Sunday, November 20, 2005

He sighed.

Have you ever thought about these two little words found twice in the Bible: "He sighed"?

Mark 7:34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

Why did You sigh, Lord? You had just sent the demon from the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, who had reminded You that "even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs." You were about to transform the very life of one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, by opening his ears and loosing the impediment from his tongue. And You sighed.

Was it because of the fact that sin had marred the beauty and perfection of creation? You would never have had to put Your fingers in the ears of anyone to heal them, were it not for our first parents' eating the forbidden fruit in rebellion.

You sighed. Was it because You took him inside, away from the multitude, yet You knew that the more You would command the people to tell no one, the more they would proclaim it? Is it because we are so quick to disobey, to consider our own way to be the right way, even when You have commanded otherwise? Is it because we fallen creatures are so interested in the immediate - this temporal life with all its perks and pleasures - rather than the eternal? Did You sigh because You knew the people would focus on this miracle You had performed, proclaiming You to be the newest "star" in the culture of the day, with nary a thought regarding their fallen condition or the reality of the eternal?

They did not know, Lord. Is that why You sighed? They didn't understand that it was not the physical actions You performed by putting Your fingers into his ears, and touching his tongue with Your spit that healed him - it was Your word. You SAID, "Ephphtha, Be Opened". You spoke plainly. You commanded. They disregarded Your command.

No wonder You sighed.

You must sigh even today, when You see Your children going their own way and doing their own thing. You must sigh when You see us scurrying around, helter-skelter, rushing to accomplish much in things that are temporal, that will be burned up on the Last Day.

Forgive us when we do not listen to you.

Forgive us when we focus on things of this earth.

Forgive us when we rush to and fro, accomplishing much of what matters little.

Teach us Your way, O Lord. Teach us to pay attention to what YOU, Our Master, desires. Teach us that life is found in You, and You alone.

Help us, Lord. Do not give up on us. When You look at me, and sigh, let it be with the sigh of an ever-so-patient, gracious, and loving Parent towards a stumbling, faltering, wayward child. Have patience with me, O Lord. Correct me with kindness. Show me Your way. Direct my feet back on Your paths, and make my path straight.

Help me not to neglect Your word. Give me a desire to focus first on You, then on my husband and children. Give wisdom, Lord, to me. You promised to give it liberally, and I need it in abundance. Help me to order my day in such a way as to bring Your smile of approval on my feeble attempts to redeem the time You have given me. Let me feel Your presence. Let me walk as Your obedient servant, desiring only to please You.

I want to walk with You through the rest of my days, bearing fruit that will remain. I want to hear those precious words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Psalm 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

May it be, Lord. May it be.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6:19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

There's a little more of my heart in heaven now. At the beginning of the month, our precious grandson Jack was born too soon. Just yesterday, another precious grandbaby went straight from my daughter's womb, into the arms of Jesus.

I remember how excited we were to find out little by little that there were to be FOUR new babies joining the family in the spring. First, my nephew and his fiancee were having a baby in the first week of March, followed by three grandchildren coming in quick succession through March and April. In 1999, we rejoiced to have four little boys join the family over a 9 month period, but this was to be in SIX WEEKS!! We were so very thrilled, looking forward to seeing all of these treasures as they grew and learned and explored this wonderful world!

Sadly, it was not to be. First, Heather began cramping and labouring far too soon. Baby Jack was born at home. He was beautiful - perfectly formed, yet tiny enough to fit into the palm of a hand. Collar bones, fingers, toes, button nose, rosebud mouth. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my soul knows right well. Our hearts were lifted to heaven, and we bowed to the will of our Father, Who knows best.

I changed my signature line to reflect that we were expecting our 10th and 11th longer would we await the 12th.

Then, Adeena, my eldest daughter, began spotting. She knew something was wrong; in fact, had known for some time. Never underestimate the intuition of a woman who is pregnant. An ultrasound indicated the baby was not viable. The yet unnamed but much loved baby was born last night at 20 weeks' gestation. Baby had a large mass which pushed the legs to an odd angle. There were other problems. This child was not meant to survive.

We were able to hold the baby and marvel at the beauty of little legs, hands, feet, and one ear that was normal. God was so gracious to give us a caring nurse who patiently helped us examine every aspect of this dear wee thing who did not live on this earth, yet we know is in the Lord's hands.

We felt the prayers of God's people. Unbelievable peace in the midst of tragedy. God is so very good.

Things this grandmother has learned in the month of October:

1. Every baby, every child is a gift from God, the giver of life. Never take them for granted.

2. Never assume that "it" can't happen to you. It can, and it may. But God gives grace.

3. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in our mother's womb. Whether it is a 13 week fetus (Latin for baby!) or a full term fetus, each baby is an intricately assembled miracle. Marvel! Bow the knee! And repent of your inaction in not speaking out against abortion.

4. Sin has its consequences. The wages of sin is death. These little babies did not lose their lives because they sinned - but sin, when it entered the world, marred the beauty and harmony of every single system and aspect. Babies born too soon, or with birth defects, remind us of the fall. We do not live in a perfect world.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

The glory which shall be revealed in us, because of the marvelous grace of God, will be incomparably wonderful. God will wipe away all of our tears. He will make everything right.

5. God's love never fails.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

6. It is good to live in community. God blesses us through the prayers and kindnesses of others. We had a perfect peace that passes all understanding. We could tangibly feel the prayers of God's people and the Comfort that only comes from the Holy Spirit. I have read email after email with tears running down my cheeks, because people care, because they have experienced loss or tragedy or pain, and they understand.

2 Corinthians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

5. Life goes on. People who lose a loved one often wonder how everything can be so normal. Why are people shopping? Buying a coffee at Timmy's? Going to work? Why doesn't the world stop when my world has been shattered, they think. But God has ordained our steps and ordered our days. He makes the sun to come up in the morning and the moon to rise at night. He is the only Giver of Life, and He can be trusted.

My life's verse is comforting: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

God is always in control, and He is always good. Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we will trust in the name of our God.

In Christ,
Janet, who is thankful to be married to dear husband Rick for 32 years today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Caput scapulae (Head and Shoulders)

Latin English
caput head
scapulae, scapula shoulders, shoulder
genua, genu knees, knee
digiti, digitus toes, toe
oculi, oculus eyes,eye
aures, auris ears, ear
os mouth
nasum nose

caput, scapulae, genua et digiti, genua et digiti, genua et digiti
caput, scapulae, genua et digiti,
oculi, aures, os, nasumque.

Latin for Grade One


As you teach songs and stories to the children, go through the vocabulary. Children that are reading and writing can copy the words and learn to spell them. Not yet readers can learn their vocabulary orally. Practice your vocabulary frequently. Check to see if they know the meanings, and if their pronunciation is correct. See Vocabulary sheets.


Mica, mica parva stella (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Caput, scapulae, genua et digiti (Head, shoulders, knees and toes)
Senex MacDonald habuit fundum (Old MacDonald had a farm)
Lutum! Lutum! Pulcherrimum lutum.(Mud, mud, glorious mud!)
Christmas Carols: Adeste fideles; quem pastores laudavere; procul in praesepi et sine lecto; tranquilla nox, sancta nox..
Tres mures; Three Blind Mice
decem urnae; Ten Bottles
parva casa in silva; Little Cottage in a Wood
ardet Roma; London (Rome) is Burning
nam comes est iucundus (For he’s a jolly good fellow)


Tres porci parvi - Three Little Pigs
See other plays at the minimus website.

Suggestions for Vocab:

parts of the body
family members: sister, brother, mother, father, son, daughter, girl, boy, man, woman


Simple conjugations:

amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant
(I love, you love, he loves, we love, you (pl) love, they love)

video, vides, videt, videmus, videtis, vident

sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt

Bible Verses

Genesis 1:1 in principio creavit Deus caelum et terram
John 1:1 In principio erat verbum, et verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat verbum.
(In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.)
John 3:16 sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam


a, ae, ae, am, a, ae, arum, is, as, is
us, I , o, um, o, I, orum, is, os, is
um, I, o, um, o, a, orum, is, a, is
No Good Dad Attacks Apples: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Ablative.

Remember that learning any language involves lots of repetition. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Grade One Curriculum - Bible


Memory Work

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 6:1 ¶ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

John 15:12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Isaiah 6:3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 23


You have your catechism sheets. Work on the questions, answers, and Scripture proofs.

Books of the Bible

Every child should learn the books of the Bible in order. Start with the Old Testament!


Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world;
Red and yellow, black and white, They are precious in His sight -
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus Loves Me.


Only a Boy Named David

The B I B L E

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam, to shine for Him each day
In every way try to please Him, at home, homeschool, and play! (Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.)

A sunbeam, a sunbeam - Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam. I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.

Jesus wants me to be happy, and kind to all I see; (Be kind to one another.)In every way try to please Him, a little one like me! (Even a child is known by his doings.)

A sunbeam, a sunbeam - Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.
A sunbeam, a sunbeam. I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

Father we thank thee for the night, and for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care, and all that makes the world so fair.

Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good;
In all we do in work and play, to love thee better day by day.

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Trust and Obey
Holy, Holy, Holy

Bible Stories

Hurlbut’s stories of the Bible are found on this link. You may be able to pick the book up in a secondhand store. Excellent stories, close to the Bible, good doctrine.

Read one story every day.


Memorize the following timeline as you read the stories. Do it in a chant, so the children learn the big events of the Bible in chronological order.

Fall of Man
Noah - Covenant of Preservation
The Tower of Babel
Abraham The Patriarchs!
The Law
12 Spies
Consequences of Sin: Wilderness Wanderings
Deuteronomy - Moses Died.
Joshua made leader.
Saul The UnitedKingdom!
The Divided Kingdom
Northern Kingdom - Jeroboam : Israel
Assyria - an instrument in the hand of God.
Southern Kingdom - Rehoboam Southern Kingdom : Judah
Zedekiah - the last king.
Babylon - an instrument in the hand of God.
Zerubbabel restores the temple.
Temple finished. (Haggai, Zechariah)
The Silent Years: (God is always in control.)
The Maccabean Revolt: Antiochus. (Pig)
Israel comes under Roman Rule. (Jesus!)
Titus destroyed the Temple.

Grade One Curriculum - Math



1. Count to 100
2. Skip count by tens.
3. Skip count by fives.
4. Skip count by twos.

Use objects such as coins or macaroni or beans. Especially with counting by twos, use pennies, two at a time.

Once he counts well to 100 and recognizes his numbers, make exercises like this:

___ 16 ___ (He must fill in the numbers that come before and after.

He can learn less than (<) ; greater than (>) & equal (=).

Writing numbers

Print numbers from one to thirty. If your child is very quick, make up a chart with numbers missing and have him fill in the numbers up to 100. He should be able to recognize and copy the written word numbers up to ten at least.


Teach the facts in families.

Five family

1 + 4 = 5
2 + 3 = 5
3 + 2 = 5
4 + 1 = 5

Teach that any time you add 0 to a number, the number stays the same. He should know all of the families to the 18 family by the end of grade one. It is not hard to do, so don’t sweat!

You can teach that addition has an opposite in subtraction, so if 1 + 4 = 5, then 4 + 1 = 5, and 5 - 1 = 4, and 5 - 4 = 1. Don’t teach subtraction until at least the 10 family is mastered in addition.


Know the names of the coins and their value. Practice simple counting of coins. Play store! Talk about the prices when shopping or looking through flyers. Teach them that Daddy works hard to bring home enough money to buy food, clothing, etc. Teach them that they should be careful with their things, because if they break them, Daddy must spend his life to replace them.


Teach that the short hand points to the hour; the long hand shows us how many minutes are after the hour.

Start with o’clock. When the long hand points straight up to the top of the clock, it is “something o’clock”. The short hand tells us WHAT o’clock it is.

Follow that with “half past” or “thirty”; then quarter to and quarter after. By this time the child should know how to count by fives, and you show them how to count by fives around the clock.

Sixty minutes = one hour
Thirty minutes = half hour
Twenty-four hours = one day
Seven days = one week
Fifty-two weeks = one year
365 days = one year.

Months; calendar work; days of the week. Keep a calendar with special events. You may want to chart the weather for a month.

I have blank clock sheets for you.

In Grade one, they should learn addition and subtraction with no regrouping, o’clock and half past, simple measurements, simple calendars, adding change up to a quarter, pictures of common fractions , place value of ones and tens and hundreds, greater than, less than, more, fewer, bigger, smaller (comparisons).

Compiled Checklists for Fall Preparation

Keeping Your Home Safe And Warm Follow these safety tips from CDC, the National Fire Protection Association, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to prevent injuries and deaths related to heating your home.

□ Install a smoke alarm near bedrooms and on each floor of your home. Test it monthly. If it has a 9-volt battery, change the battery once a year.
□ Install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm near bedrooms and on each floor of your home. If your alarm sounds, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that you press the reset button, call emergency services (911 or your local fire department), and immediately move to fresh air (either outdoors or near an open door or window). Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, get fresh air right away and contact a doctor for proper diagnosis.
□ Make sure heating equipment is installed properly. Have a trained specialist inspect and tune up your heating system each year.
□ Keep portable space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including bedding, furniture, and clothing. Never drape clothing over a space heater to dry.
□ Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Never leave children in a room alone when a space heater is in use.
□ If you use a kerosene heater, use only the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Never put gasoline in a kerosene heater--it could explode. Before you refuel the heater, turn it off and let it cool down. Refuel outside only. When using a kerosene heater, keep a door open to the rest of the house or open a window slightly. This will reduce the chance of carbon monoxide build-up in the room.
□ Have your fireplace chimney and flue inspected each year and cleaned if needed. Open the flue and use a sturdy fireplace screen when you have a fire. Burn only untreated wood; never burn paper or pine branches--pieces can float out the chimney and ignite your roof, a neighbor's roof, or nearby trees.
□ If you use a wood-burning stove, have the chimney connection and flue checked each year. Make sure the stove is placed on an approved stove board to protect the floor from heat and coals. Never use your range or oven to heat your home, even for a short time.
Surviving A Winter Storm
To survive a snow or ice storm, follow these safety tips from Extreme Cold: A prevention guide to promote your personal health and safety, a publication of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health.
□ Be prepared. Before cold weather hits, make sure you have a way to heat your home during a power failure. Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby when using alternative heating sources.
□ Keep on hand extra blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, matches, a first aid kit, manual can opener, snow shovel and rock salt, and special needs items (e.g., diapers).
□ Stock a few days' supply of water, required medications, and food that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked.
□ Monitor the temperature of your home. Infants and persons over age 65 are especially susceptible to cold. If it's not possible to keep your home warm, stay with friends or family or in a shelter.
□ Dress in several layers to maintain body heat. Covering up with blankets can also conserve heat.
Clearing Snow And Ice
Clearing snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks is hard work. To prevent injuries, follow these safety tips from the National Safety Council, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and other prevention organizations.
□ Dress warmly, paying special attention to feet, hands, nose, and ears.
□ Avoid shoveling snow if you are out of shape. If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel snow unless your doctor says it's okay.
□ Do light warm-up exercises before shoveling and take frequent breaks.
□ If possible, push snow in front of you. If you have to lift it, pick up small amounts and lift with your legs, not your back. Do not toss snow over your shoulder or to the side.
□ Don't drink alcohol before or while shoveling snow. Never smoke while shoveling.
□ Use rock salt or de-icing compounds to remove ice from steps, walkways, and sidewalks. Sand placed on walkways may also help prevent slipping.
□ If you use a snow blower (also called a snow thrower), follow these safety guidelines:
Read the owner's manual before starting your snow blower. Make sure you understand all the recommended safety steps.
Make sure all people and pets are out of the way before you begin.
Do not put your hand in the snow blower to remove impacted snow or debris. Turn the machine off and wait a few seconds. Then use a stick or broom handle to remove the material.
Do not leave the snow blower unattended when it is running.
Fill up with fuel before you start, when the engine is cool.


Driving Safely In Winter Weather
Snow, ice, and extreme cold can make driving treacherous. These safety tips from CDC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the National Safety Council can help make winter car travel safer.

□ Before winter arrives, have your car tuned up, check the level of antifreeze, make sure the battery is good, and check your tire tread or put on snow tires.
□ Keep emergency gear in your car for everyday trips:
cell phone
jumper cables
sand or kitty litter (for traction)
ice scraper, snow brush, and small shovel
warning devices (e.g., flares, reflectors)
□ For long car trips, keep food, water, extra blankets, and required medication on hand.
□ Avoid driving in snow or ice storms. If you must travel in bad weather, drive slowly. Let someone know what route you're taking and when you plan to arrive so they can alert authorities if you don't get there.
□ If your car is parked outside, make sure the exhaust pipe and the area around it are free of snow before you start the car. Snow packed in or around the exhaust pipe can cause high levels of carbon monoxide in the car.
□ Don't sit in a parked car with the engine running unless a window is open. Do not let your car run while parked in a garage.
□ If your car stalls or gets stuck in snow, light two flares and place one at each end of the car, a safe distance away. Make sure snow has not blocked the exhaust pipe. Then stay in your vehicle and open a window slightly to let in fresh air. Wrap yourself in blankets and run your vehicle's heater for a few minutes every hour to keep warm.
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
Walking in icy, snowy weather can be dangerous, but these tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can help make your trek safer.
□ Dress in layers and wear boots with nonskid soles. Wear a bright scarf or hat or reflective gear so drivers can see you.
□ Walk on sidewalks if possible. If sidewalks are covered in snow and ice and you must walk in the street, walk against the flow of traffic and as close to the curb as you can.
□ Don't wear a hat or scarf that blocks your vision or makes it hard for you to hear traffic.
□ When traveling with babies or small children, dress them in bright or reflective clothing. Always keep children--whether in a stroller or on foot--in front of you and as close to the curb as possible.
□ Before you step off the curb, make sure oncoming cars and trucks have come to a complete stop.
The Problem: Who Is Affected?
Many injuries occur each winter as people try to keep their homes warm and get around in cold, stormy weather. Home Fires December, January, and February are the leading months for home fires and associated deaths in the United States. About one-third of the 3,250 home-fire deaths in 1998 occurred during these three months. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home-fire deaths in the U.S. and the leading cause during December and January. Hypothermia Each year, more than 700 people die of hypothermia (low body temperature) caused by extended exposure to cold temperatures both indoors and out. About half of these deaths are among persons age 65 and older; men in this age group are more likely than women to die from hypothermia. Risk factors for hypothermia include older age; alcohol abuse; homelessness; poverty; mental illness; chronic diseases such as hypothyroidism; dehydration and malnutrition; and prolonged exposure to materials that promote heat loss (e.g., water, metal).
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Each year, more than 200 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning. (CO is produced by fuel-burning motor vehicles, appliances, and heating systems.) In addition, several thousand individuals are treated in emergency departments for CO poisoning. The risk of CO poisoning increases during the winter, as more people run furnaces and space heaters and use fireplaces. Deaths from CO poisoning also occur when people sit in an idling vehicle with the doors and windows closed. One CDC study found that motor-vehicle-related CO poisoning exposures increase during winter months and that death rates from CO poisoning in stationary motor vehicles are highest in states with colder average winter temperatures. During just two days in January 1996, 22 people in New York City died from CO poisoning because their exhaust pipes were packed with snow, and CO backed up into the vehicle.
Driving-Related Injuries and Deaths
In 1998, 131,000 motor vehicle crashes occurred during sleet and snowy conditions. Of these crashes, 30,000 resulted in injuries; more than 600 resulted in deaths. Snow Blower Injuries
Snow blowers (or snow throwers) are the fourth leading cause of finger amputations associated with consumer products. These machines cause more than 5,300 emergency department visits and 1,000 amputations each year. Nine deaths related to snow blowers have been reported since 1992.

Fall / Winter Home Checklist © 2003 H.D. Franchising Systems, LLC
Windows and Doors
□ Repair cracked windows
□ Putty, caulk or add weather-stripping as needed
□ Clean and lubricate window channels for smoother sliding
□ Clean and install storm windows and doors
□ Check for and seal cracks and leaks in walls and floor
□ Clean vents and ensure proper operation
□ Test, clean and lubricate sump pump
□ Discard accumulated junk
Water Heater
□ Insulate outside of tank
Porch, Patio and Deck
□ Clean and seal deck
□ Check wood for signs of rotting, replace boards where necessary
Exterior Walls
□ Check for missing or loose siding
□ Caulk joints and minor cracks
□ Look for deteriorated finishes to preserve wood
□ Touch-up painting or paint entirely
Exterior Plumbing
□ Drain and shut off sprinkler system and other lines
□ Remove all hoses from outside spigots
□ Repair damaged soffit panels
□ Clean gutters to reduce ice dams in the winter
□ Install gutter strainers
Smoke Detector
□ Test and replace batteries
□ Check vent openings for nests and other blockage
□ Make sure vents and/or attic fans work properly
□ Look for signs of roof or flashing leaks on rafters and insulation
□ Reseal driveways

Checklist: Winter Landscape Tips

With the arrival of fall and cold weather, it is essential to complete a few projects to keep your landscaping and garden protected through the dormant months. Prepare shrubs, trees and grass now and they will return healthy in the spring and will also leave you with a neat, well-tended landscape through winter.


Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn. Feeding the lawn early in autumn will give the roots a boost before winter arrives. A second feeding in late October will keep it winterized and strong through the freezing weather.


If your lawn has some bare patches, early autumn is a perfect time to sod or reseed. Adding sod gives you an instantly perfect lawn that will be a pleasure when the warm weather returns. To firmly establish new sod, keep it moist for the first week after it is laid. After the first week, it can be watered as needed. Avoid having sod laid in hot, dry weather, as it will be hard for the roots to establish.

Be sure that the sod contains varieties of grass that are indigenous to your region. The sod should not look dry and should be sitting on a pallet no longer than two days. It should not be warm to the touch. You can eliminate a lot of uncertainty by buying sod from a reputable grower.


Pruning is very important to encourage healthy growth in spring. Most pruning should be done after the leaves turn, indicating that the plant is dormant. A good rule of thumb is to prune spring blooming shrubs immediately after flowering and to prune summer blooming shrubs in the dormant season. Pruning late in the growing season will encourage new growth that will be damaged by frost.

When pruning, use caution to make a good cut at a slight angle about 1/4 inch from the branch. Hire a professional gardener to help with this delicate task.

Some shrubs need to be wrapped with burlap to protect them from frost. If you have experienced frost damage in the past, make sure to protect these plants before the temperature dips down. Spread a layer of mulch around the base of plants to provide insulation for the winter. Wait until spring to fertilize shrubs and trees.


Like most of the plants in your yard, trees need special care. It is important to keep tree limbs away from power lines and away from the roof of your house. Branches can easily pull down gutters or cause other costly damage if they are hanging over your house.

When planning to prune trees, consult with a professional arborist. He or she will know the best method for your species of trees and the correct time of year for pruning. A professional arborist will also know how to safely remove any troublesome branches.

Typically, pruning should be done in early autumn or late spring.

Walkways and Patios

Walkways and patios can take a beating in cold weather. Shifts in temperature and humidity can cause concrete and brick to heave and settle unevenly. Keeping them free of water build up and debris will reduce the chances of winter damage.

If you noticed water or ice accumulation last winter, take steps now to provide proper drainage. This can be as simple as adding a small gravel drainage channel next to a walkway, or fixing a gutter that drips onto steps.

Swimming Pools and Spas

Having a professional pool cleaning company winterize your swimming pool is essential. Drain the water and cover the pool to keep out leaves and animals.

In winter, it is not uncommon for deer or other wildlife to walk over pool covers, so choose the strongest cover you can afford.

Hot tubs and spas will be a welcome treat in the cool weather. Make sure the heater and pump are functioning properly. Water could freeze in the pump, pipes or hot tub itself, causing irreparable damage.

Out and About:
Will your home welcome winter visitors ... safely? Be prepared for snow, ice or rain on walks and driveways with: Snow shovel
De-icing compound
Waterproof floor mats

Household emergency supplies should include enough food, water and supplies to last four days without power or help. Check your home emergency kit against this basic checklist:

□ Food that doesn't require heating or refrigeration, such as canned meats, soups and stews, cereal, and energy bars
□ Manual can opener
□ Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
□ 1 gallon of water per person per day (allow enough for four days)
□ Flashlights and batteries
□ Battery-powered radio
□ Battery-powered clock
□ Cellular phone
□ First-aid kit
□ Four-day supply of prescription medicines
□ Blanket and cold-weather clothing for each family member
□ Pet food and additional water for household pets

On the Road:
Winter transportation can mean ice, snow, and hazardous roads. Road conditions can change in an instant. Before traveling, give cars a winter preparedness exam:

□ Check antifreeze
□ Check and replace older batteries
□ Remember to keep the gas tank near full to avoid freezing water in the fuel line
□ Check tires and spare tire for proper inflation
□ Make sure automobiles contain the following emergency supplies:

Bag of sand, road salt or non-clumping cat litter. The bag's extra weight means better traction, and the contents can be spread under slipping tires.
Ice scraper
Jumper cables
Small shovel (to dig snow away from wheels, or scatter sand on roadway)
Tire chains (every driver should practice putting them on)
Flares or reflective triangle to warn other motorists if you break down
Flashlight and batteries
Gallon jug of drinking water
First aid kit (printable first-aid kit checklist)

When travelling by car, include emergency food and clothing for each traveler. Pack supplies in a backpack in case you need to abandon your car. An emergency backpack should include:

Jacket, hat, gloves and sturdy, snow-proof boots for each traveler
Nonperishable food
Cellular phone

Barn Prep

□ Clean stalls thoroughly
□ Make sure there is enough hay and straw for winter
□ Buy enough feed (fat n fibre for Chance; Shantel?)
□ Mineral blocks
□ Repair doors and windows
□ Put door on Goose pen
□ Check pasture for any debris
□ Get rid of old wood (burn it!)
□ Check fences

Fall Homeowner Checklist

Before winter hits, make sure all of those systems that were working properly last spring are still in good, safe condition.

□ If you have gas appliances in your home, or a wood burning fireplace or stove, check to make sure they are operating correctly and consider installing carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home.
□ Gas furnaces should be serviced every other year. If you have a boiler, check the gauges for the temperature and pressure. If you have forced air, change the filters monthly. While you are at the heater, check the clean out area under the chimney flue. A blocked chimney can be deadly.
□ Take a look at the fireplace. Shake the handle for the damper, wait a few seconds before you open it, giving animals that may have found your chimney a comfortable summer home, an opportunity to exit. If the walls are black and shiny, almost like coal, have the chimney cleaned.
□ If you have had trouble with frozen water service lines in the past, we suggest hiring a contractor to bury your water service line to City Code regulations for your area.
□ Replace the batteries in your smoke detector.
□ Check window caulk and repair where needed.
□ Clean the coils for the refrigerator.
□ Make sure your home is properly insulated. A professional can inspect your home for you to help decide if you need to make changes.
□ Check your roof. Missing shingles should be repaired, as well as the gutters cleaned.
□ Check the downspouts at grade level. Many times splash blocks or extensions on the downspouts get moved causing the gutters to drain at the foundation. Poorly working gutters or improperly draining downspouts are the number one reason for water entry into the basement.
□ Check the operation of all the windows, and install your storm windows.
□ Drain a few gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater to reduce sediment build up. Also, check the temperature setting on the water heater and check the hood damper. It should be free of rust or corrosion.

Indoor Checklist

Fall cleanup is mostly about the outdoors, but there a few things you'll want to consider around the house. Some of these suggestions have a little of both spring and winter in them.

□ Clean and store summer clothing, bedding, etc. in a clean dry place.
□ Get comforters, winter clothing, warm bedding etc. out of storage and cleaned and ready.
□ Get your holiday decor, table settings, etc. out of storage and organized. Repair or dispose of damaged items.
□ Once you're no longer using air conditioning, cover the portion outside the home to protect from the elements.
□ If you have a garden pond with fish that won't survive the cooler temperatures, prepare to bring them inside.
□ It's not yet quite time to be installing storm windows, but it's a good idea to get them out of storage, cleaned and ready.
□ It's also a good idea to test your furnace and heaters. Better to service them now before you need them.
□ Clean windows one last time and check window and door seals. Insects don't like the cold any more than you do.
□ Change batteries in electronic thermostats.
□ Store pesticides in a cool, dry, place and away from children. Discard those that will expire over winter.
□ Have a green thumb that stays green all winter? Do some container gardening inside.

Outdoor Checklist

□ Clean and store summer supplies and tools.
□ Clean, stack and store patio and lawn furniture.
□ Reset timers for outdoor lights that use timers.
□ Bring in lights that would be damaged by the cold.
□ Empty debris from birdhouses and feeders and restock with new feed for the winter months.
□ Clean gutters and downspouts.
□ Remove spring & summer annuals, weeds, and excessive mulch.
□ Plant spring bulbs.
□ Rake your leaves. As you may have learned from our winterizing tips, leaves can brown your lawn over the winter, and tannin will stain cement and decks.
□ Prune shrubs and trees and give them a good soaking.
□ Remove thatch and buildup in your lawn, then aerate, this will allow moisture and fertilizer to penetrate.
□ Fertilize. This is the last time you'll have before winter to prepare your lawn for the colder months. If you're using a 4-step method, Thanksgiving is the time to apply the final step.
□ If you have a vegetable garden, pick your seasonal vegetables when you expect the first overnight frost.
□ Spread manure or compost on the garden.
□ Stake young trees and wrap young trunks. This will protect against wind and splitting.

Winter Clothing Checklist

Each child should have:

□ Snowsuit
□ 2 pairs mitts
□ hat
□ scarf (but tuck it in or tie in the back so they don’t get caught and choke)
□ boots
□ coat (for going to church or town)
□ 7 pairs warm socks
□ 3 pairs tights for girls
□ long johns for boys
□ five play outfits
□ 3 church outfits
□ 3 good sweaters/sweatshirts
□ warm slippers
□ comforter/enough blankets


□ work boots
□ church boots
□ good coat
□ work coat
□ insulated coveralls for Dad
□ work gloves
□ warm mitts or gloves
□ driving gloves
□ hat
□ scarf

Monday, August 22, 2005

Birthday Bash! and Sarah's Covenant.

Yesterday, we invited the family to come to Heather's house for a celebration of Rick's 54th and Sarah's 19th birthdays. We convinced my eldest daughter, Adeena, that we were planning to celebrate her 30th birthday on Labour Day weekend. Little did she know that we were hatching a devious plot...

When Adeena's husband Jeff turned 30, Adeena planned an "Elvis" party for him. Jeff *hates* Elvis - doesn't like his songs, never watched his movies - just wasn't interested. So, we surprised him with a party which included Elvis posters, Elvis clock, Elvis bulletin board, Elvis calendar, etc. Elvis was singing in the background the entire evening.

Jeff thought it was great fun, but he was wanting to return the favour for Adeena's 30th party. Adeena has always hated spiders, so we planned a spider party.

I went to the dollar store and was able to get all kinds of spiders! We hung 36 mini-webs with black spiders all around Heather's shop. We hung a great web over the door, so guests would have to go through the webbing to get in. We had a HUGE spider sitting in that web, at least 7 inches in diameter. There was a web with a tarantula on the tree and one on the door, and the "piece de resistance" was the 8 foot spider hanging from the ceiling!!

Aunt Sandra made two salads, and she fashioned a red spider from a red pepper and a black spider from a black plum to sit atop the salads!

Adeena walked in, and she realized what was going on immediately. It was fun to tease her about being thirty, and she really didn't mind all of the spiders, because she knew they weren't alive. Now, if I had had real spiders all over the place, I doubt she would have stayed!

Heather and Steve have a great yard, perfect for children to run and play safely. They have a sandbox and a swing and slides, and a cement pad for riding toys. The adults were able to relax and visit while the kids played with minimum supervision in the fenced in yard.

'Twas a lovely day.

The most emotional part of the day, for me, was watching my husband give Sarah her Purity Promise Ring. I bought her a heart shaped ring made of white gold, with a small diamond in the corner of the heart. Rick told her that if she accepted the ring, she was entering into a covenant with her father, to remain pure until her wedding day.

We made a certificate:

This is to confirm that on this date, August 21, 2005,
Sarah Kathleen Billson
entered into covenant in the presence of family and friends,
to follow the commandments of God
to remain pure in body, mind, and spirit.

A ring was presented as a token of this promise, to be worn until marriage.

The ring, chosen by her parents, has special symbolism.
The heart represents Sarah's heart,
which she is giving to her father for safekeeping.
The diamond represents Sarah's first kiss,
which she is covenanting to keep until her wedding day.

It was signed by Sarah and her father, witnessed by her mother.

