Monthly Archives: December 2012

Written in ’06, Still Holds True Today [written to a friend]


Hey girl

I got a story to tell you:

Once upon a time when I was, oh, lets say about 8 years ago. I was determined to get my life straight and was determined that if R, L and few others were right, then God was for me, and I was hell bent (or heaven bent) on taking everyone with me.

Now, luckily for me, they came, Jim and Jesse.  But as for me being a fanatical reader and with lots of time to read up on all this new ‘Christian’ stuff and determined to know EVERYthing about this God and this religion; I wanted everyone else to have this same ambition.

J, being raised catholic, knew of his God and the fundamentals of works righteousness and confession and the such but I was determined, on a mission actually, to change that in him, to prove his faith wrong, to show him, its GRACE, not works that saves him.

With BSF under my belt and 2 rooms full of books, reformed and not and every minute reading, cuz after the wedding, I went to the funny farm, and then had lots of time to recoup and study. I was determined to make the boys do as I do, (cuz, what the heck, I was doing it right, right?)

After I came out of my fog I started in on him to go to bible study, he was happy and content to ‘just’ go to church, he was going more than I was, I was still determining that alcohol was too much in my life and it had to go.

He loved the church, he loved rich and the people and the service. Jesse loved the service and the kids and we all grew to be able to sit quietly and absorb what we were hearing. Jim went to Sunday school and listened to my ranting over the stuff I have read. I bought him a bible and was determined he should use it as much as I did.

BSF became an option for him only after someone ELSE suggested it to him. But, hey, great, works for me.

Jesse was still in the younger kids’ class, but he was in school, so he didn’t start going until he was in upper elementary. Jesse loved the kids and study and always got his homework done. For Jim, he had to have it done because he needed to know all the answers and if he didn’t know them it was a personal failure. Guys are hardwired like that. It’s the competition thing. Of course he could always look at mine if he didn’t get his done. (When I would let him)

Let me tell you a few things about my hubby.

He sleeps whenever his butt hits a chair, anywhere, anytime.

He works his butt off at work, taking care of problems and babysitting people all day long, never really making a finished product per say. Mental work, not much mechanical (he used to be a mechanic, but became a supervisor about the same time we met 14 years ago) I feel that would be hard on some men, not feeling good because there wasn’t a product that was done by the end of the day, something they had made with their own toil. But my hubby gets problems fixed and things keep moving at Boeing.

He takes care of his family, he is concerned for his extended family, and he lets his wife take care of the house.

He has a few (required) chores to do, outside yard stuff and car maintenance.

Now J has no mechanical skill whatsoever, but is determined to get things fixed around here and will spend hours on one project until it’s done.

He gets up at 3 am to do a load of laundry before work to help me or empty the dishwasher.

He does his BSF, he actually goes day by day, like you’re supposed to do. Sitting at the kitchen table, before dinner.

He was the brain child behind our Sunday school class. I harped on him all week to help me with the planning, but by Saturday he would roll in and help me and we would get it done. I HATE doing things last minute, I harp on him, yelled at him, but I will say more about that later. (he refused to do Sunday school with me again)

He will help anyone anytime anywhere with anything. He has a kind heart, he looks for the good in people, I don’t.

He gives of his money and time. We fought over the 10% tithe thing for a long time, but in time he got up the ‘required’ amount. (And guess what we are not poor and starving because of it)

He worries about his children; he wants them to be good, smart Christian kids. He put both of his kids thru private Christian schools, and will pay for college for both if they want)

He has put up with me for 14 years; most of those years have hard, hard, hard for him, with him not knowing how to help me with alcohol, depression, phobias, mood swings, spending sprees, my anger toward him, holding grudges, and him just never be able to please me. He gets  nagging and crappy attitude from me the majority of the time. He feels he can never do anything right by me.  I AM SO Discontent.

He knows enough of Gods love to tell people at work about it, people know he is a Christian and he acts like it, they come to him for help and to ask for prayers, they respect him. (That’s really all a man wants is respect, from his peers and his wife and kids.)

My heart swells when he tells me of some little thing he has said or done for someone and I just realize ‘it has hit home with him’ THANK YOU GOD.

He cares about the people he knows at work who are sick or hurt or whacked out family members.

He loves animals and doesn’t care who knows about it.

He loves his God, he loves his pastor, he loves his brethren and he shows it. He loves me and all he wants to do is please me.

Now as for me;

When this whole learning about Christianity started out, it was my way or the highway. The homework was to be done when I wanted, how I wanted and the bibles studies also. Also with the chores and house keeping. Over the years the housekeeping thing has mellowed but I have put long hard hours into making my life and theirs a living hell, with the selfish way I act about the stuff I do. (Maybe it’s because it’s the only thing I have ‘control’ over) funny, huh?

By my nagging at him, it tells him, he is not doing it right, there is a right way to do it and its done my way the only way.

I have a suspicious mind and often do not think the best of people, now I’m getting better, but….

I do my bible study my way and should not try not to tell them to do it my way. It doesn’t work.

We have days and times set up for study, like Sunday afternoons are set aside for that. Thursday nights, too. Does it always get done, no. do I get upset, yep.

My hubby sleeps thru church. I’m determined to let him know under no uncertain terms, he is to wake up and pay attention. I should let him sleep, shouldn’t I? Its very disrupting to me, I have a hard enough time concentrating without looking at his head bobbing all morning. J

I fluctuate between just wanting to quit the cleaning all together or just taking all upon myself and not ask them to do anything.

I know there is a happy medium and we are getting there.

All this does not happen over night, years have gone by, and schedules have changed to accommodate each other, mostly me.

We used to do chores, clean the whole house on Saturday mornings with all of us helping. Well after a few years of fighting with that, a counselor helped me to figure out a daily schedule of house chores, do something small, a different room each day. Boy, that’s has worked wonders.

J has a set of chores he does every morning, hasn’t changed in about 6 years, but he has to do them. Mostly animal chores. His responsibility for joy and privilege of having the pets.

I used to not be able to even function enough to do chores, there were many months when Jim did all the chores and went to work and came home to take care of Jesse. I still am probably not fully functional, that’s why I don’t work. I can’t handle the added pressure of work to what I do now. Seems funny most people can work and clean and study and do whatever else they do. But I ride a thin line every day of oh lets say sanity.

My hubby knows I can’t function well and so he lets me stay home. I keep asking God if He wants me to work, but other ideas keep popping in my head, home bible study, dog assisted  therapy, being home to help people when needed, volunteer for church and school, car pool, shipping bibles. I hope all of this is God inspired.

Anyway my hubby lets me do this. I really don’t deserve him or his love. I wonder if in 10-20 years we will run like a well oiled machine, some days we do. Most days we don’t. No, I take that back, we might be working on 50-50.

We also tried to read daily devotions together, I thought well if he wont read the bible, we can together. Boom, 5 minutes into it, he was asleep. I got the bible on CD, best thing I could have done, he listens to them in the car! He has got Romans out in the truck now!!!

The basis of this story is I can run, work, and handle my daily life my way. My spiritual life is my spiritual life, my growth, my time, His grace.

Jims daily life is his own, his spiritual life, his own by His grace.

I so want Jim to be more knowledgeable in the bible, but I can see; though slowly, he applies what he has learned to his life. He is better than I am in that way. So who is better? Neither or both of us? God knows.

I need to tell Jim the good things he does or doesn’t do, I need to encourage him in all he does, and I need to encourage him be a spiritual leader, not yell at him for not being a good one. (We struggled with the spiritual leader for years, still do)

I need to love my hubby for the goof ball he is, because God loves him for the goofball he is. He is a good hubby and good father and good friend.

My hubby only needs a few basic things to be happy. I was given to him by God to provide that for him. It really is the least I could do.

