Dec 29, 2008

Memory Monday & A Siesta Visit

This weeks verse from memory:

Exodus 20:8
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Exodus 20:8

I was so thankful when I saw this was my next verse in my card stack to memorize. Thankful because we have been gone from home for a week and the verse was easy to tuck in my heart. It has been a full and fun week with family and friends and celebrating the birth of our Savior. I clipped my memory card to my daily planner and read the card each morning.

We have returned home and are anticipating Nesha and her family visiting from Virgina. Nesha and I roomed together in San Antonio and you can read more about our trip here.

For this next week, I am going to review the first eight verses I've learned and then do them all from memory, Lord willing! I really want to know these verses and their references, so I'm going to make this my goal this week to review:

Psalm 119:11
Isaiah 45:5
Matthew 1:21
Isaiah 53:6
Psalm 119:105
John 3:16
John 8:12
Exodus 20:8

I'll see you all next Monday. Until then, I'm so thankful to the Lord that Nesha and her family are heading this way!

Dec 22, 2008

Memory Monday & The Again God

This weeks memory verse:
John 8:12:
"Then Jesus again spoke to them saying, I am the Light of the World, he who follows me will not walk in the darkness; but will have the Light of life."

The start of this verse really spoke to me this week. I'm thankful that Jesus again spoke to them and found myself asking Jesus to speak to me again. Wow me with Your Words. Let me marvel in the glory of Your Truth and Lord, write it on my heart so that when *situations* come up, I can do battle with the enemy, like Your Son, with the Truth of Scripture. I want to know Your Word, walk in It and live It. Let me be changed by what I learn, changed to be more like You.
From memory
John 8:12
"Then Jesus again spoke to them saying, I am the Light of the world, he who follows me, will not walk in the darkness; but will walk in the Light of life."
John 8:12
I need to work on the last phrase "but will have the Light of life."

Next week's Scripture to tuck in my heart:

Exodus 20:8
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."

We are with the Salesman's family this week celebrating Christmas. And when we return home, a siesta from the Siesta Fiesta in San Antonio is coming to visit with her family and I'm so excited! So, Lord willing, I'll check in next week. But for now, I'm off to play with my darlin' little niece and four nephews and eat my mother-in-law's cooking (which includes a delicious broccoli casserole made with broccoli from my father-in-law's garden) and visit with my dear sister and brother-in-laws. May you all have a Merry Christmas. And if you still have presents to wrap, Cindy at Life is Good, has a great thought about prayer and wrapping presents that you may want to read about here.

Dec 17, 2008

No Money Equals No Tree - Memories of our First Christmas

This is a re-post I shared on another blog last year. As my dear sister-in-law so aptly put, it shows "that our richest memories are those tied with heart-strings and not purse-strings."
When my Baby wore this apron that my mother gave me, it brought me back nineteen years ago to a little basement apartment in St. Louis when I first donned this apron. Sweet, sweet memories of a Christmas when we had NO money to spend for presents or a tree! When The Salesman told me we had no money for a tree, I wondered if I'd married Scrooge himself. NO TREE - I must have misunderstood; but no, he was firm - no money equals no tree. And his family and mine were coming for the Christmas holidays!!! Gasp! Sigh! Cry! And that didn't matter either - still - no money equals no tree. We were not going into debt. How thankful I am as I look back on that first Christmas together.

So my mind went into gear - What do we have that we could we give as gifts? For my husband's family:
I sewed and stuffed a bear from some lovely remnants of Ralph Lauren fabric for my sister-in-law. She still has the bear today. I took a picture of my in-laws that we had taken at the Biltmore House and gave it to them in a frame that we had. The youngest brother-in-law, which was still a young-un', got a re-gifted item - a new red tie and red socks that had been given to my man. The Salesman had to dress conservatively and this tie was too bright to be considered conservative. And what successful salesman wears bright red socks???

For my family:
Dear ones, I can not remember what I gave you that year. I'm wondering, did I just call and tell you that I thought I had married Scrooge, but ask for you to please come see us anyway? I do not remember. If you remember, please share with me. But I have the sweetest memory of my dad reclining in the chair that was *left* in the basement apartment for us. And oh, my dear mother, sitting beside him on the side of the chair, with her arm around him. Committed love, a picture imprinted on my mind of committed, caring, giving, unselfish, servant love. And *the gift* I was given from my brother, The Accountant, who was so extravagant with the gift column of his ledger for me that year when "no money equaled no tree". The gift was so lavishly wrapped and the box imprinted with the name of an upscale store, I was in utter disbelief - this was for me? I'm the "no money, no tree, but come see me" sister. In that box was, not one, but two - a set - of what I'd just started collecting. Almost nineteen years later, as I cleaned some candle wax off *the gift* the other day, I was again blessed by the sweet memories of that gift and the circumstances that surrounded us that first year.

