Saturday, June 30, 2007


"More than just making bad people good, Jesus came to bring dead people to life, and came for people that know they are broken and need each other."

Community Stays Committed Despite Destruction

Please continue to pray for the folks at THE SIMPLE WAY community in Philadelphia, PA.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Did you know that there are more slaves in the world today than there were 200 years ago? Did you know that many of them are children, especially young girls?
As a mother of 7, I have a heart not just for my children, but for those children who find themselves victims of this atrocity. I feel compelled to somehow make a difference for these innocents.
But what's a mom living in rural tranquility of America supposed to do?
is a Christian organization dedicated to being modern day abolitionists. They are
committed to doing what they can to set the captive free!
They offer resources for families with children to not only educate
but to present tangible ways for families to join them in this crucial campaign.
Quoted from their website:
Families for Justice.
Discover the lives of modern-day slaves and the rescuers who are helping them! Four easy, fun activities and an accompanying DVD will help you and your children learn more about oppression and the passion God has for justice. The kit also includes an "offering bank" that gives your family the chance to help rescue victims of slavery through a special program called "Loose Change to Loosen Chains." This is appropriate for families with preschoolers through middle school. Your high school students can even get involved by helping present the family night information.
Visit the IJM for more information:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rich Mullins wrote:

As we age, we begin to forget stuff;

our joints stiffen;

our heads go a little soft...

Getting old is part of getting past whatever illusion we have about ourselves.

It is part of getting free.

On this "Thankful Thursday", I thank God that I AM getting older. I thank God for each of the 41 years He has given me and the abundance of silver hair I have to show for those years.

And I thank God that He has used those years to draw me closer to Him. He has used those years to show me my weaknesses, my sins, my failings, my desperate need for Him. But He's also used them to show me how very much He loves me and that every day spent living, is another chance to worship Him, love Him, love others, and be FREE! He's finally gotten it through my hard head that His love for me is not based on my goodness, its based on HIS goodness. How liberating is that?!?

When I was young, I could get by on less sleep. When I was young my hair was thicker and my waist was thinner. When I was young I didn't have wrinkles and my hearing was much better. But when I was young, I didn't realize the magnitude and amazing nature of God's grace and mercy. I had no clue of the wonders He had in store for me. And HAS in store for me.

As a teenager and young adult, 40 seemed so OLD! Now it feels so FREE!!!

Thank you, God, for this great adventure. I look forward to seeing what You've got up your sleeve over the next 40 years.
Love you, Dad!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


My 3 year old son informed me of this aspiration at breakfast today. At first, I was a bit confused. After all, most kids his age want to be firefighters or super heroes or train engineers...but a DUMPSTER DIVER? Then I was reminded of a book we've got checked out from the library, THE DUMPSTER DIVER by Janet S. Wong.

This book has captured not just his imagination, but has sparked the imagination of some of his siblings as well. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I heard his 5 year old sister say to him "I want to be a dumpster diver". To which I asked "are you going to be be a dumpster diver, too, when you grow up?" Apparently her statement just applied to here and now pretend play as she regally informed me "no, I'm just going to be a princess".

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rich Mullins Hold me Jesus

Thank you, Jesus, for your strong arms of love. You are both my King of Glory and my gentle Prince of Peace.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What's inspiring me right now
I have loved the music of Rich Mullins for years. Its beautiful, its poetic, and its laced with God's grace.
Only this week, did I discover that I also love the writings of Rich Mullins. In THE WORLD AS I REMEMBER IT: THROUGH THE EYES OF A RAGAMUFFIN, a compilation of columns written for the RELEASE publication, Rich eloquently gives us a glimpse into his heart and the journey this ragamuffin took as he sought to be a true follower of Jesus.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter I read aloud to the family on the way to church service this morning:
It is the same way with strength. Gad calls us to "be strong" and we mistake that for a call to omnipotence. We confuse strength to endure trials with an ability to walk unfrustrated through life. We convince ourselves that if we were strong we would never fail, never tire, never hurt, never need. We begin to measure strength in terms of ease of progress, equate power with success, endurability with invincibility, and inevitably, when our illusion of omnipotence is shattered, we condemn ourselves for being weak.
Rich left us for Heaven on September 19, 1997...but his writings and music will ensure that a wonderful part of him will not only always be with us, but will continue to encourage us on our journey.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

