Principles of Abraham and Isaac for Everyday Use


1. God gives you a desire. Sarah and Abraham wanted a child. There is nothing wrong about that; it is natural to want children.
2. Pray to God to fulfill the desire. God wants us to ask Him to deliver the gift. He wants us to know that all good things come from Him, and we need only ask. It’s all about relationship, remember?
3. God tells you the prayer will be answered. God told Sarah and Abraham that they would have a son. It was “impossible” by world’s standards, as they were both very old. God assured them He would provide.
4. We need to wait for God’s time for the answer to arrive. It may be decades before the answer comes, but we need to stand in faith and wait for it.
5. Don’t try to make it happen in your own strength. Don’t make yourself an Ishmael, which then produces sorrow upon sorrow.
6. Keep believing for the answer. Yes, this part is hard, especially when years go by before the answer manifests.
7. Thank God when the answer comes. Be happy when “Isaac” finally arrives.
8. Be willing to put it on the altar. Whether it’s a job, a baby, a new car, stop and give it over to God. Tell Him that you dedicate this gift to God, and always be willing to put God first. If you skip this step, you risk losing the gift.
9. God accepts the sacrifice you place on the altar, and gives it back to you. Once you have dedicated it to God, He will give it back, knowing that He can trust you.
10. Tell people what happened. Let them know that God is faithful!

Why the Craigslist Scam enticed me

car-scamMy son is looking for a cheap car; the budget is $1000. So I decided to hit Craigslist. We don’t need a good looking car, just one that’s dependable. Unlike this alleged seller.

The car looked reasonable in the pictures, no huge crashes or dents. If you’re familiar with Craigslist, you know that there is a little button to reply. Most people put their first name, some also include their phone number, and then there is a craigslist email to reply to.

  1. The first yellow warning light was a direct email address that did not go through Craigslist. It seemed odd, but sometimes there are problems with craigslist email and I figured this person wanted to make sure they got their emails. The real reason is, just as a predator pulls the weak one away from the rest of the herd, the potential buyer is “pulled off to the side” and there is no log of craigslist emails.
  2. I sent an email asking about the car:
    Hi, I saw your ad on Craigslist for the car.
    I am interested in more pictures. Also, is the car still registered so it can be taken for a test drive?
    When would be a good day/time to see it?
  3. The response was a long paragraph that did not answer my questions. Here are some excerpts: Never had or need any paint/body work done, garaged keep always, without any mechanical problems, tires and wheels are in great shape as well, electric is working perfectly. But this made me start questioning: This car was used by my husband who died 3 month ago. (Okay, it might be a typo, but if someone’s spouse passed away, it’s not likely they would mistype that.)
  4. Continuing: I need to sell the car before the 17 of the next month, when I will be leaving on military duty with my team out of the country  for a year and do not want to store my car. Hate to sell it but its not worth keeping insurance and paying storage fees for a year. Also, the car is too big for my daughter so there’s no use on keeping it. (Hmm maybe they really need to get rid of the car. And they are in the military!) Signed, Sgt   XXX XXX
  5. So I emailed to ask when I could come look at the car. But first I thanked her for her service and condolences on the spouse. Reality check: That’s what a normal person would do. That’s what the scammer wants you to do. Trust them, they are going through a rough time.
  6. “She” replied. Here’s the part I want to bring to your attention. This sounded fishy!  Notice how “upbeat” the text sounds, although this person is allegedly in mourning:       The car is in very good condition, has no hidden problems, no damage or stitches, was never involved in any accident. The engine works perfectly as a new car. The interior is very clean.

    Right now I’m in a military base. We are training, getting ready for leaving the country. The delivery process will be managed by me. Our transaction will go through eBay and PayPal. I think I can have it there at your home address within 2-3 working days. It will come with a clear title and reg. I am a member of the eBay buyer protection program and using this service you will get a 7 days testing period after delivery. During that 7 days testing period I will not be getting any money.I need to know if you are interested so I can ask eBay to send you the details on this deal. If interested please include in your next email your contact info for eBay (full name, shipping address and phone number), so we can get the ball rolling.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  7. Okay, so what is wrong with this paragraph!?!  “I am a member of the eBay buyer protection program and using this service will get you a 7 days testing period.”  If you use eBay at all, you know about the buyer protection program. But the seller doesn’t want you to go directly to eBay. They want to send your name, address and phone to eBay for you.
  8. I wrote back: “Forget it.”

In conclusion, I started to get sucked in because 1) I need a car. 2) They claimed to be military, and we have great respect for our military. 3) I’ve read a bunch of ads on Craigslist where they “need the car gone”. Usually it is accompanied by a picture of a crash-and-smash special.

I grew up in a garage, and I NEVER buy a car without seeing it in person and test driving it. But I wanted to mention this scenario because it was so slick. I’m not a naive person, but I felt myself being sucked in.

What about the next person this crook tries this on?

Be careful out there, my friends.

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.— 1 Peter 5:8-9

How to attract skunks and move on, or more apple crisp please

Skunk1I haven’t blogged in over two months because there is just too much work to do at my house. But I’ve now reached the point where if I don’t write something my head will explode, and that would just be more mess to clean off the walls.

A few weeks ago, the eclipse of the moon held everyone’s attention. Whether coming at it from a purely scientific viewpoint, or a spiritual viewpoint, (or both, because they always work together) it was a big attraction in the sky. I didn’t want to be the only one to miss out–(I was the only person in the country who did not see O.J.’s famous chase on the freeway back in ’94, as I was pregnant and sick in bed)–so at 8 pm I decided to check out the moon.


I opened the front door to look at the moon, but I didn’t turn on the outside light, figuring it would be easier to find a bright object in the sky without the bright object of the light bulbs in my face. I took a step outside, and heard some rustling in the leaves on the ground. I thought it might be the chipmunks, but it seemed slower moving than chipmunks. I then heard an “eee eeee” sound, and thought to myself, that’s not a chipmunk. I took a step backwards and reached indoors for the light switch and flipped it on. There was a skunk standing two feet away from me. I jumped back into the house and closed the door while screaming, “It’s a skunk, it’s a skunk!” For some reason I didn’t think Mr. Porter would believe me. (Because I’m always making up stories about skunks in the yard? The Girl Who Cried Skunk?)

“Let’s go out on the back deck,” Mr. Porter said. We did not turn the lights on (dumb, I know) and we stood on the back deck. We had a great view of the moon, which was still bright white, but at least I found it. The skunk, meanwhile, was walking along the fence next to our neighbors’ yard. “There he is, do you see him, do you see him?” I asked hubby, still afraid that he would not believe me.

“Yeah, yeah, there he goes,” was the response.

It seems that the peanut butter we have been using to trap the chipmunks, has also attracted skunks.

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time know about our problems with the chipmunks.

You can read about it here:

We did go back out later on that evening, with the front lights on, and got to see the moon.


So we survived The Great Skunk Visit. No one was sprayed, not even Bailey.  He did get sprayed a few years ago. You can read about it here:

Next on the agenda is The Great Apple Crisp Cravings. Yeah, yeah, comfort food. I’ve been doing very well finding other things to comfort me: music, silence, treadmill (with TV–it makes the time fly by). I’ve lost 30 pounds and kept it off for three months. Of course during those three months, I have not continued the weight loss, but, hey, maintaining a weight loss is a win-win too. So I’ll take it. For now.

In Upstate New York, this time of Year is Apples, Apples, Apples. Apple cider. Apple cider donuts. And apple crisp. Me -n- my good friend Betty Crocker whip up quite a delicious concoction.  My secret is more nutmeg and more cinnamon. I don’t know what it is about nutmeg. I adore the stuff.


Then came The Great Apple Crisp Obsession. I was making a new batch every day. I finally stopped myself. What is the problem? Why are you doing this? 

Well, duh. I had dental surgery a few days ago, and have stitches in my mouth. The area is sore. It’s only about a “four” on the one-to-ten pain scale, so it lingers below the surface. If it were a “nine” it would be front and center, and shall I say, obvious. But the “four” hides in the background, just irritating enough to bother me, but not hitting the synapses hard enough to identify itself.

So I was trying to comfort myself. It only took me five days to figure it out. Now I can go back to sliced apples, drowning in cinnamon and nutmeg, sans sugar, flour and butter. Onward!

Also on our agenda (yes, there’s more) is The Great House Downsizing. Mr. Porter and I are selling our house (well, that’s the plan anyway) and moving to a smaller, cheaper house with less stairs.

So while placing nearly everything I own into either cardboard boxes or sturdy Rubbermaid containers, I am also trying to purge–you know, recycle, donate, toss. This means every item requires a decision. Or two. Or three.

Do I keep this pen? Does it write?

Should I keep this knick knack? Who gave it to me? Does it hold any sentimental value?

What did I write in this notebook? Do I already have it typed into the computer? Did I back it up to a disc?

Does this blouse fit me? Do I like it? Would I ever wear it again?

“And so it goes,” as Kurt Vonnegut put it.

So although I have not written much lately, I do have a lot to write about.

I’d better get back to packing/purging/tossing.

Ah, that feels better. Now my brain won’t explode.

Chipmunk Condos

chipmunkThe chipmunks in our front yard created an underground tunnel system that rivals those of Vietnam in the 1970s. At first, it was only one or two of the fluffy little creatures, scurrying about. Now, it’s just plain insulting. I think they should start chipping in to pay the mortgage.

We’ve noticed holes in the yard for months now, but the holes are getting bigger and more numerous. The final straw came yesterday when we noticed that they removed a rock from our stonewall by the sidewalk.


This means war.

Where is Bill Murray when you need him?

Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film 'Caddyshack', 1980. (Photo by Orion Pictures/Getty Images)

Bill Murray eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the film ‘Caddyshack’, 1980. (Photo by Orion Pictures/Getty Images)

Hubby set up the Havahart trap (have-a-heart) with peanut butter. I have a feeling that the little rodents will merely enjoy a fine meal, and leave the trap unlatched, laughing all the way back to the tunnels.

Considering the amount of holes in the front yard, I am sure there is a whole village in there. Here’s some of the things they are probably doing:

chipmunk-readingCatching up on the daily news.

workoutKeeping in shape.

chipmunks-datingGetting to know one another better.

basketballPlaying a friendly game of hoops.

My husband will be calling the Pest Control people to find out what we are able to do to rid our yard of these little guys.

I don’t think they plan to leave anytime soon.

santa-chipmunksLast time I looked, they were getting ready for Christmas.

A Prayer for Suzy’s Father

The following is a prayer gleaned from several different books, mixed with scripture, to pray for that person that seems too far away for God to reach. Is anything too hard for the Lord? No.

Father, we boldly come to your throne and present __________. We stand in the gap for __________ and believe for his/her salvation. Your Word says to come boldly to your throne of Grace and receive mercy and find Grace to help in time of need.

We thank you that Your Word says that if we ask anything according to Your will, you hear us, and we will receive what we ask of You. We know that it is Your will that no one perish, but that all come to repentance and believe on the Lord Jesus.

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they have divine power to demolish and destroy strongholds.

Father, we ask that _________’s spiritual eyes are opened so that he/she can see the reality of Jesus and understand the gospel. We loose ________ from spiritual blindness, in Jesus name.

We come against deception in all its forms that have attached themselves to _________. We pray that his/her wrong beliefs that contradict Your Word will be shattered in _______’s life.

Holy Spirit, we ask you to go and be with _________.

We come against the root of pride in _______’s life. The pride of life deceives a person into believing that they don’t need to repent, and don’t need a Savior.

We come against all Satan’s plans and schemes to keep _______ from believing on Jesus.

Lord of the Harvest, we ask you to send laborers into your harvest, both worldwide and in _______’s life.

We thank You, Lord, that Your Words are Spirit and they are Truth. We thank you for answered prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Learning to Breathe: Finally. At the age of 55.

voice7I was never good at sports, mostly because whenever I ran I could never catch my breath. When I did sit-ups, I held my breath. It was one or the other; I was never able to breathe and move my body at the same time. I guess this is where normal people stop reading. What the heck is she talking about? Goodbye, have a good day.

When the aerobics fad hit in the 1980’s, I not only had a problem with trying to breathe as I moved, but if they shifted left-right-left too quickly I was not able to keep up and thus froze like our good friend, the deer in the headlights. Something inside my brain locked up. This also happened on the dance floor, which I avoided at all costs.

Last night I went to choir practice. This in itself is monumental. I have no training in singing and going to group things is difficult for me, but it once was impossible. In my younger days, I was so self-conscious that I thought everyone in the room was staring at me and finding every fault. Now I know that it was merely the echo of my father’s voice criticizing me. In reality, I blended in very nicely with the woodwork.

After we sang a few songs, a woman (let’s call her Michelle) got up to lead us in breathing exercises. I was nervous, but I didn’t run out of the room like I would have 20 years ago. I know now that I am just one in the crowd; I don’t stand out, but blend in very nicely.

Michelle instructed us to sit up straight and breathe in deeply.  Feel the breath fill up our lungs, separate our ribs and even fill in spaces in our backs. Hold our shoulders back. Wow, I hadn’t done that in ages because when I did, I bumped into the woman sitting next to me. I have large shoulders and long arms. I instinctively curled back and slumped, but caught myself.  I am allowed to take up space on this planet. My shoulders are not too big; they are mine. Comfortable in my own skin 101.

Michelle had us stand up, take in a breathe for a count of three and breathe out for a count of eight. Take in another breathe and breathe out for a count of 10. Hello, we’re your lungs. We’ve been here for you all this time. Maybe we can finally be friends.

Michelle had us breathe in again and follow her in vocal scales of some kind. I did the best I could, being sure not to be too loud but also remembering that I am allowed to make sound also. My voice does matter.

We sang a few more songs, then it was on to the Fellowship Hall for some snacks. Several people approached me and introduced themselves. They are a friendly bunch. I look forward to learning more about the people, about singing, and finally learning how to breathe.

Constant Love?

IMG_2306Yesterday was a bad day. There were too many disappointments to number.

When I woke up this morning, my head was still swirling. I felt like all the emotions that I was dealing with were too much to bring to God, too much to pray about, and why do I want to bother God with this anyway? I should be able to fix it myself, I’m the one that messed it up in the first place. God deserves better than to listen to me and my mess. I’ll just have to figure out how to deal with it.

I opened my bible and it fell open to Psalm 107.

Verse 6 says:

Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and He saved them from their distress.

This is repeated again in verses 13, 19 and 28. This jumped off the page at me. Call to the Lord from your trouble and he will save you from your distress. But, what about trouble that is my own doing?  Well back up and look at the verses before these:

Some were living in gloom and darkness, prisoners suffering in chains because they had rebelled against the commands of Almighty God and had rejected His instructions. They were worn out from hard work; they would fall down and no one would help. (verses 10-11)

But still:

Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and He saved them from their distress.

So even though the trouble was of their own making, when they turned to God for help, He helped them.

Then onto verse 17:

Some were fools, suffering because of their sins and because of their evil; they couldn’t stand the sight of food and were close to death. (v 17-18)


Then in their trouble they called to the Lord, and He saved them from their distress. (v 19)

The psalm goes on, explaining troubles of life: defeat, humiliation, dry rivers, oppression, and suffering. Some were self-imposed, some were forces of nature. When they called to the Lord, he delivered them from their troubles.

The psalm wraps it all up nicely:

May those who are wise think about these things, may they consider the Lord’s constant love. (v 43)

I confess, I sometimes struggle with believing in “constant love,” especially when the emotions are so overwhelming, and the mess is of my own making. But there it is in black and white. Call on the Lord and be saved from your distress.