Saturday, December 31, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

I'd officially like to add my voice to those talking about Chronicles of Narnia. Especially since most of the voices I've heard talking about it, didn't like it. I loved the books, absolutely loved them. Read them over and over and over. And I still liked the movie.
It seems, people are disliking it because it doesn't follow the book 100%. And I"m ok with that. With all the bad garbage movies out there (especially the supposed 'family' movies that like to put in bad words in a way that makes kids want to copy), I'm thrilled to watch this movie. I could watch it with my niece and nephew without fear of what's going to be said, and ALSO, I'm more than happy to do what I can to let them see that a lot of it is a representation of Christ.
Just a while back, I put up one of those weird personality test things that showed I came out as Aslan. I was awfully proud of that, until I watched the movie. Nothing against Aslan, He is/was wonderful, but Lucy... that's who I'd like to be like. Her energy, and absolute sense of adventure, her ability to forgive wholeheartedly, her stubborn loyalty to her friends and what she's decided is 'right'. Even though you kind of thought she wasn't grasping the whole concept of "you, um.. could get killed doing this" I kind of think she would of done the same even if she was aware of that.
I wonder if it's possible to be a tough Aslan, and an adorable Lucy at the same time?

Friday, December 30, 2005

Interesting problems.

Today I'm going to put myself in an interesting position. With a single decision, I will limit the number of churches that would welcome my attendance. I will make some people I know including some family probably, doubt my salvation. And, there are some people that will shake their heads at me as I walk down the street.
Want to know what my decision was?
I decided to cut my hair.
I'm female, by the way, for the readers out there that don't know. I have nearly waist long hair, and I'm having it chopped off. Every year and a half to two years I do this, and I donate it to Locks of Love. If you have long hair or the ability to grow it please at least consider donation to a great program like Locks of Love.
But back to my main point. Since, at least for the next few months, I'll have short hair, actually, according to all the websites I've looked at I'll have what's called "Medium" hair, I'm going to incur the disappointment of my dad, and no longer be as welcome when I visit the church they attend.
The thing I want to know is, Why? I understand the stricter churches are following after the scripture that says a womans hair is her glory 1 Cor 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But, why is there a double standard on the word "Long"? If man showed up in their midst with hair to his shoulders, the same church that would call my hair short, would call his hair long. He'd have to have a haircut, and I'd have to grow mine. And also, (this is turning into a rant now) it doesn't say it's a SIN for a woman to have short hair. it doesn't say it's a shame for a woman to have short hair (like the bible does say about men having long hair 1 cor 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?) It just says it's my glory and my covering.
I've often wondered, especially lately, if the whole reason some people go to the strict churches, is because they know they don't want to give their hearts to God, so they're hoping maybe they can work their way in with wearing the right clothes, abstaining from the right specific things that they've (seeming to me anyway) made up on their own to be unholy.
The thing that gets me is how strangely it hurt to be in their presence. To watch their rituals that I could find no biblical explaination for. Knowing, that without their own special rulebook (that they don't actually have so you can stay up with their rules) you are just one mis-step away from embarrassing yourself.
I'd maybe feel better coping with all those rules, if I could just understand why. Why is this rule here.
So if any commenters happen to attend a strict church (The one I was at was strict Assemblies of God) please feel free to tell me why it is the way it is.
I'll be happy to respond - but not now because I have to go get a hair cut. ;)
UPDATE: So, I'm at the salon ready for my cut. I sit down in the chair, and this lady I'd been chatting with before my stylist was ready for me comes up and the stylist and I try to explain the locks of love program. When this elderly lady, with short short curly hair informs me that...OH that's a sin! You shouldn't cut your hair off! You're not really are you?
I kid you not.
What's with my town?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

God loves me

I'll try to be brief, even though I'm sure by now after reading my posts you all know that is very hard for me. But yesterday, while checking my bank balance, I discovered a bank error in my favor for $100.00 Now that's awfully nice, but I called the bank and told them what was going on and they took their money back after confirming it. So, I'm working on trying to find the money to buy a camera. A way cool digital camera. My parents gave me one for Christmas, but played their own version of "Lets make a deal" before I opened it. They said if you never open the box, you can return it, add a bit more money to it and get a better one. So, say for 100 bucks more I could add to it and have a much better camera for only 100 bucks. Anyway, so the one I want was going to cost me $253 + the money back from the other cam. So I'm driving home from church, and I think about my change jar at home. So when I get home I dump out all my change jar and start counting. My grand total was $99.84 Just 16 cents shy of the 100 bucks the bank took back. So I'm considering how an all-knowing God could of somehow missed getting me that 16 cents. I decide to scrounge through my house, surely there's 16 cents somewhere in all this place. As I'm walking out the door, I discover a whole other change jar, just FILLED to the top with change. I believe we've found the 16 cents.
THEN, when I went back to actually get the camera, I found a slightly cheaper way to do it so now I only have to come up with $117.99
I can handle that.
God loves me, so much that an Almighty Creator of the universe, would see fit to bless me, with the stupid things that actually make me just giddy happy. How awesome is it, to have someone in your life that knows you so well, they know the exact thing necessary to make you happy? or wiser? or more capable?
God is truly good

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What are you praying for?

It's not exactly the best measure to go by but I always thought I'd finally be doing things right when my prayer life moved beyond me me me, to some more noble cause. Well, I hate to tell you, but for the most part it hasn't. But, for a brief moment, something was brought to my attention. And when it gets my attention it'll get prayed for. So, I was happy to note I was praying for something, someone, besides myself.
You see, the other day while driving home I noticed a police car. I thought about the unusual spot it was in and how it didn't have a car in front of it so obviously it wasn't in that spot because he'd pulled someone over. Then, maybe 50 feet away I noticed a man running, and the cop was running right behind him.
Immediately my sense of adventure and justice told me to pull onto the street next to them - immediately visions of medals and commendations from the mayor are dancing before my mind, newspaper headlines about the girl that stopped a crook. In reality it'd be more like a fine for interfering and causing the cop to lose his prey, but hey....
by the way, I didn't do that.
I kept on driving down the road, but I did begin praying that God would give the cop strength to catch the bad guy. I can't imagine the courage it takes to chase down some guy that you don't know anything about except that they break the law. And while, I know the problems with our justice system very well, I am now, thanks to the events of that night, motivated to pray all the more, because of the problems I know of. So they don't go after some of the people they should because they're scared of retaliation?
Pray courage and wisdom for them. Peace and comfort for their families.
Pray for your city's judges and attorneys that the criminals would receive just sentences, so the cops don't have to chase the same guy 15 times only to have him be released.
Pray for the inhabitants of your city that God would touch their hearts and lives, that He would deliver them from the bondage of sin. And that these people, your neighbors (whether you like it or not!) would come to know Jesus Christ as their Redeeming Lord and Savior.
Pray for your Churches, that they would preach the truth in it's piercing entirity. And that with hearts overflowing with compassion, they would reach out to the lost in the city. Not with the sole purpose of getting them to church, but with the purpose of introducing them to a friend that will stick closer than a brother.
Pray for your heart. That God would fill it to overflowing with a love and burden for the lost in your city. Becuase truly, you aren't in your city to work for money, but to work for Christ. Your city, has the exact people in it that God knew you would witness to.
Mark 16:14-20
14Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever
believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." 19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

I wish you and yours, the most amazing Christmas. I pray you remember God, and the precious Saviors birth as the gift you receive today. I pray you remember to thank God for the gifts you receive from family and friends, especially the gift of those family and friends. I wish you joy, and happiness. I wish you, most of all, peace.
Merry Christmas

You are not alone

As my title indicates you aren't alone. I've been exactly where most of you have been. It's Christmas morning and you've opened that gift from someone that should know you by now for crying out loud, and found another meaningless gift. It looks like they just found a catalog and opened to a random page and pointed and that's what you got. You're disappointed. Not as much in the gift as you are in the giver.
Or you woke up this morning, imagining how this day would be different if whatever loved one that has gone on could be here. You don't even want to celebrate if they can't be here. It just doesn't feel right. Or maybe you're single, and at some point today you know that hit will come - usually after some couple kisses in front of you, or the kids are sitting with their parents somehow suddenly looking like the most perfect family in the world - and you'll realize how truly alone you are.
I have no words of comfort for your situation today. They all seem trite, and they don't work. And I won't tell you how blessed I am today. What I will do, is tell you about someone to lean on. The struggles you'll face with today's holiday aren't unique, but the answer is. There is a comforter like none other available to you. Christ came to earth so that we'd be able to have this close relationship with God. Not the distant, bird slaying, altar building, burning spices and animal fat relationship of the old testament. But a new covenant, and relationship. One closer than your closest.
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilage to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus Knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge; Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.

Friday, December 23, 2005


I'm not going to be blogging much till after Christmas. I'll probably be back in on Tuesday. But I've discovered an incredible blogger, he's already been linked to in my sidebar, but I'm going to link to one of his past blog articles. I also want to share a paragraph of it with you just so you see why I like this guys writing so much. He writes things that I want to think. I guess that's why we do anything is that it fits our own little groove. Anyway, here's a paragraph but please take time to read the whole article.

Take note: The way you speak to God does not only reveal the quality of your relationship with Him; it also betrays your real theology. I wonder if the way I ask God for things makes Him look like a penny-pincher. I wonder if my praise sounds like polite applause from an audience that's applauding just because that's what audiences do (thereby communicating that the character and works of God are neat enough for subdued clapping but not deserving of an eternal standing ovation and a cry of "Encore!"). I wonder if my confessions are more like petty apologies for being five minutes late than gut-wrenching pleas for pardon to a father whose son I murdered.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

WWCD? (What would Christians Do?)

This morning I made my rounds through the blogs I keep track of. Over at Eight Strings Nate posted pretty much a one-liner. "Do things Christians aren't suppose to do" seriously, that's all he wrote. I'm hoping he's trying to do a mental challenge on me rather than sometime in the past two days maybe he's lost his mind. So I was thinking, how many of the things do we do as 'Christians' aren't necessarily what Jesus would do. If a sinner is watching us, and they become saved, immediately how they decide what 'Christ' would do, is based on what we would do. So their questions (wrongfully so, btw) are more along the lines of what Christians would do. So they end up asking themselves, "Would Christians wear a suit to church?" "Would Christians object to worship services without a hymn?" "Would Christians use this word?"
The problem I see with this is, as every builder knows, if you're going to cut out more than one mold of a thing then you have to start with the original each time. If you base your cuts off the 2nd one made, and the cuts of the 4th one off the 3rd one made, and so on and so on, by the time you're done with your cuts, you'll be able to notice a difference between your original and your final product.
Imagine if you would, if that is what was done by Christians just since 1600. How many generations of Christians have come through since then with the differences between Christians and Christ slowly growing larger and larger.
I'm normally long-winded, so I could easily keep going, but I'm pretty sure you get the drift of where I'm taking this. So let me just ask you this:
Is your pattern of actions based on what Christians would do, or what Christ would do?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Do I love like you do?

If I said I loved you - YOU specifically reading this right now, whoever you are - and was going to sell all my possessions (house, car, job, family, all the amazing amounts of junk IN my house), and I was going to give you the money for it just so you could get out of debt, go to college, pursue your dream job finally, whatever it may be - would you really think I loved you? Especially considering the tiny detail that I don't KNOW your name.
And, if I were truly passionate about it and made every attempt to get to know you, left you notes about myself and tried to call you regularly, wanted to visit, wanted to know all about your life, your hopes your dreams. Just wanted you to talk to me. Would you believe I loved you?
What if I continually kept adding new things to the original gift of all my possessions? What if I happened to save your kid from being hit by a car? Or what if I dedicated my life to finding the cure for whatever disease your loved one has? Would you believe I loved you then? Or would you just think I was crazy?
What if I told you I already had done those things and you just refused the money, and refused to believe that I was the one that saved your kid from the car, or came up with that cure. What if I told you that I HAD been calling you, and you just didn't answer the phone since my name wasn't on the caller id?
What will it take to get you to believe me?
What if I told you I was God?

As I wrote this, I pondered that my blog is mostly geared towards Christians, and one would think they already understand God's love for them. But then I remembered all the Christians I know, and I remembered my own doubts, and I wanted to post this anyway. God loves you, even if you're already saved, remember His love and bask in it. Love Him back and let Him into your thoughts and dreams. He already knows them, but He wants you to give them freely to Him. He's trustworthy. As Christians we all say we've given Him everything, and that we trust Him. But when push comes to shove, we rely a WHOLE lot on our own power and strength than we do His. He's trustworthy. He loves you. And He can handle whatever it is. Trust in Him.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Wish Fulfilled!!!

Congratulations go out to Daz, who has her own blog "Dazzlers Domain". Yesterday she opened her door to be greeted by a brand new bike, the one thing she wished for in the Christmas Wish.
Congratulations Daz! Don't forget to wear your helmet! :)

- Flyawaynet

It's official I guess, I'm a snob.

Interesting, I stole this from Marshian Chonicles, who stole this from Always Thirsty. :) At least it's all in the family.

You Are French Food

Snobby yet ubiquitous.
People act like they understand you more than they actually do.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Chief of sinners

This morning in my routine of hitting the blogs linked on the right hand side of the page, I went to "Gratitude and Hoopla", where he mentioned another blog "FoolishBlog". Instantly I knew I'd be a repeat hitter of Foolishblog, and after reading through the last two posts proceeded right back here to my home and linked to him.
His most recent two posts happened to be on a subject I was handed recently. I was praying recently for something entirely unrelated to the subject and the next thing I knew I was on the floor confessing to God what a wretch(2 : a base, despicable, or vile person ) I was. I can only assume this sudden knowledge came from God because I generally like to assume I"m a good person. Anyway, foolishblogs posts were concerning this scripture :“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.” — 1 Timothy 1:15

He states : "I have often wondered how Paul could call himself “the chief of sinners” and do so honestly. Usually when people say things like this, their words sound like a beautiful woman smearing mud on herself and saying, “No, really—I’m an ugly person!” They don’t believe what they’re saying and no one else does, either. It feels too deliberate, too artificial. But Paul doesn’t sound like that in 1 Timothy 1:15. He really believed what he was saying."

The thing that I was most struck by, as I pondered my own unworthiness weeks ago, (note - the topic was quickly shoved to the background as 'better' things to think about came along), was how very horrible I was. God shouldn't want to give me ANYTHING, God, the ultimate example of grace, shouldn't even be bothering Himself with me. At the moment it seemed pointless to ask for anything of Him because I knew He shouldn't listen. But looking now, and especially pondering some of the things on Foolishblog, I am thinking I may of been very close to 'right' thinking. Maybe it's more about just living daily with the awe and love for a Savior Whose grace does abound so much that even someone as wretched as I am could find His hand moving in their life.

Truly, I don't deserve the mercy. You have NO idea. But that's the main thing, no one can see into someone elses life. I can love my family or my friends.... but would I love them if I could - as Christ does - truly see the basest of their instincts and desires? I need to ponder this more, so you'll probably hear more about it later. But, I'll leave with you foolishblogs breaking down of the verse.

“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
This is a precious reality that is reliable, immovable, and able to be leaned upon; this truth deserves our full, strong, desperate, and happy embrace: that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even (and especially) the worst of the worst. There’s something to be happy about. There’s something to wake up in the morning for. There’s something to shout from rooftops and share in living rooms.

Christmas Wish Granted

I'm pleased to announce that the Christmas Wish has been granted today. I'll give more details on it later after the recipient has received their wish. ;)

Headline - God uses others - DRAT!

It was interesting, and certainly inspiring, but still I wasn't used. I was at church last night and during closing prayer the speaker said, and I"m quoting here as best as I can: "And Lord, you know her hearts desire, let her light shine to not just her family, but her friends, and strangers, and anyone she comes in contact with". I didn't tell him about yesterdays post - did you?
Still, now I'm caught up wondering if this is just another scenerio of how you can make anything about anything if you twist it hard enough. I'm such a skeptic! Lord, Forgive my skepticism, and somehow make me a blessing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ok, my new todays resolution.

....for folks just joining us you need to read the post before this first.

