Saturday, May 28, 2005

In The Company Of Strangers

The VFW experience for the Day of Fire performance was like nothing I have ever experienced. There was a time in my life that I call my "bar hopping" days but, I never went to bars like what I took part in last night! Even in my party days I couldn't see myself choosing to hang around a crowd like this. Everywhere I looked I saw cigarettes, beer bottles, piercings and tattoos. Very few had the desire to speak to us and I must confess that my desire to have conversation was very limited!

The bands preceding Day of Fire were much harder than anything I would deliberately choose to listen to. Half way through the performance of Faktion, I found myself unable to bear the disgusting conversation and vocabulary of the band and decided to leave.

Prior to leaving I remember looking around the room and realizing that most of the people present were people who are so lost. This is the "bleak reality" of their life. These are the people we miss as Christians because we surround ourselves with other believers...totally missing the point of what we're supposed to be doing and forgetting that we were once living in the same bleak reality.

I realize that it's not good to "yoke" with unbelievers. But it is God's commandment to love them (see Mark 12 in the Bible). It is God's commission to tell them about Christ (Matthew 28)...which is what Josh Brown is committed to doing. I am so amazed at his call and how God is using him in the midst of the very same crowd that was leading him down a path of self-destruction.

I learned so much last night about how Jesus was criticized for hanging out with "sinners" (tax collectors, adulterers,drunkards, etc..). Jesus responded to his critics by telling them that these are the people with the greatest need. These are the ones who need Him the most. These are the people we (Christians) are called to reach out to. These are the opportunities to reflect Christ's love and mercy that was shed on the cross for all.

At one point Sue said, "So when should we start witnessing?" Although she said this in sarcasm...there was a bit of truth in her statement. But, I felt like in a strange, ironic way, we were indeed "witnessing", just not in the obvious manner of which Sue was speaking. I was witnessing a room full of people lost in the same "bleak reality" that I lived in before I met my Savior. I was overwhelmed with love and compassion instead of the condemnation and judgmental attitude that I was tempted to display.

So the time came for Day of Fire to perform. This was the highlight of the evening. At this point I smelled so bad of the stench of cigarette smoke that I couldn't stand myself. My eyes were burning and my chest was tight. But, I continued to endure because in the midst of it all I could feel an overpowering presence of the Holy Spirit doing wonders all around me.

There was a small group of believers in this crowd. Some of them stood out because they were...ummmm...well...Sue and myself. LOL. Others stood out because they wore t-shirts. Some just raised their hands and formed their fingers in the shape of a cross. Also there were those that looked like everybody else but you could see something different about them. Instead of feeling that people were rejecting those who were worshiping, I felt welcomed. It was so strange. The presence of evil was obvious by looking around. But, the awesome presence and power of God overcame what I saw with my eyes.

Sometimes Sue and I get discouraged and we ignorantly say, "Evil is stronger than good." This is such a lie from Hell. Evil appears to be stronger because every single person on this planet is a sinner. Saved by grace or lost as can be, we are all sinners drawn to the passions of our fleshly desire to be like this world that we live in. Sin looks good! But to the contrary, sin is nothing but suffering in a pretty package. Ultimate deception. The consequences out do any of the temporary pleasures it promises in the beginning.

Last night I saw proof that good is stronger. God is good. Without Him there is no good and that's why evil appears to be stronger. Those who are lost don't have the presence of anything good in their life because they are living a life apart from all that is good. They are living a life apart from God.

I love to worship in many different ways, but my favorite way is through singing and listening to worship music. I can get totally lost in Christ's presence when I get in my little praise and worship bubble with God. Lots of times when I worship in church, I don't feel complete freedom. Last night, in the midst of the evil that was present, I felt a greater freedom to worship than I often do in the presence of other believers at church.

I felt an overwhelming hunger present at the VFW in Jackson, TN. I felt the lost comfortable with the Christians being there. I could feel God calling each and every soul present. I saw victory overcome evil as I witnessed all of this. Then, as we were leaving, an awesome opportunity to be bold became apparent. We couldn't get in Jeepers because Josh Brown was leaning on the truck, while sharing Christ with one of the many hungry who were "watching". Spiritual warfare was taking place and I felt the need to pray for Josh and the person to whom he was witnessing. So, I gathered hands with Sue and Justin and we prayed publicly, there in the parking lot, to help supply a bit of back up for this particular soul in need of a Savior and the one who was witnessing to him. Wooohooooo!!!! What a blessing!!!!!

