Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lesson 2 - Beautiful to God!

Discussion Questions:
What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful?
Yeah right! I do love though how God gives the husband that special love for his wife, no matter what. I sure got blessed there!
Do you find you engage in a lot of negative 'self-talk'? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
I definitely have done alot of negative "self-talk", then I feel bad that I do it! ARGH!!!!!! It consumes far to much of my thought life. I tend to obsess!
What is the most radical transformation you've witnessed in an individual after they were born again? It's okay to tell about your own!
A young girl that excepted Christ in our bible study last march. She has a hunger for the things of God. She too has a problem with feeling inferior because of past issues. We loved telling her what God thinks of her!
The imagery of being a City Girl has absolutely changed the way I perceive my worth before God. Does it yours? Will you receive this truth and let it boost your righteous confidence?
I honestly never thought of it that way. I will receive this truth and remind myself of it often.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2007 Staff Retreat

Just got back from a staff retreat for Church. I was a little nervous about going up just me and the 5 Machachos (?) but it was a great time of prayer and discussion, but mostly prayer. It was great being a part of it, and getting reacquainted with Paul. I didn't take any pictures of us, because I didn't want to disturb our time, but here are a few pictures from around Cran Hill Ranch. We sat with the couches surrounding the fireplace so it was nice and toasty. I also brought my fleece blanket, that kept me warm. Bekah would really love to go here in the summer because of the horses. They have built beautiful new cabins too, so she wouldn't be staying in the old dirty ones. We got to stay in the big stone house with the wonderful fireplace. There were deer all over the place, we saw a bunch of them last night on our way to dinner. I can't say I'm well rested, but what a great time of prayer we had!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Vander Helm Christmas Tree 2007

Today we got our Christmas tree. It didn't work this weekend because Steve was hunting so we needed to go after school today. It has been a tradition since Steve and I dated that we go out and cut down our own tree. When I was growing up we never had Christmas Trees so they are very special to me. I'm sorry to all you who love your fake trees, but for me real is where it's at, even if I am slightly allergic. The kids really get into it now. For a few years I wondered if it was ever going to take with them, but now they have caught the fever and enjoy it as much as Steve and I do. My favorite tree is the Frasier Fir. Its needles are soft (unlike the blue spruce OUCH!). When I was single I used to have a different tree every year. I mean I made ornaments for the whole tree. We still have them all but now as many get put on the tree any more. For those of you that know Brandon, ask him about the year he had to help me put my tree back up after it fell over from the weight of my ornaments that year. It and I were not a pretty sight when he arrived. He was most gracious though, helped me with my tree and then we had a nice talked afterwards. Our trees always mean so much to me, they are a big part of our Christmas tradition. That makes me think of a question. What are some of your family traditions? I am very sentimental, and I like alot of traditions. On Christmas morning we always read Luke 2 before opening presents. The tree is a big deal! I buy the kids a new ornament every year. I made an advent wreath a few years ago, and through the month of December it is used in our dinner time devotions. Oh yeah, we all love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra so we listen to that quite a bit during this time of year!
Have a great night! Can't wait to see some of your responses.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I've been tagged

I've been tagged to list 8 random facts about me from Cheri. I don't know if I have 8 people to tag or not, but here are the 8 facts about me:

* I am one of 10 Children (1 boy and 9 girls)

* I am next to last

* I got married 1 week before my 31st birthday

* I am obsessed with stones from Lake Superior

* I was named after a North Korean my father met when he was stationed there

* When I was young I was hit in the head with a 35 lb hay bale (now you know why I am the way I am ; - )

* The seasons I love in order are Fall, Spring Summer Winter* I have been out of school for 25 YEARS!

O.K. now I'm tagging:







Well O.K. I'm tagging 6 and most of them have been tagged already !!!

Have a great day!

"I AM" Your Beauty

1. Are there any circumstances or relationships in your life where you can see God has intentionally placed you? What do you perceive may be at stake if you do or do not speak out for Him? Yes, it seems several. There is the relationship with my son where I have learned God's grace and healing power! I realized through his life so far I have learned many lessons and I am so grateful for that. He has placed me for reasons I still sometimes do not understand as Director or Children's Ministries at our church. I have no formal training, and sometimes (most times) feel inadequate, but then that's where God wants me so he can work. That is cool! He has placed me here so I can help those who have suffered or are suffering with the same issues I still battle with.
2. Can you honestly describe yourself as a woman with a 'yes' in her spirit? If not, what keeps you from this? My spirit is becoming "Yes" more every day. I would say the two things that keep me from saying yes the most are my distrust, and fear of failure. God continues to prod me though, and eventually this will be less and less an issue to HIS praise!
3. Do you recognize any circumstances in your life which could be described as an 'unrecurring event'? Have you ever said 'no' to one and watched God use someone else instead? I don't know if I recognize them or not. I'm always bad at these questions, because I'm sure there are many. I know that it will make me sad when I see that God has used someone else when it should have been me. When you are walking obediently with him, there is no better place to be.
4. Are you in an emotionally and spiritually healthy place? If yes, how are you using this freedom to minister to others? If no, what do you feel is holding you in your Egypt? Right now God is really speaking to me about an issue I have had my whole life, in fact I believe we all suffer from it. It's pride. We have been wrestling for about 1 year now where this has been an issue he wanted to break me of. I do believe that he is using it to minister to others as well. I am at a great place where God is speaking and I am hearing. I pray for protection because I know satan does not like this. I want others to experience the freedom I know feel. Let go of that which entangles (Hebrew 12:1) and run the race set before us!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"I AM" Bible Study

I just found a new bible study I am going to do. I absolutely love learning more about God's word, and I look forward to hearing what He has to say to me through this study.

God Bless you today,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Craziness

O.K. so I am one of those strange creatures that gets up at 3:00 am and heads to the stores the day after Thanksgiving. I don't really do it for the reasons you would think. I am mostly out to prove to myself and others that I can maintain a civil attitude on the busiest shopping day of the year! This morning as I began my pilgrimage I prayed that God would help me to be a blessing to all I met, and to possible help someone who needs it. I also prayed that it would be cool if I came home with the things that I thought would be nice, but told Him that was not important, they would just be the cherry on top of my wacky morning! Well here I am exhausted and typing at 9:40 instead of being in bed, which I will be in soon! I brought my camera, but I have to get better at checking the batteries, none!!! They were deader than a door nail! Huge line outside Kohls. Bigger then last year I think. 1st Church only had Hot Cocoa, no coffee! Regretting not stopping at Speedway, but that only would have delayed me. Met some nice people in line. We laughed at all the light weights who went inside the mail to wait. Don't they know part of the fun is suffering for the cause?! I got in the store a little before 4:00, Oh My! The things I saw, but I smiled and encouraged, laughed and let people cut. I smiled at all the very frenzied workers, and those who were disparaging the help because they weren't prepared. I have to ask you who really would be prepared for this unslot? People have got to get over themselves!! I saw again just how into ourselves we all are.

After all that and a little more, I made it home by 9:00 am. Felt great all day! Steve, his brother Rog, and a friend from work left for hunting at 12:00. Hoping my husband has good fortune and finally brings one home. He deserves it because he puts up with me!!!

Well this woman isn't me, but I think I came close to some who may have exhibited some of this reaction today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

From our family to yours we hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Remember to pray for our Troops as they are away from loved ones! Take time tomorrow to remember how good God has been to us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Blogger Forum

O.K., I am new to this blogging thing, and I have been wondering lately if there is an etiquette ? So I thought if there were any experienced bloggers out there willing to give me some advice I would appreciate it (and I know a few personally : - ). So is there an etiquette? What advice can you give me? Is even asking against some rule? If you haven't noticed yet I am a rule keeper. I like them boundries and don't like to cross 'em. I so enjoy doing this, and I really enjoy reading everyone elses blogs. Thanks for the fun relaxing release. Looking forward to what I read.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A good time was had!

Finally I am going to post the few pictures I took Saturday on our shopping trip to Chicago. It was alot of fun and relaxing, even though we walked the whole day! We got down to Chicago about 11:00 our time and the bus took us right to IKEA. Ladies I'm sorry, but as much as alot of you like that store, I don't think I need to go back. I mean it was nice and all, but I get overwhelmed quite easily, and there's alot of stuff in that store. I do have to say they have a really good cheap breakfast that Kam and I shared, and Swedish (?) coffee is really good! Our bus was to pick us up at 1:00 to take us back to Woodfield. Well Kam and I were done by about 12:20 so we decided to take the handy dandy shuttle back. Very long story, suffice it to say that they make more stops then IKEA and Woodfield. We were beginning to think we would be on there all day. Since I don't like any pictures of myself here is a picture of my sister on the trolley. Also a picture of the IKEA store to show we were there.

We also rode the bus with some find Allendale Teachers and wonderful ladies from our church. Here is a picture of us all at dinner, and no those drinks don't have alcohol in them : - ) They were tasty though!!! The whole trip was alot of fun and really relaxing, well except for the killer massaging chair that did my back in! I do not recommend Brookstones $1900 massager!!!

Good day that went too fast! The bus ride was a little cold because there was alot of menopausal women on the bus that thought it was too hot already! I should have bought one of those $3.99 blankets at IKEA! These bus trips are always fun, I highly recommend them!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good Friday!

Except for the few ladies from my church, my sister Judy and my sister Sandy. I don't know who reads my blog, but I just wanted to mention the "Red" button I added to my blog in the side bar a couple of weeks ago. If you click on it, it explains our need of salvation and how to receive salvation. Today I saw a sign that mentioned "In Christ is true Freedom" or something like that, and it's true. Alot of us have grown up with the wrong idea of who God is and what it is he expects from us. What He wants most is a relationship with us. After we accept the gift that His son Jesus made available to us, that's when the true relationship and adventure begins! Salvation is not where it ends, but where your discipleship begins, where you begin to learn about the greatness of God, and how mighty in compassion and slow to anger He is. I grew up in a Christian home, where we went to church twice on Sunday and Wednesday night. I knew of God back then, but I have to say that he is so precious to me now. I have freedom in Christ, and with that freedom all I want to do is serve Him more, and get to know Him more! I pray that for all of you too! Have a great day! Tomorrow Kam and I are taking a bus trip to the Chicago area. I'm looking forward to a relaxing time! I'll try take pictures.

Be Blessed today, and remember:

Lamentations 3:22
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Funny but true video

I got this video from my friend Jen's blog. I thought it was such a great video. It's funny, but very true about the political correctness that we as Christians have to put up with this time of year. I'll let the video explain for itself. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just another day and a cool contest!

Hi Everyone,

Nothing really to report, except "Isn't God good!!!!! This is just an ordinary simple day, but I've seen his blessing so much today, just in the ordinary things. Getting my kids ready for school, dropping them off, going to bible study, and just running errands! I just feel blessed! Praise Him who even cares about the little things!!!

Now I get home and am checking out my favorite blogs and Cheri says to check out this blog for a contest: Bonnies Blog. I'm hoping to win it for Madeline, shhhhhh don't tell her I think she's special. It would ruin my hold I have over her. Just another small blessing in the little blessings of my day!!

Ezekiel 34:26-27
26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. [a] I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.

Have a Blessed day!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bekah's Room

I have finally finished (mostly) Bekah's room! I still haven't found frames for the boy's 5x7 pictures, but most everything else is done! Wala, I give you the "Pink Room"!

There is a God!

