Saturday, December 31, 2011

Watchnight Services of the Past

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When I was growing up our church held a Watchnight Service on New Years Eve.

The evening usually began with a pot luck dinner starting around 7:00 o’clock. When all was put away and the kitchen was cleaned up, we would retreat to the main sanctuary

There the service consisted of hymn singing, special music, testimonies, and short sermons by the church staff.

It was a time of thanksgiving, praise, worship and renewed commitments.

Our pastor suggested that we revive our commitment to the Lord and endeavor to support the church with our presence at every service. He also asked us to be willing to support the work of the church with our tithes and to willingly volunteer to help where we could.

Special prayer was offered for those who desired to come forward for the laying on of hands. This scriptural ceremony was a renewing in body and soul for many.

Towards the end of the service; communion was served to seal our resolutions.

As children, to our young bodies, the service seemed very long, but we tried with difficulty to stay awake and receive all that was from God.

I remember the final portion of the service was to come to the front and kneel either at the alter or in the first few rows, and to be in prayer as the New Year arrived.

From the sounds of horns honking and fireworks from the neighbors, we knew that we had passed from one year into the next.

Oh what joy it is to put old things behind us and to begin again afresh with the new.

My Blessing for you this coming year - - -

May this New Year bring to you delights and even thrills as God performs his will in your life.

May doors that seemed closed – open and give you the opportunities you have been expecting and praying for.

May you anticipate and believe that our Lord will do NEW and Great things for you,  IN you and through you, this coming year.

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I thought you might enjoy this song:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Buen and Mal

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This is not my normal post, because things are bumpy on the road of life these days.

Today at Mom’s Assisted Living Home, we celebrated my mother’s 100th birthday along with some of her grandchildren and great grandchildren who traveled to be with us. Grandma Ruth enjoyed the cake but wondered who all these people were?? 

Our local TV station sent an interview person with a camera, and there was a short clip tonight on the 5 o’clock local news.

We returned to my daughter’s house and watched the TV report which was well done. Then we all went to our local café and I treated everyone to dinner, as we really did not want to cook.

Because this 100 year Birthday was a BIG day planned for all month, and my husband knew how busy I was, he informed me early this morning that he was running a fever between 102 and 104.

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Robert had been up and down all night and was feeling pretty sick.

Already he had phoned our son-in-law who lives 4 miles from us, and asked if he could take him the 70 miles to our Kaiser Emergency Hospital.

All day they took tests and finally determined that he may have pneumonia. They plan on keeping him a couple of days for more observation. He phoned a few minutes ago and gave me a room number and he sounded pretty good.

Our son-in-law is spending the night in a hotel near by and with all the holiday bustle of traffic; we may need to play this by ear as far as my visits!

I have placed my husband in God’s hands, because I am helpless to do much of anything else. My trust is in the Lord.

As we look forward to the year 2012 there may possibly be a few bumpy roads ahead for some of us. For most of you, I trust your roads will be some what smooth.

Regardless, God is our shelter in the storm or our shade in the hot sun light.

Make me Some Gravy

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"Bea make me some gravy," was the mournful cry coming from my young teen age brother in law. Bea was the name that my husband and all his brothers called their mother.

We lived a short distance from my in-laws and I often visited Bea and we were chatting, but as the whining continued it became too much for me to handle. He had fried some sausage and eggs, but now he wanted gravy. Bea was busy with her baby and did not want to make the gravy.

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Finally I got up and went to the stove and asked for a bit of flour (about 2 tablespoons) and using 2 tablespoons of the sausage grease, I began to slowly brown the flour stirring it with a fork.

I asked him to watch me so next time he could do the gravy himself. Then I added some salt and pepper and slowly added about a cup of water to create a smooth brown gravy for him.

A person could use milk instead of water, and also add a few drops of soy or Worchestershire sauce for flavor and to make it extra brown.

My young brother in law must have been satisfied, for the complaining stopped and he finished his breakfast without any more outbursts.

His whining and fussing paid off for him, and then Bea and I went about our visit.

Thinking about how we must sound to God at times, I wonder if our prayers are more of a whine, fussing and complaining because we want something we think we deserve. I know my prayers have been that way at times.

Now I am endeavoring to come to the Lord and ask once and then thank Him that he is working on it.

Another thing that I have gathered is that in some situations, when I ask God for something - - He offers assistance but then tells me to learn to do it myself.

So next time you want some gravy, watch closely because next time, you might need to fix it yourself.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays at

Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in By Gone Days

Shirley Temple Doll (beyond our budget)
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Years gone by when I was a child at Christmas, we usually received clothing that we needed and a few small surprise gifts. One special item that we had asked for was often there too.

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I was about ten years old, and I had given my doll Tricksy away a couple years before. When I told my mother that I wanted a Shirley Temple doll, she said that particular doll was too expensive. Instead she took me down to Montgomery Wards and showed me a very pretty doll within her budget. Blond hair, brown eyes that opened and closed and she cried mama. Although I didn’t play with dolls much anymore, I loved that doll and kept her for many years.

It is true that our children spoil their kids (our grandchildren.) I think they must try to make up for their own meager Christmases when they were young. When you are on a tight budget, it is difficult to flood your children with an abundance of large expensive gadgets.

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However when you have a "credit card," it seems easier.

WOW - - where did that credit card bill come from?

Yes, my husband and I use a credit card, but the bill is paid in full at the end of each month. That way we do not owe the high rates of interest.

Few of us would ever own a home if we found it necessary to pay cash for a house !!  :-)

A mortgage on your home - - as long as you pay each monthly payment when it is due, is another way not to owe any man. The bill will be there each month whether it is for rent or a mortgage, just be sure to pay it on time.  Just remember that after 30 years the house will be yours.

