Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen – I Love Cupcakes (Part Two)

Anyone else watch Cupcake Wars? I really dig watching the Food Networks’ food challenges and the cupcake wars are just … well, they’re cute.

Anyhoo … I thought it would be fun to highlight the Cupcakes from the Family Fun site in case anyone out there is hankering to decorate any cupcakes any time soon.

And if you need anyone to test those cupcakes for you, just let me know. 😀

(There are more cute cupcakes over here).

1. N is For Nest Cupcake

2. O is For Octopus Cupcake

3. P is For Pig Cupcake

4. Q is For Queen Cupcake

5. R is For Rose Basket Cupcake

6. S is For Shark Cupcake

7. T is For Tepee Cupcake

8. U Is for Unicorn Cupcake

9. V Is For Vampire Cupcake

10. W Is For Worms Cupcake

11. X Is For Xylophone Cupcake

12. “Y” Is for Yellow Jacket Cupcake

13. Z Is For Zoo Cupcake

Which cupcake is your favorite?

Band

Let the Games Begin

Marching season is upon us!!!

I know I get insanely excited about marching season, but I can’t help it. I see how much Jazz loves it and it just warms my heart that he is in an extracurricular activity.

The program is ten times better than last year, in my opinion. We only get to see bits at a time – we saw the first two sets marched at the August parent preview and they added another set when they marched at half-time at the last football game – it’s good, it’s really good.

The name of the show is “No Strings Attached” and it’s about dancing marionettes. The kids start out the show on the ground, in various discarded doll poses and then begin their program. There is one section where they all come together and march really fast, narrowly by-passing each other in formation. It’s quite impressive.

They haven’t blocked the fourth, and final, set yet, so we’re not sure how it ends, but we’re loving what we see so far. Unfortunately, I haven’t really heard the music. It’s so noisy at the football games that I can’t hear it, but I’m sure it’ll be beautiful and challenging – the band director is sort of known for picking that sort of music.

I think our kids have a real shot at winning this year. It would be so great if they actually made the finals at Band Over America this year. (They didn’t make finals last year. And I can see why. Their show, though beautiful, just wasn’t flashy enough to compete).

Jazz has the same uniform as last year. I am pretty sure this will be the last time he’ll be able to wear it, it’s pretty tight. In fact, I can’t believe he’s able to breathe in that jacket. He’ll definitely have to get a bigger size next year.

His first competition is next week in Tulsa Oklahoma. The week after that, he has another one in Oklahoma, but in Broken Arrow. We plan on driving down there and watching. It’s only about two hours away – I can handle being on the road for four hours in one day.

I’m excited. I love these competitions. It’s so fun to watch the formations, to marvel at the costumes and listen to the music. It’s an uplifting experience.

Here’s to a successful 2010 marching season!

General

Monday Morning Meme: September 20

Good Morning!

Aren’t you glad I’m here to give you something to blog about?

I thought so. 😉

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

September 20th Questions:

1. What disgusts you the most?

2. What’s the one piece of clothing you can’t throw away?

3. Is organic food worth the price tag? Why or why not?

4. What’s your favorite board game? When is the last time you played it? Do you play board games with your family very often?

5. Bonus: Write a caption, poem or short story inspired by this picture:

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Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

(please be patient, it’s a little slow sometimes)

Want to see next week’s questions? Your wish is my command.

Abundant Life

Teaching: The Bible says to “love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). How can the death penalty be love?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

People are commanded to love God, one another and their enemies. This is the case today, and it was true in the Old Testament also. Yet it is clear that the death penalty was commanded by God many times in the Old Testament. The first and greatest commandment is to love God, and the Bible is very clear about how we do that: we keep His commandments.

John 14:15, 21, 23 and 24
(15) If you love me, you will obey what I command.
(21) Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
(23) If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
(24) He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

These verses are clear, and reveal the action model of the love of God, which is the biblical model of genuine love. Christ spoke very plainly and said that if we do what God commands, then we love God, and if we do not do what God commands, we do not love God. One of God’s commandments was that murderers be put to death, and it is not loving God to ignore what He said.

It is true that Christ taught us to love our enemies, but we must understand what he was saying when he said that. First and foremost, he was not contradicting his Father and the commands of the Old Testament. He was stating them in plain language. It was part of the Old Testament Law that people were to be loving, even to their enemies. Although many examples could be given, Exodus contains some very clear verses:

Exodus 23:4 and 5
(4) If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him.
(5) If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help him with it.