Sarah loves her ring! She gladly gave her assent to the covenant, because her heart's desire is to remain pure, so she can be presented a spotless bride to her husband, if the Lord chooses to give her one.

What a blessed day it was!

This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Wedding - July 16, 2005

This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!!

What a day it was! We woke up fairly early and went to the lobby for coffee/juice. It wasn't long before we had to start getting ready. Rachel, my hairdresser daughter, did my hair (and her sisters') and make-up. All of the grandkids were bouncing on the beds, watching tv, waiting to be ready. The hotel made us vacate two of the rooms, so we ended up with 17 people in one little room! It was a zoo. Normal, for us.

Adeena left to take Becky to get her hair done by the hairdresser Joanna had hired to do the wedding party. We got all of those little boys into their suits, and we adults got all dressed and spiffy, then we headed to the church.

I sneaked into the room where Joanna was waiting with her maids. She looked beautiful and poised, not nervous at all. She was ready.

Just a few minutes passed, then it was time for the mothers to enter. Darlene and I walked sedately (no small feat - I was wearing HIGH heels for the first time in my life) down the aisle, then lit our candles. We sat, then the wedding party began to enter. Each couple looked elegant; they all did their job beautifully.

When it came time for Christopher and Rebekah to walk down, Critter took Becky's hand, but Becky was very shy. Her shoulders were up around her ears, and she had a bit of a frown on her face. Yet, she walked nicely until she saw her daddy, then she stopped dead. Daddy and Mommy both told her, "Keep going, Becky", and she did. Christopher remembered to stop at the end of the aisle before turning to go to his spot.

The music changed, and Ray started down the aisle with his beautiful daughter. I watched Matt's face - he was grinning from ear to ear as he watched his bride approach.

The ceremony was lovely. Pastor Bob gave glory to God in his message, proclaiming that marriage was God's design, a picture of Christ and the church. He addressed the young couple, exhorting them to keep Christ at the centre of their marriage. It was a messaged designed for Matt and Joanna, but a blessing to the rest of us as well.

Vows were exchanged. Then we parents stepped forward, and the dads gave their blessing to Matt and Joanna as they kneeled before us. Pastor Bob pronounced them man and wife, then Ray stepped forward again, and said to Matthew, "You may now kiss your bride!"

We have a picture of Matt and Joanna's first kiss - the look of joy on our pastor's face is priceless. Their example of purity during courtship was a blessing to our entire church and community. It is possible to remain pure , even in our age of promiscuity, if one is committed to honouring God and one's parents.

Every detail of the day was ordained by our loving heavenly Father; He even held the rain off until all the pictures were taken!

The reception was so much fun. Joel, Joanna's 19 year old brother, was Master of Ceremonies, and when he found out that dinner would be delayed because the potatoes were not yet ready, he opened the mike up to anyone who had something to say. He threatened to spray the speakers with a spray gun if they went on too long.

My friends, Tillie and Isobel, got up. Isobel was carrying an umbrella, and Tillie informed everyone that the umbrella was for protection, because she intended to talk as long as she wanted to! She talked about her friendship with our family, then Joel made threatening gestures with his spray gun, and Isobel was quick to put the umbrella in the way. Lots of fun.

One of Matt's co-workers got up and SANG a song that he had made up when he was labouring for Matt, who is a bricklayer by trade. Matt doesn't like anyone to crowd him while he is working, and he good-naturedly threatens them if they do, so Scott made up a song that was hilarious!

If you know the song, you'll get the changes:

Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much,
and I have to close my eyes and hide;
I want to hold you, Mortar Guy,
Till we both break down and cry,
I want to hold you, till the fear in me subsides!

What really warmed my heart was hearing the many speeches that praised Matt and Joanna for being godly, serious, young people with a desire to glorify their God. So many people spoke of the character of these two, and of the example they set for their peers.

My daughter Linda got up and told Joanna how very much she loves her, and how glad she is to have her for a sister-in-law. Anyone who knows Linda knows how shy she is, and how difficult it is for her to speak in public, yet she was poised and articulate. I was so very proud of her.

Heather got up and talked about Matt and his antics. Sarah also spoke about both Matt and Joanna. Daniel chickened out, but wanted to say that he has always considered Matt to be his mentor, and that he loves him very much.

Jared, my gentle giant, was hilarious. He said that he could stand there and look dumb - "I'm good at THAT!" but that he really should make a speech. He didn't speak long, but he had the whole audience in stitches. I wish I could remember everything he said.

All in all, it was a marvellous day. Matt and Joanna got up and thanked everyone. Again, I was amazed at the poise my son had in delivering a speech to close to 200 people.

Children truly ARE an heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb truly IS His reward.

In Christ,

Matthew and Joanna Billson Posted by Picasa

Steve & Heather Ryan & children

Steve and Heather and their children Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Shower for Joanna

Yesterday we held a Bridal Shower for my future daughter-in-law, Joanna. It was a beautiful day, although a bit on the hot, hazy, and humid side!

As the guests arrived, the married women were given a small sheet of paper on which to write their secret to a happy marriage. It was interesting to note that at least three of the women stressed that open and honest communication is of paramount importance in a marriage. Other ladies said to keep a sense of humour, to be your husband's best friend, and to consider him a gift from God to you. One of the women advised Joanna to follow her own heart...she can develop some interests apart from her husband, and does not need to feel that because they are married, they must do absolutely everything together. Some wives don't want to crawl under a car to fix the brake line; some husbands don't want to learn to knit. That's okay!!

We then gave each of the guests a quiz, to see how well they really knew Matt and Joanna. Who would have known that Joanna once really kissed a frog, or that when Matt was a baby he really wore frilly tights? (He had three older sisters, and we lived in a cold, draughty farm house!) We laughed as we shared stories about these two dear young adults who will soon be married.

Joanna then opened her gifts. She was so pleased with the variety of gifts she received. She then gave a little speech to thank the ladies for coming to the shower.

I then gave a little devotional, reminding Joanna of the importance of communication. While it seems easy to talk to Matt now, communication can become more difficult when the stresses and storms of life press in. I told her that she must sow seeds in her marriage that will reap great harvests as the years go by.

Seeds of kindness

Imagine a really hard day. The washer breaks down; no money for a new one. You have an appointment in 20 minutes and you can't find the right pair of shoes. Your spouse begins honking the horn, and you begin to fume.

How will you react when numerous little irritations provoke you?

The Bible tells us what to do: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good for the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto your hearers. Eph. 4:29

Don't let a nasty word out! Not one! If you can't build your spouse up, don't say anything.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31, 32

We must choose to be kind, even when we are frustrated. When our spouse doesn't notice that we have done something special, we can choose to react with kindness rather than behaving unseemly. If he is downhearted, or frustrated, or hurt, or even angry, we must ask ourselves what we can do to edify him, to build him up, to strengthen him in his walk with the Lord.

Seeds of Grace

Grace is a beautiful concept. Imagine receiving something wonderful that you never deserved or earned in any way. Gracious speech is speaking to someone with undeserved kindness, honour, and favour. Whether your spouse has done something amazing or not, speak graciously to him. Sow seeds of grace.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.

Speak the truth in love to your husband. Be honest with him. Make sure you have the whole story before you say anything. That necessitates being a good listener. Make sure that what you say is necessary. Be slow to speak, and make sure what you are about to say will encourage him. Gracious speech comes from a heart that is turned toward God. It comes from a life that is filled with praise, because the grace that has transformed that life is viewed with awe and wonder.

I told Joanna that she can begin right now to sow seeds of kindness and sow seeds of grace. She can set the tone for their home, asking the Lord for His help. Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
The luncheon was then served. All of my older daughters had worked so hard to prepare special food. We had muffins, cheese buns, a pickle tray, a veggie tray, cucumbers with dip, a cheese tray, various cookies and cakes, and all of it gluten-free!

What a lovely day it was! Joanna reminded me that it is only 5 weeks and a few days until the wedding. I can't wait!


Thursday, June 02, 2005


This is going to be the year we have a great garden. Every other year, we start out great guns, then we get busy with projects inside the house and lose track of what is happening in the yard. The next thing we know, the weeds are waist high, we can't see the vegetables, and the ducks and chickens are eating more of the produce than we are.

This year is going to be different. Why, you ask? Because we are determined! Also, because my son-in-law, Steve, has a weedless garden, and explained his secret: do a little bit every day!

So, on May 20 we began planting. We planned the layout of the garden, then all of the children got busy. Daniel put up chicken wire and other fences for the beans and the beefsteak tomatoes to climb. Sarah planted garlic, onions and beets. Linda planted Romaine lettuce, Swiss Chard, dill, and peas. Jared planted the potatoes; Elena put in sunflowers across the north end of the garden. Tiana happily planted watermelons.

Day after day, we were out there, digging and tilling and pulling up the roots of weeds that went on for miles. Daniel fixed the fence and planted morning glories so they would climb the split rails. Patrick patiently hauled load after load of well-rotted manure to augment our clay soil.

I am happy to report that the zucchini and sunflowers are up, as are the radishes. Only two brave potato plants have made their presence known, and half a dozen bean plants. A couple of our tomatoes have been attacked, but the majority are looking fine. NO sign of carrots or corn or lettuce or watermelons or peas.

Gardening is an endeavour that takes a lot of patience and a good measure of faith, along with hard work and consistency. We marvel that these tiny, lifeless (from our perspective) seeds, when put into the ground, suddenly sprout and shoot out green stems which search for sunlight! Day after day we see changes in the size of the plants. The weeds are astounding - where do they all come from??? We attack them every day with hoes and rakes, and we are winning the battle. We know that all good gifts are from above, and come down from the Father of lights. We know that no matter how hard we work, there isn't a blessed thing we can do to make that plant grow and produce fruit. We do our part, but we must trust God to do His part, which is really the biggest part. Even what we consider to be "our" part is only because of His grace - He has bestowed on us the strength to hoe and water and carry and plant and dig. He has given us the intelligence to read and learn the best way to plant each seed and care for each vegetable as it grows. All good gifts are from Him.

I have begun a gardening journal, and each of the children is working on one, too. I hope to be able to report by the end of the summer that we have eaten much, canned and frozen some, and have reaped the rewards of our consistent, hard work mingled with prayer and faith in the God Who Provides.

I hope to be able to tell you that this, indeed, was the year we had a great garden!
So far, so good.


Thursday, March 31, 2005

Double-think regarding Terri Schiavo

"Michael Lee Swails of Immokalee, Fla., was charged recently with starving 120 cows. The 47-year-old rancher “was arrested Thursday in connection with the discovery of dead, dying or severely malnourished cows on his ranch last year.”

Meanwhile, Terri Schiavo continues to starve to death thanks to the court-ordered removal of her feeding tube. While the exact value of a human life hasn’t been determined, we now know that it’s less than the value of 120 cows."


Just today on Canada AM there was a news report about a man who is petitioning to have the government ban the use of bow-hunting to kill deer. He cited the cruel and unusual torture of a slow death that the deer must suffer if it is not killed quickly by a bullet. He wasn't objecting to the killing of deer for meat, but to the slowness of the death.

All I could think about was Terri Schindler-Schiavo. Her death has been excruciatingly slow in coming, since the courts ordered her feeding tube removed on March 18. I am sure that her husband thought she would quickly succumb; yet she obviously has a strong will to live.

The other day I was cleaning my bedroom and had my ancient, black-and-white TV on for a few minutes. I happened to catch a debate about Terri on "The View" - a show I do not normally watch. Joy Behar was vehemently defending the right of Michael Schiavo to have Terri's feeding tube removed, and her argument flabbergasted me: "The Sanctity of Marriage!" She kept proclaiming that because of the sanctity of marriage, this man had every right to decide what to do with his wife.

This man, who has fathered a couple of children in an ongoing adulterous relationship, has violated the sanctity of his marriage publically, by forsaking his wife and living openly with another woman. He could have walked away and left Terri in the hands of her parents, who were willing to sacrifice everything to care for her, to give her all the therapy that could be found in order to help her in her recovery, and to give all of their time and energy to this poor woman. But no! Michael wasn't going to give up being her husband: after all, there is a lot of money at stake, which he will inherit upon her demise.

This is another case of double-think. Sanctity of Marriage in today's society means that a man can decide to starve and dehydrate his wife to death. It no longer means that he ought to keep the vows he made at the altar on the day of their wedding.

Cruel death means that cows ought not to be starved to death, and that deer must not suffer longer than a couple of seconds. It no longer means that a human being should never have to endure thirst for weeks at a time with only one drop of wine for comfort.

The only thing we can rest upon is the Sovereignty of God. When judges violate God's law and set their own thinking above that of the Almighty, God is not dismayed.

Psalm 2 reminds us of that:

1 ¶ Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."
7 ¶ "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’"
10 ¶ Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

All Power and Authority has been given to the King, Jesus. He will set things right. Blessed are we who put our trust in HIM. Thank You, Lord!


Monday, March 07, 2005


I am reading and working through a book by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. In my study of the Puritans and Reformers, I realized that they had something that I don't have, something I deeply desire: a disciplined life characterized by an intimate relationship with the Lord of Glory.

Richard Foster lists meditation, prayer, fasting, study as the inward disciplines. Outward disciplines include simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. Corporate disciplines are confession, worship, guidance and celebration.

I have been studying meditation this week.

My first reaction is to desire meditation, yet wonder if I will have the strength of character and patience to pursue the living God in this manner. Lord, give me that desire.

The basic difference between eastern meditation and Christian meditation is that eastern seeks to empty oneself to the point of losing one’s personhood and becoming detached from the world, while Christian meditation knows that detachment is not enough: we must go on to ATTACHMENT to Christ. We must give ourselves freely to God.

My life is crowded by trivial pursuits such as computer games, and more important tasks such as being a wife to my husband, managing my home, training my children, and ministering to the Patriarch’s Wives. I am busy, but much of what I am busy at is unnecessary and foolish. Television robs me of time. I need to learn to redeem the time and use my moments wisely.

I do have a desire to hear the Lord’s voice in the midst of all the clutter. Lord, make it so.

Only to sit and think of God;
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name
Earth has no higher bliss.

~Frederick W. Faber

To sit and think of God requires focussing my attention on Him - on His beauty, majesty, power, awesome acts of Creation, marvellous plan of salvation, and great grace.

I am undone; unworthy. It is humbling to approach such glory when I am so full of sin.

To consider that He not only allows me to approach, but encourages and welcomes me, knowing my frame, can only produce amazement at His grace and mercy.

His mercy endures forever.

Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 ¶ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

That I may know Him... I don’t just want to know of Him...I don’t simply want to know what the Bible says or where this doctrine is found. I want a living relationship with the God of the Universe. I want to bask in His presence and tremble at the thought of shaking my fist in His face. I want to feel Him with me moment by moment through every day, through every little trial and irritation. I want, selfishly, that He should transform me and give me more of His grace and wisdom. I must learn self-control. I cannot do that apart from Him, apart from surrendering to His control.

I am sick of the hypocrisy I see in my life. I drip words of wisdom and encourage others to get their eyes off of themselves and onto the Lord of Glory, then I turn and treat my husband shamefully when he doesn’t come to the table on time for a meal. This ought not to be so.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

What an encouragement the next few verses of Philippians are!

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I press on, because Christ has laid hold of me. I press on, because He called me to Himself and He is leading me by His grace. I forget those things that are behind, those accomplishments I have achieved, but I remember His grace and mercy, and I remember my sins and my faults, so I can be ever thankful for His mercy and love. I press towards the goal: God! Jesus! Heaven! Grace! Mercy! God’s glory! I press on, ever mindful of His mercy and grace in my life.

I press on.

Father God, thank You so much for Your grace in my life. Thank You that even when I sin, it is of Your good pleasure to reveal to me the deepest, darkest recesses of my soul. Oh, Lord, give me the grace to live for You. I want to die to sin, and live as a slave to the Master. My life is not my own; I was bought with a price - the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world, including my sin. I praise You, I glorify Your name. I give thanks to You. In Christ’s glorious name, I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Poems and Homeschooling

As a homeschooling mom, I am always dreaming up assignments that challenge and entertain my children as they learn new skills. Yesterday I told them that, because it was Valentine's Day, they ought to write a love poem about someone they love in our family. After listening to the groans for a bit, I told them that writing poems was easy. I wrote one just to prove that I could do it, too.

I know it is not brilliant, but it expresses my heart towards my husband.

Dear Rick:

Today my thoughts are filled with you -
Your smile, your hugs, your kisses, too.
My mind goes back over many years
and ponders all of our hopes and fears,
Then I am led to praise my God
Who led us on the path we've trod...
I thank Him for the trials and joys
we went through, raising girls and boys,
And growing in amazing grace,
as we learned His word and sought His face.
So, husband dear, protector and friend,
I love you now, and will to the end.

- Love, Janet

Nice and loving, right?

Then Tiana, aged 8, wrote:

Valentine's Day is warm and snug
When you give your family a great big hug.
If my sister is sad, I make her happy,
Soon she will be very laughy!
I love my sisters and my brothers -
Don't want to live with any others.
When I grow up and move away,
I'll always remember this happy day.

Then Linda, 16, chimed in with:

So Valentine's has come again
And here we are, the same,
But really, do we truly know
The reason for the name?

We can all speak of pretty flowers,
Chocolates, and sweet meats,
But is that what it's all about--
The getting of good treats?

Is it really about hearts
And every sort of flower?
I think that it is more than that -
More than a candy shower!

God gave me family, and friends, too,
And I am very happy,
For I love them and they love me,
And that's not VERY sappy!

You may think that it's about
Sunshine and people kissing.
But I will tell you truthfully,
You don't know what you're missing.

So while I will not write to you
To ask if you'll be mine,
I'm saying to you anyhow,
Happy Valentine!

But, the boys kept complaining about how hard it is to write a poem,
so Linda whipped off another one:


Chocolate is good to eat
It's a very tasty treat
I wish that it would all be mine
So eat your heart out, Valentine!

I'll steal away those candies, too
From all the stores; none left for you!
So what if I will get too fat;
I don't really care about that.

I'll never send out any cards
I'll cut them all up into shards
I'll give you apples off the tree--
But all the good stuff is for me!

I'll never take your arm in mine,
I'd say 'Go spit, dumb Valentine!'
And if I'd make you cry with that,
I wouldn't care; cause I'm too fat!

I can't care less for crummy poems
I'll feed them all to ugly gnomes!
I don't care for words so sweet;
Just give me all the tasty treats!

You have to realize that Linda is a very loving and kind girl...she
had help being so mean from her two brothers!

Elena, aged 10, wrote:

Tiana, Tiana,
Love her like lasagne!
She is my sister
and shiny like glitter.

When she gives me a smile
Life is simply worthwhile!
We have lots of fun
in the field when we run.

She is my best friend
and will be till the end,
I think she's so fine
Happy Valentine, sister of mine.

Then Patrick, 12 years old, added this poem to the collection:

I love my brother like no other,
And here's the reason why:
Of all the fellows in the world,
He is one special guy!

He comforts me when I am sad
Corrects my heart when I am mad!
When my room's a mess, he helps me clean
And never is too terribly mean!

The best thing about him is the way he plays
Lego and war guys in interesting ways;
He is a bit bossy, it is true,
But Daniel, there's no better friend than you!

Now, I know that these are not the least bit professional, but did you catch the most important message in each of them? My children love each other. My children are best friends with their siblings.

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is the close relationships that are developed as kids work together, day in and day out, doing chores and schoolwork and projects and housework. They all have friends outside our home, but their very best friends are their sisters and brothers.

I thank God for that.

Lord, thank You for leading us on this amazing journey of raising and teaching 12 beautiful children. Thank You that You showed us long ago that our children were to be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Homeschooling has given us time to teach our children how to love You and love each other. May they always continue to glorify You, and may they enjoy You forever.

In Christ, I pray, amen.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Which Book of the Bible are you?

I took this little quiz to see what book of the Bible I am.

I am Ephesians

"Chances are you've made a couple of whopper mistakes in your life. . . 'cause it's usually people like you who really understand their position in Christ. You know it's not by might, not by power, and certainly not through works, but only through the blood of Christ. That's all there is that's standing between you and the Father. . . and that's all you need. People find you to be more generally grace-filled than most. You are attractive to the faith, and usually a bit on the non-traditional side."

Well, I'd say that comes very close to summing it up. I am not sure my mistakes were "whoppers", but I am very much aware of my own depravity. I know that it is only by grace that I am saved, and that this grace is purely a gift from a Merciful Heavenly Father, who chose me in spite of my flaws.

Yet, even though I am constantly in awe of the grace of God, in my life, and in general, I can be exacting and determined to teach solid doctrine. Some would say I am a "prophet", in the Bill Gothard sense of the word. I love the Bible, and have little patience with those who just "love Jesus" and want to get along with everybody, regardless of what the Scriptures would say.

As far as being a bit on the non-traditional side, let's see. I have 12 children...I guess that is a bit strange. I have homeschooled since 1983, and although homeschooling is much more prevalent today than it was back then, still it is a small percentage of the population that practices it. I read theology books for fun, and am pursuing a Bachelor of Theology at the ripe old age of fifty. That is not exactly traditional, I guess.

So, if I were to classify myself as a book of the Bible, Ephesians would be it.

Ephesians 2:4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Lord, thank You that you are rich in mercy, and that You brought me out of darkness into Your marvellous light. Thank You that I can delight in You each and every day. Help me to indeed be filled with grace when I interact with Your image-bearers. Keep me from being impatient, and help me to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and ready to encourage others to follow You.

In the precious name of Christ, I pray.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

God's Providence

Parenting rebellious or wayward children is one of the most difficult things God calls us to do. I know. I am the mother of a couple of girls who turned their backs on all they had been taught, and strove to find life in relationships rather than in Christ.

I am here to remind parents that even when their precious children are in the throes of wicked, rebellious behaviour, God is still in control!

I wrote to one such mom:

"God is still in control. He has ordered your daughter's steps. She has lessons to learn that she can only learn while in rebellion, perhaps. It is easy for a parent to despair when their child does things that are contrary to everything they have taught, but you must learn to step back and see the big picture.

Look at the story of Esther. If I were Esther's mom, would I thinkthat it was a good thing for my daughter to be taken into a *harem*??? Would I think that her marriage to a pagan, brutal king was something to celebrate?Yet God was ordering her steps for a purpose.

God, in His perfect providence, gave Esther beauty above all of the other women. God caused the heart of the king to turn towards her. Mordecai, her uncle, "just happened" to be sitting in the gates and "just happened"to overhear a plot to kill the king, and was able to tell his niece,who just happened to be in a position to warn the king.When the king couldn't sleep, and asked for the record to be read tohim, his servant just happened to read the story relating to Mordecai.When the king decided to honour Mordecai, wicked Haman just happened to be in the court. The king just happened to decide to ask Haman what kind of honour should be bestowed on a man the king delights to honour!

Later, when Esther pointed out that wicked Haman was the one who planned to kill her and all her people, the king left the room in a fury. He just happened to come back in just as Haman had just happened to lose his balance and land on the Queen!

Read the book of Esther, and marvel at the Providence of God! Then remember that God is the same; He never changes. He is ordering the steps of your daughter, just as He has ordered all of your steps, all of my steps...and all for the good of those who love Him, of those who are the called according to His purpose!

We have gone through some very difficult trials with our older daughters, but I am here to tell you that God has blessed tremendously. He really does restore the years the locusts have eaten away. Christians who rebel and are led to repentance understand more of God's mercy and more of His grace. They stand in awe...Who is a Pardoning God like thee??? Or who has grace so rich and free?

Lord, thank You that You are in control. Thank You that nothing ever surprises You, and that You are always working in the hearts of the kings and the peasants, in order to bring what You have planned to fruition. You are a trustworthy Father, and all those who put their trust in You shall be kept safe.

Lord, You know the way that I take. You also know the path my children will walk on. I pray that You will lead them in an upright and godly path. I pray that You will pour out grace on their lives, and that each one will marry a godly spouse and raise up children that will shine like stars in the universe.

If any of my loved ones rebel, chastise them and bring them back, according to Your great mercy. Thank You that when they see the light, they will also see more of Your amazing grace. Your mercy endures forever!

In Christ,

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Striving to be perfect? Under Bondage? It's All About Grace!

A friend wrote to me today, struggling with some issues at her church. She attends a good church. She does all of the "right things", she tells me, yet writes:

"So, why do I FEEL so bound? Why do I struggle so much to be perfect? I continually try to understand the"law and grace" issues in scripture. Recently, I have felt the burden so much that I was led to read andread and read scripture. I came away saying, we areunder GRACE! We are set free from the LAW! Praise be to God! I FELT so free and happy! I knew what Jesus meant when He said that His yoke is EASY. I didn't want to go out and sin. I wanted to honor the Lord with obedience and to serve Him all my life!"

This was my response to her:

It's all about grace, my friend. Anyone who says anything else is missing the boat, and ought to be pitied or taught. It really is all about grace.

Not only are we saved by grace, but we live by grace every single day. Remember, all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (like menstrual cloths). Let that sink in for a minute. All (*ALL!*) of our *righteousnesses* - the good things we do, even the great things we do - are as filthy rags. There is nothing we can do to impress the Lord of glory. There is nothing we can do to earn more of His favour. He knows our frame. He knows we are weak, that we are sinners.

What hope is there then? Grace! He reached down and plucked us from the miry clay, where we were stuck, unable to move, not even wanting to get out of the mess. We LIKED it in there. Yet God, by His grace, sent His Son, His one and only Son, to die in our place, when we were fully deserving of death and punishment. He rescued us from the pit.

Not only that, but He saved us to accomplish good works. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 Now think about that. He knows our frame, that we are weak, that we fail continually, that apart from Him we can do nothing, yet He still graciously and kindly gives us things to do for Him.

We won't do them well. If we do them to the best of our ability, and we happen to be the best at that task or talent in the whole world, we still won't do them to His standards...we never can measure up. Even if we begin to be close to what Jesus can do (Ha! - impossible) the problem is that we will fail because we will begin to be proud of our accomplishments. (God hates pride!) We are undone.

THAT'S WHY we have to rely on grace. When we begin to understand the grace of God, we see that every good and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, in whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Our Heavenly Father never changes. He loves you, He loves me, He chose us from before the foundation of the world, fully knowing that we would be the worst of sinners, but graciously giving us life and health and tasks to do and people to love.

You need to get and read Jerry Bridges' book, Transforming Grace.

Here is the blurb from the page above:


Funny how the exceeding riches of God's grace seem to run out the moment we're saved. From then on, we tend to base our relationship with Him on our performance rather than on His grace.

Of course, God continues to deal with us on the basis of His grace, whether or not we understand it. It's just that when we don't, we forgo the abundant freedoms that come from not having to measure up.

The product of over 10 years of Bible study, Transforming Grace is a fountainhead of inspiration and renewal that will show you just how inexhaustible and generous God's grace really is—you'll never be able to ask for too much, need too much, hope for too much, or even sin too much. Like a never-ending stream of ocean waves crashing on the shore, His grace "superabounds" toward you without measure.

It's only $10.99 at the following website:

Don't let the legalists around you put you into a box. Don't let them dictate to you how you should live. Go to Jesus, read His word, seek His face, and worship Him only. He is the one Who loves you! He is the one who leads you day by day, step by step.

I think you may be misunderstanding your elder when he said:

... when we are saved we are given the ability to keep the law. That we are not UNDER the law in that we are not condemned by it but we are still to study the law and obey it.

At least I hope he wasn't putting you back under the law. Romans makes it clear that we cannot fulfil the law. We are saved by grace through faith. It is a gift.

So, yes, we are to love the law (because God wrote it) and to seek to follow the principles therein, but we are not bound by it, in that we are never condemned by not keeping the law. The law was put there to teach us that we cannot follow it. If we try to keep it, we will find that it is impossible. It is there to show us that we are sinners in need of salvation - and that is EXACTLY what God provided for us.

The Christian life should be a life of praise. We should strive to do right, knowing we will fail, and when we fail, we just run to our Father and confess it, knowing that He already knows and stands ready to forgive. Every single sin we have ever committed or ever will commit was put on (imputed to) Christ, and was paid for on that cross, by that shed blood. What marvelous grace! So, we don't have to fear, we don't have to feel like a failure...we just view ourselves as blessed Children of the Most High God. We praise Him continually -- when we do well, or when we don't. When we do well, we praise Him for His enabling grace, because apart from Him we can do nothing. When we fail, and sin, we praise Him for His grace, because when we confess our sins He is gracious and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. When we do well, we confess that it is only by His grace, and if we see a bit of pride creeping in, we agree with God that it is wicked because it is not acknowledging the truth that without Him, we can do nothing. That leads us to see afresh the marvellous grace poured out on our lives!

Galatians 5:1 1 ¶ Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Don't let anyone, whether at your church or on an email group, take away your freedom in Christ. Don't be tangled up again under that terrible yoke!

In Christ,

Thursday, January 06, 2005


I spent the entire day organizing my desk. Now for a woman to spend that many hours organizing one little desk, said desk has got to be a dreadful mess.

I have to admit it was terrible. There were papers and books and cards and letters and bills and a calculator and pens and vocabulary cards and so on and so forth - clutter and mess. Sigh.

It is always my intention to be organized, to be consistent in decluttering and filing. However, I get busy and the next thing I know, there is a pile here and a boxful there. Part of my problem is that I like to KEEP things, just in case. I also am a lover of books, and can never bear to part with any of them. I tend to buy books at garage sales or secondhand book stores, and of course at conferences or special events. Most of my books are in good order on my very organized shelves(thanks to Linda!), but my desk often becomes a place to pile books I intend to read for my own pleasure or edification, as well as books I plan to read to the kids, or have them read.

I have been praying as I have organized my house, top to bottom. God does hear and answer prayer, often in unexpected ways. Matt and Joanna, for instance, spent the day after New Years' Day cleaning and organizing my living room. They got rid of the tree and all of the decorations, threw out junk, and rearranged the furniture. It looks terrific!

Then my dear friend Darlene sent some dressers she no longer had room for. They came exactly at the right time. I put them in my classroom and used them for storage. Two of the drawers hold hanging file folders - perfect! One thin drawer has all of my maps and posters. I used the top drawer for confiscated items (it is full of lego at the moment), and I have yet to fill two other drawers!

God is so good and so gracious. I looked at the disaster that I called a classroom at the beginning of the week, and I despaired, feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work that lay before me. But as we sorted and moved and cleaned and dusted and filed, my spirits have lifted and I really can visualize how great it will be to have the entire room in order. Our schedule will be far more easy to follow if we don't have to stop to look for that Latin book, or that set of math cards, or pencils and pens.

Now if I could only figure out how to post a picture, I'd show you what it looks like. But for now, I just am rejoicing as I sit at my CLEAN desk, and I am energized to finish up the last few things to get the rest of it done! YEAH!


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Strange Choice

Dr. Henry Morgentaler was being interviewed on Canada AM this morning, regarding a movie, "Choice", that will be aired this evening, praising the virtue of this man who almost singlehandedly fought for abortion rights in Canada.

When he was asked what he thought of the movie, he tried defending his character by saying that he was disappointed that it didn’t show more of his personal life, because he believes that he is a good and gentle man. He mentioned that he is proud of his work, because he believes access to abortion is simply a matter of justice.

Then he said, "Crimes of violence have certainly decreased since the right to abortion in this country."

I stood, watching the television with my mouth open in disbelief. "Crimes of violence have DECREASED?" Pardon me?

It *may* be true (and I am not sure that it is) that a man is less likely to hit a woman if she is no longer carrying his unwanted baby, but (NEWS FLASH!!) crimes of violence happen every single time a baby is torn from his mother’s womb. I’d say that it is violent to cut off a limb, to crush a skull, to fill one’s environment with saline solution and burn one’s lungs out...these actions are violent beyond belief, and if done to an adult, or a child already fortunate enough to reside OUT of the womb rather than in it, then the so called "caregivers" would be prosecuted with the full extent of the law.

Morgentaler must be schizophrenic - he certainly thinks in a double-minded manner.
"I am a gentle man." Yet he has killed many thousands of babies. Our world is reeling at the devastation caused by the tsunami. People are saddened and moved to give generously, to pray, to even go to the stricken areas and serve -- yet far more babies have been destroyed through violently ripping them from their own mothers' wombs.

"I am proud of my work." What on earth is there to be proud of? He has enabled selfish women to live self-centredly rather than giving themselves selflessly to another person. Because of his work, there are abortion centres across our country, and hundreds of babies are killed every day. He ought to be ashamed of his work.

I do pray that the Lord will open the eyes of Canadian women to see that this man is not a gentle, kind, "saviour" who has enabled them to have "choice" to live their lives more easily. I pray that they will see that he is delusional, that he is no different from those who tortured prisoners during the holocaust, and that he should be filled with shame.

In Christ,