Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We have much to be thankful for this year, as every year. We are blessed to have our health, family, friends, but most of all the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This year we traveled to my Dad's, a couple of hours south of us. We arrived early enough so we could do some target practice while the turkey roasted. We spent a couple of hours out there. We introduced the girls to rifles, and Ralph, Christopher, my Dad and I all shot our new rifles. Ralph, Christopher and my Dad all shot their pistols also. We had a great time together.

We went back to the house to help my step mother finish getting dinner ready. We sat down to a wonderful meal, then fellowshipped a little while longer, before it was time for pie and then the return trip home.

We are so thankful that our son, Christopher was home this year. Last year at this time, he was on his way to the Middle East and next year he will once again be away from home. We are also thankful that my Dad went to the doctor a few weeks ago and that they had him take a routine stress test for his heart and that they saw an problem and promptly took care of it, so he could be here for us to celebrate with.

We pray that you are beginning this Advent season focused on the REAL reason for this season-the celebration of the birth of our Saviour. May God richly bless you and your family as you finish out this year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our First Hunting Trip

Last week, our family went on its first hunting trip. We left Thursday evening and drove for about 5 hours to eastern Washington. We arrived about 11:30 pm, unpacked and then the guys that were there had a skeet shoot competition. I held the light so they could see the clay pigeons.
The next morning, we introduced the girls to shot guns. They got to try their hand at shooting clay pigeons. They didn't hit any, but got a feel for what it is like. I took my turn and hit about half of my clay pigeons. Much better than the first time I tried about 18 months ago (I only hit 2 of 30 that time). This time I hit about 12 of 25. We then went for a 3 mile hike up some very rugged terrain to get a lay of the land and also so Ralph could shoot some video. So there we were carrying rifles, shot guns and cameras. We must have been quite the sight.

We then headed to the farm house of one of the owners of the 10,000 acre ranch we were on. They have a pond behind their house that they keep stocked with trout. The girls got out there and were very successful in a short time. They caught 6 trout between the two of them in about 20 minutes. Alicia was especially happy since it was her first time to catch a fish.

We headed back to the farm house we were staying at so I could get the stew I had made a head of time heated up for the guys who had been out hunting that morning. After lunch, we took a "ride" with the other owner of the ranch (the owners are father and son). The girls said it was better than Disney World. I called it cow pasture moguls. We rode around for a couple of hours through cow pastures, up and down VERY steep hills. It was a lot of fun.

The next morning, we went out on a practice hunt with the girls. We each carried a shot gun and Hannah carried a rifle (just in case we saw a coyote). We walked for a couple of hours, then headed back to the house for lunch. After lunch we had to do a video shoot, then it was time for the pheasant hunt. But first we went to an old farm house that was full of pigeons and shot a couple of pigeons. We then had our bird dog take off and find the pheasant for us. She found one, but it was too far away from where we were to get it. So then we were off again. We went up and down very steep hills, covered with knee high grasses. I began wondering what a sedentary homemaker like myself was doing out tramping through the brush and up and down hills to find a bird to shoot. But I didn't give up. Ralph shot the first pheasant. It was a beauty. We were so in awe of the colors that God put on this bird. The variety was incredible. We then sent the dog off to find one for me. She tracked one and stayed on it until I was able to get there. Then they let her go and I took two shots. I nicked it but didn't get a good enough shot to get it down. We spent about 90 minutes trying to see if it went down over the hills, but never found it. I was really disappointed, but I am really glad that Ralph got his.

Ralph and his first pheasant

While we were there we also made friends with the younger couple on the ranch. They have 4 little boys and we found out we had a lot in common. Alicia had fun as she was able to spend some time with the baby, holding and rocking him. The girls were also able to feed the cows and chickens and help collect eggs.

We had a wonderful time on this trip and look forward to many more. It was great to spend the time together as a family.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Serving our Father's

Me working with my Dad.

I must really say that, I love my Dad. I want to share a few ideas of how we can serve our Father's.

The first idea: Offer to massage his feet and do it cheerfully! (I try to do it every night after dinner).

Second idea: Make his favorite dessert to surprise him.

Third idea: Obey him the first time, without arguing.

