Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy New Year

Not quite the greeting you thought you would see 11/30/2008. Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent which is the beginning of the year, liturgically speaking. I am no longer Episcopalian, but I do still love the liturgical calendar.

This is the time to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Jesus as well as the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Growing up in the Episcopal Church, Advent was purple and at some point Advent became blue. I did hear a priest say it’s because we are less penitential than we used to be, I was never sure if Father Steve was joking or that is why the switch from purple to blue was made.

The Advent Wreath is a symbol which reminds us we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God's grace to others (Isa 42:6). Advent is a season of preparation, hope, and anticipation. These words from Isaiah sum it up:

A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

I love this passage from Isaiah as well; it’s the grandest birth announcement in the history of the world:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Celebrate the New Year today and let your light shine. Take the next 4 weeks and prepare Him room.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thwarted by Crescent Rolls

My husband and I had a great time with our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. We served the worst crescent rolls known to man. We commented early in the week we had not had them since last Thanksgiving and decided that was the bread we would serve with lunch. My husband banged the cans on the counter, rolled the dough out flat, and said I don't know what to do now. I looked at him - waiting for the punchline. I decided not to say anything because it may sound sarcastic. I separated the dough and rolled them up and placed them on the cookie sheet. He said oh.

11 minutes later, they were not done. 13 minutes later they were not done. 20 minutes later we flipped them. I can honestly say they are the 1st Pillsbury frozen crescent rolls I have ever flipped with a spatula. 25 minutes later they were ready to serve. Maybe something happened to them as I waited in line at Wal Mart to check out...just kidding...

It's been a long college football season for me. The Aggies lost to the Longhorns last night. They have won the last couple of years even though they were pitiful, I kinda hoped as pitiful as they were this season the could still pull it off. Gig'em Aggies...until next season unless Jesus returns 1st. Ang, I hope MSU did well. I didn't check scores today and may not have time tomorrow. To all you Longhorns, congrats, I hope OSU beats OU.

It's 8:05pm and my feet are still tired and in shock that I stood in the kitchen and cooked so long yesterday and then did the dishes. I am going to grab a piece of turkey and go to bed.

Completely changing subjects, I lift up the people caught in the big mess in Mumbai. I truly cannot imagine the motivating hate which fuels extremists. I pray the injured and the hostages are blanketed by the love of Christ and know Him as Savior, Healer, Redeemer, and King.

I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Let us praise Him this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving for Free Radishes

Today I went to Kroger very early to purchase produce for the giant, garden salad I am serving tomorrow. (I began adding salads to our Thanksgiving meal a couple of years ago.) I bought Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and carrots.

Shopping in Kroger is a very different thing than shopping in Wal Mart. It was calm and quite and my grocery cart rolled through the store without squeaking at 100 decibels.

As the manager checked me out, he could not find prices for the radishes. He said Happy Thanksgiving and gave them to me. I thanked him and told him to have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

I think the free radishes were a little gift from God because I have been shopping with a better attitude. I am trying to live out Scripture and not let my thoughts become so negative and sinful while shopping at Wal Mart.

Now if I can only remain gentle, patient, and kind while I cook, I am not sure if I have ever mentioned how I hate to cook in previous posts. Just kidding, I know I frequently mention it.

Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving dear sisters in Christ. It's time to put the cornbread dressing in the oven and throw the cranberries into boiling water.

Let us join the Psalmist and praise our King:

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations

Love, Annette

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

But the Fruit of the Spirit is not Chocolate

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I knew Wal Mart was going to be a real test yesterday, I said goodbye to my husband, I put the car in reverse, headed down the driveway and low and behold, my husband's truck was over about 5 inches from where it should be parked and I could not get by. I came back inside and he was in the shower and told me to wait a minute. I waited 8 and was either about to do my Mt Vesuvius impression or join the astronauts in orbit, I am not sure which. I fold my side view mirrors in, took down a bird feeder and made it out the drive way without hitting the house, his truck or anyone. (Though I will say it's hard to back up w/o side view mirrors.)

I arrived at Wal Mart, the greeter said hello, I said hello, he pushed a grocery cart my way and said I hope it works - that was my 1st clue - it was going to be a long shopping trip. One or all 4 wheels squeaked beyond belief. I have never heard such a racket in my life. People 5 or 6 aisles away knew I was coming. But I was able to let my gentleness be evident. I was in line to check out and someone tried to use a fraudulent Lone Star Card, could not understand the conversation because switched from English to Spanish. 3 of us were told to go to the express lanes. (All the express lanes were opened, 2 regular lanes were open, I am thankful I saved money, I am thankful I saved money, I am thankful I saved money.)

I really didn't get into sinful thoughts, didn't have to repent much compared to normal, I guess because I was angry when I left the house over my husband's truck not being parked correctly. I was able to stay focused on the Lord quite a bit while shopping. I am thankful I made the decision to live out Scripture instead of give myself over to a sinful thought life as I shopped.

I did ask the Lord why chocolate was not a fruit of the Spirit. He didn't mention chocolate when He led me to several verses about patience, gentleness and kindness.

Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

I must repeat this from yesterday's post:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Today as the mad rush of cooking and preparing our homes to receive guests is on or the packing begins for those who travel, show a little kindness and patience, let your gentleness be evident. Let's all remain in an attitude of thanksgiving. Let's thank Him not only for what He has done in our lives but for Who He is - Yaweh, the Great I Am.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prepare for Thanksgiving via Wal Mart a few moments I will be shopping at Wal Mart. I have a love-hate affair with the store. I dislike how large it is, I dislike the mostly rude staff who will barely clear the aisle while they converse so you can push the grocery basket down the aisle, and I dislike the 49 check out stands which are always closed. The self service check outs are open, I refuse to use them, maybe I should pray about that. If I am going to spend money at Wal Mart, they should give me a little service by ringing up my purchases, right? (is that pride?) They will have 2 or 3 cashiers and 1 or 2 will be at the express lanes. I love one thing about Wal Mart, the prices are lower than Kroger and HEB. When I am buying a Butterball turkey and staples I will save money. I will buy all the produce at HEB or Kroger tomorrow morning. I end up repenting a lot at Wal Mart and on the way home.

In some ways Wal Mart is an indicator of where I am on my Christian walk. I mean why be so upset by the size and lack of service at the store. In the big picture - it doesn't matter. What matters is that I handle Wal Mart with grace. I would like to think Wal Mart is a thorn in my flesh, but I know that's just not true. Why do I let my thoughts become so negative and sinful in Wal Mart? It's ridiculous. I should be thankful I am saving money, I should be thankful I live in a country in which we celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday. I should be thankful we still have freedom in America. I could buy a Bible in Wal Mart, I could buy a Christian novel in Wal Mart - I should be thankful for Wal Mart sells these items. And most of all, as I stand in line for eons, I should look at that as extra time in prayer and be thankful.

By now, most of you probably think I need healing prayer or to see a mental health professional. I'll end the post with this:

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!"

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

I am off to Wal Mart to let my gentleness be evident and spend some time with the Lord.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Jars of Clay

Let us worship the One Who is the fount of every blessing, and give thanks that we can worship freely in America.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving for Kip

I have a dear sister in Christ, Ann who I met at church when she and her husband moved to Richmond a few years ago. They live 1/2 way between my house and my parents' house. Ann is 84, her husband is 86, they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary in 2009.

I invite Ann to every holiday party I throw, she was in the Bible study classes I led at church, and she is the home group which meets at my house on Monday nights. Quite frankly, I can't imagine life without her.

3 weeks ago she was excited because her son Kip (a college professor) wrote a paper on sin which was published. He was invited to a forum in HA to present the paper and his university was going to give him a little money toward expenses and a friend called and said he would like to pay for the airline ticket and hotel. Kip lost his eye sight years ago due to complications from diabetes. Ann was also excited because all of her children, her adopted Viet Namese children and all the grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc would be attending the anniversary party in June 209.

Kip became ill with more complications from diabetes 2 weeks ago and died on Wednesday. I give thanks for his life and his witness towards the faithfulness of the Lord. (A part of me wonders what will happen to his faithful guide dog.) I pray for Ann and Mike, Kip's children, and the rest of the family to receive the comfort only the Lord can give.

We all know life can change in the blink of an eye. Let us be mindful of that and live life with thanksgiving and praise.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Preparations for Thanksgiving

It's time to prepare for Thanksgiving in America. I have decided what I will serve. My cousin Wayne assured me I can get away with boxed mash potatoes if I use creme instead of milk and chicken broth instead of water. As some of you know, I hate to cook. The turkey is no problem, throw it in a bag with vegetables and leave in baking for hours. Not hard to throw cranberries in boiling water or open a can of green beans. I will bake some type of bread, I will also make a great garden salad. My husband is in charge of gravy. I may ask him to grill some squash as well. Mom is in charge of pies. I am looking for my aunt's oyster dressing (yuck) recipe, my mom and dad love it. My aunt's granddaughter does not have it. I am waiting to hear from my cousin to see if she has it. Aunt Rosemary might not have had a recipe.

