..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Home Decorating

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." William Morris

Home Decorating

Home Decorating
I like making vignettes. This is in my kitchen. We have 9' ceilings throughout the house. Another reason why I love our house. It's not so high that it affects our heating the house. But it makes it airier and gives more display space. This is the amount of room I have above my kitchen cabinets.

I have a large bay window in our kitchen and I wanted to keep the room bright, airy, fun to be in. So I went with a bold color choice. We have tons of wood cabinets and a charcoal gray granite countertop and I didn't want to paint the cabinets. But to lighten up the kitchen, I chose this blue with bright white trim. It balances the cabinets and countertops. I think it's a perfect balance. The wooden cabinets and dark granite countertops make the kitchen more formal and yet the bright blue and white make it more fun. For us, it's the perfect combination. I used bright yellow accessories too. Every item is a bargain find in this vignette. Bought at yard sales, thrift stores or antique malls. The yellow pitcher is a broken piece that I glued back together but it can't be used and wouldn't withstand a lot of handling so I used it in this vignette by hanging with with string from the towel rack.

Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips

My first tips are...keep it clean, dusted and keep it picked up. Learn to put things back where they belong. Teach your family this simple rule...Put things away where they belong.

  • You can get away with almost any decor as long as it's clean! Dust ruins any room even if it's been decorated by a professional. You must keep your things clean. Dusty light fixtures, dusty curtains, dusty accessories, dusty flower arrangements...all of these ruin a look.
  • And you must keep the room picked up. It's wonderful to see the end result of a slick, professional looking decorated room. But if you can't keep it picked up and clean, it was a waste of time and money. Having baskets for the kids toys look fantastic but you and I both know that real life means those toys will be out of those baskets before you say BOO! You and your family have to put things away, put up those toys. If you don't learn this then your room will be trashed again before you know it.
  • Make sure the decor works for you. If you don't have time for cleaning then a minimalist look might be best for you at this time. Think of contemporary looks. If you are a stay-at-home "professional" homemaker and your children are grown, then you might can go with a fussy, Victorian look with all the tussie-mussies, flowers, etc. A beautiful look if you can keep it clean. Or maybe your decorator wants to do a Tuscany look and yet it means an ornate wrought iron chandelier 20 feet in the air. How will you ever get up there to clean it or even change the light bulbs? Does someone want to cover your walls with a collection of vintage mirrors? Great, if you like cleaning mirrors every week, otherwise they will get dusty and ruin the look. Are those professional windows treatments able to be easily cleaned? If not, you will be replacing them in a little over a year because you can't stand their dusty look or you have to pay to have them professionally drycleaned and what a pain to get them down, to cleaners, back from cleaners and back up. And dirty drapes will affect allergies. Think of semi-gloss or gloss paint for keeping walls clean. Dust motes, cobwebs and grime ruin a flat wall and there is little you can do to keep it fresh looking. You can vacuum your walls but that doesn't get the grime and is a hard job. Do you like to change your vacuum cleaning tools a couple of times in each room? No? Then don't put area rugs on top of hard floors. It's aggravating to vacuum the hard floors with the brush and then have to change to a carpet cleaner to do the area rugs. I have dogs. Rugs become big pee pads or chew toys. Easy solution, we don't get rid of the dogs but we get rid of the rugs. So make sure that your decor works in your life. Is it efficient for you? Is your family able to work with it? Does it relax you or are you constantly on the run just trying to keep it up? It is your goal to have a home that is welcoming, clean, workable, and relaxing to you, your family and visitors.
  • Remember that bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry rooms are the dustiest areas of our house. I'm sure it has something to do with all the fabrics that are flipped around in these areas. Folding clothes, changing sheets, bath towels, getting in and out of bed...all these put lint and dust in the air and it settles. So does powder, makeup, powdered laundry soap, etc. It is so nice to have pretty little things to decorate your bathroom but they look like so much trash if they are allowed to get dirty and grungy. Nice to have baskets with towels set decoratively on a shelf but it looks terrible when that basket is grungy with dust and has hair hanging on it. Put extra effort in your bedroom/bathroom/laundry rooms to keep them clean and dust free. Wash your accessories, vacuum the lamp shades, regularly clean your light fixtures, shine the chrome or brass, rinse the baskets, wash your linens, etc.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Quick Clean

Quick Clean
If you do these things on a daily basis, the house will stay in good condition until you can do your weekly deep clean.