On Christmas eve that year, The Salesman came home with a bonus check!!! I'm getting excited just typing about that bonus check - His first job - we didn't know he'd get a bonus! We, (OK, I) was like a little child - we headed to the tree lot. By the way, there is not much selection at the tree lots on Christmas Eve, but the prices are fabulous! And we had to cut our Charlie Brown Christmas tree down to fit in our basement apartment! And we had money for warm and delightful Christmas meals with our family which I served in that lovely plaid apron!

Reflecting on that first shared Christmas, there are three things I'm thankful for:

The Salesman has never allowed me to spend what we didn't have, even though that first Christmas I *thought* it couldn't be Christmas without a tree. Biblical principles put into practice even when I was a whining and crying wife.

I'm thankful for memories, precious memories of my first married Christmas with my man and my last earthly Christmas with my momma. I saw Jesus fleshed out in her, Jesus with skin on to serve and love, committed love.

I'm blessed that my brother was so extravagant with me, even when I had nothing to give. Do you see Jesus in that? I do. Thank you brother, Thank You Lord.

Dec 15, 2008

Memory Monday

Thank you all for your interest in Scripture memory cards. Our church only had the one deck of cards left that I used to take pictures of from the Embrace The Word campaign. The church had the decks printed at a print shop. Before our church went with the print shop, they set up a program on their computers to try printing it in house. My church has made available to me the computer set up they used and it is ready for you to print on business card stock. The actual decks of cards I photographed and that the church ended up using was printed by a "print shop". Let me know if you are interested in the program that was shared with me and I'll be more than glad to e-mail it to you. It's exciting to know so many are interested in hiding His Word in our hearts.

This week's Word:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

Let's see how how I did:

Yeah! I kept wanting to say this verse in the KJV that I had memorized as a child!

Next week I am tucking John 8:12 in my heart "Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12

Dec 14, 2008

Christmas Home Tour

Oh, I'm so excited that it is time for BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes to start! Welcome to By the Lamp Light, I'm Lora and I'm delighted that you've stopped by on this wonderful wintery day. May I take your coat or wrap?Please make yourself at home here in the living room. The mantel is dressed with fresh greenery, pinecones and a bird's nest from our yard. And those darlin' children pictured are our teens (several years ago, of course!) The berry embellished vases belonged to my grandmother and they are year round hosts to *the sticks* as affectionately termed by my dear husband, the Salesman.From the front door, you'll also be able to see this picture which is a *favorite* of mine and hangs in welcome year round. It is a dear treasure from my grandmother's home entitled "For My Eyes Have Seen My Salvation" (Luke 2:30).When the Salesman reads the Christmas story, I sit and look at this picture of Simeon holding my dear and sweet Savior, Jesus. Every year, I position myself so I can take in the full beauty of this picture as the Truth of the Scripture reveals why the Light has come. Oh, I do pray that your eyes have seen salvation, too.This family Bible is a year round fixture as well and was given to my parents by my dad's parents when they were married. It now finds its home here in the beautiful mountains with us. This year we celebrated 20 miraculous years of marriage; praise His Name! Oh, I'm rambling. Please come back and visit another day; today, I'll try to stay on tour schedule. But I do love to visit, so please stop by again. The Bible has illustrations "by the great masters of religious art together with interesting historical facts about the artists and their paintings." I'm a visual learner and so enjoy the paintings featured.You've probably noticed, I tend toward the older items such as this deer planter. Every gift in this home has a story to go along with it. My dear mother, who is now alive with Jesus, gave me this planter when I was a senior in college and engaged to the Salesman. I have memories from seeing it in our home growing up.And here is a snow village that my oldest teen enjoys putting on the piano. When I was a career woman, my boss started this collection for us. There is no greenery here because our darlin' piano playing teen tends to sneeze when playing if it's close by. I love hearing her play and sing and sometimes her teen sister, the violinist, joins in. And when the Salesmen adds his tenor voice, it is a slice of heaven. It would be wonderful if we could sing "O Come, Let Us Adore Him" right now.Normally on the back of the piano, I have darlin' pictures of the children from previous Christmas card pictures. I love seeing them smile at one another, sporting matching outfits and the cutest hairbows ever in their sun bleached bobs. Oh, sweet, sweet memories these pictures are, so they have to be displayed on a bookcase. (Can you see the dusting of snow out the window? It is lovely.)Just glance out the window and you'll see the snow on the holly. Isn't the whole earth just full of His glory?Our tree holds special ornaments that in no way match or have a theme. It is just Christmas fun and dear memories to each of us. And our darlin' teens decorate the tree, which is a blessing! A couple years ago, one of them asked me how I did all the decorating year after year by myself. (The comment blessed me, yes it did.) Mama's just do that kind of thing without considering it a labor. It was a labor of love. But now I'm blessed with little teen elves that beautifully and quickly help with the holiday decor. I'm so excited about how the lights appear on this picture and I don't even know how it happened. Isn't that cool? If y'all have been around here long, you know that I'm a techno dinosaur, but this picture just tickled me.And under the tree are boxes my dear mother purchased from a candy company. They come in all sizes and are perfect for the special gift for ladies with a big bow or great for the men on your list tied with simple cording.Beside the cozy couch is an old wooden six sided puzzle that gets much use during the season. Christmas books have replaced our current reading stack and a painted picture by dear young hands stands where a picture of the Salesman's entire family normally greets us.Are you all getting hungry? BooMama said we could offer refreshments, and since I wholeheartedly agree, let's head to the dining room. Oh, you want to wash up? Here's the teen's bathroom with the cute-as-a-button Crabtree & Evelyn gingerbread man soap that I found at T. J. Maxx last year with a price tag of 50 cents. I love a Christmas bargain, yes I do.I'll meet you all in the dining room where the teens have made Oreo Truffles.Oh, just one will convince you that you have discovered your new favorite Christmas treat. So, please enjoy and I'll pour the hot chocolate. And please, make yourself at home. I'm delighted to share the easy recipe:

1 package Oreo cookies
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
24 ounces white chocolate almond bark, melted
12 ounces milk chocolate almond bark, melted

Crush 8-10 Oreo cookies at a time in the blender or food processor until they look like smooth crumbs. Once they are all crushed, place Oreo cookie crumbs into a mixer and add one package of softened cream cheese. Mix until well blended and no white is seen from the cream cheese.

Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze for 30minutes. Remove from freezer and using a candy spoon or a toothpick, dip balls into the melted white chocolate almond bark, place on wax paper until chocolate sets. You can dip them in the white chocolate bark again if you think they need another coating. Or just put the milk chocolate into a small Ziploc bag and snip off a very small corner and drizzle over the truffles. Enjoy!

Here is an upclose plate of truffles decorated by our youngest teen. Mmm... I always agree to be the taste tester when the teens are in the kitchen! While we're in the dining room (and before you and I need to go start dinner) I'd so like to share a few more favorites with you. This lovely trio of angels from the 1960's graces my antique desk that is in the corner of the dining room. It is where I do my Bible study, writing, and spend my early morning time with the Lord. Underneath the glass, I have favorite Christmas cards from previous years.And on my desk in my pen and pencil cup is the most precious, pink cheeked, curly eyelashed little drummer boy made by a darlin' teen whose once wee kindergarten hands brought her mama many treasures. I can say I've not seen any drummer boys that make me smile like this one does. Precious, precious memories.And I've saved the best for last. If your family is like ours, we seem to congregate around the food and this buffet is in the center of our daily activity. This was my dear mother's nativity set and my father's hard working hands made the stable.Thank you kindly for stopping by and I pray that your eyes have seen His salvation.

Dec 13, 2008

Siesta Ornament Exchange

My Siesta for the ornament exchange at The Siesta Fiesta Blog
was Jules from the great state of Texas. The morning my ornaments arrived from Jules (this information is important at the end of the post) I had just decorated the house with some fresh greenery and had just enough to make a small wreath for the kitchen window. I put a red plaid ribbon and some pine cones on the wreath and hung it up thinking it looked pretty good....and then this box of ornaments arrived...
The first ornament I opened was this lovely feather tree ornament. I have never seen one before; but it is beautiful and so very elegant!Then I opened this sweet pine cone bird who looks so real. Look at her eyes. I kept thinking she was going to chirp - she just looks so real.Then there was a sweet little dove perched on a pine cone with a sprig of greenery and berries, who found a home here among some fresh greenery.And there was also a wooden cardinal atop a pine cone, greenery and berries now who is now resting happily among the greenery.
For now, I'm leaving the feather tree on the dining room table under a fresh arrangement. I just think it looks so pretty on the table.And my youngest teen, who was excited as I was opening the package, suggested a new home for this lovely feathered friend in the wreath I'd just made for the kitchen window! And I think it makes a great new nest for this sweet little birdie.Thank you Jules!

Dec 10, 2008

Worship with Travis, Shaun and Cindy

Before the concert started, there was table after table andPicture after picture Of children living in poverty just like dear Eliza from the Dominican Republic: And there was a singer there named Travis Cottrell,
whose Christmas CD caused me to break all the rules I'd set about not listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Yes, this year I officially became a Christmas music rebel.Normally when I hear Travis sing, it's at a Beth Moore conference and I'm watching on the Jumbo tron from a seat far away in never - never land!But tonight, on the second row, we could see the eyes of those on the stage...I was introduced to Cindy Morgan from a post on Travis' blog. Cindy is bee-u-tee-ful and my, she can sing.
And, I loved the bells she rang in rythmn with her singing. I think when I was in pre-school I had a clothespin with one bell attached to it... Since I am a joyful noisemaker and attracted to instruments like the triangle, tambourine or maracas, I really liked her bells.My oldest teen has grown up listening to the music of this Compassion Spokesman and musician, Shaun Groves.
And, oh my, he can sing.Shaun was quite funny entertaining the children with a sing-a-long - Yee Haw! After the concert we visited with Travis for a few minutes. I don't think I mentioned to him that his Christmas CD caused me to be a Christmas rebel. My teens said he looks so much younger in person! And although I've never thought about Travis looking younger in person *I've seen him twice this year up close for a total of maybe 3 minutes*, now that I think about it, he does look young and he is very sincere and kind. I am blessed, and I mean flat out blessed when I'm among a gazillion people who attend a LPM conference and Travis leads us before the throne of God. But tonight, in a tiny town church, he sang his heart out. I could see the sincerity in his eyes, see his feet come off the floor when he was excited and sensed the very nearness of God as he ushered us before the throne of The Almighty. A tiny town church, without wi-fi, on a stage that is probably smaller than Travis' porch, he sang his heart out before the Lord. And I believe that is the key, it had to be. He sang before the Lord, not before gazillions or a small town body of believers, he sang before the Lord, and I joined him at the footstool of our dear Lord and sang my can't-hear-a-note, can't-tell-if-I'm-in-tune, noise-making heart out to the Lord. And it just didn't matter who else was in the room. Or what they were thinking. Or what they were doing. And even though I could have seen the worship leaders eyeballs during praise and worship, I didn't want to open my cryin' eyes. Worship. Just God and me. Don't you think that's the way He wants it to be? Just God and me?My oldest darlin' with Cindy Morgan. Have any of you seen her Beautiful Bird video? Amazing!We look like we color co-ordinated our outfits! Cindy has two daughters too, so we talked about hair bows, scarves, matching outfits and the GAP. After we left, I told the teens that I wish I'd gotten a picture of Cindy's cool pointy shoes, the teens laughed.But, let me just share how good God is and how He gave me the desire of my heart. I looked at this picture a friend had taken of us and glory - look what was in the picture - pointy shoes! Praise You Lord!Both our teens with the talented and compassionate, Shaun Groves. My oldest talked with Shaun about Compassion trips and his music. Shaun is a great conversationalist. My mind is wandering back to worship again, it's only taken me 4 hours to post 3 videos and the spell check is not working; but worship is on my mind. The kind of worship we experienced at the concert last week.
Worship. Just God and me.
Don't you think that's the way He wants it to be?
Just God and me?
Faithful, in Spirit and true
A heart attuned to worship - The One, The Only, The True
Worship, just God and me
Lord, let me not be concerned of what others may think of me
But when to You I come
Let me not worry about my actions raising me up another rung
Let it be You alone I'm concerned about
Before You, may I sing my heart out
You judge me God, keep me faithful and true
Let me sing my heart out wholly before You
And even dance if You want me to
Let me worship Lord before and for You. Amen.

Dec 9, 2008

Christmas GiveAway Winner

Congratulations to number: 15 - Jen! I used a free random number generator to pick the winner. Congratulations Jen! You have won the sterling silver puffy Christmas tree and earring set!

Thank you to all who stopped By The Lamp Light and entered. I hope to see you again here! And thank you to Lysa for hosting a fun party giveaway.

Dec 8, 2008

Memory Monday

I've mentioned the Embrace the Word campaign our church had last year. They offered decks of cards with Scripture on them in the version that you preferred. I started out on the memory program doing well. After learning each verse, I'd sticky tack the card to my closet door and review them each morning. Here are the seven that I completed before joining Memory Monday.
The cards came wrapped in cellophane and in a neat little box, just like playing cards. Week one started with the aces,
And week 52 ends with the 2's.
Here are the 7's so you can see there is a heart, club, diamond and spade.
The verse I learned this week was Psalm 119:105
"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Truth and amen! I believe it, yes, I do. I like this verse a lot, especially in light of the name of my blog.
And here is next week's verse for me to tuck in my heart: