Wednesday, April 30, 2003

A Funny Thing Happened...

Author:  Susan L. Prince

Katie made some brownies...and mmmmmmmmmmm they smell so good! I stood up to go snatch one from the still warm pan and in the middle of the pan where a brownie should be there was a gaping hole. How could this be? I wasn't the first one to the brownies! Hmpf! I thought it quite bizarre that the middle brownie was missing so I inquired of Katie "what happened here?" and she said "I baked 'em and that's the one I wanted!" LOL

As we sat on the backyard swing today pondering God's creation and how our friendship has evolved, we reminded each other of some funny things that have happened during the past few years. One story Katie reminded me of was of one night when we were doing bible study at her house and her boy Justin, then about 11 years old asked if he could play "Intendo". I told him that the proper pronunciation is "Nintendo", there is an "N" in front. He said that he knew and just preferred to say Intendo. Ok, ok. I asked him how he would like it if we left the "N" of of his name and just called him "Justi". LOL He went off into his room and played "Intendo". For a while after that Katie and I rattled off different words with silent "N"s. The funny one was my own name! Susan Prince becomes Sue's a priss! LOL

Friday, April 25, 2003



Katie tells me I have a lot of peeves. She also says I stay too stressed out because of all my peeves. I'm not stressed, just peeved. What peeves me?

  • - When people entering an elevator do not first wait for those exiting to get off.
  • - leaving the car door open as you run into the house to get whatever it was you forgot. I hate that!
  • - People having conversation in an aisle or doorway that creates an obstruction so I can't get around them
  • - CDs lying around NOT in the jewel case
  • - People more interested in their cellphone conversation than verbally asking for assistance in my store. One guy actually wrote his request on paper rather than taking a precious second away from the person on the other end. Sometimes I am so tempted to say "I will be glad to help you when you finish your conversation." or "cellphone? No service."
  • - The way some people rudely get my attention by saying "excuse me"'s not the what, it's the how it is said.
  • - People not saying "bye" or "thank you" when ending a phone conversation. That silence and then "click" really peeves me. Whatever happened to common courtesy?
  • - solicitors
  • - tardiness...ohhhhhhhhhhh, it really grates on my nerves.
  • - a driver in the left (passing) lane that is driving in pace with the car in the right lane, not allowing anyone to pass.
  • - people who drive up the wrong way in a parking lot...can't they see all the cars parked diagonally? In the opposite direction they are going? Weren't the yellow arrows a clue?
  • - spam
  • - music on a website that I can't turn off.
  • - Iexplore has caused an error errors. Like the one that just popped up for no apparant reason. Grrrrrrrrrrr....hope this posts!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

"Am I Not Big Enough?"

Author: Katie

Today was a day of blessing once again. I have to begin by going back to yesterday. I spent a good part of the morning on the phone with child support services and the McNairy County Circuit Court. Child support stopped coming in January this year. I have been battling to get somebody on the case ever since. It has been a long, dragged out, pass the buck type situation. I have begun to worry about next fall (duh). It will be too difficult to work and go to school full time, so I may have to sacrifice school. My heart breaks when I think of it. Next spring I will earn my first degree. That is, if I don't have to go to work instead.

God keeps telling me not to worry. As usual. But, I do. As usual. Well, today, I recieved a check for some left over grant money that I forgot about...God's provision for this month.......Anyhow, I was debating on whether I should tithe since I have so much catching up to do. A song came on the radio, a fairly new one by Rachel Lampa. I don't know the name of it but it got me to thinking and in that time I heard God say "Am I not big enough?"

He reminded me of all the difficult times I have had financially since my marriage died. I recalled all the times he blessed my tithe. He provided this check for me. I finally made up my mind and thought something like, "Ok, God, I'm going to trust you. I am going to give back what was Yours to begin with." When I got home, Tiffany came in from checking the mail. There was an envelope addressed to my family. In it was a note that said, "Happy Easter. I have been thinking about you this month and I hope this is a help to your family. May God bless.

Taped inside the note was a little more than the tithe I had decided to pay. I have no idea who it's from. This is not the first time this has happened. It is no coincidence, believe me. If you haven't read the story about God's Gift on the Sister's website, I recommend that you take a few minutes to read it now. It is yet another of many testimonies of God's provision.

Yes, God, You ARE big enough!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

God is In the House

Author:  Susan L. Prince

I woke up today with a great anticipation of the day. This day is one to celebrate! He is risen! YAY! I couldn't wait to get to church and be with my brothers and sisters and feel the love of God permeating every crevice of that place!

God is in my heart. He is there. I feel His Spirit stirring within me...but there is something about coming together with other believers that is so totally awe inspiring and, and...well, just fun. We are all together to worship Him! To worship Him with our love for one another, to worship Him with music and words that praise His wonderful deeds, to worship Him with movement whether in hands raised to the heavens or with dance or with closed eyes in reverence to the One who gave all. My heart was aglow from the moment I walked into the house this morning. It was a happy time. A celebration of life. Everlasting life!

Of course on Easter there are many visitors and the house was packed! It was so exciting to know that new faces were there to join in worship and also that some hearts were there by God's Will and yearning to hear His Word, and perhaps be touched by it in life-changing ways. I was so anxious, anxious in a good way, a God way, wondering what He might have to say to me today. He was loving, gentle, convicting at times. He didn't disappoint and I am thankful that He helped me have an open heart and mind. Most of all I prayed He would accept our sacrifice of worship because what Christians celebrate today is the most important basis of our faith!

The service started with four of our talented singers presenting an appropriate "He rolled the Stone Away" a cappella. They really glorified God in a great way by giving their gift of song back to Him! Finger-snapping and toe tapping, what a joyous way to bring us all together to celebrate the reason for life! It was so fun and smiles abounded throughout the church. More worship was offered up to God doing a rather up tempo and updated rock version of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" that had us all engaged in song that led us into Celebrate Jesus. The mood was festive. The Spirit of God I'm sure was enjoying our praises! I know I was enjoying sending them His Way! Woooohoooooo! Then things slowed down a bit as the powerpoint went up and we watched a video to Michael W. Smith's "Above All" which reminded us of the sacrifice God gave. It reminded us of the suffering of Christ and that He did it all, suffered and died, for us. After that we had a cellist lead us into "The Wonderous Cross". My heart was really touched by the lyrics of this song today...moreso than the other umpteen times I've heard it. Special day. Special Has it ever just hit you all over again the magnitude of the resurrection? The resurrection! It's the resurrection that makes the Cross wonderous!

Chuck then stood to pray and share a bit about what God was teaching him through a book he was reading recently...a book written by someone who didn't believe in the resurrection. He had some interesting words to share and ended by telling us that he can't wait to find out what is in store for him after his earthly death. He will move from life to life with God. He said he "Can Only Imagine" what it will be like. Which I am sure you know what's coming least partly. As we listened to Mercy Me we watched our children sign and dance. (Yes, that is sign as in sign!....not sing!) One little girl, I think she is about 5 or 6 was darling as she emphasized every little movement with dramatic flair. She was so cute as she mouthed the words and moved in rhythm. It blessed my soul! As the song worked into the chorus 4 more dancers entered the stage in light, solid, pastel-colored, flowing dresses. Their movements were so graceful and were beautiful against the contrast of the younger kids, dress in plain dark and white, who were doing the signing. It almost was as if the audience moved from the black and white of this world, into the colors that await us in heaven. I can not possibly put into words what was so amazing about the experience today, but it left much of the congregation in tears. Women were fighting their husbands for their handkerchiefs! LOL It was glorious! It was for the Lord and He deserves every bit of the glory! I have tears remembering it all today! Wow!

Paul gave the message today. It was a good one. The theme was on bridges and how God, through the Cross, bridged the gap between man who is sinful, to God who is Holy. The Cross, He said, "was the Ultimate Bridge". He presented the gospel very clearly and I was praying for those who needed to be touched by God's Word that they were open to accepting God's Invitation. On the stage a couple of our members had built a bridge to aid visually in the presentation. The bridge was there throughout the service today and after the message, during the last song, members, Christians, and anyone wishing to "cross-over" the bridge to a better relationship with God were invited to cross. A few took the steps across that bridge today and the whole experience was just awesome. I love that church. I love God.

It just dawned on me that God sent His son to bear the Cross, which is The bridge we can cross!

To top all that off God blessed again! He has blessed us with such a wonderful church family and today Katie, the kids, and I were invited to share an Easter dinner with Carol. When we got there we saw that Gwen was there too! Wooohooooo! We shared a meal together and had some time to fellowship. I love these people!!! I love it! Sponteanous Easter dinner! Isn't that great! I am so blessed!

This was a day that was blessed because I gave it to God. God gave it back to me. He said "this is the day that the Lord has made...rejoice and be glad in it." He gave me today. He gave me yesterday. He gave me Jesus...The Today, Yesterday, and my Tomorrow. How can I do anything but rejoice?!

Friday, April 18, 2003

Yay! They're Coming Home Today!

Author:  Susan L. Prince

It has been a nice few days. I feel like I have been on vacation. Katie and her kids went to Arkansas to visit with her mom. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time alone here.

I am ready for them to be home. I have missed my friend and her kids. Tiffany left a note on the antennae of the phone that sits next to the computer says "I love you and I'll miss you Sue! :-( -Tiffany" I left the note there as a reminder of how much I am loved by those kids. It also reminded me to pray for them while they travelled and while they were gone. I miss them too!

It's been a fun few days for me, but I'm ready for the framily to be together again. Amazing how one gets attached to people...especially through the common bond of God. Talk about a foundation to a friendship!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

The Selfish ATM

Author:  Susan L. Prince

I stopped at my bank this morning on the way to work to use the ATM. I can't remember life before the ATM. I got my first checking account in the 1980's and it was right when the ATM's started popping up everywhere. I rarely stepped foot inside a bank, unless that is where the ATM was. The ATM is an awesome invention. I can get money at any least that's what the kids say. I say..."no, there is no money in the account, they say 'just get some from the machine'".

Anyway, with money in my account and none in my pocket I stopped to get $20 to have on me. (Ok, I confess, really I wanted breakfast out.) Put my card in, typed in my PIN and the machine started spitting out my $20. The slotted door opened and then slammed shut WITHOUT GIVING ME MY TWENTY BUCKS! I thought "hmmmmmmmmm?" and the machine still acted as if it were trying to get that bill out. I figured maybe the little door was stuck and tried to "help" it, but that didn't work. I could hear the "wheels spinning" as though something was stuck, but there was no sign of my bill coming out. I made funny faces at the surveillance camera and said to myself...I'll be back!

The monitor said "Another transaction?" and I pressed "no" so it spit my card and receipt out. The receipt said I withdrew $20. I thought to myself boy I sure am glad I didn't ask for $100! I told the guy in the truck behind me that he may not want to attempt to withdraw from the machine and he told me that they had been working on the machine yesterday. Well, they didn't fix it! It ate my twenty bucks!

So, I called the bank from work and they said they knew it was my twenty bucks and will be posting it back into my account today.

I've been using ATMs for twenty years and this is the first time I never got my money out. I've had to go retrieve cards, but never the money. It's my dad's fault...we call it the "Prince curse"...kind of like a Murphy's Law thing. Why can't I be one of those people where the bills all start spewing out suddenly and I'd have to pick it all up? Oh, doesn't matter, I'm one of those freaks who would turn it all in. I hate that. LOL

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Grandma is Dying

Author:  Susan L. Prince

Four years ago Grandpa died. While Grandma lives on, part of her, a big part of her died with Grandpa. He was everything to her. He died a few weeks before they would have celebrated 65 years together. Her heart broke and never recovered.

She has simply wanted to be reunited with her beloved since that day four years ago.
She is 90 years old. Grandma over the past year has been losing her mental capacity. Her short term memory is gone. Her physical health is starting to fail and she has been moved into a nursing care facility. Mom called me with some news today.

Grandma was admitted to the emergency room. The hospital decided to admit her and monitor her condition. She was bleeding from the rectum. The hospital gave her a pint of blood and Grandma just wants to know why they are putting blood back in. She wants to go. She wants eternal peace. She is embracing death and to her I don't think it is coming soon enough. It may or may not come now.

What should my response be to this? A human has an "instinct" to preserve life, but to Grandma her life has been over for four long years. She has no hope for a future and she can't even remember the immediate past. She simply exists. The family has decided to limit medical treatments that might prolong her life. There's all these legal things involved with that, but Grandma has signed some type of document allowing this decision. It is a difficult choice, but it is what Grandma desires. Her son, my dad, is in agony. He has only loved his family with the biggest heart a man could have, and only wants to do what is best and what is right. This is his mother. Oh, my heart hurts.

My Grandma is possibly bleeding to death at this moment. I may not ever see her again. My heart aches. Please pray for her and pray for my dad, that God's will be done through this and that all will seek His Comfort.

Saturday, April 12, 2003


Author:  Susan L. Prince

Tonight at dinner one of those moments happened. We were out at Kappis, a local restaurant that the framily frequents when we don't feel like cooking/cleaning. We were eating and all sharing in conversation. Then I did it. Train wreck!

I opened my mouth full of chewed food for no one else but Katie to see. The talking quieted.

Repulsed and shocked, she later returned the gesture at which time we busted out laughing.

It was one of those silly and for-no-reason moments that good friends can share and laugh about, when others would think we are completely out of our minds. Maybe we are.

Fine example we are to her kids.

I highly recommend spontaneity...even if I haven't spelled it incorrectly.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

File Sharing

Author:  Susan L. Prince

I went to the library a couple weeks ago. I brought home a book and I loved it! It was an awesome read so I decided I wanted to share it with friends. I went to Kinko's and made 5 copies of the book. It was a short book so it didn't cost me much in paper. It saved me the cost of the book for sure!

The above statement is not a true story. I made it up.

I just read in USA Today an article about file sharing. It was an article that had college students giving their opinions about downloading and sharing music files. Most don't see it as theft or that it is a problem.

"This is exactly like going to the library. Do I have to pay to check out a book? I'm just listening to the song, not selling it." said one student. I thought about that for a minute. I thought maybe he had a point. But, after considering it for a moment I realized that if you download a song, you can listen to it as often as you want and keep it for as long as you want. You do have to return library books. So, maybe downloading wouldn't be a huge problem if after a week the file would self-destruct or something. So, I do not think it is like going to the library and checking out a book.

Also, some don't see a problem with copying the song and making entire CDs to share with friends. This was the point I was making with my story at the top of this entry. It is wrong to download a song and not support the artist who created it. I really can't see it as anything but stealing.

I run a CD store. I guess that means I have a bias because file sharing means lost business to me, but I do see a larger picture. People who steal CD's out of my store are prosecuted for theft. They have stolen music. Professional theives steal CDs and movies and then sell them on the streets. When they are caught, they are prosecuted for theft and sale of stolen merchanidise. Let's say they don't sell it, but instead, opt to give the CD's and movies away to friends. The fact that they stole the goods to begin with is still wrong!

I have copied music from CDs to cassette tape so I could listen in my car when all I had was a cassette player. I had purchased the music and copied it for my own enjoyment. I don't see this as the same issue. Now, if I had purchased the CD and then taped it for all my friends, I am basically creating lost sales of that particular CD.

I am most bothered that many people do not see file sharing as theft. I just can't understand that.
Another thing I can't understand is not having the cover art, or the liner notes, along with a CD/recording. It may be simply that I grew up in a different generation. I remember buying that new album and tearing off the cellophane wrapper and pulling out my new record. I'd place it on the turntable to give it its first spin and while it played, I examined the details of the cover art. I read every lyric (when provided) every song's credits, the thank-you's, the list of producers, songwriters, and anything else listed on there. I still do that with my CDs. To me, its part of the art. It's part of music.

I will listen to music online. I think it is a great way for artists to allow people to hear what they sound like, especially for new artists. New artists, and independents, have a great way to reach the masses by simply making available their music online, when otherwise, they would never be heard of. This is a good usage of putting files online.

Here's another story, it's true. Like I mentioned, I run a CD store. I work around the Memphis region and therefore many regional artists will come into my store hoping to get their CD in stock and have it sell. One group pushed hard and I kept having customers ask for their particular CD. When it got close to the release date, I made sure I'd have it in stock. Sale day came and sold just a couple copies. Most everyone else came in and just wanted to see it in stock. "They are friends of mine", or "I know so and so from the group" or "my first cousin is friends of the brother of one of the guys in the group." Anyway, people would say "I already got a copy from so and so from the group." Eventually I came to find out that the groups members had passed out promotional copies to their families and friends. What did those family members and friends do? They burned copies and gave them out to their families and friends. As a result, sales were minimal. The guys kept checking in and I explained that they gave away too many copies. Next time, "we aren't gonna do that!". I was disappointed for them, but I was disturbed that upon the release of their first CD family members and friends didn't support the guys by buying the product! There is something wrong with that picture.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Christian Witness

Author:  Susan L. Prince

Are you the same person at church as you are at work? at home? at the grocery store?

I try to be. If I wouldn't feel comfortable doing or saying something at church, I won't do it or say it at work, home, or the store. Do I sometimes? Unfortunately, and regretfully I do. Sometimes I do not draw on the strength of the Spirit to have a heart like Christ. I am often convicted about the state of my heart, not having right attitudes, choosing inappropriate words, and behaving in ways opposite that how a person representing Christ should behave. (Kind of like Paul, eh?)

When I do not have on the full armor of God, I am susceptible to the enemy. The enemy is not stupid, and he knows exactly the areas in which I am weak. That is exactly where he attacks. In my situation it is usually my time. I want my time to be MY time...know what I mean? Sometimes I feel so selfish just wanting some time to MYself, but I need it and desire it. I am also a very impatient person but God is working in that area of my life. I can tell because I keep ending up in circumstances that require a great deal of patience! Katie keeps telling me "If you would hurry up and get some patience, you might not find yourself in these situations so much!" LOL Thing is, I know that when I do grow in that area, the situations will still be there, but it will be my reaction to them that will have matured.

The Christian walk is a journey. God is taking all the crooked lines in our lives and making them straight. Some of the crooked lines are easily bendable, while others require a bit more, well...a litte more "coaxing".

It is important to remember through all of our growing what our main job is: Mark 16:15 "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'" Jesus commanded his followers to be witnesses. He also reminded them that they were going out like "sheep among wolves."

Jesus didn't just send them out. He "armed" them. He had taught them what, and how to teach and he also gave them a bit of advice. He said "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." (Matt 16:10)

I think for the majority of people, the "shrewd as snakes" comes a bit easier than the "innocent as doves" part. Jesus was telling his followers to be intelligent and watchful...He also told them that they would be watched, that their behavior is closely monitored by the world.

Christians are watched. I know I am at work, especially when circumstances arise where decisions on personnel are being made. I know my staff is wondering "how will she handle this?" Katie watches me, as my accountability partner, and calls me on my bad attitudes and if I may be straying from God's path. I never get far before she tenderly guides me back to the light. I know I am watched. The Spirit within me is the first line of defense for those moments that may jeopardize my witness.

What does "be as innocent as doves" mean? The dove is a symbol of peace, and also one of purity as evidenced by its use in early religious sacrifices. The dove symbolizes a childlike purity, an innocence, which is yet vulnerable to the evils of the world.

Evils are all around us, temptations are everywhere, but Jesus says "be innocent as doves". Easier said than done, but what are some ways we can make that happen in our own lives? I have a couple suggestions:

1. Watch what you say Ecclesiastes 10:12 "Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips." James 3:6 "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." Words can hurt. Words also reveal the heart. One that spews curses or insults is not a problem of the mouth, it is a problem of the heart. Matthew 12:34 "You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Instead of words that hate, words that hurt, let us use words like Paul prayed for in Ephesians 6:19-20 "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." A Christian should use his mouth to spread the good news.

2. Watch what you do I Peter I:13-14 "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." 1 John 3:17-19 "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence." Rest in his presence. Rest? I do not rest when I know I have spoken in error. I do not rest when I know I have not done God's Will. I desire to feel that rest that God is so willing and merciful to give me. That rest comes when we are "as innocent as doves".

A Christian witness is a follower of Christ, the Son of God. We are righteous only through Christ and by nothing we have done or could do. God calls us to share His Good News with the world, and has given us guidelines and an example, Jesus, to follow. It is His Grace and Mercy that cover us when we fail, but we should "press on toward the goal" always!

Your words today...think about them. Why were they spoken? Did they demonstrate your love for Christ? or His Love for you? What's your heart condition?

Your actions today...think about them. Why did you do that? Did it demonstrate God's Love and Mercy?

The world is watching.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Liberation NOT Oil

Author: Katie

I am so sick of the war protesters all around the world making the US and UK out to be vicious, power-hungry, and greedy for oil. I'm sick of hearing reports from ignorant columnists saying that this is all about oil. That is such a lame argument in a desperate search to support their cause. Our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for the freedom of a people who are helpless against an evil, sick dictator. The reports from biased reporters keep making the coalition forces out to be monstrous killers by talking about and showing pictures of the horror inflicted on the innocent. I have a problem with this because they are not getting or telling the whole story. The enemy is not the UK, the USA or any of the coalition forces. This war is not against Iraq or it's people. I want to see these anti-war reporters place the blame where it belongs, on the real enemy........Saddam Hussein! I don't hear of the protesting people talking about Saddam's torture chambers or the skeletons found in a make-shift morgue.......Executed. I don't see these reporters writing about the average Iraqi citizen who risks being killed by the regime for welcoming the coalition soldiers as they come in. No mention of the Iraqi people who are risking their lives to aid the coalition. Where are their interviews with the victims of Saddam's evil torture? Where are the stories about Saddam using civilians as human shields and murdering thousands of his own troops and civilians because they tried to flee??????? If you want to speak truth, tell the world who the REAL enemy is! Get the whole story.

The coward hides his forces amongst civilians because he knows that WE VALUE HUMAN LIFE and we DON'T WANT TO KILL THE INNOCENT! Where are the stories about the Iraqi people who suffer loss from the war and tell the coalition forces that they are not angry and that they know this is the price for freedom???????? They ask us to come and destroy Saddam and his regime so that they can be free from their lives of constant fear and torture! Sure there are pictures of the horrors of war. Yes, many are suffering terribly. But, the blame is not on those who seek liberation (NOT OIL) for the Iraqi people. The blame is on the modern day Hitler called Saddam Hussein! I think that if these reporters were more thorough, they would discover that the people they see in such torment were probably, for the most part, afflicted by Saddam's evil regime.

The USA is not interested in power, control, or oil in this war. If we do anything to protect the oil fields, it is only for the sake of the nation to which they belong. The oil fields must be preserved for the livelihood of a post-war Iraq. Our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for the benefit of others, not for personal gain. They are selfless and we are selfish to not desire to be involved in aiding the helpless.

By making the coalition as the enemy, protestors make the real enemy (Saddam) out to be the victim. They spend so much time trying to make the liberators out to be slaughtering villains. This makes the sacrifice and suffering that the coalition soldiers and families experience, meaningless. Biased reporters don't spend much time focusing on the stories of hero's willing to submit to witnessing and participating in the horrors of war.....all for the freedom of others and the safety of the very people who persecute them in the media. No, they make these soldiers out to be murderers participating in a horrible massacre. It's ironic that the majority of those who are suffering (both in battle and at the hands of negative publicity) are more in support of the war than those who are protesting it.

The war is. Period. We can't just decide we don't want to do it anymore and pack up and go home. Our governments and troops in the coalition need cooperation and support and they deserve it. They are the ones on the front lines. The war is difficult enough in itself. There is enough battling and chaos in Iraq. Our soldiers need support, not more chaos and battles on the home front. It's time to put down the picket signs and lift up our hearts in prayer and support for those brave hero's who defend freedom, not just for Iraq, but for all those who are at risk from the threat of an evil ruler and his reign of terror. The enemy is Saddam Hussein. The enemy is terrorism. It's about time somebody decided that talking wasn't going to solve the problem. Twelve years of diplomacy only resulted in giving the enemy more time to reign. I am thankful that somebody had the backbone to take a stand against it. So, for all who think it's about oil and power, I encourage you to look deeper. Look at the articles, the suffering, and see the real need.......liberation........freedom. It is the right of every man (with the exception of those who try to take it away or prevent others from having it).

Friday, April 04, 2003


Author: Katie

I'm taking a World Literature class this semester. We just finished reading Essays In Idleness. We have an online discussion instead of a quiz on each assignment. I like that idea! Anyhow, when discussing a particular quote, we got into a discussion on how children are not afraid to ask questions. They ask about anything they want to know, no matter how frivolous it may be. We talked about how adults are afraid to ask questions. What are we afraid of? The answer? Looking stupid? Is it a pride issue? Whatever the reason, a child doesn't have the barriers that seem to accompany maturity. They have a no holds barred inquisitive mind. They need input! Wouldn't it be nice if we could just push a button and spend a few moments each day with the heart of a child?

One of the girls commented to my posting about how her four year old daughter picked a handful of weeds and gave them to her as "pretty flowers". The mother commented, "These are the most beautiful dandelions!" Adults spend much time and hard work trying to be rid of these weeds. But when you look through the eyes of a child, or the mother of that child, these weeds turn out to be quite a treasure! I'm glad that God sees beautiful dandelions instead of weeds when He looks at His children. To think that as much as I love my children.......He loves me sooo much more! Wow!

Non-Believing Friends

Author:  Susan L. Prince

I have a long time friend. In fact, she and I were so close that we shared a home for 14 years. She was my best friend and we shared much of our lives together. We vacationed together, shared meals together, and shared triumphs and tragedies. One day that all came to a stop because she fell in love.

The man that entered her life was clearly not the one for her. I knew it. She didn't. She pursued a relationship and basically just pushed our friendship aside. It was a difficult time in my life, that rejection from my best friend. Part of the problem too was the fact that I so much disapproved of her choice in a man. There are more details about how this all affected me and if you would care to, you can read about it as part of my testimony. I was so hurt by it all.

Eventually, that circumstance and others in my life led me to realize that I was in need of a savior. God worked in so many amazing ways that I finally committed my life to Christ on April 4, 1999. It's four years today! Woohooo!

As on on fire Christian 4 years ago, I wanted so bad for my friend to know the Lord. To her, I probably looked insane. A Jesus freak if you will. Going to church all the time, reading my bible, playing my praise music LOUD and just flying high on the Spirit.

Shortly after that it became apparant that I needed to move on with my life and in the direction Christ wanted me to go. I moved from IA to TN and started my new life. God has blessed me ever since and I have always had my friendship with T in mind. Over the years I have prayed for her salvation. There is a part of me that is still hurting because I forever lost that close relationship. She no longer shared the intimate details of her thought life, or her life in general. It's a weird thing.

Well, recently she emailed me. She was open with me about a lot of things, mainly her relationship with Mike and how it is over now. From what I understand, it was an up and down relationship almost all through it because a couple of years ago she called me because she was upset that they had broken up. From what I can tell, her heart has been broken many times by this man. She shared some things that have re-emphasized how much in need of a savior she is. She considers herself a Christian, but so did I as do so many people before their salvation experience. I lived with her for 14 years, I know she doesn't have a real relationship with God.

It was my opportunity to share with her about my Jesus. I thought about it for a couple days...and then the other day I got an email again from her that asked "you haven't responded to my email answering your personal questions. Is there something wrong?" I guess I had waited too long. I immediately wrote back and words flowed as I shared a bit of testimony. It is hardest for me to share with a friend, moreso than a stranger. But, I was very very bold. After I hit "send" I waited for a response. It didn't come until last night.

I prayed that my words may have fallen into a heart open to receive them. I prayed God was working on her from other angles. The email I got kind of crushed those hopes. It said "Thanks, Sue. I will think about what you said" -T. That's all it says. It sounds like a courtesy response. I guess it's all in God's hands. I do feel good that I responded to the prompting and shared what I could about God and now it is the Holy Spirit's work. I can't change hearts, I can only share what I know. That's what I did. Ten years from now, T may recall the words of my email and wish to know more.

Pray for T today.