October 31, 2008

A Morning of Progressive Blogging

Definition: Progressive Dinner

At a Progressive Dinner a group of friends plan a meal together 
where each course is served at a different participant's home, 
so that the party literally moves from place to place throughout the evening.

I took this morning off from work to do "Progressive Blogging." Using my OLM address book (followers) I visited each and every blog...and what a fun time I had! It was like a coast to coast mini vacation. I prayed for those in need, saw the most fun fall pictures you can imagine, visited a Halloween party, giggled with delight at some serious silliness, marveled at some of the most creatively designed blogs, and came out thoroughly refreshed. 

Time simply doesn't allow me to progressively blog very often. I work in the mornings writing and studying and by evening my eyes are simply pooped, but I have to say it was a pleasure spending the morning visiting my blogging friends. You are all such a delight. I love praying for you and catching up on what is going on in your lives. You inspire me and I look forward to seeing you one day in heaven.

May you have a safe and wonderful weekend. 

Love ya all oodles!

October 28, 2008

Bed Time Stories and Hamburgers

I was walking by Dani's room tonight and saw Jimmy reading a story to her. 
Her leaning half off the bed tickled me so much I grabbed the camera.

What a great Daddy (and husband)

No sooner did I leave Dani's room I saw Ecclesiastes 
napping with his new hamburger.
Good Night!

October 24, 2008

Great Trio

I am finishing up a three book series called the "Mark of the Lion" by Francine Rivers and they are fabulous. I've sat wide eyed wondering what was going to happen next as the life of a character hung in the balance and fought back tears as the hardest of hearts came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

Though it takes place in the ancient days shortly after Christ's death, each character and their story is a reflection of lives today. As the book of Ecclesiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun, and how true it is. 

This series came out in the early 90's but if you have not read it I advise you give them a try. These books are clean, thought provoking, and good for your own spiritual growth and development. You can't go wrong.

Now I'm curious. What are you reading right now?

October 21, 2008

A New Little Brother in Christ!

Here is an update on 8 year old Grant who has an unknown muscle disease. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. Only on the other side of heaven will we all see what your sweet incense of prayers are doing for this family.

From Grant: "I love my Lord, my God. I got baptized."

Grant's words are much harder for him to get out these days, and these 9 words were very heartfelt. He mostly communicates to us with the thumbs up or thumbs down sign. His facial expression and manner with which he gives us the sign usually gets his point across! We at least know when he's not pleased with something. Traveling has been very hard on him and therefore on everybody else as well. Getting to places like the farm and Grandma's house were mixed with happiness and tears as he remembered what his life was like when he was there the last time. He doesn't like to look at pictures of anything before we moved to Kentucky. I guess that is part of the grieving process. Overall I think his demeanor is much better though. Some acceptance of the situation is settling in, I believe.

But, there is joy amidst pain. The night before we came up here, we were at home. Grant was up almost the whole night because he was hurting. He wanted to sing. He started singing, 'Our God is an Awesome God.' He was singing at the top of his lungs much like at his baptism. You can't really understand him and it's very difficult for him to get the words out, but oh, how sweet that music must have been to the Lord. We sang for quite a while while Grant furiously directed us with his hands like a choir director. It is a moment I will forever treasure.

Thank you for all of your kind messages and for your prayers. We are tremendously humbled by your love for Grant and for our family. Please pray for Grant's doctor as he should be wrapping up the analysis of Grant's tests in the coming week or two. Pray for wisdom, discernment and for nothing to be missed. 

Thank you so much. We are eternally grateful!
Grant's Parents

 "Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14

October 19, 2008

Internet Cafe Devotion

"Sweet as Honey"

“How sweet are your words to my taste, 
sweeter than honey to my mouth! “
Psalm 119: 103 

The Psalmist speaks of the many blessing that come from studying God’s Word. He describes the Word as honey, which sounds so wonderful. There is nothing like golden honey on a hot biscuit fresh out of the oven. It makes me hungry just thinking about it. This is how the Psalmist felt about God’s Word. He loved its taste, found that it nourished and regenerated his soul, and had grown to love it to the point where he savored it like honey in his mouth.  

I remember when His Word first began to taste sweet. I was working full time and began to notice increased difficulty in putting my Bible down in the morning in order to get ready for work. I had to be at work at 9:00 am and would have to dress and feed our disabled daughter and myself. I had made my commitment to God to spend time each day in prayer and Bible study for the rest of my life and was beginning to grow closer to Him. This closeness became evident when it was so hard to end my time with Him in the morning. I began getting up earlier each morning to have more time with Him, but still ended each study saying, “God, I am so sorry I have to leave for work now. You know I love you and wish I could spend all morning with you, but I have to go. I love you. Good bye.”  

Satan doesn’t want you to have a taste of God’s Word. He knows that if you have one drop, you’ll want more. He also knows that as it nourishes you, it weakens him. He will tell you that you don’t need it, or have the capability to understand it, but don’t believe these lies. God wrote His Word for you and through the power of the Holy Spirit, He will make it possible for you to understand it. You deserve to read, know, and understand God’s Holy Word because it was written for you!

We know God’s Word is like honey and if we get a little of it, we will want more. We also know the enemy doesn’t want us to have any of it and battles us every step of the way. So, how are we to begin? We must begin as the Psalmist began, by simply reading it. We read a little each day until we begin to taste the sweetness. Job meditated on God’s Word so much that he treasured it above his daily bread (Job 23:12). Can you say the same thing? It took me years to get to the point where I treasured God’s Word. For quite some time, I read it only out of my commitment to the Lord. As much as I love Him, I didn’t fully understand what I was reading, but because of my commitment, I continued. In return, God honored my efforts by teaching and guiding me all along the way. He taught me even when I didn’t know I was learning. Now that’s a good teacher!

My spiritual lips had acquired a taste and it left me thirsting for more. God, in all His love and mercy, honored my thirst for Him by eventually bringing me home to speak, write, and teach His Word through the Olive Leaf Ministries. Now I taste His sweet honey each day until I am full to the brim. He is so gracious when we put Him first. All it took was for me to dedicate time to Him each day and He took care of the rest.

I pray you acquire a taste for the sweetness of God’s Word. Dedicate time every day to taking it in, savoring it, and hiding it in your heart. God will do amazing things when you put Him first in your life every day!

October 18, 2008


Disappointment: (noun) the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.

Last Saturday we visited a local chilifest. We arrived at 4pm only to discover we'd missed the boat. All the venders were packing up their chairs, tents, and coolers. There was not one bean to be had. 

Today we drove 30 minutes into Kansas for another chilifest. The weather was so beautiful we decided to bring Ecclesiastes. Upon arrival we drove past the entrance which said "No Pets." 

With the smell of every kind of chili still lingering in our car, we left with empty bellies and a lot of disappointment. We ended up eating at Sonic and coming back home. What a pooper.

Job 6:20 
"They are distressed, because they had been confident; 
they arrive there, only to be disappointed."

(Job wasn't referring to a chili fiasco but it'll do)

October 15, 2008

Handier Than a Pocket on a Shirt

Girls I gotta tell you I love my "address book" (followers' icons on right.) It is handier than a pocket on a shirt! I just finished praising God for Connie selling her home, giggling at dog pictures on Home on the Range, comforting a mother with a disabled child on Theextras, hearing that John Wayne gave the plan of salvation on Thegardenexperience, and visiting a wonderful blog dedicated to bloggers praying for one another at Dancing Wallflower

With this handy dandy rolodex, all my blogging friends are as close as a click of my mouse and I love it. If you would like to "Be a Friend of OLM" simply click FOLLOW THIS BLOG and you are done. Your icon will appear and I'll be able to visit you and keep up on what's going on in your life. It's like having you in the pocket of my shirt!

October 13, 2008

God Comforts

Several months ago I asked you to pray for an 8 year old boy named Grant. He is dying of an unknown muscle disease and their struggles get worse each passing day. Here is an excerpt from an email his mother sent to all who are praying for them. Please pray for this Christian family as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Grant was in excruciating pain and we had trouble getting him comfortable. He was crying and upset. Something must have felt different for him because he told us he thought he was dying. He has never said that before. We cried with him and we prayed with him and over him. And finally he did rest. At one point while we were praying he held his hand up and said, 'Stop. God is talking to me.' He kept his eyes closed and nodded his head as if acknowledging the things that were being told to him. I don't pretend to understand how God reveals Himself to children, but I will say it is something to behold. Grant didn't question in the slightest that it was God who was talking to him. When he opened his eyes I asked him what God had told him. It took him a while to tell me, but it was basically this; 'He said He loved me and He was sending His angels to me and He was holding me in His mighty arm.'

In his worst hour, God calmed him. There are many things that occur in the course of a day that make me love the Lord even more, but I must say at that moment, I was overcome. He had done exactly what I'd asked and what many of you have asked as well. I had been asking God to reveal Himself to Grant and that He would see Him for who He is. And He did just that. There is joy amidst pain.

Psalm 23 
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." 


Home Study Notes

October 11, 2008

Take Heart (John 16:33)

With the global economy crashing before our very eyes it's easy to feel anxious about the future. Retirement, jobs, and homes are all on the line.  Life as we know it will change for everyone. What good could possibly be ahead when all appears so grim.

Just hours before Jesus' arrest He comforted His disciples as He prepared them for their greatest loss, His death. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

What great love. Jesus did not hide the truth. He told them they would have trouble in order to strengthen and prepare them. And notice He offered them peace by telling them they would have trouble. Seems a bit odd at first glance, but He did this in order to align their focus from the world and onto Him. He was not going to be the Messiah who would rescue the Jews here on earth. He would overcome in a much different fashion and they needed fair warning so as to not abandon the call after He was gone.

The word "peace" in this passage means quietness, prosperity, and rest...all the things we seek here on earth. But, true peace can never be found in this world, since this is the enemy's domain. Rest from despair can only be found in Christ, the one who has overcome the world. With this in mind we can be of good cheer even amidst troubled times.

Sister, if you are worried about the future you have nothing to fear. God lives outside the bounds of time. He knew this collapse was going to happen before the dawn of time and He allowed it. Nothing is too big for God, He never turns a deaf ear to His children, and He will never allow us to go hungry. He speaks truth, He provides strength, and guides our way. Only He can satisfy our deepest longing and He's waiting to do so in such a time as this!  

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. 
He who comes to me will never go hungry, 
and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." 
John 6:35

October 8, 2008

Mr. Swirly Pants

When Ecclesiastes was a little puppy we noticed cute little swirls on his hips. 
I feared he might lose them when he grew up 
but I am pleased to enjoy them still today!

Do any of your dogs wear swirly pants?

October 3, 2008

"I Love Your Blog" Award

Blogs are a labor of love and it's always good to receive positive feedback. A relatively new OLM friend, Thegardenexperience, passed this award to the OLM blog and we thank you! 

Answer these questions with one word. 
(I pray my answers don't bore you. I am not too exciting.)

Where is your cellphone? Charging in my purse.

Where is your significant other? In bed sound asleep.

Your hair color? Naturally auburn but I have highlights. (I feel like I'm on trial)

Your Mother? Is in heaven.

Your Father? Still with us.

Your Favorite Thing? I highly value my Bible. Wouldn't want a new one.

Your dream/goal? To completely fulfill God's purpose for me here on earth.

The room you're in? Office.

Your hobby? Making jewelry.

Your fear? Large expanse of water.

Where do you want to be in 6 years? Doing what I do now, writing, speaking, and teaching women the God's Word.

Where were you last night? At home watching the vice presidential debate.

What you're not? Boisterous. (Am I boring you?)

One of your wish items? I try to keep these things to a minimum because wishing breeds discontent (for me.) I strive instead to be content where I am and with what I have.

The last thing you did? Finished my morning cappuccino. 

What are you wearing? My PJ's.

Your TV? Is huge.

Your Pet? Is my friend.

Your Computer? Is an Apple.

Your Mood? Is good!

Missing Someone? No. I feel content with all my relationships.

Your Car? Is willow green.

Something you're not wearing but love to wear? Crop pants.

Favorite Store? Talbots and Macy's. (Love em both) 

Your Summer? Was great.

Love Someone? The guy in the other room who is sound asleep.

Your Favorite Color? Soft pink.

When was the last time you laughed? Last night. Jimmy was adjusting the timer on the deck lights and I was looking up at the stars. I saw a light moving in the sky that looked like a star but was too far away to be a plane. I asked Jimmy to look at it and by the time he got up from the timer the light was perfectly still. Clearly it was a star that had never been moving in the first place. I said, "Well...it was moving. Maybe it's a shooting star that decided to quit shooting." When I saw the look on his face I burst into laughter, piercing the quiet night air. The guy kills me. 

When was the last time you cried? I cried a few days ago over something that was very disappointing, but you know, God has used it to reveal His direction for me in this situation and for that I am grateful for the experience.

I pass this award on to the following ladies. (Of course if you've already received this don't feel as though you must do it again.)

October 1, 2008

Behind the Scenes

You're used to seeing me in front of the camera presenting weekly video devotions, but have you ever wondered what I see from my point of view? 

During a recent recording Dani and Ecclesiastes were very patient and relatively quiet, but a bit distracting just the same. When I saw Ecclesi turn nearly inside out I stopped filming and grabbed the camera. They were a little bored.