Sunday, May 28, 2006

Would I Be Convicted?

I heard a question posed on the Bible Answerman yesterday, and it has caused me to seriously consider how I would answer it. I've been mulling it over and over in my mind ever since.
"If you were on trial for being a christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
My first reaction to the question was a resounding "yes!" and I thought immediately about the stuff hanging on the walls and refrigerator in my home, the cross hanging around my neck, and the dangling cross earrings I wear. I even considered the books; devotionals,Court Room Bibles, and Bible studies, that are strewn all over the house, (because we seriously lack bookshelves). I'm sure my choice of music would definitely prove my Christianity too! "When the prosecutor presents that evidence," I reasoned, "it would surely sway the jury beyond a reasonable doubt."

Then I thought..."but, all that 'stuff' is meaningless. I had all that when I wasn't a Christian!"

Ok, well, maybe the fact that at this moment a Bible and a Bible Commentary lie open on the table would prove I am a Christian. But, then again, it would need to be proven that those items were actually mine and being used by me. Even so, I can study all I want, and chances are good that satan himself, the EVIL one, knows the words of the Bible better than me. I thought "would showing that I study the Bible be enough evidence to convict me?"

I've decided that in court, none of this stuff would convict me of being a Christian.

So, what would? What would prove I am a Christian?

Lifestyle perhaps? I started thinking about the witnesses that a prosecutor might bring to the court to testify against me. Katie, my parents, some people at church, etc., and what would they say? They would most likely give testimony that would convict me.

Now, this is where it became difficult, because my defense team would need to present evidence that would contradict, or discredit the eyewitness accounts of the prosecution. My defense team would need to show evidence and give eyewitness accounts to prove that I am not a Christian. This little excercise has me twisting my thought process all around, and maybe that is good. This has me thinking about how people really see me and if I live a lifestyle that allows people to know without a doubt that I am a Christian. To prove I am not a Christian my defense team would possibly call the people I work with, and most definitely the customers I serve at my job. This had me thinking about what those people might say? My defense might even call in Katie's kids to say that I do not always display Christ-like behavior and attitudes. Not only does this excercise twist around my thoughts, it is really, really, beginning to help me see myself from a totally different perspective. I began this by trying to consider ways I could prove I am a Christian, and now I'm thinking about how easy it might be to prove the contrary! I started considering the possibility that a jury might actually have trouble convicting me!

If the evidence of all my Christian "knick-knacks", Bible studies, and the like, were all thrown out of court and could not be presented as evidence, and hearing both sides of eyewitness testimony about my lifestyle proved to be inconclusive because arguments on both sides are compelling, what would convict me?

So these kinds of thoughts having been going in and out of my head since yesterday. It's stirred some interesting conversation between Katie and I too. It's good food for thought.

What if I had to prove my Christianity to God? I couldn't. All my Christian "stuff" is meaningless, my good deeds are "filthy rags", and God doesn't judge me according to man's law, so people telling God how good or bad I am matters not.

God doesn't even care that I am called "Christian"!

While I do believe, as the Bible teaches, that our love for others will identify us as Christ followers (John 13;34-35), it is not the approval of man I seek. I seek the approval of my God.
Would God convict me?

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)

If God carefully scrutinized all the evidence presented, no, God would not, could not, convict me.

However, God as my judge, chose not to see my sin, and instead, sent His son to put on human flesh. Jesus came and offered to take my sin, nail it to a cross, bury it, and then stand before God in my place. Jesus offered to take my place before God and when I accepted His merciful and loving sacrifice, He took my sin upon Himself. So, when God looks at me, He sees me filtered through the sinless blood of the Christ. Therefore, my only credible witness is God himself, He sees my heart, and He judges me guilty.

Guilty as charged! Guilty of being His child.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Spiritual Meme

Tagged by Barbara at Tidbits and Treasures

A Spiritual Meme
  1. What is your life verse? Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God,..." This is not my "life verse" because it is something I successfully live by, but it is a reminder to me that I should!
  2. Give a bit of your testimony. Saved at age 32 on April 4, 1999, when Jesus entered my life, rescued me from a serious depression and loneliness, then lifted me up out of the mire, and set me on the narrow path of righteousness that is only obtained through Him. (read my testimony, the long version)
  3. Do you have a favorite preacher? Pastor Richard Sipe, First Baptist Church, Marshalltown, Ia. He has a heart for God and his love for Jesus Christ shows in his countenance. Pastor Sipe preaches with sincerity, love and passion. (listen to a podcast)
  4. What is the best Bible study you have ever done? Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby
  5. What do you feel God's calling is on your life? Love Him, love others. Serve Him, serve others. Follow Him wherever He leads me.
I tag whomever wants to share in this meme. Let me know by leaving a comment, if you join in the fun, so I'll be sure to head over and check out your answers!


"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phillippians 4:5-7).

I think one of the most difficult struggles as a Christian is believing that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. He is Creator. He is the Provider. He is the Peace Speaker, and so much more. He promises to provide all we need. But, do I believe it?

My Beloved cares for me and knows what's best. He has always provided. But, still I doubt. I worry about things all the time. But, one thing that I've realized recently is how bogged down people can become with their "call" from God. It becomes a burden instead of a blessing. It becomes a chore instead of a joy.

For me, anxiety isn't in doing what God has "called" me to do. It's not doing it. (I understand that my first and most important call is to be a mother so I ask anyone that may be tempted, to refrain from telling me this. This is a given.)

I received His call to women's minsitry at age 16 (I knew it even when I wasn't yet a woman). It was confirmed again at age 22 when I recommitted my backslidden lifestyle, and again at age 36 after a divorce when I doubted my "qualifications". So, here it's been, going on two decades since I publicly resurrendered my life to God and well, I don't seem to be where "I" think I ought to be. Hmmmm.

I have spent many years anxiously trying to fulfill that my own way. I keep trying to prepare myself through educations, seminars, Bible study, etc... Yet, I have discovered that I have experienced so much anxiety, especially now because I'm getting older and I see very little evidence of doing what I think I'm supposed to do. I keep trying to figure out where I've gone wrong. Am I studying enough? Am I living right? Am I smart enough or worthy? The answer is no because I'm trusting in books, and degrees, and worst of all, myself! No wonder I doubt, no wonder I am dissatisfied!

