Things That Make You Go WEEEHEEEHEEEHEEE!

 

Remember a couple posts back when I was screaming and ranting about my photobucket account not working?  Coie fixed if for me.  Gee, she’s the swellest.  

 

Look, I told you it was spring around these here parts and I weren’t lyin':

 

 

 

Spring. Ha. Actually, it now already feels like summer.  It was nearly 90 yesterday.  That’s way too bloomin’ hot.

 

And now since I can post pictorial stuff… Look, here’s EEEEMommy from the Cinci convention. 

 

 

I think I scared her, though.  Marshie was making fun of me because every time Angel came around I was like, “oooooh, you’s puh-retty”.  She IS though.  She was downright gorgeous. And I like her trendy glasses. Pictures don’t do her justice.

 

 

And here’s a picture of my pal, Julie Park.  I’m so nice to post this picture, especially after the monstrosity of me that she slapped up on Facebook.

 

 

She’s so deucedly tiny.  I look like an Amazon next to her.

 

All right, and here… here is a great gift that Emmiko, builder-of-all -things-fun-and/or-edible (or both), made for me.  I told her, “Ems, Mama wants a big big big swing”.  And 20 minutes later I had this:  

 

 

 

 What a lucky momsie am I.

Meatballs

 

I used a website called Truly Random Number Generator to pick our winner… and it came up with number 41.  So, yay for Kathy!  I’m glad she won because her nick name made me laugh out loud.  Catheter.  Good golly that’s funny.  Enjoy the show, Kathy.  I’ll send you an email to get your addy.  Thanks to everybody who played.  Some of you have got some pretty jacked-up nicknames.

 

So this last week has been a real treat.  Guess what my friend gave me?  Two kiwi trees!  My all time favorite fruit.  I love getting stuff.  Especially when it’s something I like or that I want. I have to admit, it was a better Birthday Gift than the Schwans Meatballs and Coconut Shrimp that Geoff the Great brought home.  Not that I didn’t love that, too…  I mean, really…how can meatballs *not* be considered romantic? Aren’t you jealous that *you* don’t own a Schwans Man?

 

In other news, I bought myself a present.  I just couldn’t resist.  It’s got all these nifty Indian songs that are just super excellent.  Here, I’ll prove it to you, but make sure you get at least 1:15 seconds into it, because that’s when it really starts hoppin’:

 

 

Admit it.  That’s the grooviest thing you’ve ever heard, isn’t it?  This song, and the second song on the cd (Ringa Ringa) are impossible NOT to dance to.  Believe me, I tried.  You can’t do it.  Even Coie was practically almost tempted to get up and bust a move with me.  But she refrained, especially when Ryann pulled out the video camera.  I am not afraid of the evidence my child obtained because I fully embrace my inner Funk and there aint nobody in the whole world who can out-dance me.  Cept for maybe this guy… or Kate Kessler. And Laurie Bluedorn.  Whatever.   

Lastly, congrats to my dear friends, George and Chris.  They had a little baby boy today!  And now Eden has somebody to grow up and marry (if one of the Lockwood boys don’t scoop her up first)

Big Time Neato Contest ~ Back from OH!

 

 

Ok, this is highly irksome.  I just got home from the OH convention (where I was nearly robbed or worse in my hotel room – my facebook friends know what I’m talkin’ bout) and now I’m back and dead tired but I’m composing this dumb post at 2:22 in the morning.  And why?  Why am I not sleeping?  I *was* sleeping soundly as a big fat snoring princess but then Geoff the Great woke me up about an hour ago.  And now an hour later, while he’s asleep and snoring his head off, here I am WIDE awake. 

 

I spose that’s ok, because I have all sorts of news to share.  We had a *really* super excellently fabulous time at the convention.  Plus, jealous you, just LOOK at all the people me and Coie got to play with:

 

We met Ryann’s friend Tess and her mom (boy is Ryann mad she didn’t get to come), Julie Park, Spunky, EEEEMommy, Amy W, Jen (Mrs. Incredible), Marshie with her crew Amy and Darcy, Christine Field, Jay Ryan along with his beautiful family, Kim Wolf and her gorgeous daughter, the Prices, Maggie the Magnifico’ and her crew, Carol Barnier …and I just KNOW I’m forgetting somebody really important.  Tell me if I forgot to list you.  I know Gina D was there but I never actually got to see her because I was busy when she came by.   

 

Anyways, on Thursday afternoon (our first day up there) we were able to get together with the famous Home School Enrichment publishers.  Ok… can I just say how much I LOVE the Lewis family?  They are so hilarious.  And they especially love ME because they almost got me to completely promise not to start blabbing their secrets (are you guys starting to panic? HA! I love the power I wield.  I bet you wish you’d never even told me…).  But no, I will be a good friend and be content to drop non-hints and teasers.

 

Alright. Moving on.  I mentioned contest and I meant it.  The Lewis brothers have been telling me for a while about some so-called incredible movie that was put together by this homeschool family.  And naturally I just smiled and nodded and such whenever they’d start talking about it.  So anyways, at the convention, it just so happened that this family was there as a vendor, so young Mr. Lewis brought me over for an introduction, and then the Burns family was kind enough to give me a free copy of their DVD.

 

And of course at that point I was thinking, “Ok, this could very well be dreadful but I will take it home and watch it with my family anyways”.  I mean seriously.  This is a homeschool family.  Not a slick Hollywood outfit.  I was envisioning two or three families running thru a neighborhood in Illinois putting on a play about King Arthur.

 

… fast forward to yesterday… I showed all the kids the movie cover when I got home and they were excited, because the graphics on the front really do look good.  So we set up the couches and laptop and got all cozy and set up.  Right off the bat I realized that no… we were not simply dealing with some hodge podge cutsie play.  This is a real movie, and it’s actually professionally done.  Me and Geoff the Great sort of looked at each other like, “wasn’t expecting this” and kept watching.  The first 20 minutes or so took a little getting used to.  Like I said, it’s *not* a slick Hollywood outfit.  That being said, I think it was better done than Flywheel and Facing the Giants.  Yes, I am serious.  And yes, this is a homeschool family that put it together.

 

My husband, who hates it when I blog about him (because he always gets phone calls from people saying things like, “so, how’s the inside of your arm doing? I heard your wife bit it really hard), anyways he told me that I had special permission to quote him about what he thought.  And for the record, my husband has a very critical eye.  But he was astounded.  He said he couldn’t believe the detail they put into the sets, the soundtrack (the soundtrack was amazing), the weapons, and the costumes.  The storyline was also really good.  REALLY good.  And the fellow who plays the bad guy in the movie is one of the best actors I’ve ever seen.  He stole the show. 

 

Here is a link, watch the trailer clip on the front page.  And then to win my own personal copy, which I will mail straight to your house, all you need to do is leave a comment telling me what some of your nick names were/are thru out your life.  Why nicknames?  Because this movie is called Pendragon, which is a reference to King Arthur, and I’ve decided that Pendragon must have been his nickname. That’s my whole story.

 

On another note, the movie takes place in 411 AD, right when the Roman hold on Britain was collapsing and all of Europe was falling into the Dark Ages.  The Saxons, Angles and Jutes moved into the area to seize the land for themselves.  The movie doesn’t necessarily go into all of that background history, but I just wanted you to know how smart I am.  I already knew the historical background because we’ve been going thru Bright Ideas Press Mystery of History for the last three years.

 

SPEAKING OF WHICH, oh my heck, I almost had a heart attack… guess what my friend Maggie handed over and placed in my sweaty little hands for FREE? She gave me the brand new Mystery of History volume THREE that I’ve been drooling over for an entire year. It covers the middle ages and it is SO beautiful. I LOVE THAT WOMAN!

 

And on the same train of people whom I like for giving me free stuff, I ALSO ran into Jay from Cleveland (I haven’t seen him in forever!) and he gave me a copy of his new astronomy book called Signs and Seasons along with a corresponding workbook.  I can’t wait to start that with the kids.  They’ve already been pawing thru it and it looks super.

 

Ok, it’s 2:51 now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to post this fast and get some sleep.  And I didn’t even go into my whole story about Geoff the Great and his new friend he met from work.  I haven’t met him in person yet (his friend, I mean, I’ve met Geoff in person several times), but his friend did come with me and Geoff on a date last night.  We were having a cozy dinner all alone at my favorite Chinese restaurant, but instead of talking to ME, my husband was text messaging his buddy the whole time to chat about what they had for lunch earlier.  Total dorks.  Anyhow, I’m looking forward to meeting him and his wife soon.  I just found out they read my dumb blog.  How’s that for pressure?

 

PS I am not proof reading this before I post it, so it will most assuredly have even *more* typos than usual.

 

Don’t forget to leave comments telling me your nicknames (or your kids’ nicknames) for a chance to win Pendragon, Sword of His Father I’ll do a random drawing later this week.

15 Things I Hate

In honor of our tremendous Government (and by tremendous, I’m talking about the size of it), I feel compelled to step out and write a screeching, shrill, high-pitched maniacal post, which has been brought on by wading through stacks of paperwork only to be later told our e-file was rejected. In all fairness, it was my fault (I typed in a wrong SSN), and yet the high-stress adrenaline that shot thru my veins after getting that notice put my computer, my windows, my husband, my hair and my children in imminent danger of being either tossed, shattered, battered, torn out and bounced off the deck, respectively.

So while my taxes *are* done, I still have a half gallon jar left of lingering wrath, so what better way to expend it than to write out a list of other things that also cause inexpressible amounts of non-joy. And what a lovely and biblical way to wrap up Easter weekend, no?

So, here’s my list. Feel free to add your own, because after all, misery *does* love company.

1) I can’t stand being told what to do. It’s true. I can’t help it. Generally if I’m told what to do by true authority (cops, my husband, God’s Word, etc) I will still submit, and even pretend to do it cheerfully (if I’m unable to muster up genuine assent), but in all other cases I simply don’t like it and usually accidentally go out of my way to thwart those who try to impose their will over my own. This includes Doctors, Nurses, School Officials, Librarians, Teachers and So-Called ‘Experts’ on any given subject.

2) I can’t stand it when my clothes are too tight. It’s unacceptable and it makes me extra wrathful because it means I have to go out of my way to eat less so they’ll fit again.

3) I can’t stand watching mothers screaming/yelling at their kids in public. It makes me angry. If they act like that out in public, how much more is spewed off in the privacy of their own homes? Mothers who do that look ridiculous, they humiliate their kids, and they make everybody around them uncomfortable

4) I can’t stand it when I lose my shoes

5) I can’t stand it when I step on something wet with my socks on

6) I absolutely detest being woke up out of a dead sleep by barking dogs

7) I can’t stand it when my neck and shoulders hurt

eight) I can’t stand watching bratty children scream at their parents because they want something at Walmart

9) I can’t stand trying to have logical conversations with people who are unreasonable.

10) I can’t stand being around phony people

11) I can’t stand living so far away from Charley and Jess, especially with little Eden getting here soon

12) I can’t stand it when I really really really want to keep reading but my nose and ears are sore because of my dumb glasses

13) I can’t stand seeing people get overly worked up about things they can’t do anything about – myself included. It’s so counter productive, yet it happens so often. I hate that

14) I can’t stand it when I hit the top of my head on something sharp. Am I the only one who almost goes into a rage when they get unexpectedly injured?

15)    I can’t stand being biological.  It’s disgusting.  I’d rather be assembled of metal, plastic and wires. The fact that all of my body parts are constructed of colonies of billions of living cells grosses me out

16) I can’t stand it when I run out of coffee creamer

Well now! I feel tons better. And I must say that I am really happy that my dumb taxes are done and out of the way for the year. I’m also glad that I have far more things in my life to be happy about than my dumb ‘can’t stand’ list.

Ok…time for me finish getting packed up for my trip this Wednesday. I really hope that Coie and I do well at the Cincinnati convention. I sure am thankful for this RS gig. And I cannot WAIT to see all the friends who are showing up at this particular show.

PS I still can’t believe Jess and Charley bought my plane ticket to AK for July! This is going to be the best summer ever

Who Did Christ Come to Save?

