Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Farewell Friends...I am signing off!

This is my final post.

I have decided to fast from the internet. I don't know for how long, but it will be at least until our house sells, and we are established elsewhere. I am sure God will let me know when to return, at which point I will barrage many of you with comments if you are still blogging yourselves.

I love to write and I love to write on this blog. Most of all, I believe God wants me to write, and will provide the opportunity to continue. I assure you my harddrive with be bursting with stories to tell upon my return...if I return.

I hope I will return to tell you of a community - a community under construction. I hope I will return to tell you some amazing stories of all that God has presented us on our journey to do something great for Him. I hope I will return to share pictures of the house we will be building with straw bales and our own hands. I hope I will return to encourage you and show you what is possible if you have faith.

I will be online for just a few more days to receive emails, and then our internet service and home telephone will be disconnected. I have met many amazing people during the short time I have been here. Please know that you have brightened my life. I pray that I have brightened yours at moments.

I would love to keep in touch with many of my blogger friends. Who knows, maybe I will revive the quaint old method of letter writing?! You can briefly email me at huns4x(at)alltel(dot)net. Know that during my absence I will be showering you with prayers and blessings.

Love to all!

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of being identified with the majority.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963.

We get new ideas from God every hour of our day when we put our trust in Him -- but we have to follow that inspiration up with perspiration -- we have to work to prove our faith. Remember that the bee that hangs around the hive never gets any honey.
Albert E. Cliffe

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
Matthew 25:21 NIV

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Their Community Will Be Established Before Me

Jeremiah 30:18-20 Regarding the restoration of Israel

18 "This is what the LORD says:
" 'I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving

and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children will be as in days of old,

and their community will be established before me;
I will punish all who oppress them.

Good news for folks looking to establish a community for God. This refers to God's plans for the restoration of the nation of Israel. And we know the restoration was never fully realized. It will be completed upon the return of Jesus Christ. My question: Is the nation of Israel a place or a people?

A Short Introduction to Arts Evangelica

I would like to introduce you to an organization that is very dear to me, Arts Evangelica. Arts Evangelica is a group dedicated to "reclaiming the arts for His glory".

The Arts Evangelica Dance Company is widely travelled, and has performed on numerous venues. They perform to glorify God and to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have seen them dance several times and assure you that their performances are as professional as they come.

The Dance Company members have the added responsibility of training younger dancers through the GUIDANCE 'God U and I DANCE' program. This group of young ladies, some as young as seven, train not only to be beautiful dancers. They train to be missionaries for Christ, sharing their love for him through dance, and by serving others.

Both of my daughters study dance at Arts Evangelica. Their instructors are not only incredible teachers, but wonderful role models with a love for Jesus Christ, dance, and children. This is Alea's first year in the GUIDANCE program. She is truly looking forward to going out into the community and sharing her love of Jesus Christ through dance.

Check them out!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quick Quotes of Note

On Children...

Today I am thinking about my children. I am thinking about my responsibility to love them, care for them, and help mold their behavior. I am also thinking about what a blessing they are, and how being with them also helps to unleash my own imagination.

Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners. Anonymous

Every child is born a genius. Richard Buckminster Fuller

The soul is healed by being with children. Fyodor Dostoevsky

"We shall not achieve any significant change in society until we focus not only on what it means to be a parent, but also on what it means to be a child."
Doreen Goodman,Founder of
What About The Children?

"The best way to make children good is to make them happy."
Oscar Wilde

"The biggest disease this world suffers from is people feeling unloved."
Lady Diana Frances Spencer,Princess of Wales

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Theresa

"To those born into the gaze of loving eyes,life is beautiful.To those welcomed by tender voices,life is peaceful.To those embraced with gentle hands,life is secure.To those born into a world of compassion,life is good beyond all measure."
Author unknown,adapted by Leigh Schroeder Salvage

"Love is patient, love is kind."
1 Corinthians 13:4

"As we grow up, we have an ability to let go of immediate needs for the sake of long term goals. Children don't have such vision. Children live here and now. They need to feel that they have power, that they are important, that they can choose, and that the environment and people around them care about them and respond to them."
Naomi Aldort,Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves (forthcoming book)

"Childhood is that state which ends the moment a puddle is first viewed as an obstacle instead of an opportunity."
Kathy Williams

"There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children."
Marianne Williamson

"Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow."
Thomas Bray,18th century Anglican minister

"It's so sad how abusive our world has become. I think the majority of people in this world have forgotten, or perhaps never knew, what happiness is possible when there is love."
Duen Hsi Yen,Director,
Malama Learning Facility

"Kids who have their needs met early by loving parents ... are subjected totally and thoroughly to the most severe form of 'discipline' conceivable: they don't do what you don't want them to do because they love you so much!

"If you haven't cluttered the airwaves between you and your child with a thousand stupid 'don'ts' over your Royal Doulton china, or not eating their dessert before the main course, or not finishing their spinach, or not doing this or that, then those few situations where it really matters because of safety and impropriety don't need anything approaching the connotation of 'discipline' to ensure appropriate behavior."
Dr. Elliott Barker,Director,
Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself."
Galileo Gallilei

"We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift - our personal association, which means so much to them - we give grudgingly."
Mark Twain

"One of the most obvious facts about grownups to a child is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child."
Randall Jarrell

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you."
William Arthur Ward

"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."
Mahatma Gandhi

"Peace in society depends upon peace in the family."

