Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Finally, for all of you who have been waiting for Matthew's next video, here it is. He and Daryl worked on this while Daryl and Amber were visiting back in early January. This is only the trailer. Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath, for the full length feature film! At the end of the trailer, Red, our superhero whispers, "Evil has met its match!"
Hopefully, the next video, a spoof on a sleeping pill commercial, will be on the blog soon. And....news flash....the first music video may be in the works this weekend. I'm looking forward to watching the director with the cool cap and his cast of hard working actors in action on Saturday. I may, however, be wearing ear plugs!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
We’re all tired here tonight from a full weekend and an evening watching the Colts beat the Patriots. Wooooohooooo! Go Colts. What a comeback. Finally Peyton goes to the Super Bowl. Everybody in this house was cheering him on to victory. Looking forward to Super Bowl 41.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Well, this trip to Tennessee was a perfect example of the clash of our styles. It was also an opportunity for me to trust my husband and ultimately to trust God. It was also a lesson in cultivating the attitude and demeanor that testify to that trust. Here's what happened...
Yesterday, when I heard the weather forecast for today, I started thinking that perhaps I should leave last night, drive two hours to Mama and Daddy's, spend the night there, and have more leeway this morning. I'd avoid driving during Charlotte rush hour on icy roads and give myself a big time cushion. Coty agreed that it was a good idea, but didn't think it was necessary. Thomas didn't want to leave last night since he had plans with some friends and wasn't packed. I wasn't really ready either, but figured I could get ready if I had to. I would leave a few things undone at home that I wanted to get done before I left, but I'd have the peace of mind of getting a jump on the journey and not have to worry about the weather and road conditions.
Thomas and my unreadiness won out. I stayed home from small group to finish ironing some clothes, write out school assignments, clean my room (remember, I have to clean before I leave), and finish meal preparations for the guys remaining at home. I went to bed late, worrying about the drive.
When I heard the sleet start at 6:30 this morning, I was really mad at myself and irritated with everyone else who hadn't urged me to leave last night. I was ready to get everything in the car and GO!!! I turned on the radio and heard about the numerous traffic accidents and was fuming. "Aaaaaargh...why didn't I leave last night?! Hurry up, Thomas. We need to LEAVE!!"
Coty calmly said, "I wouldn't leave til 10. That way the roads will be more traveled on and the rush hour accidents cleared up."
My hackles went up but I knew I needed to give in. So, I resigned myself to leaving later. "Whatever," I replied, in what could NOT be described as a sweet, submissive, "you are a wise husband" tone of voice.
But, despite my attitude and fretfulness, I WAS trying to trust God. I kept telling myself, "God knows all about this. God knows I'm leaving at 10. God knows what the weather's doing. God knows if I will crash into another car. God is in control. God knows and God is good. Even if I'm in a wreck, all this will work for my good." Notice, I was still assuming the worst was likely to happen, but I was trying.
It truly does help to preach to myself. I kept reminding myself of these very simple truths - God is sovereign, God is good, God is powerful. I think the rubber really meets the road in times like this and you either show that you really believe these truths or you show yourself to be lacking in faith and on the way to skidding on the ice of unbelief, as it were.
It also helps to remind myself that my children are watching. Like it or not, I will leave them with an impression that will either draw them toward God and teach them sweet truths, or make a sham of the things I say I believe but don't live out in front of them, giving them reason to doubt God. It is sobering to think that your actions will be remembered by others. I admit, here I got a bit morbid. I kept thinking to myself, "Well, you wouldn't want your children's last thoughts of you before you die in a traffic accident on an icy road to be of a grouchy, angry, frazzled mother." Such thoughts, morbid and self-centered as they are, work wonders.
I surrendered my worries, surrendered my irritation, surrendered my fear. I prayed for the right heart attitude and the right loving words with my family. God was gracious. Thomas scraped the thick ice off the windshield. Coty and the boys helped us carry our bags to the car. We had happy hugs all around with my customary admonition to the guys to "be sweet, help each other, and clean up."
