Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankfulness- Scriptures for 2010

I have immersed myself in the Word this year, as it has been a difficult year for our family in general. The Psalms have ministered to me this year once again as they have many times over the years.

I had the distinct privilege to see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls as they were touring the world several years ago. The broken and brittle Psalms papyri were precious to behold.  I especially loved the story about the scribes who would destroy their pens and bathe after copying each reference to Jehovah's name, out of reverence for His Holiness. And seeing that His name was copied in a different color ink from the rest of the scripting was just amazing!

My favs..
God declares that He is faithful to His promises (Psalm 143).
He charts my life path, and tells me when to stop and rest (Psalm 139).
Reminding me that those who sow in tears will reap joy (Psalm 126).
The Lord preserves my life (and my health!), keeps His eye upon me as I come and go, and guards me continually (Psalm 121).
Reminding me that those who love God's law will have great peace and will not stumble (Psalm 119).
That when I do fall under the burden of life, that He will lift me up (Psalm 145).
And that "He fulfills the desires of those who reverence and trust Him" (Psalm 146).

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thankfulness- DSIL

Rachel & Mom at her 30th birthday girls' night out in Feb.
I am thankful for my dear ex-sister-in-law, Rachel.
She is such a precious girl who has overcome a lot in her life and will continue to do so with the help of her Lord and Savior. She is a elementary school teacher, and loves her work as much as I do mine. She was a treasure to our family, and I am grateful that God brought her into our lives. I miss her sweet thoughtfulness. I pray that she will find Jesus to be the Great Lover of her soul that I have found Him to be. HE is our Great Healer and the only Soul-Satisfier!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankfulness- G

Lord, I am so grateful for You!
You are my God, and You keep Your promises!
I am never alone, trying to figure it all out by myself.
You hear every cry of my heart.
You satisfy my every need, or at least those You deem to be needs. ;-)
I have prayed for many things, and received them.
I am praying for many more, some of which have been a long time in coming.
Hasten the day, Lord. Hasten the day.

Your plan for eternity includes me.
You are my shield and defense.
I trust in You.
You will never leave or forsake me.
May my life bring you praise!
When others blaspheme your name by living carelessly, let it inspire me to shine brighter for You.
Lord, teach me Your ways and commands.
Rid me of errant thoughts and sinful deeds.
Let my besetting sins be removed and shown for what they really are.
You have always dealt mercifully with me.
You have buried my sins in the deepest ocean and do not remember them.

God, please save my loved ones from eternal destruction.
Open their spiritual eyes to see the damnation and consequences they bring upon themselves.
Help them to see Your great Love and Mercy.

Your Son and my Savior sits on heaven's mercy seat.
O Lamb of God, You are worthy of all praise and honor and glory.
Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God almighty!
You are the Great Mystery.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

GreaThings & Thankfulness

It is Veteran's Day today, hence, I get a day off from work, and I can finish healing from whatever sickness that I have. A fever hit me on Sunday in the middle of the night. What a miserable week...I am not used to being sick. :-(

Recently, I gave an assignment for my  students to write about someone that has impacted their lives and made a difference in a positive way. One of the girls had a blank look on her normally expressive face and said passively, "No one has impacted my life that I know of." My immediate thought was that either she was completely shallow and ungrateful for the mentors and teachers and people in in her life, or she really doesn't have anyone that takes an interest in her.

Her comment spurred me to thinking about how thankful I am for my God, my salvation, my life, my family, my upbringing, my sister Tricia, my harvest ministry, my friendships, and my blessings. During the month of November, I want to post a series of blogs about different things or people that I am thankful for (see my schedule below!).

Since today is Vet's Day, I am reminded to be thankful for the men and women who have fought to keep this country's freedoms in tact.
Not to be cliche, but they defend our nation's constitutional freedoms.
The force our adversaries to back down.
They address threats to national security head-on (at least the ones that they can).
They fight terrorists in an attempt to stem the tide of evil in the world.
They strengthen our nation's defenses.
They defend our rights to a republican society.
They remind us of our history: freedom is never free.

Young men and women, like my own Daddy was, who are aimless and unguided, needing direction and a firm hand of discipline in their lives.
Middle-aged people with planned careers and plans for making rank and supporting their families.
Wizened old vets who sit in dank paneled VFW halls, playing bingo and smoking stinky cigars.
And in memorial to those who have given their lives in service to the US.

One of my heroes, the great statesman Ronald Reagan, once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

By chance, I found out that Chantel (whom I know through bloggyworldness via YLCF) is hosting this year's GreaThings Blog rally!!! :-)

Nov.11- G (Blessings starting with this letter)
Nov 12- R
Nov 13- Scriptures that have been a special blessing this year
Nov 14- E
Nov 15- A
Nov 16- Answered prayers and miracles
Nov 17- T
Nov 18- H
Nov 19- Difficult experiences you're now thankful for
Nov 20- I
Nov 21- N
Nov 22- Special lessons God has taught me this year
Nov 23- G
Nov 24- S
Nov 25- Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

stubbed toes and falling rain

Monday, my team and I presented our Autism project. It went so well, I was proud of us!!! About a third of our class was absent; I had noticed that the parking lot was largely empty when I pulled up. Wonder what was up with that?!? Got this e-mail from Dr. A later in the week...

