The Ponderings of a Princess on a journey to be more like the King Who created her...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I don't really have anything to add to this post. Please watch the video and understand how grateful we are to all of our precious friends all over the world.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"If God Is Good" Book Review

If God Is Good

by Randy Alcorn
Every one of us will experience suffering. Many of us are experiencing it now. As we have seen in recent years, evil is real in our world, present and close to each one of us.

In such difficult times, suffering and evil beg questions about God--Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering? And then, how can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?

These are ancient questions, but also modern ones as well. Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God.

In this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief, and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical insight to the issues these important questions raise.

Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world–now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear.

As he did in his best-selling book, 
Heaven, Randy Alcorn delves deep into a profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical understanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries and a bestselling author. His novels include Deadline, Dominion, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written eighteen nonfiction books as well, including Heaven, The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. Randy and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Brief Encounter With Mary and Martha

Let's have a brief encounter with Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38-42

vs 40 - "But Martha was distracted with all HER preparations..." The preparations were hers, not the Lords - She's so distracted by all she's trying to do she even "fusses" at God - "Don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work?" But Jesus looks at her with love - "Martha, Martha" (Sandi, Sandi...insert your name here). I can almost see His tender smile as He shakes His head - "You are worried and bothered about so many things - really only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken from her."

Do I believe we need to take care of things around our homes and make sure our kids are fed and clothed - absolutely. Do I think our homes should be hospitable and welcoming to others - Yep, I do. But, I don't believe He wants us to be going about life frantically. A nervous wreck when things aren't "just so" or they aren't getting done (in our time frame). Is Martha necessary - yes. But remember, Jesus told her "Mary has chosen the better option". I can be as "Martha" as the next woman. I used to ask my husband to load the dishwasher and then re-do it when he wasn't looking because it wasn't loaded the "right" way.  I've often said that I'm an organized woman trapped in a messy womans body. Talk about frustration! 

Listen, if our "trying" and "busy-ness" get in the way of worshiping Jesus - it's sin. Plain and simple.

So whatever you're doing worship Him while doing it. Worship Him, knowing He's leading you to a new place of service to Him today. "To obey is better than sacrifice". He doesn't need our "work", or "trying", or "busy-ness". He wants our hearts. If our hearts are all wrapped up in the "doing" of stuff, then He doesn't really have us at all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Blue Like Play Dough"

I read the best book last week.  It's called "Blue Like Play Dough" by Tricia Goyer.  She is a Mom after my own heart.  Her hearts desire is to be the woman God is calling her to be, the wife God made her husband to need AND the Mom God wants her kids to see.  I think she's winning on all counts.  Her honest accounts of life struggles is liberating to those who read them.    She has passionately pursued her dreams and what she believes God has called her to do and shares openly about each success AND failure.  Wow.  Her vulnerability and frank openness encourages the reader to live life in God's grip. I will recommend this book again and again.  I will read this book again and again.

Blue Like Play Dough
Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, includingGeneration NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book Blog for "The Vanishing Sculptor"

Most of this review will be from my 13 year old daughter.  She read this book and loved it, so I asked her to write a review for it.  Here it is...

I read the book The Vanishing Sculptor  by Donita K. Paul . I was pretty impressed by her ability to incorporate Biblical circumstances into a seemingly secular book. The search for truth dominates a quest that begun as a desperate attempt to save the world renown sculptor, Verrin Schope’s life.  The team who composes this questing party includes 7 people and 1 grand parrot. One character that I really like is the Wizard Fenworth. For the dominate part of the book he is portrayed as a grumpy old man who is very temperamental and kind of immature, but you see in the end that he is just a grumpy old man who is also extremely wise, talented, and just understands the importance of fun.

 I think that this book is well-balanced, meaning that it gives good descriptions, but Donita did not waste time with over-flowery sentences. She would have done better to develop the characters in the beginning of the book. I didn’t feel like I knew the characters very well until the end of the book.

This is definitely a series that I would like to read more of. I look forward to seeing how Donita K. Paul grows as a writer.

Here is the summary sent by the book publisher:

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly crafted fiction novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.
In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Blog for Three New Books...