We saw one accident - a pretty bad one (God have mercy on the occupant of the smashed pickup) - on the ramp onto 85 from 29. That was it. We never slipped, we never skidded, we never waited in slow traffic. We tooled along listening to Switchfoot and whatever else Thomas has on his MP3 player. Thomas read The Princess and the Goblin to me. We stopped for lunch and we made it to Covenant in plenty of time, safe, relaxed and happy.
What did I learn?
That I am weak, fearful, and prone to fret needlessly.
That God uses every situation to teach me to trust Him.
That God has given me a wise husband whose counsel and guidance, even in travel matters , can be trusted.
That God will enable me to walk in belief, not slip and slide in unbelief.
Well, I didn't really learn these things. I really already knew them. But God gave me an opportunity to be stretched, and to trust. He showed me my weak self and held me in His strong arms. He answered prayers for traveling mercies and he taught me to have journey graces - words and actions that demonstrate that on every road, smooth or bumpy, icy or clear, He can be always be trusted.
"My [daughter] do not forget my teaching...Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:1,5,6
Also, today, Thomas and I are traveling to Covenant College, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Thomas will participate in the McClellan Scholarship interview weekend. Right now the roads in Charlotte are icy and there are numerous traffic accidents. We are waiting a bit to leave to give the roads a chance to clear up. Please pray for traveling mercies for us.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
I do not remember the first loaf of bread I ever made. But I do remember the most significant one. It was baked on September 29, 1977. I had met an interesting guy who was back at Davidson for his senior year after spending nine months teaching high school in
He came over and we started our bread. We kneaded and got it in the bowl to rise and then went for a long walk through the cow pasture behind my house. When we got back, we punched it down, put it in pans and set it to rise again. Then we looked at all his slides of
Two years and three months later we were married. This September we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of that first loaf of bread. The beauty of bread in my life - homemade, hand kneaded, fresh baked bread - is that it’s what drew Coty and me together one September evening long ago.
Now I know that for the Carnival of Beauty I’m supposed to include a bread recipe. The problem is I rarely use recipes anymore. I’ve made so many loaves of bread since that first one that I mostly do it by sight and feel now. So, here is my best shot at explaining how I make our favorite rosemary bread. When it bakes, it fills our home with the most pleasing fragrance imaginable and invites hungry boys to head to the kitchen for a slice or two or three while it’s still warm.
Beth’s Rosemary Whole Wheat Bread
Before I tell you the ingredients, I must explain to those who have never visited my kitchen, that I am the happy owner of a Magic Mill mixer with a dough hook. It has made baking for a family of eight a joy. It kneads dough for 5-6 loaves at a time and it always turns out well. Into the bowl of the Magic Mill I put:
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
¼ cup sugar or honey
Stir to dissolve the yeast.
1 tablespoon salt
1 or 2 eggs
¼ cup oil (I use olive oil)
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (for me it HAS to be fresh)
Now add 7-8 cups flour, some white, some whole wheat, a cup at a time till the dough is the right consistency, not too stiff, not too wet. If the dough clings too much to the side of the bowl, add a little more flour. If it doesn’t hold together, add a little more water. Let it knead for 8-10 minutes. Take out the dough hook, add a little oil to the bowl and turn the dough in the bowl to cover with oil. Let it rise in the bowl for 45 minutes or so. Then punch it down and take it out of the bowl. Spread a little flour over the counter and give the dough a few kneads and then divide it into portions, shaping it into loaves and placing it in greased loaf pans. Let it rise again, about a half hour and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 30 minutes. Stand back as hungry boys invade the kitchen, butter knives in hand, to devour the loaves. Be sure to hide one for later!
I headed over to my friend's neighborhood to walk her dogs just as it began to get light. The fog hung over the hayfield, a filmy cloud hugging the ground. As I got out of the car at her house the acrid-sweet smell of woodsmoke was thick in the air. It seemed unpleasant at first, a strong fog smoke haze. As I walked the dogs though and watched orange pink sunrise streaks paint the sky, I was hit with the memory. All of a sudden I was walking on a dirt path in Cameroon, the early morning smells of cooking fires filling the air. Instead of the hum of cars from the nearby highway, I heard the crowing of roosters and the soft laughter of women walking to the spring for water. Instead of passing brick houses with pick-ups and cars in the driveway, I was passing mud houses with thatched roofs and goats grazing. I was transported by that smell of woodsmoke. It was brief. I was back to the reality of the dogs pulling on the leashes almost as quickly as I had been transported to the West African morning. But it was enough to turn an obligatory chore into a moment of wonder. Isn't it amazing how our sense of smell can do that?!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
- Grab the book closest to you
- open to page 123, and go down to the fourth sentence
- post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
- Name the author and book title
- Tag 3 people to do the same
Since The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs is one of the two books in this pile I haven't read a bit of yet, I decided to check out page 123. Well, this book was written by a Puritan so the sentences are long! I had to read down the page a ways to find the fourth sentence. Here's what follows:
"That is, when all shall be in a hubbub and uproar, yet then this man shall be peace. That is the trial of grace, when you find Jesus Christ to be peace in your hearts when the Assyrian shall come into the land. You may think you find peace in Christ when you have no outward troubles, but is Christ your peace when the Assyrian comes into the land, when the enemy comes?"
Good question to ask myself! I'm looking forward to reading the previous pages and those that follow with Coty in the next couple of months.
Thanks for tagging me, Kelly. I had a good time checking out page 123 in several of the books in the stack. Now I tag Jessica, Jenn, and Amber!
We pray for children
who put chocolate fingers everywhere,
who like to be tickled,
who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
who sneak Popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.
And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who've never squeaked across the floor in new sneakers,
who never "counted potoatoes,"
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.
We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
who cover themselves with Band-aids and sing off key,
who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
who slurp their soup.
And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.
We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store
and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed
and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the car pool,
who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at
and whose smiles can make us cry.
And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to be hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.
We pray for children
who want to be carried,
and for those who must.
For those we never give up on,
and for those who don't get a chance.
For those we smother,
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
kind enough to offer.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
But now it's time to start another book. This one will be a "joint read" with my friend, Laura, who is getting married in July. We're reading Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace by Gary and Betsy Ricucci. I'm looking forward to our coffee time conversations about the book as Laura anticipates her upcoming marriage. What a precious privilege to read and discuss this book together.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Toooo much! Don't these flowers know it's suicidal to bloom so early!
Nevertheless, I enjoyed their crazy "winter" beauty. I hope some of mine will hold off for a little while at least. I'm not ready for spring. We still need a good snowfall so we can careen off the road as we rush to the store for milk and bread. Ah, winter in the south.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Elizabeth Prentiss was a pastor's wife, mother, and writer. She lived from 1818-1878 and in addition to the the hymn she wrote, she is most well known as the author of Stepping Heavenward. She wrote a number of other lesser known books several of which have been reprinted in recent years. Another one I'd like to read is called The Home at Greylock. (We lived in the shadow of Mt. Greylock when we lived in Massachusetts). This book is described as "a masterpiece which explains the task of Christian parenting in story form." Seems like it would be a good book to accompany some of the more well known books on Christian parenting like Shepherding a Child's Heart.
Anyway, I'm just into Mrs. Prentiss's biography and so far love this woman's story as much as when I was first introduced to her through her letters and papers compiled by her husband George in a volume called More Love to Thee: The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss. This book was also a gift from Coty several years ago.
Here are a couple of quotes from the biography to whet your appetite, I hope:
"...there is not enough of real, true communion with God, not enough nearness to Him, not enough heart-searching before Him; and too much parade and bustle and noise in doing His work on earth."
"...there is nothing worth having apart from God; I feel this every day more and more and the fear of satisfying myself with something short of Him - this is my only anxiety. "
and after losing two children:
"One child and two green graves are mine
This is God's gift to me;
A bleeding, fainting, broken heart -
This is my gift to Thee."
Mrs. Prentiss is known for the way the difficulties and tragedies in her life equipped her to minister to others. She is a woman whose story is well worth reading.