Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Book Review: Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter

Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter: Finding the Light Behind the Clouds
By Marsha Mott Jordon
ISBN: 0977134342

Mrs. Jordan first contacted me about Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter, the children's charity she started for critically ill children. She asked if I'd place a link on the blog to let others know about this wonderful ministry. After I looked at the url, I was more than happy to do so.

Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter's Kids Club would make a wonderful ministry opportunity for anyone, but especially the homeschooling parents who are looking for service opportunities they can do with their children. Many homeschooling families delight in participating in Operation Shoebox each Christmas season. Well, this is like Operation Shoebox that lasts all year! It would be such a blessing to put together a package of happy mail for a child who copes with daily health problems. Imagine the child's face when he gets mail and finds out someone he's never met cares about him.

When the author mailed me a copy of her book for this review, I was a little hesitant thinking it might be a compilation of sad stories children have faced. How mistaken I was! Within minutes of opening the cover, I was laughing so loud my family came to find out what was going on. After I read them a few paragraphs about King Louie, her demented and spoiled poodle, they were laughing too. I have caught my husband, Clint, reading and laughing whenever I have left the book open on our bed. Marsha send him his own copy so he'll leave mine alone!

This book is full of observations the author has made of her own life. She has faced disability and other health challenges which she shares throughout, but she does not let them keep her from living life to the fullest. This isn't a long list of complaints, one sad depressing event after another. It's a story of triumph by the grace of God. It's a kick in the pants for the hopeless and depressed. It's a laugh in the middle of the day.

Each short essay is a life illustration of a Biblical truth. She imparts her message with a humorous, down to earth style that lets the reader readily apply Biblical truth to their own situation. The book is made even more beautiful with artwork of critically ill children.

Clint has used a few of the stories in his sermons as a way to draw interest to the lesson. I have read many of them aloud to our homeschooled children as a way to share faith and life lessons. The stories are short enough to be enjoyed at any time: between homeschool lessons, while waiting at the doctor's office, before bed, potty breaks, etc.

Marsha is my kind of gal. She's tough, direct, honest, warm, spunky, funny and loves the Lord. This is a woman who is truly beautiful inside and out who has learned that helping others is the best way to help yourself through a crisis. She sees God's perfect work in her imperfect life.

My favorite "Marsha quote" is referring to God using the donkey to talk to Baalam. "If He can use that jack ass, He most certainly can work through you and me too." How true! Sometimes we need a reminder of God' ability to change our focus from our inability.

If you know someone who is struggling through a trial, facing discouragement, disappointment or just needs a laugh with meaning, pick up a copy of this book! It will make a wonderful, thoughtful gift and will bring much enjoyment. Not only will you bring laughter to the recipient, but you will be supporting the children's ministry Hugs, Hope and Peanut Butter since all proceeds go to the charity. If you are looking for a one size fits all inspirational gift for friends or employees, this is your ticket!

This book will not only warm the heart, it will feed the soul.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The crooked places

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
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Friday, February 09, 2007

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Clint

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Clint

1. People who have known him for years say they can't imagine Clint angry. While he seems easy going and mild mannered, he really does get angry. Just threaten his wife or children and see where that gets you.

2. He has a very good aim with a gun. Our poultry is very thankful for his intervention!

3. He was born two months premature in 1969. The hospital insisted his mother to pay in full for the birth, labor and special care he received before she took him home. She told them she couldn't do that. They told her she couldn't take him home until she paid. She said OK, asked them to keep him while she made payments a little at at ime They promptly let him go home.

4. He fit in a shoebox when he was brought home.

5. As a child, he nearly died from a mysterious blood disease. No one knew what it was or what caused it.

6. His church prayed for him and he was miraculously healed.

7. He has sleepwalked and sleeptalked, but has mostly outgrown it.

8. His childhood home is in front of the school Wendy attended for 10 years. They also went to the same skating rink often. Their paths crossed many times but, they never met until 11th grade homeroom.

9. At 17, he wrote his own video games and one featured him, a warrior, saving a princess named Wendy.

10. He use to bike nearly 30 miles roundtrip to see his friend Tim before he got his car.

11. He is absolutely adored by his wife and children.

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Wendy

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Wendy

1. She has worked as a secretary in a pest agency, a bank clerk, and as a store layout manager. Once God convicted her that her place was in the home, she quit and became a stay at home wife. Brandon came along a couple of years later.

2. Native American ancestory runs on both sides of her family.

3. She has allergies to cats, dogs, and pretty much anything with fur. To enjoy pets, she has to bathe them almost weekly. (Most allergies to pets is usually to dander or saliva, not the hair itself, so their weekly bath helps a great deal.)

4. Surprisingly to those who know her the best, tests show her IQ is very high.

5. She doesn't put much faith in IQ tests. :-)

6. She has been present two times in the E.R. when babies died in front of her from vaccine reactions.

7. Her jaw stopped growing when she was 6 years old. She had to wear a jaw expanding, orthodontic appliance for about two years.

8. She has owned a 1981, 1986 and a 1968 Mustang.

9. She' never had a ticket and drove responsibly as a teen even though she was once falsely accused by an adult of speeding while driving a Spectrum. Yeah, a Spectrum!! (You couldn't speed in it. The engine whined at 50 mph.) The wimpy boyfriend she was driving home at the time was too chicken to stand up for her, so she broke up with him. Besides, her cat didn't like him.

10. Clint asked her out right afterwards. The cat adored Clint!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bad Day

Sunday, while Clint, Brandon and Amanda were at the park playing paintball, I had a horrible time of it here. Everything that could go wrong did. I won't bore you with all the details, but it was bad.

I also learned the hard way that you should not attempt to stand for hours at at time if you have been nearly flat on bed rest for four months straight. My muscles are very weak and the baby has grown and stressed my back further. My back was hurting so bad I could not lift my feet more than 2-3 inches. I could not even climb the stairs, which is where our only bathroom is. After five hours on my feet, I could barely move.

Bethany went to the bathroom. She did not come down after 15 minutes, so I sent Joshua up. He came back confused and said he could not find her. I relived the horrible moment when I found Amanda's bed empty in the middle of the night she sleepwalked. I sent Joshua up to look for her again and again. After nearly an hour, he finally found her. She had grown tired and put herself down for a nap behind the piled up covers. When she woke up and came back downstairs, she was well rested and I had new grey hair.

Clint forgot to bring in wood. Well, he brought in six small pieces to last all day. I think he was a bit preoccupied with getting to the park! When I realized I needed wood for heat, it was too late. I knew I could not navigate the steps out or back in and could most definitely not carry wood. We burned paper to make the wood last longer and stayed close to the wood stove when the house temperature started dropping.

Amanda left without feeding the horse. She usually does this at a certain time every a.m. About 1 p.m., Hot Shot had ENOUGH with waiting and set to putting up such a ruckus, I had bad thoughts. The first was "Someone is going to hear this and report us for animal abuse." A couple of hours later it was: "If he keeps that up, I just might GIVE him something to carry on about." :-)

On and on it went. Being optimistic, it takes a lot for me to call a day bad, but Sunday was BAD.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Markers, not guns.

Paintball enthusists call them "markers," not guns.
This isn't Crayola. Call it what you want, you need a face mask.
This is Amanda and Brandon ready to roll!
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