I didn't get to read all three of the books as planned.  I did finish "Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart" by Chuck Black and would be interested in reading other books in that series.  I think it's more of an early teen book for boys, but it was an interesting way to illustrate how our lives need to be rooted and grounded in the Word so we may be able to stand strong against a very dark enemy.

I started "The Disappearance of God" by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. but have not finished it.  I must admit, it's going to be a book I write in the margins and underline a lot of passages in.  I do think it's going to take me some time to get through it and really have read it thoroughly. 

I did not read "Eyes Wide Open", by Jud Wilhite.  Of all three of the books, it's the one I most looked forward to reading and didn't even start.  Just reading the back cover of this book opened "old" places in my heart that I have struggled with all my life.

Below, you will find the information sent to me by Multnomah Press for each of the books.

“The Disappearance of God” by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.


More faulty information about God swirls around us today than ever before. No wonder so many followers of Christ are unsure of what they really believe in the face of the new spiritual openness attempting to alter unchanging truth.
For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for “feel-good” theology. 

We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith. 
As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues: 

Is God changing His mind about sin?
Why is hell off limits for many pastors?
What’s good or bad about the “dangerous” emergent movement? 
Have Christians stopped seeing God as God? Is the social justice movement misguided?
Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?
Is liberal faith any less destructive than atheism?
Are churches pandering to their members to survive?

In the age-old battle to preserve the foundations of faith, it's up to a new generation to confront and disarm the contemporary shams and fight for the truth. Dr. Mohler provides the scriptural answers to show you how.

“Eyes Wide Open: See and Live the Real You”  by Jud Wilhite

 I had it all backwards. The main thing was not my love for God, but his love for me. And from that love I respond to God as one deeply flawed, yet loved. I’m not looking to prove my worth. I’m not searching for acceptance. I’m living out of the worth God already declares I have. I’m embracing his view of me and in the process discovering the person he created me to be.

In Eyes Wide Open, Jud Wilhite invites you to discover the real you. Not the you who pretends to be perfect to satisfy everyone’s expectations. Not the you who always feels guilty before God. Not the you who secretly feels God forgives everyone else but only tolerates you. Not the you who looks in the mirror and sees a failure. The real you, loved and forgiven by God, living out of your identity in Christ.

A travel guide through real spirituality from one incomplete person to another, Eyes Wide Open is a book of stories about following God in the messes of life, about broken pasts and our lifelong need for grace. It is a book about seeing ourselves and God with new eyes–eyes wide open to a God of love.

“Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart”  by Chuck Black

Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him.  Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn.  But something is amiss at the training camp.  Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince.  Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone.  As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior.  Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes - life or death.  But what will become of the hundreds of knights he'll leave behind?  In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince.  But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes"

Well, I did it...I read a "Sisterchicks" book!  I hadn't planned on it at all.  A few years ago, while browsing the library, my oldest daughter suggested I read them.  I, being an avid reader of historical fiction, graciously declined.  I may never have read one if I hadn't joined the Multanomah Press Book Blog Tour.  Now, I'm so glad I did.  Robin Jones Gunn took me on a trip back to The Netherlands.  Her descritptions of places I'd visited in the past were wonderfully accurate, and vivid.  I could almost smell the Dutch Hot Chocolate and feel the bracing spray of the North Sea surf.  What a treat to re-visit those memories.  And be taken to places I hadn't been, as well.

The story of the friendship of Noelle and Summer was like icing on an already delicious cake.  To journey with them on their discovery of the new and re-discovery of the old was delightful and inspiring.  The way Robin Jones Gunn weaves spiritual truth into the daily parts of life reminds me that I, too, need to be on the look out for God's hand at work in everyday situations, or, the "sacredness of everyday".  God truly does walk with us through every area of our lives.  

I look forward to getting caught up on the Sisterchicks series and I can't wait for her next installment!

Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling and award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Glenbrooke, Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, Katie Weldon, and Christy and Todd: The College Years teen series. The Sisterchicks® series has sold more than 300,000 units, bringing her total sales to more than 3.5 million books worldwide. A Christy Award winner, Robin is a popular speaker, both at home and abroad, and is frequently interviewed on radio and on television.

Here's a link to Random House to purchase this book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My $5 Flea Market Find...

