“Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing” – L.M.Montgomery

One could easily revise that statement to “Next to trying and succeeding, the best thing is trying and failing.”

I wouldn’t say that this quote applies to all of life, but in my case it does apply to volleyball when you dive for a shanked ball and all you get is a floor burn. It also applies to really cute sugar cookies that just didn’t turn out!

It is pretty disappointing when you are expecting this and you end up with this: 

My sister sent me the link above and I thought it was a fantastic idea! So, I got a sugar cookie recipe from the internet (her printable directions didn’t indicate that she had a recipe and I didn’t read the blog post closely enough to catch that she did), lit a pumpkin candle, and turned on Christmas music. (Yes, Christmas music. The boys weren’t home so no one complained!)

Scrumptious, isn’t it?

I mixed up the coloring proportions, slightly….

I ended up letting the dough chill over night and went downstairs to watch Four Feathers. A wonderful old movie “when war was war and men were men”! 🙂

So, I eagerly pulled out the dough this morning, ready to make some cute candy corn. Personally, I enjoy candy corn and candy pumpkins, not a lot, but a handful or so every year. However, I know many people who don’t share my sentiments and think that the candies taste like sugary wax or something. Untrue!

Anyways, I didn’t expect to have to roll them out, but maybe I just missed that that was a given in her directions. I’m not sure. Either way, I did have to roll them out which was pretty tricky, but they turned out okay before I put them in the oven… (At this point, creepy music should enter letting you know that all is not well)

But… then I put them in the oven.

Delicious, eh?

Flat as a pancake, actually flatter than a pancake to be accurate! Then we tasted them. Dad and B described them as “chemically”. I would have to concur. I ought to have used my Nana’s rolled cookie recipe, but I didn’t realize that rolled cookies are a form of sugar cookies.

So while the recipe I got doesn’t make tasty cookies for humans to eat, it does make excellent dog treats!

Trooper enjoyed the two that I would let him eat!

I will definitely have to try the idea again, just with a different sugar cookie recipe. Not to appear too bookish of a person, but… “if at first you don’t fricassee, fry fry a hen!” (Carol Ryrie Brink – Caddie Woodlawn)

Hope you are enjoying fall! I know I am!

L

 

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Food For Thought

 Read this today….
O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I may love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all Thy chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies,
to glorify and love Thee.
– John Wesley

Yet another wonderful paper on economics!

Ya, I’m kidding about that. I’m sure if an english teacher got a hold of this paper, she’d (or he’d) rip it apart. But that of course is not the point! As Kate mentioned, we recently studied economics in our world views class. (Our World Views class is basically a conglomeration of every subject minus science and math if you were wondering.)

In the study of economics, we learned about the Austrian school, Classical school, Keynesianism (try pronouncing that, it is fun!), Das Kapital, and others. I decided to write my paper on the idea that the Bible is not in support of Communism. Many verses from the New Testament are misconstrued to fit Communism. I think it is important for Christians to understand what the Bible advocates economically. The Bible does not give us an economic “system” to set up but rather gives us principles to live by under any circumstances. Jesus said that His Kingdom was not of this earth (John 18:36).  His purpose was not for Christians to group together but to go into the world and preach His gospel.

Now, without further ado…

Communism in Light of Biblical Economic Principles

Economics is “a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.” (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary) Over the centuries, many economic systems have been developed in an attempt to fix the fiscal problems of various governments and improve the being of man. Karl Marx (1818-1883 AD) was a German philosopher, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary sociologist. As the author of the Communist Manifesto, Marx believed socialism would ultimately culminate in a “stateless, classless society called communism. Although some people believe that the economic principles of communism come closest to reflecting Biblical values of love and community. Communism falls short of following Biblical standards due to its mistaken view of the fallen nature of man, the “unfair” distribution of wealth, and the private stewardship of property.

Regarding the fallen nature of man, communism and the Bible differ greatly. Communism paints man as unselfish. The communistic system is built upon the idea that man is willing to work for the good of others and society. The leaders think that once the laborers realize the necessity of their work, they will diligently do whatever work is assigned to them. Communism also believes that man is willing to receive equal wages regardless of his effort in comparison to that of another. The belief that man is unselfish is in conflict with overwhelming evidence to the contrary and with the Bible’s view of man. This same envy is consistent with the way the Bible portrays man’s nature. As Christians, Paul tells us in Philippians 2 to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” If, as a human, man did not have a problem with selfishness and ego, there would be no reason for Paul to plead with Christians to be different from the world. II Timothy 3:2, in talking about the coming end times mentions that “people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant . . .”  But jealousy, covetousness, and selfishness are not new. Cain was jealous of God’s approval of Abel, David was covetous of Uriah’s wife, and Lot was selfish in choosing the better land for himself. When man fell in the Garden, it was because he chose to gratify his desires above obedience to God. Since then, human nature seeks only its own. Although the communist’s perspective of man’s unselfishness is optimistic, human nature demonstrates the opposite reality.

Instead of recognizing man’s fallen nature as the cause of social problems, communism superficially blames the “unfair” distribution of wealth as the culprit. A communist believes that unequal wages, wages being a means of gaining wealth, exploit the workers. Marx and others believed that workers were being paid less than the value of their production and thus being enslaved to a life of toil. It was from this bondage that Marx believed he could set the laborer free in his famous revolutionary cry, “Let the ruling class tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries unite!” (Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels 1848, chapter 4) Marx was dealing with the superficial problem of the uneven distribution of wealth but ignoring man’s sin. As Winston Churchill said, “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.” According to the Bible, man’s labor is to be repaid by appropriate wages and gaining wealth is not in and of itself a sin. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” Later on, Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” The Bible is not at all against earning money in honest labor nor does it find the wages to be the issue. The problem lies deeper for it is in human nature. The Bible tells us in I Timothy 6:10 that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” When the desire for money is the driving force behind a person’s life, he or she will not hesitate to exploit others, be unfair, or exact usury. The social problems that Marx was trying to deal with are the result of man’s sin nature not wages or wealth, not even private property.

In communistic principles, the private stewardship of property is done away with in order to promote fairness to all. Marx says in the Communist Manifesto, “In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” (Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels 1848, chapter 2) Once the private property is gone, everything is to be held in common and the government decides what to do with it and how to handle the property. In the Soviet Union, the government removed stewardship of land entirely by collectivizing the farms and telling farmers what to plant and how much to plant. By removing personal responsibility and giving it to the government, the political leaders controlled the lives of their people. On the other hand, the Bible teaches and encourages stewardship of one’s own property. From the very beginning, Adam and Eve were entrusted with stewardship of the Garden of Eden. When Israel became a nation, God gave Moses laws regarding property. In Deuteronomy, many of the laws regarding property reminded the children of Israel to be generous with the property that God had entrusted to them. In the New Testament, in the first few chapters of Acts, people often take verses out of context to support communism. Acts 4:34-35 says, “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” This verse does not support communism but rather demonstrates the selflessness of these early Christians who took seriously the Lord’s command to care for their neighbor. In Acts 5:4, the Apostle Peter clarifies that the people were not under compulsion to sell, but they clearly owned their own property. In confronting Ananias for his sin, he says, “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” (italics added) According to Biblical principles, private property is not bad but is an opportunity for stewardship and obedience to God.

The differences between communistic and Biblical economic views on fallen human nature, the “unfair” distribution of wealth, and the private stewardship of property are vast. Communism is built on the ideas that: man is unselfish; “unfair” wealth causes social problems; and private property is unnecessary. On the other side of the spectrum, the Bible teaches that: man is, indeed, selfish; wealth is good when used generously; and private property is to be used in obedience to God. The two systems could not disagree more. It is only by misusing Scriptural context that one could find support for communism within the pages of Scripture.

Yes, I do write a lot! But I hope this has given you some food for thought…

L

PS- we also read a great book called “Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlett. I Highly recommend it as a good, basic way to introduce economics and economic fallicy

Salvation Is Born by Greg Tulenko

Come let us worship, come let us adore
Jesus, Messiah, our Savior is born
Carol His glory and sing His sweet Name
Offer a life of thanksgiving and praise

Join with the angels proclaiming to earth
Join with the shepherds in awe of His birth
Join all creation rejoicing this morn
The glory of God-become-man has been born

Come, let us adore Him
Jesus, the hope of the world
Come, worship before Him
Christ, the Messiah has come
Salvation is born

Prophets foretold Him, the Promise of God
The hope of Salvation and light of the world
Born in a stable and born as a man
Born to fulfill God’s redeeming plan

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Everywhere you go…

Christmas is just about two weeks away! Even in the South, with out snow, it is beginning to look/feel like Christmas. (Or maybe I’m just ready for school break.)

Everywhere we see yards full of “Holiday Decorations,” in fact it is one of our traditions to go and see all the lights as a family! I would like to share a few shots of Winter/Christmas decorations from around our home.

Before we begin, I would like to point out that while we enjoy all the festivities of decorating the house, baking, etc… that’s not truly Christmas. We as American’s have come to associate Christmas with those things. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior! I recently came across this hymn by Charles Wesley, though I haven’t ever really thought of it before as a “Christmas Carol,” I’d like to share it with you…

Come, thou long expected Jesus, 
born to set thy people free; 
from our fears and sins release us, 
let us find our rest in thee. 
Israel's strength and consolation, 
hope of all the earth thou art; 
dear desire of every nation, 
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, 
born a child and yet a King, 
born to reign in us forever, 
now thy gracious kingdom bring. 
By thine own eternal spirit 
rule in all our hearts alone; 
by thine all sufficient merit, 
raise us to thy glorious throne.

… when I read the words, I realized this is the essence of Christmas, “Jesus, born to set thy people free.” Something we don’t deserve and could never do by ourselves! Christmas should be a time of thankfulness to Christ for what He has done for us as Christians… which is why we celebrate Christmas year round (= …

So anyways.. here are a few glimpses of our home this season. Enjoy!

Our piano is filled with Christmas books as the family pianists prepare for the next few weeks.

Yep.. even the piano got in on the decorations!

Our outside Christmas “greenery”

We put these snowflakes up in windows all over the main floor of our house, our Nana made them for us.

Up on one of our shelves we put the paper village that our Grandma gave us.

These cinnamon scented (supposedly) lights line our railing upstairs.

We may not get enough snow down here to make these, but we certainly enjoy our snowmen decorations!

Our mantle – the “Peace” and “Joy” are our stocking holders.

Our kitchen table center piece.

A Christmas craft from a few years ago…

We also have a few manger scenes set up around the house (some literally stay up all the time (; )….

(This one either Caleb or Laura made in kindergarten)

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

KS