the boy. I can always write a letter or two. I can always add a few more cans of food. I can always give a dollar or two more.

For the next month, choose one item of comfort, luxury, or convenience that you’ll do without. Use the time or money that generally goes to this item for a larger purpose–praying, contributing to world philanthropy or missions, or offering services to someone in need.

I am not sure what I am going to do with this.

I have given up romance novels for Lent. I guess I could just give the money to someone who needs it. Like my missionary friend whose house burnt down.

What cause, situation, or people group have you always been moved by? This week spend some time praying for these people and researching ways you can serve them–using your time, talents, and treasure. Commit to a specific goal that will meet some of the needs of the people.

This is an interesting question and one I am not sure I want to answer online because of the potential of hate mail.

A cause that I have always been moved by that shouldn’t get me hate mail is missionaries. The work they do, the sacrifices they make, the spiritual footprints they leave, that is amazing.

I like to think that my little pittance that I sent to help my friends will help them in their work translating the Bible for a new people group.

This week initiate a local service project in your area. Commit to a specific goal. Set a date and determine the role each person in the group will play in meeting the need and getting the job done.

I’m actually initiating a seed campaign for my friends who are translating the Bible into Sankaran. I’m hoping the homeschool group can do that. Also I’m going to see if anyone has old Sonlight material they can donate. All my friends’ homeschooling stuff is gone.