God placed a call on my life the day I accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior. This call has been reaffirmed over and over througout my life. So, why can't I just rest in that and trust God that He will do what He says He will do in HIS time, in HIS way, for HIS purpose and glory? I treat my calling almost like a possession. "THIS IS MY CALLING AND NOBODY IS GOING TO TAKE IT AWAY!" Oh brother! No wonder He hasn't put me in a position of ministry! It's clear that my attitude is one lacking in maturity as well as humility.

God tells us to be anxious for nothing and I think one of the biggest anxieties I have had over the past 10 plus years is OVER MY CALL! It has become an obsession, a burden, an idol, and a bondage. I don't think that's what God intended. I know that's not what He all.

I think, like so many others, I have been missing the point. He doesn't call us for our own benefit, or our own glory (although we do benefit from our surrender to His calling). We are called for HIS purpose and HIS glory...and for the benefit of OTHERS.

As Christians, we all share one call...

"...Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them win the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28: 19-20).

He will determine in what way, and when. In the meanntime, I need to learn to just grow in Him and be ready to go when and where He tells me. This may be to my children, to my neighbors, in a classroom, in a conference hall, or in a dump.

I need to stop trying to prepare myself for my idea of where I'm going and when. I need to pray, study, and prepare my heart. I need to just say, "Here I am, send me..." and then just trust Him and wait....

Being still.....that's another blog

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ever Think About Death?

cemetaryI do.

When I think about death, I think about rest. I've thought about death before, and posted about it. This repost comes from April 2004.

Death is a Just Doorway

To a believer death is just a doorway. What about to a non-believer? Is death just a doorway?

Yes, I would say that most believe death is a doorway. A doorway to "the other side".

What is in question, is that once that threshold is crossed, where is it that the doorway has led? What is through that door? What is on the other side?

I posted a little bit on this in my post a few months back called "The Gift of Death" because I was reading a book called "One Minute After You Die" by Erwin Lutzer. In it the author explores what happens one minute after death and uses many biblical grounds for what he writes about. It is a very interesting read, if you read the few excerpts at Amazon, you'll see what I mean!

As a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, who came to earth and atoned for my sin through death on a cross, and resurrection from the grave, I have hope in the fact that death is a doorway. Because He conquered death, He gave me life. My life is eternal because it is with Him I shall forever be. When I move through the doorway, I will be moving from life, to life. Everlasting life with my Creator, and my Father who loves me. When I die I will immediately be face to face with the Lover of my Soul. The Eyes of the One who can not love me more, and can not love me less, will be looking into mine. I will feel the Grace of God like I have never experienced before. He is at this very moment, preparing a place for me. Sometimes I am very anxious to get there!

To a believer death is nothing to fear, it is moving to life. To a non-believer, I fear, that death is the end. No more hope, no more joy, no more happiness, only fear and gnashing of teeth. Imagine being so uncomfortable and not being able to do anything to bring comfort! Jesus explains that there is no escape from this destiny, once the doorway to death is opened and closed, in Luke 16. Where you are one minute after you die is where you will spend eternity.

heavenIn heaven, the reward will be great. I think Matthew 5 gives us great insight into the rewards of heaven too: The mourning will be comforted, no hunger or thirsting, the pure in heart will see God, the meek will be strong, etc. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 we are told "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." We learn about surpassing riches and about gaining beyond what we can even imagine about heaven from certain passages in the bible. Interestingly enough, the bible doesn't ever really come out and say "Yo, dudes, this is exactly what heaven will be like." We couldn't comprehend it all anyway, but God in His infinite wisdom has given us some subtle clues about what we have to look forward to. Revelations gives us even more to go on when we are told that there will be no hunger, thirst (7:16 ) and no death or pain (21:4). It's hard to even imagine what being in the Presence of the Alpha and Omega will be like, but if the prophets who have gone before can give us any indication, we will most likely be on our face, praising Him. I will drop to me knees in reverence I'm sure, and be totally overwhelmed. I will revel in His Mercy and Grace!

What is through the door for the non-believer?


Separation from God. Forever.


The end. There is no turning back.

Once one is cast from heaven, there is no chance to return. There is only hell.

Jesus Christ, who rose from the grave, (which proves his Divinity), declares that He is the Way,
door the Truth and the Life. No one goes to God except through Him. No one. God is in heaven, therefore, the way to get to heaven is through Christ. Christ knocks at the door....He is in the doorway. To go through that doorway, one needs to open and walk through when He knocks! Be sure you choose the right door!

Death is just a doorway. Have you thought about where that doorway leads? Are you going to heaven?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Child Support "Obligations"

While Researching Tennessee laws on child support, I found out about some interesting changes:

1. Both parent's household incomes are now being considered instead of just the income of the non-custodial parent.

So, this means, if the custodial parent gets a good job, the non-custodial parent has to support the child less. The custodial parent is expected to sacrifice child support for going out and trying to make a living in addition to child support. Sounds a lot like the welfare trap to me.

Also, from the non-custodial parent's perspective....

If the non-custodial parent remarries, the total household income is considered and therefore the new spouse becomes obligated to pay for children they did not birth, just because they married somebody who is already paying child support? That spouse is already forfeiting a portion of the income through the husbands prior obligation, why should the new spouse be obligated even more?

And what if the custodial parent decides to get a roomate to help with expenses? Is their income considered as household income? If this is the case, then a roomate becomes responsible for paying child support as well. Considering that the roomate may already be helping the custodial parent when necessary, why should that parent have to sacrifice the child support that he/she already obviously needs as a consequence. If the roomate is helping out, then perhaps the non-custodial parent should be paying more...not less.

(I was told that once child support was set, that it would never be less unless the parent became physically incapable of maintaining the wages in the original order, or if the parent lost a job due to no fault of their own (and was unable to obtain a new job at the same pay rate). I was told that the non-custodial parent would be responsible for maintaining the current wage other than in situations beyond their control. This is not true by a long shot. So if anybody tells you this....DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! )

2. Health insurance premiums are considered....

What if the non-custodial parent is ordered to provide healthcare but fails to fulfill that obligation and therefore the state is taking up that responsibility? Should the state pursue the parent who is in contempt or just continue to foot the bill for the child's healthcare? What if the children don't get the medical help they need because it's too expensive and unavialable through the state?

3. Medical and dental expenses are considered- What if the children don't get the medical help they need because the custodial parent has no financial means to cover the children, and for one reason or an0ther, this help is not available through the state?

4. Daycare expenses are considered- of all kids including the ones the non-custodial parent is supporting.

So, this means if the non-custodial parent chooses to remarry, the person that they marry has 3 kids and then they choose to have another child together. They put the kids in daycare, the child support is dramatically reduced and the first children of the non-custodial parent become less of a priority and should suffer the consequences?

Something is terribly wrong with this picture. A child should not have less support from a parent who chose to bring the child into the world....regardless of how many others that parent decides to marry, how much money they have or how many children they have. The parent's responsibility towards a child they brought into the world should not decrease simply because that parent decides to have more children with a new spouse. If that parent can't afford what he/she already has, then he/she should not have anymore. Isn't it obvious?

As a matter of fact, when a person brings a child into this world, and by some misfortune, a divorce takes place (for whatever reason), the non-custodial parent should be more than willing to provide whatever the child needs to live a comfortable lifestyle...this includes healthy and productive visitation with the child, moral support, and financial support. This rarely happens.

To reward a parent who has not fulfilled their obligation to his/her child, is an atrocity! To reward a parent who decides to marry another, and take on the responsibility of more children by making that parent have less of a responsibility to prior children is a crime.

Here's an idea....

What if the non-custodial parent who has proven themselves to be irresponsible with obligations to their current children, were not allowed to remarry or have anymore children????

When did children become a burden instead of a blessing anyhow?

Great Pic!

I took this picture of Katie at the park last week. We were on a break from doing Bible study and she was making fun of the "dorky" hat I bought her. I caught a candid moment when she was adjusting the hat and I think the pic turned out to be one of the best I ever captured!

I thought I should share it! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Marry or Get Out

Marry or get out, US town tells unwed parents

This is a very interesting story and it raises some questions from me.
"A Black Jack (small town in Missouri) ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together in a single family home unless they are related by 'blood, marriage or adoption'."
So, in Black Jack it would be illegal for housemates, one of which has two children, to share a home and expenses, because that would be more than three people living in the same space. It would actually be illegal for Katie, her two kids, and myself, to live in this same house. Interesting.

Now, I do applaud a law that promotes marriage between a man and a woman, because that is how the Bible says families should be raised. It would promote healthy family relationships and that would then filter into a healthier society. With that said I ask:
  • Why would a man/woman choose to be with someone who will not commit to them in marriage?
  • What makes someone so much against a marital commitment that they choose to enter into a lawsuit that will allow them to remain unwed and live together in a town that doesn't want them?
  • Of all the places in the United States to live, why live there? It can't be too difficult to find an immoral place somewhere else to take up residence.
I do go back and forth on a human law prohibiting people from living together and raising a family if they are unwed. I'm not sure that there should be such a law, but at the same time it is sad that there even needs to be law like that.

Should human law impose morality on the people? It does when it comes to murder, so why not when it comes to unwed couples?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Isn't it cool how music can take you back in time? I can hear a song, and immediately I am transported back to a certain time, sometimes to a specific time and place. My friends have made mention of the fact that I can usually announce the exact year of the song playing "yeah...I remember that! It was the summer of '78 and I was always playing that on the jukebox at the lake" know...stuff like that.

I remember my first album. Oh, how I would sit and listen to the music and examine Andy Gibb on the front cover of "Flowing Rivers". A lot of people may remember Andy Gibb for his second album, "Shadow Dancing", but his first album was the best. No disco, just smooth, soft rock and borderline country. I think Andy Gibb was my first celebrity "crush" (Lee Majors came later) and I would sing "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" to him! LOL I'm back in front of my stereo at the old kitchen table that was moved into the basement. It's where I spent a lot of time growing up, at that table playing my records, looking over all the album cover art, reading the liner notes and devouring every lyric.

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

The other music I frequently flashback to would be most of what I listened to during my high school years. I love the band Rush...all that music coming from just three guys! I was always so facinated with the lyrics and drumming of Neil Peart too. Good stuff. "Moving Pictures" was my first Rush album, but I loved it so much, especially "Red Barchetta" and "Camera Eye", that I picked up all their prior stuff too. I think their early stuff is better, but I'll always enjoy their sound.

Pink Floyd, "The Wall", had all high school students singing the anthem "We don't need no education...". Boy, were we stupid. Good thing we got an education anyways! I also remember playing the thing backwards trying to decipher the backmasking.

"Heard it from a frieeeeend whooooooo, heard it from a frieeeend whoooooo, heard it from another...." was so catchy off "Hi Infidelity", REO Speedwagon's best album. "Take it on the Run" and "Keep On

"...the Internet and the IPOD is killing the album concept altogether."

Loving You" were the sappy radio friendly hits off that thing, but my favorites were "Don't Let Him Go", "Tough Guys" and "Someone Tonight". I have a knack for getting bored with the radio hits, and my favorites always end up being the other tunes on the album. I played that album over and over and over because it is so good all the way through. That's why I've never been much into singles and I think the Internet and the IPOD is killing the album concept altogether.

Journey, "Escape", another album that takes me back to high school. "Don't Stop Believing"'m right back in my sophomore year, in Biology class. I hated Biology. I don't want to be here...aaaaaaauuuuuuuugggggggghhhhhh! "Stone in Love" was one rockin' cut off that album and I remember singing screaming "Lay it Down" at the top of my lungs. Steve Perry cranked out higher notes that my female throat could muster! "Mother, Father", "Dead or Alive" were two of my favorites off this album, but the title track "Escape" might be my top pick from this one.

Wow, flashbacks are fun!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Create Your Own Radio Station

I found this really cool website that creates your very own personalized radio station of sorts. You tell it what bands or songs you like, and it starts playing a bunch of music that is stylistically similar. It is neat! It is very helpful in discovering new bands that you may have never heard of, and/or gives you the opportunity to check out a band you are curious about. You can play around with it a bit and really narrow down the type of stuff you are looking for too.

Check out Pandora! It's fun!

