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Sabbath Sunday: New Morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the day where I share my own amateur nature picture with a thought or two on God’s love.

The day started with high hopes. Busy day.

Within 40 minutes, nothing was going the way it was supposed to.

I assigned blame and stewed in frustration most of the day.

When it came time to attend a woman’s event where God was the Master of Ceremonies, I couldn’t focus.

But He loves me enough to invite me closer where focus is all I can do.

So I did.

But the morning spew turned to ash that settled into the nooks and crevices of those I loved.

And I knew I had to make it right.

I dreaded it, thought about not going there, but I did.

And all was forgiven.

The next morning I woke.

And started a brand new day.

Clean slate.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV Biblegateway

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Resurrection Sunday

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Take Flight Challenge: Why I’m Passionate about our Church Passion Play

Posted by Julie on April 5, 2012 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

That Patty. She always has great blogging ideas. Today she’s got a Take Flight Challenge revolving around Easter. I love what our church does, so I thought I’d tell you about it. In fact, if you’re having a tough day, even if you are not, take an hour and a half and enjoy. Yes, you too can watch our Passion Play. I’m telling you, you could move this to Broadway and it wouldn’t be any different. This is a first class production.

Our church hosts a Passion Play that starts on Palm Sunday and runs through Easter night. It hosts live animals, a cast of 100 (give or take) and most audience members believe the cast and singers are professionals. Nope, just anointed. They are Highway Tabernacle church family.

My husband has been involved in leadership for awhile and the Passion Play is on their minds all year round. True planning and meeting gets intense starting in January. Both our kids are in it as townspeople, and their work begins a few weeks before the performances.

I’ve seen this play many, many times. Each year is a little different but the message is always the same. But I’m telling you, even in rehearsal, the core of the story gets me every time. During the healing scene a mom runs with her dead child and Jesus resurrects her. In real life, our daughter nearly died when she was 3 mos old. At the very height of her crisis I could literally feel heaven and hell fight for her. When I knew all would be well, I knew Jesus healed her. I can’t watch that scene, not even in rehearsal, without being overcome at His power. I don’t even have words but I believe with the link I’ll have to last year’s show, you too can see how beautiful His life on Earth was depicted.

I also come undone when I see our daughter on stage. There is a scene where they run through the aisles with palms, so excited to see Jesus. The joy on her face, I stop breathing as I watch. Audience members who don’t know me or her have said things about that “precious little girl and the joy.” I can’t get enough.

One of the earlier years our son was in the Passion Play

Our son has been in the play for years and I’ve watched him as one of the little boys to now a banner carrier, something a grown up does. He takes each role seriously and because my husband is involved with the music, they play the CD’s night and day.

We live in an area that has been hit hard by the economy and honestly, a place that has struggled since the steel mills folded. There is hope when people see the Passion Play, I’ve seen it time and time again. The church fills nearly every night to capacity, in a valley known for tough people. I’ve watched many people intent on not liking the show, feeling dragged to go, change their lives in 90 minutes.

He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is to celebrate and live for every day because He died for us.

Do you know Him?

Watch the link to the 2011 Passion Play here.

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A2Z Meme: Letter M Means MOVIES

Posted by Julie on April 4, 2012 in About Me, Julie Arduini |

The letter is “M” and the topic—MOVIES!

Favorite Movies:

Return to Me—They don’t make them like this anymore, and what a shame. Sweet story, beautiful romance, humor, awesome soundtrack.

The Wedding Singer—When Adam Sandler ditches the potty talk, his movies are pretty good. His song, I Want to Grow Old With You, I actually cried. It is the most romantic sentiment coming from the most unlikely source.

Never Been Kissed—I loved this story and could relate to those high school moments.

A Christmas Story—I’ve loved this one since it first came out.

Christmas Vacation—I laugh as hard watching it the 90th time as I did the 1st.

Elf—I saw this in the theater during one of the hardest times in my life. It was a healing balm I’ve never forgotten and love that our youngest loves it as much as I do.

The Lion King—This isn’t my favorite Disney movie but the soundtrack and sheer beauty, I’m visibly moved every time.

Beauty and the Beast—Probably my favorite Disney movie, along with The Little Mermaid.

Toy Story 3— I was an emotional wreck, but it was so well done.

Superman II—I watched this, watched, watched, watched all through my high school years.

The Proposal—Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and Betty White? I’m in.

Miracle on 34th Street, the original—And might I add, the only. Stop with the re-makes.

Rio Bravo—My dad loved John Wayne and this is one I will watch to remember him.

Broken Arrow—As a writer I think John Travolta’s character was a bit one-dimensional, yet, I still watch it those rainy Saturday afternoons.

You Would Have to Pay Me to See This One Again:

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

Steel Magnolias (too much estrogen, even for me)

The Bodyguard (I remember laughing in the theater, thinking it was a comedy. I got a lot of dirty looks.)

Dune (Uggh, don’t get me started on how boring I thought this was.)

Batman (the one with Danny DeVito and Arnold) Shudder.

