Monday, February 21, 2011

Memory Verse for February

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. 
 Philippians 4:8 NIV

Memory verse time again. This wonderful bit of wisdom from the book of Philippians has long been a favorite of mine although I have never selected it for memorization. I chose this verse because I use it frequently as a barometer for my life choices. 

If you put this verse in front of you every time you turned on the television would you choose the same shows? Would you attend the same movies or read the same books? 

What about looking using this verse to take a look at yourself? Is your behavior noble, lovely or admirable? Are you human? If you just answered yes to that last question, your behavior is the exact opposite of these traits at least 75% of the time. We try hard, but then someone makes a comment that hurts us and we respond in anger. We start off our day with someone cutting us off in traffic and anything lovely we were cultivating went right out the window. Being the fallible humans we are, we tend to let our behaviors ride and respond to the emotion of the moment losing sight of our desire to be true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable. 

Does this make us hopeless? Nope. It just reaffirms our deep need for Jesus. Without his forgiveness we are lost, without his love we are empty. Without his light we are lost in a sea of darkness. Without his guidance we will never know anything close to truth, nobility, righteousness or purity. 

I challenge you to use this verse to check your actions and reactions for the remainder of February. I would love to hear how this verse works it's way into your daily life. 

In His Peace -

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Heat!

Happy Thursday everyone!

I am thankful for our new office heater! Everyone ooh and ahhh now! It is freezing cold in our office. This room and our dining room were a house addition at one point. A poorly planned one, I might add. They are also the coldest rooms in the house.

We purchased a little space heater to use when we moved in 4 years ago. It only warms up the 6 inches of space in front of it and has proven to be highly ineffective. This fall I found a lovely cherrywood encased infrared heater. It took up more floor space than we could afford to lose, but it heated the space up very nicely...for the five days it worked. Seriously, five days. Pathetic. Apparently an entire shipment of them received a defective part. I opted out of a replacement model and returned to my space heater/fleece blanket combo to try to stay warm. It is very difficult to type with cold fingers!

One of our employees was in the office with us last week and lamenting on how cold it was. I am thankful for him, too, because I wonder if my husband thought I was just being a ninny and hearing it from someone else made it a legitimate complaint. The next day my dear spouse came in with a new heater.

It is a strange looking thing and I had my doubts. It is a Soleus Air Micathermic 360 Degree Tower Heater. How is that for a mouthful? It doesn't make any noise.... at all. It just sits there and radiates heat. After my noisy little space heater I was sure this quiet contraption was going to be just as ineffective. Guess what? I was wrong. Shocking, but true. Gasps all around, I am sure. It is slow to take all the cold out of this room, but by lunchtime it is downright pleasant and for that I am thankful!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Today has not been a good day. I have had a mind-numbing migraine for about 14 hours. The longest ever. It is starting to fade and I  have just reached the point where I can focus my eyes. Of course, the first thing I focus on is my blog feed for the day. Priorities, you know. My first stop was Beautiful in Him and Allison was writing about her blog receiving a "Stylish Blogger Award" and she in turn nominated others for the same award. Bless her little heart, she picked my little blogspot as one which has been a blessing to her. I had to read it twice. I was sure it was my migraine fogged head playing tricks on me.I am surprised and humbled by this recognition. So, keeping with the rules of the award, here are seven things about me you may not know.

1) I have five siblings: Gail, Monica, Doug, Greg and Keith. I am the youngest. I was born three days before my oldest sisters fifteenth birthday. She says I was the best present ever. : )

2) As a young teenager my first job was pulling eggs at a hen house. I think I lasted two weeks. I still have a strong dislike for chickens. I also worked on two different berry farms. One summer I picked strawberries (which is very hard on the knees!) and another I picked Loganberries and Currants.

3) In my late teens and early 20's I worked for a small, regional airline in the Pacific Northwest. We still did our reservations and ticketing by hand. I had to learn to be a weather reporter for this job. We submitted hourly reports to the national weather service and gave pilots current landing conditions. Later in my airline career I transferred to Seattle and my supervisor and I were part of the very first group of women to be allowed to work loading airplanes. The men there cut us absolutely no slack. We were ground breakers, it was rather empowering.

4) I had horses growing up. I loved everything about them. They were wonderful companions and comfort when life was rough. Over the years I had four: Gooch, Princess, Belle Star and Billy. When I had Gooch I was too little to saddle him myself and my Dad showed up every day after school to help me get ready to ride.

5) My parents owned a restaurant for the majority of my growing up years. I did every job in that building but cook and tend bar. When I was in elementary school the morning cook would make my school lunch. Her name was Jean and I would stop by her window and pick up my lunch bag on my way to school.

6) I am from Washington, my husband is from Iowa. We met at the 1990 wedding of a mutual friend. We have been together ever since. We dated long distance for a year, made ATT a small fortune, then I moved to Iowa. We will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary this year.

7) My husband's name is Galen. We have three children: Emily, Rachel and Cameron. They are 16, 13 and 9 all three are amazingly smart and I am so excited to see what God will do with all that brain power. We also have three dogs all adopted from the local shelter: Sadie, Lilly and Boomer. Two rabbits: Missy and Silverstreak (named after a rabbit I had briefly as a kid -- the neighbor's dog ate it) and a black cat named Cookie. My husband has likened our house to a zoo. I am not sure if that is because of the children or the animals or a combination of both!

