Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Advanced E-mailing


Ok, unmistakably this blog is dedicated to my dear and sweet friend Casja. I know you have been waiting all day and I have heard the complaint of my oh so wonderful blog subscribers, so here it is, today’s thought…deep…pensive…thoughtful…and real.

Who said it was not possible to send food through e-mail? I actually tasted this cake in my mouth today even though it was hundreds and hundreds of miles away. Thank you Casja and family for thinking of me! You’re amazing.

Promise tomorrow I am writing some good thoughts. I already know what about.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Discovery

I recently cleaned out some old stuff from my shelf and came upon some words written on a scrap piece of paper over two years ago. I have no idea how it survived on this small raggedy paper, but it did. The words are intended to become a song, but are in the process. Who knew how much this plea would mean today after going through all the things I have. I thank God He prepares our hearts for things ahead by giving us prayers and petitions to bring to Him.

The words are:

You spoke through the burning bush
Raised people from the dead
You made the blind to see
And the lame to walk again

You turned the water into wine
You calmed the raging sea
So tare the curtain
Part the waters
Lord I need a miracle
Done in me


This is my prayer tonight. That God would show His miracles to me. That I will be willing to believe and have a heart that is open. That I will expect nothing less than appreciation for life, thankfulness for happiness, and joy for the future.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Random Thoughts

Random Thought #1:

Yesterday morning I was awakened by my landlord calling and leaving a message, sounding rather flustered, that she was on her way over. I assumed it might be concerning a repair that I had requested earlier that week and grabbed Gracey and went downstairs to wait. No less than 2 minutes later there was a knock on my door. I opened it up and saw the maintenance man standing there ready for action. “Where’s the fire?” he asked and looked inside my living room. Perplexed, and wondering if I accomplished to sleep through such an event, I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. Apparently there was a call saying there was smoke coming out of my apartment. I took a second look inside. Hey, maybe I missed something? Nope, no smoke, just a Chawennie dog and “Good Morning America” on in the background. Looking confused he asked me again and I finally told him, “Sir, if there were a fire, I don’t think I would have called you guys first. I mean, I care about you knowing, but I am smart enough to call the fire department first.” Imagine if they did and at 8am in the morning I was awakened by sounding alarms of a fire truck? I guess it would not have been that bad if a cute fireman came a rescued me, carried me down the ladder, and of into the morning sunrise!

Random Thought #2:

Maybe I am the only one in the world who wonders this, but I am willing to sacrifice my mental state to shed some light on this issue. Why in the world do they have phone numbers to call on every bottle of soap, shampoo, and lotion? Maybe there are just a lot of lonely factory workers who sit around waiting for an emergency 411 call about dove shampoo’s national credited rating?! I mean please, it is enough that people write phone numbers on bathroom stalls, and annoying sales people call at the “most convenient times,” but we also have to see adds and information while in the shower or bath? I guess maybe I should make someone’s day and call the 800 numbers and ask them this question!

Random Thought #3:

One of the most disliked groups of people is phlebotomists. I actually have sympathy for them. Who wants to be known as the “blood taker?” However, there may be some physco out there who enjoys a therapeutic stab to someone’s elbow-pit. I guess someone has to do it, but it does not mean I have to like them for it! Maybe we can celebrate them to make sure we are treated gently? Let’s make a National Phlebotomist Day? How about October 31?

Random Thought #4:

I am a commercial lover. At the Super Bowl, my undisclosed desire is to evaluate the commercials and laugh. The cost of such advertisement must prove they will be funny. There are, however, commercials we as Texans don’t see. One such commercial is the “Trunk Monkey.” I have positive feelings of this venue and effort to control road rage. If you would like to see it CLICK HERE. It may take a moment to download, but I promise it is worth it. In fact I think I am going to go to PetSmart and get one today. I heard they are on sale. Two for the price of one!

Warning: MAKE SURE YOUR BLADDER IS EMPTY BEFORE WATCHING THIS!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Read With Caution

A secret enjoyment of mine is talking about the state of Texas to people who are aggressively devoted to Texas pride involving culture, society, and knowledge. Upon arrival to this state I clearly saw a distinct difference in civilization. From school pledges (how does this promote unity for the USA when the Texan flag is pledged first?) to almost every TV commercial involving a cowboy, a horse, or the good ole’ banner, a sense of brutal conceit relays to the surrounding states. It is childish to hear the response of those who go over the edge with defense. Some talk as if the actual state of Texas contributes less to the world’s felony, or more mental power and cooperation with government and armed forces. Shouldn’t unity be promoted? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is a whole world out there besides Texas.

There is nothing wrong with routing for the “home team” and knowing the history of the men and women who sacrificed so much for freedom and love. Historical events fascinate me, especially the history of this land. I have traveled much and feel like Texas contributes greatly to the U.S.A.

Once someone was angry with me (without a hint of joking) for not knowing exactly what the Alamo was, when it happened, who fought, who died, and so on. It was as if I committed a severe crime. I thought the ranger police was going to come up riding on a horse, wearing a leather cowboy hat and take me off to prison. Chastised for not knowing “THE” history I begin to think perhaps the whole “every one is so nice in Texas” is not valid. I laugh that some people have no clue what the other states contribute to our history. The issue of state-awareness is identical in each individual area. Wont the state of California focus more on the history surrounding its learners? But they don’t grow up thinking that it’s God’s gift to mankind, or go on and on bragging that they could separate from the states and be an independent country. The issue of humbleness goes beyond church and home, but also plays apart in our conversations on such matters.

I know full well there are only a percentage of people who fit this category. I don’t write wanting to argue, although I know I must have hit a few nerves. This needless arrogance is an energy-waisters. Isn’t the heart more significant? I stand firm exposing the things that unnecessarily drain our time. But in the mean time it is amusing to see the reaction when I state my point of view.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Magyar (Hungary)


Erdekesnek talaltuk hogy valaki Magyarorszagrol olvassa Olivia blogjat.
Nagyon szeretnenk tudni hogy ki az a titkos olvaso.
Remelem kapunk valaszt.

Olivia es Klari

(If you are a regular blog reader, you have not stumbled upon the wrong page. I am writing a brief "blog" to my readers in Hungary.)

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Visitor

A little girl knocked on my front door this morning. I was not expecting anyone; so peering out the window I was shocked to see her standing there. She looked about two-years-old and stood contently on the fact that I would be opening the door at any minute. I grabbed the handle and looked outside. Her eyes lit up and a smile formed that could melt a frozen soul. I bent down to examine her. Was she in trouble? Without a second to spare she ran into my arms and embraced my heart. Her hair was tied with a pink ribbon and she smelled of strawberries and vanilla with a touch of jasmine. Her eyes were distinct like that of a crystal sparkling with every color imagined. Rosy cheeks and pink lips freshly signified she was happy, loved, and well taken care of. Her dress was white adorned with pink satin. On the waste band were the words “faith, hope, and love.” She was not wearing any shoes and as her toes wiggled at my sides it tickled both of us simultaneously. She laughed touching her nose to mine, and at that moment, starring into her eyes, I knew who she was, it was Natalie. I carried her inside and sat her in my lap, laughing, crying, and not wanting to let go of her. Her words were soft and sweet as she spoke “Mama, I love you.” My tears fell freely while holding her close knowing this moment would not last forever. “I love you too, Natalie.” I did not see her wings until she hopped down off my lap and headed towards the door. She stopped before turning the handle, looked back at me with those unfathomable eyes, and smiled. I did not try to stop her. I knew she couldn’t stay. The love we have is beyond senses. It reaches deep in my soul where true emotion stands for those who await us as angels in heaven.

© 2005 Inspired by Grace

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Someone Else's Shoes

Five years ago I traveled to Ensenada, Mexico on a mission trip with an Abilene Christian University Spring Break Campaign. We had many meetings and knew the days were to be filled with labor and emotional relationships with the orphaned boys and girls at the “City of Children.” Our journey to Ensenada began in Abilene with a drive to Dallas. Early the next morning we drove to DFW airport and flew to San Diego, California. We boarded a bus and drove through the boarder into Mexico and went through customs. After a rough bus drive, in which several times I thought we would plummet down the side of the mountain; we drove through the large white gates and arrived at the “City of Children.” Everyone began to unload the vans, pick out where they were going to sleep, and get washed up to meet the children. I waited near the bus to get my bag. As the last suitcase came out, I was surprised and disappointed to discover the only bag of luggage that did not make it was mine. So here I was in Mexico with none of my belongings. The driver assured me that we would get it, but it would probably take several days.

Many meetings and prayers went into this trip. Our leaders and sponsors were men and women of God who were examples of faith. I desired to praise and honor God with this expedition and upon arrival my heart was upset and worried with questions: When would I get my stuff? Would I ever see it again? What will I where? What will I sleep on? I decided this discouragement was a trap set up to divert my attention from the true meaning of my visit. Others agreed and prayed with me about it as well as other issues that seemed to be distracting our group.

It was time to meet the children and we piled into a large multi-use building. We met the director. The door came open and slowly the room became alive with smiles, laughter, and song. All ages of boys and girls filed into the auditorium and our group had the permission to sit anywhere we wished. I sat with a group of young girls. As I glanced around I saw that every college student had more than one child on his or her lap. They were examining us and yearning for attention and love. The kids had nothing of their own, but yet their smiles were genuine and their songs radiate from the heart.

After the service we spent time in prayer for our ministry to this facility. The story of the “City of Children” was told along with several statistics and stories about their lives. The director stood up and told us that the white walls we entered into were not to keep the children in, or to make them stay. In fact if the boys and girls want to leave, they can just get up and go. The walls are there to keep harm away from these children. It is a boundary to create a safe place for them to live and be loved.

That night, after a full day of traveling, I walked to the “dorm” and lay down inside my bunk. Of course all the girls helped me with what I needed, but something amazing was revealed to me that day, and stuck with me throughout the trip, and apparently surfaces even today: God taught me what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. My stuff did not arrive until 2 days before we left, but it did not bother me at all. In fact, after the first night I never even thought of material things the same. All the clothes the children wore were shared. Nothing was of their own unless family sent it. Poverty encircles the city and plays a devastating part in society. The people there are very very poor. How could I complain when I have so much? God was teaching me a lesson through this experience.

On our last night, even today tears swell in my eyes, all of us went to different boys and girl’s dorm and got to tuck in the kids and say good night. I will never forget walking into the young girls dorm. Everyone was in her own bed sitting as still and quiet as a mouse. They looked at us with faces so hopeful. Some cried with us, and others hugged our necks as tight as they could. One small face remains in my heart of little Betty. Although a language barrier was present we talked much about life and God. She saw me come around the corner and her eyes lit up she said “Something for you.” In her hand was a folded photo of her. She placed in it mine and hugged me. The tears I was holding back came strong and I wept harder then I ever could remember. Leaving was hard, and no one’s eyes were dry. From beginning to end, the trip presented valuable messages for those whose heart is open to learn.
Even when things don’t go the way expected, God has a plan and a purpose. Sometimes the only way to understand and learn wisdom is to actually walk in someone else’s shoes. This lesson was learned in a child’s size 5 sandals.

City of Children, city of hope; city of love;
Refuge to my soul
Here you take the hopeless faces, and fill them with love.
You are more than a shelter for children
You are a refuge for the tempest tossed soul.
For here we find escape from all the world beyond
You fill us with love and teach us to give,

I know that you will always be
A home with open arms.
For this your wandering child
For we come home like prodigal sons
To be greeted with open arms
And filled with your love.

By Heidi Neiderheiser

Saturday, August 20, 2005

"I'd like the Value Meal Number 3"

I’d like to think of this entry as sort of a little of everything. Just like a value meal, they’ll be a main entrée, side dish, a drink, and if you are good and eat all your dinner, there’s dessert.

MAIN ENTRÉE , with a little SIDE DISH, and a DR. PEPPER

In today’s society one could easily name off five to ten things they are not happy about; schools, churches, people, neighbors, stores, and so on. Easily I could work up into a frenzy about such issues surrounding these topics of political, social, and economic value. I don’t want to because there are more important issues surrounding this moment. We hold the power over what to decide is an "end of the world" issue. From childhood, we all receive a little chip inside our heads that tell us who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to look and act like. Rules, labels, and standards jeopardize our ability to be self-accepting, positive, and motivated. I see this happen all the time is families. An expectation from society, formulates a need for a specific reaction, and if this is not met, we are angry. Or if something does not happen the way we think it should, not necessarily because of anything specific, but because that is the way it has always been, then anger is justified. Hardhips and struggle are weapons that immobilize us instead of strengthen our hearts. Little things elaborate into HUGE messes and finally mistakes are considred wrong. Where is the room for error? For mistakes? To fail and then learn the right way? We as adults need to start exemplifying this attribute. There are deeper issues than what is on the surface. Why do we insist on having everything easy all the time, when we know that this is impossible? NO ONE EVER SAID LIVING IS EASY. In fact, God says that we will have trouble in this life. God gives plenty of room for error and for us to make choices and learn. He never leaves, labels, or says that one is “lost forever.” Why can’t humans be as forgiving and hopeful? Who knows what God is doing in the heart? When bad things happen to other people it is easy to judge, but when it is you and your family it becomes real. We need to choose, and have the power to, what issue we allow to become the “end of the world” to us, because I have figured out, when we think all is lost and nothing ever will be the same, God slowly shows His will over the situation. My life is a testimony that things are never the way you plan, but there is a higher one, and if you can trust in that, God will open your eyes to His miracles.

DESSERT

OK, now that you have had a hearty good meal, and await to digest it all I’d like to present some desert:

Two quotes I would like to leave with you:

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”
Richard Bach

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Thanks for stopping by the “IBG Drive-Thru.” Come back again!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Praise the Lord

“Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits -
who forgives all your sins,
and heals all your diseases.
Who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desire with good things
so that your youth is renewed like eagles.”

Psalms 103:1-5
My heart rejoices with good news. I view today as a gift. This moment will be cherished, as I know all to well of days and weeks that go by without a real smile. The beam on my face is true. The laughter out of my mouth is from my soul. I thank my Creator, my Lord, for hearing my prayers and allowing my heart to be angry, sad, and confused. He has stood by my side all these months, and has not once left me. He comforts me in His words, through His people, and with miracles I see all around me. I am ready to listen well enough to hear the smallest child whisper His praise.
Ready to see well enough to view intricate details of beauty and magnificence.
I yearn to love deeper, so much that social labels and expectations play no role in my behavior.

P.S. On top of all this I received news that Laura’s tests came back and she is still cancer free! Praise God!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tradition at its Finest

If you are an ACU alumnus, student, or especially an incoming freshman, today is one of the most memorable days to recall. A tradition at its finest is the Candle Light Devotional held outside under the open stars at the universities Amphitheater. As I arrived, a crowd of people already lined the walkway between Moody Coliseum and the stone arena awaiting the new students.

Being a photographer is wonderful because you automatically contain access to the entire area of commotion. It is a privilege to capture a moment of someone’s life. I become part of their story even if just for that instant. Tonight as hundreds of people came to celebrate, I felt honored to take these photos.

Watching the freshmen walk the lit path, ignite their own candles, and sing with all their hearts reminds me of when I sat in those seats looking at the tower of Light. The place where my heart opened to the Lord as a freshman at ACU became the same location throughout my four years that I talked with friends, studied, and prayed. I felt everything was so hopeful, new, and exciting. I saw the same fire in the student’s eyes. Some sat quietly soaking it all in, while others stood boldly and proclaimed the words of the song.

It did not matter where you were sitting; the evening undeniably affected all that heard the harmonious voices rising to heaven.

Standing there tonight (getting attacked by wild crickets aka: another warm ACU welcome for the new comers!) made me aware that my college years were filled with so much joy and happiness. Yeah, sure there are traditions at others universities, but what went on tonight is something that changes the heart, fuels the soul, and begins a process of putting God first as an adult. I am so proud that I walked the same path these freshmen did seven years ago. I am honored that I sat next to friends that night that I still talk with and cherish deeply.

Let’s remember and take part in the things that molded us into who we are today. Even by standing holding a small fading flame declares belief in the ones who begin this journey. I ask for God to encourage all those who sat with sparkles in their eyes and listened to the sound of many who seek Him.

The verse written on the tower of light:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Monday, August 15, 2005

Living in the Present

I search for keys, jewels, and wisdom of those who battle unbelievable circumstances and yet keep going. How do they survive? I long to figure this out and use this knowledge to fuel my soul to persevere. I unexpectedly came upon one such gem from the heart of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. He writes regarding the necessity to live within the present. It is neat to understand this statement as I have been longing to demonstrate this way of living. He writes:

“Avoiding the present moment is almost a disease in our culture, and we are continually being conditioned to sacrifice the present for the future. Carried to its logical conclusion, this attitude is not merely the avoidance of enjoyment in the now, but and evasion of happiness forever. When the future does not arrive it becomes the present and we must use it to prepare for the future. Happiness is something for the morrow and therefore ever elusive.

Frequently the avoidance of the present leads to idealization of the future. At some miraculous moment in the future life will change, everything will fall into place, and you will find happiness. When you achieve this special event- a graduation, a wedding, a child, a promotion- then life will begin in earnest. More often than not when the event arrives it will be disappointing. It will never live up to what you imagined.”

How true are these thoughts? Almost everywhere I look, including myself, there is somewhat of an obsession for a future event. While we hastily wait for these things to happen, life passes by. Blessings go unnoticed. Miracles never acquire appreciation. I desire to live in the present and fathom the satisfaction of my experiences moment by moment.

Gesture of Love

I don’t receive the Abilene Reporter news everyday, but while I was at the store a man was giving away papers to promote subscription. I came home and contently started to read the paper as though it were a morning ritual kept for the last 10 years of my life. I even glanced at the sports and business section just to get the full effect of my intellectual shopping spree.

I did not expect to be so touched by an article featured in the Big Country section titled “Gesture of Love.” Being someone who is going through Chemotherapy, tears swelled in my eyes as I read the story of an Hardin-Simmons University student whose wife died from a brain tumor. Eric and Angela were only married six months when Angela passed away. Eric stood by her and witnessed the side affects of her treatment for almost a year. He offered to shave his head as she lost her hair, but she would not allow it because she loved him. So, he decided to grow it instead. A few days ago, he donated his hair to the “Locks of Love” foundation in memory of his wife. The article captures this story of love beyond what is seen. It saddens my heart to know others experience such pain and sorrow. I wonder if the saying can be held true that it is better to love without regret, than to have never loved at all.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Tranquility

It is quiet.
All I hear is pattering raindrops on my window.
Soothing sounds less often appreciated and noticed by todays fast pace living.
Rhythmic music to those with imagination and creative awareness.
Peaceful melody fashioned solely for those who can listen beyond their own thoughts.

Awakening display of quenched earth available to refresh faces, spirits, and souls.
Little buds of jewels glistening in a colorful display of assurance and reminder.
Harmonious shower allowing newness, growth of life, and beauty.
Rain keep falling.
Prompt recognition of admiration, optimism, and most of all tranquility.

A blessing easily disregarded is the one not lived, not noticed, and not appreciated.
For when it is noticed, it can be believed.
And with belief comes hope.
With hope, there is faith.
And with a world full of miracles, it brings us that closer to heaven.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Little Speck of Wisdom

I was guiding Maddison, Kelli's daughter, up the stairs and she became startled by Gracey’s bark. Without even checking her back she jumped backwards while laughing and I was right there to catch her and laugh at the silly “pup-pup” as she says. While standing there with her in my arms, I noticed the symbolism between this situation and my walk with God. There was no question or doubt on Maddison’s end which direction to go. She was elated with joy and sprung into my arms giggling and pointing to the dog. I wish I had this kind of trust and faith. A faith holding certainty that does not question, but leaps right in with security. Although I am older than Maddie, I too am this little child whose Father stands behind her teaching her to keep going and climbing even when it is hard. He is there protecting me, routing me on, and He is always there incase I stumble and His arms are out ready to catch me when I fall.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrows that flies by day…For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against the stone.”

Psalm 91

Friday, August 12, 2005

Successful CCA Reception



Yesterdays ArtWalk was a success for the West Texas Photographic Society. Many people entered our gallery, voted, and even some photos sold. It was a beautiful night in Abilene and we had a steady stream of people throughout the whole evening. I greeted and explained of our free raffle that could be entered by choosing three favorite photos. Mostly everyone who walked the third floor of the CCA took excitement for being asked of his or her opinion and to have a chance to win some real neat prizes donated by many businesses in Abilene. During our next meeting on August 18, us members will draw names and send the winners their prize!

Jody Page, President of the WTXPS, did a marvelous job of organizing, decorating, and coordinating for the event. All the tables were decorated thoughtfully and even stood as a work of art on its own. Many members, including me, brought refreshments that were completely gone by the time 7:30pm rolled around. At one point, one was not able to see one end of the gallery from the other. The place was packed. Thanks for all your hard work Jody!

It was great to see everyone that came to support the club and me. I even got to talk with some people I have not heard from in a long time as well as meet some new faces. But by far the most fun I had was just being a part of the WTXPS and building relationship with other members who share the same enjoyment of photography. A memorable moment was talking with my “greeting buddy” Darrin whose stories and comments could possibly fill an entire blog in itself. But I am sure I will get to that idea eventually. It is great to learn from those more experienced than I. John English is a wonderful nature, wildlife, and scenic photographer whose works are more than remarkable. His knowledge and abilities are definitely something I can learn from. I hope to continue getting to know all the members and strengthen my skills as well.

I also got to meet Janet Van Vleet, arts and entertianment writer for the Abilene Reporter News. She has had the opportunity to witness many receptions and meet wonderful artists whose work is truly amazing. And of course I can't fail to mention Richard Metzger, Executive Director for the CCA. He is a wonderful talented musician and artist who organizes events for the CCA. The night and gallery echoed with talking, laughter, and smiles.

"From Our Lens to Your Home" will remain in the gallery for a month so there is still time to see it if you did not make it last night. The Center for Contemporary Arts is located downtown Abilene on 220 Cypress Street. Our works are shown in Gallery 3.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"Dice"

“Nothing
can compare to
when you roll the dice and
you swear that your love's for me.”

Sunday, August 07, 2005

On Happiness

Ok, so I am about to attempt an enormous blog that may or may not illustrate my heart appropriately. So before I get into it, I apologize for any comments that are unclear and imprecise. I am willing to take a risk and believe sometimes when things are not premeditated it can capture the realness properly. Perhaps your view and perspective can shed some light as well so feel free to comment.

I know very well I am not C.S. Lewis, Charles Swindoll, or Max Lucado, but a conversation has prompted feelings upon the topic of happiness that creates somewhat of a profound discussion that these men have been known to distribute. It is not a subject I handle lightly as my life demonstrates the desire to honor God. It relates to real life and a legalistic view of this matter is useless and personally feared. But something awakes my desire to understand this. There are two views I battle with that seems to clash, they are as follows:

1: Every thing big and small is meant solely for God’s glory and honor.
2: Some thing’s God created is to simply give us as humans joy and pleasure.

As I talked about this with Kelli, I felt as though we were really on the same page although our perspectives were differently altered by our individualistic opinions and experiences. This is where it gets tricky to explain. I believe we are not programmed and love is a choice that makes our relationship and surrender to Christ beautiful and meaningful. Throughout history it has been said, “Love is a choice.” I find this statement true in describing why God creates happiness in our lives to refuel our souls. Maybe some things are placed in our lives to give us meaning and purpose to keep going. Small things like the sunshine, friendship, or ice cream can be things God created that simply are there for our happiness.

So I take the easy way out. There is a third view that incorporates these two together in that when things give us happiness, it automatically honors God. Therefore everything that makes us happy is meant solely for God’s glory. Living to try and honor God is pleasing to Him. Our happiness gratifies Him. Innocent and pure joy automatically delights the Lord. But even more when we know where it originates from, when we acknowledge who invented laughter, and who shares a smile when things freeze for a moment and everything is ok.

Happiness nevertheless is an emotion. Emotions are fleeting and change continually. They can lie to us. Just because one feels rejected does not mean that was the intent of the person’s remark or action. Godly happiness is an emotion that stems from love, truth, and peace. They are qualities given by God to instill happiness in our lives through Him.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Gone Wild

I never knew being sick could be so comical. But by 5pm today, after 3 days of delirious fever, runny nose, and the inability to swallow, a switch went off in my head. Anything and everything became a muse to my entertainment and enjoyment for laughter. If Reader’s Digest says it is the best medicine, then I cannot disagree! I decided to venture out of the dark cave (a.k.a my house) and replenish my supply of Nyquil and Little Debbie. I put a cap on (Go Red Sox) got behind the wheel and went to Wal-Mart since I had a gift certificate. Going against the current of Tax Free shoppers, I stumbled as one would if drunk, down the aisle to the medicine. My glasses are not quite the accurate prescription so I bent forward and looked for the Nyquil. I could not find it. In fact, after several attempts to locate the needed drug, I realized that Wal-Mart was completely out of Nyquil. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was non-showered, sniffling, and dressed as though it were a cold snowy winter day in the middle of mad bull fighting Tax exempt weekend in Wal-Mart and I was let down, slapped across the face, destined to have to drive extra to get anything to help with these symptoms and sleep.
Parked almost one mile from the entrance I was at least glad I did not see anyone I knew as I walked to the car. I am not sure I really would have “seen” them even if they were right next to me, so we will just say I didn’t. And if it was you I saw, let’s just say I didn’t for the record, or at least for my sanity.
I went to CVS, got the goods, and ran by the drive-thru at Mc. Donald’s and headed home. I pulled in my garage and noticed my gas tank was on empty. “How funny I thought,” and went inside laughing almost to the point where I was crying. This is when I realized I have gained several pets during these last few days. Little black hoping specks ran around the living room. Great company for the Chawennie though! It was hilarious. I sat down ate dinner while eventually Gracey caught and had hers too! I never laughed so hard. It seems cruel, but if you don’t have cable, times call for desperate measures.
After dinner and the movie “Cricket Eating Chawennie Dogs Go Wild,” I decide to check e-mail and write a small update blog. It took me literally 1 hour to write four sentences. I kept writing in a language that I did not even know how to translate. But the best image to give you tonight is of me just laughing at how silly I felt. It was not because of medicine. Honesty I have taken less medicine today than ever. I sent my sister a video clip of her making a silly noise and must have watched it over and over again. Her and her husband’s reaction in their e-mail was so funny. I wish I could post video because it is beyond funny. Although I am pretty sure Cyndi would kill me. But I think I would be willing to take the chance. Thanks for making me laugh. Hope this entry brought a smile or two, or three, or four....LOL...or five...ok I am done...or six!LOL I know, I know I'm a dork.

P.S. Promise intellectual IBG blog coming soon.

I'm Famous!

There was an article in the Abilene Reporter News yesterday (Friday August 5, 2005) about the upcoming reception for the West Texas Photographic Society next week. In the article "Snapping a Moment," one of my photos was mentioned. (When I say mentioned I mean brief, but I'll take it!). The gallery is full of wonderful pictures and glimpses of people's hearts, lives, and journey's. I will be taking some photos next week of the event and will be sure to post about it.

All I can say is if you want to buy it you better get there fast!

Check it out:
http://www.reporter-news.com/abil/et_exhibits/article/0,1874,ABIL_7913_3979129,00.html

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Morning Glory

During my last visit home to Massachusetts, Cyndi showed me the variety of plants she has been nuturing in her garden. To my surprise and honor she planted several plants in honor of Natalie Grace. One in particular is the morning glory. This has been my favorite plant since I was a child. My mom had them near our fence and every morning they would come out and greet the day by bowing their fragile colored petals to the sun. In reverance to God or in expectance of being treated as royalty, these flowers are no doubt cherished and appreciated.
When Cyndi planted them she had no idea what color they would be. A variety of colors could be expected and imagined, but my heart declared since they were planted in honor of my daughter, they would be pink.
Before I left to fly back to Texas, I went out and observed the little growing plant one more time. No more than 3 inches, they were growing and I would not be there to witness the full essence of beauty, but I knew it would be beautiful. Weeks went by and the ivy-like plant grew in the sunshine and recently bloomed the deepest color pink. Cyndi sent me this photo.
Every morning pink flowers bloom to greet the day and act as a simple reminder that the things we love and cherish are never to far out of reach. Her beauty is with me in the newness of morning when all is quiet and still. Her beauty surrounds me when the sun shines warm on my face and sends an embrace throughout my whole body. Her beauty is with me in a soft petaled flower called the morning glory.

Too Cute


She's too cute to not post!