I like cheap stuff.  Here's what I found at the flea market today with my Mom and sister.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I have one more thing to say...

Bram and Dempsey left for Belize on a Mission Trip today.  Pray for them and the PALMS Puppeteers  They'll be gone through next Saturday (June 13th)  

Isn't God Amazing?

I know, that must be a rhetorical question, but I was reminded (AGAIN) at just how amazing Gods creation it.  Would you just look at this flower?

This is a Passion Vine.  My friend, Michele, the plant expert sent me this link on Facebook today so I'd know how to take care of it.  My friend, Shannon, who grew up Catholic told me that the Nuns taught her about how this flower represents Christ, the Trinity and the crucifixion.   Its name comes from its beautiful flowers, thought to represent Christ's crucifixion - 5 stamens for the 5 wounds, 3 styles for the 3 nails and white and purple-blue colors for purity and heaven.  My friend, Jill, who lives in Hawaii, tells me they're called Lilikoi! aka Passion fruit. That's what they make the passion fruit drinks out of! They grow wild in Hawaii. friend John was reminded of the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".  Whatever the story behind this flower, it's an amazing reminder of how creative our God really is.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies;nothing you desire can compare with her.

Proverbs 3:13-15, NIV

Saturday, May 9, 2009

~Mother's Day Fun~


Mother's Day at our house is a big event.  My kids do everything in their power to make it super special for me.  This year was no acception.  This year they made me a plant stand out of an old stair frame they found on the farm and painted terracotta pots and planted flowers in them.  They're amazing!  
Here are some Mother's Day pix to enjoy!  I love, LOVE my kids.

My beautiful "big girl":  Dempsey Claire

My precious Lyric Darryn

My sweet "big" boy:  Cadence Lee

My silly tiny tot:  Canon Scott

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Commited Adultery Lately?

I was reading in Proverbs 7 today.  I have to be honest, I really didn't think it applied to me.  I mean, I'm NOT going to commit adultery.  I could never hurt my husband or family like that.  I also thought, I could never stray THAT far from God.  But as I prayed over these verses, I began to realize that it isn't necessarily talking about the sexual kind of adultery.  I know what the definition of adultery is, but, I had to consider what other areas of my life that I commit adultery.  I began to think of the things that draw me away and entice me to "ignore" and "neglect" my relationship with God. What other sins do I get into bed with?  What do I do with my time, my energy?  What do my attitudes reflect?  I do struggle in these areas. 

What are things that draw us away from a committed relationship with Jesus?
     ~Time:  computer (where I struggle the most), t.v., books that don't honor Him and plant seeds of sin in our minds, shopping, even time with others can keep us from the time He deserves.

     ~Energy:  pursuing selfish ambitions, working too late (time away from our family and/or Him), worry, fear.  What things occupy us so much that they sap our very energy away? 

     ~Attitudes:  arrogance, bitterness, anger, selfishness, flattery?

All of these areas, plus some I'm sure I haven't thought of, can be the "Adulteress" that entices us and draws us away from our True Love.  The Bible says this path leads to destruction.  You see, if we haven't "bound His commands on our fingers & written them on the tablet of our hearts" (Prov. 7:3), we can easily be flattered and enticed away to "her house".  Verse 27 says, "it's the way to hell, even descending to the chambers of death."  I don't know what you think about that, but it down right scares me!  Song of Solomon tells us to "beware the little foxes that spoil the vineyard".  Little things draw us away a bit at a time.  Self-righteous attitudes convince us we're untouchable.  We're not, we must be on our guard.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What are you a fan of?

I became a "fan" of God today. Not that I haven't been a fan for a long time - I just made if official on Facebook. I'm also a "fan" of Dr.Pepper and Taco Bell. Both of which (according to Facebook) I've been a fan of longer than God. I would have become a fan of God sooner...I just didn't know I could. I didn't know I had to make it official on Facebook. It is the means by which we declare our "fan-hood", afterall. Declare it on Facebook to make it official. Does this new declaration mean I now need to step things up a notch with God? I've made it known so now people will be watching me. Isn't that what we do on each other? We watch to see if those on our friends list will live up to their "fan" declarations. Afterall...isn't Facebook the new measurement of our commitment to things?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Please Pray for the Bobby Michaels Family

Message from Lee and Rachel...