"Your group did an outstanding job on the presentation. I wish all groups would put in the time your group put into yours."

We did good!!! :-D

We endured a horrible storm on Wednesday..a cold front was pushing a rainstorm our way. It rained so hard that our front yard and the school's yard were 6-inch lakes. I was appointed the "go-get-lunch" girl. I got out of the car, trying to balance my purse withan umbrella, drink, and bag of BK. After three or four steps, the strap of my flip-flop popped, and everything went flying. I stubbed my toes badly (broke one nail about 1/3 back...ouch!!!) on the parking rocks in my attempt to  clutch everything. Ugh. Lost my fries on the ground and smashed the sandwiches. Was totally soaked by the time I got inside. Had to start right back to teaching. Sarah rescued me and lent me her sandals, since I had an interview at 5 (Thank you, boo!). What a day! :-(

The rest of the week went better. Two new student interviews. Testing again on Friday.

And....I had Saturday OFF!!!! Was able to get the November billing done for Mama. Odds and ends. Beckey came over to pick up the parakeet food that I wanted to pass along (don;t know why we still have it; we haven't had a bird in years!). Ran over to Cori's to drop off several things that came in from eBay for JM, but she hadn't unlocked her door, so I couldn't get in. Something about being dizzy and not able to get up. Anyway. Drove with Mom (to keep her company) so she could pick up some fish tacos at Cactus Flower. Then home to cook.

I pan-fried okra and made our delicious peach cobbler. Sarah came in for dinner after her bike ride with Daniel downtown to the Arts Festival. Tricia cooked a pork roast and baked sweet potatoes. Delish! She also rented two DVDs (RedBox!!!) for our evening: "Prince of Persia" and "Toy Story 3". The first was scarily great, the second was scarily horrible. How many little tykes are going to be scarred from that film?!? I hope my nieces never see it...made me think of my five-year-old experience of watching "Les Miserables" and having nightmares for a year afterwards! :-(

Our south-end bathroom remodel is in slow progress, but it's moving along. The Hogans were here this week, chipping up old cement and relaying the combined plumbing. We are hoping Daniel will get it all done by Christmas!!! Fingers crossed.

Today, I am working on a comparison-contrast paper about B. Franklin vs. J. Edwards. It's interesting, to say the least. Also have some papers to grade, and finances to organize for this past paycheck. Tricia is making salmon croquets, mashed potatoes, and baby limas for dinner. I LOVE our southern cookin! And Rascal Flatts' "Life is a Highway"...good ol' country!

That cold front is here in's in the 30s, and the heat is on. Our weird and varied Gulf Coast weather! Meg got a knuckle bone this morning and chewed it right down. She's currently sitting at my feet, patiently waiting for another throw of her toy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Keeping Up with the Joneses

This week, the Young Ladies Christian Fellowship webzine/blog is hosting a blog carnival. I participated last year and am eager to do so again this year. Great fun! The theme this year is weekly schedules and to-do lists.

I have a pretty steady schedule from week to week, so this is easy for me to look at my calendar and reveal...Keeping Up with the Joneses (for a week, that is).

Meg HATES having her pic taken!
It's 7 am. I am up before everyone else, as usual. I hurry through the early morning, chugging a cup of coffee. I gather my evening class books together, feed Meg our Welsh corgi and let her out, and finish my own quick breakfast and supplement consumption (i.e. Juice Plus, BarleyMax, enzymes, Epicore). I walk across the street to work. I am the principal and main teacher at CIAS, an umbrella school for homeschooled students. Students are sleepily waiting for their school day to begin. I start tutoring at 8 and break at 12 for lunch break. Lunch break for me included returning a phone call to one of my student's parent about a college dual enrollment schedule, checking my appointment schedule for the week, making copies of tests for afternoon students, and chatting with one of my secretaries. Back to tutoring from 1-5; that makes eight hours of teaching and supervising 15 students. I rush off to my college class, leaving my sister (and fellow teacher) Sarah to lock up. I am taking a class about exceptional learners, and have an early meeting with my study group about our project presentation on Autism next Monday. I sit through an interesting presentation on deafness, a short lecture, and a book report presentation. I am sooo tired. Driving home, I call Mom and let her know I'm on my way across town. My sister Tricia has dinner ready. Mom spends the evening reading, Tricia is studying, and I am grading my students' compositions.

I have a typical morning once again. Missed my coffee this morning though. :-( Several students get dropped off early at my house, so we walked to school together. I teach all morning; Tricia joins me at 10. I spend my lunch break printing my handouts and quiz papers for my afternoon writing classes. Thirty-five students are divided almost evenly into two classes. The afternoon speeds by, filled with sentence dress-ups, editing exercises, and students' oral essay presentations. I have off early this evening, so I come home and make dinner of pork sirloin and southern-style cabbage. I also try a new baked mac and 3-cheese recipe that turns out DELICIOUS! Yay! Tricia is across town at the university for an evening class. I am so proud of her, working full-time and nearing the end of a very hard-won accounting degree! We watch NCIS and NCIA-LA, two of our favorite shows. The evening is spent studying. Again.

Teaching all day. Have several wonderful "discipleship moments" with my students. I LOVE when they ask questions about life and the Lord!!! When I can open the Word of Life and show them that God has something to say about EVERYTHING in life, drawing a connection for them to the God of the universe. :-D I have an new student/parent interview from 5-6:30. It goes very well, and we have a new student enrollment..another middle school boy!!! I make another appointment with them for academic placement testing. I spend a half hour working on a senior's transcript for their college application and prepping for Thursday evening senior workshop. Tricia cooks dinner again; I LOVE taco salad! My sista-bestie is the bomb! :-D I eat slowly tonight. I am so sleepy, so I hit the sack early tonight.

I am so tired today. I can hardly muster myself out of bed this morning. Ugh. A full day of teaching, the last one for the week. I teach and supervise 15 students today, and get a little break before the seniors arrive for their one-hour meeting/workshop on college applications, record keeping, and fund raising. We have a good turn out, and it goes smoothly. I am home by 7:30. Meg is rabid for attention and wants to play (i.e me throwing her toy so she can chase and retrieve)! My arm hurts after several solid hours. :-P

CL chasing Aunt Tricia round and round. :-)
I sleep late, praise the Lord. 9 am...wake up refreshed. I needed the extra two hours of sleep. I am administering six achievement tests this morning, and also have two appointments (one new interview and one lesson planning meeting). Sendi, my Records Clerk, and I go over phone call messages before I leave at 2. A family tradition...the Jones family attempts to meet for lunch on Fridays each week. Cori is "great with child" and is getting more and more uncomfortable, so I take lunch makings to her house: Thai coconut soup, chock full of red bell peppers, baby bella mushrooms, tofu, and chicken. Everyone converges to enjoy my first culinary attempt at one of my fav Thai dishes and give me a vote of confidence. Yes! Another great new recipe. :-) We spend some quality time with Corrie Lynn, my precious niece. She is a precocious 18 month old now, and is babbling and talking and eagerly sits still for book time. She loves for us to chase her around the living room, crying, "I'm gonna get you!" If we try to stop, she starts running the circle and yelling, "Gon get chu." She's wearing us out! So much energy; I am too old for this!!! Cori is so uncomfortable now; she is three weeks away from her due date in November; little Juliana Mae is wearing her mama out! We are eager to meet her and anticipate being new aunties to another precious soul. We have a quiet evening at home. I spend several hours reading textbooks and doing homework for my two college classes. We watch several recorded shows from the week's lineup (Tricia records them each evening, and we watch them towards the weekend). I call it a early night, and read for several hours. YLCF's Gretchen has recommended some books that I ordered last week, so I get started on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Looks good so far!

I am up early and down to my family's Bread of Life Bake Shop for a day of wedding I anniversary cakes. We have a pick-up cake, as well as a delivery at the NAS officer's club today. The cakes turn out wonderfully (and beautifully!), and I head home around four for an hour's nap. I brought home some cinamon rolls from the bakery freezer, so I bake them and prep mulled cider. The house smells SO GOOD!!!!! We three grab our camp chairs and drive over to Dusty and Marisa's home for a pitfire and game night with old friends. What great fun! :-D Thanks, ya'll!

The Lord's day at our house, and our Sabbath. Oh, how we look forward all week to our day of rest and prolonged fellowship with Jesus!!! I savor every minute as it ticks by, as it does all too quickly. Sleep in late. Then I watch one of my favorite pastor's sermon podcast online (Richard Crisco); good stuff. I read the Word for an hour (the Psalms and Romans today) and turn my new-er Kari Jobe CD on in the kitchen stereo. I decide to make omelets and biscuits for brunch, then I dedicate the next several hours to studying. I have an Power Point on Autism to finish for my study group's presentation on Monday evening, so I spend several hours perfecting the last of it. We have spent so much time on this project. I know that we will get a good grade, because it is fabulous! I check my e-mails, log onto MarryWell to check to see if I have any messages, and blog for awhile. Every fall, I get into a Jane Austen movie mood, so I go online and watch the new "Northanger Abbey." I <3 it! I get to bed late...not a good start to the new week, but it's my life. I'm a Jones.

come, let us worship and bow down

Martin Luther once said, "As long as we live, there is never enough singing."

I heartily agree. Too many people listen to music instead of singing themselves. Everywhere in my beloved Psalms are we reminded to praise and worship our glorious God... 

"Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling."
"All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name."
"Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker."
"I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High."
"Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds."
"I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me."
"Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power."
"Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises."  

I remember days of being immersed in choirs and ensembles back in my early 20s...lifting my voice in unison with others who loved God and sought to worship Him in song. Life has moved on for me, so I don't have extra time for choir practices anymore. But I still love singing and praising Jesus on my own. Ain't no roicks crying out for me!!! :-)
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