Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
One thing I found most amazing on this last stop there was a butterfly that looked exactly like a leaf when it was closed. In the big picture of where I was and the colors that flew all around me, it was one of the less admirable ones. It landed on my sister and I looked closely. It was very neat to see how well it would be camouflaged amongst the trees from predators. But I continued looking at all the other prettier ones.
But then it opened its wings and inside was the most gorgeous color of blue and orange. I couldn’t believe this butterfly contained so much vibrancy. I was strikingly different from any other one there.
There are so many analogies that can be made with this butterfly, but I see this; maybe this creature shows me more than I am willing to admit. So often I feel ugly on the outside, yet there is still God’s beauty on the inside working and waiting to be discovered.
Very cute video.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I opened up the magazine and read about how tolerance is defined as well as the April 25th date to promote this concept. It is called the “Day of Silence,” and kids vow not to speak for an entire day.
“It is an annual event observed in more than 5,000 public schools. Promoted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the even urged students to participate in a protest against discrimination.” (pg. 16)
Something happens in my soul when reading things like this. Recently our church went through an entire congregation study called “The Way I See It.” We read “Think Like Jesus” by George Barna. It accurately explained how perception and experience alter how we determine what is true. We dug deep into God’s words and Jesus’ example of standing for truth only to reveal the reality of an absolute truth, and that is Jesus.
The article moves on to discuss tolerance and problems with the theory. But what I feel is important to note is the last section “Love’s response.” It is difficult to face our societies dramatic veer from God’s truth, but if we as Christians do not respond we allow God’s truth to become distorted an ultimately it will affects our kids and generations to come. So with saying this I leave you with this truth from the article:
Such a monumental cultural shift presents a formidable challenge to even the most savvy Christian. But it is a challenge that can- and must be met. God’s Word offers the timeless guidance we need.
Writing to the church in Ephesus, a first-century city with many 21st-century characteristics, Paul urged the church to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). That biblical prescription has never been timelier.
In fact, speaking the truth in love is not only timely but also critical. We must recover-without embarrassment or apology- the basic belief of truth. This means embracing all people but not all beliefs. In means listening to and learning from all people but not necessarily agreeing with them. Even if it makes us objects of scorn or hatred, we must courageously speak the truth in a sympathetic, compassionate and humble spirit (1 Pet. 3:8).
Christians are subject to a much higher standard than tolerance. We are called to follow the ways of Christ, who accepted the despised Samaritans and Phoenicians (John 4, Mark 7:24-30) and treated even prostitutes and tax collectors with dignity (Luke 7:36-50; 19:1-10). The Christian imperative exceeds tolerance, which simply avoids offending someone; we are commanded to “do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16:14).
Tolerance says, “You must approve of what I do.”
Love responds, “I must do something harder, I will love you even when your behavior offends me.”
Tolerance says, “You must agree with me.”
Love responds, “I must do something harder, I will tell you the truth, because the truth will set you free.”
Tolerance says, “You must allow me to have my way.”
Love responds, “I must do something harder, I will plead with you to follow the right way, because you are worth the risk.”
Tolerance seeks to be inoffensive; live takes risks. Tolerance costs nothing; love cost everything.
It will not be easy to speak the truth in our homes, schools, churches and communities. But we must obey the Word of God rather than yield to the pressure of our culture.”
by Josh McDowell with bob Hosteller
The Truth Project: http://www.thetruthproject.org/
Focus on the Family: http://www.family.org/
Sunday, February 24, 2008
God shows us something new
And within that moment
Even in a single second
That one new thought transforms everything we ever knew to be true
He takes that thought
And creates beauty out of our wrongness
Friday, February 22, 2008
She was a friend
One I knew from a couple of visits
Yes, she was old, but I didn’t care
I was there to love her, to comfort her, to show her that what she looked like or even how she felt didn’t bother me
She came for me one day and we walked
I walked with her around in the halls
She talked to me, encouraged me, and laughed on our journey
The next time I snuggled with her
She was weaker now, so I climbed in next to her in bed
She was so fragile
Her hands wrinkled with historical wonder
I knew she needed my love
I lay next to her and listen to her breathe
She is my friend and she is dying
I said good-bye to her that day not knowing it would be our last visit
She is gone
She is with Jesus now
And I must continue by my mommy’s side at the hospital
Showing people they should be more like me
Free in my ability to love
Uninhibitedly affectionate to those who hurt
Striving just to show people I meet that I care
And prove to them they are worth attention
Even if it is from me, Gracey, a dog
Thursday, February 21, 2008
We washed up and went to bed chatting away at what we experienced. That was when it happened. Bryan’s phone rang at 10:45 pm. Instantly I thought it was an emergency. Who would call at such an hour? But it wasn’t. In fact it was completely the opposite. I didn’t want to interrupt Bryan talking, but the more I heard the more difficult it became to not take the phone and yell at the top of my lungs. It was a scammer. They pretended they were from France and that someone was dying in their family and they needed money so the person they loved could survive. They went on and on about their situation and I became sick to my stomach with rage. They kept trying to ask Bryan questions about to get information to keep their story going. This is what they do. I hinted to Bryan to get off the phone. I tried to tell him not to say anything or give them any information. I knew what it was and how dangerous these people can be. Finally I convinced Bryan to stop trying to figure out how bad their lie would be. He hung up, but I still felt like they were attacking us somehow. I felt violated and rightfully so, because we were.
I heard about a young man who went to Mexico for spring break and scammers got a hold of his mom to tell her that her son was dying. To make a long story short, they said she must send them $3,000 to have her son airlifted back into the USA. They said he had a brain injury and unless he received help soon, he would die. Any mom would transfer the money especially since she could not get a hold of him on his cell. It was a scam. He was alive and well. People out there have no concern using the heart and loved ones to create a phony situation if it means they might get money.
Have you ever got an e-mail about someone needing money because they need a heart transplant or something like that? Beware. Be on guard. These people are scammers. Don’t even open the e-mail if you don’t know who it is. I believe they can tell if someone has opened it. Block their e-mails. Our cell phone numbers are being sold or given to scammers. Your number is not protected.
After such a great evening ministering, I am not surprised about being attacked by our scam phone call. It makes me very angry that in my house, on my husband’s phone, someone tried to deceive us. They lied and cheat and caused a great disruption in our lives.
Please be careful what you do on the computer. Be aware of the information you post. Be on guard against fraud and scams. Even over a year ago I was scammed on ebay when I bought a fraudulent camera memory stick. I tried to get reimbursed, but was unsuccessful. You can be the nicest person, it doesn’t matter. It is still important to protect your identity and family.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The questions they ask people are absolutely ridiculous. Some are like, “Are you really not having children because you do not know if you really will be with your spouse forever?” Another one was directed at a pageant queen and asked, “Have you ever deliberately tried to ruin someone else’s chance at being crowned?” A trainer was asked, “Have you ever touched someone inappropriately while training a woman?” It is questions like these and more that eliminated any desire of curiosity for the show. After that night I actually felt sick at what it says about our world and supposed “secrets” we have. What sets me to write this now is the question I heard on the commercial for the upcoming show. They had a woman’s ex-boyfriend come out to ask her a question and he said, “If I wanted to get back together with you, would you leave your husband for me?” She answered, “Yes.” It doesn’t surprise me that 1. People will do anything for money, and 2. There is no shame for sin anymore…we exploit it and even reward it. In fact, the actuality of using that clip for the commercial says a lot about our culture. The media desires to suck us in with this filth. It is supposed to cause a reaction inside that would want us to turn on the channel and waste an hour of our existence to watch stupid people like that actually be rewarded for being what? For being honest? For doing whatever it took to win that money? Ohhh, what a heroic act!!! Wow! There’s a huge problem here. And most of it is that we are showing kids that there is no value and then we get angry that they grow up with no respect or virtue. There is no comedy in this issue. There is only sadness and hurt and an example of how much sin affects us and will keep affecting us.
So, I sit here and ask myself, “Why in the world is this even a show?” And the only thing I can come up with is that we are slowly being lured into the acceptance of such behavior. We want to be entertained so badly that MOST things on TV are trash. I even saw a commercial the other day for a new show and all I remember about it is that there was tons of sex on the preview. There is danger in accepting a show or more over the people who enjoy feeling like asking such questions are such crazy things to answer. Is it a coincidence that so many questions are about sex and cheating?
We will be saturated with the things we watch, listen to, and spend time doing.
CAUTION: There is an agenda out there to destroy purity and goodness. It doesn’t always happen over night, or even in months, but over years and years. It happens gradually so that it my not even seem like things like this are “all that bad.”
He is the father of lies. John 8:44,45
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
That evening I became really discouraged. My arm was red, hot and swelled. I was having fun burning my precious few moments of energy and look what happened? I was injured. I bruise very easily with all the medicines I take and knew this would be a bright blue and purple bruise on my arm by the next morning.
The day after I hurt myself, like I predicted, a huge bruise appeared and was tender to touch. Even sleeping on it ached. But I knew that even though I felt this much pain that it was getting better.
But, here is God. He sees my heart. He sees my pain, and again comes softly to tell me He is there with wisdom. He tells me hearts are just like bruises. That praying for healing and asking God to do miracles can sometimes take time, His time. He said that waiting for Him to move and repair is not always comfortable. See, the instant I hurt my arm, my body began to heal. The moment I slammed into the wall, restoration was taking place.
I asked God to do great things for His glory in my body that night at a prayer meeting at Beltway but seemed to be experiencing a lot more pain than usual. That is when He showed me what I wrote above. A long time ago in bad times I would always say “things have to get worse before they get better.” Maybe the way our physical bodies heal can show us a glimpse into God’s healing in our spirits. When we get hurt or are working through things inside of us, it may get worse for a while but this is because we are getting better. The trauma happened and now it is time to heal, but it may still feel bad. It actually might even hurt worse. But stay with it, things will get better, we just have to give it some time and be fragile with the “injury.”
I want healing and believe God’s promises are true even when they don’t make sense or I don’t see anything happening. What if I miss out on something God is doing because I decided to not believe because it was taking too long? There is always a risk when you chose not to believe and every day you do believe, even with the smallest bit, you are choosing God. Faith wouldn't be faith if there was nothing to have faith for.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
1. Don’t let your husband cut your hair even if he is the sweetest willing person who was asked to do it.
2. Thunderstorms are beautifully loud alarm clocks.
3. Eating muffins in bed makes them even yummier.
4. Chawennie’s love you no matter what your hair looks like.
5. Never ever watch “the Invisible.” It is excruciating, horrible, & stupid.
6. Even though a building has “No Smoking” it can still smell like smoke.
7. Never make your hairdresser angry.
8. Dogs don’t instinctively know how to swim
9. There are nice people left in the world, you just have to find them, or be one.
10. I have the best husband in the world. He may not be a hairdresser, but I love him.
(It's not that bad, but still I miss the 3 or 4 inches. PS. This is my new passport photo!)
Friday, February 15, 2008
"Let us continue our reflection on conscience, asking God to enlighten our minds and inflame our wills so that we gladly obey Him.
We must look at the relationship between conscience and truth in order to understand the legitimate supremacy of a conscience in tune with the Commandments. In other words, is something so because I say so or want it so, or is it so because it is true whether or not I was ever conceived? Is murder always wrong? Fornication? Adultery? Lying? Homosexual acts? If I believe in the true God Who gave us the Ten Commandments and nevertheless go on my own way, do I not deny the relation between conscience and truth? Either I obey, conforming what I think or wish to what God wants me to do, or I betray my dignity as being made in the image and likeness of God knowing that I am wrong, or worse, I deny that certain norms of behavior exist. Is not conscience our moral nucleus and holy or holies where we are one on one with God? And is God not truth itself? It is bad enough to fall through weakness. How terrible it is to look God right in the eye and tell Him, I’ll make up my own mind. Make up my own mind? Based on what knowledge and experience, like the grass that is here today and tomorrow cut down? Based on what norm or standard or ideal? If I base my personal decisions on my own standard of truth my “conscience” is reduced to a reflection of social circumstances. And circumstances alter cases. If I decide on the basis of what I want to do, never mind anyone else’s knowledge and experience, I am no longer free, because I have broken the link between myself and truth. I am an island. I have no roots. I am spiritually homeless. I see what I want to see (and I will pay) instead of looking through the window of life at common truth. I deafen my conscience to reality pounding on its door.
Conscience cannot be identified with personal wished or taste or social advantage; it is not the same as consensus or majority opinion. All such criteria change with fashionably correct thinking or bow to pressure. Conscience won’t go away just because I will not face the reality of dealing justly with God and with my fellow citizens on this earth.
Individual judgments are subject to reversal by appeals to a higher authority. Even the judgments of the courts are frequently appealed, sometimes even to a supreme court, to the world court, to the United Nations. Whatever our Supreme Court decides becomes, to use the common expression, “the law of the land.” The decisions are based upon principles. Therefore, we must admit that there are objective norms which supercede and override our private criteria. And who would deny that most litigation involves theft, life, perjury, and marriage and family life-broadly speaking-all of which are found in the Ten Commandments, and which are the bases for just decisions.
It is true that the Supreme Court has erred. The Dred Scott Decision and Roe vs. Wade are two examples. No person may be enslaved just because a court says so; murder is still murder even if abortion is legalized by raw judicial power. Nobody may in good conscience take advantage of such a decision. Just the same, people recognize that there are standards superior to and independent of their personal way of thinking. Otherwise, chaos would replace justice.
Court decision sometime need to be revered because the judge may err, even with the best of intentions. But God can never deceive nor be deceived, and the person who believes in a supreme, transcendental God who will demand an account of each person’s free decisions, must adjust and align his or her moral judgments to the divine law which has been etched in the hearts of men."
Father Denis O'Brien, M.M.
Spiritual Director, A.L.L.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
God shows his love in many ways, maybe this is a little tiny wet-nosed reminder that there can be a lot of love in little packages.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
But more than any other surprise or gift, the best thing I got was last night when I opened my bedside drawer. I had no clue about what Bryan hid in there and apparently it was in there all day long without me knowing! How did that happen??? He and Gracey wrote me the sweetest little picture book. The title is: “My Adventures: What do I do when I am waiting for you?” Inside on each page is a photo of Gracey in different places and with different people explaining what she does when she waits for me at home. She sniffs, she eats, she calls the Grammy and talks for hours. At the end, with a photo of her and I, she explains her favorite thing is seeing me come home. I seriously was crying because it was so cute. I told Bryan, and I mean it, that this was one of the sweetest things anyone had ever done for me. And the fact that he was able to keep it as a surprise was so cool.
There is always ups and downs in a marriage but the most important thing is to chose love and find ways to show it.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I know this is a very different evening to be had, but I have to admit something…I’d rather be at a banquet with dogs then with humans! Walking in the room, I get a joyous feeling. There is so many dogs to meet, and you know if they are there then someone must love their dog almost as much as we do!
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Bryan's birthday was a success! There were many surprises and we had a lot of fun. We ate at Cypress Street Station and Brian, the owner, treated my Bryan with a flamming dessert called Flambe. He remembered us from the restaurant catering our reception on December 2, 2006 and gave us a treat on the house. The entire dinner was so yummy. I am glad Bryan is is my life and that we had another year of his life together.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Tide-to-Go Superbowl Commercial, My Talking Stain Ad
Bridgestone Tire Super Bowl Commercial: Squirrel vs Car
Doritos Super Bowl Commercial: Giant Mouse Trap (a little more PG-13 for viloence LOL)
Pepsi Stuff Super Bowl Commercial: Justin Timberlake
Chronicles of Narnia Movie Trailer Superbowl Commercial (Can we say YES!!!!!)
Budweiser Clydesdales Superbowl Ad: Hank the Clydesdale (I actually teared up at this one)
Sunday, February 03, 2008
I feel like I won something I don’t even deserve. I didn’t even know it existed which is the best part. I am hard to surprise, but this was a definite success. Thanks Barat! I feel so blessed right now!
Now that I have 4 pieces of Vera Bradley stuff I just need somewhere to go! Although, I think I am more nervous about using it than anything. Right now it is safe in the box on the shelf. But don’t worry; it will be put to good use! I am not afraid! (ok maybe just a little).
Here are some pictures of my first thing to lug: (tiny, furry & black)
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
"Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone."