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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tired of Waiting?

Waiting can be so difficult. It's one of my least favorite things to do.
I can remember the final month of my pregnancy waiting for my child to be born. I had dreams that I was eternally pregnant! Can you picture that? Oh, let's just NOT.

Waiting has purpose.
Isaiah 40:30
But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength.

If you are in a season of waiting right now, I encourage you to use this time to grow in strength in the Lord.

Put your hope in the Lord right now and trust Him in your waiting.

Hebrews 6:13-15
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, He swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Introducing Denise!

I have someone that I want you to meet, it is my girlfriend Denise. She and I have been friends for several years now. I remember back when she just had one little boy and now she has 4! My husband says that they are not just four boys, they are four boooys! This household is overflowing with testosterone!! However, Denise takes it all in stride and is one of the funnest moms I know.

Denise is also a great writer, she and I put together a rockin' church newsletter years ago. Plus, she sends the best notes you've ever read!

She doesn't have her own blog (yet), so I asked her to start writing some articles for a guest spot here on Praise and Coffee. Not sure how often I will be posting her articles, so stay tuned, I guarantee you will fall in love with Denise and her family as you read!

Make sure to leave her a comment welcoming her!

Here is a little more about Denise:

Denise Dykstra has been married to her handsome husband Jason for eleven years now. They are blessed with four boys ages nine, six, four and three. Denise has been writing since she was old enough to write stories on orange construction paper. She worked on her highschool newspaper, her local town paper for a short time as a stringer, her church newsletter and enjoys jotting notes and journaling. When not wrangling her boys together or cooking up enough food to feed them all, she enjoys gardening with her husband, camping and beach days. She and her family make their home on their hobby farm in West Michigan where they grow vegetables and always have the coffee on.

And now, on to her article:

I know little to nothing about any sport. My husband doesn’t really follow sports, we all enjoy watching most of them but really know little about them. We are too busy farming…ask us about farming and we know a little something about that!

In Michigan right now, there is a ton of snow. And it is very very very very very very cold (recently 22 below zero). The boys are cooped up in the house quite a lot of the time, and we have a small farmhouse with no basement so every game played is in the main part of our house and I am the ref, no matter what else I am doing or what else is going on.

This month the boys favorite game is hockey. Using socks for skates and brooms or old wrapping paper rolls or boards (I am not sure where they find those from) for sticks they try to get the hockey puck into the bathroom door or the living room door. It’s insane.

The other night my husband and I were watching a movie and our youngest was still awake. A commercial for a fast food chain came on and it says ‘hockey’ in it about ten times. Since even my youngest seems to know I know not much about sports, he figured he would inform me how to play. “You take the basketball” (keep in mind, he’s talking about hockey) “and throw it or kick it to make a touchdown”.

“Really?” I asked.

“Yup, I’m sure,” he replied.

One of my other sons, the one who is REALLY into hockey right now, tells me he lost the pock the other day. He thinks the puck is called a pock and no one can convince him otherwise.

It makes for some interesting conversations around here.

And I’m not sure why, but this whole hockey thing this month got me thinking about how much do we really know about what God says to us versus how much do we think we know. I am pretty sure we think we know a lot. But maybe we sound just as ridiculous as my boys do about hockey right now. They think they have the game figured out – just ask them! – and I think we think we have things all figured out, we have God in our orderly filed box in our brain, until we get asked something we don’t know or put in a situation we don’t understand. What will we do about it then, study up to know why we believe it or if it’s true, or continue in our ignorance? One day my boys will know more about hockey, they will study the game and know all that technical stuff and maybe play on a real team. It’ll take them a few more years, but I’m sure they’ll get it if they care about it. But what about you? Are you going to study up and get to know more about God, or don’t you really care about it?

I struggle with this. Our oldest really thinks things thru. He mulls it over in his head and then springs some deep theological question on us when we very least expect it. I so often am stumped and sadly, I often snap “why would you ask that? I’m busy, ask me later!” At which time, I feel as if I have just been punched in the gut. My husband and I usually end up talking to him together after the others have gone to bed, and it always leads to more conversations on the same subject for a few more days. But always, always we have to look it up, call a trusted friend or parent, bring it up in a Bible study and then get back to him. Kids are great at having you look at something thru new eyes, and they are great for making you realize how little you really know.

It’s a new year and I hear that most the country is in below normal temps with above normal precipitation…like snow. Why not take a little time in this cold weather to get to know your Heavenly Father better? Read some commentaries, do a Bible study, something to get you knowing your God better and knowing why you believe what you believe. I plan to do the same. Thursday I start a Bible study, because like I told you before, I struggle with this. And if I struggle with it, I am sure someone else out there is too.

And in the meantime, I have to continue to figure out how to give a time out in a penalty box to a hockey player who threw the basketball over the dining room table, where his brother caught it and ran it for a touchdown to score a goal. Apparently they were supposed to use sticks to get the touchdown. Guess I had better study up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two shall become One ~ Overflowing with Coffee


Some of you know that our 5 month old German Shepherd pup, Sam, wandered off while playing out in our yard. We were so sad. We just loved her and she was such a great fit for our family.

Before she was gone, I had been getting quite frustrated with her. After all, she was a pup! She would chew on things that she wasn't supposed to. She would make noise and wake Lauren. She would wake me up several times a night needing to go out. Basically, I was in a "your driving me nuts dog!" kind of attitude about her.

But then she was gone. Suddenly, I missed seeing her little face. I missed the way she greeted me when I walked in a room, so happy with her tail wagging. I missed having her snuggle up with me at night. My heart was broken, I wanted her back so much. We had all but given up hope when 11 days later the phone rang and the lady who had found her was calling because she saw my sign on the off-ramp.

Going to pick her up was one of the happiest times I can remember. The whole family breathed a collective sigh of relief that Sam was home, and we all slept better that night not wondering where she was.

I don't mind all the silly and naughty little things she does anymore. I'm just so glad she's home, I appreciate even the annoying things- like the way she literally follows me everywhere I go and I tend to trip over her several times a day.

What does that have to do with marriage? Well, it's more about thankfulness and recognizing the things in life that we should appreciate.

I was stuck in a bad attitude about Sam until she was gone, and I realized that there was a lot more about her to love than there was to be irritated with.

Sometimes we live with an irritated attitude towards our spouse. We get our minds in a place that rarely, if ever, focus' on being thankful.

Col 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,
7 rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

It clearly tells us here that living in Christ involves an attitude of thankfulness. In fact, overflowing with thankfulness. Think of a cup of coffee. :)
You can have a cup of coffee, but if you have a cup of coffee that is overflowing...let's just say that it's making a bigger impression on your world!

Let's be thankful and enjoy the gift of this day with our loved ones.
I'm praying for our marriages.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is your life getting in the way of your testimony?

Ephesians 5:1-2
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Do those who come in contact with us know that we are living a life of love?
Galatians 5:22-26
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Does your walk match your talk?

I don't know about you, but I have just given myself something to work on!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fluff

The other day I was having a "discussion" with my 16 year old daughter and as she left the room I jokingly said, "you better watch it or I'm gonna spank you!"

Lauren looked at me with amazement ...I could see it in her eyes, oh what a joy it would be to see someone else get a whooping!

Then she ran up to her bedroom and hurried back down the stairs, she came up to me with a wooden spoon in her hand and said, "here Mom, I found this under my bed."

She's such a little helper :)


Ok, I'm going to confess. On Christmas day we played a cruel joke on Lauren. As she unwrapped her gifts...well first-get this picture. The six of us are sitting around the Christmas tree. Two brothers ages 20 & 18, one 16 year old sister, Mark and I and of course-the center of attention-Lauren.

So she's opening her gifts and as she sets them aside to move on to the next, one of the older kids would grab that gift and sneak into the other room, put it in Sam's (the German Shepherd pup) kennel. Then they would say, "Lauren, where is your __________?" everyone would look around and someone would suggest that maybe Sam took it, and she should go check the kennel. So she would run in the other room, to find her toy in the dog kennel and yell, SAM! She would grab her toy, bring it back and the whole cycle would begin again with another toy. All the while Sam is minding her own business gnawing on a bow in the corner.

We all got the biggest kick out of it, but it has served to bring a little contention between she and Sam. To this day, when she walks out of a room, she makes me promise not to let Sam get the toy that she is playing with at the time.

I'm surprised she hasn't brought the wooden spoon out for Sam.


Life is never dull around here. God has been so good to our family, I'm grateful everyday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's Time to Build an Ark

Talk about rowing upstream. Does anyone else feel like they're standing alone wearing the only glasses without a pink hue to them?

This is not a time to be lukewarm. We need to know what we believe and who we serve because if not, some smooth talking person might just convince us that wrong is right. That sin is nothing but rainbows and sunshine. And the most ridiculous idea ever: that sin brings freedom.

Hebrews 11:7 (The Message Bible)
By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn't see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved.

His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.

That sharp line does not mean that we walk judgemental and look down on others, it means that we know our God and don't compromise our lives to go with the crowd. We should be known for our genuine love for others and our faith in the Creator of all we see.

Jesus hung out with sinners, but was not changed by them, instead He changed the atmosphere from darkness to light.

Here are His own words:

John 12:44-50
44 Jesus shouted to the crowds, "If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me.

45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.

46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.

47 If anyone hears me and doesn't obey me, I am not his judge — for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.

48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken.

49 I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say.

50 And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!"

It's not our job to be judge and jury. We need to walk in love and let others know that there is something better than hope in an empty promise. There is hope in a God who loves them more than they could ever imagine and has a plan for their life.

Noah obeyed God by doing what seemed ridiculous. I'm sure people thought he was crazy.

Believing in right and wrong, sin and forgiveness, may seem crazy in a world that has blurred all the lines. But standing firm and refusing to compromise our integrity honors the Lord and just as Noah, we will become more intimate with our God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't Feed Your Husband Dog Food


Thank you all that filled out the surveys last week, they touched my heart in so many ways. They really ranged in response. Some of you are happy and content with your marriage and some of your hearts are breaking more every day. My heart broke to read some of your words. I will be using your input to write these articles every week.

One of the things I want to share with you today is about marriage conferences. I would encourage every couple, whether they are in their honeymoon stage or two days away from divorce court- attend a conference!

You will never regret applying your heart to learn more about marriage.

My husband and I have attended several and were never in a postition to NEED to go. But, just like we go to the doctor for check-ups or take in our car for a tune-up, our marriage can benefit from regular "maintenance."

Here is a link to some very popular and good conferences from Family Life, Weekend to Remember Conferences, see if there is one in your area soon. There are so many in the month of February!

Here is a link to an article that I think will really surprise and bless you:
She Fed Her Husband Dog Food

I am praying for our marriages, and I want you to know that marriage was God's idea, when you are struggling- go first to Him, He knows best how to fix it. I believe it- I've seen it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I embarrassed myself, but God is faithful

Brrrr! When my homepage came on this morning it said 1 degree. It's a bit chilly even for us Michigan peeps. But a warm up is coming, I saw 30 degrees in the 5 day forecast. Woohoo, we're going to the beach.

I had such a nice time last night at our second Praise and Coffee Night. After some really great time of coffee and conversation I shared my embarrassing cat story, but went on to redeem myself by turning the attention to the Lord and how faithful He is!

I talked about these verses :

Matt 11:28-30
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

And here it is in The Message Bible:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

And this one:
Phil 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Message Bible says:

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I shared these in a note on Facebook yesterday. (If we're not friends on Facebook yet, make sure to add me: Sue Cramer)

Then we broke up into topical small groups and spent some time getting to know one another better and praying for the needs in our lives and community. We also prayed together for our churches and church leadership.

Some of the groups were:
Moms to young ones
Substance abuse and helping our loved ones who struggle with it
Overcoming worry
Pastors wives and women in leadership

I looked up from my group to see these beautiful women in groups with their heads bowed, holding hands praying. I love that. I was so blessed last night. It is my heart and passion is to see women connect with their God and each other.

Unfortunately my photographer was not able to make it, so I don't have any pictures. Sorry!

Our next event is the Praise and Coffee / Loving Well (with Beth Moore) Weekend on March 6-7th at the Plainwell Comfort Inn. Click on the link in the side bar if you are interested in coming.

If you would like to host your own Praise and Coffee Night in your hometown, click on the link in the sidebar and it will give you all the info you need.

Here is a link to Mel’s World Praise and Coffee Night in Florida , she also hosted one last night and I called her around 8 PM so her girls could pick the numbers for our giveaway and vice-versa.
I should mention, they thought it was funny to ask what the temperature was here in Michigan, not fair girls!!! :)


Also, I want to thank those of you that answered the questions on Tuesday. Some of your answers broke my heart and wished I could sit down with you and just give you a big ole hug. But I'm praying for you and I know that our God is more than able to do a mighty work in yours and your husband's heart and in your marriage.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Two shall become One ~ Tell Me Please


Hi Girls!
I want to know a few things and I think you are just the ones to ask.
I'm going to do a little survey and would love your input. Feel free to do it anonymously in the comments if you like.

Copy and paste the questions right into the comment box and then fill in your answers. Answer all or some of them. Feel free to elaborate on any of the questions too.

Random questions:

1. How would you rate your marriage on a scale of 1-10? (1 being poor, not much partnership, 10 being that he's your best friend and things are great)

2. Is making your marriage better a high priority to you?

3. Do you resent your husband? Why?

4. Do you like your husband's friends?

5. What are some of the top things you would like to change about your marriage? (Please don't say "my husband") Just teasing!

6. How often do you eat dinner together?

7. Do you work outside the home?

8. Who does the chores in the home?

9. What is your favorite thing to do together with your husband?

10. How's the bedroom life? Let me be more specific...are you happy with where it's at and would you say your husband is happy with it?

11. Have you ever gone to a marriage conference together?

12. Is your husband a Christian? Are you?

13. If you are and he is not, how does he feel about your faith?

14. What topics would you like me to explore more on Two shall become One ~ Tuesdays???

15. Do you have a marriage testimony that I could highlight on TSBO~ Tuesdays?

16. Anything else you want to add....

Thanks so much!
Much love and I'm praying for our marriages!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Get Me Out of This Trap!

I have had some things heavy on my mind lately. In fact, I now recognize that offense is trying to get a hold on my heart.

I’ve been “mulling” again. Letting things circulate in my mind and heart that are not only upsetting to me, but could become bitterness if left unchecked.

Do you ever do that? Or is it just me?

This morning, I know that I have to take hold of these thoughts and steer my mind in the direction of truth. The truth of God’s Word.

Hebrews 12:14-15
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
1. Make every effort to live in peace…
This may mean going to the person and confronting the situation face to face. I’ve had to do that at times and sometimes it works out well, sometimes it backfires. But the most important thing to make sure is that your motivation is love for the other person. No matter how they receive it, if your motive is love, God will honor you for it.

But, it may mean not discussing it with ANYONE, in fact the issue may be completely in you and you need to make every effort to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and examine your own heart. Forgiving others and moving on in love may be difficult but the rewards are worth it.

2. without holiness no one will see the Lord…
It is holy to forgive and walk in love…and when we don’t, it will become a stumbling block to others. They will not see the Lord in our lives.

My heart’s desire is that people see the Lord in my life, and it grieves me to think that I could cause anyone to stumble. I know I have in the past and I pray that God helps me to avoid these pitfalls again. I know that is why He’s prompting my heart to deal with this situation now. I love that He gives me opportunities time and time again to turn things around.

3. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many
So how do we avoid bitterness? According to verse 15, we make sure that we don’t miss the grace of God.
I love the grace of God for myself, but hmmm…do I “miss it” when it comes to giving it to others??

Bitterness is an awful pill to swallow…but once we swallow- it can grow. It can actually take on a life of it’s own and before you know it, it’s affecting everyone around you.

When this happens, all your girlfriends are well aware of what is brewing on the inside of you, and unfortunately your family is probably really paying the price of this “injustice.”

There are times that after I hang up the phone I hear the still small voice of the Lord say…was that person encouraged or inspired in any way just now or did you just put a heavy weight on them??

UGH! It pains me to type that because I know that I have done so much damage with my words. Gotta love that grace now.

The bottom line is that offense is a trap that satan sets for us. He wants us to grab hold of offense and take us captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
If you’ve read this far, I’m pretty sure that you also want to do God’s will in your life, so let’s take a long hard look at these verses and our hearts and see where we need to change.

Eph 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
God loves us so much that He gives us life through His Word and the strength to make choices consistent with His will for our lives.

Don’t fall for the traps of offense, forgive and move on!!
I've read this book years ago and remember what an impact it had on my life. So I wanted to pass along the info to you all.

Very powerful, if you are struggling in your church or relationships at all, get this one.

Are you ensnared by bitterness, seized by anger, held captive by
resentment because someone has offended you?
Bevere shows you how to escape
Satan's grip, avoid a victim mentality, practice forgiveness, experience
reconciliation, and remain free in Christ. Features updated anecdotal
stories and testimonies, and an extensive study guide for individuals or
small groups.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winner and...Saturday Stuff

The January Praise and Coffee Winner is:

I just want you all to know how hard it is for me to choose just one of you as I re-read the posts and draw a winner (with a random number generator). I want to send praise and coffee to all of you! I want to thank all of you that added my button to your blog too, you gals are the best.


Well, like is getting back to normal here in the Cramer pad now that the holidays are over and Mom is back on her feet again. Of course Sam's homecoming (our 5 month old German Shepherd pup who wandered off last week) has made everyone smile! Now she's the Princess and we're all back to hiding our socks. Socks are a target of opportunity to her.


I'm so excited that this Thursday is the second Praise and Coffee Night here in Plainwell, MI AND in the Miami, Florida area also!
I've been working on my topic of "Never Stop Dancing." Along with some encouragement, I'll be sharing a very embarrassing story with the girls!

Also, the conference March 6-7 has many ladies in the community buzzing. We actually received donations so that we can offer it at no cost, God is so good. Many families in our community have been affected by the economy and I didn't want any women to let money become the deciding factor.
What I am especially excited about is that so many different churches are getting involved and working together to bring this conference. The team of women greeting, etc will be as diverse as the community- love that! Sisters in Christ. And many women are inviting girlfriends that don't know the Lord yet.

My heart and passion is to see women connecting with God and each other.

This is the verse that compels me in this ministry:
Matt 18:20
For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them."

I would LOVE for you to host a Praise and Coffee Night in your area, check out the website for the why, how and who details (see sidebar of website). Let me know when you schedule one so that I can post it on the Praise and Coffee Nights website.

Did I tell you about Matt's cab ride?
Our son Matt is at the American Comedy Institute in New York. He lives just outside of Harlem in Manhatten. So he's quite used to cab rides and "interesting people" but he'd never met one like this cab driver.

He was flying home at Christmas and ended up snowbound in Detroit, no flights going out. So I booked him a Greyhound and he went to the station. Well, Greyhound decided the weather was too bad also and cancelled all their buses for the day.

So our (18 year old) son Josh set out to drive the 4 hours (in the snowstorm) to get his brother.
Instead of hanging out at the bus station, Matt decided to get a cab and go see a movie. He wasn't just a few minutes down the road and saw that the fare was already at $30...he said, wait- what's going on, that is way too much! The cab driver (who was a very BIG dude) didn't see any problem with it so Matt told him to turn around and take him back.

The cab driver said, oh no it's ok- you can just rent me for the day, I'll go to the movie with you.

By now Matt is trying to figure out how to bail out of the crazy cab mans car. Matt said, I don't think so, take me back.
The crazy cab man says, well, you must have a credit card on you, I'll take you over to the store and you can buy me a pair of jeans.

I am not kidding you! This kind of thing only happens to Matt!!

Matt insists that he takes him back to the bus station and finally he does after Matt hands him his $30. When they get back to the station, Matt tells the crazy cab man that he is going to go in there and tell everyone how he tried to rip him off if he doesn't give him his money back- so he grudgingly does. Then the crazy cab man comes into the station and gives Matt the evil eye all afternoon until Josh picked him up.

Can you believe that?!
I'm note even sure how he will write that into a comedy skit, it's almost too weird all on it's own.
I'm sure he'll find a way.

Hey just want to give you a heads up, a very sweet blogging friend Susan Kelly Skitt is doing a great giveaway, stop over and see her after you leave me a comment :)


Well, I hope you all have a great weekend, I think we're just taking it easy but I'm sure there will be at least one trip to Home Depot, there usually is.

Much love girls,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request

I received this email from a blogging friend, Kathie in Costa Rica:

We urgently need your prayers here in Costa Rica. Yesterday at 1:21 p.m. we were hit by the most damaging earthquake Costa Rica has had in 118 years.

It registered at 6.2 and the epicenter was some 10 kilometers from Poas Volcano. The damage is extensive due to the mountainous nature of the area.

There are 14 known dead so far as of 7 a.m. today with dozens missing and feared buried under landslides. It is raining in the mountains this morning which is seriously hampering rescue operations, and increasing the possibility of more landslides.

Entire communities are cut off as many miles of roads totally disappeared and bridges are gone as well. The Red Cross is trying to get into those areas by helicopter and the latest report is that the U.S. military in Honduras is sending down two large helicopters to help airlift people out.

So far we have had over 1500 aftershocks and OVSICORI (the earthquake/volcano people) are advising that this may go on for an indefinite period of time. The epicenter was 35 kilometers NNW of San Jose where we live.

We were shaken up quite a bit, but suffered no major damage. The quake was caused by movement of a local fault system (not tectonic or subductive). Geologists are keeping a close watch on Poas Volcano because the epicenter was quite close to the principle crater. Will try to keep everyone updated as much as possible.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


For those of you that knew our German Shepherd pup had disappeared last week... just want to let you know that a lady saw my sign and called tonight. She had picked her up last week by the highway and she was being kept at her sisters. They took good care of her!

We are so to come! :) :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

From Inside Israel

My thoughts and prayers are with all those involved in what is happening in Israel right now. Mark and I talked last night about the way of life in Israel. Can you imagine going to sleep and wondering when the sirens are going to go off and hurrying your family to shelter when they do? Their familes get used to it, but it is terror no less.

I am also so saddened and outraged by the way Hamas shield's their weapons with innocent lives. Launching rockets from a school house, giving the Israelies no option but to destroy them. But then Israel drops flyers all over town to warn them of impending attacks. It is obvious who cares about their people. When Mark was in Israel, he was touched by their respect and love for life.

Their response has been called disproportionate. I guarantee you, if Canada (which they never would- I love you all my Canadian friends! ) was launching rockets on us, it would be shock and awe, not a "proportionate" response. You don't reason with a bully, you take them out. I feel awful for the innocent lives being lost, I pray the Palestinians themselves would rise up against Hamas.

I wanted to share this with you from Joel Rosenberg:
Here is an article from withing Israel

Psalms 122:6-7
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

"May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Two shall become One ~ I Want A New Attitude


Since many of us are evaluating and examing our lives at the New Year, it's a great time to have a new attitude towards our marriage (but so is everyday!).

It is easy to fall into a routine and stop expressing our love and gratitude for one another.
So many times we forget to be grateful for all the God has blessed us with as wives. We may even being carrying unforgiveness or bitterness towards our spouse, sometimes we hold on to it so long that we forget why we have animosity in the first place, yet we still resent them.

Our attitudes are a result of our thoughts toward our spouse. Our actions are quick to follow those thoughts and attitudes.

Eph 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I like the way the Message Bible says it also:
Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.

I really love that part: "as God accurately repoduces His character in you."

Let me ask you...what would your husband say about your attitude?
How do you suppose he speaks of you when you are not around?
And what do you think his friends say about you behind your back?

Yes, I know- brings me to my knees right there next to you.

I want to have the kind of attitude that is well spoken of. That I hold to my convictions and really put off that old self so that I can be new in the attitude of my mind and His character is being reproduced in me. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.

It certainly does not mean we are perfect, but that is also no excuse not to examine our hearts and see what kind of attitudes we have been projecting in our marriages towards our husbands.

So I leave you with this question:

"How can you change your attitude to show your husband that your faith in God and His Word is real...without using words?"
I'm praying for our marriages.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

You're Invited to a Praise and Coffee Weekend!!!

Need some girls time~out?

Praise and Coffee Night & (no cost) Conference!

March 6-7th
To the Plainwell Comfort Inn
Plainwell, MI 49080

We will be doing the Beth Moore "Loving Well" video retreat in a box.

”Some people are a joy to love, some are difficult to love, and we all have to deal with some people who are humanly impossible to love. And in every relationship one truth endures: We will never be able to love others well until we have been loved well. Only God can ultimately give us the complete love we so desperately need.”

All Women Invited!

Conference starts Friday 7 PM
Leave refreshed Saturday 3 PM

You can come for just the Friday night worship and 1st session, but we hope you can stay through Saturday!

Live Worship with Trinity ftl!

No cost for conference but you must RSVP for Fri. night or full conference by February 28th. 269-998-3244 or email


If you want to stay at the hotel....
Hotel rooms available, you are responsible to reserve them.

YOU will choose your room mates...BUT, if you need others in your room or would like to room with someone, let me know- I may be able to hook you up with other women looking for roommates.

If you call by Feb. 6th (THEY EXTENDED THE DEADLINE TO FEBRUARY 18TH!!!) and mention “Praise and Coffee” you will get a reduced rate of $98.96.
Plainwell Comfort Inn : 269-685-9891 (you can book a room after that, but not at the reduced rate).

The hotel offers a continental breakfast from 6-10 AM.
We will break on Saturday for you to get your own lunch in town.
FYI~ Hotel has a pool and jacuzzi.

There is no childcare available.

7:00 PM ~ 10:00 PM Praise and Coffee Night Out
Live Worship and Session 1 & gourmet desserts!


9:00 am Worship and Sessions 2 & 3
Noon Lunch
1:15 pm Session 4 & topical small groups (marriage, children, substance abuse, women in leadership etc)
3:00 pm Dismiss

Grab some girlfriends and come out for a great time!


If you would like to start a Praise and Coffee Night in your area,
check out the new website with all the info: Praise and Coffee Nights

Friday, January 2, 2009

Are you going to freak out or faith out??

Have you ever been alone with a thought that spirals out of control and before you know it, your mind has you in a state of sadness, confusion, fear, anger, anxiety or even depression?

I am over at the Internet Cafe' today, come see me!!

Here's the direct link to my post: Freak out or Faith out?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 2009 Praise and Coffee Giveaway


Happy New Year!

Can I just thank you for a really fun 2008 with all of you and looking forward to what 2009 will bring. One thing it's sure to bring is more Praise and Coffee!

This month the praise I'm giving away is:

And also a bag of coffee!

PLUS, Bayview Cards wants to bless you too!

You will also receive a beautiful box of their homemade cards!!

To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post. Make sure there is some way for me to contact you if you win (link to a blog or email). No anonymous enteries- it always surprises me when I get those! The drawing will be on the 10th of January.

If you have my GIVEAWAY button on your blog, let me know
(please don't assume that I will remember) and you will be entered TWICE!!!!

Much love & looking forward to great year with you!

I am so excited, I just have to tell you about my:

Praise and Coffee Girlfriends Weekend!

Come on up to Michigan for a fun time :)

  ©Blog Design by Amy Bayliss.

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