Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jesus - the Son of God...

Shepherd, Sheild, Master, Prince of Peace, Protector,
Husband, Abba,
Eternal God, King of Kings, Great Physician, our Provider, Creator,
Hope of Isreal, Judge, Refuge, our Righteousness,
Strong Tower, Teacher,
my Banner, Healer, Dwelling Place, Bread of Life,


Immanuel


God with us




Jesus
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Joseph - the father...

Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


A father who lived a life of obedience, to the Lord... what could be better?
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mary - the mother...

Not unlike many of you, Mary was a mother.
She was choosen to be the mother of Jesus.

So, what's it like? Being a mother, I mean.

the best ever?
the scarest ever?
the most work?
the happiest experiences?
more than ever imagined?
the most heartbreaking?
exhausting?
absolutely rewarding?

I imagine that you are imagining moments of motherhood that fall into each one of those descriptions.

I believe mom's are awesome.
My mom is awesome.
My sister's are awesome moms.
You are an awesome mom, too.

There are three particular verses, found in the book of Luke, that speak about Mary. They are my favorites - in regards to her. From the words written about her, one could certainly assume that she would have been an awesome mom as well.

Let me share.

Luke 1:38
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:45
"Blessed is she who has believed what the Lord hs said to her will be accomplished."

and

Luke 2:19
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Oh that I would be a servant of my Lord, everyday.

That I would believe He will do what He says He will. And not doubt.

Oh that I would, intentionally, treasure events and situations from my life - and the lives of people I love - for the purpose of pondering God's wisdom and leading.

Thank you Mary, for being the wife and mother you were. But especially for being such a woman of God.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Star of Wonder...

"We (Magi) saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:2

"...and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed." Matthew 2:9-10

The star, literally, lead the Magi to the place where baby Jesus was.
It did what it was made to do.

The Magi worshipped Jesus.
They did what they were made to do.

Please notice, however, that while the star lead the way, it could not make the Magi worship.
To worship or not to worship, was their choice.

Let's try to contextualize a bit...
We can attend a church that believes in and teaches a way of living that is devoted to Jesus. (for illustrations sake we'll dub that church the "star")
But the church can't make us, you and me, worship. Our choice.
(we'll dub us as the "Magi")

Get it.
church/star
us/Magi

Another slant...
We can invite people whom we love, to join us in our faith journey. We can act like the star.
The people we love choose to worship. Just like us, they have opportunity to act like the Magi or not - their choice.

us/star
them/magi

Sometimes confusing isn't it? Our roles change all the time.

So - how about this...
When God asks you to be a star - to point the way - be His star.
When God asks you to worship Him - worship Him.

Leave all the rest to Him.
He has it all figured out, anyway.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Smoochin...




This is the little guy who hung (and still does) in our kitchen doorway, every Christmas. He gave my dad an excuse to grab ahold of mom and kiss her, anytime.
Hey - maybe that's why dad loved Christmas!?!?

I remember as a little girl, seeing dad and mom kiss under the mistletoe, and giggling while thinking my daddy was so silly.
I remember seeing them, as a teenager, and thinking, "Oh brother - gross! ".

And now, I'd give anything to see them smoochin under the mistletoe again.

Hang some mistletoe.
Grab a "honey".
Smooch er up!
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Letters to Santa...

Written below are some letters to Santa that I read on the web HERE and thought you would, also, enjoy.


Do you have to keep a car battery and some jumper cables in the back of the sleigh,you know,just incase Rudolph's nose ever goes out? Well just to be safe I'll have some extra light bulbs next to the cookies.....60 watts ok? - Jessica, 11.When you come to our house would you sign my brother's cast while he is sleeping. That would be SWEET!! - Terri, 8.

Dear Santa, all we want is for the new baby in Mommy's tummy to be a girl. Mommy said if she has another boy she is going to nail down the furniture! - Kelsey, 9.love you very much. Please use the front door, we do not have a chimmney. Don't forget my Daddy gave you a magic key when I was born. - Thomas, 5.Thank you santa for making toys for little kids. Thank you to god for making santa so he could make things for little kids. - Tarryn, 5.

Could you please bring food, blankets and toys to all of the homeless kids. I was homeless when I was younger, but I've now been adopted and have a great life! - Ricky, 8.

Whatever you bring me Santa will be nice enough, I know that I won't get everything I want; but the most important thing is that I have a Mommy and Daddy who loves me. Thanks Santa........Love, Caitlin, 6.Try not to wake up my Grandma, she'll be sleeping in the lovingroom and she can be a grumpy bear! Kelsey, 7.

And, one more...

Oh by the way, my cancer is all gone this year and my hair has grown back. You might night recognize me so I will leave you a new picture - Kyle, 6.


Do you have memories of a particular letter to Santa, form your child(ren)?
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Silver Bells...

I've always enjoyed the Christmas Carol, Silver Bells.

It brings back memories of Bing Crosby singing in our kitchen - well, not really IN our kitchen... but his Christmas album (and, yes, I said album) would be playing in the backgroud while my mom would have me and my two sisters baking Christmas cookies.
This was always our pre-Dec 25th snow day activity and Bing was always there, too.

However, I enjoy Silver Bells for another reason as well.
I can picture the entire scene of this song, in my mind, as I sing it or listen to the words.

Thoughts of:
city shopping.
rushing home with treasures for friends and family I love.
the hustle and bustle that accompanies the Christmas season
children laughing
Santa

All enjoyable parts of the season for me.

And you know, besides the season being a fun and social time, that very hustle and bustle helps to accentuate the absolute stillness of Chritmas Day.
How the world... just... stops... for one day, every year, has always amazed me!

But, back to Silver Bells.
Check out the lyrics and share which ones fun scenes of the season to your mind.

Silver Bells
City sidewalks busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on ev'ry street corner you'll hear

Silver bells silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring a ling hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Centerpiece




I don't consider myself very creative but I was recently inspired by a lovely lady to make a Christmas centerpiece. She used many items with sentimental value and great memories attached. Also, she used many organic items such as branches, berries, pine cones and water. I was in awe of how simply yet beautifully she crafted these centerpieces in mere minutes so I thought I would give it a whirl.










First I bought something to start with, I went to a second hand store and pick up this beautiful rectangle red metal tray for $4.99 and while I was there I spotted a set of ornaments (red & orange with gold) for $.99. I then went through my own ornaments and picked up what I thought would go with it and put it all together. In the end, it did not cost me much and it brightens up my table. :)


Thank you Tanya Payzant for the inspiration!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Melt in your mouth...

I remember being little, being outside playing in the snow, and hearing these words, “Would you like some cookies?”

What?
Would I like some… cookies? (did you hear my voice raise an octave?)

Would a mouse like some cheese? A dog a bone? A bird a target?

I would, absolutely, LOVE some cookies!

