Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday, but Sunday is Coming!


Resurrection Links

Blessed Good Friday to you!

I wanted to share some links that I am using with my children as we remember Jesus death and his resurrection.  Right click on the links to open in a new page or tab.

Suddenly One Morning is a short story written by my pastor.  It is a wonderful narrative from a shopkeepers view of what happened in Jerusalem the day Jesus was crucified.  Very moving!  It is a book, but Christian has provided it for you for free.  Just print it out.  I encourage you to get the book though.

What is so good about about Good Friday? - blog post

Resurrection Cookies tell the story.  We love doing these & it has been a few years since we did.  We will do these on Saturday night.

Resurrection Rolls is another fun way to tell the story.  No waiting on this one though.

This is an excerpt from a sermon by S.M. Lockridge called "That's My King".  I never get tired of hearing this!  One of my favorites!

I hope that you & your family experience the power of the story of Redemption this Sunday!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taking a Break for Holy Week

I have this over whelming desire to stay as far away from my computer as I can.

This next week is Holy Week.  I struggle every year with how to impress on their hearts the dire importance of understanding this event above all others in the Bible.  I'm not saying that the rest of the Bible isn't important, but the rest of it is based on the sacrifice of Christ.  It is seen throughout the Scriptures.

I think that may be why I want to stay off the computer.  So I can focus better on the reality of what Jesus did for me.

I hope as you enter into a new week that you will become mindful of who you are in Christ and the amazing love he has for you.
I hope that you will spend time together as a family discussing the Biblical events that led up to Jesus death.
But more than that, I hope that you will come into a deeper understanding of what his death, burial & resurrection means.  I hope that as you come into a deeper understanding you are truly humbled to the point of falling on your face in worship of your Savior!

I can't adequately point into words what all of this means to me. I am overwhelmed to the point of tears every time I try.  Maybe one day.  In the mean time, I am taking a break.

"But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said."
 Matthew 28:5-6


Review: Campus Book Rentals

I’ve heard of renting cars, jewelry, furniture & appliances.  I even rented my wedding dress because I could not afford the style I wanted.  Now I have learned that you can rent college text books! I love this idea!  How many of you still have your old college text books & you really don’t know why because you haven’t used them again since you were in college?

The textbook market is roughly $10 billion annually. There are nearly 20,000,000 college students attending nearly 8,000 schools in the United States. Renting their books rather than buying sounds like such a great way to save money.  

Founded in 2007, Campus Book Rentals is a relatively young company that provides such a service.  They describe themselves as being the Netflix for textbooks.  Students pay to keep books for a specific amount of time.  By using their services, students can save around 50% on college textbooks.  I played around on their site a little searching for books I thought my daughter might be required to have for college and I found all of the books and most could be rented for 40%-50% off of the retail purchase price.

The website is inviting and very easy to maneuver around.  Every question I could think of to ask, I found the answer on their site. Membership and registration is free.  Their website touts,
“Pretty simple, No hassles & No worries!”. 
I googled their name & tried to dig up some dirt on the company and couldn’t find anything.  In fact they stand above many of the older companies because they offer free shipping .  

There were many perks I found to using this company.

  • You choose the time you keep the book.  You can keep it for a semester, quarter,  summer or you name the date in which you return it.  If you drop the class or just don’t need the book anymore & return it within 30 days, there is a full refund! 
  •  They have a grace period.  From the website; “We have incorporated, at no extra charge, a  15 day grace period which allows you to rent your book early or hold on to it late in the case of a later than normal final exam.” 
  •   Returning the books is easy.  They send ,with your books, a return envelope. 
  •  You don’t have to be in college to rent books.  They will let anyone rent from them. 
  •  If you decide that you really like the book, they let you buy it! 
  •  Books are shipped free & returned for free.

If books are lost or damaged the student is responsible for the remaining value of the book. So if a student rents a book for $40 but the retail price of the book is $75 then the student will have to pay the $35 if something happens to the book.  They do have a Protection program.  From the website; “Our Loss / Damage Protection program offers you peace of mind at an incredible value. If you select the protection option during final checkout, should your book become lost, stolen, or damaged beyond reasonable use, we will promptly send you a placement copy (if you still require the use of your book), or waive the full purchase fee. When you protect your books, you can worry about your studies, not your books.”

Ok, now there is another big plus to using Campus Book Rentals.  They take a portion of the money from rentals and give to Operation Smile.  If you haven’t heard of Operation Smile you will be so blessed by their mission.  They perform surgeries on children in other countries who were born with cleft palettes.   Campus Book Rentals has partnered with Operation Smile to help them raise awareness and money.  Campus Book Rentals goal is to fund 1,000 surgeries. So not only do you save money on your textbooks, but you are also helping a very good cause. 
I encourage you to give their site a look over, especially if you have students about to leave for college.  This site could save you a lot of money!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waiting to Be an Aunt!

I hate waiting! But it isnt' near as hard on me as it is on my sister & her husband.

The picture is a little rough, but this came from my mom's phone.  This picture was taken on my sisters' due date which was April 12th.  We are still waiting for "Peanut" to make his grand appearance.

Hoping it is soon!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Blessings from a Broken Phone

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I don't blog much about our personal trials.  Usually those closest to me can read between the lines in my posts.  But I just had to share this with you, because it is just so cool!

The story starts a few weeks ago when my son was playing in a friends garage with some other kids.  They were running around.  One of the kids laid his new phone on the ground & while the kids were running around, my son accidentally stepped on it.  He didn't even realize he had done it, but just the same, the phone was broken.
A few hours later, the mom of the boy showed up on my door step demanding that we buy her son a new phone NOW.  She was hopping mad!  I tried to be as nice as I could, but when she got in my face I popped off, "Well, I"m sorry this happened, but my husband is without a job and there is no way we can buy your son a $250 phone.  We don't even have phones that cost that much!" 
She backed off a little & then told us to contact her ex-husband because he bought the phone.
No problem, my husband said.
That night the dad called & he & Scott talked.  They got everything squared away as well as most men can...completely non-emotional.  :o)  The dad could fix the phone & we wouldn't have to pay a thing.
In the mean time, the dad found out that Scott was without a job & decided that he wanted to do something to help us out.  He happens to be a manager at Sonic & emailed 16 other managers about us.  They decided to do a food drive for us.
That is 600 employees collecting food for us.
The response was so overwhelming the managers were completely shocked!
Scott got a phone call Friday by the dad (of the kid with the broken phone because of my son) explaining what they had done.  WooHoo!  God is so good!
Today, they brought over the donations.  It literally took 2 pick-up trucks to get it all here!
They filled up my living room with boxes of food & other things. 
Then they told us the best news of all!  
Oh, I'm just so excited about this part.
They had such an overwhelming response that they didn't even bring us all the food.  They took a lot of it to 2 other families who also needed it.  Is that not cool?
It get's better!
They decided that their Sonic Restaurants would hold a food drive twice a year every year to help families who are in need.  How fantastic is that!?! 

All because my son stepped on a cell phone!

I took pics of my living room, but really it doesn't do justice.  I can't fit it all in my pantry, so we have canned items sorted into boxes under my kitchen table.  Crazy huh!

"And we know that for those 
who love God all things work together for good, 
for those who are called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

LIttle Man Play

It was just me and Sam, my 4 year old.  Ben was home, but he was busy watching a movie. Everyone else had somewhere to be tonight.   Sam asked me if I would play army guys with him upstairs in the playroom.

I'm not an "army guy" kind of person.

"Please Mom?" Sam asked  "We will have so much fun!"  And he was right.

I closed down my computer & followed my little boy upstairs.  He lead me to a table that had strategically placed army guys on it.
"This is where you are" he said as he lead me to sit down on one side of the table.

And the battle begun!

We fought the Transformers.
We fought the Rescue Heroes.
And then to top it off we fought & defeated the "Rides", which I quickly found out were all of his cars.
I tried really hard to be the best soldier I could be, but it was very obvious that I didn't have near the experience as Sam.

"Mom, that isn't how you make gun sounds!  Do this...spfh!  spfh!"

I tried, but my mouth just would do what his was doing.  He was gracious though.

"It's ok Mom, it is because you are a girl."

Oh well, I tried!  We had fun.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why I am on Facebook

Several years ago our teenagers asked to get on Facebook.  I didn't want to let them because I knew it would increase their computer time & mine too.  If I let my kids on there then I would get on Facebook as well to keep an eye on their activity.  I had no idea what it would become for me.

2 years later, here I am...still on Facebook, but not just to keep up with my kids.  It isn't about letting people know what I'm preparing for dinner (even though I get some real good idea's from my friends).  It isn't about having the most friends.  It isn't even about keeping up with my friends (even though I love that part).  It has become more than that for me.  I post scripture that is encouraging me and keeping my heart above my circumstances.  I post links that help me to better understand difficult spiritual concepts or that encourage me.  Through my little updates, I share a little bit of myself.
But there are days when I really wonder why I am even messing with Facebook.  I occasionally will get in a discussion with someone who believes differently than I do.  I don't know why I do this.  It often brings me down.
I was contemplating getting off of Facebook.
Lord, I can think of many other ways to encourage others than through Facebook. It is just a social networking waste of time.
And then I got this note...

I just wanted to thank you for all of your brilliant posts throughout the day. I have been having a crazy time and I have found solace and comfort through many of your posts. I am not sure if you get a lot of thanks so I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely ministering to me and I really appreciate it! Have a great day! Thanks again!

It touched my heart. It touched my heart because this note came from a  school mate of whom I even forgot I was friends with on Facebook.  I never see her on & never hear from her.  I know nothing of what is going on in her life.
The next day at church, someone caught me in passing and thanked me for being such a big encouragement in her life through Facebook.

I'm not writing this to toot my own horn.  I definitely am not doing that!  I am writing this to encourage you to be aware of how the Lord can use you in ways you don't even realize to minister to the heart of others.

I post things on Facebook for myself, because it encourages me not knowing how it could encourage others.  Yes, you can comment on someone's post, but those who thanked me for encouraging them NEVER comment on my page.  I had no idea they ever read anything I wrote.  Knowing this, also makes me more aware of how my posts affect others.

So, now I remain on Facebook praying that my words will encourage others to seek a deeper relationship with Christ.  I hope that when I share a scripture that it will touch the heart of someone needing it at that moment.  I love how God can use something even like Facebook to reach the heart of others.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4