I finished up IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION, by Shane Claiborne of THE SIMPLE WAY, last week. Such a prophetic writing for the Western Church. I didn't necessarily agree with every single jot and tiddle, but the overall message spoke straight to my heart.

My husband is now reading it and he's the one who describes Shane as a modern day prophet. God often calls individuals to extreme lives with extreme messages because that's what it sometimes takes to get our attention. After all, look at the Isaiah who went publically naked for a while or Hosea who was called to marry a prostitute. Obviously, the WHOLE population wasn't called to shed their threads or marry someone who was of ill repute, but the prophets had crucial messages from God and messages that all the people needed to hear.

Read IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION and prepare to have your world shaken up!

Kensington Fire Video -part 1

Please pray for the folks of THE SIMPLE WAY community and the people who lived around this center that was dedicated to loving others in practical ways. For more information concerning this ministry, the fire, and how you can help, visit .

Grassroots responses to HIV/AIDS, Swaziland

My heart breaks for my beloved Swaziland. Please pray and also consider giving financially to help meet the needs of the Swazi people.

CHILDREN'S HOPECHEST is another organization working to bring food and aid to the orphans and widows of Swaziland. And as they do, they bring the love and comfort of Jesus into the lives of those they minister to.


Shauna at tagged me for this meme.

Here are the rules-

* Those Tagged will share 5 things they dig about Jesus.
* Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers.
* Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here so that others can read them.

Its pretty hard to narrow it down to just 5, but here goes:

  1. He loves me even though He knows all the dirt on me...and believe me, some of that dirty is nasty!
  2. Before I messed up, He had already provided the way for me to be made clean.
  3. He liked to shake up the establishment and really make people THINK!
  4. Jesus walked this earth as a real man, yet was ALL GOD!
  5. He liked to party! And because of the freedom He has brought me, I can party with all my heart! I can dance, I can sing, I can laugh...and its a celebration that will last forever. W-O-W!

I LOVE YOU, JESUS!!!!!!!! Thank you SO much!!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007


"When you consider what real love for God is you can easily see that you cannot love God in this way if you think you are under the curse and wrath of God. You cannot love God if you are under the continual, secret suspicion that he is really your enemy! You cannot love God if you secretly think he condemns and hates you. This kind of slavish fear will compel you to some hypocritical will never truly love God if you are compelled only by fear. Your love for God must be won and drawn out by your understanding of God's love and goodness toward you, just as John testifies, 'There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear consists of torment; the one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.' You simply cannot love God unless you know and understand how much he loves you."

How To Live a Holy Life by the Power of the Gospel, Bruce McRae's edited version of Walter Marshall's classic, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Our 2nd daughter B is very creative...whether its in the way she dresses or the lettering on
the front of her math notebook. Whatever she touches has that unique B flair.
This past week, that creativity has been expressed through her hair full force!
And its not just HER hair, as pictured above, but so many others
around her have "benefitted" from her creative outpouring.

Little sister M has been seen quite a few days sporting this multicolored "do". She

braided 5 year old LG's long tresses one night in a unique style

but LG's tears and protestations demonstrated that she

did NOT appreciate B's efforts.

But obviously, not everyone else is so unappreciative!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Live Out Loud

"If we have been filled with living hope,
We're gonna overflow.

And if God's love is burning in our hearts, we're gonna glow.

There's just no way to keep it inside"

---Steven Curtis Chapman

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I sit here today in comfort...air conditioning and fans going to beat the heat, a belly full of a delicious and nutritional breakfast, my children safely playing outside in a yard scattered with toys, and a house filled with so much stuff it has to sit around in piles for lack of enough storage space.

Yet all over the world today, countless people are living in fear, dying from hunger, working as slaves, fighting to survive, watching their loved ones succumb to the evil of AIDS, and wondering if anyone even cares.

I do care...but do I care enough? Do I really and truly care enough to not just sit here and feel guilty, but DO SOMETHING?!?

God is waking up many of us here in America to the reality of our apathy. We've allowed all the good things that we've enjoyed drug us into a selfish complacency. Sure, we care, but we're often just too busy or wrapped up in our own little world to care about the rest of the world...the rest of the world that on the most part, desperately needs us to bring about change.

"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us." James 1:27


Looking for a change?

Tom Stoddard's visual essays:

Franklin Graham and Samaritan's Purse:


Zoe Children's Homes:

Author Lisa Samson:

Children's Hopechest

CARE POINTS in Swaziland:

Monday, June 11, 2007


Fellow homeschool mom and blogging pal over at SHAUNA RUMBLING has issued a most excellent challenge. I wanted to pass it on to my dear readers:
"Have you read any good Christian fiction lately? Whether your answer is "Yes! Let me tell you about the great book I just finished reading!" or "HA! Isn't that an oxymoron?" I have a challenge for you!
The Christy Awards are given annually, "recognizing excellence in Christian fiction written by contemporary authors and highlighting the breadth and diversity of Christian fiction." I have previously used the list of nominations and winners to find thought-provoking novels with well-developed characters for my reading list and to find new or new-to-me Christian authors to challenge and inspire my faith. So now I'm inviting you to join me!
The Christy Challenge is simple: Visit and take a look at the award nominations for 2007 or prior years. Pick one of the nominated books (or more if you want) from any of the genres and read it in the next month, then report back on your blog or in the comments here to let everyone know what you thought. I especially encourage those of you who are skeptical that you could possibly find any Christian novels worth reading to have a go! You might just find (as I did!) that your assumptions about Christian fiction are based on misconceptions and unfair generalizations. And if you're already a regular reader of Christian fiction, you might discover a new favorite author or two.
The challenge will be open until July 7, which is the same week that the 2007 Christy Award winners will be announced. Check back here for updates on the challenge, as I'm going to try and get a few interviews with some of this year's nominees. I'm also going to give away one of the nominated books! Anyone who reads a book nominated for a Christy Award in any year during the challenge and provides a brief review will be eligible for the drawing (please don't just review one you've read previously). During the last week of the challenge, I'll make a final post where you can leave a comment and link to your review.
Let me know in the comments or by email if you're interested in participating, and please help spread the word! You can use the button above if you'd like to promote The Christy Challenge on your blog. I'd greatly prefer not being the only participant! :) "
To email Shauna if you are participating:
To visit her blog and post your comment:
LG has been working hard in our garden this summer. She helped with the planting and has been the main one getting those babies watered...which has been essential with the near drought conditions we've been experiencing this gardening season.

This morning, she had the deep satisfaction of helping me pick our first produce, 7 yellow squash and 3 zucchini squash. She was also excited to see how big some one of the tomatoes is getting. Its size is her favorite thing to check out in the garden.

Too bad she doesn't get so excited about eating them!


After all being reunited on Saturday, 2nd daughter B is now off for a week of camp with her best friend Candace and a group from Clear Branch Baptist Church. They are at Camp Garaywa for B's second summer.

Oldest daughter A went to Garaywa last summer as well.

Its really a bit of a family tradition since I was not only a camper there as a kid (and cried myself sick every night but the last due to missing home so badly) but a counselor as a college student. I went to camp with one of my elementary school best buddies Darlene many, many moons ago and met my dear friend and college roommate Darla there a little over 20 years ago.

Now my two oldest have followed in that tradition and one day, little sister L hopes to go as well. And I'm sure that as soon as Baby M is old enough to realize what's going on, she'll be dreaming of the day when she can pack up and head to Garaywa.

We're sure going to have a wealth of memories linked to that shady, dear place.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

For folks around here, summer starts when the school year ends, regardless of what the calendar might say. And with summer, we usually do have a schedule that's even more layed back than our regular "relaxed homeschooling" lifestyle. But in the case of this past week, the slower pace hasn't kicked in yet. Here's a quick overview of the fun yet amazingly tiring week we just had.
Last Saturday, Super Hubby and I participated in a leadership workshop at our church. We've been asked to join the Servant Team as soon-to-be cell group leaders. While we soaked in the great teaching, the younger kids played with their church friends as A & B earned some spending money babysitting the attendees' children.
Afterwards, A & B attended a birthday swim party for one of their homeschool group friends. And when that was over, it was time to return to the church for the End-of-the-Year Homeschool Group Party. Super Daddy had to stay home with L who was running a fever (so he kept the baby hobbit home as well) but the rest of us had a good time officially ending our school year, rec'ing certificates of grade completion, and getting the group yearbooks.
Here's 3 year old T goofing off with a homeschool grad who is now a mom of her own learning-at-home daughter.
Sunday brought us back up to the church. I taught my Sunday School class and 10 year old D assisted with this group of preschoolers for the first time. He did a really good job. Super Hubby, A, and B were blessed by a teaching from one of my best friends, Janine M. She shared from her own life experiences and encouraged the congregation to not let past hurts keep them from being used by God. I can't wait to listen to it on cd! Praise God for modern technology.
Monday morning found us hurrying! D & P both had cubscout daycamp starting that morning plus Super Hubby and 13 year old A were leaving for youth camp with our church. Cubscout camp was held at the local Ag museum so just lunches and stuff for the day was needed for them. And blessedly, another scout mom was helping out with transportation for most of the week. But with J & A heading for nearly a week in Tennessee at Union University for Centrifugue, an extraordinary amount of luggage had to be packed.
This was the first youth camp for both of them so excitement was running high as we dropped them off and visited with the other campers, chaperones, and parents. Since I have so many awesome memories of youth camp, I experienced mixed emotions....thrilled for the experience I knew they'd be having, but a bit envious as well. It was a tad bit hard to be left behind but I knew it would be a wonderful opportunity for them both and now all three of us will have "Centrifuge stories" to share.
Here they are just before departure. My 13 year old was tired of the photo taking so she ducked behind a seat behind the two hatted guys when she saw me coming. Obviously, others aren't as camera shy!
Monday was also the start of Vacation Bible School at a local Baptist church, but I'll get to that part later. First, let's skip ahead to Tuesday. B's clogging group, CLEAR BRANCH CLOGGES FOR CHRIST, performed at a summer reading program for the public library in Harrisville. The library is a tiny one so in order to provide adequate space, the group performed in a catfish house just a stone's throw away from the library. Here's a bit of silly trivis---Harrisville was originally known as BUCK SNORT! Now how's that for a colorful name!
D and P definitely had a great exerience at cubscout daycamp. The activities they participated in included archery, crafts, compass skill activities, and outdoor cooking.

P and his group (boys mostly from his den) had fun touring the agriculture museum and sitting in a huge rocker handcrafted by local artisan Greg Harkins.
Monday thru Friday, our nights were filled with Vacation Bible School. B's friend L (who is also our neighbor girl) also went along with us the first 3 nights. I tried letting T and M go, but T just wasn't ready to be in a class with 17 other preschoolers, none of whom he knew. M was more than happy to be there, but I spent the entire time trying to keep Mr. High Maintenance from being rude with his attitude. It wasn't worth the headache and wore me plum out so after the first night, he and M stayed home with Mommy only going up for brief visits either at the beginning or end of the evening most nights.

B's class enjoys the music led by my friend Drewe Llyn and assisted by her daughter Cassie and a youth in their church.
Wednesday night, after I dropped the older kids off at VBS, I went to church with M & T for prayer meeting. As always, it was good to meet with our cell group for good fellowship and prayer time before getting back together with all the other groups for a time of corporate prayer.

On Thursday, I had the special treat of a visit from a college friend, my Troubadour Social Club little sister, Amy. In one of those "its a small world" instances, we found out that Amy's husband has family living just 3 or 4 miles from our house. So while they down from their home in the DC area visiting Mississippi kin, she got to come by and see us.

It was so wonderful seeing her and her precious baby boy plus meeting her sweet mother-in-law.
Thursday and Friday got a bit more crazy for us as we were responsible for getting the boys to and from daycamp. And to be honest, we were getting more than a bit frazzled from all the late nights, upset schedules, and busy mornings, so on Friday, I decided to treat the non-campers. After dropping off our scouts, we drove through one of our favorite neighborhoods, Belhaven, and made the spontaneous decision to stop at their very nice playground.


T had fun climbing thru the tire tunnel.
After playtime, we drove around the neighborhood "sightseeing" and taking photos of many of the lovely homes, their special architectural elements, and landscaping.

Famous Mississippi author Eudora Welty's family home is located in the neighborhood just across the street from Belhaven College.
Friday night was the VBS End-of-the-Week program complete with songs, a slide show, an offering taken for a new church in the Baltimore area, and a fellowship supper afterwards.
The kids enjoyed the sports-themed songs.
And now its Saturday, the day that we can rest a little and then welcome home Super Hubby/Daddy and A. Its been a tiring week in many ways, but also full of fun and loving moments. I'm looking forward to the upcoming week being not quite so busy and definitely glad I'll be sharing much of it with "my man".
Related Links:
Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum
Centrifuge Camp
Belhaven Neighborhood
Belhaven College
The Eudora Welty House

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Steve Lambert --- publisher, speaker, and online "dad" to many --- had these words to share this morning:

A sad story in our own backyard...

Some of you have followed the story of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith, who was abducted from a very up-scale shopping area several days ago in the Kansas City area. Her body was found across town in a park about 1.5 miles from our house yesterday afternoon.

It was discovered along a park nature trail that Jane and I have walked dozens of times over the years, and one that I drive by once or twice a day.

You can read about the story at if you're interested.

But one quote leaped out at me as I read the article this morning...

Though Overland Park police and others quietly searched the area Tuesday, authorities didn’t disclose the location until Wednesday. That’s when more than 240 officers, from multiple agencies, canvassed the area. No one but law enforcement and authorized teams were allowed in the search area.

Only a few people stopped by to see what was going on. Among them was Edith Duskin of Kansas City, who had been helping in the search for Smith since Sunday. Duskin was on her way to the Longview Lake area to post fliers when she heard a body was found.

“I was hoping to God she would come home,” Duskin said. “This world ain’t right.”

Grammar aside, I think that pretty well sums things up, doesn't it? "This world ain't right."

We live in a fallen world, broken by sin and selfishness and our hope lies beyond this present age.

The 26-year-old suspect is already in custody and so the ripples of our sin continue to spread out, like waves from a pebble tossed in the water- two families, two extended families and 100's of friends and acquaintances wounded and disfigured because of the selfishness and sin of one man.

I'm so grateful that we have some hope beyond this life.

I'm sitting here at 3:15 in the morning, getting ready to shower and shave and drive toward the airport to board a sunrise flight to speak at the Virginia state homeschool convention this weekend, and I'm reminded of a song by controversial Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockbrun called "Rumours of Glory". (Note- I'm sure my good Canadian friend Barb Cash appreciates someone who can spell the word "rumors" correctly!)

Above the dark town
After the sun's gone down
Two vapour trails cross the sky
Catching the day's last slow goodbye
Black skyline looks rich as velvet
Something is shining
Like gold but better
Rumours of glory

Smiles mixed with curses
The crowd disperses
About whom no details are known
Each one alone yet not alone
Behind the pain/fear
Etched on the faces
Something is shining
Like gold but better
Rumours of glory

You see the extremes
Of what humans can be?
In that distance some tension's born
Energy surging like a storm
You plunge your hand in
And draw it back scorched
Beneath it's shining like
Gold but better
Rumours of glory

That's really true, isn't it. We live in a world where there are "Rumours of Glory". We've heard, but not yet seen. We've read, but not yet experienced. We've believed, but not yet tasted. We live in a world where 18-year-old girls can go to Target to buy a gift in broad daylight, and be left lying dead along a beautiful nature trail just an hour later.

And the most horrifying truth is that it's not just "a 26-year-old suspect" that's at fault. It's all of us. There is none without sin. We're all a part of the problem- and none of us are a part of the solution. It's just a matter of degree, isn't it? Sin is sin.

But as Bruce Cockburn sang nearly 30 years ago, we've not been left without hope. There are "Rumours of Glory" throughout the land- the promise of redemption and an end to sin someday.

We are buoyed up, as bodies are found in our own backyard, as Maggi Pivovar continues her rehabilitiation therapy after the loss of both legs, as the students at Virginia Tech wonder whether to return to campus next fall or not. In a world of unimaginable suffering, we are lifted by "Rumours of Glory."

I for one am grateful for those "Rumours" this morning as I get ready to travel. It's clear to me after 57+ years that none of us have the wherewithall inside us to make this world what it was intended to be. As Edith Duskin so simply put it, "This world ain't right."

Blessings friends,

Steve - the 3:00 AM Philosopher

Five in a Row

Monday, June 04, 2007


Author Lisa Samson, has posted an urgent request at her blog, . I told her that I would help spread the word about this crucial ministry to girls who have escaped from the sex slave trade in Mexico. Here's what Lisa has to say---

"Here's an opportunity for us to really lend a hand (or a deep pocket) to help girls who are kidnapped for the sex slave trade in Mexico. If you'd like to donate to help supply building materials for the Safe House going up, go to If you're handy with tools and can go to Mexico to renovate, go on over to the site as well. Please, please, please give. The paypal page is easy and even if it's just a little, it all helps. What a worthy ministry to support. Gospel undefiled right here.

And pray for these little girls and their families. Dear Lord, have mercy. Get them out of this and give them peace. Keep them safe and bring them through somehow.

From my friend, Patty Hickman:

Additonally, over this past year we became aware of the plight of little girls in Mexico who are being kidnapped and forced into the sex slave trade. It is a heart breaking crisis.

We found through missionaries we support some donated land and we are working with a woman who has experience in helping these girls out of prostitution. She emailed of their progress this week. They have the land and a house that is still in need of renovation. But she was hit with 400 calls when she got word out on the street, 400 girls begging to be brought home and helped.

Her counselors are to the breaking point and in need of a break. One counselor, having worked night and day without rest, resigned, exhausted and desperate for help.

This area was reported through a TV news magazine as being Grand Central Station for this evil trade. Then word was out on the street this week that 400 little girls' bodies were found, murdered by these monstrous men called the Mexican Mafia who kidnap these children. There are now 2000 children kidnapped in Mexico, their families desperate to be reunited.

We are working to rally some Christian psychologists, and the money to get them over there. We also need to organize a group of people willing to go in and help renovate the safe house. So we need funds and willing and capable help. I thank you for praying for this project. It is called Girls 4 God.

They have to work in secrecy or risk attack themselves. It is a very dangerous work, but God isn't afraid of anyone and He is the source of our supply. But this week they're especially asking for prayers for a covering of protection."

Would you please pray for this ministry and all those poor innocent girls trapped in a horrific life of forced prostitution. Also, would you consider giving financially?

For more information visit:

Thank you.