Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parent's Study

At my church, we have just begun a new Bible study for parents, based on the Bible and also using the book Leaving a Godly Legacy by Charles Stanley.

It is not at all too late to join in!! Plenty of room for more parents to come! At the first study, we had three couples, and went over the introduction and first chapter of the book. It talked about the goals of the book, we discussed personal parenting goals and hopes for the study, and it outlined some of the guidelines for keeping it a Godly study (confidentiality, stay focused on Bible, etc.). Chapter 2 is going to begin digging into the Bible and seeing how we can use what God is teaching us to teach our children.

The next study is going to be on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 at 6:30pm. If you know me and are interested in this study, email me, we can get it worked out!

(**I must confess that part of the joy of blogging comes in sharing photos!! Can't help it!**)

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Christmas List

Every year I am asked for a Christmas list - you know, a list of things for my loved ones to choose from to buy gifts for me. That's what Christmas is all about, right? Ha. I've been struggling with Christmas this year, for the first time.

It started with an invitation to take our daughter to a "Santa Party." She is one. Santa is NOT REAL. Already we are being pressured into teaching our daughter about good ole' santa who delivers presents to all the good little girls and boys in one night in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. Cashiers at stores ask her (she's one!!) if Santa is going to come at christmas. Well, we are going to the santa party, but folks, we are going to tell her that santa is made-up.

If we teach her the line about this fat guy in a red suit that can fit through chimneys, how in the world should we expect her to REALLY believe us about Jesus, who was born to a virgin (ha!) did a bunch of miracles, never did anything wrong (ha!), was killed, and rose from the dead (ha!) to save believers' souls. I mean, really - without the Holy Spirit who can convict us that God created the universe and can do anything, this whole Christianity thing is almost as unbelievable as Santa Claus. So we fill our children's heads with stories about Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, and the real Christmas Story. If the first three turn out to be false, why would they believe the last????

Especially when we're running around, baking food, putting up decorations, lights, trees, writing christmas cards, buying more, more, more for people who don't really need it. We know the truth about real christmas. We know it's about the special gift of our newborn king and savior, but we sure don't act like it. We're ignoring the real reason for the season and we don't care. We like getting presents!!

I hope next year when I am asked for my "christmas list" I will ask for my family members to use their money to give to those much less fortunate than I. Then Christmas will begin to get back some of it's real meaning. If Jesus as the newborn saviour of the whole world allowed himself to be born in a barn and worshiped by shepherds, can't I give up my list of "wants" when there are so many truly IN NEED of the basics - food, water, clothing, shelter?? We are called to be like Jesus, who came to serve, lets start honoring Him on His birthday, rather than honoring ourselves in indulgence, when so many don't even have a meal a day.

Check out this video - it's awesome.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

untimely death........

.........was the title in the subject line in a forwarded email sent to me from Jacke at http://endurancegranny.blogspot.com/ Pretty interesting facts, so I wanted to share it here! Can anyone really say that God doesn't have a sense of humor, or that He doesn't care about us, or listen to what we say? You bet He does!


Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death!

Make a personal reflection about this......

Very interesting, read until the end.....
It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7):

'Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man sow,

Here are some men and women
who mocked God:

John Lennon(Singer):

Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:

'Christianity will end, it will disappear.
I do not have to argue about
that. I am certain.
Jesus was ok,
but his subjects were too simple,
today we are more famous than Him' (1966).

Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

Tancredo Neves(President of Brazil ):
During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency.

Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

Cazuza(Brazilian composer, singer and poet):
During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ),

while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said:'God, that's for you.'

He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

The man who built the Titanic:

After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be.

With an ironic tone he said:
'Not even God can sink it'

The result:I think you all know what happened to the Titanic

Marilyn Monroe(Actress)
She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.
He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.
After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:
I don't need your Jesus'.

A week later, she was found dead in her apartment

Bon Scott(Singer)
The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:
'Don't stop me; I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell'.

On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

Campinas(IN 2005)
In Campinas , Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend.....

The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car:

'My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.'
She responded: 'Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here.....It's Already Full '

Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died,
the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.

The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken

Christine Hewitt(Jamaican Journalist and entertainer)said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written.

In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus.

Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Yesterday was a warm day for December, in the 40's, and my husband surprised me by asking if I wanted to ride when he got home, that he would watch Cora so I could do that! How sweet of him! So, I made sure to take advantage of that opportunity.

This is a photo from early October. Yesterday was the 17th ride I had on Arabee since I started riding again back in September....before that it had been at least 2 years since I'd ridden. It feels so great to be riding again! I know the equitation isn't great, but at least I'm up there!

We're riding in a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle, which she goes great in. She's barefoot - I've started trimming her hooves myself. Since the photo was taken we've added a beta breastcollar from http://www.runningbear.com/ and I made a set of rhythm beads for her to wear. We also have a crupper to help keep the saddle from slipping but I'm having problems with the T, so it doesn't stay on well, but Arabee has adjusted to wearing it just wonderfully. I'm riding in my mom's dressage saddle, but I added some shenandoah trail stirrups (from ebay) for comfort.

I still need to work out my winter riding wardrobe (to keep warm and dry), but I'm hoping for a pattern to make some riding tights from warm material for Christmas, as well as a set of stirrup cages for safety.

Beyond the fact that I get a great deal of fun out of riding, I'm still trying to really look deep and decide whether this is a God-thing or a Nicole-thing. The idea of endurance (I have a goal of completing two 25 mile LD rides this summer) is so exciting, but the amount of time it will take to do right is tough to reason around. Both my husband and my daughter need my time, it can't be spent two places at once! I guess we'll see what happens - I'll keep riding as often as opportunities like this come up, I'll try to give Matt the same kinds of opportunities for time to himself.

I believe that if you put God first, and His will, that he will make time appear for the other things, if He chooses. So, I will make serving my family the priority, and if the opportunity arises for me to enjoy the horses he's put in my life, I'll be back in the saddle again!
**for a more horse-specific blog, check out this one: http://adventuresonarabee.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 8, 2008

One Year

One year ago, on December 8, 2007, at 5:04pm, our daughter was born. It is so incredibly difficult to believe that it’s already been a year, but it has. Cora’s first year has been an amazing year for her family and we’ve learned so much!

I’m writing this hoping for an articulate way to describe how becoming a mother has changed me, or rather, how God blessing me with a child has transformed my life, but I’m quite sure whatever I write today will fall drastically short of that. Words cannot describe how much we have been blessed and stretched and grown because of Cora’s arrival.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Good Reading

In preparation for a parent's bible study I'm getting ready to facilitate at church, I ordered the books, and on a whim added to the "cart" one for myself. I received it two days ago, and finished up this morning, Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God: Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker, by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald.

I highly recommend this book - for everyone to read, not just "housewives" but also working women, single women, married men, men interested in finding a wife someday, and all church workers, anyone wondering what in the world is wrong with the church (and the world) today. It may have a cheesy title and cover photo, but interesting points are brought out that have real validity to not only the woman who is a keeper at home, but to anyone who is living in the world today. If you know me, ask, and I will be happy to lend you my copy!

Also good reads in a related topic found online are:

This is a short story entitled: "When Queens Ride By." Long for a short story, but well worth the time spent!

Not a short story, but reading through this REALLY makes you think about the things that we've taken for granted as "right". Good for both men and women to read.

We sadly have "conformed ourselves to the pattern of this world" so that even coming from Christian homes we no longer are familiar with God's plan for our family lives - His good and perfect will!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Pictured are, from right to left: my daughter, her aunt/my sister, and me.

No special reason to post - other than to show off a good photo from last week's family gatherings!