And, with that question I knew I was about to be a recipient of our neighbour’s homemade shortbread cookies.

Mabel made the best shortbread cookies, ever.
Melt in your mouth shortbread cookies, literally.
Heaven in your mouth, shortbread cookies.

I can also remember asking mom, How come our shortbread cookies don’t taste like Mabels?” (that has got to be one of the most favorite questions a mom could ever be asked. not!)

Of course, the reason for the taste difference was that Mabel used real butter and whipped the life out of those little delicacies.
While Mom, being conscious or my families' bellies and budget, did not use real butter. But she does now – Ohhh yeah!

Sadly, Mabel is not living any longer.
Yet, every time I eat a shortbread cookie I can't help but think of my sun loving, clothesline loving, baker extraordinaire, neighbour. And wish I had her recipe.

What, about Christmas time, reminds you of someone special?
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homemade Christmas Ornament


Homemade gifts are so special to receive. I started making ornaments two years ago and I'd love to share with you how I do it.

Step 1. Buy your materials and fill the ball. The clear balls seen above are at Michaels for $8.49 but are usually on sale for 50% off. You can fill the ball with whatever you like. I use scrap paper and curl it, stickers on paper, ornamental snow, pom poms, beads and ribbon. The list can go on forever.

Step 2. Once you have your ball filled, you can finish it off by decorating the top with glitter, a bow and a string to hang on the tree.

Step 3. Let dry and wrap for someone special.

These ornaments can be as expensive or as inexpensive, as detailed or as simple as you like. Here are a couple pictures of ones that I have made.



I started this one with ornamental snow and curled scrap book paper on top. To finish, I put glue on and then the glitter. Hot glue gunned the bow and tied a string.

I filled this one with string red beads and red foil star garland. Hot glue gunned a bow and tied a string.
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Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: Happy what?...

Happy Holy Days!

Do you know that’s what it used to be called?
Not Happy Holidays, but Happy Holy Days!

Days set apart for worshiping God.

I decided to look the word holiday up on Wikipedia, and here is what it said:
The word "holiday" comes from the Old English word hāligdæg. The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days off work or school. The word derived from the notion of "Holy Day", and gradually evolved to its current form.

So don’t be surprised if I wish you a “Happy Holy Day” this year.
Wish someone the same!
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: Memories...

Several years ago my mom gave me a book called Christmas Memories.

It's a keepsake journal that has space to write about 10 different Christmas seasons.

There is a space to include a family photo, to record who you spent time with over the season, to record new traditions that your family has begun, list special gifts both given and received and to even record the food you enjoyed that year!

I've had my book for 5 years now, and it is really neat to read back over the pages and remember the different things we have done to help celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Maybe recording your memories could be a new tradition for some of you to begin, or maybe this would be the perfect gift idea for you to give.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: A Christmas book for the Family...

My oldest son and I are reading through the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. We are having such fun.

I purchased another book called “ROAR” to go along with. It’s called The Chrisitian Family Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia. The cost was only $0.99 and there is so much inside!

Each chapter of the series has a corresponding chapter in "ROAR", and it has wonderful insights. Definitions of unfamiliar words, grown-up thoughts, "did you know?" and "look it up". All really neat tools to help bring out the Christian content in the Narnia books.

If you have never read these books, pick one up and be swept away in the fantasy of Narnia. And, as "ROAR" says, “if you’ve already been to Narnia, it’s never too soon or too late to return.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: Advent

Each of the 4 Sunday's leading up to Christmas my family celebrates Advent. (my husband's name is Joe, and we have four children - Hannah, Noah, Oliver and Georgia)

We've done it for as long as I can remember.

We pour eggnog into tiny teacups, and eat 2 special cookies. One from Germany, and the other white chocolate dipped Oreo cookies.

With the lights turned off, we light our Advent candle, and have family time.

Since we're doing the Jesse tree this year (I wrote about this in an earlier post), we are reviewing all of the ornaments we placed on the tree that week and sharing what we love about God.

It’s one of my favorite traditions of Christmas.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: Nativity...

I love Nativity Scenes.

When I visit someone's house I'm always looking for their nativity.
Is it handmade? Store bought? A family keepsake, perhaps?

Over the last several Christmas's I've been receiving pieces from the Willow Tree Nativity. I love the simplicity of it.

Just like the gospel.
We’re sinners in need of a savior.
God loves us.
God sent His Son to save us.
All we need to do is believe.

It truly is that simple.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest Post - Sharelyn Stone: Hectic or Holy?

I was recently listening to a broadcast. The title was "hectic or holy?"

With all the business that surrounds and can consume us at Christmas I ask you, is Christmas hectic or holy for you?

I'll have to be honest, it's been a little hectic for me this year.

Organizing costumes for a drama our church is presenting, drama rehearsals, cooking, shopping, cleaning, parenting, play group, homework, dog training... H E C T I C !

I must admit, I was not surprised when I woke up with a sore throat and headache. Since I've been so busy maybe this is God's way of making me take a quieter day.

I'm going to take some time today and remember what Christmas is really about.

God.
God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).

Wow. That is HOLY!
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Friday, December 3, 2010

A twist on the traditional cranberry...

Cranberry Clementine Relish: a definate add to your Christmas Dinner file

One 12oz pkg of fresh Cranberries
1 seeded Clementine - peel and all
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse till relish consistency.
Store in fridge for up to 10 days.

and, it's yummmmmm mmmmmmmmmy!
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Guest Post: from the mind and keyboard of Sharelyn Stone

I love Christmas.
Shopping, baking, singing, sewing, eggnog, decorating… it all makes me smile on the inside.

With all the business that can come with Christmas preparations, I’m always conscience of making certain I keep Christ in Christmas. Which is why I want to share with you a new tradition, that we are starting as a family, this year.

It’s called a Jesse Tree. It’s a really fun way to teach kids about the Bible at Christmas. Each day we have an ornament that the kids color and then place on our Jesse Tree, along with a Bible passage that we read. Each ornament represents a Bible story, starting in Genesis all the way to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. I’m really excited about this great visual teaching opportunity.

Today’s ornament, Adam and Eve!
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the First...

Oh my goodnessssssssssssss...
December one is here already (and... almost gone).

We have arrived at the very beginning of the 2010 Christmas season. And, it seems like just yesterday I was considering Jack-o-Lanterns. You?

Life can get really crazy, really quickly, at this time of year.

How can we guard ourselves against:
doing more than we actually enjoy, this season?
spending more than we can actually afford, this season?
and consuming more than is actually healthy for us, this season?

I'm quite social. So doing more than I actually enjoy is difficult. However, spending more and consuming more... well, now this conversation gets just a wee bit more personal.

Where spending more is concerned - drawing names within my family and spending time with friends, instead of purchasing gifts, has helped.

