Senin, 31 Oktober 2011

Pumpkin Patch-ing!

I love fall, and I love pumpkins and pumpkin patches!  This year we wanted to go to a patch where the pumpkins actually grow on ground :-) so we made our way back up to Julian with my sister and brother-in-law and their four kids! We had such a fun day! 
We picked pumpkins, made apple cider, fed the farm animals, made candles, and went on a hay ride! 







Is it weird that I love this picture? Its cool right? Baaaa.




All that's left to do is carve them! 
Happy Pumpkin Day!


Tonight eat, drink and be scary



Tonight

Eat, drink and be scary.
~Author Unknown








Learning To Perceive A Crisis Differently



Learning To Perceive A Crisis Differently
by Johnnie Moore
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional

Our biggest problems are not necessarily our most apparent problems. Our perceptions of those problems often get us in more trouble than the problems themselves. What if we started perceiving many of our challenges differently? What if we chose to believe that God was actually up to something in our lives even when things seemed dreary and hopeless and painful? After all, certain uneasy seasons of life might eventually turn out to be misunderstood.


My parents divorce and all the accompanying insanity nearly killed my relationship with God. It also killed my sense of security and stability, and it put enough wounds on my heart to employ a personal shrink for a lifetime.


My family was suddenly thrust into poverty (in the American sense of the word), and I had to live with a haunting memory of my suicidal dad limp in the seat of his car. We moved from house to house and school to school so many times that I hardly have any social roots from my childhood. My family was written off and avoided by the church. We were scorned, shamed, and embarrassed. It was hard -- very, very hard.


Worse yet, all of this happened just after I decided to care about my spiritual health, just after I became convinced of Jesus as my savior, just after I chose to have a daily meeting with God from nine to nine-thirty every night.


It was all bad, right? I can ask myself, "Why did Jesus put me through all of this and just when I decided to get serious about serving Him?" I could decide that God must have been picking on me, and slowly that attitude would turn toward resentment. Eventually I would move away from the very thing I need in my life the most -- God.


Or I can try to interpret my circumstances with an attitude of trust in a God whose ways are higher than my ways. I can choose to see my life through a lens of grace, and I can choose to believe that God might be up to something.


Today, when I look back on my parents' divorce, I perceive things differently than I did before. I can see that God was with us every step of the way. We were in poverty, but we were never homeless. The church might have misunderstood us, but a few people in the church were always ready to seek us out and care for us. We all survived our relational war despite the perilous moments!


My testimony confirms what one man said: "God never puts more on us than He puts in us." Charles Spurgeon, the great British pastor, once said, "God is too good to be unkind, too wise to be mistaken, and when I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart." In hindsight, now I realize the effects of my parents' divorce were not nearly as detrimental as they might have been.


We start to perceive our circumstances and a hopeful light, grace begins to peek through the darkness of our difficult days. We start to realize that God wasn't waiting in the wings. He was involved. At times his involvement might have seemed clandestine, but we have no idea how God has manipulated history on our behalf. Sometimes He has intervened in ways we'll never know, and His silence in our crisis may be the best gift He could possibly give us.


Today, I feel nearly healed, and God is using my story to encourage thousands of people to run toward God in their troubles and not away from Him. I also see God at work healing my family. I can see so clearly how He has always been looking out for us. Life is better because of all the lessons I learned during that difficult season, and I have deeper faith in God because of the way He helped me.


A couple of years ago I overcame my relational anxiety and met the woman of my dreams. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. And today, I'm not weighed down by the baggage of my childhood. I have a good career as one of North America's youngest university executives, and God is using His work of grace in my life as a testimony to encourage a lot of other hurting people. And I'm not the only one God has redeemed. My mom just remarried, and my dad is one of my best friends. My dad even listens to my sermons online each week.


God did not cause my parents' marriage to fall apart. They did. God was not complicit in their sin in their failure, but He was and is complicit in their healing. He is a God who mends our brokenness and turns our stories of failure, discouragement, and pain into testimonies of grace and perseverance.


With God, I have learned that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. He is always keeping watch over us when life is trying to beat us down, and so many times He intervenes before things become critical. He doesn't have to intervene, but He chooses to because He loves us more than we'll ever know.




Adapted from: Honestly: Really Living What We Say We Believe © 2011by Johnnie Moore. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission. Hear more of Johnnie's powerful testimony this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY.




Johnnie Moore: Faith, Doubt, and Hypocrisy

 

Minggu, 30 Oktober 2011

Three!


Last weekend we celebrated Jack's 3rd Birthday!  It's hard to believe he is already three, and he is definitely not a baby anymore.  In the week leading up to his birthday we were talking about turing three and he said, 
"I'm going to be three, and then I'm going to be a man!"  
Even when he is a man, he'll always be my precious little boy. It never ceases to amaze me how much he knows and how much he is growing and changing every year.  He is incredibly smart and funny, so loving and sweet, and yet still all boy. He already has a heart for the Lord, and loves reading his little Bible every night. I am so blessed to be his mommy and his life has been one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever given to me.  

