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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Book Review: "On This Day in Christian History"

On This Day in Christian History

365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories about Saints, Martyrs and Heroes

By Robert Morgan
Published by Thomas Nelson

As a Homeschool Mom, I am constantly looking for resources that teach, inspire and encourage my kids to greater things.  This book does just that. "On This Day In Christian History", is chock full of great stories of Christian History.  (From the Roman Empire to the Reformation, St. Valentine to St. Francis, Martin Luther to Billy Graham, On this Day introduces readers to a parade of preachers, popes, martyrs, heroes, and saints from 2,000 years of Christianity.)  We've only just begun to read the "history" and we can hardly wait for the next day to read.  These are not all stories with happy endings, nor are they trite.  They are real stories of people walking and living out their faith in the face of everyday life AND, in many cases, great odds.  We have loved reading this book and will use it as a daily devotional and discussion prompt for years to come. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Please pray for my friend, Tonya

This is Tonya and her son, Parker on Thanksgiving Day.  Please click on the link below and read her story.  Then, please pray for her, Dave and their son, Parker.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review - "The Edge of the Divine" by: Sandi Patty

I've watched Sandi Patty for years go through ups and downs.  Catharsis after catharsis.  I have always appreciated her frankness and honesty in all of it.  Her book, "The Edge of the Divine", is another such catharsis for her.  She reveals her struggles with weight and her desire to be master over it.  She also reveals her realization that she cannot master it and talks intimately about her coming to terms with who she is and how God made her.  This is not a deep theological book, but it does encourage the reader to come to terms with who we are in Christ and submit to His vision and view of who we are.  It's a beautiful story of love and restoration and a return to joy.  I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Taste of Tropical Texas...

This is my friend, Tammy's blog.  She's somewhat of an "expert" on what kind of tropical plants will grow in Texas.  It's a fun blog to read...not just for the info, but she's a great writer, too.  Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Emma Belle Beavers Scott ~ Sept. 14, 1910 - Sept. 24, 2010 ~

Today, Nanny went home to Jesus.  I got a text message from my aunt around 10 this morning to let me know.  It was a tough one to read, even though I've been expecting it for a few weeks.  She just hasn't been feeling right.  Mom, Uncle Bubba and Aunt Margaret were with her when she went home.  No pain or struggle, just peace.  What a joy!  What a blessing!  She had a big homecoming prepared for her, I'm sure.  My uncle noted that she was born in 1910 and died in 2010.  She was 10 x 10 years old and lived 10 days past her 100th birthday.  She died at 9:10 in the morning.  My Grand-daddy, who was quite the Mathematician, would be thrilled with all that.

As I have processed the day, I thought of all the people who have gone before her, gathering to meet her as she came home.  Seeing Jesus in all of His glory!  What an amazing thought.  Of course, Guy-Gan was there at the front of the line.  I'm sure my Daddy greeted her with warm hugs.  All 5 of her brothers, and 1 of her sisters.  Her Daddy and Grandma, who raised her.  And then I thought..."She is seeing her Momma for the first time since she was 8 years old!"  How amazing is that?!  I can remember her talking about her Momma when I was growing up.  I remember her saying it was harder and harder to remember what she looked like as she got older and then there was a time when she completely forgot what her voice sounded like.  What a reunion she must be having.

Oh how I will miss my Nanny...but oh how thrilling to know she is with the ones she loved so.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saying Goodbye

We celebrated Nanny's 100th birthday last week.  How amazing is that.  She wasn't feeling well, but still wanted to be with us all for a bit to have cake and Dr.Pepper (her favorite).  Tonight we got a call from my uncle that we may be saying goodbye to her this week.  The Dr. says he's done all he can do to help her short of putting her in the hospital for IV fluids and such.  She wouldn't want that.  It would only prolong the inevitable and upset her terribly.  So now we wait.  My Momma will go up and be with her tomorrow morning.  I'm not even really sure how to pray right now.  I don't want her to suffer a prolonged wait.  I know she's ready to be with Jesus and to see my Guy-Gan again.  She loves them both so.  I will miss her, but I already do.  She has slowly slipped into the quiet of the years and has become less and less like the Nanny I grew up loving.  I pray I can honor her with the right kind of grief.  The kind that brings glory to the God she loves and the kind that teaches my children that it's okay to love with abandon.  I will miss my Nanny, but I will rejoice in her home-going.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

These are my Nanny's hands.  They held the hand of a godly man for almost 60 years and nursed him as he breathed his last breath.  They have raised two godly children.  They have loved on six grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.  They have planted gardens and canned many fruits and veggies.  They have operated a radio at a military base during WWII spotting for enemy plans along the TX border.  They have inspired me, loved me and encouraged me many times...they've even disciplined me a time or two.  I pray my hands are this beautiful when I'm 99 and 3/4's.  I love you Nanny, you're the best!

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's Thoughtful Thursday...

I know the last Thoughtful Thursday was about was about my 10 year old son, but both my girls are out of town this week so it's about him again.  I'm glad.  He's a thoughtful boy.  This morning was an early morning in our house, but I wanted to stay in bed until the last possible moment.  (you know, hitting snooze 4 or 5 times)  Canon (our 23 month old) is now sleeping in a "Big Boy" bed in the same room with Cadence.  So, this morning when Canon woke up before my alarm went off, Cadence came to let me know, but also took Canon's juice to him and told me to stay in bed a little longer.  Loved that!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Faith Comes By Hearing"

What an amazing outreach.

International (MNN) ― In response to hearing God's Word in their own language for the first time, millions of people are coming to Christ around the world.
Faith Comes By Hearing is making this possible by recording dramatized New Testaments on Proclaimers--digital and solar devices that make audio Scripture easily accessible to anyone, no matter how remote their village is.
Morgan Jackson, president of Faith Comes By Hearing, describes the reactions of people as the FCBH teams enter villages and share Christ for the first time: "People who have never heard God's Word in their own language are in shock when they hear it for the first time. They gather the whole community. You push the button [on the Proclaimer], and it's like ... all sound disappears."
After they have listened for a few moments, there are generally two reactions to what they hear. Besides shock, others break into tears as they hear the Words of Christ in their own language because they were convinced that God had forgotten about them or refused to speak their language.
Once the initial shock wears off, many receive Christ or are filled with questions which may eventually lead them to faith. Regardless of whether it's immediate or delayed, millions are accepting the Gospel.
In India specifically, one church-planter has seen his ministry expand from 19 villages, 11 churches, and 1500 listeners to 24 villages, 15 churches, and 1900 listeners in just one year.
So far, FCBH has recorded New Testaments in 460 languages, and translators start a new language about every two days. Also, they have around 500,000 listening groups worldwide, which offer discussions and discipleship for new believers and interested seekers.
However, FCBH does not want to stop there. "Our long-term objective by 2016 is to record every language that has a New Testament translation and to start two million Faith Comes By Hearing listening groups," said Jackson.
The number of languages with current New Testament translations is about 2,000, so Faith Comes By Hearing has a long road ahead.
FCBH and partner ministry Wycliffe Bible Translators continue cautiously, yet not discouraged. And you can help. It takes just $157 to reach a whole community with the hope of Christ in their native language, or $1.57 for one person.
Help today by visiting or calling (800)545-6552.

Friday, June 25, 2010

So yesterday was Thursday...

I had a headache for most of the day and didn't find myself too thoughtful.  My son (Cadence), however, was extremely thoughtful.  He has not been feeling good for a few days, (Some yucky stomach bug that the three big kids have passed around.) but he still tried to keep Canon occupied so I could rest.  I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thoughtful Thursdays...

So... if you've followed me at all, you know how terribly inconsistent I am at keeping up with the site.  So now I'm going to add tons of guilt induced posts by making every Thursday..."Thoughtful Thursday".  "Sandi...what is Thoughtful Thursday?", you ask.  Well, I'm so glad you did.  Every Thursday (hopefully), I'm going to post something about a thoughtful deed my family has been involved in.  Now, I also hope, that my lack of posting will NOT be an indicator of our lack of thoughtfulness, but of my inconsistency in posting.  I really do have thoughtful children and I want to make a point of catching them doing something good.

Stay tuned...this should be good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pain As A Teacher

Pain is a tough teacher.  It's not one to ask permission before it begins it's lesson for you.  My prayer is, and has always been, when I go through one of these episodes with my back, that I will use the time I spend immobile to really listen to God.  I'm not so sure I'm getting any better at it.  I whine and moan about the pain.  I cry and worry that "this may be the time I end up in a wheelchair for good.  I become anxious thinking about what my family will do if that happens.  How will they function?  What alterations will we have to make on our home to accommodate a wheelchair...blah, blah, blah.  I must admit, it all begin to happen again for me.  All of the "what if's" began to flood in and my mind was reeling from it all.  I started feeling sorry for myself.  I'm a pessimist by nature (did ya get that?) so it's easy for me to go to the negative place first. I was hoping the x-rays our chiropractor took would give us a clue to what is going on in there.  They weren't conclusive at all.

I had to stop myself mid-thought to regroup and change my mind.  That's not an easy practice either.  I took myself to exactly the place the enemy wanted me to go.  The place of discouragement.  When I asked the Holy Spirit to redirect me, He took me to Psalm 18.  One of my favorite places in scripture.  I love that He always comes to our rescue.

Psa 18:2-19  You are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector, the rock where I am safe, my shield, my powerful weapon, and my place of shelter.  I praise you, LORD!  I prayed, and you rescued me from my enemies. Death had wrapped its ropes around me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters. Ropes from the world of the dead had coiled around me, and death had set a trap in my path.  I was in terrible trouble when I called out to you, but from your temple you heard me and answered my prayer.  The earth shook and shivered, and the mountains trembled down to their roots. You were angry and breathed out smoke. Scorching heat and fiery flames spewed from your mouth.  You opened the heavens like curtains, and you came down with storm clouds under your feet. You rode on the backs of flying creatures and swooped down with the wind as wings. Darkness was your robe; thunderclouds filled the sky, hiding you from sight. Hailstones and fiery coals lit up the sky in front of you.  LORD Most High, your voice thundered from the heavens, as hailstones and fiery coals poured down like rain.  You scattered your enemies with arrows of lightning.  You roared at the sea, and its deepest channels could be seen. You snorted, and the earth shook to its foundations.  You reached down from heaven, and you lifted me from deep in the ocean.  You rescued me from enemies, who were hateful and too powerful for me.  On the day disaster struck, they came and attacked, but you defended me.  When I was fenced in, you freed and rescued me because you love me. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good way to start out...

My friend, Cindy, is afraid to start a garden.  First of all, they live in a rental house...can't really tear up the backyard for a garden plot.  Secondly, she told me she's never really planted veggies, but she's been pretty successful with flowers.  I encouraged her to go for it w/ a container garden for veggies.  Here's a great web-site that gives some basic instructions about container gardening.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Insights from a Squash Vine...

Squash vines are "protectors".  They will hurt you.  There are spiny leaves and stems that make it hard to work around them without gloves on.  I know they're there to protect the plants themselves, but they inadvertently protect the weeds around them, too.  They unknowingly cover and defend the very thing that is set on destroying them. After being pricked a number of times, it would be easy for me to give up and let the weeds take over -- but I can't.  I go back everyday and pull the weeds.  Some days, when I forget my gardening gloves, I come away with tiny stickers in my hands and I have to soak them out with warm water -- but I still go back.  Doesn't the squash vine realize I'm doing this for it's good?  Hmmm...Then it struck me...sometimes I'm just like that squash vine (insert smart comments here...).  Sometimes I'm prickly and spiny.  Especially when it comes to the weeding process.  When God sends others to pull weeds in my garden, I go into protection mode.  And even though I know , unlike the squash vine, that it's good for me, I still seem to protect the "weeds" that want to choke my growth.

Are you like these vines, too?  Do you protect things that will rob you of a great life?  As long as we choose to be prickly when others come to us in love, we will be choked out by the weeds.  But, when we consciously make an effort to be teachable, we can keep being transformed into the image of Christ.  I pray I keep learning from these squash vines.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Rough Day for Little Guy...

Yesterday was a rough day for our little guy.  First, he had an encounter with a very hard part of the tractor.  He's got quite a knot on his little head.  Then...after he was calmed down and that episode passed, he managed to sit down in a fire ant mound.  Now, he has ant bites all over his hand and legs.  He was a sad boy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Herb Garden...

Here are some pix of my "herb garden".  I'm a bit disappointed in the Rosemary, but the Basil, Thyme, and Oregano are doing well.  I'm hopeful these will be useful in my kitchen very soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Floria Garden Adventure Continues...4-22-10

Many that know me, know me to be a "princess".  I have been called "high maintenance", "girlie", "in-doorsy", among other things...I love to get my nails done.  It's one of my favorite things to do for "me time".  The past few weeks have wreaked havoc on them.  It's not that I haven't wanted to get them done, it's just that my nails have looked mostly like the picture below since the garden went in.
Pulling weeds and digging in the garden has quickly become one of my favorite past-times.  The sense of accomplishment is exhilarating.  When we see the plants push up through the soil and began to spread out, it's pure joy!  Stay tuned for more garden pix.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Floria Garden Adventure Continues...somethings up!

Here are some pix from the garden this morning.  It's so exciting to see the progress God is making.  ;-)



Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quote for the day...

Happiness is the sauce of experience in pleasant circumstances. Joy is a recipe for all deep happiness and contentment that works with any ingredients. ~ Bram Floria

(btw...I "stole" this from my husband.  He made this comment on a friends Facebook status when they asked this question: "How do you define "joy" and "happiness"? Do you see these two as being interchangable or distinctly different? Can you have one but not the other or is one dependant upon the other? I have my ideas, lets hear yours.")

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Floria Garden Adventure Continues...

Prepping the Raised Garden Spot
     We did a boxed off, raised area for the more tender plants in our garden.  Things like Strawberries, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Okra, Lettuces and Cabbages.

This is where the corn, potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe and beets are planted.  Our corn is already 3-4 inches tall and the potatoes are sprouting like crazy, too.

squaring up the garden

 being helpful

Done for the day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Floria Garden Adventure...

We've decided to plant a garden this year.  Not just any garden, but a real, step out of the box, adventurous garden.  We've never done it before.  So...after living on 31 acres for the past 10+ years, we decided to give it a whirl.  We started with some small planter flats on March 24th.  Stay tuned for more pix and what came next.....

I Am Stone ~ Bram Floria

The Voice summoned me from the depths before there was time
I settled where the newly-formed sun could warm me
I witnessed the seasons of an eon or more before
The others were summoned to me

These small, scurrying, fleeting whispers climbed on my shoulder
In voices of their own they cried out to the One
Who had called forth us all; their lives but a flash and blast of music
Mine the long drumming notes of millennia

Over me the blood began to flow
Innocence expended to cover souls
A smattering, to blot out sins of generations
And I would humbly harbor such sacrifices

Their generations of hurried, fevered labors
covered me with a presence of their own
Cut stones and carpets, cisterns and fires
To take my place in greeting the sun

Then the crash of cymbals became impatient, harsh
The cries of priests desperate, quavering, unnerving me
Until the Voice would answer - the murmurs of its music
Muffled, muted, descending to my heart, and I would rest

And when the voices were silenced, I entered into restless sleep
And in its place Hell's haunting came
The blanket above began to fray, stones cracking
With heaving desolation, my arm was bared once more

When finally the whispers and scurries returned
New voices, new tongues, the rhythm of many nations
The blood of innocence shed to many gods and thrones
My back bore the shame of murder and disgrace

And on my bare arm the blood of guilt began to spill
Sacrificed to men's perverted justice, soaking me with sorrow
From hope I had become the scourge of nations
My crown a corpse, my arm a skull

Until the day when innocence returned and bled itself on me
I felt its truth like cleansing acid upon my skin
I groaned and writhed as purity's medicine disinfected me
The shame awakened into fury - I split in anguished cry

And then the Voice called down to me "The debt is paid" - I shuddered
Though I was settled I could not stop the cracks that continued rending me
On my arm the Voice was silent, the blood, now fading, dying
I could not hold it up - I slumped exhausted, stunned and spent

And from my cracks the fury of fires poured out with fumes
Sulphurous, choking off the little voices - Hell's laughing gas unleashed
And all was silent, the sky above dared not to speak
The weight of sorrow's clouds pressed on my chest - I dared not a breath

The innocence, the life, the blood and flood now pooled within my chest
I cradled it as it was hardened - like me - to stone become
The only voices heard were muffled wailings on my skin - I had none to speak
The clouds brought tears I could not cry so we together wept

A sabbath of sorrow has passed over me, the sun refused to shine
Darkness of a second span now covers me - no promise of another day
My fibers rent, a thousand shards each stiff and full of pain
Now holding both the blood and frame of innocence now lost

Yet creeping at horizon's edge a glimmer of light I see
On this the third day of my sorrow how could hope yet survive?
I hear a blast - the Voice - The Song is singing with the sun!
My heart now empty, is alive! The Life now lives - I'm free!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love and War...

I knew I would like this book.  After all, it's by John and Stasi Eldredge.  What I didn't know is that I "needed" this book.  Wow!  This one will be a great bedside manual for any marriage.

What the Eldredge bestsellers Wild at Heart did for men, and Captivating did for women, LOVE & WAR will do for married couples everywhere. John and Stasi Eldredge have contributed the quintessential works on Christian spirituality through the experience of men and the experience of women and now they turn their focus to the incredible dynamic between those two forces.

With refreshing openness that will grab readers from the first page, the Eldredges candidly discuss their own marriage and the insights they’ve gained from the challenges they faced. Each talks independently to the reader about what they’ve learned, giving their guidance personal immediacy and a balance between the male and female perspectives that has been absent from all previous books on this topic.   They begin LOVE & WAR with an obvious but necessary acknowledgement:  Marriage is fabulously hard.  They advise that the sooner we get the shame and confusion off our backs, the sooner we'll find our way through.

LOVE & WAR shows couples how to fight for their love and happiness, calling men and women to step into the great adventure God has waiting for them together. Walking alongside John and Stasi Eldredge, every couple can discover how their individual journeys are growing
 into a story of meaning much greater than anything they could do or be on their own.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help for Haiti

Compassion Radio is partnering with a Christian relief agency to provide desperately needed medicines, water purifiers and other necessary items being requested from Haiti.

It's extremely important to us that every Compassion Radio Partner gift is applied where needed most, and in the most timely manner possible. Therefore, the distribution of this aid will be handled by Christian workers who have a long-term and permanent presence on the ground in the country.

We'll be posting updates on the main website page as this project develops and as we have more specifics on how your gifts are currently being utilized.

You can also reach us by phone at 1.800.868.2478.

Thank you for your concern and generosity on behalf of the people of Haiti.

Norm and Cher Nelson

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 is upon us...

Here we are again at the beginning of a new year. I posted this on Facebook as my status yesterday:

"For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." ~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

It seemed a bit "deep" at the time, but I know there are new things bubbling up in me that I haven't experienced before. Those things will require a new voice to communicate them. Of course with the events of the past year, there is a bit of trepidation in moving forward...but then again...what other option is there? I choose to keep believing God is still in control even when circumstances make it seem otherwise. I seemed to have "lost" my voice over the course of the last 4 1/2 months. I think it may be the trauma of all we've been through. Perhaps I'll find it again this year. I'm praying so.