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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A GLOBE MADE OUT OF GOLD


Before my daughter left for school this morning, we stood at the door and watched a Sears commercial. Almost at the same time, we said, "I like that song." I've been in love with the new Sears theme song since I first heard it..."Got a pocketful of wishes, a time machine, a magic wand, a globe made out of gold." It's the kind of song that stirs emotion with its dreamlike melody and haunting vocals.

What kind of world do you want? is a question that repeats throughout the song's lyrics. Since I have that song in my head, I'm going to answer. The world I want is nothing like the world we live in.

If the world could be the way I wanted it to be, everyone would love their jobs. People would be doing work that is perfectly suited for their abilities and their personalities. Going to work every day would be pure joy. And since everyone is content with their positions, we'd have no bad attitudes in the workplace. It would be a place of encouragement, productivity, and team work without drama. Imagine.

The world I want is filled with people who never let each other down. No broken promises, no gifts unsent, no dreams derailed. We can count on others to come through for us without worrying that they might change their minds on a whim. Words are like gold and we're very careful to keep our promises and follow through with plans that others might be looking forward to. It's a world without disappointment. Imagine.

In the world I want, we feel no pain of any kind whether physical or mental. All we feel is peace and contentment every second, every minute, every hour of every day. Because nothing can hurt us, we have no fears. All our choices are right, nothing is done for selfish gain, so we have no regrets, no guilt, and no shame. Loneliness is an impossible pain. We are a connected chain of souls with each life affecting the other so forcefully that by helping others we nourish ourselves.
Our concerns are for everyone around us, not just for ourselves. Imagine.

No child is abused. No one is homeless. No crimes are committed. No one feels the need to "one-up" another. Honesty is like air. Love seeps through every crevice. Our hearts know no longings. Where envy and jealousy once stood, we stand cheering the success of others, never focusing on failure, but praising their strengths. We need to encourage like we need to breathe.  To me, this is what Heaven must be like.

What kind of world do you want?... History starts now."

UNEXPECTED ENCOURAGEMENT

I was going through some old papers today and came across an e-mail from Kim Alexis.  It was written on December 22, 2006.  In my entire life, I've only received two personal messages from famous people--one from Kim and the other from Earl Hamner, the creator of the long running TV series, The Waltons.   If you don't know who Kim Alexis is, you must be under forty.  She was the most popular supermodel of her time in the eighties.  Today she is an outspoken Christian woman.  She's also a wife and a mother of grown children.  The last I saw her anywhere was on TV when she was hosting, She's Got The Look, a reality show and modeling competition that featured women in their thirties, forties, and beyond.

I remember writing to Kim back in 2006 to tell her how much I loved her book, A Model For  A Better Future.  I sent her a card and she sent a Christmas photo of her family  many months later.  I remember her telling me that she responds more quickly to e-mail, so she gave me her e-mail address.  Months later, I wrote to her again at that address.  I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but I remember that I was feeling very discouraged and disssatisfied with the direction my life had taken.  I hoped that maybe she could give me some advice to get me through that difficult time.  After reading her book, I knew that she had been through great adversity and she would understand.  This is what she wrote back:

Danelle,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick.  That is probably what you read in the Bible.  I read what you wrote, and it reminds me a bit of me.  I have had years now of hanging back and "being normal" and not working or being in the business.  It would have been natural to just let it go and be a wife and mother BUT I still have this drive and desire to GET BACK OUT THERE.  I have things to say to women.  I have been put through the fire and passed the test.  Keep your eyes focused on Him.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  Why do you have this drive and desire in your heart to reach many?  Maybe God put it there.

To much is given, much is required. 
Out of great death, comes great life!!!

Keep this message and read it daily as it must be from God.  
Blessings to you this Christmas season
Kim Alexis
(See I told you I was better with e-mail, Faster huh?)

It never ceases to amaze me how God sends encouragement at the exact time when I need it most.  It could come in the form of a phone call, a card, a letter, a book, a magazine article, a song, spoken words, or an old e-mail that I kept tucked away somewhere.  God knows when we're feeling discouraged and he sends people and things into our lives to lift our spirits when our hope is deferred and our heart is sick.  Sometimes he even uses famous people to bring encouragement.

When I think about how God is able to connect people with other people who've been there and understand, and how He's able to bring encouraging people into our lives at the exact moment when they would do the most good, I am amazed by Him. I was meant to come across Kim's e-mail today.  God knew I needed a pep talk.  Perhaps you need one too.  Perhaps he also used me to bring hope to you.  In closing, I'll repeat what Kim told me, Keep your eyes focused on Him.  He will give you the desires of your heart.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ANOTHER GREAT RECIPES BLOG

http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com

Well, I discovered another great blog for recipes, Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  Tonight I tried one of the recipes for cinnamon buns listed on the site.  They sure looked good when they came out of the oven.  Best looking buns I ever made.  If I make them again, I will double the sticky glaze that you set the rolls in.  They weren't quite sticky enough for me.  But everything else about them is divine.

It would probably be a good idea to place your pan of buns on a cookie sheet in case some of that wonderful goo bubbles over the top.  I did have to add some extra flour to the dough before I could handle it, but the dough is supposed to be somewhat sticky, so don't add too much.  I baked these for no more than 20 minutes, but set my timer for 18 minutes.  Also don't melt the butter, milk, and sugar on high.  If the milk gets too hot it might negatively affect the yeast.
  
Spend some time exploring the Mennonite Girls blog.  The cinnamon rolls are in the yeast breads category and you have several recipes to choose from.  I chose the recipe by Charlotte because my mom's name is Charlotte and I took that as a good sign.  I was very happy with the results.  My only complaint was not enough sticky for my taste.  But that can be easily adjusted.  Just double the sticky glaze.  Nothing smells up the kitchen like a fresh batch of cinnamon buns.  And these are the biggest, softest, most buttery I ever made.

Monday, December 27, 2010

WHERE'S THE SACRIFICE ON YOUR END, FIRST FAMILY?

"Sacrifice is something that many Americans are becoming all too familiar with during the economic downturn.  It was a key theme in President Obama's inaugural address to the nation and he's referenced it numerous times when lecturing the country on how to get back on its feet".

The above quote by Andrea Tantaros was taken from an article in the NY Daily News titled, Material Girl Michelle Obama is a Modern Day Marie Antoinette on a Glitzy Spanish Vacation.  This article captured my attention while surfing the net today because I recently said in one of my blogs that President Obama isn't worried about running up our national debt. "He's probably planning his next vacation about now," I said.

A few days after writing that, I learned that the Obama's have been planning a two-week Christmas vacation in Hawaii since September.  The four-day Spanish vacation taken by Michelle and daughter Sasha happened earlier this year and according to The Telegraph it cost about $375,000.  Their Christmas vacation will probably cost at least twice that much and because of Michelle Obama's inability to make a small sacrifice, $63,000 in additional expenses will be tacked on to the grand total.

You see, she couldn't wait for her delayed husband, who decided to stay in Washington until Congress finished its work for the year.  She decided that she must leave for her Hawaiian vacation on the exact day it was scheduled.  The impatient Michelle flew to Hawaii with her daughters and the dog, requiring two plane trips instead of one and an extra $63,000 in travel expenses.  The president joined them several days later.

Sacrifice?  Don't lecture us about sacrifice when you know nothing about it yourself.  What real sacrifice have you made lately, Michelle?  Your ungrateful actions are like a slap in the face to those who are really struggling in today's economy.  I think what you need is a visit from the Ghost of Lifestyles Past.  Just one visit to a mother's home during the Great Depression.would teach you about sacrifice.

"Some of the women faced such economic hardship during that time that they actually had to live with their families not in houses, but in chicken coups.  Many families even used newspaper to line their walls to keep the cold out and their children learned to read from the newspaper that covered the cracks in the walls... 

One woman  who did not have enough money to buy food had wanted to plant a garden, but being too poor to afford to buy any seed that year--her garden was sadly empty and only wild weeds sprang forth.  That did not daunt this woman who knew she had a family to feed.  Instead she gathered up those weeds and diligently began to can them.  YES, I said CAN them for the winter....

There was even one account of a mother who was so poor and was given a bag of chocolate chips.  She would make cookies and only put one chocolate chip in each cookie.  She made that bag last for months."

The above true accounts of life during the Great Depression was taken from an article titled, Courageous Mothers Who Cared For Their Families by June Fuentes.

When I think of great strong mothers who are worthy of admiration, I don't think of mothers who are self-indulgent, careless and wasteful or mothers who live in luxury while others ration chocolate chips.  I don't think of mothers who carelessly spend on designer clothes while poorer mothers make their children's clothes from potato or flour sacks.  Mothers who are truly worthy of our admiration and applause are those who know what it is to sacrifice.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

REMOVING OURSELVES FROM THIS WORLD, TRUSTING JESUS

By Jim Carvell
Contributing Writer

I got a phone call from my brother shortly after I began writing this.  An old friend had taken his own life in his home that afternoon, three days before Christmas.  I don't know the circumstances that were so troubling in his life, for we had been out of touch for years.  But this tragedy got me thinking about the trap that the prince of this world has set.

"... in time past, you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (KJV Ephesians 2:2).

"The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I (Jesus) am come that they (us) might have life and that they (us) might have it more abundantly (KJV-John 10:10).

In (Psalm 91:2-3) we read, "...I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.  For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper." -NASB

In one moment, in one decision, right or wrong, our eternal destiny is set.  Once the breath of life God gave us is ended, there is no turning back--Heaven-bound or Hell-bound, light or darkness, happiness or sadness.  We must think on this.  We who are alive as yet must make a decision.  Ignoring this does not change the truth.  Seek the truth.

As I study the New Testament, I see a few truths the authors were revealing to us:

First, salvation through our faith in Jesus, with God's grace.  Once we reach the age of accountability (when we can reason about having sin in our lives), unless God blesses us with His mercy and grace, it's impossible to understand His salvation on our own.  It is written in the prophets "And they shall all be taught of God everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me, Jesus (John 6:45).

Second, "Love...this is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I loved you (John 15:12)....since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart (1Peter 1:22).


Third, "removing ourselves from this sin-filled decaying world," into a complete trusting relationship with Jesus.  Relying on Him, not this world.  "...for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially of believers (NASB 1 Timothy 4:10).  "...Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17).

Fourth, "through Christ Jesus (our high priest) we have direct access to God."  "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, ...Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (NASB-Hebrews 4:16).

Friends, we need to understand that for those who reject Jesus, all the verses in the Holy Bible mean nothing.  But a true believer's testimony, they can't deny.  I tell you the truth, through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ has radically transformed my thought patterns and life.

"...be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:6-7).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TRUE GIFTS TRAVEL PATHS OF JOY

I decided to continue my list from yesterday after Christmas.  This will be my last blog until December 26.  I have something else on my mind today and now is the perfect time to share it.

I remember the year I suggested to my family that we skip the gift giving.  I was going through a stressful time.  The thought of searching for gifts was overwhelming me, so I called my mom and suggested that we take a year off.  Not everyone agreed with my suggestion, so they went ahead and bought gifts anyway.  I remember feeling like a scrooge that year at our family Christmas party.  I guess what I should have done was opt out of the gift exchange instead of suggesting that everyone take a break.  But stress has a way of breeding snap decisions and no one realized how on-the-brink-of-a-breakdown I was.

Then another year we went through the same thing with my husband's side of the family.  Although this time it wasn't me who suggested we skip the gifts.  Someone else decided to opt out of gift giving for financial reasons.  I agreed with this person and proceeded to call other family members, telling them about our decision.  My breaking news wasn't met with enthusiasm, so I immediately stepped out of the discussion and let other family members handle it.  Once again, I felt like a killjoy.
 
Apparently this Christmas gift thing is something every family deals with.  Today, I talked to a friend who said that one of her family members suggested they set a five-dollar limit on gifts this year.  My friend rejected the idea.  She said she's not wasting the same amount of gas to pick up a five-dollar gift.  And she doesn't want a canister of cashews for Christmas.  She'd rather get nothing.

There are no set rules for gift giving, and I guess when we try to put rules on giving we are setting ourselves up for resistance.  But we also should  respect those who choose not to give.  We need to respect both their decision and their reason for opting out.  What makes a gift a gift is the fact that it isn't forced, but rather it's given willingly and without reservation.  I wouldn't want a gift from someone who struggled to get it to me.  Whether it was a mental struggle or a financial struggle, knowing that the giver endured unnecessary stress for the sake of a gift would take the joy out of receiving it.   

I think we put way too much value on gifts.  When people push so hard to be first through the doors at Target that those in front are trampled to the ground and practically suffocated, then we've reached a sad point in our humanity.  Parents who are willing to fight with other shoppers so their child can have the latest greatest toy have reached a sad point in their humanity.  When you're willing to hurt others so you can deliver a certain gift, that's when it's time to stop. 

I often wonder what God thinks of all this fussing we do over gifts at Christmas.  He gave us the ultimate gift, yet many of us spend more time thinking about worldly gifts.  We value stuff more than Jesus.  There's nothing wrong with giving gifts.  But when gift-giving brings stress to ourselves and others, when it causes arguments and bad feelings in families, then the gift has become too expensive.

If a gift hasn't traveled a path of joy to get to me, then I'd rather it stayed on the shelf.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A BIG DOSE OF REALITY

If I hear one more person say that President Obama is doing good things for our country, I might have to hit them over the head with a BIG dose of reality.  Here's a list of things that our President has done and is doing since taking office.  Which one of these things do you consider "good"?

RUNNING UP OUR FEDERAL DEBT
According to an October 18, 2010 article posted at cbsnews.com, our national debt has increased more than three trillion dollars since Obama took office.  To put that in perspective, our national debt increased 4.9 trillion during President's Bush's two terms in office.  Our national debt is projected to soar to nearly 16.5 trillion in 2012, during Obama's fourth year in office.  But he's not worried, he's probably planning his next vacation about now.

USHERING IN SOCIALISM
In his own words, Obama proposed a "sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system."  He could have said, "down with capitalism" and saved himself the extra words.  What exactly is wrong with the way the system has been running?  Why do we need a sweeping overhaul?  Why do we need 32 self-appointed presidential czars who don't have to answer to Congress but answer only to the president?  Why do we need this assault on private enterprise?  Why trample, penalize, micromanage and destroy American businesses?  Major automakers are failing and being taken over.  Banks are failing and being taken over by government. Small businesses are being burdened with government rules, regulations, and more paperwork than ever before.  It's as if the government is trying to frustrate business owners to the point where they give up.  Government is getting bigger and putting its nose in places it doesn't belong.  Government intervention is leading us down a path to socialism.  Government-run health care and a government-managed food supply is what Obama wants.  700 billion to bail out Wall Street.  787 billion to boost the economy.  All this government spending runs counter to the intended role of government, which is to set up a framework for the individual to prosper, succeed, and create jobs and wealth.   Our government was designed  to allow individuals to make their own choices about health care and food by encouraging a private sector of free enterprise marketing.  I suggest that the next czar you appoint, Mr President, is a US constitution czar.  Someone needs to bring your policies in line with what the framers of our constitution had in mind.  This aint it!

DESTROYING OUR CHRISTIAN AND JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CULTURE
President Obama proclaimed that "America is no longer a Christian nation."  Yet 80% of Americans still believe in the resurrection of Christ. According to an Aug. 24, 2010 article posted on the Sons of Liberty website, when Obama gave a speech in Egypt, he said, "You might say that America is a Muslim nation."   Obama is the only president to skip the National Day of Prayer events during his first year in office.  But he did attend an event in the white house to celebrate Ramadan, a Muslim holiday.  No surprise there.  Obama opposes the use of the Holy Bible for congressional swearing in ceremonies.  When he spoke at Georgetown University, he insisted that a monogram symbolizing Jesus name be covered up.  Obama believes gay rights are more important than religious liberty.  If there's a clash between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty, our religious freedoms will lose according to Obama's FEOC nominee, Chai Feldblum.  And Obama has appointed a Christian-hater as the liaison to religious groups-- Harry Knox has bashed Christians in speeches before gay rights groups and has publicly attacked the Pope.

Obama refuses to defend our constitutionally protected religious freedom and has appointed people whose views on religious freedom are contrary to our constitution.  He denies our Judeo-Christian heritage and sides with Muslims.  There is no surer way to destroy America than to destroy its heritage.

I'll continue this list tomorrow.  The list is far too long to tackle in one day.  See you then.

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR MARRIAGE

By Danelle Carvell

Four years.  That's how long it took for Dana to make the connection between her husband, Jack's moodiness and his addiction to nicotine.  His hateful tantrums usually surfaced in the morning.  One morning he went into a rage over the way Dana had hung his shirts in the closet.

"I was half asleep when I heard him ranting and felt him slapping something at my feet," she said.  His dark eyes wild with anger, Jack was throwing his shirts on top of the bed and slap-ironing them with his hands.  "My first wife wouldn't have hung shirts so sloppy," he snarled.

Dana came close to leaving her husband that morning.  He said the most hurtful things when he was grouchy.  "What was it about mornings that made him so irritable?" she wondered.  Then she did some research on the behavioral effects of nicotine and discovered that anger and irritability are common when nicotine levels drop and the user craves another "hit."

That explained why mornings were Jack's moodiest time.  He had gone all night without the drug in his body.  "The regular smoker needs nicotine to maintain normal moods and suffers from unpleasant feelings of irritability between cigarettes, when nicotine levels are falling," says Psychologist Andy Parrot, PhD.  "If the smoker doesn't get his "hit" the result is nervousness, bad temperament, cold sweat, insomnia, yearning and inability to concentrate.

When Dana realized that nicotine was causing her husband's mood swings, she was determined to preserve his health and their marital happiness.  She threw all his cigarettes in the garbage and made him choose between his wife and his habit.  Fortunately Jack chose his slender, red-haired wife and his morning tantrums stopped.  "If I were single now, I wouldn't give a smoker the time of day," said Dana.  "Suffering from the effects of nicotine addiction can be avoided simply by choosing a man who isn't addicted."

Women are equally affected by nicotine.  This psychoactive drug produces transient dose-related changes in mood and feeling.  Scientists have found evidence that heroin cocaine and nicotine affect the same part of the brain.  At times tobacco can act as a stimulant, raising blood pressure and heart rate.  At other times it may produce tranquilizing effects.  But many people don't consider the nicotine in cigarettes and smokeless tobacco a drug.  They don't realize the connection between behavior and nicotine.

Lisa and Rick are both smokers.  They've smoked since they were teenagers.  When they met and married in their early thirties, what was once an occasional indulgence had grown into a pack-a-day habit for both of them.  Five years into the marriage, Rich developed a problem that neither one of them related to smoking.  This handsome, muscular man couldn't keep an erection.  At times he couldn't even get one.  "I begged him to see a doctor, but he was too embarrassed," said Lisa.  "Our sex life became non-existent withing two years and I became angry because he refused to do anything about it. 

If Rick's impotence was caused by smoking, chances are he couldn't have done anything about it at that point.  "Smoking is one of the worst things a man can do to his body," says Denver urologist Lawrence Karsh, MD.  "Over many years, smoking can damage and block blood vessels inside the penis, resulting in failure to sustain a normal erection."  In many cases, the damage cannot be reversed and the result is impotence.  Research shows that smoking may be the most preventable cause of impotence.  It is surprising that impotence is not cited more often as a persuasive reason for giving up smoking.

When Rick later developed stomach cancer, Lisa reached the breaking point and filed for divorce.  "We had drifted so far apart, I didn't even know him anymore," she said.

Taryn and Carl were happily married for two years.  She smokes; he doesn't.  This difference between them was never a problem, until Taryn became pregnant.  Eight months into her pregnancy when she quit her job, she began smoking even more.  As soon as Carl came home from work and smelled cigarettes, he threw a fit.  What was once an anticipated event, seeing each other at the end of the day, became a dreadful ritual that included screaming, door slamming, and one or both of them walking out and staying away for hours.  "I couldn't wait for the baby to be born so things could get back to normal," Taryn said.

Taryn wasn't willing to change her lifestyle, and Carl couldn't understand why she cared so little about their child.  Their resentment toward each other smothered what should have been a joyful time of shared excitement.  "I guess Carl assumed that I would quit smoking if I got pregnant, but this wasn't something we planned.  I'm just not ready to give up cigarettes.  They help me to cope, and I'm really going to need them when I'm a full-time mother," Taryn said.

When the couple brought their son home, Carl handed Taryn a stack of pamphlets about the dangers of secondhand smoke.  When she refused to read them, he followed her around the house and read them to her.
"Secondhand smoke makes children more susceptible to allergies, asthma, heart problems, ear infections, coughs, and sudden infant death syndrome," he lectured.  "There is also suggestive evidence linking exposure to tobacco smoke and childhood cancer."

After a week of Taryn's refusal to give up cigarettes once the baby was born, Carl grabbed his son from a sound sleep and went to live at his mother's house."Now my son is no longer with me and my husband is disgusted by me," said Taryn.  "All because of a habit I can't break, something he knew about me when he married me."

Carl's actions may sound extreme, but a baby's lung tissue can be seriously damaged by exposure to cigarette smoke.  Children of smokers are hospitalized more frequently for bronchitis and pneumonia during the first year of life and they develop more respiratory illness before the age of two.  Children exposed to secondhand smoke also perform more poorly in school.  They have lower scores in language and auditory processing tests and they have more behavioral problems including conduct disorders, hyperactivity, and decreased attention spans.

Frequent trips to the doctor, more days absent from school and work, behavioral problems and learning problems are some of the hassles that could await a parent who forces her child to live in a smoke-filled home.  And perhaps the worst affect on children: a child with a parent who smokes is more likely to become a smoker also.  The cycle continues and sometimes it can only be broken by the tough love of someone who cares.

Send this article to a smoker you care about.
PLEASE NOTE:
This article is a dramatization of both real and fictional characters, but the health information is all real.  Names were changed to protect identities.

Monday, December 20, 2010

MAKING TEACUP CANDLES


My teacup candles turned out great, despite the mess I made dripping wax on the floor and table.  Before you attempt this, put down several layers of newspaper over your work space.

I used two boxes of Gulf wax I bought at the grocery store to make 6 candles. I chopped the bars into one inch squares for quicker melting.  I found that the melting took much longer than expected on top of a double boiler.  I lined my pot with aluminum foil, but I wouldn't do that again because it made pouring difficult and my pot got glopped up with wax anyway.  I would use an old can with a wide bottom or a foil disposable container that fits inside your double boiler.

Getting the wicks to stay put while pouring was a challenge.  The instructions on Martha Stewart suggested wrapping the top of the wick around a toothpick to keep the wick's anchor in place.  But I didn't have a toothpick wide enough to stretch across the top of my teacup.  So I just set the anchor in the middle of the cup and hoped for the best.  Afterwards I realized that I could have used a wooden skewer for the job.  Next time I would at least tape the anchor down to the bottom of the cup so it can't move while pouring the wax.  Wicks with metal anchors are available at Michael's craft store.

Put as much water in your double boiler as it will hold.  By the time I was finished pouring wax, the water was almost gone.  I suggest melting small amounts of wax at a time.  At first I put two whole boxes of chopped wax in the pot and then had to remove some of it because it was taking so long to melt.  Also, don't set the teacup on the saucer while pouring the hot wax.  Expect dripping.  And don't move your teacup once the wax is poured.  Make sure your teacups are placed exactly where you want them until the wax is set, with plenty of room between each cup.

I added several drops of bergamot essential oil to the wax for fragrance, although I don't think I added enough at first.  You might want to research the ratio of fragrance to wax if you're adding a fragrance to your melting wax.

I still have to scrape the wax  off my kitchen floor, although it's not really noticeable.  The pot was the hardest to clean, so make sure you have a removable disposable liner for your double boiler before attempting this.  I wrapped my teacup candles with clear wrap I found at Michaels's craft store.  A few curly ribbons in red and green added the finishing touch.

Teacups are pretty easy to find in thrift stores like Goodwill or at yard sales and flea markets.  I used teacups that I had setting around for years.  I found them at an antique store and just decided it was time to do something practical with them besides being dust collectors that look pretty on a shelf.

Now the only thing left to do is figure out who I'm giving these gifts to.  I also made a batch of vanilla sugar, which I'll share with you after I post the teacup candles.  So there are two gift ideas that aren't so hard to make.  If I can do it, you can do it.  I'm no Martha, believe me.  Her shoes are too perfect and organized for me to fill.  Well, I guess I'll go for now.  I have cookies to bake, a cake to make, some homemade granola and a few bags of buttermilk pancake mix  to throw together yet and I'm done with gifts.  Hope you enjoy your week before Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

MEET A LOVABLE COUNTRY GIRL

http://homeschoolingonjuniperhill.blogspot.com

Today I'm introducing you to Jenn at A Country Girl's Ramblings.  You'll especially love her beautiful photography and her yummy sounding recipes have made me want to bake today.  I'm headed for the kitchen.  Spend some time exploring Jenn's blog.  It's now on my list of blogs I love.  I love the way she writes and I love her attitude about life.  She's a happy country girl with a lot of talent and a great love for the Lord and her family.  If I met her, we'd be instant friends.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sid Roth - It's Supernatural Messianic Vision: Dave Hess

Sid Roth - It's Supernatural Messianic Vision: Dave Hess

A WALKING MIRACLE

Dave Hess, a pastor from Camp Hill, PA, was given one month to live after being told he has an aggressive form of leukemia.  Watch the video above to hear his amazing story of healing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  I think that's how the saying goes.  With that in mind, I'm ending the cancer topic today with a quick look at ways to prevent getting it in the first place.

As I read the book Knockout, I wrote down every suggestion for avoiding cancer that was offered by the doctors Suzanne interviewed.  These are doctors who truly care about healing people.  For a further explanation of why these suggestions work, you'll have to read the book yourself.  But here's my outline for avoiding cancer, taken from what I read in the book Knockout.

Get adequate protein throughout the day (helps the liver eliminate toxins)
Increase fiber to 50 grams per day (this may only apply to adults)
Work up a sweat-it carries toxins out of the body
Drink lots of clean water
Get enough Omega 3's from fish oil or flax (5 to 7 grams)
Vitamin D and K work together to reduce cancer
take a Resveratol supplement
Turmeric, a spice used in cooking is a cancer fighter or take a Curcumin supplement to help stimulate bile flow in the liver
take Green tea extract
take a Ginger supplement
take CoQ10
Citrus peel inhibits cancer
take Vitamin A with mixed carotenoids
No Artificial Dyes
take B 12
take Vitamin D3 (one doctor claimed it is the most powerful vitamin for preventing and slowing cancer)
Melatonin is an anti-cancer
Get plenty of Folic Acid--broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower are some suggestions
Avoid MSG, which stimulates cancer growth
Avoid Omega 6 fats
Avoid Sugar, cancer is fueled by sugar (carbohydrates turn to sugar)
Reduce Iron, which causes inflammation
No red meat unless eaten with vegetables
No burned or charred meat
Don't cook on high heat
Eat Berries
No Glutamates, which stimulate cancer growth
(Glutamates are listed on food labels as hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein, soy isolates, caseinate, autolyzed yeast enzymes, autolyzed yeast extract, and "natural" flavoring.)
Avoid all Soy foods, which are high in fluoride, manganese, and glutamate (brain toxins)
Drink the juice of one lemon every day for your liver
Avoid Zinc, which activates the cancer process
Deep breathing helps the lymphatic system
Calcium reduces colon cancer risk
get sufficient Iodine (ask your doctor)
Other vegetables that are anti cancer-cabbage, carrots, beets, squash and artichokes
Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment, but don't do well when the body is more alkaline.  Drink alkaline water and take green powders that contain wheatgrass, ryegrass, barley grass and algae.  These substances alkalinize the body.
Learn about the chemicals in your environment that contribute to cancer: styrofoam, plastic bottles, pesticides, hydrocarbons, phthalates, plastic food wrap, microwaving in plastic containers, etc.  These toxins accumulate in our bodies along with poisons from the food we eat.

I hope all this information helps you make good decisions that will keep you cancer-free.  Share this information with everyone you love.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ESSIAC: THE HIDDEN CURE REVEALED

Today I'm continuing my blog from yesterday about Essiac, a cure for cancer that's been hidden from the general public since 1922.  The message of Essiac is beginning to be heard worldwide, but only by word of mouth.  My information comes from an interview with Dr. Gary L. Glum that was conducted by Elisabeth Robinson.  In that interview, Glum offers several examples of how Essiac has been withheld from the public as a cure for cancer.

Dr. Charles A. Brusch was a personal physician to the late President John F. Kennedy.  Dr. Brusch worked with Rene Caisse from 1959 to 1965.  Caisse discovered the original herbal formula known as Essiac through a patient who was cured of cancer.  The formula originated from a Ojibway herbalist.  After ten years of research, Dr. Brusch concluded "Essiac is a cure for cancer."  All studies done at laboratories in the US and Canada supported his conclusion.

After he made this announcement that a cure for cancer had been found, the federal government issued a gag order and said he has two choices: keep quiet about his findings or be hauled off to military prison.  The public hasn't heard from the good doctor since.  Ted Kennedy's son who had a sarcoma on his leg was one of Dr Brusch's patients.  At that point, no one had ever survived with that type of sarcoma.  Dr. Brusch put him on Essiac and after that he didn't have a cancer cell in his body.  But his healing was never made public.

Dr. Glum is trying to get this information out to people so they can make their own decisions about Essiac.  "You have the right to make this remedy and use it in the privacy of your own home without anyone's approval," he says..."without the approval of the AMA or FDA or anybody else."

"What will keep Essiac know is its effectiveness," said Dr. Glum.  He mentions findings that Essiac normalizes the thyroid gland, heals stomach ulcers, and regulates the pancreas in cases of diabetes mellitus.  He even claims that dying AIDS patients were brought back to health by taking Essiac three times a day.  "This information isn't being disseminated," said Glum.  "AIDS is on the horizon as another big moneymaker.  The chairman of the AIDS project in Los Angeles makes over $100,000 a year."

Dr. Glum has been taking one ounce of Essiac a day for seven years and hasn't had a cold, flu, or virus in seven years because Essiac elevates the immune system.  This simple Native herbal remedy contains Turkish rhubarb root, burdock root, the inner bark of slippery elm, and Sheep's sorrel.  The sheep's sorrel destroys the cancer cells and the other three herbs are blood purifiers.  Glum claims that Essiac has shown no negative side effects and up to six ounces a day can be taken (two ounces, three times a day-- morning, noon, and evening).
 
My husband and I just ordered our first batch of Essiac.  It has to be brewed like a tea in stainless steel pots then poured through a strainer.  The herbs are all organic and prepared by healing arts people if you order them from www.herbalhealer.com.  The Herbal Healer Academy is based in Arizona.  Ordering requires membership, but membership is free.  You can become a member by following the instructions on the website.  We heard about Essiac from family members who are taking it daily with good results.  They claim Essiac has healed their acne, skin cancer, and other ailments.

So there you have it, a cure for cancer and many other ailments.  Only you can decide if you want to believe it.  What you do with this information is up to you.  I'm just passing it along like Dr. Glum is trying to do.  The Bible says we suffer for lack of knowledge.  Essiac could be the ultimate example of that.

Please note: In cases where there was severe damage to life support organs, Rene Caisse's patients died.  She was only allowed to treat those who had been given up by the medical profession as untreatable.  The Ontario government had not legalized the use of Essiac, which limited her ability to administer it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IS THERE A CURE FOR CANCER?

Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, either personally or through a loved one.  I've been reading some very interesting information about cures for cancer and how these cures are being hidden from the general public.  A few months ago, I read the book, Knockout, by Suzanne Somers.  In that book, several doctors go on record claiming that they are curing cancer, without chemotherapy and without radiation.  Their methods of treatment vary.   But what I found most interesting in Suzanne's book is the claim that people in high places don't want a cure for cancer because cancer is a moneymaker.

 "Both the government and the pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars off the improper treatment of cancers," says Dr. Russel Blaylock in the book Knockout. In other words, they don't want you to be cured, they want you to stay sick.  Blaylock goes on to explain, "The problem is that cancer has gotten to be such big business.  If we found the cure to cancer, there would be a terrible economic impact.  Hospitals would have to get rid of all their mammogram units; they would get rid of a lot of the CT scanners and MRI scanners.  Oncologists would be out of their jobs; radiology units would close.  The impact would be hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars.  The pharmaceutical companies would lose major revenues...That is what keeps research from following a course that would lead to truly curing patients."

The above paragraph is the most interesting in the entire book.  To think that a cure for cancer is out there, but it's being withheld from the public because of greed is unimaginable.  But I believe it.  Why would so many doctors tell these stories if they weren't true?  Stories of lives being threatened if they don't keep silent about their natural cures.   Stories of medical research being destroyed so word doesn't get out that there really is a cure for cancer, a cure that doesn't involve radiation or chemotherapy.

When Suzanne Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer, she chose not to receive the usual treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. She chose a more natural approach to curing her cancer.  Yet she is still alive and healthy as ever.  That should say something to us.  Within the time she was thinking about writing the book Knockout, she watched 25 friends die of cancer. Most of those friends were receiving the traditional cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.)  They are dead.  She is alive.

If I had cancer, I would listen to what Suzanne has to say and I would also refuse chemotherapy, radiation and any other treatment that poisons the body.  There are alternative choices to treating cancer and some of these treatment paths are leading to total cures of the disease.  One of these alternative treatments is Essiac, which is considered by some to be nature's cure for cancer.

Essiac is a non-toxic herbal cure for cancer that's been with us since 1922.  It was discovered by a nurse named Rene Caisse, who came across the remedy through a patient who had been cured of cancer.  The patient had used an herbal remedy given her by an Ojibway herbalist.  Dr. Gary L. Glum published a book in 1988 titled, Calling of an Angel.  The book details the story of Rene Caisse and the effectiveness of the remedy she named Essiac.

When Rene Caisse died in 1978, the Canadian Ministry of Health & Welfare burned 40 years worth of documentation about the cancer patients that were cured with Essiac. They burned all that information in fifty-five gallon drums behind Rene Caisse's house.  Why would they do such a thing?  "Money and power" says Dr. Gary Glum.  "Cancer is the second largest revenue producing business in the world...money and power suppress the truth."  He claims that greedy entities only want to control cancer and its profits, they don't want a cure.

All this evidence pointing to the same conclusion is rather fascinating to me, but also sad.  Three different sources offering cures for cancer "they" don't want us to know about should be of interest to everyone.  Suzanne Somers' book Knockout suggests that doctors are curing cancer, but that information is being swept under the rug.  Then another book titled, Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About makes a similar claim.  And now I come across an article about Essiac, a natural cure for cancer that has been hidden from the general public since 1922.  Tomorrow I'll continue on this subject and tell you where you can get more information about Essiac.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A MAGNIFICENT SOURCE OF STRENGTH

I'm really starting to realize what a commitment it is to blog every day.  I spent most of my day trying to complete my latest freelance writing assignment.  And right now, the last thing I feel like doing is writing some more.  But that's one thing about life, we don't always get to do what we want.  Sometimes we have to push through the things we don't feel like doing and just get on with it.

Every time I step on the treadmill, I feel the urge to say, "Why don't you just skip it today?"  But I force myself to take the first step and after about 20 minutes I know I'm going to make my four-mile goal because I'm feeling energized.  I feel a sweat starting to break and my mind is starting to clear.  At that point I don't want to skip it, I want to keep going so I can reap the full reward of a good workout.  Some call it a runner's high because the body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, but I also have a feeling of accomplishment when I step off that machine because it takes so much mental effort just for me to get on the darn thing.  I'm proud of myself after four miles.

Every day I come across some thing that I know I should do, but I just don't feel like doing it.  Every day I pray for God to take control of my day and show me the things he wants me to accomplish.  I pray for strength to do everything I need to do.  And He never fails to provide it.  One of my favorite Bible verses is, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  When God is the source of your strength, you can do anything.  That's what that verse means, and I believe it with all my mind.

If you find yourself unable to finish things or unable to get motivated enough to start things, perhaps you need to reconsider the source of your strength.  Are you depending on yourself, your positive attitude, a healthy diet or a bottle of vitamins to get you through each day?  Or is your source of strength more magnificent than that?

Accomplishing great things requires help from a great God.  Only a fool would choose not to tap into that.  Thanks for helping me to write today, Lord.  Now I'm headed for the dreaded treadmill because I need to work off some stress.  I'm inviting You to go with me because if You don't, I just might talk myself out of it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Under Our Skin - Extended Trailer

EVERYTHING THAT AILS US

By Danelle Carvell

Mold, fungus, toxic fluoride, parasites, MSG, lymes disease, salmonella...these are just a few of the things that can make our lives miserable.  Some people concern themselves with these things and others don't really think about them.  The Bible says that we suffer for lack of knowledge.  But the more knowledge we aquire, the more effort we must make to protect ourselves.  Perhaps that's why people stick their heads in the sand.

I, too, get tired of discovering a new health risk every day.  I just watched a video about lymes disease.  We find ticks around here all the time.  My husband has pulled several off him after hunting and my daughter had one on her head when she was a toddler.  According to the video, lymes is a silent epidemic.  And doctor's are misdiagnosing the ailment.  People are being told they have lupus, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons, and other diseases when actually they are suffering from the symptoms of lymes disease.  Also a pregnant woman can pass lymes onto her  unborn child.  Some doctor's claim that lymes can be transmitted sexually as well.

I know some people who were treated for lymes disease with colloidal silver.  Most doctors treat lymes with a round of antibiotics, but antibiotics are becoming less effective as resistance to them grows.  Silver suffocates and kills all kinds of fungus, viruses and bacterium.  Antibiotics can only kill bacteria. Silver also stimulates healing and helps support the immune system.

Here is a list of ailments that can be cured with liquid silver taken internally-- bladder infections, bronchitis, candidia albicans, colitis, cystitis, diarrhea, dental abscesses, enlarged prostrate, Epstein Barr syndrome, food poisoning, hepatitis, influenza, malaria, meningitis, nasal infection, parasites, pneumonia, blood poisoning, sinus infections, sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, cough, headaches,nausea, chills, night sweats, staph and strep infections and tonsillitis.

Externally, silver is used to treat acne, athlete's foot, boils, burns, canker and other mouth sores, conjunctivitis, cuts, dandruff, dermatitis, diaper rash, eczema, eye infections, fungus, herpes, itching skin, moles, poison ivy, poison oak, psoriasis, rashes, shingles, warts, and ringworm.  Ringworm?  hmmm.

You do have to be careful when treating yourself at home with silver.  You don't want to take too high of a concentration or continue treatment longer than necessary.  Do your research first.  Children need smaller doses than adults.

We surely could drive ourselves crazy thinking about all the things that can make us sick.  I've read that the bottom of a woman's handbag is one of the germiest places.  Women set their handbags on the floor when they go out to dinner or even when they go in public bathrooms.  I always look for a hook to hang it on.  Germs are everywhere.  The cart at the grocery store is another place we can pick up viruses, fungus, and bacteria.  I often see people wiping the handle with antibacterial wipes.  I started doing that myself, and I try to open doors with anything but my hand when it's possible.  Sometimes that can be comical to watch.  I see others doing the same thing.  People are getting smart about avoiding illness.

I recently discovered a surprising source for sickness.  Apparently, traces of salmonella can be found in pet food.  Amazing!  Now I have to wash my hands after feeding the cat.  Is there no end to this?  Speaking of cats, I also read that one of the biggest causes of food poisoning is having food or food utensils come in contact with cat feces.  With litter boxes in homes, this can easily happen and it can result in toxoplasmosis infection. This is why pregnant women aren't supposed to clean litter boxes.  This is also why our cat is an outdoor cat.  But the way it sounds, having a dog in your home is a risk too.  Getting parasites from the dog?  Who knew?

And here's something else people don't know.  The FDA has received thousands of reports of adverse reactions to MSG.  Monosodium Glutamate is a toxin that is in most main stream foods.  MSG is a drug, a neurotransmitter which stimulates brain cell activity.  MSG tricks the brain into thinking the food you are eating tastes good and you want more.  This overstimulation of brain cells actually kills brain cells.  Reactions to MSG can include headache, migraines,  stomach upsets, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, panic attacks, heart palpitations, mental confusion, mood swings, neurological disorder symptoms like Parkinson's, MS, ALS, Alzheimers and behavior disorders to name a few.  Sometimes, what people think are allergic reactions are actually reactions to MSG.

I don't know about you, but it makes me mad that we have all this junk in our food supply and the FDA does nothing about it, even when they receive reports of adverse reactions.  Apparently not enough people got sick to justify taking it off the market.  MSG is a money maker.  Enough said.
 
Well, I think that's enough health scares for one day.  If you want to read more about all the things that can make you sick and what you can do to heal yourself, go to www.herbalhealer.com  You can order a catalog of alternative natural medicine that has some great information about the things that ail us and the natural cures that are available.  Also, I'm posting the lymes disease video, Under Our Skin, which I think you'll find interesting.  Stay healthy!  See you tomorrow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

EVERY TIME I TURN AROUND

I totally understand how someone could become a hypochondriac.  Every day I hear about another health risk I should be concerned about.  I've been reading about black mold because we have mold growing behind our toilet tank.  I guess it's been there a while and I'd have to remove the tank from the wall to clean it.  So I guess it's staying there because I have no clue how to do that.  I also have to spray down the shower with clorox water every few days to control mold in there.

From what I've read about mold, the first place a person suffers from it is the lungs and sinuses.  So is it a coincidence that my daughter and I both suffer from sinus problems?  She can't even breathe through her nose some nights.  We have to run a steam vaporizer every night so she can breathe.  The vaporizer is probably contributing to a damp house, which mold thrives in.  So we run a dehumidifier as well.  Mold can contribute to memory loss, brain fog, fatigue, and learning disabilities.  Mold can get into the lungs and cause breathing difficulties and sudden onset asthma.

Another health risk found in the bathroom is fluoride toothpaste.  I recently stopped using toothpaste with fluoride after watching a video that claims fluoride is banned in nine countries because it's toxic and it causes all kinds of health problems.  You can view this video under my Labels heading on the right side of my blog.  Just click on the Videos category.

One of the ailments that is contributed to fluoride is arthritis.  I recently had a blood test that concluded I have the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis.  So I started using toothpaste I make at home and you know what?   Since I've been off fluoride toothpaste, I haven't had arthritis symptoms.  Coincidence?  I guess it's too early to tell, but there might be a connection.  You can get the recipe for homemade toothpaste by clicking the home recipes category under Labels on the right side of my blog.

While I'm on subjects that start with "f", I'll mention fungusRingworm is a fungus that grows on your body.  It's extremely hard to get rid of, as I have discovered.  I have ringworm on my right leg just above my ankle.  It's embarrassing to talk about, but I guess it's easily contracted because I'm a clean person when it comes to hygiene. Ringworm can grow on different areas of the body and can cause hair loss and thick deformed toenails and fingernails.  It also causes extreme itching, sometimes a rash.  Often it forms a red ring, which is how it got it's name.

I have no idea where I got ringworm, but I suspect our cat because she often rubs against my leg (her way of showing affection).  My doctor suggested an over-the-counter cream but all that does is control it.  The itch drives me crazy at times and I would love to find something that gets rid of the problem completely.   It's strange that fungus can grow on your body and stay there, almost like parasites.

Speaking of parasites, there's another health concern. I know parasites are for real because I know two people who have had them.  I also know of a case where a young boy contracted a parasite from his dog and it eventually attacked his brain and almost killed him.  You can contract parasites from your dog, cat, or horse.  Parasites can be in your drinking water, garden dirt, or you can get them from using public toilets.

Contaminated food is another source, as well as undercooked meat, especially pork.  Did you know that Japan worms their school children every year?  Parasitic infections often go undetected by conventional medicine, especially in the United States, where people don't take parasites seriously. Also our primitive testing methods do not detect blood born parasites, liver flukes, lung worms, heart worms, etc.  If a doctor suggests you have a parasitic infection, wouldn't you look at him as if he's crazy?

Yet parasites are an epidemic in the United States.  Cancer, Aids and all chronic deadly ailments have been found to be accompanied by primary or secondary parasitic infections.  Symptoms of parasitic infections include: chronic fatigue, skin problems, headaches, constipation, gas & bloating, loss of appetite or uncontrollable appetite, itchy ears, nose and anus, nail biting, PMS, forgetfulness, premature aging, malnutrition, anemia, dull hair, brittle nails and more.  Well I guess I'll sign off for now and continue this tomorrow, when I'll finish my list of ailments every time I turn around.  I'll also share some natural remedies for some of these problems and where you can get them.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS

I always said I'm not a pet person.  Not that I don't love animals and think they're amazing creatures, I just never wanted one in my house.  But that was before our dog, Jazz.  Jazz is special.  He's white with a band of black at the base of his tail and a patch of black/ brown around one eye.  My favorite marking on him is a black spot that looks as if someone dipped one finger in black paint and tapped the top of his head.

We believe Jazz came to us through prayer.  My daughter wanted a dog for a long time and I kept saying, No.  Eventually I softened after months of begging.  I told her to start praying for the perfect dog.  And I remembered something Pastor John Hagee shared about his family's pet.

Hagee's daughter also was begging for a dog, so he told her that if someone offered her the exact dog she wanted for free, then she could keep it.  Well she kept praying, and one day a neighbor who was moving to a place that didn't allow pets offered her the exact kind of dog she wanted at no cost. Mr. Hagee was amazed.  And so were we when we got a phone call from my mother telling us about a Jack Russel terrier mix for sale in Duncannon.  We didn't expect to get the dog for free, but we did pray that God would lead us to the right dog.  He did that through my mom.

Jazz has the cutest habits.  You can't help but love him.  When there's no water in his bowl, he flips his water dish.  I sometimes hear the clang of metal on the wooden floor early in the morning. I'm a light sleeper so I answer his request.  He'll look up at me, then look at his turned over dish, as if to say, "Sorry to wake you, but I need a drink." Once we almost bought him a water bowl that set inside a heavy wooden base.  When we realized he wouldn't be able to flip the bowl, we decided against it.  I don't mind getting out of bed for a request that cute.  To me, his cutest habit is the way he wedges himself between my ankles when I'm standing at the sink washing dishes.  And I love the way he lays in that little patch of sunshine that comes through our glass front door.

One of his funniest habits is he'll bark if a doorbell rings on TV.  He's a good little watchdog.  He gives the UPS guy a warning when he comes and the mail lady.  He considers it his job to protect us.  Sometimes he even barks at the wind.  He's on top of things that way.  We also get a kick out of the way he eats.  If he doesn't like a certain morsel of dog food, he'll carefully set it outside his dish.  Eventually he has a collection of these morsels, all the same size and color.  If he eats something he really likes, he'll walk around the house smacking his lips quite loudly.  The noise is actually from his tongue slapping all around the outside of his mouth searching for stray pieces.

Jazz got his name during his first ride home.  My daughter noticed that when the radio dial was set to Jazz music, her new dog settled down and fell asleep.  I thought it was a great name.  I call him Jazzy.  Jazzy has favorite spots to lay throughout the house.  He loves to sleep on the footrest of my husband's recliner while he watches TV.  At night, he sleeps on my daughter's bed, which I don't like.  After seeing him eat droppings from our cat (his most disgusting habit) I worry about bacteria, not to mention fleas and ticks.  But she doesn't worry about any of that stuff.  One morning I walked into her bedroom and saw my daughter sleeping with her mouth open.  Directly in front of her on the pillow was Jazz asleep with his paw on her mouth.  We've made some trips to the doctor for strep throat.  No one but me seems to think it has anything to do with Jazz.  He's still on her bed every night no matter how much I harp.

A few months ago Jazz went outside to do his business and got more than he expected.  He was nailed in the face by a skunk.  My husband was irate at first, but then took pity on him and washed him in a downstairs sink.  His little eyes were dripping tears from the strong odor all around him.  He looked so pitiful and scared.  I thought he would stink up the whole house if we brought him inside and I was ready to sleep at my mom's.  But to my surprise the house didn't smell and my husband got Jazz cleaned up to where we could barely smell the skunk odor.  I had a recipe in my file cabinet for skunk wash, just in case we ever needed it.  Most people think tomato juice does the trick, but you actually need something alkaline to combat skunk odor.  Tomato is acid PH.

Jazz has become a beloved part of our family and now I understand how people become attached to animals.  He even has eyebrows, we discovered.  That's what makes his facial expressions so expressive.  He tilts his head every time we talk to him as if he's trying to understand.  And he has the softest ears.  I love to pull his floppy ears through my fingers.  So I guess now I am officially a pet person, thanks to the little dog we prayed for.  God works all things together for good and he cares about every detail of our lives, even what kind of pet we bring home.  So if you're thinking about a pet, start praying and see what comes along.  And if that pet happens to encounter a skunk, here's the recipe for skunk wash.

SKUNK WASH HOME REMEDY

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 tsp liquid dish washing detergent
Let pet soak for 5 min then rinse and repeat as necessary.
Be careful hydrogen peroxide can bleach your pets hair, fur, and coat.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

MEET LYSA TERKEURST

www.lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com
Today I'm giving you the pleasure of reading another woman's blog because I need a blogging break.  Lysa Terkeurst is a wonderful author and speaker.  She is so honest about her own struggles and this makes her very likable in my book (If I had a book).  I first saw Lisa on TV when she was talking about her book, "Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl.  I instantly liked her and what she had to say.

Lysa discusses topics that every woman can relate to.  Her newest book, Made To Crave is soon to be released and if you struggle with weight gain and emotional eating, (Who doesn't at this time of year) you will most likely find her insight helpful.  You can subscribe to Lysa's site and receive all her blog posts by email.  Hope you enjoy exploring her blog.

Oh, and the commercial I posted today is an afterthought from yesterday's blog post.  See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Miller Christmas (1981)

THE WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS

I'm officially in the Christmas spirit.  Our family just returned from our daughter's Christmas concert.  I haven't had a moment to blog until now.  One of those days.  It's funny how Christmas events can brighten your mood and get you humming tunes you haven't hummed for an entire year.  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was the opening and closing song at the concert.  That's the tune I've been humming while baking cookies at 9:00 pm.  A Christmas apron and a pair of red slippers would complete the picture.  I'll put it on my list.

Last night Charlie Brown Christmas was on TV.  That's another thing that puts me in the Christmas spirit.  All those shows I used to watch as a kid in the weeks before Christmas.  Rudolph, Frosty, and my favorite, the Grinch.  I get just as much joy watching those shows as an adult, maybe even more than when I was a kid.  I'd be upset if they ever stopped airing them.  My favorite part of the Grinch is when that little dog of his is dangling from a rope suspended from the sleigh that's about to fall off a cliff.  The Grinch pulls the dog by his paw and says, "It came without presents.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags."

The Christmas commercials were just as entertaining as the shows.  When you heard the repeated ping of Andre champagne glasses raised in a toast to the tune of Ring Christmas Bells you knew the Christmas season was approaching. Then there was the Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdale horses and the Norelco commercial where Santa came riding down a snowy hill atop an electric shaver.  My favorite commercial was aired by Miller in 1981, a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a snow-covered countryside to the tune of I'll Be Home For Christmas.  I have it posted above and the Norelco commercial follows it. If you keep clicking, I don't endorse anything you see beyond the commercials I mentioned. Watch them and savor the memories.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is a night in the late seventies, when I went Christmas caroling with my sister and some of her friends.  We walked around my hometown, Pillow, Pennsylvania and sang for neighbors that we knew.  There was snow on the ground, lots of it.  And as the evening progressed a light snow dusted our noses and eye lashes, just like in the song Favorite Things.  It was cold that night, but I loved it.  Some of the people we sang for invited us inside for hot chocolate.  Other folks offered us cookies or fruit.  I guess if I'm ever starving I could survive in December.  Or maybe not if I had to sing solo.

I remember the Christmas shopping trips my parents would take us on when I was very young.  That was before the mall was an option. We bought our gifts in the town of Sunbury.  About 20 miles from home, it was the closest place to find a variety of shops down each side of the street.  People were bustling down the sidewalks to the tune of familiar Christmas music.  I remember looking up as I walked from shop to shop with my parents and siblings.  Every block had a decorative arch of sparkly vine that stretched across the street.  Teal blue and red were the colors I remember.  They put the same decorations up each year, but I thought they were beautiful.
 
I love to see how people decorate their homes for Christmas, especially the outdoor lights at night.  It's neat to drive through the countryside viewing homes close up and in the distance. Like lit-up gingerbread houses, the glowing colors bring magic to the landscape and a touch of fairytale charm.  Some people really get ambitious with the lights.  I slow down for those houses.  My favorite are the blue icicle lights hanging under the roof. I'm partial to blue lights for some reason.  That's my favorite color lights to put on a Christmas tree.  Certain colors just affect your mood in a positive way and I think blue is one of those colors.

Even more fun is snooping in people's homes to see how they decorate inside.  I'm talking about those Christmas House tours that send you on a road trip stopping at churches, businesses and homes.  Some people even set the dining table as they would for Christmas dinner.  They get out the good china, linen napkins, candles, amazing centerpieces.  One woman told me tonight at the concert that she recently attended a Christmas open house and counted over 40 decorated trees throughout the house.  There was even a tree in the garage.

Some people have such a gift for interior decorating and they really put on the Ritz at Christmas.  They set out displays of sugar cookies, pastries, and breads.  Offer you a warm cup of spiced cider.  Christmas tunes play softly in the background, the scent of cinnamon and gingerbread in the air, and the only thing that makes you want to leave is the promise of something even more magical at the next stop on your map.

Christmas parties, plays and concerts, shopping and wrapping gifts, caroling in the snow, gazing at decorations inside and out, baking cookies, exchanging them with friends, and getting together with loved ones.  The tastes of the season, the smells, the sounds, a visual celebration to take in.  Christmas is a magical time. A feast for all the senses.  And if we keep in mind the true reason for Christmas, we'll have joy in our hearts as well.  I hope your calendar is filled with events and gatherings that will lift your spirits and have you humming familiar tunes, ushering in another year of  Merry Christmas memories.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ANOTHER KIND OF STUCK

Yesterday I wrote about how I was feeling stuck.  I couldn't get motivated.  This feeling was caused by physical tiredness.  Not quite exhaustion, which requires lots of rest.  I just felt a little depleted and tired of the whole routine.  Last night, at our church Christmas party, we had the pleasure of hearing a lady speak about something most of us can relate to--anxiety.  After hearing what she had to say, I realized that there's another kind of stuck--being mentally stuck with anxiety and worry that robs your energy.

The speaker shared her struggles with worry and fearful thoughts.  Her mind was stuck in a negative pattern of "what if this happens" fear and "if only I would have" regrets.  Instead of living for today, she was stuck in the future, worrying about what might happen or stuck in the past regretting what already did happen. This pattern of thinking caused her to become deeply depressed.  Her constant worry and anxiety  had robbed her energy and put her into a terrible state of mind.

She went to her pastor for help.  She also was lead to an encouraging book, Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George.  I recognized the title because I read that book and it's one of my favorites.  George says we must be faith oriented, not feeling oriented.  We should never view our lives through the lens of feelings because they are too varied and unstable.  When we feel panic, worry or any kind of anxiety we need to put our faith in God and the truth of His word, not in our feelings.

That's exactly what the speaker did to win her battle with anxiety and depression.  The first thing she did was ask God to bring any unconfessed sin to her mind so she could confess and be forgiven.  This was her way of starting fresh and cleansing her mind.  She didn't want anything to hinder her healing.  The second step was filling her mind with the truth of God's word.  She knew that she had to replace her worried thoughts with more positive thoughts.

Phillipians 4:8 was one of the scriptures she began to dwell on: ..."whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."  She said she had notecards of scripture placed around the house-- where she stood to wash dishes, at the bathroom mirror, even in her car.  Whenever a negative worrisome thought crept into her mind she took that thought captive and pushed it out of her mind.  Then she replaced that thought with the truth of God's word.

Speaking God's word out loud was another weapon she used to battle her anxiety.  Speaking God's promises out loud has great power she said.  Jeremiah 29:11 was another scripture she would dwell on to keep her mind free.  In that scripture God promises this: "I know the plans I have for you...plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

In Loving God With All Your Mind, Elizabeth George says God reassures us that His purposes for us are good.  Romans 8:28 says, "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  We can use this promise in our prayers.  Simply say, "God, Your word says all things including this (you name the present problem) work together for good."  This is sometimes called praying God's word and it forces us to acknowledge God's involvement in our lives and reminds us that He is the source of our hope.

No matter what kind of stuck we are... physically, mentally, or emotionally, the answer is the same.  Go to God and dwell on the truth of His word.  Commit your work to Him.  Dedicate your day to Him.  Psalm 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him and He will do it."  Elizabeth George paraphrases that promise this way: "Trust God to take over your career, home, work, all the circumstances, aims and ambitions of life, and He will so mold events that your deepest and purest desires shall find unmeasured fulfillment, and life will be filled with utter satisfaction"  "What a promise!," she adds. "What hope! What a plan God has for us, His children!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

TODAY I FEEL STUCK

Do you ever feel stuck?  Just tired of going through the routine of life?  Your energy is drained and you wonder if you'll get through another day.  It's not depression, it's just plain tiredness.  You feel spent, depleted, like you have nothing left to give.  That's how I'm feeling today, so I guess that's what I'll write about, being stuck.

What do you do when you're stuck?  I think the worst thing you can do when you're stuck is isolate yourself from friends, family, and community activity.  That's what I really want to do when I'm burned out, but I know it's not a good idea because isolation only contributes to that stuck feeling.  If the problem is exhaustion, we do need rest and maybe some solitude, but what we need when we're stuck is encouragement, inspiration, a fresh perspective.  Those things can only come from being close to other people and being close to God.

When I'm stuck, I can't concentrate.  Everything I do takes twice as long.  I procrastinate.  Get distracted easily.  I daydream a lot.  I'm just in a different state of mind when I'm stuck.  I need something to unstick me.  Something or someone needs to lift me up again.  And that won't happen if I shut myself off from the world and ignore God.

I think God knew how I would be feeling today, because he booked an extra busy week for me.  Lots of activity is exactly what I need.  But I need more than that.  I need to spend time with the One who knows me better than anyone.  I need to praise God for all He does for me.  I need to talk with Him.  Pour out my heart to Him.

So many people don't realize how much they need God.  They don't realize that the frustration they're feeling is actually a longing for closeness to God.  He created us to have a deep need, a longing for Him.  We feel that longing every day from childhood through adulthood.  It's a constant craving that never goes away. 

I'm grateful that I know what I really need when I'm feeling stuck.  I don't reach for a bad habit to comfort me.  I reach for friends, family, and the Comforter himself.  I know I'll be feeling differently by the end of the week because I have the cure for this ailment.  I've been stuck before and I know how to break free.  I won't stay stuck for long.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

By Jim Carvell, guest writer


Are believers not called to be doing the Lord's work?

I was reading Paul's writings in  (I Cor. 16:10).  Paul said,"Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without cause to be afraid, for he is doing the Lord's work, as I also am."

Just what is the Lord's work?  And are all believers to be doing this as well today?

In verse (13 of I Cor. 16), Paul says, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  This to me sounds like a serious commitment.  Then in (2 Tim. 2:1) Paul tells Timothy, "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."  In verse 3 he says to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  Verse 4 says... "no soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier."

"Be sober in all things ,endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry," says Paul to Timothy in (2 Tim. 4:5).  In all of Apostle Paul's letters, he is writing to either a particular brother or sister in Christ or to a church body of believers.  We,today, who believe in Christ Jesus and his resurrection are that same body of believers.  So that makes us soldiers as well.

What is the fight?  We are to put on the full armor of God so that we will be able to stand firm against the [schemes of the devil] (Eph. 6:11). We are not to participate in unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (Eph. 5:11).  I believe this could be false shepherds/pastors and teachers as well as the evil darkness that is taking root in our government, schools, and sometimes our families.

Jesus said to the Jewish believers..."if you continue in my word, you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32).  This battle we're fighting is of the truth between Jesus, our light and savior, and the devil, who is of darkness, despair, confusion and destruction of eternal life.

Paul sums it up in (Eph. 3:9-11) where he states: the mystery of God's manifold wisdom, which was hidden for ages, might be made known "through the church"...made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places (Satan's demons).  This was in accordance with the eternal purpose carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This battle is spiritual.  Sometimes it becomes physical, but it's real.  We are told in (Col. 4:2)..."devote yourselves to pray, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving"; and in verse 5..."conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders."

I believe that through intense study of God's word we can see the truth and the evil we live in today.  "A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty."  Prayer is the weapon that binds Satan and his evil.  "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).

If we peacefully expose evil men and imposters in our government and schools, which will grow from bad to worse in these last days (2 Tim. 3:13).  And if we warn those who may not know the truth, then we just might be doing the Lord's work.  And as Paul said..."consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything" (2 Tim. 2:7).

My goal is to be listed under the church of Philadelphia as in (Rev. 3:7-13) where Jesus states in verse 10..."because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."

What's your goal?  Are you doing the Lord's work or are you entangled in the affairs of everyday life?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

100% HOMEMADE VANILLA IS WORTH THE WAIT

I just got back from another day of shopping.  Feeling like I accomplished a lot.  Mostly I was looking for items to use in my homemade gift baskets.  The Goodwill store really came through for me.  I found some beautiful glass sugar bowls with lids for a dollar a piece.  I don't think those gals at Goodwill know what they have sometimes.  I hear stories of people finding valuable treasures in that store.  One girl said she spotted a familiar piece of pottery in the exact color she loves.  When she turned the piece upside down and saw the name engraving, she knew it was a collector's piece from the very collection she buys.  They were only asking two dollars for it, and she knew it sells for fifty.  "I couldn't get out of there fast enough," she said.  She thought they might discover the pricing error and ruin her rush.
 
I love the rush of finding treasures like that.  Some people get a thrill from buying pricey items.  My thrill comes from knowing that I'm practically stealing it.  But not really.  I'm planning to use the sugar bowls to hold my homemade vanilla sugar.  I'm also planning to give homemade vanilla as gifts.  And last night I watched a video on how to make tea cup candles.  Can't wait to try that.

I have these beautiful Victorian teacups that I found at an antique store.  They are so elegant and expensive looking because of the splashes of gold, the pretty patterns and  bold floral designs.  Some of the cups even have pedestals or little feet under them.  I fell in love with those teacups as soon as I saw them, but they've been collecting dust for years.  I'm finally going to put them to more practical use and make some candles out of them.  Teacup candles are so pretty when they're lit.  I'm sure the gals I give them to will be tickled with them.

Today I had no problem finding the paraffin wax to make candles, but I couldn't find wicks with anchors on them, so I'll share the teacup candles another time.  I like to try these things myself before explaining how to make them.  But I have tried making homemade vanilla, and that's the recipe I'll be sharing today.  I heard about vanilla sugar and I have a recipe, but I haven't made any yet.  But those sugar bowls are going to be so happy when they're filled with the wonderful scent of sweet vanilla.  Vanilla sugar is a great gift for people who put sugar in their coffee or tea.  My husband adds my homemade vanilla to his coffee and loves it.

So why make your own vanilla?  Lots of reasons.  First of all, store bought vanilla is very expensive and when you realize what you're getting, it kind of makes you mad to pay the price.  Did you know that artificial vanilla flavoring, imitation vanilla flavoring, natural vanilla flavoring, vanilla extract, and pure vanilla extract are all names that can be used to describe wood pulp that's made to taste like vanilla.  If you buy vanillin, you're also getting a cheaper, lower grade vanilla substitute.  Most store-bought vanilla contains 35% alcohol.  Real vanilla should contain 100% alcohol.  Vanilla manufacturers thin their extract with water to make a bigger profit.  If you want the best tasting vanilla, you need real Bourbon Grade A vanilla beans and you need to let them soak in 100% alcohol for three months.  But oh, is it worth the wait!

Besides the exceptional taste, one of the benefits of using pure100% alcohol vanilla is that it will make whatever you're making or baking, ice cream especially, softer and smoother.  I add two Tablespoons to a batch of ice cream, but not so much you can taste the alcohol.  Your ice cream will be softer since alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than most freezers are set to.  You can make homemade ice cream and then put the leftovers in the freezer, and it will be amazingly soft and easy to scoop the next time you eat it.  Okay, I'm sure I convinced you that it's worth the trouble, so here's the recipe.  Have fun.

You will need
12 vanilla beans about 7-8 inches long (bourbon grade A)
a fifth of 100 proof vodka (NIKOLAI is fine. Quality doesn't matter so go cheap)

Open your vodka bottle and pour out about four ounces.  It's up to you what you do with the excess.  Cut the vanilla beans down the middle with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds (caviar) with a dull knife.  Use a funnel or carefully drop the seeds into the vodka bottle.  Then add the remaining vanilla bean skins.  Put the lid on, shake, and store in a cool, dark place.  I put my bottles in a paper bag in the back of the fridge, so as little light hits them as possible.  Light is not a friend to vanilla and it shouldn't be stored near any heat source.  Every few days shake the bottle well and then put it back to sit and steep.  When your vanilla is done steeping after three months, you can grind the vanilla skins and use them in your baking as well.  Some people prefer to strain the vanilla when it's done steeping, but I love those flecks of vanilla bean in the liquid.  If you prefer a stronger infusion, you can let the vanilla steep up to 12 months, but who could wait that long for something so good.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Top ten lies about Senate Bill 510

Top ten lies about Senate Bill 510

CHANGE ISN'T ALWAYS GOOD part 3

"Change" was what we were promised.  Change is what we're getting.  But change isn't always good.  Do good things happen when Big Brother creeps into every area of our lives?  My hubby found a tracking device in a box of thumb tacks last night.  These radio frequency chips are placed in the products we buy so they can be tracked.  Sometimes the chips are the size of a pinhead.  They're placed on just about everything we bring home, from clothes to food.

Thirty years ago, my high school English class read the book 1984.  That book seemed so strange to me in 1979.  Me and my classmates joked about the bizarre sci-fi storyline.  "Big Brother is watching you," we'd chant in a spooky tone.  In the story, Big Brother was big government ruling over people who were under constant surveillance.  Citizens were being watched, monitored, and regulated around the clock.  That story doesn't sound so far-fetched today.  Big Brother has its nose in everything we do and now it's not just watching us, it's touching us.

You've heard about the invasive pat downs at airports.  You can either get bathed in radiation or get groped by a TSA worker.  I think I'd opt for the pat down because I don't trust the amount of radiation those machines throw at me.  Mike Adams at naturalnews.com posted an article today titled: Radiation Scientists Agree TSA Naked Body Scanners Cause Breast Cancer and Sperm Mutations. So the pat down would be the lesser of two evils.  But I would insist on clean gloves because the TSA employees who conduct the pat downs and strip searches at our nations airports don't change their gloves.  The gloves are for their protection, not ours.  People are being searched with dirty gloves that have been in crotches, armpits, touching people with illnesses.  I'm sure those gloves have been responsible for the transmission of all kinds of communicable and contagious afflictions.

And who are these people that are touching us in personal places?  Did you know that child pornography and sexual battery is not included in the list of offenses that would disqualify an applicant seeking TSA employment?  Only a conviction of murder, assault, intent to murder, rape or aggravated sexual assault within the last ten years will disqualify an applicant.  Why would The TSA consider anyone for employment who's been convicted of such felonies?  Regardless of when they were convicted?

The ACLJ is calling on the Department of Homeland Security to implement passenger profiling that will target the real terrorists and end the intrusive and humiliating search techniques being forced on innocent children and grandparents at airports.  The TSA needs to adopt a sound, effective security strategy like the one Israel has in place.  In Israel, only those most likely to be terrorists are targeted for questioning at airports.  The emphasis is put on gathering intelligence and data about passengers.  There's no radiation and no groping involved.  Instead the travel history and background of air travelers is examined and that information is used to highlight the most likely suspects.  Doesn't that make more sense?  You can sign the petition to target the terrorists and end the intrusive one-fits-all approach at our nations airports.  Just click on the ACLJ link at the right side of my blog.

Another example of Big Brother overstepping its boundaries is the Food Safety Modernization Act.  This will create an even larger government bureacracy as it gives the FDA more authority to regulate farmers.  I'm not a fan of the FDA because I experienced the suffering that results from its greed and incompetent decisions.  The FDA fails to do the job it's already been given because it does not require truthful labeling of all genetically modified foods. My guess is the FDA is paid off by Monsanto, the maker of GMO's.  Monsanto wants to keep you in the dark about the mad science experiments they're conducting on the food you buy and eat.  It does sound crazy.  But do your own research if you doubt it.

The FDA is supposed to be concerned about a safe food supply, yet they don't think it's important to tell us that the GM tomatoes we buy are cross-bred with arctic flounder and GM seeds contain their own pesticides. And what about all the drugs that have been approved by the FDA that were later discovered to cause permanent neurological damage or death. You can't get through a television show without seeing an ad from a law office that wants to represent people damaged by these FDA-approved drugs.  Even FDA-approved vaccines, which are supposed to prevent illness, have been linked to many deaths.  She got the Gardasil vaccine and then she was gone.  Yeah, the FDA knows what's best for us. Three cheers for the FDA!

The Food Safety Modernization Act calls for FDA regulation of how farmers grow, harvest and produce.  It will most likely discriminate against small organic and diversified farms.  Small local farmers will be subject to the same broad federal regulatory oversight that applies to the large industrial food system.  These increased regulations and the additional paperwork and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring food to local communities.  Buying fresh, local food at farmers markets could become a thing of the past.  More change.

I could spend the rest of the day writing about the change that we were promised.  Change in our schools, change in our military, change in presidential patriotism, protocol and traditions.  Change. Change. Change.   You can almost feel it--sweeping changes coming to Congress and America--a new wave--a critical new beginning.  The promise sounded hopeful, but we forgot one thing.  Change isn't always good.

Support the ACLJ.  They're fighting for life, liberty and everything good.