Now, the end of the story happened a few days ago when my hubby was telling me of a friend to talked to him about a hubby who is struggling with his life, faith, study, wife, work and a change in lifestyle (marriage).

I immediately said oh no that should not be happening, he should do so-and-so and she should definitely not do such-and-such. Then I stopped and we just looked at each other. Sheepishly I said ‘I will talk to her if I can’.

I am right there with you girl. I love you; don’t make mistakes like I have. Time and patience. Love and kindness. Overlook, overlook, overlook.

Be of good cheer, be encouraged, be joyful, be content.

I love you, hope you enjoyed my story.


I also have a story I wrote Jesse about a lady named grace, if you want to read it sometime.

Judging.. What it is, What it Isn’t


judge ~ noun


a public officer authorized to hear and decide cases in a court of law; a magistrate charged with the administration of justice.

a person appointed to decide in any competition, contest, or matter at issue;authorized arbiter: the judges of a beauty contest.

a person qualified to pass a critical judgment: a good judge of horses.

an administrative head of Israel in the period between the death of Joshua and the accession to the throne by Saul.

(especially in rural areas) a county official with supervisory duties, often employed part-time or on an honorary basis.

judg·ment ~noun


an act or instance of judging.

the ability to judge, make a decision, or for man opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action;good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.

the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.

the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.

the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.

JUDGE~ transitive verb

: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
: to sit in judgment on : try
: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
: governrule —used of a Hebrew tribal leader
: to form an estimate or evaluation of; especially : to form a negative opinion about <shouldn’t judge him because of his accent>
: to hold as an opinion : guessthink <I judge she knew what she was doing>
Now .. what it isn’t…
A little bit tougher, huh?
Every time I try to think of an example of what it isn’t, I look back up to the definitions and  they don’t work.
Got any suggestions for me?
We judge so much. TV shows are all about judging: tattoos, food, strength, weight loss, singer, etc. We are a nation of judgers…..

Christmas Stress, Mud Puddles and Dreads


Wrote this little ditty in 2009, holds true still…

Gonna pull out the Christmas DVD ‘The Nativity’. Love that movie. Also love the DVD

the Gospel of John. Watch them!


first snow of the year here at the farm. the kids, I mean, dogs, love it. Me not so much, but only cuz I get cold walking dogs. It was beautiful tho.

As we get older we tend to forgot all the beauty in the little things in our world. We sit inside most of the time with our faces staring at a computer or TV or other such thing.

Mud puddles covered with ice, sunny snow covered trees, little snails I see when walking dogs in Fife, flowers, birds, icicles, the look at someone’s face when you do the unexpected for them.

We need to stop and remember those things.

Even shopping with my son is better than buying stuff for him. Time spent together. Of course, hubby too, but he is in his own little heaven coaching high school wrestling. So I get to miss him for a few months.


Hair is looking mighty crazy but dreading really really fast.

The Christmas season still sucks for me, but I am trying to find the good things in it.

My own expectations of how it should be haunt me.

The past few years have not been the best in the [extended] family dept., so I miss all of us getting together.

The commercialism of the whole season is ridiculous and fighting and the deaths and illness and sin.

All of it sucks the life right out of me and I would much rather go to bed from November to January.

Not much else going on, I hang out on Facebook way too much. I start to write blog posts and leave them half finished.

I clean my house and work. I am blessed. I need to remember just that.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

The Message of Christmas


[a poem by my friend Thomas, from White Swan Reservation]

Does anybody know the real deal?
God became weak, not like a man of steel.
Or like a blazing pillar of fire.
God was just a baby, nothing dire.
He came to live the life we need to live
And destined to die in our place, to give
True justification to our mistakes.
False justification is what we make.
By what means will our good works set it right?
Will the good outweigh the bad in God’s sight?
God gave up his first born son to the tree
He’s the best gift any person can plea
God incarnate created a true hope.
Emmanuel took away hearts that grope.


How to Spot a False Teacher…. Any Version Version


How to Spot a False Teacher
False teachers. They are firmly established among the followers of Christ, presenting themselves as the ultra-faithful and ultra-spiritual. How can we recognize them and their false doctrines? The following, in some combination, are some common characteristics and tenets of false teachers today.

They are typically confident, outspoken, smooth-tongued, young, good-looking, tireless, charismatic, and encourage their own celebrity.

They are driven to spread their false doctrines and succeed in deceiving even the most intelligent and faithful, thereby obtaining sponsors.

They choose professions that impact the most people: teaching, writing, journalism, blogging, speaking, counseling and the social sciences.

They are practiced in flattery; they tell people what they like to hear.

They say things to make people feel more comfortable about weaknesses and sins.

They mischaracterize God and subvert truth to allow for weakness and sin.

They focus on feelings rather than truths and on outward acts rather than true religiosity.

They tell a lot of sociological stories that stimulate emotions and pride rather than reflection and humility.

They emphasize the self: self-esteem, self-fulfillment, self-importance, self-determined “truth.”

They dismiss generational wisdom, including discouraging parental guidance of children, in order to restructure an entire people’s religion, morals, traditions, and beliefs.

They presume to hold back realities, truths, and commandments, claiming to know that others are special, incapable, or unprepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

They mix in bits of incomplete truths to make their lies more believable. Example: They repeat the truth that “God loves you just the way you are,” but leave out how God wants us to better ourselves from the inside out, which is only possible by humbly relying on Christ, in order to qualify for the greatest of all His gifts: eternal life.

They distort truths. Example: they say no one is perfect, but they present this truth as a consolation and excuse for sin.

They spout scriptures and quotes from authority figures with interpretations that suit their purposes.

They dismiss doctrines, if confronted, which contradict their position, and steer the discussion back to flattery and psychobabble.

They sound more like Oprah Winfrey than they do the Apostle Paul; their ideas more closely follow popular and new-age  “spirituality” than true Christianity.

They push personal happiness in a hazy, temporal, light-minded, and self-satisfied sense.

They mostly use soft words in fuzzy, hollow ways like journey, challenges, understanding, manage, diminish, conversation, fulfillment, acceptance, love.

They are virtually silent on the basic gospel principles of agency, sin, repentance, and divine redemption.

They don’t distinguish between things we can change and things we can’t change, or they switch them up.

They don’t talk about sins of the mind and heart. Wicked thoughts and desires are okay as long as hands are clean.

They do a lot of tooting of their own horns, such as how blessed they are to share their experiences, how their “challenges” [read: temptations they continue to cling to] have made them spiritual giants and leaders, how close they are to God, and how they know so much about the Atonement.

They play down the experience of mortality as not needed or particularly defining or significant. (2 Nephi 28: “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die and it shall be well with us.”)

They claim spiritual growth while advocating weakness and sin (Matthew 6:24: serving two masters?).

They speak more of embracing ourselves as “who we are” than making step-by-step progress.

They reject the gifts of agency and repentance, and the doctrine of restoration (Alma 34:34, Alma 41), proclaiming that God in His time will wrench from us our wayward desires in this life or the next.

They put low expectations on God’s children, disparaging the possibility and individual desire to become new creatures, washed clean and forgiven through Christ.

They suggest that any and all souls will be saved in the end no matter what our character, disposition, or desires may be.

For conscientious members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of these false teachings should resound with what the several Book of Mormon anti-Christs preached, who used the very same concepts (and even some of the same exact words) and who were highly successful in leading many of the faithful followers of Christ astray. Now, as modern anti-Christs walk and talk among us like wolves in sheep’s clothing, it will take courage and pure-hearted devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ to recognize and reject their cunning and worldly sophistries while learning, teaching, and living everlastingly true but now unpopular doctrines.

-Stephen & Janice Graham

*sounds like 99 percent of the world’s population….. any comments?