When You Don’t Get To Announce Your Pregnancy – The Refiner’s Fire

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The special veil has been lifted…you know the one where there is an idealistic side of life where in general you are safe and life is good. Sure, bad things happen, but they are isolated, and for the most part, are for others. 

To be clear, I know I’m not alone. Many experience this and those that do come to this point through pain and suffering.  

A refiner’s fire.

About 10 days ago, the Lord blessed us with my wife being pregnant.  Oh the emotion that went through our hearts and bodies! Both of us in our 40’s, and me pushing 50, really creates many questions for my wife and I…most go unanswered. 

Righteous Anger and Suffering, A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

I stumbled hard over the last two months.  Consider this my confession.

Romans 12 Ever burn with anger and frustration at the injustice of something or someone?  It’s a feeling that I have become very familiar with over the last 8 weeks or so.  I had gotten to the point of being so frustrated that the situation had consumed a large portion of my thought life. Planning what I would do, how I could be heard, how I could make it right.

Truth is, I have the ability to think about things and carry on entire conversations (arguments) in my mind – if this, then that. Like a chess players thinks 10-14 moves ahead.  I’m sure that you have this ability too.

When You Are Called Home

Called Home April 2014

Called home April, 2014

A dear brother and friend in Christ was just called home.  I heard the news this morning as I was preparing to head to church.  Matt was a good young man; he was 40 when he passed.  What made him good?  That’s just my opinion, my rating system.  He gave more than he took.

Matt was the leader of our small group.  He was responsible for leading 8 men and himself.  Leading a small group is akin to saying his job was to be “Christ like” to us and set an example. Matt gave all that he had to our group. He was and is an excellent example of a small group leader.

Each one of us has a day that we are going to be called home – to heaven or to hell (Ecclesiastes 3:2).  That’s true whether you believe it or not.  Everyone has to reconcile how they got here?  How were they born?  How did humanity start?  Even for the most ardent atheist you still have to explain how what you believe ever came from nothing.

Hidden Sin and The Way Out

It happened again; the fallout from hidden sin caught up to another friend. This time a wife lost her husband to a 20 year jail sentence.  I’ve broken bread with these people across the globe in places like Oxford, England and Mexico. We have prayed and worshiped together.  We shared life together.  My wife, Bonnie, and I love this couple.  Yet during this whole time, there was hidden sin.

The cost of hidden sinSin is destructive, and when it’s hidden it can grow and consume us.  Sin destroys lives and relationships. It attaches to our desires and leads us to death (James 1:15).

Whatever the sin, there is a cost.  It costs you and those around you.  David’s sin eventually (a year later) cost him his wives and children. It also took the lives of over 70,000 men that directly paid the price with their lives (2 Samuel 12:11-14, 2 Samuel 13:28, 2 Samuel 24:15)

The Origin of ThanksGiving – Proclamation 118 – Thanksgiving Day, 1864

abraham-lincoln-pictureProclamation 118 – Thanksgiving Day, October 20, 1864

By the President of the United States of America

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Richard Hartian and Wisdom Calls Update

Hello friends, I wanted to let you know a few things.

First, I have added some of you to the email system that sends out this email when I post something here on my personal blog.  I chose you because I consider you either a close friend or someone who thinks like me or thinks the opposite of me – or possibly both. If you would rather not receive this email, please just email me personally, and I’ll remove you (goodbye@ardain.com).  I’d rather you not use the link at the bottom of this page.

Second, many or most of you have been with me for a long time…get ready for it – as I’m going to pick it up a bit…

A couple of things about this site.  I’ve had it for many years and have not written very much, especially lately.  I expect to write once in a while, but I will be writing on some issues that many people have strong feelings about. I’m hoping to get some discussion going in the comments section…I really want you to participate and share – even if you disagree (unless by disagreeing you can only be nasty and one-sided).

Also,

I am redesigning my personal blog.  For the next few months or so you will see many slow changes take place.  This is not my area of expertise, but I’m going it alone anyhow.

I know some of you are bloggers.  I am going to do the exact opposite and not care about SEO and that garbage.  If you have a nice site that fits or you sell something useful, get in touch with me and you can advertise here on the right side for free.

In that light, some of the links on the site might make me a few pennies or dollars if you use them and buy something…some might help friends and other readers…thanks for making a point in using them.

I am also going to completely redevelop the content.  I’m still working on my main categories, however, here is what I’m thinking so far.  You will see the categories change:

  • Religion and Faith
  • Personal Developement
  • Politics – The Antics of The Left and Right
  • Moral Character
  • Great Quotes
  • This and That (stuff that fits no where else and generally makes people unsubscribe)

My brother (Robert Hartian) may write here too – we agree on a lot, and disagree on some things that will make this fun for those that like to watch that sort of thing.  He actually wrote the last quote. Nicely done, if you ask me, for his first post…

For a short time I did a radio show with David Smith of IFI – I may drag those shows in here and post them…

The WordPress theme that I am using is from Michael Hyatt.  I have followed Michael for some 4+ years and have thoroughly enjoyed his content.

By the way, I have two other blogs that I work on.

  • Winning Agent – this is focused on Realtors.  It is simply a teaching blog for those in the real estate profession.  There are no adds and I plan to keep it that way.
  • Money Press – this is blog in the process of being repurposed (and may never get done based on the progress so far) as a social media site for real estate professionals – Mortgage Loan Officers, Realtors, Attorneys, Contractors, Insurance Agents and etc… The goal is to allow those looking for services a convenient place to find people without being harassed by phone calls and emails.  It’s a place to connect and find out about who you might want to work with.

My wife has a blog that she works on too. She has had some incredible stats with one of her posts being pinned over 10,000 times…Yes – I am a bit jealous!

  • Momma Health – this is a site about natural health.  Unfortunately for her, taking care of our family and homeschooling takes a lot of her time, so she does not post as much as she wants. My wife is quite a genius with this stuff.  My kids and I are so blessed by her…

Thanks for sticking around…

Reader’s Digest – Why I Am Not Renewing My Subscription

Reader's Digest - Why I Am Not Renewing My Subscription This morning I sent this letter (via email) to Readers Digest.  Although I did it my self, I do hope you are moved to do the same thing.

We are choosing not to renew any of our subscriptions with Readers Digest. It is unfortunate as my family, as well as my parents’ families (on both my and my wife’s side), have always enjoyed reading Readers Digest from cover to cover.

Those subscriptions, as well as the ones we have given as gifts, will not be renewed.

Our reason is simple – as a business Readers Digest has decided to take a side in the culture war on homosexuality. I (we) no longer want to read another article promoting a lifestyle that is deadly and immoral. This issue can be looked at both from a religious perspective, as well as a secular (non-religious) perspective.

Religious – it’s immoral. It’s a sin against the Creator of the universe. Both the Old Testament and New Testament declare it to be sin.

Secular – it is against the principal tenant of natural selection (The process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring). It is also one of the most destructive lifestyles (the CDC’s own statistics). The homosexual lifestyle does not provide the ideal environment for children; it provides a destructive unhealthy environment full of contradictions and unmet needs.

In both of the above ways many more reasons can be provided.

Readers Digest has had a disproportionate amount of articles celebrating, promoting and legitimizing the homosexual lifestyle. You have taken sides.

I do not expect those with different views in this great country to not be able to share them. Nor would I expect a secular, non-Godly business, like Readers Digest, to not have an article that mentions homosexuality. It’s part of being a free society.

I do not choose whom I will conduct business with by their religious beliefs, nor any other belief that is protected by our Constitution – i.e. a person’s view of homosexuality.

However, Readers Digest has crossed the line from being a magazine to being a pro-(particular) lifestyle magazine; therefore it is not for me or anyone else that is a Christian or knows the facts about homosexuality. Readers Digest is no longer for the general public, but for those that desire a radical change from not only religious beliefs about homosexuality, but also of basic scientific facts and natural selection.

Readers Digest is no longer a safe magazine to have around my house or business. Readers Digest is no longer a safe place to expose young and old minds to open thinking about life and what we all struggle with daily.

For my house and those that I purchase subscriptions for, we are choosing to spend our dollars elsewhere. I suspect that it is more of a disappointment to me than it is to you; although I wish that were not true. That alone, if true, speaks more about Readers Digest “agenda” than anything else I’ve said.

Christmas Carols We All Know – Or Knew

I miss hearing these songs.  My inspiration for this was a YouTube video by Journey of Faith doing one of those “Flash Mob” thingies…I posted their video here; it’s certainly worth watching.  If you would like to download the lyrics to these songs in a nice printable fashion you can do that here.  If you’re going to use them, please leave a comment below and share how you are going to do that. It would be a great blessing to me and others!

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ – yes, we all know that December 25th is not Christ’s actual birthday – that really is not relevant.  What is relevant is that Christmas right here and right now is about the birth of Jesus Christ.  There are so many wonderful symbols about Christmas that point to the birth of Christ, right down to the name Christ(mas).  It’s a shame that there are a  few in this country that are trying to destroy this country’s history and Christmas along with it.

WE all need to bring Christmas back to December 25th…say Merry Christmas, shop at stores that recognize what the holiday is about, accept the greatest gift of all – Jesus, and be with family and friends.  Sing songs of joy and certainly don’t let our current government and some stores ruin your Christmas Spirit…

Merry Christmas to all –

Away In A Manger

Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
‘Til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there

Go Tell It On The Mountain 

Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and far away
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born

The shepherds all were watching
Over their sheep at night
When a guiding star shone from heaven
And the followed that holy light

Got tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
They found a lovely manger
Where the humble Christ was born
And God sent out salvation
On that blessed Christmas morn

Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born

He brought with Him forgiveness
He live to show us the way
He came to redeem all creation
And to wash all our sins away

Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Joy To The World, The Lord Is Come!

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Holy Night!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And Peace to men on earth

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Silent Night, Holy Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth ”

The First Noel

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer

We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

What Child Is This

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Christmas Flash Mob by Journey of Faith at South Bay Galleria – Video

This was truly a wonderful video made by Journey of Faith at the South Bay Galleria.  The singers have such beautiful voices.  I have to admit, it’s hard not to get on your knees at the end of the video.  If you cry at things that tug at your heart, this will certainly get you.

One of the best video angles was when the camera was from above, you could see the girl singing and Santa next door.  Given a choice, I have to think that most people would choose singing Christmas Carols and being with friends and family.  What happened to Christmas Caroling?  I remember doing that when I was a young kid in Virginia.  Have you done that?  Are you doing that now?  If you are, here are some great carols you can use.   Get them here.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all !!