Since the teaching about being loving, even to someone that hates you, was a part of the Old Testament Law, we need to carefully examine the words Christ spoke.

Matthew 5:43-45
(43) You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.”
(44) But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(45) that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Christ said, “You have heard it said,‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’” It is fair to say that most Christians think that it was God and the Old Testament Scriptures that said, “Hate your enemy,” and that Christ was changing the Old Testament Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Old Testament Law taught people to love, as we saw in Exodus (and there are many more examples beside those two verses). It was the religious leaders who perverted the Law of God and taught people to “hate your enemy.” The well-respected New Testament scholar, R. C. H. Lenski writes:

This [“hate your enemy”] is the way in which the scribes and Pharisees taught the people the second table. They mutilated even the words they quoted from Leviticus….This omission in the usual rabbinical teaching was no innocent abbreviation …This was a flagrant perversion of the law which included all the members of the Jewish nation down to the lowest and extended even to the stranger. [8]

It is imperative to notice that you can love your enemy and still obey the Old Testament Law, including executing justice and even going to war. Biblical love is not an emotion or a feeling, but is acting on what God commands. The words of Christ in Matthew make it plain that Christ knew that God loves His enemies, and even blesses them by sending them rain and sun even though they do not “deserve” His love and blessings. Exodus teaches us to be loving to our enemies and those who hate us by helping them out. The same God who teaches us to love our enemies in both the Old and New Testaments also commands the death penalty in both the Old and New Testaments.

It is love to obey God, and by having a swift death penalty we love the people in our society [many of whom are our enemies also] and offer them the best chance for a life free from fear and crime. By having a swift death penalty that is justly meted out, we are giving everyone the best chance to see the high value of life—theirs, and the lives of others. Without a swift and just death penalty, the value of life is cheapened. Most people in the United States, for example, live every day knowing that they may be killed by a drunk driver or by a robber in a convenience store. If they are killed, and if the criminal is actually caught, they know that their life was “worth” a few years in prison, if even that, because that is all that the criminal will have to pay. How can we call that “justice”? How can that teach the value of life? We assert that it cannot and does not, and that is a major reason the United States is overrun with crime today.

We are not loving God or people if we refuse to justly deal with criminals who will harm others. It is not loving people to allow an unsafe society to continue simply because we find it difficult to obey God’s laws. We are not really being loving if we allow murderers to go unpunished. The Bible says if there is no godly punishment of the wicked, then people who would not otherwise sin may be led into temptation, and that is clearly true. Just and quick punishments are a deterrent to evil behavior.

The article above was taken from The Death Penalty: Godly or Ungodly?

Did this article bless you? Please consider donating to the Truth or Tradition ministry.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

{this moment}

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual hosted by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

More from Write From Karen

Life

24-Hour Job

I’m taking a hint from the gals at The Secret is in the Sauce and getting back to blogging basics. I’ll be periodically posting blog articles from year’s past in the next few weeks.

Here is my very first blog post from my Blogger.com blog. It’s dated January 23, 2005. I’ll follow the article with a few updated comments.


Hello!

This is me. 🙂


(updated picture)

Whew. It’s been a long day and I can’t believe it’s over. Every single minute of my day was taken today. You know what’s really tough? Being self-employed. Now that the laundry has been done, folded and put away, the floors have been mopped, my family has been fed and the kids have been put to sleep, it’s now time for me to go to “work.” My client runs spots to help make people aware of all the kids in the state of Missouri that need good homes. It’s a worthy cause and I’m proud to be a part of it. Anyhoo, they gave me a tape with 13 spots on it that I have to convert from a VHS tape to a Windows Media file. No easy task, let me tell ya. Not to mention, it’s time consuming.

I also received a newsletter from the middle school who’s website I maintain and I have to update various parts of the site with that information. Another time consuming task. However, it’s my “job.”

Being self-employed is not all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, I feel very fortunate that we’re in a situation that I’m able to do that, however, working from home has drawbacks as well – you NEVER get away from your job. Imagine that for a minute.

It’s been a long day. Your boss has been breathing down your neck about a project that needs to be completed yesterday. There are grants to write, there are reports to finish, papers to file – the day speeds by. Ahh…time to go home. Grab a quick bite to eat on the way home, kick your feet up and watch TV. Zone time. We all love a little zone time.

