Kites!! I've been wanting to build a kite ever since my decided to return to China. Here is a link to photos of our day! There were a few success stories short lived and most designs are going back to the drawing board.
"Christ, My Companion"
April 25, 2008
Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me. John 16:32c
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours, Kenneth R. Klaus Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
People in general do not like being alone. While there are individuals who prefer to maintain a safe distance from others, most people like to socialize and identify themselves with other people or social groups, at least to some extent.
Preferring to be alone and being lonely, however, are two different things. The former is often a personal decision; the latter may occur beyond someone's control. Still, even though loneliness can be difficult to endure, it can bring a sense calm and contentment if a person views it in the proper perspective.
Our Lord Jesus Christ often took time to be by Himself in silence and aloneness. According to John 7:53 and 8:1, when everyone had left to go home, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. There, He took time to be with God-one on one.
In the beginning when God created man and woman, He determined it was not good for man to be alone. God has also provided for our aloneness today. Our heavenly Father gave His son Jesus Christ to be our companion. He did not leave us to bear our sins alone, but took them all upon Himself. Another name for the Son of God is Immanuel or "God with us" (Matthew 1:23). Through His life in this world, Christ "became flesh and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
And this companionship with our Savior is not temporary. Our Lord says, "I am with you till the close of this age" (Matthew 28:20). Since Christ is with us, how can we say we are alone? It is He only who can dispel our loneliness and, as our faithful companion, meet our every need.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for letting those who may feel companionless know they are never alone. How blessed we are to know there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. What a Friend we have in Jesus, our crucified and ever-living Savior! Amen
Biography of Author:
Rev. E. Eben Titus has pastored three Lutheran churches during a twenty-five-year ministry in India. In addition to publishing poems, articles, and essays, he has written devotions for twelve years for the Christian Media Centre in Chennai, India.
A homemade day... Homemade laundry soap and quilting... I can't remember what started this fettish with making my own laundry soap- probably that I was looking for a cheaper and safer option. Whatever the reason, I am here to report success. I found a website called Modern Cottage with this recipe on it: This recipe worked wonderfully! I washed a quilt today and it doesn't smell like vinegar! It's amazing. So I'm sold for now... I'll have to try it on my clothes next. And the quilt... this is one I'm working on for church. We make quilts for the seniors who are graduating. I however did not get any done in time for this year so I'm working now for next time this year! :)
A timely message. This was in response to this video on Oprah's Church. It is a very real and scary thing that she is doing, however, what "Christians" are doing to Christ is just as scary and sad.
How I spent my birthday...
First of all, thanks so much everyone who sent well-wishes one way or another. I had a wonderFULL day. I started the celebration early with friends from church. Actually there are 3 of us with April birthdays so we just celebrated together by bowling and cake. It was great! We had 12 people. And then on my birthday, Dallas and I spent the afternoon together. We attempted to fly the kites I brought back from China. Well my is probably half way to China by now and Dallas's ripped. The North Dakota wind did them both in. It was sad, yet kind of funny. At one point Dallas was running across a field and I in the car chasing down my kite. After our kite episode we went to Walmart and scavenge for sales. Dallas has been working on my Christmas present this winter... a recumbent bike. The hang up has been finding a seat. Well he found something... haha that we'll see if it works or not. It is a longer decorating metal plate that you would put in the middle of a table with decorative rocks and a candle. They were 50cents a piece. I'll let you know how it all turns out. After that, we headed to Paradiso for the annual birthday meal. The birthday person gets their meal for free. And to end the day I went and hung out at a high school bible study. 28yrs God has blessed greatly and to him I give all praise for ALL that has happened in my life.
Another good devo for the day. If you can't tell, I really enjoy Pastor Klaus and his down to earth style of relating to gospel.
"Being Put Off"
April 12, 2008
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Normally, I'm a pretty calm sort of guy. It takes a lot to upset me.
Even so, it does happen. I remember ordering an item from the catalog. The order arrived three weeks late. Three weeks late and even then it was the wrong color and the wrong size.
Deciding not to put up with the combination of a late delivery and wrong shipment, I got on the phone making a complaint. After going round and round with a phone representative and getting no satisfaction, I finally asked to speak to a manager.
I gave up when I heard the salesperson say, over a half-covered phone, "OK, which of you guys wants to play manager today?"
Many of you, like me, don't like being put off.
If that's so, I would like you to remember we are blessed to have a God Who never puts us off. He's always ready to listen. Amazing! The Lord, who runs the universe, is willing to hear our thoughts, our prayers, our hopes, and our desires. He has committed Himself to caring for and responding to us.
Having received this kind of special attention "from the Top", we, in turn, are able to give consideration to others. Today, when you run into someone who feels ignored, give them some special attention. Do it in the name of the Lord Who has promised, because of His Son, to listen to you.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for being willing to hear my thoughts, prayers, hopes, and desires. Help me to live my life to Your glory, giving others the same caring and consideration that You show towards me. In Jesus' Name. Amen
So sad... So on Wednesday, I zapped our computer. I actually gave it a huge static shock and fryed the motherboard. I was so scared that I had ruined EVERYTHING! But my knight in shining armor came to the rescue. Within 24hrs he had everything transfered from the broken comptuer to our other computer. When I say everything that includes our server and all our websites we are doing for everyone. So our life has been a bit hectic getting everything set up once again. My biggest lost was all my bookmarks. I'll admit it. I am a bookmark junkie. I had all my favorite craft sites marked... and now I can't find them anymore. They were those random sites you just happen upon while surfing through other peoples sites. So as I was tryig to find the ones I lost, I found a few other goldmines. One I found today I wanted to share. I so enjoy what Amanda Soule has done with her home. I read an interview with her about her home. Someday I hope to have a home like her's that inspires and allows for creativity and fun messes.
A devo for today. "A Good Feeling"
April 8, 2008
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
"Yup, I knew that."
Over the years I've found myself saying those word many times, "Yup, I knew that." Understand, such a statement was not made because I am naturally brilliant or intuitive. I'm not. No, I'm able to say, "I knew that" because the Bible told me so.
Maybe I should give you an example of something I and other Christians know-something that the scientific community is just beginning to understand and explain. The March edition of Science Magazine reported that researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered when individuals contribute cash to help others they feel quite happy. When that same money is spent on themselves, there get no warm fuzzies.
Another study from a Boston firm found employees who donated a percentage of their profit-sharing bonus to good causes were happier than those who didn't.
Yup, I knew that. The Bible tells me that the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly.
Now those researchers put forth a number of reasons why giving to others might make an individual feel good. For example, they suggest charitable giving could make a person feel noble, nicer, or even provide meaning to an individual's perspective of himself.
Maybe all those things are true, I don't know. Without the ability to look into human hearts, I would only be making a guess as to meaning and motivation.
On the other hand, we do know the Lord has told us He loves a cheerful giver. The Lord loves those people who give not because they have to, nor because they feel compelled to, nor because someone is twisting their arms.
