Sunday, July 30, 2006

Does Jesus Care?

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth and song;
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

O yes, He cares- I know He cares!
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares. (He cares.)

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks ­
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Words by Frank E. Graeff

There was a man who lived around the turn of the last century named Frank Graeff, who was known as the “Sunshine minister,” because wherever he went he always had such a sweet disposition and such a sunny outlook that he brought cheer to all those who came in contact with him. Children loved him. People loved to be around him. Everywhere he went it seemed that joy followed him. However, Frank Graeff went through -- just like all Christians do -- some enormous times of trial and temptation. You may not have known it if you were just meeting him on the street or even if you were among those whom he pastored; but he, nonetheless, went through many times of intense, personal grief. One evening, as he looked to the Word of God, he came to this verse in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

It leapt out to him and discovered to him a new joy. He was so touched that he wrote a hymn, entitled “Does Jesus Care?” This hymn speaks to the heart of any child of God who goes through times of difficulty and trial and questioning and pain. Each one of the verses of Graeff’s hymn asks some intensely personal and important questions, and we want to answer these questions from the Word of God.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

From the Garden

I love macrophotography. I have not done much of it since I went to a digital camera since I did not have a great one for it. Today I am playing with my sis's camera. (Mine is somewhere around here, but with the move...) Here are a few shots from the garden this morning. It does a pretty good job for an inexpensive digital.

Red Basil

The Birth of a Fir Cone
Petunia in a Hanging Basket


I was having lunch with someone this week and we were discussing plans for a cooperative between a local school and a new facility. I really enjoy setting up intergenerational partnerships. We discussed working with the clubs in a high school. We then began talking about working with younger students. I spoke of a partnership I arranged with a 4th grade class and seniors and I talked about how much I loved watching the fear in the students’ eyes disappear over the winter. I loved watching the relationships develop between my seniors and the students. I said that I could make it work if I just got one teacher to buy into the vision. I continued to say, “I can get a 4th grade student to buy into anything.” My luncheon partner, a teacher for many years agreed that you can get a child that age to buy into anything.

It didn’t occur to me until days later exactly the truth of what I had said. Our schools can get children to believe anything that is taught as truth. When there is passion and emphasis placed on anything, a child will believe when it is said often enough. So, homosexual marriage, global warming, evolution are all fact to them through the same type of indoctrination I use to get buy in to the idea of helping seniors. It really struck me. I had always known that if we had children that I could not bear to send them to a public school. But this realization put the heart knowledge into words. My values and beliefs are not supported by the public school system. I believe that if I wanted my children to grow into strong, independent Christians I need to instill those same beliefs in them. I could not expect them to have those convictions if they were trained by people whose belief system was diametrically opposed to mine.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

2nd Amendment Rights

I very seldom post on politics. I read political blogs and comment on them; I listen to talk radio and argue with the callers and the hosts. There comes a time when something is so wrong and it hits close to home. Like what is happening to my cousin, Kristi, and her husband, Rick. Please read this and spread the word. What is happening to Rick and Kristi is wrong. They were doing nothing illegal; they were following their rights as citizens of the United States.

On June 7 2006, ATF, FBI, and Canadian ATF raided KT Ordnance in Dillon, Montana. They only had 1/2 the search warrant, the other half (the affidavit needed to get the warrant) is "secret and sealed". They took inventory of 80% frames ($30,000.00 approx. value), 3 of Rick’s personal firearms he made for himself (but left one that he made for himself), all his paper records (including the appraised value certificate of Kristi's diamond ring), the titles to their cars, a copy their hard drive. They also took all the non-regulated gun parts. No one showed any I.D., only verbal. Rick was not arrested nor charged with a crime. FBI was very interested if Rick was starting a militia. Rick had sent all the churches in Dillon, plus the Sheriff, an article written by Dr. Edwin Vieira: Are you doing your constitutional duty for "Homeland Security"?

There are several specific questions including: Why was the affidavit for the warrant “secret and sealed”? Why did they seize three of Rick’s personal firearms but leave one? Why did they seize the appraised value certificate of Kristi’s diamond ring?

Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they work their way through this. Also, anything you can do to help spread the word of this injustice will help. There is nothing like the outrage of conservative American citizens to bring justice to an unjust situation.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I have trouble sleeping sometimes, especially when I get stressed. My brain starts running as soon as my head hits the pillow. Everything I needed to do that day or need to do later darts through my mind like a never ending list. The list scrolls on and on and I cannot relax to sleep.

The only thing I have found to stop the mental treadmill is reciting scripture. A verse here and a verse there helps some of the time. The more stressful life is the longer it takes. Those times I need a longer passage like Psalm 1. So I make myself quote it straight through without error. If I make a mistake or loose my place, I start over. It was a chapter I studied many times growing up. Reciting it allows my mind to focus and let go of everything. I suppose in many ways it is my life motto. It reminds me of where my focus needs to be all the time not just when I cannot sleep.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tips to Improve Your Writing

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
3. Employ the vernacular.
4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
6. Remember to never split an infinitive.
7. Contractions aren't necessary.
8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
9. One should never generalize.
10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
11. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
12. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
13. Be more or less specific.
14. Understatement is always best.
15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
17. The passive voice is to be avoided.
18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
20. Who needs rhetorical questions?
21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
22. Don't never use a double negation.
23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point
24. Do not put statements in the negative form.
25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
28. A writer must not shift your point of view.
29. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
30. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.
32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
37. Always pick on the correct idiom.
38. The adverb always follows the verb.
39. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; They're old hat; seek viable alternatives.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Words: Civilla D. Martin (1866-1948); Music: Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932)

The song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow," was made popular by singer Ethel Waters who loved the song so much that she used its name as the title for her autobiography. It was based on the words of Jesus, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father… So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

The words to this song were not inspired by someone who always lived on the sunny side of life. Mrs. Civilla D. Martin (1866-1948) wrote the lyrics in 1905 after she and her husband visited friends by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle in Elmira, New York. These were true saints; Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nearly twenty years, and her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Dr. and Mrs. Martin noticed that despite their afflictions, the Doolittle’s lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while with the Doolittle’s, Dr. Martin commented to his wife about their bright hopefulness, so they asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and his wife. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience - the poem was written that very night and sent the next day to Charles Gabriel who put the words to music.

Friday, July 21, 2006

My Celebrity Husband

I feel the need to brag about my hubby for a few minutes. Yesterday afternoon he received a call from a Korean man he sold some artwork to last fall. Chang was in Seattle on business and was coming to see DH and take him to dinner. Chang is an outgoing businessman and has been interesting to work with especially with his limited English. DH, on the other hand is pretty reserved and has a hard time accepting a lot of praise for his kinetic hardwood sculptures. We had realized that the clocks he made for the Time Story Museum must be popular because of all the clips on the website. However, we didn’t know how popular. Apparently, DH is becoming quite a celebrity in Korea.

He left his job as a computer programmer 5 years ago to start the business. He had burned out with computers and was becoming a bear to live with at home. I though it was a great idea and encouraged him as much as I could since I have always loved his work. His enthusiasm and his vision were something I could not dampen. It has taken a lot of work to get to this point. Now that he is working on the new house so much, he hasn’t had a lot of time to work on his engineering and new ideas. Yet if he had not taken the challenge to start the Gravity Shoppe, I don’t think we would be looking at starting this next venture. Hopefully, as soon as we are up and running here, he will be back on the orders he has lined up for the fall. In the meantime, I want him to celebrate his celebrity status in Korea.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

9/11 Tribute Update

This tribute is not about politics; this is about people. It is not about the prepetrators; it is about the victims. In honor on the 2,996 lives lost on 9/11/01, take the time to join the project and honor a human life.

For those of who do not know what I am talking about please go here. It is well worth your time to read all about a blog tribute for all victims of the attacks on 9/11/01. There is a new button on my sidebar which will direct you to regular updates for the 2996 Project, just click on it to learn more. If you are participating and wish to have the button on your blog, click here for the HTML code.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Excuse my rant...

So, this evening a 120 lb Rottwieller is meandering around our yard. Of course, the little dogs (our Casey & my sister's Anna) are going nuts because some big bloke is invading their territory. At this point, I could make political parallels, but that would be digressing from my rant, so I won't...

Back on task--I went out to check on him and try to get him to move along. He is actually a very nice calm dog complete with tags. (I have never had that big of a dog so I never realized how they can shoot a stream of pee... Oops! Digressing again.) However, the tags are just the license and the rabies tags. No personal ID at all. I think no problem, I will just call Animal Control. The number is right there on the license. Well, of course, one cannot call just one number. To make a long story short--never mind I really want to make the short story long.

I have to call another number to get to talk to someone because it is after 5 pm after all. The guy I talk to can't help me because the tag is too new and he doesn't have the owner's information and he only pick's up animals that have been hit and takes them to a veterinarian. So, our choices are keep the dog until tomorrow and call animal control again or just let him go. My sarcastic tongue gets the best of me and I reply, "So, we let him go so he can get hit, then you'll come and get him." (I really need to read the book of James about bridling the tongue again.)

The point to this that really ticks me off is this: I pay to license my dog every year that money goes to Animal Control and the one time that I need them they are closed. I hate paying fees and all that to begin with, but when I don't even get what I pay for I really hate it.

BTW, we hooked the dog to a fire hydrant just out of site of our house. We will call in the morning if the owner doesn't pick him up. We just couldn't let him go and get hit...

UPDATE: When DH took Casey out for his evening walk, the dog was gone. He saw him tied up in a yard where he walked.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's Official...

I did something I didn't know if I would ever do. I joined a Blog Roll. I had not heard of this one until Patrick over at Born Again Redneck mentioned it with a nudge my direction. I took a look at it and decided that this was the one to join. So, I am officially a member of the Conservative Oregon Blog Roll Alliance. Although I do not post on politics very often, I am very conservative both socially and fiscally. Oregon is a state that though run by some very liberal politicians seems to be growing more conservative within its populous.

Anyway, I have done it now. But I maintain my right to change my mind. I am a woman after all...

Sunday, July 16, 2006


It was one year ago today that I made my first post. A lot has changed in a year. Then I was an administrator of an assisted living community working up to 70 hours a week. I spent my weekends sleeping to recover enough to go back to work the next week. I loved the people I worked with, both the staff and the residents, but I was overwhelmed and under supported. This year, I work part time as a volunteer coordinator for a hospice company and am working on starting an adult care home for seniors with dementia. It will be interesting to see what the next year brings.

One of the things I wanted with this blog was to remember to celebrate the simple pleasures in life. So, here are a few things I am thankful for today not in any particular order.

  • Stuff. Yes, I’ve complained about having stuff in the past. But today I was unpacking stuff and putting heirlooms in a cabinet that was my Great-Grandmother’s. I have some things that have no monetary value, but tremendous sentimental value. There is the plastic PT Cruiser from my siblings on my birthday after my mom died next to the engraved glass my great-grandmother gave my mom in 1946 and a tea cup my sister made in memory of another sister. All have great value to me and I am grateful for the reminders of the memories.
  • My soul mate and my family. DH is my rock and keeps me going when times get hard. My family is what made me who I am today. They are the ones who love me without reservation or condition. I could talk for days about why I am thankful for them.
  • My baby, Casey. He is a comfort to me and he is my motivator to keep walking. He either gets out for his daily walk or he drives up crazy by staring at us.
  • Salvation by grace and not by works. God has given me the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. He has not asked that I be a good person to do so, I only need to ask Him to let me.
  • Warm, sunny days. I am a much happier and contented person when the weather is bright.

It is so easy to get caught up in the details of our daily lives and let things go on by without taking note of beauty and wonder. We all need to take a few minutes and remember the simple pleasures in life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's a BOY!

We have a new nephew! He was born this morning on Maui. He joins an older sister and brother. So, excuse me while I update my profile and await photos.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o'er my soul Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wand'ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins, which were many, are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I'm possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

There's a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I'm happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Lyrics by Rufus Henry McDaniel

Born: Jan­u­a­ry 29, 1850, near Rip­ley, Brown Coun­ty, Ohio.
Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 13, 1940, Day­ton, Ohio.

McDaniel was ed­u­cat­ed at Park­er’s Acad­e­my in Clare­mont Coun­ty, Ohio. He re­ceived a preach­ing li­cense at age 19, and was or­dained a min­is­ter of the Christ­ian Church in 1873. After serv­ing at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Ohio, in­clud­ing Ham­ers­ville, Hig­gins­port, Cen­ter­burg, Su­gar Creek, and Cin­cin­na­ti, he re­tired in Day­ton, Ohio. He wrote more than one hun­dred hymns dur­ing his life.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Whew! I survived. I haven't had an internet connection since Monday! We moved this week so things have been in a bit of upheavel. I am so glad I can get back to posting and visiting some of my blogger friends!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Star-Spangled Banner

—Francis Scott Key, 1814

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

To read the story behind the writing of our anthem click here or here.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Standing on the Promises

Standing on the promises
of Christ my King,
Thru eternal ages
let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest
I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises
of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I'm standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises
that cannot fail,
When the howling storms
of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of
God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises
of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally
by love's strong cord,
Overcoming daily with
the Spirit's sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Lyrics By: R. Kelso Carter, 1849-1926

R. Kelso Carter became an ordained Methodist minister (1887) at the age of 38. A year earlier, he was a professor at the Pennsylvania Military Academy. There he wrote a hymn, "Standing On the Promises," after reading one of Apostle Paul’s letters in Second Corinthians. It was Chapter 1, Verse 20 that caught his attention: "For all the promise of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."

"Standing on the Promises" is described as a " ... straight-forward ... gospel hymn ... (and) a favorite with God’s people for ... a century ..." It was published as part of a hymnal, "Songs of Perfect Love," the same year it was written.

Carter was an interesting individual with diverse interests. Born in Baltimore, Maryland on November 18, 1849, he was an outstanding athlete at Pennsylvania Military Academy. He was also a member of that school’s first graduating class in 1867. He returned to teach a number of subjects--chemistry, natural science, civil engineering, and mathematics–over several years.
Woven through Carter’s life were other occupational pursuits. He was the author of several novels as well as a number of textbooks used in his classes. He saw personally the texts were printed and distributed; that makes him a publisher.

Carter assisted in collecting sacred music for two hymnals; one was mentioned earlier. He wrote many of the selections himself. During his career as minister, he became an active leader in Holiness, camp meeting movement.

Carter also spent some time in California as a sheep rancher. Later he studied medicine and became a practicing physician in Baltimore.

R. Kelso Carter died August 23, 1928 at Catonsville, Maryland.

Hat Tip: Workers for Jesus