Saturday, December 30, 2006

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that all is well with you and that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas celebration. I'd like to share my Christmas story with you. Well, first off, I was supposed to be going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for Christmas. My family and I were going to stay in a beautiful condo with our cousins, and enjoy amusement parks and other fun things. But plans changed. My family stayed right here in boring Florida.(No offense to those of you who like Florida.) And our cousins stayed in the condo without us. At this point, I'm going "Lord, I hope there is a really, really good reason for this." In short, I wasn't very happy. Christmas Eve was a very stressful day, filled with cooking, no snow(after spending four and half years in Alaska, the no snow thing is really weird), no friends, and no family. Could it get any worse than this. Hmmm. Christmas morning, my dad was on the phone, and his face was very grave. It would appear that one of his people was in the hospital with severe tuberculosis and the guy's mom was in town. Guess who she spent Christmas breakfast with? Us! We've never had good friends, let alone strangers, over for Christmas. But when our surprise guest arrived, I realized what we were doing. My family was ministering to a needy soul on Christmas day. We were sharing the love of Christ with an unsaved individual. Of course, I began to feel guilty over my previous selfishness. Caught up in what I thought Christmas should have been, I had forgotten to dwell on the real meaning of Christmas: Giving and sharing what the Lord has blessed us with. Later on that day our guest and her daughter came back over for Christmas dinner, and we all had a wonderful time. And her son is getting better! The end.
Happy New Year,
Alena

Monday, December 25, 2006

In Montana

Hello all, this is Paige speaking. I am sure you have noticed the recent emptiness of new posts lately and you just might be wondering where Caitlin and I are. Well, we are in Montana on holiday vacation having a lovely time. The snow is beautiful. I do not have much time to do a post, but I will tell you this. If you want to see pictures and videos of our vacation you can visit our family blog at thearkanbloggers.blogspot.com for updates. I will be working on that blog for the most part getting pictures, videos, and a few words up whenever I can. But I will try to get a few things done here if I have time. We hope you stop by our other blog. Have a Merry Christmas!

Paige :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On Our Way

Good morning everyone! I am sitting here in my Mimi's kitchen in Rogers AR having a wonderfully restful time (meaning I slept really late). We are now on our way to Montana! For those of you who haven't heard, we are heading to MT for my maternal Grandparent's 50th anniversary celebration. If everything goes alright, we should leave Rogers tomorrow and head up through South Dakota, making it to Bozeman MT on Thursday. It is a very long drive. Yesterday was organized chaos (as I have named our family's way of life:~) as we all cleaned and packed for nine days in MT with skiing and swimming (Christopher still doesn't understand exactly how we are going to go swimming in 30 degree weather, I am not sure I do either). Our new van, complete with car top carrier and a DVD player (yesterday we watched "Veggie Tales': Jonah" and lots of "Looney Toons"), was "packed to the gills" as my dad would say. He stood out on the driveway as we brought him all our luggage saying " This is not going to work, we have way too much stuff!" and calling my mom to come and tell him what exactly was in these fifteen billion suitcases. In the end though, my brilliant father strategically packed everything in, with room to spare (which is a good thing since we always come back from a trip with more than we started with). On the way out of town, we had to run almost two hours worth of errands, including a run to the glasses place for my daddy, who still can't see, by the way. Our last stop before heading out of the city was Krispy Kreme for a "snack" (according to me, doughnuts are not snacks, they are desserts, but everyone else disagrees), being as almost everyone had missed lunch we were so busy. We finally made it out onto the interstate and didn't make it very far till we ran into traffic, the weather was nasty as well, foggy and rainy. When we arrived last night, my wonderful Mimi had some of her excellent Red Beans and Rice waiting for us (real food mind you, not fluffy bits of refined sugar and dough), and everyone collapsed, till we had to unload the car. I have now been on the computer this morning checking out the weather for my father on the two routes our family might take, and finding winter storm warnings throughout South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming. I believe that in the time I have taken to write this post our traveling has been delayed a day due to freezing rain in SD and 2ft of snow in CO. I ask that you would please pray that we have safe travel in the wintry weather of the west. We will be heading through South Dakota (makes me think of Little House on the Prairie).

I hope you all have a joyful Christmas!

Caitlin

Thursday, December 14, 2006

This Is Not My Day

OK, I know that everyone has had one of those days where they look in the mirror and say "this has not been my day". Everything seems to be going wrong (almost everything). So to talk about it anymore would be a bit cliche. Well, I just had two of those days in a row. At the end of the second one, I leaned against the door feeling defeated and sighed "this has really not been my day". I had to deal with a mother who wanted her daughter in a different class (long story) then deal with one of my grumpy higher ups (I want to be my own boss), back pain, other junk. It really did not feel like my day. Well, later as I was journaling in my prayer notebook, the words that I had said earlier hit me square in the face. "This was not my day"...well, it really wasn't my day. Not at all. Psalm 118:24 says "This is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it". That exact verse came to mind as I was journaling. (perhaps I will blog on journaling some other time...) It is the Lords day. Everyday.

I wrote this verse down on a sticky note and put it on my mirror. Now I see it and remember it every time I look in the mirror. I am memorizing it so that when I look in my own mirror for reflection I can see it there too. It is funny how such a verse can mean something one day, and then something happens and you gain a whole new perspective on the verse, while keeping the old one. Maybe that defeated feeling at the end of the day was me finally giving in and deciding "No, this isn't my day. But I am going to rejoice in it, because it is the Lord's day." I encourage those of you who are in the midst of finals, work, or just "bad" days, to remember that it really isn't your day. But that is alright.

In Christ,

Paige =)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just A Few Words

Hello,
Yes I know, I'm finally blogging! My schedule has been packed with school work, and since I have to blog here at the library it makes everything even more difficult. Anyway today I'll be sharing two poems I have written in the past four years. They are both about praising God and I'll just ask one question and then you can read them. If rocks and flowers can praise Him, what is stopping our praise?


A Lily of Fair White

I am a lily of fair white,
I know and was made by The Lily of The Valley.
I, from my perch of rippling waters watch goldfish,
And laugh as I watch frogs hop-leap from my home to others.

I am a lily of fair white,
I know and was made by The Rose of Sharon.
I watch people gasp and exclaim over my beauty,
Oh, how they would gasp and shout at my Artist's face.

I am a lily of fair white,
I know and was made by The Whitest Lily alive.
I sigh as the great, golden red sun sinks,
And think of that Great Son that made the sun and I.


Your Praise

Your praise I raise.
Your praise is like drinking warm tea.
Your praise is my strength,
And your praise fills my heart.

Your praise I raise.
Your praise is like a warm sun, brightening the day,
Your praise, even the rocks cry out.
And your praise causes the earth to make a glad shout.

Your praise I raise.
Praise, rise to your Divine recipient.
Your praise causes people to cry,
And your praise makes people sing "How great is our God".

Your praise I raise.
Your praise echoing through a building could cause glass to shatter.
Your praise creates peace within.
And your praise fills earth, heaven, and sky.



P.S.- I have a prayer request. The three youngest of my six cousins are all sick with chicken pox. If you could pray for restoration of health I would appreciate it. Their ages are eight, three, and almost two.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Comment Moderation

I was hoping this would not have to happen, but due to some recent comments, we have turned on our comment moderator. The first thing I would like to say is this: PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS STOP YOU FROM LEAVING COMMENTS. We will only look at the comments to see if they are acceptable before we post them. Yours will be posted if it meets a few qualifications.

1. If your comment contains anything profane, crude, unkind, evil (that should make things clear for you) then it will not be posted. If you are questioning us, we will not look it over just because we have to answer you....as long as it is appropriate.

2. If your blog has anything crude, profane, etc etc etc, (which we will be checking for) then we will not put your comment up. This does not mean that if we disagree with your theology then we will not put your comment up. There are things that are less important then arguing over such things (though I do enjoy debating).

3. If you are just complaining about our comment moderation with disrespect, then your comment will not be posted.

Re-read my post down there on commenting as a maiden or squire if you like. We have not had problems with anyone that we know personally or visit their blog and comment on it personally. I know that the people who come to our blog will generally hold themselves to a higher standard then others. This is what Christians do. Once again, please please PLEASE do not hesitate to comment! Our criteria is normal if you hold yourselves to high standards. Thank you all for your patience! We look forward to seeing what you have to say.

In Sincerity and Christ,

Paige

Saturday, December 9, 2006

565?????

OK, for the first time, (and not the last) I am going to ask you guys a question (no pressure). Do you see that 565 up there on our blog? It came with the layout. I have considered digging through the template to get rid of it, but I don't think I am that smart. Seriously though. Is there anything that you have heard of that has something symbolic to do with the number 565? I would like to make use of it. I will look into it, but I would also LOVE to hear what you think we could do with it. Perhaps a number from the Bible? I am struggling here. I look forward to seeing what you all have to say!!!

In Christ,

Paige

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Rating Books

Almost every type of entertainment is rated these days. Movies, video games, C.D.'s even have parental advisories on them if they have explicit content. Now, they have gotten a little of balance these days (you can still buy a CD that has curse words on it without a parental advisory, I won't even start on the movies). There is one form of entertainment that is missing that type of warning label, rating, or advisory. Books.

Every year we participate in the local Summer reading program at our library. You read books as many books as you find time to, and record the title, chapters, and author. Now, I am the type of person who likes books that make you think. I like novels too. I suppose one of my bad habits is to judge a book by it's cover. I just figure that if the author wrote a good book, they would choose a good illustrator to go along with it. I also like to pick up the "mystery books" that just have a solid color cover. I start in the children's section, and it is shocking what you can find. Many a time I will pick up a book, read the information on the inside of the cover, and discover that it does not belong in the children's section. Every year this is the case. If these books could be rated by the world's standards, they would most definitely have at PG-13 rating. And it would not just be for violence. What really astounds me is that these books could be picked up by a ten year old, and the parents, (thinking that since it is from the children's section, it is alright) will let the child read. These are books that are just not worth being read...by ANYONE. And our libraries are full of them.

What can we do about it?? Us not reading them is one thing. But what about the people who are losing their children to these fantasies and not knowing the cause? I have seen the results that the books can leave, and it is not a pretty picture. And what of the authors that are responsible for feeding our nation this trash? If we are to make any difference, we will have to take a stand together. I caution all of you who go to the library for books to watch what you pick up. Once you have read something, it leaves a print on you that is hard to get rid of. We are to fill our minds with what is good and pure, not the worldy garbage of today.

In closing, I am interested to know what you, as the readers think we could do to make a difference. I would love to see some comments. Also, we have had a few hits from places that I am not sure of. If you could, we would love to hear from you! Thank you!

In Christ,

Paige ;)

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Commenting as a Maiden (or squire)

Yes, that is the word squire that you see up there. I couldn't think of a word to use for young men, other than "young men" for a long time. But as I was thinking about it, I came up with the idea that we are the maidens training to be noble ladies (if you look those two words up in the dictionary it is a wonderful combination). So the young men are squires in training to be knights. Moving along...

I have looked at many blogs and their comments. Some of them have rules set, others don't, and then some just expect the readers to use common sense. If you are a maiden or lady, your posts will be more feminine. Gently written, yet not afraid to state the truth. And of course you squires and knights and squires will comment more masculine. As Christians, we all have standards to follow. I might address the topic of maidens commenting in a feminine manner later. As for now, I will address one thing that seems to be key in the way we comment.

Proverbs 16:13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth. When I entered the word "truth" in the search box on biblegateway.com, I got 228 results. It is obviously important. I was going to quote Ephesians 4:15, but I read the first part of the chapter and decided that it would not do to just take a bit from what makes it whole. Of all the rules that I could think of for commenting conduct, one stuck out in my mind the most. Speak the truth in love. That sums up Eph. 4:15. If we speak the truth always, but not harshly, then our comments should not have problems. (disregarding foul language, etc) And I do not just mean the truth as in "thou shall not lie", I mean the truth that we are called to walk in. The Truth, and the law. We should not be afraid to state what is true with love. Not happy bubbly smiley love, but the kind of love that would cause you to not fellowship someone because of their actions. Because you love them. That is the truth.

Now that I have gotten past the wall of getting my first post up, you will be seeing more of me. I have plenty to talk about and plenty I would love to hear about. There are many ideas that I am coming up with...so look for new posts. Have a blessed week everyone!

Paige ;)