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Archive for February, 2007

JEREMY BUYS NEW WHEELS!

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While we were at ladies’ retreat having a great time, our son Jeremy and his dear old dad were at the Toyota dealer in Davis checking out Rav 4’s.  About an hour after I arrived home from the retreat, Jeremy pulled up in a brand new 2007 charcoal Rav 4.  Boy was he jazzed!  This is his first car purchase.  His old Honda that we had bought him for college 6 years ago, bit the dust the weekend before when he was driving home from a trip to Bear Valley ski resort.  It’s a good thing he just turned 25.  This will definitely help his insurance rates.  We’re all looking forward to going to Yosemite this summer in Jer’s Rav 4, which we have affectionately dubbed, “Ravioli”.  Way to go, Jer!  I don’t envy your car payments though!

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This year’s ladies’ retreat was incredible for me in so many ways. As mentioned in my earlier post, I had the unexpected privilege of meeting one of my favorite authors, Lynda Allison-Doty.  I also got to meet some of my blogging buddies, Tena Valenti, Ronda Hurst and Jana Allard, for the first time!   I saw many of my old friends there and made some new ones.  I enjoyed Sis Buxton’s breakout session, “Fortress of Friendship”. Every message spoke to my heart, and I truly was blessed by Bro. Ron Mulling’s anointed preaching.  I left that place full inside, and I hope to be a blessing to someone else this year.

blogging-buddies.jpg Blogging Buddies

                                  

 roommates.jpg Cynthia my roommate

 

  retreat-019.jpg   Mom and Sandy

   sissies1.jpg     Sissies

retreat-011.jpg      Eva & Mom

 

   retreat-010.jpg    Dionne, Elaine & Susan

 

  retreat-022.jpg     Cynthia our invincible D.O.Z. leader

 retreat-013.jpg  Sweet Desiree

                 

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LADIES’ RETREAT

sis-doty.jpgThis past Thursday-Saturday, I was blessed and privileged to attend the 24th annual Western District Ladies Conference held in Sacramento at the DoubleTree Hotel.  Mom and my sister Carol also attended.  It was a wonderful time of worship, fellowship and encouragement as over 600 sisters in Christ came together to uplift Jesus.  The music and the speakers all ministered to my heart, and I left with a feeling of gratefulness and a full spirit.   I think that for me, one of the hilights of this meeting (And there were many!) was getting to meet Lynda Allison-Doty in person.  Lynda is an author, counselor, and ordained minister.  I have been blessed, not only by her books, but by communication with her via e-mail.  She has especially been an encouragement to me this past year.  I never dreamed that I would get the chance to ever meet her.  What a blessing that was!  Lynda has a website for women that are hurting or in need of encouragement.  Here is the link to her site:  www.awpministries.org .

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Book Recommendation: Bait of Satan

bait-of-satan.jpgI am an avid reader.  In addition to reading the Bible, it seems I always have a book in my hand.  I recently finished a good one called “Bait of Satan” by John Bevere.  I highly recommend this book to everyone.  It’s about living free from the deadly trap of offense.  Every one of us will be hurt or offended by someone sometime in our lives.  This book is a valuable tool to help overcome offense and the bitterness that often accompanies the hurt. 

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kiki-bday-2.jpgEvery year for about 46 days, I go on a chocolate fast.  There is nothing spiritual about this.  It’s just an exercise in discipline that I choose to do to prove to myself that I can abstain, because I like chocolate so much.   The fast starts on January 1 and ends 46 days later on my birthday.  The past few years, my two sisters, Carol and Ann have joined me on this fast.  The difference this year was that I also fasted from cookies, cake, candy and sweets in general.  I am proud to say that I survived and even lost a few pounds. On February 15 at about 9:30 am, my sister Ann and I broke our chocolate fast together.  I partook of a homemade, decadent bonbon that was a mix of dark chocolate and mint.  It was sensory overload for me, and I experienced a euphoric chocolate high for about 5 minutes.  In my state of delirium, I did not recall what Ann ate.   

That night, my family celebrated my birth with me and I had more chocolate.  Since that day, I have been eating a piece of dark chocolate daily.  I think there may be some benefits to doing this, but to me, the taste itself is benefit enough!  Thank God that he made something we have to do to survive (eating) such a pleasurable experience!

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Mom & me     Mike & Jer     Tommy & Me

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DON’T GIVE UP!

I ran across this article in Streams in the Desert about Abe Lincoln and thought I would post it in honor of  the anniversary of his 198th birthday.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted.  (Psalm 119:71)  

God seems to ask greater depths of experience of us as we go along the heavenly pathway.  First the water of trial is ankle deep, then knee deep, and later loin deep with waters to swim in.  Swimming on top of trouble would never be possible in ankle deep waters.  How good that the Lord graduates our trials, which though severe all issue well.  –W.M. Wadsworth, D.D.

One man, upon entering the national scene, was an expert in experiencing defeat and failure.  Had it not been for his determination to serve his fellow countrymen and his God, history would not have recorded him as one of the greatest American presidents.  His failures were his victories.

Abraham Lincoln met his first political failure when he lost the seat in the Illinois Legislature.  Friends persuaded him to venture into business.  Failing at this, he spent nearly twenty years paying off debts.  His next failure was the loss of the young woman he was to marry.  He later married a woman who proved to be a “thorn in his side”- another failure for happiness. 

Congress was his second political goal.  Not only did he miss it, but the United States Land Office, and the United States senate both were claimed by opponents.  Most men would lose their courage after so many defeats.  But. Mr. Lincoln pursued even higher attainments.  He believed he could gain the Vice Presidency in 1856.  Failing to take the office, he tried once more in 1858 and lost to Douglas.

One failure after another-severe and disastrous failures.  Who has not heard of Abraham Lincoln?  Yet he is a man not known for his failures!  –M. Taylor

 “In all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.” (Romans 8:37)

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JEREMY TURNS 25!!

As of Friday, February 9, we are officially parents of a 25-year old young man.  Our dear son, Jeremy added another year to his life here on planet Earth.  It’s hard to believe we have a son who is a quarter of a century old!  We’re not even 50 yet.  But we started young as parents. I was almost 22, and Mike was almost 23 when Jeremy made his grand entrance.  As parents, I have to say that we are very proud of Jeremy.  Proud of the way he is living his life as a young man of integrity.  Jeremy has been teaching Sunday school now for over a year.  And the kids love him.  He also helps with operating the sound system and multi-media program at our church. And Jeremy has been a big encouragement to his friends when they’ve needed uplifting.  But most of all, we just love Jeremy for who he is and the love he has for God.  He can relate to just about any age group.  He’s comfortable with who he is and does not to my knowledge, wear a façade.  He’s quiet sometimes, but still waters run deep.  He’s also sensitive and tender hearted.  Oh, we could go on about our boy!  No, he’s not perfect.  We still have to get onto him about cleaning his room.  But we all have our flaws.  God’s still working on each of us.

Jeremy does not like to be fussed over, so we had a low-key birthday celebration at our home that night with the Connells and Jer’s two friends Cliff and JJ. Afterwards, he, Cliff and JJ went down to the church to do some jamming.  Cliff plays keyboard, JJ plays drums, and Jeremy has a saxophone.   Here are some pictures of the event.

 

 

jer-b-day.jpg              jer-b-day-cake.jpg                                            

 

 

3-amigos.jpg            3-amigos-2.jpg

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Love at First Sight?

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In a recent post, I had reiterated the true story of how Mike and I met 32 years ago when we were teenagers.  I ran across these pictures of us above that were taken about a year after we had met in 1975.  Mike still staunchly claims to this day that when he first laid his eyes on me, it was love at first sight.  For me, however, it took awhile before I even admitted that I was in love.  Coming from a broken family (my dad and mom split up when I was 10), I suppose that event affected my views on love.  But eventually I did grow to love Mike very much, and today, next to Jesus, he is the love of my life. 

