Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I Guess It Doesn't Spend the Same

When you see that penny on the ground, do you pick it up and say "it's good money, it all spends the same?" Wouldn't that mean A Million Pennies would spend the same as $10,000? Apparantly not!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Happy Package

YAY! I got some happy packages at work today!

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv happy packages!

What's a "happy package" you ask?

It's a package that makes me happy when I open it!

What's so exciting about opening a package?

It not about opening the package, although there is somewhat of an excitement about that, but it what's in the package...CDs!

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv CDs!

I really luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv FREE CDs!

I got bunches of them today! I sampled some on the way home and some sound really good, good enough to warrant a second listen and then some.

When I get a happy package like I did today, my favorite thing to do is sample them all. I'll let a few seconds of each song on the CD play and "get a feel" for the entire disc. I can usually tell if the CD is worth additional listens through my "sampling" process. Here's a short rundown of my first impressions of the CDs I found in my happy packages today, complete with a FIR (First Impression Rating) = 3 (forget it, I probably won't listen again), 2 (it may be worth another listen), 1 (definately will make it a priority to listen to again soon!)

Remember these are first impressions from very quick listens to short exceprts:

  • Rush "Feedback" - [FIR = 1] This CD is a great cover album. The guys reminisced about their early days as a "garage band" in the mid '60s and all the rock anthems they enjoyed playing back in the day. I only recognize a few of the tunes on the CD, but I really like the straight ahead rock feel. Great stuff from Rush! Rush has always been one of my favorite bands, so it's given that I'd listen to this CD a few times anyway!

  • Starfield "Starfield" - [FIR = 2] This band is from Canada and is your basic modern rock/alt-pop. Seems to have some good rock hooks intermixed with some songs that have very worshipful lyrics and music that would help a listener be drawn inward. It most likely will garner some attention from CCM radio.

  • Jadon Lavik "Moving on Faith" - [FIR = 1] Jadon Lavik has a sound that reminds me some of Stephen Curtis Chapman's more acoustic stuff. Simpler and quieter, very smooth but still grabs the listener with a melodic pop hook. Some layered harmonies to spice up this well produced CD. It deserves another listen.

  • Fusebox "Once Again" - [FIR = 2] Fusebox has its beginnings as Rebecca St. James backing band and released their first CD a couple of years ago. I have to say that I ws really disappointed in their first release so I wasn't too excited about this one, but I hear improvement. Heavier with the guitar and bass this time and they support some good rock hooks. Will give it another spin.

  • Matt Redman "Facedown" - [FIR = 2] I like worship music that inspires, and draws me into worship. This CD starts out with a wonderful praise song, but then goes into a lull. While many would enjoy this CD because it is rather slowly paced and filled with very worshipful lyrics, I find it failing to hold my attention. I'm disappointed because I am always looking for some new praise tunes that help me relate to my Lord. Maybe another listen will help.

  • Sarah Kelly - "Take Me Away" - [FIR = 1] This CD has been out since February, but I was only familiar with the first single "Take Me Away". Contagious melody that just cries out for the Lord to take her away. Her voice is powerful and "gutsy", reminds me at times of the subtlness of a Carole King, yet also captures a powerful Joplinesque edginess. This CD is a fine debut and I am looking forward to listening to this a lot. Wow, this one really sounds great!

I've got some more to share about, but maybe tomorrow. I'm ready to do some surfing and then I'll play some Battlefield.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Who is Your Phillip?

The message at church was about Phillip meeting up with the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-40. Dave Gushee did a great job of unpacking the message so as to explain that in the scenerio God had a role (opened opportunities), Philip had a role (saw opportunity and joined God at work), and the Ethiopian had a role (asking spiritual questions which opened the door) in God's Will.

At the end of the message Dave shared about his "Philip". It got me thinking about who my "Philip" is...who it is that shared the gospel with me when I was asking all the right kinds of questions? For Dave it was Randy. Randy was a member of a "Catalyst Team" that traveled to high schools performing drama and sharing the gospel through their art. Dave started asking all the "right" kinds of questions and Randy took the time to answer them all. Once he left town, Dave has never seen or heard about Randy since, but because Randy was willing to share about God, Dave was welcomed into the Kingdom.

My story is different, but the end result is the same. Isn't it for every Christian? Heaven rejoices when just one soul is saved?

Deb is my Philip.

She hates when I give her any sort of credit, that's her humility. There are details to my testimony that you can read about here, but the short of it is that when I had questions, Deb pointed me to answers.

I had come to a point in my life where I was alone, depressed, afraid and really didn't see any hope in a future. I sent a letter off to Deb that shared very personal stuff and I was very nervous about her reply. Why was it I reached out to Deb? Deb was an ex-colleague of mine from my teaching days.

I was the band director and Deb was the phys ed teacher. I had worked there for a good two years before really hooking up with Deb on a Strategic Planning Committee. Then, one school year, we were both assigned lunch duty together. It was during lunch duty that we chatted and got to know each other better. Anyone who knows what teaching is like will understand that it is difficult to carry on conversations at school because students are always around to interrupt...if not that, I'm sure there are food fights to break up and restroom passes to hand out, let alone all the noise!

Our chats were always short and fragmented, but one thing I learned about Deb is that she seemed "spiritually fit". I only learned this because now and then topics would come up that would allow her to share a bit of something about her beliefs and why she believed that way. I really can't recall any specific instance, but the point is, when I needed help, and was asking serious spiritual questions, it was Deb that I knew to turn to. What was interesting is that I hadn't seen Deb in over five years.

So, after five years, I send this "deep" letter to Deb asking for some help and not only did she respond with a letter back, she sent me a bible. In her letter she shared the gospel and some very well-thought out messages that were challenging, and also soothing to my soul. Deb was my "Philip" because she saw an opportunity, she saw God at work in my life, and then responded to the opportunity to join Him.

Deb and I continued to correspond through letters over the next few weeks, and all the while she encouraged me to find a church. This is where I met "Philip II". In my case, I had a few "Philips"! Irma is my "Philip the Second". I met Irma at a church service I attended and Irma reached out to me. She helped answer some spiritual questions and doubts I was having as well.

Irma and I met weekly over tea and coffee so we could chat. We developed a friendship and God used her to draw me even closer to Himself. After a couple of months I finally came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior and I work very hard to this day allowing Him to be Lord over my life.

I am so thankful for the "Philips" in my life!

Tell me about your "Philip(s)" in the comment section, or post it on your blog and feel free to link to it in the comment section below. It is always so exciting to hear people's testimonies!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Tech Help Needed

Could you, faithful reader(s) please go comment at PBGs' path and just see if the window will open to allow you to comment?

The comment window wont' open for me. Also, if it does...what browser are you using? firewall? java? It's driving me crazy!



Thursday, June 24, 2004

Not the Mom

I am Sue. I am Not the Mom! Yet, I have enrolled to participate in a parenting seminar. I figure as long as God has me at this place in life, where I am partially responsible for the growth and well-being of children, I should equip myself to do the best job possible.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Mark 12:30

The first and greatest commandment:

"Love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" Mark 12:30.

Is the body of Christ falling short of teaching and setting an example of this most wonderful commandment of love?

I've heard teachings about loving God with your mind (what you think about) Collossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things above, not on Earthly things." 1 Peter 4:7 says, "Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

I've also heard it taught that we should focus on Philipians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

I've heard messages on purity even more-so in the day and age in which we live today. We are teaching our children to abstain and how sex is a gift from God to be shared between a husband and wife. This is so necessary and so wonderful...but not complete. There is so much more to loving God with our minds and bodies than maintaining sexual purity.

What about gluttony? What about lack of exercise? I've heard it mentioned from the pulpit a time or two about how gluttony is a sin...Some churches offer fitness and wellness programs...but I can't say that I have ever met the pastor brave enough to confront the church regarding this issue. I'm talking about a bold, and convicting message to God's people. So,what about loving God with our bodies? How does the body of Christ set an example to the rest of the world about loving God with our bodies?

There are so many of us who are out of control with our eating habits! Baptists are known for their reputation to "fellowship"! Jokes are made about gluttony as we fill our plates beyond capacity during each fellowship and go back for more. The United States of America...One Nation Under God...has a reputation for obesity!!! People are dying to get to the buffet!!! I found this very convicting last year when I kept hearing about it and I watched a documentary on it that was what made me determined to change my ways. I began to pray for God to give me wisdom about how He wants me to eat in a way that would be pleasing to Him and help me to care for the temple of the Holy Spirit. After battling my weight problem unsuccessfully, I finally gave it over to God. I let go of the controls and let Him have them. I have since lost 40 pounds and I am free of the misery that I have carried with me for the past 14 years. But, it hasn't stopped there. God has really been convicting me lately about my lack of exercise. Losing weight is wonderful but, I still need to get my body into better physical shape. It is for His glory but, I must say....I look forward to having a physically fit body. I'll be will look great!!! (Then I will have to struggle with the sin of vanity and spend more time concentrating on loving God with my mind!!!) I am already elated at the way my body looks and feels but, I know that the job isn't finished. It never will be. I will have to work at this for the rest of my life.

There needs to be a better example set by Christians about loving God with our eating and exercise habits. We are so quick to "judge" those who have smoking addictions, use bad language, alcohol addictions, etc... Food is a serious addiction that a majority of Christians suffer from, but we remain in denial as we crack jokes and laugh off our sinful behavior. "What would Jesus do?"

How does this one particular behavior reflect loving God with all of our heart and all of our soul? What about all of our strength? This is just one area in which there need to be more focus when we teach the message God speaks of with His first and greatest commandment. Losing weight is a terrible battle and extremely defeating when we try to do it "ourselves". It is difficult even with God's help. But, if we are doing it in order to fulfill the first and greatest commandment, and we let go and let God...all things are possible! He is our strength!

I can't help but wonder where the world would be if every single true believer focused everything he did on the most important commandment in the Bible. "Love the Lord, your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, and with all of your strength." Where would we be in our walk with God? Where would the community be? Where would the country be? Where would our world be? I will leave that to another blog because I could write a book on it!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we make the first and greatest commandment the most important priority in our lives, everything else will fall into place behind it.

Jesus Filled Day

I got an email from a new online correspondent today. He just wanted to send a note to tell me that he hopes I am having a "Jesus Filled Day". It got me to thinking.....

Every moment is filled with Jesus whether I am happy, sad, celebrating, or angry. He is always there. His Spirit lives IN ME!!! When I am sad, He comforts me. When I feel empty, He fills me. When I am angry, (if I sin in my anger)He convicts me and He calms me. When I rejoice, He celebrates with me! Whether I am behaving Christlike or humanlike...every moment is filled with Jesus! He is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS there...simply because His Spirit lives IN ME! OH HOW I LOVE HIM!!!!

Kids = Destruction

Last year Tiffany did a cartwheel in the kitchen and put her heel into the door which now has a sign hanging over it labeling it a "Holey Door".

A neighbor kid wanted to try to pick the lock on Katie's car with a stick and broke the driver side lock that we haven't been able to fix yet.

Tiffany slammed the front door and the ornament/chimes fell off and broke.

Kids are rough with the blinds in the windows and they have broken and needed replaced.

Today, we came home from breakfast and the backdoor has a giant hole where a glass panel used to be. There are still some jagged edges of glass there.


So, I decided to remember how destructive I was as a kid, so I wouldn't be too upset.

There was the time I decided to "key" my dad's car with a rock. Ohhh, that was NOT good!

And the time I was snowblowing the driveway and got a little too close to one of the parking blocks. I had already hit the thing and it was obvious by the noise and dad came running out of the house to tell me not to get too close. He was late with the warning. I'm sure he was not happy about that incident.

I think once I was playing with the hood ornament on the Chevy Caprice Classic and broke it. No matter what I did the thing would not stand up straight.

I guess I did my share of stupid things too.

Got any "destruction" stories to share? Leave them in the comments please.

One Channel

We do not have cable or satellite tv. This means that the only tv we watch are movies we rent/buy or whatever happens to be on the local ABC affiliate WBBJ. On a good sunspot day we sometimes can see a little bit of Channel 16 and I have no clue what or where that comes from.

This is an actual quote of a neighbor kid yesterday as Justin changed settings on the tv to get the VCR working:

"Wow, you sure have a lot of channels for not having cable."

The kid was being serious.

I laughed...yes, all ONE channel. Sometimes two.

Amazing, growing up we had five stations that we could receive. It seems like there was more to watch on tv back then. Matter of fact, most of the channels there are to choose from on cable tv these days, actually run the old shows we used to watch on those five stations way back when!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Where Were You When...

I first saw this over at Jen Speaks, but followed it back a few generations because the answers are interesting. It fascinates me that we are all going about our lives doing different things, but then one event, one moment, captures our attention and has us all tied in to to same thing.

Llama Butchers

A Small Victory

Short Strange Trip


Just a Girl

Sweet Surprise



Brian. Brian said he found it somewhere, but his was the end of the "Where were you when..." chain.

Where Were You When...

1. ... you heard that Ronald Reagan died?

I was driving home from work (FYE in Jackson, TN) on Saturday afternoon and it was on the news. I wasn't too shocked since we all knew it was coming eventually. Since I sometimes catch Michael Reagan's show, I have been sensing that it was getting close to time.

2. ... on September 11, 2001?

I was at work (FYE in Jackson, TN) in the morning before the store opened and Katie called to tell me that a plane went into the World Trade Center. I said something like "hmmmmm, I've heard of planes flying into buildings before. Bad pilot." and basically shrugged it off as a freak accident. I was thinking plane, as in a small two seater plane or something. A little later she called with more urgency because another plane went into the building and that these were jets full of people. Well, at that point I was no longer thinking it was an accident and became quite concerned and immediately got a radio off the shelf and turned it on to listen to news reports. We kept the radio on throughout that dreadful day. Business was very slow, but I had much work to do as we were re-arranging the store. My co-workers and I talked and pondered a lot about what was going on. One co-worker was scared and confused and she couldn't understand why I wasn't freaking out like she was. She wanted to know "why has this happened?" and I had an open door to talk about evil, the consequences of evil and seperation from God.

3. ... you heard that Princess Diana died?

I had just walked in from work (Musicland in Ames, IA) and my roommate had the tv on. She caught me up on the events to that point and we both were glued to the tv for a few days as the events all played out.

4. ... you heard Kurt Cobain had died? I think I heard it on the news one morning getting ready for work when I was a music teacher at Keystone in LaGrange, OH. If memory serves I first heard it from Kurt Loder on MTV.

5. Take one for The Gipper: What̢۪s your favorite flavor of jelly bean? I hate Jelly Beans!

6. ... Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the NBA due to AIDS? I don't remember exactly, but I remember I was living in Akron, OH and working at Discount Drug Mart as a Pharmacy Technician.

7. ... Reagan was shot? At school at Highland High School in Medina, OH. I was a freshman and I remember hearing tidbits at school and chatting about it on the bus and the walk home. No General Hospital that day, the assassination attempt was the news of the day.

8. ... the Challenger exploded?

In my dorm room in Spanton Hall at the University of Akron. I was watching tv and having lunch in between classes when "we interrupt this broadcast..."

9. Where were you when the 0J verdict was announced?

I took my pocket-sized tv to work (Camelot Music in Traverse City, MI) so that we could witness the verdict "live". We waited and waited and then came the time. I was shocked and disappointed when the verdict was announced. I think it was a very sad day and that justice was not served.

It was interesting and somewhat "fun" to recall these moments from years past.

If we can all unite in these times and be focused on them as news events, as life-altering events, and as historical events, as a Christian, I wonder why all of our attention isn't always focused on Christ. Imagine what it would be like, if for a moment, a day, a week, a lifetime, if we really all were behaving as one family! If we were all focused on Him during each moment of everyday. I guess it would be heaven on earth. Someday it will be so: Philippians 2:10-11 "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Monday, June 21, 2004


We had a wonderful message at church yesterday brought to us by Rob. Rob is a member of the PLT (Pastoral Leadership Team) and this was his very first message to the church. Our PLT splits up the teaching ministries, so each week we never really know who it is we will hear from, but we always know it will be sound teaching.

Yesterday the teaching was on Stephen. Acts 6-7

One thing Rob wanted us to understand is that Stephen "was a guy, just a guy". He was not presented in the gospel as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" or as a man of upstanding citizenship. He was a guy...An ordinary person just like you or I.

So, what made a regular guy do what he did? Rob challenged us to think about not only what made him do something like that, but to think about what made him BE like that.

It was a very inspiring message, at least it was to me. Rob dissected some interesting things about Stephen that may help us to see where we should be in our relationship with Christ.

Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and very passionate about his faith in Jesus. This was not a "full of the Spirit" as in barking like a dog, laughing uncontrollably, rolling around on the ground, or slain in the Spirit, this was a moment in Stephen's life in which the Spirit of God so filled him that he was not full of himself. He was not fearful. He spoke with confidence when he spoke, and when he didn't speak, that spoke even louder. Stephen was chosen because he was a man "full of faith and of the Holy Spirit". His devotion to Jesus is what was so visible and is what mattered most.

What Rob wanted us to get from that was that "the most basic requirement for effective service as a Christian is not giftedness, but rather intense love and devotion to Jesus." It was here that Rob shared the Abyss illustration that I shared about yesterday.

Rob continued to teach about the effects of having this intense love and devotion for Christ, and of being full of the Holy Spirit:

  • no fear

  • no hesitation

  • no self-defense

  • hitting the ball out of the park for Jesus

  • That "hitting the ball out of the park for Jesus" part blew me away. Rob said that at the moment Stephen was being stoned, that God's will was being done on earth as it is in heaven. POWERFUL! Imagine, being so sold out for God that we are THAT obedient, and that HIS WILL is actually done here as it is in heaven! WOW!

    At this point Rob reminded us about Cassie Bernall, who "said yes" when the Columbine killers asked her if she believed in God. That was her moment to do God's will on earth as it is in heaven. God gives us these moments in our lives. He desires for us to seize them, because it is during those moments that we experience Him like we never have before!

    "Seizing those moments doesn't always result in death, but it does always result in God's glory!" Rob said. He encouraged us not to look for signs and wonders, but to look for an opportunity. A God-glorifying opportunity.

    It is this kind of faith that will result in effective ministry at Northbrook. One of the PLT members at a recent meeting, noted that "this is a church that means it". Northbrook is a church striving to glorify God and seeks the kind of faith that empowers Christians. Rob noted that "if this is a church that really means it, then we need Christians that really mean it.

    This message fascinated me. To think that Stephen was just like me, and that he seized his opportunity to shine for God and that while he was asking forgiveness for those who were stoning him, God gave him a gift. His face was like that of angel, and when he spoke, hearts were sliced open. Stephen saw the glory of God!

    Clean Films

    CleanFilms sounds good to me! I may have to check this out! It is so disturbing to watch a movie and have it be ruined by bad language...take for example the Terminator films...good movies, but the language ruins it for me.

    I sometimes wish I could buy edited movies and that they would be made available like edited CDs.

    I often go check out new movies and what Plugged In has to say about them before I make a decision to go see one. I find the assessments to be very fair and accurate, and helpful in my decision making.

    The Trust Walk

    Robin was teaching a lesson to the young children yesterday at church. He is a gentle man, gifted teacher, and fun. At one point he led the two kids in his class on a trust walk. Both girls, Ana and Anna, were blindfolded and received instruction from Robin. He led them around the classroom as they were hanging onto each other's shoulder.

    Then it came time for the trust fall. As Robin stood behind Ana, he placed his hand on her shoulder. Both girls were still in blindfolds and listening to his instructions. He said "Ok, now fall backwards and I will catch you." Ana fell back into Robins arms.

    Then Robin noticed that Anna too, fell backwards, but no one was there to catch her! She went down with a thud!


    Anna "whimpered a bit" but was okay. I'm not sure she will ever do the trust fall again though!

    Robin blames it on bad instruction, and I just laughed and laughed. I can just imagine that gentle man standing there catching one girl and noticing that to his right, the little girl falling without him there to catch her! It must have scared him so bad, let alone poor little Anna! LOLOLOL Everyone was ok though.

    Robin says I'm getting way too much mileage out of that! LOLOL

    Sunday, June 20, 2004

    The Abyss and the Holy Spirit

    We had another member of our PLT (Pastoral Leadership Team) give the message today. That's all part of the "team" approach of our church...We have messages from different leaders of our church all the time. Our lead pastor does most of the messages, but I'd say maybe 2 of every 5 messages are done by other leaders within the church. Keeps things fresh!

    Today, Rob gave a GREAT message. I want more time to absorb it, but one thing I want to share is about an illustration that I thought perfectly captures what a church is sometimes guilty of.

    Have you ever seen the movie The Abyss? In it there is a diving scene. The diver needs to go down to great depths, the abyss, and this is a problem because the pressure of the water will crush his lungs and he will die. The solution? A super-oxygenated liquid that the diver "breathes". The diver is suited up and the helmet attached at which time the liquid begins to fill his helmet. The theory is that we all breathed liquid once in the womb, and "he'll remember". As the diver begins to force the liquid into his lungs he has to fight the body's natural reaction to choke, gag, and get out of the "danger" situation. He thrashes around and looks to be in great distress. The diver is in much discomfort attempting to breathe the oxygen in liquid form, and his body instinctively tried to avoid it.

    Rob said that is what we sometimes do with the Holy Spirit.

    We thrash around avoiding that which we know is good for us. We fight it every step of the way. His message was somewhat convicting.

    Stephen was the subject of the message today...His fearless faith. I'll blog more about that later because it was a very inspirational message. It is a message that needs to be heard by more than who were in attendance at Northbrook today.

    Parenting Class?

    I am seriously considering going to these parenting seminars and getting Anchored.

    Funny thing is, I'm NOT a parent! I'm a not the mom!

    Father's Day

    It is Father's Day. I see this as a day to thank God for the dad He gave to me.

    I've posted about my adoption before (here, and here), but anytime these special days come around to remind me of who my parents are, I can't do that without recognizing how unique it is to be adopted.

    I was a choice. While I've not ever really asked my parents about the process of the adoption, I know that it most likely involved interviews, a lot of waiting and patience, and lots of legal stuff. While they were going through all of that, I was just swimming in fluid doing my best to grow and then after my birth, I just laid around all day waiting to be served! I was pretty selfish as an infant!

    Not my parents. Not my dad. He sacrificed a lot for me. I never knew how much goes into raising kids until I had Katie's kids come to live with me. It's tough. Even though I am not their parent, I recognize that at least during this season of life, I am responsible for them to some extent and I have an obligation in their growth, simply because I am an influence in their lives every single day. Because of my experience with them, I have come to a new understanding of what my parents did for me as I grew, from that first moment they took me home to live with them.

    Katie recently wrote this:

    Biblical Qualities of a Good parent

    A good father provides nurture to his wife and family. He loves and respects the mother of his children. He is faithful and sets and example of God's intention for marriage which reflects His relationship with the church. The marriage is supposed to be a complete picture of the relationship He has with His bride, the church.

    A good father is a man with Godliness, integrity, commitment, faithfulness, and love for his family. He is a provider and a protector. He sees that the children's mother has her needs met emotionally, physically, and spiritually. He does the same for his entire family. He seeks God's wisdom in all that he does. He cares for his children in the same manner. He is a man the children can look up to and learn about God's love through him. He sets an example for his children to follow that reflects God's character.

    A good father is not lazy, he is kind, he is thoughtful, and hard working. He puts God first with his family sure to follow. He is self-sacrificing, dependable, strong in His faith, and a strong spiritual leader in his family. He spends quality and quantity time with his wife and children as he nurtures them. He is loved and respected by his wife and children for the man of faith that he is. He is a man to be cherished.

    My dad provided nurture for me and my entire family. He loves and respects my mom and next week they celebrate their anniversary. He was the spiritual leader in our house growing up and taught me to revere God. He is a man of integrity, exemplifies commitment, and he loves his family. He always provided for us, and still does. He made sure that my mom was taken care of, and even took in Gram (my maternal grandmother) after Granddad died. She still lives with them today! Some thirty years! Dad taught me to make informed decisions and to be very careful with them. Heck, I still call him with important decisions I need to make...he is wise and discerning.

    Dad went to work everyday. He didn't necessarily enjoy his job, but it is how it provided for the family he loves. Dad is very dependable and trustworthy and I am so thankful that he was so selfless as to adopt me!

    I love my dad and I wish him the very best Father's Day, because he deserves it.

    Happy Father's Day dad! I love you! (I'm assuming mom will have dad read this! LOL)

    Saturday, June 19, 2004

    The Neighbor Kid

    One thing I can't stand, I mean, literally can NOT stand is the screeeeeeetch of a metal fork against a dinner plate. I cringe. My teeth hurt. It takes me a minute to gain my composure. It is a most awfully wretched sound that, OH, I can't even think about it to blog it!

    Tonight, we had a few guests for dinner and at one point Katie's utensil scraped against her drinking glass. I cringed. I grabbed at my teeth. I attempted not to fall out of my chair in reaction to that horrid screeeeeeeeeeeetch. One guest is the seven year old neighborhood kid.

    After the incident with Katie's drinking glass, we all had a good laugh at my reaction. The 7 yr old neighbor kid wanted to freak me out again and so he grabbed his fork. Justin, Katie's son, quickly thwarted his attempt and snatched the fork out of the neighbor kids hand. Mind you, we were in the middle of eating dinner and Katie didn't realize what was happening. She scolded her son and said "Why did you just grab his fork and lay it down on the table"? Justin said "he was going to scrape it and freak Sue out" and then the neighbor kid said "oh, I didn't even know I had a fork."

    Kids, they really can be clueless...we had been eating for ten minutes! LOLOLOL and the kid never realized he even had a fork to use until it was intended for use as a weapon!


    Cerulean Studios created a neat program called Trillian. Trillian is an Instant Messaging Client that connects to the "big five". All I need to do is load up Trillian and I am instantly connected to ICQ, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, and IRC.

    Trillian is customizable and archives chat history. (That's what I like so much about ICQ). I was led to this little nifty device which has a FREE download when I applied to join OSF, the community I do Battlefield 1942 in.

    I like Trillian.

    Friday, June 18, 2004

    Employment Blues

    Well, today I went to take a test to determine if I can handle becoming a bank teller. Keep in mind that I have been a bank teller before at two different banks. Since my last teller job, I have graduated with honors from our local community college. (I'm not saying this to brag, it's part of the point I'm making.)

    When I applied for my first bank teller job, I had originally applied for a position as a receptionist. Just for the heck of it, they asked me to take the teller test and I passed with flying colors. As a result I became a bank teller.

    Today I took the same test again. I thought that I did well. Until I arrived at home to receive emails telling me not once, but FOUR TIMES that I did not get the job! (Wow, I must have done rather poorly if they felt they had to tell me FOUR TIMES that I didn't get the job!!!)

    So, with no experience and nothing more than a highschool diploma, I landed a bank teller job...TWICE! Then, I go through three years of torture in college, attain my degree, AND I CAN'T GET A JOB THAT I GOT WITH NOTHING MORE THAN A HIGHSCHOOL DIPLOMA!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am trying to convince myself that this is simply because I am over qualified. Yes, that's it! I am OVER qualified. There. I feel much better now. :)

    Thursday, June 17, 2004

    I'm Becoming VERY Concerned!

    A shooting at the mall. The police pursues an alleged thief at high speeds toward downtown. One police officer dead. No details on the condition of the suspect. Breaking News @


    I'm becoming very concerned!

    **UPDATE** More on the Officer Killed ** UPDATE **

    **UPDATE** More on the Chase and some heroism from Mall Employees **UPDATE**

    Christians and Voting

    Craig at Avoiding Evil asks, Do Christians and Churches Have a Role to Play in the Electoral Process?

    I already know this answer...YES!

    Every American has a role as a citizen to vote. It blows my mind how Americans take this privilege for granted! I can't understand it!

    I love voting. When it's time to go to the polls, I will walk in and sign in. I feel pride when I vote. Not for me, but for my country. I have a voice. I really do. I can elect, or at least vote for, a person who best represents me to sit in office and decide policies.

    Heck, anybody in any country that has the freedom to vote has a wonderful privilege and it is a shame not to take advantage of it.

    Go register to vote! Then get out there on election day and have your say!

    On election day I feel proud to be an American.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    An Encore Presentation

    In case you missed it during it's first run, we now present an encore presentation of Henry the Egg:

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Ask God to Reveal

    I'm going through the Experiencing God study right now. This study is excellent! I've completed once before, as well as started it a second time, and now I'm doing it again. It really is helping me to focus on renewing my love relationship with the Lord.

    Anyone who has done in-depth Bible study with a workbook knows that at the end of each days study there is a phrase that says something like "Review today's lesson. Pray and ask God to identify one or more statements or Scriptures that He wants you to understand, learn, or practice."

    Sometimes when I get to the end of the lesson, I understand the point and really can't share about what I just learned. I already had learned the principle being taught and this was simply a review for me. Is it possible to do a study and not have anything new revealed in a chapter here and there? I believe there is always something to learn from studying scripture, but is it possible that during one part of the study, there isn't something new to gain for someone who already understands a certain particular principle?

    So, I sit there frustrated that I am not really responding to a lesson. I guess I need to recall the principle and put it into practice!

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    Online Status Indicator

    I've noticed many bloggers have instant messaging programs and will indicate that on their blogs. I found some indicators at and have added them in my menu on the left.

    There are a few different icon choices for indicators and it was very easy to add to my template.

    Feel free to contact either Katie or me whenever and if ever!

    YAY! Another Gig!

    I just got a call to play for a church service on July 4th. Pays too!


    We're Accepted!

    Sisters' Weblog: It Bloggles the Mind! has been accepted!

    Thank you, thank you....

    *with tears* We love you all! *sniff*

    We Spread the Word

    Monday, June 14, 2004

    Picking Up Pieces

    I haven't posted in awhile so I thought I'd update on the heartbreak situation. After a couple of weeks of mourning, I realized that Adam had one of Sue's cd's. So, I had to make arrangements to get it back. I was going to do it through the mutual friends who introduced us, but then I thought, "I'm a grown up. I can handle this." So, I arranged to meet with him. We talked on the phone for awhile and then talked for about a half hour when we met. We agreed to keep in touch and he told me I could keep a couple of his books a bit longer until I finished reading them. So, I thought it went very well and that it was a good thing that we could still be friends.

    Over the two weeks that have passed since then, we have exchanged a few emails but as each email comes, he seems to show less and less interest in anything I have to say. This leaves me to conclude that his attitude towards our friendship has become that of which it was toward our dating relationship. As a result my heart is getting broken twice by the same person. I may be reading more into it than I think but somehow, I think I am right on target. I think I am finally arriving to the point of being ready to walk away from all of this.

    My church SaLT group prayed with me last night and offered me much concern and comfort. I am so blessed with so much love from so many people. Why do I suddenly feel such a need for male counterpart in life??? Because I am created that way. (Get a copy of David Gushee's book, "Getting Marriage Right" and you will understand where I am coming from) However, my desire for a Godly husband (helpmeet) is not going to become the focus of my life from this point on if I can help it. Sure, Adam and I "seemed" to be a match made in heaven. But, were we? Apparently, we do have some MAJOR issues that challenge that idea. Then again, everybody keeps telling me that the timing is just not right...whatever.

    I believe God is answering the prayers of His saints as they help me pick up the pieces of my heart and lay them at the feet of Jesus for complete restoration. I know healing is taking place and soon I will be restored...even better off than I was before (better, stronger...faster?...maybe not faster but definately better and stronger..and perhaps even a little wiser).

    I feel stronger today and a bit more confident that I am healing. It didn't start out that way this morning but after "Henry the Egg", it's kinda hard to feel gloomy!!!!

    I love my best friend. I do know without a shadow of a doubt, that OUR coming together (as different as we are) was definately God's plan for both of us!

    Where would I be otherwise??? I have so many things to be joyous about. I have so many blessings to celebrate. Funny how a broken heart can overshadow all the good that surrounds a person. I can't wait to be completely restored!!!


    You are my strength, my help in this time of trouble. In my weakness... you are making me stronger! I praise You because I know that You will restore beauty from the very small portion of ashes that is overshadowing my life at this that I can be a strong instrument in Your hands once again. I know you are rebuilding the ruins in my life. Somehow, Lord, I know that you will use this for Your glory. I do know that you will work this out for good...somehow. I praise you for calling me Yours. Make me Your glory, Lord.

    I lay all the visitors to this site at your feet today. I pray that you will make Yourself real to them and meet their needs spiritually and physically. As for those who do not know you...well,I lay them at your feet as well...that you would lift the veil that blinds them from seeing how much they need you...that they would seek the salvation you offer. Thank you for giving your life...for freedom's sake. For my sake. In the name of your Son, who gave His precious life so that I might live I pray.


    The Minority Mentality

    I read a post over at | bothering people since 1981 that I found very interesting.

    In it Ambra says:

    " strikes me how warped our perception of race and ethnicity is in this country. Here we call people of color "minorities" when in actuality the application of that term ceases to be true in the United States. From a larger perspective however, I often wonder how it is that others call me a "minority" when the majority of the rest of the world has melanin closer to my shade."

    I have been reading her blog for awhile now and I am often impressed at the intelligence of this young woman. Her perceptions of life and life's events have caused me at times to take a step back and look at things through a new lens.

    She goes on to explain what the "minority mentality" is:

    "The "minority" mentality is one that has plagued many here in the US. It's the mentality that thinks they are alone in their situation; that they need handouts from the government."

    Ambra goes on to explain in further detail what the "minority mentality" is, and why it is detrimental to our society. She talks about what is to blame for this mentality and that:

    "Everyone has within them the capacity to break out, however our system has successfully warped the minds of so many people to think it is impossible. This is the real oppression against which we should be fighting."

    I highly recommend you read the entire post, and then browse around her site for awhile. I think you'll like what you will find.

    Henry the Egg

    Katie cooked breakfast for me this morning. She made me sunnyside-up eggs and toast to go with them.

    The second batch of eggs tasted slightly different so I said "these taste different". Katie replied "I don't know why, I made the second egg the same as the first. I'm Hen-ery the Egg I am!"


    I love a good laugh over breakfast!

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Sunday, June 13, 2004

    Sisters' Weblog Site Rejected

    This is a rejection letter I recieved from We Spread the Word:

    Your link:

    that was submitted to on 11-Jun-2004 has been rejected for one of the following reasons:

    1. Unsuitable content.

    2. Duplicate URL.

    3. Non Christian Content

    4. Invalid URL

    5. No Reciprocal Link On URL Submitted

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Links Manager

    Unsuitable Content? Nah, that can't be it.

    Duplicate URL? Nah, this is a new Christian Site and I've never asked to add this site to it.

    Non-Christian Content? I HOPE this isn't the reason!

    Invalid URL? Nope, that is the correct URL.

    AH-HAH! When I first ask to have the Sisters' link added, the message said "It will be 2-3 weeks before the site is evaluated and added." so I thought I had plenty of time to add the link to We Spread the Word. Guess not, they surveyed this site within 24 hours!

    We Spread the Word is a Christian Directory. Message Boards, Chat, Entertainment news, and a Directory to other Christian sites all categorized by type; Apologetics, Ministries, Missions...etc. Check them out!

    (Hopefully this post we help the Sisters secure a link from We Spread the Word!)

    Saturday, June 12, 2004

    State Funeral in a Religious Cathedral

    New Covenant makes an interesting point in this post about the ACLU wasting "valuable time and money with asinine lawsuits..."

    Friday, June 11, 2004

    Nancy Reagan

    I've heard many stories about the Reagan marriage and I learned that when Ronald would fall on occasion, that Nancy would lift him herself. She wouldn't allow anyone else to help him up. She loved him in sickness and in health and she was determined to care for him until he didn't need cared for anymore.

    I had this thought...Nancy never wanted anyone but herself to lift him, but now, she finally had to yield to Jesus. Jesus has lifted him up.

    Thursday, June 10, 2004

    Courageous Victim

    Kidnappers meet up with their victim in court.

    Last May, one of the mall employees where I work was abducted. This was a very frightening experience for the 65 year old woman I'm sure. It has we who work at the mall very concerned about our safety. Yet, this is what I read in today's paper about her seeing the accused, two boys ages 14 and 15, in court today.

    ''I told them, 'they could still live a Christian life and to turn to the Lord and he will be your savior,''' said Barron in a phone interview with The Jackson Sun. ''We looked at each other in the eyes and one of them started crying.''

    I'm not sure I would have thought to say that to the accused.

    I would like to think that I would have, and I hope I never have the opportunity to find out under those circumstances.

    The Living Room

    Warren saw some things over at the Living Room that he didn't appreciate and he said so. What do you think?

    Wednesday, June 09, 2004

    Reflections on the Reagan Ceremonies

    I wasn't too interested in the ceremonial aspect of the processions and activities swirling around the funeral of Reagan. As I was surfing the WWW I hear the goings on on the tv in the living room. We only have one station that we can watch because that is all that picks up with the antennae. It is an ABC affiliate, so I occasionally hear Peter Jennings offering up some explanation of what is going on, and now and then I'd hear Barbara Walter's voice break in. I wasn't really paying attention until I suddenly heard applause and cheering.

    I thought am I hearing applause? I did not expect applause at any time through this. That caught my attention so I went into the living room to see what was going on.

    The last time I saw any part of a state funeral was during the reshowing of the broadcast of Kennedy's funeral. I was not yet born when Kennedy was laid to rest, but I remember sitting with my parent's and watching a show on tv. I must have been 6 or 7 years old, which would make sense because my feeling is that what I was viewing was a rebroadcast of the events of 1963 on it's tenth anniversary, which would have made it 1973. I remember first learning about the Kennedy assassination and the whole Oswald/Ruby thing during that documentary. I remember the images of the funeral procession...I hear the drum cadence, the bugle playing Taps, and watch the precision of the military men attending the casket. I remember hearing the clop of the horses. It was during all that ceremony that my dad explained to me that the military men I was watching were trained to do this stuff for funerals. That was mind boggling to me as a kid, the fact that people were actually trained for funerals.

    So, when I entered the living room and turned my attention to the tv screen, I saw all those things again, only this time in color. Red, white and blue. I was hearing applause and wondered who the heck was clapping and cheering at a funeral! Then I saw Nancy waving at the people lining the processional route. She looked so dignified and beautiful. Physically older and weaker, but emotionally strong. Her countenance reflected confidence, dignity and strength. I heard a person in the crowd shout "God bless you Nancy!" and she was saying something to the people. I finally saw that she was saying "thank you." All the people were acknowledging this former First Lady and giving her so much support during this difficult time of saying goodbye to the love of her life. I was deeply touched by the scene playing out before me.

    I sat down to watch more coverage. I saw the riderless horse, Sgt. York. Seeing that horse makes such a bold statement...a fallen president. Reagan's actual riding boots were in the stirrups, in reverse, and I understand that is to symbolize that the warrior will never ride again. Peter Jennings explained that they are turned to the rear to symbolize that the commander in chief is looking back at the troops he will never again lead, or something like that.

    The other scene that sticks with me is when the military begins making the ascent up the 99 steps of the capital building. Nancy is waiting, it seems to be, maybe one level below the entrance. I couldn't really tell, but the military men in perfect precision carry the casket up those steps and as they reach the level where Nancy is, they turn to their right in unison. Nancy is seen leaning toward the flag draped casket and at the precise moment, she takes a step and reaches out to touch the casket which holds the body of her beloved husband. Oh my heart!

    As I watched the cameras pan the crowds and I saw all the pomp and circumstance that attends a state funeral I started thinking about Ronald Reagan. He's not even there. While people are celebrating his life, going through all the ceremonies that surround death, Reagan is not even there. People are "paying their respects", as they should, and the military is performing ceremonial duties to perfection and Reagan is not there. Flags are flying at half staff. Taps is resounding over the hills in DC. Twenty-One Gun salutes punctuate the quiet of mourning. The clip clop of horses in a procession and the snappy precision of men in uniform tell all who witness this event that a very important person has died. I hear words like Cassion, Cortege, and "lying in state". These are not words I use everyday, if ever, and it symbolizes, at least to me, again, that someone of importance is dead. Reagan participated in the planning of his funeral, and that started in 1981 shortly after he took office. While we are merely spectators to this ritual, Ronald Reagan is looking into the eyes of his Savior. While we are mourning, he is probably dancing!

    Katie's First Audioblog

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Cell Phones

    I've ranted about cell phones before and how people come into my store and never really acknowledge the customer service they receive because they are too involved in their phone conversation.

    Cell phones are known to cause havoc on our roadways, then again, one could argue that CD players, McDonald's, and pets do too.

    Here is another rant; one assumes that cell phones allow us to keep in touch with fellow man. If you aren't able to contact them at home, or work, try the cell phone.

    I just tried to call Katie on her cellphone to have her contribute her first audioblog, but when I dialed I immediately heard strains of Bizet, midi-style, resounding from the kitchen table directly behind me.

    *rolling eyeballs into back of head* Why does she have a cell phone if I still can't reach her?

    My First Audioblog

    this is an audio post - click to play

    JTG-My Fair Lady

    Special Announcement:

    Jackson Theatre Guild casts Katie B. in a supporting role as Mrs. Pearce, the housekeeper of upper class professional bachelor, world famous phonetic expert, Henry Higgins.

    Katie is excited to have the opportunity to sing, dance and act on stage in a city-wide production. This is her very first "big" production, so it is cause for celebration!

    I'm excited for her! I hope she has a lot of fun!

    Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    Adding to the Blogroll and Various Other Things

    I've added to my blogroll after trimming some abandoned blogs or blogs I wasn't reading often enough to warrant them staying in my roll. Usually the only time I remove a blog is when updates don't happen frequently enough for me. Give me a couple of posts a week at least.

    Some of these blogs I happened by while using some of the new Blogger features that crosslinks bloggers with similar interests. It's been fun finding some new reads and I thought I'd pass along some links for those of you looking for something new too.

  • Christian Reflections
  • Crystal offers her thoughts on Bible teachings. Part teaching, part devotional, part thought provoking.

  • Isaiah 61
  • Donna is a happily married grandmother of five, six if you count the dog. Her writings are full of life's happenings, some good, some not so good, but through it all her faith is unshakable. I find her writings to be very encouraging.

  • Sarah's Stuff
  • Sarah is a 23 year old college student who has a little bit of everything over at her blog. Lyrics, poems, essays on life and she also journals her experiences. It will be fun to follow this blog I think.

  • Working On It...
  • 21 year old Jason is majoring in Elementary Education and has a profound love for God. His thoughts on life experiences are interesting and ponderable.

    So, there are some new places to visit and I'll have fun checking back at those sites as well.

    I added a Google search to my site. It helps when I try to find posts that I know I've written and can't seem to find. It's a feature I use at times on other blogs, and I have used the Pico Search on mine for awhile. I finally found the code for the Google Search and like it much more!

    Update on the A/C at started working on its own. It was nice and cool when I went in this morning. The A/C repair guy can't figure out why it quits and starts on its own. Aliens I think. He's got it hooked up to an EKG or something now to "monitor" it. I just love that the repair bills are coming out of my budget, when so far, nothing has been repaired! This is the third time I've had the dude come out to "fix" it!

    Monday, June 07, 2004

    Comments of the Day

    The below are actual comments heard on my sales floor as people first reacted to the warm rush of air that hit them upon entrance to my store. Today the air conditioning stopped working and temperatures in my store ranged from 81 - 84 degrees.

    "In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost it's hot in here!"

    "Do you have the heat on?" (yes, we make it a habit to turn on the heat during the hot summer months when it's 90 degrees and the humidity is 100+)

    "Is the AC broke?"

    "Is this hell?"

    Some never even made it into the store because as soon as they felt the wave of heated air hit them, they turned around and headed out.

    I have this to look forward to tomorrow. Yippee!

    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    My Fair Lady

    Katie auditioned for "My Fair Lady" today. She did really well and I am proud of her. She had the chance to read for the lead role of Eliza and a couple of other parts. Auditions continue tomorrow. She'll know something on Wednesday.


    "Nail pierced hands they run with blood

    A splitting brow forced by the thorns

    His face is writhing with the pain yet it's comforting to me"



    Saturday, June 05, 2004

    Experiencing God

    Northbrook U will be offering Experiencing God, the study by Henry Blackaby, this summer. This is exciting to me!

    This will be the third time I start this study. The first time I completed it all the way through and it was so great! I loved each minute of the study. It was fundamental in my early Christian walk because it really helped me understand what it means to build a relationship with Jesus Christ. It taught me how to know God's will, and do God's will, by understanding what a relationship with God is. I learned that if I work on a relationship with Jesus, and keep focusing on that, I can't help but be in God's will. It is not that I totally understand everything there is to know about a relationship with God, or the Person of Jesus Christ, but I did learn some helpful things about growing in that relationship.

    A few months after completing the study the first time, I was in a singles group that began the same study. I got through the first hundred or so pages and then moved to TN, so the study ceased and I moved onto to different studies. Experiencing God is so much more interesting and enjoyable to share with a group because you get to share your God experiences as well as listen to others' share theirs.

    Now, after five years, I'm beginning the study again. Already I was reminded that Jesus Christ is a person and it is the relationship that I have with the Person of Jesus Christ that is of utmost importance.

    My first memory verse: John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

    Nothing. "Apart from me you can do nothing."

    Oh, this is going to be great as I rediscover my First Love!


    Don't you hate when a friend calls with a crisis situation and asks for some help. You say, I will check on some things and call you back in a few...and when you call back, that friend doesn't answer!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now I want to know what's going on! Are things under control???

    I guess I will just pray right now!

    Friday, June 04, 2004

    More Bad News out of Memphis - Memphis, TN: Local shares in an article that more than 80% of the schools fail to meet federal and state standards in reading and math.

    The youth are the future.

    What kind of future will it be? It's not looking good for TN.

    So when I rant about the ignorance in the south, the numbers appear to support it.

    The South

    Why does the South have such a problem? In the Memphis Commercial Appeal there is an article explaining the latest statistics from Kids Count, in which TN is ranked 43 in measures of the overall well-being of its children. Arkansas is 44th and Mississippi 50th.

    Thursday, June 03, 2004

    Wasted Day

    I totally wasted this day.

    A day off, and it was supposed to be a God day.


    I awakened with a bad attitude, and it stayed with me all day. Rain didn't help.

    What is wrong with me? I'm so confused.

    Tuesday, June 01, 2004

    Something Wonderful

    I don't understand how I can be so happy like I was on Sunday. So close to God...flying! Not a care in the world all day. Then yesterday and today I am slumping again. I prayed that God would blow my mind today. I prayed that He would do something WONDERFUL! Now I wait in anticipation. I haven't had much to look forward to these days so maybe now I do. I think I'll go out and talk to some university people about furthering my education. I REALLY want to do this! Can a person go to school full time, work part time, and still be a good mom? I am the only parent my kids have and I have no relatives around to help me with them. Maybe I need to start some type of support group that will help single parents with their kids so they can work without having to hand over a paycheck to a sitter. I bet I'll get a thousand suggestions on this one!!!!