So if it is a doll you want – choose one within your budget. A car you need – shop around and get a sensible one. A home – select one you can afford!

Living beyond your means is the sad fact that can get you (and me) into big trouble.

This post has been linked to Joan’s Grace Café.

Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

He Writes Like a Doctor

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The teacher of my son’s 3rd grade class was speaking, “I recommend that we keep him back a grade because his motor skill development is not there for his writing ability. His writing is not legible and honestly, he writes like a doctor.”

While it was true that my son was laboring to connect the letters, he was ahead in reading and his other subjects. The teacher gave her reasons: “If we hold him back then he will be older than the other children, and he will become a leader, plus his writing should improve by then as well.”

Then she admitted, “When I was in second grade, my school held me back a grade and it changed my life for the better. It caused me to become an achiever.”

I excused myself and made an appointment to visit the principal.  I was very upset.  Further more I felt that this teacher was targeting timid children with her own agenda to keep them back in hopes they would gain confidence. While it worked for her, each child is different. Holding my sensitive son back a grade would shatter his ego in my opinion and not help him.

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The end of the story was that he was not held back and although his writing did improve somewhat, he still writes like a doctor.

 By the way, her words were a prophesy because my son did eventually become a doctor. However that is another story!  

Words spoken can be like daggers to cut and hurt, and become a negative prophesy if spoken in haste.

The sensitive emotions of a child take words personally and hold them dear in their memory. This is why it is important to guard what our children hear and how we speak to them.

We are reminded in the Scriptures to choose wisely what we say and to bless others with our lips.

Encouraging words are always in order. May God help us to be the person who creates support and confidence in our children by our speech.

GettingDownWithJesusLinking with Jennifer's Getting Down with Jesus
 at: God Bumps and Incidences:  


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recover, Restore, Renew

Lost Coin Recovered
Our word for the One Word Carnival is Recover: I thought about several recovery situations.

If we get sick – it certainly is good to expect to recover our health.

If something gets lost – recovering it brings pure joy

After a financial loss we hope to recover!

If we have lost contact with an old friend, we may want to rediscover a friendship.

Remembering back many years ago; we lived in a home that had an upstairs bonus room across the front of the house. My daughter Becky, wanted this large area to be her bed room as it was the size of a small apartment. There was plenty of space for her bedroom furniture and on the other end a sitting area for a couch and television.

She purchased a lovely leather sofa that was extremely comfortable, especially for women with short legs. As time went by, she married and left the sofa with us.

By now the couch showed wear in fact the leather look was splitting and we either needed to consider the junk yard or to recover it. The frame was in excellent condition and the height and seat measurements were just perfect. Recover it was the decision!

My husband had at one time worked in an auto upholstery shop, so he knew something about covering seats. His staple gun would work well for our project.


Shopping for the right fabric and a good color proved simple enough and within a few hours we had a new looking comfortable favorite sofa. 

We still have that old couch, and by now it has been recovered twice more.

Consider how our bodies wear and change, and we do our best to recover parts that are worn. We fix our teeth, exercise for tone, color our hair, and generally try to recover what we can of our youth.

My thoughts keep vaunting to the day that the Lord will recover us all, body  soul and Spirit, and He will give us as Christians, not a rebuilt but a brand new body.

For now, let us recover our thinking, enlarge our vision and cast out all doubt and fear while we press on toward the mark of the High Calling.

This post has been linked to: “Changing the World One Word at a Time
Also linked with Laura’s “Play dates with God.”

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pondering in Our Heart

Think About it !
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Gleaning from Pastor Carl’s sermon on Sunday; he asked us all to have a very Merry (MARY) Christmas.

He reminded us that the angel came to the Virgin Mary, and announced that she was to bare a Child who would save His people from their sins. This proclamation caused Mary to be very troubled in her mind. The Angel sensing her fear told her to fear not, for this Holy Child was to be a miracle Birth from God almighty.

When Mary found her voice all she could do was agree to let this be so, and to praise and magnify the Lord.

Mary was one who thought before she spoke, which is something we also should consider doing more of. Mary pondered the things she saw and heard, in her heart.

Wanting to share her news with her cousin, Mary traveled to visit Elizabeth. At the sound of her voice, the babe, John in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy.

The world in general does not know how to enjoy a Merry Christmas. This season of the year there is much depression, loneliness, DUI arrests, and many accidents and deaths including suicide. It is aspirin time for so many.

The world sings Frosty the Snow Man, Jingle Bells, Dreaming of a White Christmas and few sing the meaningful carols that tell the true story of the savior’s birth.

It is tinsel, decorations, ribbons, bows, cookies and candy, and trees that fade and wilt away in a few days. The salutation, “Merry Christmas,” is for many politically incorrect. They substitute, “Seasons Greetings, or Happy Holliday.” Let us not be intimidated.

Christmas comes so slowly and it goes away quickly.

Pastor recommended that we Honor God in our hearts and by our actions. To be like Mary and to ponder the messages we hear preached and the words we study in our Bibles.

He suggested that we take a portion of the Bible and meditate on each word. The Lord’s Prayer is a good place to begin, but continue into the 91st Psalm and other passages.

Jesus said, “What so ever a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  Paul advised that we should think on the things that are lovely and of a good report.

Allow Mary to be our example to ponder in our heart and to mutter to ourselves with our lips the Words of God that we hear and read.

May we all enjoy a continued very Merry MARY Christmas!

This post is linked to Deidra’s Sunday Jump Tandem

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tricksy my Favorite Doll

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On my 5th Christmas, I received the doll I had especially asked for. She opened and closed her eyes, cried mama, had real hair, was dressed in a pretty dress, and was wearing white shoes. I named her Tricksy because she was so special. I loved that doll.  As I got older I received other nice dolls but Tricksy remained a favorite.

I must have been about 8 years old and it was getting close to Christmas. Mother mentioned to me that there was a little girl about my age in our Sunday School who had never had a doll in her entire life. Oh that hurt my young heart and I said almost without thinking, “maybe I could give her one of my dolls.”

Mother asked me, “Which doll would you be willing to give her? I though for a minute or two and said, “I will give her Tricksy. “

Now about this time you are thinking; “What a nice little girl to give up her favorite doll and bless a child who has none.” - - But let me tell you what happened next.

Mother asked me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” About then I was feeling very Saintly, so I told her, “Yes I am sure.”

Mother left the room and in just a minute she returned carrying a box. “Okay then I must show you something,” mother said, as she opened the box. Inside the box was a beautiful new doll dress and a bonnet that mother had been sewing for Tricksy. The hair on Tricksy had taken a beating over the years so the new bonnet would cover that defect.

My eyes opened wide as I saw the lovely new doll clothes - - and my heart sank. I had given my word, but now I was thinking some “Not so saintly” thoughts.  Not only was I giving away my precious doll, but the little girl would also receive the pretty new doll outfits.

Was it envy? Maybe it was, but we gift wrapped the doll, clothes and all and delivered the doll to the girl in my class at Church.

The next Sunday, the little girl could not wait to tell me how much she loved the doll and thanked me for letting her have Tricksy. I mumbled some sort of “You are welcome and I am glad you like her,” but my heart was not in it.

Eventually I had to come to the place where I could forgive the girl for loving my doll.

It seems silly now but the truth is that we often do silly, stupid, ridiculous things.

Over the years, I have learned not to hold “material things” too tightly and to be willing to release them rather quickly if the Lord requests it of me.

Whether it is dolls, houses, jobs, people, resentments, unforgiveness or something else, there are times we must release it and let it go.

If there is something you have been holding on to - - Let it go - - or it will eat you alive!!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Date Nut Cookie Bars

Razzle Dazzle was our annual Christmas luncheon and bazaar in September at our church. There were crafts, baked goods and other items to purchase as gifts or to enjoy. I knew from last year that there would probably be some delicious Fruit Cake baked by one of our ladies.

Sure enough there it was and I quickly purchased two one pound bricks. My husband and I rationed out the first cake just before Thanksgiving. Oh so good, a small slice with a cup of coffee. For our Holiday dinners I bake pumpkin pie and Apple Crisp, so Robert and I did not feel guilty in the least for devouring the fruit cake.

The second pound of cake - - just before Christmas disappeared in like manner as did the first.

A long time ago I tried to bake a fruit cake - - It turned out fine, but it was so time consuming and expensive that I decided once was enough.

This lovely Date Cookie Bar is close to a fruit cake and it is easy to make too.

Date Nut Cookie Bars

1 & 1/2 cups chopped dates
1 cup lemonade (tip: squeeze one half lemon into the cup of water)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

In a sauce pan bring the above ingredients to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in nuts.

1/3 cup chopped walnuts or almonds.

In a bowl mix well the following

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 & 1/2 cups Quick oats
1/2 cup Brown sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 tsp salt

Pat one half oat mixture into 9x9 pan. Spread evenly over the oat mixture the date mix.

Gently pat the remaining oat mix and press firmly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Optional: Dust top with confection sugar.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hands of Time

Ruth Stanton's "Hands of Time" Painted by Barbara Stanton

Early in the summer of this year, I received a request to come to the Assisted Living Home where my 99 year old mother lives. They were down-sizing unnecessary items from Mothers closet and there were three large plastic bags of winter sweaters, dresses and clothing that they wished me to give to the Salvation Army.

Taking the large bags home, I first went through them, and noticed a red flannel scarf among the items. The scarf had been a Christmas gift last December from Sara one of the attendants who cares so much for Mother. I retrieved the scarf and took the rest of the items to the Salvation Army as requested.

The beautiful red scarf was returned to Sara with a suggestion that she give it to Mother again this Christmas. It will be new to Mother who suffers from a slight memory loss as she now approaches 100 in a few days.

Remembering back last year when we celebrated Mother’s 99th birthday, my Niece Barbara and her husband William had traveled from the Bay area to be at her party. Mother was wearing the red scarf from Sara, and we enjoyed cake and ice cream.  Barbara took photos of mother and because she is a painter, she took a photo of Mother’s hands.

Barbara has actively painted miniature paintings for more than thirty years, some are no larger than a postage stamp. Often she presents us at Christmas time with a laser print of one of her paintings in the form of a magnet. This year was no exception, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover wrapped in the Christmas card she sent to us, her painting titled, “Hand’s of Time.”

The red scarf in the painting was an indication, that these were indeed my Mother’s hands. This was such a precious blessing and a lasting memento to treasure.

May I suggest that you enjoy a visit to Barbara’s site where she offers viewers a peek into her awesome works of art. Barbara has mastered her technique and continues to seek new challenges, teaching and lecturing while painting. She also offers Instructional Videos for sale on “How to Paint Miniature paintings” which may interest you.

Please visit her fascinating site at:

Thank you Barbara for your lovely reminder that Mother’s hands now worn through time, have showered love and attention on many family, friends and loved ones.

Linked today with sites you will want to visit and view many good words there.

Joan’s Grace Café
Michelle’s Thought Provoking Thursday
Iris at Thankful Thursdays

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What’s in a Name?

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 My husband would often take our early teen age, son and my husband’s brother to work with him during the summer. Doug was 4 months older than our son, and he lived with us for a period of several years. Five early teens in one house was an interesting time.  

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The boys were given simple tasks to pick up the wrappings from the packs of shingles, and other non dangerous clean up jobs. If the job was Tar and Gravel, they had to stay home because this could be more hazardous.

Our roofing crew consisted mainly of family, a cousin, an uncle, and my husband’s step dad.  At times we often employed an extra man.