The question I would like to pose to my dear readers is, do you believe in love at first sight?  I would have to say that to a certain extent, I do believe in it.  When our son Jeremy was born, the minute the doctor placed him on my chest, and he opened just one of his newborn eyes and peered at his new mommy, my heart was totally lost to him.  That was love at first sight for me!  But I carried Jeremy for 9 months, so I think there was already a bond there.   That was more of a maternal love at first sight.  But what I’m referring to by “love at first sight”, is when you first met your future mate.  Was it love at first sight?  Is there such a thing?

I welcome your comments.

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The  following article was taken from the San Francisco Chronicle, dated January 27, 2007. I found it to be quite fascinating.  All the trees in the lower part of the picture grew up under the shadow of a rock.  This provided them with shelter, protection and even more nutrients than if they had grown up alone.  I can see a perfect correlation between this and our walk with God.  Jesus is our ROCK.  And if we stay close to the ROCK, we will grow and flourish, just as these trees have. 

Moss grows on the north sides of trees. Everyone who sets foot beyond a trailhead knows that. But there’s more to that ecological truism than providing two-footed adventurers with an organic compass. There is no place where this north-side microecology is more intriguingly displayed than in Yellowstone’s “buddy” rocks. In the northern part of the park, away from the geysers and bubbling mud pots that gather the big crowds, there is a boulder-strewn bench above the Yellowstone River. Some of the rocks there are the size of the motor homes cruising by, but most are between wolf and bison size and have a Douglas fir tucked up beside them so close that the tree seems to have an embracing branch around the rock. To a geologist, these rocks say the valley was recently, as geologists measure time, visited by a glacier. With all the volcanic action in Yellowstone, the park’s glacial history doesn’t get much notice, but not long ago the area we now call a national park was covered by an ice shield several thousand feet thick. When the ice finally melted and retreated back to the Beartooth Mountains, it left the rocks behind. Technically, the boulders are called glacial erratics. This is debris that fell into the slooow-moving ice in one place, only to be deposited in another place when the ice melted. The ice retreated from this area 13,000 years ago. The trees that grow in the northwest shadows of these rocks know and care nothing of glaciers, though. They “know” only survival, and here survival is chancy at best. The plateau is exposed, windy and dry. Much of Yellowstone’s north country is sage grassland just like it. Were it not for the shelter of the rocks, there would be no trees here at all. The boulder field is above 7,000 feet. At that altitude the atmosphere is less dense and doesn’t filter sunlight well. Exposed tiny tree shoots can be burned and dried easily in summer and torn by wind-rocketed ice crystals in winter before they can spread their limbs. But these trees have big buddies that stand up to the wind and sun for them. Life-giving moisture, precious and spare in the Rockies, is more abundant in the shade of the rocks. Exposed big rocks also tend to absorb and hold heat better than does open ground. This leaves the ground at their bases ice-free longer than open ground. Just as sand accumulates in river eddies, bits of plant and animal matter accumulate in the lee of the rocks and provide vital nutrients to seedlings setting down roots. So seeds have a better chance of germinating and surviving their first vulnerable years if they fall on the northern side of one of the buddy rocks. Douglas fir seeds, smaller than a grain of rice, have sails on them that catch the wind. Wind currents speed up as they rush over the leading edge of a rock but slow again in the rock’s lee. Simple physics, really, but a reality that increases the chances of a fir seed landing in the haven of a buddy rock. The trees here do not grow quickly. Some have been buddied up as you see them for a hundred years or more. In that time they have seen many bison and elk pass. The relationship between the park’s large mammals and trees is far from benign. In some parts of the park, the animals are as dangerous as fire or insects. Elk and bison are tree rubbers. Male elk scrape the velvet from their antlers and sharpen the tines by rubbing them against rocks and trees, most often removing the tree’s bark with the velvet. Bison scratch off their summer and winter fur each season by rubbing against whatever is handy, usually trees. But, for reasons no one has been able to sort out, Yellowstone’s buddy trees show no signs of having been victimized by elk or bison. Somehow, big brother rock has protected them from the beasts as well as the weather. Look closely at the photograph above. Every tree you see there has a buddy. Even the protoforest in the background is sheltered by the hill. Yet as obvious and intriguing as the field of buddy rocks is, millions of park visitors pass it every year without noticing. It’s like the way moss grows on trees. We can know and not notice. Freelance writer “Digger” Jerry George sends his journal “letters” home to the Bay Area from Yellowstone National Park — or wherever he happens to be observing nature. E-mail him at home@sfchronicle.com.   

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karebub-yosemite-june2006.jpgFebruary 2 is a very special day to Mike and me.  No, it’s not because it’s Groundhog Day, and by the way, looks like spring is going to come early this year. Yippee!  No, the reason we deem this a special day is because 32 years ago on this day, we met!  At the tender ages of 14 and 15, our story begins.   This is how it happened: My cousins invited my sister Carol, brother Tom and I to go to the local roller rink to skate.  It was a Sunday night, and the skating session was from 2-5pm.  I had not been skating in a long time, so when I made it out on the rink, I was wobbly at best!  About two hours or so into it, the referees called for all the girls to gather on one end of the rink and all the guys on the other end.  This session was called “multiplying couples”, and the way it worked was that someone would ask someone else to skate.  When the referee blew his whistle, the couple had to break up and each had to go ask someone else to skate; hence the term, multiplying couples.  Unbeknownst to me, Mike had been following me around the rink for the past two hours.  He was smitten, but too chicken to ask me to skate.  When the multiplying couples session started, before he could go ask me to skate, another girl asked him.  He figured this would be his chance to get out there in the rink and hoped that the referee would blow his whistle soon so he could come ask me to skate.  After eons, the whistle blew, and Mike made his move to come ask me.  However, the girl would not let go of his hand.  After several seconds, he made it clear that it was time to split up.  Then he made a beeline for me.  I had no idea any of this was going on at the time.  I was just a shy, skinny girl who did not think any boy would ever take an interest in me.  I was hiding behind a group of girls when Mike skated up and said, “Would you like to skate”?  All of a sudden the crowd parted and there I was facing Mike.  “Who me”, I asked.  “Yes”, he said.  And that was the start of our 32-year relationship.  As he literally dragged me around the rink while I tripped and stumbled, I thought he would never want to skate with or see me again.  I was such a klutz.  But he came back to the rink the next weekend, and amazingly, so did I.  It was a miracle though that I even made it.  I was flat broke.  I had to beg my younger siblings to borrow money to be able to go.   Two days later, my grandparents were over at our home with us celebrating my soon-to-be 15th birthday.  In the midst of the celebration, a knock sounded on the front door.  Mom went to answer it, followed by my 5 other siblings.  Surprise!  It was Mike!  How did he know where I lived?  That in itself, is a miracle.  I had never given Mike my address.  He knew what city I lived in, but that was it.   And it was not a small town either.  There were about 20,000 in population.  Mike lived five miles from me, and in the dead of winter, he rode his 10-speed bike to my city. First he went to my high school, which was about six blocks from my home.  When he couldn’t find me there, he determined that he was going to find me if he had to knock on every door in the town I lived.  And he was going to start with the very next street he passed, which just “happened” to be the street I lived on.   He would ask the first person he saw if they knew a “Karen”.  He didn’t even know my last name.  The first person he encountered happened to be my cousin Lori.  Lori immediately recognized Mike from the roller rink and showed him where I lived.  Now some may call that a coincidence, but I call that Divine intervention.  And here we are 32 years later.  Mike told me the other night that he would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  And you know what, I would too!  Groundhog or no groundhog!

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