It's so easy to get caught up in the whirl of cooking, place settings, tablecloths and center pieces, we may forget that Thanksgiving is about thanks, not food and football.

Please take take in the coming days to thank the Lord our God for all His blessings, for His protection, His Word, His Spirit, His Son, our lives, our godly forefathers, etc.

Psalm 95 says:

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

Let us join the psalmist and praise God.

Love, Annette

PS - 1 spot on my hand has faded slightly. If all the spots would connect and give me a tan, I would be ok with them. Alas they do not connect and form a tan, so I am hoping the Palmer's removes them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Age Spots & Serums

I read an article in Good Housekeeping about skin care and products which really work. One in particular caught my eye because it was inexpensive and passed their test. Palmer's Age Spot Serum. carries it for 9.89. I ordered it because I didn't see it at Walgreens. I am putting it on 2 spots on my face and a spot on my hand. In a month I should see fading, if it does not work in 3 months I should discontinue use according to the instructions.

Aren't you glad we don't have to make ourselves spotless and blemish free to approach the Lord! He makes us spotless and blemish free through His shed blood. Colossians 1 tells us:

21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

I Peter 1 says:

18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Thank the Lord today for redeeming us and making us holy in His sight without spot or blemish.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cousins Update

So far have had a great weekend with all the family. A couple of people considered the Galleria yesterday and then changed their mind. Thank You Lord! Paul and Jan brought pictures they found when Paul's father (my dad's brother) passed away. We had a ball looking at pictures of my dad and his siblings as well as pictures of my grandparents when they were very young.

I also found out my uncle Walter and aunt Maxine secretly married when they were 16. Because aunt Maxine's family thought Walter was beneath their station in society; they lived separately at their parents' homes until the day they graduated from high school. That must have been 1 heck of a graduation. Somehow they managed to keep it a secret for 2 years and prevent conception of children. My aunt had their 1st child just after he was deployed to the Phillipines during WWII. My aunt and uncle were so straight and narrow the story shocked me. (Now I know why they were such strict parents!) They were married just shy of 70 yrs and died a couple months apart last year.

I hope the WI cousins can visit in the spring. I would love for them to see Texas wildflowers in bloom. As always it was great to see my San Antonio cousins. I know my dad has had a ball seeing his niece, nephew and their spouses. I think my mother has really enjoyed herself as well.

Hope ya'll had a great weekend. It's time for me to get caught up on Bible Study.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cousins & More Cousins

Two cousins from dad's side of the family arrive from Wisconsin for a visit today. They were supposed to visit the weekend after Ike. We said no as did the other people they were visiting. Their friends live in League City and were hard hit by Ike. A couple of cousins from San Antonio will be visiting as well, they haven't seen the WI cousins in years. From what I can tell my parents have planned all meals at restaurants. Bar b que, steaks, and Mexican food are all a part of the plans. Maybe between meals I can take them to the Museum of History and Natural Science and or the Butterfly Center. (I hope no one wants to shop at the Galleria, 2 Saturdays in a row might make me buy a Gucci purse, ha ha ha.)

I hope ya'll have a great weekend with family, friends, and the Lord.

Be blessed with these words from Ephesians 1:

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Move the Bag

I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to share this story about listening.

The other day I had an upset stomach, I didn't feel well enough to go anywhere, but I was not so ill I could not function. My husband always had various over the counter medicine he takes to the hunting lease. I dug around looking for something to take, could not find anything. I went into our bathroom and noticed he had pulled a basket of my stuff out from under the vanity and left it on the floor and put one of his shaving kits on top of it. I was annoyed. I heard the quiet voice say move the bag. I thought I'll pick it up later, after all I was looking for something to calm my stomach, it took 1st priority. 10 minutes later I was back in our bathroom to paw through drawers on his side of the vanity. I heard it again, move the bag. Let's just say I didn't move the bag. I decided to sip on water and contemplate a nap because it was lunch and I was not going to eat. Maybe I could be pathetic and send my husband to the store when he returned later that afternoon. Maybe I could ask my parents to stop at the Sonic on the way home from church and buy a slush for me. Or...maybe I could move the bag...

I went into the bathroom and moved the bag, guess what...under the bag was the medicine I was looking bad I didn't move the bag the 1st time the Lord told me to move it when I whined to Him I didn't feel well.

I am used to hearing the quiet Voice, I rely on hearing it when I pray with people. Many times I listen right away in daily life but not always. He speaks to us every day in the little things as well as the big things. We must listen. As my friend Norma Dearing says, He gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth which means we need to listen more than we speak.

The Bible says:

but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Have a blessed day and let's listen for the still, quiet voice of God today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Today

Several months ago I posted something regarding a former partner who had owed me quite a bit of money for a couple of years. He was dodging my calls, not answering e-mails, etc. I finally said enough is enough. I wrote a letter telling him I was sorry but I would have to take him to small claims court. My friend Lyn who is an attorney re-wrote the letter (at no charge) and I printed it.

As I was preparing to print the address on the envelope, I heard the still quiet voice of God say, Not today." I sat there a minute and said OK. I prayed about it. (I had been in prayer because as a Christian going to court was the last resort.)

The next morning I checked my business e-mail, he had written late the night before and said he was mailing a check for 700.00 to be deposited upon receipt and another check for more money to be deposited November 5. I was soooo happy I had listened to the Lord.

I think getting over the fear of doing something about the money set into action the Lord working in this area of my life. I was afraid to go through the courts, I am a Christian, he is a Christian, I really didn't want to pursue it in that manner but I wanted the money he owed me.

The Bible says: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Praying, listening, and timing are so important. Keep praying, keep listening, and knock when you hear clearly from the Lord.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday in the Big City

I took my father to Tourneau in the Galleria today to pick up his watch. I dropped it off in August for repairs. May I just say among friends, I would rather watch a Steven Seagal (sp?) film festival than go to the Galleria on a Saturday. Traffic was awful, but it was nice spending extra time with dad.

After the Galleria, we went to Goode Company Seafood and he ate his favorite Oyter PoBoy. We then swung by the medical center to check the road construction his doctor warned him about via a recorded telephone message. I am taking him Tues. to see a surgeon regarding a torn rotater cuff. He is getting annoyed by the constant paid and I don't blame him. I told him he could be angry but sin not. He laughed.

Tomorrow I hope to play in the yard. I bought: spinach, lettuce, cauliflower (yuck), and broccoli to plant as well as a few pansies, alyssum, and snapdragons. I am planting the veggies in HUGE pots so I can protect them if we have a cold winter. After a hurricane, why not ice too.

I have had a few inquiries about the asparagus fern, I quit trying to kill it in May, it's huge and thriving. Maybe I will take a picture of it tomorrow and post it at some point.

Speaking of planting, remember to plant God's Word in your heart. Plant it deep so when the day of trouble comes, it will be in the fiber of your being. The Bible says:

Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," and call understanding your kinsman;

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Thoughts from A to Z

I am sharing a few random thoughts which are floating through my head:

1. No more political ads! I watched an hour of TV last night, no one promised me anything other than to transform my skin, hair, weight or sinus condition.

2. God is not shocked by the election results. I personally believe as a nation, we reaped what we sowed. It's time to pray for the president elect & George Bush w/ the intensity we had 09/12/2001.

3. God is on His throne, He did not fall off or move to another address.

4. I wonder if I can make a quick trip to the nursery at lunch.

5. I have to clean, I think unvited guests (cousins) expect to stay with me next week.

6. I need to find a new home church.

7. Another item to add to the How Not to Break a Fast List: Buttermilk Pie

Lunch with Annette of Annie's Eyes Blog was great. We had a ball meeting face to face. I can't wait to meet all of you in face to face, it will most likely be in heaven...imagine the meal we will all share together! Guard you ears ladies from coarse jokes, there are always so many just after an election, no matter who wins. The Bible says:

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dolly Parton - He´s alive

The election is over, many of us are disappointed. We must keep the president elect in our prayers. And to remind us of what is really important, I chose this song. I'll be back to regular posts Friday.

Days of Elijah-Twila Paris

There is no God like Jehovah! Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, Who was, Who is, and Who is to come!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Walls of Jericho

It's very strange, I posted a video from YouTube, when posted it says the video is no longer available. Try this link: Walls of Jericho, let us go out and praise the Lord before the walls come down.