Bare Your Bookshelf

I found this information today, thank you Julie.

Christian Resources International has a program to send Bibles to pastors and others who do not have access to one. Operation Bare Your Bookshelf is seeking to get “extra” Bibles off the shelves of Americans and into the hands of pastors in other countries.

We have a stack we’ve been wanting to send somewhere. We’ll get it out the door as soon as we get our information from CRI.

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Another cat update – we sent BluRay back

Well, it hasn’t worked out like we hoped. BluRay and Bluetooth seemed to be getting along a little bit better, but last night there were a few more episodes of hissing. Plus, BluRay hasn’t used the CatGenie for a few days. We were blocking off more and more parts of the house (which Bluetooth didn’t appreciate) and then walking around to find out where he had gone. It also hasn’t looked healthy so we got medicine from the vet Monday.

This morning Anthony kept a close eye on the cat and when BluRay curled up to go to sleep Anthony finally went in to take his shower. A few minutes later Connor walked into my office and pointed out that BluRay had used my hutch as his litter box. I am happy to report it was on some papers I didn’t mind losing, not on a book or anything else I would be more upset about. The main concern was that it was still not healthy looking, in fact it looks worse than it did before we went to the vet on Monday.

Anthony called the vet and then took off with BluRay (I guess it is a benefit to Anthony losing his job on Monday). He explained why we were concerned. BluRay has been here over 2 weeks and is still not handling the food well. He has plenty of energy but doesn’t really look like he’s gained weight. I think Anthony is also losing patience with the litter box issue. He then explained to the vet that with Anthony’s job gone we can’t plan on major vet expenses and it isn’t working out with Bluetooth the way we had hoped. (Remember, this was supposed to be a cat for Bluetooth to have fun with.) 

Final result – we won’t be getting BluRay back. The vet did say they will call and let us know if he gets better.

[Side note: I wasn’t that excited to get another cat and got very emotional when Bluetooth got abused by BluRay. Now I’m upset that BluRay had to go. I’m thinking it’s some side-effect of the grief. I have been emotional all my life but this is a bit more than usual.]

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Mercy for the impetuous

I admit one of my spiritual battles is accepting that I get God’s grace when I mess up. I don’t know why this is so hard for my heart to figure out. I know it in my head and would reassure anyone else with a concern about this. But I admit that when I see that I’ve made a poor choice and the consequences are heading my way I let anxiety take over instead of trusting that I am not alone.

As I was struggling with this again in November I came across a blog entry from Ligonier Ministries that addressed just this thing! It speaks to me right where I am and doesn’t pull any punches. If I screwed up, the sting of sin’s consequences are still coming my way but I am not left alone to go through it.

As I read this I wonder if I would be that eager to see Christ when I’m sitting in the results of my failures. I want this healthy belief in and love of God’s grace and mercy.

Here is the column, which was in the November 2008 issue of Tabletalk:

Peter didn’t just blow it, he blew it badly. “Though they all fall away…I will never fall away” (Matt. 26:33). Peter’s resolution we admire for its confidence and bravery. But it is a statement relying on one’s own strength and it is doomed for shipwreck. A few hours go by and we find him alone and weeping (Matt. 26:75).

We can relate, can’t we? We’ve made promise after promise to the Lord, resolution after resolution, only to come to the end of ourselves. The sinking feeling churns in our stomach, our earlier words of bold resolve pour like fuel on the fire of guilt and self-condemnation.

Godly sorrow doesn’t remove the sting of sin’s consequence. Falling short of the glory of God every day in word, thought, and deed is the norm, not the exception (Rom. 3:23). We may be surprised when we blow it, but our sins do not surprise the omniscient, holy God.

So often we want to hide from the Lord when we sin. Adam and Eve hid from God and tried to cover their exposure (Gen. 3:7-8). Yet after Peter’s very public failure, he doesn’t hide. He waits. Notice what Peter did when he heard it was Jesus on the beach. His exuberance leaps off the pages of the Bible when we read how he throws himself into the water and swims to shore (John 21:7).

Peter’s interaction with Jesus instructs us on biblical restoration. It was Jesus who restored Peter. It was Jesus who knew He would bring Peter back to a place of useful service (Luke 22:31). In fact, Jesus knew Peter’s journey through this dark path would only bring greater fruit as he ministered to the first century believers. The remarkable trials the first century church faced required humble, God-dependent leaders who knew their strength rested not within themselves.

Thomas Watson in All Things for Good writes encouraging words for those under the guilt of sin. “God is more willing to pardon than to punish. Mercy does more multiply in Him than sin in us. Mercy is His nature.”

The impetuous disciple resolved to be faithful, but his stumbling has served Christians for millennia who have looked at that event in Peter’s life and found the comfort coming from a God of mercy (Ex. 24:6). The Lord overrules our frailty, restores the fallen, and grows His church.

 

BTW – All Things for Good by Thomas Watson is available here as The Divine Cordial

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Hymns to know

I got this from Justin Taylor’s blog.

I want to do this. Luckily, November is a hymn I already know 80% by heart.

Josh Harris explains that Covenant Life Church released a CD last week entitled How Sweet the Sound featuring ten hymns they plan to memorize as a church. Here’s their schedule for memorization (the link provides the lyrics as well as background information about each hymn):

November: Amazing Grace
December: Before the Throne
January: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
February: Be Thou My Vision
March: And Can It Be
April: Crown Him with Many Crowns
May: A Mighty Fortress
June: Be Still My Soul
July: How Firm a Foundation
August: Great is Thy Faithfulness

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Everlasting Arms

This is actually from Nov 23 but I kept forgetting to put it on my blog. Here it is.

1. What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

leaning on the everlasting arms;

what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,

leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

Refrain: Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;

leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

 

2. O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

leaning on the everlasting arms;

O how bright the path grows from day to day,

leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain)

 

3. What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

leaning on the everlasting arms. (Refrain)

 

 

We are safe and secure from all alarms!

This was meaningful two weeks ago. This week as Anthony has lost his job it is even more reassuring. We’ll keep on leaning!

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Wordless Wednesday (mostly)

 

The cats are getting along much better now:

Bluetooth and BlueRay at the feeding trough

 

BluRay has found new entertainment, staring at the humidifier waiting for bubbles!

 

Waiting for Bubbles

Waiting for Bubbles

 

 

Apparently the water in the water dish isn’t fresh enough

 

Thirsty!

Thirsty!

 

If only he’d use the CatGenie all the time <sigh>

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The Instinct to Heal

  

I picked this book up because it was by the same author as Anticancer: A New Way of Life, a book recommended by a friend with breast cancer. He discusses some interesting concepts so I will summarize them here. The website that accompanies the book is Instinct to Heal and has updates on resources.

1. Practice Heart Coherence – control our emotional well-being. Coherence refers to your heart rhythm. Practice this for 10 to 15 minutes at the end of the day. Also use this whenever stress is coming on or overwhelming.

  • First, turn your attention inward, set aside personal concerns and worries
  • Take two deep, slow breaths – this will stimulate the parasympathetic system
  • Your attention must stay focused on your breath right up until you have finished exhaling and then let your breathing ause for a few seconds before the next in-breath begins of its own accord.
  • Center your attention on the region of your heard 10 to 15 seconds after your breathing stabilizes.
  • At this second stage imagine you are breathing through your heart
  • Continue breathing slowly and deeply (but effortlessly) and visualize each inhalation and exhalation as passing through that key part of your body.
  • The third stage is becomming aware of the sensation of warmth or expansiveness that is developing your chest

2. Address painful memories – he suggests using eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) because it has proven helpful in bringing up the traumatic memories and working through the emotions to achieve a healthy sense of being.

3. Manage conflict

4. Enrich relationships

  • He provides two methods to become an effective emotional communicator.
  • As opposed to passive agressive or agressive behavior, we should strive for nonviolent assertive communication. Instead of criticism, contempt, counterattack, and stonewalling, we should find better ways to deal with conflict. He recommends STABEN
  • S for Source – only discuss it with the source of the conflict, no whining to others since it won’t solve the problem
  • T for Time and Place – carefully choose the right time and place for the discussion
  • A for Amicable Approach – use their name and start on a positive note so the person will be open and listen
  • B for Objective Behavior – explain the behavior that motivates your grievance while confining your description to what happened (without the slightest allusion to a moral judgment)
  • E for Emotion – describe how that behavior makes you feel (not anger which is directed at someone else) such as hurt or humiliated
  • N for Need – you can then conclude with a description of your need that has not been recognized. “I need security at work”
  • Then he talks about better listening and uses BATHE
  • B for Background – ask them “what happened to you”. Only allow 2 minutes but do allow a full 2 minutes. Don’t need all the details.
  • A for Affect – ask them “how does that make you feel”. 
  • T for Trouble – ask “what troubles you the most now”. This allows them to pull thoughts together around what hurts the most, instead of remaining fragmented and overwhelmed
  • H for Handling – “and what helps you the most to handle this”. This turns their attention to their resources to help them cope and take charge. 
  • E for Empathy – sincerely express the feelings you experienced as you listened to the other person, give them the confidence that someone else cares.

5. Maximize Omega-3s

  • Reduce unhealthy fats, increase fish content and consider supplements.  Start with 1 gram EPA per day

6. Get high on exercise

  • At least 20 minutes for 3 times a week.

7. Wake up to the sun

  • Replace the alarm clock with a dawn simulator. Schedule the light to turn on 30 to 40 minutes before your appointed wake-up time

8. Tap into your meridians – Acupuncture 

9. Seek a larger connection

  • Find a way to contribute to the community.
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Cat update

…because someday we’ll want a record of what has been happening.

BluRay is skinny and doesn’t like to be picked up. Once we pick him up he doesn’t want to just lie in our arms, he tries to stand up and move his front paws up toward our face. He will take his head and bump our chin or cheek. He put his front paws on Anthony’s hands and his back paws on his chest and was fearlessly standing up. Definitely not the cuddler that Bluetooth is, but fascinating to play with. 

When he purrs, his motor is quieter, until you put your ear up to his body. It’s just well muffled because it is going quite loudly in there. He hasn’t figured out the purpose to the scratching pad, scratching post, or scratching circle. He’s going after my area rugs a bit more than I would like.

He knows how to eat. He also went straight to the litter box. His paws don’t have traction on the wood floors. I’m not sure what’s different but Bluetooth doesn’t slip and slide all the time, just when he’s running. But BluRay slides around a lot. Anthony can push him around like a dust mop while he’s standing up.

 

Some of the adventures since BluRay’s arrival:

BluRay arrived Monday night, a week ago. Monday night BluRay spent in the master bathroom (with obstacles to keep one of us from innocently opening the door in our sleep). Bluetooth slept in our bedroom as usual. We listened to BluRay meow most of the night.

Tuesday we let BluRay out of the bathroom and let the two cats see each other. They stayed away from each other mostly but had some less than friendly exchanges. Connor and I would interrupt them and they would call a truce (as long as we were watching).

Tuesday night we left BluRay to wander around the house and Bluetooth came to bed with us. Wednesday morning there was some activity at 4am and again at 5am but we managed to get through that and tried to squeeze one more hour of sleep in. About 5:30 am BluRay jumped up on the bed with us. Bluetooth didn’t move from where he was so Anthony and I had sleepy thoughts that maybe this was going to work out after all. Then as BluRay walked across our feet we heard this liquid splash and then smelled his lovely bowel movement all over the bottom of the comforter. Needless to say, all attempts at sleep stopped. Anthony ran BluRay to the litter box to finish. We scrubbed the comforter and put it in the washing machine with the sheets ready for the next load.

Wednesday through Friday went along. We have a cat door in our bedroom door (so we can keep the heat in and not have to let the cat in/out all night long). BluRay doesn’t understand the cat door so he is effectively shut out all night (this is not a bad thing, see Wednesday morning story above). The two cats hiss at each other occasionally, and they certainly aren’t playing with each other. Mostly they just leave each other alone.

Saturday morning we hear a strange meowing. We walk around to find BluRay meowing at Bluetooth. Bluetooth is avoiding eye contact and cringing a little bit. He sees room to walk around BluRay and starts walking off. BluRay jumps on Bluetooth’s back and fur flies. One of us distracts BluRay and the other comforts Bluetooth. This isn’t working out well.

Sunday afternoon BluRay pees on a jacket. He also corners Bluetooth and jumps on him as Bluetooth walks away.

Monday evening BluRay pees on our bed just before I’m ready to go to bed. We wash the comforter and then the sheets (it takes 3 turns in the dryer to get the comforter clean). We watch the specials to Wall-E. BluRay is shut up in the bathroom with the litter box. After I turn the comforter for it’s second drying I open the door to let BluRay out (his meowing is pitiful). He has managed to turn on the CatGenie all by himself. This could be a neat trick! But he has to use the CatGenie first. 

During the night he pees on the rug in front of the garage door. It goes in the washing machine.

Tuesday morning BluRay gets into the bedroom with the door shut (I guess he’s figured out how to use the cat door). He poops and pees on the bed. The sheets and comforter are cleaned yet again!

 

I’m glad we aren’t here for Thanksgiving, I don’t think we need the added stress of company. We’ll see how long this keeps up or if we decide it isn’t working out. But that’s the update for now.

[Note to self, the water bill may be a bit high this month]

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Conspiracy!

I found this over at Mt Hope Chronicles and wanted to share it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU&eurl

 

Check out Advent Conspiracy for more information and ways to get involved.

 

I’ve been thinking about this myself. I have some gifts for just about everyone on the list. Maybe this will be a transition year for some of those people with a WorldVision or Samaritan’s Purse gift included and a discussion about how to do even more next year.

 

Join the conspiracy!

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What’s on my nightstand in Nov

 

A quick review of what I read since the last Nightstand entry. I read Antsy Does Time and Everlost by Neal Shusterman, see my reviews here for Antsy and here for Everlost. I assigned Antsy as required reading to my nephew last week. He balked until he realized I had said it was the only thing he had to do that day. As soon as he picked it up I heard him start talking and laughing (he’s a verbal reader, likes to talk back to the book). He stayed up a bit late to finish it that day. From his reaction I would say it was a hit!

I also read Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber.  This is an interesting book because it talks about how so much of the prevention that is touted for cancer is really early-detection. It follows this doctor’s research into studies and options for true prevention actions after he was diagnosed with cancer. The food and environment information is not all new, but it is a good argument for making those changes that seem inconvenient.

I also picked up The Instinct to Heal by the same author. It is an interesting book about ways to work with our brokenness outside of the normal psychiatric methods and medications. He mentions some techniques like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for distinct trauma wounds, and then things like waking to light, acupuncture, Omega-3 fatty acids, and the “high” from exercise. It is an good resource if you are looking for way to handle stress, panic attacks, or other issues.

While picking up Antsy and Everlost at the library I spotted two others that looked interesting.

I read The Place to Be by Roger Mudd about his time at CBS as a TV correspondent. This was fairly interesting. Some interesting things happened between 1961 – 1980. He has a good perspective on the beginnings of tv news and coverage of Congress as well as some of the behind-the-scenes struggles to get that news onto the air. His tone is respectful but he still shares some interesting facts about people and events.

The other book I picked up is The Truth Commissioner by David Park. It’s still on the nightstand and I have a few more weeks to read it.

Adding to my nightstand this month I have Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, thanks to the Reading Through the Classics plans over at Challies.com

I just heard about Little Britches by Ralph Moody. I picked it up at the library and hope to read it over Thanksgiving.

And I picked up Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day at the library after reading about it at Blue Yonder. Anthony made some good bread on Saturday and we have dough in the fridge to do a few more loaves this week.

After school is over on 12/12 (hurray!) and I have time to myself again, I will also be picking up a copy of Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. This is the first book that our new book club at church will be discussing on January 18, 2009. I am so excited about the book club. I’m also very excited to be finishing school.

 

I’m also glad I know how to get the Amazon links for the book titles too. Thanks to my wonderful husband and all his techie knowledge.

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