Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday's Song--O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel.

--Phillips Brooks, 1868

Friday, December 26, 2008

Recipe--Gluten-Free Salmon Pinwheels


Gluten-Free Salmon Pinwheels

Mix:
8 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1 t dried dillweed

Spread onto:
4 8-10" Rice Tortillas
(I doubled this and also used Spring Rolls Skin which we liked better)

Sprinkle on top:
4 1/2 oz Smoked Salmon, finely chopped

Evenly space on top:
16 Spinach Leaves
16 Strips Pimento (I just used olives)

Roll tortillas tightly, using extra cream cheese to seal, if needed. Wrap securely in foil or plastic wrap. Place in fridge over 2 hours, but under 24 hours. Cut in 1" pieces, and place cut side up on platter. Cover 'til ready to serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

On Christmas Day, it's nice to be able to reflect on the real reason for all of our celebrating: Jesus coming into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!! --LKR



O Holy Night
(Minuit Chr├ętien)

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

--Placide Cappeau, 1847

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Family Get-Together

We hosted Christmas in our home, this year, and had a blast! Since moving from the Chicago area and away from long-time friends and our church's youth group (that we hosted monthly), we don't do a whole lot of entertaining, anymore.

The menu is the same at Thanksgiving as it is for Christmas: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, rice stuffing, gluten-free bread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, canned cranberry sauce, and a gluten-free green bean casserole--or just served with sliced almonds as it was for today.
Every year, starting right after Thanksgiving, begins dessert making. Cookies, candy, and other goodies are made for friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and last but not least, family. Our large freezer, aka garage, keeps these treats safe and cool 'til the opportune time.

Because a large crowd was coming, my youngest made a veggie tray while I made a parsley ranch dip shortly before family arrived. Cheeses and sausage also were served. A few days before this, I also whipped up two different cheeseballs. Gluten-free crackers accompanied these appetizers. Salmon pinwheels made with rice tortillas, a big hit, were a new hors d'oeuvre that wes served, this year.
After the feasting, there was a flurry of activity. Time flew by too fast, and soon people began trickling out, family by family.

A very Merry Christmas and Hannukah to you all! --LKR

Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe--Ham and Cheese Cheeseball


Ham and Cheese Cheeseball

16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C Sour Cream
1 T Garlic Salt
1 C Ham--I used Canadian Bacon
1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese--I also used a little bit of Swiss Cheese
1/4 C Parsley

Beat first three ingredients in bowl 'til smooth. Stir in ham and cheese. Form into balls and roll in parsley. Refrigerate. Serve with crackers--Mary's Gone Crackers and Glutino Gluten-Free Crackers are superb. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday's Song--Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

--
Charles Wesley

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday's Song--O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Locks of Love

It was reminiscent of the scenario two years ago; Elizabeth waiting patiently as I worked the rat's nest out of her younger sister's hair. This year, it took me 1 1/2 hours to do!

Both girls enjoy growing their hair long to donate to Locks of Love. Today was Elizabeth's third time and Hannah's second.

It's a super cause, and an "acceptable excuse" to allow them to cut their lovely locks even though Hubby and I both love their hair longer.
Elizabeth loves her hair long, too, but also likes to donate her hair to help others.
Since it grows back rather quickly for them (unlike with me!), it's something fun for them to do! :-)
It was really neat--the same two ladies at Fantastic Sam's (located on Mall Drive in Eau Claire) that cut their hair two years ago did it for them, again, and remembered us!!! :-)Thanks, Wendy and Emily! --LKR

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

...The Saga Continues

If this morning was a bit chaotic and on the 'Oops!" side of things, the rest of the day went quite well:

1) Vet gave a thumbs up on kitty's healing injured eye;
2) Van was fixed and looking wonderful thanks to Nelson's Auto Body;
3) Only paid about $22 to fill up the van--hurray!!!;
4) Poochie finally dropped a load in front of me so a sample could be taken to the vet (yes, my second trip there, today!!!);
5) The sun came out and I needed my sunglasses!!! Yesssss!!! :-)
6) Flock of wild turkeys on both sides of the road as I was driving by :-)

Much more good stuff happened that I'll be remembering tonight as I count my blessings one by one! --LKR

A Series of Unfortunate Events...