I saw many onlookers with their beer bottles in hand, puffing on their cigarettes. They had this strange look of curiosity on their faces. I can even feel safe in saying that some of them had a look of longing, and aching in need of a Savior.

I thought of the song, "Shine" by the Newsboys. "Shine, mak'em wonder what you got. Mak'em wish that they were not on the outside looking bored." I think that a few of God's children were shining last night and some least one...didn't want to be on the outside anymore.

I praise God for Josh Brown and his band. I thank Him for their salvation and the ministry that He is doing through them. What a wonderful night spent in the company of strangers. We are drawn together by the common bond that we all need Jesus. Therefore, perhaps we are not totally strangers after all.

John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that who ever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Isaiah 58:10
And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

Day of Fire and the VFW Experience

I really couldn't believe Katie and I planned on going to this show. The show was at the VFW in Jackson, which I knew was a bar and a venue that was going to be "rough". We knew we were going to be "out of our element", but we were determined to use this opportunity to see Josh Brown and Dove Award Winner for Rock Album of the Year, Day of Fire. The band is also performing at the Casey Jones Amphitheater later in the month, but it will be when Katie and I are in St. Louis for the Women of Faith Conference. This was our chance to see Day of Fire live and we were going to do it!

Josh stopped in my store last week and thanked me for supporting him and promoting the Day of Fire CD like I have. He gave me his phone number to contact him about tickets for the VFW event, so I did and had a few set aside for the show tonight. We were set to go, but even after calling the VFW, I wasn't able to find out about the performance order of the bands. I can honestly say I really didn't have an interest in hearing any of the other bands; Bleak Reality, Faktion, and One Less Reason. I was going to hear Day of Fire!

When Katie and I arrived and pulled up in the driveway of the VFW, we saw many young people in black standing around. It was kind of scary because we knew we were going to stand out like sore thumbs at this show. People were drinking and smoking and I hadn't been around an environment like that since college fifteen plus years ago. We managed to drum up the courage to park and approach the entrance to the hall, and once I told them my name and that Josh had tickets here for me, we were let in. After about being knocked over by great clouds of cigarette smoke as we walked into the performance hall, we looked around for a friend who was supposed to meet us there. (That person never showed up, even though I did keep an eye out for her throughout the night.) Oh, I felt so much like a misfit, but then again, I really didn't want to fit in with this group! LOL This was a hard rock show...HARD rock, and it was obvious by the "prelude" music! Whoa! My eyes were burning from all the smoke, I just know a spot started developing on my lungs, beer bottles were everywhere and we just tried to find a place to sit that was out of the way.

We found some folding chairs off in a corner and noted that we weren't the only "old" people there which we found some comfort in that. I started laughing because it seemed so ridiculous that we were even there! I said "we're making another memory!" and the music was so loud we had to yell to each other to just talk. LOL At one point, we turned to each other at the same time and bonked our heads together. Katie said "Now we can say 'we got smashed'!" LOL I stood and was just looking around and then got some drinks for us. I got a water and Katie a Sprite. We had about a half hour to kill and just basically sat there trying to breathe, which wasn't easy when you are trying not to inhale. I could tell that already at this point, we didn't smell too good! LOL I yelled to Katie "I NEED TO USE THE RESTROOM!"





"you?" (she finally heard me and was surprised because I try very hard to avoid using public restrooms at all costs. It was quite unusual that I decided of all places to submit to a public restroom was this place!)

So, I cut through the fog of smoke and made my way over to the restroom and entered. When I opened the door I immediately noticed two young girls there. I almost started laughing out loud because it was so typical! LOL Two young girls, one in tears, one doing the "best friend" thing and "consoling". It's really rather pathetic. These things make me wonder if humanity will ever get a clue. The whole smoking bar thing is exactly the same today as it was in college, and probably the way it has been since the beginning. Smoking, drinking, cussing, drama, girl crying in the bathroom...unsafe people. Lost people. In an environment like this, Katie and I think to "shine" and "let 'em know what we've got!"

At one point early in the evening, I was near the entrance and Josh Brown grabbed my arm and thanked me for coming. I thought that was cool, and I told him that I'm excited to hear his band play and that I've been looking forward to it! I went back over to Katie and told her and she said "I'm jealous!", so I took her over and introduced her to Josh. (She's star struck or something! LOL) Then I purchased a Day of Fire t-shirt for Justin, Katie's kid, because he sings Cornerstone at the top of his lungs anytime it comes on and loves my Day of Fire CD. I was bummed because Justin was missing this show due to a field trip with his high school band.

I was pretty sure that either One Less Reason or Day of Fire would be the last to play. One Less Reason has a huge following in Jackson and at times I couldn't figure out which band had top billing. Even after we got the the VFW it was hard to tell who would perform last. At 8:00 Bleak Reality started their set. I know that band was founded on Christian principles, but I wasn't positive about that. Hearing them play verified that they have a positive message to share and from the Bleak Reality website: "Are you asking yourself 'How can a band named "Bleak Reality" be positive?' We hope to convey through our lyrics and music that without God life truly is a bleak reality!" Their music? I little bit too thrashy for me at times, but people seemed to like it and they didn't sound too bad. After they finished, it took about 40-45 minutes to switch the stage out for Faktion. I couldn't stand the band Faktion. At first I didn't think it would be too bad because the lead singer had a vocal sound similar to Geddy Lee of Rush, a band I like a lot, but then it became apparent that this band was no Rush. Oh boy, the lead singer would have no vocabulary if it weren't for the f-word and a few other favorite cuss words of his. I thought they sounded horrible, and their stage presence/show left a lot to be desired. This band just proved how out of our element we were!

Katie and I had enough of Faktion, it was pretty bad, so we decided to go outside for a bit. When we went outside I noticed some people wearing Faktion shirts were also outside...NOT listening to the band. What a way to support them! Then again, maybe they thought it was bad too and were embarrassed for the band? It was taking them forever to finish their set, or at least what seemed like forever! I noticed that after Bleak Reality it took the stage hands about 40-45 minutes to change sets. Faktion finished at close to 10 pm, so I started to do some figuring. We didn't know what band was slated to go next, but we were beginning to see a dilemma, Katie's son was returning from a field trip at 11:00 pm and we needed to pick him up at school, which was across town. If Day of Fire was going to be after Faktion, we'd have to miss it because we had to go pick up Justin, if Day of Fire was after One Less Reason, they probably wouldn't take the stage until around midnight! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay past our bedtime!

Katie and I both went back into the hall after Faktion finished performing (thank goodness that was over!) and as Josh Brown walked by. Katie grabbed his arm and asked "are you playing next?" and he said "no, we're after the next band", which meant that Day of Fire wouldn't take the stage until around midnight. Ugh! Oh well, I was determined to see them, so now I thought, "hey, this might work out! We can leave and go get Justin, then come back and see DOF, and bring Justin too! He'll love it!"

So Katie and I left the venue around 10:30 pm and headed to Starbucks to kill a bit of time until Justin came back from his field trip. I stopped by Baskin Robbins for an ice-cream cone, then we headed to the school. We got to the school at around 10:50 and sat in the parking lot playing DOF and chatting. Soon it was 11 pm and no sign of the bus returning with the band members. My leg starting bouncing that nervous bounce when I am being impatient. Katie complained that I was shaking the car! LOL Then it was 11:15 pm...11:30 now! The CD had completed and started over! Ugh! 11:45...I was NOT happy! I was going to be ticked if I was going to miss Day of Fire's show! I couldn't believe this was happening! It was going on midnight and we were stuck across town! I was hoping to be able to get Justin and take him back to the VFW so he too could hear Day of Fire, even though it is NOT the venue of choice!

At midnight, an HOUR late, Justin's band bus rolled up. Katie went and got him and quickly returned to Jeepers and we headed back over to the VFW. Justin was exhausted from his trip to Six Flags of America in St. Louis, but I thought it too important to miss this opportunity to see Day of Fire up close and personal. Heck, it might be cool to introduce Justin to Josh Brown too! Justin's first brush with "greatness"! I was excited about this possibility which was another reason I was getting so frustrated when that bus was so late!

We arrived at the VFW with Justin shortly after midnight. I heard DOF playing as we hurried to the entrance, and I was bumming that we were missing it! The man taking tickets just let us pass through and not pay for Justin which was cool. Katie and I were in on complimentary tickets as a "special guest" of Josh Brown, but since it was so late the door guy just let Justin in as well. That was a blessing!