Pick up and put away any makeup, hair styling items, dirty clothes/towels.

Spritz your shower/tub with Greased Lightening, do the following chores, then hose your shower/tub down.

Using Clorox or Lysol wipes, wipe down your sink and countertop.

Using Clorox or Lysol wipes, wipe the lid, seat top, seat bottom, rim of your commode.


Put away any items left out.

Unload dishwasher and load dishwasher with dirty dishes. (Or washing/drying dishes and putting away).

Soap up your sink and rinse. It is now shiny and clean.

Wipe down countertops.

Take out kitchen trash and put new liner in.

Sweep or vacuum as needed.


Put away clothes, misc items.

Make bed.

Living Room

Pick up out-of-place items and put them where they belong.

Stack your magazines or newspapers.

Run over table tops with Swiffer duster.


Laundry Room

Wash/dry/fold/put away whatever loads you need to keep up.

Be sure to clean out the lint trap in your dryer after each load.

Study or Office Area

Check your emails.

Go through your mail and sort until desktop is clean.

Pay bills as needed.


Walk the dogs or let them out in the fenced in backyard for exercise.

Pick up any pee pads or messes, or change the litterbox. Use Clorox or Lysol wipes as needed.

Fresh water


Let dogs back in.

If long hair dogs or cats, run a brush over them to get any loose hair.

You are done! Be sure to include the other members of your family in some of this. You can, and should delegate, so that they learn how to do these things.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Household Tips

Have you ever wondered why, in the old days, people would bring a fish home in a newspaper? Maybe it's because newspaper can help absorb odors. Newspaper works best at snaring those invisible stinky molecules that float around your refrigerator. Just take a section of newspaper and put in your freezer section. Change it once a week and your refrigerator will be fresh as new. If you need to store something especially smelly like fish just put some newspaper on top of that container for extra odor absorption. How to get rid of odors in plastic food containers? By stuffing them with crunched up old newspaper pages ... this works to get the smell of burned popcorn out of a microwave oven too. Kristi F. Columbus, OH USA

Use legs/feet of old pantyhose/nylons to put small pieces of bar soap into-keep outdoors near faucet to wash hands, etc. after being outdoors before coming indoors. Louise S, Elizabeth City NC USA

If your dishwasher has stains just put some Tang where your detergent usually goes and run it through a cycle. This makes most dishwashers as clean as they were when they were brand new. Try it, you will be very pleased. David K. Hilliard, OH USA

Source: Householdtipsonline.com

Squash Pizza

Squash Pizza

I had a couple of large summer squash (yellow, crookneck) and I wanted to whip them up fast for lunch. This idea came to me:

2 large yellow, crookneck, summer squash, washed, sliced in 1/2" slices
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Mozzarella cheese, shredded

I sprayed a cookie sheet with butter Pam and laid the raw slices of squash out on the sheet. I sprinkled them with seasoning and salt & pepper. Then I sprinkled mozzarella cheese on each slice. I broiled them on low until the cheese began to brown. I turned off the broiler but let them sit in the hot oven about 10 more minutes. You don't want the cheese to burn but it helped finish the squash to just the right consistency (you don't want them too mushy). Then serve! It was easy, healthy and quick. My Mother-in-law said it would be nice to add a dab of pizza sauce or a dab or butter to each slice before you put the mozzarella cheese on it.

Source: Me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977

Lynyrd Skynyrd is my most favorite band of all time. I loved all the Southern Rock bands like Charlie Daniels, Marshall Tucker, Allman Brothers, etc. But Lynyrd Skynyrd was my favorite with "Free Bird" being their ultimate work in my opinion.

In 1977 I graduated from high school, met my future husband, got engaged and we got married that Fall. Being newly married, we couldn't afford tickets to their last concert in Greenville, SC (only about 30 mins away from us). Later that night we heard the news about their plane crash and I was devastated. I just couldn't believe it and I've always regretted not seeing their last concert. I did see them in concert before, and we have seen them once they got back together.

