Sunday, March 26, 2006

Our Daily Bread

While saying the Lord's prayer the other day, a thought came to me. I've done studies and read several books on the Lord's prayer. It's perfect. When I'm having trouble praying, so often I will just recite this prayer to God. It's beautiful and it covers everything. However, I've been pondering this thought for quite some time now.

CommunionIn my studies of the Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread", is often referred to or explained as a petition for God to supply our needs. When we speak of needs, most likely they are things like health, finances, food, clothing, housing, etc... But, what does God see as a need? Could that need be illness? Might it be heartbreak, a car accident, or the loss of a loved one?

I know this may seem bizarre to some, perhaps even ungodly. But, God does not think like we do. He sees the whole picture. People are often at their best in times of weakness and tragedy. Sometimes it takes war to make peace, a wound to bring healing, or pain to bring joy.

This brings me to share a story regarding some very close friends who experienced having need met through a time of suffering. They were having some struggles that was causing tension between the members of the family. The dad, a good Christian man, was often gone on trips and very career minded. He was doing what he thought to be best for his family when really, they just needed him to be home more. One rainy evening, this couple received a call from the hospital emergency room. The caller informed them that their daughter had just been in a tragic car accident and was unconscious.

Hours turned into days. Aside from lacerations to her upper cheek, and a fractured pelvis, tail bone, and collar bone, their daughter had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a deep coma. The couple was a living example of God's grace as they dealt with the idea that if and when their daughter regained consciousness, their lives would never be the same.

Through this time of struggle, the father (a writer) began writing like he had never

"His words touched the hearts of many"

written before. He took notice of simple things that are so often taken for granted. His words touched the hearts of many. He experienced God's grace like one could have never imagined. His focus was brought back to home and family and as a result, their bond became stronger.

After just a few days, their daughter regained consciousness. She couldn't speak, or swallow. The doctors said that she would have to relearn everything. Nobody knew what was going through her mind or how she was feeling. Plans were made for her to go through rehabilitation at a special center for TBI victims. Doctors said that she stood a chance of 80% recovery after about a year of intense therapy.

It was about three weeks after the accident when some friends from the girl's school came to visit. Everyone was laughing at a joke, when somebody noticed that the couple's daughter was laughing too! It shocked everybody. The first intelligent sound that came from her mouth was a hardy belly laugh! The next day, while her friends were visiting, she began to whisper, and then within a couple days she was chatting non-stop.

By the time she arrived at the rehabilitation center, she was at 95% recovery. Even the physicians who didn't practice a faith in God could not come up with any other explanation. This family had received a miracle.

During the time the mom and daughter were at rehab together, the dad had the blessing of trying to balance career, household, and raising the other two teenagers as a single parent. This man, who already had a very merciful heart to those who have been put in a single parenting position, began to have even more compassion towards them. He developed an even greater appreciation (than he already had) for all his wife does daily in keeping the home running smoothly. The family experienced all denominations of faith coming together and working as one body as they developed a program to financially assist victims of TBI.

This testimony is just one example of the transforming power that takes place in a time of tragedy. Instead of focusing on their loss, this family focused on getting through each day. Everyday life outside of their family became the least of their priorities. Careers took a back seat, personal desires took a back seat, and any other problem that was there prior to the accident became trivial.

This father, his family, their relatives, friends, and the church all experienced
transformation due to an automobile accident that almost took the life of a beautiful, godly, very loved young lady.

FamilyThe family that was preparing for months of therapy for their daughter, are together at home again after only 6 weeks of rehabilitation. The young lady who many thought would never graduate, will graduate on schedule this spring.

So, could it be that perhaps the family, friends, and community of faith had a need met through this time of suffering that otherwise may not have been met? I don't have the answer to this question, I'm merely pondering as a result of praying the Lord's prayer.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Michael JacksonI overheard two teenage girls in my store today when one, looking through the Michael Jackson CD stock, suddenly exclaimed...


She literally had no clue until that moment.

I guess the younger generation wouldn't know otherwise, unless they browse the Michael Jackson catalog. Hmm. It bloggles the mind!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


"Thanks be to God that suffering doesn't only come to those who 'deserve' it."

An excellent message was delivered to Northbrook Church today through George Guthrie.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Rebecca St. James


*** Click to see video clip of RSJ entrance! *** (file only good until 04/18/06?)

Rebecca St. James rocked the house in Jackson, TN last night! Great show! A stellar performer and the songs from her new CD just jam live! Some of my favorite parts though were when she put the audience front and center to sing "Lamb of God" and "Blessed Be the Name". I just love the sound of an audience singing in unison to the Lord. Powerful. Gives me chills!

Barlow Girl impressed me with their stage show as well. They really know how to engage the audience.

Jadon Lavik performed for us as the opening act and played some songs from his new album. He did a good job of warming up the audience.

Full concert review at and more pictures at my Flickr.

The funny story of the evening arrives via the elderly couple that we were sitting next to. When I took my seat next to the man I looked over at them both and asked "are you ready to raaawwwkk?!"

They both gave me the bugged-out eye, deer caught in the headlights look, and the man replied "I thought this was a gospel music show".

"They both gave me the bugged-out eye, deer caught in the headlights look..."

It was evident that his idea of "gospel music" was not Barlow Girl and Rebecca St. James, but possibly the Gaithers or the Crabb Family.

I explained that this is a rock concert, but it is gospel music. We are going to be hearing Christian rock music. I also suggested they might want earplugs, I was getting some and could get them some if they would like.

"Will it be loud?"

I said "oh yes!"

The woman did go and get earplugs, but her husband refused.

I told them Jadon Lavik is a singer-songwriter who plays guitar and sings and that he won't be too bad.

I warned them though that when Barlow Girl comes out, things will be turned up a notch.

The man, noticing the thousands of youth scurrying about, asked "do these artists appeal to young people?"

I explained that they do and he told me that he's heard Rebecca St. James on his gospel music station.

I tried to explain to him that Rebecca St. James has many songs played on the radio, even some nice soft sounding ones, but that she is known for being a "rocker". I also told him that her new album is a rock album and that she will be doing a lot of songs from that.

At this point I'm not sure the couple really understood what they were in for.

So Lavik finishes his set and then WHAM! Barlow Girl heads out on stage to thunderous applause and screams and shouting from the young audience. Everyone was on their feet immediately, well, everyone except the elderly couple seated next to me.

They sat there the entire time while people around them were dancing, jumping and singing along with Barlow Girl's rocking music.

After Barlow Girl finished their set the man leaned over to me and asked "are people going to be standing up the whole time for Rebecca St. James too?"

"yes, I"m sure they will."

The man motioned disgust as he tossed his hands and pushed them out in front of his body.

Well, it was obvious he wasn't pleased with that answer, and sure enough, as the screen over the stage started the "countdown", the audience leaped from their seats in great anticipation of things to come. St. James entered the stage with lights flashing all around to the lead single off her new CD and it was loud and it was rockin'! It was fantastic and she set the stage for awesome things to come!

"the couple was off in a shot!"

The next tune was "Lamb of God", another rocker, and the couple was off in a shot! They left.

Missed a great show too!

This concert was a benefit to raise funds/awareness for ACTS, Abstinence and Character Training Services of West Tennessee. Thanks to West Jackson Baptist Church for donating the venue.

Read the full concert review at

You Would Think I'd Learn

My keyboard is now drying. You would think I would have learned from my experience a few years ago when I spilled Coke on my keyboard.

Today it was milk.

Oh, and I just noticed while posting this that it is post #1001! Wow! Over 1000 posts to this blog! I don't know if that number includes the posts in my "old archive" or not, so I may be waaaaay over 1000 posts at this point. I think that's something to celebrate!


ok, all done.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind!

May we present for your listening pleasure, or, ur, *ahem, at least for your listening...Episode VI - Ur!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So You Are Visiting a Church for the First Time...

What things do you need to know about that church?

What thoughts are going through your head as you pull in the driveway, the parking lot, or first walk in the front door, or side door? Do you wonder which door to enter? or where to park?

Northbrook ChurchWhere's the steeple?

What kinds of things are you looking for when you are greeted, or not greeted, at the door?

Do you have a "checklist" in your mind that you mentally check off when you visit the church? or do you just go and experience whatever comes your way?

Is all you care about is where to find the coffee?

Is it important to you that the members of that church introduce themselves to you, and meet you? Would you rather be left alone?

How about the music in the service? What kind of music do you prefer to worship to? What about the drama that accompanied the service, is there a place for drama/theater in church? Interpretive movement? Dance? What is all this stuff? Does any of it matter?

Is the spirit of the living God here? How do you know?

Why isn't there an "invitation", or what's an invitation? Why isn't there an "offering", or how can I give?

I attended a "summit" meeting at my church today where we discussed some of the things we feel we do well as a church, and some of the things we need to improve upon. It got me wondering what a person's first impression of our church is? and what should it be?

thumbs upSo, I am asking you, dear reader, to tell me what you look for as far as a "first impression" of a church, when you visit.thumbs down Please share in the comment section about any experience you have had, or would hope to have you when you visit a church for the first time. What would impress you the most about a church? What would totally turn you off to a church, and would basically wipe out any chance of a return visit?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Woman and the Screeching Girl

Yesterday a woman came into my store and stopped in the front to browse some of the new releases. Her entrance into the store was made obvious by the person she was with, in fact, I'm sure it is very difficult for this woman and the girl she accompanied to not draw attention wherever they go.

The girl she accompanied was screeching seemingly uncontrollably and drew all eyes toward her because it sounded so frightening.

"The girl's screeching was similar to the sounds R2-D2 made"

It is natural to look to see what was the matter and what was going on. The girl's screeching was similar to the sounds R2-D2 made when under attack in all of the Star Wars films. She was extremely loud, and after the initial reaction from customers and myself, when we realized that this was a person who had some physical disabilities, we would go about our business, even though the girl's loud outbursts were quite distracting.

The woman and the girl browsed the store for quite awhile yesterday afternoon. I also noticed that the girl was wearing protective head gear and had a rather unsteady gait as the older woman kept steadying the girl and offered support by hanging onto the girl's arm.

As I continued working on my tasks, and helping other customers, I was tuned in to the girl's cries, whines, and frightened screeches. I began wondering about some things.

I wondered if the girl had any mental disabilities? There was no way for me to know, and perhaps the young girl has a mind full of thoughts and stories but they are stuck inside her and that frustrates her immensely. She can't communicate through any recognizable language and all she can muster are cries and screams. I was wondering if those cries and screams are beautiful thoughts she was trying desperately to communicate but her physical body wouldn't allow her to?

Then I started admiring the woman she was with. The woman was obviously this girl's caretaker, most likely her mother, or grandmother.

"She doesn't seem to notice that they are the center of attention."

She spoke so lovingly and caringly to the girl and held on to her so tenderly, yet provided strength and support for the girl as she made her way through the store. At one point I admittedly and ashamedly was embarrassed for the woman and girl, because the noises that the girl screams out really seeks attention and one can't help but notice the situation. I'm not kidding with that image of R2-D2 screeching in those scenes where his head spins all around! The girl sounded identical! People are naturally gonna look to see what is going on...and yet none of that phased the woman at all. She doesn't seem to notice that they are the center of attention. And if she does notice, she just doesn't care that there are onlookers.

Is that how God is with us? At times our behavior is shameful, knowingly and willingly shameful, unlike the girl with a handicap, yet God never stops loving us.

"He remains unshaken."

We cry, we scream, we throw our tantrums, yet He remains unshaken, just as that woman in my store yesterday. He holds onto us, never feeling ashamed or embarrassed, but rather, shows only concern and forgiveness and mercy. He supports us with His Right Hand and is there to pick us up when we fall. He looks at us so lovingly and so boundless is His love.

His love is so pure that nothing can make Him love us less. Nothing can make Him love us more. He loves His children and so boundless is His love.

When all the world looks at us with condemning eyes, He doesn't even notice that, because it doesn't matter, and neither did it matter to the woman in my store.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Episode V -

What is your favorite body part?

Ever have one of those "hanging skin things"?

We share our answers to those questions and ask a bunch more on our latest podcast at Sisters' Podcast: It Bloggles the Mind!

Questions like:

Did God make a mistake when He gave the octopus eight arms?

What is God's favorite color?

Was Nicodemus saved?

What did Lazarus do with his second chance at life?

Go check it out now!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Creating Life

Today, I went out in my back yard to check to see if the tulips I planted last fall had started to break ground. Much to my surprise, there were these darling little saplings barely poking through! I was so happy! You see, I'm not one to do well with plants. I have always told people that I have the black thumb of death! But, last fall I took a chance and planted some bulbs. Tulips are my favorite flower and I just wanted to grow them from scratch this year. And now, they are born! Gosh, if it's this exciting creating life from planting a bulb that The Creator brought to life from nothing....I can't imagine what it must have been like for Him to breathe life into existance! I can't imagine the excitement as he watched the very first sunrise, the very first sunset, the very first day. That's not even to say the elation that came when he created the plants, animals, and finally, in His own image, He brought forth from the dust of the earth........the first man. WOW!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Jeep BatterySo my car troubles the other day (see post below) amounted to nothing more than a dead battery. A very dead battery, I mean when I turned the key...nothing. No "click", all, until I took the key OUT of the ignition. Bloggles the mind. I've never had a battery suddenly die like that, usually there is warning, and definitely I've never experienced every single gauge move in unison to the right, indicating an imminent catastrophic explosion of said car either. Oh well, the important thing is that has been handled. $$
Dry Eye
I have dry eyes today. I have only one question...why are my dry scratchy eyes watering? If they are watering, why are they still dry?

My face has finally stopped drooping. The anesthetic from my root canal has worn off. Today was visit one, of many, I fear. I've always had excellent dental reports, but times they are a changin'. $$

Root CanalIt wasn't fun at the dentist either. They did a good job, but for some reason the anesthetic wasn't taking too easily. After waiting for the first round of shots to take hold, the doc came in and tried to put the clamp on my tooth and I winced. When I could feel that, he shot me up some more. He came back, clamped me without an issue and started to drill. bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz OUCH! I FELT THAT! So he shot me up some more and was able to proceed. I can't say that I enjoyed that whole drilling the nerve thing AT ALL! I also don't like my skull shaking from the vibration of the drill. I'm not sure God created us with the intention that we would be experiencing skull shaking.

Katie stayed home sick from work today. I hate it when the mom is sick. When the mom is sick, the world doesn't turn as smoothly anymore. I couldn't even successfully pick out the correct rice pudding when I went to Walmart on an errand run.

Boo BerryI like that the new Walmart Supercenter stocks Boo Berry and fruit cups. It's weird too, when I walk around the new store, for some reason I feel like I have moved to a new city. Bizarre.

I wonder how long those dead flowers in the vase are going to sit on the desk?

I can't wait until my next day off.

The new Plumb CD is great. I can't get the song "Cut" out of my head. It deals with the subject of self-abuse referred to as "cutting". Amazing song. See?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Reviewed: Plumb "Chaotic Resolve"

PlumbPlumb "Chaotic Resolve" (02/28/06)

Plumb releases another outstanding album filled with her signature thought-provoking lyrics that cover the subjects of life and love, and not just the pretty parts. The music is cutting edge as Tiffany Arbuckle Lee delivers powerful lush vocals over melodies and styles that lead the listener on a tour through a museum of moods and emotions. This CD is the most genre experimental album of the Plumb catalogue and encompasses many different modern rock, pop sounds that capture the ear and hold it. There are numerous radio friendly tracks showcased here and this may just be the CD that moves Plumb from the background to the forefront as one of music's most talented Christian artists.

Read the entire review at and then check out the track and video "Cut" at Plumb's MySpace!