Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Invisible

When truth is discovered sometimes the only thing worth desiring is to run far away from it, never look back, and hope it does not catch up with you. The reality about this is very sad. I’ve always though the truth is supposed to “set you free,” right? But beyond the truth of God, there is another truth…the reality about people. So hence the poem:

Invisible
Wasted
All energy and emotion
Sucked dry from a beating heart

Leave it be
Tears falling
There’s nothing more than
“Saying Good-bye”

Time results in healing wounds
Freshly color-coded
To place each within its appropriate place
As if organizing pain and loss assists

Why do we act as though we know?
When deep down we all are just
a walking uncertainty
asking the same questions, but in different ways

Circling the path
Wishing to get somewhere
Somewhere beyond
Anywhere further then from the “here”
Anywhere farther then from the TRUTH

* This does not pertain to any specific person(s), but was written of circumstance.

I Needa Laugh Monday 4

Well, a day late, will you forgive me? But with my modern technology, I can write this and post as though it were yesterday! Ha-Ha! I have beat the system.

So this was told to me by my friend Jessica. It was a little akward to imagine a bannana dancing to a song about PB&J! I am so glad she sent me this so my nightmares would stop about thinking of what it could look like.

You'll love it...a good "Needa Laugh" satisfaction guaranteed!http://www.ebaumsworld.com/flash/peanutbutter.html

Friday, November 25, 2005

"Rent"

Last night I went and saw the movie “Rent” with a several friends. I had no expectations really. I was not familiar with the story line. I only knew a few words of the many songs in the musical and understood it portrayed a wide spectrum of diversity and living. The cast was wonderful and did a great job at portraying a stage like performance with a realistic approach of a movie. Kind of like Moulan Rouge or Chicago, it captures you, takes you into the story transporting you from scene to scene itself. The topic of the show is of choices, sorrow, and sin. Homosexuality, aids, death, and living each day not knowing what the next will bring are a focus throughout the whole play. One particular line in a song is “Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year?” When every day counts, even when you have made mistakes and are paying for them, do those repercussions lesson the outcome of sorrow?

I left the theater, like many last night in silence thinking about what I just saw. I am a theorist, one who seeks the meaning behind things. The media and world throw so much at us as attempts to promote tolerance and acceptance. I do not let any film no matter how convincing determine what I should believe. And although I feel very strongly about some of the topics addressed in this movie, I believe one thing was right, love.

My purpose is not to dissect the film. In fact it has little to do with this. It revealed an all to familiar theory of mine in that, everyone wants to be wanted, loved, and remembered. I am convinced no one desires to leave the world without any sense of accomplishment. We all crave to be valued, admired, and loved. It is such an uncomplicated notion. Yet, becomes so problematic when people cover this innocence with anger, fear, and pain. One walks around with deep wounds, wears them as clothes covered in a thousand thorns, but deep inside when it is torn away, they are just like you and I, wanting to be accepted and loved. Wouldn’t love solve so many things? Not tolerance. Not conforming. Not promoting. But love, simple, pure love. Why is this so hard for me?

People, meaning me as well, are scared. We are too scared to love, too scared to risk looking bad in front of others. It is a shame.

I came home last night and got my guitar out. I am not sure it is possible for an artist, no matter what the area of expertise, to not be inspired to create after such a discovery. I sat down and wrote a song. One from my heart. One of questioning, searching, and finding my way. Isn’t that where we all are anyway? And if you’re not, then please enlighten me. Give me all your answers to the things that cannot be explained? To pain that reaches so deep into your soul that taking a breath physically is painful. To joy in the midst of toil causing the most refreshing of moments made only for you. I read a quote that said once we have stopped learning and seeking, we stop existing. I think if we stopped thinking we have everything under control; we’d realize we are all like Job says, “chasing after the wind.” It is pointless. When the Lord comes back, so much of what we have done will cease. It won’t matter. Where are the people who live this? Are they all dead? Have they lived so long ago that we cannot find an example? Why are there so many secrets in ones heart that keeps us from being real with each other? Do you see this too?

There is one thing I can say today, and that is I am purely sad. Just sad, for how much we let slip by us in the commotion of everyday. I am guilty of this. I promised I would never forget what the Lord did in my heart and body. I knew I needed to take it seriously, but I live in a world where the things God has done is devalued. This movie was right, how will you live each moment you have? How do you measure time, love, friendship, hope and so on?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks-A-Million

Check Out Blinkyou.com for hundreds of custom blinkies

Contrary to how this may be read and perceived, this was written in pure joy. I am too deep for my own good sometimes. I don’t take life to seriously, but when I recall what I have learned over these last years I am dumbfounded at the result of my persistence. I am not ashamed to be proud of myself and the choices I’ve made to seek truth. This Thanksgiving I am in great gratitude for the Lord’s provision. He has worked so mightily in my community, church, friends, and family. All over the world people have reached out to me and offered an encouraging gesture in many forms and sizes. I don’t have everything figured out, I am still on the road of life, just like you. Let’s make today, a day of thanksgiving, one of humbleness and purity.

Written in Thanksgiving:

As I look back
My path, the journey, this road
I’m amazed at how far I’ve come
When I began, I was weak, so frail
The end, the goal, was but a mere dream
An intangible myth
How did I proceed?
When day after day arrows were shot
Wounded I’d press on
Sweat dripping, bruised, tired, alone
Somewhere between Surrender and Hope
God stepped out from behind me
Took my shaking cold hand
Guided me through unimaginable warfare
Lead me past Evil, past Guilt, past Pain
Into His haven of peace
Sat me down, Me…a nobody
Placed a crown on my head
And called me His “Beloved.”

Thank you my God for never leaving me, never forsaking me. Continue and give me hope and faith to live a life that shows others You are Love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

An Article of Thanksgiving

An article was written about me in this past Sunday’s paper. Ken Ellsworth wrote a beautiful story after an interview that nearly lasted 2 hours. The way the Lord provides for His people is sometimes subtle, unknown, and unseen. I admit to doubting His plans with worry. And when I have walked down a road yearning for rest and peace, He led me to not only a warm embrace, but a home full of people who love and believe in me. I owe many thanks to everyone who took time, energy, and talents to bless Debbie and I. I am so thankful this Thanksgiving to be in the midst of generosity, kindness, and love. Thank you, God! Thank you Highland Church, Families Built on the Rock, Lifeteam, 20/20, many local businesses, and friends and family!

Rebuilding Lives
Church helps two Abilene women get second chance.
By Ken Ellsworth / Reporter-News Staff Writer
November 20, 2005
When events ripped apart the lives of two Abilene women - brought them to their knees and lower - their friends, church and community picked them up and brought them together.
The troubles of Debbie Hoffman, 51, and Olivia Lility, 24, began about two years ago.
Hoffman got a divorce after many years of marriage. Her ex-husband went to jail. She was unemployed and without income. She went through bankruptcy. She was hospitalized and underwent an angiogram.
She was devastated.
''All of a sudden after 31 years, I had to fend for myself,'' she said.
Lility's troubles began when the baby she was carrying, whom she had already named Grace, was stillborn in October 2003. In January 2004, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of lupus, - systemic lupus nephritis.
Lility's type of lupus attacks the body's internal organs. Lility's kidneys had stopped functioning when she finally managed to make it to the Hendrick Medical Center's emergency room. She was soon put on a transplant list, and doctors implanted a temporary port for a dialysis machine. Her doctors told her she might not survive.
''I was expecting to die. I was preparing myself for my last moments,'' Lility said.
Lility's hospital stay lasted three months. She began taking chemotherapy treatments. The day she was scheduled for surgery to implant a permanent port for dialysis, her doctors tested her again. Her kidneys were improving, they found.
Lility said she has continued to improve and dialysis is no longer needed.
''At the hospital, they call me Lazarus, because I was raised from the dead,'' said Lility, who is still in chemotherapy. ''Now I'm in chemically induced remission. My doctors are wonderful. I call them my heroes.''
Lility's troubles were far from over. In the spring of this year, she endured a divorce.
Hoffman and Lility are members of the Highland Church of Christ, and it was the congregation that came to their rescue. Members took Hoffman under their wing, provided counseling, solace and performed small and not-so-small chores for her.
''If it hadn't had been for my Sunday school class and God, I never could have made it the last two years,'' she said.
Hoffman is now working as an insurance agent.
Lility, who grew up in Massachusetts, is a 2002 graduate of Abilene Christian University with a degree in youth and family ministries. She had used her education, and still does, by volunteering for local service agencies, but for income she had turned to photography. She called her business Inspired by Grace, named after her stillborn child.
However, chemotherapy left Lility too weak to work.
With Lility having no income and no way to earn it, Highland members decided to support her. Their donations funded an endowment. Other members, led by Abilene City Councilman Stormy Higgins, pondered where Lility might live.
Higgins knew Hoffman had a little mother-in-law's house that was attached to her own home via a carport. It was vacant, but needed tons of work to make it livable. The church group came up with an idea that would help both Hoffman and Lility - they would volunteer to renovate the ''Oxford Cottage'' (it's on Oxford Street) if Hoffman would allow Lility to live there through the term of her chemotherapy.
Hoffman gladly accepted the offer.
''I feel like this is a godsend. I would never have had the money to do it myself,'' she said. ''Especially when they told me that Olivia's husband had left her, I jumped on it. And I had known Olivia from before. We had both worked at DRI (Disability Resources Inc.) She and I had been through the mill and were just trying to survive.''
Hoffman said she felt she was getting the best of two worlds.
''I'm being helped, and I am able to help someone else at the same time,'' she said.
For weeks, volunteers have been renovating the Oxford Cottage. Most have come from Highland Church of Christ, but not all. They've ripped out carpets, put in new carpet, painted the interior and exterior, put in new countertops, plumbing, sinks, bathroom fixtures and appliances. Others have donated the materials.
''It's great. It's perfect. You walk in and it's so bright,'' Lility, with a smile just as bright, said of her new home.
Interior decorator Tanya Railsback heard about the project and decided to get involved although she is not a member of the Highland church. Railsback owns Signatures Interiors, an Abilene business.
She said she enjoyed the project.
''I saw it as an opportunity to use some of my talents and some materials that I have,'' Railsback said. ''And it was a good opportunity to help someone out. It's been fun, too.''
Jerry Mullins is a salesman with Abilene Winnelson, a plumbing supply business. He donated kitchen and bathroom materials.
Terry Lankford, who owns Lankford's Mesquite Products, is a Highland member. He donated material and time and installed new countertops at the cottage.
Three or four dozen volunteers added to the effort.
Lility said Hendrick Medical Center forgave a $300,000 medical bill and that Abilene Christian University forgave her school loans. In addition, the Highland church raised a trust fund through donations that will pay for gasoline, food, utilities, medicine and other needs, Lility added.
''It's overwhelming. I'm beyond thankful. How do you thank people for saving your life?'' Lility asked. ''I guess I want to thank them by being the best I can be in everything I do.''
She said her experiences taught her to rely on God and her church.
''I've asked myself, 'Is it possible to lose everything and still have love and joy?' The answer is 'yes.'''


If you would like to read this and see the photos on the Abilene Reporter News website please visit: http://www.reporter-news.com/abil/nw_local/article/0,1874,ABIL_7959_4254011,00.html


I have said this once already, and I will say it again...THE LOVE OF THE LORD ENDURES!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Needa Laugh Monday 3

This will make you laugh...trust me (Thanks Casja)...Have fun!

"Olivia...We've Got A Problem"

There’s a problem brewing. I started to recognize it the moment I drove down Sayles Blvd. onto the private drive and down a beautiful laid brick road. To the left is the equivalent design as to the White House itself in Washington D.C. Ok, well, maybe I am over exaggerating just a little! Pillars extend to the twinkling stars and even though darkness set in, the house shone with majesty. I’ve seen this place before. From the road as I pass by and not long ago, this house and the gardens surrounding it, back dropped a setting for Senior Photos I did. Within bricked gates are many remarkable spots to capture a moment with. Only if I knew then, while walking among the green lawn, past waterfalls, and several rose bushes, that it would be a temporary home for me in the future. The pool, big enough to fill my backyard right now, perfectly accents the theme of God and His provision. My all time favorite feature of the house has to be the pool deck relaxation room. All white gives a fresh, clean, and new feeling. Columns hold the rafters and the words etched into the wood are “Be still and know that I am God.” Yeah, this was to be trouble for sure.

To my right, down the road a little way is the cottage and next to that by the huge heavy white metal gates is the two-story office building. It was a sequence of very difficult days and I was more than appreciative to be staying at this house. Three people were inside the cottage getting it ready for me, when Kelli, Gracey, and I walked down a personal trail to the door. It was adorable, decorated with homey items, a fire place, sitting room, and vaulted ceilings in the bedroom. After dragging suitcases in, eating, and relaxing a little, I knew I had one more thing to do before I went to bed…pray. The night was one of the last, I am afraid, of warm breezes and non-huge puffy coat wearing evenings, but I can say I took full advantage of it. I grabbed the guitar and headed to the pool deck, faced the back of the mansion and sang as though my only audience were the million stars above placed as a spot light by God Himself for my concert of prayer and praise. No one was around for the big house is vacant. Gracey happily Chawennie’s around…Oh so much to explore there for the little girl! The fence around the yard eased my mind and I proceed to vent my heart to God. Reflection sparkles in the water and my soul feels known and understood. Just like a mirror, I need to remember who I am and how the Lord sees me. This is what matters. This is what fuels me everyday. Finally I become too tired to keep playing. If I could have I would have remained there until the sun rose the next morning. I look at the time and hardly believe it when it states 2 hours had went by. Walking to “my place” with a guitar strapped to my back, I realize I have no idea where Gracey is. I begin to call her, “Gracey!” I see her down on the lower part of the lawn, running back and forth and finally I convince her to join me. Dilemma is developing!

As the days pass, while I await my true hearts desire…moving into my new place (blog about this soon to come!), Gracey continues to become more and more used to her surroundings. She fancies this life style. Bones in the morning, long luxurious walks, attention from everyone and lots of car rides too. And, don’t tell me dogs don’t know the difference between crab grass and nice grass…she does! She got real used to a yard extending for miles and miles in Gracey measurement. Words may not accomplish the intensity of her attitude. She decides this place is her new home and not only that, but she is also the top dog on the block. Not afraid of anything, Gracey walks tails perked as though her collar itself is made solely of diamonds. It is adorable!

Leaving one morning I ran into the owner and explain the problem. “Gracey seems to think she owns all this now,” I said. She laughed sweetly and gave Gracey a scratch behind the ear. Soon after this I left this plantation and moved into my new place, but I kind of miss the little cottage behind the mansion. Gracey is real confused. She doesn’t exactly know where were are anymore. We have moved around so much lately, but I think she will get used to it. I know I already feel at home, safe, and very peaceful.

I tell you, she’s thinking of buying it! She told me she is saving her allowance of 1 raw hide bone, 3 milk bones, and her favorite squeaky toy. You never know, right?

Here are some evidential photos of Gracey and the house!


Gracey models on the front lawn.

Back yard view from garden.

Shot from inside pool deck house towards back end of the house.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Normal Again

Wow, it is completely out of character to not post for nearly 5 days. I feel so "normal" again to have a computer. I have been moving...well waiting to, that is for these last 5 days. I am finally in my new place. Everything is out of order, messy, and boxes seem to tower over my head, but right now Gracey and I are happier than ever. I know this week will be trying physically, but emotionally I am beyond joyous! It is a fresh start and a new beginning for me in which I am planning on taking full advantage of. I have so many things to write about I think once I get a routine down and begin to post, there will be so much to say I may not stop! Just wait, photos, stories, and miracles are waiting to be read about. But over all God is amazing...truly...inspite of me...He is amazing.

The one thing that keeps echoing in my ears although technically a clock ticking is the only noise I hear, is God's work through this is known. And mostly that...

The Love of the Lord Endures!

Ok, until next time.
With Hope,
Olivia

Monday, November 14, 2005

I Needa Laugh Monday 2

Happy Laughing!

Funny Cartoon - Bug Punishment
Funny Cartoon - Eyes Closed
Funny Cartoon - Email Story


Bad Eyesight

"How was your game, dear?" asked Jack's wife Tracy.
"Well, I was hitting pretty well, but my eyesight's gotten so bad I couldn't see where the ball went," he answered.
"But you're 75 years old, Jack!" admonished his wife, "Why don't you take my brother Scott along?"
"But he's 85 and doesn't play golf anymore," protested Jack.
"But he's got perfect eyesight. He would watch the ball for you," Tracy pointed out.
The next day Jack teed off with Scott looking on. Jack swung and the ball disappeared down the middle of the fairway.
"Do you see it?" asked Jack.
"Yup," Scott answered.
"Well, where is it?" yelled Jack, peering off into the distance.
"I forgot."





Sunday, November 13, 2005

Challenged

I was challenged this weekend in more than one way. I love it…feeling out of place, not in a comfort zone, having an opinion completely wiped away and replaced with truth, love, and wisdom. It’s great let me tell you.