Our Step-dad had a habit of calling our uncle, “Brother-in-law,” instead of his given name. Send up a bucket of hot tar - “Brother-in law.” Using the pulley, soon a bucket of the hot asphalt would reach the platform at the top of the roof.

One day we hired a young black boy as a helper. The men except for Uncle were all on the roof. Uncle was the kettle man and they needed another bucket of tar. The new black boy ambled over to the edge of the roof, and yelled, “Brother-in-law, send us up a bucket of tar.”

No one could hold a straight face after that, and they all laughed until their bellies hurt.

Realizing the joke was on him, our black friend laughed too. The fellows told him, Uncle's name is Ern, but “Brother-in-law” will get his attention better! As long as that young man worked for us, he continued to call our Uncle “Brother-in-law.”

Many of us have been given a pet name by someone we love. Be it honey, dear, sweetie, darling, lover, or something else nice. We had a friend that they called “Shortie,”one called “Red,’ for his hair and another was called “Gimp” because he limped a bit.  Some kinds of nick names can be hurtful.

Amazing enough is the fact that God not only knows our names, but he knows all about us. He knew us even when we were still in our mother’s womb. Even the very hairs on our head are numbered.

The book of Revelation says that one day soon, we will receive a new Heavenly name.

I wonder if it will be similar as to the woman taking the man’s name at a marriage.  After all there will be a marriage supper of the Lamb. What a thought!

I am reminded of the hymn, “There’s a New Name Written Down in Glory and it’s mine."

This post was inspired by some thoughts received when I read Floyd’s great post:  Enjoy his story here:

Linking today with Blog Hops you will want to view their sites
Joan Davis, Sharing His Beauty 
Jen’s Finding Heaven, Solo Gloria

Monday, December 19, 2011

Prince of Peace

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Gleaning from his sermon, I took notes as Pastor Carl read from Luke chapter two, where Caesar Augustus had made a decree that all were to journey to their city of lineage to be taxed.

Mary and Joseph traveled from Galilee, and arrived at Bethlehem but there was NO room in the inn, however they were offered lodging in a stable, which they graciously accepted.  Mary being great with child, and while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

600 years prior to this time, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that the Savior would be born of a Virgin in the city of Bethlehem and that his name shall be called “The Prince of Peace.”
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That starry night, the Angels sang; “Glory to God in the highest, Peace on Earth, Good Will to men.”

Shepherds tending their flocks saw and heard the angels and were extremely frightened. “Fear not,” the Angels told them, “for unto you this day is born a Savior in the city of David.”

These poor lowly shepherds gladly received this news and quickly left their flocks and went in search of the new born baby. Finding him, they bowed down and worshiped the Christ child Jesus.

One of our Christmas Carols we love to sing is: "Hark the herald angels sing; Glory to the newborn King! Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled"

About 40 days hence the child was taken to the temple in Jerusalem for a purification ceremony and was received by Simeon the High Priest who blessed the child and prophesied that he would be pierced as well as Mary's heart. Simeon said, "Now I can die in Peace for I have seen the salvation of the Lord."

The entire life of Jesus was one complete peace offering.  He forgave sinners and told them to go in Peace.  Jesus came as a servant and washed the feet of his disciples commanding them to do likewise and to serve one another.  Jesus then told his disciples, “My peace I give unto you.”

Peace is a gift of God.  Peace is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Peace was never intended to keep to ourselves. We are called to be Peace-Makers.

There are times we encounter “Trouble Makers,” in our friends, our family, our work place, and even in our church. There are six things God hates, and one of these is persons who sow discord and division. Hurtful words send forth dissension among the brethren.

We enjoy harmony and a peaceful atmosphere. It is good to be surrounded by those who care for us and are forgiving and able to overlook our faults. We need to love and be loved, to serve and be served, to forgive and be forgiven. To live in Peace, and plant seeds of peace.

It is true that we reap what we sow. What goes around - - comes around!

May we ever sow peace and follow after the Prince of Peace.

Linked up today with Hear it on Sunday
And with Evatt at: Beautiful Messy Mondays

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Come Help Us!

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Our friends had telephoned us and begged us to come help them in their new church that they had started in Texas. A group of family and friends were their core group but they wanted another couple to assist them in their ministry. Possibly take Wednesday night services and set up a Sunday School program, and give a helping hand in their work.

I was so excited. These were our dear intercessory prayer partners that we had spent so many joyful times with, while we attended the Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. I was anxious to join with them in their ministry. “Let’s do it,” I told Robert.

BUT – my husband had already “COMMITTED” us to be a part of our local church as Christian Education Directors and to begin a Book store in the church. He was to be the Associate Pastor and assist when the Pastor was away for a few days.

My husband had given his word to our local pastor – and that was it. We could NOT go back on our agreement.

A wife is bound by Christian love to respect, honor, and follow her husband, so that is what I did. Casting aside what might have been, we settled down to minister where we were pledged and planted at this time.

In the Bible there were times when men gave their word, and it was their BOND. Often it was the cutting of blood to create a “COVENANT.”

When your word is given - - it must stand. There are many times in life when we give our word. The marriage vows come to mind, but there are other times too.

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Joining a Church with a group of believers is a commitment. Joining the military, or a giving a promise to a cause. We agree to pay our mortgage, and our car payments, and we sign on the dotted line.

I am reminded when God gave His Word that He would send a deliverer to save us from our sins. This promise was fulfilled in Jesus.

At Christmas time, we celebrate that Jesus came to earth to be born of a Virgin. He grew up to become a man and to minister, working miracles and healing the sick. He died on a cross for us, and true to His WORD - - - He rose again on the third day.