OK, I don't really "do" New Years resolutions, because.. well.. my 'all or nothing' spirit that has never failed to get me into trouble usually has me starting the resolutions the day or week I think of them. I don't like to wait - unless we're talking about cleaning. So anyway, after all the blogging I've done so far, I want to tell you how this all started. Two posts back I blogged about how someone had given me Christmas ornaments on the very day that I needed a small blessing to keep me going towards Christmas. I didn't even realize I needed it but God did, and he provided. So, I've effectively decided that I too, want to be a blessing. BUT, not just to family. I'm already a BIG blessing to my family. They take my for granted I think, so they don't realize how big a blessing, but I am a blessing. But I think it's easy to be a blessing to those you love. See aforementioned blogging. I want to be a blessing to those folks that I don't know. The old lady carrying her groceries out of the store, the person walking down the road because they don't have a car, the person broken down on the side of the road (boy it's a good thing my mom doesn't read this, I'd probably be scaring her). But, those are the folks I want to help. The bible says when you've done it to the least among you, you've done it as unto Him. So what would happen, if I dedicated my life to helping those 'least'? Of course, who is to say who is the least? Well, in the verses that Jesus used to describe the least, they're hungry people, naked people (I'm so glad mom doesn't read this), prison inmates... I should get the actual reference.
Matt 25:34,25,26
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
Imagine if we discarded wordly wisdom and actually said to some stranger that they could come live in your house until they got back on their feet? Imagine taking it upon yourself to visit people in jail? Imagine feeding someone that was simply hungry, or thirsty. How amazing could your life become, your spiritual walk become, if you actually transcended the worlds knowledge of safety, and simply did what God wanted you to do? Please note, God has to guide you, He wants you to be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Godly wisdom keeps you from danger and harm. He can show you who to, and who not to help.
But, anyway.... back to my original idea... I want to be a blessing. To just follow God's lead, to whoever is in my path, and be a blessing. So, let's start now and see what happens. :)

The useful without love

Ok, you're several posts behind now, because while I was blogging things in my mind, I wasn't able to get to a computer. So one mental blog posting led to another and so let me catch you up.

Ok, the first blog post was going to be a long-winded comment about how the story of Rudolph the rednosed reindeer taught me a lesson. It's hard to be useful when people don't love you. I'm useful to family and friends because they call me when they need help and I help. So thus I'm useful. When is the last time someone that didn't know you, like you, love you, called you and asked for assistance so you could be useful to them? Well Rudolph was not only unloved (by the stories account) he was made fun of, and laughed at. But somehow (in the story) he became useful to a whole world of people. (I KNOW it's just a story, bear with me). :)

The second blog post was all about how someone that didn't even know or like Rudolph saw a talent in him. Saw a special ability that would be useful to them. When is the last time that someone looked into your life, and, while they cared nothing for you, they saw you had a special talent that could be of use, AND then proceeded to give you a way to use that talent? And, how cool would that be?

The 3rd post was all about how that's kind of what Jesus does with us. Except, He gave us all the gifts and talents we have and so He knows exactly how we should be using them, and if we'd just let Him work in us, and follow His path to using our talents, we'd be so much happier. Then, the post was going to go on a long-winded tangent about how the only time we generally try and get help from someone that we don't love, someone that's a stranger to us, is if we're desperate. And that's often how we come to God. Many don't love Him, and so they ignore Him right up to the point that they're desperate. They're on the side of the road broken down, just wishing He would come by and fix it. Or, more like it, they're by the bedside of someone they love, and they're just wishing He would come by and fix it.

Ok, and now for todays post...

Pride is a bad thing...pride IS a bad thing...

As Aslan, you are brave, noble and have an astute awareness of morality. You may be quick to anger at times, but you have a heart of gold, and are respected greatly among your peers.

Ok, they say this, even though I specifically told them I don't get angry very easily. But OH COME ON, you guys would LOVE to be chosen as Aslan, admit it!

Monday, December 12, 2005

He loves me He really loves me!

OK, I have to tell you this because it's just one of those amazing things God does every now and then.
My niece and nephew were SUPPOSE to be sleeping on my couch last night, long story short, I woke up and my nephew had tried to open my ONE Christmas present, and between the two of them they'd taken apparently a lot of my ornaments off the tree. There were little fistfuls of ornaments just set on little nooks of branches, and I picked up about 8-10 off the floor.
Now, I wasn't too upset about the whole thing, though I don't have a CLUE what they were thinking, but I was a bit disappointed. Anyone that has ever decorated a tree pretty much knows, decorating a tree isn't a fun task you'd willingly take up more than once a year. The joy generally comes in looking at the tree later. So I went off to work thinking that I really didn't feel like decorating my tree again. But leaving it looking all scruffy didn't seem quite 'in the spirit of Christmas' either. Then, on my lunch hour, I head home to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer (I'm a busy gal ya know!) And on my front porch is a package.
I go inside and open the package. Inside the package are pre-Christmas gifts some online friends had sent me. It was a box full of home made ornaments, some fragile glass ornaments, and several very fragile glass balls. The first thing I had to do was stick them on my tree. I've put everything but the balls on the tree now. And I'm looking forward to a quiet night at home where I can finish re-doing the tree.
The point of all this is, God knew my need would arise before anyone would of imagined such a thing happening. And it wasn't even a huge deal, just one of those things you know? But God, in His really amazing mercy to me, put a little bundle of blessings right on my doorstep, the day it would be the most useful. It could of showed up yesterday, or next week, and it never would of had as much meaning as it did today.
Father, I thank You, with humble, heartfelt thanks. Not for Christmas ornaments, and not even for the friends that sent them (though I'm very grateful for those as well). But mostly I'm grateful that Your amazing love, allows You the King of the entire universe, to consider me and my happiness and my small joys as well as the great joys. Thank you! and, I love you too.
In the holy name of Your Son, Jesus Christ - Amen.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hilariously off-kilter

Good morning guys, in my usual scanning of the internet every morning I found this and wanted to share it. Just so you know I found it at MSN under the heading 10 inspirational tales.

Spring in Minnesota is often gray and full of slush, and that was how my mind and heart felt at that moment. I was swamped in midterm papers and cursing the cold that lingered at the tail end of winter. Anyone who might have seen me trudging the few blocks home from the university library probably grimaced at my sulking, sour face. "College students!" they might have said. "Always complaining!"

As I neared the last crosswalk before my block, I looked up from the cracks in the sidewalk. Cars were stopping … waiting … then slowly moving forward. But just a few seconds later, a bright red sports car came zipping up to the stop sign in front of me. I looked, froze completely in mid-stride, and squinted again at the car.

In the driver's seat, reclined back and grinning radiantly, was a nun!

She rolled up the sleeves of her habit, shifted gears, and cruised away down the road. I stepped forward into the crosswalk, following the blaze of red with my eyes as long as I could. It was only after I crossed the street that I realized I was laughing out loud.

That's who I want to be! A nun in a sports car. Someone so brilliantly off-kilter, so hilariously unexpected, that those around me can't help but find themselves waking up from their half-asleep lives. Whether I am sketching cartoons on restaurant napkins, line dancing on a street corner, or singing in the grocery store, I want to be the spark and the flare of joy in someone else's day—friend or stranger.

Yes—I'm going to be the finest joy maker in the state. Bar nun!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Have you ever wished...

...that there was such a thing as a gas forecast?
"It looks like Friday, the gas prices will hit a high of $2.02 for regular, with scattered amounts of $1.99 You might want to go ahead and get gas though because it appears that since the wind is going to be above 15 mph on Saturday that by Sunday prices will be in the upper $2.30's, with lows around $2.29"

I'd pay attention to that report.

Not so thrilling thrill of discovery.

I've discovered something this week. And, as you might guess from my title, it wasn't a very good discovery. You think, because you have a good attitude, and you're a generally happy person that you must be doing something right. Right? But then when it's tested, life goes sour, things are bad...that's when you find out what's really inside you. My brother called yesterday and implied that he figured yesterday would of been a bad day for me since he'd found out my nephew got sick while riding in my car. He knew, thanks to the blog here, that the day before that had been horrible, but he thought that maybe with my nephew throwing up that yesterday was bad too. But, honestly, that didn't even register on my scales. I just felt sorry for my nephew and his apparently 'inherited' weak stomach. And that's when I realized, I don't necessarily have a better attitude than others (Pride of course told me that I was superior at least in this area). The only thing that makes me different is I have different triggers. And apparently those triggers just hadn't been pushed lately, until this past week. So, that makes me wonder. I mean, until you're tested, you really don' t know where you're at on the learning scale. Without tests at school you wouldn't realize where you need to improve. So the same would easily apply to this Christian walk. :) So, despite how hard this past week was, and how much I would like a little break to recover from this most recent test, I hope God sees fit to test me again. I don't feel I did very well, and I want to do better. It's worth this pain and frustration just to GROW. I don't want to hit this again next year and find out I haven't changed at all. I hope I've learned something through this, and I hope you have too. Sometimes you read something someone has written and you get an opinion about them. I don't know what your opinion of me is, but ask yourself, did it change the last few days when I struggled? I received a story in the e-mail just this morning about a man that wanted to teach his 4 sons something so he sent them all out to look at a tree. He sent one in the fall, one in the winter, one in the spring and one in the summer. Each son came back with a different report on the tree and the trees potential. Obviously, the sons that saw it in the fall and winter didn't think much of the tree. But, it takes those seasons to be able to get to the most from the spring and summer seasons. I hope this analogy made sense. If it didn't, I'll give you the e-mail of the lady that sent me the story. Ask her what it means. :) Because I'm going to go wrap Christmas presents. :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A better moment

Ok, I'm taking a special moment out of my busy day just to tell you something GOOD, since I took all that time to tell you something bad earlier. After I get off work at my regular job I went to the newspaper warehouse to do my usual cutting off toppers. The boss gets back his money on all the papers he doesn't sell, so I cut part of the top (with the date) off the newspapers so he'll get his money back. It's just an extra little thing I do (besides having a regular route, AND a regular job, too bad I don't have anything to do eh?) anyway... I had a point.
This evening I went to go cut those toppers off, and EVERY single time before, I've had to spend 30-45 minutes just cleaning off my table so I can actually WORK on my table. Everyone comes in and just dumps their papers on my table haphazardly, so stuff spills everywhere and makes a huge mess. So before I can work at my table I have to clean things up. It sounds like I'm complaining again doesn't it? I should hurry on to my point I guess. Today, I went in to cut those very toppers off, and all the papers were stacked neatly in the little piles they're suppose to be stacked in. A usually hour long project took me 30 minutes. My work was quick, and light. I didn't have to spend another 30 minutes ranting about how inconsiderate everyone is, and threatening to do the very same to THEIR workspace and see how they like it and....I'm losing the point here again aren't I? Point is, sometimes, even the people you've grown to expect to not give you any thought, give you a little thought. And when that happens, it's like a breath of fresh air that helps you keep going one more day.
So, even though only one of them reads my blog, THANK YOU PEOPLE, all of you, for making at least one day of my life just a little bit easier. I really do appreciate it. See, not complaining! :)

The spirit in which we face it...

I've recently experienced the worst day of my life. It was my fault, because once I decided it was ok to have a bad attitude, things just spiraled down from there. It wasn't anything horrible that happened that day, I was just too tired to face it. I was woke up at 3am Monday morning and asked to go back to work again (when I'd begun to actually hope that horrible section of my life had ended!) and I was so very disappointed, and tired. Tired is next to the love of money as the root of all evil if you ask me. I've never felt that angry, upset, sad, disappointed, discouraged, hurt, frustrated, and the list could go on, but I can't think of any more of the emotions I felt yesterday. I spent the afternoon crying and trying NOT to cry. And I don't cry at least not from bad moods, and certainly not in front of people. My co-worker, Lisa, wonderful that she is she called the florist shop and had them send me some balloons and a coffee mug filled with chocolate candies. A little note that said "things will get better". She's wonderful. I think she and my mother are the only two people I didn't spend serious time ranting or crying about yesterday. I discovered what wonderful friends I have, as she sent me that, and another friend online sent me virtual flowers. I'm truly too blessed to be so childish to have the mood I had yesterday. But that knowledge still didn't change my attitude I'm sad to say.
But, all that said, this morning I looked at my "Positive Quote of the Day" I found this:

I find that it is not the circumstances in which we
are placed, but the spirit in which we face them, that constitutes our comfort.-- Elizabeth T. King

I believe she wasn't meaning to talk about the Holy Spirit, but as a Christian it applies to me none-the-less. I know at some point yesterday (seriously, I remember doing it) that I made a conscious decision to go ahead and be in a bad mood. And then it spiraled from there.I had a bad day because of me. So, keep that in mind as you go about your day. What is your decision going to be? Are you going to be happy and praise God or are you going to be angry, upset, sad, discouraged, disappointed, etc. etc. etc... From personal experience, you'd think it'd feel better to vent and scream at the world but in the end, today I find I only feel remorse and slightly defeated. I believe I let the devil win yesterday, but I don't want to give in to that same thing again today. I don't have to, and neither do you. God loves you, He wants better for you than what the devil offers. I know when I look back on the past month, every day with Jesus, was far sweeter than the one I allowed the devil to own. God chose you, choose God back now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Scary thoughts...

For those that haven't been reading the blog long, let me tell you what's been going on.
I went on a bit of a hiatus from blogging while I was working a 2nd job. I don't need a second job, I don't want a second job, as a matter of fact, I'd probably be willing to pay someone to TAKE my second job away from me. But, nevertheless, here I am stuck wtih a second job. It's a newspaper route. I really do enjoy the work itself, I just happen to already have a job so I don't particularly want this new one. But I can't seem to get out of it. I got into it originally a few weeks ago when someone quit without much notice. The boss (a friend) asked me to help him out until he found a new person. So, I started. He then hired someone, and I trained the new guy... then after getting him trained he worked one day on his own before he was fired. So I go back in again, and they give me another new person to train. I get them trained and they worked Sunday by themselves. Unfortuantely this morning at 3:21am my phone rings and it's to let me know that the new lady quit in the middle of the night and would I get up and come on in. So in I went again. So now I'm contemplating the idea that I might actually lose my Christmas days off and getting a bit discouraged about the entire idea. But as I was talking with my mother about the whole thing, she reminded me that God does everything for a reason. Which is scary. Because, the only thing I can see coming out of this whole thing is that I'm bringing in an extra pay check. So, that makes me question, why does God think I need more money? Is there something coming that He knows I'm going to need money for? (comments about Christmas coming aren't what I mean here guys). Still, it makes me wonder. If there's a reason for everything... what's the reason for this?
This one thing stick out in my mind though...
The lady that replaced me on Sunday, she brought her teenaged son with her to help with the Sunday load. And I remember as I loaded my car full of papers I remember the thought hitting me that I should invite the young boy to church. These kinds of thoughts don't strike me very often (I know what you're thinking!) so you'd think I would of paid more attention to it. But I didn't. I pushed it off, and I said maybe I'll ask him next week when I know him a bit better. Maybe he and I both missed out on something yesterday. Maybe God's disappointed in me today. Maybe, the entire excercise was so that I'd learn to obey God on the first prompt? I honestly don't know. I am probably going to be a whole lot more willing to follow the prompts of God next time when it comes to, well, hopefully anything.Oh well. Have you learned anything this year?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Several things

Hey guys, for any of y'all that tried to go to the State By State abortion ranking site and the url didn't work. I fixed it so it works like a charm. As does the one on this post. Sorry about the error.
So, how are things going? Have you done your Christmas decorating yet? Have you considered gifts yet? This is going to be a little mini rant because I started thinking about it today. But, if you haven't started thinking about what you're going to give people yet it seems like you'll end up just wandering aimlessly closer to Christmas trying to figure out what you're going to get someone because you're running out of time. Does that sound right? The main thing that sticks in my mind is the 'because you're running out of time' part. I think everyone ends up feeling that way. Worried about time and how to make time to do everything.
That's not what Christmas is about.
If you wait until the day before Christmas to buy something, are you buying it because you truly wanted to buy something for someone and give them a gift, or are you buying it because tomorrow is Christmas and you have to put something under the tree for that person? Granted, if you don't put something under the tree for them then you might possibly get in trouble! but, either way, the other person still gets something so they win. The only person that lost out was YOU. The joy of searching to find something that someone will truly enjoy. Do you realize what an unselfish moment that is? You're in no rush, you're just sitting down thinking "what would this person really enjoy?" It's entirely unselfish. And then, once you've figured out what they might enjoy, the joy of watching it being opened is doubled for you. Because you remember picking it out for them (Hopefully not just remembering how crowded it was in the store they day you got it, how expensive it was, or - worse yet - wishing you remembered what it was you actually got them because you've since forgotten).
God's gift to us wasn't hurried. He knew exactly what we needed and He provided it. He knew we wouldn't look at the gift with awe and amazement right away. He knew some people would reject the gift. But He gave us what He knew we needed.
So, I'm going to end this strangely, but... the greatest gift we can give to someone is to help them open the gift God gave them so many years ago. So, if you know someone that doesn't know God, and you know if you give them a bible, or a devotional book or something with Christian significance, that they'll not appreciate it then maybe you'll just understand how God felt in a very small way. But don't discount the gift entirely. Because maybe by doing that you would of actually given God a gift too. Being willing to sacrifice the joy of giving what someone wants, for something they need...
Just think about it.