Friday, April 28, 2006

Moments that make it all worth while....

Oldest son Kyle, inducted into honor society Phi Theta Kappa. This is one great guy. Our other son is another great guy! I am the luckiest mom in the world.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Becoming....not being....

Thanks, all of ya! I didn't miss you, cuz I was still lurking on your blogs! :-O

I'm putting my thoughts in a nutshell at the end, so if you don't feel like wading through my ramblings, you can cut to the chase! :-)

I had a really bad night....pain still so bad that I started getting panicky. That has never happened before. Then, all these thoughts started going through my mind....will I end up like my mom? Taking a ton of medications, withdrawing into the home, and still feeling horrid all the time even with all the meds. That started freaking me out. I was hurting so bad that I started pacing because I couldn't get comfortable. I slept about 10 hours (after chemical intervention), woke up very stiff, etc. Not in a great mood this morning.

The fear thing always gets me. It seems I get over one thing, and the enemy hurls another. Now, as my surrogate son is approaching fatherhood, they are all calling me "Nana."
That's what we called my mom.
Hence, the fear that I will end up like my mom. Now, don't get me mom was great, but she was in bad shape. She got up every day, did hair and make-up and put on a really good show, did housework, etc. She was miserable, though.
I think she got a really bad deal.

Anyway, last week when I decided to get quiet, I was praying a lot, and asking God what He wanted from me. I was mentally reviewing all the stuff; pain, not eating what everyone else gets to eat; bad sleep; etc. I was also praising that it isn't any worse than it is. You and I know the suffering that is out there. I'm amazed at the people we pray for. They are so inspiring. So, I'm sitting in the living room (why do we call it a LIVING room? The opposite would be strange) and suddenly, like a slide show, these words appear before me: "The choice is yours."
Hmm. That hits ME on so many levels that I couldn't ever go into it....maybe they resonate with you, as well.

The main point of those words hit me today, of all days, as I was sweating the fear of becoming my mom, becoming my "disease" and no longer being Karen, the mom, the wife, the artist, the minister, the friend, etc. The choice is mine. I have to choose to press on, no matter what, with whatever I get thrown. Scary scary scary scary!! to me. The enemy knows how to get to me...fear is the worst thing. I've always dealt with pain. It's fear that I fear. (thank you, Franklin D. Roosevelt)

I fear disease, incapacity. I fear that restless night like last night where I felt trapped in my own body. I fear the fact that I'm in charge of my disabled older brother for the rest of our lives. I put myself in his shoes and know that he has it much worse than I do...I just wish we could get to a place where we LIKED each other more. He can be annoying and mean (to us...never to others). Now any major family decision (moving, etc) will include him. I fear many of our family situations. What do YOU fear?

The choice is ours. Laying it all at His feet. Remember when I told you that we ended up with the extra cost of Sid's funeral? We lay it all at His feet. Guess what. Paid for. Hubby's small bonus and a tax refund. Amazing grace. Provision in all things. We move about on earth and do what we're supposed to do...and when this crap comes up and smacks us in the face...we have to trust that He will handle it. Why is it so hard to let it go? The choice is ours. Easy when things are going well...not so when they suck.

Then I had a dream that I was pregnant. I was accused of being "unfaithful." I would try as hard as I could to think about how I could have been unfaithful, but couldn't remember. My husband was actually a witness for my defense. Notice I was accused of being "unfaithful" not adulterous. My accuser was faceless. It was very strange indeed. It was determined that I became pregnant on 6/38....June 38th? Hmm. I had a suspicion of what this all meant, but asked my friend Mike to interpret. I didn't give him a lot of particulars but he interpreted the numbers and the meaning as me feeling unfaithful to the "church" and the enemy trying to make me feel guilty about this. I think the enemy LIKES what's going on in a lot of churches these days. He says Jesus will reveal himself in a dream, but satan will not show his face. The numbers mean new beginnings, the six is the enemy, 38, righteousness...and June 28 would be 7/8...any way, those numbers mean completion and new birth....hence the pregnancy.
And, indeed, I had gone to a house church on Saturday but came away feeling like I was back in big church, with the rigid control of one person, being told what to do, when to do it....and feeling traitorous to my friends because I didn't like the evening much. Once in a while I "miss" big church...until I go back and see the prostitution, for lack of a better word, of "come on in...we'll make you all feel gooooood." There is so much personal agenda in all of it.