So we went in and made our way close to the stage. It was awesome! They rocked! We had missed their first two songs and came in as they started tune three. It was so exciting. I couldn't imagine what was going through Justin's head when he heard the LOUD music, saw the band LIVE, rubbed his burning eyes from all the smoke, saw all the beer being consumed and bottles everywhere, watched the tattooed bodies of people thrashing and head banging...I said to Justin "bars are bad" and he said "I knew that before I came in here!" Good boy! :-)

The interesting thing that Katie noted in her post about this experience was that there was more freedom to worship God to this music in a bar surrounded by a large crowd of lost people, than it is sometimes to feel that same freedom in a church filled with believers. There is something inherently wrong with that!

Justin was ecstatic to hear Josh sing "Cornerstone" and he rocked out to the other tunes Day of Fire performed. It was so fun! People were clapping, shouting, singing, woohoooing, whistling, and I even spotted many worshipers! Oh wow, what an experience!

After the band finished their set Josh announced "that's it". Someone yelled questioningly "that's it?" and sure enough, the lights came on and the stage cleared. All but Josh, who did hang around chatting with some fans. We tried to get Justin up there, but Josh turned to leave before we had a chance so we went around the right side of the stage. Josh wasn't to be found, and I asked Justin "do you want to meet Josh? how bad?" and Justin said to his mom "as bad as you did", which told us that we couldn't blow this opportunity!

We went out the side door to hopefully see if Josh went out there, and what we saw was God at work. We couldn't leave yet because leaning on my jeep was Josh as he was SHARING THE GOSPEL with a young man! THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT! So, Justin, Katie and I moved around to the back of the jeep and waited. There were many people outside by this point. Many were getting in cars to go home, some were hanging around hoping to meet Josh, but keeping a respectful distance. Some were in other conversations. Many were off doing their own thing, smoking, drinking, just partying it up without another care in the world. Katie kept trying to hear, but I felt awkward about that, but Katie said "they don't care, they are in 'the bubble'". She means that at those moments of desperation and inviting Christ to take over your life, nothing else matters. This I can testify to! She heard Josh explaining the Christ died for sin and Katie then came over to me and Justin and we all three prayed there in the parking lot littered with beer bottles, cigarette butts, and trash, as one lost soul was searching! I LOVE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!

After maybe fifteen minutes went by Josh and the young man he was sharing with parted ways, but not before Josh reassured him that he would help him. Katie took Justin up to meet Josh and then we were able to leave the VFW.

What an amazing way to top off the night, or rather morning, with possibly a new brother in Christ added to the family! Woohooo!

Day of Fire is not just a band, they are ministers who aren't afraid to join Jesus when He visits the houses of sinners. It's not about Day of Fire, and they know it.


Woohooo! Day of Fire rocked tonight! Well, this morning...I can't believe I didn't get home until 1:30 in the morning. My ears are ringing!

I have much to share, but in case you missed that part about it being 1:30 in the morning...IT'S ONE THIRTY IN THE MORNING!

My futon awaits!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Jury Duty - I Was Excused Today

I was seated with the first round of jurors called for this case that involved a dui, and some other misdemeanor charges like crossing the yellow line, etc. I made it through the preliminary questioning even though I disclosed the fact that I had been involved in a serious drunk driving accident in the late '80s. It surprised me that I wasn't dismissed with the first round, when all of the ladies who contribute to MADD were. I thought that was weird.

Then came the second round of questoning, in which I wasn't asked any further questions, although one woman proudly announced that she was a bill collector and "it's the end of the month and I still have $15,000 left to collect and that's what I'm thinking about, to be honest!" The defendant's attorney asked if that would distract her from the task at hand and she responded "I don't think so, but to be honest, I'm just not good at making decisions. Any decisions." The judge then told a simple story and at its conclusion he asked if it was "your son or daughter that was in court facing charges, would you want a jury member with your mindset on it, deciding the fate of your loved one?" and the potential juror said "no!". She was immediateley excused. I wanted to try her since she was a bill collector! LOL I was also sad that not only is she a bad decision maker, but that she openly admits it. She seemed so angry when she left, like her life is just the pits.

