Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ebay Auction - LOTS of CDs!

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

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

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

A Christian Blogroll

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


Monday, August 28, 2006

I Just Want To Say...

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

Onions too.

and garlic.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Egg Relay - Eli and George

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

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

I love my church family!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Caught Stealing

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

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

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

It depends on what you mean by caught.

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

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

You are feeling guilty because you are.

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

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

I wonder, was it out of character for you?

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

And He loves you still.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's heaven or hell.

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

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

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

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

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

I've Been Tagged!

By Pressed at Avoiding Evil!

1. Grab the nearest book.

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

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

thumbing through....




blank page....

blank page.....


*blink* ... *blink blink*

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Commentary (Jeremiah 29:11)

Jeremiah 29:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Walton's Mountain

Is it unrealistic to believe that the simplicity of life and love in a family could be like that which was found on Walton's mountain? Is it self-defeating to think that a family could exist in such a manner? In a world of "keeping up with the Jones'", capitalism, high-tech gadgets, fast food, dance class, sports, two working parents, daycare, before/after school care, divorce, remarriage, divorce, remarriage, and so on, is it possible to get back to days of togetherness? Is it possible to have dinner together and the entire family participating willfully in the preparations and clean up? Even the church is busy with so many activities that separate family members instead of encouraging unity at home.

The children go to children's church. I don't even know which kids belong to which parents because I never see them together! What happened to the day when children came in for part of the service, then were dismissed as the adult message began? I believe some churches still do practice this, but perhaps more should.

Then we have our precious youth. They sit together in church, not with their families. They go out to lunch after church, and have dinner together on Sunday nights. They have their mid-week fellowship and Bible Study also. After dinnner and class time are over, they play games and fellowship. These get togethers often go on too long and take from time spent with family, at home. This doesn't include the days when they just get together to go to a movie or shopping.

Now, I'm not naive to the fact that teens don't like to "hang out" at home or with their parents. I know that they prefer their peers and crave some independence. But, this is a perfect opportunity to enforce family in spite of it. This is a time to teach them how important togetherness is. Learning about God in a church environment is good, but all the more, it should be practiced at home. It becomes difficult when at home is so limited.

Before the days of two parents working, commercialism, and excessive materialism, families often worked together to keep the home running. Now, we have a tendency to pay somebody to raise the kids and clean the house while two parents go to work to make lots of money to pay somebody to raise the kids and clean the house.

Today, a woman who chooses to stay home to raise her children is often thought of as simple-minded with nothing to offer the world beyond the walls of her home. Women's rights activists see her as being "opressed" and not treated fairly. A woman of this day is often ashamed to say, "I'm a homemaker". In today's society, admitting a desire to stay home is like admitting a desire to have a disease.

I can think of a couple of "old fashioned" families where the husband works and the wife stays home to nurture the family. In their homes it isn't a crime for the woman to let a man be a man and feel like the head of his home. It isn't considered opression for the wife to give him a comfortable home in order that he may concentrate on his role in providing for his family. What a great idea! I wonder where it came from?

I'm not saying that a woman is wrong to have a career, or to the contrary, that the woman should stay barefoot and pregnant as a slave to her husband. But, being a wife and a homemaker should never be considered a place of opression or slavery. It's a blessing, an achievement beyond anything this world will ever recognize, an honor, and a joy. A home should be a refuge, not a place the family avoids. It takes parents, not babysitters to raise a family. Dad and mom need to be the example of the adults they want their children to become. If the kids are spending 8-10 hours daily with other role models, coming home to parents who are exhausted and grumpy, but set in the financial department, who are they learning from? What are they learning?

Is it more important to have the kids involved in sports, music lessons, dance lessons, clubs, and endless competition to acheive social status? Or is it better to teach them about strong family values and good moral character built through spending time together? Everything should be done in moderation or it eventually will become bondage. It's okay to have extra-curricular activities, but whatever happened to the neighborhood kids getting together at the park for a ball game? Now it's all about traveling competitions, training, and practices that drain the bank account, create huge debt, a need for both parents to work more, and a loss of intimate time spent together...time that can never be redeemed. It starts as early as age three! These things aren't all bad, but when they take over the life of the family, divert them from the life God intended, and lead to feelings of failure for the one who isn't "the best", what is it teaching? Aren't we supposed to do everything for God's glory? I could go into the "soccer for Jesus, beauty queen for Jesus, and dancing for Jesus" mentality but that's another journal.

I've often seen my life as one doing without because I've never been well off enough to even gaze at the Jones' back yard. But, because I have focused on trying to be home to raise my kids,

...because I have been unable to achieve certain "status", I have had wonderful opportunities to teach my kids how to appreciate the simple things in life..."

I have never been able to involve them obsessively in sports, music, dance classes, and other expensive activities outside the home (although they do participate in some of these things). Often I have felt guilt because of that and they, at times, may somehow feel cheated. The message of the world is to be successful, compete, be the best at everything and accumulate as many toys as possible! But, because I have been unable to achieve certain "status", I have had wonderful opportunities to teach my kids how to appreciate the simple things in life...things that money can't buy.

I don't want my children to grow up with memories of a stressed-out, depressed, grumpy mom who is too exhausted to talk about their troubles and help them through heartbreak. That's who I was when I was working and going to school as I made an attempt to achieve status and keep up with society.

I want my kids to remember things like John Boy on Walton's Mountain.....the smell of bacon and coffee rising to their rooms on a cold winter morning, the times of praying together over dinner, voices of laughter filling the home, family nights with popcorn and Veggie Tales, hot cocoa at Christmas time....these are the treasures in life. It's a battle to find these treasures (even to recognize them as such) in a fast paced, materialistic, dollar and status worshipping society, but these are the treasures I seek for my family.

So, now I'm on a quest for the Waltons families of this age. Can they exist? Do they exist? What do they look like? Is this kind of living threatened by extinction?

Perhaps all hope is not lost. Perhaps as I investigate, I will find these families and learn from them. Who are they? Are they the simpletons who live in the country, grow gardens, and live in simple homes? Do they exist in the suburbs of small cities? Do they live in the ghettos? Are they rich, or poor? Perhaps they do exist in many faces, homes, and neighborhoods. Perhaps it isn't unrealistic to believe that there are families today who still have the standards and values found in the Walton household.

Isn't there a part of every person who would like to travel back in time and experience the simplicity of home and family as it was in the days when times were "tough"....and families worked together to make the best of life? Isn't there a part in every person that aches for the heritage found on Walton's Mountain?

My First Time

SaLT with WaLTA few months ago, WaLT, my SaLT Group leader asked me to consider teaching a class, basically subbing for him so he can have a break. I said no.

Who am I to teach the Word? I told him that I couldn't because my heart was not right. I have been dealing with some spiritual issues that were detrimental to my relationship with God lately, nothing that was of huge concern, but that my heart was just not in a state that would be conducive to learning the Word enough to teach it. I would feel too hypocritical.

Walt told me that sometimes preparing to teach gets one in the Word and God uses that to help correct an issue like I described. I simply discarded what he had to say at the time.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling better, Walt asked me again to take one of his classes. I still said no. But, eventually, after numerous pleas said yes when he asked again.

The past few weeks I've spent in the Word preparing to lead on John 11. It was an experience and made me study a bit differently than I have before. Usually, when I study, I'm praying for God to reveal Himself to me through His Word. While that is still my prayer, I was also asking Him to guide me and reveal Himself to others through His Word, and chosen instrument, which was to be me. Ugh. The pressure!

I had, and have, so many thoughts running through my head. I have thoughts like I'm not qualified to teach, I'm a hypocrite, I'm encouraged, scared, why me?

Well, it's over now. My first time leading/teaching SaLT is over.

Things seemed to go smoothly. The class responded well to my questions and leading, and I don't think I taught any false doctrine. LOL I feel humbled, privileged, excited, challenged, relieved, anxious, etc. all at the same time. It is such an important responsibility to share the Word with others. I want to make sure I get it right, but it is comforting to know, that if I had said something incorrect or out of line, I have brothers and sisters in Christ who love me enough to correct me and encourage me. I received a lot of encouragement today, thanks be to God.

God is amazing...He uses even me.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who's Yo Daddy?

What's wrong with this picture? This was an actual conversation that took place in my store and I'm curious if you find it as disturbing as I do?

I was attempting to upsell to a customer who kindly refused everything I tried to pitch to him. He said with a smile on his face "nah, I got 2 kids on the way so I gotta watch my money". I gave the man his change and finished up the transaction.

The gentlemen in line behind him spoke up about the obvious special situation and inquired of the man "oh, neat,...you have twins on the way?"

The man laughed and answered "nah, two different women. I'm gonna be a busy man!" and he turned and walked away.

Maybe it was the reply itself? Maybe it was the tone and the braggart attitude the man replied with that bothered me?

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Ringtones Adults Can't Hear

Hmmmmm, I can't hear anything beyond the lowest three frequencies, which is apparantly about right for my age of 25-15. Ugh! My body is deteriorating!

I've been having fun driving the household crazy today though. I can hear a thing above a certain frequency, but I keep playing the tones that are out of my range and everyone starts yelling "stop! stop doing that!" It's fun!

Katie can hear the "mosquito tones", (she's an anomaly) so her teens wouldn't have much success hiding the fact that their cellphone is ringing...that and the fact that they don't have cellphones!

Can you hear it? The ringtone that most adults can't hear!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chuck and Melissa Grillin'

Chuck and Melissa Grillin'
Originally uploaded by susanlprince.
SaLT with WaLT continues our new summer "salt shake" tradition of getting together with other SaLT groups. Last night we combined for an evening of fellowship with Chuck's group.

Chuck is the pastor at our church and he was the grillmaster last night. Melissa, also pictured, is the hostess. She opens her home up for these fellowships which is turning out to be every three weeks or so.

It has been a lot of fun and has really been helping us get to know other people in our church that we normally do not spend too much time with.

We played some of the DVD game "Scene It" and then headed outside for a new round of "Karen Games". Karen is our game organizer and her games have become known lovingly as "Karen Games". They are usually the kind of game that gets one out of their comfort zone and many times they require physical activity. Last night was some "Queen of the Ocean" and a fun game where a circle was formed and the person in the middle was "it".

Someone was appointed the "leader" and they give a certain sign that everyone in the ring imitates. The person who is "it" has to identify the "ring leader" in three guesses or less. It was a lot of fun!

As usual, pictures are posted on Flickr...so click the picture!

Actual Conversation

Tiffany: Mom, can you take me to Burger King?

Katie: Won't you be having dinner with the youth tonight? They are cooking out, hamburgers and hotdogs.

Tiffany: I don't want hamburgers!

Me (I just had to ask the obvious question): Then why do you want to go to Burger King?

Tiffany: I want chicken.

Kids,...they bloggle the mind.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Not Taking Up Our Cross

I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question. I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time with the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor." - Shane Claiborne

Read that on page 113 of "Irresistible Revolution - Living as an Ordinary Radical"

The Simple Way - check it out

I'm not sure I agree with all the stuff Shane Claiborne says or does, but he does make me think and that makes for good reading!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Confident, Dry and Secure

Not that there was any odor, but it might have led to that. You see, the best waitress in the world works at the restaurant Katie and I go to have breakfast at every Wednesday to start off our "God Day".

We have been doing this faithfully for years and years (well, at least the breakfast part!) and we've worked hard to develop a relationship with Faye, the waitress, as witnesses for Christ. She serves us each and every week with excellence and care, and today, I got to serve her!

Faye came over to our table shortly after we were seated. She bent over and very descreetly asked if either of us had deoderant in our purses. NOT the question we would have expected! LOL

I thought maybe I had some in my truck, but after I checked, I came in to tell her "sorry, no, but I'll run to the store to get some". She told me not to, but it was too good an opportunity to serve her for once!

Today, I bought deoderant for the best waitress in the world!

After paying the bill, on our way out the door, Katie asked Faye "Do you feel confident, dry and secure?"

Faye raised her hands and we all said "raise your hands if your Sure!" LOL