In 1977, one of my uncles, was employed as a professor to teach American servicemen in the Orient. He was in Japan in 1977 and had met a young woman named Yuko. They were on their first date when this story happened

"One could stumble across well known people with and without your knowledge in areas like Tokyo's Akasaka Mitsuke district. There were lots of night clubs both big and small - even a Shakey's Pizza, all within an easy walk from the Sanno Hotel. In January 1977 on a Saturday I took my girlfriend Yuko to lunch in the Akasaka Mitsuke area at an Indian restaurant called, I think, "The Taj" which was run by RV Pandit, an Indian I met in my Japanese language class in 1975. After two years in the FED I was use to seeing foreigners in this part of Tokyo who looked like they were members of an American rock band. There were many bands recruited from the US West Coast who toured small nightclubs in the major Japanese cities like Tokyo and Osaka, and the smaller cities for the lesser known ones. Back to the Taj. After our lunch arrived I noticed that there were four or five members of what appeared to be one of these touring bands along with their Japanese girlfriends du jour at a couple of nearby tables. It seemed that they couldn't figure out what to dip in what sauce so one of the them asked me for help, and seemed because of my extensive foreign food knowledge (who was sitting next to me), Yuko, we helped them out. I remember the next sentences almost perfectly:
James: "Are you guys an American band on tour in Japan?"
One of the group: "Yep."
James: "What's the name of your band?"
One of the group: "Lynyrd Skynyrd."
James: "Which one of you is Leonard?" (No joking, I didn't know them from Adam.)

............................................................................My husband and I that Fall not long after we got married.

My Uncle and the family always made cassette tapes to send each other instead of just letters and postcards (we did that too). He told me about this story on one of his cassette tapes and I freaked out. I immediately made a response cassette tape where I told him all about them, their names, and even a medley of their songs. He never forgot that and even still has my cassette tape. I forgot it long ago but he reminded me this week. Don't you just hate hearing yourself on tape? I'm very Southern and can't help that I sound like a Southern Belle who gargles in syrup. I'm not really apologizing but I sounded so young, silly and Southern! And I was so excited that he met my favorite band!

Lynyrd Skynyrd was an iconic U.S. Southern Rock band from the 1970's. They were led by the lead vocalist and primary songwriter, Ronnie Van Zant. The band was named after Leonard Skinner, a gym teacher/basketball coach for some of the members at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida. They were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 3/13/2006. Their most famous songs were "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama".

Late in 1977, after a concert in Greenville, SC, the group boarded their plane to head for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of their accident was fuel exhaustion and total loss of power from both engines due to crew inattention to fuel supply. Contributing to the fuel exhaustion were inadequate flight planning and an engine malfunction of undetermined nature in the right engine which resulted in higher-than-normal fuel consumption. It was known that the right engine's magneto - a small power generator that provides spark and timing for the engine - had been malfunctioning (Billy Powell, among others, spoke of seeing flames shooting out of the right engine on a trip just prior to the accident), and that pilots McCreary and Gray had intended to repair the damaged part when the travelling party arrived in Baton Rouge. It is possible that the damaged magneto fooled the pilots into creating an exceptionally rich fuel mixture, causing the Convair plane to run out of fuel

The crash killed Singer/Songwriter Ronnie van Zant, Guitarist/Vocalist Steve Gaines, Vocalist Cassie Gaines, Assistant Road Manager Dean Kilpatrick, Pilot Walter McCreary and Co-Pilot William Gray. Other band members were injured, some seriously

Drummer Artimus Pyle crawled out of the plane wreckage with several broken ribs, but was ambulatory, as were Road Crew members Kenneith Peden Jr. and Mark Frank. The three injured men hiked some distance from the crash site, through swampy woods, and finally flagged down farmer Johnny Mote, who had come to investigate. Varying accounts have Mote either firing a warning shot into the air or actually shooting Pyle in the shoulder - no report is completely reliable. Pyle claimed in a February 2007 appearance on Howard Stern's Radio Program that Mote had shot him; Mot has always denied shooting the drummer. Video of a bare chested Pyle at the 1979 Volunteer Jam does not show evidence of a gunshot wound.

