Saturday, December 25, 2004

One Big Happy Framily!!!!

Today could have been a day where three single ladies could have been very lonely and depressed. A few years ago, this divorced, single lady moved in with one of those other single ladies. Today we invited another single lady who was alone, to join us in celebration of our Savior's birth. None of us has any family here. I have my two kids but no extended family. This Christmas we came together...a single mom with two kids, a single woman who has never been married, and an elderly woman who's children are grown and husband is gone. We were one big happy framily!

If all the lonely people in this world reached out to other lonely people in this world....there wouldn't be lonely people at Christmas.

Miss Virginia and Christmas Blessings


My compliments to the cook, Katie who prepared a fantastic Christmas dinner of ham and all the works! Mmmmmmmm, mmmmmmmmmmm!

When we invited Miss Virginia for dinner, as I shared in the last post, she baked a pecan pie. When she brought it over, it was still hot. What we didn't know at the time is that although it was hot, it hadn't finished baking! LOL Katie finished baking it today and she feared that Miss Virginia would notice that the pie was a bit darker. Miss Virginia came over and saw it and said "I hope it's not too done. My son called while I was baking it and I lost track and I am so worried that it is burned." Katie just said that she put it in the over to warm it and left it a tad longer than she had intended, but that it was not burned. It was a delicious pecan pie and we were blessed that Miss Virginia so appreciated being invited to Christmas dinner that she baked it for the framily.

Miss Virginia arrived for dinner at the 2 o'clock scheduled time. Katie wasn't quite ready to put dinner on the table so Tif and I were left to welcome our guest and commence the conversation. This idea terrified me because I am an introvert and do not do well in situations where I need to chat with people I barely know. I quickly learned that with Miss Virginia I had nothing to fear because when it comes to conversation she has a corner on the market!

We were told many stories, some of them twice. She shared all she knew about the neighbor's vocations and stressed the importance of a good education. She is a retired teacher and had some things to share about that as well. Many of the stories were fun, but the topper was when she shared about her experience as a new mother some fifty odd years ago. She said "I just didn't know what to do with all that poo poo" LOLOLOL "You laugh because you think it's a joke, but we didn't have all this disposable diaper stuff that there is now. We used cloth diapers that we had to hand wash. I didn't know what to do with all that poo poo! Giant piles of poo poo! I didn't have a mother or a father and I had no one to learn from. I remember the nurse giving me a list of things to expect with a newborn and that I read on there to expect 25 poo poos a day" LOLOLOLOL Tif and I busted out laughing so hard! I could barely breathe!

Oh boy that was funny!

Miss Virginia was so excited to have been invited and after dinner she made sure to take some pictures. She loved the tree and kept complimenting Katie on how she decorated the house for Christmas "it the prettiest one on the circle" she'd exclaim. She took some pictures of the framily and we made sure to get her in some of them as well. I'm so glad she accepted the invitation and joined us for Christmas dinner.

It was a great way to celebrate Jesus today, by inviting a lonely person to share a meal with us. On Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Christ, the Savior of the world, whom God sent to us to reconcile man to himself. Through Jesus we are invited to join Him in His Kingdom. Like Miss Virginia had a choice to accept our invitation or not, God too gives us all a choice to join Him. I'm so thankful that I accepted His invitation and all the blessings that come with it.

It has been a merry Christmas with the framily, and I hope that you too, found a way to celebrate Christ's birth in a special way today.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Miss Virginia, Our Very Special Guest

Miss Virginia is an elderly neighbor lady. She lives across the street and is very proud of her magnolia tree that invades the entire front of her yard. The kids like to hide in it, but she usually shoos them away and worries that they may have broken a branch or two. She is quick to nit pick the landscaping of each property in the circle, and watches everything that goes on.

Miss Virginia is the neighborhood lady who always seems to know what is going on with everyone around here. Of course, what she "knows", or shares, isn't necessarily true, or maybe isn't even close to accurate, but she feels it necessary to offer an opinion about it anyway. She is harmless enough, and in conversations with her we usually end up shaking our heads in wonder and show quizzical expressions on our faces. Talking a short while with Miss Virginia, one will soon realize that she is "not all there". Many of her stories don't make any sense, and she will often "remember" things that never happened. It can be somewhat awkward to be around Miss Virginia, but she is a sweet lady with a kind heart.

Recently she mentioned to Katie that her grown children live too far away to visit her and rarely do they come, not even for special holidays. I can't think of a time I have ever noticed visitors at her house, although, I don't usually keep an eye on such things anyway.

This Christmas Katie and I decided to invite Miss Virginia over to share Christmas Dinner with the framily. It was one of those things that honestly, we didn't necessarily want to do, but we knew it was the right thing to do. It is what Jesus would do.

Well, it's amazing what God does as he multiplies blessings for those who choose to follow Him. As soon as she received our invitation, she must have immediately started to work. A few moments ago, Miss Virginia hand delivered a pecan pie, fresh from the oven! Still hot! She left a card with us that blessed us big. It is a simple friendship card, but it is what she shared in it that carries the most meaning. It is the part that affirmed that we did right by inviting her to dinner with us to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

She wrote:

"It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you...everytime you smile and offer your hand" (she quoted it but didn't name the source)

(of course, you do not need this pie, but I have just baked it for you--pecan pies freeze well, for New Years, Valentines, and Easter ~~~)

Then she wrote:

Dear, dear ones...what a nice surprise, and heart-warming gesture with this invitation~~just when I needed it most!!!!

Just when she needed it most! God's timing is perfect! I'm glad we followed His lead!

The card had a scripture that read "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you" Philippians 1:3 and to that Miss Virginia added how she thanked God for the time Katie rescued her from the Exxon when her car broke down. Problem is, Katie never rescued her and neither did I! LOL Who knows if she was ever really broken down! LOL

So, Christmas dinner should be very interesting tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. For the past few holidays the framily has been invited to eat elsewhere, but tomorrow, we shall be the host for a very special guest in Miss Virginia.

It may be the start of a new framily tradition!

Yay! Christmas is Here!

Yay! I just got home from work, ate some Cocoa Puffs, because I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and now I'm relaxing because Christmas is here!

I'm very excited about it...not only is it a day off, it will be a day to share fun and laughter with the framily and celebrate Jesus' birth with scripture reading, a meal together and just some good framily time together.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Spatulatches, the Commercial

Is your home in need of repair, but you just don't have the funds to do it?

or the know how?

Let me present to you a quick and easy solution to a nagging problem for those who need to update the kitchen, and it will work for the most frugal of homeowners.

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home. It is also one of the most abused rooms in the home.

There is constant activity as the place where meals are created and served. It is a place of extreme temperatures from the fires of the oven and the nuclear capability of the microwave, to the frozen tundra of the "self-defrosting" freezer. Then those cabinet doors opening and closing multiple times a day. All of these things cause wear and tear on the kitchen.

Eventually, those cabinets start opening on their own. No matter what you do, they won't remain closed. Go ahead, slam it shut once and a few minutes later, it will again creep open. Like making the bed improves the look of the bedroom, kitchen cabinets that are closed give a kitchen that tidy appearance. Cabinets are made to be closed so we don't have to see all the "junk" behind the door!

Also, cabinet doors can prove to be hazardous to your health when you stumble into the kitchen in the dark looking for that midnight snack, when WHACK! you crack your head on that solid piece of wood which no longer has a sharp corner, but a very dull one because of the impression it left in your skull.

We have got a solution for those pesky, rebellious and hazardous cabinet doors that have a mind of their own!


While keeping the decor of the kitchen, they serve a two-fold purpose...keeping the cabinets closed, which in turn keeps your kitchen looking neat and your family safe, and then they are readily available when one needs to whip up some cake batter!

Spatulatches are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes to match your kitchen decorating needs.

Spatulatches are available anywhere you can find kitchen utensils, well, for example...anywhere you can buy a spatula!

Spatulatches are inexpensive and can be purchased individually or in a multi-pack.

You can see from the picture exactly how a spatulatch can work for you.

The spatulatch was invented out of necessity and Katie's determination to win the battle against the kitchen cabinet's persistance. Sue coined the term when she exclaimed "Ha! You've invented spatulatches! Cool! I'll have to blog about that!"

And like so many fine inventions, this post will eventually work its way down the page and off the main blog into the archives, where it will be forgotten and along with the post, the great invention will be lost until some day in the future, an Internet Arheologist digs up what remains of the idea. They will ponder why spatulatches never caught on!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I Don't Wanna Wake Up!

The other day my alarm clock went off for 20 minutes before I actually heard it. I imagine it was because I was in the midst of the most wonderful dream I think I ever had. It was a dream about love, romance, chivalry, grace, its most perfect form.

In the beginning it was scary. I was in the midst of a war zone. But all of a sudden I was in the presence of the Lover of my Soul. Me, my children, and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ were running in fear when out of nowhere, these big huge arms reached down and we were instantly caught up to a place where everything was white, and misty and peaceful. I felt love like I have never felt before. It was so amazing. Then I saw this huge table that seemed to go on was just like a painting. It was set for royalty...a feast like I have never seen. Then I saw His arms reaching out through the mist again..over the table. With His palms up, he stretched out his hands over the table and opened them wide as He said, "Come and dine with me".

I saw others there but it was as if they were in Spirit..kinda transparent but beautiful. I felt whole in body but I was like them as well. It was really strange but felt so absolutely undescribably wonderful. Even though I knew others were there...I didn't care. I only wanted to see Jesus...just like the song... I didn't want to see my precious grandmother who has passed away, or anybody else...I just wanted to fall at His feet and worship the One who died so that I might be in that very place experiencing perfection in the presence of God. I just wanted to spend the rest of eternity at His feet crying, "Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty!" Just like the Bible says we will do. Nothing mattered..nothing...Just Jesus.

That was it. Then I heard the alarm. I didn't want to wake up. I wanted to stay asleep and continue the dream.

I know that what I experienced was absolutely nothing compared to what it will really be like to finally dwell in His presence for all eternity. I can only imagine! My heart groans with all creation for His return!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Day of Fire

Day of Fire was given a good review from CCM Magazine so buy it for someone for Christmas!

Here's my suggestions for some of this years best in Christian rock music:

(In no particular order)

Those are some suggestions for you and I encourage you to follow some of those links and listen to some audio clips. I think you'll like what you hear because it's some really great, God-glorifying music...IT ALL ROCKS!

Memphis 13th on Dangerous List

Most dangerous cities

In its latest City Crime Rankings released this week, Morgan Quitno Press ranked Memphis as the nation's 13th most dangerous city. Here's the 15 worst:

1. Camden, N.J.

2. Detroit

3, Atlanta

4. St. Louis

5. Gary, Ind.

6. Washington

7. Hartford, Conn.

8. New Orleans

9. Richmond, Va.

10. Birmingham

11. Baltimore

12. Richmond, Calif.

13. Memphis

14. Jackson, Miss.

15. Tampa, Fla.

That's not too good for Memphis when they are worse than New York, Los Angeles or Cleveland. Of course Memphis officials are scoffing at this listing saying that:

"These things come out two, three, four times every year, no two of them agree with each other, they are conducted by for-profit companies, they do not have full-time criminologists on staff, to my knowledge they are not affiliated with research universities or institutions," said Grey Mobley, senior research associate at the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

I suppose though that had they been named the one of the safest places to live, the attitude toward the ranking would be different.


In other news, a tragedy at the Crystal Cathedral when long time orchestra conductor, Johnnie Carl, opened fire on congregants arriving for the Christmas Pageant before barricading himself in a bathroom where he killed himself. He was conductor at the Cathedral for 29 years and arranged/recorded music for Celine Dion, John Tesh and Michael Crawford. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

I can't imagine hurting so much and being without hope to the point of killing oneself. Tragic.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

All I Want for Christmas

Katie is blessed beyond words that her 12-year old daughter asked for THIS for Christmas.

I was listening to a Focus on the Family program this morning on WAMP 88.1 when I took the kids to school. There was an interview with a jewelry designer sharing about purity signet rings. Unbeknownst to me, Tiffany was listening intently and came home to share about what she heard with her mom and practically begged for one. I think that's cool!

These purity rings are signet rings. They are engraved with a special symbol significant to the owner which is used to press into wax that seals a purity commitment letter.

From the Samaritan Arts website:

Included with our Signet Purity Ring is a card that describes how the signet ring has been used for centuries to seal a letter so that its contents would remain secure until the one for whom the letter was intended received it and opened it. Our ring package also contains a covenant card in the form of a letter to the young person's future spouse describing the commitment before God to remain sexually pure as a wedding gift.

So, on the wedding day, the ring wearer gives the purity commitment letter to her spouse as a wedding gift, then he breaks the seal and opens it to read about her commitment before God.

It's beautiful!

We'll have to start saving up for that one!

Sisters' Weblog: It Bloggles the Mind!

As I've made banners for the Blog Explosion rotation, it got me to thinking that people might wonder about this blog's title and what the different banners refer to. While some of it is self-explanatory and obvious, maybe other things aren't...especially to visitors only here for the obligatory thirty seconds.

"Sister's Weblog" refers to the fact that Sue (me) and Katie are sisters in Christ. We are not blood sisters, or related to each other in any way except in the family of God.

One banner says that we are two completely different women, "loved by the same man". That man is Jesus Christ and I used that banner to spark some interest and apparently it works with the click thru % I'm getting on that one! Katie and I are completely different too! I am an introvert and love my alone time, she on the other hand is an extreme extrovert and can strike up conversations with anyone. One time she even had a woman follow her home from Walmart to get the giant bag of cedar chips for her guinea pig, after ours died and we had no more use for it. A total stranger! Followed her home! LOL I am "not the mom" and she is the mother of two teens, but we all share a home together and call ourselves a framily. Actually, any friend of ours is considered a framily member. She likes to spend hours fixing her hair and makeup and dressing all pretty to go out for coffee at a local cafe. I like to throw on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and play on the computer for hours at a time. We both acknowledge that only God could have matched us up as friends who could manage to share a house together. Anyone who knows us would agree that we are two totally different kinds of people, but when a common bond is God, things have a tendency to work out.

Another banner I use says "we share the same blood you know...boy! moths sure do stink when they burn!" This refers to a comical moment in our early online history. Katie and I were internet buddies and would IM through ICQ quite a lot. I am adopted and have no knowledge of any blood relative at all, so that whole concept intrigues me, you know...actually looking like a family member, sharing traits and all that stuff. Well, one day as Katie and I chatted online, the conversation turned personal and she blessed my soul when she said "we share the same blood you know". I sat back in my chair pondering that wonderful sentiment and how deeply it touched me. I didn't have a chance to type anything in reply, when another message from Katie arrived and it said "Boy! Moths sure do stink when they burn!" because apparently a moth got caught in a lamp near her and got a little too close to the light and burned. That sure did ruin a tender moment in our friendship! LOL

"It Bloggles the Mind!" is a play on words and comes from that fact that I love to ponder things. I like my mind to be boggled, and nothing boggles my mind more than the grace, mercy, faithfulness, forgiveness and love of God. At times on the Sisters' Weblog, we ponder and blog out our thoughts on scripture or other facets of Christianity and God things. Early in our friendship Katie and I would read and study scripture until all hours of the morning. We would blow each other's minds with some of the ponderables we'd share and it was great fun. I miss those days! Life and work have a tendency to interrupt stuff like that, but we still study...we just need our rest too.

So, that's a bit of information for you about the title of this blog. I hope you enjoy your visit to the Sister's Weblog and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Toboggan Jump

I found this at a blog surfing BE...drat! I don't know where I found it so I can't give due credit! GRRRRR Well, go to wedudesign Toboggan Jump and kill 30 seconds...but, I bet you'll forget to watch the clock tick by! It's rather addicting and it makes me laugh out loud!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Why? Why? Why?

Why is it necessary to package sinus & cold tablets in such away that I need wire cutters, ginsu knives, and a jackhammer to get the blasted things out!?!


Saturday, December 11, 2004

Madrigal Dinner

Back in college I had a gig each holiday season playing fanfares for the Madrigal Dinners at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, OH. It was fun and I enjoyed it.

A Madrigal Dinner is a meal and entertainment set in the 13th - 15/16th century. We have to dress in costumes of the era, which tonight had me in a tunic as a trumpeter announcing different events of the evening. There is the court complete with King and Queen, and court entertainers including jesters and troubadours. Music is the madrigal, which was a popular form of secular music of that day.

The other trumpet player tonight I had just met for this gig. We ran down the four fanfares and were ready to go. As we chatted I learned that in the mid to late 1980's, he was studying music in Cincinnati. I quickly formulated that there was a good possibility that he may know one of my former band directors, so I asked "Do you know Scott Nelson?" and he said "Yes! I knew him well, and Tom (another trumpet player mainly responsible for me getting any gigs in Jackson, like that whole Johnny Cash Band thing last summer) knew him really well!" Wow! Small world!

Scott Nelson was one of my middle school band directors and my high school band director my freshman and sophomore years at Highland High School. He was a great director and wonderful teacher. One of those who taught life lessons, not just trumpet lessons, and I always think back to those days with fondness. Especially the Pictures at an Exhibition halftime show! Memories!

Have any memories of high school to share?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I was at work the other day and the children started coming in for the before school program. One of my favorite little boys (about 6 or 7 years old) walked in behind his mother. As she signed him in, I decided to make conversation and asked him, "Are you ready for a visit from Santa?"

With the most serious expression he replied, "Santa's Dead".

I assume by the look on my face he thought I didn't understand so he attempted to clear things up by explainint to me that, "St. Nicholas is the real Santa and he died a long time ago."

I realize that some parents teach their children about the real St. Nicholas instead of the legend of Santa Claus. However, this was most definately not the answer I had expected! Kids! LOL.

Creative Juices Flowing

Blog Explosion has inspired yet something else for me to do, as if I am not busy enough!

Now I've been making banners to help promote the Sisters' Weblog at BE. The first banner I did was quick and simple. It was just something simple so that I could get a banner in the rotation quickly. Boy, that was redundant! I just paraphrased my own sentence and said the same thing twice!

Anyway, here are the three banners I've made, the first two are in the BE rotation, the last is awaiting approval. The presentation of the banners at BE are on white backgrounds, so if you want to see them with a white background, just click on them.

So, now I'm curious what the average click through on banners is? Right now my first banner has a click thru of 8.90% and has been shown almost 3800 times. My second banner has been shown just 438 times with a click thru of 5.84%. I figure that the second banner won't draw as many because I know that some folks avoid "God blogs" and that banner uses the very "offensive" word *gasp* "Christ".

So, what kind of click through percentages are you seeing for your banners?

Music News

First I saw this story Rocking for Christ at CBS news. It is an interesting story about Third Day, Kanye West and P.O.D.'s Christian influence on the top music of today. I was surprised to see a story such as this in the MSM.

Then I saw the story about Jay-Z becoming the president of Def Jam Records at USA Today.

Then I saw a horrific headline at DRUDGE: NIGHTCLUB SLAUGHTER

Shortly after the band began playing its first song, a man apparently ran onto the stage and began shooting, according to a witness who identified himself as Sean. At first, some members of the audience may have thought the man running onto the stage with a gun was part of the band's act, WCMH reported.

Apparantly five have been killed, including the gunmen. What is wrong with people?

One thing that struck me about the quote was the part that said "some members of the audience may have thought the man running onto the stage with a gun was part of the band's act".

What kind of society do we live in where our first reaction to a scene such as this is that it's part of the "entertainment"?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Blog Explosion Observations

Blog Explosion has me addicted to blogging and blog surfing again. I've been a pretty consistent blogger since I started in September of 2002, never really going more than a week between posts, and I've always been steady about reading through my blogroll, but BE has brought some new excitement to hunting down some new sites.

I find myself staying up past my bedtime to earn more credits. Just a few more credits! I work retail so this time of year is NOT the time to lose sleep due to a blogging addiction! There I am, sitting at the keyboard, earning those surfing credits and enjoying the reads I find until the wee hours of the night morning. It's sad really.

I'll be sitting here staring at the monitor saying to myself, after the next few credits earned surfing, I'll get to bed. Then I win 2 mystery credits and I figure I'll try to hold out until the next mystery credit window appears sponteously. So, I continue surfing and reading until my head starts bobbing and my eyes start moving side to side uncontrollably fast.

This brings me to mention some things I've noticed about BE:

  • First off, I have blogmarked a few blogs and I appreciate the fact that Blog Explosion led me to find these new blog reads. I like that feature!

  • I like earning credits for surfing, although I don't know why. In the grand scheme of life, these credits amount to nothing. Then again, everything is a chasing after the wind.

  • I quickly filled up my "do not view" list though and wish I could add more sites to the list. I think that 25 "do not view" sites is too few. I guess I must be easily offended! Actually, many of the sites I send to the "DNV" list are "commercial" blogging sites. Other sites I send there because they deal with content I couldn't care less about like recipes, sports, gardening, or they are simply offensive to me because of the content.

  • Oh, and the profanity "filter" doesn't seem to work very well, either that or people aren't necessarily being truthful about their blog content. A few words here and there I can live with, but some of the posts I have come across simply use language I don't want to read or graphics that I find offensive.

  • I would like to see BE allow me to have more control over the type of sites I encounter while surfing and earning credits. For example, if someone likes recipes and gardening tips, they should be able to indicate a preference and then the "random" surfing could lead you through blogs with that kind of content. I guess having the ability to add more sites to the "DNV" list would also help in this area because it would automatically avoid sites that I didn't want to see, and after awhile, all that would be left would be the sites I find acceptable.

  • One thing I find most annoying is when I follow a link some blog pointed me to, and it leads away from the page. The BE error pops up to say "Did you try to close the window? If not please report this site to us, Site ID: #### You can also report the site after logging in again. Click report site and report the second site from the top." There is no way to avoid closing the browser window from this point. I even contacted BE about this and the response I received said that at this point they are Javascript limitations that won't allow it. I have trained myself to right click links to open in new window to avoid this problem.

  • One suggestion to those who list their blog on BE is to have your web addy visibly posted or linked to a button or something so I can snatch the http address. I suggest this because there are times I find a blog and want to bookmark it in my browser or blogroll immediately, but I can't find the actual web address. I know I can do that by going back to my BE blogmarks, but it would be so much simpler if people made their blog addy readily available. You can snatch the web address from the Sister's Weblog button in the left menu. I'm surprised by the number of blogs I can not find an address on! What would you do if you had to call 911? and the police came? and the fire department came? and they couldn't find you because your address isn't visible?

  • Something else I've noticed...while I'm not big on commenting very often, I have noticed that some blogs really rake in the ratings and the comments, yet other blogs are left virtually untouched. Obviously the controversial posts will gain attention, but I'm talking about blogs in which I can find really no rhyme or reason as to why there is such a feeding frenzy or why there is a commenting drought. I can't seem to find the pattern for blogs that get the action, and blogs that don't. I'm curious...what prompts a person to rate a site? or to comment? or to blogmark it? or to add it to the "do not view" list?

So, those are just some quick observations about Blog Explosion that I have. Do you have any to add?

Congratulations, if you read this entire post, you have successfully managed to stay here for more than thirty seconds. In fact, depending on the speed of your reading, you probably lasted a good two minutes! You may continue surfing now, or if you so choose, add more BE observations in the comments section of this post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Ask Me a Question

Well, I came across something new that I haven't seen before. It could be interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The site I found is Twenty Questions and I got there by way of a blog I happened across surfing Blog Explosion. Unfortunately, I can't remember what blog that was (one of my very few gripes about BE, not being about to "go back") or I'd give due credit. Satinevega is the person's Twenty Questions nick, so that will have to do I guess.

Anyway, I thought it would give you a chance to find out more about me. You can click and Ask me a question. So, what is it that you have always wanted to know about Sue?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Nations Prove His Glory

Yesterday at church we sang "Joy to the World". When it came to the part "He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love", I became very moved because of the fact that throughout history, the nations have proven the glory of His righteousness and wonders of His love. I started to blog about it and I remembered that I had been touched by this and blogged about it before. So, I researched the archives and found this blog from December of 2002.

As I read it, I realized that what I wanted to write about tonight remains the same as it was two years ago. So, instead of doing all that extra work, I decided to copy and paste the blog here:

Joy to the World!

For some reason, this Christmas, I have heard this song in a different way than ever before. So many times we sing our familiar Christmas carols without really getting a grasp on the message that God may have for us through the words. I remember the first time I braved singing a Christmas solo at church. It was 'O Holy Night'. I was singing it at home and got so touched and spoken to that I decided to sing it for our church. This was many years ago. I'll never forget the moment. God spoke to me the entire time I was singing. I was moved to tears. I wasn't even paying attention to how I was singing. When it was over, apparently God had used me to reach out and touch many. One special, unforgetable lady, asked me to sing it every year.

This year, God has done it to me again. It's not a big emotional thing, but He has caused me to ponder a verse in Joy to the World. That verse would be "He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love." I really don't know how to explain my ponderings about this verse but, just the phrase itself proves His majesty and that indeed He is the one in control and all authority belongs to Him. He does make the nations prove the glories of his righteousness and wonders of His love. Throughout history we have seen it. When a nation lives according to His will, that nation is blessed beyond words. But as a nation turns from Him, disaster is the consequence. Yet, His love and mercy always shines through it all. It all began in the garden of Eden. It has continued throughout history.

I have been reading through the Bible with Sue this year(2002). One thing we keep saying is how redundant it is. God blesses, the people worship Him, then they forget His blessings and turn from Him. Next they begin to suffer the consequences of their poor choices to rely on themselves and other false Gods. God warns them of these consequences but they don't listen. Then at their lowest moment, they realize that they can not live without God. So they return to Him with repentant hearts and He blesses them beyond words once again. Then they drift away again and the cycle begins once more. It's history. We never learn do we? Even in my own personal life I find this pattern all to common. But one thing is for sure....In my times of rebellion, He makes me prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love. You see, just like all of mankind throughout history, I have a tendency to rely on myself and this world when I should rely solely on God at all times and in all things. When I try to live outside His will, my life ends up in a mess. But, when I come back to Him, He blesses me beyond words. Sometimes He even blesses me in my rebellion by sending just the right person, or scripture, or verse in a song to draw me back to Him and to let me know that I do indeed need Him to have complete authority over my life.

The world in which we live is in such rebellion. But when disaster hits such as 911, we see massive amounts of people turning to God. They run out of ideas, they see that 'self' isn't enough. They turn to God. Sooner or later, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I'd rather it be sooner myself. What's so amazing about it all is His loving mercy and grace. He truly is loving, joyful, PATIENT, peaceful, kind, good and faithful. He forgives us seventy times seven.....just as He commands that we forgive others. Even in our rebellion, even in a world dominated by sin and unrighteousness........He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove.........

And yet so many still deny that HE IS

This is my Christmas card to all of you. When you sing about the babe in a manger, may you become like a little child, full of awe and wonder at His majesty, completely dependent, trusting in Him alone to be the ruler of your life. May you hear a new Christmas message when you sing old familiar carols. My Christmas wish to you is for you to experience the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.

Let earth recieve her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Symphony and a Night of Praise

I've been having fun this weekend! Last night I performed with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra for the Holiday Pops Concert. It was fun. I spent the morning at work, then early afternoon was rehearsal and the performance last night. Woo! I'm tired!

So, now I'm up for church after having prepared some stuff for SaLT group this morning NOT answering the question posed below "What happens to people who die who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ", and I'll get back to you on that after the discussion this morning.

Worship this morning, then in early afternoon I have another rehearsal to prepare for tonight's Night of Praise at Englewood Baptist Church. I LOVE playing for these things! Great music all performed unto the Lord! Woohooo! I get chill bumps and I think the angels join us in worship! YES!

Friday, December 03, 2004


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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Study Question for SaLT Group

The study question for SaLT with WaLT on Sunday is:

What happens to people who die and never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ?


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Le ers a e Mi i g Fr m My K ybo rd

I hate when I blog so much that the letters have worn off my keyboard!

The "R" is completely gone, the "E" looks like an "L" the "M and "N" are gone and I keep having to remind myself that on a keyboard the "N" comes before "M"! The "K" and "L" are all but gone as well. The "V" is only a \ and many other letters are showing signs of wear.

I wonder if the whole keyboard in the dishwasher thing is finally taking it's toll?

Is it time to get out the Sharpie?

"Answers" for Matt

This is the comment I posted at Matt's ModBlog on his post Are you a Christian?

Last I checked there was quite a bit of discussion going on over there in regards to his questions. If you would like to join the discussion, go HERE.

Ron posted his thoughts HERE, and you'll see mine below.

Some of Matt's questions are below, in bolded text, and some are paraphrased.

What make someone (YOU) decide to call himself or herself a Christian?

I never decided to call myself a "Christian". I was raised in a Catholic home with all the teachings of Christ and the catechism. I was born into a home and taught that I was a Christian, baptized as an infant. I grew up believing I was a Christian, and in fact, all my life I believed that I was.

I wasn't.

After some life struggles, I sought help from the One, the Only One I knew could help me and heal my heart. I was 32 years old and for the first time, humbled myself, (or actually I believe Jesus allowed circumstances in my life to humble me), to allow Jesus to take control of my life. I came to the realization that I was nothing, and that I am "nothing". I am a hopeless sinner, condemned to die. There is only One who is able to redeem me, and the only reason He is able to is because He came to earth, lived a Perfect life, and took my sin upon Himself. My sin hung there on a cross on a hill and died in my place. Jesus, the One who took my place on that cross through the ultimate example of humility, conquered death and through His resurrection, proved to a still unbelieving world, that He is God. On April 4, 1999 I gave my life to Christ, and now I am able to enjoy a freedom from the "wages of sin", that so few come to really know and appreciate. Forgiveness. Mercy. Grace. Simple words, with profound meaning. One of those special people that God placed in my life to help point me toward Him, sent me a card after my salvation experience. It didn't say "congratulations, now you are a Christian", it said "Happy first day of eternity".

Christianity is a man-made term which has many "interpretations/definitions" as evidenced by the comments on this thought provoking post.

Being a Christian to me is allowing Jesus to accomplish His Kingdom Purposes through me. It happens "through" me, because He, the Spirit of the One True God, lives within me. He lives there because I asked Him to. He offered me Himself and I accepted Him into my heart. It is stepping out of MY way and joining Him in HIS way. I believe that God is always at work around me, and that as a Christian it is my responsibility through obediance, to join Him in His work.

To YOU, what is a defining characteristic that would lead you to say, "Yes, I am a Christian!"?

Knowing the Truth, that God, my Father, has invited me and accepted my into His Kingdom. Jesus Christ, the One and Only Son of the Living God, lives within me. The Holy Spirit teaches and convicts me.

Why do some people consider themselves Christian if certain Christian beliefs aren't held? Some "Christians" might distance themselves when it comes to proclaiming Christ's divinity. My question, then, is why is there the need to call yourself Christian?

This is a very good question, and it blows my mind that if someone doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ, why they would even want to call themselves a Christian. As evidenced by some of the answers in the comments to this post, many define Christianity by a set of rules. Some believe that by following the "rules" and the teachings of Christ, that alone makes them Christian. This is the same error in understanding that condemned many of the Jewish Lawyers of Jesus' day.

I think some of it comes down to ignorance. I'm not saying stupidity, I'm using the term ignorance, because that is what I was before I was redeemed a little over five years ago. I grew up believing I was a Christian because I was raised in church and raised to "believe" certain things about the Bible and about Jesus, but those "beliefs" weren't necessarily mine, and in fact I often challenged the legalism of the church I attended, but that's a whole other story.

God wants an intimate, personal relationship with His creation. This is not a relationship that develops through following a set of guidelines or rules. In human relationships it doesn't work that way either. Would you fall in love with someone who said "If you make me dinner, tie my shoes, rub my back, clean the house, wash the car, smile at me when I look at you, I will love you." Usually, you fall in love with someone and then try to live to please them by cooking wonderful meals for them, and by rubbing their feet after a long days work. In Christianity, the work is a result of the love relationship with God. Unfortunately, so many Christians use their work to try to build their relationship.

I am more concerned with why people feel they have to fit into that category if they don't consider themselves devout. Is being a Deist not inclusive enough?

Just like I mentioned in the answer to the first question, I only thought I was a Christian. I went to church each and every week and every religious holiday in-between. I accepted communion and went through confirmation. Thinking and practicing as a "Christian" did not make me one. Being a Christian is a heart thing. When Jesus enters a heart, lives change.

I simply believe many people proclaim to know Jesus, when in reality they don't. To me there is a difference between said faith "I believe that Jesus in the Son of God" and real faith. In real faith the belief that Jesus is the Son of God will inevitably produce fruit in the life of that person. It will be noticeable.

There was a day not too long ago that a customer asked me "Are you are Christian?" and I said "yes". He said "I could tell." Out of curiousity I inquired as to how he could tell and he told me that it was because of the way I carried myself and my countenance. I can tell you, it's not me, it's Jesus! I praise God that His fruit pushes forth through me, a branch that only tries to hang on for dear life!

Does the Fruit always show? No, because Christians are flawed humans and can be very selfish at times, but if you look at the life of a Christian, the overall appearance should reflect a love for Christ. If it doesn't, there is a significant relationship problem.