I heard this song this morning and it just touch my heart! The funny thing is I've heard it several times, but this time the Lord used it to speak right to me. I hope that it blesses your heart too, and remember:

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

I just remembered today is Veteran's Day! With Pastor Paul just getting home, it makes me so much more aware of how much we have to be thankful for. Please keep all the troops and those in leadership in your prayers, not only today, but every day! God bless our Troops, and may God have mercy on the United States of America!

Science Olympiad

Yesterday the schools held a Junior Science Olympiad. Both Jeremiah and Bekah participated. They both had alot of fun! Last year Jeremiah did not want to be in a team which we knew would have to change if he ever wanted to get more involved in Science Olympiad in the future. Well this year he was on a team, with a girl no less, and in his first event he was the only boy. He rose to the occasion and placed 2nd in both events: Science relay (which involved physical stuff, another hurdle) and Metrics. It's so good to see him rising to the challenges placed before him and not melting down. Thank you Jesus! Bekah participated in the Barges event. Her and a partner needed to build a boat out of tinfoil and see how many pennies they could place in the boat before it sank. They came in second! She was so excited about this event she practiced at home. I had tinfoil and pennies in my bathroom all week. I love how she is getting excited about things. Last night Steve and Jeremiah had a camp out with Troop 93, so Bekah and I went shopping with Kam and Madeline for a little while, then we had our "Chickflick" night. We watch "unaccompanied Minors". It was pretty good. She gets to sleep with me when they are gone so that's what we did after the movie, because mom was so tire that she went to bed the same time as Bekah. Well apparently mom started snoring right away. After the 2nd time of Bekah telling me I was snoring, I told her I would go out on the couch until she got to sleep. After that everything went fine. I will tell you I told her the same thing my husband always tells me when I tell him he is snoring "I wasn't even sleeping". Hum, could it be that I do have the same issues as my husband. Another reason not to throw stones!

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Being Thankful

I got this idea off of Mari's blog, and I thought I would give it a try. We have so many things to be thankful for, I'm sure I can come up with more then 31. It will be in my side bar.

Psalms 69:30 will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

Tonight we went to Bekah's parent/teacher conferences. That little girl is quite a blessing to her parents! That will be one thing I will write right here! Thank you Lord for my little Bekah Wekah! Her teacher had wonderful things to say about her. She's doing really well academically, which kind of surprises Steve and I because when she was younger she did not have any interest in academics, only playing. It's cool to see your kids grow up and mature.

I am also praising God that Pastor Paul, our senior Pastor is home from Germany. He has been a Chaplain at the Army Hospital in Lundstahl for the past year. We have all missed him and can't wait to see him. We are praying that God will help him to adjust back to civilian life. Keep praying for our troops!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Of Rainbows and Amish Bread

Boy I am desperate for something to write about by that title, aren't I? Not much happening today. Bekah had half a day of school with conferences and we met the Vander Velde's at Micky D's so I Sherri some papers and we could talk girl talk while the girly's played. It was quite nice! Anyway I needed to take Bekah to the doctor for this nasty congestion she has had since Pittsburgh. On the way there we spotted a rainbow. Here is a picture that I took but I don't think you can see it very well. I love how God always gives us this sign of His promises.

10 days ago in Kingdom Cove (Sunday School) the kids made Amish Friendship Bread starters. Jeremiah came home with it and we have done step by step. Well tonight we needed to bake the bread. I have to tell you that I didn't give any away (I know I'm terrible, but there are so many of us out there with starters I figured who would want one). I was going to make a couple of batches but didn't look at the recipe first (I'm really good at that) and I didn't have enough ingredients for 2 batches. Jeremiah has been very helpful these past 10 days, never complaining about having to squish the starter and tonight he helped bake the loaves. I have to say they taste pretty good. Here is a picture (How silly I am taking pictures of my bread for this blog, that is desperate):

The workshop this bread starter was made in is the cooking workshop on the prophet Elisha and the Widows Oil (2 Kings 4:1-7). In this workshop the kids learned about god's compassion for people. He sees their needs and he cares about their needs. He knew this woman's situation and he chose to perform a mighty miracle to help her. The kids were to share their starter dough, and when I told Jeremiah that we wouldn't be giving away the starter dough he decided to give a loaf away. I'm hoping he still gets the idea of the Workshop. Boy I feel like a bad mom and not the best Director of Children's Ministries (not supporting the programs), forgive me Brenda. At least I have Bekah coming up this Sunday! Hey if you want a Amish Friendship Bread Starter and live close by and don't have any children in Kingdom Cove, give me a call or comment : - )

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Great Walk in Nature

What a great Sunday! First I get another award from Mari. Thank you Mari! Then I get to go to church and Worship God with the rest of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I get to sing His praises with my family! How great is it to heart your kids singing in a way that says they are really singing it not just saying the word! Love it! Then we go for that walk I mentioned last week. In God's nature! Champ had a great time. He was off the leash most of the time and romping in the leaves. He is a strange dog. Now is time for a cappuccino and a little nap. We had a great talk about the song we sang this morning. I can't remember the title, but it speaks about "The year of Jubilee" and God riding on a cloud. I asked the kids if they knew what the year of Jubilee was, they said no so I got to explain to them a little, then I said I would read that portion of scripture to them when we got home. You can find the explanation of it in Leviticus 25. I think it's very important that our children understand what it is they are singing about when they are singing it. It's also a wonderful lesson in redemption!

Here are some pics from today and my new award!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A lesson in Forgiveness

Writing by the shores of Lake Superior.
I am so thankful to God for lessons he teaches us through our children. As many of you know we have had struggles with Jeremiah and his impulse control. This year started off kind of rough, but through grace God has taught us all some lessons. Jeremiah is growing, maturing and making better decisions. We still have impulse problems and probably will have for time to come, but he seems like a different person. There is so much to write about our journey, but I have one story from yesterday that I just needed to share.

Wednesday after school Jeremiah was hanging out with his friends after he got off the bus at the elementary school (This situation is not good for any of the kids, but it's to long to explain here). Anyway his friend had just won a MP3 player from the fund raiser the school held. Another boy was trying to get this MP3 player. Jeremiah and another boy were shielding their friend from this boy. The boy then haled off and kneed Jeremiah in the - ya know. When I came out of school (I was at Bekah's Halloween party) a bunch of kids came and told me Jeremiah was really hurt. I went to the bus and got him off (he had since gone on there), the bus transportation head told me he would talk to the boys on Thursday. Well Jeremiah was so worried. He said "Mom, now I'm going to get in trouble for doing something right". He is always thinking he is a bad kid. His friends father called that night and said that he would support Jeremiah, and that they thought the world of him. That meant alot.

Anyway yesterday was the day. Steve had called the head of school transportation and then went and talked to Mr. Thompson the Middle School Principal. Mr. Thompson said no punishment was meted out because that falls under the Transportation discipline policy not schools (don't you think it should be one and the same?). Well Jeremiah got home and Steve wanted to to see how it went. So I took him in the living room and asked him. This is what he said:

"Mom I felt several emotions "anger, hatred, fear". This boy was really crying, and I remembered the TeamKID verse from a while ago "Do not Judge and you won't be judged, do not condemn and you won't be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven" Luke 6:37, so I told Mr. Thompson, no punishment was needed." He said Mr. Thompson said "Really". My son demonstrated Christ's truth. To say I was speechless and proud would be an understatement. I told him about the lesson that Beth Moore taught on Wednesday about when people do things to us, what would we have God do to them (we were in the Lord's Prayer, part"forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"). Anyway if we do not forgive, Christ cannot forgive us, so we should want mercy for the people who hurt us. Jeremiah exhibited that forgiveness!

Thank you Jesus for working in my sons (and daughters) life! Continue to show us your mercies and may we show that mercy to others.