Sunday, September 30, 2007
Open the Eyes of My Heart--Michael W. Smith

Ephesians 1:18-19
I pray also that the eyes of your heart
may be enlightened
in order that you
may know the hope
to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance
in the saints,
and his incomparably great power
for us who believe.
That power is like
the working of his mighty strength.

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  posted at 12:06 AM  

Saturday, September 29, 2007
A New Ride!

Greg and Luke came by yesterday to share something
new with us. Yep! Greg's got a new ride!

He had been talking for some time about getting a truck. Now he has a way to haul things!
That should come in handy.
No--He won't haul Luke in the back!

Luke shows you here where Luke and Ella will ride!

This is Dad and Mom's spot!

Greg is famous in our family for driving his vehicles FOREVER! He wrings every mile he can--and then some--out of a car before he lets it go. So, assuming he runs true to form on this vehicle, he has promised it to Luke when he is through with it. Luke is six years old! :-) Of course, Luke thinks it's a great plan. When he turns sixteen? I'm bettin' maybe not so much! :-)

After they left, I realized that I had let Greg take all the pictures and I didn't get one of him with the truck. I'll remedy that the next time he comes by.
Can you see Luke's little head peeking over the top?!

Ya'll have a great weekend!


  posted at 11:05 AM  

Friday, September 28, 2007
Show and Tell--Basketball Player

It's Friday! That means it is time for Show and Tell at Kelli's.
Run over there and get in all the fun!

This cute little basketball player has been in our family for about thirty-four years. I made him for my husband while I was in a ceramics class at the church we attended at the time. That was way "back in the day!"

Lee was coaching basketball at church in those days. He has always loved that game! He coached a team of one kind or another for almost thirty years. Sometimes it was adults at church; other times it was our children in their leagues, or a high school AAU team.

Of course, our sons caught the basketball bug and both played in high school. Now one of them is a high school coach and the other is coaching his own sons. In the next generation, all three of our grandsons have already played on basketball teams. I'm sure our granddaughter will have the opportunity if she wants to play!

The little Bball player spent many years in Lee's office at work. When Lee retired the little player came home. He now guards the action in our home office.

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  posted at 12:06 AM  

Thursday, September 27, 2007
Thursday Doin's
It's Thursday! That means I will be out running errands part of the day. We have a great volunteer who comes to stay with Lee for part of Thursday so I can do the necessary running around part of life. He is a gift!

In addition--I have a confession to make. I am not Superwoman. I know you're really not surprised at that admission. When I finally came to grips with that fact, I took a good look at everything I had to do and decided I needed H.E.L.P! Life has been much better since the time I let go of trying to juggle everything.

Yes ma'm, that's my confession. A delightful lady, who has become a precious friend, comes to clean about every two weeks. L is an obvious answer to very specific prayers! She will be here today to work her magic! Lest some of you super housekeepers worry--I do take care of things between her visits! I haven't forgotten how! ;-)

So--I'm off to take care of some of the necessities of life. While I'm out, you can go over here to meet the latest addition to part of our family. She's a cutie!

I'm on my way! Hope I don't get lost in the big city!
See you tomorrow for Show and Tell


  posted at 10:00 AM  

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Week One--Broken Hearts, Broken Ties
We are back on schedule--Well, actually we are behind, but you know what I mean! We just have a new schedule now. I'm sorry about canceling last week. There are just some things that don't happen on our schedule. I appreciate the comments from so many kind blogging friends on the passing of my brother. When I visited Charles three weeks before he died we discussed my blog. He read it on a regular basis--lurking, don't you know. He was fascinated by the whole blogging community and really liked that I was doing this Bible study. I am certain that he would encourage me to get back to it. So--Here we go! Just in case you haven't read the plans for Fall Bible Study--You can go here to get the basic guidelines. The main thing is to let us know you are studying along with us, link up here, and post at your place about whatever is on your mind concerning the lesson we are focusing on for the week.

Week One
Broken Hearts, Broken Ties

Bible Study Buzz At My House
We had a great time together this week. All of the ladies who came the first week were back. I was so glad to see them! I had been a little concerned that perhaps we had not been into the study long enough when we had to take a break. I was afraid someone might drop out. God was faithful to us and brought us all back together. What a precious group of women!

I want to share my Bible study spot with you this week.
Actually, I have a couple of
places that I sometimes work. However, I think this one is best for me right now--my kitchen table. This is what it looks like when I am studying.

I bring the computer in here because I can use Bible Gateway, particularly to read some of the longer passages. This allows me to work faster; however, I really like having the Bible in my hands. Therefore, I don't use the computer for all my work. I oftten make notes in my Bible, and the computer just won't work for that!

I am also keeping a journal with this Bible study. I'm just using a simple little spiral notebook. It allows me to make notes that I want to share with the other women in the study. I had several available the first night so the ladies could have one if they wished. I also had pens and highlighters for them. And of course the goody bowl full of little Bible study aids--lights, bookmarks, etc. How do you study? Do you have a favorite spot where you work? What
makes your spot special or unique?

Studying God's Word
This is my reflection/review/summary of Week One of A Woman's Heart, by Beth Moore

We certainly covered a lot of ground in this first week. We went from the Garden of Eden to the Exodus of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt. What a journey we took!

There are several ways to approach the review/summary of these lessons each week and we may not
use the same format every week. I want to give a fairly simple reflection of what I, and/or the other ladies in my home study group, discovered as we worked. This week I'm going to use Beth's principal questions for the week as my jumping off point. You can find them on page 8 in your study book.

