Thursday, December 28, 2006

Refocus

Now that I am learning the ropes at my new job, I am seeing that my decision to leave my career in music retail and pursue another avenue was a good one. It is affording me more time away from work, and the workload while I'm there is much more manageable (at least to this point). I am no longer running myself ragged feeling as though I never accomplished anything. I have a different clientelle and that has done wonders for my attitude these days.

I'm ashamed to admit that the struggle at my former job really hindered me spiritually. I was always so tired, so frustrated, feeling defeated, that I let that consume me. God forgive me. The thoughts that would go through my head at times were very far from Christ-like. 2006 was also a year that was a struggle financially with unplanned home repairs, major car repairs and some health issues that all contributed to my spiritual complacency.

I have felt bad that I let this world and it's troubles get me down, when God teaches through His Word that we should choose His yoke, and not the world's. It is so hard sometimes to do that because the pressure in this world is relentless! Then again, so is His love, yet the world blinds me to that. I was somewhat relieved, no, that is not the word I am looking for...comforted? No, that's not it either. Anyway, a woman in my SaLT group, someone I call a "mentor" admitted recently that she is having trouble spiritually due to pressures and frustrations at her job. I guess I was just glad to learn that it doesn't just happen to me, but also to those who I look to as having a strong faith. I guess we are all vulnerable to satan's attacks which is why we should pray for each other and lift each other up, always! Put on our armor!

I look forward to 2007. I am going to refocus my spiritual life. I pushed away one of the things hindering my relationship with my Lord, which was my former job and the things that came with it, finances and other stupid stuff, and now I am moving on. I am refocusing my commitment to Him. I know He is waiting.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas

Katie is the one responsible for the festive look of the house this year. Well, this year and every year. I think she did a great job again! (Click for a bigger pic)

I'm not one for doing all the decorating, I don't know why because I sure do like the look. I guess it is too much work and I'm too lazy!

I can't believe Christmas is a week away and it was +60° today. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without cooler temperatures, but I'm not complaining...I do not like it cold!

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Finished!

I finished my four weeks of training at my new job. I'm thankful that I was trained with all the basics by a knowledgeable staff who were very good about giving me feedback about my strengths and my weaknesses, along with some additional challenges they set for me.

I sought a new job in part because I wanted new challenges and boy do I have challenges now! There is a lot for me to learn, but my training store gave me very encouraging words and are very optimistic that I will do well. I am confident that I will do well because frankly, I have done a good job at anything I have tried, mostly because I work hard and want to succeed.

The only stumbling block I had during training was yesterday. For the first time in almost seven years I was sick! I took a sick day! I think I took one sick day at my last job that I held for about seven years, and before that the only time I remember missing work due to illness was for my back surgery in 1991 and 1992! I left work on Wednesday feeling a bit nauseaous, and then WHAM! Let's just say I spent most of the night in the bathroom and all of Thursday in bed trying to recover from that nasty bug or whatever it was that seems to have struck many in my workplace. Good thing is the recovery time is about 18-24 hours. It didn't last long, but it was BAAAAAAAAD! I woke up today feeling pretty good again...just a little weak from not having eaten much in the last 24 hours.

Well, I start my new job and my own store on Monday and I'm looking forward to that for sure! Woohooo! It's gonna be great!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Taking Offense

One thing my long drive to and from Memphis is allowing me, is time to listen to some messages either on the radio or some I've downloaded and saved to disc.

Today I heard a bit of insight on the radio, and it was one of those things that I caught mid-message and I have no idea who was the man respsonsible for the message. I don't even know what station I heard it on since I listen mostly to WSCAN. LOL Anyway, when he said it I immediately grabbed my pen and wrote it in my journal so I wouldn't forget it!

This is the thing he said that I found interesting:
Taking offense at something someone says or does when they did not intend to offend you, is your sin.
I only listened to about 3 minutes of this message that may have been 30 minutes long, but that was all I needed to hear of it today I guess. The snippet that I heard may have only been a sidenote of a message on a completely different subject, so my "commentary" on it may not have a thing to do with the message in it's entirety.

The holiday Christmas season is upon us and I bet if I had left this sentence to say "holiday season" some Christian somewhere would have a fit. In fact, leaving it say "Christmas season" may offend someone else. Guess what, not my problem. I'm not meaning to offend a Christian if I wish someone "happy holidays" and I'm not meaning to offend anyone by saying "Merry Christmas". If someone is offended by my choice of words when I had no intention of using them to hurt, then I am guilty of nothing. (Check out Ron Shank's post "Merry What?" about this whole "Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday", he makes a great point!)

The same is true in reverse. If someone says or does something that I find offensive, but they never intended to hurt or offend me, it is my problem. I think some Christians can be too complacent at times and not be offended by things they should, but this guy made a good point about Christians sometimes being overly sensitive.

Ever been slighted? Did the gang at work organize a spontaneous get-together at a local coffee shop and fail to mention it to you. You may have been on break or something and missed the word going around, but no one meant to exclude you. The next day, when you found out about it, you were bothered and upset that you weren't invited. You took offense.

Many Christians like myself work in a secular world. We have co-workers who pepper their language with terms no Christian should, or live a lifestyle that is very worldly. Should I cringe everytime certain words are spoken in conversation when that person is simply sharing a story, using their own vocabulary? They are simply telling me a story about something that happened in their life, they haven't set out to intentionally offend me by what they say or how they say it. They have done nothing wrong. If I am offended, it's all on me. I took offense.

Offend means "To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in." (The Free Dictionary) or "a. to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury b. to cause dislike, anger, or vexation" (Merriam-Webster)

Notice in each definition the part that says "to cause"? That means intent. If there was no intent "to cause", then you shan't be offended! If you are, it is only because you took it! You took offense!

This isn't to say that some behavior isn't offensive, it can be, but this little statement of wisdom that I heard today has caused me to consider what actually causes the "displeasure, anger, resentment, wounded feelings, difficulty, discomfort, injury, dislike, or vexation" in me. Is what caused it valid? Or am I allowing my arrogance, pride, and hautiness, to cloud reason? If I am, then I am taking offense.

Taking offense is like stealing something that isn't mine. Taking offense is sin.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Little Drummer Boy

Repost from December 14, 2005

The Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It started to play in the car today on a burned disc I made of some Christmas favorites. When the brummm brummm brummm started I turned up the volume, but Katie grimaced and expressed disinterest in this song.

I was puzzled, how could this be? I said "whaaat? This is one of my favorites and I can't listen to it and not tear up!" I decided Katie must not get out of this song what I do, so I decided to explain it to her and maybe give her some insight and perspective she has not considered before. After I was done, she admitted that she now hears the song differently and wants to hear it again!

While the song played, I would stop the player now and then to emphasize the lyric and what it means...what it means to me. (I don't know if how I interpret the song has anything to do with the author's/composer's inspiration or thought that was meant to convey, but it is what I get out of the song. This is solely my own interpretation.)

