Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sharing a mother's heart....

I have recently pulled out a big plastic bin from the garage... notes and journals and books of prayers from her heart, and the answers as they came... all through her 87 years. I have treasured her life in my heart, always... but the words I have been reading... are a measuring stick of who she was, day by day and year after year.

She was married to my dad, who was a minister, for 65 years, and their love story is still my shining example. So many of these words I have been reading, I know by heart... as I knew her. The words are hers, but the life she lived is what makes them so real... She was saved in a revival in Norway, as a young woman in nurses training. This was not the kind of revival that is scheduled in a church for 3 or 4 days, this was a revival that spread like wildfire across Norway. My mother was one of thousands who were saved during those months. I'm going to break up the story of their life into a few chapters in the months ahead, and post it... it's a book worth reading!

But for today...
just looking at these notes and reflecting on her "verse for the New Year"... selected one year at a time, and the faith she lived... it's prompting me to move into this new year, 2010... with renewed hope and faith, based on the promises of the same God who supplied her needs, for 87 years. I'm so thankful that He's my God too...

Monday, December 28, 2009

My first new year 'miracle'....

This may not appear to be a 'miracle' to you... but for me... I think it is the first time I've ever seen my husband in all of these years with a WHISK in his hand!

He is making tomato soup!

He even looks a little bit pleased with himself, doesn't he??

He is smart, sharp, funny, helpful and so many wonderful things... but a 'handy man in the kitchen'... no!... So for today, I'm thinking this is a good start to the new year!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A brand New Year....

A brand new year is about to start

the choices I make will reflect my heart...

cars hurry by on busy streets

filled with people we may never meet...

running their errands, filling their days

rushing around in a thousand ways...

I wonder if they know who gave them this day

if so, will they choose what they do and say...

it's easy to get caught in the crazy pace

help me to be wise as I run this race....

I want to be what you want me to be

I need more of you....and much less of me...

As this new year begins, I bow my heart

and ask once again for your help as I start...

... I posted this a few months ago, but is still fits what I feel today as this New Year begins, so I've altered a few words ... here it is again, along with my prayer for the year ahead ... more listening... obedience... wisdom... obedience... faithfulness... growth... obedience... discipline... obedience... as the journey continues... 2010.... a brand New Year! A year still FILLED with God's promises for each one of us!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Some of our very favorite gifts this Christmas, and every day!

Merry Christmas to each of you, and may the JOY of JESUS fill your hearts and homes in 2010...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas and dad...2009

I'm re-posting some old Christmas favorites... 

My dad was the minister, but my mom was the twinkle in his eye!
Together, they lived out their lives with their motto...'each for the other, and both for God'...

This little poem was written by my mother during one of their dinners for ministers and their wives, which they gave every Christmas. They went around their circle of friends one year, and each had to write a quick poem within 3 minutes. This was her poem.

We were 3 kids growing up in a home that honored the Lord in everything my parents did. During these Christmas dinners, my sister and I 'served' the food. It was from my mother that we learned how beautiful a dinner party could be. She had all of the little extra touches that make things so special. The food was always DEE-LICIOUS! But the presentation was every bit as special. Her very best dishes, glassware and silver from her family in Norway were all polished and shined. (usually by us! ... when she served her platter of meat and roasted potatoes, there was always a big round platter full of fresh steamed and flavored vegetables, piled by color around a huge head of cauliflower in the middle. It was drizzled with sauteed cracker crumbs in butter over the top. The colors are still stuck in my mind...

Each guest had a Christmas china mug filled with either hot cider or steaming hot V-8 mixed with pineapple juice. The appetizers always included rolled up crustless bread slices filled with pimento cheese and stuck with a toothpick, then broiled quickly. There were also soft steamed prunes filled with cream cheese and a pecan on top.

And her pies...and cakes...and cookies... well, you get the idea!

The guests each received a beautifully wrapped small gift before the evening ended. Usually it was a cup and saucer from 'Flintridge China', where my Aunt Ada worked for many years, and boxed candy for the men. The fellowship of those ministers and their wives has left me with a deep and wonderful memory. They included some of the great 'saints' of the day, many of whom are now in heaven... names and faces I will never forget!

My dad wrote this tract many years ago, one Christmas... I can't think of a better note to end this lengthy blog on... and to wish every one of you a wonderful Christmas. Each of you are such a blessing to me, and I will look forward to getting to know you better in 2010...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas in Norway... and in Texas...

My mother was born in Tromso, Norway, so my Norwegian heritage has always been a BIG part of our Christmas celebration...

She told us stories about Christmas in Norway as we grew up, and it came alive in our home every December. We grew up in California, so the long winter months of snow she described, sounded like a I live in Texas, and it still does...but I re-tell her stories to our 6 grandkids...

We have Christmas Eve in our home, and the 'kids table' is Norwegian. The colors and traditions of Norway are so vivid and bright, and we all love them.

I set the table today so I could take a few pictures to include here... those trees in the middle were at Dollar General a few years ago, they remind me of Christmas in Norway!.. The music playing is also Norwegian, her name is Sissel...

Here are a few more pictures of the rest of our home, all ready for Christmas..

Merry Christmas to all of you, from Texas, and Norway....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mary, "Blessed is she"...

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Blessed is the girl who trusts His words
without guile and without fear.
Embracing the impossible
saying, “Yes Lord, Your servant is here.”

Blessed is she, “highly favored”
overshadowed by God Most High,
Offering body, soul…reputation
that Emmanuel might come nigh.

Blessed is she when the nausea begins
when she watches her mother weep.
Blessed is she when her beloved betrothed
is stricken with heartbroken disbelief.

Blessed is she in the village
when the whispers and catcalls begin.
Blessed is she in her silence
enduring the semblance of sin.

Blessed is she in her singing
pouring forth praise, glorifying the Lord.
Blessed is she in her journey
writhing in pain on a dank stable floor.

Blessed is she in her grieving
spattered with blood, this time not her own,
At the death of the Only Begotten
when a sword pierces her own soul.

In Him she lives. In Him she moves. In Him she has her being.
And yet, He lived and moved inside her womb.
So God was born of woman; born to die that she might live,
Swaddled twice in heaven’s journey from the manger to the tomb.

All these things and more she treasured
pondering in her heart each day.
O for grace to trust like she did
following in His ways.

Written by Christina Zeeb, published :

Advent Devotional,

Salem Alliance Church, Dec. 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas... at church & at Chili's...

On Sunday night, some of our grandkids had their Christmas program at church. It was beautiful, the songs, the talking parts, all of it! Children and church Christmas music always make me smile!

Later, we all went to Chili's. I loved what Tommy, our son, did so naturally. When the waiter had taken our order, Tommy said, 'we're about to pray for our food, is there anything we can pray about for you, anything going on in your life right now, etc...'The waiter said, 'yes, I'm trying to get into the Navy'... so we blessed the food and included a prayer for this nice young guy.
For Tommy, this was a natural and easy way to share. He has one of those personal-ities that knows no strangers and makes people feel special!!
Not everyone would feel as easy and comfortable doing that (including me) ...BUT, everyone has their own ability, God given, to share a word of encouragement. Many times those very words lead into further conversation and an opportunity to share our faith in God.

The top 2 pictures include 2 of our grandkids, Cassidy & Avery. Bottom photo is Tommy and his wife Dedra.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Because of Jesus...

Light of the World, born that day
The love of the Father...provided the way...

Human baby, brand new and crying
Heaven and all mankind were sighing...

Star of Christmas aglow with light
Because Christ Jesus was born that night...

His birth, life and death, God's sovereign plan
Created from His love... to redeem man...

May we as His children, born again by HIS love
Be filled with HIS light, as our eyes look above...

Christmas... the reason that joy lives within
the babe in the reigns as our King!

Sonja (12-6-09)

Special Christmas joy to each of you!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Joseph's perspective...

I've always been drawn to the lives of Joseph and Mary, 2 simple people, chosen by God for the most important birth in history. One word always shouts loudly to me about their lives...OBEDIENCE ...

Listen to this beautiful song that we have all heard, sung from Joseph's perspective. It really touches me.

Also, check the other links at THEN SINGS MY SOUL SATURDAYS. There is always a great selection of special music.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Christmas letter from Jesus...

I don't know who wrote this, but it is good food for thought...

Letter from Jesus about Christmas...

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town. Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :