Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

22 November 2008

thankful for – Jesus Christ, my Savior

HE is my personal Savior!

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the following divinely revealed truths:

Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God...
(1 Peter 3:18)

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy...
(Titus 3:5)

By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:8-10)

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed."

(Romans 10:9-11)

(Scripture quotes from the New American Standard Bible.)

15 November 2008

thankful – for coupons

I've recently become an avid fan of couponing! (Yes, it's a noun that has been "verbed" in modern English!) Up until recently, I didn't realize the full potential of coupons; in the past three or so months, however, we've been able to make encouraging progress financially as we look forward to "deputation" and getting ready to leave for the mission field of Uruguay!

(For those of you overseas reading this... Yes, I'll miss the couponing game! I must admit that I thrive on this kind of challenge. But I know that God will always provide – I can trust HIM to be more than enough. He is faithful!)

The latest, greatest couponing experience for me occurred at Walgreens today. Here's a snapshot of the loot...

This seemed to be "holiday baking" week at Walgreens. Here's how it all played out with the help of coupons in the weekly store flier, stacked with manufacturers coupons, plus the $5 off a $20 purchase coupon Walgreens emailed to me. I went to two stores – the first was out of two desired items, and I wanted to use a second coupon on the Carnation evaporated milk deal anyway. According to my receipts, the totals were:

First trip:
Total "out of pocket" – $15.05
WG coupon savings: $10.51
WG advertised savings: $4.00
Manufacturers coupon savings: $2.55
Total savings: $17.06

Second store:
Total out of pocket – $6.45
WG coupon savings: $4.11
Manufacturers coupon savings: $3.50
Total savings: $7.61

Notice please that both times my total "out of pocket" was less than the total I saved! But the best part is that it was all FREE because I used my Walgreens gift card – thanks to their EasySaver catalog deals (where they refund the price of certain items each month and add a 10% bonus if you decide to get the rebate on a Walgreens gift card)!

Now I can hardly wait to get started on holiday baking!

A special thanks to my friend Andrea (here) who introduced me to her two favorite blogs – Crystal at "moneysavingmom" (here) and Sarah at "Fiddledeedee" (here) – which in turn caused me to enroll in the "Walgreens 101" and "Publix Super Saver Deals" online courses. Thanks, ladies!

While concentrating anew on frugality, recent sermon applications have repeatedly brought me to focus on generosity and biblical good works as well. (See an earlier post on those topics here.)

To see my new blog, inspired by couponing, click here.

12 November 2008

naming letters upside down

Elizabeth surprised me on Sunday (while we were eating lunch with Tío Alfonso) by naming the following letters correctly in Spanish – while looking at them upside down! I wish now that I'd gotten a picture of the actual poster that was laminated onto the table, so I’ve tried to make a replica with some resemblance to the original...

Our little fan of letters – big and small, English or Spanish – named all the letters correctly in Spanish, except for the S in exóticos which in the actual font on the poster looked very much like a capital G. She also commented that one of the O’s had a little stick – ¡Tiene un palo! – as she pointed out the accent mark!

This is, of course, the same little girl that finds capital A’s and H’s in parking lot designs and tries to build letters with her mega blocks… (I think she inherited her Abu's ease in memorizing visual cues! Don't you agree, Abu?!)

honoring the veterans dearest to us

Thank-you! We love you!

Honoring "PaPa" on November 11, 2008.

Honoring "el Abu" in January 2008 at the Veterans' Monument in downtown Greenville.

And on the 4th of July 2006.

We will always remember. We will always be proud.
We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
~ Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

06 November 2008

wonders of God's creation

We're enjoying beautiful autumn weather here in the Upstate!

While running errands up in Traveler's Rest today, I got to wondering where Little Texas Road led... Since I had just filled up the car (named Teeny Tiny – partly because we finally joined in a long-standing family tradition of naming vehicles and mostly because Elizabeth still insists that it's Tia Tini's car!) and since I'd paid only $1.92 per gallon (can you believe it?!), I decided to go for a little drive. It's a nice little back-country sort of road (we even saw some cows), so it was perfect for catching a few snapshots.

05 November 2008

post-election ponderings

Encouraging thoughts for November 5, 2008.

Headline: God is on the throne of the universe! (See Psalm 2.)

My dear husband read an encouraging passage to me last night before we knew the definite outcome of the presidential election.

The Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to write the following words to Titus, the pastor of the church in Crete:

(John Mark prefaced the passage by pointing out the description of the Cretans, the people Titus was pastoring, in chapter 1. We couldn't help but notice a parallel to our modern society...)

"Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."

The instructions to Christians in Crete in the first century apply to me, an American Christian in the twenty-first century. (Let's not forget the mercy of God in saving us!)

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,
to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.


I'd also like to share a link to an encouraging article I just read; Pastor Chris Anderson in Ohio outlines a biblical response I, as a Christian, ought to have...

Christians and the Obama Administration

Amen, again!