Our hearts are aching as we tell you that Bobby passed away this evening shortly after going into the operating room. Before the surgeons started the operation, Bobby's heart stopped with an instant "flat-line". The medical team tried for 45 minutes to resuscitate him but his heart did not respond.

We are deeply saddened by our loss...but rejoice that Bobby did get totally healed...with a new heart, kidneys, and any other part that might have needed fixing. The Lord knew the plans He had for Bobby...and today was his graduation day as he went to the One he loved the most and served so faithfully. We know he was carried away in the arms of Jesus.

Words cannot express our thanks for all the love, prayers, and notes of encouragement that have come to us by everyone who have been touched by Bobby's life. Our prayer for all of you is that you will experience the same peace and comfort that we have received from the Father.

We will let you know of memorial plans once these details have made. Thank you again for all of the love and prayers for our family.

We love you all deeply!

Lee, Rachel, and Jeff

Monday, March 30, 2009

Update on Bobby Michaels

Subject: Re: Bobby's Heart Surgery Tomorrow!

Bobby's heart surgery is scheduled at approximately 5 PM tomorrow evening (Tuesday) LOCAL BANGKOK TIME.

This is 3 AM PST, 4 AM MST, 5 AM CST, and 6 AM EST.
I urge you to do one of the following:

- Pray before you go to bed this evening
- Set your alarm for your particular time zone to be up and praying at the time of Bobby's surgery.

Again, this surgery is extremely risky, but to the Maker of Bobby's heart, there is NO risk! The family has requested that we pray specifically that:

- the Lord would prepare Bobby's heart condition to accept treatment
- Bobby's body would respond positively to the anesthetics
- the Lord would give the family the grace to wait patiently during the time of his surgery
- a renewed heart condition would lead to the healing of his other organs and strengthen his body

Deby and I echo the words of Rachel, Bobby and Lee's daughter:
Thank you for standing with us during this critical time. We love each of you and trust you will hear Bobby's beautiful testimony from his own lips in the months to come!

Praying with great expectancy for Bobby's complete healing,
Kirk Dearman

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Update on Bobby Michaels

I got this email from Bobby & Lee's daughter this morning. He's still not out of the woods, but he is stable. Please continue to pray for him. If you'd like to email them and let them know you're praying, Rachels email is

Hello again dear friends!

I made it to Bangkok, Thailand safely and of course my luggage stayed back in Chicago! :) Hopefully it will be arriving in the next day or so... It was so wonderful to see Jim and Cheryl McCandliss waiting at the airport and then to see my parents at the hospital! Even under the great strain that Bobby's body is going through, he still recognizes familiar faces and his face lit up when our eyes met! What a precious moment for me!

I want to first update you as I found out that some previous information was not totally accurate due to translation barriers... None of the events that happened were reported incorrectly but we were originally under the impression that Bobby had some heart infections. That is not the case, he had a myocardial infarction (commonly know as a heart attack but check out for more info). At this point in time Bobby's heart is way too weak for tests to determine his heart's condition. The Doctors are pretty confident that there is heart damage but they are not sure how extensive it is..

His blood pressure is stable but is lower than what is should be. He is still on hemo-dialysis as the kidneys are not functioning. We still have a long road to recovery but the Lord is MORE than faithful and we know that we can rest in His promises! Thank you for the continued prayers and emails! We are making Bobby a book of everyone's emails and comments. I apologize that I haven't been able to respond to everyone personally but please know that each email is being ready and will be added to his book.

Here are our current prayer requests:

* for his blood pressure to continue in a steady climb upwards
* for his kidneys to start functioning
* Doctors to have wisdom & understanding for diagnosing and finding an appropriate treatment plan

Much love,

Rachel and the gang

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request for Bobby Michaels

We got this from Bobby's daughter early this evening.  Please be in prayer for this giant of the faith and Missionary/Musician.