 

I have really been blessed with the church plant in Morristown that my family is a part of.  We’ve been going thru the book of Genesis (expository – line by line, chapter by chapter)

 

This last Sunday, Pastor James preached on Genesis chapter six (what a trippy chapter!), but afterwards since it was Palm Sunday he went thru the book of John in 12 minutes to illustrate who it was that God came to save.

 

Jesus first went to Canaan – to a group of party-ers at a wedding, and displayed himself with the first miracle of turning water into wine. He came for the merry. Odd, no?

 

And then you next see him with Nicodemus – a Pharisee – taking the time to explain how to become born again.  He came for religious Jewish men.

 

Next, he is witnessing to the woman at the well.  She was a Samaritan – a half breed – a despised ungodly tramp who had a seriously messed up life.  He came for non-Jewish sin-laden women

 

Then you see him with a Nobleman.  This was a man responsible for oppressing Jews.  Would the Messiah, the Saviour of the Jews, have anything to do with such a vile person?  Yes, he went to the trouble of saving the Nobleman’s son’s life.  He came for rulers and soldiers.

 

After that, we see him with a paralytic man.  This fellow could not walk.  He was passed daily by all sorts of people yet nobody would help him into the pool of water to be healed.  Jesus made this man whole again. He came for weak and lame men

 

And then we see Jesus on a mountain side with a huge crowd.  They were hungry, and he fed them.  He came for the hungry.

 

Soon after, a woman caught in the very act of adultery was brought to him by indignant prideful Pharisees.  In love and gentleness her life was spared and he told her to go and sin no more.  He came for whores, prostitutes and weak-willed women.

 

And then a blind man was given sight.  He came for the blind

 

And then finally, in John chapter 11 we see something utterly breathtaking.  In all the other accounts Christ comes for those who are low, very low, but at least they can offer something.  They are able to perhaps plead with him for healing, or could offer promises of better behaviour… but what does Jesus do in chapter 11?  In a perfect demonstration of who he is, he goes to the very graveyard.  Dead people can offer nothing.  Nothing but bad odor.  Yet Christ goes to the very helpless among helpless and raises Lazarus to life. He came for the dead.

 

It is not what we can offer.  It’s not what we can ‘do for him’.  He does it all.  Ephesians 2: 1-10

 

 

Jesus, the Messiah, is the light of the world.  The Saviour who came to rescue the souls of men.  There is no one who has sinned too much.  And there is no one who is too ‘righteous’ to be saved.  Remember Nicodemus?  Christ came for the world – that means there is no group of people who are exempted.  He came for them all. No one is out of his reach. And yet all are not saved.  It is only those who respond to him, who repent and turn from their sin, who fully realize they are incapable of saving themselves. It is by Christ alone, by grace, and thru faith alone that we have access to the Father.  This world is short – very short – compared to eternity.  Where will you spend eternity?

 

That’s a lot to ponder over during this week leading up to Resurrection Sunday

 

Thank you, Lord, for coming for us.  Come back again for us soon.

 

 

 

 

The Inhospitable Hermit

 

Ok… first off, just for the record, I’m mad mad mad.  I don’t like it when my will is thwarted and my dumb photobucket account has locked me out.  And I had so many pretty pictures of Spring at the Ig Farm to post.  Why oh why can’t the world just agree to revolve around me?

 

Anyways, this’ll just be a short post because my kids are waiting for me to take them to Bass Pro Shop to get their air tanks filled and to purchase a bucket of paintballs.  Bubsie is having a belated buddy-get-together for his B-day.  I hope it doesn’t rain.  I don’t generally have people over too often.  I’m sort of an inhospitable hermit, but I have to admit I am looking forward to having my friends (herher and her) over tomorrow.  If I had her , her and her TOO, then my whole best friend circle would be almost entirely complete.

 

The thing about friends (for me anyways) is that inevitably you need a particular ingredient to really cultivate and grow a truly deep and worthwhile friendship.  What is that ingredient?  Time.  It takes time. I think it also takes a measure of crisis or ‘need’ – something that causes the phony shallow wall to crumble.

 

I grew up as an Air Force brat so I became a wizard at making quick – but very shallow – friendships.  In the military you don’t stick around long, so you adapt.  I do not have any deep strong relationships from my childhood.  My husband is the longest friend I’ve ever been able to keep.  After we got married we plugged into a church and it was then I began developing friendships that had roots.  But I have to admit – those types of friendships are a bit intimidating to me and not always easy.  But they are so worthwhile. 

 

To have a true friend means they know YOU.  Not just the perception you are able to give… but they know you.  They get how you work.  They see your flaws.  They know your weaknesses.  They understand your strengths.  And the best friends I have are the ones who speak truth, who will not indulge me in bad attitudes or destructive thoughts.  They are friends who tell me to zip it when I start gossiping.  They also don’t take my momentary bad days and attitudes too seriously.  And what’s more, they understand when I’m having a bad day and they remain stable and calm when I think the world is falling to pieces. 

 

The most trustworthy, faithful, loyal, loving friend I’ve ever had is my husband.  He never fails to amaze me.  As I get to know him better I cannot help but feel overwhelmed at the amazing gift I have in him.  I pray I never take him for granted.  Nobody knows me like he does, and nobody ‘loves me in spite of myself’ like he does. I hope you have a husband like that.  I hope I’m a wife like that.

 

I much prefer being an adult.  I am just really thankful for where God has me in my life.  It’s a sweet time and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed and happy. And thankful. Very thankful.

 

I hope you have true, deep friendships in your life.  I know a lot of people do not.  I know this because I remember when I didn’t.  If you don’t, I hope that God will bring you a godly, like-minded friend.  It’s hard to reach out and get involved when you’re not naturally extroverted (like me).  But the gift of friendship is so lovely and so entirely blessed.  It’s a very sad thought of living life without that.

 

Dang it, I’m still mad about my pictures.  The tulips I planted last October all came up and I didn’t remember all the different colors I had planted. It was shocking. You’ll just have to take my word for it – they are miraculously exquisite.

 

Ok… I’m off to brave the world of overly large crowded sportsmen paraphernalia

The Gift of Suffering, Part II

 

So anyways, I recently mentioned Philippians chapter 1, where it talks about two gifts we’re granted: ‘belief’ in God, and the promise we’ll ‘suffer for His sake’.

 

I’ve always been really interested in that verse. Geoff the Great and I were talking the other night and we came to some interesting conclusions.  Tell me if this rings true for any of you, as well…

 

As we looked back over our 15 years of marriage, one thing stood out.  Trials.  Lots and lots of trials.  Trials of all sizes and duration.  Some were self inflicted (choices we made with finances, prideful (usually mine) reactions in difficulty that led to strife etc), others were swept in by no fault of our own (a flooded home, our home base business entirely stolen, major injuries with our children, a work schedule for Geoff that seemed impossible to hold up under)

 

We do not have rich parents who have bailed us out of difficulties.  We have not been pampered.  We’ve not had a life free of difficulty.  We’ve had periods of rest, but for the most part our life has been one challenge after the next.  Most of you can probably relate.  And this does not make us more spiritual (obviously) it just is what our life has been comprised of.

 

And looking over the last 15 years, I really do understand why ‘suffering’ is considered a gift. Romans chapter 5 sums it up real well.

 

What have trials done?  Lots. We know we’re losers. We see our weakness.  We realize our overwhelming need for a Saviour.  We understand that human effort or determination can only get us so far.  Trials cause us to long for our ‘real home’.  Trials keep up from getting too cozy in this alien nation.  Trials cause us to call out for His help.  Incredibly, He is so kind that He even uses our dumb self inflicted trials to work towards our good when we repent and turn toward Him.

 

Trials also reveal the glory and love of God.  We’ve seen (time and time and time again) God’s people working together in great love to support their brothers and sisters in Christ.  We’ve seen and felt the love of God – here on Earth – thru other believers.  If we had no needs, we would have not been able to experience that.  We’ve caught a glimpse of how heaven will work.

 

And I’m glad, VERY glad, that our children have not had a life of ease.  I’m thankful for the scars on my oldest son’s back and arms from when he was horribly burned as a baby.  What an awful thing to say?  No – I’ve seen first hand how those scars have helped to keep my very handsome and confident son humble.  Those scars are a reminder of his weakness, and a token that ever confirms that ‘flesh’ is temporary and fleeting and subject to abrupt changes.  We cannot put our faith in our flesh/looks/strength etc.  Would I ever wish for such a thing to happen? Of course not! But after the fact I am able to thank God for the character it’s built in my precious son.

