Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fun in Sunday School...

I should have taken a picture! I always leave about 7 minutes at the end of my Sunday school class to teach a little "Lessons For
Ladies," as I call them.
Today we were learning about Proper Table and Dinner etiquette. I had a table set up with silverware, plates and cups, salt and pepper shakers. Our food was a plate of donut holes! I passed around their handout and then we briefly practiced passing the food, salt and pepper shakers, etc. (we were short on time today, but we had fun!)
Here is the content of today's handout...
General social and dining etiquette rules:
· Arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified.
· Pass food from the left to the right.
· Always say please when asking for something. Be sure to say thank you to your server and bus boy after they have removed any used items.
· If asked for the salt or pepper, pass both together, even if a table mate asks for only one of them. This is so dinner guests won't have to search for orphaned shakers.
· Set any passed item, whether it's the salt and pepper shakers, a bread basket, or a butter plate, directly on the table instead of passing hand-to-hand.
· Never intercept a pass. Snagging a roll out of the breadbasket or taking a shake of salt when it is en route to someone else is a no-no.
· Food is served from the left. Dishes are removed from the right.
· Butter, spreads, or dips should be transferred from the serving dish to your plate before spreading or eating.
· Turn a wine glass upside down to decline wine.
· Always scoop food away from you.
· Taste your food before seasoning it.
· Do try a little of everything on your plate.
· Don't blow on your food to cool it off. If it is too hot to eat, take the hint and wait.
· Keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.
· Do not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.
· Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Eat in small bites and slowly.
· Don't clean up spills with your own napkin and don't touch items that have dropped on the floor. You can use your napkin to protect yourself from spills. Then, simply and politely ask your server to clean up and to bring you a replacement for the soiled napkin or dirty utensil.
· Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
· Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If is is an emergency and you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside of the restaurant or room.
· Do not use a toothpick or apply makeup at the table.
· Whenever a woman leaves the table or returns to sit, all men seated with her should stand up.
· Do not push your dishes away from you or stack them for the waiter when you are finished. Leave plates and glasses where they are.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

STOP and reflect...

Psalms 36:1-4

"The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil."

It seems God gives us six things in these 4 verses that describe a wicked man; 6 things obviously we should work to avoid!!

6 Ways This Psalm describes a wicked man...

1. (vs. 1...there is no fear of God before his eyes.) A lack of fear or respect for God.

2. (vs. 2...For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,) A pride, arrogancy or self-exaltation.

3. (vs. 3...The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.) Ceasing to care whether ones' words or actions are wise or good.

4. (vs. 4...He deviseth mischief upon his bed;) A planning or plotting of mischief.

5. (vs. 4...he setteth himself in a way that is not good;) Placing oneself in the wrong path.

6. (vs. 4...he abhorreth not evil.) Ceasing to Hate and Abhor sin. The Bible doesn't way he committed evil, he just did not abhor it. Love the sinner, but hate the sin that destroys their lives.

Thank you, God for this reminder! Please bring these 6 traits often to mind so I may remember to avoid them!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The snow was beautiful!

WOW! What a beautiful weekend to go to South Lake Tahoe! It had snowed all week prior to our visit. We went all day Saturday. We got to see some amazing scenery and have a blast with the teens in the snow. There were about 20 of us altogether. We get good reports about our kids everywhere we go. They are a great bunch!

Enjoy a few scenery pictures...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Psalms 34...Great thought...

Psalms 34:11 seemed to jump out at me today. David said "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord."

It seems David felt the #1 basic principle to teach the young people was the fear of the Lord. If a young person's life is not based on a trust, a respect, yea, even an awe of God, they will most likely NOT make the right decisions in their life.

Every decision we make is important, whether it is seemingly small or great. Therefore, teaching our young people HOW to make their decisions, with a preference to God's will rather than our own, is of utmost importance.

If we have influence in the life of any young person, our own or young people in the ministry, may we strive to teach them HOW to make right decisions rather than trying to make all of their decisions for them.

What is that old saying?..."Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime."

It seems God is showing us through this small statement of David's simply this...We must teach young people to fear or respect the ways of God in every area of their lives. They will in turn learn to make right decisions for the rest of their lives!

Thank you, God, for reminding me of this truth to practice in my life!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


We are off to Lake Tahoe for our annual teen snow trip on Saturday. The kids are so excited and SO AM I!! Since I am an Indiana girl,I have to get my "snow fix" at least once a year!

I posted a picture of Beautiful Lake Tahoe in the winter where we are headed. It has been raining ALL WEEK here, so you know what that means...SNOW in Lake Tahoe! We are going to have some serious sledding this year!

Pray for good driving weather. Pray our ol' bus will make it fine in the snow. Pray for safety for all the kids.

I was just thinking as we went visiting in the nursing home with the teens today... I LOVE our teens! They are a great group. What a privilege to serve together with them for the Lord. Why do we need rewards? Looking at the changed lives and sweet spirits of our young people is enough for me!!

THANK YOU, God, for using me to help others. As my preacher, Bro. Hyles, used to say, "Isn't it great to be used?"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ain't God good?

" give us SO MANY blessings?!"

As kids, we used to sing in the car on the way to church. We always lived a pretty good distance from church; so almost every trip to and from we would sing. I LOVED it! That is where I developed an ear for hearing parts and harmonizing. One of our old favorites was, "Ain't God Good to Give us SO MANY Blessings" especially when Dad would throw his good clear bass voice in there! Precious memories!

I thank God for my godly Christian parents! We never wondered if we would be going to church on any given service. If there was a service going on...we were there...Period! Unless we were dying! (And I Thank God for that now, by the way!) But, I looked forward to every service and the fellowship. Mom and Dad made church fun for us.

We would always share things about the service in the car on the way home. (Usually laughs at a funny joke the preacher said or something funny that happened!) We would share little "knowing glances"during the service with an inside joke or family thought. Mom and Dad just knew how to make everything we did a "happening."

I still LOVE church and look forward to every service and time of fellowship. Church services are the highlight of my week. I think much of that was mentally inbred as a young child. Those drives to church, all of us together at once, doing nothing but talking and singing! (How grateful I am that we did not have cell phones or ipods!)

My little man looks forward to church now as well. On the way to every church service, we talk about who we will see and what we get to do when we get there. (ours is only about a 5 minute drive so not too much time for singing!) I hope to pass on to my son the same precious memories associated with church that my parents shared with me! Someday I hope he will be able to look back to these times with the same fondness.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DANGER! Criticism Ahead...

I just read a great article about the poison of criticism. Ahhhh...may we learn to leave this deadly foe behind each day of our lives.

Our words are so very powerful. We ought to beg God daily for His wisdom in our words and actions.

James 1:5 says..."If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

I like to think of it in this way...God has a portion of wisdom set aside for each of us every day, much as a mother might prepare a portion of food for the members of her family. God is waiting each morning for us to come to the table and claim the wisdom that we need to help us through the decisions we will face that day. If we run right past the table without stopping to ask God for our "daily wisdom" we will most likely make some very poor decisions that day, just as someone who did not partake of any food or nourishment might run out of strength to accomplish their daily tasks.

I feel that some of us who have been "Professional Christians" for a while often think we know enough of the Christian "jargon" to limp through a few days on our own, but we will most definitely become "malnourished" in our outlook on life if we do not daily receive our refreshment from God!

Is it impossible to know the right things to do and the right things to say? How can we know what to say or what to do in so many various situations that pop up in our daily lives? One word...WISDOM!

Proverbs 4:7

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Serving the Lord is SO rewarding!

During the Sunday evening service, I was blessed as I watched 6 of our young people step up to the platform and sing the song "In Christ Alone." As I looked at each, I considered their lives, how much they have grown spiritually and what some of them have had to overcome to stand on that platform.

It brought tears to my eyes as I thanked God for the PRIVILEGE of being used to help influence the lives of young people. What an honor, with which comes amazing rewards!

May we all challenge ourselves in 2010 to be a helpful spiritual influence to someone this year. It has always been my personal goal, in any ministry with which I am involved, to be able to look in the crowd and pick out at least one person for whom I can say, "They would not be serving the Lord in that capacity today if it weren't for my influence." NOT to be boastful, simply to know that I am busy for God and yielding my life to Him as a vessel to be used for others.

Just wanted to say, "Thank you, God, for using ME!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Heaven welcomes Dr. Doug Kalapp...

Dr. Doug Kalapp was an amazing man with a "bull-dogged" determination for furthering the cause of Christ across the globe. If he saw a need, he found a way to fill it.

At the passing of this great man, Dr. Doug Kalapp, who was used greatly in the area of world-wide missions, I was reminded of the importance of surrendering every area of my will to the Lord.

Thank You, God, for men such as this who were amazing examples of godly character and determination.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Any Ideas?

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for new healthy snack or dessert ideas.

If you have any, post a comment below my post!!

I will post a few that I use.

Apples and peanut butter

Blue corn Tortilla chips

Ezekiel 4:9 bread w/ apple butter

Corn Chips (plain)


2 or 3 Big Marshmallows

(Sometimes if I have some cravings I might buy a candy bar and cut it in 3 or 4 pieces and put it in a Ziploc bag. Just eat one-fourth at a time!)

Nuts (I buy the bags of nuts in the shell whenever I can afford nuts. They are cheaper and Darren LOVES to crack nuts. Then I don't end up eating as many!)

Sesame Sticks...Mmmm!!

I also buy naturally sweetened cookies from the health food store, cut them in half, put them in a Ziploc bag, then I have a sweet treat with my cup of coffee or hot tea!

Can anyone give me some more ideas? Post a comment!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Basics!

And I mean in...EATING!

My goal after a "not-so-healthy" Christmas holiday season is to bring our family back to the food basics! Dan and I started today working toward our goal of bringing our diet back to the basic healthy foods, namely more fruits and veggies, raw and whole foods...less processed and chemicals.

I personally have to eat some protein in the mornings or I feel tired all day. An egg and some fruit or fruit juice do the trick for me! Also, a piece of whole grain toast or Bible Bread. (Ever tried Bible bread? Actually Ezekiel 4:9 bread; it is delicious and SO good for you. Especially spread with some homemade sugar-free apple butter! MMmmmm!!)...

...(Ezekiel 4:9 "Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof,") It is made with all the grains and sprouts mentioned in that verse. Found at your local health food store. A bit more pricey per loaf, but if we only eat one slice in the morning for toast it lasts almost a week. Worth a couple dollars more.

My husband and I LOVE to eat ALL kinds of different foods so we really don't cut out any one "type" of food from our diets (fad diets, carbs, etc.) One thing we are putting back in perspective is our portion sizes.

I have to readjust our "food eyes" occasionally and we have found this works WONDERS for maintaining our weight. We are surrounded by "Out of Control" portions everywhere we go. I go back to measuring EVERYTHING for a little while until our eyes and stomachs adjust to where they should be! Whenever we readjust that one area, we are always surprised at the results in our body weight and our appetites!

Also a great healthy tea to drink is Mulberry Leaf. It has LOTS of great health benefits and can also help you shed some pounds a little easier. Of course, I am not offering a professional opinion in health matters; these are just a few things that have worked for me! Hope they can be a help to you!