1. Why were the Israelites to build the tabernacle?(p.8)
God wanted a place to "dwell" among his people. That sounds so simple, and it really is. He wants to be with us, talk with us, live with us. However looking at the parallels between the Garden of Eden and the tabernacle helped me to put the "dwelling" and "sanctuary" concepts into perspective. God was giving his people a new place to meet with him. He was providing what Beth referred to as a "ministry of reconciliation" as referred to in 2 Corinthians 5:18. (p.11)

Over and over in the margins of my book I have written phrases such as "He wants to meet," He is in pursuit," and "Where are you!" God is continually pursuing us, asking us to listen, giving us opportunity to respond, providing us with places and times to meet with him. He does expect to dwell with us. The Israelites were instructed to build the tabernacle for that reason. This study becomes very personal! I was really impressed by the fact that God is pursuing me. He wants to dwell with me! I know that in this season of my life I have many questions about God's plan for me. I think he may just be using this study to get my attention for those plans. Beth underscores that idea when she says, "I believe God appoints our journeys through His Word to correspond with our current life seasons." (p12) It was interesting to listen to the women in our group talk and realize that there are so many different seasons of life represented in the group. We have one mother of young children, several grandmothers, two retirees, one widow, one who has four generations currently living in her house, and at least one anticipating a move in the next few months. Yet, we have all been led to this study. What is ahead for us? Where are we? Friends who are reading this review, but not doing the study in the book--I encourage you to read Exodus 25:1-2, 8-9and Genesis1:26-3:24.

2. What is the human heart like apart from fellowship with God?
The simple summation of this is that God loves us and wants fellowship with us. Again, it is more complicated than that. Oh! We loved this on Monday night--"God created us because He delights in us! (p13) Isn't that great! He delights in us! He delighted in Noah also. He destroyed all other people, saving only Noah and his family. Well, after all, Noah was doing what God wanted--the others were not. You know the story--Genesis 6:10-9:19, After God destroyed the earth, He made a covenant with Noah. God keeps His covenants. We are given the choice to make and keep covenants with Him--covenants to serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.

3. How did God respond to what He saw at the tower of Babel?
In our study group we had a little laugh over this one. Don't misunderstand, we were not disrespectful. But, really, you don't want to get God angry! God told Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply. The people decided they would all stay in Babel and build a tower. They just didn't want to scatter all over the earth. Well, you know what happened--God scattered them--Genesis 11. Beth makes a point about God sometimes calling us out of our comfort zones to do things we might not choose for ourselves--I'm paraphrasing here. (p21) Wow! This was certainly another moment of truth for our Monday night group. We could all tell of times in our past, or current situations, in which our talents and skills hae been stretched. When was the last time you were called out of your comfort zone to follow the Lord's plan? What did you learn from the experience?

4. What did God preach to Abraham?
God preached the Gospel to Abraham.Trying to explain this portion of the study in a review is difficult for me--If you are studying along in the book you read it, too. It just blew me away! I believe this was one of the most exciting parts of this week's lesson for me. The difficulty in reviewing it is that I want to tell the whole thing the way Beth did--and she already did that!

Let me just say--Seeing the connection between the story of Abram and God in the Old Testament (Genesis 15) and the gift of His Son for us in the New Testament was a revelation. This was, of course, not the first time for me to study this passage. But, seeing it through new eyes and with renewed understanding. Wow!

Our group had a lively discussion about the thorns in which the ram in the Old Testament was caught (Genesis 22:13) and the thorns on the brow of the Lamb of God in the New Testament (John 1:29). Another WOW!

Philippians 2:8-11 (NIV)
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

5. By what name did God tell Moses to call Him to the Israelites?
Exodus 3:14 "I am who I am.
This is what you are to say
to the Israelites:
"I AM has sent me to you.' "

We reached Moses! Can the tabernacle be far behind! Our group delighted in the story of Moses going up the mountain--and leaving groups behind at their designated stations. (Exodus 24) We didn't quite act it out, but we were close! And we get to the point where God tells Moses to build a place for him to dwell.

Exodus 25:8 Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

I'm going to leave you with this image. This is a picture of Mt. Sinai. Exodus 24:12 says, "The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain. . ." Moses had to take quite a walk in order to obey the Lord that day!

Looking Ahead
I can't wait to see where we go next! I hope you have a great week in The Word. We will meet back here next Wednesday to see what we have learned. I know some of you are at different places in the study. If you would just indulge those of us who just started and review/summarize the week we are on here at Cherish. . .the word!

Please leave a link to your blog if you are posting about Fall Bible Study. Remember to leave a comment also. Thank you!

Just a note--blogger has gone crazy on me! I can't get it to leave the size of the type the way I want it. I have tried, and tried. I'm going to bed now--I'll try again tomorrow! I hope you haven't gone cross-eyed trying to read this post with crazy size type changing every paragraph! :-)


  posted at 2:43 AM  

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Fall Into Reading

Katrina at Callapidder Days has planned some reading fun for all of us. It is a no stress, easy, way to share your reading joy with others. Click on a link above and to go see what you need to do. Join in on the fun.

I am an eclectic, whatever-hits-my-fancy-kind-of-reader. I ALWAYS have at least one book going. I am also a fast reader. If I am really into a book I will read through the night--and then be sorry that the characters are gone the next day!