Medical personnel arrived and began to ferry out the injured and the dead. Allen Collins suffered two cracked vertebrae in his neck and both Collins and Leon Wilkeson nearly had arms amputated as a result of the crash injuries. Wilkeson suffered severe internal injuries, including a punctured lung, and had most of his teeth knocked out. Gary Rossington broke both his arms and both his legs in the crash, and took many months to recuperate. Lelie Hawkins sustained a concussion, broke her neck in three places and had severe facial lacerations. Security Manager Gene Odom was seriously burned on his arm and face and lost the sight in one eye as a result of an emergency flare on board the plane that was activated during the crash. Victims were taken to the hospital in McComb, Mississippi by ambulances and other vehicles. Road Crew member Steve Lawler, who suffered severe contusions and facial lacerations, was taken to the hospital in a pickup truck with a camper top. Pianist Billy Powell survived but his nose was nearly torn off and he suffered severe facial lacerations.

The band disbanded after the plane crash. In 1987, they reunited for a full scale tour with crash survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle and Former Guitarist Ed King. Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, took over as the new Lead Singer and primary songwriter. Due to Collin's paralysis, he was only able to participate as the Musical Director, choosing Randall Hall, his former band mate in the Allen Collins Band, as his stand-in. Collins was stricken with pneumonia in 1989 and died 1/23/1990. Leon Wilkeson, Skynyrd's Bassist since 1972, was found dead in his hotel room due to liver/lung disease 7/27/2001.
-This info culled from Wikipedia

Here is some more info

PERSONNEL: May 1976 to October 20, 1977
Ronnie Van Zant - Lead Vocalist and primary songwriter
Allen Collins - guitars
Gary Rossington - guitars
Steve Gaines - guitars
Billy Powell - keyboards
Leon Wilkeson - bass
Artimus Pyle - drums

Their schedule in January 1977
LIVE SHOW: January 1, 1977 San Diego, California (pl
LIVE SHOW: January 2, 1977 Los Angeles, California (pl
LIVE SHOW: January 5, 1977 Honolulu, Hawaii (pl
LIVE SHOW: January 14, 1977 Tokyo, Osaka, Japan (pl)
LIVE SHOW: January 15, 1977 Tokyo, Osaka, Japan (pl)
LIVE SHOW: January 16, 1977 Tokyo, Osaka, Japan (pl)
LIVE SHOW: January 18, 1977 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan (pl)

Some of their songs
Workin’ For MCA
I Ain’t The One
Saturday Night Special
Whiskey Rock-A-Roller
That Smell
Travelin’ Man
Ain’t No Good Life
Gimme Three Steps
Call Me The Breeze
T For Texas
Sweet Home Alabama
Free Bird

Since James and Yuko met the band on a Saturday around noon, the exact date must have been January 15, 1977, the day after their first Tokyo performance on Friday.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Do we have an excuse?

Do we have an excuse? What about those who are illiterate and have no Bible or teachers? How about those people who may never hear the Gospel preached?

Log cabin church on Blue Ridge Parkway, people were willing to walk and ride horses or in wagons to log cabin churches that were hot or cold, uncomfortable wooden benches, etc.

Here, in America, we have churches on every corner that are easily reached via automobile and are heated or air conditioned with soft seats, sound systems and musical instruments. We have Christian leaders who are highly trained in seminaries and have a wealth of information to tap into. Bibles are affordable and available in nearly every major store, in every language and of all kinds of translations. We are inundated with Christian books, teachings, teaching tapes. We have the ability for mass medias such as TV, radio, Internet and all are being used by Christians to preach and teach the Word of God. We can get free Bible study software on the Internet. We live in a time such as has never before been seen in the history of mankind with technology, health, wealth and opportunity like never before. We can go to a nearby grocery store and indulge our every whim with food from all over the world regardless of the season. This has never been before. We can drive our cars 60 miles in less than an hourand in complete comfort when it took days for every other generation of mankind before. We have free education available to every person in the United States. This has never been before. Do we really have any excuse for turning away from God, being ignorant of the Word of God, for not attending church? To those whom much has been given, much will be required. We have raised a generation of people who are more ignorant of the Bible than the generations of illiterate masses before the 20th century. We have a generation of people who are so ignorant of Christian beliefs that they can't even recite the 10 Commandments or know the Golden Rule. We have raised a generation who have no fear of God and who don't have the value system in place to know right from wrong, and generally could care less what is right or wrong. We have no excuse!