Surprised, One Way or Another:

Peggy Sue Got Married—Nicholas Cage’s voice before lessons, I’m guessing.

The Sound of Music—I didn’t see this until I was 41. I loved it.

The Big Easy—Definitely not one I’d watch today but back in the day, Oh, Dennis Quaid.

Road House—It was bad, but the movie was so quotable that in college we wrote them all down.

Clueless—Sharp writing, funny.

Left Behind—-Amazing books, not good movie.

Stays with Me Even After All These Years:

The Day After—It was a TV movie but I was 13 and scared silly.

Mask—I’m not a Cher fan but what a moving movie.

The Boy Who Could Fly—This movie never got the credit it deserved.

There’s Something About Mary—This was on TV when I saw it and I like humor, but this was so over the top, I never forgot.

Life is Beautiful—One of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but so emotional I only watched it once.

The Godfather—How can you be the same after watching a horse’s head in a bed?

Gremlins—Cheesy, but scary enough in the day to make me look twice around the house.

Poltergeist—Watching this during a thunderstorm wasn’t my smartest move.

Friday the 13th—I don’t encourage these movies and watched it as a teen. I was scared enough to get an afghan caught in my braces because I was hiding under it.

Carrie—I’m not a horror movie fan but for this nerd in high school, it was sweet revenge in a weird way.

Heathers—-So dark, but again, for this high school nerd, loved the humor. By the way, FOX’s Breaking In (featuring Christian Slater) is going to spoof this.

Cape Fear (the remake)—Could only watch it once.

Seven—This upset me so much I re-named it 5. That’s as far as I made it. This is also when I realized it was time to stop rated R movies.

Face-Off—I saw this a little earlier than Seven and it was the same thing.

Dirty Dancing—On the count of 3…”Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

 

How about you? Any of these movies jog memories? What does your list look like?

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Charity Hawkins’ The Homeschool Experiment

Posted by Julie on April 2, 2012 in About Me, Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Looking for a Spring break read?

I have one to recommend.

Author Charity Hawkins sent me a copy of her book, The Homeschool Experiment for review.

A delightful novel for moms set in the hilarious, hard, and beautiful world of homeschooling. It’s the perfect first book for those just starting out on their homeschooling journey, or beginning to consider the idea, and it’s a reminder to the veteran homeschooler that you’re not alone. It’s sort of like living in the house of a homeschool family for a year. You see the daily challenges, but also the rewards. With refreshing humor and honesty, Hawkins offers moms encouragement in their noble work at home, a chance to laugh at the moments only a mom would understand, and a reminder to cherish those gifts right under their roofs- those wild, irrational, precious people-their own children. Though the book deals with homeschooling, it also addresses the larger question, “What happens when you feel called to do something that seems entirely too big for you?” Between laughs, don’t be surprised when you pick up ideas that will simplify your own homeschooling plan. So, come join Julianne and her co-op friends as they navigate through a hard but humorous year of diapers, dinners, husbands, meltdowns, and math lessons. And that’s just September.

The Homeschool Experiment had my attention immediately. For one, the main character is Julianne and that’s my real name, minus the -e. I also homeschooled kindergarten for my oldest and the challenges in the book are so real. There are humorous moments and realistic ones that will not only affirm homeschool moms, but hopefully open eyes to those who have judged moms who choose to homeschool.

I loved the format, it’s a month by month kind of journal style and it covers everything about homeschooling I can think of. Curriculum choices. Great goals, at least in your mind, dead on arrival. Because ultimately someone will be sick, have a tantrum, have the wrong supplies, etc…I especially liked the co-op moments. Personally, I dreaded those experiences because I was tired, overwhelmed, insecure, and just plain not in the mood to play nice.

Also covered are the family dynamics. Homeschooling is a family choice even though wives are typically the ones teaching. Everyone has something to say about it, and in Julianne’s case, extended family members have plenty to say. But as the year goes on, it’s not just the kids who are learning. Everyone gets schooled. 🙂

I highly recommend The Homeschool Experiment.  It’s funny, honest, and so relate able. You don’t have to be a homeschooling family to enjoy this. In fact, I recommend it because I think it will help you appreciate these families and perhaps find a way to encourage them.

To purchase, click here.

I received this book for review from the author.

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Sabbath Sunday: Morning

Posted by Julie on April 1, 2012 in About Me, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Nature, photography, Sabbath Sunday |

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the day where I share my own amateur nature picture with a thought or two on God’s love.

The day started with high hopes. Busy day.

Within 40 minutes, nothing was going the way it was supposed to.

I assigned blame and stewed in frustration most of the day.

When it came time to attend a woman’s event where God was the Master of Ceremonies, I couldn’t focus.

But He loves me enough to invite me closer where focus is all I can do.

So I did.

But the morning spew turned to ash that settled into the nooks and crevices of those I loved.

And I knew I had to make it right.

I dreaded it, thought about not going there, but I did.

And all was forgiven.

The next morning I woke.

And started a brand new day.

Clean slate.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV Biblegateway



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