Thursday, September 30, 2004

God Knows

In SaLT group last week we explored what the Bible says about God. It's important to know what the Bible says, because if you listen to what people say, you will get a warped view of God. I think most heretical teachings stem from misconceptions about the basic of understanding of Who God is. Not that we can ever know and understand all things about God, but we can study and know what He reveals.



We explored God's communicable attributes; "things that God has communicated about Himself, or things that we share in common with Him". We explored His Being; Spiritual and Invisible. We also explored His moral attributes; Goodness, love, kindness, holiness, peace, righteousness. Where I had the most fun was when we discussed His mental attributes; knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness and faithfulness.



While talking about God's mental attributes we read in the Bible that God has knowledge of "all things actual" (Hebrews 4:13, 2 Chronicles 6:19, Job 28:24, Matthew 10:29,30).



What got me was that God has knowledge of "all things possible" as well!



THAT BLOWS ME AWAY!



1 Samuel 23:11-13



"Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD , God of Israel, tell your servant."



And the LORD said, "He will."



Again David asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?"



And the LORD said, "They will."



So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there."





So, God knows all. He has knowledge of all things past (even though He can choose to forget my trangressions), of all things present, of all things future, and knowledge of things that could happen. This is one of those "debate points" that people could discuss for hours and never answer the questions that inevitably arise, so I'm not even going to try.



For me, it's simple...God knows.



Wow.



My brain would explode if I ponder about all the things God knows about what could happen. In I Samuel 23:11-13 we see David asking God about what will happen if he enters the city. God tells him, so David opts not to go there. I argued that this is how God uses the gift of discernment in believers with that particular gift, but who can explain it? It Bloggles the Mind!



We also talked about God being an eternal being and being present in time...not just the past, or future, but in time at all times. Past, present and future is all now to God. Another mind bloggler, but in that discussion we talked about how patient God is. All Christians are thankful that God is patient with us, but I spoke up and said "well, it isn't difficult to be patient when you are in the now!" That went over well, and everyone chuckled, but then it got quiet as people pondered that for a moment.



Time moves for us. We want things we believe our future holds and we often can't wait to get there. God's existence is outside of measurable time. He exists in each and every moment at the same time. It makes me ponder patience.



Well, now I can't wait for SaLT group this Sunday! Wonder what kinds of discussions will be spawned?



God knows!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

His Word is Alive

The Living Breathing Word of God is Alive!!!



Today I took our pastor's words to heart and began really meditating on scripture. I decided to begin with reading Psalms. This is how God spoke to me in this very short time spent in His Word...



Blessed is the Man....



Psalm 1:2 "But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yeilds its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. WHATEVER HE DOES PROSPERS!!!



This is truly an eye opener for me. It is true too! God gave us His word not to pound his fist with a bunch of rules...but to give us freedom from the consequences of wrong choices. It is a Christian's road map through life! What a gift He gave us and we so take it for granted. If we delight in His law and follow His precepts...then and only then will we prosper!



Paul (our pastor) recieved a Word from God to His people at Northbrook yesterday! And it has been confirmed in my life and time of meditation today.



Recently some very special people in my life caused me to be focusing on delighting myself in the Lord (Ps. 37:4) and seeking first His kingdom and righteousness (Luke 12:31). In doing this...everything else just falls right into place.



My favorite scripture is "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength" (Mark 12:30). Sometimes I get so focused in trying to obey that commandment that I find that I'm trying to do it APART FROM GOD! DAAAHHHH!!! Without a daily dose of His Word to guide me into loving him, how can I?



Today I have been chewing on the words of Psalm 1. I want to chew it until I digest it and it nourishes my soul. This is loving God with all of my heart and mind. My soul will be nourished and I will be stronger spiritually.



It's so simple how it all starts with giving Him time to talk to me daily through prayer and His Holy Word. Like I said before...Oh what a gift God has given us that we take so for granted. He truly does love and care for His children.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Question the Teaching of a Pastor

At church today, I was impressed. One of my pastors, during the message on how important it is to read the Bible, asked "do you go home and read your Bible and look to see if what we are teaching you is Truth?"



He challenged us to not take for granted that what he, or any pastor teaches, is right. It is up to us to read, study, learn and know the Word. He explained that "we try to study and interpret it correctly, but that doesn't mean we are always right. You should always question and look to the Word as the final authority."



Katie said to me "I knew you'd like that part". I chuckled, and she added "if they only knew how often you test what they say!" LOL



I like belonging to a church where the pastor challenges the flock to "test" his teaching...and encourages us to study and know the Word. I like having pastors who do not claim to know it all. I like the accountability that goes along with that...and the humility. I even enjoy the responsibility that is given to each Christian in the congregation to study and know the Word.



Below is a very cute file of a special little girl in our church who is around two years old. She has already made learning the Bible a priority in her life.



Click HERE to hear her recite the books of the New Testament. You just have to see this! I can't even do that!

I Don't Do Pink

Normally I would never buy anything pink...but, today I bought these pink and white M&Ms from Kroger.



I posted about these before here. At the time I didn't have confirmation about the pink and white M&Ms, but I DO NOW! So, I ask that you go buy some to help fund research on breast cancer. Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for making it all possible!



You can also help by clicking the button below to visit the Breast Cancer Site and clicking through...it doesn't cost anything. Thanks for your help!







Oh, I should explain the title of this post. Pink is a color I associate with "girlie girls", and while I am all woman, I am not the most feminine of women, and therefore I usually say "I'm not pink!" when it comes to things like painting toenails, having makeovers, and primping.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

When My Heart Stops Update II

The monitor came off today. I have an appointment in about two weeks to get the results from that and from the blood tests. The doctor told me if there was anything urgent that she would notify me sooner, so I asked "so, if it looks like I'm going to grow an antler, you will let me know?" and she said "yes, that would be something urgent." LOL



Thank you to everyone for your well wishes and prayers!



Irene, I am at peace about all this. I know it will all work out and if for some reason during one skip, my heart doesn't restart...well, I have hope for my eternity so, oh well. Bummer if it doesn't start again. I just hope to avoid any pain! LOL



Marc, you make me laugh! I almost had a car wreck on my way to work today too! I think that monitor is going to register a huge BLIP at that moment! LOL



Rob, yes, I remember reading about your health issues awhile back and I'm glad to hear that your symptoms have ceased. That's good news!



In talking to a few different people, I have learned of some other women who have experienced this same kind of heartbeat skipping. Turns out it was really nothing in the long run and corrected itself. Apparantly this is more common than I thought. Who knows. I'm gonna do what the doctor says, and all is in God's hands.



I do have to say though that it is easy to take for granted that your heart beats. One really takes notice when it stops!



Thank you God for each beat of my heart today. It keeps my body alive, but You are my Lifesource!

When My Heart Stops Update

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes.



Irene, I am at peace about it. So, my heart stops now and then. No fear. I have hope for an eternal future, so if it doesn't start back up...bummer.



Marc, you make me laugh! The reports from the doctor I will get in about two weeks. I almost had a car wreck on the way to work and wonder if that's gonna show up as a giant BLIP on the device! LOL



Rob, yeah, I remember reading about your health issues. I'm glad your symptoms went away.



So, here's the update: I have an appointment in two weeks by which time the results of blood tests and the holter monitor records will be in and evaluated...hopefully...I know how these medical things can go. As I share with people here, I am learning that a lot of other women have suffered the same thing. They say that it happened to them, and it just went away eventually. So, I'm not panicking at all. I figure all will be well.



I do have to say though that it is so easy to take your heartbeat for granted. I never thought about it until it stopped.



Thank you God for each beat of my heart today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Big Brother is Watching

I just got back from the doctor. I went because my heart keeps skipping beats. A skip now and then is no big deal, but the fact that I can miss several beats in a matter of minutes is not cool. I thought it wise to get it checked out.



The doc took blood to run tests that should come back next week. Blood pressure is normal so that's fine. Today I am sitting here blogging with a halter monitor attached to me. It is recording every beat of my heart now baby...ummmmmm, I think I've heard that in a song before. Well, maybe not quite like that. Anyway, it is weird knowing that each beat of my heart is being recorded...like Big Brother or something.



Hopefully it is nothing serious and I will live past this week.



I did get an email from an old manager of mine today. He went to the doctor maybe two years ago with what he thought was gastric reflux and it turned out to be major cancer. He is dying and enduring chemo treatments until "they don't work anymore". He is hoping to be around for a year or so, but apparantly his prognosis is only a few more months. I'm praying for him. I hope that I am able to go visit him next spring when I plan to attend a friend's wedding. Cancer is evil.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Scripture

Katie and I decided not to read the bible all the way through this year, but instead use our study in whatever was going on at church. A lot of study has gone into Acts this year, but I felt it necessary to resume reading of scripture daily because that had waned in my life.



So, a few days ago I started reading from the gospels, randomly choosing some verses.



I will read maybe 3-5 verses of Jesus' teachings. It's nice. I go to bed pondering those couple of verses, rather than overloading my brain with many verses.



Last night I read about the woman who gave from her poverty. What she gave, "all she had to live on", was more than all the wealth the other's gave. It was a lot more than 10%! Luke 21:3-5



It was convicting. Jesus doesn't ask for 10%, He asks for all we have.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friendster Survey

Borrowed this from Jax's Place.



1. DREAM NAME:

I like my name!



2. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE?

A relationship with Jesus Christ that is real and personal.



3. CURRENT CELLPHONE RINGTONE:

no cell phone for me!



4. FAVORITE PLACE IN THE MALL:

FYE! (For Your Entertainment), or the door when I am leaving to go home!



5. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD:

shame



6. FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING:

"am I taking the kids to school today?"



7. MOST EMBARASSING CD IN YOUR COLLECTION:

Chumbawumba "Tubthumping"



8. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME:

I don't think you understand...NO CHILD FOR ME!



9. FAVORITE BAD GUY:







10. BY CHOICE, A TIME MACHINE WILL TAKE YOU WHEN AND WHERE?

Back to my kidhood...softball, marching band, friends...you know, all the pre-bills stuff.





11. IF SOMEONE WAS MADE RULER OF THE WORLD (dead or alive), WHO SHOULD IT BE?

Jesus will rule!



12. IF YOUR PRESENT G/B FRIEND SUDDENLY BECAME YOUR EX?

N/A



13. TV SHOWS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH?

I don't watch tv...



hmmmmmmmm...it seems many of these questions don't apply to an introverted "bump" like me...



14. SONGS THAT MAKE YOU CRY:

Michael Johnson "The Moon is Still Over Her Shoulder"



15. FEEL GOOD SONGS YOU WANNA SHARE?

Rachael Lampa "You Lift Me Up"



16.PEOPLE WILL BE SURPRISED IF:

I got engaged...skip that, they'd be surprised if I had a DATE! LOL



17. ESTIMATED NUMBER OF TIMES YOU EVER PUKED FROM ALCOHOL:

once, that was enough. NO ALCOHOL FOR ME!



18. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS?

My framily to be happy, and me to have a day off.



19. WHAT'S GONNA BE YOUR WEDDING SONG?

Paul Stookey "There is Love", and I'll get "How Great Thou Art" in there somewhere for sure!



20. DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL SATURDAY NIGHT IN VIVID DETAIL:

If it's not work, it's surfing the Net. How much detail you want?



Surf the Jackson Sun forums...

A ton of news sites...

My blogroll....

OSF forums



Maybe play a few maps of Battlefield 1942.



21. WHAT SONG ALWAYS GETS YOU IN A ROMANTIC MOOD?

Basia "Olive Tree", it's playful and I imagine hugging an olive tree thinking of "you".



21.YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER YOU WANT TO RECEIVED FROM YOUR GF/BF?

Can it be flour? For chocolate chip cookies? If not, I'll take a red rose.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Jim Brickman Concert

Katie and I went to see Jim Brickman perform at The Ned last night. As expected, it was a very fun evening of laughs and wonderful music. He is a great entertainer and his music is so melodic and romantic.



When we arrived, there was a reception that started at 6pm. It was fancy and NOT my kind of thing. Katie flourishes, mingling with the "ritzy", where I am more comfortable being a wall flower, or rather, a "wall weed". LOL Katie said "I'm here to help you bloom!" LOL



Well, we arrived early and the hors d'oeuvre were being served. I politely said "no thank you" (food phobia) and Katie grabbed one up. Something called sun-dried tomato somethingoranothers. Katie took a bite and I watched for a reaction. She smiled, looked directly at me and said "These are absolutely horrible but I'm going to make like I'm enjoying it." LOL I said "there's a garbage can, throw it away!" and she said "I'm not throwing away high class food" to which I responded "but it's okay to throw away 'low class' food?" LOL



A young man we met when we first arrived came over to join us in conversation which is fine for Katie, but not for an introvert like me. She has no problem with talking, NONE AT ALL, and so we all three shared in some conversation about all the "high class" people here. I said "I feel very out of my element" but Katie said she didn't since she "owns a business". LOL I said, well, you've come along way since living in that trailer!" and she said "YOU lived in the trailer, I lived in the house without a roof!" LOL At that point she shared the story about the house that needed some roof repair. The landlord had removed all of the shingles, and then came the downpour. Water came through the roof, through the first floor, and right into the water gathering on the basement floor. It wasn't pretty. The young man just kept laughing at us playing off of each other and said "you guys sure must have a lot of fun!"



Now and then Katie would leave to go socialize with some other people that she saw and recognized. That was always uncomfortable because I just stand there and really don't find much to talk about with anyone. I think the young man felt awkward too, like those scenes in the movies where people at the party don't know what to say or do and you simply stand there looking around, feeling like you are standing out like a sore thumb, and looking stupid.



It was funny trying to fit in with the glitz and glamour of the evening. I NEVER fit in with glitz and glamour, but Katie seemed to be having a ball. We were being so silly and at one point we decided this is like being Laverne & Shirley when they were let out of the brewery! LOL



It was finally time to be seated so we went in to the theater. Jim Brickman came out and began to play and Katie seemed to really enjoy what she was hearing. He has neat stories to share about the songs he wrote or various other things that are funny. He said "Thanks for coming out to the Ned tonight, 'The Ned', hey, that's cool...the Ned. If ever a building is named after me, I hope that they call it 'the Jim." LOL



So we sat and listened to his wonderful piano music and then he brought out Tracy Silverman, an electric violinist. Boy! That was an unexpected treat! Great! Check out some of Silverman's stuff here! He added a really neat dimension last night and I was thoroughly impressed. He could make that thing sound sweet as a Strad, and in a matter of seconds, have it wailing some Hendrix. It was amazing and different. I was blown away by what I heard out of that violin!



At one point I turned to Katie to say something and she turned to me at the same time. We almost bonked heads! So we immediately turned and started laughing! It's a good thing we were in the last row or we probably would have distracted anyone sitting behind us!



At intermission Brickman asked us to fill out cards with the basic name and address information, but on the cards was also a place to "Ask Jim a question". I filled out a card for Katie (hehe) and turned it in. When it came time for the question/answer session during the second half of the show, Jim pulled randomly the card I filled out. He said "from Katrina in Humboldt...Hi Katrina". Now, Katie had NO IDEA I had put her name on the card! LOL So she was a bit stunned! LOL When he said "Hi Katrina" Katie kind of sheepishly responded "hi" and slumped in her chair. LOL It was funny! Anyway, her (or my) question was "how about playing some of those jingles?", so Brickman said "oh, so I come to Jackson to perform romantic piano music and what do they want to hear but dog food commercials!" LOL It got a great laugh from the audience and Katie leans to me and said "thanks for putting my name on a very entertaining part of the show!" LOL He then performed a medley of some of his jingles including Pontiac, Hallmark, and "don't treat your puppy like a dog dog dog, feed him puppy chow!" LOL The audience loved it! Later he did some of his Sesame Street letter jingles because someone asked him to...especially for the "Letter D". It was so much fun! One woman on her card said "I don't have a question, I just wanted to thank you for birthing our two kids." LOL It sounds funny, but his music is very relaxing and has such pretty melodies that people use it to accompany life changing events like marriage, and even music for the delivery room. He made some humorous remarks about that too...like "well, I'm glad I could help. It's Dr. Brickman to you. I hope that the three of us enjoyed it, or four? I'm assuming your husband was there of course." LOL



What makes Jim Brickman so entertaining is the way he interacts with the audience. He plays wonderful piano and has a neat way of communicating stories to the listener. It's as if the family is gathered around the piano at home and enjoying each other's company while sharing fond memories and delightful music. If you ever have a chance to hear/see Brickman, I recommend you go. You won't be disappointed.



Here are some quick samples of his music"



Angel Eyes - this melody was his first "hit", or at least the song that was among the first that radio took notice of.



Hero's Dream - this melody was used by NBC for the Olympic's incidental music (background music, sets a mood) in 1998.



Love of My Life - Michael W. Smith sings on this hit. A beautiful love song that many couples have performed at weddings.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

VIP Pictures

Here are the pics of Katie and Sue, Jackson, TN's newest VIPs:



Sue playing "Ring of Fire"






Katie at the WRAP Butterfly Release






Katie as "Mrs. Pearce" in My Fair Lady






Thanks Ma! (She scanned the pics since I no longer have a scanner since I upgraded to XP a year ago and couldn't update the drivers.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Clock Ticks

Isn't it weird how when you are sitting in the dark, and everyone else is in bed sleeping (where you should be too), and all is quiet...that the clock ticks?



Between ticks I imagined eternity...when I would be sitting in the dark, and everyone else is in bed, and all is quiet.



No clock.



No ticking.



Silence.



Peace.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Financial "Windfall" and Jim Brickman

Time to pay the mortgage. I hate that. That's a large chunk of paycheck...actually, a large chunk of two paychecks.



I'm in the process of refinancing my home because I'm trying to get my payments lowered and with the interest rates as low as they are, I wanted to use this opportunity. So, I contacted a rep and all is getting handled. That happened over a month ago and I was getting impatient wondering what all is going on with it. I finally got a call today and it seems that because it was "taking so long", the rates dropped another .25% from my original quote, so my payments will be lowered even more! YAY! Also, I was told not to pay my September or October payment, since they have been figured into the new loan. So, that is a bit of financial relief!



Also, I did decide to splurge. I told Katie that if ever a certain entertainer/musician person came to town, we were going. Well, Jim Brickman will be here on Thursday. I looked at tickets the other day, but they were too pricey. They are still pricey, but with a bit of the financial burden lifted this month, I thought...what the hey! I bought the tickets and we are going! My co-worker was also kind enough to swap days with me to make it possible for me to go. YAY! I think Katie will really enjoy his show and I'm sure she will be calling herself a "Brickhead" in no time!



I originally saw him in Des Moines, IA in 1999 when I got a pair of free tickets from the label rep. I didn't know much about him or his music then and I wasn't sure what to expect at his show. I was totally enthralled by his talent and his charm, and his ability to entertain. I learned that night that I grew up just "down the road" from him near Cleveland, OH. If Jim Brickman heads to your area, I recommend that you go see him. It will be a wonderful evening for you and a spouse. I'm sure Katie is bummed that she's going with me and not a spouse, but who knows...maybe someday she'll find someone special to take her to see America's Newest Romantic Piano Sensation! Well, not so "new" anymore, he's quite established, but back in 1999 that was his running "hook" line through his performance.



So, Katie and I are going to see, and hear, Jim Brickman at "the Ned" on Thursday. Woohooo!

News From Iraq

Very humorous!



News Report From Iraq

These Days

Things are going very well for me these days. A lot going on to keep me busy and its just nice to have things going fairly smoothly.



Katie was all excited to have the latest edition of VIP Jackson Magazine hit the streets. VIP Magazine is a magazine that highlights the happenings in Jackson, TN and is loaded with pictures of the people associated with the different events. She was anxiously awaiting to see if she made the "cut" and would be a "VIP" because of her role as Mrs. Pearce in the Jackson Theater's Guild production of My Fair Lady. So the magazine finally came out and she called to tell me I was a VIP too! LOL Katie was pictured twice, once as Mrs. Pearce and another time as a WRAP ( Women's Resource and Rape Assistance) Volunteer at the Butterfly Release, which is a fundraising event for WRAP.



Katie called to tell me that I was pictured playing my trumpet on stage at the Rockabilly Festival with the Johnny Cash Band. I didn't expect that at all! I didn't notice my picture being taken! I'm happy about it though because I think Mom was a little diappointed that I didn't take initiative to make sure I got some pictures of this event in my trumpet playing career. I'll be sending Ma the magazine and maybe she'll scan the shots of us and I'll post them here. It's fun being a VIP!



I have a business opportunity that I am looking into. I'm stuck as to how to go about things financially though so I'm going to have to contact someone who knows something about loans/grants to start up a small business.



Things at work are going very well. I've hired in some new people and I'm working hard to train, which can be stressful, but tasks have slowed for a bit and that allows me time to focus on training. I should be all set for the holidays and that feels good. We are having so much fun! It helps that I am reminding my people that they are in fact working for a VIP! LOL NOT! Yesterday I even took time to clean and "sterilize" the bathroom/backroom. I used bleach. Bummer that I splattered in on my black pants!



I picked up my music for Pines of Rome the other day. I am performing with the offstage brass on September 25th with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. I feel so blessed that I am getting these opportunities to play again. I also have another opportunity to play for a local church during a praise and worship service. I have a blast doing that! The Jackson Area Community Band starts up next week, so that is something else I'll be involved in musically.



I joined the management team at church. This is a team that is responsibile for decisions regarding the church, especially finances. I've been asked to participate as a kind of "liason" for the HOOP Fund, between the guy that "runs" that fund, and the management team. The HOOP Fund stands for "Helping Our Own People" and was started up years ago by a member. This fund is revolving and is there to help members financially when it is needed. I figure this is the place where God wants me to use my gifts of discernment and wisdom. I'm excited to see how God will use me on this team!



That is about all the news about my life I can think of at the moment. I'm still catching some time here and there to play Battlefield 1942...I just have so much fun playing that with the guys of OSF! Woohooo!



Well, I'm off to get ready to go take on the day!



Remember "When we walk in His light, the lost will see Him more!"

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remember 9/11

This is one of the best memorial tributes I have found online. It might take a while to load up, but it's well worth it. It will bring back those feelings you had on September 11, 2001. Remembering is important so we don't allow this to happen again.



It will remind you to pray.



Remember 9/11





Below is an "edited" reprint of a post from 9/11/02:



It's 9/11 2004. Three years later. September 11. It used to be just another day. I mean, pick one...does November 9th mean anything to you? What about February 27th? August 18th? September 11th. We all remember what we were doing at the moment we heard the news. It impacted us all that day. That week. Now, a three years later...we say life isn't the same. How has your life changed? Honestly. How is your life different today, than it was September 10th, 2001? It seemed time stopped for a moment, in shock. Agony. Fear. We took a breath as we reflected on the "important" things in life. But, how are our lives different today? Maybe some things have changed at the airport, but really, my personal life is basically the same as it was September 10, 2001. I have the same job that I love, I have the same roomate and her kids, I have the same family, I have the same daily triumphs and struggles. I know that a great many families suffered loss that awful day, and their lives are being lived without loved ones, but for most of us I believe not much has changed. I thank God for that. I thank God that I live in a country that allows me to worship Him, and a country that takes its freedom seriously. I thank God that He has taken us from September 11th, 2001 to today. I thank God that He is a Comfort to those who suffer. God has blessed America.



I challenge you to think about how you are living your life today. Is it different than it was September 10th, 2001? If not, why? If so, how? Is that a good or bad thing? My life has not changed in any significant way since that dreadful day, and I know why, because my God hasn't changed. He is the same today as He was yesterday, and as He was September 10, 2001. My foundation is in Christ, the Word, and the Word was, the Word is, and the Word will be. Everyone had their world rocked that day the planes hit, but was your foundation shaken? Did your foundation fail? If it did, you built on the wrong foundation.



"Everything works together for the good of everybody who loves God and is called according to His purpose."



-Sue



Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Return of the Passion

A woman came into my store to return a VHS of The Passion of the Christ. When asked why, she told my associate that it was defective and that "a line keeps going through it". No problem, we can exchange that for another Passion.



Nope, she didn't want another one. "I'm sorry, but we can only exchange open/defective merchandise for the same item."



"I can't get my money back?"



"No, I'm sorry, not on open product."



"But it really wasn't what I expected it to be."



The customer followed through and exchanged the VHS and left the store with a brand new copy.



This return/exchange policy is in place and is common in most any retail establishment that sells recordable media. We've really had to crack down on the policy in recent years due to piracy. People buying a CD, going home and burning it, then bringing it back to exchange it for something else. Can't do that anymore!



I had questions after the customer left: Was the original VHS she purchased really defective? and, what did she expect The Passion of the Christ to be?



How is it possible that through all of the media attention that movie recieved prior to its release, and after its release, that one could not have realistic expectations of it? or at least have a clue as to what one would see in the film? I really wonder what she expected it to be? It's the PASSION! PASSION that a mere human can't fathom!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

How Much is that Doggie's Haircut?

Whyzer's new haircut! Posted by Hello





Trying out the new Bloggerbot thingy with Hello that lets me post and send images quickly and securly. I don't send too many pics just yet...but someday when I purchase a high tech digital camera, I just may.

Picture Fun

I told Katie I wanted to take pictures of her so I could play with my pocket digital camera. She was embarrassed that I had her out in the backyard "striking poses"...(but secretly I think she was having fun) ... until she realized the neighbor lady was observing our photo shoot.



Go here to see some of what I was able to capture. I posted them at Yahoo. Not sure, you may need to register/login to see.



Preview:







Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Too Much 9/11 @ the RNC?

There was a post yesterday on the forums at the Jackson Sun, Jackson, TN's local newspaper online. The poster asked the question if there was Too Much 9/11 @ the RNC? after the opening night of the convention.



I replied that I thought that there wasn't too much at all. He didn't answer his own question either way, but after some people respond, he said he would add his two cents.



So, what do you think? You can join the discussion here. I do believe it is possible to post as a guest there so registration shouldn't be a factor, but, I'm not sure.

Shoutfest 2004

Shoutfest 2004 is coming to Jackson, TN! YAY!



Featuring:Tait, Jump5, Rachael Lampa, Petra, Seventh Day Slumber, Overflow, Olivia, Circleslide, One Friday, and evangelist Jarrod Jones!



Too bad that is the same Saturday of my church's Women's Retreat. Drat! I'd love to see Tait and Seventh Day Slumber. Rachael Lampa could be interesting, I really enjoyed her first album, but everything since then has pandered to the "pop" crowd. I hate that.



I hope Jackson supports this one! It will be at the Casey Jones Village Ampitheater which is a decent venue and I am glad to see it being used. Turns out that the weekend after that, some up and coming country music artists will be there: Brad Cotter, Billy Currington and Joe Nichols for the Country Fan Fest.



Maybe there is hope for Western TN culturally? I sure hope so!

Friends

In Jennifer's post I'm Reaching For The Stars she closes by pondering her relationship with some of her friends, "sometimes we get people in our lives who drag us down and we have to close doors with those kinds of people or, at least, not be so close as to fall with them."



She posted this a few months back and I commented on that post with regards to her thought on friends. This started up a discussion and Jennifer eventually asked for some biblical support to what I was saying. I obliged and have been wanting to post it here. I worked hard on it! :-)



My original comment can be found here.



Joe challenged my comment by asking questions like "where do you draw the line with friends in need?" and "if Christians aren't helping these people, who will?". He also observes that "half of the Christian people i know are into risk-free, no-work friendships; many non-Christians are just as bad if not worse with the company they keep."



Here was my well thought out response with biblical references:



Please note: My original statements are italicized. Biblical references are bold. My additional comments are normal font.



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I have always been very selective about my friends. When some people may say that they have five or more "good" friends, I say I have one or two.

It is important to surround oneself with people who edify, not those who tear down. I read a book called "Safe People" once that talked about people who drag others down. It shares interesting insights about these people and helps one to identify relationships that might be "unsafe".




Unsafe people aren't all "toxic", but if being around a person causes a Christian to compromise Godly principles, that person is not safe to spend a lot of time with. You are right to say that we are responsible for our own behavior, that we can't blame another person for what we ourselves do, but why put ourselves into a situation that may lead us to compromise our principles? We are to "flee from temptation".



It calls some people "toxic", meaning that they are not necessarily the safest, or the most edifying people to be in a relationship with.



It is good to help friends in need, but you can't allow that to be to the detriment to oneself.




Proverbs 22

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man,

do not associate with one easily angered,

25 or you may learn his ways

and get yourself ensnared.



Exodus 23

32 Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you."



Mark 9

42"And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. 43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.[1]



2 Corinthians 6

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[1] ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?




The Bible is filled with warnings like those above, teaching us to be selective about with whom to associate. It doesn't say avoid them completely, but warns that close ties with those who can "drag us" down will lead to trouble. The yoking verse applies to close relationships, as in covenantal relationships like marriage, but the principle is consistent. "What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?"



It is difficult to help another person in need if one is not at a healthy place spiritually, physically, or emotionally.



Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.




If we are not healthy spiritually, we must discern why and remove that which is keeping us unhealthy.



I agree that Christians should help others in need even if there is much to sacrifice. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessing.



Acts 2

45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.



1 Timothy 5

7Give the people these instructions, too, so that no one may be open to blame. 8If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.



Proverbs 11

25 A generous man will prosper;

he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

26 People curse the man who hoards grain,

but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.




A Christian will not be of help to anyone if his walk with the Lord is suffering. God works through Christians to accomplish His work, and if we aren't a vessel fit for His presence, we are not usable.



Christians can read the accounts of Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon to know that at times these men were not usable. Abraham and Moses required years and years of character development before they were ready to be used by God. David, the King with the "Heart of God", fell into sin and suffered many consequences for it. Solomon, as wise as he was made grave errors in judgement and that cost him much as well as the people he was leading. While God makes "all things good for those who love Him", we often times delay* the outpouring of His blessing because of disobedience.



Hebrews 13

15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.



Romans 15

26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.




Christians must seek fellowship with other Christians for the purpose of building one another up and for encouragement. We need to support one another. I would agree that it is dangerous to retreat from the world, which is what I see happening with the "Mega Church" trend when actual communities are being built that are exclusive to church members. This is scary to me. If we retreat from the world, we can not be salt and light in it.



Hebrews 10

24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.




There are, however, people who do not want help. There are people who accept help, but continue in their patterns of behavior that are detrimental to themselves and those around them. A Christian needs to be discerning. We need to understand that there is a difference between sacrificing oneself to help another get on their feet, or enabling another to continue in destructive behaviors.



Matthew 10:14

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.




If people are offered help, in this case the gospel, and reject it, move on!



I Thessolonians 4

6and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.



Leviticus 25:17

Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the LORD your God.




Also, we are commanded to not take advantage of one another, nor should we allow others to take advantage of us. I see this in Jesus' teaching to "turn the other cheek". This doesn't mean to lie down and "take it" or to be a "doormat", this teaching is about taking control of a situation, actually it is about giving it to God. If a person demands that you walk a mile, you walk two. That person then has lost their "control" over you and is not able to take you for advantage. It is a spiritual discipline.



Matthew 5:39

But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.



Luke 6:29

If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.




One thing that a Christian can NEVER sacrifice, is his relationship with the Lord.



We can do nothing without the Lord!



John 5:30

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.



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.




I provided biblical references in previous statements that show how Scripture warns us to be discerning about those we choose to associate with. The Matthew verse below explains some consequences of behaving as a "pagan" or a non-believer.



Matthew 18

17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.




This verse speaks volumes to me about a believer who is behaving as a non-believer. We are instructed to do what we can to bring a believer back into fellowship, but if the efforts fail, we are to treat that person as a pagan...a non-believer. This doesn̢۪t mean shun, this means treat with mercy, compassion and love, but the brother/sister relationship is invalid until that person is restored to fellowship, by recommitting to his/her relationship with the Lord.



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Any additional thoughts or comments? Please feel free to add them!



*the word delay replaces the word prolong that I used in the original post. Thanks to Oddy Crist for pointing out my error, which helps to make my point clearer.

Bible Knowledge

I received an email one day from a young gentlemen who was browsing the Internet and happened upon the Northbrook Church website. In his email he was asking a question and I replied with my short answer and also asked if I could post his question online at the Sisters' Weblog. With permission I post:





The topic is "Biblical values and not biblical knowledge is important in a believers life". The topic is put up on debate and any infromation for or against the topic will be recived with gratitude.

Please help me out here.



Hoping to get a reply I remain.



With prayers and christian love,

Fred Jackson.





This was my reply:



Off the top of my head I would say that biblical values are important, if not more important than biblical knowledge. I would have to say that knowing and understanding the facts of the Bible would only enhance ones ability to understand biblical values and apply them to everyday living. Kingdom living. Also, biblical knowlege is something that anyone can "learn". Satan "knows" the bible, yet obviously he takes issue with the values presented in it. Spouting facts and figures, while it can make one a "scholar", does not make one follower of Christ.





What do you have to add to this discussion? Please post in comments.