Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time to pray

In our current economic, political, and social situation -- What is a Christian to do? What is an American to do? These seem like very valid questions to me that should be answered by each Christian in America.

We MUST pray! We should read what God’s word has to say to us for this day. We should be like the children of Issachar “.. the children of Issachar, who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do;” (1 Chron. 12:32) We need to know what is going on in our world, especially in and around Israel. We need to be involved in our local government and communities. We need to be prepared for every situation and not caught ‘sleeping’ or without oil for our lamps. We need to be watching and awake to what God is doing all around us.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

From the email today

I received this today and normally don't like to disparage any group or people but there is a lot of insight in this particular email sent from someone out on the internet somewhere in America... Please don't be offended and simply take it in the context that it is intended as a few points to ponder.

3 Points to Ponder
1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq . Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie', in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment.

Author Unknown (by me)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Is there a crisis?

''...And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.'' -Revelation 6:5b-6

For the past 18 months this has been on my heart and mind and although I have only shared it with a few trusted people I am going to go out on a limb now that it is in the headlines...
Here are just a few of the recent headlines:

Haiti - Food Shortage from Fox News

Hundreds of Thousands Face Famine as Rats Devour Rice Crops in India

Philippines Imports Rice Amid Shortage

New York Times Article

Price Shock in Global Food - CSMonitor

UN food body calls for summit on global food 'emergency'

Global food shortage; America's light still shines; Moving too fast

The silent tsunami

UN chief: global food crisis is an emergency

Behold a black horse

That may be a little overkill on the information and some may think that I am just paranoid but for those of you who haven't tuned me out yet here is what is on my heart... (notice how I like the ellipsis??)

Worry is not an option. The Bible makes that real clear to us in Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?" and in Luke 12:22 "Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on."

Ignorance is NOT bliss! Proverbs 24:5 tells us "A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;" and Proverbs 6:6-11 gives us a good indicator of how we should be preparing:
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep--
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.

Last summer the kids and I decided we should plant a garden so we would have some fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits. (well, strawberries & watermelon) However, breaking both arms really put a damper on our plans. We did manage to start our compost project though and this year we are determined to get a garden put in. Whether we have any success growing anything will be up to the Lord since I can't grow a thing so far indoors or out but I am praying vegetables will be easier than flowers and foliage. We are also going to be installing a couple of rain barrels to provide water for our garden and in dire emergencies even for drinking. While all this may sound overboard I really think it is simply prudent. If the city would let me I would add a couple of laying hens also but I haven't figured out how to get around that particular ordinance that states "no fowl" of any kind. What else can we do? Act like Joseph when abundance was everywhere but he knew what was coming. In other words, plan for a famine while you can. It is hard to save up when you are depleted of resources. I have been setting aside powdered milk (long shelf life) and staples like rice, sugar, flour (not so long shelf life unless canned), beans, and canned goods. Those who know me well already know that I am often mistaken for a Morman due to my 'hoarding' tendencies. I have been buying in bulk since before having kids!

I can also pray! Pray for my family, my country, our farmers, our jobs, and most importantly the repentance of God's people. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us what we must do:
"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

Friday, April 18, 2008

What a week!

Today is Friday and since I gave up my habit on Monday (Sunday night)I have not had one serious withdrawal. I can actually admit that I have enjoyed every minute of time that I have regained. Praise God!! I am seriously looking forward to a weekend of accomplishments. No matter how small or large. I want to look at getting a tiller to break up the ground for a garden, I need to get my clutch replaced, I want to spend some time with my dear friend, Anne, on Sunday. I would be totally thrilled to get my garage emptied. Don't have a clue where I will put all the 'stuff' in it though. I may start preparing for a yard sale next weekend. Hmmm, that has some real potential there. Well, until Monday, I wish everyone a productive and peaceful weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day one without reading

Hey, it really wasn't as bad as I had thought. I managed to clear the Adventure Racing gear from the dining room (doesn't everyone keep their climbing gear, PFD, and backpack in the dining area?), put away my cake pans and the candy making supplies from where I was making/decorating the cakes for the Baby Shower, I also managed to take out the trash, the burn pile, and the compost pail! I was just getting started because then, I vacuumed the floors in the entryway and kitchen, washed the dishes, got Jenn started on making brownies for our Bible Foundations class, started the burn barrel, and raked the leaves and twigs off the front yard. Whew! That was all between 4:30 and 6:30. I think I may have released a monster!
There is not much better than the satisfaction of completing something worthwhile.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Goodbye Reading (sniffle-sniffle)

I made a difficult decision today. I have been working up to it for a while but today was the day that I finally made the choice. I will not read (for pleasure) at home as long as there are things that need to be done. Sounds drastic and it actually is. I have so many things that I need to do or at least get started on and yet when I have 'free' time at home I normally choose to play a game with my kids or to read. Lately, it has mostly been reading. If the libraries were to send me a report each month with the number of books I have borrowed it would be quite embarrassing. So, what shall I do when I can't fall asleep at night? Journal, read my Bible (that IS allowed!) or pray. I will limit my pleasure reading to sitting on the stationary bike, waiting in lines, or other places where I have time on my hands that I won't feel guilty for using it for reading. I have a house to spring clean, boxes to pack for Uganda, a garage to clear out, and a yard that is DESPERATELY needing some TLC! I would like to put in a small garden this year and also work with both kids more on some long over-due projects for school and for life. Now that winter is mostly gone (we did have another dusting of snow Saturday and Sunday) it is time to put away the books and get out the grubby work clothes. I am sure that there will be some withdrawals but I know that 'I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.'

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Home again

Most may have not realized that 'danaesgang' was gone from April 4th through the 9th but for those that did, and those that care, here is the report of our Adventure Escape.

We left Friday for Sheridan, IL. where we were going to home base from for the six days we were gone. Our favorite place to escape to in the area, Fox River Resort, right next door to Starved Rock State Park in Ottawa, IL. We arrived around 4pm and I was told that our condo wasn't ready yet but if we wanted to head over to Member Services they would update me on the recent changes Silverleaf has made and I would be compensated $50 for my time. I told the young lady, Joy, at the desk that I felt guilty taking their money since we were here to use bonus time (FREE 2-bdrm condo for 6 days/5 nights!) and I had just recently been over their 'updates'. I said I felt bad enough taking their $150 that they gave me last time I was down. She looked at me and said "Don't feel guilty! I was told to extend the offer to you and so you should NOT feel guilty about taking it!" She looked in her system and saw I had been there in February and said "Well, I can't give you $150 but I can do $75!"

Forty-five minutes later I left Member Services with $75 and picked up the keys to our condo and was praising the Lord for His goodness and His grace towards us that once again He amazed us!! Jennifer and Jordan were not surprised and they said that I am the only one they know that gets paid $100/hr to do nothing but talk to people and share the love of Jesus. They don't get out much! God is SO GOOD to us!!

The kids immediately unloaded the car and got things put away in the kitchen as soon as we got to the appropriate building.. "Can we turn on the TV???" You would think they were deprived or something!

They watched Disney and Cartoon Network while I relaxed for a while before heading to the Super Wally World for groceries. Swimming followed supper by barely 30 minutes and then they settled in for more mind numbing television while I packed for the Adventure Racing Camp that I had Saturday and Sunday.
The kids were happy because they got to go swimming, watch T.V., and eat at the snack bar or from the wide variety of 'healthy' snacks I picked up at Wally World. While they got to relax, I was feeling every bit of my youngness as ever!

I have to admit I am an adventure junkie! I LOVED every minute of the camp especially the rappelling and the orienteering. There were some great fixed ropes set up at the camp and they were so much fun and for the first time ever I did an Ascend on a fixed rope. That was challenging and painful.. I have bruised knees as I couldn't figure out how NOT to hit the cliff side as I ascended. I did a total of 3 ascends, each one over 40ft. I felt great for having done it but I am so glad it wasn't during a race or something out of Primal Quest. I couldn't imagine doing a 400 ft ascend without LOT's of practice!!

Sunday we had more ropes and then we ran a mini-Adventure Race. I joined up with two guys, Fredrick & Scott, from Peoria and raced with them. They are phenomenal orienteer's who really put me to shame. They were great to race with and I felt bad that I kept them from winning first place. They hadn't done three ascents the day before and so their legs weren't feeling like Jell-O during the race! I know, excuses, excuses!! We came in third overall and if they deducted the time we were held up by the ropes we would have tied for first place so I don't feel too awful bad although I did have to walk more than I would have liked to. I will definitely look into getting some sprint gear like Scott has for my next race. Running with a full size PFD under your pack is NOT fun! Okay, explanation on the hold up. We arrived at the first Ropes section in the race and the team ahead of us by less than a minute was still going down the ropes when we arrived. Easy as pie! We can overtake them on the ropes! NOT!! The guy on the rope got stuck! After his third attempt to get down the Staff decided to move the rope from one rock to another for safety sake. So we waited... and waited... meanwhile the team ahead of us (which came in 1st!) were off and running to the next checkpoint. While we still waited... Finally we were allowed to go down and continue.. We lost so much time there and were told that it would be deducted from our overall finish time.. (Uh, you can probably guess from the earlier statement that it wasn't)

The race was not 'official' and doesn't count toward any standings but the team that placed first did get their entry paid into another race at the end of the month. I wouldn't have been able to race it anyway but the competitive side of me was really bummed at the outcome. I didn't take pictures while I was there because I was too excited in packing to think of taking a disposable camera. I was paranoid of ruining my digital so am stuck with looking at others doing the same things I did! Photos from the camp at Camp Benson

Sunday, late afternoon, I took the kids swimming again and recovered from the excitement and physical exertion. We had a delicious frozen pizza for dinner and wished we had bought ice cream. Monday morning Jordan, Jennifer and I all went for a run. I think they were pumped up too after the adventure camp! We ended our run at the Activity Center where Jordan and I played pool and then the three of us played a game of Yahtzee. We went back to the condo and changed clothes before heading to Wally World (ice cream, remember?) and the gas station.. We stayed inside the next 24 hours with the exception of going to the indoor swimming pool. Wednesday we drove home and kids are back at their school work and I am back at my job and life goes on with just a little less adventure.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Yet another loss...

Yesterday I asked Jordan to check on his snake that we had isolated because it was refusing to eat. It finally ate the day before yesterday after I had done some research and discovered that some corn snakes won't eat unless it is dark. So we isolated it, covered it with a blanket and left it with the food in the container and were so happy when it finally ate on Monday. Yesterday I thought we may be ready to put it into the container with it's companion again. Jordan went into his room and came out and didn't say a word just stood there with tears in his eyes.

Not again I thought and started praying for my son as he has already had so many losses (remember mostly my fault) already.
Sure enough, the snake they called 'Tiny' was dead. It looked as if something had ruptured inside and that may have been why it wasn't eating in the first place. I don't think it is going to be something we will ever have an answer to but it was disheartening for Jordan and I especially. Jennifer's two snakes are just fine as is Jordan's remaining snake. Leo is growing like a weed and seems to be doing just fine.
I am starting to think that the reptile route isn't the best one to take because it isn't like a dog or a cat that you can rush to the vet and they are much harder to "read" when there is something wrong. They don't howl, meow, cough, or moan when in pain.
Another loss and one Jordan took very hard.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another poem

(U name this “thing”)

Beautiful, careless, free,
and unknown in me.
Asking itself why
It is not chained
like a dog.

Mad and confused
asking what it did wrong.

No worries, He’s there.
Telling you that you
need not be scared.

Whispering to you
all He has done
with no name, unnamed
Can’t you see?
He’s inside you and me.

Jennifer Powell ~ 2006
Jennifer finally agreed to let me post some of her poetry and so I am so proud to share it with you.

My Prayer

This is what I say,
when I pray everyday.

Lord, show me what to do
so I can do it for You.

Lord, show me how to act,
so my heart and soul are intact.

Lord, show me what to say
so I can pray..

So I can pray for your people
go to the church with a steeple
So I can pray for Israel
who does not know Who is real.

Lord, show me Who You are
the bright and morning star.

March 9, 2008 by Jennifer Powell


They saw the works of the One
Who was and is and is to come.
They broke the bread with the Son
Who died for you and everyone.

He made the stars, the moon, and sun
He made you, and me, and everything.
He’s coming soon, to Him we’ll meet
He’s coming soon so be ready.

I know it seems like He doesn’t care
But, He’s there for you, He’ll care.

So many times she tried and tried
but not with pride.
Does anyone care?

With humility He went, His dignity spent
They even dared to think that He didn’t care

But He’s there and He does care
Don’t believe what they say
That He doesn’t care that there is no way

He is on the way and He’s gonna say
I love you and I will NEVER
leave you nor forsake you.

Jan. 2008
Jennifer Powell

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About Me

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I love Jesus and want my life to be a reflection of His life in me!

A Good Read...

  • Rooms by James L. Rubart
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Any book written by Terri Blackstock
  • O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
  • Black, White, Red (trilogy) by Ted Dekker
  • Driven by Eternity & Rescued by John Bevere
  • Under Cover by John Bevere