Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Heaven's Best

I desperately needed my carpet cleaned. It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue!

Today I Googled a local search for a carpet cleaner and was pointed to Heaven's Best.

I called Ed & Tina Hernandez, the franchise owners in Jackson, TN and was greetly by a warm, friendly and very enthusiastic Tina this morning. I immediately felt important as a potential client and she was so nice and sweet, I couldn't help but smile while chatting with her about my carpet cleaning needs.

She was so professional and beyond nice as she explained the Heaven's Best technique for cleaning carpet and upholstery. We arranged a tentative appointment for today and within a half hour, her husband called to confirm that he could come out this afternoon. He called about an hour prior as well, to confirm once again, and was very prompt.

When Ed Hernandez arrived I showed him the room, he quoted me a price, which was very reasonable and what I was prepared to pay and he worked for an hour vacuuming and cleaning the carpet. He did move the "easy to move" furniture and I am greatly impressed with the results.

In the course of small talk with him, we learned that his wife is a big fan of Beth Moore Bible Studies too! Woohooo! Connection with another sister in Christ!

If you need your carpets cleaned, I highly, highly, highly recommend Heaven's Best. They are a nationwide company and have a great carpet cleaning method. They do upholstery too. Another plus is the carpet is dry in an hour! An hour!

I left positive feedback at the Heaven's Best Website about Ed, and while researching this company, I found that Ed Hernandez recently had an informative article in the Tennessee Woman's Journal about Carpet Cleaning Scams.

I finally experienced some outstanding customer service in West TN! YAY! I have a beautiful, clean carpet to prove it!

Christian Carnival LXXXIX

LXXXIX is that 89? I think it is.

Anyway, go check out this week's Christian Carnival! It's 89th Christian Carnival and indexes some of this past week's most in-depth, spiritual posts by Christians. It's a "Holy-istic approach"!

Christians in College

Focus on the Family has launched, "a community for students who want to know and confidently discuss the Christian worldview. Our hope is that you'll graduate with your faith not only intact, but stronger than it was before."

You can explore the Women's Hall where there is a lot of talking going on, and sex seems to be a favorite topic, as well as the cafeteria food, and money, which adds to the anxiousness of being a college student.

The men are talking about finding the perfect mate and being manly.

There's discussion going on in the coffee shop too.

Not much going on in the Rec Center yet, but there's a crossword to work. There's a guarantee too: "you won't break a sweat!" LOL

Anyway, check out like an interesting place, especially for the Christian in College.

Heaven Will Pass Away

Katie and I were listening to Max McLean read from Luke last night. I've read the Bible through cover to cover twice and do a lot of Bible study and reading of the Word, but as I listen to his dramatic reading of the Word, certain verses stick out and take on new meaning to me, almost as if I'm hearing them for the first time.

Last night I heard something new in Luke 21 (click to listen to what I heard), specifically it was verse Luke 21:32-34:

"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap."
"Heaven and earth will pass away..."

Heaven will pass away? Then why do we want to be there?

heavenly cloudsI started pondering that and Katie and I discussed it over breakfast this morning.

Preceding these verses, Jesus was instructing his disciples about the fact that Jerusalem, the Temple in all it's glory, would be destroyed. He talked to them about the "end" and about "earthquakes, famines, and pestilences...". He encouraged the disciples to not worry and to trust in Him and to stand firm "to gain life" against those who will hate and kill them because of Him, but that "not a hair on their head will perish".

Jesus continued to talk about His return and the "signs" that will be obvious. He compared a fig tree sprouting leaves indicating summer is near, to the signs He shared will indicate the Kingdom of God is near. "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world for the heavenlies will be shaken." Jesus tells the disciples that this is a time to rejoice, as their redemption is drawing near.

The Word is, the Word was, the Word shall be. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." The Word is the only eternal thing. The Word, the only imperishable thing, is what redeems us.

Katie said that heaven as we know it will pass away, that "all things will be new". But, I don't even know heaven!

God has always existed, but has heaven? No...God created heaven. Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God, His Word, is eternal, but His Creation is not, because what He created will "pass away".

So, I went to Revelation 21:1-5:

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
 Jesus comfortGod is all about new beginnings. The whole Noah and the flood thing allowed God to wipe out the bad and create opportunity for a fresh start. It seems God tears things down and then rebuilds, "destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days".

Heaven is a mystery, and once I am there, God will dwell with me. Heaven will pass away, but His "words will NEVER pass away" and His Word says this:

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"
That sounds heavenly to me!

