Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reporting a Problem

  Just a quick note to those who have commented on my recent posts: I am suffering from an error with a very long and numerical name which prohibits me from publishing comments. I hope to get the situation fixed soon, but until then, do not be upset if you do not see your comments! I want them published because I like the comments and their authors. So, we shall see what happens...

-From a technically challenged blogger

Monday, July 5, 2010

  July 5th is a federal holiday. Most people think it is to celebrate our country's independence, but I know the real reason: today is my wonderful father's birthday! Yes, you read me correctly -all those fireworks are just commemorating the birth of the best father. Alright, well, the Declaration of Independence may have influenced the decision a bit, but my case still stands, right? 
  In all gravity, though, I wanted to post a little something about my father.  But first, we are playing Shanghai. I will be back.

   I am back. And, if any of you wonders, I lost -terribly. Anyway, about Daddy dear. As I thought about him this morning, Ephesians 6 came to mind. 

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

  Papa is an ever patient father, disciplining and instructing my brother and I in the word. When I read the command, "Do not provoke your children to anger..." I think of consistency. An inconsistent parent is very, very provoking. I cannot complain of that when it comes to Daddy. He consistently brings us up in the way of the Lord, consistently exhorts us, consistently romps with us, consistently loves us. 
  Yet the rest of Ephesians 6 applies to him as well. Verse ten directs us to be strong in the Lord, for our battle is a spiritual one. In Daddy, I have seen a strength which can only find its source in God. He has been a spiritual rock for our family, never losing sight of God's sovereignty in every situation. The chapter continues to describe the armor of God. The belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness are mentioned first. While no one is perfect, Daddy speaks truth. Words of wisdom flow from his mouth and bear upon the given circumstance. Truth does not stop on his lips, however, but runs into his actions, too. Daddy sincerely strives for righteousness, giving up his life for God's will and conforming his heart to God's. He preaches the gospel of peace with the shield of an unwavering faith in his hands. Because of Daddy, I understand why Paul used salvation as the helmet. That salvation marks Daddy's mind and thoughts, as well as protects it. Yet what strikes me most powerfully is the way Daddy uses the sword, the Word of God. He lives by it, proclaims it, and models it. I have seen Scripture upheld and affirmed in my home and, by God's grace working through Daddy, the mystery of the gospel has been unlocked for me. My Heavenly Father was so kind in giving me my earthly one. I love you, Daddy, and happy birthday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And That's the Last of 'Em

   Hello again, all (yes, to you, my lovely nine followers)! I just returned from my last graduation ceremony -the last commencement address- of this school year. I have been to four ceremonies in as many weeks, successively. Some people may look on that as a bore, but I rather enjoyed it. After all, I gleaned much from the four different perspectives on what one ought to do or be after high school. It was like being admonished four times in a row! So I thought I would give a little summary of what I learned during the various speeches this past month, and let you in on what happened at my graduation, as well as a few pictures!

   The first ceremony in the graduation line-up was my own. It was a fun, encouraging time and a great way to begin life as a (oh, my!) graduate. Thanks to everyone who put it together. When my family arrived, there was a place for everything and everything was in its place -or shortly achieving that goal. We just waltzed in and blindly sailed through it all! As I was arranging the food for the reception on the many platters we had brought, the fact that I was graduating from years of school and a schedule that would be no more -the idea that after this point in most people's lives, they are considered adults and up-and-leave to 'their own' lives- had definitely not registered. I was just arranging food, which, as you might realize by now, is not anything new for me. You would think that, at least,  as I donned my sky blue robe and pinned on my hat and tassel, I would have realized the 'significance' of what was happening. Yeah right. I was simply putting on blue, which, as those of you who know me well, is a part of my almost daily routine. Soon enough, I found myself, with the other three graduates, standing single file straining for that first line of Pomp and Circumstance. Surely, surely then I must have seen that The Day had come and I was now....graduating. Huh uh. Not a chance. I was merely listening to pretty music (thanks, Groves) while strolling down a lane, which, as not many know, I do all the time. Then came the songs, the prayers, the speech (oh, yeah....that is what I am writing about...), the tears, and finally, the diploma. And as my wonderful Daddy raised his arm and handed me that diploma tied up in the nice ribbon it....still had not sunk in. Yeah, anticlimactic, I know. It still has not sunk in. I do not feel like a graduate. In fact, I feel more like a child than ever!
   And that is the one thing on which I would like to comment before I get into the commencement addresses: one day does not make much of a difference. One episode or event does not suddenly change you into whatever you thought you would be. Sure, I had a birthday. Sure, I graduated. Did people expect for me to come out any differently than when I went in? Was I supposed to feel free and independent the moment I tossed my cap? Did the act of receiving a diploma make me a better and more mature person? I am having to say not really. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating the abolition of all ceremonies, birthdays, and anniversaries. I love those things. I am just pointing out that one cannot rely on or look to that One Event and think I will be this by that day. You fill in your this and that. See, change comes from the inside, not the outside. Or, true change cannot be externally imposed upon you, contrary to what the mentality of Since I am graduated, I am now this says. True change, or growth, is wrought from the inside out, not the outside in. How do I look at these Events, then? Well, I see them as opportunities, just like any day is an opportunity. Lord, what can you teach me -how can you change me- through this (fill in the blank)? When questioned on how he felt on his birthday, my grandpa said, "I am a day older than yesterday and a day younger than tomorrow." I think I will be pleased when I can lay my head down on the pillow and feel a day older than yesterday and a day younger than tomorrow, too. That can only happen if I seize the opportunities God has given me to learn more about Him and to become more like Him. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Right...my blog title. Of course. So, that is what I did with the commencement addresses, which were about:

