Thursday, December 28, 2006


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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 16, 2006


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

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

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

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Finished!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Taking Offense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Little Drummer Boy

Repost from December 14, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now this is when the song gets really interesting!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the great pause!

Silence...for just a moment.

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

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

He smiled at me,

Me and my drum.

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What is Salvation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My New Job

I LOVE my new job!

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

Friday, December 01, 2006

Go Eagles!

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

* * UPDATE * *


4 minutes left!

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

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

* * UPDATE * *






45 SECONDS....

We have to run one more play!








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

* * UPDATE * *

JCS is mentioned on the FACING THE GIANTS movie website!