Nutshell: I'm still at odds as to how to handle my pain; most of it is fibromyalgia. I walked away with some natural stuff from my doc to try. But the Lord showed me that I still haven't given this...or a whole lot of stuff...up to Him. "The choice is yours." His words to me...and probably you, as well. We all need to get quiet; disassociate from people once in a while and just TALK to Him. And give up to Him. Then; He allowed me to see that I need to give up guilt about leaving church, or even semblances of church, if I they are too "one person" oriented, i.e., pastor/leader, and that's okay. The church is Us (we know that) and if church in a brick isn't working, or IS, it's okay. He will lead us all to the place we're to be...and that would probably be "the world."
Oh, another thing.....I get SO much out of all of your thoughts and writings. I've grown so much through this blogworld. Thank you for sharing yourselves!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I'm baaaaaack....

Wow. What an interesting few days. The Lord has given me lots of dreams, insight, and words....I'll blog later. Just wanted you all to know how much I appreciate your kind and encouraging words and prayers! You have no idea how much it means to me. I haven't "blogged" but I have kept up with YOUR blogs...and some of you are going through some heavy stuff. I am concerned and have kept you in my prayers. I'm off to a doctor now, but when I come back, I'll let you know what Big Dad said to me. Maybe it will mean something to you, as well.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Time to get quiet....

I'll be gone from blogworld for a few days; I had to admit to myself that I really feel like crap. I have an extraordinary amount of pain right now, and I need to figure out what to do about it. I want to go see a doctor like I want a root canal. So, I'm going to get quiet, and pray a bunch to see what Our Big Dad has to say to me about this situation. Y'all hold down the blog fort for me, okay? Love you, mean it! :-)


When the Lord works thru people, He does it up good. Two takes on the crucifixion, one from Mark D at
Simon at And, no, I still haven't got the hyperlink thing down, but I'm working on it!
Anyway, check 'em out. They are both so very touching. Thought I'd add this pic. I bought this old ceiling tile for cheap at a local outdoor market. I didn't like it as a square because the design bugged me...I liked the weathering, etc. When I turned it on the diagonal, it appeared to me like the gnarled branches on a tree at Calvary....and I kept staring at it, and the design forms a rugged cross. Out of the big design come beautiful scrolls, which seem as if they are giving life to the branches. Now, everytime I look at it, I'm reminded of Jesus....and of what Simon and Mark wrote. Thanks, guys!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cute Overload....

This is my Gracie and "her" cat, Lizzie. They adore each other. If you're having a stressful day, check out You won't be able to stand the cuteness of the pics there! It's "awwww" inspiring! :-)

Spring? or Summer?? It's TEXAS!

This is a not-very-good photo of a watercolor I did of Morning Glories that were in my garden several years ago. It's in my bedroom; and I see it every morning....good thing, too...since I haven't gotten my yard together yet. Happy Spring! I keep trying to remember that it IS Spring here...even though it's gotten up in the 90's already. Have a blessed day! Adding on at 9:36's freakin' HOT out!!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday blessings....

It amazes me that a lot of you have actually waded through my lengthy blogs....and I'm blessed with the encouragement that you have given me. Thank you so much! You need to know, though, that anything that I have had a victory over, or found strength in, comes not only from our Big Goddy (as named by Simon! :-) ) but from YOU! I am amazed and completely blown away by all of you. I read one of your blogs....someone comments on your wonderful writings...then I click on THEIR blog...and away I go! It makes my head spin, and I get so excited that there are people all over who love God and want to talk about it, live it, share it! I've said it before, but it's so TRUE!!!....Isn't it a blessing to have this wonderful fellowship all over the world?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Miracles VI: Easter Joys

This weekend marks the year anniversary of The Very Loud Noises Landing In My Brain. I can't tell you how HAPPY I am that the nightmare of several months ago appears to be over and I am joyful in my life again.

One year ago, my hubby and I spent a Saturday morning peddling some wares at the local art and craft market. Actually, the only thing we peddled was some art of Patchouli's; but we had a great time talking with each other and drinking coffee. Hubby even caught a little nap. It was a beautiful day, cool breezes; perhaps an anticipatory vision of retirement! :-) HA!

He left later that day to join the boys at a Scout camp and I was looking forward to time alone with my Gracie and my home...and watching movies that I wanted to watch. I started having some kind of hum in my head but didn't think much about it. By the next morning, though, I had full blown jet engine noise on the left side of my head, static in the middle, and ringing on the right. If you want an example, go drive your car outside some mega air conditioning unit, open the door with the keys in the ignition so the ringing starts, and tune your radio to a static state. That would be it. 24/7.

It turns out that I had an ear infection and bronchitis, or so the doctor said. But the stress this caused was unreal, and later I found out that 20% of people with tinnitus that drives them crazy started out with getting hit with it suddenly like this. That percentage of people are often totally disabled, unable to keep a job, marriage, etc.

After the infection went away, the noise didn't. I was in panic mode all the time. I told my husband I couldn't deal with this...he was like, "You can! You've dealt with worse, you deal with pain all the time! You can handle this!" But, I just couldn't function. I couldn't sleep. I would sleep by the refrigerator to drown the noise out. Kept the TV on...I stumbled around in the daytime from sleep deprivation. I scoured the internet and found no encouragement, no cures. The ENT told me that I had hearing loss in my left ear and that the ringing was permanent, and to turn on a radio and "get used to it." I could have choked him. Finally I found a couple of doctors on the web who have tinnitus and their story was like mine....only they had quit working and functioning until they habituated the noise a year or more later. I couldn't imagine suffering with this for a year.

I'd end up on my knees, pleading with God to make it stop, weeping, slobbering prayers; considering suicide because I felt worthless to everyone, including myself.

One doctor prescribed Klonopin, which I gladly took. It knocked back the noise, or I just didn't care about it so much. I didn't care if it was addictive, I would deal with that later. Then, God led me to my piano, which I never played very well, and He gave me the gift of worship with Him, and I spent hours playing like I had never played, and singing and being with Him.

I got sound machines to drown out the noise, and started meditating and visualizing peaceful places, walking with Jesus. I had a woman from the church I was going to talk me off a ledge or two. I got through my son's Eagle project, graduation and party with flying colors, and actually enjoyed myself. I started ministering to people with tinnitus; and found that I was "habituating" it more rapidly than they were, or still are as I write this. Some are still under very expensive treatment to try to get where I got in a relatively short time. I thought...what is different between them and me? Why am I surviving this better than them?

You know the answer.

They have no God in their life. No Jesus to hold them, no Jesus to comfort them. No hope.
I'm not stronger than them. I'm not smarter than them. I'm not better than them.

I just let Him in. It's not me. Never me. It's Him. I could not have survived this without Him.
He had to lead me to yet another place of brokenness in order to get me to slow down, even stop. My friend Connie reminded me that He will indeed stop us in our tracks in order to get through to us. He was getting me to a place where all I had was Him. He even made me go to my dark, quiet, claustrophobic closet to pray and meditate--and face--the noise.

This is a devastating disorder for many people. Just turn on loud noise like I suggested and imagine living your life with that...forever. For most, it never goes away.

I praise God that He has brought me out of bondage with this. The noise is still as loud. It annoys me a lot. But it doesn't devastate me. Please pray for these other folks....that they will let Him in to cause a change, to give them peace. Now, it's my time to minister to them.

This morning we went back to the market, as visitors, and I retraced my steps and praised God that I got through that journey!
He's alive! He is Risen! What miracles do you have to share?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Miracles V

..I was walking Gracie this morning. She hasn't been walking for the last couple of days, so she was WIRED. She cut a paw pad a couple of days ago, and I decided to get it checked out because she kept running on it. They wrapped it up figuring she would just rip the bandage right off. But, I've told her to "leave it" and she's left it alone. I can't believe that...a lab that isn't chewing on something readily available.

Then, a thought hit me.
She wounded her paw, there was dead tissue.
We've wrapped it up and believe, in fact, KNOW that in a few days it will be completely healed.
Cells will regenerate, tissues will mend, blood flow will continue and new capillaries will form. Bleeding has stopped. Complete healing. Re-birth.
Sound familiar?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Miracles IV

Voices...if we hear them, we're supposedly candidates for medication, the loony bin...or maybe...just maybe...we're actually hearing something.

Several years ago I was driving in town and about to enter an intersection. I had the green light. No, it wasn't yellow! ;-) As I was about to enter the intersection a stern voice shouted, "Stop! Brake NOW!" So, of course, I slammed on the brakes, stopping just in the a truck that I had not even an inkling was there...flew past me, missing me by a couple of feet. It was traveling quite fast. I would have been toast. This has happened numerous times. The voice is very loud, very masculine, and I just OBEY! :-)

One year I was teaching watercolor to a class of very nice ladies when I started to have tachycardia as class was breaking up. I thought it would go away, but it kept on, and I started getting a little scared. I called my doctor from the place we were having class, and the nurse, who I knew, actually answered the phone. I told her who it was, and she said, "How did you know to call?" I asked what she was talking about. She told me my mom was in ER, her heart had stopped in the ambulance, and they had started her up again and she was going into surgery for a pacemaker. Of course, this freaked me out...I was 25 miles from there, and started to panic a bit. A voice spoke in my head and said, "Be calm, your mother will be alright. Don't panic." So, I didn't. :-)

Then, about 4 years later, in March of '97, my mom had been recuperating from back surgery. She also had lupus, as have I, so she had been in double pain with her back. But after her surgery, she was doing and feeling great. We were all relieved. Her pain was much lessened and she had energy. But, one morning I was reading the paper and that voice gently said, "Your mom is going to die this year." Nothing mean, or vindictive in the delivery, just matter of fact, but softly. Informing me, preparing me. I went and told my husband, and he looked at me and said, "But she's doing great. Surely, you've heard wrong or were imagining it." (He was used to "the voice" by now) I didn't think so, but told no one else. In August she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and they told us that she would probably live a year or more with treatment. I didn't believe it, but said nothing. Then, the voice told me my mom would die on November 15th. Everyone that had come to see her was leaving before that Saturday, and assuring me that they would be back to see her, etc., and were relieved that she would have more time. I only told my husband this; in fact, he and my oldest were scheduled to go on a campout with Scouts at that time. I then prepped both of them to say their goodbyes, but to go ahead and go. The Wednesday night before she died, she lapsed into a coma. I had a night shift to sit with her, and decided that I needed to assure her one more time that she had been a great, even though she was in a deep coma, and on tons of morphine, I went over to her and whispered, "You're the best mom." She opened her eyes, looked right at me and whispered back, "You're the best daughter." She closed her eyes and lapsed back into the coma, from which she never awoke. She died at 6:30 a.m. November 15th.

A month after she died, the voice told me that my dad would get re-married in 18 months. He did, early June of '99.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Miracles III

These little stories may not seem like "miracles" to some folks....but they are all part of His plan for us....and I think and hope that they will touch off some sharing of YOUR miracles. Already a couple of you have shared experiences or let me know that you've had similar ones. Sometimes we're nervous about telling these things...people look at us funny when we talk of things not "seen." Hebrews 11:1-3

When I was 21, my family moved from the midwest to Texas. All except me. I stayed at the university for a semester, but realized that I missed them. Going to Texas for the holidays was a real hassle as well; and the school I was going to was not as art oriented as I decided I was. I was first interested in biomedical illustration, then I went toward art as a visual thing...for art's sake.
I had not been feeling well for several weeks and went to the infirmary, which was a joke. The doctor there blew me off and told me I was just tired. Eventually, I just decided to go to Texas permanently, my mom was unhappy there in new surroundings, and my dad traveled extensively.
As soon as I got to Texas, I started getting really ill; long story short, I ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed, by specialists, with Crohn's disease, a harsh disease of the small intestines. I was bleeding internally and severely. At one point I heard voices outside my door; one person asking a nurse if I would live. I waited for the answer. She said she wasn't sure. I went from my normal (at that time) 150 pounds (I'm over 5'10") to 130 pounds in one week. I tried to "escape" the hospital but my clothes wouldn't fit. I hate hospitals. I did well, eventually, and got sent home with a regimen of severe meds, steroids, etc., and a special diet.
The school I was going to in Texas had a weird art dept., and they dabbled in new age stuff; visualization, meditation, etc. I was struck by one art teacher's story about his cancer-riddled cousin who was sent home to die. She began visualizing healing over her body; organs fighting off the tumors, etc. She lived. That really touched me, and I think it was one way the Lord started showing me that what we see is not all that there is. That there is power out there, whether I knew it , or these people knew it, as HIS power at the time.
SO, I started visualizing healing over my digestive system. Everytime I had the horrible spasms (they were beyond description) I would start meditating (actually, in retrospect, it was contemplative prayer) and visualizing relaxation of the spasms, healing of the wounds, etc. I eventually got off the anti-spasm medications, and then the rest. I never had another bout of trouble. If you know about Crohn's, you'll know what a harsh disease it is.
Years later, I had to have some routine "middle-age" person exams; you know what I'm talkin' about ;-} and gave the GI doctor my history. When he gave me my report he looked at me funny and asked if I really had had a diagnosis of Crohn's. I said, yes, you can contact the GI guy, etc. He just shook his head and said there was absolutely NO indication that I had, or ever had, Crohn's disease. Didn't surprise me at all.
Now, I'm trying to apply these principles to current woes. Why did I get healed then, and not now? Of course, I'm not limping around, laying around; even when I don't feel well, I still get stuff done. So, in effect, I have a thorn in my side like Paul, and there may be a reason. I just know that, although I wasn't calling on Jesus at the time, I was healed. And didn't he say in Mark 11:24. "Whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have taken hold of them, and they are yours?" (paraphrased)
I have to ponder this. Some would say that this doesn't happen, that Jesus doesn't answer prayers like He speaks of in Mark. But we don't know the mind of God, so we can't fathom His plans, and I'm sure that illness and suffering is part of the big picture...especially for believers...but His rewards far outweigh the suffering (2 Thess). And how many times does this healing indeed happen? I believe it does for me, and does for you. Believe HIM. As bjk says He said, "love ME." I think it's that simple. I know that even though a lot of us are going through physical problems, that the love we have for Him, and the love He has for us makes it so much more bearable.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Miracles II

When I was growing up, my family was more or less C&E people. That is, we went to church on Christmas and Easter, maybe....and occasionally on the odd Sunday. Then, my mom found out the pastor was having an affair with one of the congregation, and that was it. She turned away from the church. I don't think she turned away from God, though, ever. Just people-run religion. I remember she put me in this vacation bible class when I was in elementary school one summer. I absolutely loved it, for some reason, but I wasn't much of a bible reader. But I loved sitting outside on the green grass at a park and listening to the teacher talk about God. Jesus was sort of an elusive character; he was a nice fellow with long brown hair, a white man, of course (!), and had a nice beard and nice white robes.

When I got older, I got disgusted with everything religious, particularly organized religion. Everyone who went to church seemed so pious, and save for the nativity scene at Christmas time in our home, Jesus was even further from my reality. I ran the gamut from agnosticism, atheism, paganism, you name it....I investigated it. I kept weighing whether it was necessary to be part of an organized body of people locked up in a building in order to believe in something.

Then one night I had a dream that I still see today, some 30+ years later. You know how you have nice dreams and you remember them for a while, but they eventually go away? You had some nice dreams a couple weeks ago, but now you probably can't remember them. Well, this one stuck.

