Monday, August 31, 2009

Saving Tips from Commenters

First, I would like to thank everyone who entered my book giveaway (10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget). I asked for tips/advice that have saved them either the most money or the most time. I received wonderful responses and here are what I gathered:

Tips for saving money
- Using coupons
- Planning meals/making up menus based on weekly ads, what is on sale, and available coupons
- Stocking up on sale items that we use regularly
- Buying meat in bulk from local farmers
- Making homemade laundry detergent
- Baking all bakeable items
- Sewing your own clothes
- Shopping at thrift stores
- Buying generic prescription medicine
- Praying before shopping
- Do not subscribe to cable
- Unplugging all the unused electrical appliances
- Doing family's hair cuts ourselves
- Buying in bulk when appropriate
- Comparing and choosing the cheapest products such as the inhouse store brands
- Visiting the grocery stores or farmer's markets near closing time for marked down prices/major discounts
- Drinking water (instead of other beverages)
- Planting gardens and then freezing vegetables to be used throughout the winter months
- Do not shop when you are hungry
- Cooking from scratch

Tips for saving time
- Limiting time spent on internet and TV/cable
- Having a garage sale (making a little money while getting rid of stuff, thus saving time from having to reorganize the mess)

Now...drumroll, please :)...The winner of my giveaway (chosen by random.org) is Jennifer Blanton. Congratulations, Jennifer! I've already contacted her.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Will Offer Up My Life

From the Heart of Worship

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

I Will Offer Up My Life (written by Matt Redman, sung by Delirious)



What can I give? What can I bring? What can I sing as an offering, Lord?
"Lord, I give You my heart, my life, my all! Please empty me of myself, fill me with Your love, and have Your way in me." ~This thankful heart, me.



Previous Songs:
- When It's All Been Said and Done
- Knowing You, Jesus
- In Christ Alone
- Be Thou My Vision

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Father's Hands

Friday Photo Flashback

This picture was taken in 1993 when our oldest daughter was a newborn. Alyssa was born prematurely and weighed only 4 lbs. 5 1/2 oz. Now you would have never guessed that when you look at her :). She just turned 16 last month. Alyssa is such a beautiful blessing to our family and to the world. She blogs at Life of Faith and she is a contributor at Growing In Grace Online Magazine.

In this picture, she looks so tiny and fragile, yet so loved and protected in her Daddy's arms/hands. It made me think of how we (God's children) can rest, feel loved and secure in our Heavenly Father's hands. It's the best place to be!

Previous Friday Photo Flashback:

- Thai Version of Wipe Out

- My Graduation Day in Thailand

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who Daily Bears Our Burdens?


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The Lord, God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, daily (not occasionally or weekly or monthly or annually, but DAILY) bears my and your burdens. Let that sink in our mind and heart and soul. Is there any burden too great for our Lord? NO! Are we bearing our burdens alone? NO! Praise God for His unending love and care for us!

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30


Previous WFW:

- Reflecting the Lord's Glory

- The Rock Eternal

- His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Saturday, August 22, 2009

When It's All Been Said And Done

From the Heart of Worship

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.



When It's All Been Said And Done (Words and Music by Jim Cowan, Sung by Don Moen)

When it's all been said and done
There is just one thing that matters
Did I do my best to live for truth?
Did I live my life for You?

When it's all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I've done
For love's reward
Will stand the test of time

Lord, Your mercy is so great
That You look beyond our weakness
And find purest gold in miry clay
Turning sinners into saints

I will always sing Your praise
Here on earth and ever after
For You've shown me heaven's my true home
When it's all been said and done
You're my life when life is gone

Lord, I live my life for You! I can never thank You enough for Your grace & mercy and Your love for me. I will always sing praises to You and You alone. My life is a gift from You and it's Yours; please use it for Your glory and according to Your will.

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:20-21

"If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." Romans 14:8

You have one life to live. How are you living your life? Will you have any regrets on your death bed? When it's all been said and done, can you say that you did your best to live for God? "Have you ever seen the little plaque that reads, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last?" Well, that's not (all) what the poet wrote. The poet wrote this: "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last. And when I am dying, how happy I'll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee." Do you think all Christians die happy? Not on your life! Some of them die as miserable as sinners. Why? Because they've misused their time and wasted their lives. Many of you have laid dying on a hospital bed and prayed, "Lord, if You would only spare me, I'll do this, that, or the other." Well, have you done it?" ~Leonard Ravenhill

We need to ask ourselves: Are we wasting away our lives? If you have never read Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper yet, I highly recommend it.

Previous Songs:

- Knowing You, Jesus

- In Christ Alone

- Be Thou My Vision

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thai Version of Wipe Out

Friday Photo Flashback

My friends and I were contestants in a TV game show similar to Wipe Out. I am the one on the right. I have no idea why we posed like that :). Probably just being silly/goofy! I was one of the last two final contestants and I lost on the balance challenge (we had to stand and try to balance ourselves on a log in a pond while trying to knock our opponent off with something (I can't remember what we used). I got knocked off first.


Previous Friday Photo Flashback:

- My Graduation Day in Thailand

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who Will Join Me and the Millions of Christians Around the World?

Each year, millions of Christians around the world unite together to pray for the Muslim world for 30 days during Ramadan (the holy month for Muslims). This year, Ramadan will take place from August 22nd to September 20th. These Muslims desparately need Jesus, the Savior of the world. They live without hope. They are our neighbors, too. If you truly love your neighbors as yourselves, wouldn't you want them to be saved from spending eternity in hell? Would you and your family please spare some time during each of the 30 days to pray for them? For more details, please visit http://www.30-days.net/ (tons of facts, figures, resources (including free downloadable materials), testimonies, and much more).

Printed booklets (prayer guides focusing on different people groups each day) are available in over 30 languages.
To receive free daily email prayer guides, please sign up at http://www.30-days.net/resources/email/
Español: 30 días de oración por el Mundo Musulmán: http://30-days.net/muslims/the-booklet/30-dias/

I hope you will join me and other brothers and sisters in Christ around the world in praying for the lost and the unreached in the Muslim world. Please help spread the word, too. Thanks!

The figures below are taken from this article.

Muslim Populations
■Africa – 400 million
■Middle East – 250 million
■Asia – 800 million
■Europe – 25+ million
■Americas – 5+ million
■TOTAL = 1.48 billion

Unreached
Here are some Muslim peoples of over 100,000 without any known Gospel witness. Call out in prayer for them.

Saho of Eritrea – 211,000
Maraikayar of India – 127,000
Mawalud of India – 1,161,000
Nikari of India – 151,000
Pashtun of India – 13,282,000
Thulukkan of India – 269,000
Asahan of Indonesia – 541,000
Bangka of Indonesia – 340,000
Belitung of Indonesia – 100,000
Gayo of Indonesia – 300,000
Kangean of Indonesia – 1,100,000
Takistani of Iran – 330,000
Afshari of Iran – 1,230,000
Khorasani Turk of Iran – 832,000
Seraiki of Pakistan – 17,854,000
W.Baluch of Pakistan – 1,261,000
Burig of Pakistan – 474,000
Kho of Pakistan – 314,000
Kolai of Pakistan – 410,000
Awan of India – 618,000
Chhimba of India – 1,047,000
Kamboh of India – 1,525,000
Kunjra of India – 1,601,000
Makhmi of India – 499,000
Mappila of India – 9,635,000
Kerinci of Indonesia – 260,000
Lembak of Indonesia – 120,000

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Tips on how to pray for your Muslim neighbor!

We can pray with the knowledge that:

- Every Muslim is unique and wonderful in God's eyes.

- Every Muslim is someone God loves. We can pray with a heart of love and compassion. (John 14: 12-14)

- According to Islam, Allah holds himself apart from mankind. When praying for Muslims, pray that they will have a full revelation of the true God and His loving character. (Hebrews 8:8-9)

- The Muslim worldview is strongly influenced by an awareness of the supernatural and the presence of good and evil spirits known as jinn. Superstitions control many aspects of a Muslim's everyday life and often result in them living in constant fear. (1 John 4:18)

- Islam teaches that a person must do enough good deeds to outweigh the bad deeds in order to make it to paradise. Even then, there is no guarantee for a Muslim of salvation. As a result of this belief, it is difficult for many Muslims to understand forgiveness of sins, repentance and assurance of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8-9.) (1 Peter 5:6) (Matthew 6:14-15)

- Vast numbers of Muslims have come to Christ as a result of supernatural encounters. Many have dreams and visions of Jesus.

- The Christian church globally is united to pray for the Muslim World each Ramadan. Let us join that prayer movement. Let us pray and fast during Ramadan. All the details are on the Internet. And as we start to pray during Ramadan together, let us remember the very real battle for the lost. Let us pray that blind eyes will be opened and that many will experience a true and lasting salvation. (Romans 8:26) (John 16:8)

(Taken with permission from http://www.30-days.net/resources/download/ )
______________________________________________

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflecting the Lord's glory


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Lord, please help my life, my thoughts, my attitudes, my speech, and my actions always reflect You, Your likeness, and Your love!

Previous WFW:

- The Rock Eternal

- His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Monday, August 17, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway: 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

Note: This giveaway is now closed.
10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget was written by the 20 different writers of Wise Bread (a community of bloggers that gives readers advice on how to manage and spend their money). I would like to thank Linsey Knerl (one of the authors) who kindly gave me this book to review and generously reserve a copy for my giveaway (she will directly send the book to the winner).


As a Christian, I desire to use my time, talents, and treasure (God's money) wisely. Therefore, living simply and frugally (yet joyfully) is the way to go for me and my family. This book is a great reference for anyone who strives for a frugal living. It includes tips, ideas, and advice on the following topics: food & drink, travel, health & beauty, fun & entertainment, shopping & bargain hunting, green living, education & self-improvement, financial planning & budgeting, credit cards & debt, investing your money, housing & home improvement, and career & money-making ideas. In addition, at the end of the book you will find the list of "142 Resources that will Save You Cash."

I cannot endorse everything in this book because I have not read everything yet. I skipped some sections that don't apply to my life, my family, or my personal interests at this time. I also do not approve some things mentioned in the book such as a white lie suggested in the regifting section (lying is sin and not acceptable to me) and one of 7 beauty secrets that cost almost nothing is have safe _ _ _ (you know what) which insinuates practicing this activity outside marriage and promiscuity (both are totally unBiblical). Overall, this book is a valuable resource that will help you make wise decisions (you need to use your discernment to glean from the book and only choose what's good, wise, and applicable), make your tight budget stretch, and become more creatively frugal :). I especially enjoyed reading the sections written by Linsey Knerl. She has lots of excellent practical ideas and she is a homeschool mom like me (I'm glad she included "10 Ways to Homeschool for Less" in this book).

Giveaway: You have a chance to win a copy of this cool book. To enter, please leave a comment here sharing your best tip/advice that has saved you either the most time or the most money. If you post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook, you will receive an extra entry for each (please remember to leave a separate comment with a link to your post). The deadline is August 30th at midnight (Pacific time). I will choose the winner randomly and announce it the next day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Knowing You, Jesus

From the Heart of Worship

Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear) was written by Graham Kendrick and sung by Robin Mark

My desire is to know Him more and to make Him known! Certainly, there is no greater thing than knowing Jesus! I love You, Lord!
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Philippians 3:7-11
Previous Songs:
- In Christ Alone
- Be Thou My Vision

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Graduation Day in Thailand

Friday Photo Flashback

This is my first time to join the Friday Photo Flashback. I think I'm supposed to only post one picture but all these three pictures were taken on the same day (my graduation day in 1989) so I hope it's okay :).

The King and I! :) I received my diploma (Bachelor of Arts degree) from King Rama IX of Thailand (previously called Siam).
I stood in front of the picture of King Rama V who founded Chulalongkorn University (where I attended).

The gentleman in blue suit is now my husband of almost 18 years. The Love of my life! The one with the blue tie standing next to me is my brother. The other two were friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Rock Eternal


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"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:3-4

He is my Rock, my Refuge, my Fortress, and my Tower of Strength! "As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." Psalm 18:30-32


Previous WFW:
- His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

His Eye Is On The Sparrow


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"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-30

I am so thankful for God's love for me and His concern for my life. "...I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, for His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me." (from the hymn, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, written by Civilla D. Martin, 1869-1948)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Be Thou My Vision

From the Heart of Worship I am participating in the 'From the Heart of Worship' meme run by Growing In Grace Magazine. Worshiping the Lord is one of my favorite, favorite things to do in the whole world!

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19-20) I love hymns. They are so rich in messages, meanings, & melodies, and deep in thoughts & feelings towards God; they are truly inspiring, and often Biblically-based.

"Hymns breathe the praise of the saints,
The vision of the prophets,
The prayers of the penitent and the spirit of the martyrs.

They bring solace to the sad, assurance to the perplexed,
Faith to the doubter and comfort to the oppressed.

They span the centuries of history and bridge the barriers of denominations.

Study them to be pure in heart;
Sing them to be joyful in spirit,
Store them in the mind to possess a treasury of worship."

~Unknown


I never get tired of listening to (or singing) "Be Thou My Vision." The words were translated from the 8th century Irish hymn by Mary E. Byrne (1880-1931) and versified by Eleanor H. Hull (1860-1935). These words are so meaningful to me that I want to share with everyone.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Nought be all else to me save that Thou art:
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'n's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


I like to quietly sing and reflect upon these words (sometimes with tears in my eyes). This hymn means so much to me because it is not only my all-time favorite hymn, but also my heart's desire and my prayer!

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.


By the way, this month on Growing In Grace, my daughter wrote an article on "Eye Exam Month." Eyes...vision...how appropriate :).

A Must-See Video for Every Christian

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