It bloggles the mind!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Making Ice Without a Freezer

I sold back some CDs and had $287 to spend in my store. It's fun to shop when it isn't really costing anything! Woohooo!

I found that the framily really enjoys old TV series on DVD. Justin is addicted to M*A*S*H and Tiffany enjoys Little House on the Prairie. For the fun of it I also purchased Emergency!, The Brady Bunch, and the Partridge Family and got a great deal on a used season three of Star Trek Voyager for $40!!!! For the most part, we can all watch these together although Justin isn't much into Little House and Tif doesn't really care for Voyager.

The point of this post is based on an observation during a recent episode on Little House. Laura became ill with heatstroke and had a high fever. Dr. Baker cooled her down by covering her in ice.

They didn't have electricity or freezers. Katie asked "so how did they make ice in those days?"

I didn't know the answer. The episode showed Mr. Oleson collecting some ice for Laura out of an out building. That building wasn't a freezer, yet throughout the entire episode, he was fetching ice to put in a foot soaking tub for his wife, so she could keep cool in the summer heatwave. ice cubes


I was stumped, I had no idea how they made ice. I Googled for an answer.

It turns out that they didn't make ice, they stored it. In those days one had to collect ice, either from a snowy mountain or ice that had formed over lakes and/or rivers during the winter. The ice was "stored in special insulated buildings until needed. In America, the Shakers were well-known for their excellent ice-houses; these were double-walled and triple-roofed, with sawdust packed between, and more sawdust laid thickly on the floor." (Source = MadSci Network)

I bet in those days only the really financially well-off had access to ice and an ice house. Then I got to thinking what that would cold lemonade or iced tea. And what about that bump on your head or a sprained ankle? And NO popsicles! Ugh! Summers had to be a drag!

It bloggles the mind!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Away Team Missions

Why do we go on mission trips to the far reaches of the earth?

Why did the youth in my church recently send an "away team" to Florida to fix roofs of homes damaged in last years hurricanes? (This was before Katrina and Rita)

Why do church members raise money each year to send an "away team" to Korea, Russia, Africa, and/or Nicaragua?

There are people in our own community that have needs that aren't being met. Many of our next door neighbors have needs that aren't being met. Are we so occupied with our "away team missions" that we overlook a neighbor in need?

Are we so busy earning money for our mission trip to Madagascar that we step over the guy in the ditch and get busy fund raising? Do we have our eyes focused on that far away place that we totally miss the fact that our co-workers, next-door neighbors, and family members are in need of experiencing the love of Christ?

These thoughts were prompted by an excellent post at A Christian Blog called "Pay it Forward". In that post the author was commenting on how people are more apt to give when they are given a goal:

Pay it forward worked because it gave a person a goal. When you generalize charity, and ask people to give, and ask people to help, they don't really have a goal. Pay it forward gave them that. Find three people and help them. A simple concept, but successful because it was definitive.
Christians have been given a goal too...Jesus said "GO!" "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

We are to go into all the world. There were times Jesus sent his disciples out and their message was rejected. When that happened they were instructed to "shake the dust off" and continue onward.

I have just been wondering if at any time the disciples passed by, or skipped over people, or communities, in order to do their "mission work" at another place? There were no planes, trains or automobiles then, so the disciples had to walk house to house, town to town, on foot. It seems that it was a more thorough way to make sure every single person that could possibly hear the message of Christ was exposed to it.

People have needs, material needs. We have learned this first hand in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Every day people in our own communities go hungry. Christians should be meeting these physical needs, material needs, and meeting the spiritual needs as well by introducing our neighbors to the Gospel.

What if Christians took the Gospel message and chose to "pay it forward" to the very next non-believer they came in contact with. Imagine it, some would reject the message, but some would accept it. That one person who accepts Christ would then "pay it forward" to the next person. Eventually our neighborhood would be saturated. That would spill over into our community, town, city, state, then nation and eventually the entire world.

I fear sometimes that we "leapfrog" over the Samaritan in the ditch to help build that church in Romania. It seems as though we should share with the Samaritan the Good News and then move onward.

I'm not saying stop doing overseas missions, I'm simply pondering if that is literally what Christ meant when He said "Go into all the world...". It almost seems curious that we can raise $5000 for a mission trip to Poland to help build a church, when that same $5000 could help a family in one's own community eat, keep the utilities running, pay for a necessary medical procedure, and all the while allow for an opportunity to share knowledge of Christ's love through action, which is the ultimate goal.

A commenter on the "Pay it Forward" post provided an interesting answer as to why Christian's often choose to minister to those on the other side of the world than to their next door neighbor: accountability.

"'s much easier to minister to someone that will not look to you for support and leadership next week."
I found that to be an interesting observation. Is it easier to be the loving Christian to the stranger a half world away because, after all, it is only short term? To be the loving Christian to the neighbor next door would be a much longer commitment and that neighbor could actually watch you too. They would look to you to exemplify what being a Christian is. Oh, the pressure! They may even see some flaws....OH NO, not THAAAAT!

I admire missionaries. I do not see myself going abroad as part of an "away team mission". I feel called to be right where I am, at the job I am doing, in the neighborhood where I live, and at the stores where I shop. It is my ambition to lead a quiet life. I want to share Christ with those I know and I pray that I will share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in my immediate network and that it will have a ripple effect that will be felt around the world. Unfortunately, I am feeling rather convicted about not noticing those in need in my own community. Sometimes "noticing" needs to be intentional.

Forget the Flickr Post

For some reason the Flickr badge script was interfering with other script so I removed it for now.

Go see my pics HERE instead.

I'm Missing Home

Go Tribe!

I have Tribe fever and no one in West TN cares! Oh, how I missing home these days!

My saving grace is WTAM 1100, I can hear the games live. It's the only way I've managed to follow the team this year. Well, that, and online of course.



I now have a Flickr account. Click the flickr badge on the left margin to see all the photos that I've uploaded. I've posted the pics from Shoutfest 2005, JCS Marching Eagles, and Women of Faith.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What Was Your 23rd Post?


  1. Go into your archive.
  2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
  3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Here's mine:

What does a person without insurance do?

That sentence came from the post "I Know Why Many in Tennessee Are Toothless" in a post dated October 7, 2002. I had recently had a root canal and was ranting about the cost of that, let alone the cost of the crown to come. I still haven't had the crown put in. I was understanding the plight of those without insurance and ranting "This is not what God created us for. He gave us free will and we chose wrong! We chose sin. We could have had it all! We could have kept our teeth! Now, we have bodies that rot and doctors that wont' accept payment plans."

Taken from Inept Yogi, and all the others who participated along the way.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Unforgettable Sermon

I bet not a single soul in the congregation will forget this message. It really made an impact I'm sure. You really should check it out. It's been edited so that you only hear the most important point, so it takes no time load.

Received via email from a friend, but tracked down the original post, or at least where this file originated from at Right Mind.

Cool, My "Grease" Article Was Posted

My "Watered Down Grease" article was posted at blogs4God. What a privilege. I hope someone finds it "compelling".

I did what Mean Dean suggested and sent feedback about some of the dead link problems I was having navigating the new blogs4God site and it looks like a lot of them have been fixed. YAY! The new blogs4God site is starting to come into its own once again!

Another interesting thing to note in regards to my blogs4God published article, was that yesterday Katie's kids came home from school sharing all the facts they learned about sexually transmitted diseases through an abstinence presentation.
"Did you know national figures show an American teen becomes pregnant every 37 seconds?

...and every 11 seconds a teen contracts an STD?"

I find it interesting that Jackson Christian School is promoting abstinence and has presenters come in to share the dangers of premarital sex, and at the same time begins rehearsals for the sexually immoral musical Grease.

Motivation, the Lack Thereof


I don't have it.

I'm on vacation this week and I have wasted more time than I should. I did manage on Monday to paint the horrid "pink" wall in my house. The wall in my kitchen/computer area is now a stately bluish-gray. I like it!

I did declutter the computer desk and the area around the computer but I want to finish making this room a bit more uncluttered. Instead I've been playing Zuma. I have made it to level 4-4 so far, but can't get past that yet. This is just the trial version too, so I don't know how much longer I'll be addicted. Once I beat it I'll lose interest.

I've played around on MySpace and Xanga some. Hey, I'm looking for some MySpace friends so if you are on MySpace, add me!

I really want to finish cleaning but I can't pull myself away from this computer! That's not a good thing!

I've been studying the chapter of the Jesus Creed due for SaLT this week. Good stuff for sure. I made Katie read it with me last night. The chapter talks about what the Kingdom of God is.

What is the Kingdom of God?

It is the actual living out of the "Jesus Creed" on earth. The actual practice of loving God and loving others. Doing that will transform the lives of those around you, and that will transform you. Can you imagine a society where everyone is living out the Jesus Creed? Heaven on earth!

The Jesus Creed
"Hear, O Isreal,the Lord our God is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,with all your mind,
and with all your strength."
The second is this:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
There is no commandment greater than these.

So, I guess I have actually managed to get a few things done. Oh, and I got Tif's film developed. I have three more days of vacation. I should have time to get a haircut, clean the house, and wash my car. Gee, blogging that makes my to-do list seem small. Now I feel motivated to cross something off the list! Going to get a haircut!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm Sorry To Have Offended

Duly "reprimanded" by Mean Dean from blogs4God:

"Please, next time, use the the handy-dandy feedback form instead of posting a vent/complaint here."

I didn't mean to vent or complain, but I guess it did sound negative toward blogs4God, for that I'm sorry. I was simply sharing that I was having difficulty navigating the site and attributed that to some "bugs". I also mentioned I don't use aggregators and was just questioning if it would be useful to me. I've since sent feedback, but wonder if it'll reach someone because I received another error doing that.

I love blogging and want to see a very successful blogs4God. It has great potential to be bigger and better than before and anything that helps to spread knowledge of God and the love of Christ is something I will always support.

I apologize for stepping on the toes of those who are working hard to make blogs4God THE "semi-definitive list of Christians who blog."

New blogs4God Introduced

Blogs4God is back up and running. It stalled to a halt when it was invaded by evil spammers and has now been revamped and relaunched in hopes to improve it.
Blogs4God "exists to provide these 'God-bloggers' a way to connect with other practitioners of 'Historic Christianity' by listing their site, aggregating the work of their peers posting compelling content and identifying the weblinks that exemplify the best and brightest of their community."
I have again listed this blog and have attempted to navigate my way around the new blogs4God site but I have been met around many corners with this:

What is that? I am registered...I am logged in for the page "calls" me by my username. I just don't understand. I'm thinking there are bugs to be worked out, either that or I am so totally clueless as to what exactly I'm supposed to do at blogs4God that I keep getting lost! I'd hate to think that I am totally clueless though because I'm a pretty avid surfer and have learned to navigate the Internet and various sites very well as I've been doing it since 1998!

I used blogs4God quite often in the past to help me locate new reads. Now it is set up to use as an aggregator. I know a lot of people use those, but I haven't found them very useful for my reading habits I guess. It seems logical to me that those who use aggregators have theirs already set up, so I don't see why they would need another one via blogs4God. I just don't understand I guess. I just follow the links in my blogroll, and often times find new bloggers via other bloggers pointing me to them. I am most interested in Christian blogs, which is why I found blogs4God so useful in the past, and actually I've been finding some interesting reads by surfing Blog Explosion, especially since you can now surf by site description. I've found some other great blogs through the new Christian Bloggers Blogroll, and the Christian Carnival.

Blog4God has made it quite clear that they are looking for high quality blogs and to maintain a high standard of posts and basically have a pretty strict set of "rules" for inclusion. Any Christian blogger who is not insane and updates frequently can be aggregated, but for a post to be worthy of inclusion you must be "capable of generating some some seriously compelling content both on your blog and in your weblink submission here to get your site listed." The blogs listed as examples of compelling content definitely out pace the Sisters' Weblog, but those sites aren't what I find compelling at all.

We all have different tastes, and different things/stories/blogs we find compelling. This blog is a personal journal of sorts and isn't designed to be "compelling", it's just here. We've posted some compelling stories and observations, we've posted some humorous tales, and we've posted the mundane day to day things in life. I want to glorify God through what is posted here, and sometimes it is not very compelling material to decipher and unpack Luther's theses, as much as it compelling to celebrate the blessings God has given us in our framily, our home, our salvation and redemption through His Son.

I am happy to point out that Ganns Deen of Superblessed! is one of the newest moderators at blogs4God, so I do know from that, that that they have chosen some high quality people to uphold the blogs4God standards. I have been reading Superblessed! since the Mere Madness days. In fact I was just thinking the other day how that through reading blogs, one establishes a type of "relationship" with people. I was thinking about how I "knew" Ganns before he was engaged, and now he is married and a proud father. He allowed his readers to share in his proposal and enjoy stories as he brags on his wife and son.

Blogs are cool that way. I live half a world away from some of the bloggers I read, yet we all, or at least most, share a common faith, and in a neat way, through technology, we get to peer into another person's life, probably into the life of someone we will never meet person to person.

I wish blogs4God blessings on their new endeavor. I hope to play around a bit more at the site and learn how to best utilize the site. I encourage you to head on over and list your blog and check out some of the features as well. If you want to offer me some suggestions on how to get around at blogs4God better and find it advantageous, please do so in the comments.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Kid Humor

Katie's son comes home from youth at church tonight and rubbing his neck he asks "Do we have any Tylenol, or any type of painkiller?"

His mom asks "Why?"

Still rubbing his neck he says "I did the 'funky chicken' a little too hard."

I busted out laughing at that one!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Civil War Band Music

I have an interesting gig with the Lambuth Brass Choir in October. We have been invited to play at Shiloh National Military Park for a live artillery demonstration as part of a Living History event. Fowler's Alabama Battery will portray the 1st Ohio Battery dressed in Union blue, which fought at Shiloh.

I've never attended any type of re-enactment, so I'm looking forward to the experience.

We will be playing band music popular during the Civil War years. We won't being playing the instruments popular in the day, because none of owns a saxhorn.

Click to hear an mp3 of one of the pieces we are preparing: Lilly Bell Quickstep

I've been to Shiloh before. It is a large park, with memorials set up around the area that tell about the battle that took place there.

Shiloh is "scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil War. The two-day battle, April 6 and 7, 1862, involved about 65,000 Union and 44,000 Confederate troops. This battle resulted in nearly 24,000 killed, wounded, and missing."

While there in the peaceful setting, surrounded by trees and open fields, it is hard to imagine the bloodshed and carnage that occurred there. So many dead, the many bodies once covered those open fields, and now in a different time, there is serenity there.


I was asked by my SaLT Leader to stand before the church this Sunday and share about what SaLT means to me.

SaLT groups are what many churches call "small groups" or "cell groups". There are probably different titles for them and if you have one to share, please do in the comments section of this post.

SaLT at Northbrook Church is an acronym for Sharing and Learning Truth. At least that is what I learned when I first attended a SaLT group about four years ago. But, it changed to Sharing and Learning Together at some point, and now the website says "Serving and Learning Together".

As I've explored what SaLT means to me, I've come up with a few different things that SaLT can stand for and I'll share that shortly.

SaLT to me means basically four main things:
  • Growth
  • Relationships
  • Experiencing God
  • SaLt and Light

Growth: God has placed many outstanding teachers at Northbrook who are well-educated and godly Christians. There is dynamic teaching at Northbrook and SaLT groups provide an opportunity for some in-depth study of God's Word. I have never failed to be fed spiritual food in SaLT group and in fact, at times I have been so hungry for His Word that I've participated in more than one SaLT group! Being in a SaLT group is a great way to grow as a Christian.

Relationships: SaLT groups provide an opportunity to get to know people in an intimate setting, since many groups meet in homes. This fosters deep community as we develop as friends and to me, my SaLT group is my family. Most of my family is in Ohio, but God has blessed me with a new family here. I've been adopted so many times I can't even count! I have been a part of SaLT with WaLT for four years now, since first starting at Northbrook, and together we have shared a lot about ourselves with each other. We share our triumphs in life, and we share tragedy. We try to be transparent with each other just as the Bible teaches. We can carry one another burdens as the Bible teaches and we can encourage one another in our walks with God as the Bible teaches. SaLT also allows us an opportunity to serve. SaLT can be a tool to serve a ministry need within the church, or outside of our doors. Many people are spiritually gifted with service and are constantly serving others, by hosting a SaLT group in their home, visiting ailing people, or helping with home repairs. I recently had an opportunity to help a person who is known for her service in our church. I can't tell you how blessed I was to be able to serve someone who is known for serving! SaLT groups are deep community and joyful service! We share so much of life in Christ together, and this is how it could be appropriate for SaLT to mean Serving and Living Tragedy and/or Triumph! SaLT shares it all!

Experiencing God: SaLT group is an opportunity to experience God. I see God in these people! We share how God is working in our lives and that is always so exciting! We also have shared the agony of feeling like God is not working in our lives at one time or another. We pray together and we pray that our worship of Him is acceptable and pleasing. SaLT is another form of excellent worship, through praying, studying and fellowship with His people.

SaLT and Light: Jesus commanded believers to "go" and make disciples. We are to be salt and light in the world...we are to season it with love, the love of Christ, and shine bright like stars in the heavens! SaLT group is a way for believers to share our experiences out in the world, specifically with non-believers. It is the place where we get a "tune-up" of our spiritual armor and our offensive spiritual weapons of prayer to be ready to go out into the world and "preach the Good News". Everyone in my SaLT group knows who is on my impact list, and the day she comes to church with me I can count on her to be loved by this church! We know about Tom's "Dunkin' Donuts ministry" and Walt's experiences with non-believers at work. Karen has a burden for an aquaintance that calls her only when in trouble. We encourage each other in our endeavor to spread the Gospel, as SaLT is an avenue for effective evangelism.

SaLT allows me to grow as a Christian, experience friendships with other believers, experience God's love through and with them, and become salt and light to the world!


That was reaaaallly creepy.

I was sitting here and suddenly the house grew dark.

I heard a rumble of thunder and so I stood up and walked to the front door. When I opened it I noticed that the street lights and security lights around the neighborhood were illuminated.

It was almost 10am and normally the sun is shining bright at this hour. Today, however, huge black clouds were blocking the sun and it was dark enough for all the street lights to trigger and turn on.

I looked outside and to the east I could see clear sky, and then a very prominent line where the clouds, or the storm system developed, and dark sky that stretched from that point to overhead.


Now it is pouring down rain, which we need here so that is good. No big storms, just heavy downfall and distant rumbles of thunder. It was just very weird how everything turned very dark all of a sudden.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nothing Is Sound

If one is a Switchfoot fan, this CD is a must have. If one is a fan of "A Beautiful Letdown", this latest release from Switchfoot is a must have. If one has never heard of Switchfoot, or "A Beautiful Letdown", this CD will open a whole new realm of fresh rock music with poetic, insightful, and questioning lyrics. "Nothing is Sound" is like a walk through Ecclesiastes, where "everything is meaningless", yet has optimism and hope, and leaves the listener wanting more. There is more depth lyrically on "Nothing is Sound", it is well-produced, well written, and maintains the raw rock style of the Switchfoot sound. With works like "A Beautiful Letdown" and "Nothing is Sound" in the Switchfoot repertoire, not only will Christian rock music be measured by these standards, but Switchfoot is etching a measuring line for popular rock music as well.

Nothing is Sound" will be the flagship album in the Switchfoot library. It is solid musically, lyrically and conceptually. This is one of those albums that while a single song can be representative of it, it is not whole if one song is absent from it. This Cd will challenge you philosophically and spiritually, and it will entertain as well with wonderful, emotionally charged melodies, catchy hooks and rhythm, and thought provoking writing. Switchfoot has moved beyond "A Beautiful Letdown" and raised the bar another notch with "Nothing is Sound".

Read my full review at Epinions.

Read my full review at Amazon.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Have You Forgotten?

A reminder for those who have forgotten, and a wonderful tribute and memorial for those who haven't.

September 11

It's 9/11 2005. Four 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, four 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 roommate 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."


The above is an "edited" repost from past September 11 anniversaries. I don't want to forget.

Today when I reread my post, I can't help but think of those people adversely effected by Hurricane Katrina. Many lives have been devastated, and I believe the economic impact of this natural disaster will have more serious consequences on our nation than that of the terrorist attacks from four years ago. There are many dead, many traumatized, many without homes and without employment as a result of the hurricane. It is a terrible tragedy.

But, as I said above, "God hasn't changed. He is the same today as He was yesterday, and as He was September 10, 2001, and before Hurricane Katrina hit. My foundation is in Christ, the Word, and the Word was, the Word is, and the Word will be." Always be sure to build on the Firm Foundation, and not on shifting sand.

Watered Down Grease

The school where my friend's kids are being educated is a Christian school. I have to say that it feels good knowing that they are in a school that supposedly teaches Christian principles, but I have learned that many of the students are NOT Christians. It seems that many of the students in this school are financially privileged and they are able to attend because they can afford to, not because they are Christians. (And some of the actual Christians that I know that attend, are able to on "scholarship".) I should do an entire post on that someday, but for today, the topic is Grease.

I post is in regards to the theatrical production of the musical Grease that Jackson Christian School is doing. If one has seen this musical/movie it is obvious that it is in direct conflict with a Christian worldview. Grease is NOT the word, the WORD is!

I grew up and was a tween when Grease was the big movie in 1978. I had the soundtrack and sang right along with every song on the album. I didn't even understand what I was singing! (I think I made up half the words anyway because I didn't understand a lot of them! LOL) It is a movie/musical fulled with humor and fun songs. But, I grew up, matured, and now see the world through the lens of a Christian and what I see is disturbing.

I'm not going to criticize each parent, who in their own home, may teach Christian values and yet will allow Grease to be shown in their own home. It is a totally different thing to be well-grounded in the faith and see productions that may/may not conflict with those values. It is ignorant to totally close oneself off from every "worldly" thing because, unfortunately for now, Christians are in this world and have to learn to deal with that. My problem is the fact that a Christian school is encouraging a theatrical production of such a thing, which as I see it, conflicts with their own mission statement.

Not only is the musical Grease VERY worldly, it is NOT something I believe a school, that prides itself on leading "students to love God by providing a quality values-oriented education in a Christian environment" (quoted from the JCS Mission Statement) should be performing.

The problem I have with Grease is that it has a story line in which a girl compromises her principles to be with a guy, and in fact, earlier in the musical she is the butt of jokes because of her innocence. Also, in the story, behavior such as smoking, drinking, and promiscuous sex, which even includes a pregnancy scare, is glorified. The story is carried along with songs that include lyrics such as:

"You know that ain't no s*** we'll be getting lots of t**
In Greased Lightning..."

"With new pistons, struts and shocks I can get off my rocks
You know that I ain't bragging she's a real p**** wagon".

I understand that those adults/teachers/directors of the production of Grease have searched out and found an "edited" version of the script where in the end, the guy goes "good" in the end. I can respect the "redemption" quality of an ending such as that, but does this really justify the entire production of something that will prompt many of those involved to seek out and view the original? What kind of values is this teaching the students of JCS?

I believe Grease is a direct contradiction of what a Christian worldview should be. I can't understand how a school can justify performing this. If one removes the drinking, smoking, sex, and edits the's not Grease anymore. It's WATER!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Does anyone else see a problem with a Christian School, a MIDDLE school, performing the musical Grease?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

To Add to My Disappointment

I learned today that it is official...Dockers has discontinued my favorite pant. The "Go Khaki" Classic Fit pleated are no longer being manufactured. It is a sad day indeed.

Now what am I going to wear?!


I've been waiting for the day I was going to post some really exciting, life-changing news! Unfortunately, instead, I have only disappointment to report. The bummer part is that I really can't share much about what it was. Just know that I had my heart set on something very big and now life will just continue on the way it has been. That isn't bad necessarily, just not what I had hoped for.

In life we all get news we would rather not get, especially when we were hoping for something entirely opposite. In the grand scheme of things, my disappointment is minimal compared to that of some, and for that I consider myself blessed.

I am blessed. Sometimes it is easy to forget that. One thing this disappointment has revealed is that I am loved. My church family is rallying around me and letting me know they care. That feels really good. I have the best friend anyone could have in Katie and beyond that I have a whole bunch of friends who hurt with me, yet rejoice in God's plan!

The important thing is that I realize that I am where God wants me for now. I don't know why He wants me here, but this is where I will continue to carry out His will for my life. Apparantly I'm not done here, or possibly the next place in life is not ready for me to be there doing His will just yet!

Who knows?

God knows.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Monday, September 05, 2005

I Think I Did It!

How's it look now Rachel?

I think I have the posts displaying correctly...there's still some other weird things in the Firefox, but they're minor. I got the major problem fixed for the moment...I think!


I got obsessed, but I was once again triumphant!


*** EDIT ***

I noticed while Googling and researching this problem I was having with my blog displaying in Firefox, that other people were having the same problem. I will post how I resolved this issue so others with the same problem might find a solution here.

A couple of steps, and this is for those people who use Blogger and may have the same problem with posts.

  1. Disable "float alignment" This is how to do that: From Blogger control panel click SETTINGS, then FORMATTING, then scroll down to "ENABLE FLOAT ALIGNMENT" and choose "NO". Save Settings and republish.

  2. Remove any "bad code", in my case it was the following: BR CLEAR="ALL" (Can't post the <> because then it won't show the tag)

    which was found in the main template code:

Once I did both those things, my problem was corrected.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

Calling On Firefox People

I've been told a few times that my site is not appearing correctly in Firefox. Each post should have comments at the end and look like this pic. I've tweaked settings and stuff and I'm hoping to have fixed the issue. I need Firefox people to let me know if all seems okay...or not.


*** EDIT ***

Rachel tells me the comments appear okay (so apparantly that's better) but there is a HUGE gap between the top post and the next.

I tweaked some code...any better?

Shoutfest 2005



Shoutfest RAWKED yesterday! My "rawkfist" got a work out too! Actually, my entire body did! I'm a little stiff and sore from moving, dancing and headbangin'! Justin and his friends seemed to enjoy themselves too...don't they look so tough?

The Jackson Sun has a good article about the events that you can read here. It is always exciting to have events like this come to the Jackson area. My hope is the city with support these events so that there could be more like it. Hopefully Shoutfest will continue to make an annual stop here. It was noted that there were many attending from the Memphis area, so that is a good thing. Jackson actually has an event that attracts people from Memphis! To see a 30 second video promo clip of the festival click HERE.

Krystal MyersIt really felt good to see the turnout for the festival too. There were many many many people there enjoying the music and the games. I especially was impressed with Krystal Myers who can work a crowd like a veteran performer at such a young age. Talk about working a crowd, KJ-52 probably gave her lessons! That man put on a great show full of energy and persuaded everyone to "put yo hand heah! put yo hand heah!" It was so fun! He even asked for parents to stand up and "embarrass your kids!" LOL I am "not the parent" but that didn't keep me from embarrassing Katie's kids!

I was really interested in seeing Disciple and Skillet. Disciple's performance rocked the house! Whew! The energy! "Rise Up" kicked their set off and really fired up the people. It was so exciting and awesome! One customer in the store this week told me that I would "pass out" during Disciple's set because they are so good! I didn't pass out, but I did get a little light headed from the headbangin'! LOL They completed their set with the hit song "The Wait is Over" which seemed so appropriate this week with Hurricane Katrina's devastation on everybody's mind and lyrics like "Thunder rollin', lightning flashin', it's our time the wait is over, ... fires burnin', floods arisin', it's our time the wait is over!" We prayed for those effected by Katrina and I must say I was impressed not only with the music, but with the obvious heart for God the men of Disciple have. What a ministry they have going!

I let Tif have the camera so she could take some pictures of Jump 5, with instructions to "be conservative since the battery is low". Jump 5, while I'm not much into their "pop" sound, really put on an energetic show. They are fascinating to watch with all the flips and choreographed dance moves. I get tired just watching! When they ended their set, Tif hands me back the camera with about 35 pictures of Jump 5! So much for saving battery power so I could snap some shots of the youth group and the other bands! I had power for about ten more pictures and so I had to be very selective.

I HAD to get a shot of Disciple, I took a few, but only one turned out well. I have to say, I thought having a digital camera would turn me into a "National Geographic worthy" photographer, but it just hasn't. It might help when I learn how to use all the "bells and whistles" of my camera!

This pic is of one of the less energetic moments Disciple had on stage. I don't understand how some of these rockin' lead singers don't end up with whiplash the way they move around, jump, dance and headbang! It's like an aerobic exercise! What a way to pump up a crowd...not that Jesus hadn't already done that! After they played I headed over to their tent and picked out my new Disciple T-shirt! I haven't purchased a concert T in a very long time. Actually, I'm not sure I ever have...oh yes, I had an Edie Brickell T-shirt once, "What I am is what I am are you what you are or what?"

Zoegirl put on a great performance, although their set did settle things down a bit. Their song "Scream" is amazing and blossoms into a beautiful worship song in the end. Great stuff. I took pictures, but the battery was about dead and the flash didn't happen, thus the pic was too dark to make out anything. :-(

Skillet was the last band to play and they rocked too! Wow! This Shoutfest was heaven for those of us who like to really rock out! Their set was electric in atmosphere and total non-stop energy! "Best Kept Secret" was totally awesome and it was so cool to hang with Justin for that one. That song brings back memories for us. A crowd favorite was "My Savior" and I particularly liked "Obsession". Whew! It was a fantastic day of music and worship and rock and roll music! Being able to rock out and worship God at the same time is like heaven to me! I can't wait to be there for real!

This is a pic of some of the crazy people I spent the day with. Leana on the left has become a mentor to Tiffany which is a blessing. Katie in next to her obviously not paying attention to the picture taking! In the middle is Hannah, one of our pastor's kids, a youth girl whose name I do not know. The people who are serving as our interim youth leaders are pictured on the right, Venice and Paul. They are doing an outstanding job leading our youth while the church searches for a full time youth minister. Too bad they couldn't do it full time! The youth seems to be flourishing under their leadership, praise God!

There were some other lesser known artists that performed yesterday. Of them all, I think Talitha and Acacia deserve highest mention. This duo is ripe for the bigtime. Great songwriters that share insight into spiritual matters through well-written lyrics and memorable melodic hooks that are enhanced with simple blended harmonies. These two girls interacted with the audience in an intimate yet entertaining way. Their set was very well accepted by the audience and I'd recommend a listen. I think they are about to breakthrough into the "big time".

If interested in checking out some of the other bands on the Shoutfest Tour 2005, just check out the Shoutfest Website.