  The commencement speech at my graduation was given by someone whom I have respected for years. I was really thrilled when I saw he would be the one doing the "commencing." He used a military analogy to show the importance of being faithful -always. His text was James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." God is the Unchanging One from whom all good gifts proceed, and who is reflected by the manifestations of those gifts in the present darkness of this world. Faithfulness, then, is an important and serious reflection of God's light here on earth. 

Hehe. The graduate who didn't know she was...Thanks for the pictures, Mrs. Scott!!!

Next Saturday, I attended the second graduation. It was also wonderful. Funny, I sat there during the ceremony thinking When I graduate, I am going to use this piece and do this and say that. It was only at the end of the slideshow that I realized I had already graduated! Anyway, the address was given by a young man who did a great job. His three main exhortations to the graduates were the following: 1) Surround yourselves with good, living examples: people who would point you to God and direct you in His ways (am I right about this one? This is from the top of my head memory, which has been shutting down as of late). 2) Immerse yourself in good books. Books of all sorts. LEARN! I loved that point... and 3) Take note and apply the difference between biblical manhood and womanhood. Seek out what being a man in God is, or what a woman in God is. I was pleasantly surprised this issue was addressed at all. Most people are too scared to touch on the subject. And it needs to be addressed.

The following Saturday, I went to another graduation. I am a little hazy on this one. I know it was very personal and beneficial...that short term memory loss is kicking in. I do remember that the father spoke on biblical womanhood (yeah!), particularly about Eve. Did you know the mother of the human race is mentioned by name only four times in the Bible??? 'Tis true! I was reminded of the beauty of being the woman God wants me to be. It was a timely and helpful message because it can be difficult being an 'odd-ball' in this world of reversed values and trends and what-not. I know many of you know what I am talking about. 

And last but not least, yesterday. Wowsers. A whirlwind indeed. The speaker was Ken Ham. He did, of course, a marvelous job. Mr. Ham gave the graduates a heartening, cheery thought. In Christ, we have a purpose. There is a path, a task, a race, after high school. It ought to direct our lives. And it is something that others cannot understand, something they will never know. We have to be well-diggers. That is our purpose. "Go out and be well-diggers" was the last thing he told the graduates. Well-diggers? Yes, well-diggers. We have to water the earth with the gospel of Christ -the water that leaves one satisfied forever. God wants us to irrigate this parched land with His refreshing message. We can do this by being who He created us to be, by doing what He wants us to do -by living for Him. 

So, I did not find it boring at all! Hope you did not either.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm in the Kitchen, Part II

  Yes, I realize there is no 'Part I' to this post, but no matter. The nine followers of this chronicle know about what I am writing.
  Directly after safely tucking away my munchkin tarts into the freezer, I began whipping up the dough for a billion almond thumbprint cookies. I do not use the word 'whipping' lightly. It was a hot morning and I had a stirring sermon blasting through the loudspeakers -perhaps that explains my energy. Seriously, there was dough everywhere! On the toaster, blender, counter, and that small kitchen appliance which no one can really name. Then I noticed my hand mixer was on high with the turbo power switched on. Oh. I did not really miss the dough, however, and continued whipping. The procedure is simple. Dry ingredients sifted in a bowl, cut in butter, whisk eggs separately and add bit by bit to crumbled dry mix (along with almond extract), and form into round little balls with a cute thumbprint in the middle. Layer and freeze. Tada! I felt good. I still had not sat down to lunch and I had already baked 300 items! The tarts were for graduation and the cookies for another event looming after graduation. Then the sermon ended and I checked the time. So, it was not eleven o'clock, after all, but two thirty. Hmmm, lunch.
 The first layer of Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie Dough.

The fruit of my labor that morning. It might not look like much, but there are 150 of each, tart and cookie, in those things.

  After the short respite, I was at it again. This time, I was making pastelitos (also for graduation). The first thing to do is to make the dough. Oh, yes. Pastelitos are like the Dominican versions of turnovers. They can be sweet or savoury, usually stuffed with either cheese and jam or picadillo, our ground beef filling. Anyway, to the dough. My lovely Tia Mema and cousin Edlin sent me the recipe via email the evening previous, and I was ready to go. The last time I had made this was with my aunt, on a cold night, wither her strong arms, and my....non-knowledge. This time, I was by myself, on a hot afternoon, with let's-not-talk-about-it arms, and my....non-knowledge. But I was in a crazy mood and, as mentioned above, I was ready to go.
  To make a long story short, flour, eggs, butter, salt, and baking soda can be turned into a lot of things, and, at the moment, it was pastelito dough. After some fine kneading skills on the part of yours truly, and the help of the sultry day, I had a large ball of smooth, shiny, and eeelastic dough. Yay!!! I was thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, I continued right on to making the filling. With the camera.

My ingredients.

I had industriously chopped up the onions and garlic the night before so I would not be crying all over the camera. I know, it looks like a lot of ingredients, but...well...okay, it is a lot. The first thing to do is to saute the veggies in a non-stick skillet. Here I made my first mistake. I chose my handy-dandy, throw-in-what-you-want-and-it-will-fit wok. Of course, everyone knows that to saute aromatics and seasonings -to get that nice, caramelized colour and flavour- you need space. Well, the first thing about this wok is that it does not have space. A small bottom gradually leading to an ever-widening top. Sure, it may have capacity, but not space. So, I ended up with vegetables which became transparent and watery, not browned and plump. Note:
Into the pot you go, dearies! Then...
Translucent. Colourless. Insipid. Alright, maybe I am exaggerating.

  Thankfully, I was still in a good mood. Whatever. Time to chuck in the ground beef! Oh, yeah...It is still partially frozen. Again, whatever. In you go! (Warning: pics of raw animal ahead.)
   After a few minutes of faithful mashing, stirring, grunting, and whatever else came to my mind to do, I got browned and seasoned ground beef. It even smelled like my aunt's did!
  Then I added the chopped olives and raisins....
  And, lastly, the fresh herbs found their way into the simmering pot of who-knows-what.
I was done! After three different types of dough and five pounds of beef filling, I was through. I fridged the filling, froze the dough, and...faced the kitchen sink. That victory won, I settled into the evening. And completely blank out on what happened after that. 

  There. That was my big day in the kitchen. I had pictures of it, so I decided to blog about it. I am trying to catch up with everything that has happened and then start blogging about whatever suits my fancy. At the moment, what suits my fancy is food. Who knows? Next month it may be knitting. Just kidding. Can you imagine me writing posts as long as these on knitting patterns??? Oh, me. 
  Well, God bless 'til next time!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Best?

  I found this while searching for something completely different on the internet, yet it caught my eye. Why? Well, read it again and think about it. Then note from whom the quote comes. At first glance, I thought this was simply a funny, albeit egocentric, phrase written in an elaborate font, but after staring at the pretty swirls for a bit, and noticing the Oscar Wilde in the corner, two thoughts hit me like a ton of bricks. First, Oscar Wilde certainly did not have the best and was never satisfied. Second, I realized he was right! He had the simplest of tastes - the Best.
  Now, for all of you who are unsure of who Oscar Wilde is, he wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He was also imprisoned for two years due to 'gross indecency'. On the surface, he had it all, fame, a family, he loved what he did, but everything fell short. His end was anything but glorious after having lived forty-six short years full of seeking the satisfaction of his 'simple tastes'.
  We could end up the same way. We have the same tastes. Sin entices us, and it is our nature to relent. Unfortunately, the allurements come, not only from sin, but also from things deemed 'good'. Spending time with friends is good, organizing an event is good, doing school is good, yet anything taken out of its proper sphere is bad. My mother says that the good is the enemy of the best. Yet, we are satisfied with something else, just as Oscar Wilde would have been, something simple in its unique and total ability to quench our souls. You have probably guessed where I am going with this. God alone can satisfy our hearts for He created us to delight in and worship Him. He is the true God worthy of praise, awe, and wonder. If we try to replace Him with anything else, the something else will fall short, and our end will be that of Oscar Wilde's. 
  And God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." - Exodus 20:1-3
  For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. - Psalm 86:10
  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. - Psalm 62:5
I think God is making a point. It would do us well to remember it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Honey, I'm Home! And in the Kitchen...

  And thus I emerge from another planet. Almost four months have flown -and I mean flown- by since my last post. The developments in Haiti have...developed. The house secured there has proved a blessing. It serves as the perfect sending base for supplies and medical aid. For the moment, Father has taken a break from his travels back and forth, but trips are on the horizon! He hopes to concentrate on discipling and training pastors on a personal level as we move into the next, long-term, stage of relief.
   This past week, Father started weekly training sessions with a group of pastors from the Dominican Republic over the wondrous Skype. This is so exciting for the family as it is something we have envisioned him doing for some time. Walking into Father's office that night to hand him his coffee, and looking into the computer screen to see a room in another country full of men eager to learn from the Word was definitely a happy moment. As always, prayers for this new step in ministry are greatly appreciated.
   In other news, these last few months have brought some hefty academic changes. The school year ended and, with it, classes I had grown to love. But I am so thankful they are done!!! And then, I graduated. That was only by God's grace, for sure. In March, I enrolled in College plus!, an accelerated online program, and began the interesting journey of earning a History/English double major. We shall see where He leads in this case. 

  This brings me to the point of this particular post. With the end of High School comes the beginning of summer -and a wacky schedule. Wacky in the sense of more free. What am I to do with all this time on my hands (alright, perhaps a tad tongue-in-cheek) other than tinker in the kitchen? You know, besides the reading and writing and cleaning and walking and reading. So, tinker I do. Lately, the tinkering has taken place in industrial amounts. Let me explain...
  It started with a bug -a baking bug. This turned into a tart. An innocent, six-serving tomato, basil, and mozzarella tart. It was apparently yummy and definitely fun to bake. What then proceeded is not my fault. See, this graduation was around the corner. We needed to bring food. And I wanted to make it. Hehe. I scavenged online, offline, below line, through line; you name it. But this tart firmly drifted, if there is such an action, in and out of my brain. And so it went. Soon I found myself baking...how many? Too many tarts.
  The recipe is simple. A pastry crust with some dried basil thrown in for good measure, getting hands dirty in dough, throwing whatever comes from the haphazard mixing into the fridge for an hour or so, and blind-baking the little crusts in muffin tins. At that point, you can freeze them, fridge them, or use them right away (note: I do not recommend eating them, but whatever you please). Whenever you feel like baking, chop up a bunch of tomatoes, pulse a few handfuls of fresh basil and a few cloves of garlic together, and mix some mayo with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, plus a pinch of pepper. Layer onto the tart the tomato, basil, and cheeses, respectively and pop the unsightly (I mean...creative) work of thy hands into the oven. Remove when cheese is golden-brown looking. That is it. It was fun, like I said, for me as well as for my family, who got to watch me fly about the kitchen from station to station -piling globs of white dairy something here onto aromatic green messes there, and turning red in the face from the scurrying and my ghastly hot oven. One of the best days of me life, I must say. Of course, I hired my brother to take pictures. Below are shots he managed to secure before the camera batteries died.

The boring stuff: flour, salt, baking soda...Oh, and another color! Basil!

Adding butter and clean, I promise, hands.

Whisking eggs, 'cause they are in everything.

These would be my little munchkins...

Pop! There the munchkins go. Hot. Oven. Poor things.

  A hundred plus of these tartlets later and the morning still had not let up. Neither had I! Unfortunately, the camera decided it needed a break, so we have no pictures of the finished product. Oh, well. This was just the start of my first long day in the kitchen, however. More remained to be done. But I am through typing for tonight and I highly doubt anyone wishes to continue reading my baking experiences for the moment. More tomorrow.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Report from Haiti III

I am again debriefed with more information about Haiti!
  At six on Monday morning, Daddy left Santo Domingo (capital of the Dominican Republic) with 25 other team members from churches around the DR and the United Sates. Due to protests along the way, they had to make a detour and drive through sugar cane fields. It was only after they received directions from some of the locals on how to drive through the cane maze that they safely crossed the border. They unloaded the supplies they brought with them and went to bed. The next morning, the medical teams went to two locations, one where the contacts were no good and a scuffle broke out (our guys are fine), and the other where the joy of the Lord and the willingness to serve is apparent. In the latter location, the Haitians definitely needed physical aid, but they were also concerned with the training of pastors for their churches. This is what these first trips are all about, weeding out the bad to help where it will truly be needed and appreciated.
  On Wednesday, Daddy and some of the men went to two villages in the earthquake's epicenter, Jacmel and Bainet, to distribute necessities to the people there. He writes the place is devastated. Many still need medical care and there were 300 people registered to see Dad for treatment. There was no medicine. The people, however, were so gracious and thankful for what the Lord had given them. I suppose we could learn some things from the Christians in Haiti.
  Thursday consisted of delivering more supplies, including 500 tents! As I mentioned before, tents are gold in Haiti. After distributing what they had, Daddy returned to the DR with one of the members of the team who, I think, was hurt, but I am not sure.
  One thing Daddy kept mentioning was the organization of this trip compared to the last one. The team he went with knew what to do and how to do it, they found a good central location from which to disperse the goods, and made contact with promising people to further gospel. We thank God for Dad's safe travels and fruitful trip. I will be posting some more information on how to help and, Lord willing, more details from the trip soon. Thank you all for your prayers and keeping up with the reports!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Conference

Good morning, all! I wanted to post a quick note before I head off to my wonderful Chemistry class.
Daddy is one of the speakers at the Love the Church Conference in December. Check it out!

More posts on Haiti are soon to come.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Report from Haiti II

Well, Daddy arrived safely in the Dominican Republic where he preached morning and night at two churches. He returned to Haiti yesterday with three medical teams, one of which he is a part. Thankfully, we were able to talk to him a few times before he left. He mentioned some things that might be helpful to those of us here who would like to lend aid to Haiti: 1) Tents are 'gold'. The living conditions of the dislocated families are horrendous! Some live on tarps spread on the ground, others in cardboard boxes, and others live in 'communal homes' which consist of four sticks and a tarp thrown across to protect from the sun. They do everything around their homes, and when I say everything, I mean everything. Daddy says tents would make the situation much better. We must keep in mind that Haiti's rainy season is coming upon us and many of the people have chosen to make their homes on the dry river beds due to the soft sand. This will not do! 2) Protein drinks. Rice will not nourish a body, just keep it alive. Things like Ensure, etc. would at least give them some nutrition without the need for refrigeration. Also, these shakes are individually sealed so there is no chance of contamination during the handling or cooking which is vital for such an unhygienic place.

Those are some of the more practical things we discussed, but I also asked him about the condition of the children in Haiti, particularly in reference to the thousands of orphans the country has. If any of you have seen Mr. Phillips posts on UNICEF's influences in Haiti, know what he says is right. Daddy saw it first-hand as well. Whenever Daddy asked anyone in Haiti about adoption, they shied away from the subject as if it was taboo, or they had no idea about the process altogether. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, UNICEF has a distinctly anti-American Adoption agenda and as they have significant sway in Haiti, their agenda is widespread. The ordeal with the ten American missionaries who were imprisoned was a joke. We all knew they were not sex-traffickers! But after that incident, Haitians and their foreign helpers alike avoid helping orphans leave Haiti, whether for medical treatment or adoption. Secondly, many in Haiti live of off the mercy-system. They have orphanages which bring in a good income. Losing the orphans would mean losing their livelihood. Despicable, I know, but it is the truth. Now, I realize there are good missionaries and good Haitians with a true desire to help, and help they do! But the reality remains that a fair number of orphan-care workers are not what they seem. That is why it is difficult to adopt! And why we who lend our aid must be cautious in how we do so.

I expect more updates to come along soon! Communication with Daddy while he is in Haiti is minimal, so it might not be for a while. In the meantime, please keep him and the other workers in your prayers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What God Says About Abortion

I found this on another girl's blog and it struck me with its unequivocal style. She got it from Focus on the Family, which is why I can post it here. It is long, but well worth it. Remember what we are fighting for!

What does God Say About Abortion?


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. Acts 17:26

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb; I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself. Isaiah 44:24

For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. Colossians 1:16

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8


Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? Job 31:15

Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with the skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. Job 10:8-12

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16


Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. Isaiah 49:1

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:3-4


The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 1 Samuel 2:6

And God spoke all these words:..."You shall not murder." Exodus 20:1, 13

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' Matthew 5:21

Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' " Matthew 19:19

If you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. Jeremiah 7:6-7

This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3

Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty. Exodus 23:7

And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting, I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. Genesis 9:5-6

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live... Deuteronomy 30:19


If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. Exodus 21:22-25

This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead..." Amos 1:13


Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16

"What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: 'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die." Ezekiel 18:2-4

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Ezekiel 18:20

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" Exodus 4:11

"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherd on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, 'What have you begotten?' or to his mother, 'What have you brought to birth?' This is what the Lord says - the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?" Isaiah 45:9-11

But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' Romans 9:20

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27


Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me. Ezekiel 18:4

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 1 Peter 2:16


Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all righteousness. 1 John 1:9

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25


Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person. Deuteronomy 27:25

But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion. Jeremiah 22:17

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9


And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. Genesis 9:5-6

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? Proverbs 24:11-12

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' " Matthew 25:34-40

And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:10

Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow. Deuteronomy 27:19

Is not your wickedness great? Are not your sins endless? You demanded security from your brothers for no reason; you stripped men of their clothing, leaving them naked. You gave no water to the weary and you withheld food from the hungry, though you were a powerful man, owning land - an honored man, living on it. And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless. Job 22:5-9

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. Psalm 146:9

The Lord tears down the proud man's house but he keeps the widow's boundaries intact. Proverbs 15:25

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:17

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 1 Timothy 5:3

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27


And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity for him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:13-14

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:16-17

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Romans 12:10-17

God-given principles for family life will never go out of date.
(From Focus on the Family)


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Report from Haiti I

Last night, as the olympians were mourning the loss of a Georgian sledder and preparing for their grand entry in the Vancouver stadium, I was talking with my Dad. He is in Haiti right now and, of course, I miss him. After hearing some of what he has gone through, however, my ache seems small and insignificant. One could see in his face that what is being said on the news about Haiti does not begin to describe the true horrors people there have to face every day.
  Some things he told us:

The mentality there is so different from our American paradigm. They live in a give-me culture and it is hard for them to do something. Instead, thievery and deception reign on the streets, counteracting what help is given.

The amount of support from foreign nations is enormous! Daddy said the roads into Haiti are lined for miles with containers of supplies from the DR. Praise God!

Unfortunately, organization is not as prevalent as supplies. Food is rotting in those containers simply because of a lack of distribution! It seems that forethought is also lacking. For example, Daddy described families who were given 100 pound bags of rice. Naturally, they could not carry them anywhere, much less eat it all. Daddy's team distributes rice in 10 pound bags.

As the media has so strikingly captured, the streets are lined with people. It take hours for anyone to mobilize just because of how full everything is.

Oh, before I move onto other aspects of his trip, I must mention this. The buildings. This shows the different mentalities I was talking about. Four and five-story buildings are supported by beams only two inches thick. Structures which have not collapsed but are visibly cracked, ready to crumble at the slightest breeze, are given the royal treatment of a layer of plaster and then a coat of paint. Problem solved! No wonder mayhem is the key word over there. 

Daddy is serving in Haiti as a pastor and medical doctor. Apparently, the 'emergency' phase of the disaster is slowly flowing into an after-shock phase. The emergency patients have mostly either died  or been able to find medical assistance. Out of the forty-some patients Daddy treated in one day, most had yeast infections or anxiety symptoms. They came in complaining of racing hearts, tight muscles, and pounding headaches. 'When did this start?' Dad would ask. 'After the earthquake,' was the unanimous reply.

However, there are still horrors. The collapsed buildings full of the dead are only now being 'taken care of''. This means some men dump chemicals through the roof and then set the place on fire. A tragic, smelly business.
  One day, a little boy was brought into the clinic where Daddy works. At least, he thinks it is a boy. Only about two months old. Anyway, he came in more dead than alive, full of bruises, broken ribs, scratches everywhere, and eyes, eyes so vacant and lifeless. No, this pitiful mess called a baby was not the result of tumbling buildings, but of a mother gone mad. After the earthquake, she went insane and beat up the child whenever he whimpered. Her milk ran out after the terror and her boy starved. Finally, the grandmother took the baby, without the mother's knowledge, to the clinic at which Daddy works. The sight of that darling bundle affected the whole team. It was...dreadful. Daddy says there is not much hope for this little one. At an ICU, maybe, but we are in Haiti, not the United Sates.

There are so many stories like this one! Continue to pray for those in Haiti whose lives have been devastated, for the workers who see things so ghastly every day and yet have to continue pouring themselves out to those who need everything, and for the Christians. Here is where our light should shine the brightest, in the Heart of Darkness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A New Discovery

Good morning, ladies!
Today I was introduced to a website run by two Christian young women, Breezy and Emily Brookshire. Besides having a blog, they publish darling sets of paper dolls. Each doll is fashioned after a great Christian woman in history like Abigail Adams, Idelette Calvin, and Katie Luther, etc. What a wonderful to a little girl you know or stow-away for your hope chest! It turns out that, for the moment, the proceeds of their enterprise will go to Rescue Haiti's Children. I think it is a worthwhile visit, if any are interested. 
Oh, and I heard about this on Jasmine's blog. She always has something interesting to share!

Have a lovely day!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Bit of Civil War on a Snowy Afternoon

After a long blogging 'vacation', I have returned to post a paper I wrote about the War Between the States. Now, I would be the last to call myself an expert on this subject, but I found the information so interesting I just had to blog about it! I also realize the intricacies of the War Between the States are much more complex than below stated, yet, from what I found, it is an adequate summation. Please comment with any other tidbits you have to offer. I am here to learn!

    “Causes and Effects of the War Between the States”

    At 4:30 am on the twelfth of April in 1861, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, beginning the most devastating war in American history. It turned brother against brother, father against son, and friend against friend. A much debated trail of colliding interests led to the conflict and a much debated stream of new thought flowed as a result. People still question if the causes of the War truly demanded such a struggle and whether the outcome was worth the fight. After investigating the facts, each person will draw conclusions based on their worldview.
    The rumblings of civil warfare echo back to the formation of the Constitution. It was a document of compromise between Federalists and Antifederalists which left both parties barely placated. Indeed, the Northern army was known as the Federal Army while Southerners called themselves Confederates, recalling the Articles of Confederation. Antifederalists had always been wary of big government, and as the United States matured, they only grew more worried by the federal power’s continual trampling of state power. When Thomas Jefferson signed the Louisiana Purchase, the Antifederalists, mostly Southerners, believed he crossed the boundaries outlined in the Constitution, sucking life out of the states and into the central government. In the 1816 case of Martin v. Hunter’s Lesee, which was a struggle over some Virginian land, the judicial branch showed its power supreme to state power. What is more, the South was steadily losing any say in the House of Representatives as the North and West grew in population by leaps and bounds. In all three arms of the government, then, danger signals flashed for state’s rights. Still, the South touted the Tenth Amendment which declares, “ The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people". On the other hand, the North and West increased in population and industry. They desired the aid of a strong federal government in dealing with commerce and immigration. For example, the West pushed for a centralized bank to overcome inflation while the North needed Washington to encourage the South to buy from their ever-increasing stock of goods. Obviously, the regions’ interests differed at best.
    By 1816, Southern agriculture was booming. The North looked at their full warehouses and then eyed the South’s full purse. It had found a great market in its own country! Unfortunately, Southerners were not as enthusiastic. They could buy the same things from foreigners at a much better price. Then, Northerners encouraged the government to do something many believed tyrannical. They imposed tariffs on those imported goods in hopes of encouraging the South to buy Northern merchandise. Unlike the fund-raising tariffs previously enacted, these protectionist tariffs, according to some, went against the Constitution. Of course, the North saw this as merely a smart financial move, but it angered their Southern brothers. The tariffs gradually became more demanding until 1828 when South Carolina could take no more. The South Carolinian John C. Calhoun, who happened to be the Vice President, argued that a state had the right to overturn, or nullify, any federal law it deemed unconstitutional. The South Carolina Exposition and Protest explains the difference between the two types of tariffs and between government and sovereignty, the balance of state and governmental powers delineated in the Constitution, as well as describes the South as “the serfs of the system, out of whose labor is raised, not only the money paid into the Treasury, but the funds out of which are drawn the rich rewards of the manufacturer and his associates in interest.” That did not go over very well so Calhoun encouraged secession. President Andrew Jackson retaliated by sending troops to Charleston. This is known as the Nullification Crisis and was resolved only when the master of compromise, Henry Clay, drew up the Compromise Tariff which lightened the tariffs over a course of ten years. But this was a thin blanket to hide an ugly monster.
    Meanwhile, the United States was growing and it seemed every new square mile widened the gap between North and South. The Spanish American War concluded with the purchase of Texas in 1845. Southerners were concerned that, if the territory entered as a state which outlawed slavery, their already decreasing voice in Congress would grow even fainter. Likewise, California proved an important battleground for the North and South. When it entered the Union as a slavery-free state under the Compromise of 1850, Southerners felt like they had been dealt a death blow because California disrupted the balance between free and slave states in favor of free states. The Compromise of 1850 also divided the territory of Texas, excluding Texas itself, into states. However, it let those states decide whether they would enter as free or slave states under the concept of ‘popular sovereignty’. Stephen A. Douglas notoriously propagated popular sovereignty in Kansas. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which everyone assumed would welcome Kansas as a slave state and Nebraska as a free state, surprisingly let Kansas decide which way it would go. It resulted in bloody fights over slavery and abolition which were given the nickname ‘Bleeding Kansas’.
    It was now apparent that slavery was a major issue. The abolition movement sprouted in the North around the 1830s but had not gained much ground because the lower class saw freed slaves as competition to much needed jobs and the Southerners’ basis of economic success was the slave trade. Nevertheless, abolitionists moved forward. James Birney had run for president as an abolitionist in 1840 and lost with 6000 votes, but when he ran again in 1844, he drew in 80,000 votes. Many speculate that the movement grew due to the Second Great Awakening. Be that as it may, many people were angered when, in 1845, Texas entered as a slave state. Northerners in Congress drew up the Wilmot Proviso between 1846 and 1847 in an attempt to make all territories gained from the Spanish American War free states, alienating the South even further. It was not a success. One aspect of the Compromise of 1850 pleased abolitionist by abolishing the negro slave-trade in Washington, D.C., the trade’s most active market. The Compromise equally humored the South by invigorating the Fugitive Slave Act which commanded all runaway slaves had to be returned to their masters. From this sprung the legendary Underground Railroad. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin brilliantly brought the ugliness of slavery to America’s home and hearth, furthering the abolitionist cause and fueling bitterness between the sides. The Dred Scot decision in 1857 claiming a black man who had moved to the north was still a slave disgusted the North and tried their patience sorely. However, it was Bleeding Kansas that unleashed everybody’s anger. John Brown, who led the anti-slavery side in the gruesome wars in Kansas, gathered 21 men, some black, some white, to attack the United States Armory and Arsenal in Harper’s Ferry. Colonel Robert E. Lee put down the raid and John Brown was tried and executed, but the Southerner’s grew suspicious. When Abraham Lincoln won the presidency in 1860, they assumed he was an abolitionist because he ran for the Republican party, a new party formed from the remains of the Whig party and many abolitionists. This was more than they could take and Fort Sumter was fired upon, commencing the War Between the States.
    The results of the tragic feud between two sides who could not both get their way are many and varied. One thing introduced in the War Between the States was a federal income tax. It was raised to fund the war, taxing people who earned $600 or more a year. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue also made his first appearance. In 1872, the tax was repealed, only to be reinstated in 1894. However, the next year, the Supreme Court deemed the tax unconstitutional. The judges must have changed because in 1913, the income tax was added as the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution. The tax reflects the growth of the national government. Once the War Between the States was won by the Federals, the checks and balances set up by the Constitution between state power and national power was gone. The next amendment, the seventeenth, changes the way senators are elected. Instead of the state legislature electing its two senators, the vote now goes to the people. Again, the swing from state power to national power appears. Whether that is good or bad is the center of heated discussions today. Either way, the United States certainly seems more united since the war. There are still special interests from state to state, but a peculiar camaraderie exists in this country which is truly amazing. The War Between the States helped bring peace between the states. So, was the War worth it? Were the causes legitimate? That is left for the reader to decide.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Name's the Thing

    Welcome to the first post of my blog, Becoming A Fair Lady! What first attracts me to a blog, book, or anything else is the title. If an article's title is too mawkish and romantic, I quickly turn the page. For some people, the deciding factor is whether it sounds boring or adventuresome. Whatever the title might be, there is always a reason behind the name. 'Gospel' means good news and was used in the Roman Empire to signify all the acts and proclamations of the person in question. Quite fittingly, then, the word 'gospel' was chosen as the name for the good news of what Christ has done for us. I go through all this to show that headlines have meaning. So does the name of my blog.

    As Mother and I were setting up this web-page, Mr. Blogspot said, "Please fill in the blanks: Name of blog is_______". Hmmm, had not thought of that yet...We sat for a few moments, coming up with 'Jennifer this', 'Jenny that', and maybe 'Jenn's something or other'. In short, nothing particularly successful. Then I remembered my name meant Gentle Spirit or Fair Lady. Perhaps we were getting somewhere! I then looked up 'Fair' and 'Lady' in Webster's 1828 Dictionary. These are a sampling of the results.

2. Beautiful; handsome; properly, having a handsome face.
3. Pleasing to the eye; handsome or beautiful in general.
4. Clear; pure; free from feculence or extraneous matter; as fair water.
6. Favorable; prosperous; blowing in a direction towards the place of destination; as a fair wind at sea.
9. Open; frank; honest; hence, equal; just; equitable.
10. Not effected by insidious or unlawful methods; not foul.
12. Honest; honorable; mild; opposed to insidious and compulsory; as, to accomplish a thing by fair means.
13. Frank; civil; pleasing; not harsh.
17. Free from stain or blemish; unspotted; untarnished; as a fair character or fame.

    1. A woman of distinction. Originally, the title of lady was given to the daughters of earls and others in high rank, but by custom, the title belongs to any woman of genteel education. 

    Well, that was a lot to take in! Talk about living up to a name. As with all other things, I looked at this with the eyes of a Christian. What is handsome, proper, and pleasing in the eye of God? What is beautiful to God? Matthew 17:5 says, "While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" So, Christ pleases God. I suppose I ought to look more like Him, then. Continuing along in the list of definitions, I find I must be pure, free from dirt and blemishes. This reminded me of sanctification, how Christ washes out every spot and wrinkle from His bride through His blood and the truth of His Word. Fair also signifies prosperity. While I do not have a golden touch and never will, it is my desire that, by following God's commandments for my life, I will help prosper those around me. Our last group under 'Fair' denotes a certain honesty and transparency. Oh, that I might not have anything to hide; that when God looks at me and sees everything about me, there would not be anything shameful!
   'Lady', too, has special meaning. A woman of distinction. What about a daughter of God? Thanks to God, I have been adopted into His family. It follows that I hold my head high and remember I have a dignity not my own, but bestowed upon me by the Creator of the universe.

    I believe all these qualities and strivings are not applicable simply to the 'Jennifers' in the world, but to all who are my sisters under the same Heavenly Father. And that is what my blog is about! Becoming A Fair Lady. Not all my posts will be about Bible verses or goals in life. I will probably post about cooking experiments (or fiascos), sewing projects, the latest book on my book list, and all the ways by which life flies by. Nevertheless, I always want to keep in mind my reason for living and can "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).

Until next time!