But what happens when you’re self-employed? Here’s my day:

Get up at 5;15 a.m. and work out.
Get home in time to take my oldest son to school. (Yes, I’m still sweaty and nasty)
Come home, jump into the shower.
Just finish drying my hair and it’s time to take my youngest to school. (yes, I look really bad. Imagine frizzy bed hair and you have a good picture)
Come home, finish getting ready.
Catch up on emails. (This usually takes WAY longer than it should. I currently maintain four websites and am in the middle of building three).
IF I catch up on emails and website maintenance, I grab my laptop and head to the library to get some writing done. (Yes, it’s true. I ACTUALLY DO write).

But alas, it’s lunchtime and I’m starving because I forgot to eat breakfast – again. So, I hurriedly pack up my laptop (only 1000 words today? I’ll do better tomorrow) come home, heat some soup, catch up on emails (yes, there are generally half a dozen waiting for me by that time).

It’s now 1:00 and I have to leave in an hour and 15 minutes to pick up my middle schooler.

The beds haven’t been made, the bathrooms are still a mess, and the kitchen has been hit by a tornado. I have just enough time to straighten up the house before I pick up son number one.

I get to the school at 2:15 p.m. I get there early because it’s one of those six one way, half a dozen the other way situations. If I don’t get there early, then I end up parking on the street as opposed to actually making it into the driveway of the school. This way, getting there early, I get a good “spot” and Dude can find me fast. What do I do for the 30 minutes I’m waiting? I’m usually brainstorming about my writing or I take a break and read. (Every writer MUST read. Am I right, writers?)

Dude gets out. I drop him off at home so he can have 30 minutes of solitude and get his homework done. I immediately head over to my youngest son’s school. He gets out at 3:25 p.m. It’s now 3:00 p.m. Again, I catch up on work or read – depending on what sort of deadline I have coming up. Getting to my youngest son’s school early is not an option, it’s a MUST. I have NEVER seen traffic so jam-packed in all my life. It’s a true bottle neck. Couple that with the fact that people are generally inconsiderate and impatient and you have a recipe for disaster. Every parking space is taken, the field across the street (with the “NO PARKING” sign, how ironic is that), is jam-packed with cars. The car line is literally backed up into the street (it got so bad the city finally budgeted a two lane road in front of the school because traffic would be backed up for a mile). If I don’t get there early, I won’t actually get to pick Jazz up until 3:45 p.m. Yes, it’s that bad. It’s crazy, the chances people take with their children. You wouldn’t believe the number of adults half-dragging their kids across the parking lot, weaving in and out of moving cars just to save a few precious moments. It absolutely boggles my mind.

We get home and the homework questions begin. The schools assign so much homework it’s like I’m homeschooling them. This usually lasts until dinner (most times past dinner).

We have to eat.

I fix dinner. The hubby gets home. He’s tired and wants to talk about his day. He needs and deserves my attention. We always sit around the dinner table and have dinner together. We rarely eat in front of the TV. After dinner, the kids finish up their homework, hubby cleans up (it’s a deal we have – whoever cooks, the other one cleans up). The boys usually have math homework which is a taboo subject for me. I’m absolutely stupid in math. No, really. I’ll be honest. Numbers and I…well, we just don’t mix. Funny, I use to be a bank teller, (and damn good at it), go figure. (Was that a pun?)

While Kev is working with the boys, I’m usually wrapping things up on the computer and finally, shutting the thing down. (By this time, I’m so sick of looking at the thing I’m seriously thinking about throwing it out the window.

Kids go to bed, and me and Kev spend some time together. By this time it’s 8:30 p.m. and I can barely keep my eyes open. I cautiously plan for tomorrow – I’m going to write 2000 words tomorrow! *snort* Yeah right.

The weekends are slower, but only just. There are chores to do, grocery shopping and of course the neighbor kids HAVE to come over and play. Again, today was completely busy because I had to “work.” When you’re a wife, a mother, and you’re self-employed, the work never stops.

So let’s see – a 9 to 5 job, or a 24-hour job. Which is better?

For me? The 24-hour job. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

****************

And here we are, in 2010 and I’m still doing the same thing. Granted, I have several more schools and several new responsibilities, but I’m doing it and I love it.

And working from home? Really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For one, it’s sometimes really hard to get motivated to get any work done. There are so many things around the house that I would rather be doing, errands I need to run, naps to power through (kidding, well, sort of), it’s really hard for someone like me who lacks discipline even under ideal conditions.

However, things are about to change around here. I’m taking a class and moving forward. Though I have no intentions of giving up the webmaster gig, I have it down to a science and it’s really only part-time now, I’m ready to take my life in a different direction, to begin a new chapter in my life.

The days of working from home are definitely numbered.