Friday, March 28, 2008 0 comments

Edifying Each Other

Ok - so Chad spoke a few weeks ago at the end of his "Grace" series about using our gifts to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10). But if you read the next verse it says, "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with all the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." And the letter is not quite done. Peter immediately goes into talking about suffering for Christ.

But what stuck out most to me is the "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the VERY WORDS OF GOD." Well, that hit me like a ton of bricks. I used to have a serious potty-mouth. I still revert every now and then, and sometimes depending on who I'm around I'll throw out some cuss words for emphasis -- but why? And now I'll be thinking, is this something that God Himself would say? From what I've read and understood in the Bible, God doesn't mince words. He has had to repeat Himself a few times to get the point across, but He certainly doesn't throw in extra words. And shouldn't we be repeating the teachings of Jesus - the parables, the conversations he had with his desciples, the prayers with his Father. It would do us all good to speak the very words of God. In this way we can lift each other up in times of trials, strengthen each other in moments of temptation, encourage one another in moments of hopelessness, and love one another as Jesus loved us while praying for us in preparation for the cross.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 0 comments

Catching Up

My, how time flies! I've finally gotten back to my "myspace" page - did some updates and such cause apparently that's the coolest way to keep up with the Jr. High gang. So I'm adding friends, and finding some that I haven't seen or talked to in years!

It's amazing how people grow into their lives. A high school friend of mine, Kim, now has 3 kids! And of course they look like her, and look like they have her musical AND athletic talent. Back then, Kim and I were musical dreamers. We both LOVED DCI. She actually went out for it and toured with a group one Summer - I had to stay home and work. Marching band just gets in your veins. I would teach it again if something were ever offered!

Then there's Mike from high school. He graduated early our Senior year and went off to the military - Marines I believe. And that experience just made him more Mike. It kind of cemented his personality to what it already was - rough around the edges! But he's a big guy with a big heart - just hides it sometimes.

And I've requested some "adds" today. I'm hoping to find more old friends and discover new ones. I love to see and hear the stories. Where did your life take you? Are you still dreaming for the future? And for the Jr. High gang - I'm excited to see their dreams take form. I know for me, life has certainly not turned out like I expected. I still have a love of music, I love to entertain, and to plan the entertainment, I love to design things, and I always have ideas. I love to be a kid and try to retain an imagination as much as possible.

If you can believe this - I actually watched 7 little kids this week during a church event and NOONE got hurt! I even had a pretty good time...especially with the 4/5-yr old boy playing Battleship. He beat me :-). But I used to swear-off being around the little ones. I don't have kids, I rarely have the patience for them, but I've learned in life never to close my mind to whatever God might have planned for me. And if I've learned anything at this point in my life, it's that God's the one that has everything under control. He wants me to have the desires of my heart, but my heart needs to be his first. Even though situations are not working out like I would prefer right now: need a new job, would like to have a decent date, would love an all-inclusive vacation - I know that whatever God has in-store for me is so much better than anything I could plan for myself.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). And I prefer HIS future for me.
Monday, March 24, 2008 0 comments

Got this today

A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding. ALL BUT ONE !!!

He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket. When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, 'Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?' She nodded through her tears.. He continued on with, 'I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly.

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, Mister....' He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, 'Are you Jesus?' He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing aboutin his soul: 'Are you Jesus?'

Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.You are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.
Thursday, March 20, 2008 0 comments

First Day of Spring: Flood & Frost



Who would have thought? Floods. Took me an extra hour-and-a-half to get to work Wednesday just trying to find my way to the highway. So after a struggling morning to even wake up, I knew there would be the cornfield-turned-lake off my back yard, but I never imagined my truck would be iced over!

But as the old saying goes, "If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion." So for my tulips' sake, I hope the lamb shows up soon. And do you think by some "coincidence" the weather will be lamb-like for Easter?