My reading habits don't lend themselves to much discipline so this is a new experience for me--Actually making a list of books to read. I know all my OCD friends out there can't imagine such a concept, but it is does work. :-) When I get caught up in a series is about the only time I am disciplined enough to know what I'm going to read next. With series I do admit to a few OCD tendencies. I like to read the whole series straight through, from beginning to end. It bothers me if I start a series while the author is still adding books to it. So, sometimes I collect them until I have them all and just read straight through. Can you say, "strange and crazy person."

Anyway--I'm taking the plunge and making a list, checking it twice, and GETTING ORGANIZED! We'll see how this goes! So, given all my strangeness with series, need for some little light reading, desire for some reading that makes me think, enjoyment of a little mystery and action, and recent interest in historical fiction--Here's my very eclectic list. I know I will adjust as I read!

In Search of Eden--Linda Nichols
At the Scent of Water--Linda Nichols
On Every Side--Karen Kingsbury
My Sister's Keeper--Jodi Piccoult
The Collectors--David Baldacci
Exile--David North Patterson
The Boleyn Inheritance--Philippa Gregory
1776--David McCullough--I've been reading this one for quite some time--One book I definitely cannot read fast or in one setting--But very fascinating!

Cedar Cove Series--Debbie McComber
Yes, I know there are seven of them, but they all go on the list--some may get rotated to
the spring list. It's a series, ya'll!

Unknown additional books I know I will discover along the way!

A Woman's Heart--Beth Moore
My current Bible Study--If you have ever done a Beth study you know how much you READ!


  posted at 9:50 AM  

Monday, September 24, 2007
A Little Bloggy Business--A LIttle Bloggy Fun
Well, good morning! I'm going to take care of a little blogging business, then I'm going to share a fun meme with you. Whew! I really need to have a little fun!

I have been wrestling with a blogging problem I have. I'm going to tell you what I have decided. The problem? What to do with Fall Bible Study? The solution--Just keep on going!
Last week I really thought I would be back home after attending my brother's funeral in Texas and ready to post on Wednesday. Just keep on moving, you know. It didn't happen that way. I was home, but I just wasn't ready to do anything that required thinking. I do try to think just a bit when I write--especially when I'm going to presume to write about a Bible Study!

The Bible Study at my home was canceled last week because it meets on Monday night and by that time I was in Texas. We just decided to begin again this week. So that's what I'm going to do with the blogging version--Begin again.

Here's the new deal! We will be discussing Week One on Wednesday. Anyone who has read it, studied, it and wants to comment, please link up and put your post up so we can come to your place and see what you have to say. I will be giving a summary here and letting you in on what the ladies at my home study have to say. See you then!

"Get to Know Me Better" Meme
Now--some fun with a meme I picked up from Ginger some time ago. I'm sure you are breathlessly waiting to find out all this stuff about little ole' me.

Accent--Definitely a West Texas Twang -- I have lived in Tennessee for over thirty-five years, so a bit of Middle Tennessee Southern has slipped in along the way. Sometimes people have trouble placing my mixed-up accent. I told a little story here about how one man hit it right on.

I Don't Drink--Beer. Sweet tea is the beverage of choice most of the time.

Chore I Hate--Cleaning bathrooms! Actually, given the choice of any chore or reading a book, I'd probably prefer reading the book. But then, who would do the chores?!

Pets--None presently. We have had several sweet dogs--Michelle, Honey, Muffin, Dolly, one psychotic pooch named Prissy, and one spoiled bird named Ollie. Currently I enjoy an occasional visit from a neighborhood dog named Daisy. She always shows up when the grandchildren are here. How does she know when they're visiting? I found out yesterday that two of our grandchildren (Joshua and Spoony) just got a new dog--Delilah Belle, who will be known as Lilah. I look forward to meeting the cute little Basset Hound.

Essential Electronics--Besides the obvious computer--this terrific piece of machinery is a must at our house. It is a back-up generator which is powered, in a way I don't completely understand, by natural gas. In case of a power outage it keeps the electricity needed for Lee's medical machinery humming right along. Yes, Ma'm! If the electricity goes off in our house for any reason, just count to about fifteen and the refrigerator, TVs, computers, and all the electricity in our bedroom come back on. It is like magic--but not! It is a blessing beyond belief in the middle of a storm just to know it is there.

Perfume--Don't wear it often. I like to spritz on a little scent, but I normally use body spray or something similar. I keep several scents from Bat*h and Bo*dy, etc. When I do use the real thing I prefer Beautiful, Desire, and Joy. My granddaughter loves to go into "the red bathroom"--which is mine--and experiment with the spray bottles! She likes to "smell pretty." Yep, she is a girly girl disguised as a little tomboy!

Gold or Silver--My husband had my wedding and engagement rings reset from white gold to gold on our twenty-fifth anniversary. He added ring guards and reset the diamond from my engagement ring. So, I wear a lot of gold. But, I also mix the two and wear silver quite a bit.

Insomnia--Not true insomnia, but I do find myself staying up later now that I am retired--and the blogging has something to do with it also! If I am having trouble sleeping I find something not too exciting to read and that usually does the trick!

Job Title
--Currently "grandmama" is my favorite title, but I, like many women, have several other titles. Professionally I was known as teacher and then principal.

Most Admired Trait
--I am loyal. If I am your friend you are stuck with me. If I love you, I will love you always!

Kids--We have two sons (both 30+) who are the treasures of our lives. The older one is a teacher and coach. He and his wonderful wife, who is also a teacher, have a son and a daughter. They live less than two miles from us. Our younger son is a CPA. He and his equally wonderful wife, who is a teacher, have two sons. They live in a small town not too far from us. BTW--You can read her blog here. We also have a daughter who is waiting for us in heaven. She lived only a very short time after she was born. Our boys came soon after her.

Phobia--I don't like to be in a crowded room unless I know how to get out of it. I always look for a door and prefer to sit where I can get to the door if I need to. Strange, because I have never had a bad experience about crowds or being caught in a burning building or anything like that. :-)

Religion--I have been a Christian since I accepted the Lord as my savior when I was seven years old. In my "normal" life I attend a Baptist church where we have been members since 1980. Currently, because of my husband's health limitations we worship on Sunday mornings with some churches via TV. The important thing is that God is in charge of my life and I am trying to follow his plan for me. So far He has led me on an interesting, unexpected, and blessed journey.

Siblings--I am the fourth of four children born to my parents, Charlie and Beulah. In addition, I have one step sister. My oldest sister, Jeannette, died last year; my brother, Charles, last week. I know they are together, with our parents, in heaven. I miss them both so much. That leaves my older sister, Barbara, and my stepsister, Carol--and, of course, me.

I was the baby sister.
Jeannette and Charles were twelve and ten years older than me. Barbara is just two years older. We live hundreds of miles from each other, but we talk on the phone almost everyday. If I have a secret--she probably knows it. Carol is five years younger than me. She may not know all of my secrets now--but she surely knows several from when I was a teenager! She was ten and I was fifteen when her mother and my dad married. (Come to think of it, I really don't have many secrets these days)!

Unusual Talent/Skill--I can pick up things with my toes! Oh--you may want to know something more sophisticated than that! OH YES!! I can teach a child to read! I also know how to get a group of 500+ children to be silent--in seconds, without raising my voice! I haven't had much use for that skill recently--but I'm ready if 500 children happen to take a field trip to my home anytime soon.

Vegetable I Hate--Brussels sprouts--is that a vegetable? and green Lima beans!

Worst Habit
--Procrastinating! I'll probably talk more about that later--maybe, stay tuned--if I get around to it--you know, someday!

My Favorite Meal--Has to be Mexican! If I'm choosing a restaurant, it would have to be Pappasito's in Houston. In our area--currently I would choose Palmas Verde However, if you just put some cheese on it, pour some salsa over it and call it "Mexican," or Tex-Mex, I will likely eat it!

I may be the last one in all of Bloggyville to complete this meme. If you have not done it, please join in. I would certainly like to get to know you better. Let us know in a comment where you are and we'll all rush over!

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  posted at 9:10 AM  

Sunday, September 23, 2007
I Can Only Imagine

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able
to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine
according to his power
that is at work within us
to him be glory. . .

Luke 24:15 (NIV)
...Therefore stand in awe of God.

1Chronicles 29:11 (NIV)
Yours, O LORD,
is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty
and the splendor,
for everything
in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD,
is the kingdom. . .

Psalm 84:2 (NIV)
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.

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  posted at 12:06 AM  

Friday, September 21, 2007
I'm Back!
I'm back! This has been a very difficult week and I am still struggling to get back to normal life--whatever that is!

Thank you for all the thoughtful comments and emails concerning the passing of my brother. Blogging friends have been very encouraging and have provided a welcome extra portion of love and friendship.

My trip to Texas was a blessing. My brother's wife and children are precious to me. Several cousins and other family members that I don't have opportunity to be with often were also there. In spite of the sadness of Charles leaving us, it was good to be with family. We had a wonderful time of family fellowship at lunch on Tuesday at my
nephew's home. We seem to be in that season that comes to families sometimes--we meet at funerals.

I returned home Wednesday afternoon and immediately jumped back into some responsibilities here. Truthfully, I just haven't felt quite up to blogging yet. In fact, I decided yesterday was a good day to exert some physical energy. I did some CLEANING! I still have some of those tasks to complete today. Nothing like a little scrubbing, dusting, etc. to get you back into real life!

I will be reading and commenting today. I have a lot of catching up to do--I haven't even seen
all the neighborhood posts yet. I'll be around to visit you today and get back into the swing of things real soon.


  posted at 11:46 AM  

Monday, September 17, 2007
Taking a Break!

I am taking a brief break from the blogging world. I have gone to Texas to be with my brother's family for the next few days. His funeral will be on Tuesday. My sons will be caring for their Dad while I am gone.

I ask for your prayers for all of our family during this very difficult time.

For those of you who were going to start Fall Bible Study with us this week, I plan to have a post up Wednesday, but it will probably be late in the day. My at home study group will not meet this week. We will start again next week.

Love to all my friends--real life and blogging. See you later this week.


  posted at 10:54 AM  

Sunday, September 16, 2007
My Brother
My brother, Charles,
went home to be with the Lord
on Saturday, September 15, 2007.

Phillippians 1:3
I thank my God every time I remember you.

Isaish 35:19
and the ransomed
of the LORD will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them.
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

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  posted at 12:10 AM  

Friday, September 14, 2007
Happy Anniversay--#11!
Kevin and Holly are celebrating their Eleventh Anniversay today!

September 14, 1996
They had a lovely outdoor wedding ceremony
on a beautifully brilliant weather-perfect afternoon.
A wonderful beginning for their life adventure together.

Holly is the wife we prayed God would send for our son, Kevin. They compliment each other very nicely. They both love action and having fun. Two non-stop boys, Joshua and Isaiah (Spoony), have been happy additions to their life. As a family they are on the go almost constantly and have fun all the way.

Kevin and Holly completed school after they married. It was not easy. but they stayed focused on the task until they finished. Kevin has worked as an accountant--and now a CPA--for a firm in their town since finishing his degree. They live in Holly's hometown, next door to her parents. Holly worked for several years in a private preschool. Now she teaches in the elementary school that the boys attend. She is also completing work for elementary certification and a Master's degree.

They have accomplished much in the last eleven years and for that we are proud of them. Perhaps their greatest strength and accomplishment is their sweet family. They are building a family based on love for each other and their shared love of the Lord. They are blessed. They are a blessing to us!

Happy Anniversary, Kevin and Holly!
We love you!

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  posted at 12:29 PM  

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Another Family Medical Siituation
I have another request for prayer!

My husband's mother, Emma, is in the hospital. She will have surgery today to fuse some vertabrae. Emma is almost 93 years old. We are very concerned for her. This is the second surgery in a year to take care of broken bones. We do not live near her and have not been able to see for quite awhile because of Lee's illness. Please remember her as you pray today.

Our family is really experiencing a season of illness; but, the Lord continues to give us peace and assurance that He is in control.

  posted at 11:08 AM  

I Love My Brother Very Much!
I planned to do the meme that Ginger had going on a couple of days ago. I have seen it around and thought it looked like fun. I worked on it last night and almost have it ready. I'll share it another day. Instead of that, I'm going to share what is really on my heart today and ask for some of those good blogging friend prayers.

You know I went on a trip to Texas a few weeks ago to visit my brother Charles. I wrote about him and his wife, Carlene, here on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Charles has been admitted to the hospital. My latest news is that he is very weak. Fighting cancer at this stage is hard work and his body is showing the strain. His medical team is working to improve his strength so that he might be able to tolerate and continue treatment.

Please pray for him and his sweet family. I love my big brother very much!

  posted at 8:31 AM  

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Fall Bible Sudy--Introduction

Welcome to the first week of Fall Bible Study
at Cherish...the Word!

Guidelines for the study:
We are using A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place--Updated, by Beth Moore, as our learning guide. You can buy it at Lifeway Stores, online at Lifeway, or other online book sellers. We will be reviewing the Introductory Lesson this week and will address one lesson a week for the next ten weeks.

I am trying here, one more time, to explain the options that you have for participating in this study. I think I may have gotten it right this time. I have tried to be concise, but thorough. There are several options to participating in the study:

Option One--Attend or host a study group at a church or home. Study the assigned scriptures and do the homework in the study book. Meet with your group to discuss the lesson for the week, view the video, and complete the viewer guide. Come here on Wednesday to link up. Post on your own blog about your learning experience for that week.

Option Two--Buy a Member Book (also called study book). Download the videos at Lifeway. There is also an audio version available. Work by yourself or with a friend. Study the assigned scriptures, do the homework in the study book, view the video, and complete the viewer guide. Come here on Wednesday to link up. Post on your own blog about your learning experience for the week.

Option Three--If you do not have access to the video and are not able to download it, this is probably the option for you. Buy a Member Book. Work by yourself or with a friend. Study the assigned scriptures and do the homework in the study book. Come here on Wednesday to link up. Post on your own blog about your learning experience for the week. You will lose the richness of the face-to face-experience with Beth and the great guidance she provides in the video. However, I believe you will still have a quality Bible study experience.

Audit--Some colleges offer audit experiences for classes. You can, of course, do that here, too. After all, this is bloggyville. This plan is not really a plan for participating in the study, but rather, what we basically do every day on our blogs. Come here on Wednesday, check out the links for the week, and read about what others learned in their study. Give it some thoughtful consideration. Comment about your insight based on your own previous or ongoing Bible study.
Schedule--I will be posting the weekly schedule in my sidebar as soon as html and I come to agreement on who is boss of the template!!! Until then, you can find it here.

Bible Study Buzz at My House

OH! MY! GOODNESS! This was beyond great! I have attended several Beth Moore studies--at church and in a friend's home. This is the first time I have hosted one. I have been missing out on a really wonderful opportunity!

The group meeting on Monday nights is a mixture of people from my church Bible study class, friends I have worked with, a relatively new friend who has become very dear to me, and a delightful lady I met for the first time last night. There will be some more friends joining us next week--they are doing other things this week like cruising, etc. :-)

We spent some time getting to know each other just a little better.We discovered common interests and characteristics. We exclaimed at the youthful look of a couple of people with adult children, and in general enjoyed getting comfortable with one another. We also discovered that several of us had been to Deeper Still Conference in Nashville this past weekend. Beth and other bible teachers, Kay Arthur and Priscilla Shirer were featured. That common bond prompted some lively conversations about our shared experience.

I can't leave my teaching/principaling habits behind me, so I had treasures for my guests. We passed around a bowl of "goodies" and each person got to choose one. Included were small bags of coffee, bookmarks, lights to clip on a book, and other small surprises. I was also glad to revisit one of my favorite teacher tasks--passing out brand new books!

We were off to a good start and ready to turn to the reason we had gathered. We began with prayer. Then after a brief discussion of the reason I wanted to have this study at my home and a few"housekeeping" chores concerning our meetings, we settled down to view the introductory video.

I cannot tell you how blessed we were in that room. When the video ended there was a moment of complete silence. Then a lively discussion broke loose. We discussed how we feel the power of God's Word coming from Beth Moore. But mostly we discussed the amazing mind pictures she painted for us of how God is pursuing us. We were astounded by the idea that the plan for the tabernacle has existed, and will exist for eternity. We were fascinated as Beth led us through both Old and New Testament scripture to prepare us for the coming weeks. Every woman present expressed a feeling of awe at what we had heard and a desire to know more. .

Let me tell you--That group left my home better friends than when they came, with a purpose for Bible study for the next week, and a commitment to let God "open our minds and understand the Scriptures." I have no doubt that I was led to pull this particular group of women together. I also know that God is pursuing all of us, desiring a deeper relationship with each of us. I'm so excited about the possibilities!

Studying God's Word
Beth Moore's studies typically begin with a video introduction. She lays the groundwork for the in depth search of scripture and the overall direction the study will take. Through her obvious love of the Lord and her commitment to sharing her understanding of His word with women she has developed a teaching style that is both engaging and challenging. I have never failed to come away with a new perspective, a deeper understanding, or a clearer vision of what the Lord has to say to me personally.This week was no exception.

My attention was grabbed from the beginning by the idea that God pursues me and wants a deeper relationship with me just as He did with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8-9). That is not really a new idea for me to consider. It is one I definitely need to give more personal attention to than I have in recent months. It is easy to get caught up in the must-dos of life. I truly believe that I have felt the need to be involved in this study because of God's pursuit of me and my need to more clearly understand His plan for me in this season of my life.

I believe the idea that intrigued me the most was in the description of God revealing His plan to Moses. Now, I knew that God had given Moses plans on the mountain. However, my understanding now is that those plans were not new, but had existed for eternity.

Hebrews 8:5 (NIV) says the "sanctuary is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

People, this is exciting stuff! If the tabernacle the Israelites built is a copy of what was in heaven, then it will be in heaven when we get there. We will see it! Not only that, we will worship God there! In the meantime, he wants to dwell with us here. He wants to talk with us. He wants us to worship and serve Him!

Well, I have to say--My heart is full! My mind is whirling! There is so much to think about, to consider, to ponder, to examine. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next!
Looking Ahead
We will be back next week to discuss Week One, "Broken Hearts, Broken Ties." In this lesson Beth will take us from Adam and Eve, to Noah, thenAbram, all the way to Moses and the Israelites. Does that sound daunting and challenging? Of course, but worth every minute of it!

Bible study is very personal and I'm sure we will all have ideas of how to "discuss" the lesson in our posts next week. I don't presume to try to tell you what to write about.

However, if you need a starter you might ponder the following:
• Consider the concept of covenants. What are some of the covenants God made with individuals in the scriptures we study this week.
• Review the importance of the phrases, "to work and take care of," or "serve and worship" to the tabernacle. How does that apply to your life?
• Consider the actions of God toward the people of Babylon. What does that tell us about God's plans for us?

There are so many wonderful blessings within the first week's study. Those ideas listed above are just three that have jumped out at me as I have studied. (I'm trying to stay at least one week ahead of the group meeting at my house).

I hope you will continue to come to share with us as you work through this amazing study. We will meet back here next Wednesday. Blessings on you this week!

Luke 24:44-45 (NIV)font>
44He said to them,
"This is what I told you while I was still with you:
Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me
in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
45Then he opened their minds
so they could understand the Scriptures."



  posted at 1:00 AM  

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Where Were You? What Do You Remember?

Are you flying your flag today?

There are days that we remember because of the impact they have on our individual lives. There are days and times that we remember because of the impact they have on our own lives, our communities, our country, and the world. If you were alive on December 7, 1941; November 22, 1963; January 28, 1986; and other historical days you probably remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. I wasn't here for 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, but I have heard stories my whole life about that day that lives "in infamy." I remember 1963 when John F. Kennedy was shot down in Dallas, and 1986 when the Challenger Shuttle exploded on liftoff over Florida. The images of those, and other life altering days are etched on my mind forever.

September 11, 2001 was just such a day.

Like millions of other people I was at work, busy doing the routine things of a normal workday. I was principal of an elementary school. My school had about 500 students and over 60 employees. We were into a typical very busy day with students and teachers moving around the building taking care of the business of learning. It was looking like a good day in our little world.

I was in a small workroom just off the main office. A teacher and I were working on some project involving making copies. We were discussing just how to get the images to copy on the paper exactly the way it needed to be. Real important stuff in an elementary school.

Suddenly, one of the secretaries called for me to. "COME HERE DR. S. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!" The sound in her voice was similar to what I would hear if there was blood, dangling skin, broken limbs, throw-up, or some other child-centered catastrophe involved--and the office staff didn't call for me unless there were LOTS of the aforementioned body parts, pieces, and fluids involved. I heeded the urgency in her voice and went immediately around the corner to the front office.

My secretary's friend had called her and told her to turn on a TV. We had a small TV attached to the wall in the front office. It was there for weather alerts or other emergencies. This certainly qualified as an emergency. I stood there in amazement as we heard the story of the first hit on the World Trade Towers in New York City. Then we watched in utter horror as the second plane hit! We knew then that this was a catastrophe unlike any we had ever witnessed. However, I don't think any of us huddled in that school office had any inkling of the enormity of how lives, ours and certainly others, were forever changed in those minutes.

At the moment we saw the images of the second hit a teacher standing in the office fell to the floor, sobbing in absolute and utter agony. As we began to attend to her, we realized her reaction was because of her daughter. Her sweet young, college student daughter was in her first semester of college in New York City. Her dorm was about a quarter of a mile from the Trade Center. Her college classes were held in one of the Twin Towers. Imagine a mother's agony seeing those images and not knowing if her daughter was in class or still at home preparing to go to school!

Of course, we immediately changed schedules to take care of her students. Then we found a family member to come get her--we knew she didn't need to drive. Later I sat with that teacher outside while she waited for her other daughter to come get her. What do you say to someone in that situation? You put your arms around them. You pray with them. You tell them you love them. You silently thank God your own children are not in New York City!

The whole time we were making arrangements for the teacher, she was frantically trying to locate her daughter and confirm her safety. It was hours before she knew her daughter had been standing at her apartment window looking at the towers when the second plane hit. She and her friends walked for hours through New York, some still in their pajamas, to the home of a fellow student. From there they were cared for by parents of friends until they could arrange to come home. She later returned to school in New York.

After the initial arrangements were started with that teacher, while she and the office staff were busy taking care of her arrangements, I had to consider the rest of the people in the building. Because of the age of the students I did not want TVs in classrooms turned on--certainly not until we knew more about what was happening and were ready to monitor what was seen and how to answer questions. Of course, by the next school day most of the children had seen everything. But at that moment, I felt we needed to exercise some discretion if possible. I didn't want to make an announcement over the PA system. It just seemed to me that I needed to speak to each adult in person.

I went to every teacher and employee in that building and told them personally what was happening. The classrooms in our building were situated so that, in some areas, four doors opened near each other. In each of those areas I called all four teachers to their doors and explained what we were seeing on TV. Other places in the building I talked to one or two teachers at a time. I made sure that every adult in the building knew what I knew. It was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do.

I remember seeing stunned looks of incomprehension, and complete dismay. I heard teachers, normally strong and in control, cry in anguish before pulling themselves together and returning to classrooms to take care of children. I heard people express concern about family and friends in New York. One young teacher's brother and mother were scheduled to be in business meetings in the Towers that day. She found out, that because of last minute schedule changes, they were safe.. Others were able to quickly locate their loved ones.

At the end of the day we went home. I don't believe I had ever been as weary at the end of a school day as I was when that one was over. It had taken a huge physical, mental, and emotional toll on all of us. I remember standing in the shower that evening, sobbing. I was finally able to let it out. All day I had tried to be strong, in charge, consoling, comforting, encouraging, and reassuring. At the end of the day I was just tired. Exhausted.

As that day, and the ones that came after progressed, schools were given instructions from Central Office. Security issues were discussed. Safety and security plans were made--and changed. Life went on. It was greatly changed, forever altered, we did not feel as safe as we had before; but life went on.

The images and memories of that day will stay with us forever. Hopefully, in the aftermath and the days since then we have learned from the experience. Hopefully, we treasure life even more now than we did before.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?
What do you remember?


  posted at 1:00 AM  

Woman to Woman--Gratitude Day

Morning Glory at Seeds from My Garden says,
"Today for our Woman to Woman forum,
we'd like to know what is in your life
that brings a feeling of gratitude to your heart.
We're calling this "Gratitude Day",
and because it's September 11,
please share 11 things for which you are grateful."
If you would like to participate, please go see Morning Glory or Lei to sign up.

Eleven things in my life that bring a feeling of gratitude to my heart:

1. Lee--My Husband
I am grateful that we have had 38+ years of marriage. Our marriage journey has been an eventful, blessed, and never boring adventure.

2. Children--Our sons are fine, Christian men, who have brought us great joy (and only a few sleepless nights). I treasure them for the children they were and the men they have become. I am grateful to them for the support they have given their Dad and me as we have faced my husband's serious illness the past two years. I also appreciate and am grateful for the wives God chose for my sons. They are precious.

3. Grandchildren--What more can I say! GRANDCHILDREN! One of God's greatest blessings!

4. Books--I enjoy reading. I am amazed at the tremendous variety of books available in an increasing array of genres. A visit to a bookstore for me is a delicious treat!

5. Mexican Food--Nothing like a plate full of spicy food covered in cheese and salsa! Yum!

6. Starbucks--A reward I give myself as often as I can. What do I have to do to get the reward? Well, I'm the one giving the reward, so I get to set the standard. It can be a variety of things, like successfully completing the grocery shopping, remembering to put gas in the car, having enough money in my purse to afford a frappuccino--you get the picture!

7. Rain--I would be ever so grateful for just a little more. The long-awaited showers we have received are great, but our parched yard could certainly use just a bit more.

8. Bible Study--I had the most wonderful experience tonight with some absolutely fantastic women as we studied together. I can't wait for next week. Thank you, Lord!

9. Home--I appreciate the home we have that satisfies our very unique needs. It has been a blessing that came with perfect timing.

10. Travel--Lee and I have taken some terrific trips and had some amazing travel experiences. I cherish the memories of those fascinating times.

11. Computers--Well, let's see now, how does my computer bring gratitude to my heart? Oh Yeah! The means to blogging--Where would we be without it!

I could go on and on, but we were asked for eleven so I will stop now. Ladies, have a nice day and enjoy finding more posts at Seeds From My Garden and My Many Colored Days.


  posted at 12:15 AM  

Monday, September 10, 2007
Ready, Set!

Fall Bible Study at Cherish...the word!
begins Wednesday, September 12.

Please plan to join us. You can read about it
here, here, and here.

I hope I haven't totally confused you in my eagerness to get this started. It is really simple--just come on over on Wednesday and join in. Even if you don't have a book or access to the videos, come on over and see how you can participate. Mr. Linky will be up and we will enjoy God's Word together.

This past weekend I was privileged to go to the Deeper Still event in Nashville where Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, and Priscilla Shirer shared The Word with over 20,000 women. It was magnificent! I was only able to attend on Friday night. Priscilla Shirer was the featured speaker that evening.

I had never heard Priscilla speak. I'm embarrassed to say I have her latest Bible Study (including videos) published by Lifeway sitting right here on my shelf. A friend gave a copy to Lee awhile back. I have not watched a video! Shame on me.!I will be doing that SOON. The girl has a gift and a talent that she is using for the Lord! What a blessing to hear her!

Going with my dil on Friday night was just the little boost I needed before starting Bible Study this week. A group of women will be meeting with me tonight at my home as we begin the A Woman's Heart Study. This is the UPDATED version of Beth Moore's study that was first released in the mid 90s. It is a study of the Old Testament tabernacle. Beth will lead us to explore how God desires a relationship with us and how we can accomplish that in our lives today. It is a fascinating journey through the Bible to a deeper relationship with the Father.

I will be back here on Wednesday to share the Introductory Session. Actually, I'll be here tomorrow with a reflection on September 11, 2001.

Fall Bible Study on Cherish...the word!
begins on Wednesday, September 12.


  posted at 9:08 AM  

Sunday, September 9, 2007
Michael W. Smith

Isaiah 6:3 (NIV)
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty,
the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
And he shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Psalm 95:6 (NIV)
Come, let us bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker

Revelation 1:8 (NIV)
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," said the Lord God.
who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

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  posted at 12:07 AM  

Friday, September 7, 2007
Show and Tell--A Treasure Chest

It's time for Friday Show and Tell!
Run over to Kelli's to get all the info.
Sign up and join in the fun!

Today I am showing something new. Last week I showed you one of my little boxes; today we have a big box.

I had been wanting some sort of "coffee table" to put in front of my small couch in our living room. I liked the idea of a trunk or chest, but every one of them seemed to have something wrong--too big, too small, top not level, top too bumpy, lid had lock, wrong color, etc. Last week I had just a few free minutes while I was out running errands. I ran by a local discount home decor store, just to look at fall decorations. I wasn't even thinking about this particular decorating dilemma.

Back in the far back corner of the store I stumbled upon a large assortment of chests, trunks, and other large and small box type containers. They had two or three sizes of these. style.

I didn't happen to have a measuring tape in my purse, so I pulled out a trusty dollar bill--six inches, you know--and measured the chests. This one seemed to be a fit, was flat and smooth on top, probably a color that would work, and offered some extra storage. It only had one negative--a clasp that could be "locked". I didn't want that for child safety reasons. It was easy to remove part of it when I got it home. No one can get locked inside!

I brought it home, removed the offending clasp, put a black tray on it, and decorated the tray with a candle and a few fall leaves. (At our house candles are not lit because of oxygen use, but we still get the scent--I cut the wick so short that no one can accidentally light it--we also have safety signs in a couple of strategic places). This is what my new treasure it looks like in the living room.

I have a couple of other places in the house that I could use the chest.
What do you think?
Leave it here or try it somewhere else?

  posted at 12:41 AM  

Thursday, September 6, 2007
Are You Ready for Some Football?!!
Are you ready? Here it comes!
You do know that today is the day, right?
ProFootball starts tonight!
Well, actually it started several weeks ago,
but those games were just preseason.
It gets SERIOUS tonight!

I just thought I would share a little game our extended family plays during football season--and again during the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and some of them even play during the NASCAR season. I tried that, but February to November was just too long for me, especially since know NOTHING about NASCAR. Well, I do know cars are involved and they go fast, but somehow that just wasn't enough! I sort of dropped out.

My niece got the family started on this a couple of years ago. (Thanks, K)! We have a lot of fun with it. You don't really have to know anything about football and anyone can play. I guess it's OK if you do know something about football. Some of our players seem to think they know a lot! We let 'em play anyway! I think last year we had almost twenty people signed up in at least three states. We also had three generations playing.

The "game" is "Upickem football" It is simply a football pool--no money is involved in our version. It is not complicated like Fantasy Football, which several family members also play. Just pick your teams and wait for them to win! We really enjoy the Trash Talk section where we talk back and forth, share news, and--of course--"trash' the picks others have made. The version we play is online at the Chicago Tribune at,

Anyway--Just thought I would share a way to keep connected, have some family fun, and survive football season!

Now, excuse me, but my little "Granny SizeMom" needs to go make her picks for the week! She will be representing me in the C Family Football Pool this year. Really, I figure I might as well join "em--Cause the football will be punted, passed, and kicked tonight!

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  posted at 12:06 AM  

The Father Cherishes
Isaiah 40:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) 11 He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries [them] in the fold of His [garment]. He gently leads. . .

About Me

I am a Christian woman who shares a blessed life with my precious husband, our two adult sons and their wives, and four grandchildren. We cherish the adventures God has allowed us to have together. I recently retired from an over thirty year career as an elementary teacher and administrator.

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