Saturday, June 30, 2007

Prayer Request

Some of you may know Kimber, one of my blogging buddies. She sent me a prayer request for her daughter, Maddie. Maddie's appendix burst this week. The dr. cannot operate until the infection is under control. She is on medication, and they have a drain inserted. She is on morphine, but still in quite a bit of pain. She is also still experiencing high fevers. Please keep this little girl in your prayers.

God bless!

Friday, June 29, 2007

More Family Photos to Share

Four generations!

The new mama and her sweet little guy...

Proud Daddy...
Can you tell I'm a bit proud of the new addition to the family??? :o)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another Baby Picture

Isn't he just the cutest little fella???

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vacation Memories

Our family had a great time away last week. We spent some time with my husband's mom and dad. We had a day to ourselves for our anniversary (thanks to his mom and dad!). We were able to spend Father's Day with his parents and his sister's family. The kids had a great time playing Grandpa's new Wii game system!

The next five days were spent at his parents' cottage on Rifle Lake, near Rose City, Michigan. His parents joined us for most of the week. There were boat rides, fishing (none caught...), playtime outdoors, time on the was loads of fun! We had some time with my husband's brother's family, too. It was an enjoyable week.

The end of the week included some bouts with sickness (oldest son and me), but we still had a great time.

One of the highlights of my week took place Thursday afternoon. Even as I'm typing this, I'm getting choked up. My sister-in-law gave birthday cards to our sons and me. The boys each got some McDonald's coupons, which will definitely come in handy this summer!

My gift was a belated birthday present for that "big" birthday previously mentioned. There was a sweet, sweet card, which contained an explanation for the gift. In the beautifully wrapped little box, I found the most exquisite antique lavendar rosary beads. To understand the depth of meaning, you have to understand that our family only recently converted to being Catholic. Both of our immediate families are Protestant. This gift spoke volumes to me of my sister-in-law's love and support for us. We may not agree on the theology issues, but we are still family, sisters-in-law, sisters in Christ, and FRIENDS. What a precious gift. Thanks again, Christina. I will cherish them (and you) forever!

Beautiful rosary beads on this website, too.

Monday, June 25, 2007

You Can Help

I'm passing along this link for anyone who would like to help this family.

I'm a Great Aunt!!!!

I would like to introduce to you all Mr. Isaiah James U.! Isn't he precious??? He made his appearance this past Tuesday, June 19, weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 oz.

I had to share photos of this handsome fellow with all of you.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Double Celebration

I'm typing this the night before...but pretend it's already Sunday, June 17th.

Today is Father's Day. I have a great dad, to whom much honor is due. He is a wonderful, godly man, who has shown me in so many ways what it means to be a servant. I have a father-in-law to whom much honor is due, too. He, too, is a godly man. I am thankful for the example he set for my husband. And, of course, I honor my terrific husband, who is a great dad and an example for our sons.

And today is our 18th wedding anniversary. I love you forever, Keith.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Time...

I'll have to say goodbye for a few days. We're headed north to Michigan to visit hubby's family and spend some time on vacation. A much-needed vacation, for sure. Keep us in your prayers, and I'll be back...hopefully refreshed and full of more bloggy inspiration! :o)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thank You

In honor of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Joseph Kuglics, of Green, Ohio, who was killed by a roadside bomb on Tuesday, June 5, 2007, in Kirkuk, Iraq.
Today, my two sons and I stood in the hot Ohio sun, looking down I-76 from the Route 94 overpass. We held American flags, and waited. Our eyes were focused on a hill approximately 1/2 mile east of where we stood. Finally, after close to an hour, we saw what we were looking for. Highway patrol cars with lights flashing. Cars with headlights on, and small black flags atop their roofs. A hearse carrying the body of an American hero. Car after car filled with family and friends who were processing to Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio. And last of all, the Patriot Guard, riding their motorcycles decked out with American flags.

I never met this young man. I don't know his family. What I know of his life I have learned from articles in the paper. The articles were accompanied by photos of his grieving parents: Les and Donna Kuglics.

What I do know is that I consider it an honor to have paid tribute to Matthew, simply by holding a flag and standing in the sun. It was a small price to pay, considering the price Matthew and his family have paid.

Thank you, Matthew, for your sacrifice. May God rest your soul, and may your family know His peace as they grieve their loss.

Photo courtesy of


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just Plain Ol' Me

I go through these seasons in life. More like some type of cycle. For awhile, I can be fine with who I am and what I look like. I mean, I'm stuck with "me", so I just figure I should make the best of it, right?

Of course, I realize there are always things that need improvement. I'm talking mostly spiritual things, attitudes, habits...that type of thing.

But I go through these seasons where I feel like I've felt most of my life: I'm just plain ol' me. I mean that literally. I have that "girl from a Kansas farm" look. The reddish hair and freckles. A little Dorothy (of Wizard of Oz fame), a little Laura (of Little House on the Prairie fame), and a little Elizabeth (of Waltons fame)--all mixed together. [Don't get me wrong. I think they all--Judy Garland, Melissa Gilbert, and Kami Cotler-- grew up to be beautiful women!]

Of course, that look has changed over the years. Age and time are that way. I still have an all-American girl type look, though. Definitely not the beauty queen type.

And no matter where I have lived (Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio) I have at least 3-5 "You look just like..." stories for each location. I look like someone's cousin, sister, friend, niece, granddaughter...just one of those faces that looks like I should be in "that" family. (Whatever family that is!)

The beautiful thing about all this, though? The Bible says God has His seal on me. "He has also put His seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts..." (2 Corinthians 1:22)

In ancient times, a seal was a mark of identity. This verse shows that I have God's signature on me. The stamp that shows I belong to Him. Not only do I belong to Him, He has also placed His Spirit in my heart. That is a mind-boggling concept.

So even though my mirror tells me I will never be a "glamour girl", I can say with pride, "I belong to Him." As an earlier post reminds me:

God made me special, and He loves me very much! Freckles and all!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fruity Christians

If you're like me, and you've been around Christians for any length of time, you know there are some that seem a little "fruitier" than others. I'm not talking strange here, folks! Don't misunderstand! (Although, now that I think about it, there are some...well, anyway.)

Let me explain. There are Christians that seem to just overflow--dare I say ooze?--with the fruit of the Spirit. They always seem to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind... No matter what trial they're going through, they seem to be able to walk in the Spirit. The truth is, though, that none of us get it right all the time. Some of us just get it right more often than others!

I've heard the illustration many times that if you're carrying a glassful of milk, and someone bumps into you, milk will spill out. Not orange juice. Not Pepsi. Milk. Why? Obviously, because that was what the glass was full of. Similarly, whatever we are filled with is what comes out when we are "bumped" with the difficulties of life. If we spend most of our time in front of the tube, then what we are viewing there will spill out. If we spend our time viewing things in magazines, online, etc. that are gratifying to the flesh, then that's what will come out. If we spend our time listening to music filled with profanity, well, that's what will come out.

I realize that if you work some place where everyone around you is using profanity, that makes it difficult to keep those words out of your mind and speech--especially when something makes you angry. I went to public school. Trust me. I remember.

However, there's a difference between that and purposely leaving a program on TV that is full of profanity. I think you see what I'm saying here. It is more what we choose to do that I'm focusing on here.

In contrast, if we spend more time fellowshipping with those of like precious faith, watch uplifting TV programs (not necessarily "Christian", but wholesome, anyway), spend time in God's Word and in His presence, etc. I believe we will see a difference in what comes out when we're "bumped".

When I was younger, I tried to focus on one fruit a week. I told myself, "This week, I will be more loving." I figured that if I practiced that for a week, it would become a good habit in my life. Then I would be able to move onto the next fruit, see that established as a habit, and so forth. As you can probably already guess, that didn't work. No matter how hard I tried, someone would say or do something that caused me to react to them in a very UN-loving manner. Harsh words would be spoken. Attitudes would come forth that were not very Christlike. I just couldn't get a grasp on that loving thing so I could move onto the next item on my list!

The reason is very simple. In order to have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, it must come from the Spirit! We must be walking in the Spirit on a daily basis, allowing Him to work out the things in us that are opposed to the Spirit. The more we allow Him free reign in us, the more we will see the fruit of the Spirit in us. Then when those tough situations arise, we will see the good fruit in us spilling out.

It is so much easier to allow the works of the flesh to rule. It's an easier path to walk. But in the end, if the fleshly desires are all that fill our lives, we will reap the "reward" of that lifestyle. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Thanks be to God that He desires to put those godly traits in us, implant them deep within, and work them out in our lives.

Let's work together to be fruity Christians! :o)

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would...But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another." Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26, RSV


If you're like me, and the picture above made you hungry, check out this website.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The King, part II

I've been thinking about this whole "king" thing since I wrote my last post. It's hard not to, with LeBron's name being in the paper and on TV and on the radio get the picture. With the playoffs still underway, the local media is all abuzz about LeBron, and if he and the Cavs will be able to pull off another upset. It remains to be seen.

A few years ago, another NBA player made it very clear that he wasn't a role model. He said as much. His actions were not those of a role model, for sure. But as much as they don't want to be given that label, professional athletes have to realize that young kids do idolize them. They try to dribble and shoot a basketball like their favorite player. They try to swing a bat or throw a ball like a major league baseball player. They walk like them. They talk like them. When they're playing alone in the backyard or shooting hoops in their driveway, they visualize themselves as their idol. Hitting that last second shot to win the championship. Throwing that impossible touchdown to win the Super Bowl. It's what kids do!

In light of this, it troubles me that LeBron is given such role model status. He's a pretty decent guy, as NBA players go. He is known for giving great interviews, even when the game was lousy. He never tries to take all the credit for a big win. He's a team player. He comes across as humble and very nice. However, his personal life is not that of a role model. I won't go into details here. For the record, though, I wouldn't want my sons to fashion their lives after his model.

That's why it's so wonderful to have a King whose life we want to mirror. When I read the life of Christ in the Bible, I see a man who knew how to be tough, yet was gentle to the smallest of children. He didn't rush to judgment, and gave people mercy. He didn't look the other way when He saw wrong, though. Somehow, He knew the right balance of justice and grace. He spoke highly of those who deserved praise (i.e., the widow who gave her last two mites), yet warned His followers not to follow those whose lives didn't measure up (i.e., the Pharisees). ("Do as they say, but not as they do.") He honored the poor, and spoke of God's love for them. He used the miserly rich as a contrast to God's generous nature.

Of course, the greatest example He gave us is obvious: He gave His life for us. The perfect example of putting others first. The very image of God (Colossians 1:15), allowing Himself to be crucified, so that those He loved could be truly free.

LeBron may be a great man in many aspects. But I'd rather take my cues from the king of Kings, than "King James".

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him." (I John 3:16-19)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Comeback King

Since I live in the Cleveland area, the big news right now is that the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals. They start their series versus the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night. The star of the Cavs' team is LeBron James. He has earned the nickname "King of the Court." The media, Cavs' promo people, and companies he endorses have played up the name "King James" in many different ways. Even to the extent that some Christians have been offended by the use of "Christian" phrases comparing LeBron to Christ.

I have to admit: LeBron is good. Michael Jordan good? I'm not sure. LeBron is still young. We'll just have to wait and see.

Is he the king? Well, there's debate over whether he is really the "king" of the basketball court. I guess the next couple of weeks will have to determine how high his status can climb.

In some terms, he is a comeback king, he and his Cavs. They were down 2-0 to the Detroit Pistons (our fave team!), yet came back to win the Eastern Conference Finals. That's a big comeback in sports circles.

I found this interesting tidbit, though. In 2001, Sports Illustrated magazine featured an article on the greatest comebacks in history. And you know what? The number one comeback they selected had nothing to do with basketball...or football...or volleyball...or soccer... The number one comeback they chose: "Jesus Christ, 33 A.D. Defies critics and stuns the Romans with His resurrection."


As much as I think it would be a thrill to meet LeBron, or to even see him play in person, there is a greater King whose presence I can enjoy every day. "Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory." (Psalm 24:10)

The book of Revelation gives an awesome description of Christ in His glory:

"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many (not just one!) crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God...And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:11-13, 16)

"King" LeBron will have his glory days of basketball. He will win some and lose some. He will receive accolades. But in the end, he will retire from the game and be remembered by the history books, just like all the other great sports heroes. I would much rather worship at the throne of the King who reigns forever!

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (I Timothy 1:17)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Trinity Sunday

I found these two pictures on this website. I thought it was a pretty neat "coincidence", since I wanted something depicting the Holy Spirit! (Photos by Gun Legler)
Today we celebrated Trinity Sunday. I love this day. Though sometimes, I wonder why. I mean, we can't really explain the Trinity. We can't put into words how the one, true God can be three Persons. Our human intellects cannot wrap themselves around that concept. But it's true. And that's why I love it. It's one of those incredible, beautiful mysteries. One of those ways God reminds us that He is God. If we could figure it out, after all, well, then, it would no longer be a mystery. Right?

I love that He is God, my Father. The Creator of the Universe.

I love that He is Jesus, the Son. Born of the virgin Mary. Crucified, died, and risen. My Savior. My Shepherd. My risen Lord.

I love that He is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. The power-giving One who seals me as His own.

No, I can't explain it all. But I'm so glad He is. And that They are the Trinity!

"Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty.
God in three Persons. Blessed Trinity!"