Come, they told me (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
A new-born King to see (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
To lay before the King (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum
rum-pa-pa-pum, rum-pa-pa-pum)
So to honor Him (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
When we come

Baby Gesu (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
I am a poor boy, too (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
I have no gift to bring (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
That's fit to give a King (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum
rum-pa-pa-pum, rum-pa-pa-pum)
Shall I play for you (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
On my drum?

Mary nodded (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
I played my drum for Him (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
I played my best for Him (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum
rum-pa-pa-pum, rum-pa-pa-pum)
Then, He smiled at me (pa-rum-pa-pa-pum)
Me and my drum
The first verse of the song basically sets the stage and this young boy was told that these people were traveling to see a newborn baby who would someday be a king. People are bringing all sorts of gifts to honor him.

Now this is when the song gets really interesting!

"Baby Gesu, I am a poor boy too, I have no gift to bring that's fit to give a king" The kid identifies with the babe because he sees Him as "poor". He's born in a stable, wrapped in cloth amongst the beasts of burden, and it's cold. The boy probably thinks that this kid is in need of some of the gifts that are being given to him, yet, because he is a "poor boy too", he didn't bring anything. He didn't bring anything at all that would be worthy to give a king. I wonder, was the boy embarrassed? Was he curious as to what the fuss was all about? Maybe he felt somewhat self-conscious that all these people were there bearing gifts, and he had not one thing to give. Did the boy feel ashamed? Unworthy perhaps? Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel unworthy..unfit to see the King?

Imagine that...having nothing to give Him. We do have NOTHING to give Him that He has not already given everything to us! But, there is one thing we can give Him. The one thing we can give to God that He doesn't first give to us is praise and worship. So, the boy stands before the baby in a manger, with no gift to give Him, and asks him "shall I play for you on my drum?"

I had to stop the player at this point! Think about this...The kid says he has "nothing", but he has everything God has gifted him with. The kid plays a mean drum! So, what does he do with the gift God gave him? He gives it right back to God! I LOVE THAT! God gave us all gifts...we are supposed to give them back to Him! It is called worship!

I restart the song where we left off. So now what is the answer? Can he play his drum? Here is this tired mother who just hours ago gave birth to a seven pound, ten ounce baby (Obgyn 1:1) and here comes this dirty, poor, young boy asking to play a drum. It is quiet. The babe is resting, the mother is still and kindly accepting the gifts coming to him from the respectful visitors, the animals are hushed and the night is still. All that is heard is the crackle of the fire warming the area and casting a flickering, dim light on the people, and here comes a boy and a DRUM! A drum! I'm sure Mary was thrilled with the idea of him banging a drum! Imagine a kid coming to play a drum at the next baby shower you attend! Drums are not usually welcome at those events! LOL

The next verse is one verse that blows me away...Mary nodded. This is a nod of affirmation from a tender-hearted mother, and then the boy begins to play. Creation joined in when The ox and lamb kept time. (Psalm 96:9 "Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.") The moment was filled with praise and worship because one young boy played his drum, offering the gift God gave him back to His Lord. The Little Drummer Boy was the first worship leader!

I played my drum for Him, I played my best for Him! That's all the kid knew to do! He gave it his everything too and here is where the music really begins to crescendo. The animals have joined in, the people bearing gifts are listening and clapping maybe and tapping their feet to the sound of the drum. The music continues to build to an intense climax and then the drumming stops. It ends suddenly with a decrescendo, a brummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm that fades away into silence. The little drummer boy stops playing.

Now the great pause!

Silence...for just a moment.

What transpires in that moment? The boy has just offered his best performance on his drum. Was it enough? Was it enough to please the king...the tiny baby lying before him? There is anticipation in the air...the animals are quiet, the gift-bearing crowd is awaiting the next moment, wondering if the boy's gift of drumming had any impact at all? Everyone is still and quiet waiting for something...anything...to happen next. Then....

(slightly slower tempo here to contrast the climax of the drummer's offering.)

He smiled at me,

Me and my drum.

That's the line that gets me every time! I can hardly listen and not have tears well up.

"Well done my good and faithful servant" is what that says to me!

The Little Drummer Boy is such an impacting story to me, and I enjoy the vocal interpretation by the Harry Simeone Chorale to help convey the tenderness, majesty, mercifullness and joy of this story. We come to the Lord with all we have, which without Him, is nothing. We deserve nothing. Yet, he gives. He gives us all we have. He gave us His One and Only Son, who died and was raised. We praise Him for that. We worship Him. We are to worship Him with everything that He gave us...our heart, soul, mind and strength! And a drum...or whatever else He has gifted you with! When you do that...He will smile at you. So, play your drum!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What is Salvation?

Some say it is being saved from the penalty of sin, which is death, and getting to spend eternity in heaven with God. That is a pretty standard answer to the question what is salvation.

I heard a message delivered by Adrian Rogers the other day where he pointed out that "salvation is not getting man out of earth into heaven, it is getting God out of heaven into man". My Heart, God's Home

God's house/tabernacle/temple is a house of three rooms: outer court (place of sacrifice/body), inner court (where people worshiped and fellowshipped/soul), innermost room (holy of holys/spirit)

In the message Rogers compares the houses, of God...the Primary House (Adam), the Pattern House (Temple in Jerusalem), the Perfect House (Jesus).

The pattern of each house of God was/is the same:
  • A house designed (created as a place for God to reside)
  • A house desecrated (sin = dirty house)
  • A house desolated (God can't live in a dirty house)
  • A house destroyed (death and destruction)
Then Jesus' sacrifice changed things and created the Permanent House (the human heart cleansed from sin because of Christ).

God's permanent house is within us and God is there forever!. He points out that we often say on Sunday "'We're coming to God's house', no, you're bringing God's house to church."

In the lesson, Rogers teaches that Adam died immediately in his spirit, progressively in his soul, and ultimately in his body.

He goes on to say that because of Jesus, God reversed that consequence, and for those who are saved, we are justified immediately in the spirit, sanctified progressively in the soul, and glorified ultimately in the body.

The message is just short of 40 minutes, but it is one of those I have listened to about 3 times already and recommend that you check it out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My New Job

I LOVE my new job!

There sure is A LOT to learn, but I am being taught my job by VERY knowledgeable people. I have about another week of training in Memphis and then I'll be home to stay! Yay! I'll miss the Memphis people (co-workers/trainers) though...they are good people!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Go Eagles!

JCS has just scored a second touchdown in the State Championship game! GO EAGLES!
Cheerleader
It's the third quarter and so there is plenty of game to go...right now the score is 14-0 in favor of the JCS Eagles!

* * UPDATE * *

AAAUUUGHHHH! Nailbiter!

4 minutes left!

JCS is up, but not by much! 19 - 13

Backup quarterback is coming in to replace Fowler who is injured.

ohhhhhh....my nerves!

* * UPDATE * *

INTERCEPTION!

YES!

1:03 TO GO...WE'VE GOT THE BALL! NO TIMEOUTS FOR EITHER TEAM!

CLOCK GOING!

1ST DOWN! 55 SECONDS LEFT!

45 SECONDS....

We have to run one more play!

KNEE DOWN!

3...

2...

1...

JACKSON CHRISTIAN SCHOOL EAGLES MAKE HISTORY!

THE FIRST STATE CHAMPIONS FROM JACKON-MADISON COUNTY EVER! CLASS 1-A!!

WOOHOOOO!!!!!

Congratulations also to Friendship Christian for a great season and a great championship game!

* * UPDATE * *

JCS is mentioned on the FACING THE GIANTS movie website!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes, God Forgives, But...

God forgives, but He does NOT reward for bad behavior.

Vandalized Church Gives Gifts to Suspects

Football Game Blessings

Last Friday night I went to the kid's high school football game. Their school was vying for a chance to play at state, so it was a high stakes game. I sat there watching and would get teary-eyed at times because I would start thinking about the fact that I was at a high school football game!

I know, being at a high school football game is not very exciting, but when I think about the fact that I am not a mom, and I probably never will be, yet, I was at a high school football game with all the activities going on around me, I realized how blessed I was.

I am a single person, but a VERY blessed single person. Single people normally are not out carpooling kids everywhere, and bundling up to sit through football games on cold nights. I have no kids of my own (don't really want them either! Especially at this late stage!) and never will. But, I am so blessed to be involved in the lives of Katie's kids! You know, I love her kids! They are such a big part of my life and at this point, I can't imagine them not being in it! Many single people do not ever get this privilege!

So, I was at a football game ONLY because I am blessed enough to be involved in the lives of kids I really care about. I get to experience the swell of pride when one of the kids accomplishes something, be it scoring in the basketball game, singing in the musical, dancing in the play, striking a bass drum, receiving recognition for hard work or whatever. At the game, Justin was busy with the band playing bass drum, and Tiffany was hanging out with her friends, and I was sitting there enjoying the electricity in the air over this championship game, which they won by the way! State next week!

God gave me such a gift. He gave me great responsibility in the lives of these kids too, and I don't take that lightly. (It isn't all happy happy joy joy! Anyone with teens would tell you the same! LOL) I never did anything to deserve this blessing of a framily (friends + family), but that just proves how gracious and awesome God is!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Did She Turn It On?

Katie is at a friends celebrating Thankgiving with them for a little while. Before she left, she put the turkey in the oven and planned to return home around 2:30 at which time we will share our Thanksgiving feast with turkey and all the trimmings.

Good thing Tiffany walked out here and checked on the turkey. She looked at the oven and asked "Does mom know she didn't turn the oven on?"

"WHAAAAAAAT?" I frantically inquired

"She didn't turn the oven on" Tif repeated.

So Tif called her mom and I heard a muffled "WHAAAAAAT?!" over the phone.

LOL

I guess we are going to eat around 4 now.

Until then I'll sing my "Gobble Song" and eagerly await dinner.

Thankful For My New Job

Today is Thanksgiving, a day that is marked by gluttony in America.

Turkey, turkey, turkey!


And if you are here looking for the American Greetings "At first I was an egg, I was petrified..." Turkey E-Card, CLICK HERE.
(Link updated 11/07/07 thanks to jth1963ut - why American Greetings ditched that ecard this year is beyond me.)

Outside of what I am thankful for daily, which would include my salvation, my friends and family, and the fact that I have a roof over my head and food to eat, I am thankful this year for my new job.

Yesterday I completed my third day of work with Office Max. I am learning A LOT! Whoa! And I mean A LOT!

I left a business I was in for 12 years, so it is safe to say that I knew it pretty well, and I am now in an environment that is pretty much foreign to me. It can be frustrating because I want to do what I can for the customer, and at this point, I'm not doing much! LOL I'll tell them enthusiastically, when they ask if we have something..."no, I have no clue if we have that, BUT...I'll find out, so don't panic! You see...I'm new." LOL Many times I find if I just tell the customer that I am "new" and reassure them that we'll find it one way or another, most are pretty cool with that and have more empathy for me than impatience. rubberband ball

So far I am really enjoying my new job. It is very challenging, yet it is fun. In fact, it is passionate, innovative and fun! The Office Max logo, the rubber band ball, actually made some news this week as a 4594-Pound, 175,000-Band Rubberband Ball, was certified as World's Largest in the Guinness Book of World Records. How fun is that?!

I am working with a very knowledgeable bunch of people who are training me, and not only do they know their jobs, and know how to teach me mine, they are fun. I've never worked in a store this large before, and I have been impressed with how well it is run by the manager and his staff. I'm working with a great bunch of people in my training store and tomorrow will be my first day working at the store I was hired to work at. It should be an interesting day.

I will be working in my new store this one day, Black Friday, and that should be VERY challenging! My first day in my new store, with a staff I do NOT know, a floor plan that I do NOT know, and lots and lots of product that I do NOT know with many, many customers coming in looking for deals, will be Black Friday! I love it! Adrenaline rush! S U U U U U U R G E!!!

Next week, I'll be back in Memphis at my training store for three more weeks. At the end of those three weeks, I will know everything there is to know (NOT!) and be ready to start working at the store I was hired for. Just in time for Christmas! I'll tell you, starting a new job/career in retail a month before Christmas sure is FUN!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Science Gives Christians Upper Hand Over Atheists

Wow! I am wishing I was at this conference, "Loving God with all Your Mind"!

There's some great presentations being given according to these articles:

Science Gives Christians Upper Hand Over Atheists

and

Apologist: Evidence of God is 'Sufficiently Clear'

With theologians/presenters like Lee Strobel, and William Lane Craig...you know it's gotta be good! Lee Strobel's "The Case for a Creator" was premiered at the conference. I'm sure some of the material presented included some of the interesting facts that I've seen in the DVD "The Privileged Planet". Click the links below to view a 3 minute clip from "The Privileged Planet":

The Best Hair Day Ever

This is a picture of Katie. She said I could take a picture because this is "the best hair day ever!"

Posted by Picasa





















She's so weird!

Hey, I painted that wall behind her! I love my blue wall!

My Career is Over

My career in music retail is over.

On Monday, I will begin again.

I will learn new things, I will meet new people, I will be in a new mission field.

It is exciting, frightening, but none of it matters. God is the same.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Please Secure My Seat

I took my Jeep in for an oil change today. When I dropped it off, I asked the service guy to please check the driver's seat because it is loose, could they please secure it.

No problem. (they said and I thought)

Problem.

That will be $300 please, oh and your rear brakes "are low", $150 please.

How did my oil change turn into a $450 venture?

This after I wrote a check for $2800 for home repairs I had done this week. At least my entire house is no longer shaking when someone walks across the room, or when the washer is running.

I can't wait until 2006 is over. It has been my most expensive year on record. I'm sure 2007 will be better!

Monday, November 13, 2006

How Come It Doesn't Feel Like It?

This is my last week at FYE.

This is my last week working in music retail. Selling music and movies has been my business for the last twelve years.

How come it doesn't feel like it?

It doesn't feel any different today than it did a month ago.

Am I really leaving? At the end of this week, my locker will be cleaned out, my certificates/awards will be removed from the wall, my desk cleaned off, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber will no longer hang on the handle of the file cabinet, and I will leave the backroom for the very last time on Friday.

I will not be employed there anymore. It will no longer be "my store". It's gonna be over.

How come it doesn't feel like it?

Literally, it doesn't feel like anything has changed.

Have I already accepted this life change? Or, has it just not hit yet?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All I Need Is...

ONE PANTY HO!

LOL

That was what Katie was exclaiming as she scoured the house looking for a match to the three knee highs she had, none of which matched each other.

She said "if 1 sock doesn't have an 's', then 1 panty ho doesn't have an 's' either".

It bloggles the mind!

Obsession

This is one of the scariest things I have ever viewed. It is even worse than a movie with an evil clown.

www.ObsessionTheMovie.com

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shopping

I hate shopping.

My mom has always thought it strange that I chose a career in retail.

A few minutes ago my friend Katie called to see if I wanted anything from Walmart. I said "Can I come?"

She said "Only if you won't bother me." LOL

I said "Well, what are you going to get?"

She said "See, you are already bothering me." LOL

She's at Walmart. I'm posting on this blog.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Big Life Changing News

Out with the guitar pic...

fye







In with the rubberband ball...

rubberband ballI think the rubberband ball is cute!

I notified my staff tonight that I was no longer going to be their manager. Reactions were as expected...kind of a mixture, but an overall "sorry to see you go" thing. I was sad. I will still have about 10 more days with them.

This has been a decision weighing on my mind for a couple of years. FYE was good to me, but I am ready to move to a different type of environment. I look forward to learning new things and being challenged professionally as a manager at Office Max.

It also didn't help that the EMI Music CEO said last week "The CD is dead."

Music retail has been my business now for almost 12 years. I am going to miss it. In some ways I already do...one way is because "The CD is dead" and the other way is I have moved away from pop culture because I am getting older and also because as a Christian, I am appalled at a lot of the depravity in the recording industry these days, both in audio and visual media, as well as print media. I struggled with that daily and it will be nice not to have that struggle anymore.

I think back to high school when my record collection was just starting. I loved the big vinyl LP album covers and would devour every word on the jacket and sleeve as I'd sit in front of the stereo for hours on end. It was my sanctuary! I always wanted to work in a record store.

In college, pursuing a music degree, I was always applying at the local record stores. No one would hire me. Never even got called for an interview.

Earned my degree...started teaching, moved to MI and landed a summer job at Camelot Music. It was such a great experience! And I always wanted to work in a record store...which was now a CD store. I had found my niche! Basically stopped seeking teaching positions, because I was working in a record store!

Worked my way up the ladder, relocated a few times, and have been managing an FYE store for the last five years in TN. Life changes, and now the time has come for this chapter to end.

I'm feeling a lot of different emotions right now. Excited about the new possibilities. Disbelief that I'm ending my "dream" to work in a record store. Sad to leave my staff and my store. Happy to just get on with things. Rejoicing that I got the job! Bumming that I'll miss my old boss...yet, excited about working for my new one.

A lot of my thoughts are melancholy these days. I'm remembering past jobs I've left and different people I've worked with. Some now on with other things, some still in the CD business, some deceased, some just a faint memory. I've been so blessed to have worked with so many great people. You know...it's not so much the job...it's the people.

Thank you to all of you that have prayed for me that I would get an opportunity like this. Everyone has been so wonderful.

So there you have it...the big life changing news! Instead a passion for music that I once had, I now have a "passion for printers and paperclips!" as was suggested to me by someone when I stopped by the church the other day and announced my news.

God Loves Me

(This is still on the subject of the post below. The information is "sensitive" so I can not disclose the news just yet, but I will be able to later this evening when all the people involved are notified.)

At church today, after having missed it for a good month due to work, I was reminded about how Jesus loves us through others. The people in my SaLT group have been praying incessantly for me, for a good year, and most intensely during the past few months.

One particular sister in Christ is Miss Katherine. She is a frail, elderly woman who we have all grown attached to, and watch over her as best we can. She hobbles around with her cane and requires help with opening doors, climbing the three steps to our SaLT group gathering, and could use a warm campfire in The Gathering Place (our house of worship) when the AC is blowing like a blizzard and keeping a chill in the air...which, for the rest of us, is usually welcome in the warm climate of Tennessee. She is a sweetheart, and very soft-spoken. She sits quietly during our discussions in SaLT group, and rarely has anything to add. (Let me tell you though...the few times she has spoken up have been profound!)

We have learned over the years of knowing Miss Katherine, that her spiritual gift is prayer. We are all sure to ask Miss Katherine to pray for us when we need it. She is one of the first I go to when I need prayer. I trust Miss Katherine to go to the Lord on my behalf.

Today when I shared my news...Miss Katherine smiled a huge ear to ear smile through tears of joy and celebration.

She rejoiced and grabbed my hand and offered a short word of encouragement, and at the same time she was giving all the glory to God for answered prayer.

At that moment, when she looked in my eyes, I realized the significance of the love and the attention she had given to my need. She carried my burden and spent countless minutes, hours going to the Lord for me.

It was then that I also realized that what I was seeing in the eyes of Miss Katherine was the love of Christ. Christ also revealed something else. You see, I saw not only Miss Katherine, but my mom and dad too, whom I know to have been in prayer for me as well. (I wish they weren't so far away) It dawned on me that people cared for me, and that they had taken my burden seriously and have been praying for me! I suddenly felt a rush of, oh...it's hard to describe. Let's just say at that moment I felt so loved. I understood in that moment that God has surrounded me with family and with friends who care so deeply for me. I mean, this is stuff that I already know, but what I'm telling you now, is that I FELT that. I felt it right then.

It all happened in only a moment. The time it takes to look into the eyes of someone who said "I've prayed so hard for you."

And...it is not just the fact that the prayers have been answered as I had hoped...as everyone had hoped, but simply that today I was reminded that God loves me. He put people around me that love me. Nothing else really matters.

Even if those prayers had not been answered as I had hoped, God loves me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Question About Drug Tests

If you are on drugs, why do you apply for a job that requires passing a drug test screening?

I mean, if you are on drugs, you know you are on drugs, right?

Or not?

It must be the drugs.

Hmmmm, you might get a job if you would just say no.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A New Cure for the Oncoming Sneeze

The other day I posted a new Cure for Hiccups and today I will share about a cure for that pesky oncoming sneeze, from my own experience.

I started to sneeze and it was obvious to my associate at work what was happening because I got that "look" on my face as I awaited the sneeze.

She quickly interjected "SAY PURPLE HIPPOPATAMUS!"

I thought whaaaaat? still feeling that oncoming sneeze, but with a curious sensation now.

She added "YELLOW HIPPOPATAMUS!"

And I literally felt the sneeze drain from my sinus and I never did sneeze.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ahhhhhhhh...It Was a Good Day


Sunset at Pickwick
Originally uploaded by susanlprince.
Today I performed with the Lambuth Brass Ensemble at Shiloh National Military Park. This was our second year of performing there as part of a demonstration weekend with live artillery, and other events commemorating the fierce civil war battle fought on that land. We play civil war era music and some other military type music and the audience seems to enjoy it.

I enjoy the road trip to Shiloh and most of all I enjoy spending the day with my best friend Katie. Shiloh is very near where Katie and I use to spend our "God days" at "The River" which is the Tennessee River at Pickwick Dam. We would spend every single Wednesday there doing Bible study and just hanging out enjoying creation when she lived in Selmer, TN. It was an enjoyable time so when I have this gig at Shiloh, we make an entire day of it and go back to "The Peninsula", which is the place we laid claim to back in the day, when we would have our day on the river.

There were many people out fishing and boating today and enjoying the nice weather. It was a beautiful day and the picture depicts some of what was left of the late afternoon before the sun went down for the night. (click the picture to see more images from our day)

Katie waded in the river and splashed around in the waves that were created in the wake of the boats going by. I chose to lie on the blanket with the warm sun to my back and the cool breeze keeping me comfortable. The gentle lapping of the water on shore was relaxing and so I soon found myself napping to the lapping! It was awesome!

On our way home we stopped to eat at Risner's, a restaurant near Selmer, TN that serves steak and we would eat at on occasion when I first moved to TN. We reminisced and had a good time there before heading into Selmer for dessert at The Country Kitchen. The waitress there was a familiar face, but she didn't recognize Katie. Instead, the first person Katie ran into that remembered her was when we stopped at the Walmart south of Jackson, TN on the way home! It was pretty funny that she finally saw a familiar face once we were out of Selmer and almost back to Jackson! LOL

It was a good day.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A New Cure for Hiccups

Tif told us about her day at school today. Apparantly she had a persistant case of the hiccups for the duration of one entire class. The teacher looked at her as class was ending and said "go ahead, hiccup one more time."

So, she complied.

Then the teacher said "I'll give you $4 if you hiccup again".

Tif stared and waited.

*blink*

*blink* *blink*

No more hiccups!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind!

Our newest podcast is now available at Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind!

Check it out there or by using this nifty new player from Odeo.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"We Had Abortions" Petition

"I wanted to do something bigger with myself _ I didn't want to be stopped by anything,"
Tiffine Jones, 27, said in a telephone interview.

She didn't even want to be stopped by an innocent child, a baby. A baby that she helped create. Apparantly, the possibility of pregnancy wasn't going to stop her from HAVING SEX either! NOTHING will stop her from doing something "bigger" with her life.

Debbie Findling, 42, aborted her baby because tests showed her unborn child would be born with Down Syndrome.
"It's emotionally devastating," she said in a phone interview. "I don't regret my decision _ but I regret having been put in the position to have to make that choice. It's something I'll live with for the rest of my life."
Gee, I sure hope her 5 year daughter old never contracts a disease or has an accident that might change Findling's standard of living, or "quality" of life. She might regret having been put in a position that would require her to make a choice. Too bad kids can't choose their parents.Human Fetus

BREITBART.COM - Women Sign 'We Had Abortions' Petition

I just don't understand our world. We have technology to heal so why do people insist on using it to kill?

It is a VERY good thing that Nick wasn't conceived by either of these women!

The abortions are not what bloggles my mind in this article, but the motivation behind the petition and the attitudes with which people justify evil.

I agree with Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, who said about the project, "the evil practically jumped right off the page."

Life is sacred.

  • The unborn baby is a person bearing the image of God from the moment of conception (Psalm 139:13, Luke 1:44)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Candle is Burning Out!

Oh my gosh this single parenting thing is HARD! My candle is burning at both ends and it's almost out! Somebody........HELLLLLLLLP! Sometimes I feel like I'm being attacked from all sides with no defense! I wonder if any decision I make is the right one!


I hate cell phones!!!!! Parents, thirteen year olds DO NOT NEED to have cell phones especially the ones with instant messaging , gaming, cameras and ipods! This is out of control! I recently found out that one of my friend's kids sends out over 7000 text messages every month! Are there no people around to talk to? Why not just dial the phone number and talk? This is madness I tell you! Madness!


Gosh I miss the days when my phones were attached to the wall, when I hiked in the woods and played with barbies, when there was no cable television and no internet. I enjoy some of these things now, but life was just so much simpler then.

Friday, September 29, 2006

He Called Again

The caller from the previous post called back again today.

Guess what he asked?

Caller: "How much is Flyleaf? I called some places the other day and wondered if it was $12.99 there?"

I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one he is calling with these questions.

Oh, and I noticed he did NOT come in to buy it today like he said he would. Matter of fact when I shared this story with my employees, they said he had called earlier in the week too...which would explain how he knew the cost of the CD.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

On a Lighter Note

Work has been very stressful lately, and my "low tolerance for stupidity" level is even lower than normal. I feel like I'm going to snap at any moment and then I get a call like this:

Caller: "Yeah, uh...., y'all got dat Flyleaf fo $12.99 'ight?"

Me: "Yes"

Caller: "How much is it?"

Me: "Why are you asking me a question that you already know the answer to?"

Caller: "Uh...I gonna come t'morra an' buy it."

Me: (rolling my eyes) "....ok....bye"

*click*

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Conversations with Who?

I received an email today that I found interesting enough to quote it here at the Sisters' Weblog:
Two particular books, Conversations with God and Conversations with God for Teens, written by Neale D. Walsch , sound harmless enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New York Times best sellers list for a number of weeks, and these publications make truth of the statement, "Don't judge a book by its cover/title."

The author purports to answer various questions from kids using the "voice of God". However, the "answers" that he gives are not Bible-based and go against the very infallible word of God. For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question "Why am I a lesbian?" His answer is that she was born that way because of genetics (just as you were born right-handed,with blue eyes, etc...). Then he tells her to go out and "celebrate" her differences. Another girl poses the question "I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?" His reply is, "Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong."

Another question asks about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply "I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to tell everyone, do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is "'judge not lest ye be judged.'" And the list goes on.

Not only are these books the false doctrine of devils, but in some instances even quote (in error) the Word of God. These books (and others like it) are being sold to school children (The Scholastic Book Club), and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children. Our children are under attack.

So I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your children the Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly mediums, because our adversary, the Devil, roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, and weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey.

Gal 6:9 Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season,if we don't give up.

Question...why do unbelievers use the Bible or God to back up anything? If they don't believe, then what's the point? So, either they DO believe in God's Holy Word as a standard to live by or they are the biggest hypocrites of all. Would I use the Koran to prove a point about Christianity? It doesn't make sense. Then there are those who for some reason want to believe that they are living in a way that God approves of so they twist the Truth to favor the lusts of their sinful nature.

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Romans 8:5
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Colossians 3:5
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

1 Peter 4:2
As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
If you love God then you will obey His commands (See John 14:23-24). Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). These desires will be for Him and not self. Only then can one know what it means to love, be loved, and to experience true freedom.

We are deceived into thinking we are free because we manipulate Truth to justify our lifestyle. But what we don't realize is that we are only giving in to captivity by living a lie. So often we deceive ourselves. We cheat ourselves from having the blessings God is waiting to pour out on our lives. He only asks that we love Him first.

The war is raging and it's not one belief system against another. It's not one person against another. It's a war that is not fought on land, but in the spiritual realm. It's a choice we face every day in every word we say and everything we do.

God or satan
Good or evil
Right or wrong
Spirit or flesh
Truth or deception

It's white or black
It's freedom or captivity

Will you surrender to the Freedom of the Savior or to the captivity of a deceiving enemy.

The King of Kings or the father of lies?

It's your choice. It's one or the other. There is no in between.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Curse God and Die!

I can't even turn the television on for five minutes before some type of sexual content is in my face. I have one channel...ONE...and from what I see there, there is no way I will ever pay for this garbage to be pumped into the veins of my home straight to the hearts of my family. I had hope last night when I turned the television on, excited about the new show, "Brothers and Sisters". It seemed like something that my family might be able to watch...a story about family. Of course I was skeptical and decided to watch it at least once before making it a family event. It took all of five minutes to decide to turn it off. Almost instantly in the first scene an unmarried couple began to move towards having sex. When will people get enough? It's disgusting and I'm sick of it. I don't want to watch married couples engaged in God blessed union in the bedroom. So, why would I want to watch sinful intimacy promoted? Sex used to be something beautiful and intimate. It was done in private, in the room of married couples as it should be. Now, it's nothing more than humans behaving like animals for any man, woman, boy, or girl at any time of day to view on public television. Disgusting is not even a sufficient word to describe it. The human race is becoming more and more animal like as time goes on. I don't believe that we have evolved from animals but it sure does seem like we are beginning to behave like them more and more as time goes on.
Sex on TV

On another note, NBC is causing problems for the writers of Veggie Tales. They say that "God loves you very much" is offensive and cannot be said on the show! Moreover, they don't want any Biblical teachings being spoken of. Hello? Didn't they know what the Veggies were all about before they signed them into contract? Yet it's okay to listen to people exclaim "Oh my God, For Christ's sake, and Jesus Christ" at every possible moment that has nothing to do with Him! That doesn't seem to offend people as much.

Is anybody getting the message here? Wake up society! There is an enemy at large that makes Bin Laden look like a saint! In fact, he is the one who Bin Laden gets his training from. He wants every child of God to curse God and die. Curse Words

Think about it....

Does anybody use the name Mohammed, Ghandi, or Oprah prior to the word damned? Does anybody say "for Budda's sake" when they try to make a point? Do they yell, "John Smith" when they smash their thumb with a hammer? You think that somebody would be offended to have their name used in such a way? Do you think somebody who loved them would be offended? But, even Christians on a regular basis use the expression, "Oh my God" just to express surprise.

Is satan having his way or what?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Answer and Torture

I agree with one of my commenters, Mary, from the previous post, that if five Christians met up with five Muslims in a room Christian Muslimthat there would probably be peaceful conversation and sharing of ideas and no real problems at all. If five "Christian Extremists" came into that room, there might be heated discussion and most likely someone would be told they were "going to hell", but I do think there would be agreement on the main points of Christian doctrine.

Five "Muslim Extremists" would probably try to forceabley convert the committed Christians in that room, without success, and that would lead them to "kill the infidel". At the end of the day, there would be five "Muslim Extremists" left standing in that room.

This is why it is so important for Christians, non-Christians and Muslims who represent the "peaceful religion" that we hear about, to fight the "Muslim Extremists". We can't "make nice" with those who do not respect life, and in fact, show more respect for death than anything. The "Muslim Extremist" or any terrorist will kill you in anyway they can, and they don't care if it means they die too. It they don't die killing you, they will keep on killing others. They welcome death. I can not think of anyway to fight this kind of enemy than to eliminate it before it eliminates you, and admit that it is hard to reconcile that with my faith.

That brings me to the torture question. The USA is debating now if torture is ever appropriate. I weigh this question within the confines of my faith as well. It is a difficult question for those who value life, and believe we should have a certain quality of life. I hate to see anyone treated inhumanely. I believe the life of a human being is sacred. However, some humans have chosen a life that is destructive and causes harm to others. Some humans, terrorists, have no regard for life. They will kill innocent people without blinking an eye, if that human is determined to be "the infidel". Almost 3000 "infidels" died in our country five years ago in a planned attack.

Fear in the EyeRecently, some attacks have been thwarted, and not just in the USA, but in Great Britain as well. Some of the information gathered and used to thwart further attacks have come from terrorists that are in custody and through coercive interrogation, or torture. (To some it is a question of 'what constitutes torture?', but I'm not answering that question here.)

If there was a plan to bomb the city where I live and kill thousands, it seems to me that if we can gather information from a person who is aware of the plan...that we should get that information via any means outside of killing, in order to save many innocent lives. There is a technique called waterboarding that seems to be very effective in the gathering of vital information. I heard a man, who had experienced this technique when he was in the military, describe this form of coersion on a radio talk show. He was a caller and said "the key is it leaves no bruises, no cuts, no scars and it works!"

Shouldn't we coerce information, using effective techniques, for the sole purpose of saving the lives of innocents?

I've read a bunch of essays about torture and what the Christian response should be. (There are a few listed here, and a good one here, and an interesting perspective on "Christian Wimps" here.) All of these essays/articles have some intelligent points to make, and some troubling things as well. I can't help but wonder at times if Americans really understand the very real threat evil, as manifested through terrorism, is. (Not that evil in another form is any less evil!) Terrorists don't discriminate...they rid themselves of what they see as evil...that is the "infidel" and the "infidel" is anyone not like them.

What if a person had information that would save the life of your own kids and family, but wasn't going to give that information willingly? Would you just stand there and let your family be beheaded without trying any means necessary to get information out of the person who could possibly give enough information in order to stop a major tragedy from being carried out?

Would Jesus torture? No, Jesus would not torture, but this is something that drives me crazy, because I also can't see Jesus allowing the innocent to die at the hand of madmen.

And Jesus did allow torture. He was tortured and He was innocent. Jesus allowed Himself, an innocent man, to be tortured and He allowed it in order to save many.

Ugh, it's a fallen world! Sometimes I just don't have the answers! My "gut" says Christians should not torture or endorse torture, but when presented with PURE EVIL, it is difficult to not react with a fallen mentality.

All creation groans!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Five Christians In A Room...

Five Christians in a room. They are Christians living they way they believe Jesus Christ would have them live. Caring for the poor and the widows, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, loving people as they love themselves, worshiping God and sharing the gospel of Good News with those they meet.

They meet five Muslims in that room. What happens?

Now, in that room they meet five "Christian extremists"...what happens?

Now they meet five "Islamo-fascists", or "Muslim extremists"...what happens?

** NEEDED: READER PARTICIPATION **

I'm curious to hear what you, out there in Readerland, would say would happen in these different scenarios. It might be interesting to see what notions people have about Christians and about Muslims and how they might interact if together in a room. Respond in the comment section please.

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wow

So, after all my ranting in the post below and for the fact that I am so sick of myself, I came across this video at Imago Dei. It kind of puts things in perspective.

(The preacher is a little hard to hear so you may want adjust your volume level.)



My salvation is secure, I won't be left behind, but I'll still be held accountable for my attitude.

I'm So Sick

I'm so sick of life.

I'm so sick of work.

I'm so sick of my house.

I'm so sick of rules.

I'm so sick of people not following rules.

And getting away with it.

I'm so sick of my dog, always yapping, scratching and annoying me in every possible way.

I'm so sick of the phone ringing.

I'm so sick of whacko people IMing me who have no real interest in me, or chatting.

I'm so sick of people.

I'm so sick of the lights being left on.

I'm so sick of money.

Or lack thereof.

I'm so sick of this world.

I'm so sick of car maintanence.

I'm so sick of spam.

I'm so sick of never being alone.

I'm so sick of being lonely.

I'm so sick of clutter.

I'm so sick of being irritable.

I'm so sick of it.

I'm so sick of being invaded.

I'm sick of all the ranting.

Around myself.

From myself.

About myself.

I'm so sick of shoddy craftsmenship.

I'm so sick of thinking about everything I have to do.

That I'm not doing.

I'm so sick of wanting to do things.

That I'm not doing.

I'm so sick of traffic.

I'm so sick of incompetence.

I'm so sick of feeling so stuck.

I'm so sick of feeling so sick of it all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Reflection

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

September 11

It's 9/11 2006. Five years after one of the darkest days in American History. 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, five 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, 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."

-Sue

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


Monday, September 04, 2006

Masterpiece

Good Monsters

Get it today.

Listen to it.

"Oh My God" will stir something in you.

Jars of Clay has released a career defining album. "Good Monsters" raises the bar for all CCM.

Read my full review at CrimsonLight.com.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shoutfest 2006 in Jackson, TN

Woohooo! Shoutfest RAWKED!

ShoutfestAlthough, today, I think I've determined I may be too old to "rock out"! I'm feeling a bit stiff and sore and I have a sore throat! LOL

All the bands had excellent well-polished performances and glorified God through their music and through testimonies.

One testimony of note came from the self-proclaimed "tatooed, four-time felon" lead singer Joshua Rojas of Seventh Day Slumber. He shares an amazing testimony of coming from a $400 a day cocaine addiction, stealing from his mother to feed the addiction, memories of his dad beating his mother, his criminal record and a poignant moment of his mother's indignation. He shared that one day he was leaving his home to get his cocaine fix and his "crazy" mother stood in his path shouting "NO! Satan you will NOT have my son!" which brought applause of affirmation from some mothers in the Shoutfest crowd. He continued his story and shared that his addiction continued to consume him to the point he just wanted to end his life and his misery and he told the attentive audience that the mother that continued loving him through all of this walked in on him and witnessed him overdosing on cocaine. She prayed over him as the ambulance came to transport him to the ER and he shared that he chose Christ as His Savior in the back of that ambulance.

Rojas is a gifted evangelist and his testimony of God's love and grace had many eyes welling with tears and some people emotionally breaking down. He cleared the front of the stage to create an "altar" and the Holy Spirit used the words of this young man to speak to troubled and hurting hearts, especially to those people considering suicide. The altar call brought forth Joy Williamshundreds of young people, some adults, and many people actually ran with abandon to reach that altar! It was a powerful moment!

Joy Williams was a delight to listen to perform. The conversation she had with the audience made it up close and personal and gave life and meaning to her catchy pop songs. She is full of life and "Joy" is a perfect name for her because she seems to have one of those personalities that brings joy to this life.

Flatfoot 56There were many great bands that performed on stage headlined by Jars of Clay. We heard from Building 429, By the Tree, Flatfoot 56 which was quite unique...celtic punk? Yes! Imagine it....punk rock with bagpipes! They were really fun and the kids loved it. They had kids dancing and laughing as they ran in a ring outside the crowd of people gathered to hear them play. It was an absolute riot to witness that! Fireflight, Fighting Instinct and Jessie Daniels and others also rocked the house but my favoritie was Decemberadio!

I LOVE Decemberadio! I went up to meet the lead singer Josh and I said "I manage a music store and push your CD like crazy! " to which he replied "I know you do, you sang along to every word!" (which was true, except when they did a cover of Lenny Kravitz' 'Are you Gonna Go My Way') He asked if he could sign a the CDs I had but I told him that was already taken care of (by Justin).Sue and Decemberadio Then as I turned to walk away, he called for me and then gave me a hug and thanked me! Woohoo! He said "my name is Josh" and then he apologized for being so sweaty! LOL It was a neat encounter and Katie was cool enough to capture the moment digitally! (To check out other pics from Shoutfest, click the picture!)

Jars of Clay played some of the songs from their upcoming CD, due out THIS Tuesday...September 5, 2006. One of the benefits of the job I have is that I sometimes get a sneak preview of new CDs and "Good Monsters" is one I was looking forward to. CCM Magazine has named it "Album of the Year". Jars of Clay
I call it in one word: MASTERPIECE This may be Jars' career defining album (at least to this point, 13 years in), full of intelligent lyrics and deep spiritual observations, great, memorable melodies and is an all around excellent concept album. This is good stuff and among the best CCM album in recent years. I kept watching the guys on stage yesterday knowing that on Tuesday, they are releasing a MASTERPIECE and they performed for us totally oblivious that their new CD may have an impact on CCM music as a standard setter. "Good Monsters" raises the bar! And another thing to note is that Coca-Cola has agreed to donate one dollar for every Jars of Clay "Good Monsters" CD sold during the first month of it's release to Jars of Clay cause Blood :Water Mission.

I had a blast at Shoutfest again this year (This was my 3rd Shoutfest) and I'm already looking forward to next year. Hopefully, I'll be recovered by then!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Building 429

Click to hear a sample of Building 429 performing at Shoutfest in Jackson, TN. (Forgive the sound quality, it's through a cell phone.)

this is an audio post - click to play


Building 429

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ebay Auction - LOTS of CDs!

I'm Makin' Room in My House by selling off a bunch of CDs. I've been collecting them for over 20 years, and 10 of those as a music store associate/manager, so I have a LOT! In fact, I was pushing about 2000 CDs before I finally decided that it is time to move on. Got some good Christian CDs up for auction too!

If anything looks good to you there...go bid!

I'll probably be selling off CDs and various books for the next few weeks. I'm having fun making room in my home for more stuff I'll probably sell on Ebay one day!

A Christian Blogroll

Here's another place to find some great Christian blogs...and list your blog too!

Christian.bloggers.com

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Just Want To Say...

If you eat a lot of pickles, you are gonna smell bad. It's a given.

Onions too.

and garlic.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Egg Relay - Eli and George


Egg Relay - Eli and George
Originally uploaded by susanlprince.
George is a member of the Pastoral Leadership Team at my church. Here he is in the Egg Relay with his son. This picture was snapped just after they had a slight spill...dropped the egg, but it didn't break, so George scooped it up and he and Eli went on to victory!

Tonight was another SaLT with WaLT fellowship "summer salt shake". In order to get to know other members of our church better, we meet once every three weeks or so to share a meal, conversation, and "Karen Games" with another SaLT Group. There hasn't been one dud night yet! It is always so much fun and you can see just how much fun we have by clicking on the picture. You'll be taken to a Flickr page to view hundreds of other SaLT pics and personal pics I want to share. Enjoy!

I love my church family!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Caught Stealing

This post is to the person who Googled this search string: "i shoplifted from a store two month ago and did not get caught can i still get caught".

Let me clear up one thing...why did this search string fetched a page from the Sisters' Weblog? From this post, the 7th layer.

Ok, now Mr. or Ms. Shoplifter, to answer your question, "can I still get caught?"

It depends on what you mean by caught.

Chances are pretty slim that law enforcement or loss prevention will find you and track you down. Of course, I don't know the background to your story, and it is quite possible your act was caught on camera or something. Still, you most likely will not be caught by humans two months after the fact.

Now, obviously, because you are Googling this particular search string, you must be feeling a bit uncomfortable. Is your conscience bothering you? Are you scared? Feeling guilty?

You are feeling guilty because you are.

It will continue to eat at you. Haunt you maybe.

In time, you may not think about the fact that you are a thief every minute of the day, days may go by before you are reminded. At some point, even months will go by, but every now and then, something will remind you of your actions that day. You will remember that specific act of stealing and how wrong it was, and how wrong you know it was.

I wonder, was it out of character for you?

Regardless, you are already caught. God in heaven watched it all. He was over you the moment the thought to steal popped into your head. He was there when evil consumed your heart in that moment. He knew what you would decide to do before you chose to act.

And He loves you still.

He gave you that conscience that is telling you what a thief you are. He gave you the inate ability to determine right from wrong. He gave you free will to choose to do right, as well as do wrong. He allows you to experience the consequences of doing right, and allow you to suffer the consequences of doing wrong. Be careful, there is a bigger thief out there. He is the father of lies, and sometimes he will manipulate you into believing that there are no consequences for doing wrong, because, sometimes at first, you don't get caught.

You don't get caught so you try again. And again. And again. But, eventually, the consequences do come. They always do. Can you think of an example when consequences for choosing to do evil didn't eventually come?

Now, a life fearing consequences is not a free life. It is life in the dark. It is hiding in the shadows. It is no life at all. God gave you a life to live to it's fullest potential! Don't throw it away!

Confess what you have done. Make amends. Ask forgiveness. A life in forgiveness is a free life. It is life in the light. It is a wonderful life! It is the life God wants you to enjoy!

God so much wants you to enjoy a life of freedom from the bondage of guilt and shame, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to live among us and experience the pain of death, of total darkness, caused by human sin. Jesus took your sin, which covers even shoplifting, onto Himself and then it died with him on the cross at Calvary. Confess your sin to Him and He is faithful and just to forgive you.

You were caught. You may as well admit it and tell Him.

If you don't, you can NEVER have a relationship with God. Ever. You see, your sin keeps you seperated from Him. FOREVER. You might not think that is any big deal right now, but someday...maybe tomorrow, next year, or in eighty years, you'll be thinking about what is to come of your soul after you die.

It's heaven or hell.

Eternity with the God who loves you, or eternity in complete loneliness and you will feel no love at all. Do you joke that you'll be with your friends in hell? There are no friends in hell. It will be dark. Lonely. You will thirst and not be able to drink. You will live with regret forever. There will be no escape.

So, are you thinking that in the grand scheme of things shoplifting isn't that bad? It's not like you flew planes into tall buildings, or killed thousands with a well planted bomb, or gassed millions of people in chambers or anything that dastardly, right?

Well, are you really a good person despite that one little mistake? That one bad choice? Are you a good person?

Let's go back to the original question, "can I still get caught?".

You were caught. You will suffer consequences. The good news is, you can decide right now if those consequences will be eternal or not.

I've Been Tagged!

By Pressed at Avoiding Evil!

1. Grab the nearest book.

Ok, I looked around and all I saw were the CDs I have piled everywhere that I am selling on Ebay. Then I saw the phonebook...and a bunch of school notebooks, most of which were empty. Notebooks aren't bound so I didn't figure they'd count. So, I turned to the left and looked on the shelf of the computer desk and saw Bio Ethics A Primer for Christians by Gilbert Meilaender. This is from a study I did led by David Gushee at church years ago. Pretty sad that it was still out here in the desk, but convenient for this meme!

2. Open the book to page 123 and find the fifth sentence.

thumbing through....

118...

119...

120...

blank page....

blank page.....

hmm

*blink* ... *blink blink*

This book doesn't have a page 123. It ends on 118, with an index and bibliography on the next two pages. The 123rd page is there but absolutely blank! LOL For notetaking I guess. I also just admitted that I don't have notes written there! Ugh!

Well....meme over! That's all folks!


3. Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog along with these instructions.



( T h i s s p a c e i s i n t e n t i o n a l l y l e f t b l a n k )


4. Don't dig for that 'cool' or 'intellectual' book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Technically this book was closer than the phonebook. I would've had to move my chair to grab the phonebook! For real!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Commentary (Jeremiah 29:11)

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."

This scripture was given to me late one night as a call back to women's ministry. It was given to me again in a new way recently. This time I am seeing things from a new perspective (not that the old one was incorrect).

God has plans for me! He has plans for every one of us. I once heard someone say on a radio broadcast, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!" It was enough to make me laugh out loud.

It's true. Neither our plans nor our ways are like His (see Isaiah 55:8,9). So, often we think we have Him all figured out, only to find how much more we have to learn.

God's plans are so beyond anything we can ever imagine. He only asks that we give Him theBill Gates controls and trust Him with the outcome. He does not plan to harm us, nor does He promise that the journey will be quick, easy, or painless. Often the journey takes us through deserts, valleys, and rocky climbs to the peaks of mountains that reveal His purpose when we look back over the valleys. Often we fall and get injured along the way. But, the victory is in reaching that mountain only to see how clear, beautiful and fertile the valleys are.

So many health/wealth/prosperity preachers teach that God doesn't want us to suffer, experience poverty, or to fail at anything. God does allow harm to come in the process of refining us to reflect Him (see Zechariah 13:9). Yes, God does work everything good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But, sometimes the "good" can not come without experiencing the "bad". Trials are part of the path that leads to victory. Trials give us strength for our journey. God does not plan to harm us, but aMother Theresa fallen world often brings harm that He allows for His purpose to be fulfilled in us. Ultimately it brings us to Him and He is glorified. Many times when we experience harm, we have brought it on ourselves by making and going through with our own plans instead of seeking God's will. So, then it is our plans that bring us harm and not His.

Prosperity, I have learned is not in health/wealth and status. Prosperity for me, is in finding contentment in the midst of all circumstances knowing God is Lord over them all. I believe that people like Mother Teresa are more prosperous than Bill Gates could ever imagine. Prosperity in human terms is a far cry from prosperity in God's terms. If we all understood God's definition of prosperity, the world would be very different place than it is as we know it. I have found the most prosperous times in my life to be times of poverty, and realizing how small I am and how little I know. It is in these times that I experience the hope I have in an a sovereign, omniscient, holy, loving, merciful God and the future He has for me in eternity.