No, God loves a cheerful giver. Indeed, how can God's people be anything but cheerful givers? Because of Jesus' gift as presented to us in His life, death, and resurrection, we have been graciously granted forgiveness and faith, hope and heaven, and peace and the ongoing presence of the Christ. Having received freely, God's people are glad to give freely.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I know You love a cheerful giver. May I who have been loved much and received much, thankfully reflect Your love to others in my giving. In Your Name. Amen.The Lutheran Hour
So I attempted weaving this past year and I didn't have the greatest success. Sure I made some rugs, but I made them the hard way. I had found this site: A Basic Frame Loom and looked over it quickly. Well in my haste I missed some KEY points which affected the outcome of every rug I attempted. I had just finished my last rug. It was painful and I even told my crafting buddy that I was done with weaving and threatened (who knows who) that I was going to take my frame loom apart. However after today I'm glad that I didn't follow through. I am ready to try it again with my new understanding of weaving. Agh! If I only would had read it the first time! Here is a verse from the text today during church. It is always humbling: "For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.'" 1 Peter 1:24. It's humbling and powerfully inspiring. God's word will never fail. His words will stand till the end of time. But all that we do- especially apart from God will disappear, not just for a while, but FOREVER. All these crafts that I obsess over, make, spend so much time and thought and energy on, those will fade. But, God's word and what his word does and has done- that will last forever. His precious word brought the good news of salvation to me- that will last forever. Actually I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. But this isn't because of anything I've done. I'd be sunk if that were the case. Thanks be to God for the victory in Jesus Christ that he has freely given and helped me to receive. He has given me a living hope. As pastor said, it's not a wishful thinking kind of hope, where I hope something happens. This is an absolute unshakable hope- a knowing hope. A hope for my heavenly home with him. Here is a great bible study session-on Galatians. It's a radio station broadcast. I just got done listening to it. KFUO (.wma file)
I got it finished! I learned a few things too, mostly what not to do. :)
I've been inspired by this website blogger: Treefall. I got all the numbers and letters attached. I have a heart and a star to attach as well. Also this devotion is one that I wanted to share today.
"Forgiveness" April 4, 2008 Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. Lamentations 3:22 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words. In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours, Kenneth R. Klaus Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
From early childhood I have feared confrontation. Instead, I chose to appease people while collecting grudges. Although I never retaliated, I never stopped feeling wronged. This went on even after I became a child of God. I discovered that forgiving and forgetting was easier said than done. I allowed my grudges to fester and infect the people closest to me. The people I loved and who loved me could not help but feel hurt by my attitude and bear grudges of their own.
The grudges I bore were not over trifling things. I had been betrayed, maliciously attacked, and abandoned. Was I not justified in feeling bitter? How could it be a sin against God if I did not do something? I held on to my resentment, nurturing it with rumor and gossip.
It dawned on me very slowly that my spiritual development had ground to a halt. I had slowly slid back down into the pit of fear and anxiety from which I had escaped through my relationship with Christ.
I found myself spiritually where I never thought I would be again. I was wracked with guilt and hopelessness. But, as I asked God for forgiveness, I felt completely unforgivable. Even when I knew I had the assurance of forgiveness, I found it very hard to accept it. I argued with myself that there were some things that may be beyond forgiveness.
The resentment I harbored in my heart weighed heavy and stifled my expectations for forgiveness. I grew to realize that if I didn't let go of my grudges I could never understand my salvation in its entirety. I understood I was condemning myself the same way I insisted on condemning others. Yet, thankfully, God has forgiven me and, in so doing, taught me how to forgive others. God does not wish to victimize me. He wants to liberate me and has regarded my failings with compassion, forgiving them and completely forgetting them.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, heavenly Father, for forgiving me through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Help me to live as Your forgiven child. Amen
Biography of Author: Meron Tekleberhan, 24, attended Sanford English Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is currently working on her thesis in international relations.
And time flies when you are having fun. And fun it was it has been. The weather is warming up, my bike is out and in use. I'm getting more and more into graphic and web design and loving it! Who would of thunk-it? And I have my wonderful husband to thank for all that's he's patiently taught me. Without him I would have never gotten jump started and into this world. Here is the website I have been working the most on: Our Savior's. The possibilities for design are endless and I'm constantly being challenged to try something new. And the best part is I have my own teacher and the web as a resource. So a cool site I wanted to share. I found this blog the other day while searching for maps for my China presentation. It's a blog dedicated to unusual and unique maps. Strange Maps Oh and I guess I could give you an update on the flood damage. While I was gone in China, they got everything fixed up and Dallas had the kitchen mostly moved back in by the time I got back. New flooring, new ceiling, white paint and new vanity and sink in the bathroom. It feels like a new place. :) SO I perused my favorite crafty sites and found this awesome idea! I have magazines that are piling up!