Well, then came another bench conference so I started reading the book I took to occupy my mind, because one thing I've already learned about serving on the jury, is that most of the time you sit and wait. A lot of that waiting is for nothing.

After that bench conference I was dismissed along with a few others. All in all I think the entire jury was replaced and after the bunch I left with was gone, and there was no one left in that particular jury pool. I don't know what they will do now, I don't understand all this court stuff. It's not like it is on Law and Order.

I'm assuming I was dismissed because of the fact that I had been involved in a drunk driving accident. I had explained that there were only minor injuries involved, but that the car was overturned. Or maybe I was dismissed because I was reading a book while lawyers were deciding who should be on the jury?

Either way, being dismissed took some of the stress out of my day not worrying about getting my shift at work covered.

I've always wanted to do jury duty, but now I'm hoping to get out of it!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Jury Duty - I Earned My $15

I was dismissed from jury duty today at around 10:30 am. I thought my day was free from that point on, but I was somewhat fretting about how I was going to handle my schedule for the rest of the week at work. I decided that tomorrow was fairly well taken care of and I would call later to work out a plan in case I needed to serve Wednesday and Thursday.

I then blogged a bit and started to play a game online, which I enjoy doing when no one is at home and I can really focus and get into the game. I was having a ball on my favorite BF1942 map, Coral Sea, and then the phone rang. The Grand Jury that was called today needed additional alternates and the judge was calling in seven of us from the petit jury. So, at 3:00 pm I went back over to the court house and sat there for another hour doing NOTHING. Nothing at all. Six of us all sitting there with NOTHING to do. I thought about Ambra having wireless access available to jurors while she is currently serving on the jury in her city. I covet that.

At one point I got tired of staring at the walls and it started to get too difficult not to bounce my left knee, I just said aloud "I need entertainment". The others chuckled. It broke the ice and we at least started to converse. Not bad for an introvert like me eh!? At least they could have some music playing or a tv going or something for those of us just sitting there waiting! I think I'll take a book to read tomorrow.

I had no idea that once I was dismissed for the day that I could be called back on a whim that same day! I'm not sure I'm going to like this at all! I earned my $15 today!

Jury Duty - My First Time to Serve

Jury duty is something I have always wanted to do. I was called a couple of times while in college, but was excused because I was a student and at the time living out of the area.

I was finally called again! Yay! Maybe?

I do feel it is a civic responsibility to serve, and as a citizen of America, a great country, I feel somewhat proud to serve on a jury. Serving on a jury does create some difficulties with life's schedule though, the biggest hurdle being my occupation.

I manage a retail store. When I look at the dates on my paper listing when the jury trials are, I see 20 dates. Basically it is serving for one week each of the next four months, beginning this week. This complicates my work schedule tremendously because while I do get paid for serving on the jury ($15 a day from the county, and my regular salary from work), it doesn't make sense for me to schedule myself to work on a day I may serve on the jury. The catch is that it is unlikely I will need to serve at all, and each night prior to the day I may have to serve, I call a hotline number which informs me if my services will be needed. So, if I am scheduled to work, as I am tomorrow, but I need to serve on the jury, someone will need to cover my shift. However, if I schedule myself off and I do not have to serve on the jury, I have a day off and no pay. So, I called my DM and he suggests that I have an employee "on notice" either scheduled to work, or on-call that they may have to work, if I am needed on the jury. If I am not needed I just let my employee know they have the day off and they are not needed. Man, jury duty creates a whole "domino effect" of work schedules!

I also had a conflict with one of the weeks I would have to serve because Katie's family will be visiting from Massachusetts and have a bunch of stuff planned for that I've also been invited to participate in. I approached the bench today smiling and said to the judge "I'm excited to serve! However I do have a conflict with this week in June." He thanked me for being so willing to serve, and excused me from service that week. Yay, that was simple.

I think I'll be able to work all this out, but it does create some chaos and an unsettled feeling in me making sure my store is covered if I need to serve.

Another thing I noted about the opening day for the jury today was that the judge had a local pastor pray before we started. That's always a plus in my book! Then, we were also all asked to rise and raise our right hand to take an oath. I promised to tell the truth about my "competency to serve as a juror" but I always squirm a bit when it gets to the "swear to God" part because in James 5:12 the Bible instructs:
"Above all, my brothers, do not swear-not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned."

I am never sure I want to "swear to God" because I try to always live and let my "yes by yes and my no, no".

A Christian should be able to make a statement and have it be true. If one has to gain credibility by preceding a statement with "swear to God (this is true)", what does that say about other statements made without that preface?

Regardless, I will be truthful to anyone inquiring about my competency to serve on the jury!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Glory Days

Glory Days, they'll pass you by.

Mine did.

Once upon a time, I played softball. I was very good at it too. I started playing softball in the "ponytail league" in Hinckley, OH when I was nine years old. I continued playing in the girls league all the way through high school and then even joined the women's league after that. I played as much softball as time would allow during those years, from school teams to summer leagues, to church teams and all-star traveling teams. Those were the days.

I played on teams that lost all the time and I played on some excellent championship teams. I loved the sport! I couldn't get enough!

Over all those years I earned many trophies and awards, and even made the all Medina County Softball team my junior year in high school. Even today old coaches that my mom still runs into now and then reminisce about my "heyday" and relive some of the highlights of my softball career, which include some amazing home runs! I was a gifted batter for sure! (Couldn't run to save my life though! LOL I used to say that I have to hit them that far because I can't run! LOL)

I have about 25-30 trophies, awards, and game balls boxed up and in the attic. Many of the trophies are old and the finish is worn off and decayed to the point I can't even read the thing anymore. I think from all of the moving I've done over the years, arms and bats have been broken off a couple of the trophies. I don't even display them anymore, they really don't look good anymore. Now that there is a possible move in my future, I'm considering just tossing these things. What purpose are they serving me now?

Those awards represent a time in my life where I made some athletic achievements. It's been over 15 years since I earned my last trophy. People who know me now have no clue I was once a softball "star" and they couldn't care less. I stopped playing ball when I injured my back and ended up having surgery. My back injury ended my softball career. I don't play anymore and I never will again. Why hang on to those trophies? Why keep them boxed up and moving from residence to residence with me?

But, if it came down to it, could I really let them go?

Believing God Study Begins

Since the church Katie and I will be studying Beth Moore's "Believing God" at is going to condense the 9 week study into 5 weeks, we decided to get a head start. We also thought it would be an opportune time to try out the online study version so yesterday I signed up!

We have full access to all the videos, and the study and listening guides for about $25! When one considers that the full leader kit with DVDs costs $200, it's a no brainer! So, we watched all of session one yesterday and have completed two days worth of the study so far.

It has been sort of an overview so far and a reminder of exactly what faith is. Moore explains that it is about time that a Christian's theology matches our reality! She says faith is what fills that gap! We must believe God is Who He says He is and can do what He says He can do! We've practiced the five faith step pledge and I'm so anxious to keep moving in deeper!

Are looking for a study to deepen your relationship with God? See Beth Moore's invitation to Believing God and ask Him is this is something He would have you do.

Click HERE for the invitation message.

This week I am to try to locate a blue cord or ribbon of some sort to wear on my right wrist. This will symbolize and be a reminder to me that "I'm believing God!" and if I see another person wearing this same blue "band" on their wrist I should ask "Are you believing God?"

Woohooo! This is going to be an adventure!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Star Wars Memories

The Revenge of the Sith.




Ties everything together, and I find that amazing.

I saw the original Star Wars movie at a drive-in with my parents when I was in sixth grade. I was one of the last in my class to see it and just felt left out. I'm so glad mom and dad decided to take me one night. It was so exciting! Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker...whew! What an adventure and fight between good and evil!

That was a looooooooooong time ago! 28 years ago! Wow, I'm old! I was standing in line to enter the theater tonight and looked around. Many of the people I was standing in line with tonight didn't even exist when I saw the first one in 1977!

It really was amazing how Lucas brought it all in together. 28 years of this stuff and it all came to fit really nicely. I especially was fascinated by how he portrayed Anikan turning to the "dark side" and how that all unravelled. It was made to be believable and frightening. Wow, some neat twists and turns too. I liked it!

Now I want to watch the original one again!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman

I received this in the mail today:

Click for larger pic.

There are some problems with this letter.

1. God wouldn't "loan" anything.
2. God knows my name and wouldn't call me "resident" or "to a friend".
3. Heaven doesn't have a zip code.

* * UPDATED * * (05/20/05 AM)

I fetched it from the trash since there seems to be an interest in what it is....


I can't post now because I'm on my way out the door to work, but I was "loaned" a Bible prayer handkerchief from Saint Matthew's Churches in Tulsa, OK. I'll post more later.

* * UPDATED * * (05/20/05 PM)

It's a rip off! A scam!

and it's back in the trash!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Believing God

The Women's Ministry at Poplar Heights Baptist Church in Jackson is offering a summer Bible study. Katie and I have committed to joining the women of Poplar Heights to do Beth Moore's Believing God study! YES! We have been wanting to do this for awhile now, and since our church is having Celebration Sunday to conclude the Purpose Driven Life campaign this Sunday, it is time for the next in-depth study. YAY! This is the perfect one.

It is one thing to believe in God, but quite another to believe Him.

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he...." -Isaiah 43:10 (NIV)

The Believing God Five-Statement Pledge of Faith

1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in me.

I am believing God!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Rumor? **UPDATE (05/18/05)** NOT RUMOR!!!!

Rumor has it Day of Fire will be in Jackson on May 27th! Woohooo!

I'm still awaiting OFFICIAL details!

* * UPDATED * * (05/18/05)

Josh stopped by the store today and I asked him what's up with Day of Fire shows in Jackson. Here's what he said:

May 27th at the VFW

June 17th at Casey Jones Amphitheater


Bummer, can't do the June 17th show because I'll be in St. Louis at the Women of Faith Conference!

But, Josh gave me a contact for some comp tics! YES!

Watch for more information at STATIC 88.1 FM!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Called to Fast

A family in our church is suffering tremendous personal hardship right now. Our church has designated tomorrow (Monday) as a day of fasting and prayer for the hurting family.

It is the right thing to do. May God accept our sacrifice. Praise and Glory to His Name!

Women of Faith 2005


We have tickets!

Now we have hotel reservations!

All I need to do now is get excited about June 17 and 18 when Katie and I and some other women from church will head to St. Louis for the Women of Faith Conference!

This will be my fourth one? Yes, let's see...St. Louis, then Memphis, last year Nashville...yep! This will be my fourth conference!

This is gonna be good too! Avalon and Nichole Nordeman as music guests and of course the the wild women of faith themselves! Oh what a treat it will be!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Don't You Hate When....

You take a laxative instead of the anti-diarrheal you intended to take?

I haven't felt very well today, and to find out it was all "self-induced" doesn't make me feel better at all.

I can't believe I blogged this!

Here's the story, I took some pills last night to help relieve some symptoms I was having. Unfortunately, my symptoms were NOT alleviated so I took some more pills this morning.

I've been in the bathroom most of the day. The last time I was there, wondering how much more I was going to have to endure, it dawned on me that THE PILLS I WAS TAKING WERE CREATING MY PROBLEM!

I immediately started laughing! I've been taking the WRONG PILLS!


Sunday, May 08, 2005


Today's church service was very educational, worshipful, and for me one special part of it was very profound.

The music and worship leaders lead us through praise and prayers. The mothers of the congregation were all recognized and given roses and applause as they stood before us all. It was rather a tearful moment to see all of those mothers up there too!

We watched a humorous clip on the big screen about a mother who started charging for her services. I laughed! "Hi boys, we have a special today .50 cents for every mile for the first 5 and then .35 cents for each mile after that! Where to?" as the "mom taxi" car drove off with her son's friend standing on the side of the road with empty pockets. The mother started charging her kid to get his underwear from the laundry and for each slice of birthday cake. It was a laugh riot! Mom's are just something beyond value!

Now, while all this was going on during the first half of service today, on the stage toward the back and a little to the right was a woman. She was seated on a stool, bent over a table with her hands busy. She would dip them in water and it was difficult to see what she was doing. I saw that her table and her stool were sitting on a large, plastic covering, as if to protect the floor. Then I saw she was working in clay. I saw it spinning and she was working it into a shape.

Keep in mind that the service continued going on without taking notice of this woman on stage working in clay, worshiping with her art. She was in the "background". She kept working the clay.

The message today was about service in the church. It was about knowing our "shape" as Rick Warren talks about in The Purpose Driven Life, and about finding one's place in the church body, exactly where to serve.

Eventually the woman finished her creation, stood up, without any notice really, and placed it on the table that was set more towards the front of the stage and in the light a bit more. The vase remained there in its fresh form for the duration of the service.

This was so profound to me because on a talk about service, this woman was off in the background of everything going on around her. She was not pointed out as an artist, or worshiper, or anything at all. It illustrated to me what a person with a servant's heart should be, they should be unnoticed. Unnoticed by man, but not by God. Servants not only do the big "out front" things...they do the "behind the scenes" things, the "small" stuff, the stuff no one but the true servant thinks to do.

Now, of course, we sang many "potter" and "clay" songs today. We are the clay and God molds us. The art of clay displayed on stage today (oh my, the assonance!) is exactly what the Bible teaches about how God molds us. What really made an impact to me, was when that vase was finally, humbly placed on that table. Not quite finished yet, but there it was in all its shapely beauty. An unfinished vase set to dry, on display. Just like what God does with those of us totally sold-out to Him! He molds us, sets us up on display, stands back and takes note like a proud papa!

So, all throughout the singing, the message, the praying, was a lump of clay, off in the background, being shaped into the "perfection" that the artist envisioned, then once it was completed, it was raised up in its final shape and put on display.

What a statement that whole worship with clay art was to me. That potter led me in worship today!


The framily watched National Treasure last night. WOW! Great adventure movie with action and suspense! I loved it! Then we all played around with the special features on the DVD decoding all the secret messages. Good framily night!

Apparantly Kenny Chesney is something special because the tickets for his Memphis show went on sale yesterday and when I arrived to work at 8am, people were already lining up. Since Ticketmaster does a random number distribution lottery for a place in line, there really is no lining up anymore, so I told all 20-25 of the people there that there was no point in being there until 9am. They had nothing better to do so they stayed and hovered around the gate until 9. We sold about $15,000 in tickets from our outlet yesterday and answered as many phone calls about that show! Ugh! I don't think I could even tell you what one Kenny Chesney song is!

Paul Colman's latest release "Let it Go" is one to get and NOT let go of! I had his last Paul Colman Trio CD and it was "eh". THIS one however is filled with catchy melodies, lyrics that inspire and convict, and solid beginning to end. A great addition to your Christian music CD collection! I urge you to give this one a listen.

I'm praying about a possible slight career change.

I am addicted to grapes. It's bad. Grapes are expensive. Now I am enjoying frozen grapes...a great warm-weather treat!

Time to go to church! Have a blessed day! Woohooo!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thanks to The Memes List For This One

I want to blog today. I have nothing to say.

I googled for a meme. Question: Is "googled" in the dictionary yet?

So, thanks to The Meme List, I found a prompt called Spark.

Share some of your opinions on the concept of friendship.
What kind of people do you surround yourself with as your friends? Do you find yourself more comfortable with people your own age, or does that matter? Do you like to surround yourself with lots of people, or do you like to have a smaller, more tight-knit group around?

How easy or difficult is it for you to meet new people and make new friends? Is it easier or harder to make friends using the Internet, and what kind of positive effect has meeting friends online had on your life? What are the greatest kindnesses a friend has shown to you?

I value friendship. I wouldn't say that I have a lot of close friends, one or two is good enough for me. I do have many aquaintances, many are those I called sisters or brothers in the Christ. I am very blessed to have the special people around me that God placed in my life.

I am most comfortable with people my age or older. I'm so "out of the loop" with the younger generations! I just can't keep up! Hard to believe I was once one of them!

The Internet is a useful tool in meeting people and making friends, but you do have to be discerning. There are some real whackos out there, some of them will even read this blog! LOL Matter of fact, I met Katie over the Internet almost 6 years ago, and now we are best friends.

I've had some very good friends over the years and they have all had a special place in my heart. I've have been shown some very special kindnesses through financial blessings, laughs, and simple unconditional friendship. Currently my biggest kindness from Katie is that she helps me keep my eyes on Jesus, and she lets me love her kids.

What are some of your thoughts on friendship?

Battlefield 2

YAY! I pre-ordered my copy of Battlefield 2 from Amazon today!

 Posted by Hello

I can't wait!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

My Niece Pilar

Aaron, my bro-in-law and my niece Pilar

Pilar, isn't she cute?

Pilar, what a doll!

Showing off her hair clip

Mom, (my sister Connie) and Pilar

Striking a pose

Another pose...

Grandpa and granddaughter

Wow, I have a beautiful family! 
Posted by Hello