Where consuming more is concerned - I'm planning on purchasing a muzzel, one with a lock and throw away key. (good thing we drew names... I have extra money)

What secrets have worked for you?
We'd love to hear them.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Sights & Sounds of Christmas



An evening (for ladies) focused on preparing our hearts for Christmas amid all the hustle & bustle. Come join us at StoneRidge Fellowship church, for food demos, Christmas carols, and emphasis on the Christ in Christmas. Friday, November 26, 7:00pm. Cost: FREE!
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

HOME...

This country, that many of us call HOME... this Canada of ours... really is an amazing, amazing place.

Maybe it is anticipating Remembrance Day. Or maybe it is because I flew over the Praries yesterday and began thinking about the years I lived in Saskatchewan.

I don't know.

But, I'm feeling nostalgic.

I took a Gondola Ride up a mountain today. And of course I could not help but consider the vast geographical differences from one coast of Canada to the other as I skimmed the tops of 40 foot trees.

These mountains... these amazing Rocky Mountains!

Maybe, just maybe, what I am feeling is... worshipful.
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In Flanders Fields



In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 3 May 1915.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blessings in Disguise...

I'm taking a personal, finance management class. Two weeks in on a 13 week course.

The first "baby step" all participants have been encouraged to carry out is to establish a $1000 EMERGENCY fund.

Last week my car was in the garage. And let's just say that the bill came pretty close to eating up my EMERGENCY fund in a manner that is quicker than a child eating up their Halloween treats. Or should I say, in a manner quicker than a... parent eating up their child's Halloween treats?

But...
the blessing is that there is even a car to fix - right?
the blessing is that there was an EMERGENCY fund - right?

This morning I was on my way to an appointment.
As I was driving along I thought, "My goodness, I must have the car in neutral... but if so - how did I get this far?"

Nope, not in neutral.

"Oh my, the car is going to... it's... just... going... to... stop... Whaaaaaaaaaaat?"

Chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug, chugX4000.

Miss the appointment and head to the garage.
"Sure, Lisa - you can leave it with us however, we don't have an opening for another week."

But...
the blessing is that I head out of town on Monday - right?
the blessing is that there was no car accident - right?
the blessing is having a sister who rescues me all the time. Fact.
the blessing is that I fully, 1000%, understand the wisdom in having an EMERGENCY fund - right?

Life.

And, EMERGENCY funds!
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Power of a Woman's Words


Our study this fall is The Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes. Our words have power and sustainability. Our words linger in the hearts and minds of those who hear them longer then the seconds it took to speak them. I have always struggled with saying things to make a joke or a quick come back and seldome think of the consequences of those words. The past two years a friend and I have both agreed that our tongues need to be tamed. In a recent sermon series in James, I learned that I can only learn to tame my tongue with help from the Holy Spirit and by practice.

One area I feel that I can use my words for good is to encourage others.
Encouragement is free but it is priceless to the one who needs it most. I don't mean fluffy encouragement. I mean true genuine encouragement to everyone in your sphere of influence. Starting with family and friends and spreading it to neighbors, teachers, strangers, leaders...the list can go on and on. God's word is the greatest gift of encouragement. Take some time this week and encourage someone!
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Friday, October 29, 2010

What would you do without...

friends?

If we say that sentence over and over again and place verbal emphasis on a different word each time, the shock of the question hits us in a slightly different way each time we repeat it.

Try it. Say it, out loud, six times. Putting emphasis on a different.

What would you do without friends?
What would you do without friends?
What would you do without friends?
What would you do without friends?
What would you do without friends?
What woudl you do without friends?

Can you hear the difference?

While the shock of the question hits us differently each time (depending on which word we emphasize), if you are like me, the same sense of panic strkes in my heart of hearts each time I say it.

It's more than a bit fearful to consider a period of time (days, weeks, months, years) without friends, and down right paralizing to consider a lifetime without friends.

Different friends meet different needs in our lives. It's true.
It's almost like God knew we would need that.

Almost... what a hoot!

Our Creator, God, knew exactly what we would need. Friendship, being one.

Take a minute today and tell a friend how much they mean to you.
Remember, friends are not disposable. Nor are they guaranteed.

They are, however, a gift.

I'm playing make-up makeover with one of my friends, today.
Can hardly wait.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grace and Salt ...

Wednesday.

"Halfway to the weekend" day.

"W2W" day (women 2 women).

"Community Care" day.

"The Power of a Woman's Words" by Sharon Jaynes, day.


I'm currently studying that book, with a group of, roughly, 100 other women.
Last week's chapter discussed the power of a woman's words to... the world. What could we really do for the world and through the people of world if we were 100% conscious of our words - with everyone we met.

E V E R Y O N E.

Our words can be encouraging, or not. Positive or not. Rude or not. True or not.

And,
no
matter
what
we
say
we affect our world. Because our words affect the people in our world. And those people affect other people and so on and so on and so on (remind you of a shampoo commercial from days gone by?)

The effect our words can have is, really, rather staggering.

Check out Colossians 4:6 with me.
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

This verse is discussing opportunities we have to share about God's love, specifically. However, I believe if we uncover it a wee bit more, there is potential for a much broader application.

"...so that you may know how to answer everyone."
That is HUGE. Who wouldn't want to know how to answer everyone?

The right answers can literally be on the tip of our tongues IF we "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt..."

There it is. Grace and Salt.
Grace means not being treated in a way that the deepest, darkest, ugliest parts of us deserve. Salt does three things - it flavors, heals, and preserves.

Have you caught the broader application?
It's not just about WHAT answer we give. It's also about HOW we answer everyone.

Can you imagine what our world would be like if we answered everyone with grace and salt?

You and I chat with many people. And we enjoy giving good advice, helpful advice, right advice. The Bible says that if we are full of grace and seasoned with salt, we will know how to answer everyone. What we say will be spoken out of love and will be purposed to heal, flavor or preserve.

Oh, that this would permeate my very being.

Grace and salt.
Grace and salt.
Grace and salt.
Continue Reading....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Polish up your rake...

On Nov 13th a group of StoneRidge Fellowship peeps and their friends are going to pile into a bus, and hopefully, many cars as well, and head off to different neighbourhoods in the Sackville area.

If home owners will allow us, we plan to rake up their leaves, leave them by the curb for pick-up and be on our way to yard number 2 and then number 3 and then number 4 and so on.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Piles of leaves, laughing children, people excited to care for their neighbours and a community that is touched by "many hands making light work".

It's still a couple weeks away.
I'm already wondering how many families will blessed by this small act of kindness. Aren't you?
I'm already curious to know how many families will take the offer to attend our Christmas Drama: This Very Night. Aren't you?

Fun times are definately awaiting anyone who joins the the Rake Crew.
A surprise along with some VIP seating are awaiting our community.

What will be the outcome?
The possibilities are endless, absolutely endless! Which only adds to the fun of this kind of adventure.

Go polish up your rake.
Anyone can join. Absolutely anyone. That means Y... O... U.

Sat, Nov 13
8:30 AM - Noon
Meet at 85 Temple Terrace, Sackville
Bring: a rake, warm cloths, drink of water for yourself
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Girl's Night Out... aka: GNO

This Saturday evening, October 23rd, at the home of Sheila Margeson.

All things fiction and all things fondue.

Any, absolutely any, lady welcome.
The fun begins at 7:30 - who knows when it ends. Sheila, what says you?

Bring a friend or come to meet friends.

Bring a snack that can be dipped in either cheese or... chocolate, of course. YUM!

Bring your thoughts on a recent read (fiction or non).

18 High road, Fall River
RSVP to GNO@SRFconnect.com


Oh my - don't some of you just wish you lived closer?
I do.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pay it Forward

Several weeks ago I was leaving the grocery store with a few things in hand when I decided it would be a good idea to grab a coffee for myself and a Timbit for my little girl. I placed my order and seconds later thought, " Do I have any real money"? I had bought my groceries with plastic and knew very well that this coffee establishment did not take Visa or Interact. I quickly put a halt to the preperation of my order explaining my situation, when a deep male voice behind me said "I'll pay for it. The poor kid needs her Timbit". I assured the gentleman that it wasn't neccessary that he pay, but he insisted. What could I do? Rob him of a blessing?
I decided to take his offer and assured him I would pay the kind deed forward.

I have not bought anyone a coffee yet ( but will when the opportunity arises ) but I am more conscious of holding the door longer, carrying things for people who need help and letting people make a left hand turn against me in traffic. I am actually looking for acts of kindness that I can do. All because of this one kind gesture.

Do unto others has you would have them do unto you...Matthew 7:12.

It's a simple biblical principle that has been adopted as the Golden Rule in secular society. Wouldn' t our world be a better place if more of us ( self included ) would practice this "rule" more often.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

"Do Our Roots Need A Little Touch-Up?



In early July I revisited Old Salem, N.C. A community founded in 1776 by the Moravians, a Germanic peoples, whose mission was to teach their religion to the natives. Today the "village" encompasses 100 acres and is nationally acclaimed for it's gardens, museums, stores including Winkler Bakery. The library includes more than 20,000 rare books, periodicals/manuscript from across the early South.

It was a beautiful hot day (I Love the heat), when my daughter and I had decided to step-back in time with two of my southern born grand-babes, and introduce them to some of their American History.

We meandered along the brick sidewalks. Every so often we'd drop into a shop to learn something new about the past lives of these immigrants. All the while the aroma of freshly baked bread and cookies wafted through the streets. Drawing many unsuspecting visitors to the doors of the bakery, Mr. Pied-Piper had nothing on this.

As we were walking along one of the tree lined streets, we quickly noticed the pathway ahead resembled an old-fashioned washboard. The bricks were raised at different angles making the walking quite tricky. It was obvious that the roots from the canopy above had over time grown just beneath the bricks and were the cause of the upheaval, making the passage dangerous.

This encounter made me think about the "roots" in our lives. As Christ-followers are we living in such a way that daily we are growing deeper in our walk with Christ?! Are we receiving nourishment for "strong roots"? Unless our roots are deep in His Word we will never grow in maturity and become resistant to life's challenges ~~~ or become "Fruitful" people.

The closer we commune with Him, not only the firmer our foundation, but also the sweeter our fruit. Galatians 5:22 (Message): "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way the fruit appears in an orchard ~~like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

Deep rooted trees become solid/significant in their location, they breathe oxygen into the atmosphere around them, shelter in a storm for weary passersby, and beauty for the landscape. As believers if our lives have only "surface roots" in our Creator then we are stunted. We find it difficult to cope with the drought and storms that come our way, in this journey of life.

Sadly, many times our feet hit the floor early in the mornings with a list of "Must Accomplish" items revolving within our cranium ~~~ rarely giving a thought to the ONE who is the giver of our very breath. Sometimes we live for months, yes, even years looking the part of a believer. We can appear to have things all together but when the calamities of life arise the deep-rooted strength/wisdom will be waning.

Do green leaves always mean healthy roots? Maybe it's time for a "touch-up"....



Continue Reading....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkins and squash and gourds...



Decorating is a blast for me.
For you?

One reason holidays and special days give me a thrill is because of the excuse to decorate for them. And, possibilities are absolutely endless as decorating can happen outside a house as well as inside a house.

I purchased some pumpkins, squash and gourds. Then I placed them here and I placed them there. The result is that my front doorstep makes me smile.

Come by.
I 'd love if it made you smile too.
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grab a coffee and some...

Pumpkin-Spice Biscotti
Prep 20 min
Suggested Total 1 hour 25 min

2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted raw shelled pumpkin seeds
2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coarse sugar (I found at Bulk Barn)

PREHEAT oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl stir flour with sugar, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with pumpkin puree, butter and vanilla extract. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine.

TRANSFER dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape into two long, flat logs, about 2in. wide and 1/2in. thick. (Dough will rise as it bakes.) Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of logs, pressing gently so it adheres. Bake for 30 min, until centers are firm to the touch.

REMOVE from oven and let cook 5 min. Reduce oven temperature to 275F. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-in. pieces. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake an additional 35 min. Cool completely on a rack.
(I baked pieces for 1 hour)

MAKES 42 BISCOTTI (uummmm... made 35 pieces for me)
per biscotti: 79 calories, 1g protein, 12g carbs, 3g fat, 21mg sodium.

pg 262 october 2010/chatelaine

PS: I also drizzled mine with... you guessed it... chocolate. So, that would, potentially change the calorie count, and everything else. Oh well. ;o)
Continue Reading....

Monday, October 4, 2010

January in October...

A friend told me, last week, that she was working her way through Oswald Chambers' book "My utmost for His highest".

She peaked my interest in a book that I had read once before, and enjoyed, but had forgotten 99.999% of it's contents.

So, this past Saturday morning I sent myself on a bit of a treasure hunt and was rewarded with actually locating my copy. I began at the beginning, which means at the page dated January 1st.

And, WHAM!

What do you think about this sentence:
"Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only - my utmost for His highest."

If I thought/lived like that, what would change in my world?
If you thought/lived like that, what would change in your world?
And, could we change our world, together, with this radical thinking/living?

Another question:
How much of whatever keeps us from thinking/living this way comes from pure will?
And, not pure will as in unmixed with any other matter.
But, pure will as in us exercising our will (wants, control, selfishness) over His.
Continue Reading....

Puggles!


Every Wednesday morning, something special happens at our church, which I personally happen to be involved with. Every Wednesday morning up to 20ish two year olds toddle into a nursery room downstairs, proudly sporting little blue shirts. I, along with two other great ladies, run a childrens program called Puggles...the newest and youngest branch of the children's program AWANA, which takes place Wednesday nights at our church. These Wednesday mornings can be stressful sometimes...sometimes we leave, covered with snot, tears, and other bodily functions, in dire need of a shower. Actually, that's most Wednesday mornings. There are tears, temper tantrums, confusion, poop, toy alercations, banged heads, fevers (and that's just among the leaders...oooooh...just kidding.). So why do we do this you ask? Two year olds are just babies, mostly not out of diapers until the year is almost over. But if I've learned anything, amongst the choas, is that two year olds can LEARN. In the best, most simplistic ways. They take us back to basics. All we teach them is that God made the whole world and that God loves them. But how incredible is that? How incredible is it to be among the first people in their lives that get to tell them that? To sit there, in a circle where only half the audience appears to be listening, hold up a pot of flowers, a leaf, a picture of a dog and tell them that God made THAT. That God loves THEM, that THEY are special. To us it is an awesome privilege, and every year we learn from them. Life is SO complicated, there are so many pressures and decisions and just everyday stuff that happens. It is so refreshing to focus on being created by God and being loved by Him. I look at these little Puggles and see potential, hope, new beginings, and a fresh start in everyone of these little lives. And I am reminded that this is how God is looking at us....hope, potential...a fresh start. No matter what has already happened, and no matter how old we are. It is wonderful to be able to be reminded of that every single week in the faces of these precious little ones. So thank you to the Mommys of our little Puggles for bringing us your two year olds every week, we look forward to what we will learn from them this year!
Continue Reading....

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Through Christ's Eyes

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Phil 1:6

Sometimes when something happens that disappoints me I just can't get it out of my mind. It consumes me mentally, emotionally and physically. I've been holding on to a huge disappointment and while I sat in church about to take communion, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to my heart. He said "Let it go." I could not reflect on Christ's sacrifice for me and how much I have disappointed
him and not show the same grace in my situation. He looks at me through his eyes of love and forgiveness and that humbles me. I truly believe that looking at things through Christ's eyes makes the emotions that come from disappointment easier to bear. Thank you Lord for the peace that you so freely give. Let me wake up each day and pray to see the world through your eyes. What a different view I would have!


Continue Reading....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A few more of my favorite things...

A new season, and new favorite things.

Fall brings:

crunchy and tart, MacIntosh apples

big, cozy sweaters

leaves changing colors

crisp air

Harvest Time

TV premier week

Thanksgiving weekend

Thanksgiving dinner and ALL the fixins

coffee that tastes better because I don't sweat while I drink it

warm gingerbread and ice-cream

Halloween and cutie, little kiddies all dressed up

"start-up" of almost every program one could imagine

pumpkin carving

trips to the Annapolis Valley

Christmas at the Forum

And, of course, Fall Chocolate - that falls off hips like leaves off the trees!


What favorites do you and I share?
Continue Reading....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Family. A big, 6 letter word...

Have you ever looked up the word "family" in a dictionary?
If not, do.
There are many definitions.

This past Friday evening I attended a "family potluck". The dynamic of that particular group was such that not one of the original "family members" were blood related. Yet, we have something in common that brings us together.

This past Saturday evening I attended a "family cookout". The dynamic of that particular group was the opposite of Friday evening. We were clearly blood related.

It's interesting that you and I could have different groups of people in our lives and that we probably consider more than one of these groups, family. Or at the very least, like family. You are enough like me, I'm sure, to be thankful for this fact about life.

I'm single, without children. And I would be lying if I said that there are never times when I wish that my family included more people besides myself.

Which is why I am thankful for many definitions to the word family.
And for all the different groups of people whom I share commonalities with and whom I love, like family.

Mostly, I'm thankful for the family God gave me - my Frankland peeps, and their peeps.

Who is in your family?
In mine there is Katheleen (my mom and our most treasured Queenie), Tanya and Andrew and Nicole, Jenna and Bradley, Paula and Jonathon and Hannah.

Whom do you consider family?
For me, simply too many people to list.

Two very different, yet similar, questions.
It's interesting.
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action!

What a better way to kick off the blog than with a photoshoot?


The group




Lisa


Lauri-Ann





Norm and Heather



Jennifer



Chris



Janet-Lynn



We didn't really know what we were doing or what we wanted... but look what we got!!

LOVE them.


Even more than that, though, I LOVE the PEOPLE involved.


For all intents and purposes these women have become like family to me. And, Heather even gets to bring her hubby along for the ride... Norm, you are a gem and we are so excited to have you as part of this blog team.


I love team... LOVE team.

So much more can be accomplished through team.


Now, there is one more woman involved - but who is faceless - no, pictureless.

My Eldest niece, Nicole. She was our photographer. (Check out her facebook group by clicking here , or her blog here).

Am I allowed to say that I am proud of her? That I love the guts out of her?

My Nickie Noodle.

She is an artist. Everything her creative hands touch has the potential to turn gold. And I am so grateful for her involvement with this blog. Whenever the home page changes, it is because she whipped something new up and had fun doing it. What she didn't understand - she learned in order to be part of this blog for you and with us. So yipeeeeeeee for us all.


I will say it again... I LOVE team, LOVE team.


PS: when's the next photoshoot?





Continue Reading....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Catch a Man" Blueberry Muffins

One day last month I started thinking about my grandmother's blueberry muffin recipe. I don't believe I have made the muffins or seen the recipe since she passed away in 1998. My brother loved them, and when ever I made a batch, he told me that they would "catch me a man" some day. Well, I got a man without the muffins, however, I wanted to make them again and I had to do some hunting to find the recipe. Thankfully my aunt Maisie had the information I was looking for.

I did not make the muffins right away but was spurred to bake them after my kind neighbor, Tom, boosted my car (another story unto itself ) on a sunny Wednesday morning so I could get to Women to Women. I made the muffins to thank Tom for His kind deed. I received a good review from both Tom and his wife.





The recipe is as follows:

Cream 1/2 cup margerine and 1 & 1/4 cup of white sugar
Add: 2 eggs and mix well.
Sift: 2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of of baking powder
1/2 teasponns of salt

Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with 1/2 cup of milk.

Fold in 2 1/2 cups of blueberries

Put in muffin tins and sprinkle each muffin with white sugar ( ~ 2 teaspoons should do all 12 muffins)

Bake @ 375 for 25 minutes.

Yield: 12 muffins



Try them! Let me know if you catch a man.
Continue Reading....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's going on... pt 2

So, here's the rest of the story...

Cleaned the bathroom. Not one bit glamorous.

Put up a few Fall decorations. Next to Summer, Fall is my favorite season.

Painted my fingernails. A bit glamorous.

Read chapter 4 in "The Power of a Woman's Words" by Sharon Jaynes.