After meeting with his friends and followers during forty days, Jesus gave His WORD again.
“I shall return and receive you unto myself and there you will be with me also. Wait for the Promise from the Father for the Holy Spirit will Give you Power to be my witnesses in your city – in the surrounding areas, and then into all the world.”

God is faithful and he always keeps His Committed Word!

May we ever follow the example of God, and when we make a commitment let us always keep our word.

You might enjoy this beautiful Song about our Comforter who comes along side TO HELP US!

May this song bless you - -

This post has been linked with
Charlotte’s Spiritual Sundays. 
 Deidra’s   SundayJump Tandem

Friday, December 16, 2011


Breakfast was over and some of the Assisted Living residents were watching TV or waiting to have their Thursday morning shampoo and set.

I was a bit early and the representative from the the Railroad had not yet arrived.  She was bringing a letter of congratulations from the Railroad Retirement Board for my mother as Mom will be 100 years old on December 30th. 

I decided to step inside through the gated door to greet my mother. I had given instructions to curl her short hair and she looked so pretty with her curls.  Mother’s eyes were closed as they often are and my kisses and voice could not awaken her, so I retreated back to the front desk to wait for the Railroad person. I had no longer seated myself when in walked my Mother’s Pastor and his wife. 

Kurt the owner of the Home greeted them and we all sat to chat. I am not certain how the conversation turned to Sauerkraut, but it seems that Kurt’s German grandmother and also his mother always prepared their own from an old German recipe.

Kurt told us that his family would use a large crock to make their kraut and the vitamin C rich Sauerkraut was a staple in their diet.

I was intrigued because I am interested in Probiotic foods especially since I began to brew my own Kombucha tea which helps me to keep in better health. Probiotics are foods such as yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, some juices and soy beverages, and don’t forget sauerkraut. These go through a fermenting process that creates good bacteria that works with your body for good wellbeing.

Researching Sauerkraut I discovered several intricate and also some very simple recipes. Some added other vegetables such as a grated carrot, onions, garlic, seaweed, and greens, and herbs and spices (caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds, and juniper berries are classic.  Myself, I prefer plain!

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The recipe that caught my attention was one that you might want to try using a standard quart mason jar. The author used 6 jars but you can try this with just one for fun. 

Sauerkraut the Easy method

Cut your green or red cabbage in half and using a sharp knife, slice and chop enough cabbage to fit into your quart jar. Pack the cabbage tightly into the jar.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of Sea or Kosher salt on top of the cabbage.

Stick a table kitchen knife into the jar along side of the cabbage and slowly pour boiling water over cabbage. The boiling water will dissolve the honey and salt and distribute them in the jar.

Loosely place a lid on your jar until the fermenting is done. Set your jar in a pan or on newspaper in a dark, cool place to ferment. Check every couple days and press with a wooden spoon so that the cabbage is covered with the water. Just be warned, if any bloom starts to develop on top, scrape it off your kraut is still good. After fermentation takes place (2 to 3 weeks), tighten the lids on jar. Enjoy some every day!

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays  Please visit there and enjoy!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Few More Days

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Although her birthday to celebrate 100 years is a few days away, there was a special honor presentation today at the Assisted Living Home where mother resides.

The US Railroad Retirement board had sent a letter informing us that a representative Ms Elizabeth Morales would be arriving the morning of December 15 to present a congratulation letter to mother for reaching 100 years.

In attendance were mother’s long time Pastors, Rev. Gene and Beverly Smith of Oroville’s, First Assemblies of God church. Also present was Sherry Long a board member of the Assisted Living Corporation.

We found Mother seated in a wheel chair sleeping.  She enjoyed a nap while we chatted.  Kisses and back rubs did not awake her so while she rested, we visited. 

Elizabeth told us of my dad’s excellent work record for the 35 years that he was employed at the Southern Pacific in Oakland, CA.  She could tell from the work history that he was a hard worker providing for his family. I mentioned that when the family needed extra money, that Dad would go on the extra board. This was a system that allowed employees to work 8 hours on and 8 hours off for short periods of time. During World War II there was often a need for extra help so Dad was willing to do this.

I had given Sherry a write up about mother and her life in Oakland and also when she moved to Oroville.

One outstanding event was the time our City of Oroville was considering to change the name of our annual summer Fiesta Days to DAMN Days. (Just a note that we have the large Oroville Dam near by that is the main water source for a good portion of California.) That day the local newspaper was interviewing residents at the down town post office. Mother was one they asked for her opinion, “Shall we change the name from Fiesta Days to Damn Days?”

Mother boldly spoke up and let it be known, “My parents taught me never to use the Lord’s Name in vain and not to swear and use bad language. I would not approve of the name change.” Her photo and her remarks were printed in the paper. Needless to say, each year we celebrate FIESTA DAYS, and whether mother had anything to do with keeping the name, only God and the city knows for sure.

The Pastor’s wife was given a copy of Mother’s write up and she stated that she will make copies to enclose in Sundays church bulletin for all the church members.

Opening her eyes Mother finally decided she had enjoyed enough nap time. Sherry took a photo of mother, and one of Mom, Elizabeth and me using her photo phone.

One of the staff took mother back to the recreation room, and Sherry escorted us on a tour of the facility. Elizabeth was very impressed with the beauty of the décor and how clean the home is. 
image courtesy

Only a few more days until Mother will arrive at 100.

Only a few more days and Christmas will be here.

Only a few more days - - - The King is coming! Are you ready?

Linked today with Joan’s Grace Café.  
And with Michelle at Thought Provoking Thursday

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Down to the Valley for Christmas

California Central Valley
image courtesy

When we were children, we usually traveled as a family down to the San Joaquin Valley to spend Christmas with my mother’s parents.

Our tree at home was decorated and under it were gifts for each of us. Most often we would receive a new sweater, new pajamas, and other needed clothing at Christmas. Mother would sew a new doll dress for my old doll and wrap up the doll - - clothes and all for me to open. Nestled under the tree were several small surprise gifts that would keep us speculating.

“You must wait until we get back from our trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa before you can open your presents,” mother told us.

We begged, “Please,” but mother held fast to her decision. Finally she relented and said, “You may each select one gift to open, but ONLY one.”

I carefully inspected the presents, and tried to guess what each package might contain. One mysterious package was shaped like a long triangle and it intrigued me. I wondered what it could be. At last I made my choice and picked up the small triangular gift.

Carefully I opened my gift and to my disappointment it was a new “Rat tailed comb.” I had wanted something more exciting, and I told mother so. “You made your choice and it stands,” she let me know.

I am reminded in life that we often believe something looks good to our eyes but once we are able to view the inner core we are truly unhappy with the results. Sometimes it is a person, a friend, and other times it is something we think we need to purchase.

Did you even get your self in a pickle that looked exciting and discover to your sorrow and chagrin that disillusionment was your reward?

I suppose that if we would pray more before we leap, we would not fall quite so far!

Mark 14:38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

As Christmas time approaches, may you receive and also give many Gifts that will be long lasting. The gifts that will bless the longest in time are not purchased with gold and silver but are given and received with love shown by action.

This type of giving will not rust and decay but will continue to be enjoyed as long as the gift is kept active.

How about giving some compliments, and good words to those you love, for kind and loving words are always in season.

Good words will lift you up and never pull you down!

This post has been linked to:
Changing the World One Word at a Time  The word is DOWN
 and also with

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Prepare Ye the Way

image courtesy

Be prepared; Get ready, the King is coming - - was the title of Sundays sermon by our Pastor Carl. I share here my notes as I gleaned from his message.

Pastor selected his scriptures from Isaiah 9:6-7 where the prophet Isaiah proclaimed that the King would come, and the reading from Matthew 3, where John, the last Old Testament prophet declared saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

The crowds asked John if he was the Christ, but his answer was, “I am preparing the way, for one comes after me whose shoes I am not worthy to undo.” John’s message was Repent and Believe in order to be ready.

Advent is the season of preparation. We search our inward being and prepare our hearts.

Preparation always makes things better and easier.

A gardener prepares the soil prior to his planting.

A cook plans the menu and purchases the necessary ingredients before hand.

A teacher plans the lesson.

The traveler coordinates his schedule and route.

Spiritually we must plan ahead and get ready for the coming of our Lord.

We prepare for worship, opening our heart to receive the seed of the word. We come with a willing and teachable spirit, and a loving and generous attitude.

God is always well prepared. His wisdom has planned every last detail from Genesis to Revelation, announcing the coming of the King, arranging the census so that Bethlehem as prophesied would be the place of Christ’s birth. Even the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were all in God’s design. Jesus came back from death with new life.

The plan of salvation, secured for us eternal life and forgiveness of all our sins. On the cross, Jesus took all our sins upon himself so that we could be free from guilt and shame.

Jesus told his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, there you can be also.” We have an eternal inheritance prepared for us. The question was asked, “How can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the Way the truth and the Life, he that believes on me shall live.” When Jesus was baptized in water by John, a voice from heaven spoke and declared, “This is my beloved Son, hear ye him.”

Today, we are to cry out like David, “Have Mercy O Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.” 

May I ever be prepared to meet you, Oh Lord my King!

Linking today with: Michelle, Joan and Deidra.
Please visit to soak up good words you will discover at these lovely sites.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Persimmon Bread

Fuyus - courtesy Flicker by Outdoor

Unfortunately, if you have never tried a persimmon, you need to know that there are two popular varieties of persimmons.

Hachiya—shouldn’t be eaten until it is extremely ripe. Unless it has arrived at “soft,” it will have a taste like industrial-strength cleaner.

The other popular variety is Fuyus, which are short and squat; these are the variety to buy for eating fresh. The pointy-bottomed hachiyas are better for baking and are best when they are soft.

I discovered a magnificent recipe for Cranberry Persimmon Crisp at: Sweet Peony’s blog. I noticed that she used the Fuyus to make her Holiday crisp. Please check it out at:

My mother’s mature Hachiya Persimmon tree produced immense quantities of this delicious fruit. We would naturally wait until they were quite soft and then scoop out the pulp and enjoy.

Some health researchers say that a persimmon a day may be better for your heart than an apple a day. Persimmons have significantly higher levels of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese than apples. It is good to vary your diet, but you may want to include Persimmons especially while they are in season.

I am so thankful for the many fruits that God has given us, each ripe and delicious in its season.

My mother’s Persimmon harvest was abundant so we would process much of the Persimmon pulp and freeze it in 2 cup - zip lock bags. Then we could defrost a bag when we wanted to enjoy a lovely snack, or use them for baking. Persimmon Nut bread is my favorite method to use the persimmons and I share it here with you. Be sure to add the soda to the pulp as instructed.

Persimmon Nut Bread

Mix 2 cups sugar, 4 eggs and 1 cup oil together in a bowl.

Sift together 3 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt.

To 2 cups persimmon pulp, add and mix well 2 tsp soda. Let set until gelled then add to the egg and oil mixture.

Add the dry flour mixture to the rest and mix with a wooden spoon.

Lastly add 1 cup chopped walnuts.

Pour into two regular size loaf bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at
Do hop on over to her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

And also linked to Laura’s Brag on God Fridays. Please visit and view many good words there at:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Puppies for Sale

"Guilty" by Ashley

Turning off the main Highway unto a side road, we spied the farm house that we were looking for. A lady and her children were out in the yard and were expecting us.

“Is this the place that has the Blue Tick Puppies,” we asked. “Yes, you have found us, park here and come with us,” they replied.

