Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three things every parent should teach their kids.

I am taking part in the MckLinky Blog Hop today.  I hope I get it right.

The question we were asked was “What three things should every parent teach their kids?” 

10_playing_cardsI think you should teach your kids how to play cards, because by doing so you are teaching them three things.

  1. Spending time with you is more important than TV or my work.

    My father taught us how to play cards, which he learned from his mother.  Growing up, we always had a pack of cards around the house, and there was always someone willing to play with me.  Starting from snap, right up to blackjack.  We played often, during the day or at night, and it was quality time spent together.
  2. You never have to be bored, because you can make your own entertainment.

    I’m bored.” seems to be the cry of kids today, who are lost without their DVDs or PS3.  Growing up I always knew that I could make my own entertainment; either for myself, or for one, two, or ten of my friends.  
  3. It’s better to win than to lose, but once you pack the cards away it doesn’t matter who won. 

    People who tell you it doesn’t matter who wins or loses are missing the point.  Of course it matters.  Otherwise why try?  Play your hardest, do your best, try to win.  But don’t tie your value up in who you are.  It was great the first time I beat my family at Canasta, but all those years of losing didn’t make me a failure, anymore than the fact that I win all the time now makes me a better person.  Cards are for fun, life is forever.



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Most recent winners: Fairy Blog Mother | All winners
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Day Monday #12 - Gang Related

On Rainy Day Mondays I usually either post one of my own old posts, or an old post from someone else's blog. This week I'm cheating by doing both. This entry was a short, but profound, quote from another blog I was following.

Gang Related

I found this over at a site I was reading.

A while back, an ex-gang member got baptized at our church. He fell in love with Jesus and turned from his old lifestyle. But after several months at the church, he stopped attending. When we asked him why he stopped attending, he answered: "I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we weren't just nice to each other once a week-we were family."

All I can say is 'OUCH'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lots of Biblios Hokku today

Another eight poems for my Biblios Hokku project. If you're new to the game, you can find out more here, or read the whole project so far here.

Wise old Solomon
Building a house for the Lord
How long will it last?
Judah and Israel.
Both nations carried away.
An exile begun.

The throne of David
established for evermore.
Grace in spite of sin.

A nation fallen
Still carrying God’s favour.
“I will bring you home.”

A heart that seeks Him.
Ezra prepares the people.
Hope will rise anew.

With prayer and with sword,
The wall of Jerusalem
rises once again.

A woman of God,
Born for a time such as this.
Favoured by her King.

Hold on to your faith.
Our God gives and takes away,
but always stays true.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rainy Day Monday #11 – Real Love


For those of you who are new to my blog, Rainy Day Mondays are Mondays where I feature an old post from my own page, or a friend’s page; usually one which was published early on before that blogger had many followers.

This week I will be posting a blog post entitled Real Love from Building His Body by Anne Lang Bundy. Once you have finished reading here, go over to her blog and say hello.


real love fully accepts a person "as is"
real love sees beyond appearances to the heart of a person
real love sees evil and remembers that all humanity’s got the disease
real love sees the evil in another and looks past it to the good
real love sees the evil that causes hurt and challenges it to get out
real love sees the good in a person and challenges it to come forth
real love sees every person as made in the image of God
real love knows every person is as special as God makes ME feel
real love knows EVERYONE suffers from inferiority complex and needs validation
real love speaks truthfully, without overdoing it
real love sees the pain another carries and draws close to help carry it
real love discovers the right way to meet another’s need
real love recognizes a heart feeling emptiness and offers what will fill it
real love gratefully accepts imperfect gifts given with sincerity
real love remembers to say "thank you"
real love stands ready to says "yes"
real love says "no" when it’s truly best
real love isn’t irritated by the irritating
real love finds the right outlet to dissolve anger instead of burying it or lashing out
real love says "I’m hurt" without causing hurt
real love means that when I know I’ve caused hurt, I hurt too
real love knows it’s EVER needing to say "I’m sorry"
real love knows saying "I’m sorry" means most when it comes with "I was wrong"
real love forgives completely
real love knows what and how to forget
real love knows what and how to remember
real love wants to share what’s most treasured
real love knows that real love means real sacrifice
real love will sacrifice even what’s most dear
real love is willing to go to the grave
real love goes past the grave into eternity
real love loves without dependence on being loved back
real love loves even those who seem unlovable
real love is usually simple but rarely easy ...
... and PERFECT love does not fear
The ultimate REAL LOVE is God’s love. In fact, the Bible says that God is love. History’s greatest "I love you" was written in blood on a hill called Calvary, sent by Almighty God from His throne in heaven as a gift to you personally.
God knows that the evil in our hearts would ruin heaven. Only the blood of Jesus has the power to wipe out sin and clean up our hearts. There’s NO WAY the Father would have allowed His Son to die the way He did if Jesus’ blood hadn’t been absolutely necessary to clear the way for His love. He won’t impose this gift on anyone who won’t admit that it’s needed and doesn’t believe it’s real. He asks those who trust and accept His gift of love and salvation to remember and value it, and to keep trusting in Him and His love.
The same amount of love it took to send Jesus to Calvary is the same amount of love God wants YOU to have from Him EVERY day. If you’re not feeling His love right now, take a moment and ask the Lord to show you if there’s anything between the two of you that’s hindering the flow of His love, that you need to get rid of. Then allow His REAL LOVE to fill your heart. We don’t have to deserve God’s love (He loves us in spite of ourselves!)—we only have to be willing to receive it.
Whenever you want to know more of God’s love, read His love letter to you (the Bible). Talk with Him, tell Him you’re sorry for the times you don’t pay attention Him, tell Him you love Him, and ask Him to show you as much of His love as you can handle. When you’ve received His love, you can prolong it and multiply its power by sharing real love with others—EVERY day.
And we have seen and testify that
the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwells in him and he in God.
And we have known and believed
the love that God has in us.
God is love,
and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God in him.
In this is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment,
that as He is, so also we are in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear has torment.
He who fears has not been perfected in love.
We love Him because He first loved us ...
And we have this commandment from Him,
that he who loves God should love his brother also.
~ 1John 4:14-19,21 (MKJV)

So you know the drill. Leave a comment, and if you're also taking part in Rainy Day Monday then leave a link in the Mr Linky Widget below. Please link to the post with the Rainy Day Monday in it, not just your blog address.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I’m made of money!


2968331785_d266bb75e5I am a millionaire.  Again.

Sometime in July I received an e-mail at my Sharkbait address.  You know, sharkbait@webmail.co.za Now I maintain this account solely for the purpose of sending anonymous e-mails to my blogging buddies, so getting an e-mail is always a surprise.  Especially when it tells me that I just won the Coca Cola Lottery, worth millions of “Great Britain Pound stirlings”.  It seems that they wanted me to believe that my e-mail address had been randomly added to a lottery ticket, and that my number was drawn.  You lucky fish. 

Possible I suppose, except that I am well versed in the ways of Advance-Cash Frauds.  (Also knows as 419 Scams, after the Section of the Nigerian Penal Code dealing with this kind of fraud.)  So my fishy senses went into overload.  Their case was not helped by the fact that I had to respond directly to the manager of Coca-Cola international, on his yahoo.com.hk account.  I mean, seriously!  How stupid do these people think I am.  

fish-moneyFor those of you not familiar with this sort of fraud, they dangle money in front of you, hoping that you will be so enticed that you will expend great quantities of your own cash in order to claim it.  There would be “service charges” and “collection amounts” all of which would be reclaimable once I received my “One Million Pound stirlings”. 

So I ignored them as always.  But the one I got last night was priceless.

Another e-mail, also addressed to sharkbait@webmail.co.za ostensibly from a barristers chamber in London.  (Do barristers handle estates?  I thought it was solicitors.) I have highlighted the best bits.

Attention: On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the Estate of Late Engr.Jürge Krügger.I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I wish to notify you that late Engr.Jürge Krügger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($30,100.000.00USD) to you in the Codicil and last testament to his WILL. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Engr. Jürge Krügger until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful,endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.

Note: You are advice to contact me with my personal email below:

Email: richard-gilbert1@live.com

Yours in Service, BARRISTER RICHARD GILBERT. PRINCIPAL PARTNERS: Barrister Aidan Walsh Esq. Markus Wolfgang, Mr.John Marvey Esq, Mr.Jerry Smith Esq.


Do these people know that I’m a stuffed fish?  I feel like writing back to ask them how I am supposed to sign for the money, as my fins are too weak to hold a pen.

I have decided that I am going to contact the Coca Cola head office, through the address on the letter,and ask them to get in touch with my lawyer, Richard Gilbert, to negotiate the transfer of my winnings.  I wonder how long they will write back and forth, and who will end up scamming whom?

Monday, September 7, 2009

RDM # 10 – ….why butterflies?


How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures
Psalm 104:24

It’s a pretty cool verse, but it’s also a pretty theme for a blog.  My friend Michelle over at ~ Psalm 104:24 ~ describes herself as a ..

free spirit
tattoo lovin'
nature freak
music lovin'
child of The King.

She uses a butterfly as her avatar, and if you want to know why, you’ll have to read her blog post entitled…

.....why butterflies?

So I have been trying to think about what my first "real" entry would be......and my mind went blank.....for once.

I guess I can start by why I am fascinated with butterflies.......as it kinda sums up how I feel about who I am and the amazing grace of God.

So I take a look at the life cycle of a butterfly.....particularly the Swallowtail butterfly. When the Swallowtail is born in the caterpillar stage....it is hideous. It's not even a cute fluffy caterpillar like the wooly bear or even the brilliantly patterned monarch.....no, it looks like a slimy ugly slug. So I guess I relate to my life before Christ as ugly....I wasn't a bad person actually......I believe I was a good person for the most part......but made my share of bad choices, that now looking back......made me ugly. Not necessarily ugly in the natural (hopefully not sounding conceited, lol)......but ugly in the spiritual. I made choices that I am sure where hurtful to God and to others,......and myself. But as God keeps that ugly slug caterpillar safe from hungry birds and frogs and also sheltered from the elements which could easily end his journey early......He protected me and kept me safe during some reckless times.....all without me even knowing it. That is how awesome Our Father is.

The next part of the caterpillar's journey brings him to his chrysalis where he is transformed. I believe that God can bring transformation into your life in many ways......some people are faced with a life changing event (hence the name.....life changing) such as death of a loved one, news of a terminal illness or being spared from death. Others can witness God's love in a positive scenario and feel and embrace the transformation ever so gently.

My transformation came about through an angel here on earth named Lili. We became friends through our husbands who were 80's rock and roll guys. Her husband was in a Christian rock band and my husband, who also was a spandex wearing, AquaNet using rocker.... ran sound for their band when he wasn't on stage himself. There is a special warmth when you are around Lili and we quickly became friends. Her laughter is contagious and she radiates love from within. She doesn't need to wear any t-shirt or piece of jewelry......she walks the walk of Jesus.

So fast forward to her asking Josh and I to be her son Kelub's godparents.....I look back and wonder why she would consider me,......again, I wasn't a bad person....but felt that surely she must have known someone more "godly" to take on the role of a "godparent" in her circle of friends. She must have gotten the memo from God as He didn't see who I "was"........He knew who I could (and was supposed to) "be".

So we went to her church for the ceremony.......and that is where I was drawn to my chrysalis.....I walked into the building, pretty much expecting an event consisting of rituals, kneeling and quiet repentance/prayer.......can you tell how I was raised? Instead......it was a sanctuary of life and love! A contemporary band was playing, people were dancing and singing in the aisles......it was pure joy. I felt a peace come over me......and although I was in a place I have never been before, I felt such a sense of familiarity and comfort..... I know it was God and the angels embracing me and singing "Welcome Home". A whirlwind of emotions came over me......I was smiling and within minutes, I was crying......it was a happy kind of cry......and I really didn't even understand why I was filled with such overwhelming emotion.

So just as the chrysalis stage is a process, so was my transformation into becoming a Christ follower. It wasn't something that just hit me like a bolt of lightening at that church ceremony ......it was more like I yearned to be in that comforting place again. And I found that the more I searched to learn more about God.....the more comfort/peace I was blessed with. The more I dove into searching for Him, the more humbled I felt as I realizes how much He has done already in my life and it was only then, that I gave Him ALL the glory. I gave him all the glory for bring Josh into my life, blessing me with four healthy children, just everything that we sometimes take for granted.

Accepting God fully into your life can bring such joy and happiness....but it also came with the process of change...and change can be very uncomfortable. We, as humans.....are creatures of habit, so change isn't always easy. My ways and my thoughts were not going to be magically converted. No, although God can make it easy to "do the right thing"......it was something that I had to make a conscious effort.....and I do know that at times, it was painful to reflect on my past sins and ask God for forgiveness. I also had to (and still do) ask God for guidance and wisdom every day.

When metamorphosis has taken place, the next step is emerging into it's "new life"........the process can be painful and scary.....but when we witness the awesome life that awaits us.....it is worth all the struggles we must endure. As a butterfly, the ugly caterpillar is born again and has the chance to represent it's Creator, with all His beautiful glory. Just as people marvel at the beauty of a butterfly's wings......we should display God's beauty in our actions and day to day living. I don't think Lili realizes how she represents God's glory with her beauty, inside and out......and I hope I can do the same and bless others. I hope that someday I can help bring others to their own chrysalis/transformation and welcome Christ into their lives.

So, yeah....that not so short story, is how I look at my "new" life as God's child.......He has given me a chance to experience a new life in Him.....and made me beautiful in His image, just like the beautiful wings of a butterfly.

How amazing Our Creator is that He can turn this

...............into this

WOW, this turned into a long story......I guess when I am talking about subjects that I am so passionate about, I lose track of time......so if you are still reading this......thank you for my first therapy session.
Peace and love~

So you know the drill. Leave a comment, and if you're also taking part in Rainy Day Monday then leave a link in the Mr Linky Widget below. Please link to the post with the Rainy Day Monday in it, not just your blog address.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's all about me.

Okay, I'll go first. Sometimes I feel frustrations as a Christian, and especially as a small group leader. There, I've said it. My dirty little secret is out. (or at least number #654; we'll work on the important ones later.)

Don't get me wrong. I love my "job". I love the fact that I get to walk alongside some of the most amazing and awesome people I know. I love the opportunity to wrestle with the word, and try to work it into a form that makes it easy to discuss and absorb. I love preparing and presenting lessons. But sometimes when I spend hours preparing for a meeting on a Wednesday, and then no-one turns up I feel a little... disappointed. When I turn down invitations to dinner and free tickets to shows so that I can be at my bible study, and wonder why I am the only one there. I sometimes feel like I don't know why I do it anymore.

Then I get a little reminder in the form of a question from on high. I'll feel like someone is saying to me "Little Fish, when I called you did I say it would be easy?"

"Uh, I guess not."

"Didn't I mention something about taking up your cross and denying yourself? I'm sure it was there, it wasn't even in the fine print."


"So did you think this was easy? That being a leader meant you could show up each week and impress people with how smart you are?"

"Of course not. I mean... I don't know."

"You want to know why you do this? You do this because I called you, and you answered. You're no better or worse at it than anyone else, but you decided to do it. Would you like me to ask someone else?"

I guess sometimes I forget that. Being a leader in anything means sacrifices, and not just the ones we want to make. I never begrudge the time I spend preparing, because it makes me feel like I'm fulfiling my purpose. I never mind all the reading and studying. None of this feels like a sacrifice, at least not one I mind making. But we can't choose which sacrifices we want to make, that's what makes them sacrifices. We need to remember to deny ourselves and take up our crosses daily. It might be hard work, but the rewards are out of this world.

For an interesting post on denying yourself, go to Walking By Faith: caffeinated randomness:: deny yourself

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Hokku for your Biblios

Here’s another instalment in the Biblios Hokku collection.  If you want to read the whole project as it stands, you can find it here

Bride Price paid for Her
Redemption for faithfulness
Saving line begun

A nation is born
Focus shifts from Him.
So hard to obey.

Israel’s greatest King
A man after God’s own heart
Yet still so human