This morning was difficult, to say the least. A snow storm had come through just to the south of us, and all three cherubs were hopeful for a snow day. My son, who's historically had difficulty getting up on mornings when there is school, was more difficult to drag out of bed than usual.

My hubby had to get to work to teach college early this morning, so I took over with the early morning routine. Tickling and being overly silly helps make things better for my son in the morning, but we unfortunately ran out of time to get out for the bus. Meanwhile, my oldest daughter ran back into the house, and, between breaths, said, "It's not my fault! The bus driver never even saw me!" She had been running alongside the bus!!!

The bus arrives at the corner at 7:00am. It's still dark, and I just can't understand why junior high and high school students who are naturally becoming night owls are subjected to early morning wake up calls.

The snow plow came through our neighborhood at 6:35, this morning. They are busy working on the main roads before this, which is more than understandable. I listened to the radio for school closings, and they were all south of us.

I got my youngest daughter up while my oldest decided her stomach was awake enough for breakfast and made scrambled eggs. My son wouldn't eat. My youngest rarely can eat in the morning because of GERD which my oldest daughter also has. Challenging, but I understand because I had similar problems.

My oldest started the car to warm up, then took Mister Poochie out in the swirling snow. After youngest left on her bus, oldest went to sit in the car, then came flying back into the house. "It's not my fault! Promise you won't get mad at me, okay? I accidentally power locked all the doors in the car..., and my backpack is trapped inside!"

I laughed and made another call to both schools, then called hubby. Unfortunately, our van is being worked on, and this is a loaner car. Hubby fortunately was able to drive over to the auto body shop, get a spare key, and drive the cherubs off to school. I am now leaving for the vets for an eye check-up for our 7 month old kitten who had an eye injury. --LKR

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday's Song

Emmanuel

Together in this place of worship
Your greatness we proclaim
We stand as one in giving You
All glory and acclaim.

To You our hearts are open
To You our hands we raise
Come take the place
Of honor in our lives.

Emmanuel
Our God is with us
Prince of peace
Mighty One
The ever-living God.

See the praises of our Savior
Rise to open skies
With the dawning of redemption
Your glory will arise
For You alone are worthy
Here in Zion You are praised
Our Lord and King
Forever You will reign.

Emmanuel
Our God is with us
Prince of peace
Mighty One
The ever-living God.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday's Song--We Gather Together

We Gather Together
We gather together
to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens
His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing
now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name,
He forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us,
our God with us joining,
ordaining, maintaining
His kingdom divine;
so from the beginning
the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side,
all glory be Thine.
We all do extol Thee,
Thou leader triumphant,
and pray that Thou still
our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation
escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised!
O Lord, make us free!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! What are you thankful for, this year?

I'm thankful for family, friends, our pets including a cuddly new little kitty, health, a detox that's going really well, my dream camera, our beautiful flower gardens..., and an abundance of wildlife that roam our neighborhood. But I'm especially thankful to and for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all the blessings, care, and love He's bestowed upon us. May His grace, mercy, and love touch your life today! --LKR

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pass the Pomegranates, Please!

We just love pomegranates! Unfortunately, they're a seasonal fruit and only available to us in the fall. Here is an easy way to access the seeds:
Cutting the very top of the pomegranate reveals the whitish skin separating the seeds into sections.
Slightly cutting into the sections makes it easier.
It's now easy to gently pull each section apart!
The seeds are easily freed with your fingers and a little bit of twisting.
They are wonderful additions to salads, yogurt, or cereal, but we love to eat them all by themselves! Yes, it takes a little work to get to the tasty seeds hidden within, but it's well worth it!

A note of caution is needed, here: Please be careful if you take certain medications. The same drugs which are effected by grapefruit will also be by pomegranates.
--LKR

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday's Song--Search Me, O God

  1. Search Me, O God
  2. (Cleanse Me, O God)

  3. Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
    Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;
    See if there be some wicked way in me;
    Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
  4. I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
    Fulfill Thy word and make me pure within;
    Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
    Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.
  5. Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
    Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
    Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
    I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.
  6. O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
    Send a revival, start the work in me;
    Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
    For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.
--James E. Orr, 1936

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday's Song--He Has Made Me Glad

          He Has Made Me Glad


          I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart,
          I will enter his courts with praise.
          I will say this is the day that the Lord has made,
          I will rejoice for He has made me glad.


            He has made me glad,
            He has made me glad,
            I will rejoice for
            He has made me glad.
            He has made me glad,
            I will rejoice for
            He has made me glad.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Porcupine Sighting!

It was the coolest thing! On our way home from our children's orchestra concert this evening, a porcupine waddled across the road right in front of our van! I've never seen a porcupine out in the wild before, have you?

These large, nocturnal rodents can tip the scales at 30 to 40 lbs. They are peaceful animals that curl up when threatened, protecting their vulnerable bellies while exposing up to 30,000 thorny quills that cover them from head to tail. If attacked, they will whack their predator with their spiny tails. These painful weapons fall off and become embedded in the attacker's skin.

Porcupines live in wooded areas, making their homes in hollow logs, underground dens, and caves. They can also be found climbing around in trees. They dine on clover, grass, fruit, seeds, tender leaves, twigs, and the bark of trees. Like beavers, they also crave salt and will eat things like canoe paddles and tool handles that contain human sweat.

--LKR

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday's Song--We Praise You, O God

We Praise You, O God


We praise You, O God, our Redeemer, Creator;
In grateful devotion our tribute we bring.
We lay it before You, we kneel and adore You;
We bless Your holy name, glad praises we sing.


We worship You, God of our fathers, we bless You;
Through trial and tempest our guide You have been.
When perils over take us, You will not forsake us,
And with Your help, O Lord, our struggles we win.


With voices united our praises we offer
And gladly our songs of thanksgiving we raise.
With You, Lord, beside us, Your strong arm will guide us.
To You, our great Redeemer, forever be praise!
--Julia C. Cory

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday's Song--Mighty To Save

Mighty To Save

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me


Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations


Savior

He can move the mountains

My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save


Forever

author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave


So take me as You find me
With all my fears and failures
Fill my life again


I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
And now I surrender


Savior, He can move the mountains
My God, my God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save


Forever

author of salvation
He rose, He conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave


Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King,
Jesus
Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King


Savior

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save


Forever

author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave


Savior

He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save


Forever

author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.

--Laura Story

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday's Song--El Shaddai

El Shaddai


El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

El Elyon na Adonai;
Age to age You're still the same

By the power of the name.
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

Erkahmka na Adonai;
We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai.


Through Your love and through the ram,
You saved the son of Abraham;
Through the power of Your hand,
Turned the sea into dry land.
To the outcast on her knees,
You were the God who really sees,
And by Your might, You set Your children free.


El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

El Elyon na Adonai;
Age to age You're still the same

By the power of the name.
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

Erkahmka na Adonai;
We will praise and lift You high

El Shaddai.


Through the years You made it clear,
That the time of Christ was near,
Though the people couldn't see
What Messiah ought to be.
Though Your Word contained the plan,
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of Your Son.


El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

El Elyon na Adonai;
Age to age you're still the same

By the power of the name.
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,

Erkahmka na Adonai;
We will praise and lift you high

El Shaddai.

--Michael Card, John W. Thompson, 1982

Hebrew Translation:
El Shaddai=God Almighty
El Elyon=The Most High God
na Adonai=O Lord
Erkahmka=We will love you

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkin Transportation


I don't ever remember raising pumpkins that actually survived to produce anything significant, but this year was different.  This is a picture of our remaining crop.  It's hard to believe that on just one vine, we had 12 bright orange gourds!  

We had a total of three vines, but none were purposely planted.  Last winter, I had thrown a rather large pumpkin out in the yard for the squirrels to consume, which they did.  When the vines started growing in the spring, we were pleasantly surprised!


Yup, that's what I was doing--transporting five rather large pumpkins from the farthest point in our yard to our front door.  Now that's what I call VIP--Very Important Pumpkin--service!  --LKR

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday's Song

Grace Greater than Our Sin
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.


Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can we do to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
--Julia H. Johnston, 1911

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday's Song--The Love of God

The Love of God
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.

The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade.

To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.
--Frederick M. Lehman, 1917

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday's Song

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.
--John Newton

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Sunny Outlook

One thing for sure, I am grateful to be a soccer mom. Soccer mom's are "forced" to sit out in the sun, breathe in fresh air, and watch their kids play and have fun. We get to meet new people, so we get to socialize. Our children also get to hear us yell positive, encouraging words to them, their teammates, and even for the opposing team members that we have come to know over the years.

Sure, there are those days when it is raining, or cold and damp, but thank goodness for the vehicles we drive in over to the fields. They are relatively warm and dry, and in most cases, we can still watch our children's game, depending how close we parked to their field. And, when we can't, we can read a book, talk on our cell phones, or take an uninterrupted, well-deserved nap.


This afternoon, I was thrilled to be outdoors on such a sunny, warm fall day. We had frost, this morning, which annihilated my gardens, once full of cheerfully attired flowers. To say I needed a pick-me-up was an understatement. But basking in the sun under a beautifully blue sky while watching my son's game was just the thing to perk me up. Who cares if they lost? They had fun, and so did I! --LKR

Friday, October 3, 2008

Port Wine Stain Birthmark

When my oldest daughter showed me this incriminating mark on her arm two in a half years ago, I thought, "Who did this to her?!" She told me she had just noticed it, and had no recollection of even getting hit on the arm.

When it didn't go away after a couple of weeks, I assumed it was just a strange rash, or other equally weird or rare, harmless thing that my side of the family seems to be prone to. If nothing else, it was something rather striking to me, especially when it becomes a deeper purple that made my daughter even more unique and precious to me. Still, every doctor she saw, I asked. They all were baffled.

Finally, we saw a dermatologist. He instantly and confidently told us it was a type of port wine stain birthmark. These vascular birthmarks are normally very noticable at birth. Hers might have been very light, he told us, escaping detection--ironically including that of her very watchful pediatrician whom she saw as an infant who had a large port wine stain, herself!

We weren't worried, but it's good to finally know what it is! --LKR

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not If, But When

They say not if, but when it happens. At least in some parts of the country, this is true. But it can happen almost anywhere in the United States, including heavily populated areas. It unfortunately (finally???) "happened" to us shortly before sunset, yesterday.

We were driving home from Wisconsin Rapids after a family reunion when suddenly, out of no where (as is usually the case), a deer ran out in front of us. Hubby started to break, but already a second doe had dashed out. This one we hit, but it was both a merciful and miraculous moment. Upon impact, my first thought was, "That's it?!!" We had barely even felt it!!!

After inspecting the van, we understood why. Hoof marks could be seen by the grill of our vehicle, and no where else. The doe's back legs were up in the air as she tried to leap to safety. When we hit her, she pivoted on her front legs and rolled out of harms way. Our son had then seen her get up and run away into the woods, for which were were all grateful. We gave thanks for the tender mercies of the Lord toward us and prayed for the little doe's recovery. No doubt she'll be sore for a while!


It's interesting: the day before, I had grabbed a freebie magazine called "Around the Kitchen". Timely advice about dealing with deer was on page 37 in their October issue. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Feeding times for deer are before and after sunrise.
2) Deer are also more active from sunset to midnight.
3) Bucks are more active October through December.
4) How fast you are driving can and will effect stopping time as well as the force of impact.
5) If you see one deer, expect to see more.
6) DON'T SWERVE!!! I think this is the hardest advice for anyone to take. Instead, honk your horn while you're breaking, but stay in your lane. To quote the article, "Serious crashes happen when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other vehicles or lose control of their cars."
7) Everyone should be doing this anyway, but make sure you're wearing your seatbelt so you are not injured should you unfortunately hit a deer.

Some very good, timely advice, I thought. After we got back on the road, I shared what I had read with my children, one of whom will be getting her driver's permit in the very near future. I hope this will positively impact your life! --LKR

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday's Song

Shout to the Lord

My Jesus, my Savior,
Lord, there is none like You.
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing.
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down, and the seas will roar,
At the sound of Your name.

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love You, forever I'll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.
My Jesus, my Savior.
Lord, there is none like You.
All of my days, I want to praise,
The wonders of Your mighty love.
My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength.
Let every breath, all that I am,
Never cease to worship You.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing.
Power and majesty, praise to the King.
Mountains bow down, and the seas will roar,
At the sound of Your name.

I sing for joy at the work of Your hands,
Forever I'll love you, Forever I'll stand.
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

--Darlene Zschech, 1993

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday's Song

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,
the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him,
for He is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear
Now to His temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, who over all
Things is wondrously reigning
And, as on wings of an eagle,
uplifting, sustaining.
Have you not seen
All that is needful has been
Sent by His gracious ordaining?

Praise to the Lord, who will
Prosper your work and defend you;
Surely His goodness and mercy
Shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do
As with his love he befriends you.

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all
That is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath,
Come now with praises before him!
Let the amen
Sound from his people again.
Gladly forever adore him!

--Joachim Neander, 1665

Monday, September 15, 2008

"It's a Bird! It's a Plane!"


I was positively ecstatic, this past weekend! Rare bird sightings in town were responsible for this elation. But as much as I would have loved to have seen them closer to home, they would have been quite difficult to attract to our yard, as they have a rather peculiar diet and don't perch too well. And just as ducks look ridiculously odd sitting up on rooftops, so would one of these birds sitting on our acre lot. Yes, I'm talking about the seven Blue Angel military jets that came to put on a spectacular airshow at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in spite of cloudy conditions.

We started hearing them Thursday afternoon as strange sounding thunder permeating through the walls of our home. Outside, from a distance, they sounded more like the cars on a roller coaster zooming along on tracks. But it was all music to my ears!

My fascination with aviation began when I was a toddler. Living a mile from La Guardia Airport's runway brought ample opportunities to hear, see, and even feel the presence of planes. Later in life, driving along the NJ Turnpike, as well as various roads in Chicago and Minneapolis, gave many chances for us to ride along side as they taxied down the runways. And it was always thrilling to have them roar above us as they came in for landing as we waited in long lines to pay the tolls.

I wasn't the only one in my family who found airplanes fascinating. My dog Shep would intently watch them high in the sky when I lived in a valley not too far from Newark International Airport. And while living in the Chicagoland area, my dog Charlie would gleefully chase them across our yard as they flew overhead. A former neighbor mused at the idea of him actually catching one! One thing is certain: these canines would have applauded our attempts to chase the the Blue Angels clear across town. And had they been with my youngest daughter and me, they, too, would have been elated as one flew a few hundred feet directly above our van!

Saturday's show was rained out, but we got to see the Blue Angels (Navy) on Sunday, along with a C-130 affectionately dubbed "Fat Albert" (Marine), a few acrobatic planes, and the Golden Knight (Army) parachuters.

I had seen the Golden Knights perform years ago during my senior year in high school when a classmate scheduled them to come land on our football field. I was delighted my children were now able to see them. Clouds prevented them from doing their whole show, but it was still awesome!

We had one last exciting moment after the performance when a jet flew over our house on its way out of town. My children all joyfully pointed it out and asked when we could see them, again. They're not alone. According to many comments heard from others and the media, these military aircrafts were very welcomed guests to the Chippewa Valley. --LKR

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday's Song

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;

He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

--Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, 2001

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Memories Of A City Ant

The sight of flying ants has always intrigued me. Every year, I look forward to this phenomena.

Memories of childhood now flood my mind. As a youngster, I used to play with ants, so it wasn't surprising when my first "pet" became an ant found on a walk with my mom.


This poor, helpless, captive creature was brought to our apartment in Long Island. At my mother's request, it was placed out through a window onto the fire escape while I took my bath. Later, when I couldn't find it, I was heartbroken. My mother reasoned with my four year old mind that it's mother must have called it back home for dinner. That was enough convincing for me! --LKR

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day We'll Never Forget

Today started off with several friends reminiscing about where they were on 9/11. I'd love to hear your stories, too! Here is mine:

We were in a hotel in Ohio, getting ready to drive back home to the Chicago suburbs after visiting my Mom and sister in northern New Jersey. My hubby was down in the lobby while I was packing when he suddenly burst through door of our room, emphatically telling me to turn the tv on. I asked him which channel, and he said it wouldn't matter. Puzzled, I turned it on.

I cried when I saw the towers in flames. I'd been in the World Trade Center several times back in high school. Rows of lobby elevators vividly filled my memory, along with the thought of how many people must have rode up them, that morning. How utterly helpless and hopeless those innocent people must have felt! It was overwhelming to even try to imagine. And how very desperate were the many that leapt to their deaths from that height must have been!

Every ounce of me wanted to go back home to New Jersey and be with my family and friends. We had almost stayed there longer (we home-schooled, at the time) to help my sister with her three month old triplets, one whom was sick. I later learned my hubby waffled with going back to help at the site or at area hospitals. Having spent much time in Loyola University Medical Center's emergency room as a respiratory therapist, he was used to the blood and gore of inner city traumas.

It was really eerie driving the rest of the way home from Ohio. No planes in the air, which is so totally creepy to think about even now, especially when passing by larger cities. And every place we stopped (frequently with a 7, 5, and 3 year old!), everyone was going along daily routines automatically, quietly and in shock. If we weren't listening to the news on the radio, we too drove on in silence. It was surreal.

Once we got home, even before unpacking, I pulled out a photo album containing photos of the towers and the view from the top to show the kids what they looked like, before, and how high up it was from the busy streets below.

Back in my college years, my family watched a slideshow of the towers being built taken by a friend from his office, above the construction site. I had found it really interesting. Now, we had witnessed them collapsing.

My Mom, sister, and friends called to tell about all those they knew that were late for work that morning, and spared, as well as those that they heard were still missing. Shortly after, I got an email from a friend who worked on Wall St. Her subject title was "I'm Alive!", and described how she narrowly escaped death by diving under a truck and followed directions from people from storefronts, after the second tower collapsed. She was fortunate enough to be near a drugstore that was equipped to aid victims, who in turn assisted many others that came in for help.

It's scary to think that something like this ever happened in the US, but it's even scarier to think that it very well could happen again. The world for us Americans forever changed, that tragic morning. --LKR

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday's Song

When I survey the wondrous cross

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord that I should boast,
Save in the Cross of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.


See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all!

-- Isaac Watts

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday's Song

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

  1. O Love that will not let me go,
    I rest my weary soul in thee;
    I give thee back the life I owe,
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    May richer, fuller be.
  2. O light that foll’west all my way,
    I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.
  3. O Joy that seekest me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain,
    And feel the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.
  4. O Cross that liftest up my head,
    I dare not ask to fly from thee;
    I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
    And from the ground there blossoms red
    Life that shall endless be.
  5. --George Mattheson

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Surprise Visit!

On a dreary, overcast morning, this was a sunny sight to behold!

Never before do I recall being paid a visit from an oriole this time of year!
--LKR 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday's Song

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
--Carl Boberg, 1885

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday's Song

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

--Robert Robinson, 1758

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Autumn in August???

Four years ago to the day, we moved into our home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from Villa Park, Illinois. That first night was so cold, my hubby and I ventured downstairs to sleep in front of the gas fireplace! (The kids were asleep or we would have invited them to join us!)
Once again, it feels like an early fall is upon us. Another autumn in August? It wouldn't seem fair after having such a long winter to have endured, this year! --LKR

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday's Song--How Deep The Father's Love

How Deep the Father's Love

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon his cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.


--Stuart Townend