Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Do I Have the Right to Be Offended?

In my meditations lately, relationships have been heavy on my heart. I’ve been noticing a phenomenon lately. One that has no wisdom, Biblically or otherwise, as a foundation. But widespread nonetheless.

What is this prevalent, though unwise, thought? The thought that one should never be offended. That if one is offended about anything, something is wrong. Something needs to be said, done, or corrected. Someone needs confronting. And then, of course, a person also has the perfect right to stew about it.

However, Jesus says in Matthew 18:7, that offenses WILL come. So, the first thing we need to come to terms with is that offenses WILL COME. There is no way around that. You will be offended by your spouse. By your parents. By your child. By your boss. By your employee. By your neighbor. By the person sitting next to you in church. The only way to not be offended by someone is to not let your life touch that person or that person touch your life. Since you cannot follow Christ and also not be in fellowship with His Body, that is not an option.

So, what should you do when offenses come your way? First of all, love God’s Word. Immerse yourself in it, meditate on it. Love it. Psalms 119:165 says, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” So, even though the offense may come your way, if you love God’s Word, you can deflect such offense. To the extent that you may not even notice it. We also need to look at the flip side of this. If you are noticing too many offenses, perhaps you have not developed that true love of God’s Word. Everyone say, “Ouch.”

Secondly, accept those in your life. Accept who they are. Accept that they won’t live up to your expectations. It is not your job or mission to change them; that is Christ’s job. And it is also not your job to somehow passively punish them.

What is your job, mission, or part in this? Forgive. Further on in the same chapter of Matthew, Jesus tells Peter that there is no limit to how many times you must forgive someone – for the same offense. The best way to accomplish limitless forgiveness is to forgive beforehand. Beforehand? Yes. When you start your day, purpose in yourself that you forgive all those you will come in contact with during the progress of the day. That way, when the irritation, the bothersome quip, the offense comes your way, with the help, strength, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will automatically forgive. Once forgiven, the offense is vanquished.

What happens when the offenses are deflected and vanquished? You put down the emotional burden. There is peace. Peace inside you. Peace in your relationships. Peace in your marriage. Peace in your home. Peace in the fellowship of believers. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jael's First Ballet Recital

So....Jael has taken ballet classes before.
A couple different times,
but it has never worked out for her to be in a recital. 
Other things happened.  You know, like her parents moved her out of state -- those kinds of things.

Sarah-Kate has been teaching ballet to little girls
 for a couple of years now. 
Jael was in her class a couple of years ago. 
But, then that moving thing happened.  But, they're back!
And Jael and Sarah-Kate are glad
 they are together again in dance. 

Yes, there were only four little girls in the recital. 
But, those four little girls attracted a houseful of guests
anxious to watch their performance!
And, yes, everyone's hands and feet are supposed
to be going the same way.

Daddy presenting her third bouquet of flowers. 
I'm sure they were her favorites!

Everyone wanted a turn taking their picture with the ballerina.


How about four generations?

~ * ~

So, what does a little brother do at a dance recital?

Uh, make paper airplanes out of the program?

Friday, December 25, 2009


Jael reading the Christmas story to her siblings and cousins one night during the Advent season:

Merry Christmas to you and yours from us and ours!

For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us! . . .
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.

(Isaiah 9:6 The Message)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Christmas Decor

The house is quiet.  I thought I probably ought to post some Christmas pictures of our house before Christmas is over!  This year we had a "Royalty" theme at our Christmas party.  Since we are not hosting Christmas at our home this year, I left all the decor as is after the party.  Besides being different than I usually decorate, I kind of liked it. 

By the way, the Royalty Theme was in honor of the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace!

Here's our living room from the walkway up to our door:

If you look closely, you can see the desserts out on the sideboard.  I made two different shapes of bundt cake -- supposedly to look like crowns.  I don't think anybody got it.  Oh, well.  We also had homemade candies and Croquembouche.

And even if you don't look closely, you can see all the family pictures hanging crookedly on the wall!

Our tree on a gloomy, overcast day:

At night, with a flash:

Without a flash:

It's pretty hard to take a picture of a tree with red lights!  Anyway, the tree does have red lights and gold and purple balls.  It also has pheasant feathers, red glittery sticks, gold poinsettias, and purple puffs of netting.  And a couple of crowns.  And topped off with three purple poinsettias. 

The piano decked out with its garland and crown:

Remember my white shelf?  Just a few tweaks to update it for Christmas.

Added the bottle brush trees.

And some red bead garland.  And, changed out the candles, of course.

The non-public rooms of the house did not have a royalty theme.  And I didn't really take pictures of them.  I don't know why.  Here's a bit of our bathroom:

I like the bathroom decor so much, I'm tempted to leave it out all year!  I also made a white feather wreath that I hung on a mirror in our bedroom, that I'm really thinking of just leaving.  Why not?

So, there is it.  Or some of it. 

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I love evidences of grandchildren visiting....

at least the cute little ones that are lined up in rows.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nutcracker and Tea, Take Three

Three years in a row makes a solid tradition.  Years One and Two are here.  Wow, the girls have grown!

Meg and Jael, my two oldest grandchildren, waiting for the doors to open.

Our youngest newcomer, Shallah, with mom, Serena.

Daja, with her youngest daughter, Saraa.

Pink gloves with malibu cuffs, gifts from Nana that morning.

Photographer:  Jael

Photographer:  Meg

Posing in front of the Four Seasons Tea Room in Sierra Madre.

Can't go to a tea room without taking a picture of some of the delicacies!

And some of the best scones we've ever had!

Shallah's first bite of food. 
I'm sure she's glad it was one of those scones!

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