Saturday, April 23, 2016

Take time to smell, and see, the roses

I'm thankful:

1. This week I received the name of the Bibleless people group I've been assigned to pray for. It's Bulgarian Sign Language. Bulgarian Sign Language is one of 130 languages in the Deaf Sign language family. The European Union of the Deaf estimated in 2014 that there were 50,000 users of the language. According to the Joshua Project they have no part of the Bible in their language. If you want to get a Bibleless people group to pray for go to: To learn more about the Bulgarian Sign Language group, see these links: The Ethnologue and the Joshua Project.

2. My climbing pinkie rose bush has been really beautiful the last several days. I've been stopping to the smell the roses every time I go by. I also stopped to take several photos. Here are a few of them. Sorry I can't include the fragrance too :-). This first one is from my new 'smart' phone. The others are from my regular camera. The water droplets you can see on some of them is from the heavy rains we had during the night. I was pleased to see how well the roses weathered the weather and were still so pretty afterwards. If you click on the first one you can see a larger view of them in a slide show format. 

3. John took a half vacation day this Thursday. We have a lot to do as we look ahead to furlough. We got a lot done.

4. No one got injured today when John helped friends pour cement today.

5. I finally filed some papers that have been laying around getting in the way for the past couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Visa granted!

I'm thankful:

1. my Australian visa renewal was granted! Faster and for more months than expected!
2. we didn't have any damage from the big storm that came through last night! (John woke me a little before 3 a.m. to say we needed to take shelter away from windows. So I sat on a cushion on the floor in our inside bathroom until it passed about 30 minutes later. It took a while to fall asleep again after that, but i eventually did.)
3. I did not actually say the word that was on the tip of my tongue tonight when John slammed on the brakes to avoid a crazy driver.
4. the crazy driver did not hit us!
5. I managed to have a conversation with B that I was kind of dreading and it went well.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Catching up

I'm thankful:
1. I finished my Australian visa renewal application and submitted it Friday. We celebrated with dinner at Pei Wei and coffee at Barnes and Noble afterwards. (I brought my own gluten-free dairy-free brownie to go with it.)
2. that i got a few accounts caught up in Quicken today.
3. for the big batch of sweet and sour meatballs that John made for tonight's dinner and to help restock our freezer.
4. that i was able to have a good chat with my dear friend C Thursday evening--first time in two years! Definitely an answer to prayer!
5. for the blue jays that are building a nest in the shrub near our kitchen window. I can't see the actual nest as the bush is too thick. But I've seen the jays going into the bush with long grass and twiggy things in their beaks. (I hope they have better success than the pair that nested in our tree a year or two ago. That time a squirrel raided the nest. It was very sad for all concerned! --My husband just said the squirrels at least were thankful :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Let's finish the job!

This song by Will­iam P. Mer­rill, 1911, has been on my mind a lot lately. It was even a little annoying it went on so long.

"Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings."

and verse 4:
"Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!"

Then Sunday the special speaker's wife prayed for me to, "rise up." I'm not sure how to apply that yet, but I think I'm supposed to rise up in some way. (The word "man" in the song is sometimes sung as "church")

Anyway the second line. "Have done with lesser things" was also on my mind. I sometimes wonder if we Christians, especially here in America, have lost our way-- or as my Aussie friends might say "lost the plot." I know there are things to be concerned about here in this country, but I wonder if they could be considered "lesser things"? I am including myself in this. It's easy to get caught up in various controversies and concerns and forget the most important things.

Jesus gave us a job to do. It's called "the Great Commission." You know, "go into all the world and preach the gospel..." In case you aren't aware, we haven't finished it yet! Of the approximately 7000 languages in use around the world.* There are still about 1800 languages where Wycliffe believes there is a need to make God’s Word available, but work has not yet begun. This represents between 165 and 180 million people without any access to God’s Word in a language they understand. Revelation 7:9 says there will be a great multitude "from every nation, tribe, people and language" around the throne worshiping Jesus. But that can't happen until they hear the message. I know not everyone can go. And maybe you can't afford to give more than you already are. But you can pray. Jesus said to pray that laborers would be sent into the harvest field. That's something we can all do. We don't need to brave the jungles of anywhere. We can even do it from the comfort of our favorite recliner. It might help to turn off the tv, though.

I found this great video about how our prayers can make a difference. Check it out. 

While you're there, you can also read some current prayer needs and sign up to pray for a Bibleless people group. I just did. It's simple just give them your name and email address and they will send you info about a Bibleless people group who need your prayers.

As my husband likes to say, "Let's finish the job so we can all go home!"

*, October 2015

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Those who live in darkness have seen a great light

I'm thankful:

1. A nice time of prayer, talking and snuggling with John this evening.
2. A fun start to our morning to ;-)
3. that we finally got our income taxes submitted and they were accepted without any problems. (we use Free fillable forms on sometimes there are technical glitches and it takes a couple of attempts to get them sent.)
4. for how B, Mom's care-giver, is having my Mom say a Bible verse each morning. Her first time she said, "Behold, the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)! B was blown away, as was I when she told me.
5. For this inspiring story, "Truth on the Tundra" from Wycliffe's website. Praise God that even in this dark place the light of God's Word is dawning.:
Salekhard, Russia, is a place where few would choose to live. In this city — one of only two in the world located on the Arctic Circle — the average annual high temperature hovers around minus one degree Celsius (29 F). During the months of November through January, the sun comes out for an average of 14 minutes per day. Praise God that even here, in this faraway city, the ministry of Bible translation and Scripture engagement is taking place among the Nenets... To keep reading go to:

Friday, April 8, 2016

everything and the kitchen sink

I'm thankful:
1. I'm Finally making progress renewing my Australian visa. Filling out the form anyway. But that is huge. I guess that 'round tuit' I mentioned in my last post is really big :-)
2. Learning how to use my new 'smart' phone. It was handy and fun to use it to show my Mom a couple of photos her sister and brother-in-law sent.
3. We had a nice 'date' dinner on our patio this evening. It's lovely weather at the moment. The dining table in our kitchen is so messy and cluttered with papers i didn't want to look at them for our date night dinner.
4. John is very thankful that the 'magic-erasers' are doing such a good job of cleaning our kitchen sink that I'm thinking we won't need to replace it after all.
5. The plumber got us all fixed up Wednesday afternoon. When he removed the old pipes he discovered they were all terribly corroded. He said it was surprising they held together as long as they did. It's nice to have my kitchen put back together again. And I down-sized some stuff that was under the sink so it's a bit more organized.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Finally got a "round tuit"

I'm thankful:
1. For communion yesterday. I found it especially moving. The music was much less dominant than usual so I could really pray and think about Jesus--imagine that! The exhortation was given by a young lady that I appreciate and admire who had some really good thoughts on God's strength in our weakness. And I finally got up the courage to take a gluten free cracker for myself to use. (I usually break a crumb off of John's piece of communion bread. But my doctor said since I have celiac I should not even eat that little bit of gluten.) I wasn't sure how it would feel to take my own. But I did not feel weird or self-conscious. And it was a blessing to have it.

2. I finally had the Ellis AC people come out today to clean out our clothes dryer vent hose. It's the part that goes up through the wall and vents the hot air out through the roof. It's been almost three years since they did it last and the dryer was getting less efficient. I kept meaning to call them, but somehow, it never seemed to get to the top of my todo list. Now it's done and should last a couple of years. And tonight John took the front of the dryer apart and cleaned that too, so we are set for a while.
        Did you know that accumulated dryer lint is one of the leading causes of house fires? I'm not talking about the filter. We clean that after each use. But there is always a little lint that doesn't get caught by the filter. It accumulates and needs to be cleaned out every couple of years or so. Maybe more often if you use your drier a lot. I can tell it needs doing when it starts taking longer to dry the towels.

3. This weekend I discovered the product: Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser (I actually bought a cheap knockoff version). They were mentioned on-line as an easy way to clean stains from some types of kitchen sinks. I bought some in hopes that it would fix the stain problems with our current sink. Not sure if it is a good long term solution for that yet. But I discovered they make a lot of other cleaning jobs super easy. With one or two quick swipes they clean coffee and tea stains out of mugs, hard water deposits out of drinking glasses, and the scuff marks off the skirting board at the base of our kitchen cabinets.

4. I also managed to finally do some heavy duty dust removal in my room today. Some of my decorative dolls, stuffed animals, a lamp shade and top shelf were covered in a thick layer of dust. I've been meaning to clean them for a while. Today I finally got to it.
5. since the first two actually have multiple thankfulnesses listed i actually have more than five even without doing this one!

I detect a theme today. It seems that some how without my even knowing it, I must have gotten my very own "round tuit". :-)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sink recommendations wanted

I'm thankful:
1. for the nice comment on my blue bonnets post from D! :-) Thank you!
2. my new "VeryKool" smart phone safely arrived today. (yes that really is the brand name! :-). There is a lot of set up to do of course, but for now it is charging happily next to my old flip phone and pda devices. Hopefully they don't realize they are about to be replaced!
3. I was able to run the dish washer today despite the broken pipe under our right-hand kitchen sink. John was working under there last night to repair another (minor) problem and pulled on the pipe to help maneuver himself. It broke apart where it was soldered (?). It looks like it is too damaged from hard water deposits to weld back together so we'll need to get a plumber out to replace the pipes. I've been wanting a new kitchen sink--the surface is very damaged and worn. So this seems a good time to replace it. We aren't sure what sort of sink to get, so this morning John duct taped the pipe back together. It only leaks a little. Any sink recommendations would be appreciated! Please also include advice on pros and cons, and care and feeding.
4. My dentist appointment was postponed until next Tuesday! Yay. The day they called to reschedule I had just been thinking how much I wished we didn't have deal with that today! I love it when that happens!
5. I managed to scan more old family photos recently and added them to my Mom's digital picture frame yesterday. She was very happy to get them.

a few favorites:

 Dad (on right) in 1959 Rose Parade in Pasadena CA. Click on the photo to see it better.

Brother with Grandma

Brother's first birthday
1975. My Brother and I on his 14th birthday. I was 11 at the time.