We had so much fun at his Dino-mite Dinosaur party!  He was so cute- when I set up the table he said, "Mommy, it's beautiful!" He loved every minute of it, which of course, made it all worth it!





We had a couple little dinosaur activities for the kids to do. The first one was the "Dino Dig."  We filled a little kiddie pool with sand and buried dinos inside for them to dig for and sift out of the sand.  


His birthday present...the jumpy!
We also had a "Pre-historic Ice Pick" activity where we actually froze dinos in tuperware so each child had their own ice block to chip away at! It was really funny watching them hammer as hard as they could on these blocks of ice! They of course loved it, although, it did take a little longer than we anticipated and some of the mom's helped out a little :-) It was also quite a warm day, so it was fun for them to play with the ice. [Sidenote: Jack is always super hot, and his little cheeks turned so bright red, and he was all sweaty from running around and jumping in the jumpy!]


After the ice picking, we had Jack's favorite food...pizza!


Bretters & Reecey
T-Rex Pinata!



T-Rex was actually a tough cookie to crack! It took a little assistance from Papa :-) Then it was cupcake time! 




He was a happy boy with his cute little chocolate covered face! 
Such a fun day, and such sweet memories!
I love this little boy...so much!
Happy 3rd Birthday Jack Hartley Bradford!

Jumat, 28 Oktober 2011

Israel's Role in History and Prophecy



They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.

Romans 9:4



Grant Jeffrey
"Israel's Role in History and Prophecy"
 


Homes Inspired By Early America Design




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Susan Jones got her dream home (and a new career) after a major overhaul and some fearless paint choices.


This is a beautiful home.



This 1920's Georgian Revival house in the historic Richmond Road section of Lexington, Kentucky.





An 1894 house in Texas welcomes with a colour scheme inspired by early America

Kamis, 27 Oktober 2011

Rabu, 26 Oktober 2011

Breakfast On The Run


Slept in? Too tired for breakfast? There's no need to skip the most important meal of the day with our super-speedy breakfasts to go.




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The Chew: Clinton Kelly's Homemade Granola Bar

The Tipping Point




The Tipping Point
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
10-26-2011

"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers..." (Eph 4:11-12).


Malcolm Gladwell authored a secular marketing book entitled Tipping Point. A tipping point is when an idea, product or movement becomes accepted by the masses. Gladwell says "It is the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, crime waves, or unknown books becoming bestsellers." He says ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do but he has discovered there are usually three types of people involved in the marketing process for this to happen. He calls them connectors, mavens, and salesmen.


Connectors are people with a special gift for bringing the world together. They know lots of people who have an ability to make impact.


Mavens are people who accumulate knowledge about a particular area. They are information brokers who like to get information and share it with others to help solve their problems.


Salesmen have an ability to persuade when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing. They are critical to the tipping point for word-of-mouth epidemics.


I believe these three people correlate to the apostle (connectors), often defined as "one who is sent"; the prophet (mavens), defined as 'one who proclaims truth" and the evangelist (salesmen), "one who wins the lost" - all described in Ephesians 4:11.


John Wesley founded Methodism in the 1780s . He went from 20,000 followers to 90,000 in five years. However, he was not the most Charismatic preacher compared to Martin Luther or John Calvin who were recognized as the leading theologians. His genius was organizational. He was a maven (apostle) who stayed in a city after he preached to form small groups of the most enthusiastic of the followers. He used connectors (apostles) and salesmen (evangelists) to get people to his meetings. This created a community around his beliefs in order to practice those beliefs in the context of daily life. This contributed to his success and ability to start a movement.


Mavens, Connectors and Salesmen make an idea contagious by working together to spread the message. Consider bringing these three types of people together to see real success on your next project.


Today's Prayer
Dear God, Here I am, in awe of Your tremendous love and power. I too am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from Your love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (based on Romans 8:38-39). My identity is not in my job, my profession, nor any other thing, but in You. I am convinced that no matter what happens, I am a precious human being in Your sight and Your love, grace, and mercy will always sustain me. Thank you so much. In Jesus' name, amen.


Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.


Prophecy In The News: The Fourth Beast

Selasa, 25 Oktober 2011

Fun Ideas For All The "Fright" Stuff



New ideas for ghosts, pumpkins, bats and more.  Find ideas for all the "fright" stuff you need to make over your home (inside and outside) this Halloween.



My Recipes.com


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Instead of hauling all of your leftover Halloween candy to the office or hiding it in a drawer, transform it into amazing treats.



 
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Whether you're greeting trick-or-treaters at the door or taking cookies to a Halloween party, get into the fun of the season with these "not-too-scary" Halloween treat recipes.