"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation - or love and trust."
Suzanne Armsfrom the video
Giving Birth: Challenges & Choices

"It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather... I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether the crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."
Haim Ginott,
Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers

"Kindness in thought leads to wisdom. Kindness in speech leads to eloquence. Kindness in action leads to love."
Lao-Tsuc. 604 - c. 531 B.C.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Banquet for the Poor?

We helped serve at a fundraiser banquet the other night. As happy as my husband and I were to help out, something was nagging both of us about the whole thing. It just seemed weird. Let me give a little backround. The money raised from this event went to benefit Crisis Ministries, an incredible ministry that provides food for the homeless and poor in our area. Tickets for this event were sold for $25 apiece, and for each ticket purchased, a dinner of steak or grilled chicken was served to the purchaser. Musical entertainment and door prizes were also a part of the evening.

Here is where my feelings of uneasiness set in. My mind instantly started translating the evening as the following: a steak dinner served to affluent people, served by affluent people to provide food for people who are incapable of eating such a dinner. Don't get me wrong. I don't intend to criticize the participants. The people involved with Crisis Ministries are generous people full of love. The people purchasing the tickets to the dinner are desiring to help a worthy cause. I am sure this is the way things have been done for as long as people can remember. My question is this. When did this tradition get started? When was the idea birthed that wealthy people should get together and feast on an extravagent dinner in order to provide nourishment for people who are going hungry? Who are we truly serving through such an evening? What does it truly accomplish? Is the idea biblical? I know that providing for the poor is. Could there be a better way?

What if we could go to the streets and serve a fancy steak dinner for the homeless? What if we just asked people to provide to make it happen...without anything in return but a swelling of generosity in their heart? Now is that idea biblical? What if we ate side by side with our less fortunate brothers and sisters? What if we sat and enjoyed fellowship together...not US eating together at one dinner and serving THEM together at another?

What if we couldn't tell who was the provider and who was the receiver? Don't get me wrong. I love serving people. I feel incredibly blessed to be in a position to provide a blessing to them. It blesses me. I humbly smile as they tell me how appreciative they are for me lending them a helping hand. And I think of the times when I could have used such a hand. What if we provided an opportunity for them to be the ones receiving the thank you's? What if we served side by side, just as we sat and received side by side? After all, the one thing that I know everyone needs in their life is a feeling of being needed...a feeling of being able to do something for someone else, and hearing that 'Thank you. You made a difference in my life'. What if we gave them an opportunity to be appreciated instead of merely appreciative?

I just think about how so many programs have provided for the needy. They have accomplished some wonderous things. But I wonder how much more we could accomplish if we change our way of looking at things. We could change the world!

Think about it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lefts and Rights...end of week funny

My oldest daughter had dance yesterday. It amazes me how much more complicated their choreography is this year than last. The girls, quickly moving from one move to the next were getting confused as to their rights and their lefts. So their teacher asked them to step on their left foot. All the girls stepped forward with their left foot. Except mine. She took her right foot and placed it on the top of her left foot.
I was laughing so hard when they told me, I had to leave the studio.
Have a fabulous weekend! And keep laughing.

God Loves a Good Story

Did you ever stop and look at the characters in the Bible? Did you ever stop and look at the ways God chooses to accomplish things? He never just goes from point A to point B. He always weaves a tale. God loves a good story.

Why would he choose a stutterer to be a speaker? A murderer and adulterer to be the person after his own heart? Why did he choose an ordinary girl and young carpenter to be the parents of His son? Ever heard of a young guy named Saul...who later started going by Paul? Now there is a story!

Saul was basically a bounty hunter. He didn't just kill Christians brought before him under orders of his bosses. He sought them out. He hunted for them. And Jesus spoke to him, and blinded him...so he would see...so he would know the truth. Paul went on to write over half of the New Testament. Just think about what his conversion accomplished for the furthering of the Kingdom. God loves a good story.

See, a good story not only grabs your attention. The stories in the Bible, of flawed human beings, much like us, who accomplish incredible things through God, with God, and for God, give us hope. They give us confidence. 'They're no different than me. I could do that. I CAN do that! ' Most of all, a good story, and a changed life, make the presence and power of God undeniable.

Think of the friends and enemies of Paul. They had seen the hatred in his heart. They had seen the murdered bodies that were the product of his hatred for followers of Jesus. And here he is, telling of how Jesus is real. Do you think they thought he just changed his mind? Do you think they thought he was just being wishy-washy? Maybe he was just following the crowd! They knew this wasn't true. There was only one explanation. The reality of Jesus as the son of God was undeniable.

The number of people led to Christ by the story of the life of Paul, and many others, is still growing. And God is writing new stories every day. Is he writing an incredible story in your life? He can and he will if you let him. God loves a good story...and so do we.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Signing off for a week!

Hey friends! A have commited to a week long sabbatical. I will not be blogging, or surfing the web, and my family will also be taking a break from the computer. I will, however, be checking email. Have a fabulous week!