Monday, April 20, 2009

They Gave Us Six Months

I was a liberal feminist. He was Mr. "God's Plan for the Family". I was a Democrat, he was a Republican. I had lived on my own for the previous ten years. He was still living at home at age 27.

I was also a not-Italian, not-Catholic, hard-nosed Wall Street bitch who my future mother-in-law was certain would break her Italian Prince's heart. I was one of "those" Christians, from that Bible thumping "protestante" church he had been attending. Surely I wasn't the right girl for him.

We had nothing in common. I had a subscription at the Metropolitan Opera. He had made up a number of songs mocking opera. I had deliberately moved from the Atlanta suburbs to New York and lived in Manhattan. He was from Jersey City, and he hated New York. He hated Jersey City, too, and devoted his life to trying to get to the suburbs. He hated museums, opera, and ballet. I hated guns, cop shows, and techno-gadget crap.

He had a really sophomoric sense of humor. Too many puns, too much rhyming, too much slapstick. It was Monty Python and Hugh Laurie vs. Leslie Nielsen and the Three Stooges. Jonathan Swift vs. "There was a young man from Nantucket..."

I was headstrong, he was controlling. I was daring, even reckless. He was ridiculously cautious. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.

They gave us six months.

But we knew something they didn't know. He had gone home after the first time we met and announced that he had met the woman he was going to marry. I had heard from God that "this is the one you prayed for." OK, so my response was "Lord, you've gotta be kidding." The fact was that the time we spent together confirmed that we DID have in common the only thing that we had to have in common to make it work: Jesus Christ.

Has it been easy? No.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely.

The foundation we built on sustained us through poverty and plenty, "the Cesspool", church difficulties, political strife, the Pets from Hell, health crises, 2 difficult pregnancies and 2 miscarriages, the deaths of all our parents, buying a house with no money, six years caring for my cantankerous aunt with Alzheimer's, homeschooling, internet marketing, family catastrophes, Homeland Security, spiritual crises, and living in New Jersey. We have survived stresses that would have sunk nine out of ten other marriages.

Maybe ten out of ten.

Twenty four years later, I am more sure than ever that I made the right choice. That I really did hear from the Lord. That my husband is the one and only that I prayed for.

Happy anniversary, honey. I love you more than you'll ever know.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." - Matthew 7:24-27

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TGIF: Closed on Sunday

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you" (Ex 31:14).

Can a business have a Christian testimony without ever saying a word? Absolutely.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is America's second-largest quick service chicken restaurant chain. The company's stated corporate purpose is "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." The company is a great example of a business that is modeling Christian values and producing a quality product in the competitive fast-food industry. Chick-fil-A is one of the fastest-growing chains nationally, currently with over two billion dollars in annual sales.

One of the defining distinctions of Chick-fil-A is that the restaurants are not open on Sundays. From the time Truett Cathy, the company's founder, started in the restaurant business in 1946, he believed that God wanted him to honor the Sabbath by keeping the stores closed on Sundays. Although he was challenged on this idea many times by shopping mall operators, Truett always held that "we will have more sales in six days than those who are open for seven." This has proven to be true, and today it is no longer an issue to fulfill the malls' requirement to remain open on Sunday.

When you go to a Chick-fil-A restaurant, you can tell something is different about the people and the atmosphere. The messages in the company's kids' meals always reinforce education, values, and integrity. Although the employees do not wear their faith on their sleeve, the fruit of the company is known by many - especially the many young restaurant employees who receive educational scholarships each year. The company also focuses on character-building programs for kids, foster homes, and other community services. I have spoken at Chick-fil-A's corporate headquarters several times and have met with Truett and his son, Dan. The appearance of their headquarters conveys their values - a sense of quality without extravagance.

Reprinted by permission from the author. Os Hillman is an international speaker and author of more than 10 books on workplace calling. To learn more, visit

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Help Homeschooling Thru the Early Years

From HSLDA - Announcing Help for moms of preschool and elementary age kids!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

As a veteran homeschool mom, I remember that it can be overwhelming when you aren’t sure how to begin or which curriculum to choose … or maybe you just don’t feel that you can handle homeschooling AND the house …or perhaps you just need a little encouragement to keep going! You know that homeschooling is a journey, but what started out as a sprint has become a cross-country trip (and some days feels like a marathon!). It’s easy to feel “geographically challenged”— unsure of where you are, where you’re going, or how you’re going to get there.

When Jim and I started homeschooling in the 80’s, we didn’t know anyone else in our state who homeschooled. Boy, it sure would have been great to be able to pick up the phone and talk to another parent who had been-there-done-that, or to get a newsletter in my box—filled with tips and suggested resources for the topics of interest to my family—sort of like roadside assistance along the journey.

Home School Legal Defense Association is here for you as you embark upon this incredible adventure! Many of you are familiar with our high school program and the struggling learner program. But maybe you have a preschooler or primary student—or perhaps a middle schooler? So HSLDA added a coordinator dedicated specifically to serving parents in this season of homeschooling, from toddlers all the way through ’tweens.

I’m here to answer members’ specific questions, provide general information, and offer encouragement, covering topics from curriculum choices to scheduling and lesson planning to testing, to resources and teaching tips for preschool all the way through middle school.

As our new Web section goes “live” this week, you’ll find helpful articles and resources to equip and encourage you, to help you as you determine your destination, plan your adventure, and choose the best route to get there. I’ll be adding more on a regular basis, so please check back often at

And be sure to subscribe now to our FREE Early Years e-newsletter at so you won’t miss even one! Upcoming topics include how to get the most out of your state convention, curriculum options, and getting the house organized for homeschooling. I hope that the first e-newsletter—on testing—will take the anxiety out of end-of-year evaluations. Don’t miss it—sign up today!

Please drop me a note or give me a call to let me know how I can best serve you. And remember—You CAN homeschool!


Vicki Bentley
Early Years coordinator
(540) 338-5600

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Utterly Off Topic Wednesday: 10 Publicity Stunts That Attracted Thousands of People

Bra-banded band, and Time standing still in New York’s Grand Central Station are amongst the list of the publicity stunts that got the attention of thousands of people. I would have to say that the omission of the Where in the World is Matt? campaign that got people dancing all over the world is glaring.But if you have a chance to check out the original videos of these events, they will make you smile.

I promise I will be getting back to the topic of home business, with an emphasis on using social media. Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably familar at least with the names of the sites MySpace, Facebook, Orkut, Bebo, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Digg. You have already seen some prior posts that reference one or more of these sites. I'll get back to that in another article. But count me out for the rest of the week as I go on vacation to celebrate my 24th wedding anniversary!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Utterly Off Topic Wednesday: What is this?

Easily accessible from a major New Jersey Interstate.
Plush Carpet.
Comfortable Chairs and Couches.
Arched Ceiling.
Soft Lighting.
Tasteful Decorations.
“Valet” Service for your Automobile.
Free Internet Access.
Free Coffee.

Answer to follow...

It’s the Waiting Room for the Express Lube and Car Wash on Route 130 in Hamilton Township , Mercer County , NJ!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Passion of the Christ - Facebook Style

Here is a clever retelling of the Easter Story as if it appeared on Facebook. I found it in From a comment in the story: "I'm going to go on a limb and say I don't think God holds himself above satire. Since really when you think about it, what is the point of satire? It brings more clearly into focus the truth of the object of satire. Which in his case, is something worth thinking on."

I thought this was worth sharing with Christians, those who really love satire, or anyone who really appreciates Facebook. It could be the funniest thing you read all day, or the most offensive. It is satirical - if you are too religious to have a sense of humor, don't bother. If you are too much of an atheist to click on something about Christ, don't bother. And it is coming from a particular theological stance that I do not agree with. But I know that some of my readers wouldn't agree with ANY theological stance, so what difference? I am taking a cue from St. Paul as we wind our way through the holiest week on the Christian calendar: "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." Phil 1:18

read more | digg story

Monday, April 06, 2009

Democrats' Next Target: the Internet

Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia has introduced two senate bills that may severely regulate traffic on the Internet.The Canadian Free Press explains it this way: The White House will have new powers to access private online data, regulate the cyber security industry and even shut down Internet traffic.

From the article: "When most of us think of Big Brother, we think it would be some invasive government device coming in to our house with a camera and a screen like 1984. But this law makes me realize it will be much more subtle and sinister than that, at first at least. Right now Citizens of the USA are voluntarily inputing, creating and surrendering their "private" information for Big Brother, and they don't even realize it! Everyone who has "private information" and "private messages" and "private images" and "private friends" in their "private" facebook, my space or any other social website, will have their privacy invaded with this new law. Even if a citizen uses every security feature of the website available, to keep people they don't know from viewing their "private" information, they will not truly have privacy because government can enter. Also every medical record that the government wants on the internet will be subject to privacy invasion as well. Perhaps all e-mail services too?"

A must read, if you value the internet.

read more | digg story