Monday, June 30, 2003

GRRRRRRRR!!! I Want a New Puter!

I said "why is it that the computer I used 5 years ago allowed me to listen to WAY FM, chat on ICQ and AOL, and surf all at the same time, but this computer gets bogged down?!"

Katie responds "Why don't you play around in the registry. Move a comma and see what happens."


The Passion

Mel Gibson says that the Holy Ghost worked through him during the making of this film. At Church of the Masses, Barbara offers a "sneak peek" of the film in her post I Saw the Passion. Now, I can't wait to see it!

Where is Your Focus?

Last night I had the blessing of seeing a vision from God come to life. If you have visited the Sister's in Christ website, you may have read about God's Gift. I recently (like two minutes ago) realized that I left out what is probably the most important part of the testimony. I will have to add it later but for now I will just share. When I walked into the house I looked into the living room and I could see Bible study taking place. Every time I looked into that room, I saw the same vision. That is one of the main clues I had that this was the house that God wanted us to have. As we looked at other houses, I could not see the vision that I saw in this house. That was my key motivation for believing that we would end up here.

Our church decided to have a SaLT shake this summer where we would all stop meeting in the regular homes with the same group of people that we had been for some time now. In the effort to get us to meet more people and also to avoid the possibility of any cliques forming (this is a major goal in our church.......NO CLIQUES), they decided to have everybody living in the same area meet in their area. Our pastor's house was damaged in the recent severe weather that TN has experienced so his wife called and asked if we could host the SaLT meetings here! Hey, this is leading right into what my blog is about!

As we were closing in prayer last night, I felt a nudging of the Holy Spirit to open my eyes and see the vision God gave me come to life. I was and am blessed to the point of tears! I opened my eyes and saw a circle of about 13-15 men and women praying in one accord in the living room of the home that God gave us! I felt like God had just singled me out just to lavish His love on me in that moment. This moment wouldn't have happened if we had been meeting at Pastor's home last night. The point I'm trying to make is that we can't see the whole picture. God gave me a vision and I believed in Him and that He gave it to me. I don't know if anything spectacular is going to happen because of our meetings here this summer, I only know He gave me His vision and I saw it take place here, last night because my Pastor's home is being remodeled. (Oh, and by the way, the tree falling on their house fell in a way that they are able to have some remodeling done that they've been wanting to do for some time. So this trial has turned out to be a blessing for them too!)

The point of my blog, "Where is Your Focus" comes from our discussion last night. We talked about how we focus on why bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. We discussed that we have a tendency on focusing on the bad things that happen like why a child has to die from Cancer, or why a Christian mother and her children struggle financially and emotionally after fleeing from an abusive man...or why that man has to be abusive...Why can't God just change his heart? We focus on the bad that God has allowed instead of all the things that may not have happened because God didn't allow it. The child who died could have lived longer and suffered more. The parents of that child may have found God's unending, intimate love for them and helped others through these difficult times. The mother of the children may be in prison due to actions taken during a moment of temporary insanity. She may be addicted to alcohol or drugs. One of the children may have been permanently scarred.

We live in a fallen world. From the beginning God has given us free will and since the fall of man bad things have been happening to "good" people. Personally, I see "bad" people as a product of bad things happening to "good" people. We all react differently and we all have a nature to sin. God never promised us a just world. What He has promised is that He will be with us through it all. What he has promised is eternal justice in the end for all believers...eternity with God. That is our hope as Christians. We should focus on the prize that comes at the end of this life and at the beginning of living. We should do our best to take as many with us by going into all the world and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If that is our focus, we will not only get through the hard times, but we will grow stronger and closer to the One who is with us through them....the one who died to save us. Where was His focus?


I haven't prayed today. Instead, I am blogging about how I don't pray as effectively as I should. I feel close to God when I study His Word. He talks to me that way. I feel close to Him when I fellowship with other believers. I really feel close to Him during praise and worship and when listening to the preaching of His word. I try to walk close beside Jesus and live my life in a way that will glorify Him. But, when I pray (which isn't frequent enough) there seems to be something missing in the connection. There's something blocking me from intimate communion with the Love of my life. I find this discouraging and therefore am even less motivated to pray again at another time.

I am truly struggling in my prayer life as I am struggling in my personal life. The weird thing is......God still provides. I guess that goes to show that He truly does know the desires of our hearts even before we make our requests known to Him. He just wants to hear from us. So, I'll continue to work on this weak area in my Christian walk and I will PRAY for Him to draw me close. That can be scary because sometimes when I pray like that, circumstances arise that force me on my knees. I wonder..... if I prayed more intimately and regularly...........could that prevent some of those difficult circumstances? I imagine it probably would.

Father, I pray that you will cause others to pray for this weakness in my walk with You.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Daily Biscuit

I posted a comment on one of Owen's entries on his site at Un.collected Entries. He asked if her could use it as a springboard for a Daily Biscuit and I said "sure".

This is giving me an opportunity to further expore my comment to his entry that day and also provide some answers for the Daily Biscuit today.

1. Did Christ have an advantage over us?

Please, avoid the pat and perfect theological answers. Be real.

2. What is the hard thing for you to yield control of?

3. How does your heart respond when you "can't 'see' it"?

1. As I go about my day and all the struggles I have through it, I sometimes wonder if Christ had an advantage over me in the way He could see situations or even the hearts of people. I go about my day and something may happen that stresses me out...which would be almost any day at work lately. Given way too much stuff to do and no time to get it done and it's already late by 2 weeks. I worry about getting it done. I want it done perfect. It drives me crazy, makes me irritable and no fun to be around. I worry non stop about how it will all get handled. Jesus teaches us not too worry about tomorrow because today has enough worries of its own. He sees things eternally. I am supposed to see things eternally, but in my limited humanity, try as I might...I am finite. I see today with all its worries. I see tomorrow and all its worries. I want to be like Christ and live for the moment that my Father has me in. I want to glorify Him in that moment, but I am distracted by life. Jesus was so focused on eternal life...He could see it. He was and is I AM. He lives that an advantage? From my limited sight I think that being able to see the whole picture could be an advantage.

Also, as I go about my day I encounter other beings. Some bless me some make life even more complicated for me; the slow driver ahead of me, the customer that complains about anything and everything, the employee that is difficult to get along with. Some of these things are a definite problem with me...and how I handle things. But sometimes there is something about that other person that causes them to be difficult. Christ always was able to see the heart of a person. God sees the heart. He knows the reason behind some persons behavior. He knows exactly what that heart needs for healing. He supplies the balm. If I was treated poorly by someone, I think "wow! they were rude!" and my first "instinct" is sometimes..."loser!", but Jesus, knowing the heart of that person and understanding the hardship and suffering that person is enduring has compassion. Jesus, who sees the heart, knows that that person needs someone to listen to them talk about their heartache and gives them a shoulder to cry on. It seems to me that being able to see the heart of a person would allow me to be more compassionate and less judgemental.

Also, Jesus knows the end of the story...He knows the judgement of that person already. Did that knowledge influence how He handled people? Jesus was followed around by the religious elite of his day. Many of them followed Him around looking for the opportunity to "question" Him and "trap" him in contradictions or whatever they could to prove Him wrong in His teaching. Jesus did not always respond to people...but there were times He did. He knew exactly whose hearts were open to hear a Word from Him and whose hearts were hard.

As a Christian the Spirit of the Living God resides in me. My goal is to walk close to my Lord. To know God. As I grow in Him and become sensitive to the leading of His Spirit, should I not be given insight into the hearts of men? Can I not draw on that same knowledge that Christ did? I believe that it is possible, but until I have learned the how, I need to learn to treat people with compassion. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Let God handle the rest. I can not know a person's eternal judgement, but I must still do what God requires of me. That is to be loving, compassionate, patient and good (and every other good attribute!) I must remember that while "those" people may not "deserve" to be loved, neither do I deserve the Love God lavishes on me.

2. The hard thing for me to yield control of are my thoughts. I want to hold my thoughts captive to Christ and every day is a struggle. I pray that God would grow me into the likeness of His Son, so I guess the fact that it is something I struggle with is a good thing...means that I am getting somewhere. I can know that a thought was not Godly at all, try to retract it and replace it with something pure. What I hope someday to achieve is simply not having that struggle anymore and that my thought life would be more Christ and less me.

3. My heart responds poorly at times because I can't know the heart of another. I see their appearance, I see their circumstances (on the outside), I see their attitudes, but I don't know their hearts. Many times I "assume" what the state of their heart is..."well, if they weren't so lazy they could get a job and do something with their lives". If I took time out of my busy life filling it with treasures I can't take with me to my mansion, I might talk to that person, develop a relationship and discover that person's heart. HEY, THAT'S IT! GOD SENT JESUS TO RELATE TO US...TO HELP US BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM...TO KNOW HIS HEART AND KNOW OURS! HOW DO WE GET TO KNOW THE HEART OF ANOTHER? BUILD A RELATIONSHIP! WOOOOHOOOOOOO! So, I could respond more appropriately to that widow and mother of 2 young children who recently became unemployed, because I got to peek inside her heart.

Revelation through a blog. God is awesome!

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I needed some tips on what to do with weiners!

Turn the Air Up!

Is it "turn the air up"? or "down"? if I want the air cooler in the house?

If I turn the air "up" I'm thinking I am making it cooler. But I'm turning the temperature down.

I always say "I turned it up. or down. Whatever way makes it cooler!"

National Do Not Call Registry

Ok, so I filed my numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry. I found a list that tells me all about who can still call me.

Apparantly I can still receive calls from:

  • long-distance phone companies

  • airlines

  • banks and credit unions

  • the business of insurance, to the extent that it is regulated by state law

  • Also I've learned that:

    "Many telemarketing calls are placed by professional telemarketing companies, and even if the company whose goods or services are being sold is exempt, the telemarketing company may be covered.

    You may still receive calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies with which you have an existing business relationship."

    I currently have an unlisted number. I have kept an unlisted number for over ten years and it has significantly decreased the number of telemarketing calls. The only calls I remember getting are calls from all those wonderful organizations listed above. Makes me wonder what good the "Do Not Call Registry" will achieve above and beyond my unlisted number?

    I can't wait for heaven. Unlimited internet access at the speed of light and no telemarketers! God will employ those saints elsewhere I'm sure.

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    Frustrated and Concerned

    How do you convince a person that they need Jesus if they fully believe they have Him?

    I have come across this dilemma over a recent vacation as well as my every day life. I have family members who have made it clear to me that they don't believe they need Jesus and they don't want to hear any "preaching". I have said all there is to say to these family members. Now it is only a matter of them coming to a point of needing Him.

    On the other hand, I have friends and family who are completely convinced that they have all they can get of Jesus. I try to witness to them through my personal testimony of what God has done in my life. I try to tell them that our lives are a greater testimony than our words. No problem! They agree with me! You see, they believe that they are living a Christian life just because they go to church, pray, read the Bible and are generally good people. Some of them even attend church every Sunday. In between church services and praying to the God they curse in just about every sentence, some of them also visit psychics and study astrology on a regular basis. Some of them believe that God will support anything you want to do just because your happiness is his utmost concern. Some believe you must listen to "your inner spirit" and follow it wherever it leads…even if it leads to immoral sexual activity, drugs, and things that are directly against God's Holy Word….of which they believe was written by man so it is not an accurate representation of God's will for our lives.

    When I try to explain God's will to those who will listen, they twist everything to their convenience and then agree with me. It's all so frustrating! I want to know that I will see them when I get to heaven. Right now, I know that I will not see many of them……many of whom I love dearly. I sometimes wonder if I am not bold enough, and then again, I am afraid of being too bold and scaring them off. I pray while I talk to them and I only hope that God is planting seeds that will produce fruit later. I truly believe what the Bible says about a prophet having no honor in his own country (see John 4). It seems like it is easier to witness to a stranger than to family and friends. Sometimes, I even find myself sucked into agreeing with them just to spare arguing. I see that it is pointless to do otherwise. That's not good. I am placing my faith in me and not God. I also seem to have an easier time witnessing to a group of people than to an individual. I really think I need some help growing in this area. I need wisdom, discernment, and boldness when necessary.

    One thing I didn't ask them...

    Maybe I should have...

    But maybe it would have pushed them away and caused them to be less open to conversation with me...

    Or maybe they might have been saved...

    I didn't ask them to share with me a time in their life when they confessed to God that they were sinners and asked Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of their lives. Was I being a coward? Or using discernment knowing they were not open to that and I might push them away? Did somebody miss out on salvation because I wasn't bolder about witnessing? May God forbid that any of these people should go to hell because of what I said...or didn't say.

    Thursday, June 26, 2003

    Self Defense Quiz

    I found this over at I Am Always Right. It made me laugh out loud!

    Self Defense Quiz...


    You're walking down a deserted street with your wife andtwo small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner and is running at you while screamingobscenities. In

    your hand is a Glock .40 and you are an expert shot. Youhave mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?"

    Go read Tony's answers!

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    This "Introvert" Comes Out

    I, the "introvert", ate dinner out with a friend from church yesterday. We conversed and got to know a little more about each other. Making friends!

    I, the "introvert", ate breakfast out by myself. I gentleman asked about the book I was reading. "Finding the Will of God...a pagan notion" by Bruce Waltke. We had a nice conversation. Turns out Norman is a minister in town. We talked some "God talk" and I met a new person today. I'll probably run into Norman again since we both frequent the Humboldt Grill.

    The Fleming Fine Furniture Futon Fiasco

    Well, the headlines in the Jackson Sun today brought to mind my experience with the futons that I bought from Fleming Fine Furniture.

    I never shot anyone over it, but that doesn't mean I didn't want to.

    When I first moved into this house 2 years ago, I decided to get 2 futons. I went to Fleming Fine Furniture in Jackson. It has since gone out of business and for the life of me I can't figure out why?

    I shopped a couple of furniture stores and decided on 2 identical futons from FFF. I purchased them and they were delivered a couple of days later. Problem #1 - only one of the futons were what I purchased. The other was a different style. I called to let them know they gave me the wrong one and I was told they would send the right one out. No problem.

    So a day or two later a new replacement futon arrives. Problem #2, it's the wrong one again! I call FFF again and talk to my sales person. She assures me that they will get the right futon out this time.

    Katie calls me at work when they try to deliver it. Problem #3 This time they didn't even bring a futon! They brought a bunk bed! I called my sales person once again, although this time I was getting quite perturbed by the incompetence. The sales lady laughed! IT WASN'T FUNNY! They had $1000 from me and I still did not have what I wanted! She gave me the number to the warehouse manager so I could verify with him that I was going to be getting the correct futon. I couldn't understand why SHE wasn't calling the warehouse. She was the customer service person! OR NOT!

    Problem #4, they were out of the futon I wanted. It would be awhile. Problem #5, when it came time to deliver it again it was the wrong futon again! I immediately called and demanded a refund...TODAY!

    I went shopping at Accents who happened to have a great sale on futons. The sale was going to end the following day so I needed to make my purchase right then. I didn't know how long the refund was going to take to credit my card from FFF, so I called. Problem #6 They told me it would post on such and such day, but it ended up taking longer than that and I ended up with an overdraft charge! (Why is it they take the $ immediately, but it takes longer to get it back?)

    Accents delivered the futons, which are of even better quality, to my house without a problem. Set them up and they have been here ever since. See how simple that was?

    Tuesday, June 24, 2003

    My Parent's Anniversary


    Just got an email in from Ma:

    It's 42, cut who is counting?? LOL I am not sure if Dad knows the number or not. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you and Connie and Dawn know that we love you!!!!!!!!!!

    Everything will be alright!

    Love, Mom

    She is responding to my post earlier when I guessed at the number of years they've been married. I said 37...I was way off! In my defense I WASN'T EVEN BORN YET!

    So, I'm writing on the calander "Mom and Dad anniversary (1961)" and maybe that will help me next year! LOL

    *Note to Ma* Oh, and Ma...feel free to click on "Comment" and well, comment there! I love you!

    Spiritual Mentors

    Spiritual mentors are important in the life of a growing Christian. Sometimes I think this is a place where the church fails, that it does not provide discipleship to new believers. I was blessed to have a church that gave me what I needed when I gave my life to Christ, before I even knew what I needed. I still call upon my spiritual mentor now and then, and probably always will.

    I heard a neat analogy the other day in a bible study that I am doing. Dee Brestin shared that as Christians we are called to walk in the light. Sometimes however, there is "fog" that obstructs our view. We are not able to see where the road leads. If we are not very careful, we might go to far off to the side and end up in the ditch, or worse yet, in a head on collision. A seasoned believer has much experience with staying on the road and knows the best way to get to the destination. A new believer is a little less sure and kind of "feels" his/her way around a bit.

    Now imagine driving in that fog. A real dense fog. You are driving slowly and cautiously trying to avoid going off the road, but it is very difficult. Then, just ahead of you you see the tail lights of a car. You breath a little sigh of relief because now you can simply follow that car. The driver ahead of you is leading you. They have been where you are going. Just like a good spiritual mentor. They have experience and many times have been where you are going. They may have also been in the ditch a few times and can teach you how to avoid it.

    I thought that was pretty cool.

    God Blogging

    Darren over at Living Room is asking readers to answer a question posed to him by someone doing some research on "God Blogs". Go answer and have your say!

    Boy! It Sure is Hot in Tennessee!

    Whew! I've been outside for approximately 20 minutes and I'm exhausted! I hauled a bunch of large logs/wood/branches/bed parts and a headless concrete goose out to the road for trash removal. It's very warm and VERY humid today. So there's nothing like the snap! pop fizzzzzzz of opening up an ice cold Coke! Aaaahhhhhhhh!

    It's my parents' anniversary today. It think it's 37 years????!!!! I just can't keep that stuff straight. That's okay, I doubt if dad does either! LOL What is important is that I have awesome parents that love me.

    I am so blessed to have parents that offer help when I need it so I don't even have to ask, and when I do they don't hesitate. I have a mom who loves to talk to me every night online and waits for me. I call her when I am stressed out and have decisions to make. She always has a way of making everything ok just by the soothing smoothness, and quietness of her confident voice. "Everything will work out. It will all be fine." and sometimes she goes on to say "have I been wrong about that yet?" and I can honestly say that she hasn't. Everything does work out.

    I have a dad whose greatest concern is taking care of his family and he does it so well. Even though my sisters and I are grown and out on our own, he still takes care of us. I know who to call when I'm hearing a strange sound under the hood of my car. I know who to ask for advice on what I should do about getting something in my house fixed.

    I know who to call when I just need to feel loved. Actually, I don't even need to call. My parents raised me in a way that I never doubted their love for me. I can sit here and just know they love me.

    Outcomes of Faith

    I know a family with a great faith in God. A couple of years ago the son hung himself. After that their house burned. I know a family with a great faith in God. Their children all grew up and got an education, married, have beautiful children and excellent lives.

    The first three heroes of faith celebrated in the book of Hebrews 11 vary considerably. "Abel believed God and he died. Enoch believed God, and he did not die, Noah believed God, and everybody else died! The only think they all had in common is that they believed God and it pleased Him."

    The above I quoted from Bruce K. Walkte's book "Finding the Will of God...a pagan notion?" It's an interesting read. He goes onto explain that the problem of suffering as in Abel's case lead people to think "a) there is no God, and life is a pathetic joke, or b) God is a cruel and arbitrary God who cares nothing for the people of earth, or c) God is powerless or d) God is alive and at work in our lives, but we do not completely understand Him." I think the last statement is an understatement. I wonder sometimes if we even begin to understand Him? Regardless, it does take faith to believe that latter concept. Many people refuse to "have faith".

    Romans I clearly demonstrates that God is alive and powerful. God loves us and has a plan for our lives. We can't know everything about Him. We can't discern his overall plan. We still need to trust Him.

    How can we get to know His plan? I don't know if we can, but it is not through any sort of divination. I can't make decisions based on tea leaves, drawing lots, or "If he calls me, it must be a sign from God that I should date him". Shouldn't a Christian base his following of God on a relationship, rather than a "sign"? How is it you get to know someone? You spend time with them developing a relationship.

    "There is no place in the New Testament where we are taught to seek a special revelation, and the practice may actually lead to disobediance if it causes us to neglect the everday opportunities that life brings us in order to wair for a special word from the Lord." That reminds me of the story of the guy on the roof of his house during a flood waiting for God to save him. A guy in a row boat comes up to him and invites the guy in so he can be safe, but the guy refuses because "I am waiting for God to save me." Another boat comes along and also a helicopter, but he refuses to go because he is waiting on God. Once in heaven, the man demands to speak to God and asks why God didn't save him when he demonstated so much faith. God replies "I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter, what else did you want me to do?"

    We can not, as Christians, discern God's will for our lives by looking for "signs". I hear people pray "Lord, give me a sign so that I know your will for me." I'm not sure that is the right prayer. I want to pray..."Lord, help me to know you more. Give me the faith I need to follow you and walk in strength. Give me wisdom and open my eyes to see you at work around me."

    So, what are the outcomes of faith? A wonderful relationship with God, the Creator, who will lead you through the mountains of life and walk with you through the valleys. He may not explain things to you, but he will carry you through. I know this. He has walked with me.

    Monday, June 23, 2003


    I want to thank Brad at Bradley's Almanac for attempting a fix of the Blogthis! problem I am having with the new Blogger or Dano or whatever the heck it is, or will be. I really miss the convenience of using Blogthis! waaaaaaaaaaah!

    I Have a Day off!

    Wooohooooo! I have a day off! Yay! My last day off was...ummmmmmmm, let me see if I can remember...ahhhhhh, yes, Wednesday, June 11th. There were a couple of days in there that I only went in for a few hours, but still, I was there and not at home resting like I should have been.

    I told my DM via email yesterday "Here's the status of the store. (told him all of what isn't done yet) Send help if you can. I am taking my days off this week. Don't try to stop me or it could get messy!" LOL

    His reply "I'll see what I can do". I like Bob. Bob is a good guy. I am blessed to work for him.

    So tomorrow I have off. I plan on cleaning up the house and doing some yardwork. I have most of Wednesday as well, until evening when I have to go pick up Katie and the kids at Memphis International Airport. YAAAAAAAAAAY! Only two more sleeps and the framily comes home. I'm really starting to miss 'em!

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    What Are We Fighting For?

    On the new Live CD, which I am really diggin', there is a song called "What Are We Fighting For?". It asks a good question about war and why there isn't peace in the world as it grows smaller (communications) and what will "you tell your daughter, What will I tell my son?" about why our generation was "devoid of love".

    One of the verses, while I can see the writers viewpoint, I disagree with part of the statement:

    The crucifix ain't no baseball bat

    Tell me what kind of God is that?

    Ain't nothing more godless than a war

    So what are we fightin' for?

    Ain't nothing more godless than a war? When I read the bible, I read about a lot of wars. Why did these wars exist? And why did God take sides in these wars? He removed evil through wars.

    How can the world be free from evil without war? Granted, war is not fun, but sometimes it is necessary and just. So what are we fighting for? peace. justice.

    When Jesus returns, there will be great war while the evil is removed. Why? Because evil will fight good. Eventually however, evil will acknowledge Good and realize that the war is over.

    Is it Hypocritical to Work Here?

    That was the question Nikki asked me at work. She seriously came into my office and said "Sue, I have a question". Nikki says that a lot. Sometimes I cringe, hoping it will be something I can answer. I love that she comes to me with questions. They are usually the tough spiritual/biblical questions that I have to go dig up answers for like how do you explain the difference between Genesis I and Genesis II? or can you lose your salvation? stuff like that.

    Today's question was "Is it hypocritical to sell Marilyn Manson CDs? I mean, does it say I condone it if I sell it to someone?"

    I told her that I sometimes struggle with that too, and I do. I ask myself on some days when a young kid comes in wanting to buy certain music like the latest gansta rap release (read my post on Eminem), or Marilyn Manson, or Cannibal Corpse if this is something God wants me doing. How can I call myself a Christian and then sell stuff that a lot of times is anti-Christ to someone? It may even be possible that the music isn't blatant anti-Christ, but may have lyrics that brag about the latest sexual encounter or how they got high. Actually, since the behaviors would not be approved by Christ, I guess it would be anti-Christ? no? I also sell "R" Rated movies and some that I can't sell to anyone below the age of 17. What's a Christian to do?

    I don't have all the answers and I don't want to justify what I do for a living just to make myself feel better. I really want to be where God wants me and I have prayed about it when confronted with the reality of the situation. This is what I told Nikki.

    In today's world it is difficult to find a place to work that you will agree with 100%. It is something Christians must do, we have to work, we are actually called to go out into the world to be witnesses. Who would I witness to in the bible book store?

    Also, even in the bible book store you would end up selling books by authors who put some false stuff out there. I mean, differences of opinion on things like communion and baptism is one thing, but when teachers are writing books on subjects that deny essential Christian doctrine on subjects of the Trinity and the Crucifixion, we've got problems. The word-of-faith movement is another thing that isn't biblical but is big, and most bible book stores will have books on their shelves written by authors with heretical ideas. To me that is just as harmful, if not even more harmful than some of the stuff I sell. These are people actually leading the flock down the wrong paths!

    I also see it as an opportunity to thwart sales. It's really fun at Christmas! Parents and grandparents come in with their lists, I ask how old the kid is that they are buying for and easily can talk them into something else a bit less degrading and more edifying. I have also at times been able to sell a Christian alternative to what they were looking for. If I wasn't working here, that kid would be getting something that glorifies gratutious sex rather than the new Grits CD that glorifies God. Many parents have thanked me for "running interference". LOL

    I explained that some people are gonna buy it regardless if I work here, or stock the item. It will be found somewhere. Does this mean that since people are probably at one point in their lives have a sexual encounter that I should open up a brothel? No, there is a line to draw and don't ask me where it is. I'm still figuring things out! LOL Am I responsible for what they choose to buy? No, I am responsible for what I buy.

    I also told here that it is possible that while I can work there and feel comfortable enough to do so without compromising my Christianity, that other people may not. Some Christians would be convicted about working there and choose not to do so. What is important is that we are all right with God. The Holy Spirit works in different people in different ways.

    So should I quit my job?

    Yay! Nikki's Back!

    Nikki is one of my young employees. She is such an encouragement to me because Jesus shines through that girl! I just love to be ble to work with her! Anyway, she spent the week at a retreat and I was anxious to hear all about what God did in her life this week and as expected...HE DID GOOD!

    Nikki shared all about how it was praise and worship non-stop the whole week. She said that a lot of it focused on bettering her relationship with God and a routine was developed for "campers" to have quiet time in the morning. To be alone with God. To pray. To worship Him. She found that time and was able to strengthen her relationship. She is so in love with God.

    She also was excited to tell me that she had the opportunity to share her testimony with some younger girls at the camp. She and her best friend both had the opportunity to share the "stage" as they talked all about how God has changed their lives. Nikki said that God worked it out perfect because together they ended up with one big testimony that could show how God can do miracles in all lives...Nikki came from a background of a bad relationship and a problem with drinking (not alcoholic, but getting out of control). Her friend has suffered through an abusive bad realationship and they both got to share about the heartache, the trouble, and the restoration God brought to them. SHe said their talk had a positive influence on the girls there and that it is possible that Nikki and a few others may start a group to talk to young teens and pre-teens about their issues. Nikki feels that since she is still a teen and just graduated high school, that she may have more respect from the young teens than many of the older adults do. (Adults are so out of touch and don't understand! LOL)

    It was awesome to hear about all that and then she shared about Matthew. Matthew is a young man who Nikki is dating. He is a good young Christian man. He suffered the loss of his father a few years ago and that broke his heart and almost his spirit and in fact, led to a broken body. He shared his testimony at the camp and I understand it was powerful. Through tears he shared about how God restored his soul and has healed his body. He almost died in a wreck with a 4-wheeler trying to cross a highway following after a friend who made it across successfully. He was raised in a Christian home with a father who spent a lot of time and energy on him. When is father suddenly died, Matthew's life was shattered. He started to care very little about life, becoming reckless maybe? I don't know all the details, but I hope that I can one day hear about it all. Matthew was in a coma for three weeks, suffered lots of broken stuff and today still has a diminshed mental capacity, most notably with his short term memory. He turned to God and rededicated his life. He realizes God has given him another chance and now he shares his story. He told the audience that he wasn't crying because he was sad, but the opposite. He was rejoicing that God gave him the opportunity to share it all! IT REALLY STINKS THAT I MISSED IT!

    I feel so blessed that Nikki is working at my store. She was so excited to share and I couldn't wait to hear all about it! God showed me again today how much He loves me.

    Friday, June 20, 2003

    Bathroom Humor's no laughing matter to me. others? Check out Darren's response to the proposed Flatulence Tax in New Zealand. You can't help but laugh! Katie will die when she sees I posted this! LOLOL


    Can you believe it? THe AC guy left and didn't charge me! He said "I'll bring the invoice by FYE on Monday if that's okay." Gotcha! I don't believe the charges will add up to anything more than what I can handle.

    I called and told Dad. He is happy that it's all worked out. Even with my poor attitude and very ungodly thoughts of yesterday, God chose to bless me. That's Grace. That's Mercy. That's Forgiveness. I am unworthy.

    Ok, AC Guy Still Here

    He is still here and found additional wiring problem. Seems that the wires that fire up my heaters are burned out. He doesn't understand how we kept warm this past winter. So now he is kind enough to fix that too. God taking care of me again. He's already planned for this upcoming winter!


    You know that iceburg the Titanic hit? Well, I was growing a replica in my AC unit.

    My AC Repair man did his job well. I'm waiting for the tally...but it's less than replacement cost! I fretted all night over very little. Will I ever learn? Probably not. LOL

    The AC Guy

    The Air Conditioner repair man is here. My unit is frozen. I'm hoping after they clean it out and defrost the thing it will be okay and all will be well. And COOL!

    How Was My Day (Part II)?

    It wasn't the bank's fault. Many like to blame the bank for making a posting error, or not crediting the account in time, but not me. I accept the blame. I did it. I didn't watch my account close enough and BAM! NON SUFFICIENT FUNDS. OVERDRAWN! I could kick myself. I hate when I screw up like this, especially when I live paycheck to paycheck, like most people do. It was just a dumb mistake. Dumb.

    When I came home from work yesterday and walked into the house, I noticed that the room temperature was warmer than outside. The outside temp was 77 degrees and warmer than that, noticably warmer, would make it above 80 degrees in the house. I was puzzled so naturally I checked the thermostat. It was set for about 75 degrees, but it was 87 degree in the house! Not good. There had been a pretty short, but fierce electrical storm. Lots of lightning and thunder and heavy downpours, but it didn't last long. I started wondering what happened. Power surge? So I checked the fuse panel and 3 switches were tripped. I turned everything back on and went over to the thermostat again. Nothing. I can hear the fan on the AC, but no air was moving into the house. Compressor problem? I don't know. I'm clueless. All I know is that it was hot and I was starting to see $$$!

    Work has been very defeating lately. I work hard, VERY hard, and feel like I get nowhere. I had a visit from my regional manager, and overall the visit was good. It was just stressful getting the store in shape. It is not easy to get the store in shape, let alone keep it in shape, with the labor hours I am allowed. What I did get out of my RM's visit was that he realizes the strain we are all under. He was encouraging for the most part. I had my 40 hours in yesterday, with 2 more days to work this week. Today was the yearly inventory of the store and I left the house at 4am. I am so exhausted. Physically and mentally.

    So, how am I spiritually? That is my sister's, Katie's, greatest concern. I am better today actually. Last night she and I chatted on AOL IM for awhile after my tiring and stressful day at work, my checking account in the negative, and the fact that the house was a steamy 85° did not have me in a good mood. I was blaming God for my difficulties and then taking my stresses out on her. Why? Why do I behave so stupid?

    I know that God loves me. I try very hard to live a life pleasing to him. Yesterday I failed horribly with my poor attitude and anxieties. All I can see in my life lately is negative stuff. I am not thinking negative thoughts all day everday, but when things happen like the AC not working, I get very upset. I see everything that is wrong. It's like a giant highlighter comes out of nowhere and marks up all the bad things happening and I can't see any of the good. Today, I looked for the good. It felt much better.

    I didn't sleep well last night. Worrying and boy was it HOT! I also knew I had to get up very early for inventory and that is always fun. NOT! I did cry out to God. Today, He answered gently. No major "sign", no major "revelation", just wonder. I called the AC man and he will be able to make it out today. Which is good because temps for this weekend are forecast to be around 95° and humid. After that I called my dad. Dad, wow, God blessed me with an awesome man in my life. My dad loves me so much. He answered the phone. Not God, Dad! LOL When I call home I usually call to talk to mom, because, well, mom is a lot more talkative than Dad. LOL But, it was Dad that I needed to ask a favor of. I told my dad that my AC was broken, that a repair guy was going to look at it today, and asked if he could help me financially if I needed help. Without hesitation he said "sure". Why did I waste all that sleep time worrying last night. I know the parents that I have been blessed with. I know that when I call on them with a need that they will do whatever they can to provide. Not once have they failed me. (Except for the time my mom killed my goose, but that's another blog. LOL) I think I worry more about the fact that I am in need. I hate being in need. It's that pride problem I have!

    So, inventory went well. I got good feedback from Bob and he also told me that Stuart mentioned that the company is going to have to reprioritize things because he recognizes the strain that has been put on the field staff. Not that anything will get done about it, but I was glad to know that at least I'm not the only one seeing that there is a problem with the workload. It's nice when your superiors recognize it as well. My dad was there to help me out like he always is, and when I got home today Katie had left a nice message for me on the answering machine. I even called the bank to let them know my car loan payment was going to be 4 days late and the nice woman laughed when I told her that. (She must not get people calling to tell her that a lot.) She told me I have a 7 day grace period. Grace. Period! I like Grace!

    God smacked me upside the head today. He said "wake up! Don't you see? I have given you your parents, you have a good boss who does his best to look out for you (and not write you up when you get in one of those rebellious moods! LOL), you have a house, a good job in a field you love, you are surrounded by people who love you and you have a best friend who forgives you when you treat her so poorly and loves you anyway."

    I might not have AC, but there are hundreds of people just down the road from here that lost their homes last month in the tornado. I overdrew my account, but in the grand scheme of things I don't even think that black mark shows up in the Book of Life. My store is not in the best shape, but I have a job that I do enjoy. Work has been difficult lately, but I have the opportunity to work. Many around here are unable to find employment. I have wonderful parents that I can go to in need and they actually look forward to times that they can help out and participate in my life. Many do not enjoy such blessings. God worked in my life today. He is molding me. I can feel it.

    Thursday, June 19, 2003

    How Was My Day?

    It was not a good day.


    Lately I have been reading blogs and have been reading the discussions along with certain posts. Recently some posts have garnered the attention of readers who have added their own comments. Sometimes I comment, but often I simply read the different opinions expressed there. Here are some of the discussions I found interesting:

  • At the Starloft Jennifer posted a conversation she had online with a friend. It sparked much more conversation among readers about dating and relationships, what is yoking, and some other stuff thrown in. Sometimes the conversation got a bit rough, but it has a happy ending.

  • At last count there were 51 comments to Jake Rinard's post on Harry Potter, "Boy Wizard Changing Teens into Witches?"

  • Megan at Silentmessenger has an interesting post that had me thinking what biblical character would make a good husband? I figure guys could share who might make a great wife too!

  • Michael is wondering What Are Churches Teaching? He has two posts Part 1 and Part 2.

  • Well? What would you do if you were suddenly flashed on your way to work? I think I'd do exactly what Gann's did! Look for the Wednesday, June 18th post titled "Ewwwww". Ganns is a funny man and an awesome Christian. Read some of his blog...he can touch the heart with how much he is in love with his wife and his yet unborn child. I love reading about how excited he is about that kid! (*pop ups galore here, but soon to be gone.*)

  • So? What's your take on Christians drinking alcohol or getting tatooed? Here's Megan's post on that very subject and she admits a change of heart possibly.
  • Look for her Thursday, June 19 post.

  • Brandon at Mosiac Life has a brief post on the recent declaration that the James Ossuary find was a fake. What are Christians thinking about that? Look for the Wednesday, June 18 post and go comment!

  • I just can't get into Friday Five's and most memes. But, then one day along came Owen with a wonderful idea. The Daily Biscuit over at Gooddogbaddog. There are some great thought provoking questions there for you to answer either on your own blog or in the comment section there. Feed the dog!

  • Well, that's all for now. That was just a short summary of what has caught my attention recently. There's more, but I've got to start getting ready for work. What a drag!

    Wednesday, June 18, 2003

    I Need More Ram!

    Wow! I didn't realize it but I am cramming my brain full of a lot of information these days. Not only are Katie and I reading the bible through in a year...again...this time chronologically, (Which is very interesting and I highly recommend it. Some things just make more sense in my mind when I read about events in the order in which they occurred.) our church is studying about God's Will. Each week one of the PLT (Pastoral Leadership Team) members gives a message about finding God's Will. The church as a whole is invited to read a book by Bruce K. Waltke titled "Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion?" and our SaLT groups are being used to discuss the book and Sunday messages. It's a pretty neat set up and it's really cool to have the entire church studying one thing.

    I am also in a summer bible study "Falling in Love With Jesus" that was put together by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli. I'm not sure about this study, but I'm forging ahead hoping that God might reveal more to me about Himself through the study. Some of it is corny to could just be my personality. A lot of it talks about (at least so far) how as women we long to be romanced by Prince Charming. There is no Prince Charming and the book goes on to say that Jesus can fulfill our romantic needs in ways we never dreamed. It talks about how he gently comforts us during tough times, enough so that we can find peace in the midst of strife. How he cuddles us with His creation. All that kind of stuff. At this point I am only 2 weeks into the study and not getting a huge amount out of it. I've heard some neat things from the other women though. I just love listening to people brag on God and what He has done and is doing in their lives.

    The educational system at our church is referred to as Northbrook U. David Gushee is "dean" and also a top scholar in the field of Christian ethics. He is a Christian ethics professor at Union University. On Sunday mornings we have "class" before church. This "semester" I am taking the course on Bioethics. Dr. Gushee is leading us through "Bio Ethics: A Primer for Christians" by Gilbert Meilaender and has some really interesting insight on the topics of abortion, cloning, euthanasia, etc. and what a biblical view should be and why. Unfortunately with my work schedule I missed 2 of the 3 classes and will miss again on this Sunday. (When I'm elected President I plan to reinstate the Lord's Sabbath!) I feel so blessed by God that He put me in a church filled with so many gifted and talented people and that He has given me such a thirst to learn more and more. I'm just thankful that there are no tests and that buying the books is the only cost involved. I am being educated by some of the nations finest pastors/professors/scholars and I'm taking classes for free! Wooooohooooooo!!!!

    Now, this is a LOT of stuff. It is difficult to find time to read up on everything and get it all done, but so far I've done well. I really could use another memory card though. It's all so hard to retain!

    Cool, a Title Field

    I like it! I like it! uh huh, uh huh, uh huh!

    God's Will

    Is God's Will being accomplished? Has it always been accomplished? Will it be accomplished if I don't follow God's will? Will it be accomplished if I do my best to always stay in His Will?

    I think God's Will is always accomplished. I think He is always working everything together for His good purpose. Those who don't necessarily follow God's will may create detours, but in the end, God's Will is accomplished, it's just that those that don't follow it will not get to enjoy the blessings He showers upon the obedient.

    If God is always working and His Will is always done, wouldn't it be better if I just joined in? Why waste time trying to figure out His Will? I mean, He knows what it must be perfect! What He is doing is always best. If I take time to try to figure out what His Will is for me, I am probably missing out on valuable time I could be spending with Him doing His Will!

    Jesus said in John 5:19 "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. "

    Jesus, I know "grew in wisdom". I don't know if He always knew (from childhood) that He was going to the cross...that is probably one of those things people could debate about. I don't believe He always knew exactly what was in store for his life at every moment...he was human, and we don't know that kind of stuff. One thing He did learn, though, was to walk close with God. He was wise, wise enough to know that God was always working, and that God is perfect. When He saw God at work, He joined right in. He was sensitive to God and what God was doing. I don't remember Jesus praying for God to "reveal Your purpose for my life", instead He acknowledged God's Will for His life. Perfect obediance. Never questioning.

    Maybe I just need to pay more attention to God and less attention to me. Wax on, wax off. Just do it.

    Rain and Cheri

    Katie's dog, a Boston Terrior named Cheri (French pronunciation), HATES the rain. I let her out this morning, as good owners should do every morning, and it started to rain. I was in the other room and heard her scratch at the door. I went to the door to open it and let her in, but she wasn't there. She was under the yard swing. So, she had braved the rain to scratch at the door, and then went back out into the yard to seek shelter under the yard swing. Oh brother. Like she will melt!

    Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Rice Krispies

    I'm eating Rice Krispies. They are yummy. I like them without milk. You still get the Snap! Crackle! Pop! only in your mouth. It's like non-carbonated pop rocks, so your stomach won't explode! LOL Another advantage is that you avoid the soggies when you get to the last few krispies.

    Monday, June 16, 2003


    Well, it's happened. The first tragedy since "the mom" went on vacation. There I was putting a clean workshirt into the dryer to fluff and dewrinkle. There was a smell in the room. It was not a good smell. It smelled dead. I wondered for a minute if it could be a crispy, dead squirrel. wasn't a "dead" smell, it was a smell I've smelled before. It was a "wet" smell. Like when the carpet in my room would get soaked everytime it rained before I had that repaired.

    Yes, it was a wet, mildewy smell. I looked around the laundry room trying to determine what it was and then I thought "oh no, is there something in the washer?". I haven't done any laundry yet, and Katie and the kids left on Saturday. She last did laundry on Friday night. It's Monday now. It's been more than two days. So I slowly opened the washer and peeked in. Yep! There it was! Clothes. Rotting.

    Without "the mom" I am unsure what to do. I can't very well dry them in this condition so I think I should wash them again. So, I put in the detergent and fired up the washer again. I'm running them through a second time right now in hopes that there will be no mildewy remnants of an odor left when I put them in the dryer. I have no clue what to do if this doesn't work.

    Sunday, June 15, 2003

    Home Again

    I'm sitting at my stepmother's computer here in Massachusetts. This is my childhood home. It isn't easy typing on this puter though because I'm not used to it.

    I attended church with my grandmother this morning. It's made up of several elderly, a few older adults and about 5 children...all of whom I believe may have belonged to their new pastor (as of today). Apparantly, about 4 years ago, a pastor came to the church who caused alot of problems and many people left. In fact, most of the church left. They have had nothing but interim pastors ever since. There is really nothing there to draw a crowd since the majority of the members are over 80 years of age.

    However, I got so blessed today during this very historically traditional church. They did hymns out of a hymnal to the ever so lovely sound of the pipe organ. There was a reading from the OT and Amazing Grace was sung a cappella and it was so beautiful. Then there was a reading from the new testament and another song was sung by the children. This one was also done a cappella. It was really strange because the service itself should have been extremely boring but,I got such an awesome blessing. I could feel something sweet about the spirit that was present in the hearts of this small core group of people. What was really special is that today, I was present to witness the induction of a very special pastor. God's timing is perfect. I believe He put me here today just to be a part of this most blessed event.

    The Baptist churches here allow women to be pastors as well as men. It was awesome to see a minority woman speaking so boldly and full of the spirit and with the freedom that every believer should have. I don't know exactly where I stand on the issue of women in a pastoral role. I only know that this woman is over many churches and the Holy Spirit of God spoke to me through her today.

    The man who is coming to be the pastor at this church has a big job on his hands and they truly need prayer at Portland Street Baptist Church. Although the service was extremely anciently historical, the Spirit was extremely present. To sit there on fire like I was blowing my mind. God is about to do something awesome at this church and I don't even think they have a least most of them. I know that some of them do though.

    Since the numbers were small (about 50 or so)...the service was pretty intimate. The now new pastor took prayer requests from the congregation before the service began but after that it was ALL WOMEN! Oh there was the sweet old man who played the violin. That was precious. He has just started learning to play and Oh! Get This! I was so blessed! This man went back to school to get his highschool diploma....WHEN HE WAS IN HIS SEVENTIES!

    Okay, back to what I was saying...

    After the children sang, there was about 10-15 minutes left for preaching. The woman preacher delivered the message since it was the induction message. It was about the fruit of the spirit. She said that fruit was fruit and not fruits because it is all one. She got to the part about self control and asked the church to exercise self control when it came time to make changes. She said that in order for growth to come, there has to be change. She mentioned that it will be difficult to keep the history of the church but also bring it up to date and that some decisions will have to be made that everybody will not agree on. She asked them to exercise patience and self control during these times and to give the pastor at least three years to bring about the necessary changes that will bring the church alive again.

    After services, Grammy told me that the numbers have doubled just in the short time this pastor has been coming. I heard him speak briefly and he is a man on fire for God and ready to dig in and work hard. I felt such a presense of love flowing from him and I was moved to speak to him after the services. It only confirmed my speculations. I really believe God led this man to this church because a great revival is about to take place. I almost wish I could stay to witness it. I did get his email and he has promised to keep me up to date.

    There is much more I want to blog about but I'll probably do it when I get home. This blog is already long enough.

    One last food for thought:

    Adam and Eve...they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit of this tree really came forth after Adam and Eve ate it, for truly in the sin they committed...they really did learn what good was before they knew of the evil that was born to man on that day. Without the presense of evil....they couldn't even know what good was. The fruit they bore that day was evil. It has been reproduced in mankind throughout history. Even to this day. But then came Jesus. Amen!


    Katie calls me an introvert. Am I? I don't know...I'm tending to believe that I am not. I am not the most open about my deepest thoughts and feelings. I do keep most things to myself and share only with my closest friends. I have never had a huge gathering of friends...usually I have one real close friend and sometimes one or two other good friends.

    Growing up I always found myself in leadership roles. I was in band and became a section/squad leader. I was in youth group and became chairman of the religion committee. I was involved with softball and became one of the leaders on most any team I played on. In college I found myself again leading sections in band and eventually became a band director at a middle school. I am now managing my own music retail store. Do introverts normally end up in leadership roles?

    Or in front of large groups of people teaching? Or serving customers?

    I was not a popular person in school, mainly because I'd rather be surrounded by real friends who love me for me, than people who just want to be known as cool because they hang around "cool" people. Shame...they never learned how cool I am! LOL I was and am well-liked by people. Never had enemies of note. I was and am invited to activities and people want me around. I haven't noticed people running away when they see me coming.

    Introversion: 1 : the act of introverting : the state of being introverted

    2 : the state or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life.

    This whole question came about because our normal SaLT groups at church are going through a Summer SaLT Shake. In an effort to deter "cliques" from forming and to help members get to know more people, we were randomly placed in new SaLT groups for the summer. I think that's pretty cool. Katie volunteered our house. I'm cool with that. *Warning Warning* Katie is NOT here for the first meeting or the second. This concerned me. I don't know what to do with people. A gathering of people at my house? Oh no! What do I do? What if they want food? or drink? Where will we all sit? I freaked out.

    Katie made arrangements for the gatherings to take place at Keith's house for these first two sessions. Whew! That was close!

    When I told some people at church today that it wasn't at my place they naturally wondered why. I said "I'm an introvert and don't have a clue how to hostess a gathering. It's gonna be at Keith's until Katie gets back from Massachusettes."

    Then they asked "Why do you call yourself an 'introvert'"? Where did you get that idea?" I thought for a minute and said "Katie calls me an introvert and sometimes I really wonder if that's true?" They wouldn't call me and introvert and we concluded that my problem is not socializing, it's hospitality. I do not have the gift! They also reminded me that anyone, when compared to Katie, would be an introvert! LOL

    Katie is extrovert extrodinaire! LOL She called to tell me about her plane trip to MA and all the conversation she had with other traveller's. She can have a conversation with anyone at anytime at anyplace. It's a gift for her. That's why she's a good evangelist! One day she about started a revival in the ER of the local hospital when she stopped to take an elderly woman to the hospital after a traffic accident. She will share her God experiences with everyone who has ears. Sometimes I wish I had that ability! I have been to ER and I'm not sure I've spoken anything beyond "it's hurts there" and I've travelled on airplanes and never spoke to a soul, except to thank the captain for the safe flight and for bringing me back home.

    Compared to Katie, I am an introvert. But, I conclude that according to the above mentioned definition...I am NOT an introvert, at least not to a debilitating degree. I simply lack hospitality skills. I blame that on my aversion to flavorful foods. (That's another blog)

    Extrovert: one whose personality is characterized by extroversion; broadly : a gregarious and unreserved person

    Yep, that's Katie to a T!

    Introvert: to turn inward or in upon itself: as a : to concentrate or direct upon oneself

    Possibly describes something about me, but that's not everything! can be relative.

    Where Are You?

    So, there you are...WHEREVER that is and you start wondering. "Hmmm...I'm so bored. WHERE should I go?" Then you go, you just go and read some blogs and sign some guestmaps to let people know WHERE you are. It's important to let people know WHERE you are. Because wherever you are, you are there.

    Saturday, June 14, 2003

    Daily Biscuit

    Daily Biscuit

    Take a bite of the Daily~Biscuit

    From Gooddogbaddog:

    From the day I was born until the age of nineteen I moved only once. I don't recall it all that well because I was less than one year old when it happened. But, then I or various configurations of 'we' moved nineteen times since.

    On Monday I posted the Daily~Biscuit and then headed for Michigan to begin the process of moving Mom back to her orginal home in Canada from her now former home with Vic. Vic died suddenly on April 2nd. They shared a passonate and soul sharp two years and five months together when Vic suddenly left the earth household behind, dieing suddenly on April 2nd.

    It was more than a physical move. It took in the whole scope of her, of me, of us. (That's too big to describe here and it may be something that I will have a go at my other site.

    I got back and put in a day of work and at the end of it I find my mind is still, on the move.

    1. Talk about moving. The good the bad and the dogly.

    2. Focus down on one move and tell us why that one stands out to you.

    3. Is there a move that has had a specific and lasting spiritual impact on you?

    As ever, choose one or more of these and have at it.

    #1 - I was blessed to grow up and live in the same childhood home until I moved out of the house when I was 18 to go to college. I lived at that house in Hinckley, OH for 18 years and graduated from the same school district, Highland Local Schools, that I started Kindergarten in. Many don't have that blessing. I did. Stability for a young one is great and it should be something all parents strive for.

    After I moved out to attend college, as most students do, it's moving in the dorms and out of the dorms. It's moving back in the dorms and back out. Then it's moving into my first apartment, then it's moving into my second apartment. Then I invested in a house and stayed there a couple of years until I moved again to Traverse City, MI. Moved into a rental first, then bought a house. Only stayed there a year and moved to another rental house in IA. Bought a house in Marshalltown, IA and stayed three years until God moved me to TN. (I'll expand on that in the following questions) Since moving to TN in January of 2000, I have moved a total of 4 times! I HATE MOVING! I am pretty settled now...I think.

    Moving is hard work! It is very physically draining. Packing and unpacking. Moving heavy furniture and trying not to scratch the "good stuff". I was lucky on a couple of moves to have professional movers, wow...THAT is the way to do it. Unfortunately, I've done the last 4 moves and it was not fun. I wouldn't have made it without Katie's help either...that and help from my pastors'.

    The day we moved into this house was a very HOT July day. Katie, bless her heart, did 85% of the packing and organizing and moving. I was DOG tired (threw that in for Owen) and she was too...probably moreso. Then I made her drive the HUGE (because U-Haul didn't have a smaller truck available) 18 wheeler size truck from Selmer to Humboldt...about 50 miles. LOL She's such a trooper. Actually, she's a mom. Mom's are amazing...they are like energizer bunnies! Well, we pulled in the driveway of this house at around 1 AM. Mind you, we got the truck the day before, and it had to be back in a day or we face extra charges. We had to unload that thing. We had worked since early in the morning, over 14 hours, packing and loading the truck all day long. We were both exhausted. So physically drained that we could barely move. We had to move. We had to get the refrigerator off the truck and into the house because we had perishables. It was too funny. We strapped that fridge on the appliance dolly and we both attempted to push it forward toward the ramp out of the truck down onto the drive. We both gave a "heave ho" and didn't move that thing one lousy inch. We had NO energy at all. It was gone. We both kind of laughed because we put so much effort into it and NOTHING happened! LOL So, we prayed. We asked God to give us strength to get that fridge off the truck. With faith and perserverance we counted "1 - 2 - 3 go!" and got that refridgerator out of the truck, down the ramp, another 20 feet down the walkway, up the 3 steps to the porch, up the little step in through the front door, across the living room floor (the long way because of doorway restrictions) and into it's resting place in the kitchen. Plugged that baby in and filled her with food. God even answers the "little" prayers.

    I've learned some things from my moving experiences of the past few years. I got smart this last time. I figured if I didn't open a box since my first move, I must not really need what was in it. I managed to make a profit by selling old albums, cassettes, books, and even an old "beater" trumpet on Ebay. I LOVE Ebay! Yep, put that old trumpet on Ebay for $4.99 and it sold for $250! Turns out it was a vintage horn made in 1913. I've run out of stuff to sell, so I haven't been to active in the auctions...but Ebay makes moving easier!

    #2 and #3 - The move that stands out the most (beside my move to MI which was my first move away from my home, and I bawled and bawled all the way there) was my move to TN. To where I live now. It was a total God thing. (I'll give a run down here...but, for more details check out my testimony and/or my friends page.) I was studying God's Word and also doing an in depth study by Henry Blackaby called "Experiencing God". Wow! Awesome study...highly recommend it! Anyway, in it I was learning how to listen for God to speak. To watch God at work and join Him. He was speaking to me, He was directing my paths and I was following like my dog following the scent of an apple. (Yes, my dog loves apples! He doesn't beg for meat...he begs for fruit!) I was convicted about my financial status and was able to work and get that all under control. There were circumstances in my life that were leading me to move out of the house I was sharing with a long time friend. I was convicted about some things at work. It became very apparent that God was pointing me into a new direction, but it was scary. Very scary. I never really had lived by myself. I have always had a roommate and wasn't sure if I could be independent. I was learning to be dependent on my Lord. Boy, did I learn quick! I soon quit my job, left First Baptist Church of Marshalltown, where I had been discipled by awesome mentors in the faith for those early steps in my walk, and headed for Selmer, TN.

    Tennessee became my new home...and it has been an adjustment. God has used my time in TN for His Great Purpose, yet He hasn't told me what it is yet! LOL He has put me in some situations that have taught me a lot about trusting in Him and forgiveness. I'm still learning the patience. I moved to TN totally on faith, and in a very short while, 4 days, I had a job. In less than a year I had a new church home and bought a house as a person living debt free. (except for the house, a car, and unfortunately that loan to fix the major water problem in the house).

    Now for the comedy relief. Moving day in January of 2000. I had Chuck, my truck, on a tow dolly behind a U-Haul. I unloaded Chuck, then had to disconnect the tow dolly from the U-Haul truck. I had tied Whyzer, my dog, to the tow dolly with his lead because he was in unfamiliar territory and I didn't want him running off. I disengaged the tow dolly from the ball on the back of the truck and Katie asked if I needed any help. I told her "no, I got it".

    Her drive was on a hill. Not a major hill, but it descended at a shallow angle. When I lifted up the tow dolly off the ball I turned around to "steer" it to the side of the drive. Well, I miscalculated how heavy that thing was and how much the pull would be. Katie could tell this better because she saw it all happen...she says it was as if it all happened in slow motion.

    Well, the tow dolly started pulling ME down the drive! It was moving very slow and I kept trying to pull back and keep it stationary. That wasn't going to happen. Eventually it pulled me down onto my knees, yet I kept attempting to hang on and keep it under control. In my mind I started envisioning a runaway tow dolly going out into the traffic at the end of the drive! It was situation critical! So, in an all out attempt to save the world from disaster, I flopped down onto my stomach to create drag. It worked! The dolly dragged me a few feet until it settled just off the side of the drive. I stood up and brushed my self off while Katie was trying to stifle a laugh. She asked "are you okay?" and I said "gee, I almost gave myself a masectomy!" and she busted out with a very hearty laugh that lasted for days every time the story was brought up. We both laughed so much we couldn't even share the story without cracking up and ending up in tears. People just thought we were nuts. Little did they know! LOL

    It wasn't until after that whole episode that Katie reminded me that Whyzer had still been tied to the dolly! She said "he just pranced right along side like he was out for a joywalk!" LOL

    The incident is forever etched in our memories as "The Belly Drag".

    I'm Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    I don't want to celebrate too much because Katie will most likely check out the blog from her parent's place in Massachusettes. (sp?) LOL Yes, I think I spelled it correctly. Yay.

    Things I have done today, with Katie and the kids away:

    • Tried cleaning up the computer hard drive and managed not to crash it.

    • Went to work and got the paperwork done from last week and pulled some recall (I'm gonna be in trouble for that)

    • Went to my band concert, saw the sign at the park entrance "Concert Cancelled for rain", came home

    • Killed 14 Rangers in Justin's Special Ops Playstation game (oh....I was the Rangers! LOL)

    • Surfed

    • Attempted to solve my Blogthis! far I've failed.

    • Currently listening to Avalon's greatest hits CD - "Adonai" reminds me of Katie. She sang it at church the time I first visited TN in October 1999 "Testify" reminds me of her kids...they both can sign it. They are so talented and do an awesome job!

    • Talked to Ma via AOL IM and she shared about Grandma's deteriorating health which is sad

    • Talked to Katie on the phone to give her the scriptures to read to keep us on track to finish the chronological bible in a year

    • Learning how to use html to indent

    • Now I'm blogging

    Wow! Life sure is exciting!

    I enjoy this free time! I am listening to MY tunes WHEN I want and playing on the computer with very little distraction. It's a dream come true!!!

    In a few days I'm gonna miss them. I know I will.


    I'm very upset. I can not get my blogthis! to work with Dano, the new version of blogger. It's giving me a headache.

    Friday, June 13, 2003

    I Got a Raise!

    My mortgage payment went up. There goes my raise. I just can't get ahead.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    I Just Found Out About Love

    "I just found out about love and I like it! and I like it! I like what love has been doing to me!" to quote a verse from a favorite song of mine by Diane Schurr with the Count Basie Orchestra.

    I remember before becoming a Christian having believers share with me all about God's love. I was told that God loves me so much. That He longs to be with me. That He created me to be with Him. That His greatest desire is for me to love Him. That He sent Jesus, His One and Only Son, to earth to take all my sin and that it would die with Him on the Cross. I was made alive by all this love He so graciously lavished on me. It was awe inspiring to discover such unconditional Love! He loved me so much that it was not possible for Him to love me less! It was not possible for Him to love me more than He does! Woooohoooooo!!!! I was loved so much by the Creator of the Universe that He even counts the hairs on my head...He knows everything about me and chooses to love me! Wow! Such Love!

    Sometimes I forget about all that love. Do you? Sometimes I need to be reminded about all that love. Do you?

    Life has a tendency to drain the energy right out of me. Life is hard. Sometimes I forget to remember God's love for me. I put Him on the "back burner". I neglect my time with Him. I drift. Not far, but far enough.

    Have you noticed that fellow believers, although well-intentioned, also forget to remind each other how much God loves them. I have noticed that before someone becomes a Christian, they are witnessed to and told about God's love...after becoming a believer, we are often told that "it's not God who's you." I know this...but, just like a child longs to hear "I love you so much" from a parent, I sometimes need to have other believers tell me "He loves you so much". Don't tell me that it's me who moved, I know this. Remind me again how much God loves me and wants to hold me close to His heart. Tell me about how He lavishes His love on me every day and even as I sleep. Share with me how He created all the stars in the heavens, but that I am the star in His eye.

    A plea to all believers everywhere...encourage your brothers and sisters. Share with them today about how much God loves them.

    Daily Biscuit

    Daily Biscuit

    Take a bite of the Daily~Biscuit

    1. Describe a good experience you have had in/with a local church.

    2. Describe a not good experience you have had in/with a local church.

    This is from last Friday, June 6 at Gooddogbaddog. I'm a little late, but who cares?

    A good experience would be with my church. I've had so many. I have witnessed this church seek Jesus Christ and work very hard to seek God's will in decisions and in caring for each other. They have helped people financially and more importantly provide counselling to those who are suffering. I have seen this church love it's own, and others, and when it sees a need try to fulfill it. This church utilizes the gifts of each member and constantly seeks to glorify God and edify the body with the use of these special, spiritual gifts. I have seen this church make mistakes and fail, and learn from those mistakes. This church practices New Testament theology and challenges itself to live very biblically. I have seen members held accountable when necessary and I have seen people rejoice over spiritual triumphs. I think what I see as the best experience from this church is how it seeks to worship God with hearts, minds and souls. The church is always striving to reach out to others and share the love of Christ, and it is always teaching its membership and equipping it with tools to advance the Kingdom. I love my church!

    A not so good experience? will be hard to answer this and not "murder". I will simply say that the negative experience boils down to a failure to love others as Christ loves the church, even if that involves accountability and discipline. Gossip kills.

    Hanging Out at the Bar

    On my business trip last week I had the pleasure of staying in awesome accomodations at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Wow! What a great place to have a convention!

    After the meeting on day one, which was last Thursday, my old assistant manager, Cherub, came to visit with me. She moved to St. Petersburg in February and I MISS HER A LOT! It just so happened that our regional meetings were being held in Orlando, which gave us an opportunity to connect and catch up a bit. It was good to see her.

    Well, she came up that Thursday night and we hung out with the other managers from my district. Where is the choice place for them to hang out? Well, since I've started going to these meetings I have never gone to "hang out" so I really didn't know for sure, but I assumed. I always sit in my hotel captivated by the tv...since I don't have but one channel at home, it is a real treat to sit with remote in hand and watch as many programs at once that I possibly can on the hotel tv. The others usually hang out at the bars. Bars?...they just aren't my scene. At all.

    So, there I sat in Champions Sports Bar. It was busy...many other managers had the same idea, to hang out there and drink away the night. Some had a few beers, some had more, some had more than enough. I was so out of my element. I was seeing things I don't normally see. I was hearing things I don't normally hear. I was many times shocked by the conversation! Cherub chuckled at me and at one point said "wow, Sue, you are really out of your element!" NOOOOOOO KIDDING!

    I sat there thinking should I be here? Does it appear that I might condone this type of activity just because I choose to sit here? I couldn't really participate in the conversation because, well, just because of the crude language being used and the topics were really NOT something I could contribute to. One of the guys kept "apologizing" for being so crude and saying things like "Sue, this is the first time you hang out with us, and well, I guess I'm giving you quite an initiation". I still kept wondering if it were right for me, a bible believer, to be sitting there?

    Was I being convicted to leave? I held a mini conversation with myself. I concluded that there was nothing wrong with me being there. Part of the time I was having fun. I laughed, I did converse some. At other times I was offended by what was being said and every time, I got an "apology". I told them that I knew that I was free to leave at any time. I found myself waiting for an opportunity to share my faith. I know, Jesus hung out at these types of places and He always seemed to wait to be invited into the conversation. I decided I would wait too. I never got the opportunity. I figure that Jesus was sometimes at parties and never had the opportunity to share, but that even so, he stood for something. People saw him. They heard him in conversation. They saw him having fun.

    Cherub, who I have tried hard to be a witness to, saw me. She heard me in conversation. She saw me, a Christian, having fun...even among the wolves. So did the others'.

    I eventually was so tired that I left and went to my hotel room. I did a lot of thinking that night on that experience and at some points I doubted if I should ever be in those situations, but I do eventually conclude that there is no way to develop relationships with people if I always withdraw to my hotel room instead of "hanging out" with people on their turf. What do you think?


    Sorry, I've been soooooooooooo busy with work work work and fatigue that I haven't had the energy to post anything profound. I'll be back in form soon! I do see that Katie has been keeping things going around here though. I love it when she blogs!

    Monday, June 09, 2003

    I Want to Give

    Author:  Katie

    I don't get much time to be on the puter these days. So, when I get the chance, I check e-mail and I blog or read other blogs. On the all too rare occasion that I get to surf through a few blogs, I find that it is like reading a daily devotion...only better. When reading a daily devotion book, a person cannot comment about what he/she reads to the author. On the other hand, a "bloggee" can not only comment directly to the author about what he/she has written, but can also discuss the devotion with the author as well as with other readers. I think that is like the coolest thing!

    Today I want to comment on an entry or two by Irene Q. I tried to comment at her site but had trouble so I decided to blog about it. Irene has written about her struggles with guilt in the area of tithing. First of all, guilt does not come from God. So many Christians are living defeated lives because of guilt, shame, or condemnation from the enemy. There is a difference between healthy conviction from God. The rest is just lies straight from hell.

    Jesus didn't come and die to leave us feeling defeated and condemned! He died to set us free from all of that!

    "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)

    I understand these feelings because I get them often myself and I have to remind myself of this scripture on a regular basis. Christ died to set us free and in Him we are free indeed! There is therefore no condemnation.

    Proverbs 11:24

    One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

    Here is a brief testimony about my situation regarding tithing. I often reflect on the parable in the Bible when a very poor woman only gives a few pennies. She is ridiculed for giving so little. Jesus is blessed by this. He says that she gave most of all because it was all she had. This story is what I think about when I tithe. It helps me to give cheerfully. There are so many people who can afford to write big checks and help the needy (which would be me). I get discouraged sometimes because I want to be on the giving end. I want to help others instead of always needing help FROM others. I can't see the whole picture like God can and I know that He has me in this position for a reason. I do know my calling and it will require fundraising so maybe He is teaching me humility in accepting help from other people because I will need to have that character trait in order to fulfill what He has called me to do. I don't know. But what I do know is this......when I receive help I MUST tithe. I don't see it as an obligation anymore. I don't count it as a loss. He holds fast to His promise to provide. God has never failed to multiply and return to me over and above my tithe. He does more than just provide financially. He provides physically, emotionally, mentally. I am blessed to overflowing with love, friendships, spiritual growth, encouragement, material gifts, blessings, blessings, blessings...all around me everyday. He showers me with blessings. But, being the human that I am.....I can search among my mountains of blessings to find the one thing that can steal my joy. Then I focus all my energy on that one thing. That one thing usually stems from selfishness, envy, guilt, shame, condemnation, pride, etc.... None of which is from God. So, my advice to Irene and the many of us who struggle in this manner is to remember Who sends the blessings and who steals the joy and focus on the One who blesses us. Let the conviction of tithing be a conviction, not a burden of guilt. Trust in the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is your Provider, not the government, not the person who owes child support, not your employer, not your pocketbook, not the bank. Only Jehovah Jireh. Only God. This is the secret to cheerful giving and joyful living.

    I love the way God speaks to me as I read blogs. I want to reccomend a blog that is somewhat related to this issue. It is another inspiration of my blog today. It can be found at Jenn's Musings. The title is "Dried Brooks and Empty Barrels". Sometimes I see this as the story of my life. It all depends on the perspective taken. The dried brooks and empty barrels have the most room for filling.

    May God rain His showers of blessing to fill your brooks and barrels today and every day!

    Sunday, June 08, 2003

    God is Faithful

    Author:  Katie

    Don't let anybody kid you into believing that God does not provide everything His children need. He never fails! He is faithful! Sometimes it seems he doesn't provide because it isn't what we expected. But, for me, He is always faithful!

    This morning, I sat in bed thinking about my trip to the mall with my daughter. It has been a very long time since I have updated my wardrobe and I was looking for a matching shirt for my daughter and I to wear on our plane trip next week. For two days we have been shopping. Yesterday we went to the mall. We had lots of fun trying on all kinds of awesome clothes. Of course, most of it ended up back on the shelf until we decided on a shirt that came in both our sizes and it was something we could agree on.

    I fell asleep last night and woke up this morning thinking about the clothes I had tried on. They were all so trendy. Tiffany kept saying either "Yuck, Mom! Old lady clothes!" or, "Oh Mom, that looks so good and you are in style!" She wanted me to buy the outfits as much as I wanted to but we have to be careful with what limited funds we have (story of my life). I was going into the depressed state of mind that I slip into every now and then when I get so sick of always being so needy. I was having a pity party because my wardrobe contains very little along the lines of feminine or pretty. T-shirts and shorts or jeans, and a couple of causal sweats. I own a few button down shirts but nothing with ruffles or lace. Nothing "pink" (not the color...the attitude) At the mall yesterday, for the first time in a very long time I actually felt "pretty" in a couple of those blouses.

    I was already blessed this month because I recieved an unexpected check. I have been fighting a battle to collect child support that has not been paid at all this year. The process is very slow and I have been so stressed out and so broke. I was worrying about having money to take with me on my trip. Sue was too. Things weren't looking very promising. So, I prayed. I just asked God to provide. I didn't know how and I didn't know what. I only knew that I needed and I asked for His provision as He saw fit. It seems that in all of the record processing there was a child support check that was kept from me from two years ago. It was when things were so whacked in court and everybody overlooked it. I'll spare all the boring details of how it happened and move on to the other provision God made tonight.

    A friend called and has been bugging me to accept money from her for a long time and I've been turning her down. She said that God has blessed her and it has been heavy on her heart and she really wants me to accept this help. I got discouraged. I told her I was sick of always taking and never giving. She was so encouraging. She told me that I give. She told me that I do so much for people and that I bring so much joy to their lives. She blessed my heart. So, I told her I would only accept the money if she would order cakes from me at no charge. She was thrilled since she's getting married in July. So, we are both helping each other. And........she has a couch that she's giving me to boot!

    Tiffany told me she wanted matching shoes. She really kept pushing the issue. I think I'll take her shopping tomorrow. Jehovah Jireh.......God the Provider. I am blessed.

    "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matt 6:28-33)