The Chew: Clinton's Sensationally Spooky Decor

Seeking Wisdom



Job Recognizes His Source of Wisdom and Seeks It

Despite his confusion and pain. Job makes it clear that he LOOKS to God alone for wisdom. He understands that he cannot lead himself, much less his family, without God as his never-ending source of perspective and understanding. Job has heard from his friends and knows their theories ring hollow. The best they can muster is the wisdom of men; Job will not be satisfy until he has the wisdom of God.


The third chapter of James distinguishes between these two radically different sources of wisdom:




Wisdom from Below
1. Works temporarily in a few situations
2. Seems logical for the moment
3. Limited in scope
4. Competitive: It is win/lose




Wisdom from Above
1. Is universal and timeless, yet eternally relevant
2. Often seems illogical or even backwards
3. Always big picture and unlimited in scope
4. Complementary: It is win/win






Michael W. Smith






The Maxwell Leadership Bible
by John C. Maxwell
Thomas Nelson Publishers,
NKJV, ISBN # 0-7180-0660-7

Senin, 24 Oktober 2011

The Magic of Braising Meat



By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Learn how to perfectly braise your meats to create delicious fork-tender foods.


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The Chew: Michael's Braised Chicken

How Much Time Do You Have?




How Much Time Do You Have?
by Edward John
Words of LIFE Weekly Devotional

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)


Life can be like a boxing ring. We have to learn to "roll with the punches" by knowing when to duck, move to the side or throw a punch. It's a constant battle and one of our biggest opponents is time.


Everything seems to move at a faster pace today. Family, work, school, social activities and even church demand our precious time. There does not seem to be enough hours of daylight to complete our daily chores. Our lives are dictated by a list of things to do. In order to rest, we have to put it on our schedule! We often find ourselves saying, "I need more time."


One would think that with all of our technology, we could save a little time. But it often adds to the load, as we e-mail people around the world, manage our Facebook account, Twitter our thoughts and emotions, and text each other on our cell phones (sometimes while driving!) It is ironic, because we think we're saving time when in reality we make it easier for the world to bombard our lives with more things to do and consume our precious time.


We need to ask ourselves, "Where has time gone? And what are we really here to accomplish?"


It is time to wake up and enter the real arena of battle. We must recognize our real enemy and understand his strategy. We need to reclaim our ground and regain our positions as leaders under the command of our King, Jesus Christ.


The first step towards doing this is realizing that busyness is not necessarily effectiveness. Our time may be consumed with activity, but that does not mean that we are accomplishing everything that God has planned for us. God wants us to be effective, fruitful and peaceful, not busy, stressed and annoyed. The Word of God is a double-edged sword and when we learn to live our lives by His word, we can cut, slice and divide our lives into proper portions and begin to effectively live for His Kingdom. When we live by His word, we are able to differentiate right from wrong, good from bad, wide from narrow, and straight from crooked.


This is where time is redeemed and effectiveness is achieved. Jesus holds time in his hands, so He is the master of making our lives effective. Jesus was never swayed by what men thought was right or wrong. Even well-meaning people sought to tell Him what to do, but He only did what He saw His Father doing. This is the key to life! We must learn how to operate by the same standard as Jesus. We must learn to say "yes" to God and "no" to everything else.


We tend to fight battles that are of no consequence, beating aimlessly into the air. We don't recognize our true enemies, so we don't know what battles to fight. We must learn to redeem our time on this earth by choosing to fight the right battles.


So how do we know which battles are ours? How do we know how to spend our precious time? The Psalmist heard the Lord say, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8) We need wisdom to know how to use our time -- wisdom that can only come from above. Once again, the greatest source for wisdom is the Word of God. "Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life." (Proverbs 4:13)


Time is short. In fact, it's running out! But we can be Christians of excellence. We can be effective for his Kingdom. We can be consumed with a peace that passes understanding, instead of the stress of this world. Godly wisdom and direction will not only bring each of us more personal fulfillment, but it will help us better serve the Kingdom of God while making the most of our time.


Take stock of your days. What is consuming your time? Ask the Lord where you should increase your focus. Leave behind those things that needlessly bring you stress and rob you of your time.


Join Edward John all this week on LIFE TODAY as he shares secrets to “Real Living."


Sara Groves - Loving A Person

Jumat, 21 Oktober 2011

The World's Greatest Spy Is Back: Johnny English Reborn

"Johnny English Reborn"


Rowan Atkinson returns to the role of the accidental secret agent who doesn't know fear or danger in the LOL comedy spy-thriller Johnny English Reborn.

Kamis, 20 Oktober 2011

The Perfect Fireplace


A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire
for the mind as well as the body.
-Benjamin Franklin



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Add an element of warmth and a focal point to any room with a fireplace. Picking the right design, materials, and mantel will ensure your fireplace commands attention while complementing the space.











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Mantel Décor Ideas by Nico De Swert