for the place where thou standest is holy ground."
Acts 7:33 KJV

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This blog post is dedicated to my children and grandchildren, and many special friends who have sons and daughters that I am earnestly interceding in prayer for. 
2 Samuel 21: 5-14

Imagine that you are walking along a hillside in Israel.  The heat is almost unbearable.  The earth under your feet is dusty, and the grass has withered to nothing crunching with every step.  This once lush Mediterranean land lies in the grip of a terrible drought, resulting in a famine that has lasted for three years.  Coming around the side of the hill, you are smitten with a suffocating stench and an unforgettable sight.  Before your eyes are the carcasses of seven men, each dreadfully decomposed.  These corpses were the sacrifices intended to end the famine.

Surprisingly, these dead men are not alone.  A woman sits nearby on a piece of cloth laid out on a rock.  She is dozing, her chin drooping further down on her chest as the seconds pass.  Out of the corner of your eye, you see other forms circle into view.  Vultures.  Quickly the woman rouses and lets out a blood-curdling scream, frantically waving her arms and throwing stones to ward off the predators.  A fierce battle ensues, neither side wanting to give up his purpose in being there. Finally the woman prevails.  For several minutes she remains near the feet of the bodies. Shielding her eyes with her hand, she carefully surveys the sky, making sure no more of the enemy lingers.

The woman’s garments are unkempt and you wonder how long she has been there.  As she turns back to her rock, her face becomes visible.  She looks to be in her sixties and her face is worn and tired.  Your eyes meet.  Hers are ablaze with a fire that burns deep within her: a fire that drives her to do battle with any creature that would dare desecrate the bodies of these dead men—a fire that keeps her vigilant day and night—a fire that defies sleep and hunger.

What would cause a woman to leave her home and camp on a barren hillside smothered with death?  Passion—a passion fueled by a mother’s love, the love of a mother grieving over two dead sons. Meet Rizpah, “fiery coal”, my heroine.  

We may journey on, but Rizpah will not join us.  Her post is here, hovering near her boys, always her babies.  She will stay by them for six long months.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Rizpah... a woman in the Bible that not much is known about - yet as a "Mom" and "Grandmother" myself, she's a woman that I draw strength from and am challenged by.  She was determined 'at all cost' to protect her sons from the vultures and wild beasts.  Rizpah's story is one of God's pictures that reveals only a tiny glimpse of the power we have to make change around us.  Her son's were dead but she would protect them until they could receive a proper burial... our children and grandchildren are still with us - Praise the Lord!  But we must realize that we are living in a world where the wiles of the devil lay in wait to devour them if at all possible.  We must join what I will call the "Rizpah Revolution" - where we as Moms, Dads, Grandmas, and Grandpas.... join our hearts in prayer and watch day and night for the attacks Satan will render on our young.  We must have the same stamina, determination, devotion, love, and courage that Rizpah had. 

"And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night."  (2 Samuel 21:10) 

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Satan doesn't come to us with horns and pitchfork.
He often comes wrapped in attractive and innocent guise.

The Spider and the Fly
by: Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to standStand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."  (Ephesians 6:11-16)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"I LOVE FALL" Fun Stuff (Spiced Candied Pecans)

I love the story of the little girl who misquoted her favorite verse:
". . . that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have ever-laughing life."

The two large pecan trees in the yard are hanging tightly to several of it's bounty.  Many have fallen because of the drought in NC this year.  We use pecans in everything around our house:  morning cereal, candies, cookies, loaf breads, salads, etc.  The recipe below was given to me by my friend Vicki - who makes the best candied pecans that I have ever stuck in my mouth ;-)  
2 quarts Pecans (use cleaned pecan halves)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
2 Tbs. water 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet with "Pam" or non-stick cooking spray.  In a large glass bowl combine egg whites and water.  Beat with a mixer until stiff and fluffy.  Combine all the dry ingredients and add to egg mixture.  Stir well, and then add pecans gradually making sure that they are coated on all sides by the mixture.  Spread coated pecans onto cookie sheet and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 1 hour at 300 degrees - stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Store in covered airtight container... if they last that long.... LOL!  ENJOY!

           Head to the pumpkin patch, take a wagon ride, run through a corn maze... 
           fall is full of wonderful activities for the young and young-at-heart!

           Which apple is best???
           The tastiest pie apples are Rome, Jonathan, Fuji, and Granny Smith.  
           For salads, try McIntosh, Red Delicious, Empire, and Gala.

           Host a "Crock-tober Dinner" or a "Slow-Cooker Supper" to celebrate harvest 
           season!  Invite friends to bring their favorite crockpot or slow-cooker dishes, 
           from mains to desserts.  After dinner, take a hayride, carve pumpkins, or have 
           a scarecrow-building contest.  It's all about being together and making memories! 

God's promise for a "Harvest of Blessing"
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  (Galatians 6:9)  

Monday, October 11, 2010

"I LOVE FALL" Fun Stuff (Pumpkin Cheese Ball)

Pumpkin Cheese Ball
2  8-oz. pkgs. extra sharp Cheddar Cheese (finely grated)
1  8-oz. pkg. Cream Cheese (softened)
1  8-oz. container Chive & Onion Cream Cheese (softened)
2  tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 stalk Broccoli (top removed)  this will be used to make the stem for your pumpkin :) 
Assorted Crackers 

Combine first 5 ingredients.  Shape mixture to resemble a pumpkin.  Trim broccoli stalk, if needed, and press lightly into the top of the pumpkin for a stem.  Use a knife to make vertical lines down the sides of the cheese ball.  Serve at room temperature with crackers. 

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
~Elizabeth Lawrence

October is a symphony of permanence and change.
~Bonaro W. Overstreet

#1          Instead of carving your pumpkins why not try a few unblemished ones like this:
                    Coat them with a spray adhesive, then dust them with a fine sparkly
                    iridescent glitter. 

#2          Make a run to Wal-Mart and purchase an old-timey  Mr. or Mrs. Potato-Head.  
                    Purchase small pumpkins for each of your kids or grand-kids to decorate
                    and let them use the Mr. Potato-Head pieces along with fabric scraps,
                    old costume jewelry, waterbased markers, etc. to decorate their pumpkins.
A cute way to display these:  On a pedestal cake plate with a clear glass domed lid - if you have many little ones - take turns displaying each child's pumpkin.  They will love the day their pumpkin is in the "place of honor"  :-)  

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold , I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  (John 4:35)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Making a Difference"

  3 buddies die in a car crash, they go to heaven to an orientation.  They are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning upon you, what would you like to hear them say about you?  The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."  The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."  The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say. . . . . . LOOK, HE'S MOVING" ! ! ! ! !

Although I have had a few good laughs over the humorous story above, and must be honest with you and say that I can "wholeheartedly" agree with the last fellas sentiments... I can also say that it causes me to reflect on life and coming to the end of it.

When our son Stephen Jr. was at Tennessee Temple University several years ago - he wrote Steve and I a letter expressing his heart for young people (teens) and their struggles.  In the letter he included these verses:

"Keep yourselves in the love of God,  looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion,  making a difference:"   (Jude 1:21-22)

If our lifestyle were the only lifestyle that society could depend on to observe God's unconditional love, would they be compelled to pursue a relationship with Him?  If those who see our conduct, hear our conversation, and witness our character on a daily basis were placed on the witness stand to verify our commitment to the person and principles of the one we claim to serve, would there be enough evidence to convict us?  We must always be willing to go the extra mile for others.  It is through our generosity and love that many eventually see the face of God.

Fast forward to your funeral.  What are people going to say about you as they stand around your casket talking?  Will it be that he/she was a good person?  What I want people to say about me?  I want them to say that I made a difference in their life.

As I close my eyes to slumber
I hope that God will say
“You have made the world a better place
By the way you lived today”.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"I LOVE FALL" Fun Stuff (Spiced Cider Mix)

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."  (Genesis 8:22)

Spiced Cider Mix
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (if desired)
To make cider:
1/4 cup mix (above)
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup water
Combine mix, juice and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Yield: 1 serving.
Take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon... load the family or a friend in the car and go "leaf-peeping."  Take along a thermos of Spiced Cider to enjoy along the way.

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.
~Faith Baldwin

Preserve the beauty of autumn leaves... it's easy.  Place the stems in a mixture of one part glycerin to 2 parts water.  After a few days, remove them from the solution and wipe dry.  They're now preserved and ready for beautiful garlands, bookmarks, or wreaths.

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, Fluttering from the autumn tree.
~Emily Bronte