I think that may have ended up to be more than seven actual things. I was pretty wordy for a gal with a headache! The wonderful part of being about being honored with this award is passing it along to others. Here are four blogs that I enjoy, I believe you will be blessed by them as well -

Comforted by God by Carrie Cooper
The Old Geezer Blog  by The Old Geezer (of course!)
Everyday Becky  by Becky Avella
Trailing After God by Melinda Todd

Have a Wonderful Wednesday -

In His Peace --

Monday, February 7, 2011

My One Word

As usual I am a day late and a dollar short, but I thought this was a really interesting concept and I wanted to share, however late I may be.

KLOVE radio was promoting a movement called by My One Word. The idea here is to select one word that you want to be your theme for the year. You focus your prayers and your energy into living out whatever your word represents to you.

One of the DJ's at KLOVE picked clear as her word. She was struggling to find her word and shortly after praying about it the word clear came to her. Thinking it was a little strange, she looked up the definition and found: 1) free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness; light: a clear day. 2) transparent, 3) without discoloration, defect, or blemish, and 4) easily understood; without ambiguity. One simple word can have a multitude of meanings. Look at those definitions in terms of your relationship with Christ. In Christ you are free from darkness, defect or blemish. You want your Christianity to be transparent to others and you want both the Word as you study and your faith to be easily understood by others. Isn't that amazing? 

Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries said she picked crave for her word. Which makes perfect sense with her new book, Made to Crave (which I will post a review for very soon!). She wants to focus on craving God this year, so she made crave her focus word.

I debated long and hard on whether this was going to be something I was going to participate in. I heard a lot of words that I liked with abundant explanations as to why they were picked, but none of them felt like home. They weren't MY word. 

On the very last day of the KLOVE promotion my word came to me like a comet streaking brightly across the sky.


In 2011 my goal is to be free of the strongholds that bind me; free from the ties to the past that still wound me; free to love my creator with my whole heart; to enjoy freedom from physical pain, and experience the freedom on relying on God rather than myself.

If you are interested in learning more about My One Word here is the official website link -    

I would love to hear about it if you picked your word for 2011.

In His Peace -

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Winter Birds

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Thankful Thursday post for the first Thursday of what is starting out to be a frigid February. Y'all staying warm out there?

I am thankful for all the delightful little bird friends that brighten up the dreary winter days. Some birds we have year round, some only in the summer, and a few only in the winter. We have the Nuthatches (pictured above) in both white and red-breasted varieties here all year. We see the White-Breasted ones much more frequently in the winter time as they are daily visitors to the feeders. These little cuties are one of the few (only?) birds that travel tree trunks in a head downward (upside down?) position.

One of the winter birds that enjoy the bird seed smorgasbord here are the Dark-eyed Juncos. They arrive in late fall and leave in mid-spring. It is always a sure sign that fall weather is over when the Juncos arrive.

Dark-Eyed Junco -Male

This one is almost cheating because it is a year-round bird, but it is one of my favorites. Although this is the male, the female Cardinal is also a strikingly beautiful bird. Unfortunately she is often overlooked due the flashiness of her red-feathered mate.
Male Cardinal

Any bird lovers out there? I can't complete my thankful for birds post without thanking my husband. He has kept the bird feeders filled all winter. Through bitter cold and deep snow without comment or complaint he has taken care of my feathered friends. Thank you, honey!

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chillin' Out and Still Waiting...

So cold even the dogs are cuddling up for added warmth!

Well, the SNOWzilla storm has passed by Iowa and left some bone chilling cold temperatures in it's wake. I was wondering today -- at what point is cold just cold and it doesn't matter what degree it is? Does -20 feel as bad as -30? Or is it just TOO COLD TO CARE cold at that point?

Our part of Iowa did not receive a significant amount of snow. Only about 4" overall, which is fine with me, but we did have 30+ mph winds to complicate things. When I got up this morning it was -6 with a windchill of -32. That's pretty darn cold. Two of my three children argued about putting gloves on this morning. Seriously, kids, it is skin freezing kind of cold outside. PUT ON YOUR GLOVES!! Silly, stubborn children. When will you learn to listen to your mother?

My husband conducted a cool experiment this morning. That wasn't a total change of gears, I got here because my husband conducted his little outdoor experiment with neither coat nor gloves on this morning (I wonder where the children get it?!). He took a cup of hot water and tossed it up in the air outside. The water instantly vaporized into a puff of flying ice particles. The children were dazzled. I will admit, it was pretty cool. This isn't my man, but here is a YouTube video of someone doing the same thing. I guess those of us in cold climates have to entertain ourselves in simple ways.

In other Jensen news, the refrigerator repair man showed up just after lunch the other day. I was thankful I didn't have to wait all day.  How to you folks with real jobs handle waiting days? He was very nice, but didn't fix my ice maker. He said he couldn't find anything wrong with it---except that it didn't work. Hmmm...  Of course since he doesn't know why it isn't working he has to order a whole new ice maker unit. This will take at least another week to arrive and we can expect a service man in about ten days. Heavy sigh. Well, at least it is covered under warranty. If we are really desperate for ice I could harvest icicles off the side of the house. Well, maybe not, that could be a little gross.

So, that is what is happening in our neck of the woods. What about yours?