Considering what to cook for supper. Any suggestions?

Talking with you again. Yeah!

Have still to rescue towels off the line.


I hope your Saturday was a great one. You deserve it.
Continue Reading....

What's going on...

Slept in til 8:30.

Gabbed on the phone with my sister.

Showered.

Three loads of laundry on the line. One of my favorite chores to do, honest!

Dishes done... but not put away. Drip dry is the only way to go.

Lunch made and eaten. Ham sandwich and garden fresh tomatoe.

Many windows opened. Crisp, Fall air and warm sunshine pouring in.

Big "Canada AM" mug full of coffee. Favorite mug. I LOVE Canada AM.

Talking to you.

Great day!

What are you and yours doing?
Continue Reading....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Will she DARE...

Do you have a teenaged daughter or do you know a teenaged girl who would benifit from, and be encouraged and challenged through a day that is set aside just for her and... honest conversations about the secrets and the science of sex?

DARE 2B... PURE, is just such a day.

Saturday, Nov 6, 2010
1:00pm - 8:30pm
Grace Chapel, Halifax, NS

Visit this website for more information. Click on DARE 2B
http://stephrobbins.com
Continue Reading....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Try it - cause you'l love it...

A perfect Fall dessert.
Right out of the oven... uuuuum, uuuuuuuum good!

GINGERBREAD

1C butter
1C shortening
2 eggs
2C molasses
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1C sugar
5C flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2C hot water

Cream together butter and shortening, and sugar. Add the beaten eggs and molasses, then dry ingredients. Add hot water and beat until smooth. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan at 325 for 1 hour and ten minutes.

Recipe from Sherbrooke Village Recipe Collection





Thanks Tan.
Continue Reading....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday and Monday...

Beginnings and endings - there is good about them, both.

Beginnings can signify a fresh start, butterflies in our bellies and new experiences.
Endings can signify change, potentially a period of rest and anticipation about what could be next (which might also mean butterflies in our bellies).

monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday and FRIDAY

It's Friday.
And the first full week (well, almost full week) of school is over.
And, for many, today marks the end of another work week.

I hope it was a good week for you and yours and I'm choosing to believe the weekend will be wonderful and funderful for everyone.

MONDAY, tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday
What will Monday bring?
Continue Reading....

It's A BIG DAY!


September 12, 2010 --It's a BIG DAY!
  • We've been at our new location for one year, so it's time to celebrate.
    Join the party during the 9:00am and 11:00am services, then starting at 1:00pm
    we meet again at Oakfield Park (Oakfield) for more celebration including a
    BBQ* and games for the whole family.
  • Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets,
    sports balls, frisbees, kites...

    ...or just bring your friends and family and join the party.

    *(Burgers and dogs and sodas available for a nominal fee, or feel free to bring
    your own picnic-type lunch.)


Continue Reading....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

School Days....


All through my preschool years of having children I dreaded the days of all my kids going to school. I assumed I would sob for days, WEEKS even, when my first child toddled off to school. It wasn't easy the first day...but imagine my surprise when I was fine after ohhhh...one day. The same went for my second one.

I could never understand those mothers who rejoiced at the end of summer...that would NEVER be me. NEVER. Then, at the end of this summer, before 2/3 of my children headed back to school, I felt a twinge of something....I was ANNOYED. Summer just needed to be over. I don't care what anyone says, by the end of the summer, vacations are over, day trips are done and kids are bored. I started to look forward to the beginning of school...WHAT?? I swore that would never happen! But I was looking forward to routine, and for my kids to have one too...they needed one! Now my youngest has started nursery school two mornings a week. That means two mornings of alone time. At first I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of it...what in the world would I do? Two hours alone? Unheard of! As someone who had three kids in four years...I haven't had a scheduled amount of alone time in some years. I was sure I would dread it. HOWEVER, by this morning...day two....I am starting to realize I will look forward to those two mornings immensely. Instead of dreading school days I am starting to embrace them. I came home and stared blankly. Then I washed my curtains. Of all things! Motherhood is such an emotional and unexpected journey. The things you thought you would hate...you love...and the things you dreaded the most you find out just may not be so bad after all! Although I don't look forward to saying good bye to my last one, when she goes to school full time next year....I am starting to realize it may not be so bad after all. Who knew?
Continue Reading....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Warnings schmornings...

Every single day of the last week we, Nova Scotians, listened to multiple warnings and updates concerning Hurricane Earl - along with suggestions and reminders on how to best prepare for hurricanes (Earl or otherwise).

A bit of history for you:
On September 28, 2003, Hurricane Juan hit Halifax and much, much more of Nova Scotia. It went Right... Through... Us.

And we remember it. Some after effects are still visible.

Before Juan was part of our province’s history, Nova Scotians had nothing to draw on as far as up close and personal experience with hurricanes. We had nothing to measure the word “hurricane” up against.

Sadly, knowing the dictionary definition nor viewing pictures of hurricane destruction from other parts of the world did not do for us what personal experience did.

It's not like we had not been warned about the inevitable arrival of Juan. We had been. And we had been told to prepare for strong, dangerous winds and high, dangerous waves. Prepare by bringing outside furniture in, prepare any watercraft you may own, prepare for power loss by having candles/matches/propane/batteries/flashlights on hand, plan to stay off highways during the storm, and by all means stay away from and out of coastal waters.

Some folks heeded the warnings, and some didn’t.

Why is that?
Why do we believe warnings are for “them”?

Let’s flash forward to September 2010. This, my friends, is where personal experience comes in to play. See, in 2003 we did not predict well enough nor did we play scenarios through far enough to understand what having no power would actually, completely, fully mean - even for those of us who prepared like we were encouraged to, we were not fully prepared.
No power meant no ATM machines. And no ATM machines meant no $$. Which translated into no groceries, and/or no gas. No power also meant no washer or dryer… for many days. No water meant NO WATER - none for drinking, for showering, for flushing toilets, none for NOthing.

Soooooooo, after a week of warnings and reminders (from news anchors as well as my sister), AND after the personal experience with Juan, I decided that in preparation for our roaring visitor, Earl, I would:
bring the outside furniture in
locate my lighter/candles and flashlight/batteries
fill up my gas tank
have cash on hand
grocery shop before hand (and, grrrrrrrrrrrr, even pay for drinking water)
recharge phone batteries
get caught up on the laundry pile
cancell at least PART of my long weekend plans... grrrrrrrrrrrrr again.

This time round I would heed the warnings, and then some.

It all made me wonder this:
Why don't we (you and I) heed God’s warnings in our lives? I mean, when He shows us “pictures” of destruction from previous life storms, why don’t we (you and I) pay attention? Why do we (you and I) believe the warnings must be for "them?

Yet, He loves us (you and I).
Amazing.
Continue Reading....

Monday, September 6, 2010

NO, absolutely NO working today...

Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

Labour Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in Canada since the 1880s. The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to April 14, 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week.

While Labour Day parades and picnics are organised by unions, many Canadians regard Labour Day as the Monday of the last long weekend of summer. Non-union celebrations include picnics, fireworks displays, water activities, and public art events. Since the new school year generally starts right after Labour Day, families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer.

An old custom prohibits the wearing of white after Labour Day. The explanations for this tradition range from the fact that white clothes are worse protection against cold weather in the winter to the fact that the rule was intended as a status symbol for new members of the middle class in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Interesting, eh.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Continue Reading....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Preschool, the best school...

Anyone of you who have been involved, in any way, with a preschool know that they can be terrific places of fun and adventure of the little people we love so much.

PebbleStone Creek Preschool is one of the ministries our church is able to offer.

I come from an Early Childhood Education background so, for many different reasons, I believe this to be a wonderful opportunity for our church family, for children, and for our community.

This school year Mrs. Debbie and Mrs. Fran are introducing a French language component into the program. I love that.

Mrs. Debbie writes a blog, included on our church’s webpage. You moms may want to check it out from time to time.
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Got my mind thinking,...

I had the opportunity to be in beautiful British Columbia a couple weeks ago. My reason for going was to attend Board meetings. My reason for staying as long as I did was so that I could visit with the Founder and CEO of Monarch Place.

It is a wonderful place.

Monarch Place is a Transition House offering shelter and support for women and children fleeing violence.

Many amazing events take place there, daily.
Women come and receive good crisis counsel. They receive food, clothing and a safe room to live in. They receive support in finding work and housing in a very short period of time, so short that one realizes that these situations are being worked out in a manner that is beyond human control.

The staff was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and watching them move forward with the same level of passion for this great big mission.

There is a:
Director,
Children’s Support worker,
Woman’s Support worker,
Community Outreach,
Multi-Cultural Support worker,
Counsellors

I asked one staff member what was most stressful for her in this line of work. She replied, “When all of the systems (social systems) don’t come together”.

Understandable.

I then asked her what was most rewarding about her job. Her reply, “When a woman just blossoms.”

Totally, totally, totally understandable.

Check out their webpage.


It all got my mind thinking about what could be done, right here in Lower Sackville, NS with the number of amazing women I happen to know.

Are you game?
Continue Reading....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Women2Women

Fall is here and it is time to begin our fall session of Women2Women on Sept 8th. W2W is a time for ladies to come together and fellowship and grow in their walk with Christ. W2W is hosted at StoneRidge Fellowship every Wednesday morning from 9am-11am. Tea/coffee and a breakfest brunch await you followed by fellowship time and small group prayer and book study. We are excited to add a serving component to our ministry this year. Ladies will have an opportunity to serve in the community and show God's love to others in simple and practical ways. Stop by the information desk on Sunday morning and fill out a registration card. We look forward to a great year of making new friendships, growing in Christ and serving Him in the community.

Our book study this year is "The Power of a Woman's Words" by Sharon Jaynes. A woman's words can be used for good or evil. By choosing words that build instead of destroy, you can encourage your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and family. Using examples from the Bible, Sharon Jaynes shows how women influenced those around them - some positively and others negatively. By learning to control the tongue, your relationships with others will flourish! -Taken from christianbook.com

*Books are available to purchase at the church for $15. Drop by and pick one up or purchase one at the information desk on Sunday mornings.


Fun biblical based programs are available for children 2-5. Awana Cubbies is for children 3-5 yrs and Awana Puggles is for children 2 yrs.
*Mother's must remain on site with children registered in Puggles.
Registration for these programs in on September 8th.
Books, shirts and vests are available for purchase.

Nursery is available for a minimal cost for children ages newborn-23 months.
Continue Reading....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Watching and listening...

I have two sisters.
An older sister, named Tanya.
And a younger sister, named Paula.

My sisters are both married and have children.
Tanya and Andrew have three children. Nicole, Jenna and Bradley.
Paula and Jonathon have one child. Hannah.

There is a mountain range in Banff National Park, Alberta, called “The Three Sisters”. That’s us. The three Frankland sisters.

We are best friends.

The act of sharing was part and parcel for us, growing up. We shared some toys. We did the whole “handmedown” cloths thing. We shared bedrooms and bathrooms.
Sometimes we enjoyed sharing and sometimes we didn’t. That, too, was part and parcel of growing up.

Now that we are all adults we share tons of stuff. You know, I honestly don't know of much that either one of us would not share with, loan to, or give to the other.

We often (very often) share… BOOKS.
For years we have shared books.
We are book hounds.

My nieces and nephew have witnessed this kind of exchange happen over and over and over and over again.

Now, I must make a confession.
If I were still a child and still making Birthday and Christmas wish lists, my lists would be absolutely stogged full of Disney’s “Tink” paraphernalia.
I love Tink.
She is so pretty, and magical, and fun. And pretty, and magical and fun!

I would be up to my eyeballs in Tink stuff. Tink pencils, erasers, crayons, markers and scissors, Tink jammies and slippers, Tink nail polish and lip gloss, Tink earrings, Tink alarm clock, Tink bed sheets, Tink coloring books, Tink umbrella, Tink knapsack and Tink toys (have you seen all her pretty little friends?).

Ok – back to the book discussion...

My youngest niece spent a couple days visiting this summer.
And guess what she brought me?
She brought me a book to read, one she had gotten from the library and had just finished reading herself.
It was titled “The Trouble with Tink”.

She was sure I would enjoy it.

She was right.
One of the best book I've ever read!
Continue Reading....

Friday, August 27, 2010

GLSUmmit - aka: fire hose... part 3

I feel a wee bit like an Aerobics Instructor... three more, two more, ONE MORE!

You can do it people... one more day of shared, "new" and "review" lessons.

Here goes, again:

Blake Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes, Inc)
1) A company may not be able to incorporate "one for one" (every one bought, one is given away) into the culture. But it is possible to incorporate "giving" into any company culture.
2) Strategic partnerships!

Jack Welch
1) Be yourself and be comfortable with yourself!
2) Teams with the best players, who work together as a team, win.
3) Do everything you can to stop the meeting after the meeting.
4) Hiring is hard.
5) Succession is brutal.

T.D. Jakes
1) Leadership is always about transition, NOT maintaining.
2) People are passionate to do something that is within their reach.
3) People work best with people they read well. So you must be willing to show your team who you are. Otherwise it all becomes about trying to understand.
4) Sometimes, when you spend tons of time encouraging people, they go home with your courage.
5) If you only bring people like you, around you - they will compete with you, NOT complete you. Good teams add to you, they accessorize (accessorize - talkin my language!!)
6) Make confidants out of people who are FOR you.