Another weather saying from the Farmer's Almanac: Wind northeast or north at noon of the vernal equinox, no fine weather before midsummer. If westerly or southwesterly, fine weather till midsummer. And some more from the Farmer's Almanac:

Ring around the Moon? Rain real soon.
A ring around the Moon usually indicates an advancing warm front, which means precipitation. Under those conditions, high, thin clouds get lower and thicker as they pass over the Moon. Ice crystals are reflected by the Moon’s light, causing a halo to appear.

March 21 —Full Worm Moon
At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

Monday, March 17, 2008 0 comments

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

HAPPY St. PATRICK'S DAY!

Today is the day it is celebrated that Christianity came into Ireland. That, and green beer. You know how mixed up holidays get. But St. Patrick was a real person that did real good in Ireland in the 400s.

Born in Scotland, when he was 16 he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He served as a shepard to the Druid high priest, Milchu. He received a vision from God to escape to go to Britain and he managed to get there. He studied in the monastaries and his heart was to return to Ireland to save them - turn their hearts to Christ.

He did return in 440. And proceeded to spread the gospel throughout Ireland. The full-length story can be found here.

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:


I bind to myself today
The strong
virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the UnityThe Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The
virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.
I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near, Whether few or with many.
I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ at my right,
Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.





But if you just want to talk some Blarney....just kiss the stone!
Just how long this custom has been practiced or how it originated is not known. One local legend claims that an old women, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell, that if he would kiss a stone on the castle's top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him. It is known, however, when and how the word Blarney entered the English language and the dictionary. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, the ruler of the castle, was required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He said he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. His excuses became so frequent and indeed so plausible that the official who had been demanding the castle in the name of the Queen became a joke at the Court. Once, when the eloquent excuses of McCarthy were repeated to the Queen, she said "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!" The term Blarney has thus come to mean 'the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without giving offense'. Echoing the power of the stone, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, Francis Sylvester Mahony, wrote:
There is a stone there,
That whoever kisses,
Oh, he never misses
To grow eloquent.
'Tis he may clamber
To a lady's chamber,
Or become a member
Of Parliament.
And just for some Irish fun: The All Things Irish Quiz
Friday, March 14, 2008 1 comments

Personal Ranting

I love my study groups! Each one has its own energy and I get to be around people I care about and who care about me. It's as close to heaven on earth as you can get. I love staying up late talking deep thoughts about Jesus and God and the Bible. And then - I have to live in reality and go to work in the morning.

So it's bad enough that I have to get out of bed. Leaving the comfort of my cuddly snuggly kittens behind I start the day. Sometimes I do good and get on the treadmill, sometimes I do good just to get to the shower. And those mornings that I can get to work without falling asleep I am doing fantastic. I enjoy listening to the preachers in the morning: Woodrow Kroll, Chuck Swindoll, Chip Ingram, Southeast Christian guys, and Allistair Begg are the radio regulars. It starts my day in the word and getting fed with new insights. And by the time I enter the office I'm doing great and ready to work - to be really productive and get a lot done. Then it begins...

Now, I love my boss. I've worked for and with him for over 11 years now (at KFC and Creative Alliance), and he's been the only consistent "father-figure" I've ever had. And as nice a guy he his -he takes care of us with perks and treats at work - he still has an annoying way of making me feel completely worthless almost every day. Even when we worked at the agency, the new interns coming in were assimilated with full grandeur of mentorship from him - and I got to type his research charts in PowerPoint. Here, I knew it was coming...convention's big project is over - and so is the need to have me know anything or be involved in anything. I am officially invisible again until he or anyone else needs something done. I have at least 3 pages worth of a job description, and that's because I do a LOT of stuff. Mindless stuff for me, but still just a lot to manage. But my first priority which was set for me by my boss is to do whatever someone else needs me to do. That comes first. Regardless of my work. And that's fine.

He also likes to make sure everyone outside this office knows he's the boss. So when I have been working on something with someone else - like videos for award-winners - he has to make sure he's the one to move up the deadline, when he's had nothing to do with the project so far. And has no idea of what it takes to even get a video edited and rendered out to disc. So by one decree from him - he has just doubled my project time. And everything else gets pushed. Now he is extremely good at what he does, but manager is not his forte. And because we only have 7 people in this office, it makes for a horrible experience day-in and day-out. Because the big boss is nto my only boss in this office - anyone can come out and tell me what to do and I have to do it - because whoever sits out front (that's me) - that's the way it was always done before. Well - no one has got it in their head that I am filling 2 positions and added in more that no one has ever done before. They take things from my desk, they stand over me and talk to each other like I'm not here, there is no asking if I'm working on anything else because clearly I only work on what they need. Ugh... and this bad attitude of mine works into such a frenzy in a day that all I can do is cry. I look for jobs regularly. I've applied to many, but my resume is so full of a variety of experience it makes it look like I'm not focused. Sorry that I can do so many different things well.

And so back to the Bible studies. Last night was great. And we got around to talking about Stephanie Frazier's last moments. It was beyond touching and amazing. I constantly wish I knew her more. I remember her enough that I think about her sometimes when I worship. Can I worship that completely like she did - without restraint. And I can really appreciate being able to relive those moments in a positive way for Ryan and Rebecca. and Bridgette talked about when her dad died. And there were constrasting examples of people who were non-believers that looked like they were being tortured during their last breaths. And all that brought back the experiences I went through myself last year when my dad died and my great-grandma died.

When my dad died, I wasn't there. I got there right after someone NOTICED he had died. My uncle was watching TV and dad's old girlfried, Debbie, had laid on the couch to get some rest. When she woke up she found he died. And my uncle was still WATCHING TV! Needless to say that whole night was surreal.

We had talked a few days before about where he was going. He didn't know - he was "leaving it up to the Good Lord." Well, I learned that my dad had been baptised as a youth. But when he saw some church members in a bar - he turned away. I don't think that's the only reason. He made a lot of horrible choices in his life and died of them at the age of 52 - he never turned back to Christ. I tried the approach of "we can finally have a relationship in heaven if you choose Jesus. Cause that's where I'll be going someday. Do you want to be there waiting for me? " His response: "your mother made it hassle to try to have a relationship with you. I was always mad at her for that." And he turned to watch TV. What!?!?!?!? What the hell! He never claimed Christ to me, nor to anyone else that I was made aware of. He certainly didn't show Christ in his life - I didn't come to Christ through my dad or anyone in my family for that matter. Christ literally saved me from destruction. That's a whole 'nother chapter. But this man who was dying and was faced with a fresh opportunity didn't take it.

And that's what I was left with last night. When I got home I had a voice mail from dad's sister, Penny. Wanting me to do something for her. That's the only time they call me is to ask for help. And that's fine. I check on them as regular as I can without being dragged down too much. They are definitely not positive-thinkers. I talk about church and praying and being at peace. Because I don't want to thump them over the head, but love them into it. At least I've finally gotten my mamaw to quit saying G-D around me.

So now that I've released all that, and prayed, and grasping onto the Holy Spirit to help give me peace today with those thoughts that attack me, I feel ok. Tired, but ok. And like I said during Thrive, I am beyond excited that God is my dad now. I am truly a princess. It's just hard when reality hits like a brick wall upside the head.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 2 comments

Relationships & Names

There was a Suze Orman conference show on PBS last night. I only got to catch the last few minutes. If you know who Suze is - she's all about women knowing their money. There was one point where someone from the audience would go to a microphone and ask her a question - she would talk with them, find out about their money practice - and she'd give them advice. Well, one remark she made struck me as funny - "you need a healthy relationship with your money." Now, we all know that money is an object - but didn't even Jesus refer to money as a master? My philosophy about money is the same as hers - it needs to work for me, not me for it. But I laughed last night because of the whole relationship perspective of it - and I don't have enough of it to have a relationship with it! LOL!

And the other thing she did was "say your name." How do you say your name? Is it with confidence? Do you like your name? Do you know the meaning of your name? I used to hate my name growing up...mainly because people would want to call me Christine or rarely spell it right. Then there's the whole middle-name-thing. Christy Jean - why? I would ask my mom. She swears she named me after a childhood friend of hers. But now...little does she know how much it means to me. The difference is - I now know the meaning. Christy is obvious - it's a form of Christian (Christ-follower), and Jean is a derivitive of John: English form of Iohannes, which was the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". How amazing is that.

What meaning does your name have? Check out this site: Behind The Name
Monday, March 10, 2008 0 comments

Focused!



Ok - so without making this a complete Bible lesson, I'll start with my cats. :-)

Sunday was gorgeous - almost perfect (if I had a hot tub it would have been amazingly perfect). The snow covering the ground, and you can stond outside in just a long-sleeve shirt. It was amazing. But for the snow - the birds didn't think it was quite that amazing. I had about 10-15 cardinals outside my living room windows literally screaming for some food. So I obliged before I left for church. When I got home I left the door open so the cats could look out the storm door at the birds. Now it's not like they don't have a blue million windows to choose from, but they like to play spy with the door.

On any other given day I'm home, they like to get under my feet - or bug me till I sit down so one of them can have my lap. But on the days when the door is open they are focused. Not the "come see what I found" back-and-forth kind of focused. But the "I'm not taking my eyes off you all day" kind of focused. Needless to say, I got a lot of housework done and Maestro didn't get a nap. He's like that. When there's action to be involved with or watched, he's there till the end. Melody; however, knows when to take a nap. I want to be like Maestro when it comes to my spiritual growth, but I'm more like Melody. I want to hang with it through all the action and not stop till it ends, but for some reason my will in that area is not enough.


I'm in chapter 2 of Tommy Tenney's "God's Eye View." This is a writer I really know nothing about, but so far so good. He's wrote, "God Chasers," "The Mary Martha Principles," and another one that sounds very interesting, "Hadassah: one night with the King." I wrote before about chapter 1 - daddy lift me up, I can't see from down here - concept. Well, Chapter 2 talks about the Virtue of Zero. That Jesus (God) loves when we get to zero. When we get to the "it's impossible" perspective, His perspective is "it's perfect." He starts out with the analogy of trying out for a team. We can prepare, but if we don't make the team, that means we're not good enough. Well, those "not-good-enoughs" are just what He wants for His "God Squad." Just think about it - the apostles were the "not-good-enoughs." He talks about zero being the beginning point of change - like Saul's low point on the Damascus Road, "Thirty seconds in the manifest presence of God converted the murderer named Saul into the martyr named Paul. But he had to come to a personal ground zero. He referred to this 'rapid change' the rest of his heroic life. Ground zero has the potential to birth heroes." Has the potential to birth heroes.
He went through more: the parable of the talents (the fear of the one-talent guy kept him from receiving God's divine provision), Gideon's army of 300 (God saw something in him that he did not see himself), Jesus and the death of Lazarus (Jesus waited till Lazarus just could not make himself better), and ended with the less of me, more of Him - none of me, all of Him. And THAT takes focus. I don't want to be a napper - I want to be right there with Jesus. Experiencing life to the fullest regardless of money, involvement, marriage, parenthood, career, etc., especially when I'm at zero and all the way to overflowing. (So I can overflow to others).
A nowadays corporate church example of zero-to-hero is Craig Groeschel-led Lifechurch. They are an amazing church culture - one church, many locations. Their mission is "To lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ." (it only took them a few hours to come up with their mission) And they have the focus to do it. They are growing beyond leaps-and-bounds all over the country with satellite churches. They have also embraced technology to reach into the world without being a part of the world - they have a church in Second Life!
So - Q 4 U - What are you focused on?
(and even broader, what is GCC focused on?)
Monday, March 3, 2008 0 comments

Quote

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass......it's about learning to dance in the rain . (Anonymous)
2 comments

My first Thrive

Thank you all who came to support my in my first Thrive message. I hoep it won't be the last. I had a blast getting prepared for it and it was over before I knew it! And for anyone who needs a little encouraging today:

video
 
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