Monday, June 29, 2009 1 comments

Life is...

A high school colleague of mine, Brian, posted this on his blog and I'd like to share it here for this week's "Life is..."

“Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into one.”

I read the above quote (from Rick Warren) a few weeks ago – and I wasn’t sure if I agreed with it. Today I’m sure that I do. Warren goes on to add, “The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in charactar, in Christ likeness”

Truer words have never been spoken. Warren goes on in the interview to explain that he used to think that life was a series of hills and valleys – that you have ups and downs – good times and then bad — but he says that he doesn’t believe that anymore. Instead, he says that life is more “like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.”

He explains that at any given moment – no matter how “good” things are in your life – there’s always something bad that needs improving. And no matter how bad things get – there’s always something good that you should be thanking God for.

This way of thinking makes a lot of sense to me. If we think of life as being two rails – something good and something bad – it leaves us with a choice to make each day. We can focus on and accentuate the good – or we can obsess about the bad. We must make this choice daily – and soemtimes multiple times each day.

Last week I discovered that a very close family member has a longterm and very active drug addiction – including the frequent use of crystal meth and various pain killers. Last week I also lost my cousin Jerald – whom I grew up with. We were in the same graduating class. He left behind a wife and two lovely young children. I married he and his bride about 14 years ago. Then on Saturday I preached his funeral. Bad stuff.

And yet – I am very happily married. I have three beautiful and wonderful children. I have a loving and supportive extended family. I have many friends who are there for me. I serve a church that I love – and I see God’s handiwork all around me.

The good stuff about this church that I love is an entirely new category in and of itself — This past Sunday we celebrated another Baptism (5 in the last 3 weeks), and two more families formally joined the church (9 in the last 3 weeks)! We sent a small team off on a mission trip, and welcomed home a young lady from a 2 week trip to Ecuador.

Yep — there are two rails in our lives at all times. One carrying the good – and one carrying the bad. Which one will I focus on today? Tomorrow? I have to make the choice daily, and so do you.

What is your "Life is...?"



Featured Links

Over the years the Girl Scouts has become mroe liberal and focused more on a world-wide feminine agenda. Parents who became dissillusioned with this change founded American Heritage Girls, a scouting program for girls with a Judeo-Christian focus, "dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country." I encourage anyone who has daughters of scouting age and interest to check this organization out. Janet Parshall has had thme on her show many times now, and if I had a daughter, this would be the group I would go with. Who needs over-priced cookies?

The next link is purelyfor laughs! Awkward Family Photos. Everybody's got 'em!

Happy Monday everybody!
Friday, June 26, 2009 3 comments

Friday Fragments

It's that time again. I just love this - Friday Fragments!

Friday Fragments?

Mrs.4444 @ "Half-Past Kissin' Time" has inspired me over the past few weeks to keep this a regular. Besides, it's just so darn easy! Check her's and others' fragments out when you get a chance.

} Farmtown is too addictive, maybe I should quit playing for awhile. Wait, what's this? FarmVILLE? Oh, I really shouldn't...oh what the heck. If only I could manage this much farm in real-life.

} Rain, rain,rain. It's amazing how fast grass grows in two days when it's wet and hot. The mosquitos love it. Glad somebody's happy with the humidity.

} Men. Need I say more.

} I only have one weekend to get through till pay-day. No steaks, but will frozen pizza cook on the grill?

} Michael Jackson died...wait, you knew that already. Farrah and Ed died too, but you knew that too. Just learned yesterday that a friend of mine from high school died yesterday of cancer. Didn,t know that one? Death has a funny way of sneaking up on everybody. Makes us all truly equal regardless of station in life.

} Fresh fruit is wonderful. A retired co-worker who married a produce-company-owner, sent over BOXES of fresh fruit. Plums, oranges, pinneapples, grapes, cantelopes, and strawberries. Yum Yum!!!!

} I am a cornhole champion! My first game ever was at my mom's last weekend. Her boyfriend and I teamed up against mom and her aunt. We won. Last night it was a tie-breaker with Bill and I losing. But when we played again, we switched partners...ane I was on the winning team. Oh yeah! Got to get a set of boards.

} Swimming at night in a warm pool under the stars...need I say more? Ahhhhh.....
Thursday, June 25, 2009 5 comments

Worth a Thousand Words

Cheaper Than Therapy
I love pictures, the emotions they can convey, stories they tell. So I am glad to join in on this every so often from now on - A Thousand Words Thursday. Check out the originator - Mom Jen by clicking on the button above.
Here's an older favorite of mine, T is 16 years old now, but when he was 7 he was such a boisterous little guy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 0 comments

Message from God

This was too cute not to post! Enjoy...
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 0 comments

Life is ...

What you make of it. Really? Is that all there is? Simply, no.

Life is ... a lot of things. And I'd like to add this little "Life is..." moment to my blog as a weekly post. And because there are already so many great weekly postings going on, I think I will make this my Tuesday regular.

So, if anyone else would like to chime-in, please do so. I'm going to try that cool little "Mister Linky" at the bottom, and just let us know where to find you.

My first "Life is..." was inspired by Stitch - yes, from Lilo & Stitch.

This little guy was created for evil purposes, yet made choices to change for good purposes. He made the choice - he made his life what it was. Now, take note: he did not do it alone. He needed Lilo to encourage, love, and support him to make the changes necessary. He needed inspiration from someone else's story of love (i.e., the Ugly Duckling). He needed motivation to make the change permanant - like when Lilo was captured by "stinky-head" Gantu and Stitch rescued her.

Now, I could have picked someone else like say, Donald Trump or Oprah or Colonel Sanders even. Self-made men (and women). But there is more to the life we make than monetary success. Then I think about the life I'm making - with God, family/friends, myself, job...I am not even close to being perfect. But how much farther have I come since giving my life to Christ? Lots. What matters most in THIS life? Cause I have a feeling what we THINK matters most - doesn't add up to a hill of anything in the life eternal with Christ.

What I've been discovering, over and over again, is that "my attitude determines my altitude." My attitude and thoughts make up my life - from the inside-out. Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... How often do I renew my mind to make my life new? How many times (in a day) do I get down because I perceive thinks in a negative manner - it's all in my head. How often do I take the time to renew? Not near enough really. And do I have others that help put into me? Not near enough sometimes. That's why I enjoy reading others' blogs, reaching out of my own world to learn something new - to renew and refocus.

So thanks to all you other bloggers out there for providing me inspiration, knowledge, humor and interaction. I just hope I can be that for you sometime! And if you decide to write your "Life is..." moment, make sure to link up here - and link back to this site. Thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2009 2 comments

Summer Solstice

It's that time of year again - Summer has officially started. This year it fell on Father's Day. So I hope everyone enjoyed the longest day of the year!

Every year for the Summer Solstice, people flock to Stonehenge in Great Britian to watch the sunrise and for those who don't know Christ, worship the sun (you know, instead of worshiping the SON). I personally would love to experience this - just to see the sunrise through those rocks. However, it's more like a Woodstock experience - and that - I can do without.

But what I am certainly looking forward to is soaking up as much daylight as I possibly can for the rest of the Summer. Since Sunday was the longest day - they only get shorter from here. At least till December!
Friday, June 19, 2009 2 comments

Friday Fragments

} Monday: Pay Day! But alas, it's all gone already. However, great dinner conversation with friends and new pastor reaps much better benefits. Bill starts blaming me for getting the hint of a cold.

} Tuesday: brought home a "young-un," the art show winner. At 16 she goes stir-crazy quickly so she joined me on a dinner run for the newest parents inour church. I actually held their gorgeous little newborn. She pooted then smiled while I was holding her. And why do people want me to have one of these?

So back at home, I had the hairbrained idea to move my piano out of the back bedroom into my office so the bedroom could officially be made into a bedroom and not the 'catch-all.' Perfect timing with someone to help me! So we moved furniture around to try to get this thing into the hall then into the office. What we discovered is that 58" does bend into 50" of space. No go on the move. SO - the piano now needs to find a good home. If you have that good home - it's free, just come and get it. The only thing it needs is a good tuning.
Bill's cold is in full-force - still blames me for starting it. How many Mucinex can a person take in a day?

Wednesday: Roots & Fruits class is turning out to be completely fantastic. Redid my blog design a little. Starting to branch-out some more. Finding out there are a LOT more like me in the world! Bill STILL has a cold & cough - doubling the Mucinex dosage.

Thursday: more like turdsday. Storms came through and knocked out the power in our office building - get to go home early! So I got to spend the day with my best sister-friend! However - she was babysitting her 3 1/2-yr. old niece. And poor "Nutmeg" is still trying to get the hang of actually doing the #2 in the toilet and not in her pants. And boy, was she on a roll yesterday! More like it just kept rolling out of her! She went through 6 pairs of panties....and aunt Kim was close to the end of her wits. When she was on pair 5 - we decided we needed a break. Off to Dairy Queen! Loaded the "load" into the van and off we went. This is what it looked like on the 10-minute trip back to the house. Unfortunately for everyone, this was all the nap she took all day long. And why do people want me to have one of these?

Bill still has a cold and feels very yucky. Didn't even call me in the evening - I think he and Tom slept as soon as they got home.

} Friday: oh, Friday. What do you hold in store for me today? Work, for sure. Movie? Maybe. Churchill Downs dinner with work - who knows? Time with my fur-babies - most definitely! Will Bill start to feel better today? He'd better - I don't want to catch it again ;-) !

PS: For even more Friday Fragments - check out the original:
Thursday, June 18, 2009 4 comments

Crazy times in a Crazy world

I try not to be so serious when blogging. I get the concept that not everybody wants to read about world events - especially when it can all seem so negative. However. I got a new link today that shook me and I think everyone needs to be praying about our nation's safety & leaders' ability to lead through this.

I've included only the first portion of this article. To see the full article - go here.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July, a Japanese news report said Thursday, as Russia and China urged the regime to return to international disarmament talks on its rogue nuclear program.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), would be launched from North Korea's Dongchang-ni site on the northwestern coast, said the Yomiuri daily, Japan's top-selling newspaper. It cited an analysis by the Japanese Defense Ministry and intelligence gathered by U.S. reconnaissance satellites.

The missile launch could come between July 4 and 8, the paper said.

While the newspaper speculated the Taepodong-2 could fly over Japan and toward Hawaii, it said the missile would not be able to hit Hawaii's main islands, which are about 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers) from the Korean peninsula.

Ok people. Enjoy your families. Make the most of every moment. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. And pray - pray hard for this generation. There are some events that take place in the world that make us come out of our little hedged-in comfort zones (where more often than not there are plenty of trials to deal with as it is). This should be one of them for the U.S. and it's leaders.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 0 comments

Life is a *itch

As you can see, I've changed the look of the blog again. Just slightly though. And I've changed the title. I actually got inspired by Mama Kats' Wednesday writers challenge question: Tell us about your long have you been blogging, when did you start, what were/are your goals for your blog, etc.

I've been blogging for a couple of years now. The look has changed multiple times and so has my purpose for it. My initial blogline was "Life is a Daring Adventure, or Nothing..." based on the quote by Helen Keller. This amazing lady who was both blind and deaf has many insightful writings that give inspiration to many. I wanted to be able to show how life really can be a daring adventure. However, through my 2-year blogging journey, I have found there is so much more. So I've changed my blog title to "Life Is..."

Because life really is so many things, I thought about it while doing dishes at work (that's how glamorous my job is :-) ). The first thing that comes to mind is the saying I grew up with is "Life is a *itch, then you die." And you all know what that word is, don't even try to fool me! So I thought about it - what is a *itch?

The Webster's description is: 1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals, 2 a: a lewd or immoral woman b: a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse, 3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant, 4: complaint.

Then I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman. There's no mention of her being malicious, spiteful, or overbearing or difficult or unpleasant at all. In verse 25 it says: Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. I want to smile at my future! Does she smile because she has not one hint of *itchness in her? Is my own *itchy-ness holding me back from being worth more than jewels to someone?

I think about that Proverbs 31 woman quite a bit. She's got a lofty standard for us to live up to as women. She's rumored to be Solomon's mother - you remember her? Bathsheba....David & Bathsheba! If it really was her...oh, the grace that abounds! God is amazing to have such an impact in a woman's (or man's) life and perspective. This Proverb was written ABOUT her ... I wonder what she actually thought of herself? Regardless, she is an example for all women to look to and ponder.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4 comments

Hungry, Hungry, Hummingbirds

I love the change of season. Every Spring I get my list of projects ready, and one of my favorites is to stock up on sugar to feed the hummingbirds. These little high-energy feathery rockets go through more sugar in one month in the Summer than I go through the whole year myself! And for those of you who want to attract hummingbirds - don't be fooled by the red stuff. They LOVE plain ol' sugar water. I put about a cup of sugar in a 32oz fast-food cup, fill with water - leaving over an inch or two to be able to stir - then pour into the feeder. I end-up refilling every week!

I have a small maple tree that they nest in every year. And every year in May - mom comes home to roost. By the end of Summer I have about eight little guys and gals zipping about my yard. It's certainly a sight to watch. Between my colorful mini hoverboards to the rhythmic glows of the lightning bugs - I could sit and watch for hours. Well, this morning I got a sincere thank you. I have three feeders out this year - normally just two. One feeder is right out my front door off the porch. The little red-breasted guy was a little startled to see me come out the door! But then he hovered in front of my face to just say thanks for all the extra juice! At least that's what I HOPE he was saying!
Monday, June 15, 2009 0 comments

Featured link

The latest Featured Link is BirthVerse -just click the image above! This is kinda cool. You just type in your birth day and month and it gives you a verse. Mine is

1 Kings 8:23 NIVand said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 0 comments

Quick Promptings

I'm starting to really love getting on others' blog and joining on the writing challenges. Keeps me in practice! This week's "Mama's Losin' It" prompts are too good to pass up:

1) Describe something someone has done to make you feel special. This one is easy for me, and each time he does it I still say "awhhhhh." Anytime Bill is at my house during the day and knows that I won't be home till dark - he leaves the porch light on for me. Not to mention all the work around the house. It looks great!

2) Name your current addition...we can get through this together. Oh man, I hate to admit it. FarmTown & Facebook. It's crazy! They even just upgraded it to add more stuff - I can even add a river on my farm with a water mill!

3) What have you been busy doing that's keeping you from updating your blog? See #2, plus a 7 year-old that's too much fun to be around on weekends.

4) Write a letter. Dear God, .... have to think about where to start this one.

5) Where would you like to be? Easy again. Heaven. But since I'm not there yet, I'll take Disney...with Bill & Tom. Second to that, anywhere else but work. :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009 0 comments

Computer-Free Weekend!

Believe it or not, I went all weekend without being on the computer! And the thing is, I didn't realize it till I got back to work this morning. And you know something else - I didn't miss it all that much either. Although when I came in and found out Farm Town on Facebook upgraded with flowers and new animals I about went crazy excited! Anyway...time away from the computer got me to thinking.
Bill and I are taking a "Roots & Fruits" class at Northside this Summer. The first week was about discipleship. Great stuff that I'm sure I'll share here from time-to-time. But there was one thing Nathan told us about - scheduling DAWGs: Days Away With God. Brilliant idea if you ask me. I mean, I pray daily - most of the day most days. like a continual conversation with God really. But to schedule a whole day with no distractions - no computer, phone, TV, media of any kind, or even family - just time with my creator. What a day that would be! Now, when to plan it?
Friday, June 5, 2009 6 comments

Friday Fragments

} Summer colds just don't make sense. Been through a box of kleenex, half a bottle of Nyquil, 2 rounds of Dayquil, 3 sinus tabs, Zicam nose gel (which is just as gross as snot), as a Mucinex in the past 24 hours. Almost breathing again.

} I've never seen so much excitement surrounding the arrival of a new baby! Little Emily Jean will be coming into the world in just minutes now! The whole church family is just waiting in anticipating to shower love on this new baby.

} Met with the new pastor at GCC. He's given me some encouragement and challenged me a little. I think we hit it off pretty well, though. He now knows a litany of history of me. When he challenged me to channel my energy into being positive about a not-so-positive situation, I told him "bite me" in a jokingly way. He laughed hard and said, "Do you realize you just told your pastor to 'bite me?" My response? "I only answer to God" We high-fived on that one. I like this guy. Not that I'll tell him to 'bite me' all the time, but it feels good to be real with someone and they can accept it.

} Being a prayer warrior is hard. To keep up with all the needs is tiring. I'm so glad God's the one in control, not me.

} Getting into a new study in a new environment is a little out of the comfort zone. But as I heard it - "there's no comfort in the growth zone, and no growth in the comfort zone." the first night was great - about discipleship. One of the biggest points that stuck out to me was "What kind of disciple are you making?" We are always influencing people whether we know it or not. So through that influence - what kind of disciples are you making around you?

} I love seeing God move in people's lives - including my own. But when it seems He doesn't for someone I love, it frustrates me. When will He step-in and say enough is enough?

} My home phone went out last weekend. I figured something chewed something under the house - again. So I've been taking an old phone out to the box when I needed to use the phone (since I live so far out in BFE that I rarely get a cell signal). But when my mom blows into the house last night, picks up the phone and puts it to my ear to let me hear the ringtone I about blew a gasket! "Well, it was just unplugged at the post." "Well, duh," I said, "had to unplug it to use the other phone." All she had to do was plug it back in?!?!?! I already tried that - why didn't it work for me? ugh.

} I'm hoping the weather will be great for pool-time this weekend!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1 comments

Funnies Teacher Stories!

I wanted to try to post today, but I have bene in such a fog with my allergies and back acting up, I jsut couldn't think straight enough to put a complete sentence together. That was until I read Mrs.4444's blog posting today, "Something Stinks." Check out her blog here:

Half-Past Kissin' Time

And after reading this it reminded me of one of my best friend's teaching experiences. It was YEARS ago (because she and I can't possibly be that old), she actually taught at a Christian 2-room school. She taught grades 1-3 (yes, in the same room). The lady is amazing. Anyway, there was one little boy (and why is it always boys?), who claimed he had a fever and wanted to go home. Well, Mrs. Teacher is no fool - feel the forehead! No heat, no sweat - just a kid who wanted to go home and play because another kid got to go home with a fever why couldn't he? So she sent him back to his desk.

Within 5 minutes - all in the time it took to pick up papers and take another to the bathroom to wash dirt off hands, the little boy was back at her desk claiming he had a fever. And this time his forehead was bright red - and somewhat bleeding! "What in the world happened?" asked the teacher. "I have a fever," replied the boy. While in the back of the room - the same area the boy sits - a little hand goes up, "teacher, teacher!" "Yes, Susie," the teacher waited in anticipation. "Don't let him go home." "And why not," the teacher prompted. "Because all he did was rub his head on the floor real hard to get hot."

He had rug-burn! Goofy kids. We still laugh about that. Did the boy get to go home? No. When the parents were told that afternoon - they were beside themselves. They didn't know whether to punish him or laugh till they cried.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 0 comments

Featured Link - Wall Builders

I've decided that every so often I will do a Featured Link posting. There are so many great things out there that are beneficial or just plain fun to look at. So this first Featured Link is about WallBuilders. (the following is taken from the website).

WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built Ð a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined. In accord with what was so accurately stated by George Washington, we believe that "the propitious [favorable] smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation which disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained."

Why the name "WallBuilders"? In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that great city. We have chosen this historical concept of "rebuilding the walls" to represent allegorically the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation's foundations. As Psalm 11:3 reminds us, "If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?"

WallBuilders' goal is to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family by (1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena.
For me, I personally know the signifigance of being involved. I have many friends that have social cause passions: politics, abortion, families, etc. This is a great source of news and information about goings-on around the country. I encourage you to check it out!
Monday, June 1, 2009 0 comments

What a weekend!

It's so good to have my pool up and ready early this year! Especially since I hurt my back. The exercise is great. And to have the perk of 1:00 p.m. Fridays at work, it's just like having a 3-day weekend!

Friday started out as usual, although I came in early to "plow" in Farm Town. Then when I left work for the day, I went supply shopping for both mom and myself. I try to be a good steward of God's money, but I always seem to go over-budget on supplies. It's that whole shopping-when-hungry syndrome. Then I have enough food to last two weeks till I get paid again, but like the brat I am, I get bored with the food I have at home and end up spending money to eat-out. Not good. But it's an area I'm working on with the Holy Spirit's help. "How?" you might's that nagging that hits my brain every time I eat-out without paying cash that was specifically set aside. Or a huge reminder when I see a FABulous bargain of an item I like and can't afford cause I've mismanaged. Or guilt when I can't bless someone in need because I was selfish. So I've been convicted.

And Friday night Bill fixed brats. Now, I've only had brats once in my life - they were ok. But the way Bill cooks them, I'd be able to eat them every week! And he LOVES to cook. I think he should chef his own restaurant personally - he's that good. But one rough thing - my home phone line got chewed up under the house again. Maybe I should just lock the cats up under there so they can eat the mice that are too afraid to come into the house topside.

Saturday was nap and pool time! it was great having the housework done in advance and not really caring if dishes were done from the night before. The clear water in the pool was just too inticing! Then later in the afternoon, Bill and I went to Northside for worship. Signed up for a Wednesday night class. It'll be great to get a Summer lesson in. But on the way home, the transmission went out on Bill's car. Talk about being under attack. I've never seen it so much in one person. Reminds me so much of Job! AND - he has a kidney stone AGAIN!

Sunday we went to GCC to see-off the mission team. I was thrilled to see Chayla's mom get baptized! Jeanette is a great lady and it was exciting to welcome her as a new sister in Christ! And it really felt good to be there Sunday. Bill and I love the people at GCC so much. And like Jeremy said, we're family - dysfunctional, but family. The new preacher seems to be doing fine. He's a good fit for GCC. And there's an opportunity for me to teach a class for young adults (around college-age). It would be a going-deeper type of plan. But I'm praying for God's leading on this for sure. I was approached, it got mentioned in a meeting an hour later (without prompting), so now I'm just trying to be observant of God's confirmation He has this work planned for ME.

Then the rest of the day? Resting in and by the pool. Bill and I finally finished the first season of "24." It certainly was the longest day of Jack Bauer's life!