Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooks, Goblins, Ghouls, and Hodgepodge

'Twas the Hodgepodge before Halloween, and all through the web... We are so glad you've joined in this week, October's last Hodgepodge hurrah! Next week we're into November and all things gratitude, turkey and for Joyce a wedding.  If you've answered the questions today, add your link at the end of Joyce's post.  Then go say hi to the blogger who linked before you because everybody loves company.  Here we go-

1. Joyce's hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste or be most willing to taste?  Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.
Frank would hunt....I think.  He has never hunted in our married life.  He loves to target practice.  I come from a long line of hunters.  They hunt deer, rabbits, turkey, birds....and we eat them.  I am not a huge duck quail.  I grew up eating wild meat.  Have never eated weird wild possum, coon, squirrel....etc.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below?
I have visited favorite is the Grand Canyon....but there is also Lookout Mtn. in TN, Clingman's Dome in TN/NC, Sleeping Bear Dunes in MI.
3. Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in prints, fabrics, knickknacks, or pottery.  I have one tile with a Hummingbird on it.  It has a saying about friends.

4. Tell about a time you killed two birds with one stone.
I had a congregant in the Inn (rehab) and Frank had one in the nursing home next door.  We visited both.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title?
Remember I love I have a bunch.....Yellow Bird, Rocking Robin(I am showing my age huh?), Mockingbird,

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?  The weather changed abruptly and I was caught at an outside venue without a jacket. 

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume.
Halloween  is on Thursday here in our little town....due to high school football games.  Only in the South.  We will be on Marcie's porch with the rest of the Rock Mills Porch People giving out candy....on Thursday and Friday. 

Did I trick or treat as a child? Of course. Just ask my dentist. We'd go in a big group and walk for what felt like miles, but was probably more like blocks. I grew up in a big neighborhood with sidewalks and street lamps and a more innocent world all the way round, so trick or treating was a much anticipated event. My dad always carved the pumpkin and I helped scoop out the guts.  Mom would make something pumpkiny...usually a pie.

I don't have a memorable costume.  We were poor....and  my costumes usually involved my dad's clothes...and I would be a hobo, fisherman, hunter, cowboy.  One year I got a Super Girl costume from Grants.  I hated it because it itched...and the mask was hot.  I never asked for another one.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
My SIL will be celebrating her 60th birthday on Halloween....for real.  Happy Birthday Anne!  (She is the one in the purple top.)  Welcome to the world of the 60 year olds!  Do you have any friends or family who were born on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten

About the Book:  The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.  Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.  Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for a future?
About The Authors: 

TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger. 

CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. 

SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

My Thoughts On The Book:  I loved them all.  Having grown up with a mother who lived in this era it was like hearing my mother's tales all over again.  All three authors wove wonderful tales of Christmas, love, war, faith, and family.  This was the kind of book you do not want to put down when the stories begin to unfold.  You are drawn back in time and become a member of the family.  Thank you all for this wonderful kickoff of the Christmas season and for the reminder that one of our greatest gifts is freedom.  This book is a 5 star book.  If you get the chance to read it....take it.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Hodge Podge Vol 195

It's that time again. Here are the questions for this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back o Joyce's blog some time today to share answers. See you there!

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?  I have done this and I left housework undone so I could spend some quality time with my sweet husband.  During the week it is as if we pass in the of us going and the other coming.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?  That one is easy....coming and going.  Some mornings I feel as if I just got home and I am headed out again.

 3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'  It depends on the infraction.  Sometimes I can do this with ease.  Other times I struggle with turning the cheek. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?  Ummmm....that would have been yesterday.  I turned both my purse and a desk drawer upside down looking for something and I did find the bottom of the purse.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?  Giving and receiving.  I made copies for the teacher next door to me because she has no printer in her room.  She ran copies for me in the teacher work room.  Mrs. Embry is easy to do things for.  She is always so appreciative.....and so am I.  When you are new to a school it is nice to know someone has your back.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me. green as my second choice. 

The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?  October Sky is mine.  I love that movie.  One year when I did volunteer work for ASP we were actually working in the town that this story is about.  There were several signs about the Rocket Boys.  After we got home from ASP I watched the movie again and bought it.  It is a great movie.
8. Insert your own random thought here. Last week was Homecoming week at WHS.  The week was crazy.....and there was no instruction that took place.  The kids were focused on one thing....Homecoming.  I survived....and this week is Homecoming week at RCHS.  I am not sure I will survive a second week of madness.  My senior year our Youth for Christ won first place for our float.  We worked on it for many days.  It is not like that more chicken more papier mache.  So sad....that was half the fun. 
The picture before the homecoming queen  at the bottom middle was our Youth For Christ...award winning float.  Little Miss Muffet says her prayers....the theme for the parade was fairy tales.  What do you remember of your homecoming.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Promise


About The Book: Mallory's search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal---and danger.  Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal---to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.  Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart's desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfill her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.  Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?  Purchase a copy:
About The Author: 

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold over 1.3 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple Bestseller lists. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth lives in Texas with her family.

Find Beth online: website, Facebook, Twitter
My Thoughts About The Book:  All I can say is Wow!  This book was one of those that once you began reading it life ceased to exist.  I did without sleep to finish this book.  It was an amazing story when I thought it was fiction.  When I found out that it was based on a real life event, I was speechless.  My daughter and SIL are missionaries in a third world country where teenage girls are taken as sex slaves every day.  I know things like this happen....sometimes it is just easier to put our heads in the sand.  Mallory Hammond was an amazing character in this book.  It was hard to believe that a young women would leave everything familiar to travel to a country so different from her home...but she did..... and then...nope I am not going to spoil it.  You have to buy this book in order to find out...."The rest of this story."  You won't regret it.  I promise.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  

An Amish Second Christmas


About The Book:  Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances.
“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth WisemanKatherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth ReidJoy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen FullerAnne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia GoyerVanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.
About The Authors:
Beth Wiseman 
Award-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's The Promise is inspired by a true story.
Kathleen Fuller
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including *A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield.
Ruth Reid
Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.
Tricia Goyer
USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and Tricia and her husband John live in Little Rock, Arkansas where John works for FamilyLife. They have six children.
My Thoughts On The Book/Novellas:  I could not seem to review the book as a whole and felt as if each novella deserved comment so I broke it into novella sections.  My favorite part of the end of the book of course was the recipes.
When Christmas Comes Again: There is something about Christmas, forgiveness, and second chances and this book was filled with the true meaning of Christmas in every day life.  I loved the storyline, the mysterious man.  If this novella does not touch your heart then nothing will. This book was well written and heart touching.  
Her Christmas Pen Pal: This novella was my favorite.  I loved the story line about the Christmas cookies and letter that were delivered to the wrong house.  I have had this happen to me before and really loved seeing how this story played out.  It was a fun, sassy little read and I loved the Pen Pal concept.  As a child I had pen pals and looked forward to getting mail from them.  This story will make you smile.
A Gift for Anne Marie: Theme of moving from the familiar to the unknown is a touching one.  I have moved many times, as a pastor's wife, and it is never easy to leave behind family and friends. I was delighted that Anne Marie was able to keep her familiar.  This was a sweet novella and added to the other stories it makes An Amish Second Christmas a delight.
The Christmas Aprons: My heart was immediately attached to Esther Glick.  This amazing baker had so little self-esteem.  In Esther's world she does not see herself as someone who matters.   Watching the friendship/romance bloom between Esther and Ammon was delightful. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers, Blogging for Books group and Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do You Give Because You Have To Or Because You Want To?

My Text today is from: Matthew 22:15-21.  Join me as I read it.

The tax inspector brought Mr Gudgeon in for his tax assessment interview: "I’m going to say to you what I say to every taxpayer who sits in that chair: you should realize that it’s a privilege to live in this country and you should pay your taxes with a smile." "Thank goodness," said a visibly relieved Bob, "I thought you were going to ask me for money."  This particular passage from Matthew is unusual in that we are told immediately that the encounter is a plot to trick Our Lord.  The Romans, contrary I think to popular belief these days were not an invading army in Judea. They had been invited into the country to make peace. They decided to stay and it is now a province. Certain parts of the Jewish leadership believed they needed the Romans and should pay taxes and go about their business. Others thought that the Romans could not be tolerated. They were idolaters, and brought their images with them, and they were gentiles and were polluting the holy land by even being there.  So the Pharisees went to Jesus to trap him. They asked him a yes or no question: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? If he says yes, they think then that the people will desert him. If he says no, they think they can get him in trouble with the Romans. That’s why the Roman followers of Herod are there also: it is an unholy alliance between two extremes of Jesus’ opposition. But the response is more than a simple yes or no answer. The response is far more complex and more theological: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s."

This is a difficult answer because it leaves open the question what is Caesar’s and what is God’s? You can’t trust Caesar to tell you what’s Caesar’s. Because Caesar’s answer is always the same: more.   Jesus has been portrayed in recent times as a political subversive and a counter-cultural icon: the first century Che Guevara. In fact, a couple of years ago an advertising campaign to get people across the threshold of a church for Easter showed a picture of Christ modeled upon that of Che, as seen on a thousand Student’s T-Shirts in the sixties. Christ was indeed subversive, radical and counter cultural. But he was not rebellious. The law was authoritative for Christ, and he came not to wipe away a letter of it, but he taught that the letter of the law and its spirit can be quite different: that was indeed subversive, radical and counter-cultural and remains a challenge to us today. We are challenged by this reading to reject the letter of the law and to go with the Spirit.  But which things are Caesar’s and which things are God’s? We can’t let Caesar decide. So how do you determine what things are God’s?

The film Jerry Maguire brought us an immortal phrase which can be applied to greed and avarice the world over: “Show me the money”. In fact “Show me the money” is what Christ says also, but to make an entirely different point.  How do you determine what is God’s? There are some very clear differences:

• Caesar makes it very easy for you to know what you owe.

• Caesar says pay but God says give.

• Caesar says pay or be sorry. God says give and you’ll be glad.

• The call to pay says "you owe."

  • The call to give says "you have an opportunity."

There are not many of us send off our payment to the IRS and say, Whooo "Yes, I feel good about that." We usually say a lot of other things that aren’t repeatable from the pulpit. The call to give is a call to grow, not only in terms of commitment, but in the goodness of your own soul that you are able to do it. It is partly gratitude to God for all he gives us and it is also partly a sense of wanting to be the kind of people who are so free from selfishness and greed that we can give more than most people think is reasonable; so free from addiction to wealth that we can give beyond what most people think is appropriate.

This building isn’t going to just fall away, although I note that despite the very hard work of many in the congregation, raising the money for our essential work proves difficult. The mission of this Church is not going to die, and its investment in youth projects and other forms of outreach are not just ‘nice-to-haves’ but are essential not only for the future, but for the now.  The challenging future of this church, its design and its purpose within this community is not something that we can simply put our heads the sand about and leave to a later generation, for if we fail to act decisively now, there will be no more future generations and the glory of worship will be lost in this area for ever.

"God loves a cheerful giver.” Says the Scripture. He also accepts from a miserable one as well.  When Caesar says pay, it doesn’t matter what kind of people we want to be... we pay. But when God says give, we have to make a decision. It’s hard. It requires thought and feeling. But that offering is one made willingly and a willing offering is one which will reap much reward, not just in this earthly life as we build the Kingdom on Earth, but hereafter, where the gift will be much more bounteous.  Jesus taught them by saying "Show me the money for the tax." And then he held that coin up to them and said "Whose picture is this?" Caesar’s.  "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s."   What has God’s picture on it? What carries God’s likeness? You.   You are that offering. Make it work.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Valley Arts Council Craft Show

What a grand weekend this was.  Frank was in his first ever juried craft show.  It was in Valley, AL and it was so much fun.  We made loads of new friends and saw some of the most amazing arts and crafts.  I have to admit that I am not fond of nudes and there seemed to be quite a few of those.  The rest of the crafters/artists made up for it.  There are so many ways to make stuff from things you have laying around the house.  I met a really neat lady named Karen...who homeschools her 13 children...and a precious young man I taught to do frilly scarves.

 The display boards were given to us by Chuck and Sue.  She had used them for a craft show.  They were white and Frank decided to color them up a bit.

 Frank actually got two blue ribbons.  The second one was for Best Display.  He had that one hands down.  All in all it was an amazing day.