My purchases
1) CRAVE: The Documentary hosted by Erwin McManus
A quote from the DVD cover, "What role does our deepest human cravings for intimacy, destiny and meaning play in our search for God? Crave: The Documnetary explores how regardless of race, background or spirituality, we all have one thing in common: the cravings of our soul."
2) A book titled "GOING MISSIONAL - Conversations with 13 Canadian Churches Who Have Embraced Missional Life". I have read half this book, so far. It is really interesting to learn what other church families do to help their communities.
3) A book titled "The Land Between - Finding God in Difficult Transitions". This has been a great read, also. Who has not been in a difficult transition? Who has not questioned God?

TA DA! There you have it.
Now we all feel fed with a fire hose.

Like I said in part one, I don't look any different.

But I sure think differently.

Global Leadership Summit - September 20-30, 2011. Mark your calendar.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

GLSUmmit - aka: fire hose... part 2

So, what did you think?
Were my first batch of shared "new" and "review" lessons interesting to you?

I hope so.

Here goes again:

Adam Hamilton
1) No matter how you handle crisis, there are going to be people who leave the church.
2) No one is beyond redemption because God is the God of second chances.

Andy Stanley
1) Every organization has problems that should not be solved and tensions that should not be resolved.
2) Progress depends on successful management of tensions.
3) Don't think in terms of balance, think in terms rhythm.

Erwin McManus
1) Be still and know.
2) Be where you are.

Jeff Manion
1) There is a difference between complaining about my condition and complaining against God.
2) How do I prepare for years of disappointment?
3) There are some people who do not heal over time. Time makes some people bitter and caustic.
4) Good movement pushes out bad movement and bad movement pushes out good movement. Good movement is trust.

Terri Kelly
1) In order to be innovative you have to have people who want to work together, for collaboration.
2) Leaders have to lead through influence.
3) Leadership is defined by followership.

Daniel Pink
1) We make WRONG assumptions about people - a) humans are machines and b) humans are blobs.
2) Everything good in life began with a conversation.
3) A study has shown that the single, largest motivator at work was... progress.

Pheeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwf!
Stay tuned for one more day.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GLSummit - aka: fire hose... part 1

When does your brain hurt? I mean, really hurt?

After snarfing down an ice-cream cone?
After hours and hours of meetings?
After a long, or short, drive with a backseat full of children?
After grocery shopping?
After paying the bills?
After watching "his" favorite movie?

Mine hurts after it has been stretched, pulled, twisted and contorted like a Cirque de Soleil performer's body, for hours on end.

Let me borrow a familiar phrase and describe my head, post Global Leadership Summit, in this way... I felt as though I had been fed through a fire hose. Can that be good? Yes. And this is a familiar feeling, it happens each and every year.

Have no fear, however as I really don't look any different. There is no water gushing out of my ears, eyes, nose or mouth.

I told you I would share some high points for me. Some were new lessons and some were terrific reminders. Here goes:

Bill Hybels
1) Leaders move people from "here" to "there"... to a preferred future. And, what keeps people on the journey is a sense of hope that they are going to get "there" some day.
2) One of the greatest joys of leadership is assembling teams of fantastic people.
3) When putting teams together one should look for character, competence, chemistry and culture
4) Pay attention to the whispers of God. He does whisper.

Jim Collins
1) Good is the enemy of Great. I love that.
2) Are you (me) interesting or interested?

Christine Cane:
1) You do what you WANT to do from passion, no one has to make you. You do what you HAVE to do from obligation.
2) Check this site out and make sure you poke around information concerning the A21 Campaign.

Tony Dungy:
1) Stubbornness is a virtue, if you are right.
2) Do not mistake hours, for productivity.
3) You can be mentored from a distance.
4) Why would you let anyone stop you from doing something you enjoy?

Stay tuned... more tomorrow.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Yummy Dough- Product Review


Yummy Dough cleverly combines two favorite childhood activities: creating designs with play dough and baking with mom, dad or a grandparent -- Mixed with water the Yummy Dough powder turns into smooth, well shapeable dough which can be baked. You can eat it raw or after it is baked.

The special consistency of Yummy Dough allows long kneading and shaping, it doesn’t stick to the fingers and it doesn’t turn soft and ‘greasy’ like cookie dough. Yummy Dough does not contain rising agents, but a particular flour and starch. This ensures that you don’t get a stomach ache when eating it raw and that the figures stay in their original shape after baking them.

Each package makes about a cookie sheet full of figures ... generally enough play and fun for 2-3 children.

Ages: 3+


I used this Yummy Dough for a playdate with 5 children (ages 2 to 8). The mixing of the powder and water definitely needed adult supervision. Once the dough was mixed, they all worked together and LOVED it! Each child was able to make 4-6 cookies. The taste of the cookies was not great, but the kids didn't seem to mind. The whole activity lasted about an hour and 45 min. It would be a nice activity to have on hand for those rainy playdates. You can purchase Yummy Dough on line or at "Uncommon Kids" in the Sunnyside Mall. It retails for there for $9.99. Costco has recently started selling it as well, 3 boxes for around $17.00.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's so obvious...

Here is another vacation tale for you, sort of.

At one of the rest stops taken during my holiday (and there were many), I could not help but notice a certain garbage can. It has a pukie green colored can with a bright yellow sign on the front of it that read:
FOR YOUR GOOD HEALTH BARREL PICKING IS PROHIBITED.

Yes, yes, I even took a picture – scroll down a take a peek!!!

When I read it I thought, “Well, well, there is certainly nothing like stating the obvious... duh!”

Then, as so often happens, there was a still, small voice inside my mind that said, “Ah, but Lisa – that sign is for you, too. You barrel pick all the time.”

I barrel pick? What?

I
barrel
pick
?

Me?

As that phrase rolled around in my head
(get it – barrel, rolling around… heehee) different ideas came to mind.

What comes to your mind when you consider the phrase ‘barrel picking’?

I pictured a person, a real, live person digging, elbow deep in garbage. In smooshie, stinky garbage. In stuff that others have thrown away minutes, or hours, or days ago. And why? Because they have a need and they are looking to fill it. More specifically, they have a hunger. And, unfortunately any old scrap will do.

I have certain needs and certain hungers. And, unfortunately, many times I allow any old scrap to fill that need/hunger. I should say it this way – I allow any old scrap to TRY and fill me, for they never really do.

However, if I am honest with myself, scraps very rarely do. And when they do it is not a long lasting fill but a quick fix until my need/hunger returns.

Let’s see… some of the things I use to fill needs/hungers in my life: shopping, food, work, facebook, television, flattery and the list could go on. Please understand that none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but if I am using any one of them to make me feel important, relaxed, popular, relevant, informed – well, I’m only barrel picking.

How about you? Are you a barrel picker too?

Let’s stop it… for our good health. It’s so obvious.



PS: If you want to know what does fill me - just ask. I'd be happy to share.
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