Friday, February 28, 2014

Tayte made the news . . .

He is the one walking on the roof of the Tyson building.

Communication . . . ever struggle? :-)

As I read this post by Matthew Jacobson this morning, it truly brought a huge smile to my face.  Boy oh boy, could I relate.  :-)  Seth and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year and just this morning, I was sharing with one of the girls something that I learned about my husband just last night in the realm of communication.  As we are watching our son prepare a home for his future bride and as we watch our precious daughters patiently (most days) :-) wait for the Lord to send the men that they were created to be helpmeets to, I am so filled with joy that God has given me the wonderful husband that He has.  Marriage is a wonderful thing but it is also a lot of work.  Communication is at the absolute top of the list in this work.  I hope you too will laugh and be encouraged by what Matthew shared.
Grateful for so much, ~Karen

Posted: 26 Feb 2014 08:01 PM PST
102 Words of Affirmation HR
She looked across the room at me with a combination of horror and anxiety which, frankly, seemed like an overreaction. After all, we had been married for three months and all I said was, “Let’s move to St. Petersburg, Russia.”
That sounds fun, doesn’t it? Why all the fuss? And, why is she so negative about my ideas?
Oh, I don’t know . . . how about food, shelter, and money for starters?
She’s such a planner, always hung up on the minor details.
Lisa spent the next day with her anxiety meter in the red zone, stewing over the Dollar- to-Ruble conversion rate, which clothes she should pack, and what raising children in Russia would be like.
Me? I never gave it another thought because I would never move us to Russia without a purpose and a plan. It’s an interesting idea, though, don’t you think?
So, we’re not moving to St. Petersburg?
Of course, not!
Communication . . . it’s a funny thing because it always involves three things:
1)   What you said
2)   What you thought you said
3)   What the other person heard you say
Who needs a game of telephone to bring confusion and misunderstanding (without the humor!) to marriage?
We laugh about it now but it wasn’t funny then. Exile in Russia and about a thousand other ideas struck fear into Lisa’s heart in those early years – not to mention frustration in mine because of her negative responses. We may as well have been speaking Russian to each other.
So, what was happening in our interaction? What is happening in yours? Does the Cold War get revived in your home from time to time?
Communication styles can have a major impact on what we think our spouse is saying. Hearing someone based on one’s own communication style rather than on theirs is bound to lead to trouble.
If Lisa were to say, “Let’s move to Russia,” it would be at the end of her thought/evaluation process, after all the details and contingencies were considered. When I say something similar, I’m floating an idea . . . processing out loud . . . seeing where the conversation will take us. It’s the same process for us both, it’s just that I’m on the front end and she’s on the back end.
Now that Lisa understands this about me, she doesn’t have to be instantly defensive in order to protect herself from random sea changes. Now that I understand her style, I am more careful (a little more careful!) not to drop idea “bombs” in the middle of her well-planned afternoon.
What’s your spouses communication style?
The Bible is filled with many simple, profound truths that, if heeded, can spare a marriage much grief. 1 Peter 3:7 says husbands are to dwell with their wives “according to knowledge.”
Taking the time to understand your spouse’s communication style and listening to her (or to Him!) based on what you know about the way she/he interacts will have a profound impact on your understanding of each other and bring a measure of peace the next time the visionary in your relationship suggests hitching a ride on the next shuttle to the International Space Station for the weekend.
Now, about moving to St. Petersburg, Russia . . . I have only one thing to say about that, “Nyet!”


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Unstaggering Trustfulness

I was so blessed by this this evening.  I hope it will be a blessing to some of you as well. :-)

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7)

Suspense is dreadful. When we have no news from home, we are apt to grow anxious, and we cannot be persuaded that "no news is good news." Faith is the cure for this condition of sadness; the Lord by His Spirit settles the mind in holy serenity, and all fear is gone as to the future as well as the present.
The fixedness of heart spoken of by the psalmist is to be diligently sought after. It is not believing this or that promise of the Lord, but the general condition of unstaggering trustfulness in our God, the confidence which we have in Him that He will neither do us ill Himself nor suffer anyone else to harm us. This constant confidence meets the unknown as well as the known of life. Let the morrow be what it may, our God is the God of tomorrow. Whatever events may have happened, which to us are unknown, our Jehovah is God of the unknown as well as of the known. We are determined to trust the Lord, come what may. If the very worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best. Therefore will we not fear though the postman's knock should startle us or a telegram wake us at midnight. The Lord liveth, and what can His children fear?
-Charles Spurgeon, Faith's Checkbook for February 27th

Relinquishment for Spiritual Growth

I have been very blessed and encouraged as I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot's book, Passion and Purity.  This section really stood out to me last night.

The growth of all living green things wonderfully represents the process of receiving and relinquishing, gaining and losing, living and dying.  The seed falls into the ground, dies as the new shoot springs up.  There must be a splitting and a breaking in order for the bud to form.  The bud “lets go” when the flower forms.  The calyx lets go of the flower.  The petals must curl up and die in order for the fruit to form.  The fruit falls, splits, relinquishes the seed.  The seed falls into the ground…
There is no onging spiritual life without this process of letting go.  At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops.  If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul.
It is easy to make a mistake here.  “If God gave it to me,” we say, “it’s mine.  I can do what I want with it.”  No.  The truth is that it is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go of—if we want to find our true selves, if we want real Life, if our hearts are set on glory.
Think of the self that God has given as an acorn.  It is a marvelous little thing, a perfect shape, perfectly designed for its purpose, perfectly functional.  Think of the grand glory of an oak tree.  Gods intention for us is, “…the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”  Many deaths must go into our reaching that measure, many letting-goes.  When you look at the oak tree, you don’t feel that the “loss” of the acorn is a very great loss.  The more you perceive God’s purpose in your life, the less terrible will the losses seem.
There must be relinquishment.  There is no way around it.  The seed does not “know” what will happen.  It only knows what is happening—the falling, the darkness, the dying.  Lilias Trotter wrote those profound words quoted earlier: “The first step into the realm of giving is…not manward but Godward: an utter yielding of our best.  So long as our idea of surrender is limited to the renouncing of unlawful things, we have never grasped its true meaning: that is not worthy of the name for ‘no polluted thing’ can be offered.”

Monday, February 24, 2014

"The disposition... to leave the dearest objects of our hearts in the sublime keeping of the general and unspecific belief that God is now answering our prayers in His own time and way, and in the best manner, involves a present process of inward crucifixion which is obviously unfavorable to the growth and even the existence of the life of self."
- T.C.Upham, Inward Divine Guidance -
~ taken from Elisabeth Elliot's book Passion and Purity ~

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Newest Family Photo

A picture is truly worth at least a thousand words. But if I had to sum up this picture in one, it would definitely be LOVE.  The next word that comes to my mind is BLESSED.  A family represents so many memories that are built together, so much growth and so many hopes and dreams to which we each have the privilege of sharing together.  What a precious and sweet thought to know that, Lord willing, our next family photo will include a very precious young lady right beside our son.  Thus the LOVE, BLESSINGS, MEMORIES, GROWTH, HOPES and DREAMS shall continue on.
Family is such a wonderful thing!
Love you all so very much!

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

I just began reading Elisabeth Elliot's devotional book "Keep a Quiet Heart".   The first chapter so spoke to me and was an encouragement to me.  She began this section of the book with a little poem by Amy Carmichael that was so good, and it kind of summed up her first chapter.  I thought I'd share the main sections of the first chapter that spoke to me with the hopes that it may be an encouragement to all of you as well.  :-)  May we seek His will and wait on Him in every aspects of our lives!

"Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soother the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?
Hold us quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?

Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?"
~Amy Carmichael

"Purity of heart, said Kierkgaard, is to will one thing.  The Son willed only one thing: the will of His Father.  That's what He came to earth to do.  Nothing else.  One whose aim is as pure as that can have a completely quiet heart, knowing what the psalmist knew: 'Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure' (Psalm 14:5 NIV).  I know of no greater simplifier for all of life.  Whatever happens is assigned.  Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things which happen to us which do not belong to our lovingly assigned 'portion' ('This belongs to it, that does not')?  Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty?  Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good.  As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled.  Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter."

"A quiet heart is content with what God gives.  It is enough.  All is grace."

"Response is what matters. Remember that our forefathers were all guided by the pillar of cloud, all passed through the sea, all ate and drank the same spiritual food and drink, but God was not pleased with most of them.  Their response was all wrong...The same almighty God apportioned their experience. All events serve His will.  Some responded in faith.  Most did not.  'No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.' (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).  Think of that promise and keep a quiet heart!  Our enemy delights in disquieting us.  Our Savior and Helper delights in quieting us.  'As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you' is His promise (Is 66:13, NIV).  The choice is ours.  It depends on our willingness to see everything in God, receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers."

"God came down and lived in this same world as a man.  He showed us how to live in this world, subject to its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed- not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world.  The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances"

"He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest."
~Linda Sandell

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mom was sweet and took some of us for a little drive the other evening so that I could get some pictures from a couple new angles.  Thanks Mom. :-)  I am constantly awe-struck at the beauty of the sunrise and sunsets that the Lord sends each day.  His creation is amazing!  Praise the Lord!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

"The heart set to do the Father's will need never fear defeat."
~ Elisabeth Elliot ~
from her book Passion and Purity

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trials and Consolations

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”  - 2 Corinthians 1:5
There is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales-in this side he puts his people’s trials, and in that he puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to his crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, because trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart-he finds it full-he begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this-then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.
-Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, February 12th

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

True Friendship

Right now during family devotions each evening Dad is taking us through Kevin Swanson's Proverbs Bible study series.  This evenings reading was really good!  Thought I would share it here so that others can benefit from it as well.  I've emphasized a few of the sections that seemed particularly profound.

Proverbs 27:5-6
"Open rebuke is better than secret love.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."

Friendships are not true friendships until they have been through the wild rapids of conflict, honest confrontation, forgiveness, and restoration.  This is a necessary process in forming a friendship, in the true sense of the word.  Rebuking or correcting somebody is not easy, especially if you hope to retain a friendship in the end.  But true lasting friendships will probably not form unless there is a little wounding here and there.  When this happens, be very careful that you do not allow your pride to resist the wounding.  If your heart resists and you begin to grow bitter, you will fail the test and lose another friend.  But if you receive the wound, embrace your friend, and allow the relationship to be repaired, you will have a better friendship for it.  These are the kinds of friendships that will stand in good stead through the many storms of life that are sure to come.
Love is willing to take a risk for a friend, but would it risk losing the friendship?  Herein lies the real test of friendship.  True love is more interested in the well-being of the friend than the friendship itself!  This "secret love" referred to in verse five is a love that appreciates the other, but is unwilling to do anything strenuous for the best interests of the other.  Even worse than secret love, however, are the "kisses of an enemy."  Judas serves as the infamous example of this.  It is easy to create shallow friendships and to give twenty hugs on a Sunday morning at church, but would we be willing to give our lives for these people (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16)?  Today, many professing believers will shake hands or hug a brother, but they leave the brother in the lurch over every tiny doctrinal disagreement or conflict.  These are not true friendships.
We live in a sinful world, and it is difficult for one sinful person to live with another sinful person.  But if we care about each other enough to point out each other's sins, and if we are humble enough to confess our sins to one another, we will live fruitful lives in this sin-cursed world.
- Kevin Swanson, The Book of Proverbs God's Book of Wisdom, Book III: Proverbs 24-31, Part 258 ~ TRUE FRIENDS AND GRATEFUL HEARTS

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Make Irresistable Crescent Rolls

Making crescent rolls is not as difficult as it sounds, actually it can be quite fun and even easy!  From mixing the dough to rolling them out to pulling them out of the oven and giving them the finishing touches, I'm going to show you step by step how easy it can be to present irresistibly delicious crescent rolls.
As a quick note, we make our crescent rolls 100% whole wheat.  You do not have to make them whole wheat; you could do part wheat and part white or even do all white.  But I must say, our rolls are a favorite at family gatherings by relatives that do not enjoy whole wheat whatsoever.  I've never heard anyone complain about these rolls being wheat instead of white.  So even if your crew doesn't care for 100% whole wheat, you may want to just try it and see what everyone thinks.  But don't let this stop you from making crescent rolls!  If you have a favorite roll recipe that you would rather use, then you can use it instead of ours.
Okay, on to making these yummy rolls!

Step 1: Prepare the Dough


Make your favorite roll recipe or you can use our recipe below.

Fantastic Whole Wheat Rolls

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dry powdered milk
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1/4 cup vital gluten
  • 6-8 cups whole wheat flour (or as needed)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk and yeast in large mixing bowl and allow to sponge for 15 minutes.  Add eggs and half the flour.  Stir until thoroughly mixed; will resemble cake batter.  Let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, vital wheat gluten and remaining flour.  Knead for 6-10 minutes or until gluten is developed or dough is soft and pliable.

Step 2: Divide and Roll out the Dough


Note: The following dividing instructions are only applicable if using the above recipe.  If you are using a different recipe, then you'll have to figure out how many sections to divide the dough into to accommodate your recipe. 
Divide dough into six portions.

Take one portion of dough and roll into an approximate 9-inch circle.

Brush generously with melted butter.

Cut the circle into 8 triangles.

Roll each triangle up, starting at the wide end...

...finishing by tucking the pointed end under.

Place crescent rolls on baking sheets or stones.  Repeat the same process for the other five portions of dough.  Cover rolls with a tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in size.


Step 3: Bake and Complete with Finishing Touches


Once crescent rolls have nearly double in size, preheat your oven to 350°F.  When crescent rolls have fully risen and the oven is preheated, place rolls in oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes.  You DO NOT want to over bake these!  They are done as soon as they no longer feel doughy towards the middle.

When done, remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter.

Once cool enough to remove from baking sheet, place in either a bag for eating later or in a bread basket to compliment your evening meal.

Whala!  It's really as easy as that!   See, you don't need to let the name scare you away from making these because you think it would be too difficult for you to make.   Anyone can make crescent rolls!
Have fun baking!  I hope you enjoy these easy, yet irresistibly delicious crescent rolls!


Holiness to the Lord

As I finished reading the book of Exodus this morning, this verse stood out to me, and the following commentary also stood out as significant.  May we each endeavor to live our lives in righteousness and holiness for the glory of our Lord!

“And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.”  - Exodus 39:30

 And (lastly) he crowned himself with holiness to the Lord, consecrating his whole undertaking to the honour of his Father's holiness: now consider how great this man is.  True believers are spiritual priests. The clean linen with which all their clothes of service must be made is the righteousness of saints (Rev_19:8), and Holiness to the Lord must be so written upon their foreheads that all who converse with them may see, and say, that they bear the image of God's holiness, and are devoted to the praise of it.
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"Many believers fail to understand that repentance is not only the essential first step to salvation, but also a great catalyst of true joy."
~Paul Washer~

Emotional Purity- Guard your heart

I listened to this message yesterday morning and WOW!!! it was so worth it! James Jennings brings out some very biblical principles in regard to emotional purity for singles and married people and then gives practical application of how to live this out in a very balanced, but God-honoring way. So worth taking the time to listen to! I was very blessed and also challenged by it.

Bill Nye and Ken Ham Debate ~Well worth watching!

Last night our family had the privilege of watching Mr. Bill Nye and Mr. Ken Ham debate through live streaming.  For those of you that weren't able to view it or didn't know about it, you can watch it on youtube.  I don't know how long they will have it available on youtube, but if you get a chance, it's well worth taking the opportunity to view it while you can! Mr. Ham did an excellent job of being humble and yet biblically straight forward and unapologetically Christian.   We also appreciated Mr. Ham taking the opportunity to present the gospel in the clear way that he did. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

~ Joy ~

 "For the joy of the Lord is your strength."
~ Nehemiah  8:10b ~

"The joy which has the Lord for its object, and comes from him, is the cause of renewing spiritual strength, so as to run and not be weary, walk and not faint, in the ways of God."
~ John Gill's Commentary ~

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Having the "law of kindness" on my lips is something the Lord has really been convicting me to work on lately, so when I read this is very much spoke to me.  I hope that maybe it will be an encouragement to some of you as well.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."  - Psalm 19:14

Kindness is a virtue. It doesn’t come easy to us unless we exercise that area of our life. It’s more than simply a desire to do good to others, it’s the behavior itself.
Kindness doesn’t sit around analyzing a situation to determine whether this person is right or that person is wrong. Kindness is a charitable gift–it reaches out to those in need.
Whether it’s easy or not, we are commanded in scripture to put on kindness. We’re commanded to be compassionate people because that’s Who our Savior is.
It’s all about looking up. Looking to Christ for our example and looking to Him for our reward.
Initiation is the core of kindness. Jesus reached out to this world while we were in darkness and sin. He didn’t sit around waiting for mankind to be perfect–He made the first move.
As difficult as it might be at times, we have the ability to choose our attitude at any time for the good. When someone gets under our skin, we can be impatient and vindictive or we can exercise the virtue of kindness.
It’s especially important to remember this when we don’t feel like it because that’s when it becomes sacrifice.
~ Darlene Schacht

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”  - Colossians 3:12-15