A Life Worth Living by Nancy Buxton

Archive for October, 2009

Praising God!

I am enjoying the Minnesota Women’s Reteat in beautiful Brainard, MN.  I want to share with you the idea of praising the Lord in all things. 

Janet Page is the speaker and she has told some amazing stories about praising God in everything.. When you think about scripture we are told to give thanks and praise in all things.  The Bible does not mention this just now and then it mentions it often.  Look up Ps.62:8, Is. 50:4, Ps. 77:1.

Let’s try it!  No matter what happens in your life, good or bad, praise the Lord for it.  Can you do it? Can I do it?  When we praise God for what he has done it unleashes God’s power.

The idea of praise in the place of grumbling is this:  God is in charge, He knows what he is doing and He usually takes the unthinkable and turns it for the good in one way or another.  We may as well praise HIM and let His power do it’s wonderful work.

Janet suggests we keep a journal on praising and the things God does with our praise.  She even goes so far as to suggest we do this for our children, write it down and even take pictures so the results are not forgotten.

Please Pray With Me. . .

Have you ever known a person who takes everything to heart.  If they find out someone has cancer it is almost like they have cancer.  If they found out someone has a marriage problem, they feel the pain all the way to their bones.  I have a friend like that, she just feels other people’s pain so very much.  It makes me feel sad for her because her own life is less than it should be because she is in pain over someone else’s problems.

Having said all of that, I feel a little bogged down myself.  There is so much pain in this world the best place for me to go with this pain is to Jesus and yet I have so little faith.  We have talked about this before, you already know my faith is weak, I have not seen a ton of intervention by God.  Oh wait a minute, I should say, God hasn’t done what I think He should do.  Oh, oh wait a minute, so does that mean He isn’t listening, He isn’t working miracles?  I don’t know I am confused. 

Here is the deal, my friend, Terry Schwartz has cancer. The doctors have not given him much hope especially since his PSA has doubled since he finished his radiation treatments.  I am praying for a miracle and I ask you to pray for him too.  I don’t know what God has in mind for Terry, I do know God is plenty capable of healing.  I just don’t have the answer that I am looking for and I know you don’t either.  Please join me in praying for Terry and his family as they walk this walk.

I am headed to MN for the last women’s retreat of the season, it should be a lovely weekend.  I am doing a seminar on Women’s Ministries and I am looking forward to it.

Here is your Thursday recipe on Friday–I love these apples, they are great to use in muffins, or on your oatmeal.  Next week I will give you a muffin recipe that you may use them in.

Roasted Apples

1 pound each of Granny Smith and Pink Lady Apples–core and cut into about 1 inch pieces.  1 Tbs. cinnamon, 1/2 cup Agave Nectar, 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice.  You can get Agave Nectar at Walmart or a health food store or Costco.  Line your cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Mix apples and all the rest of the ingredients together and spread on cookie sheet.  Bake 35 minutes, rotating the pan after 20 minutes.  The apples will be soft.  Let stand for 30 minutes or until cool.  These will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Wish I Had Taken a Picture

When we arrived in Kansas to see our family we could tell there was something astir.  The two older grands were dancing with excitement.

  I think I have told you when we visit each others home we usually leave a pillow gift under the pillow for the first night. The gifts are usually small but this time it was a really big surprise.  We sleep downstairs and there is no bathroom so you can imagine the middle of the night trips up the stairs.  Guess what?  We are getting a bathroom!!!!  I told them I think they are getting ready for us to move in.  They made no comment on that idea.  Just to be safe I think I will get a name plate for the door like “grandma and grandpa’s room.”  Do you think that would be subtle enough?

I found a candle, sweet pictures of baby and some original art by the older kids.  Grandpa found a dark chocolate bar under his pillow.

What we really found was a precious family.  We just love spending time with them and watching the activity.  The best is watching these parents daily teach our grands about Jesus.

Today was weigh in day–down 1/2 pound–that is 37 1/2.  This weekend I go to MN for a retreat–need I say more?

Is it a Challenge to be Happy?

I, like most people have had pain in my life.  But I have always known that any pain I have experienced is small in comparison to that of a lot of others. 

I have a friend who actually allows the pain of others become an obstacle to her own happiness.  I think she wonders if she deserves to be happy given the amount of suffering in the world.  It is easy to feel this way.

I have chosen–and it is a choice–not to allow human suffering to prevent me from being as happy as I can be.  Here is what I have done.

1.  Try to make a difference in someone else’s life.  If I have made a difference I seem to feel more free to be happy.

2.  Happiness seems important to doing good.  Unhappy people are usually less capable than happy people of doing good.  Have you ever noticed that?  For one thing they are usually too involved with self to see beyond.

3.  Instead of allowing world suffering to make me unhappy, I try to be more grateful for the life I have been allowed to live.  Thankfulness is a big.

4.  If feel it is important, really important to have a religious outlook on life.  It seems to be it would be difficult for a truly secular person to be happy if he is aware of the evil and suffering in the world today.  I think people who don’t know Jesus believe the mess this world is in the a reality and there is nothing that will change.

Where a religious person believes that a compassionate and just God rules the universe and so there is meaning in all this mess we are in.

So my friend, hang on tight to your belief in God, know He is in charge.  Be happy for what you have.  Make a difference in someone’s life.

Miracle on Eagle Ridge. . .

Okay, well maybe not a miracle but it was out of the ordinary.  I think we have already established through months of writing this blog that I am–er–a little–I don’t know–er-ah–hasty–that’s the word.

The other day I was looking for something and ended up cleaning out my carry-on computer bag.  I threw away the garbage that I collected on my last trip.  Put the bag in the closet where it belongs.

This morning at 5:28, to be exact, I was thinking about asking some friends to go with us to FL in February when we use that free ticket I got on my last trip.  FREE TICKET–I then remembered cleaning out the computer bag and throwing the ticket in the trash.  Clearly written on the ticket are the words, “cannot be replaced if lost.”  I said a short prayer about it and then it hit me it must still be in the trash or the Holy Spirit would not have given me the thought.  I went back to sleep and this morning I casually mentioned to my man that I think I threw away his ticket. He, quick as a wink, jumped out of bed (I think he saw FL in the winter flying out of his future) and looked in my office trash–there it was.  FL here we come.

Do you think God cares about stuff like that?  Do you think the Holy Spirit really did give me that thought?  I did pray about it.  I have been doing my devotions faithfully lately, could that make a difference?

I asked my man to put that ticket in the safe and maybe he should just be in charge of everything.  Oh I would hate that.

Here is your unhealthy but yummy recipe for Thursday–this is a nice treat for the holidays.

Heavenly Crackers

On a baking sheet, spread out:  1 sleeve of saltine crackers

In a small saucepan over medium-heat, melt:

1 stick butter

1 cup brown sugar

Once the mixture is gooey, pour evenly over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, until bubbly.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle on top:  2 cups chocolate chips

As the chocolate melts, spread it evenly around.  Pop into the refrigerator until set, then cut apart the candy and put into gift containers.

I might recommend you double or triple this recipe if you’re planning on giving any away as gifts.  Judging by how quickly it went at our home, you might not have any left for gifts if you only make one batch!

So, How Do We Develop Self Control?

Today was the day to weigh  in,  down 1/2 pound.  Slow isn’t it.  I talked to them today about starting maintenance soon.  We decided when I have lost 40 pounds we will start maintenance.  What does that mean you may be asking?  We will start adding food back to my menu, like another fruit a day, another starch and the next week some veggies that I have not been able to have on this plan.  I am eager to eat less processed vegetarian food and more beans. 

The big thing is I can’t start eating all the junk I use to eat, it will get me into big trouble.  So, how do I develop self control?

I have read that self control has to become a habit, so I guess I need to develop the habit of self control.  The second thing is to never lose sight of my goal. My goal is to be a healthy weight from now on.

So I think it goes like this, to develop self control is to have clear goals, know what is necessary to achieve them, and develop the habits necessary to do so.  Never lose sight of the goal when temptations come along. Maybe even put your goals in writing and make a plan. 

I want good and healthy children, therefore I will do the following. . .

I want a good marriage, therefore I will do the following. . .

I want a relationship with Jesus, therefore I will do the following. . .

I want to remain at a healthy weight, therefore I will do the following. . .

Plain and simple we have to deny ourselves short-term pleasures that interfere with our goal.  Sounds harsh and no fun, but I think it is an important lesson to learn.  Let’s pray about self-control, it’s Biblical.


PS–You should be running to Walgreen’s there are some really good deals.  Go to moneysavingmom.com –click on categories and look for the bargains.  Read the tutor on how to get the deals if you have never done this before it will save you some money.  Just today I had to pay a little tuition–I forgot and paid for a Procter and Gamble product with a P & G Register Reward and I didn’t get the RR.

Oh No, Do I Have To?

I know, I know what you’re thinking–why didn’t she figure this out sooner!! Well, I knew it, I just didn’t want to face it.  Self Control–SELF CONTROL–that’s what I’m talking about.  Do I have to, do I have to find self control? 

It should be obvious that if human nature is the single greatest obstacle to happiness, controlling our nature is pretty important.  But, have you noticed when people talk about happiness, self control is rarely mentioned.

Self control is difficult, and I think most of us want an easy fix as far as happiness.  Plus self control does sound like a “downer.”  Saying no to yourself does not sound like the road to happiness.

Yet happiness is impossible without self-control.  If you want to be financially successful you have to use self control.  If you want to be at a healthy weight, you have to use self control.  If you want a relationship with Jesus, you have to use self control.

The way I see it self control really give us freedom.  I know it sounds backwards but it isn’t.  Controlling your finances gives you freedom from debt.  Controlling your weight, gives you freedom from disease, low self esteem and letting food control you.  Controlling your time so you can have your devotions, frees you from trying to do everything on your own.  Addicts do what they want and they are among the least free people on earth.  Freedom is being able to do what will bring you happiness and that takes constant self control.

So you can see I am working on self control.  My weight loss has been a big issue.  I am almost at my goal, where do I go from here?  I am doing some study on self control and I will continue to tell you what I find.

I hope your week is filled with Jesus, self control and happiness.  Mine is going to be filled with all of the above plus a flurry of getting ready for one more retreat, piano lessons and a trip to see my grand kids, oh and their parents.  Just kidding we look forward to seeing the big kids as much as the little ones.

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