20/20 went on a retreat to Lueder’s, Texas. Yeah, laugh, I know what a funny name, but the place is significant, for it provides a location of growth. We were challenged with scripture as God’s words provoke change and desire. It was thought provoking as Keith, the speaker, asked us to write down how much we love the Lord. Then, moments later, we were asked to reach into our hearts and listen to what the Lord wants to tell us. I know what the word says. I know Jesus loves me, He died for me, and watches over me. This truth was not the challenge. What was God saying to me? Specifically, to Olivia? Keith told us to take time and write it down, so I did. Here is what I wrote that evening:

My daughter, I see you. I’ve been with you-never leaving, never ceasing, and never taking my hand off of you. I’ve watched you journey-your walk-your trials and I am proud. Don’t be strong- I’m your strength. I go before you. Remember I’m in control, I’m Wisdom, I’m Truth. Seek Me and nothing you do will go to waste. You are there for a purpose. I’ve healed you. Don’t put that to shame. Use your entrustment-share My miracles and don’t be downcast at those whose eyes and ears are not opened to My Word. I’m always by your side, until you are home with Me. Have My joy, have My love, never get discouraged for love is never wasted.

It is a challenge to know what we have been given. A choice everyday is to either see the world as Jesus does, or to view this place with hatred, anger, and bitterness. I’m beginning to understand the entrustment in us, is really in us. God has given Himself, and if we just ignore this, then we are responsible for wasting the Lord’s truth. It was a wonderful weekend, full of exposed truths in all areas. A way to travel beyond what is comfortable to a place where change is necessary and possible.

Speaking of comfort zones, I definitely exceeded mine this weekend. Several of us attempted the ropes course at the camp. We all manned the powerful “swing” course. As you can see from the photos, it was way fun! Because it took no physical exertion, I decided at the last moment it would be something I could do. I strapped on the all to glamorous harness and took my camera as I waited for my turn. I seemed to put on the “tough Olivia” mask, that is until I stepped up to the ladder, was pulled oh so quickly to the top of the pulley, and then I made a huge mistake! I looked down. They tell you not to do this, but I just couldn’t help it. So there I am, hundreds of feet in the air and I looked down. I had no chance of catching my breath the rope cut loose and I went flying through the air at over 50mph. I had two more turns and by the third time I decided from the encouragement of my friends I would just pretend I was butterfly on assignment. It was great.

Here are some photos of the event:




Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fire Starters



OK, EVEN THOUGH GUILTY AS CHARGED!...

ARE WE HAVING FUN YET?

YOU KNOW IT!

Adventures in Missions


L to R: Jessica, Gracey, and Laura!


“There’s not much time,” is a phrase that seems to consume my life. Time slots burden me and knowing how life short is, creates an urgency to spend time with people, friends, and family. I have spoken about Laura and Jessica before and wish to elaborate their current situation and future mission. Little time remains to spend laughing, crying at movies, and just being silly girls, which I believe we have mastered! We only have a couple of months before they surrender everything, literally, in hopes and desperation of sharing the gospel around the world.

Here is a description of their journey, charge, and focus accessed from
Adventures in Missions:

World RaceRacing to Build a Life that Matters!
Introducing a new ministry called “World Race” where we send you around the world in 311 days:

"Seven teams of five will compete with one another. Our prototype teams begin January 7, 2006. Teams will take 11 months to race from New Zealand to India to China to Israel to Kenya to Amsterdam to London to Philadelphia to Mexico to Guatemala, winding up in Atlanta. AIM has bases or partners in each place to guide you. Your team will spend a month in each place. You’ll file video reports each week.
Along the way each team will plant a self-sustaining indigenous work in each place as a team. In each place three local Christian young people will join your team. You will disciple them to continue the work after you leave.
To apply, you must be at least 21 years of age. It is the stuff of high adventure, so risks are inevitable. Much of your travel will be overland by bus or train."
Find out more about the
2006 World Race Missions Trip


Now if I may use the words of them both…“that is stinkin’ awesome.” Please be in prayer for my friends. They continue to seek support through prayers, encouragement, and financial help. If you would like to make a donation please e-mail me. Thank you!

... So we don’t have much time to hang out only a few months with Holidays in between, but that just makes me think we need to make every moment count! The girls will be keeping "blogs" during their trip in which I will link to mine to remember them during these upcoming months as the travel and learn so much about the Lord. I tell them everyday, those Id Tags are going to be me with them, and they better take some pretty cool photos of it along the way! I can't wait to see and hear what the Lord is going to do!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On Tolerance





Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY FAVORITE STEPHANIE!!!






This is hefty opinion, so brace yourselves as we explore uncomfortable issues. I have predicament with the word “tolerance.” With expectation of reverence, administrators throw this remark around as though they’ve revealed an innovative way of establishing peace. If it is not for some governmental concept, focus of “being tolerant” resumes in regards to religion, society, and other areas. I have a problem with the notion: “if one is just tolerant of each other it will lesson rivalry, wars, and inner anger.” If we all could just somehow accept people no matter what they do or believe as long as they are a “good person” we can live our lives comfortably and without getting involved. Yeah, right!

Where do I start? As a lover of the Lord I see many problems with this. How could we teach and believe to just accept someone else’s opinion even though it is completely contradictory to the Word of God? Most of the time, it is avoided as to not step on someone else’s toes. In order to not cause awkwardness, we reprise and become either embarrassed or do not have the accurate knowledge to rebuttal and stand up for the truth. Either way this teaches complacency and perhaps even pride.

I am kind drifting away for my initial purpose, the news. This blog results from watching ABC News Tonight while it aired a story about new laws passed requiring changes in ISD calendars to observe certain religious holidays. Separation of Church and state have maintained its precedence within our country and even with the slight fluctuation of passed bills, I agree with one gentlemen who noted, “This problem is nothing new, it will always be like this.” What I do not like is the fact the main issue being debated and fought over is the teaching of the beginning of man. Evolutionism plays a major role in children’s classes. They did in my textbook and it will continue its plight for generations to come. The problem was not only if the theory of evolution will be the books only notion of the beginning of man, the topic advanced to questioning the holiday’s taken by the students. Good Friday, Easter, and other days are of religious content and therefore have been eliminated by district board members.

This is where it gets a little difficult to explain, but sure enough, no challenge is too hard for me not to attempt. One opinion of a Muslim family on the news story was that, their family holidays should be acknowledged and accepted just as any others is. Now, if you have not seen it, it was real sneaky just as it was on TV, how did it become about this? Stephanie, Kelli, and I happened to talk last night about tolerance in America as well as other countries. Would I go to a Muslim country and expect people to share my same holidays? Should I act snotty when someone doesn’t know English? NO! I am in a different country and although I do no agree with them, nothing to do with being tolerant, I would never try and make someone else’s country into mine. I mean, come on! Why act hurt, surprised, and angry at the USA for not acknowledging your countries rituals. If you want this, then you don’t need to be here. This is America, based upon foundational beliefs of protestant knowledge and doctrine. Whether or not we maintain this, is not my issue. I simply want to know what are these people think coming to the US and expecting us to bend, twist, and flip for someone else’s religion. It would never happen somewhere else, and it does not need to happen here. Tolerance or none, it is ridiculous to come here and take away our government aid, use our taxes, and take advantage of the fact we are a country who seems to go out of it way to sustain its beliefs and purpose. Unfortunately, like in many other areas of life, there comes a point where you can’t trust everyone, not even the people you wish you could. Not the mailman, the person washing the car, or even the people you know. We have so much more of this being toyed with when we allow other non-American culture people think they can expect equality in regards to religion. If the government continues to allow these opinions voiced and recognize them, then we have more of a problem then we know. These issues are only a beginning to what will be problematic in the future.

For Christians, or at least me, this proves difficult. So many questions rise in my heart. How should we as believers be tolerant? So much God says to be aware of lies, speak with assurance, and do not stray from the Word. What are our children growing up to learn? God’s followers were direct enough to step over the boundaries of law to continue the Lord’s will. Will godliness be replaced with tolerance? Will the acceptance of “that is just the way they are” help of hinder us? What can we do as the world progresses with so much filth, lying, cheating, deceit, and endless nonsense?

I have been reading God’s words a lot. I spoke of a craving several days ago, in which I am only partially satisfied. I read this passage and it shocked me. I was almost white a ghost reading this, especially the last verse.

I LOVE THIS, The LORD SAYS:

“But mark this: There will be terrible days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God _ having a form of godliness but denying its power. Having noting to do with them.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5

I don’t know about you, but this scares me! I see this all the time! Something about watching the news and seeing the complex problems encircling religion reminds me to seek truth and be ready to know what I believe. We are going to be faced with many issues, and our job is not necessarily to convince someone to the Lord, God takes care of that just fine, but to learn how to love to a point that “tolerance” has no available validity. 2 Timothy notes we need to be ready to share and know what we believe in season or out of season (4:2). Even if there is no reason to be “ready” God says to be in place, on guard, and alert.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hungry

I’m hungry. No, not for food. Although a giant sundae, with my long lost Cherry Garcia Ice Cream (Matt?), chocolate fudge, whip cream, and sprinkles sounds blissful right about now. I am hungry. No, I am not regarding to my Hungarian heredity, although it seems I have begun to create my own Hungarian dialect with my friends. My mom would have a field day of laughter and comic relief listening to some of the phrases and translations we have managed to put together. No, I am “hungry.” My body is focused and attentive, yearning and seeking. I am hungry for wisdom, for understanding, for another piece of treasure. I’ve been somewhat spoiled. Yeah, I know…what a word to use to describe the war I have overcome! But, it is true. God’s word is actually right! Some sarcasm thrown at you, sorry. I have lived in complete surrender in which wisdom and knowledge have been my remedy. And although at times I have had no other option (as far as I see it, there really is two options, death or God, and death is no answer) then to try and put one foot in front of the other and move, and hope I am actually getting somewhere.

I can’t help but realize how one reads the word of God and knows the truth, yet a vital key is lost somewhere in between that weakens the connection. It is an element of the heart wanting to become an action, a live testimony of truth that somehow clicks with delight when it’s felt through experience even if that incident is hardship. Proverbs 4:7b says, “Though it cost you all you have get understanding.” In fact the entire book of Proverbs explains godly wisdom and takes great pains to articulate its significance not only for our hearts, but also for our bodies and minds.

Proverbs 2:10 says:

“For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.”


There is relief in knowing truth. Having defense against attacks and weapons for needed times is priceless.

Today I am seeking the Lord, for both reality and insight. I will continue asking my hard questions and know my consistency and desire to be willing is acknowledged by our God.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I Got Your Back!

________________________



First and foremost…
Happy Birthday to my favorite Bro-in-Law, RJ!





________________________

God has certainly blessed me by leading me to a wonderful group of people. I belong to a Bible study group called 20/20 that meets every Friday. Beltway Park Baptist Church organizes this get-together for men and women who are not necessarily in school anymore but then not in the whole “family” stage either. Amazingly enough, while visiting Beltway with Kelli a while ago, I happened to be there the day they advertised 20/20 during the service, remember Ben's nice video?! In complete awe, I felt as though God heard my desire for friends my age and in my stage of life as well.

I found myself driving to a house the next Friday knowing I was going to be out of my comfort zone. Recognizing no one, I walked in and was warmly welcomed by nearly 40 people. It was awesome! Laura and Jessica have been wonderful friends and from that evening on, I was a part of this group hanging out with them not only on Friday’s, but also during the weekend and the week. The amazing thing about this is, we are all so different. Our pasts are the paths we have walked to all somehow meet here, learning from each other, and growing through the wisdom we’ve attained.

We begin our time with worship. All sitting in one room, some on the floor, some people stand, and others pile in almost unnoticed on the sides. The guitars simultaneously initiate their reverence to the Holy, and our voices follow. Us, men and women between the ages of 20-30 (give or take), follow without hesitation creating an intimate gathering that the Lord is no doubt in the center of. After this we break off into Life groups and raid each room in Ben’s huge house! The first night I came, I happened to join an all girls group. It is the only one that happened to gather this way, but I am telling you, I have been incredibly thankful for these women, especially Laura (Laura-Laura) our leader.

It is so refreshing to have this belonging. It is a jewel in a world desperate for truth and acceptance.

Laura and Jessica, leaders at 20/20, joined a mission team and are leaving to race around the world soon in full focus of sharing the Lord. They both have an incredible passion for the Lord and His guidance of transformation He’s done in their hearts and lives. I am honored to know these women and be a prayer warrior on their behalf. Last night, they both came over and I cooked a traditional Hungarian meal, Cabbage Noodle! I decorated the table with Hungarian artifacts and was impressed that Jessica remembered what I taught her of the language during her photo shoot. Laura joined in fast, and now I have them both talking Hungarian! There is not many around here, so I have come to the conclusion I must create my own Hungarian-speaking friends. It’s working!!!

Soon they will pack up their humongous backpacks weighing equivalent to themselves and head across the map. I found out a while back they were planning to name their backpacks. Little did I know, me…my heritage…my Hungarian blood, would play a major role in this! Jessica asked me some Hungarian words and suggested she may use one for her backpack. Then last night, we figured it out and concluded that Laura’s backpack would be named “Nudge Bunya” translating to “Big Cranky Old Lady.” Such a perfect title to have for something that will get really old to carry around! “Hey slow down…I got a Big Cranky Old Lady on my back!!!!” See it fits perfectly! LOL! So, then Laura is all set. Now we have Jessica, who is like me in so many ways that it is scary, requires a label like “Sape Pilango,” translating to “Beautiful Butterfly.” How sweet! What a symbolic name as well. She will have a name of peace, freedom, and perseverance on her back!

There it is, a Nudge Bunya and Sape Pilango! Perfect and quite a pair if you ask me!

Tonight, 20/20! Hurray!
Next week is our retreat, so I am sure I will have plenty of blog-a-ble thoughts as well.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

N.E.V.E.R

Give up. ..

Two words I have repeatedly thought of for over 3 years now. It sounds easy, or perhaps complex. It is a solution that can be arrived at by many venues. Through death by physical destruction, through the mind and emotional wasting away, and also by letting go of God and dying the most excruciating death there is, separation from the Almighty. Every one who knows me knows I do not give up easily. I like competition, hardship, and struggling. It is not something I want to live in 24-7, but these times have made me who I am and as sick and crazy as it may sound I am not sure I would go back and change it if I could. I see myself as an amazing person who chose to view the things done to me as a way to grow in wisdom. It is hard to do this and does not happen over night. It took years of sticking to this desire, fighting temptation, and remembering things were not always going to be the way they were at the moment. How did I do this?

Wow! Someone, whose angels are in heaven as well, asked me the other day how I managed to survive and get through Natalie’s death. Since I feel so much about this topic, I thought words would come easily. I could tell her I did this, and then did that, and that it would be ok. But, no…nothing came to my mind. I sat in silence and looked at her and explained I did not know what to say and that I felt deeply for what we were discussing. I wanted to comfort her, and it seemed I failed. I experienced her same pain and wondered how it could even exist. But maybe, being real, being silent and letting her know I am in sorrow with her was enough. I’ve learned to be real with myself. Not be rushed by the worlds need to feel comfortable with death to the point they act as though everything is ok 1 hour after a funeral. I KNOW these people. Believe me, I experienced this to its finest description. It is sickening, disgusting, and outright stupid to expect someone to get-over something in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. Someone I trusted told me the day I buried my daughter that I needed to move-on and not cry forever. Then as days went by everyone acted as though it never happened, or tried to help me forget. It’s as if expecting a person with a shattered leg to walk up MT Everest. IMPOSSIBLE! But, for the sake of other people’s comfort and uneasiness, they suggest these impossibilities and get frustrated when one in pain does not comply. Such a deep thing to comprehend, but if it is the world may be a better place.

So yes, I have taken a world tour with “Give Up.”
In dreams, in real life, and in desperation.

The time I held MY ANGEL Natalie in my arms, lifeless and still, and had to give her up to a nurse as she walked out with her and I never saw her again.
The time I was hospitalized with kidney failure and spent several months in and out of ICU and nearly died.
The time people I trusted admitted to selfishness, betrayed me, and in one day decided to live for whatever made them feel and look good.
The times the government repeatedly ignored my request for help and aid, but gives plenty to people and situations less critical than I.
The times I have had no idea what to do. I mean, yeah we say this, but I mean it to its complete truth.

I am someone who keeps going. Not because I don’t know what else to do anymore, but because I know some of the secrets of life that an old person knows. I see trials as a jewel. I know the truth of what is important and my eyes have been opened to a reality that not too many people know or would chose to live in because it is difficult and constantly requires attention to the heart and mind. I am honored to be here, to live, to sing, to laugh, and most of all to love.

N: NO way! Don't just let yourself go. To all those bad thoughts, say NO WAY!
E: Everything will not stay the same. Things wont always be this way.
V: Vow to look at the small things. Don't always look at the complex, see the small things you've been missing.
E: Entirely up to you. Someone can't do this for you, it is entirely your own quest.
R: Reasonable. Be reasonable, one day may be better than others and this is ok, two steps forward and one step back!

My friend Becky has this on her website and I thought it was a perfect for me! I am this frog, always thinking of the best, never giving up and most of all…surprising a lot of people along the way!



Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween-nie-2

Wow, I cannot believe it is actually November. I can’t wait for this year to join the others of history…8 more weeks and it will. We took my niece trick-or-treating last night. How fun! She was a fairy and Gracey was a butterfly for the second year in a row. She likes it though! We even had a candy bucket for Grace and she got some sweets and ended up letting me have it all! Or was it, I ended up stealing it all? Who knows, it was yummy though!

Here are some photos!

Gracey and Maddison, both with their wings!

Maddie with her Aunt Livy, or as she says "LA-LA-LA!"