Fourth idea: Thank him when he corrects you.

I hope you find these ideas helpful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Here is a photo of Ralph's Father Fernando; Christopher and Ralph, taken about 10 years ago (all three are veteran's, two were in the Army and one is in the Navy)
Here are Ralph (12 years Army), Christopher and Fernando (27 years Army and 18 years in the State Guard in Puerto Rico; two tours in the Korean War and two tours in the Viet Nam War, with many awards, including two Purple Hearts) at Christopher's Commissioning in 2006

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Truth is Simple

by Anna T.

I remember, back from the time I worked in a hospital, many examples of generous love, charity, kindness, giving and selflessness. One of the most striking cases was a little baby girl born at 26 weeks gestation, weighing only 700 gr, or 25 ounces. The girl was named Chaya, which means "life".

I didn't meet little Chaya until she was already a couple of months old, and weighed like an average newborn (which makes sense). Due to being born so prematurely, she suffered from a few respiratory problems, which brought her back to hospital. She fought courageously, and so did her loved ones. Whenever I passed by, I could see her mother and grandmother sitting next to her and reciting psalms. Her mother pumped milk for her around the clock. Baby Chaya was making steady progress, and by the time I finished my internship in that unit, she was already getting better.

Her family's love and devotion were deeply moving to me even then, and now that I'm pregnant it brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. When I was 26 weeks along, I remembered baby Chaya, and asked the Lord to keep my baby safe in my womb for as long as necessary to avoid any health risks and complications.

It also brings tears to my eyes when I hear people promoting the so-called "right" to dispose of babies just like Chaya, in the name of "freedom". To her family, Chaya was a dear, loved, cherished and treasured little human being. To others, millions of little Chayas are obstacles to be rid of - in the name of "choice".

All the debates I hear about the personhood of the unborn child, beside being annoying in their lack of logic, are frightening in their attempt to complicate the simple and to mask the crystal clear facts of life.

Ask a three-year-old what a pregnant woman has in her belly. Most children will readily reply, "a baby!"; if you press further and ask how come she has a baby in there, you'll probably get many interesting answers. Our nephew's explanation was, "because she's a Mom"; you might notice his logic is missing something, but I'd say this little boy's insight about life, pregnancy and the connection between baby and mother is far superior to many full-grown "pro-choice" philosophers.

Explaining obvious truths should, in general, be simple. Explaining lies can get very complicated.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Praise and Prescription for National Disease

Posted by: James McDonald November 5, 2008
Traditional Marriage Wins!

There is not much for me to cheer about this election cycle. Liberals advanced in most states and will be a dominating force in Washington for at least the next four years. But I am thankful the Lord saw fit to again defeat measures that would have legalized homosexual “marriage.”
In Florida, Arizona, and in California, voters stood up and said enough. All three states approved amendments to their constitutions to ban homosexual marriages. These three states join the 27 that have already passed similar amendments. The California vote was very encouraging to me. Proposition 8 was underfunded and unpopular when first introduced, but through prayer and hard work, Christians undauntedly trudged on to Election Day, overcoming tens of millions of dollars of pro-homosexual advertising and propaganda.

While I am personally thankful for these wins, we need to be ever vigilant. The liberals now hold the reins of power. They will do all they can to pass “hate-crime” legislation that may even outlaw the preaching of the Word of God. The so-called Freedom of Choice act may sign the death warrants of millions of the unborn.

Christian conservatives need to band together to be attentive of the actions in statehouses and in Washington and be prepared to speak out and act. Difficult days may be ahead for the church, but we do know our Lord reigns. And we also know God has given us a prescription for this national disease…

2 Chronicles 7:14: If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
May we all repent and seek the face of the Lord.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote and Pray for Our Country Today!!!

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." -- John Quincy Adams

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Free Bible Software and Books to Download

I want to thank Sheri Graham from Graham Family Ministries for introducing me to the Bible Explorer. I downloaded the software and 136 books. I encourage you to look into it and see what you think. It was well worth the time it took and it didn't cost anything. There are 1000's of other books you can download too that do cost you. Take time to go to the Graham's website too, they have a lot of great ebooks to offer.