Hello Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors,

We come to you once again in need of your prayers. Bobby's heart isn't working properly, yet... My parents arrived in Bangkok last night (Thailand time) and in the morning the Dr.'s took Bobby out of the room to go run some tests. On their way down to the exam room, Bobby's heart stopped beating and they resuscitated him and took him immediately into surgery. They put 2 stents in his heart and removed a blood clot. After recovering from this surgery, he was then transferred back to his room where Mom was waiting for him. While they were setting him back up in his room, his heart failed again and once again they resuscitated him. The reason for this was that the muscles were too weak to do their job. His heart was accepting the stents though J Bobby did really well for the next 6-8 hours. He has tubes down his throat and is needing to rest and stay still. He has been quite restless though during all of this...

About 3 hours ago Bobby's heart gave way again and it took the Dr.'s 20 minutes to resuscitate him this time. During this time, Mom said she was sitting in the room with Bobby & praying and crying out to the Lord asking "WHY?" and why was she there all alone without anyone to be with her. She said the Lord's presence came over her in a way like never before and He said to her "so you know that I AM enough!" Mom said that she stopped crying and felt total peace and that the Lord promised her that He wasn't taken Bobby away, this is all the while Bobby is still unconscious. The Dr.'s were finally able to revive Bobby but he is still in a SUPER CRITICAL stage - medically speaking! The Lord has given us His peace and His promises that He is not done yet with Bobby. Mom was also reminded of the stories in the Bible of when people had seemed "dead" and the physical circumstances seemed to be the same but the Lord said "No, they are just resting". 

I just called Mom again a few minutes ago to see if anything else had changed so that this update would be very "up to date" and she said that Bobby is resting very well right now. She said also that the Lord told her that "He was having a meeting with Bobby and they just needed to talk" :) Dian and I think that this was the Lord's way of making Bobby rest as he is always wanting to be social and interacting J As huge, strong and giving as Bobby's heart is figuratively speaking, we are praying that the same would be given physically to his heart!

Jim & Cheryl McCandliss, along with a dear friend, Jennifer, from Singapore just arrived at the hospital in Bangkok and are now with Mom. Bobby is alert and aware and trying to talk J which isn't working very well with a tube down his throat!

Here are some specific prayer request again:
  • That Bobby would just rest and for his restlessness to be gone
  • That his blood pressure would stabilize
  • Continued wisdom for the Dr.'s and medical team
  • For Mom to be able to get GOOD rest
  • For Jim & Cheryl to be able to get good rest also
  • Wisdom & Knowledge for Mom, Jim, Cheryl & Jennifer as decisions need to be made
Bobby can never be accused for not loving someone enough and we thank you from the deepest parts of our hearts for loving our family enough in return! I will probably be headed over there soon and will keep you all posted as to what's happening. Thanks again for your prayers, love and support! This road has been a lot easier to walk knowing we have your support!

Love to all!
Rach and the Family

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Sound of Jibberish

As I sit here at my computer, Facebooking, I can hear my youngest son "singing" himself to sleep in the next room. It's still the jibberish of a 7 month old, but it makes me smile. It makes me wonder...does my worship of God sometimes sound like jibberish? Does it makes God smile? I believe He smiles at all our attempts to praise, however feeble the attempt may be. He just wants to hear our voice lifted to Him. Today, I will endeavor to worship Him in all I do. This morning I put on a pot of beans for our Home Group Bible Study tonight. I can worship while I do that. When the baby wakes up from the sleep he sang himself into, I'll change his diaper and snuggle him a bit. That is most definitely a time of worship. Our worship stems from a simple act of serving others with a pot of beans or just being thankful for a precious gift He's given. I guess it's all about the heart. "Father, let my service to my family and others be a sweet aroma of Worship to YOU."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why do we Pray?

James 4:2  “You have not because you ask not.”

Quoting the words of John Piper:  “God, the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, has ordained that prayers cause things to happen that would not happen if we didn’t pray. It is a staggeringly, glorious privilege to be taken by the Sovereign God of the universe – who runs all things according to His infinite wisdom – and to be folded into His causality. It is a breathtaking honor. Let us avail ourselves of the honor of bringing to pass events that would not happen without our prayers. God is beckoning us into our share of the running of the universe. Do you not know that you will judge angels? Do you not know who you are – child of God?”

These are the thoughts of John Piper – this is the message of James 4:2.