 

I’m thankful for my second son’s severe lisp.  He was cursed with tremendous beauty.  He is such a handsome boy.  Yet he has something that has kept him from being vain.  Does it twist my heart when he’s cruelly teased by others? It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, yes.  He will eventually grow out of his lisp, but I hope his sweet spirit of humility stays around for the rest of his existence.

 

My children have gone without on many occasions.  I am glad they have seen at an early age that life was not meant to be easy.  They are not expectant, they do not demand imagined ‘rights’, and they are so very thankful for what they receive.  They have watched Geoff and I struggle and cry out to God, and they have also pleaded alongside of us that our immediate needs would be met.  And they have seen first-hand how our good and gracious Lord answers our prayers and provides for us (and others).  I would never wish this away.

 

Yes.  Trials and tribulations ARE a gift.  Sometimes it’s almost impossible to see that while in the midst of them – but try and remember.  Ask God to strengthen your faith while you wait patiently.

 

Every Christian I have ever met has always always always said the same thing.  Those who have suffered have always been thankful for their trials after the fact.  They look back and see the good it’s done.  Those were the times they were closest to God.  Those were the times they saw Him working first hand – and it strengthened their faith and chipped away at their pride. 

 

I know that’s true in my own life.  Our family life has been marked with a series of trials and tribulation.  It is also marked with an intense love for one another and a bond of strength, which I hope to never take for granted.  We have a lot of areas to work on, and we fall short in many many ways, but I am thankful for the help He’s given us by way of suffering.

 

So yes.  I’m thankful for the trials.  All of them.  Even the really heinous ones. Those trials were a gift from a good God who loves me and my family.    And I’m so thankful for the time of rest we’ve enjoyed this past year.

 

My family has a ‘prayer board’ in our dining room.  I got the idea from my dear friend.  How can my family pray for you?  Please feel free to let me know.  Leave it here if you’d like, so that others may be praying, too, or email me privately. Take out the space, Jeneferig @ gmail. com

 

Proverbs 15:17 – Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred

 

 

 

 

Watch Your Accent

 

 

Written communication can be a real bugger.  Especially during a conflict.  While the written word is helpful by giving the writer time to sort out ideas and put them down in a well thought-out manner is beneficial, still, you can lose a lot when the words are delivered without the tone and pitch of your voice.

 

Here’s a good example, and you’ll see that the perspective and implication of the sentence changes when the accent is put on different individual words.

 

I didn’t kill my dog.

 

Ok, that should be straight forward enough, right?  When it’s written you really only have one perspective.  But if we were sitting across from one another at a table it could mean a few different things. You’ll get the best effect if you read the following sentences out loud:

 

*I* didn’t kill my dog.  …Ok.. you didn’t, but apparently somebody did because the implication is that the dog is definitely dead)

 

I *didn’t* kill my dog…. Ok, this is pretty straight forward.  You didn’t kill the dog.  Maybe the dog is missing, but one thing is sure, whatever happened to it you certainly didn’t kill it

 

I didn’t *kill* my dog …  Yikes. Well what did you do to it?  Just harassed it? Maimed it?  Tortured it?  Sick-o.

 

I didn’t kill *my* dog.  … Whose dog DID you kill?

 

I didn’t kill my *dog* …. Oh really? Who or what did you kill then? Psycho.

 

Yep. Language is tricky.  And it’s really easy to mistake what somebody meant, or to even take somebody’s words and make them mean what you want them to mean.  That also happens with God’s Word. A lot.  It’s important to be careful and take words in the whole context of the circumstance before making an absolute judgment.  What somebody said might not be what they meant.  So ask them face-to-face with an open mind and give the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions.  Words – and implied meanings– are easy to twist.  I know I’ve been guilty of judging others wrongly.  That’s gross.

 

In other news, HERE’S something real neat-o and interesting.

 

Lastly, I’m excited.  You know how we had been making a three hour round trip on Sundays to get to our most excellent church in Maryville?  Well one of the elders from our church is in the process of moving to Morristown and planting a church right here.  Our whole family is so excited to be a part of this.  So if you are in East TN and looking for a Body of Believers where the whole counsel of the word is being taught, you should come and visit.  By the way, the term ‘whole counsel of the Word’ is code for ‘Reformed’ and ‘Calvinistic’.  Just a little bible lingo trivia for you. HERE’S the website for our new church.

 

Lastly, I found a new nifty Japanese blog that I really like.  I wonder if Mel knows her.

 

Lastly last, I found a cool site that any lover of words and phrases will flip over.  It’s a list of idioms, their meanings, an example of how they’re used and an explanation of how they originated. The one they didn’t have, which I REALLY want to know the origin of, is the idiom “pushing the envelope” — how did that become a phrase meaning something that is risky or borderline unacceptable? 

 

 

Non Homeschool Related Testing

 

 

I don’t know if everybody who reads this boring sub-standard blog is saved, so this may not make sense to everybody, but coming across as senseless has never stopped me before, right? So here it goes…

 

Have you gone thru periods in your life where you feel like you’re sleeping?  Christians do this.  Generally it happens under a couple of different circumstances. Sometimes it’s because life is too easy; the world is comfortable – or the world is a downright lovely and precious place and we hope nothing happens to come in and mess up our plans.

 

Or… there are times when severe trials hit, maybe relationships are torn asunder and the foundation of your existence suddenly feels like you’re trying to cross an ocean of Jello.  (I would wish my Jello Ocean to be cherry, because honestly, all other flavors are pointless)  Or perhaps war has broken out or the economy has flattened you, or your children have become unrecognizable or somebody you love dearly has died.

 

There are times in a Christian’s life when existence boils down to mere survival.  And during these times you will either feel an overwhelming presence of God’s love and peace, or you will feel entirely alone. Drowning. Groping. Blind. Lost. 

 

Are you a better Christian if you feel ‘peace and love’ during the times of trial?  No.  Not at all.  How do I know this?  Just take a look at some of the Psalms that David wrote begging God to refresh and renew and to save him.  Look also to Job.  Talk about feeling empty and clueless.  God was still ever present and knew exactly what was going on.

 

And it’s during these times you may start questioning your salvation, or even questioning the existence of God.  I mean, let’s face it; there really are circumstances that happen which seem so random, so destructive, so pointlessly harmful…

 

But here’s the good news.  If you claim Christ – or more accurately stated, if Christ has called you, then He absolutely *has* you.  You are tethered directly to Him.  He’s got you in a harness and if you start skipping towards a cliff and begin playing at the edge of the precipice, He is going to yank you right back from the brink of ‘death’.  He will.  If you are saved then you belong to Him.  He is the author and perfector of our Faith.  That means he created (authored) your faith and He will perfect your faith.  He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.  Don’t believe me?  Check Philippians 1:6.

 

He has strong hands – strong enough to hold even you and your weird problems.  If you are tempted to doubt Him, I understand that. But don’t stop there.  Plead with Him to reveal himself; truly humble yourself and resign yourself to wait patiently.  Americans don’t know how to be patient.  We think a few days of suffering, or a few weeks, several months or even years ‘prove’ God’s unconcern for us.  No.  You have let your American upbringing cloud reality. 

 

I’m going to leave you with two more hard things to hear.  First of all, if you are going through trying times, do not be amazed.  No seriously.  Don’t be surprised.  In Philippians chapter one (again) God says the believer is granted two things.  We’re actually granted a lot of things, but in Philippians chapter 1 we’re specifically reminded of TWO things that he’s given us as a gift.  Know what they are?  The first gift he granted us is “belief in Him”.  We didn’t fumble around and dig that up on our own.  He gave us the very BELIEF we needed in order to receive salvation.  Yes, mind blowing, I know.  But you know what else the believer is granted?  I’ll just write it out so you can see for yourself:

 

Philippians 1:26 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only  believe in him, but also suffer for his sake

 

How’dya like them apples?

 

So, my friends, don’t be amazed if your life is hard.  Be amazed if it’s not.  Be a little nervous if it’s not.

 

Secondly, consider the possibility that you may not be saved.  You believe in Christ?  Good for you.  Even the demons believe in the existence of God and they shudder (James chapter 1), what makes your ‘belief’ different?

 

In 2nd Corinthians 13:5 it says, Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you are disqualified.

 

Yikes times two.

 

Again, the good news is that if you have been called by God, you will persevere because He will make you persevere.  Stop being afraid.  Stop getting distracted. Examine your life.  Stop rushing into sin that you know you have no business being involved with. Repent and fully give your life to Him.

 

Turn to Him even if it doesn’t “feel” like He’s there.  How do you know if you’re saved?  Look at the fruit in your life.  Do you love Him?  Are you willing to forsake the world for Him?  If you feel like you’re coming up short then cry out to Him in your weakness.  He knows you’re pathetic.  He  made you, remember?  He is strong in your weakness because that’s when you realize how much you can’t fiddle around and make things work by your own efforts.  That’s actually good news.

 

 

Lord, sometimes it’s so easy to ‘fall asleep at the wheel’.  These are hard times for so many.  God help us to see you.  Help us to understand your glory and our own insignificance.  Flatten our pride, Lord.  Forgive us for trying to find the answers on our own.  Help us to be patient in affliction.  Give us a love – a true love – for our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Give us a passion to reach out and minister to others whether or not we’re suffering or prospering.  Thank you for loving us; thank you for your kindness.  Help us to live a life that’s worthy of your calling.

 

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him

 

And for those of us who are not suffering thru a trial at the moment.  Thank God for this time of rest and strengthening.  Minister to those who feel crushed and overwhelmed or who have real needs.  Do not grow weary in doing good.  Don’t waste times of strength.  Use it to serve the body of Christ.

 

What’s In A Name?

 

My friend, Susan, got me thinking about names.  I’ve always loved names – I think most girls do.  We dream about what we’re going to call our kids one day.  And we dream about what we *wish* our name was.  And, along those lines, I think most kids slap a new name on themselves and ask people to start calling them by their self appointed title for a time.

 

When I was little I did not like my name at all.  I had the two most plainest, common, boring names in the whole country.  You don’t get much more common than Jennifer – and then when you stick a boring ordinary name like Wright after it…  yawn.

 

I especially didn’t like the way my name was spelled – Jenefer.  I thought it looked sort of ugly.  My dad spelled it with all e’s because he said in the Spanish language e’s were considered feminine.  And naturally that was important to him since he was German and all.  I don’t know what letter German considers feminine, but I’m guessing it sounds like somebody hacking something up.  HHRRRCCCCKT!  Yet I digress.  I didn’t like the spelling, plus, you couldn’t ever find shoelaces or bookmarks or coffee mugs with “Jenefer”. 

 

Growing up I wanted my name to be Sandy or Jackie.  Mostly I was called Jenny (gag). As a teenager I wanted my name to be Coie.  As a young adult I went by Jenna for a while.

 

When I met Geoff, I thought his last name was terribly unfortunate.  It just sounded funny to me.  But it didn’t take long for me to love it.  I *was* born in Japan, after all.  And it means Fifty Storms.  That’s just neato.  But it wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I really realized how much I like my name.  The fact that it is spelled the way it is, and the fact my last name is now so uncommon makes it truly unique — I think there is only one Jenefer Igarashi in the whole big world.  I like that.

 

Jess has been doing a lot of research on names and origins and such.  Jenefer means “fair” and is derived from the old English name Genevieve.  Genevieve is a cool name.  I don’t know what definition “fair” covers tho.  It could mean White (which I am very), or Just (which I think I am) or “lovely” … um, ok, so maybe I’m just the first two definitions.

 

My kids’ names seem to suit them.  Geoffrey (Dippy) = peacemaker, Aaron (Bo) = strong mountain, Emmiko = happy child, Ryann = little ruler, James = supplanter  Coie” doesn’t mean anything so I’ve decided to dub it = content and calm (actually.. kait the great gave her a definition once but I can’t remember what it was).  James definition scares me… supplanter? hmmm

 

So what’s the story behind your name? What does it mean? Does it describe you? Do you like it?