I dreamt that I was walking along this beautifully lit staircase...not gold, not silver, just beautiful light. When I got to the place that I suppose I was to be, there in front of me was an incredible room. High ceiling, very spacious. All mosaics...completely covering the walls. Not "glowy" not anything obnoxious in splendor. Just very lovely. In the middle of this room was a man, sitting on a very plain structure. No throne, nothing fancy. He was nice looking, had shorter than shoulder length curly-ish hair and a nicely trimmed beard. His eyes were a lovely hazel brown. His skin was a lovely olive tone. I was, of course, compelled to walk to him. He had the most amazingly kind look on his face, and I could feel from him. I will never forget. This was completely out of my realm of understanding.

He looked at me with such kindness, and simply said, "It's not HOW you believe, only THAT you believe."
That was it. When I woke up, I was just transformed. It would take many years to figure out the magnitude of those simple words. But from then on, I believed in the man and son of God, Jesus. That was indeed, Him. If I had a simple dream of Jesus, He should have looked like the Jesus I was exposed to in all the books, all the pictures. I was not prepared or taught to see a man that looked middle-Eastern.
When I went to college, I met a fellow that I fell for so hard that I figured we would be married one day. He was a Lutheran, and when we finally got to talking about spiritual matters, I told him about my 'dream.'
He actually got angry and told me that God doesn't talk to people like that, especially people like ME....that He reserves His words for 'special' people. I knew instinctively that God is bigger than any of us can comprehend...and He talks to ME...and He talks to YOU....because we are all 'special' people.
Mind you, I had fallen completely in love with this guy. But when I heard his words to me about this 'dream'.....I dumped him.
It was that significant. It still is.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Miracles I

I was reading about Kansas Bob's miracle here . It's pretty awesome, so, check it out! I thought I would delay my Tubby Chronicles (sorry Larry!) til after Easter, and blog about some of my own miracles this week. There are a lot of them. Maybe you'll want to review the miracles in your own life. Some folks think there are no modern day miracles anymore. I think that we are just so jaded with our technology that we miss half of them. My first miracle is that I'm even here.

When I was born in a hospital in the midwest, there was a particularly nasty staph outbreak there. They tried to contain and destroy it, but it was in the maternity wing; eventually they ended up burning down the whole section of the hospital. Guess I came in rather dramatically...and nearly died from a staph infection soon after. Tons of antibiotics, and I suppose prayers kept me going. Then, at around 2, I was hospitalized with severe asthmatic bronchitis and again, nearly died. 2 more times after that I've been hospitalized with life-threatening stuff, and a tornado that went literally through our backyard (leaving a large rut from one end of the yard to the next street) but left our house intact...but knocked out every other tree on that other street. I guess when it's really my time, that's that, but God has decided to keep me around for now.

So, it's amazing to me to be here. This story may not seem like much....but there's more. I'll continue tomorrow.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Pondering today

Today, I'm pondering this scripture: Matthew 14:27. I'll warn you in advance that I read The Source New Testament with extensive notes on Greek word Dr. Ann Nyland (she's a third generation Greek scholar). She translates this verse as: Immediately, Jesus said, "Cheer up! I am existence! Don't be scared!" Dr. Nyland translates "ego eimi" as "I am existence." Now, when I read this the first time, I was speechless. I mean, "I am existence" is so much more powerful than "I am" which is technically the meaning of ego eimi. She states: "The eimi is emphatic, and the present tense denotes being which is eternal." So, this is why I'm pondering this statement. "I am existence" means so much more to ancient terms and in modern terms. It goes beyond everything. "I am" has never meant much to me. So what? Big deal. "!" But, of course...the creator of the universe would "be existence." And, that...I am not.....

One small fella....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Tubby Chronicles I......

Okay, this is a shameless plea for encouragement. I have no pride left.
Remember that I tried that silly Pilates stuff a while back? Ms. Perky Buns? Well, I never went back to that because it's just too docile...too.....calming. I'm a warrior woman at heart. Right now, a flabby warrior woman trying to knock off 15 pounds gained from "convalescing."
I think the anemia is resolving if not resolved. More energy for the most part. In the meantime, I've been walking the dog, chasing the dog, and using those stretchy rubbery things that give you weight resistance. I'm too self-conscious to go to the gym yet. Isn't THAT stupid? Too fat to go to the gym.....
I got out my old Larry North book for motivation. Do you know Larry North? He's this big buff Dallas guy. He had flabby beginnings as a child and teen, I guess. His mom was a diet freak. I mentioned him to Patchouli. She says, yeah, the guy whose mom stole his hard-earned hot dog right from his hands and gulped it down in one bite....
He actually wrote that in his book, and this is the one thing 'Chouli and I both remembered him saying. Someone stealing his frankfurter was the defining moment of this guy's life?? Man, I know people who've been through a lot of stuff. It just seems that weenie-stealin' would be low on the list of traumatic events in your life, but there it is. He really remembers that. I won't delve into the obvious Freudian implications here.....and I don't mean to minimize this event in a young kid's life, but geez...I mean, stealing a hot dog isn't kosher (couldn't help that one) but I guess that was a motivating thing for North. Okaaayy....
Anyway, he's buff, and I'm not, so bad on me.
So, his diet plan is to eat one portion of protein, one carb, and one fibrous vegetable FIVE times a day. The protein is like, chicken, fish, turkey. All of this is okay, cuz it's about all I get to eat anyway. North outlines some sample meals. They all have a very familiar ring to them. In fact, it seems like ALL HE EATS ARE CHICKEN BREASTS. FIVE times a day. DO the math!! Okay, let's say just 4 breasts a day, and one fish. Fine. This still could result in upwards of 28 chicken breasts a week! That's....14 chickens a week! I can see flocks of fowl running in abject terror, their little wings crossed protectively over their bosoms squawking hysterically while the diminutive Chicken L. leads the pack screaming, "Run for your lives!! Larry North is coming! Larry North is coming!"
Does he still eat like this every day? He is setting himself up for one bad case of bird the very least maybe even mercury poisoning if he switches to fish on a regular basis. This could be toxic....I can see his funeral, open-casket. "Yeah, poor Larry died from mercury poisoning and inhaling chicken feathers."
"Yeah, but, doesn't he look GREAT?!"
Or, he could have died from food boredom.
Alright, I'm using my stretchy bands, and jogging on my mini-tramp, and eating as right as I can. You got ANY words of wisdom for me??

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

e-devotional with photography Copyright 2006 by Connie Wisman
We were standing on the rim of the Palo Duro Canyon
trying to absorb the grand display in front of us. We had made the standard
comment, when finding such beauty in nature, "How can you look at this and not believe in God?"
The next picture I took was of a prickly pear shaped like a heart.
It was like a signature postcard to us.

Dear kids,
I'm glad you are appreciating my work!
Love, God

Monday, April 03, 2006

Benign neglect?

My dad, who doesn't know the Lord, thinks it is amazing that this orchid survives through what he calls "benign neglect".....they ignore it, go away for long periods of time, it goes weeks without water, and he contends that he has a "black thumb." And yet, it thrives. Imagine that!

The Guy Shopping Network....

Oldest son and I were chatting about stuff early this morning. I was going to the store and he told me that he and brother were out of soap. I said, “What kind do you want? Just because we use Ivory doesn’t mean you have to.” He said, “Nah, It’s good…Ivory’s a solid chunk of soap.” Well, if that isn’t an advertising slogan, what is?? So, we got to thinking about what commercials and ads would be like if they were geared to men. Some of you saw the Innocent Escapes with the Brawny Man; how it was geared toward the female shopper...and cute as it was, we're supposed to buy paper towels cuz of Brawny Man??....So, guys, don't get mad...but we think you should get your fair share of attention and manipulation from corporate America, so here’s what we came up with (maybe it's only funny at 6 in the morning! :-O And, remember...a GUY came up with most of these!):

Script for commercial for Brawny Paper Towels….
Camera pans in on a bunch of guys watching football and drinking beer in a living room. One guy sniffs and looks over the back of the sofa and says, “Dang it, Bart….looks like Vern just puked over here. You ain’t gonna be able to hide this one from Mary.” Bart replies, “No prob, Hank. Just got these Brawny Paper Towels. Even the guy on the picture looks like me! One swipe, we’re done!” (gagging, cleans it up) Dramatic music with overlay of writing:
Brawny Paper Towels: Gets puke in one swipe

.....more slogans geared specifically for the guy shopper (feel free to add to the list!):

Ivory: It’s one solid chunk of soap
Mac N Cheese: Not just for Sunday dinner anymore
Franzia Wine in a Box:
Fits snug by yer six-packs
Huggies: Holds more than other diapers
Heineken Beer:
Too good for chuggin’ !
Rice Chex:
It’s really crunchy!
Ball Park Franks: Now in convenient single serve 8 pack
Pace Picante Sauce:
It’s really spicy…if you’re a wimp!
Dove Chocolate: Goes good with beer

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jeepers Preachers....

pastor: a spiritual overseer ; especially : a clergyman serving a local church or parish

minister: one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship; to give aid or service

I suppose that one of my biggest problems with church today is the fact that most pastors of churches are sorely lacking in ministering ability.
Most pastors resemble CEO's rather than actual shepherds of a flock.
But then, you knew that.
That said, I find, lately, that one area that women and men are geniunely and representatively equal in, is in the pastor-ing phenomena.
Both sexes suck.
As someone once said, most are so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.
I've served as an elder in a church, I've been on a worship team, I've taught children's ministry, and done prayer intercession. My observation of most pastors...and unfortunately this includes some home groups' pastors, is that they haven't a REAL clue as to what is going on with their "flock." They are so wrapped up in the mechanics of the church, the survival of the walls and the bricks that they abandon any hope of resembling a shepherd. Their sheep are milling around in the flower beds, munching away at potentially poisonous substances while the shepherd looks out and thinks, "My gracious, what a sunny day! Isn't it glorious to be in the Lord today? Turn to your Bibles to...."
Meanwhile the sheep are turning purple from the pursuit of noxious weeds and dropping dead from neglect...
But, you knew that.
Once we all had to divide up the list of the congregation among the elders and deacons in order to help with the flock. We were all to keep contact with "our people" and report back what was happening so that the pastor could call them. What, you say? That's a great organizational way to handle large amounts of people. Sure it is. I guess. But the church only had 20 families. Do the math. Call four families a day. And, although dividing up the masses would seem an ideal solution to keeping up with folks, the problem exists of someone stepping on another elder or deacon's toes by checking on a family not on their list. People are way freakin' weird.
Anyway, maybe in pastor school these shepherds are trained in rote responses to various problems. It seems that way, because most of the time they have these canned answers to things:
"Have you forgiven him/her?"
"It's God's will."
"God works in many ways."
"Remember, God loves everyone."
The problem with these answers are they are not "one size fits all." The gift of listening, REALLY listening to each troubled, hurting soul is a lost art on a lot of these people. And this dis-ability knows no sex, no age. Most of the time, it boils down to spouting what seems to be the proper "duty phrases" so that things will move along, and the day can get tended...not the flock.
But, you knew that.
My thoughts are that perhaps real-life, human responses need to be given; an acknowledgement and recognition of the real pain that people are going through:
"I can't believe you have endured this."
"I haven't a clue what God's plan is in this."
"Are you angry with God? I would be."
"God forgives and forgets; but we're human. Forgiveness is hard for us"
"Let's work on this together."
I guess I would really like to see pastors who are truly ministers. I would like to see ALL of us as true ministers. Listening empathetically to each other; really listening. Offering encouragement and support; and when we don't have the answers, then saying that we don't have the answers...but that we care. We really care.
But, then, you knew that.
Paige has written a lovely little piece of prose on her blog about the memories that a lot of us who are maybe 40 and over can appreciate. Thanks for the sweet memories, Paige!