A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What the Bible says concerning the Superbowl (West Coast Version)

I always knew people from the west coast had birds in their belfries!!!!!!!

Taken from: http://cricklsnest.blogspot.com/2009/01/super-bowl-bible-verse.html

Prayers For Your Pastor

Why not take the month of February, love month, and pray for your pastor more than you usually do? Don't know how to pray? Well, here are some suggestions from none other than....a pastor himself.

Today I pray:

1. That [your pastor] would know and love the living God, would have a saving interest in Christ, being purchased by His blood, and thus would be bound to the Lord by the indissoluble bond of the Holy Spirit.

2. That [your pastor] would know, embrace and ever more deeply understand the Gospel and be shaped by it in life and ministry.

3. That [your pastor] would be useful servant of the Lord, that he would know and love God's word, God's people, and God's kingdom; that he would be used to build it up and so that it prevails even against Hell's gates.

4. That [your pastor] would study, practice and teach the Word of the Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

5. That [your pastor] would love to pray, because he loves to commune with his God, and that he would be a man of prayer, characteristically.

6. That [your pastor] would be ever dependent upon and filled with the Spirit; and that he would possess true Spiritual wisdom.

7. That [your pastor] would be holy unto the Lord. That his tongue and heart would be wholly God's.

8. That [your pastor] would be kept from pride, and especially spiritual pride. That the Lord himself would be gracious to slay pride in him, and that your pastor would endeavor to always be putting pride to death, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

9. That God would give [your pastor] guidance as to where to focus his efforts in ministry.

10. That He would protect [your pastor] from himself, from the enemy of his soul, and from all earthly enemies.

11. That no decision which [your pastor] ever makes or desire that [your pastor] ever pursues would restrict his ability to pour his whole soul into the Gospel ministry.

12.That many would be converted and many built up under [your pastor]'s ministry, to God's glory alone.

13. That the Lord would bless [your pastor]'s wife, [. . . ], with holiness and happiness, Gospel assurance and Gospel rest.

14. That God would make [your pastor] a decent husband and father.

15. That [your pastor] would be a good friend to his wife, and love her self-sacrificially,

16. That [your pastor] would be a good daddy to his children. That they would love God, their parents and the church.

17. That [your pastor] would be a testimony in the home so that his wife might be able to respect him when he is in the pulpit, and so that [your pastor] will be able to feed her soul, along with the rest of the congregation.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Our Best Friend

I have a dog. Her name is Zoe. She is named "Zoe" because it is a Greek word meaning "life". And she has certainly lived up to her name. She has brought "life" to our family. Ten years ago this March, our family was involved in a very devastating car accident that left 3 of our four children in critical condition, two at a .5 on an 8 point scale that determines brain life. My children lived and have recovered wonderfully, but along the way one of the bumps in the road was the fact that my daughter's brain now runs 4-5 years behind her physical age. The tweener years seemed especially tough. Girls at that age are mean, unpredictable, and weird to each other, especially when they find that someone their age is just a little different than they are. One day they were her friend, the next day they were screaming "I hate you", "retard", "dummy", etc. This was very hard for my daughter and heart crushing for me. My daughter was working so hard, being so brave, and facing up to her challenges with herculean size strength and veracity. As I prayed and ask God for help, I heard a clear directive "buy her a dog." "huh?" "A dog?"

"Yes, a dog will love her everyday, no matter what. She will always have a true and loyal friend." So we shopped around, found a good breeder and bought her a golden retriever puppy. That is how Zoe came to be "the baby" of our family. You know, there are some days that I feel like that struggling little girl and Zoe always comes and lays her head on my lap, snoots my hand so that I'll quit thinking about myself and rub her belly, or she will stick that fuzzy tail up in the air and beg me for a walk or some play. She is truly our best friend.

Here she is at 3 weeks old when we traveled a couple hours south to pick her out of the litter.

Zoe and I hit if off right away! We both love to knit!

She soon learned that the promise to keep the puppy off the couch rule was just a pipe dream and often made it her favorite sleeping spot.

At first, she used my son as pillow. Now, it's the other way around! They can lay for hours on the floor and as long as he's sleeping, she will not move.

She goes everywhere with the kids, including sledding! She won't ride down with them, but she chases and races and cuts them off so that they will crash. She sees to it that they get plenty of exercise. As you can see, they get a real kick out watching her weave and bob in front of the sled.......

She even sees to it that they stay properly dressed in the winter time!

And the kids sneak a hug whenever they can.

Of course, she keeps us abreast of every cat, bunny and visitor to our property, humbles our daughter's rather energetic husky pup, takes my husband for a much needed walk every night, and keeps my spot warm so that when I crawl into bed at night, it's toasty and I don't have to lay real still until the sheets warm up.

Zoe is rather shy, doesn't like having her photo taken. She's humble that way.

But to us, she is the most noble of her breed!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What To Think About When Times Are Tough

With all the "write the Whitehouse" emails flying around out there, the outrage over our new President's liberal agenda, (as if we should be surprised), the media worship of Barak Obama who is the Savior of America, the Messiah of the Millenium, and the redeemer of the oppressed, there seems to be a sense of panic from the conservative base and even the Christian community.

I found this article by John Paul Jackson and thought he had some good wisdom to offer. I hope this gives you some comfort, some faith, and some centering as we enter into what could be a very trying and devastating four years. (And let us pray that it is just four years).

Here are five things to keep in mind as you weather this storm with the grace and, prayerfully, the glory of God resting on you.

1. Don’t overreact to media hype and spin. They learned a long time ago that sensationalism sells, and they will play it for all it’s worth. In the midst of the media flurry … God [will reveal] His secrets to His servants--so look for one. God is not caught by surprise. In His omniscience, He has been preparing you for this very hour. You will not fail. Remember what God told Jeremiah: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles [those who do not know Me]; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles [those who do not know Me] are dismayed at them’”(Jer. 10:2, NKJV).

When there is panic, we tend to make decisions we later regret. Don’t assume the worst, and don’t be afraid. Should you plan? Yes. Is this serious? Yes. But it’s not time to panic.

2. Simplify and streamline your life. What things do you do that are pure convenience? Could you cut back on any luxuries? Keep your current car? Take in a roommate? How about reducing your latte count at the coffee shop? Selectively start looking to cut back in areas that don’t really reflect your life’s mission or calling, or aren’t making a positive difference in others’ lives.

This will be an opportune time to follow in the disciples’ footsteps: “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:46).

3. Reconnect with friends and family. God is your Source--not your bank account, not your 401(k), not your gold, not your stock portfolio. Your friendships and other relationships are what feed your emotional health, and they stabilize you; you need them. Research shows that friendships play a dramatic role in getting people through difficult times. So reconnect today.

Remember that “a man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).

4. Rethink your focus. You have a choice: You can live your life by principles or by pressures. Those who “fail” in life usually keep their eyes fixed on their current problems and lose sight of their life principles. As things change, it is vital to remind yourself of the principles you live your life by. Never lose sight of them during challenging times. They will help keep you focused. The difficulties we’re facing nowmaybe God’s wake-up call to remind you of your original vision and purpose and why He made you the way He made you.

Take this time to rethink and re-evaluate. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). If you have no vision, your only other option is to go backward or decay.

5. Be an influence. Are you an influence in your culture? For many, this will be a time of innovation and invention. For others, it will be a time of study and preparation for the promotion that will come when this season eventually passes--which it will. Don’t chase trends, but study them to see where the culture is going. You should always be looking for original and innovative ways to engage the needs of others. Needs are going to abound, so ask God for a solution to those needs, and you’ll succeed when your secular peers are failing.

6. Take more time to listen. In the coming months and perhaps years there will be an entirely new set of needs that the people and this nation will have. The Lord wants to give innovative ideas and inventions to those who are close to Him. Set aside time to listen to Him. Prayer is great, but if all we do is make our needs known to God, it will be very difficult to listen. There is a lot we do not know about this coming time frame. God just might have something He would like to say to you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Wonderful People of PA Farm Show

Welcome to the third and final installment of the PA Farm Show 2009! You might be asking, "what's the big deal?"

Now just in case y'all think that this event is small potatoes, let me prove to you that this is a very popular event!!! All 24 acres of it was this packed with people of every race, background, persuasion, and creed!

This young lady was exercising her horse. There was a rodeo that evening, so excitement ran high. She was probably a barrel racer. I'm not sure we've progressed to women bull riders yet!

One thing I really like about farm folks is that they can be at home just about anywhere as long as they have family, friends, and their animals along. These kids were obviously seasoned farm show participants and took pride in how their "stall" looked for the the 2 weeks that they were there.

This particular group of kids seemed to show up in my camera lens quite a bit. They are a group of homeschoolers that happen to be in our youth group, which was the occasion for our trip. My daughter is the blond on the far right and my sons are in the green sweatshirt and red hoodie that has his back to you. As you will see, many of them chose to eat their way through the farm show, including my friend and fellow Mom. Of course, she eats her way through amusement parks too. I'm beginning to see a pattern here. She is also the infamous painter that I had the bathroom experience with! Doreen! You're famous!

All the eats were made from PA products and all proceeds went to support research for agriculture. I enjoyed deep fried mushrooms, deep fried cauliflower, zucchini, and onion rings. Are you seeing a pattern here? I passed on the deep fried mozzarella blocks, although I must admit they looked awful tasty!

This little darling packed her lunch. She was one of the exhibitors. Her cows had quite a few ribbons hanging from their stalls.

There were also some little "Deeres" wandering through the complex. I tried to catch this little fella with his toy John Deere tractor, but he was more interested in shoving it in a soda machine than having his photo taken. A little bit shy, just like the farm boy I married 27 years ago. I barely got this shot!

The farm show is a PA tradition and many consider it one of the most exciting events of the year. These two old guys who were taking an ice cream break are an excellent example of the tradition and cohesiveness of the PA farming community that spans an entire lifetime.

Now these three handsome young men just happened to be familiar to me. My sons are center and right. Don't they look thrilled to have their photos taken?

I was surprised to find this fella at the farm show. He looks a little cheesy to me! HA!

Like they say, "there's always a clown at every party!"

This is typical early afternoon activity for any dairy farmer.

Now this guy was a sweetie! You can tell from this photo how much he loved his little girl. But let me tell you, the feeling was mutual. He is the apple of her eye as well. How cute!

Among the crowds, there were a few dreamers as well. Can you guess what this guy is dreaming of becoming?

For some, buying lunch was not an option, so they would just stop and drop for a picnic wherever they could find a few square feet of space.

Just in case you think that farm kids have no sense of style, these ladies are modeling the latest in rodeo fashions for you.

This little one was too little to ride the real horses, but the merry-go-round suited her just fine.

This little one was thrilled beyond belief with her ride!

I thought that some of the chickens were the weirdest looking things at the farm show, until I came across this group of strange looking teens. Another characteristic of farming folk--self confidence!

This one is mine enjoying her free sample of rich and creamy ice cream!
Truly she doesn't need ice cream! She's sweet enough already!

Doreen, you shouldn't be talking to cheesy people in public without your husband!
I don't care that he told you he's from Wisconsin! You can't believe everything you hear!

Another one of my favorite teens! What size batteries does her hair take?

"I wonder where that ice cream went? I couldn't have eaten it all already!!!!!

The veteran farmer of the group, if you don't count the adults. She got us in "the back way" so that we didn't freeze our hinder parts in running from the parking lot to the front door! Thanks Abby!

Some little ones taking advantage of some diversionary play time. Really this corn box was here for their parents who were sitting on benches watching them play and wishing that they had some of their energy and had worn better shoes!

If you are free next January and would like to take a trip to my fair state, you might want to consider stoppin in! It's sure to be a good time around great folk!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The "Farmy" Part of the PA Farmshow

Welcome back to the sights and smells of the PA Farm Show. Today we will visit the "farmier" part of the complex! Watch your step!!! You never know what you might encounter as we weave our way through the barns!

I found it a little hard to get photos in this fellow's neck of the woods. This was the only fellow that wasn't "too chicken" to pose for me!

Now they just don't get any sweeter than this little cutie. And yes, she felt as soft and velvetty as she looked. It was "show time" for her, so she had just had a bath and is sportin a brand new haircut!

And this year's hottest new hairstyle just happens to be Mohawk!!

All haircuts were meticulously created by trained professionals to produce a hairstyle that perfects the shape of the face, back and everything in between!
Talk about a total body makeover!

Disclaimer: No animals were injured in the making of this photo!

Some just didn't care for the whole haircut idea. When I asked this fellow what he thought about getting his hair sheared, his response to me was "Blaaaaaah!"

These two had just finished getting sheared and were busy consoling each

Now this little number was anything but shy. Funny. You would think someone with no ears would kind of want to stay out of the spotlight! Freak!!

I know there were pigs there somewhere. I smelled them but never happened to find my way into their area. My camera died by the time I got to the bunnies. Bummer! But I think you get the idea! All the horsin' around photos have people attached to them, so you'll get to see them tomorrow! Thanks for stoppin in!

Next Blog: The most interesting thing about the Farm Show--the people--some of which happen to be my most favorite people in the world!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcome to the PA Farm Show!

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA. It is in many ways like a State Fair, except for the fact that it is entirely indoors. Within the buildings of the Farmshow complex are 24 acres of exhibits, demonstrations, activities, competitions, animals, and people. I don't think I could fit all the photos I took in one blog, so for a day or two, I will highlight the wonderful things I saw and experienced with each of you. Today, I'll focus on the exhibits. Everything at the farm show highlights PA agriculture and draws everyone from city to farm.

These pretty poinsettias were literally everywhere. There must have been a couple of thousand all throughout the complex.

For those who like to to cook, there were many different kinds of cooking show, competitions and demonstrations and lots and lots of free recipes!!!

For the more craft minded, there were wonderful displays. I especially appreciated this crocheted American Flag. Someone has way too much time on their hands, but I'm glad they do!

Look at the detail!!!!
Would anyone like to join me for a cup of tea? This tea set is so sweet, we can even eat it after we're done! It's cake!

And this girl was just too sweet to pass up! She's a cake too!

This is what we do with our surplus butter, all 900 lbs of it!!! Butter sculpture! Pretty impressive!
Some people brag about doing things "BIG" in Texas, but I doubt any Texan has beat this yet!

For those of the younger generation, an sand box alternative! We used to do this in the bottom of the corn crib. Kids nowadays have things so much better!

These are just a few of the wonderful things I experienced. In the following days, I'll share the animals, and of course, the many, many different kinds of people that were there too. I had such a wonderful time, I just wanted to