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We are temporarily at LisaRaub.blogspot.com while we (my "web-design daughter," Sharon and I) work on a new website! Thanks so much for sticking with us!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beauty in the Barren Land

Our latest excursion was to take a hike through Hellhole Canyon!  Not a very appealing name, I must admit, but the scenery has a certain way of "growing on you."

Here in Hellhole Canyon, the rugged terrain may look benign, but every scraggly bush has its share of thorns and pricklies.

The brave canyon hikers obtained walking sticks from pulling up rough plants and scraping the spikes off them.  Here we are just getting ready to depart.

My Beloved and I conquered a rock!

Another mighty warrior (Lydia) conquered an even larger rock!

Father and daughter enjoying the rugged scenery!

In the barren land, it seems that there is only thorns, scrub, and cactus, but when you look closely, you can see tiny expressions of the beauty and love of God.

God always has beauty, sometimes virtually hidden, but it is nevertheless still there.  Then, He brings us out into a wide, beautiful place, where the blooms and flowers abound, and we sense His goodness all around!  Those times, though they are rare, are still wonderful.  But if I must go through a thorny, scrubby valley, I can know for sure that there are flowers - there is beauty - even in the barren land.

We saw this dog living a life of ease, very literally resting on his laurels!!

Even tiny flowers along the roadside bring glory to their Creator!

Another God and glory-filled day comes to a close, but not without another splash of beauty across the sky.  

Someone else must have sensed the romance, for we saw a Styrofoam proposal on a fence, and of course, an equally Styrofoam reply!

Let's keep our eyes out for beauty - and romance - in unlikely places.  The Lord has plenty of it out there for us if we open our eyes to see it!

Forever His,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boundaries are for a Reason

These pictures were taken with my phone, so they're not the best quality.  Still, I think you get the idea!  

The other day, we went on a Family Day, which we try to do once a week.  The kids work extra hard the other four days of the week, doubling up on their schoolwork, so they can have an extra day off.  We take that time to spend together as a family, exploring our surroundings and just enjoying the time together.  Most times, we read a book aloud while we go.

Last week, our Family Day outing consisted of exploring another military base, some shopping, and a walk on the Oceanside Pier.  

We were at the airstrip, watching the F-18s take off and land, when I saw this sign:

 Beyond this fence is the airstrip.  I guess they don't want pedestrians wandering around their runway!  ;)

It really made me think.  Boundaries, though we often despise them, can be very good.  Even if we don't know why they're there, they are still there for a good reason.  

God has very clear boundaries placed in His Word, and He doesn't want us to go crossing willy-nilly over the lines.  In fact, when we do that, the lines get blurred for others, so it's very important that we simply obey God and stay on the right side of the fence.

He doesn't give us boundaries just because He enjoys ordering us around, or because He has nothing else to do, but for our own good.

And if we cross those boundaries, force is authorized to bring us back to where we belong.

Enjoying the waves at night on the Oceanside Pier!

 God has given the sea a boundary, so that it may not cross and flood the earth.

While this sea gull was trying to get into the trash, the kids tried to see if they could catch him!
Even the Creation knows its boundaries.  This sea gull may try to get some trash to eat, but he knows he can't get too close to those kids!

One of the fishermen on the pier caught a small crab in his trap, and let Jason throw him back into the water!   Great fun for a boy.

And the sea creatures themselves keep to the boundaries of the sea.  The danger for them, if they end up "out of bounds" is very great!  While they swim around in the ocean, they may not know why they must keep to the sea, but if they ever got out of the water, they would then know very certainly, and by experience!

Let's remember that there are boundaries, and they are for a reason . . . a good reason.  

God knows what He is doing, 

has our best interest in mind, 

and He loves us.

Bound to Him Forever,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Obstacles to an Excellent Marriage

Ernest Shackleton stood on the ice with the rest of his crew, watching his beloved ship as she was slowly crushed by the shifting ice.  The cracks and groans of the wooden ship, their home for the past fifteen months, were heart-rending.  Within minutes, the ship was crushed by the ice and disappeared, leaving the men standing on the coldest surface known to man in the middle of nowhere without any hope of rescue.  They would have to find their own way back, surmounting incredible obstacles – unspeakable cold, lack of food, and a myriad of dangers as they went.

 This month, we’re talking a lot about Stewarding Our Marriages.  Today we’re going to tackle Obstacles to an Excellent Marriage.  All of us come into marriage with obstacles, either of our own making, or obstacles that are put there by the Devil himself.  Let’s take a few minutes to clear out some of the obstacles in our lives that may be preventing us from having marriages that are all that the Lord wants them to be.


   Selfishness – “He should be taking care of me!”  We often tend to think selfishly, wanting folks to cater to our wants and desires.  Taking that attitude into marriage is can be quite a large obstacle. 
a.       Solution:  We need to be careful to examine our hearts and ask the Lord if there is selfishness rooted in our heart that He needs to remove.  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes”  Song of Solomon 2:15.
2.       Laziness – (an offshoot of selfishness)  “I just don’t feel like putting any effort into it.” 
a.       Solution:  Realize that, without effort, your marriage will disintegrate.  “By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through” Ecclesiastes 10:18.
3.       Fear – “I’m afraid I’m going to run out of _________” Fear is a very big and real foe.  We can fill in that blank with one, or several of any number of things.  We may think we will run out of love, or that we will not have enough energy.  “I won’t have anything left for myself!” we think.
a.       Solution:  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love”  1 John 4:18
b.      Always remember the widow’s pot of oil which kept on going as she was pouring it.  Only when there was nothing left to do, did the oil stop.
c.       Remember that it is God who works through us, and He never runs dry!  “For we are labourers together with God:”  1 Corinthians 3:9

4.       Wrong thinking – Many times we are beset with incorrect thinking. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isaiah 55:8-9.  Here are some incorrect thought patterns we ladies often have:
a.       Making the assumption that I don’t have to really put effort into my marriage.  “I’m the exception; others may have rough spots, but we’ll be fine.”  I think we all know how dangerous assumptions can be.
I read a story about a big news photographer who needed to photograph some fires from the air.  He showed up at the airport, saw a plane warming up, hurriedly jumped aboard and told the pilot, “Let’s get going!”  Within minutes, the plane was airborne.  The photographer told the pilot, “Ok, I need you to fly low over those fires over there so I can get some good pictures.”

“Why?” asked the pilot. 

“Because I’m a photographer for the big news agency, and I need to get pictures of the fires!”

The pilot was silent for minute, and then asked, “You mean, you’re not my flight instructor??”

Never assume.  It’s dangerous.

b.      Wanting fairness.  “He doesn’t put much effort into it, so why should I?”
c.       Roadblocks of the mind.  “I can’t!” 
                                                               i.      Don’t get “Can’t, Sir!” (cancer!)
                                                             ii.      You are capable of more than you think  (see Philippians 4:13).
d.      Giving up.  “I just don’t care anymore.  I give up.”  This is one of the saddest of all, and one I have heard time and again from disheartened wives.  We need not ever give up.  There is always hope; as long as there is breath, there is hope. 
                                                               i.      Visiting a church last year, the girls were spinning on the merry-go-round.  On and on they spun, and more and more people joined them until it was loaded with laughing spinning young people.  One of the church girls said, “That’s it, I’m tired.  I’m getting off.”
Sharon smiled and told her, “But remember, ‘girls never quit!’”
“Oh, that’s right!” she said.  “Thank you for reminding me of that, Sharon!” and she got on and went awhile longer.
   It’s a saying amongst the girls in our house, “Never give up!  Girls aren’t quitters!”
                                                             ii.      Remember, that’s one of Satan’s biggest ploy:  If he can’t sideline you with sin, he will try to distract you.  If he can’t distract you, he will try to discourage you.
                                                            iii.      Never confuse tiredness and sickness with defeat.  If you’re tired or ill, get some rest, get some food, spend time in the Psalms . . . but never, never give up!

The bitter cold morning which dawned on Shackleton’s crew gave no hint of the incredible events that were about to take place.  The men were doing their usual polar routines when they were shocked by a sight almost unbelievable: a ship in the distance!  Somehow, against all odds, and against incredible hardships, Shackleton had not only gotten to civilization, but had come back through the relentless icy seas for his men!  Within minutes, the men were scrambling from their tents, some hastily lighting a greasy fire, while others stood on the shore, madly waving and yelling. 

The saga of Shackleton’s voyage, shipwreck, and survival had a wonderfully happy ending because he hurtled every obstacle that stood in his path.  The complications were tremendous, but he never gave in, gave out, or gave up.  Let’s let Shackleton’s determination speak to us about our marriages, and remove, go around, or hurtle any obstacles we may have in our path to an excellent marriage!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

These are some gospel tracts we hand out to Marines! I'm so thankful for the ma

These are some gospel tracts we hand out to Marines! I'm so thankful for the many opportunities the Lord has given us!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some things I know I need...

My family and I just spent the past three days at Lighthouse Baptist Church's Leadership Conference, and what a blessing it was!  There were wonderful ladies' sessions, as well as the regular Bible preaching, great fellowship, and good food.  I went away full physically and spiritually.

This year, the Lord seemed to center most of the preaching on the topic of transparency.  It's a difficult one for me, being in the ministry, as I know there is a fine line somewhere between "airing your dirty laundry" and clamming up altogether.  To be honest, I don't think I know where that line is!  Does anybody else feel the same way?  I look forward to the Lord continuing to guide me in this area.

Also, I've asked the Lord to help me truly love people more.  In my heart, I know that, to be more like His Son, I need to just plain love people.  If you all could pray for me, that I would be more like Jesus in this area, I would appreciate it.

All for Jesus,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Preserve a Husband

This little beauty was in an old canning book Mrs. Taffy posted about: “Be careful in your selection.  Do not choose too young.  When selected, give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic use.  Some wives insist upon keeping them in a pickle, others are constantly getting them into hot water.  This may make them sour, hard, and sometimes bitter; even poor varieties may be made sweet, tender, and good, by garnishing them with patience, well sweetened with love and seasoned with kisses.  Wrap them in a mantle of charity.  Keep warm with the steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream.  Thus prepared, they will keep for years.” Wow! There's some wisdom in those words. Have a great weekend! Lisa

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Have a GREAT "Date Night" (without breaking the bank!)

Still happily married...after twenty-eight years!

During our time out together recently, we spent some time reading a book together, Communication: Key to Your Marriage, by H. Norm Wright.  In it, I saw this tremendous quote:

“Commitment is more than maintaining; it is more than continuing to stick it out with a poor choice of a spouse.  Commitment is investing – working to make the relationship grow.”
Communication: Key to Your Marriage

When we talk about Stewarding Our Marriages, we need to consider the principles of INTENSITY and VARIETY.  Intensity is allowing the romance to flare up on occasions, or even helping it to flare up, and variety is the spice of life!  A regular (or even an irregular) Date Night helps to bring some INTENSITY and VARIETY to the marriage.

Here are some ideas on how to have a great “Date Night:”

1.        PLAN FOR IT!  One of the first and foremost ways to have a great Date Night is to Plan for It!  First, plan on having fun, and second, plan the event!  It takes some extra work, but it is really worth it.

a.       Plan for the right baby sitter.  If you have the right childcare, you can relax and have a good time.  Swap evenings with a friend, or hire a young lady from church whom you trust. 

b.      Plan the right time.   Actually, for us, it’s really hard to have “just the right time,” so we just TAKE the time.  Either way, it is still time invested well.

2.       EAT TOGETHER!   The saying goes that “it is impossible to argue over a very good meal” is very true!  You don’t have to eat expensively, either.  Just a cute picnic dinner at a lake would provide enough variety (not to mention romance!) to make it fun!  Take a bit of time to do some research to find a place to eat together.

3.       PLAN TO KEEP THE CONVERSATION LIGHT!  Try not to bring up any “business,” if possible.  If you really need to talk about finances or baby Johnny’s ear infections, try to keep it brief, then go on to fun stuff.

a.       One of our favorite things to talk about it memories.  When we were younger, we had less of them (of course) but now that we are older, there are many more things to remember. 

b.      Think about pet topics your spouse likes to talk about!  Maybe he enjoys talking about diesel mechanics, or maybe he likes to talk about marine life.  Perhaps he’s into `a game of some sort.  These topics may be boring to you, but listening shows you care.

4.       HAVE FUN!  There are a million things to do that don’t cost a lot of money. 

a.       Take a walk at a park.

My Beloved and I out for a stroll around the church property!
b.      Go window shopping.  This is one of our favorite things to do.  We get to see what’s out there, and we enjoy going away from the store with empty hands, feeling the money still in our pockets.

c.       Go to the airport and watch planes take off and land.

d.      Take a drive!  One of the things we enjoy doing is exploring.  We see something in the distance, or even a building we’d like to see that’s not too far away, and we go look for it.

e.      Geocaching!  I’ve not tried it myself, although I’ve always wanted to.  If you have a GPS, you can look online to find the coordinates of hidden treasures, and then input the coordinates on your GPS, and go on a treasure hunt!  Remember, though, you must always leave another treasure in its place, so the next guy can have fun looking for it.

f.     Unplanned romance!  Remember, there’s nothing wrong with a little romance in the car, since you’re married! ;)

Let’s take a little extra time to plan a memorable excursion with our spouse!  If any of you have any more ideas, please share them; we’d love to hear what other thoughts you may come up with.

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