But what about this generation? What about those who live their life without ever going inside a church, never read the bible, don't know even the basic tenets of the Christian faith? What about those who are so removed from civilization that they don't get to hear the gospel? Are they beyond the reach of God? Are they able to be saved?

The Bible teaches us that God has put the revelation of God into every man/woman. And we have no excuse. In other words, we all have the special revelation that there is one, living God who created the world and created us. Nature proclaims God, the Creator and Sustainer of life. Based on that, we can worship the Creator.

Psalm 19: 1-4a
The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech,

And night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.

Their line has gone out through all the earth,

And their words to the end of the world.

Romans 1: 18-25
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Science used to be the study of God's Creation and learning God's marvelous works and leading to the worship of such a wonderful God. It was based first and foremost on the knowledge that there was a God, a Creator, a loving and eternal and all wise God. Now Science has only one purpose and that is to disprove God, to prove that there is no need for God. A majority of Scientists refuse to believe in a Creator God and therefore are willing to believe in any theory as long as it does NOT rest on God.

All men have a most clear and evident mirror in which to behold the everlasting and almighty nature of God, even in his creatures, yet they have fallen away from those principles to most foolish and stupid ideas of their own brains, in their worship of God and of what God requires of them. -Geneva Study Bible

Our Creator's invisible power and Godhead are so clearly shown in the works he has made, that even idolaters and wicked Gentiles are left without excuse. They foolishly followed idolatry; and rational creatures changed the worship of the glorious Creator, for that of brutes, reptiles, and senseless images. They wandered from God, till all traces of true religion must have been lost, had not the revelation of the gospel prevented it. -Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

The outward creation is not the parent but the interpreter of our faith in God. That faith has its primary sources within our own breast but it becomes an intelligible and articulate conviction only through what we observe around us. And thus are the inner and the outer revelation of God the complement of each other, making up between them one universal and immovable conviction that God is. -Jamison, Fawcett, and Brown

For what is to be known of God - Those great principles which are indispensably necessary to be known. Is manifest in them; for God hath showed it to them - By the light which enlightens every man that cometh into the world. -John Wesley's Notes

Nature speaks of nature's God.

Turning from the glorious revelation of God in nature, they showed that they were fools by making an image, like man, or lower animals, and calling it a god. -People's New Testament

For instance, let's look at the heavens and how God revealed Himself even in the stars.

1. Virgo, the Virgin
Christ was born of a Virgin, the Virgin Mary, as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. Virgo symbolizes Christ as the Son of Man (or Seed of Woman). Because, from Mary, He was conceived a human and from God, He was conceived as deity. The perfect God-man.
2. Libra, the Scales God is a just and righteous Judge and we are wanting in the scales because of our sin. But God provided His own Son to atone for our sins and to take the punishment on our behalf. The scales are now justified through the work of Christ. Justice was done and yet, it was done to Christ who could take the punishment and pay the debt. The Price to be paid, the Cross to be endured, the Victim slain, the Crown purchased.

3. Scorpio, the Scorpion
Christ was bruised on His heel but satan had a crushing and fatal head blow as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Christ was stung with torture, crucifixion and death but He was resurrected and lives forever. Psalm 91:13. The Conflict, the Serpent's coils, the struggle with the Enemy, the toiling Vanquisher of evil

4. Sagittarius, the Archer The double-natured One (God-man) triumphing as a Warrior, he gladdens the Heavens, he builds the fires of punishment, he casts down the Dragon. He is a successful hunter.

5. Capricorn, the Goat

Capricorn symbolizes the scapegoat used to carry away the sins of the people of the wilderness (Lev. 16:8, 10). Jesus is the sacrifice slain on our behalf and resurrected in eternal life. Life out of Death, the Arrow of God, pierced and falling, springing up again in abundant life.

6. Aquarius, Water

Jesus was baptized in water by John the Baptist. As Christians we are encouraged to follow His example. Jesus selects some fishermen as His Disciples and He tells them they will become fishers of men. Matt. 4:18-22
John 7:38-39a
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:...

7. Pisces, the Fish
Multiplication of the Redeemer's people, upheld and governed by the Lamb. By His own Hands Christ blessed and multiplied the 2 fish and loaf of bread to feed the thousands. It is by His own blessing and supernatural touch, through the Holy Spirit, that the Gospel message reaches to the unsaved and multiplies, adding people to His flock.

8. Aries, the Ram

Like the bull, the ram came to represent aggression, strength and courage. It is a symbol of the wild and procreative forces of nature. Considered the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, the ram, announces spring and the bursting forth of nature. Christ was sacrificed in our stead, as the ram was instead of Isaac. Rams became symbols of Christ who went to the Cross as a willing sacrifice for our sins. Christian symbolism considered the Golden Fleece an image of Christ who rescued the children, helping them to soar above the darkness of the pagan world as long as they clung to His fleece (teachings). As leaders of the flock, rams were symbols of leadership and of Jesus Christ as the guide of souls. Sheep were believed to follow the bleating of rams. Therefore, St. Ambrose considered rams emblems of the divine Word. The tendency of rams to butt their enemies with their foreheads made them symbols of military courage and might. Bronze and cast iron ram's heads were placed on the ends of siege-engines known as "battering rams" and used to smash through the walls and gates of cities. Ram skins were dyed red and sewn into the third of four coverings for the Tabernacle used by Israel in the wilderness (Ex 22:5; 26:14; 35:23). These helped to prevent dust and rain from entering the sanctuary.

Genesis 22
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided." Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

Exodus 29
"And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour). You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams. And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod. You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them. The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons. You shall also have the bull brought before the tabernacle of meeting, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the bull. Then you shall kill the bull before the Lord, by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. You shall take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the base of the altar. And you shall take all the fat that covers the entrails, the fatty lobe attached to the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar. But the flesh of the bull, with its skin and its offal, you shall burn with fire outside the camp. It is a sin offering. You shall also take one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram; and you shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar. Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and with its head. And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord. You shall also take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram. Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons' garments with him."

9. Taurus, the Bull

Bulls are needed for plowing and tilling the fields. The bulls are his disciples. Just as the lion is the king and terror of the wild beasts, the bull is the king of the domestic beasts. He often represents fiery temper, aggression, father of a herd, brute strength, ferocity, power, thunderous, kingship, resurrection, impulsiveness. The Israelites sacrificed bulls on many occasions, usually as tokens of repentance and reconciliation with God, foreshadowing of the purifying sacrifice of Christ (Heb 9:13-14). God did not require animal sacrifices for His own sustenance. After all, every living creature is His to eat if He so desires. Mosaic sacrifices were for cleansing the ritually unclean, restoring the sinner, fulfilling vows, and thanksgiving. God was more pleased with thanksgiving, righteousness, and songs of praise than with the sacrifice of bulls.

10. Gemini, the Twins

In faith, we believe and are born again. We are bound to Christ and are His forever. The Marriage of the Lamb, the enemy trodden down, the Prince coming in glory, His princely followers to be His forevermore.

11. Cancer, the Crab

Siezes, holds. He will never let us go. We may backslide and zig zag around but Jesus never lets us go. No one can take us from His Hands, His grip is sure. We are His treasure, His possession.

12. Leo, the Lion

Jesus is referred to as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in Revelation 5:5. He rules forever. A lion symbolizes the king of the wild beasts, leadership, kingship. The King is aroused and His enemies are scattered. He takes His own and leads them to victory.

I Don't Want To Step On A Duck!

I Don't Want To Step On A Duck

Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, "We only have one rule here in heaven: don't step on the ducks!" So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place. It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one. Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St. Peter chains them together and says, "Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!" The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck and along comes St. Peter, who doesn't miss a thing. With him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman. The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps. She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on ... very tall, long eyelashes, muscular, and thin. St. Peter chains them together without saying a word. The happy woman says, "I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?" The guy says, "I don't know about you, but I stepped on a duck!"

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