It's almost like being your own DJ and you get to create the playlist. You can share your "station" too! Here's mine! Yep! SLP (my initials) Radio!

I wish there were a way to specify genre, because I'm particular about the type of music I will listen to, I don't want anything foul, and this is why.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Do Angels Sing?

From the archives:

I've always thought that angels sing. Then I tried to prove it biblically. It's not easy to do! It's one of those things we assume about the bible. (Kind of like the 3 wise men...they were not there immediately following the birth of Christ, they came into the picture a few years afterward!)

Are angels "morning stars"? If so, then Job 38:7 would indicate that angels sing. But, that's an interpretation...kind of a gray area. Then in Revelation 5:9-13 it appears that angels sing because they are included in "every creature in heaven" I figure, and will be "singing".

Hmmmmmmm? I wonder about the original Hebrew and Greek texts? In my Internet research I found this at Clarifying Christianity: Note: different Hebrew words—ranan and rinnah—are used for the “singing” of inanimate objects, instead of shiyr and zamar—the words normally used for human singing in the Old Testament.)

Although there is a lot of singing going on, it is interesting that the Bible never states that angels sing. Yes, many Christmas songs have lyrics indicating that the angels sang when Jesus was born—and we suspect that angels have the ability to sing. Still, it is interesting that the Bible never actually reports that angels do sing.

Note: the text in some English translations of the Bible contain verses stating that angels sing, but they are poor translations of the original Greek word lego, which means “to say” or “to speak.” Typically, this happens in Luke chapter 2, verse 13 and in Revelation chapter 5, verses 12 and 13.

It's probably going to have a lot to so with the translation you read and your interpretation. I prefer to imagine angels singing, but it would ruin my theory that God is tone-deaf. (How can he stand to hear me sing praises? I'm a star in the car, but you really don't want to hear me singing at close range! LOL) I know I know...God is perfect, so how could he be tone-deaf? Well, I'm not tone deaf and notice I sing bad. LOL Others are not tone deaf and notice I sing bad. How can I sing praises to God and let it be bad?...either He is tone-deaf, or He works a miracle. He has a "miracle ear" or something and by the time my praises reach Him, they sound good! Sorry...I digress.

Check it out for yourself...Do Angels Sing?

I may sing bad, but I play a mean trumpet!

(orginally posted 11/18/02)

A Very Special Graduation

Last January 28, Katie and I were dining out, and got a phone call you never want to receive. The 18 year old daughter of some dear friends of Katie's, was involved in a serious car accident that left her unconscious for three days.

When she awakened she couldn't swallow or communicate in any way. She suffered severe brain trauma and her mental capacity was in question. Many people in the community, and all over the world, and even some readers of Sisters' Weblog, prayed in earnest, and the Gushee's appreciated the intervention on their behalf.

Holly slowly regained her ability to swallow and days later her first audible sound she made since her brain injury, was laughter. Days later she started talking. And talking. And talking. She couldn't shut up! LOL What a sweet sound!

She was then transferred to a hospital that specializes in treating victims of brain trauma in Atlanta. After six weeks of rehabilitation she returned home.

Then she returned to school.

Holly worked extremely hard to make up all her school work, after having completely missed two months of her all-important senior year.

Today, in less than an hour, that amazing girl graduates from high school with her class!


Praise the Lord!

There are many ways God has used and is using this circumstance in Holly's life to grow her and her family spiritually, as well as all of us in this community of faith.

One way God is using Holly's story is through a new ministry designed to meet human needs and it is called the Loaves and Fishes Ministry. In his column from a couple of weeks back, David Gushee wrote:
"needy people evoke God's compassion, who calls on those who love him to contribute all that they can to meet such needs-and when we do so, God takes our meager offerings and multiples them in a supernatural way. God calls on us to become partners in healing the world and meeting its needs, until at last 'he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning or crying nor pain anymore.'"

Holly's accident, brain injury, and recovery have made for one memorable senior year, and will end with a very special graduation ceremony taking place in just a few minutes.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Actual Conversation

This is an actual "conversation" with a customer in my store today who was looking for a specific CD.

Customer: "T.I. 'Urban Legend', ya got dat?"

Me: I'm sure we do, I'll show you.

Customer: "Good, I been lookin' in the 'C's' and I ain't findin' it"

*rolls eyes*

Friday, May 19, 2006

Size Does Matter Davy Crockett lake at least.

Those crappie size limits!

Everytime we visit the lake, that sign makes me laugh. It's too funny! "Crappie size limit" LOLOLOL Posted by Picasa

Yay! I Just...

Renewed my drivers license online!


I sure will miss spending an entire day at the BMV with all those pleasantly personable people. They always make be feel warm and happy with their bright smiling faces and jovial, uplifting attitudes as I patiently wait in line after line after line.

Yep, I sure am going to miss that.

It's Finally Posted!

After six years of waiting...

Katie finally put her testimony to paper wordpad! I asked her to write it years ago when I first put up our Sisters in Christ website. I've always encouraged her to write it out because Katie has a great testimony to the power of God and His hand in her life through a dysfunctional upbringing and an abusive marriage. It is an amazing story!

There are still a few formatting problems and glitches with it when it was uploaded to the site and I'll have to clean it up some more later, but they are easy to overlook. It is a very good read and really serves to glorify God as He is Protector and Provider.

Read Katie's testimony

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm Picky

A man IM'd me today and it seems obvious to me that this dude is desperately looking for "love". I respond to IMs with extreme caution, or I just don't respond at all. I first note the users nickname, because I won't respond to nicks like "iwantokillyou666" or "cheapsex4u". This guy had a profile on Yahoo! that I observed before determining I could probably chat a bit before Katie and I left for the park to do our Bible study.

His IM nick indicated he was a military man, and on his profile he said "I love church!" and "I need to find a cool chick!" Well, I'm not a "chick", (although I am "cool"! LOL) but the "I love church!" part intrigued me so I answered his IM. The following was edited only for continuity and his nick was changed for obvious reasons.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Hi

Man who needs a "cool chick": How you doing there

susanlprince: I'm fine thanks

susanlprince: Getting ready to go to the park.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Ohh

Man who needs a "cool chick": Am michael and you

susanlprince: Sue

Man who needs a "cool chick": SIngle here and you

susanlprince: I am single as well

susanlprince: I'm assuming you are a military man?

Man who needs a "cool chick": Yes

Man who needs a "cool chick": And what you do forliving ?

susanlprince: manage a retail store

susanlprince: sell Cds and DVDs

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good

Man who needs a "cool chick": Do you have kids?

susanlprince: No kids

Man who needs a "cool chick": I got kid

Man who needs a "cool chick": Bet he is out country

susanlprince: wow, bet that is hard

Man who needs a "cool chick": So can you tell me more about you

susanlprince: I am a Christian and I do my best to live a life holy and pleasing to the Lord.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Thats nice

Man who needs a "cool chick": And me too

susanlprince: How long have you been a Christian?

Man who needs a "cool chick": Ever since i was born

Man who needs a "cool chick": And you

Man who needs a "cool chick": So what church do you attend

susanlprince: Northbrook Church in Three Way

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good

susanlprince: since you were born?

Man who needs a "cool chick": Yes

Man who needs a "cool chick": I broth up in christanity way

susanlprince: Hmmmmm

Man who needs a "cool chick": So what you like in a man

susanlprince: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

susanlprince: Do you know what John 3:16 says?

Man who needs a "cool chick": Well not into bible

Man who needs a "cool chick": Bet belive in God

susanlprince: Oh, well, I like a man who is into the Bible

Man who needs a "cool chick": Well you have to lead me into bible

susanlprince: Satan believes in God

Man who needs a "cool chick": No i belive in god and bible

susanlprince: Find one and open it to John 3:16.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good

Man who needs a "cool chick": I will do

susanlprince: The Bible does not say you are born a Christian

Man who needs a "cool chick": So what do you like in man ?

susanlprince: It says you are born into sin

Man who needs a "cool chick": Waoo

Man who needs a "cool chick": So whyyou not married all this while ?

susanlprince: I like a man who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind and strength.

susanlprince: I'm picky

Man who needs a "cool chick": Thats me

Man who needs a "cool chick": I just got back from iraq last week

susanlprince: how are things over there?

susanlprince: I pray for the troops

Man who needs a "cool chick": Well its very difficiut

susanlprince: I can only imagine

Man who needs a "cool chick": So why didn't you have a kid?

susanlprince: I am not married

susanlprince: never have been

susanlprince: no intimate relations if I am not married.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Ohh

Man who needs a "cool chick": So do you wanna marry somedays

susanlprince: I want to serve the Lord. If He plans for me to marry, then it shall be. If not, then that to, shall be. Either way, He is my first love.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good thats nice

Man who needs a "cool chick": So have you been to virginia ever once

susanlprince: Yes, on a band trip to DC. We stayed in VA, and visited Virgina Beach.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good

susanlprince: Well, I am heading out for the day to go to the park. It's a nice day for some Bible study.

susanlprince: Nice chatting with you.

Man who needs a "cool chick": Good

Man who needs a "cool chick": Take care

It became obvious rather quickly that if this person is lookin' for love, he has not found it in me!


For the following reasons:
  1. Poor grammer/punctuation and spelling. I can deal with typos while IMing, but not this much. Yes, I have, even through this short conversation, a concern about the level of intelligence of this person.
  2. His profile says he "needs" a "cool chick". Needs? What does that mean?
  3. By his fifth IM, he was already on the "single" thing. I don't know, that just seems like a fast leap, and told me immediately that his purpose in life is finding that "cool chick" he needs, and ASAP!
  4. He wasted no time asking me what I like in a man, and more than once. Maybe I like one that doesn't move this fast!
  5. The fact that he was surprised that I have no kids as a single woman bugged me. THAT is the way it is supposed to be!
  6. He claimed to be a Christian, so I asked a "test question"..."How long have you been a Christian?". He answered "since I was born". I say "errrrrr, wrong answer!"
  7. He doesn't read the Bible and wants me to "lead him to it". Ummmm, nooooo...the man is to be the spiritual leader!
Yep, like I told him when he asked "whyyou not married all this while ?", I'm picky!

Bible Study at the Park

Katie and I headed to Davy Crockett Lake for some study time in the Word. We are working through Beth Moore's "Believing God" study and currently Moore is leading us through a "spiritual biography" of our lives. We have divided our life up into fifths, so for me it basically means I am exploring the first 8 years of my life, then from age 9-17, 18-26, so on until my current age, which this year will be 25-15. (That's my way of remaining a teenager! LOL)

It is really neat to consider how God's hand has been in my life all the while...even when I wasn't noticing. This study is guiding me through the "spiritual markers" and pulling out those moments and memories and everyday life throughout my upbringing that reminds me of His great love for me.

Before and after our Bible study, we spent time on the dock over the lake and also enjoyed the swings. Oh, and at one point, I tried to raise a tree to make things right in the forest again. We took the dogs with us to the park...that will be the last time! They were too distracting to keep an eye on while trying to study.

Click on the picture to view more pictures from our day at Davy Crockett Lake in Humboldt, TN.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Factors that Determine Battle of the Blogs Winners

Now for the results you have all been waiting for.

*cough* Well, *ahem*, the results you, one brave reader, have been waiting for:

Battle of the Blogs Poll

The biggest factors that decide winners are that a blog has interesting and engaging content and that it looks good. Content slightly edges out layout in importance, which is encouraging, but the whole "look" thing explains why I lose battles. I don't have a fancy layout. The sister's have a plain template, because I LIKE PLAIN! I am plain! I like plain! I like my burgers PLAIN! I like my chicken nuggets without any sauce, in other words, PLAIN! Less is more!

Then, as indicated by recent polls, it is interesting to note that some people will always vote FOR specific blogs and AGAINST other blogs. What happens if there are two blogs battling each other that you have always voted AGAINST? I must admit, there are some blogs that I always vote against too, and they are usually blogs that I find offensive. My bet is that there are some people who will always vote against Christian blogs because they can be equally "offensive" to some.

People tend to favor blogs that convey an optimistic and positive tone. That is encouraging! So, then, why do I see so many blogs that are definitely NOT optimistic and in fact, downright disparaging and filled with rant after rant winning battles?

Blog Explosion Battle of the BlogsThanks for participating in the poll. It was only for fun and to get some insight as to one's mindframe when picking which blog wins. It is in no way a scientific poll!

Battle on!

I Stand Corrected


When I was a teenager, I remember sleeping in until 11:30am or noon on the weekends and on any and everyday off from school. I thought that was the norm. I thought teens wanted to stay up until "all hours" and then sleep in. I thought that is what teenagers did.

So, when Justin, 16, retires for the night at 8 or 8:30pm, I find that highly unusual. The dude is up at 6 or 6:30am each and every or no school. I tease him and call him a "freak"! LOL And tell him "it is just not normal for a teen to go to bed so early!"

Well, the other day I posted a poll so I could prove my point. 18 kind people voted and the results are in:

Teenager Sleep Habit Poll

I am surprised by this!

I stand corrected. Apparantly there are more freak teenagers out there than I thought!

Who can trust the polls anyway!?!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Amazing Sidewalk Art

These 3D illusions were created by Julian Beever and the sidewalk. Bloggles the mind!

This is one of my favs because you can see the pedestrian avoiding the upper left corner of the picture. Does he not want to step on the artwork, or is he avoiding a sprained ankle perhaps?

Sidewalk Art

This next one has a neat illusion. I like how the peaceful, serenity of the art contrasts with the hustle and bustle of the busy walkway.

Sidewalk Art

This stuff absolutely bloggles the mind! Looks like he "painted" himself into a corner.

Sidewalk Art

Want to see more? Thanks Ma for passing these along to me.

So, what happens to the pictures when it rains?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Da Vinci? or Duh Vinci?

The Da Vinci Code sounds like interesting fiction, like National Treasure, a thriller with adventure and mystery. I haven't read the book, but from what I have heard, it will probably do very well at the box office and I plan to see it.

Mona LisaThe Da Vinci Code may do very well raking in the bucks too, but I don't think it is going to bring an end to Christianity as we know it. It sure seems like the Church is all up in arms about the "heresy" of the book/movie, threatening boycotts and whatnot. Notice the inverted Mona Lisa picture? I'm trying to stir up controversy by messing with a work of art, it's not as though I drew a mustache on it or anything! That, and I'm getting sick of seeing that thing everywhere!

I tend to believe that the whole controversy sparks even more interest in the thing and more people will probably check it out now, then if the anti-Da Vinci people had laid low. Actually, having never read the books, I went to see the first Harry Potter film because of the controversy. (I notice now when a new HP film/book is released, things are relatively quiet. hmmmm? wonder why?) I wanted to know what all the fuss was about! So, I speak from experience when I say the Church is probably doing more promotion for The Da Vinci Code than filmmakers could have hoped to pay for.

To me it is a lot of unnecessary controversy. It's a fictional story, built on a false premise, and I find it hard to believe that the majority of intelligent people viewing it will confuse the story with reality. I mean Duh! Duh Vinci! Then again there are those who believe the holocaust didn't happen, man never landed on the moon and that whole thing was staged, and that it wasn't a jetliner that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.

What does Tom Hanks, star of The Da Vinci Code, say about all the hullabaloo?
"...the story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense."

"If you are going to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this, you'd be making a very big mistake." Source This is London
Christians who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, have that personal experience with Him as their own testimony. Nothing can ever change that. And that's no hooey!

Pass the popcorn please.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Teenager Freak Poll

My Ballot Box

A Teenager is in bed by 8 pm and up at 6 am, freak?



View Results

Saving Myself For Marriage

Justin, Katie's teen, is a fan of M*A*S*H and will often quote lines from his favorite character, Hawkeye. Yesterday, he shared with me a conversation he had with a friend at school.

Amy was talking with Justin and misunderstood something he said, so she asked him "What did you say?"


"No, what did you say" (thinking she had to have misheard him) she then inquired, "did you just cuss at me? It sounded like you just cussed at me."

Justin said "NO! I never cuss! I'm saving myself for marriage."

Justin gives credit for the line to Hawkeye, from M*A*S*H who uses it frequently in conversations with Frank who is usually needing a favor of him. Funny stuff.

(and Justin doesn't cuss...he must have read my post "What is it With Foul Language These Days?")

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Blog Explosion and The Battle of the Blogs

This is mainly for people surfing in via Blog Explosion. I'm curious...what factors do you use to gauge which blog you choose to vote for in a battle?

I've set up a poll and invite you to participate by checking the factors that are important to you when deciding who wins the battle. Check up to five of the most important areas you feel you use as part of your decision making process and if anything, this poll will effectively eat up your 20 seconds of viewing time.

Thanks for participating!

Remember, check up to 5.

Battle of the Blogs

What determines which blog you vote FOR in the Battle of the Blogs?



music/video on the blog

bells and whistles (blinkies/clocks/buttons/banners)

complexity of the layout/navigation

simplicity of the layout/navigation

optimistic and positive tone

pessimistic and negative tone


blog category (sports/business/religion/parenting)

humor and fun

all business and no play

There are some blogs I will ALWAYS vote for/against because I love/hate 'em

I don't care, I just wait 20 secs to get the credit for voting

I read and examine them to try to choose the best blog as I see it

View Results

Baptism By Squirt

Oh what an awesome worship service was experienced at Northbrook Church on Sunday. The music, the message, the baptism! Woohooo!

A friend of mine was baptized on Sunday, and baptisms at Northbrook are something to celebrate! Baptisms anywhere are things to celebrate! At Northbrook we celebrate baptisms by hearing testimony from the person who will be baptized, but because Melissa is deathly afraid of standing up and talking in front of people, to the point she literally feared fainting, Paul, theBaptism pastor, brought Melissa to the front and spoke for her. He shared with the church family about some of the spiritual markers in Melissa's life and how God used different people to plant seeds of faith in her. He also shared with some hesitation and added "God works in mysterious ways", that Melissa realized her need for salvation while reading the first few books in the Left Behind series. She read about characters recognizing their need for a personal relationship for Christ and who got down on their needs to ask forgiveness and to be saved from eternal separation from God. One day, she quietly asked Jesus to save her and He did! That was a little over five years ago.

MelissaMelissa had never been baptized and thought it time to do that. Her fear of being in front of people kept her from publically demonstrating her faith through baptism, but God answered her prayer seeking courage and Melissa was obedient. After Paul finished relaying Melissa's testimony, the church body is asked to offer some scripture and words of encouragement. Many people offered up touching words and tributes to Melissa who is very popular at Northbrook as she has been serving as the church administrative assistant for a couple of years now. After everyone had an opportunity to share encouragement, Melissa was baptized. The place broke out in celebratory applause! Woohooo!

Melissa is a member of my SaLT group (small group, cell group) and we meet for study right after the service. Our leader, Walt, had another "baptism" planned for Melissa and it was all in fun. We all were in on it and were awaiting Melissa's arrival to SaLT.

Melissa arrived and as usual we began sharing different prayer needs. Then WaLT opened by asking for anyone who still has encouragement to share with Melissa and maybe felt too intimidated to share in the "Big Room", can share in this smaller, more intimate setting. Some chose to share and then is was Walt's turn. He encouraged Melissa with his words and then came the cue....

Squirt we all grabbed our concealed "weapons", our squirt guns, and blasted Melissa with water! Leave it to SaLT with WaLT to baptize by squirt! It was hysterical and Melissa loved it! She laughed and laughed! Unfortunately, I was already two hours late for work so I stood and announced "I hate to squirt and run, but I gotta go!". I gave Melissa a hug, got a little wet in the process, and headed out.

I was so blessed by God through Northbrook Sunday, and I am thankful that I was two and a half hours late to work!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Customers Say the Darndest Things

A customer was appreciative of the help he received from me today and said:
"Thanks so much!
I love you!
I appreciate you!
I hope you never catch on fire."

ahem...yeah, me too.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

What is it With Foul Language These Days?

Explicit LyricsGrowing up, the term "shut up" was a no-no in my household. We were taught it was rude, so I learned to say "be quiet" instead.

I never heard "swear" words or "curse words" in my childhood home, ever. I mean, if "shut up" was considered a "bad word", you can infer that the language in my home was kept pretty clean at all times.

My how times have changed. I surf and read a lot of blogs and see a lot of appalling language. Has society really sunk to such a level that so many people see nothing wrong with vulgarity?

Some people will say "excuse my French" or "excuse my language" when they curse in front of someone, as if that means it is okay to talk that way since there is an attempt to "apologize". Obviously, if one feels the need to ask for someone to "excuse" their foul mouth, then that person must realize that their choice of words was inappropriate. So, why use the words to begin with? Is your vocabulary so limited that you can't select another socially acceptable word?

Other people will defend their poor choice in words by saying "it's just a word, words don't mean anything." I say "yeah, and 'love' is just a word. If someone says 'I love you', that must not mean anything either."

Lyrics in today's music are pathetic. We can only play edited CDs in the store, and after the words are removed, it sounds as though the artist is hiccuping their way through the tune!Mouth Taped Shut

It is also disturbing to hear some of the language I hear coming from the mouths of Christians these days. I mean words like "suck" or "pissed" are just not pretty words and I really can't picture my Savior ever saying these things, so why should I? And if as Christians, we allow these terms to slip into our vocabulary, where do we draw the line?

James 3:10
"Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

Proverbs 16:23
"A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction."

Matthew 15:18
"But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'"

Psalm 19:14
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Matthew 12:34
"...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

Ephesians 6:19
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel..."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Miss Virginia's Magnolia Tree

Cheri, Katie's dog, is frightened fairly easily by loud noises. During thunderstorms she is usually found beneath the largest pile of blankets in the house, or hiding at our feet shivering uncontrollably in fright.

Last night while alone, I heard some loud cracking pop noises, similar to firecrackers, but I had not heard the sound before. I made note of the time (7:32pm) and always say to myself...just in case the police investigate the time of the shooting. (It's just one of those things I do.) I heard maybe a total of four of those pops throughout the fifteen minutes following and Cheri was shaking and cowering at my feet.

I told Katie about the incident of strange sounds when she came home last night and nothing more was said about it.

Then, this afternoon, Miss Virginia, an elderly neighbor lady, called and wondered if we had heard any firecrackers last night. Katie said she hadn't, but then I reminded her that "Yes! I did!" My curiosity was piqued now because Miss Virginia is the "go to" woman when you want be in the know with the happenings in the neighborhood. (Wow, neighborhood is a difficult word for me to type...weird.)

Come to find out, the noise was indeed firecrackers...AND MISS VIRGINIA WAS SETTING THEM OFF!

Do you remember that scene in Steel Magnolia's where in preparation for the wedding, the father of the bride was shooting his gun at the tree to scare the birds away? Well, it seems Miss Virginia is having the same problem with birds in her magnolia tree!Magnolia Tree

Miss Virginia's magnolia tree is HUGE. As you can see in the picture, the thing takes up her entire front yard! Apparently, that magnolia is the choice condominium for the birds of Humboldt, TN.

I've noticed when I've come home from work how loud those birds are. Miss Virginia has noticed too! She is being kept awake at night by those birds, so yesterday, she called the police! Yep! The police! I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the police do have experience with scaring birds away.

The police armed her with those "firecrackers" which aren't really firecrackers, more like flares that shoot off and make loud cracks and pops. The are safer for the Miss Virginia's of the world to use to shoo away birds from magnolia monstrosities I guess.

Anyway, Miss Virginia is calling everyone in the neighborhood to explain the loud noises. Hopefully, this little scheme of hers will work and she will be able to get a good nights sleep soon.

A Meme: Fill in the _______________

Found at What In Tarnation?!?!? who credits Monday Madness with the meme. Seems I'm finding the interesting stuff there these days!

1. Sleeping in for me means sleeping until 8 or 8:30 am.
2. Staying up late means I don't go to bed until midnight.
3. I probably spend more time worrying about time (and how little of it I have to use for fun stuff) than I would like.
4. And I don't spend nearly enough time praying.
5. I have zero tolerance for the haughty.
6. I have a lot of patience when it comes to hmmmmm, I'm not sure I ever have enough patience!.

I've Been Asked to Teach

Someone who knows my former background as a band director came into my store and told me of an opening in his school. When the position became available he thought of me.Band Instruments

I told him I've let my certification expire and I didn't plan on going back to teaching, that I enjoy my career in retail management.

I enjoyed teaching and believe I was good at it. I think my students learned some things and hopefully have carried some of those "lessons" into their adulthood. I often remember back and wonder how some of them are doing.

I left teaching when I was laid off due to budget cutbacks. Why is it always the "arts" that get cut first? Anyway, that summer I continued searching for a teaching job while I worked at Camelot Music. I interviewed in a few places, but was not hired so I continued working in retail and found that I really enjoyed it, so I decided to stick with that and have worked my way up the ladder into management.

This past weekend I was asked by my SaLT Group leader to teach some lessons this summer as we study the Gospel of John. I am humbled to have been asked, but I replied "My spiritual life and my heart is not in the place it should be for me to be in front of people teaching anything."

I've been struggling as of late.

He told me, "well, sometimes I have found over the years that when I have to start digging and preparing to teach, that it helps me overcome spiritual dryness."

He doesn't understand that my issue isn't just spiritual dryness.Desert Tree

I don't know what it is. It is more than dryness. I hate it.

Katie and I are going to restart the Beth Moore "Believing God" study that we stalled on about 3/4 of the way through. We kick-restart today. I hope refocusing on Him, and getting into His Word more will bring me forth from the desert.

I just thought it was weird that back-to-back I was asked to teach.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

ITunes Signature

What is yours?

THIS is mine.

It was kind of fun to see how this would turn out. In between all that rock music one can make out strains of Steve & Eydie and the Sound of Music. Pretty funny.

Another thing that is funny is that I don't have an Ipod. Still, ITunes is a neat way to keep up with podcasts.

Got this from Christopher at WIT! Thanks Christopher! He posted about it awhile back and I just now got around to playing with this fun little "toy".

Monday, May 01, 2006

United 93

United 93Katie and I went to see this movie yesterday. It is a good film and I do hope Americans go to see it, or check it out once it hits DVD. We all know the subject of this film, so there is no reason to go into all of that, and consider this your spoiler warning.

United 93 is filmed in documentary style. This means that there is "shaky camera" work, and to some viewers, that can be distracting and at times nauseating, as it was

"...the passengers of United 93 were quite nauseated by their experience..."

to Katie. To me however, the camera style takes the viewer to that moment in time. It conveys the confusion and chaos of that dreadful morning as it would have appeared to an onlooker. The shaky camera effect on board United 93 later in the film helps to create an unsteady feel and intensifies the ensuing "panic" among the doomed passengers. The plane makes dramatic sudden dives when the terrorists invade the cockpit and take control of the flight, and again later when the passengers attempt a takeover. I'm sure the passengers of United 93 were quite nauseated by their experience and if only for this reason I can tolerate the "shaky camera" work for what it is.

The opening sequence of the film finds the terrorists in their hotel room saying their morning prayers and shaving off all of their body hair in obedience, as commanded to do for martyrs preparing to enter paradise. The devotion to their god is highlighted in the film and is presented as a fact, with no political statement or suggestion being made about it. The terrorists are obviously very committed to their religion and are acting solely in obedience.

The director did an outstanding job of creating a sense in the viewer, who knows the final destination of United 93, that it was just another normal day to those boarding

"One terrorist, still in the terminal, called a loved one to tell them 'I love you'".

the flight. Sunny skies, busy airport terminals, personal cellphone conversations, and important, yet boring, safety instructions from flight attendants. That scene was contrasted with the terrorist's full knowledge of the impending death they were about to bring to innocent civilians going about their lives. It was interesting to watch the terrorists, who have full knowledge of what was about to unfold, in contrast with the people in the airport, and boarding planes, totally oblivious to their fate. One terrorist, still in the terminal, called a loved one to tell them "I love you". That scene gave the terrorist a humanity that is still hard to accept considering the ghastly deed they were responsible for.

The first part of the film was at times difficult to follow. It follows the air traffic controllers and military personnel following the "possible hijackings" in progress as they presented themselves in the confusion of that morning. The scene moves back and forth between airports and military bases with air traffic controllers tracking each of the planes that go off course. There is a lot of conversation going on, and we hear bits and pieces of it as the situation unfolds and controllers know something is wrong, but are not sure what to do about it. I think the only reason this works is because most viewers, if not all, already know the basics of what happened that day. Someone watching this who is ignorant of the events of 9/11 will probably not understand at all what is going on.United 93

There was much confusion and chaos, yet there were those who were making decisions based on the information they had and were leading their "teams" through the morning. One such man was Ben Sliney, chief of air-traffic control operations at the FAA's command center in Herndon, Va, whose professionalism and command probably helped keep things from spiraling into mass chaos and panic. The viewer is there in the rooms with the people responsible for making the decisions of that day and watching the plot unfold in disbelief. Many of the "actors" in the film, are not actors at all, they were the actual people playing the same parts they played that day. That added to the realism of the film.

The last half of the film puts us into United 93. The passengers that day were totally unaware of the events that were changing the world as they sat on the runway delayed. While the towers were collapsing and America was watching events unfold in horror, the passengers were ordering their in-flight meals and settling in for a long flight. In contrast, the terrorists were preparing their hearts and minds for their role in this drama.

It was interesting to me that the director brought out the difference in ideologies. While the terrorists were "submitting to god" and using planes as missiles and killing innocent people to further their cause, they were praying and as United 93 hurdled toward its final resting place, the passengers were also praying, but praying for survival. It was such a clash in the "heavenlies" and it was portrayed very well in the film. The terrorists were not portrayed as religious zealots, but rather as human beings.

Obviously the conversation among the people, terrorists and passengers, of United 93 is story. There is no way to establish it as fact, yet it can very well have been so as things were pieced together from abbreviated cell phone conversations, garbled radio transmissions, desperate answering machine messages, and character studies.

The movie ends with a black screen. No hollywood ending. No fireball explosion, nothing. Black screen. The audience sits in stunned silence. We all wanted a different ending to this film, but that would not be reality.

This film took me back to the feelings I experienced that day, and then emphasized even moreso the impact it has had on this country, and the world. There is an element out there, still out there, that wants to kill Americans. America must unite to fight these terrorists. Our existence depends on it.

And it isn't Too Soon.