Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Hodge Podge Vol 195

It's that time again. Here are the questions for this week's Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back o Joyce's blog some time today to share answers. See you there!

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so?  I have done this and I left housework undone so I could spend some quality time with my sweet husband.  During the week it is as if we pass in the of us going and the other coming.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'?  That one is easy....coming and going.  Some mornings I feel as if I just got home and I am headed out again.

 3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek?'  It depends on the infraction.  Sometimes I can do this with ease.  Other times I struggle with turning the cheek. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it?  Ummmm....that would have been yesterday.  I turned both my purse and a desk drawer upside down looking for something and I did find the bottom of the purse.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment?  Giving and receiving.  I made copies for the teacher next door to me because she has no printer in her room.  She ran copies for me in the teacher work room.  Mrs. Embry is easy to do things for.  She is always so appreciative.....and so am I.  When you are new to a school it is nice to know someone has your back.

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me. green as my second choice. 

The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite?  October Sky is mine.  I love that movie.  One year when I did volunteer work for ASP we were actually working in the town that this story is about.  There were several signs about the Rocket Boys.  After we got home from ASP I watched the movie again and bought it.  It is a great movie.
8. Insert your own random thought here. Last week was Homecoming week at WHS.  The week was crazy.....and there was no instruction that took place.  The kids were focused on one thing....Homecoming.  I survived....and this week is Homecoming week at RCHS.  I am not sure I will survive a second week of madness.  My senior year our Youth for Christ won first place for our float.  We worked on it for many days.  It is not like that more chicken more papier mache.  So sad....that was half the fun. 
The picture before the homecoming queen  at the bottom middle was our Youth For Christ...award winning float.  Little Miss Muffet says her prayers....the theme for the parade was fairy tales.  What do you remember of your homecoming.

Monday, October 20, 2014

An Amish Second Christmas


About The Book:  Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances.
“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth WisemanKatherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth ReidJoy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen FullerAnne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia GoyerVanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.
About The Authors:
Beth Wiseman 
Award-winning, bestselling author Beth Wiseman is best known for her Amish novels, but she has also written several successful contemporary novels, set primarily in her beloved Texas, including Need You Now and The House that Love Built. Both have received glowing reviews. Beth's The Promise is inspired by a true story.
Kathleen Fuller
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including *A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield.
Ruth Reid
Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who resides in Florida with her husband and three children.
Tricia Goyer
USA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and Tricia and her husband John live in Little Rock, Arkansas where John works for FamilyLife. They have six children.
My Thoughts On The Book/Novellas:  I could not seem to review the book as a whole and felt as if each novella deserved comment so I broke it into novella sections.  My favorite part of the end of the book of course was the recipes.
When Christmas Comes Again: There is something about Christmas, forgiveness, and second chances and this book was filled with the true meaning of Christmas in every day life.  I loved the storyline, the mysterious man.  If this novella does not touch your heart then nothing will. This book was well written and heart touching.  
Her Christmas Pen Pal: This novella was my favorite.  I loved the story line about the Christmas cookies and letter that were delivered to the wrong house.  I have had this happen to me before and really loved seeing how this story played out.  It was a fun, sassy little read and I loved the Pen Pal concept.  As a child I had pen pals and looked forward to getting mail from them.  This story will make you smile.
A Gift for Anne Marie: Theme of moving from the familiar to the unknown is a touching one.  I have moved many times, as a pastor's wife, and it is never easy to leave behind family and friends. I was delighted that Anne Marie was able to keep her familiar.  This was a sweet novella and added to the other stories it makes An Amish Second Christmas a delight.
The Christmas Aprons: My heart was immediately attached to Esther Glick.  This amazing baker had so little self-esteem.  In Esther's world she does not see herself as someone who matters.   Watching the friendship/romance bloom between Esther and Ammon was delightful. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Look Bloggers, Blogging for Books group and Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Do You Give Because You Have To Or Because You Want To?

My Text today is from: Matthew 22:15-21.  Join me as I read it.

The tax inspector brought Mr Gudgeon in for his tax assessment interview: "I’m going to say to you what I say to every taxpayer who sits in that chair: you should realize that it’s a privilege to live in this country and you should pay your taxes with a smile." "Thank goodness," said a visibly relieved Bob, "I thought you were going to ask me for money."  This particular passage from Matthew is unusual in that we are told immediately that the encounter is a plot to trick Our Lord.  The Romans, contrary I think to popular belief these days were not an invading army in Judea. They had been invited into the country to make peace. They decided to stay and it is now a province. Certain parts of the Jewish leadership believed they needed the Romans and should pay taxes and go about their business. Others thought that the Romans could not be tolerated. They were idolaters, and brought their images with them, and they were gentiles and were polluting the holy land by even being there.  So the Pharisees went to Jesus to trap him. They asked him a yes or no question: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? If he says yes, they think then that the people will desert him. If he says no, they think they can get him in trouble with the Romans. That’s why the Roman followers of Herod are there also: it is an unholy alliance between two extremes of Jesus’ opposition. But the response is more than a simple yes or no answer. The response is far more complex and more theological: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s."

This is a difficult answer because it leaves open the question what is Caesar’s and what is God’s? You can’t trust Caesar to tell you what’s Caesar’s. Because Caesar’s answer is always the same: more.   Jesus has been portrayed in recent times as a political subversive and a counter-cultural icon: the first century Che Guevara. In fact, a couple of years ago an advertising campaign to get people across the threshold of a church for Easter showed a picture of Christ modeled upon that of Che, as seen on a thousand Student’s T-Shirts in the sixties. Christ was indeed subversive, radical and counter cultural. But he was not rebellious. The law was authoritative for Christ, and he came not to wipe away a letter of it, but he taught that the letter of the law and its spirit can be quite different: that was indeed subversive, radical and counter-cultural and remains a challenge to us today. We are challenged by this reading to reject the letter of the law and to go with the Spirit.  But which things are Caesar’s and which things are God’s? We can’t let Caesar decide. So how do you determine what things are God’s?

The film Jerry Maguire brought us an immortal phrase which can be applied to greed and avarice the world over: “Show me the money”. In fact “Show me the money” is what Christ says also, but to make an entirely different point.  How do you determine what is God’s? There are some very clear differences:

• Caesar makes it very easy for you to know what you owe.

• Caesar says pay but God says give.

• Caesar says pay or be sorry. God says give and you’ll be glad.

• The call to pay says "you owe."

  • The call to give says "you have an opportunity."

There are not many of us send off our payment to the IRS and say, Whooo "Yes, I feel good about that." We usually say a lot of other things that aren’t repeatable from the pulpit. The call to give is a call to grow, not only in terms of commitment, but in the goodness of your own soul that you are able to do it. It is partly gratitude to God for all he gives us and it is also partly a sense of wanting to be the kind of people who are so free from selfishness and greed that we can give more than most people think is reasonable; so free from addiction to wealth that we can give beyond what most people think is appropriate.

This building isn’t going to just fall away, although I note that despite the very hard work of many in the congregation, raising the money for our essential work proves difficult. The mission of this Church is not going to die, and its investment in youth projects and other forms of outreach are not just ‘nice-to-haves’ but are essential not only for the future, but for the now.  The challenging future of this church, its design and its purpose within this community is not something that we can simply put our heads the sand about and leave to a later generation, for if we fail to act decisively now, there will be no more future generations and the glory of worship will be lost in this area for ever.

"God loves a cheerful giver.” Says the Scripture. He also accepts from a miserable one as well.  When Caesar says pay, it doesn’t matter what kind of people we want to be... we pay. But when God says give, we have to make a decision. It’s hard. It requires thought and feeling. But that offering is one made willingly and a willing offering is one which will reap much reward, not just in this earthly life as we build the Kingdom on Earth, but hereafter, where the gift will be much more bounteous.  Jesus taught them by saying "Show me the money for the tax." And then he held that coin up to them and said "Whose picture is this?" Caesar’s.  "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God, the things that are God’s."   What has God’s picture on it? What carries God’s likeness? You.   You are that offering. Make it work.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Valley Arts Council Craft Show

What a grand weekend this was.  Frank was in his first ever juried craft show.  It was in Valley, AL and it was so much fun.  We made loads of new friends and saw some of the most amazing arts and crafts.  I have to admit that I am not fond of nudes and there seemed to be quite a few of those.  The rest of the crafters/artists made up for it.  There are so many ways to make stuff from things you have laying around the house.  I met a really neat lady named Karen...who homeschools her 13 children...and a precious young man I taught to do frilly scarves.

 The display boards were given to us by Chuck and Sue.  She had used them for a craft show.  They were white and Frank decided to color them up a bit.

 Frank actually got two blue ribbons.  The second one was for Best Display.  He had that one hands down.  All in all it was an amazing day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Better Late Than Never Hodge Podge

Last week was Homecoming Week at WHS.  It was crazy and for some reason I missed my Wednesday deadline.  So...a few days it is.  Welcome to a middle of the week, middle of the month, Wednesday Hodgepodge! Raise your hand if you 'get' my post title today. If you've answered the questions, add your link to the party, then go say hi to the neighbors. Here we go-

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why?  I love the early morning. I love the quiet I love my early morning prayer time, I love being by myself for a little while,, the color of the sky at sunrise, and most especially that first cup of coffee. I love the way the whole day lies ahead of me, filled with possibility. 

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance most needs replacing at your house?  I don't own a waffle iron, but would love one.  I have a toaster that works when it wants to.  The rest of my stuff is good.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15th)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy?  'I am grouchy  when I have overdone.   I have to have down time and if I don't get it...or my plate is overloaded...I am grouchy.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax.Which city would you most like to see?
I've been to several places in Canada and enjoyed them all...Quebec was my least favorite....the people I encountered were extremely rude.  Vancouver, Montreal, Niagara on the Lake(  loved it enough to live there)were awesome, but my favorite was Prince Edward Island which I absolutely loved.  The trip was with my daughter and we went up US - 1 in fourteen days.  We had a blast.  I will return to PEI.  It claimed my heart and soul.

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite?  Gr
Grilled hamburgers and ribs that my dad cooked.  Topfer's Ribs, Russo's Subs. Bud's Chicken/Shrimp.  Yes they are all still my favorites.  I have to go to West Palm Beach for the Buds and Russo's. Topfer's is no longer in business. My dad is no longer with us but Frank's burgers and ribs are as good as...if not better than my dad's. 

6. Do you cry easily?  Yes.  I sometimes wish I didn't, but tears form pretty easily for me, both the happy and the sad.  I leave the room when the Sarah McLaughlin dog adoption commercial comes on.  It kills me.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it?  I've started but I am not nearly where I usually am at this time.  Chalk that up to a new job.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  It has been Homecoming Week at WHS.  They decorate boards for each class and then the night of Homecoming they are displayed on the hill near the field.  What did you do for Homecoming?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heartland Weddings

Heartland Weddings      -     By: Jennifer Johnson, Cathy Liggett

About The Book:  Come home to America’s heartland where love is worth a second look. Forced to reevaluate her womanizing boss since he became a Christian, Megan McKinney discovers that forgiving has nothing to do with forgetting and everything to do with love. Megan O’Donnell is a take-charge single mom of a handicapped child. When she’s paired with a cocky superstar pitcher at a sporting event for special needs kids, she dislikes him on sight. Until she loves him.
About The Author(s):  Jennifer Johnson tells us, "I have aspirations to be Wonder Woman, but find high heeled boots uncomfortable. However, I appreciate that she values truth and that she doesn't know a bad hair day.  I have the heart of a writer and am blessed to be able to write both professionally and recreationally. I reside in the southern United States with my awesome family. They're okay with me not being Wonder Woman, as long as I take a break from the fictitious worlds I create and join them for supper."  Cathy Liggett says, "Coney Island was never at the top of my list when I was a kid (scaredy cat!). My favorite places were the library, the card shop and hardware stores. As my husband will tell you, it's a good thing that books were my first love. I'm a lot better at fixing up characters in stories than anything that involves a hammer and nails or even super glue. Besides writing, I enjoy impromptu visits from our two grown kids and doing the empty-nester thing with my one true love. We're also enjoying the latest addition to our family, a Boxer mix named Chaz.  Please visit me at I'd love to hear from you." 
My Thoughts On This Book:  As a huge fan of Christian romance fiction I have to say that this book was amazing.  I felt as if I was right in the middle of both of the stories and could not put it down once I started reading.  The second novellas storyline had a handicapped child in the mix and as a grandmother of two handicapped grandchildren the characters  made the story even more heartwarming and definitely touched a heart string for me.  I would recommend this book for anyone.  Loved It!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley Publicity Group and Barbour Publishing as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Do You Really Know Me?

I was sitting here thinking about all my blogging buddies and I got to well do I really know you?  How well do you really know me?  At a workshop on Safety today one of the questions the EMA director and Sheriff asked was how well do we know our students?  How well do we know each other.  I have not been at Wadley a full year yet and I can honestly say....I don't know much about either of them.  So as I was sitting here...I thought about this little activity I do with my students on the first day of class.  It really helps me get to know the kids...and I hope it will help me get to know you.  If you will...comment at least one thing I should know about you. 
Five things you would know if you really knew me…..

If you really knew me, you would know that I have opened for George Jones as part of Still Magnolias.

If you really knew me, you would know that I am an avid traveler and have been to 48 of the 50 states.  (I am missing Vermont and Alaska.
If you really knew me, you would know that when I grow up I want to be a published author.

If you really knew me, you would know that I am a United Methodist pastor and married to one.

If you really knew me, you would know that my daughter is a missionary in Moldova.