Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Yep, the Fun is Being Sucked Right Out!

What does it mean when you drive to work, park the car, and walk into work, work all day, clock out, then walk to the parked car, get in, turn the key, and nothing happens.


at all.

oh wait. Something does happen.

When you take the keys out of the ignition.

The gauges all start up, the needles all move in unison to the right.

The oil gauge. The speedometer. The water temperature indicator.

Yep, every single indicator indicates the car is about to blow.

We are having fun now.

What Do You Do...

When you are so burned out, all you want to do is wipe it all away from the dry erase board of life, and take a "do-over"?

*sigh* I am so tired. How did things go from being so fun to having all the fun sucked out?

Ever wonder why you keep holding on at something hoping and wishing it was going to get better but it never does? and in fact, things get worse? and you think that it can't get worse, yet it keeps looking more and more grim? But, you keep holding on to whatever glimmer of hope you think is flickering.

Wow, it is amazing how God works sometimes. Katie just had me look up a verse she wants to give to a friend. Little does she know how God used that verse to speak to me just now.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you."

Philippians 3:11-15

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What Do You Live For?

What do you live for? Is it something to stand for? Is it everything you believe and more?

A new song that made me think.

Storyside B

Quenching the Spirit

Professional theologians are often accused of "quenching the spirit".

All who have thoughts about God are theologians. If you forward an email that says God will bless you if you do, that indicates something about your theology. If you have no belief in a god whatsoever, that is another indication of what your theology is. If you say angels have wings, or that the devil carries a pitchfork and has horns, that also is indicative of your theology.

Professional theologians are those who usually make a living studying things of God. They construct their theology from a lot of study and research. Professional theologians are very aware of common trends and are critical of theological ideas. Professional theologians are often accused of "quenching the spirit".

Do you replace faith with knowledge?

I'm wondering if some theologians are accused of "quenching the spirit" because they sometimes do!? Is it possible that some theologians actually do replace faith with "knowledge"? I think of the Pharisees of Jesus' day...they were the "thinkers" and knew their theology inside and out which blinded them to the true Theology they were witness to. It stood before them and they missed it.

Also, satan himself has knowledge of the Word yet more than anything he quenched and quenches the Spirit BIGTIME!

Are some professional theologians "threatened" by events of a supernatural God? Supernatural would mean that the event can not be explained as something that would occur naturally. Things like, oh...healing a blind man, the sun staying out and making daytime last for 24 hours, resurrection of the dead, and while many Christian theologians will believe those Biblical events, will they have faith enough to believe that they themselves can experience a miracle? Something that defies explanation? Possibly their own salvation experience? or a healing? a spiritual transformation? a "Divine Intervention"?

The Introduction to Theology study I'm working on has me pondering some things.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thoughts on Blog Designs

I am no website designer by any means. I think looking at this blog makes that pretty clear. LOL Still, I like this blog design for the Sisters' Weblog.

As I surf many many blogs a day, I see a lot of different and creative designs. Seeing all these colors, banners, buttons, lines, shapes, fonts, plug-ins, blogrolls, profiles, and icons, I started wondering if people can learn anything about a blog's author, not from reading posts, but by examining blog design. As readers, do we make suppositions about the author simply through what we see in the blog's design?

I notice some blogs (Drama Queen's Guide to Life, Mystickal Insense Blog, Mommy's Busy...Take a Number!) have these really interesting modern "art-deco", cartoon looking characters in the header of their blog. I wonder if these characters are representative of the author? Do they share some physical resemblance at all, like in a caricature? Did they design these sites or have a professional designer build it from scratch for the author? I really find these type of designs interesting and nice.

Some bloggers opt to stick with the generic templates, possibly with minor tweaks, offered by whatever blog software they choose to use (My Opinion on Sports, i On Global Trends, Jazz Coffee). I wonder sometimes if they chose a template because it matches their taste? Or maybe they figure they can use it as a "launch" pad and learn how to tweak it to their taste later? That's kind of what I like to do. Or, maybe the look of the blog isn't as important to them as the content they can share on it?

Some authors have these wonderfully magnificent, visually stunning pictures or interesting artwork that immediately capture a reader's attention (One Man Bandwidth, Nature's Artwork, This is Not the Life I Pictured). Obviously these banners/headers are very cool. They are nice to look at and work very well to get a surfer's attention, probably enough so to hang around a read an entry or two. I wonder, are these author's feeling more "pressure" to write outstanding posts to live up to any expectations their blog design commands? Why did they choose that picture/artwork? Does it represent them in anyway, or is it just a pretty picture?

Some bloggers have gobs and gobs of things on their blogs; blogrolls, polls, scriptures, music, videos, "blinkies", buttons, weather pixies, clocks, puzzles, ads, etc. I call them "busy" and wonder if this reflects what goes on in the author's life? Some blogs are so simple in design, I can scarcely know anything about the author because there is not even a profile posted. Are these authors shy? hiding?

I'm a simple person, therefore I am partial to simpler designs. This blog demonstrates that with a simple header, a blog and one sidebar. The sidebar contains information pertinent to us, and hopefully if a reader is interested in learning more about the sisters, it is easy to find a quick profile. With some more investigating, it is possible to click on the "+" signs and follow some more links and discover even more things.

The design of the Sisters' Weblog is an important one to me, partially because I've learned a lot in "tweaking" templates and trying to make it "my own". It has been fun playing around with fonts and colors and stuff that is at least representative of myself and my friend Katie. This

"The shadows prove the Sonshine"

design is in green because green is my favorite color. The background design is of shadows. The two figures in the shadows are Katie and me. I took the picture as we were walking along in front of the Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, IA when we were visiting in April 2005. It was such a sunny day and our shadows were so prominent on the sidewalk, I just snapped a quick picture. I played around with the coloring and contrast to make it workable as a background. The header design incorporates the shadows as well and I also included a picture of Katie and me, which, was actually taken in front of the courthouse that day. I cut the courthouse out of the shot and pasted the pic of us on the banner. In the upper right I included the words "the shadows prove the Sonshine" because while shadows are sometimes associated with dark alleys and dark times, in order for there to be a shadow, there must be light. Katie and I are in the Light, and shadows remind us of that.

We are sisters, not in the biological sense, but in the sense that we share a common bond through Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him make us sisters, sisters in Christ. We try to honor God with our lives and through our blog we want to glorify Him. We hope that people stopping by might be blessed by what they learn about us, and what they might learn about Him.

So, sometimes I am just curious as to why a blogger chooses the design that they do? Or why they change it? and why they change it again every week? or why I am sometimes, as the reader, given the choice as to what design I want their blog to be? Why is your blog designed the way it is? How does it represent you? or does it?

Monday, February 20, 2006

We're An Original

I was listening to a sermon (02/05/06/) today from Pastor Richard Sipe at First Baptist Church in Marshalltown, IA. Pastor Sipe is an amazing communicator, and in his sermon he made a neat analogy that I wanted to share.

Daily BreadRecently, Pastor Sipe had been on vacation and took a cruise. On this cruise he was introduced to a bit of the arts, a bit of "culture" as he says, and learned about lithography.

We all couldn't have the original painting "Daily Bread" on display on the walls in our home without lithography. He said that he learned that an original piece of art can be when someone else sees a piece of artwork and then makes a lithograph, which is a reproduction of the artist's original work. Then the creator of the artwork, the artist, comes along, looks at the lithograph and says "hey, that's pretty good" and then he signs it. With that artist's signature on the lithograph, it is now considered an "original".

Pastor Sipe went on to say that's the way it is with us:
We live our lives and then there comes a day where we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and we say yes we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and we understand that Jesus cares so much, that He weeps for our pain, He weeps for our needs, He understands and He weeps because we have hopelessness and we need Him, and we turn to Him and the Bible says then we become a new creation and Jesus comes along and He signs His name on us. And we're an original. And we're an original child of God who has eternal life. We're an original.
I'm an original! Woohooo! I kind of like the image of Jesus signing His name to my heart. That's cool!

I'm an original!

Are you?

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Justin, Katie's 15 year old, just tried to call to have pizza delivered. The funny thing is it is 8:50 in the morning!


I laughed and laughed!

The kid LOVES pizza and when Katie left this morning she left him some money to order pizza with today. I guess he just couldn't wait for LUNCH! LOL

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cellphone Rudeness is OUT OF CONTROL!


I do not carry a cellphone, and I don't have a problem with people who do...except when they are talking on it while I am trying to give them the customer service THAT THEY ASKED FOR! Why don't they ask the person on the other end of the phone for help finding something?

My first customers of the day both were using their phones at the check out. These were two separate incidents a few minutes apart, just "perfect" to start my day out "right". One woman actually made her call as I was taking care of her return. I'm sure waiting 2 minutes to place that call would have meant a loss of life. I was so irritated.

Cellphone rudeness is out of control.

Is it really necessary for one to be in constant communication with another person? And really, most of the conversations I can't help but "overhear" are NOT life changing.

I really wish I had some kind of scrambler in my store that would make using the cellphone impossible!

IT IS RUDE TO TRY TO TALK TO SOMEONE ON THE PHONE AT THE SAME TIME YOU ARE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH SOMEONE WHO IS STANDING THERE IN FRONT OF YOU! Pick one! If you want to talk on the phone...leave my store and talk to your heart's content. If you want some help finding the item you need, and you want to purchase it, do that...BUT DON'T DO BOTH!

IT IS RUDE! There is no other way to explain it.

So while these particular customers are handing me their money and their credit cards, I could virtually do anything with those things that I wanted since it was obvious they weren't paying any attention to me. So, it's not only RUDE, it's STUPID!

The ironic thing is that while they were chatting away on their cellphones and I was completing their transactions without much interaction with them at all (which goes against everything a customer service focused person is trained to do), THE STORE PHONE WAS RINGING OFF THE HOOK!

I NEVER answer the phone if I am serving a customer in the store. Why? BECAUSE IT IS RUDE!

So, if I know it is rude and possibly upsetting to the customer if I were to make them wait for me while I answer the phone....WHY DON'T THEY KNOW THAT IT IS RUDE TO ASK FOR MY HELP WHILE THEY TALK ON THE PHONE!?!

I wish companies would come up with some type of policy on how to handle customers who are talking on their cellphone. It is amazing how a customer will ask for help finding something, and then they won't even follow me to the area they need to be in because they are so ensconced in their conversation. So, I stand there wasting time waiting for them to notice I am on the other side of the store. I have other customers, other customers NOT BEING RUDE and NOT TALKING ON THEIR CELLPHONES, that need assistance.

I would really like to simply walk away from and ignore people on their phones and not have it effect in any way the customer service that I am required to give, and want to give.

Oh, here's a good one that Katie shared with me. Yesterday, as Katie was helping a person at her job get signed up for a membership, the woman was of course, on a cellphone. There are some questions that need to be asked and answered in order for the membership application to be processed. The Rude Cellphone User (RCU) placed a call and Katie, needing to inquire about some additional information, asked the woman a question. The RCU then apologized TO THE PERSON SHE WAS TALKING TO ON THE PHONE, because "someone was being rude". AAAUGGHHHH! THE AUDACITY!

Cellphone rudeness is OUT OF CONTROL!

I think God is teaching me grace because He keeps putting RCUs in my path!

Cellphone Etiquette...there is no "cellphone etiquette", it is just ETIQUETTE!

Etiquette and some plain old common sense, respect and decency!
  1. I don't want to hear about your recent colonoscopy results or that the dog has mange. Keep your voice down please!
  2. I'm grossed out when you are talking on the phone while using a public restroom.
  3. Deal with your face to face interactions first; pay attention when your server is taking your order or the clerk is taking your money, or the doctor is taking your appendix. See, if you are on the phone, you missed that.
  4. Turn that thing off at the movies and at church! Don't worry, when God calls, He doesn't use the phone. (He read the fine print, the minutes don't rollover into eternity.)
Have anything to add?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Who Else Has a Problem....

With a half-eaten chicken breast being put back into the container with the rest of the fried chicken?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I'm Being Quoted!

I was contacted today by the couple that manages the website for Talitha and Acacia. They emailed me to ask if they could have permission to quote me on the website as well as an mass email newsletter. I was flattered! I gave permission!

Talitha and Acacia is a duo whose music I was first introduced to last fall at Shoutfest 2005 in Jackson, TN. I was quite taken with their music and stage presence and posted about the experience I had at Shoutfest, and more specifically, the performance of Talitha and Acacia. Here's what I had to say:
"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'."
Their second full-length CD is due to be finished later this month and I'm very excited about the release! They have a great message, one that needs to get out!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Bright Idea

Bright IdeaI can see still saying "hey, that's a bright idea!", but how was an idea portrayed in print or in a newspaper cartoon before the invention of the light bulb? Today the lightbulb above someone's head indicates a "bright idea", but it would have no meaning to a person before that was invented.

I wonder how a thought was illustrated before the light bulb?

Episode IV - What Should a Christian Say....

ListenWhat should a Christian say when she hits her thumb with a hammer?

No, really, we had a little trouble coming up with a topic for this podcast and managed to have fun asking and answering the above question. At least we thought it was funny!

We also share the story of "The Bellydrag"...although, I think it is probably one of those "you had to be there" kind of things.

This is Episode 4, if you listen and like what you hear, you can find our other podcasts at Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind! If you listen and hate it, you might try our other podcasts and give us a chance to redeem ourselves!

Remember we are a m a t u e r s, we have NO idea what we are doing! Our equipment consists of a sound recorder, an $8 microphone from Walmart, and a 20 year old, sometimes-functioning, boombox...yeah, remember those?

Also, we need some help ending our podcaster's block...have any suggestions for podcasting topics?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

God Still Works Miracles!



God still works miracles.

Two weeks ago tonight, a young girl pulled out into traffic in her little Pontiac Sunfire and was broadsided by an SUV.

She laid unconscious for three days and then rose from her slumber. Unable to swallow, unable to speak and suffering from a broken pelvis and tailbone, arrangements were made to transport her to a neuro center in Atlanta, GA, to treat her Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI.

Tonight, two weeks after the life-changing accident, Holly whispered her first words. Two hours later she was talking! She has done arithmetic!

"Holly is showing visible improvement 'every 5 minutes.'"

She identifies and points out her friends in a picture! She talked on the phone! She ate a full meal! Her memory is returning! She understands that her parents' have kept vigil at her bedside and that she will going to Atlanta for rehabilition. This is such encouraging news and worship tomorrow morning should take on a whole new meaning. Woohooo! God is good, ALL the time!

From Dave Gushee on Holly's Carepage tonight:
Nelda Webb, our volunteer tonight, has gotten to witness a miracle. She reports that her husband, who also visited tonight, said that Holly is showing visible improvement "every 5 minutes."
The girl should not have even survived the wreck, but anything is possible with God! ANYTHING!

Symphony Gig

I'm getting ready to leave in a few minutes for rehearsal. Tonight I have the opportunity to perform with the Jackson Symphony. Tonight's concert is a "Celtic Celebration" and will feature guest artist Cherish the Ladies.

I have really been practicing the Victor Herbert piece "Irish Rhapsody" as I'm a bit rusty on transposition. Also, transposing to A on a Bb trumpet is putting me in the Key of B. Bb trumpets should not have to play in the key of B! It's not natural! LOL Actually, it is not so bad except that my part requires a lot of playing in the low register of the horn which means the fingerings are a bit more difficult is all. I've worked it up to performance level and thought we did very well with it at rehearsal last night.

It should be a good time tonight. I know that with all this celtic music and dancing themes, I'm almost ready to go buy some clogs! LOL

The Express Line

With the bag of dogfood in my arms and five fruit cups in my basket, I made my way to the Express Line, 11 Items or Less. To my dismay, I noticed the man in front of me had a lot more in his shopping CART (cart, NOT a "buggy"!). I counted them. There were 23 items. 23 "bleeps" as the cashier moved them across the scanner.

23 items in the 11 items or less line!

Should the cashier politely say to the man, "it seems you may have more items than this express lane allows for, please use another available check out line."?

Or, should the people in line behind the man shout "CAN'T YOU COUNT?"

I have no problem with letting a guy slide with 12 items, or 13, maybe even up to 15, but this guy had more than double the allotted items for the Express Line!

What is the point of an express line if a person can use it with any number of items? It takes the "express" out of "express line"!

Dave Gushee's Column

Dave Gushee is a frequent guest columnist for the Jackson Sun, Jackson, TN. In his latest column, it is no surprise that he shares about some of the recent events in his life surrounding the car accident that his daughter Holly was involved in. The accident has left Holly with TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Some readers of the Sisters' Weblog have been following this situation since the night it happened as I posted here and through Holly's progress on her Carepage (hollygushee), where Dave is keeping the many who love his family informed about what is going on and what specifically their family's prayer needs are.

Please continue to pray for the Gushee's and remember the two siblings at home, Marie (Marie's Xanga and Myspace) and David. Their world has been turned upside-down and they need encouragement and strength to deal with this situation. I have such a heart for them.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Hate the Phone

I hate the phone because when it rings, it usually means I will have to do something.

All day long I have to listen to the phone ring at work. If I am busy with a customer in the store, I let the phone ring because I refuse to answer it. It is better to provide service for the customer in the store, with money in hand, than the customer on the phone that may or may not ever set foot in the store. So, the phone is left ringing quite a bit.

Usually the phone call is a customer inquiring about Ticketmaster. I hate Ticketmaster. I can't answer Ticketmaster questions over the phone because we are a walk-in service Ticketmaster outlet only. (The reason is that we do not make any money unless tickets are purchased at the store and even at that we make very little. Phone customers are very time consuming and just because a seat is available now, doesn't mean there will be one by the time they come into the store. We are instructed to direct their calls to Ticketmaster.)

Here's how the majority of phone calls go on a daily basis:

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing....pick up;

Me: "Thank you for calling blah blah blah, how may I help you?"

Caller: "Are you Ticketmaster?"

Me: "We are a Ticketmaster Outlet, a walk-in service only."

Caller: "Ok. Well, do you have tickets for blah blah blah?"

Me: "We sell those tickets, yes. If you have specific Ticketmaster questions, I can give you the Ticketmaster number."

Caller: "Ok. Well, how much are the tickets?"

Me: "We are a walk-in service only. If you have specific questions about Ticketmaster, you can call them at 1-901-525-1515."

Caller: "Well, I just need to know how much money to bring."

Me: "We are a WALK-IN service only. I can not answer Ticketmaster questions over the phone."

Caller: "But you sell the tickets there don't you?"

Me: "yes, but I can not answer specific ticketmaster questions for phone customers. We are a walk-in service only."

Caller: "Oh, ok...well, do you know if there are still seats available?"


So, when I come home and the phone rings, the last thing I want to do is answer it!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Can the Church Become "Top Heavy"?

The Theology Program
Northbrook Church is embarking on a new study in The Theology Program.

This teaches people to glorify God by using their minds. Do I think this is important? VERY MUCH SO!

Our church is heavy in the "brains" department. Dave Gushee, a few years ago, spearheaded a mission to start the educational program at Northbrook called "Northbrook U". We constantly have "classes" being offered in theology, Greek, "How to Study Your Bible", ethics, and various other mind exercising courses over the years.

After I was saved in April of 1999, I dove into all the studies I could possibly handle. I studied a lot of "heart" stuff, and I also got into theology and apologetics. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was actually reading an apologetics encyclopedia! I purchased and read many theology books and books that stimulated my mind. However, I learned that I was feeding my brain, and my heart began to suffer from spiritual malnutrition.

Knowing facts and being able to spew theological arguments is one skill, whereas knowing comforting words of scripture to offer a person who is suffering is entirely different. A relationship with God and with others that is built on love and compassion is a different kind of "knowledge".

I am starting to wonder if it is possible to get too much head knowledge, and not enough heart stuff. Can the Church get too "top heavy"? By that I mean, is it possible to feed the mind out of proportion to the heart?

We are instructed to love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength. There needs to be balance. If we get too "top heavy" we are bound to fall over.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Episode III - The Perfect World

ListenKatie and Sue consider what the "perfect world" might be like over at Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind!

What would people be like? What about race? class?

Would there be money?

Would there be Walmart?

What would food be like?

Would lint on your tongue influence the thought patterns of another person?

Would mustard exist in a perfect world?

Would there be work?

Would phones ring during podcasts?

We ponder these questions and others that bloggle the mind!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Holly Said "OW!"

She said "OW!" and those in the room heard it! The first time she verbalized anything since the wreck! Praise the Lord!

Also, after reading Holly's Carepage update today we learn she has swallowed small amounts of water, juice and pudding. Keep the prayers coming! God is at work!

Keep up to date with Holly's progress by visiting Holly's Carepage.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I Am Blessed

I've been working a lot this week, and will be continuing to put in the hours as my hunt to replace a virtually irreplaceable member of my management staff continues.

A couple of things have reminded me how blessed I am.

One of the biggest blessings I've ever received came this morning from a young man with a such a tender heart. This morning, Katie's son Justin came around behind me as I sat reading the news online. He bent down behind me and he softly kissed my left cheek, wrapped his arms around my shoulders and hugged me and said "I've missed you so much, I haven't seen you very much this week." Awwwwwwwww. I have tears.

I've been praying for some friends of mine, obviously the Gushee's. That family needs my prayers, and I am blessed to pray for them because they have been selfless, and so helpful to my framily over the years. In times like these it is so easy to feel helpless, but I'm believing God for a miracle!

I have been praying for a friend of mine seeking help in her marriage. My heart is hurting for her and I will continue to lift her up. Last report is that things were better, but I know healing will take time, and there is a long way to go.

Also, I have had a burden to pray for a young friend of mine for years. This is a person who struggles daily with herself, fighting a ferocious spiritual battle. It is difficult for me to watch, at times painful, and all I can do is wait, and wait prayerfully. I will never give up praying for her! Things were seeming to get pretty dire, but last night a sliver of hope shimmered through and encouraged me to continue my vigil.

I am so blessed. God is ALWAYS at work around me!

To God be all praise and honor and glory!

A Riddle

mirrorJustin just asked me to solve this riddle:table

You are in an enclosed room...floor, ceiling, and four walls, but no doors or windows. In the room is a table and a mirror. How do you get out?

Think about it for a minute and when you give up, check the comments for the answer.

Update on Holly Gushee 02/03/06 Midday

Dave Gushee, Holly's father, will be providing updates from this point on. He hopes to update her Carepage daily. If you have been following Holly's progress here at the Sisters' Weblog, you will now be able to get the latest updates by bookmarking the link below. You will need to register, but it's simple and quick and you'll only need to do that once, and after you do you will be able to post on the message board anything you would like to say to Holly and her family. I urge you to continue to pray for Holly and the Gushee family and check her Carepage frequently to stay up to date on how God is working in her life as she recovers from this terrible accident.

Holly Gushee's Carepage

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Update on Holly Gushee 02/02/06 AM

Update from Paul Jackson:

The highest priority for Holly's rehab at the moment is for her to relearn to swallow. She needs to be able to feed herself. She is not yet speaking, although she does have some surviving capacities. Rehab may take up to a year. The pelvis fractures will slow down her rehab process, and will impede her ability to talk. The doctors are very encouraged by her quick progress. The neuro reports are improving each time. The fact that she woke within 3 days, after such a serious accident, and is sitting in a wheelchair with motor skills intact is a miracle in itself. Rehab for Holly could officially begin in the next three weeks.

I met with a newly formed committee to help direct a fund-raising effort for Holly's extensive medical costs, and for future beneficiaries. I will let you know more about this as it unfolds.

The silver lining in the accident is a coming together of many different faiths through the common bond of Christ and are uniting in this effort to help Holly and her family during this time of extensive rehab. Although it is not official, we are trying to come up with a name for this foundation. The initial figure mentioned to raise is $100,000.00. Our idea is that this is more than a fund; it is a foundation which will function to serve future needs as well.

Be thinking about what you may want to contribute to help with this fund. If you are not a member of Northbrook Church and are receiving this e-mail, you may contribute to this effort by sending any donation directly to Northbrook Church at 421 US Highway 45 West, Three Way, Tennessee 38343. Please put Holly Gushee's name in the memo line.

The formation of this committee and the dynamics for raising this money are extremely fluid as we are a brand new group. If you want to be involved please e-mail me at the church. You may also call us at the church directly.

Jeanie, Holly's mom, was very pleased to receive the well-wishes, thoughts and prayers some of you have left here and at Holly's Xanga/MySpace (see posts below) that I printed out and had Katie present to her. In the post below I also linked to the hospital page that allows you to send a free card to Holly. (Unfortunately, it appears that only those living in the US can use that function, but leave a comment or send me an email and I'll be sure to pass it along.)

The Gushee family is in great need of prayer and encouragement, so please continue to lift them up to the Lord, the Giver of Life, the Healer and the Comforter.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Update on Holly 02/01/06 PM

Holly is awake and will open her eyes. She looks around, they turn the tv on and she looks at it. She seems to recognize her parents voices, but nothing else. No one is really sure what Holly is absorbing or understanding about her surroundings. She is not able to talk. She has pain, but apparantly has total amnesia at this point. Nobody is sure what is going on, but people are praying and hopeful. It is still early, and tomorrow is another day.

If you would like, you can send a patient greeting card. Click here. The info you will need is:
  • Patient's Name * Holly Gushee
  • City * Jackson
  • State * Tennessee
  • Patient's Room Number * 616
  • Facility Name * Jackson Madison County General Hospital
Some of Holly's friends have been posting encouraging thoughts/comments at Holly's Myspace and Xanga.

Update on Holly 02/01/06 Midday

From Paul Jackson after visiting with Dave today:
Holly is awake this morning. The physical therapist was already in to see her. They have been working her into a sitting position. She has not spoken, but has moaned in pain, and is aware of her surroundings. Doctors are very hopeful.

Dave asked that we all keep praying.
Thank you to all who are praying! I do want to let you know that I have copied off the comments and posts at MySpace and Xanga that some of you have left, and Katie is going to present them to Dave and Jeanie today. They may be able to read them to Holly. The family will be so encouraged by the love you are sending her way by lifting her up to the Lord! There is no greater power on earth than the power of prayer!

If you would like, you can send a patient greeting card. Click here. The info you will need is:
  • Patient's Name * Holly Gushee
  • City * Jackson
  • State * Tennessee
  • Patient's Room Number * 616
  • Facility Name * Jackson Madison County General Hospital
Some of Holly's friends have been posting encouraging thoughts/comments at Holly's Myspace and Xanga.

Update on Holly 02/01/06 AM

A note from Dave Gushee last night,

I will not bombard you with specifics of every step of progress in Holly's recovery, but I wanted to let you know that for the first time Holly woke up tonight. She has been awake for the last two hours. She is not speaking but her pupils look good, and she does seem to recognize the voices of her parents.

It is just a first step, but it has come much sooner than we dared to hope.

Thanks be to God. Spread the word.

Dave Gushee
Holly has since been moved to a private room.

There is a Holly Gushee fund being established, details to come.

Friends of Holly have been leaving encouraging thoughts/prayers/comments at Holly's MySpace and Xanga.