One of the boys handed the mother an old plastic milk bottle that the top had been removed. It held about two cups of large dry dog food chunks. Holding it by the handle, she began to shake it with the chunks rattling inside. From the noise of the food, out from a rear yard rushed a pack of puppies all competing for their share of the food.

Their little tummies seemed flat and they were a hungry bunch. The lady tossed some of the food unto the drive way and the little buggers hurried to devour what they could.

My husband looked at one and then another. His inspection of each puppy was a sight to behold. Blue Tick Hounds are his favorite dog, but we could tell these were not pure bred Blue Ticks. The Mother was a mix of Plot hound and Blue Tick which would give the pups black and white spots but also some orange color around the face and ears.

Having been without a Blue Tick Hound for several months, my husband was still going through “withdrawals.” These puppies appeared to be our best bet for now. $100 was a lot to pay for a hound that was a mix, but as we looked at those hungry babies, we could envision that a trip to Wal-Mart for more dog food was probably in their plans for later that day.

We decided to make a contribution in exchange for a puppy.

A decision was difficult as they were all so cute, but finally a pick was made. Wrapping him in a large towel, I bonded with the pup all the way home. Arriving home, we fed him and he eagerly ate all we gave him. As a puppy his smoke colored coat did not have all the spots yet, so my husband named him Smoky.

To this day, old Smoke always licks his plate clean. You never need to tell him that it is time to eat, for he is always ready. I wondered if being so hungry as a puppy is the reason his appetite is so good?

When Smoky was still quite small, our daughter and granddaughter Ashley came for a visit. Ashley had brought her camera so she took a photo of him next to my husband’s old shoe. She entered her photo in a contest at school and won first prize for her entry.

It wasn’t long before we realized that little Smoky was lonesome, so we added to our menagerie a Black Lab that we purchased from some local people. They have been great pals ever since. There are times when I must often tell our Lab to eat his dog food, but what he doesn’t finish, Old Smoke is perfectly willing to help him out!

I often wonder if we as a people should be as hungry for God’s Word as Old Smoky is for his daily food?

This scripture is a good reminder for us: Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

This post has been linked to Joan’s Grace Café. Do visit there for other good words!

Also with Tracy at Winsome Wednesday. Please visit and view other great words you find there:

And  Good Morning Girls Wednesday at:  This site has an ongoing Bible study especially for women.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Pageant Oakland, California

She came to visit our first grade class, this beautiful lady with the bright red lipstick and dangling ear rings.

I remember how glamorous she appeared and there she was pointing to me and several other small blond girls.

Our teacher wrote down our names and gave us a permission slip to take home to our parents. We were to join with hundreds of other small girls from various Oakland schools who had also been selected to be the tiny snow fairies in the finalé of the Christmas Pageant held each year at the Oakland city auditorium.

There were many practices and instructions given which were very simple to follow. All we needed to do was put on our sparkly white princess costume and skip out to meet the solo dancer at a signal.

Later as years went by; our children were also selected to be a part in this wonderful traditional presentation.

This pageant was a gigantic rendition similar to the Nut Cracker Suite put on by Louise Jorgensen and the Recreation Department of the City of Oakland.

“As a staff member of the city’s recreation department, Ms Jorgensen would visit 50 schools a week to conduct a half-hour rehearsal in the last few months of the year. The Kaiser Convention Center hosted the pageant’s overflow crowds. (8,000 proud parents, says one source).”

Each school and every grade in our city had a part in the production. There were children dressed as dancing elves, candy canes, holly berries, penguins, polo bears, drummer boys, teams of reindeers with their lady drivers and scores of colorful toys.

The conclusion of the drama was a solo dance by our beautiful Spirit of Christmas lady, as the spot light revealed her twirling and spiraling across the auditorium floor. On cue, as her dance ended, all we little fairy snow princess skipped out to meet the snow queen. We gathered around her as she blessed us with her sweet kisses that she blew in our direction.

“For almost 70 years, from 1919 until the pageant's farewell performance in 1987, a one-woman powerhouse, Louise Jorgensen, transformed the thousands of other Oakland schoolchildren into dancing toys and ballerinas for two performances during the first weekend of December.”

“In 2006, nostalgic teachers organized The Winter Festival, an attempt to revive and secularize the pageant, but this may be one of those feats of the past that is impossible to replicate.”

May your celebration of Christmas include a manger scene, some angels and shepherds, and perhaps a wise man two or three.

Beauty in His Grip Button

This post has been linked with Joan Davis Sharing His Beauty Hop. Do visit and enjoy some wonderful words posted there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Candle Ceremony Announces Advent.

My cozy beautiful church has shone brightly the past two Sundays with added Christmas decorations each week. Next Sunday the members will bring poinsettias to place across the front of the church, each in honor of a loved one.

My childhood church memories are of Christmas programs where the children memorized poems about the Savior. The young adult members usually presented a play that told a message or depicted the Christmas story. Our church always had a large beautifully decorated Christmas tree with boxes of Christmas candy and an orange for each child after the program.

As a child our church did not celebrate Advent with candles.

My present church does celebrate Advent, and on an oak table are those slender purple candles, “Hope, Love, Joy” and one pink candle representing, “Peace” with a larger white candle representing Christ in the center. The ritual is lovely and I am enjoying the pageantry of it all.  Although this church is different to me, my friends there are Saints and they accept me for who I am, even though I am a bit diverse in some ways.

In fact they are so much a part of me, that they welcome my stories as long as I keep them short and not too preachy. Although the members at my current church do not recognize it, the times that I share with my shortened and edited blog stories, they are receiving a Holy Spirit exhortation from the Lord. They ask me, why do your stories strike my heart as they do? Like an arrow that finds it mark they go where needed.

Some of my Charismatic friends have wondered why I would end up in a church that is so unlike my Pentecostal upbringing. There are several reasons, but the most important is that God sent me there, so it appears as if I am there to stay - - at least for now. God is teaching me to be patient, long suffering and respectful.

On Sunday our moderator announced that there is to be a Christmas Marriage ceremony at our church. The prospective couple came last Saturday to view our church and were so pleased with the decorations. All this will fit in beautifully with their Wedding plans as they come together to join two lives as one.

We are reminded that we join with our Lord to become one with Him as we prepare to celebrate His birthday!  The Advent - - the arrival of the Messiah, the dawn of a new day.

image courtesy

This post has been entered on Shanda's Best of 2011 blog hop in light of her One Year Blogaversary at:  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wonderful Counselor

As we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus, our Pastor was reading today from Isaiah 9:6-7. Gleaning from his message there was a distinct contrast of darkness and light. The one prophesied to come would shatter the darkness.

The Old Testament was black with death and gloom yet the prophets proclaimed that light would surely arrive. After 600 years of tears, the New Testament plucked Light from the darkness.

A Virgin shall conceive and bring forth the Son of Righteousness. His name shall be called Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, and our Prince of Peace.

As a young twelve year old boy, Jesus was about His Father’s business.

As Jesus entered His ministry, He was teaching, preaching and doing miracles. Jesus declared that He was the way, the truth and the Life; that He was the Light of the World and we would not need to walk in darkness. He gave of himself, his sweat, tears, blood and His very life.

He brought Good News to the sinner and to the poor a cheering illumination of salvation.

Sins forgiven, sickness healed, promises fulfilled, all met through Christ.

Jesus walked in the shadows of darkness and through death entered that blackness and swallowed up death in victory. He identified with us and was acquainted with grief. His life was freely given to bring us to His Father God.

All that Jesus did was not in a general way, but in a personal manner. He desires for us to declare, “Set up your throne in my heart and rule and reign over my life.”

Today He shines in our hearts because of that first star over Bethlehem. God was in Christ reconciling the World to Him-self.  And now; Christ in us the Hope of Glory.

The Government shall be upon His shoulders and of His amazing Grace there shall be no end.

Sometimes we may sense that we are stumbling in the darkness, and stubbing our toes.

Yet we turn to Jesus, place our faith in Him, and He will illuminate the night and enable us to be filled with His Joy, Wonder and Light.

This post is linked to: “Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday.” Do visit her site at:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Cake

At our house we love pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, and of course pumpkin cake.

If you have available a real pumpkin, cut it in half remove the seeds and bake it for one hour at 350 degrees. Then peel it and process the pumpkin meat in your food processor.  Use the pulp in any recipe calling for pumpkin. Two cups equals 1 small can.

Or do it the easy way like I usually do.  Simply purchase a couple of 15 oz cans of pumpkin.

For a different cake, you will enjoy this one that is popular at our table. 

Pumpkin Cake

Combine and mix well:

1 large can 29 oz pumpkin (or 2 small 15 oz cans)
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Mix well and pour into a 9x13 pan

Sprinkle over the top 1 package dry yellow cake mix

Pour 3/4 cup melted Margarine (or butter) over the dry cake mix.

Sprinkle 1 cup chopped walnuts on top of the butter and bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until the pumpkin is set. Remove and cool.  Enjoy.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays do visit her site at”

Mission Generation Bolivia

Sometimes you connect with a ministry that is doing a great work, and you can’t remember exactly how that first came about.

One of my many missionary newsletters must have mentioned Mission Generation Bolivia and I remember the impulse to check it out.

The amazing thing is that Rocky and Joske are linked up with the Bolivian Congress to provide textbooks they have written, proclaiming Jesus Christ and a teaching of a good moral life to the class rooms of Bolivia and other South American nations. They also work with Feed the Children in a local feeding program where they live in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

I consider myself too old to sponsor just ONE child in Compassion or one of the other wonderful programs that help feed a child and their family and also provide schooling.

By working with Rocky and Joske I am blanketing my monthly contribution over many children not only in Bolivia but other countries where their life changing program is being offered.

I can’t go to Bolivia, or the many other mission fields but I can have a part in giving and by praying. If you are thinking about where to plant a portion of your seed into good ground, please consider Missions Generation Bolivia.

Do check out their site  If interested: Click on "Who we are," then click on Founders, then Click on sponsor Rocky and Joske.

Quote from their Web Site:
“Miraculously, God has provided Mission Generation with an opportunity to proclaim Christ in the public school systems of Bolivia which has opened doors throughout Latin America. This is amazing because the curriculum that Mission Generation uses is Jesus centered and Biblically based.

In Bolivia, there are 2.7 million students in grades K-12. The Bolivian Congress has passed a resolution giving authorization for Mission Generation's curriculum to be used in the nation's public schools. While this does not dictate that the schools must use the Mission Generation's material, it certainly provides an opportunity for the Gospel to be proclaimed to millions of students through the Bolivian public schools which is our ultimate objective.

Why would a secular government endorse teaching Jesus Christ in their public school system? Governments have found that by using the Mission Generation curriculum, presented as an ethics and morals program, there has been a reduction in truancy, teen pregnancy, gang participation and drug/alcohol abuse. There has also been a recorded increase in graduation rates in schools that implement the Mission Generation material.

The Mission Generation textbooks have been accepted by Catholics, Evangelicals and government. While it is easy to dismiss this opportunity as too good to be true, it is literally open season in the public schools, the largest network in the country of Latin America to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. There is no need to buy property, build buildings or pay teachers.

This opportunity extends beyond the borders of Bolivia. Programs in Paraguay and Chile are operational and seventeen other Latin American and Caribbean countries have all expressed an interest in bringing Mission Generation's curriculum to their countries.”

If you like the Mission Generation program, share this post with others.

Linked today with Brag on God Friday at: