Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last O the year ramblings....

Update: Didn't have to make a new blog....I've joined Gary Means on his Faithfully Finding Fitness blog with Barbara and Erin. Come visit!

I was considering another blog. Now, I'm not sure that's a smart move. Maybe I'll just incorporate what I want in one more blog here, instead. I just don't know how much you all want to listen to my "Journey of Getting Better" or whatever.

I'm totally inspired by Gary Means Fitness blog. This guy is smart, talented, and a trooper-- and he is so honest about his journey right now. (Sorry KB--had to use that word TWICE!)

I just got back from my Chinese doctor, Dr. S. I realized my prednisone was going to be leaving my system soon, and it was either going to be more pred if my numbers weren't good...or I needed to take charge of my health. I'm now experiencing something of what is called Sjogren's Syndrome along with the lupus and fibro. Dry, gritty eyes and parched mouth are not something I want to tolerate. The list of this crap piling up on me, plus a screaming case of tinnitus is, if not life-threatening, then crazy-making at the least.

She gave me a treatment and loaded me up with some pretty good supplements. I cross check with my DO on most stuff, but whenever I've been faithful to visit Dr. S, I'm usually staying pretty well. Why, then, Karen, don't you go more often to Dr. S? Well, my friend, because I have no flex insurance money left til July and it's a big hit in the pocketbook. Think cost of regular docs and meds if insurance didn't pay. That's all well and good, but a stupid reason to not go to her. She is so caring and listens. I'm usually there for a couple of hours. They play pretty, soothing, music, cover you with soft blankies, and even offer a cup of green tea or water.

I sometimes start to feel the old panic when I feel the weird sensation of being trapped in this body. I suppose anyone with chronic stuff feels that. It usually happens in the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else is sleeping. Just the feeling of wanting OUT of the flesh suit just for a little bit of time...away from pain, discomfort, etc., just a little peace. I'm starting to have that. The secret is to get out of bed and sit somewhere comfy and just talk with Father.

When I was trying not to worry about the results of my CT scan and planning The Plan in case I got bad news, I was working hard on the mural and listening to worship music. I asked God for guidance...to just BE with me no matter what and to guide me and to keep me in the NOW....not in the future or in the past...but just to live one day at a time and not worry so freaking much. Something came over me one of those days. I experienced something that I've never really experienced in a spiritual manner.

I experienced joy. Real joy. Yes, we have joy with friends, family, especially watching our children. But this was joy revealed in the stuff we don't normally get joyful over....joy in sunlight shadows, moon shadows, in colors in the landscape, in leaves, in a funny scene...absolute JOY that spread all over me. Spiritual joy. Smiling out loud at Creation's beauty joy. It was amazing, and it hasn't left me, or at least not for long. It comes back with a slamdunk into my soul and I'm feeling better in a split second. I'll be sitting, having coffee in the early morning, and it will just pour all over me. The Joy, not the coffee. I don't second guess it. I'm just incredibly grateful for it. I'm not describing it very well. I'm just praying for you to get it, too.

So, I start 2008 with spiritual armor in place: the knowledge that God will get me through whatever; the healing and caring of a DO and OMD; support and spiritual understanding of many good friends and family (that means you, too!); a renewed passion for eating for health and wellness, and a renewed passion for taking art in a new direction.

Sounds good.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Faithful Fitness

Gary has a new blog: "Faithfully Finding Fitness" to journal his journey toward good health. Check it out. Most of us have been, or are on that road. If you know Gary, you already know you'll be blessed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When blogworlds collide.....

....it's a good thing!
Missy and her wonderful family lunched with me and my sons here in Texas! Our visit was short, but we were grateful for the time and enjoyed ourselves! Gracie had fun with the kids, as well! Nice to spend face-to-face time and give a hug.
:-)
(Missy says she'll be back online soon!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas, U all


If I don't get back here before The Day, I pray for blessings for all of you and I hope your holy-days are amazing!

I don't know if this is true....but it's a funny thing!>>>

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg 1951-2007

Sunday, December 16
Dear friends,Dan left us this morning at 6:00am . He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side. His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.

http://www.danfogelberg.com/index.html


He was "there for me" during some pivotal decades. Thanks, Dan. Rest in Peace.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thank yous!

Lungs are clear! That is surely a praise! Thank you for prayers. With my respiratory history, that is amazing...and that questionable area? Not there! :-D God is great!


I have to go back in 3 months for a repeat because I have "residual thymus" and they want to make sure it isn't changing. Apparently, at my age, we're not supposed to have any left. I doubt that...Wikipedia does, too. They just don't know how young I am inside! :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Summer, Fall, Winter....

I've got to take some pictures before I head out to paint, but walking was WEIRD this morning. It's rainy, 65 degrees, and some trees are live oak and green, some are in fall splendor, and some look dead as a doornail. Hopefully, I'll post tonight. Some of the colors are magnifico.

Got xray results...have to have a CT scan because they can't access old xray. There is something there, could be vessels gathered by my spine (which can happen in autoimmune things or old injury), a lung nodule (most are benign and from old infection, of which I've had many), or whatever. I'm not too worried right now. Keep you posted. Thanks for prayers!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

family blessings. . .







Great weekend...had our decorating last night...so nice to hear a 16 year old boy say, "That was fun!" (Although he won't take a 'normal' pose for a picture) We ate, we listened to Christmas music and talked about the magi as I put up my 30+ year old nativity scene under the trees.

Snarfing all the wrong kinds of food ( I avoided most of that...had shrimp and eggrolls)
Got up early this morning, feeling GREAT (have gotten 2 good nights of sleep), got coffee and bible and turned on the newly decorated trees (three small trees surrounding the creche), baked wheat free pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, walked the dog in the early morning cold rain. It was fun...for her. Watching her bounce/walk, tail waggin' in the cold wet air was fun for me...she spies a neighbor's moving "reindeer" that they left on all night. Gracie thinks it's real and goes after it. Exciting....what did she think she'd DO with it if she'd caught it? It's certainly not a bird!

We decorated the little trees (we have several sizes, but the guys like the smaller ones so the animals don't mess with them) with small ornaments. Most of our family ornaments stay packed, which kind of bothers me...but not the guys. I still sift through the larger ones. Memories come back as I touch each one. Mom made this one, a star...that went on the tree. Aunt gave this one; a neighbor who moved gave this one years ago. Some of grandparents' old glass ornaments. They don't have to be hung, just remembered.
The guys decorated (and argued!), and I tied bows and added their baby photo ornaments. They recoil at that action. Sorry! I insist on those!

It's cold and rainy, but I know it's better than what some of you have.

I find a card from Connie in my Bible that she gave me a couple of years ago with a silky shawl she made for me. She called it a garment of praise and put this on the card:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me. . .
To comfort all who mourn...

To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
The oil of gladness instead of mourning.
And a garment of praise
Instead of a spirit of despair...Isaiah 61

For the first time in a long time, I have the Christmas spirit. . .before Christmas! :-D

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quick ramblings...

Pat has summed up something pretty special. Check it out.

We're decorating tonight. My guys love it....Christmas music, junk food, soda. The stuff we usually don't keep. You know it's bad when you buy cookies and they come in and sing "BEHOLD!! THE COOKIES!" and grab and run!

Had to get a cortisone shot and a chest xray Friday. Been having shortness of breath and now I'm freaking out over the weekend imagining every horrible disease. The internet is a blessing and a curse.
I often wonder why I can honestly encourage everyone but myself.

I didn't make it to the gym but once, today. I worked HARD. Grabbed some gum and water and hit it. I'm getting impatient with myself and my "infirmities." I did walk all week, though.

It's summer here. I wish I could send about 25 degrees to some of you. I have a Christmas wreath on my door---and leaves that need to be raked in the front. Texas.

Blessings and a wonderful weekend to you all!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The half century mark

AARP magazine has an article on the redefinition of age 50. Having hit this mark this year, I was tickled to see it. 6 "celebrities" who are turning 50:

Sharon Stone
Madonna
Viggio Mortensen
Prince
Michelle Pfeiffer
Ellen Degeneres

My singing group sang last night for an assisted living center. This sweet woman walked up to me to say "thanks!" She is 97. That means she turned MY AGE in 1960!!
Whoa! Inspiring!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Now-- which blog was I? ;-)

Not sure I deserve this award. . .but appreciative of it none the less...a few blog buddies have bestowed it upon me and I am passing the torch.

Not sure because I've had a secret from some of you....my new "Say What?!?" blog. I just didn't list it and some found it. My cohort in the women's website that I was a part of even found it! No secrets on the 'net, eh? I'm not ashamed of my "heretical" blog (which means "questioning" blog) but I needed to throw some of my questions out without too much interference in the beginning. We had some really good discussions here on some of my questions, but it got distracting from my day to day blogging, know what I mean? I'm ready now--I don't have all the answers....probably none of them...but that's okay--I have a place to focus on them. Come on over if you like!

I'd link my blog awardees but I'm too lazy.
First off--Pat at Pat's Place of Grace. Her blog is new, but there is no way you're not gonna get Pat when Pat does something. She rocks.
Connie at Picture the Word. Same thing. She's gonna say it and it's the truth.
Don R at Don's Search for Life. Don is like me...questioning and rethinking. My hat's off to him.
Joe at Joe Rants...Joe has a no-nonsense approach to life..very honest..I love that.
Chris at Christopher's Thoughts..his honesty and openness is inspiring.
Brian at the Beautiful Heresy...it is beautiful...what an open-minded and kind guy.
Dave at Dave's Place...Dave lets us in on his life and struggles. I enjoy him and Kriss so much!
Helen.....Tweenie World....Helen opens her life and stuff up to us, as well...with a rockin' sense of humor!
Gary Means.....ya can't get more honest than this.
Larry.....ditto above. Larry makes me think. A lot.
Paige...Paige's prose and poetry take me to another place...so transparent.
Okay...the rest of you have been honored (and deservedly!) once or eight times! Missy, Milly, KB, Codepoke, Robert, Barbara, Becky, Matt, Milette....and I'll be back after I recheck my link list!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Clean slates for everyone...

Thank you all who commented on my last post. I almost deleted it, but slept too late! If I had, I would have missed your blessings. It's hard, as you all know, for some reason, to tell our face to face friends some of this stuff...yet easier to put it out there on the whole world web! Why is that? It's so encouraging to have your support...I just can't say enough about that.

I got up and immediately broke my clean slate, so I got a new one. Kyle and I headed over to an Eagle project where I did, in fact, feel useful in that it was a painting project and I can be very helpful on those, particularly in the "resources and hints for success" department. It was a tough project; painting the US map on a playground, because the wind was wicked and it was rainy-misty.

They put up an awning thingie, and that wanted to blow off the face of the earth. Pretty exciting...but it was good to see a young man facing a tough project--and watch his face go from fear about his situation to a place of peace when he saw that everyone was supporting him in his trials.

I know just how he felt. :-}

Friday, November 30, 2007

Conscious, Unconscious, Subconscious and Self-conscious

This might be one of those posts you run back to at 2am and delete.
I could have sworn that when Gracie and I walk, it is at least a half an hour. Time seems to stand still as she drags me down the street, the remembrance of Puppy Training remaining in my mind only. My knees certainly think that it's longer, and my lower back screams at me. It's only about 20 minutes. I have to step that up.
I haven't been to Curves for week and am feeling every missed session.
Right before the Fainting and Falling episodes, I was feeling pretty darned good. I even called Connie and said..."Hey, I am feeling pretty darned good!" The pain that I had for years when I breathe was pretty much gone...the ribs felt better, the neck looser, the knees were better, the headache gone.
Thanksgiving was really pleasant and I had the energy to do everything. Not even a nap. Friday after that, I decided to start some, as I lovingly call it, "Crap-Hunting." Did you know there is a lot of stuff in your house that you don't need? I was blissfully cleaning and went through drawers and shelves and tossed stuff. Couple of bags full and some charity items. I planned on resuming on Saturday. Friday night was a fun night out with the guys for dinner...at my suggestion, no less. Usually, after 7pm is a push for me. Party girl.
Then Saturday happened, and my neck and head haven't been the same. When I hit the first time I smacked my head against the dog's kennel, smooshed the head against it, and then the floor. Luckily, there was a rug there. The next 3 times were lucky, too....concrete hit from just a couple of feet, and wastebaskets hit. I came to in a plastic trash can thinking, "Gee, this is a really small room."
No one in the ER nor my personal dr. are worried about these episodes, nor my poor widdle head. I just don't think I've been the same since, though.
Maybe it's the "blankness" of passing out that freaks me. I've never in my life fainted before. Ever. Was this like death? Why is there such a loss of everything? At least when you sleep you have....thoughts.
Maybe it's because my husband just stood there each time with no concern that I kept passing out. That kinda hurts.
Maybe it's because I'm in pain now, all over again. I thought I had some victory over that; it was short and passing.
I was talking to someone and they said something about asking for angels for someone...and they were actually seen. I thought, as she said that, gee...where were MY angels?
What a selfish thought. I could hear in my head, "We were right there with you."
I only managed to paint a couple of days this week; I did some computer work at home, though, and the usual errand running and grocery stuff....but mostly I felt lazy and useless. I often wonder if I am just lazy and useless and my dis-ease is a mere manifestion of my lazy-and-uselessness. If I get well, I might have to DO something. Does anyone else with chronic dis-ease think like this?
So, I decide to wipe the slate clean for this last week and be more forgiving to myself. Tomorrow I will start over. I will live in the present and not worry about what happened, or what might happen.

You do it, too, okay?

Drum rolllllll...........

My dear friend, Pat, with whom I've worked in ministry, has her own blog! She's just starting out, but make no mistake...she's no stranger to the computer...she's a webmaster and very techy, besides being a godly woman who ROCKS!

Please give her a welcome!
Pat's Place of Grace

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

bunwaylanding.jpg
moar funny pictures

Needed laffs today! (There are even FEET for Missy! ;-) He looks kinda like Pikachu!)
Click the pic; then scroll down a bit for the animated version!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Update 11/26:
I got the same thing as older son...pretty sure he didn't give it to me because I took great biohazard precautions so that no one who came over (they had the choice NOT to come) would get it. I got it from being handed an adorable, germ-ridden grandbaby, bwess his widdle heart--and then told that they had just been sick--found out they went on to infect their entire family gathering--several generations no less.
No one that came over to our place has come down with anything, however, I did at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning; passed out 4 times; one from full standing position, luckily my face broke the fall. ER visit, fluids administered, yada yada. I love the holidays.
Update:
I believe we had a penguin, rather than a turkey, because the little twerpie thing wouldn't thaw...after 3.5 days in the fridge. He was only 13 pounds. Had to thaw him the cold water method early this morning.
Oldest son woke me at 3 in the a.m. with...um....puking is the only way to say it. He sat out the feast, but we have reserves for him. DIL came over with grandson and told me they had all been ill. Great.
Got to talk to Robert for a long time to catch up. That was great. He is very happy with his job, not being away from family, but time is going fast for him because he is so busy.
Gracie and I both limping this afternoon and evening, so we buckled up and bundled up and went for a walk to try to walk it off. It's wintery here!
It's not even 8pm, and I'm exhausted, had 7 here today. Not a lot. Just about right.
Hope yours was great (I know, I know, you don't ALL celebrate T-Day. Blessings!



If I don't get here tomorrow, I didn't want to miss saying Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I am SO thankful for BlogWorld! What would my life be like without each and every one of you?? You all bring so much to the world, and you make me think, laugh, cry, and hope.

I am blessed indeed. I thank my God for all of you. Have a blessed, safe, and wonderful Thanksgiving.

(I mentioned over at Barbara's that I'm not fond of holidays in general...but I heard this song in passing and it cheered me up considerably. No, Cat Stevens did not write it.):

Morning Has Broken
Lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon


Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world


Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass


Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

Monday, November 19, 2007

Out of the mouths of babes....

I subbed for an English teacher Thursday and Friday last week. Don't you think it's funny that we're the only country in the world that makes us take classes in our own language? And, we are requiring that Hispanics coming into our country take Spanish? And, that our command of our own language is so poor?? And, no, this post will not be grammatically perfect.


But, I digress.


These were middle-schoolers in my charge. By Friday, I had fallen in love with all of them, even the ones named by the teacher that were supposed to cause me many problems. They were so funny. Some scenarios:


One lad looks at me funny. He says, "You look like Jamie Leigh Curtis." I reply, "Well, I suppose I've been told that." Under my breath I mutter, "Yeah, maybe if she gained 100 pounds." Another lad shouts, "JAMIE LEIGH CURTIS GAINED 100 POUNDS?!?"


It's reading and book review time. One young fellow is looking at the book shelf. For a really, REALLY, long time. I finally go over and ask him, "What are you looking for? May I help?" He says, "I can't find the book I was reading to do my review." "What was the book?" I asked. "Call of the Wild," he responds. "Well, go sit down and try to do as much as you can, and I'll hunt around for it." He sits and I KNOW that book is there. I hated it back in the old days and I hate it now, and every Language Arts class has more than a fair supply of the heart-breaking novel. And, there it is. Sitting right there. I take it over to him. "That's not it," he says. "Yes, it is. It's Call of the Wild by Jack London." I reply. "No, it's not. That book has 345 pages. Mine had 295," he says authoritatively, "so this can't be the book." ?!? Oy.



The teacher, ever so kind, left a boat-load of work for the kids to do in the last 2 days before Thanksgiving break, and you know they were just itching to do it all. She left a worksheet for the Gifted and Talented class. It was about complex and compound sentences. She left instructions for them to do some extra sentence analyzing besides just identifying which sentences are complex and which are compound. The kids look at the worksheet, and by the looks on their faces I contemplate calling 911 for mass resuscitation. "We DON'T know what this means!" The wails begin. And, as they were proper little G&T's, I knew they could see their entire future collapse before their very eyes. They would be destitute forever, living in a cardboard box, eating cold and stale McDonald's french fries from the McDumpster. Whoa was them. Panic ensued. I rang the little apple bell on the teacher's desk to quiet them down. They looked at me, silent and shocked. "Your teacher doesn't ring this little bell to get your attention?" I ask.
"No, she just screams."

SOOOO I explain, 3 or 4 times, the difference between a compound and a complex sentence. They work on the worksheets, muttering and whining, and beg to take them home overnight to study more. They bring them back the next day and the next assignment is horrific. Write 10 COMPLEX sentences about Will or Jim in Something Wicked This Way Comes. The blood drains from their faces. We go over it ONE MORE TIME. They start writing. They've got it! They are EVEN splitting the independent clause and putting the dependent clause in the middle! One kid, at a table of three students, raises his hand. I go over and he wants me to read his sentence. It's a correlative sentence. I start to tell him that it's a great sentence but "actually it is a correla..." and before I can finish, they all have their fingers in their ears saying "la la la la la la." LOL. Never mind. I show him how to change it up to keep it complex.


I had the best time with those kids.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

10 years


Sometimes it seems like a decade is a short time...sometimes very long. It's hard to believe that my mom died on this day 10 years ago. It seems longer because time without one of your best friends is a long, long time.
She was a very cool mom. She loved my boys and apologized to me that she wasn't going to see them grow up. I told her that she would see them again one day. She got a kick out of my youngest because he was so much like me when I was little.....not so compliant. They have both grown so much, and I'm proud of them.
Mom was June Cleaver with an attitude. A friend of hers wrote that she was certain that my mom was "up there" organizing all of heaven's closets. Mom would iron sheets...can you believe that? We surely appreciated it, though. I'm not my mom...just ask my kids. I think they appreciate me for my unique gifts as a mom! ;-)
My mom was very creative, but devoted herself completely to house and family. She was the center of the family, the bond that kept everyone together. I don't fill that bill, either! She would paint the rooms in the house a different color, often. Our neighbor was pretty sure the walls of the house were thicker and the rooms smaller than when it was built because of all the coats of paint. But, she would paint the coolest colors...nothing harsh, but....interesting. She gave me a bunch of paints, brushes, and told me to paint something on my walls....my first mural! and it was the selling point for the next people that bought the house when we moved.
If she saw you were interested in something, she would make it her quest to gift you with supplies, books, whatever, to help you succeed. Her whole life was wrapped up in taking care of everyone else. I always wanted her to take care of her. My favorite time with her was when she went back to school at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A whole new side of her, I was pleased to see. One time I went over there after classes and found her in the lounge, hanging with her school chums, talking and laughing. She really found herself there, but when my dad transferred to Dallas, that all sort of ended. He travelled a lot, my brother and I were in college in Iowa until I decided to move down. She was alone a lot down here at first and it was hard for her. She tried to go back at UTDallas, but it just wasn't the same.
If you've made it this far, I guess my point is: it's great to take care of everyone, to serve others, to be the backbone of a family. . .just please don't take it to extremes. Take care of yourself, follow your dreams, take time for yourself. I wish my mom would have been able to do that more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

running towards....something....

Today was my last dose of low-dose prednisone. I will try to go to my Chinese doctor to undo some of the problems that pred causes. Maybe if I'm stabilized, she can keep me that way. I do feel better; a lot less pain except my knees started acting up. One went "out" Monday morning, then the other followed. I went to work painting with an Ace stabilizer brace on one and an Ace bandage on the other and did great. Praise God I can walk and work. Some folks can't.

I have lost most of the pred weight that I gained...it's been up and down. Pred makes everything look yummy, plus it redistributes weight on your body in weird places and causes water retention. I'm battling depression over this recent flare and the up and down weight as well. A visiting relative's comment about my weight hurt me deeply--I'm trying to forgive, but it's hard.

I have to skip the knee machines at Curves, but I'm going anyway, I'll just double up on the other stuff. I read Codepoke's posts about tennis...I'm so jealous! I miss tennis and running so much. Well, maybe not...Gracie shot out of the house a while back after this little dog who was tormenting her from outside...I took out after her, running up and down the street trying to catch her. It wasn't until after I corralled her that I realized....HEY! I ran! :-) then...
Hey! I hurt! :-/

I know the "secret" to life, though, really is to keep moving--even if it's only parts of you!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Autumn! I love it!

Click here: RAINBOWS OF FALL... Lovely! Enjoy!


It is so gorgeous here in Texas right now. The autumn light is amazing, the temp is great, and the leaves are changing and falling.
Wish I could send it to all of you!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Argh

If I get one more email about how I must not see The Golden Compass, I believe I will scream.

Now I must see it.

THE EMAIL:
Subject: Important! Please do not see this movie

If you haven't been informed yet:

PLEASE PASS THIS ON!
This is one you will probably want to pass on to parents and grandparents--verify on snopes. http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

The marketing for this movie has already started. It looks a lot like "Narnia" but is so far from it. BEWARE!There will be a new Children's movie out in December called THE GOLDEN COMPASS. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud atheist who belongs to secular humanist societies. He hates C. S. Lewis's Chronicle's of Narnia and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope that they will buy his trilogy of books--where in the end the children kill God and everyone can do as they please. Nicole Kidman stars in the movie so it will probably be advertised a lot. This is just a friendly warning that you sure won't hear on the regular TV.Pullman , a prominent British atheist, has acknowledged, "it is my goal to go after Christianity, I want God to be dead in my works. I want to undermine Christianity"ALSO, for additional info, follow the links: http://en.wikipedia.o... http://www.mtv.com/mo...

here's another email on this:Hello Friends! There is an anti-Christian movie (written by an atheist, Philip Pullman of England) called The Golden Compass coming out on December 7 (just in time for Christmas). It stars Nicole Kidman, so it will be getting a lot of publicity. Philip despises C.S Lewis and Narnia, and his goal is to "kill GOD in the minds of children". An article written about him labels him "the most dangerous author in Britain!" He has written 3 books that all promote atheism, and the movie depicts his first book (which is the more watered-down of the 3). His goal is that you see the movie and then that your kids want his trilogy for Christmas.and then it REALLY gets offensive in the second 2 books!! But just to give you a tid-bit of what's in Philip's books.a ex-nun calling Christianity a convincing mistake, 2 characters representing Adam & Eve KILL God (called YAHWEH) in the end, and there's a story about castration & female circumcision! I am blown away by this! It will be targeted toward children and advertised as a fun-holiday flick. Don't fall for it! Here is the snopes article about it to back up what I've been saying. http://snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp PLEASE, PLEASE tell everyone you know and love NOT TO SEE THIS MOVIE!! Imagine how our children's little minds would absorb these awful lies! Let's get the word out and fight back!!! Boycott The Golden Compass!! It is my hope that you choose wisely what your family sees and teach your children to do the same. Anyone who takes offense to the misrepresentation of God should NOT see this movie.

Monday, November 05, 2007

These Dreams....

I remember, at the very least, bits and pieces of my dreams every night. I love my dreams; I rarely have a bad dream. Generally, they are happy, interesting, or spiritual in nature. The ones that I remember the most are usually of a spiritual nature....the others, I usually remember glimpses of them throughout the day, and they make me smile--but I rarely remember everything about them.

Last night's was fascinating and it has stuck with me the whole day. I was wandering through a house with a few people here and there, and there was a little toddler girl, about 18 months to a year old. She would only come out from wherever she was hiding for me. I'm a boy mom, through and through, but this little one really grabbed my attention. She ran to me and I picked her up and held her. I asked a woman why she was so riveted on me, and the woman answered, "Because she is yours." Kind of matter of fact, yes? I looked at the little girl. She had black hair and dark eyes. Her hair was cut in a pixie cut, which is kind of a bob with bangs. I had such a powerful feeling of love for her, it was overwhelming. I wanted to protect her, to make sure she was safe and taken care of. For one reason or another, we kept getting separated; I would search for her, and she would run to me again, into my arms--only to me.

I've had an email conversation with a friend of my husband's and mine. He is unfamiliar with the concept of Grace; he is Catholic, and as much as this may irritate Catholics, it is a common thread with the ones that I've known. Guilt is the driving force in their faith--they never measure up to God's standards, so they beat themselves up for their failings. One afternoon my husband and I were at his house; his wife is Protestant and has been trying to get through to him on Grace, to no avail. They had some other friends there, most of whom we didn't know. For some reason, we got on this subject and I started doing something that I can't do normally in human to human interactions...preach. The words flowed out of me, quoting scripture, the whole thing. I can't even remember what I said, but it was all about God's love. For some reason it hit him, and we had a few email volleys trading and discussing scripture, until this morning when he sent me an email thanking me and telling me that it finally sunk in that God truly loved him, warts and all! I gave all praise to God, because it certainly wasn't from me. Praise the Lord!

It was interesting that I got that email this morning after my dream. Of course, that little girl was me. I think it was a spiritual dream; the message was that God looks on all of us, no matter how old we are, as children. How can He not, when we are His? I think I was supposed to see myself through His eyes--vulnerable, fearful, and with the need to have one person that can handle everything; protect and be with no matter what happens. He wanted me to see Him as He is; the parent who always seeks out the child, wanting to handle everything, to protect and be with them no matter what happens. I think we're supposed to see ourselves as He sees us, imperfect, fragile, and completely lovable.

He loves us all incredibly, you know? It's because we're His.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Subbing pays off.....

JustSayHi - Science Quiz
Yay! I can do more than draw a picture! ;-)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Quick question....

What do you think about a large almost-mega church where the founding pastor, or the pastor's spouse, work in the accounting department with the ability to cut checks and handle money?

Memories of Halloween then and now.....

I love Halloween--more of the way it was. We had about 30 Trick or Treaters last night. They were so cute...the later it got, the older they got. I never give them a hard time when they're over 13, though. At least they had costumes. I don't really pay much attention to all of the costumes, too busy handing out candy. One kid, though, probably around 14 or 15 stood out. He made his costume--a robot--out of cardboard and tin foil. What a hoot! He had a cut out for his eyes, all boxed in around himself with black clothing. There was a small flashlight in his eye area. He pulled open a "drawer" to put candy inside. He and I made eye contact and I said, "That is the BEST costume I have seen all night!" He hesitated and said, "I spent way too much time on it." I said, "It was worth it. I'm an artist, and you are awesome!" He paused and said, "Thank you!" Then, he ran to catch up to his friends, yelling, "HEY...I'm AWESOME!!" LOL

Now, in our city, the merchants on Main Street have a "Trunk or Treat" on Halloween; all the kids in the city go there and get candy instead of going around the neighborhood. I prefer the neighborhood approach. We were a more cohesive neighborhood when our kids would go around the block. The fear of poisoned candy and razorblades has proven largely unfounded, but we always checked the kids' candy.

My memories of Halloween are wonderful, and I asked my oldest if he had good memories. He's a little hacked at the "killing" of Halloween by fundies and churches, too. He said he has great memories of when they were little. Mine are of scrambling to make the weirdest costumes: Captain Picard, a pterodactyl (THAT was fun), T-Rex, because my kids couldn't be just ghosts or Frankenstein's monster....oh, Grant was one year. I took Kyle through Walmart costumes one year, he was about 5. I said, "What do you want to be?" He said, "Nothing black-colored." We were surrounded by black costumes. I nagged Grant one year, he was about 5. He wouldn't decide what to be...time was nearing! "Please, just be a vampire, little G!" I pleaded...it was easy, and I had face paint and a black cape. I pleaded up til the day before, terrified that he would come up with the most difficult idea at the last minute. "PLEASE! VAMPIRE!" I asked for the last time. "Oh, all right!!!" He relented. "I'll suck people's blood and live in a box!" LOL

Robert loved taking Grant around because the cute factor yielded more candy...until he went as an IRS agent. He put on a black suit, and carried a briefcase for the goods. They would ring the doorbell, Grant would say, "Trick or Treat" in his cute little kid voice, and Robert would say, "IRS, ma'am" The people would say, "Here you go, sweetie." to Grant....and to Robert, "Nothing for you, bud...you took everything already!" LOL

When I was growing up, my mom would decorate the house all up; we lived in Iowa, so it was a real autumn. She made an incredible ham and lima bean soup (sounds weird...SO savory!) and it was just FUN. My dad would carve a big pumpkin and stick it on our yard light (free standing street lamp-looking) and wire it up with a two way radio. He was the Great Pumpkin. Kids would come to talk to the GP, and dad would respond....but only to kids. Many was the ticked-off kid that would drag a parent over to hear the GP talk, but my dad wouldn't talk in the presence of adults. He was trying to keep the "magic" going. I thought it was kinda mean, but we all giggled anyway.

When I got into "religion" I discovered that all of this was evil! OMgosh...I never knew. I thought it was. . .fun!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Robert Goulet

RIP Robert.....I think this guy was my first crush!
Best thing on TV when I was growing up; he was on lots of specials, variety shows, etc. I remember he sang "Camelot" on some special--Lerner and Lowe's Broadway something or other...hey! I was young, but I'll always remember his voice.

The rain may never fall till after sundown
By eight the morning fog must disappear
In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot
For happy ever-aftering than here in Camelot

Here's to Bob Goulet's happy ever-aftering.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happiness is.....

A nearly
one-year
old
grandbaby
right
across
the
street!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Becoming. . . .

A common theme in a few of my blogreads seems to be doubt and struggle with belief. It is painful for us when we have bouts of unbelief. I have very few of those, thankfully, but when they hit, they hit hard and fast. . .then dissipate when I recall all of my supernatural moments with God. Those moments, dreams, and amazing happenings that are so surreal in the physical realm are incredible--but I do have moments of doubting that they ever happened. That feeling of brief unbelief is like someone punching you in the stomach and you lose your breath for a moment. "Are we really alone? Is there no God? Oh, my God!"

I appreciate the transparency of my blog buddies. I know they struggled with posting some of those posts...presenting themselves naked to the cyber world that their faith isn't "perfect." We all struggle with transparency--and I know a few of you think I can be very transparent, but, really...it's very hard for me.

Anyway....doubting....I feel sorry for Thomas. He doesn't get much in the way of praise from anyone, he even has a gnostic gospel that people like to point fingers at to prove he was one of the lesser disciples. He was a tad sarcastic, "Sure, let's ALL go with Jesus so we can be killed, too!" Geez. I can almost hear myself say that, can't you? I find him very real, and I appreciate this honesty in scriptures--proof to me that these stories are real.

All the disciples suffered from doubt from time to time, and Jesus got more than a little frustrated with them. The disciples aren't really any different from us, are they? They represent all of us, and I think we can pick out one that we identify with in particular. One night I awoke saying, "I am Peter." And, I was.

So, back to doubting. I've had some pretty cool experiences, and so have most of you--and yet we still have those moments of doubt. Mainstream Christianity would have us believe that we're not supposed to have doubts...heck, the Bible would have us believe that, and isn't that great...more guilt to heap upon ourselves. But, there in the black and white are the disciples, who WERE THERE with Jesus. The Man is right in front of them, and still they have their moments of doubt. He does one thing after another, and they still have the occasional moment. They freak out when He walks on water to them. How would they feed all those hungry mouths waiting to hear Jesus? They disappeared after his death and burial. They acted....well...human.

So, 2000 plus years later, we chide ourselves for not believing, for doubting, for questioning, and we haven't had the opportunity to walk side by side with the physical Man.

Maybe it's all the peripheral stuff that gets in our way. We have little church rules and regulations, and lots of godly books and articles to read, and ways to pray, and how to talk and encourage, and all of the stuff that we humans have to dream up in order to "control" every freakin' part of our existence. We have to have organizations; meetings; brochures; and protocol in just about every thing we do. Maybe some these things are a distraction and the cause of the check in the spirit that we get that things aren't quite "right."

What if we just clear the table and picture ourselves walking with Jesus every day? What if we went about our busyness as if He were right here with us? What if we took the opportunity, like Jesus, to be interrupted by whomever was in need--and we did whatever we could at that moment to fill those needs, right there, right then? It certainly wouldn't be easy, but I think we'd be spending a lot less time doubting, and a whole lot more time . . .doing.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

It is interesting how we are more able to reflect God's image when we are less concerned with our own.~Connie at Picture the Word


Check it out!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On Matriarchy

Update 10/21....I way over did it! I got really obsessive and went nuts. Hope I'm able to enjoy it!! :-P

Family is coming here from Nebraska for a couple of days. For some reason, I find myself in charge of entertainment. We have my dad, his wife, my brother. . .and somehow I, the youngest and, in their opinion, the most challenged mentally, have become the brains behind the event. I realize that I am now the functioning matriarch of the family.

My dad has always called me a control freak. If that's not mirroring, I'm not sure what it is. This bout of lupus has been, actually, a blessing. . .unfortunately, it usually is. I wonder if God is letting this happen to slow me down and get a grip on me. I've slowed down, I'm still working, but more intelligently, and have had the time to sit and sift through stuff and throw things out. That makes me very happy. I've had more time to sit and read, and am enjoying that so much. I've learned more about what makes me tick, and also who I am in Christ. It's been a good lesson time.

Normally, I'd be in a panic about cleaning, cooking, and "putting on a show" because my cousin who is coming is my mom's cousin. Both of these women would make Martha Stewart look lame. I'm not kidding. My mom was June Cleaver with an attitude. However, because of her loving heart, my mom was never judgmental about my housekeeping skills (except as a teen) but then, she never taught me about such things. I wasn't allowed in the kitchen to cook, and my only skill was ironing shirts and sheets. I could win the Shirt and Sheet Iron Woman Olympics hands down. Other than that, I had to learn all about cooking and cleaning after I moved out. So, momma was a bit of a control freak, and dad was the king of control and still remains so, snooping into and advising upon my life and family. Any attempts on my part to take charge at the age of 50 are considered control-freakish. Now that I see that in writing, I see the absurdity.

I like to have a plan, but I'm flexible. I like spontaneity. In fact, if you were to call me up this minute and say you were in town, let's get coffee, I'd would drop everything and run to you. If things don't go my way I don't have a cow. The only thing I get controllish about is my work. It has to be perfect. Other than that, let the chips fall.

So, I made a basic plan for the visit that is flexible and easy. First, I got a little miffed thinking...hey, having a flare here! Help me out! Then, I decided to suck it up and deal. I heard my mom saying, "Just Hollywood up the place!" That was her term for "make it look good and forget the small stuff." As I said, she never judged me because she knew I was a working mom. "When do you have time to do all this??" She would ask, and always offered to take the boys so I could get things done.

My house is a bit cluttered, but it's clean. I hate dirt, and I'm the Queen of Washing. I wash pillow cases, rugs, covers for the sofa and chairs, constantly. I love fresh smelling everything. But that stack of books in the corner makes me happy because it represents possibilities and growth. That art project over there...well, it just tickles me to think about it.

I'm making 3 kinds of lasagna to conform to 3 kinds of diets. The dog will be washed and smelling like a rose, the yard will be (is) gorgeous because I mulched and mummed it up (I love Fall) and I will enjoy the process and be grateful that I am able to do these things for my family. I will also delegate jobs out to people who are fully capable (and whom I HAVE taught well! :-) )

But everytime someone tries to stick that matriarch hat on my head, I swear I'm tossing it into the hedges!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10-20-30

This is a cool thing to do....try to think back that far! Barbara and KB have this tag to post what you were doing 10, 20 and 30 years ago. Some of you were in elementary school! LOL
Well, tag you, and let me know if you do this.
10 years ago I was preparing myself for the death of my beloved mother and best friend, Joan. The only thing that kept me sane through the whole process was the intervention of our Lord Jesus into my life. He was my ROCK then and remains so now and forever. I asked Him to take her quickly if He didn't intend on healing her. He was faithful. The doctors said she could live quite a while. She passed away a month later, November 15th, 1997. Praise the Lord, her suffering was over.
20 years ago I had a 4 month old baby, Kyle, a light in my life. I couldn't believe that I could love another human being like that. . .then 4 years later, Grant came along. How could the human heart hold such love? Incredible blessings.
30 years ago I was 20 years old; at Iowa State University and thinking about moving down to Texas to join my family who had moved earlier in the year. I made the choice, must have been a good one because I wouldn't be where I am (which I kinda like) without it!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I almost missed it. . .


Actually, right now, I'm pretty darned aware of Lupus! ;-)
I'm not sure about these foundations, to be honest. Some do not advocate
a "Lupus" diet; in fact they don't even suggest avoiding the nightshade foods like tomatoes, potatoes; they also advocate flu vaccinations.
Lupus, MS, RA and others like them are auto-immune disorders. If you introduce a foreign substance into your body, such as a flu vaccine, it will trigger a response of the immune system (that's what vaccines do) and the body will go into hyper-reactivity. This is my opinion, but it's based upon experience. If you have an auto-immune disease, many naturopaths suggest avoiding the nightshades, sprouts, and irritating high-protein in the form of red meat and dairy; and suggest a plant-based diet with fish and chicken in moderation. My case is mild, I believe that I've kept it that way through these measures rather than through heavy use of medications and corticosteroids. Or, I'm just lucky and I think I have some element of control.
;-) I pray for those who suffer much worse in these diseases. Please keep KB's wife Ann in prayer for her healing from MS.
You know someone, besides me, with an auto-immune disease.

Ya all are missing out....

http://www.donrogers.org/

Go bug Don about the 2nd coming. . .
;-D

Don has good things to think about. . . .

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday a.m. ramblings

Update 10/11
It took asking 4 people, members of the mega-church that J belongs to, to get any kind of an answer. The "Healing" person that I emailed blew me off. She didn't understand what I meant by congregational care. 1 member didn't think that they had anything like that. Another member, with whom I have had a working relationship for over 15 years knew exactly the way to go. Another had to search for me.

Churches need to have congregational care at the forefront. They are supposed to be places for the wounded to go, for comfort and strength. Ministering to members makes strong members who are then able to take it outside, elsewhere. I'm not impressed with a church that brags on its outreach but drops the ball when it comes to tending its members.

The church where I was ordained "divided" the congregation among the elders. We were responsible for checking on members. Dividing such a small church was kind of silly, though. I could cover all bases and check on folks in a day's time.

I posed this question in this post earlier. What does your church have in place for the tending of the flock?


The critters evidently didn't get the email about momma not feeling well. At 5:30 am (okay, yeah, my usual "up" time) Lizzie was knocking over the stack of books that live by my bedside; Lucy was jumping on me, hitting every trigger point with her lil' 10 lb. body, and Gracie was ringing the back door bells to be let out.

I loved it.

I feel much better, wish it wasn't so on the prednisone and of my own body's choosing, but grateful for relief. No pain on breathing, nor coughing. I believe the inflammation had centered somewhat on my lungs. I've lost 7 pounds since I got the shot on Wednesday, some fluid, no doubt, but I put myself on a Lupus diet...actually eating more than usual, but just fruit, veggies, chicken and fish.

I tried to backtrack why this might have happened, and see my part in it. Sun in Colorado (guys, for this vampire, it felt SOOOOOO good!) increased red meat consumption per doctor's advice with the anemia, and lots of stress.

Moving on! Walked Gracie around 2 blocks this morning, she was so very pleased! So was I! I'm making a wheat free bread per Connie at Picture the Word; not that beautiful loaf, but a soda type bread. And, I shall be designing on the computer in a short time for a big project coming up.

My brother donated his 3 wheel scooter to a fellow at the church where I am part of a connect group. Brother can't manage 3 wheels with his balance, and J has MS with better balance, so hubby, Kyle and I dropped it off last night. He was so tickled, props to my bro for sharing. Guys, I hate to be judgmental, but J's apartment was horrible. Here he is, part of a big huge church that prides itself on its outreach. . .and he is living in clutter. No one picks him up for church, either. This church is about to build a larger campus--we're talking thousands of members, police on Saturday night and Sunday mornings to direct traffic, and this guy is not being tended. Am I being too harsh? Please tell me. The ladies that pick him up for our singing group are concerned for him that no one is taking care of him. Excuse me? I don't get this. With a church that size. . . .I just don't get it. Maybe when I find out more there will be some answers, but geez. I'm going to ask him if I can at least pick up some papers and stuff for him to make a safe and clear path. I didn't want to do that last night (although I was kinda quietly) because I had two men in there with me, and I didn't want to risk embarassing another guy. Culture stuff again?

Update: I'm working on designs for my next project, and the bed is beckoning me! I really don't want to get into the nap trap.
I called the fellow with MS and found that his church really isn't helping, plus it looks like his wife did a real number on him with their house, as well. He doesn't even realize this I think. He is living solely on his SS Disability. Let me ask: What do your churches have in place to help your needy members? J's church is HUUUGGGGE. Let me know if you will. I'm intrigued.

Kyle's gal from Boston was here for the week. She is a great gal, and I'm sad that they have the long-distance thing to deal with. They seem perfect for each other.

Robert update: He has been relocated to Camp Eagle in Korea; we rely on phone calls from him as he has "no address" yet. No Iraq yet. Keep Kansas Bob's son Matt in prayer, as he IS in Iraq.

Off to tend my stuff. Thank you for your support in all things. You are way up high on my list of blessings! Have an incredible week!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Taking the heat off of me and giving it to : Don's search for life
:-)
Check out his Hope Beyond Hell post.

Fear Factors

Well, I knew I wasn't feeling great. I've been exercising never the less....nothing too strenuous, just walking and Curves, and still working. I'm eating healthy food, and taking my supplements.
I pray and believe. Doing all the right stuff. My bloodwork shows I'm in the worse Lupus flare I've ever had--with a new twist high Rheumatoid factor. The ANA was 1:1280 . That's outrageous. I've never been that bad before.

I was having problems walking in the morning, moving. It would take some time to loosen everything up. My doc figured it was the fibromyalgia because my ANA's run notoriously reasonable. Now, I've had a shot of slow and fast acting dexamethazone and he wants me to start a 2 week course of prednisone. I have to say that I think seasonal allergies play a large part in auto-immune disorders and if I were to go through my posts, I imagine that in the Spring and Fall there will be posts similar to this. It's funny how our minds mess with our bodies, and I try to remember this. I was feeling much better until I got my blood results! HA!
Tell me something icky, and plbbbblt....down she goes!

This isn't a pity post, but I'll admit I'm a tad concerned. I have a big mural job coming up and the thought of giving up the art for hire has occurred to me. Turning 50 with the usual "parts falling off slowly" stuff isn't helping my mood. Things change as we age, and we are staring mortality in the face. I think I'm worried about all the chemical intervention that might be needed to maintain. Maintaining is good, though, yes?

One of the problems with this stuff is something many of you deal with. Invisible Chronic Diseases. Barbara at Prodigal Daughter posted on something similar. We look well enough, and we start getting the "all in your head" stuff or just no real understanding. Hubby and I spent a bit of time explaining to friends why we didn't want to go dancing in Ft. Worth tonight at 8pm.

Anyway. . .I spout off about faith and trust and placing ourselves in His hands, and then I get hit with this and that flies out the window.

Well, not entirely, but the back and forth between "I'm fine" and "What'll I do?" is annoying. I'd like to be in the place to just roll with the punches and move on.

I know a lot of you can relate and we've discussed this before.

How do you handle it when the fear factor hits with tough situations?

LOL...I went over to Dave's blog immediately after writing this post. I got an answer: his blog wouldn't load up except for the title:
Giving Thanks in All Circumstances
That's awesome! Sounds like a plan! :-D

Friday, October 05, 2007

"The Black and Whites"


My beloved kitties, Lucy (right) and Lizzie (below)
don't get as much press as Gracie, but Barbara
posted about her sweet and
standoffish Bijou so
I thought I'd share my other buddies! They are
so sweet and loving-when THEY want to be!


Friend Connie


Hey, you all! Check out my dear gifted friend
Connie's blogs, okay? Welcome
her to bloggyland. I know you'll
enjoy her photo devotionals
because you already have!
Her devotionals have been a blessing to many
who know her. I know even those in
cyberspace who don't know her will be blessed.
Her one blog (on my links under Connie)
is a little user-unfriendly, so
we set her up at her newest place. Both are great!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The whole world in His Hands

Romans 8:20-26

20 The created world was bound to fail. But that was not the result of its own choice. It was planned that way by the One who made it. God planned 21 to set the created world free. He didn't want it to rot away completely. Instead, he wanted it to have the same glorious freedom that his children have 22 We know that all that God created has been groaning. It is in pain as if it were giving birth to a child. The created world continues to groan even now. 23 And that's not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves as we look forward to the time when God will adopt us as full members of his family. Then he will give us everything he has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them. 24 That's the hope we had when we were saved. But hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 We hope for what we don't have yet. So we are patient as we wait for it. 26 In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don't know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words.

I'm not too patient, but this gives me hope and gratitude for the world. God planned everything. Every creature, all of nature. It's all up to him. Yes, this post IS about salvation. It's not up to us. It was determined by Him and accomplished on the cross.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Devotional


The Feet of a Deer

Devotional and Photo by Connie Wisman

I saw these three deer from the deck of our cabin.
They reminded me of airplanes getting lined up for flight. Each, in its turn, stepped up to the fence and easily lept over it. In a short minute
they were running through the meadow
on the other side of the road.
We can have that attitude of overcoming if we
trust in the Lord as our strength,
enabling us to "jump the fences."
*****
The Sovereign Lord
is my strength;
he makes my feet
like the feet of a deer,
he enables me
to go on the heights.
Hab. 3:19
Check out Connie's blog; link on my list

Monday, October 01, 2007

This one will get me into trouble....

Update:
An anonymous poster submitted a couple of sarcastic comments, the last of which was:
"Thank you Karen, for helping us to think and to expand our minds."
I'm assuming that "anonymous" thinks that I think I'm pretty darn smart. What I am is convicted. Convicted of having had hard and harsh feelings toward homosexuals.
That's over. Who below is the worst sinner? Answer: all of them. They all fall short of the Glory of God for one reason or another--just like the rest of us. None of us measure up, but praise Him, we were redeemed at Calvary.

Four Men
The Tales of Dave, Wayne, Peter, and Dan


Dave has been with his beloved for over 25 years. It’s been a difficult partnership because of his inability to remain faithful. Many times he has been kicked out and many times he has been forgiven and allowed to return. Dave is intelligent and gifted—he is an airline pilot. He loves to ride his bike and walk with his canine companion, Zoe. Dave is a believer but doesn’t attend church very often. One of his closest friends passed away suddenly last month. He now owns and drives his friend’s van as a tribute to him.

Wayne is a huge sports fan and owns a small restaurant. He is a believer, and one of his favorite things is going to baptisms. He doesn’t go to church much, though, he appreciates the celebrations that happen there. He loves jogging, and walking his dog, and has an infectious laugh. Truthfully, he's a bit of a slob. He has been with his beloved over 20 years, too, however, they have remained faithful to one another.

Peter is a pastor. He is the son of a rather famous minister. When his dad died, Peter wasn’t the heir to the corporate ministry that his father built up, but contested the will and after a few years of battling, won the corporation back from the people who were named by his father to inherit. Peter has a lot of experience in film making and producing. Peter knows his Bible, has a good sense of fun, and has a devoted congregation; it’s small, but one that has remained for several years, particularly the youth ministry. He is in his early 60's and very fit. . . appearances are very important to him. He has been with his beloved, also a pastor, for over 35 years. They are truly in love.

Dan is a skilled carpenter and a believer. He’s been with his beloved for many years. He makes beautiful cabinets, tables, and is able to fix just about anything around the house. Home Depot is his favorite place. He has a quick wit and good sense of humor. He used to be in a high-tech management job, but he has a problem with stress, so downsized his career. He is fighting a losing battle with his weight. He speaks his mind. For instance, just the other day at the store, he spied a woman parking in a handicapped place without a tag or license plate. He challenged her, and she replied she was only going in for moment. He asked her, “What if someone who is truly handicapped needs this spot?” She ignored him. Injustice bothers Dan.


Dave and his wife Anna are working very hard at reconciling. Peter remains pastor at his church and travels and speaks, often with his wife, Julie. Wayne and Dan are life partners for over 23 years.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

God's will

I had a dream last night that both saddened and encouraged me.
I was in a huge school, (learning) and it took forever to get from one place to another (searching). We were in the cafeteria mostly (being Fed) and a young woman walked by. She was "unclean" (check your Bibles if you don't know what I mean) and other students were reviled by her for that reason and for other reasons--pointing fingers, saying mean things. I was half following her and thinking, "Why is she out here in this state of being, right now?!?" I couldn't muster up being disgusted by her, though, because she was dressed in white. White covered her, but there was still flesh showing. She stopped suddenly and turned around to me and looked at me with the most beautiful crystal-clear blue eyes. She had tears in her eyes. She said to me, "I'm not good enough for Him, am I?"
I stopped and stared at her. Why was she asking me?? A scripture verse went through my head, over and over again.
That was it. I woke up. My heart broke for her, for feeling that way.
But she was clothed in white, though, which is Christ's coverage.
I felt much better! Most dream interpts would say that each character is the dreamer, but I know that when I remember these kinds of dreams, they are spiritual in nature, and He is trying to tell me something.
Don't we pick and choose, and point fingers at others, either outwardly or inwardly? Don't we try to decide who is good enough for Him, what their actions are and if they are 'saved'?
These are the words from the verse that went through my mind in the dream:
". . our Saviour God, Who wills all man be saved and come into realization of truth" 1 Timothy 2:4 CLNT
When He wills something, it happens.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pause and reflect....




I'm going to kick back with coffee and goodies....and just lurk on YOUR blogs for awhile. . .I've just finished a grammar refresher course (not that the benefits will show up HERE, mind you!), a website that I'm working with is taking both physical and spiritual tolls; I'm working lots at the schools and I have a big mural project coming up; I've got a bad cold or SOMETHING
(can we say NYQUIL?? :-D )and the number one reason is.... I spent 16 hours yesterday in the ER and hospital with my husband, who woke me up at 2:30 a.m. clutching his chest in pain. Bunches of tests and stress later, he's FINE, praise the Lord....we should all have stress EKGs that look like that!...he has some muscle inflammation from an injury (don't know how) that settled over the chest area mimicking MI.
Kiss your kids and hug your loved ones--pat the dog. We are often reminded of how lucky we are!

Lucky and tuckered out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

a bit of good news....

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I had my doubts about this...until I remembered taking my oldest at 2 years old, to a friend's house. He picked up their t.v. controller and started using it...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Devotional


Your Courts
Words and Photo by Connie Wisman

I woke up this morning with such yearning
in my heart to walk in the courts of the Lord.
I often feel like I am truly there as I see the
life-filled paths of flowers, creatures, and living
waters to which He has led me recently.
Be encouraged:

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord.
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Ps. 84:1-2

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Ps. 84-4

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Ps. 84-10

Monday, September 17, 2007

bits and pieces...

Ironic that I'd post about a healing, then fall down in dis-ease yet again. . .


I have been emailing a blog friend; we've been discussing beliefs and he kindly said that I never seem down. Hmmm.....well, I suppose that's because I'm not sharing lately!

I've probably felt the worst that I've felt in a couple of years in the last couple of weeks. I've been dealing with asthma and really bad fibromyalgia- the worst that it's ever been. Every inch of me is in pain. Walking is difficult. So, I've been having a pity party inside myself, in between noticing how incredibly beautiful it is outside. There are so many sad things happening in the world, and yet the sun and the light is amazing. I had to wear sunglasses in the shade watering plants because even that light is hurting. I was in a panic yesterday trying to crawl out of my skin and get comfortable, some how, some way. I ended up with Tranquility music and meditation and got some rest. My tinnitus is at an all time high right now. I'm thinking this is all air-sinus-fall coming related. I hope.

I'll get over it. Just happy to be here.

Gracie is four today! She got a round of antibiotics for her birthday. Bladder infection (we hope that's all) and I always worry when she gets one because of her kidneys. Hasn't stopped her energy, tho'.

Husband is off to Mexico for the week; new job responsibilities as multi-site engineering manager. We'll be learning more of the language, I believe!

I'm trying to catch up on your blogs because it always cheers me up to read your thoughts.

Did I tell you the last three words that my friend Julia uttered before she passed away? She was always saying "yay!" when someone would do something great...like her hubby doing the laundry. Or, she'd say, "fantastic!" or "wow!" She had a lot of energy, even when very sick. Well, her last three words were quiet but firm, first two as she was being serenaded: "Fantastic!" then "Wow!" then..... her last word:
"Yay!"


Wow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In April, 2006 (Archives) I did a little series on some of the miracles in my life. Kansas Bob posted about one of the members of Sonic Flood who was healed of Crohn's Disease; I mentioned that I, too, had been blessed by a healing of this disease. Bob suggested I repost it. Here 'tis. It's one reason I believe the Lord works through non-believers.

April 11, 2006
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 in the hospital, 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. (This sounds simple, but was extensive) 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 difficult and recurring 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. In fact, the GI guy was one of the tops in the nation. 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.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Feeling great losses....and some gains...


My mother-in-law, 2 friends, an uncle.
Luciano Pavarotti, my fav tenor.
Now, Madeleine L'Engle, my fav author of "A Wrinkle in Time" has passed. :-(
Someone just sent me a bunch of God letters: I thought this one was cute. I spent the afternoon with my grandbaby, Michael. I'm glad God makes new ones! :-)

Some good reading...

Brian has some things to say, as usual, much better than I.
I want to link a couple more of you, but I'm really bad at that hyperlink stuff! I'm working on it!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ramblings before painting in a hot warehouse...

Thank you, Missy, for your encouraging call! :-)
Update: A woman from Curves called (3 hours later) to see if I was okay. Maybe they thought I'd sue 'em? She apologized. That was a nice gesture.

Luciano Pavarotti died.... :-(

Okay, should scented candles be burning in a work-out place?? I tried to go work out at Curves this morning after walking Gracie; was doing fine, then something just shut off my breathing; had a coughing fit, went into the bathroom to choke, cough, and gasp for breath (no one checked on me) and left, smelling this strong burning candle, which set me off again. The woman says, "I'm sorry, did that bother you?"
Um, yeah.

An uncle of mine passed away yesterday. He was always kind to my family, but before my grandma died (his MIL) she revealed that he was verbally abusive to my aunt (his wife) and to the family, as well as being a raging alcoholic. Aunt divorced him. What a waste. He was smart and hard-working but let his mother run his life; obviously he was angered over her control. Note to parents (and me, too)...stay out of our adult children's lives!! I feel bad for my cousins.

I've put all of my books away for a time. I'm taking a rest. It's impossible to discuss scripture with the English translations out today. They are so far removed, word-meaning-wise, from the literal translations. Yes, it's hard to decipher the sentences when they are not "filled-in" but I question some of the "filling in." It's frustrating, and I feel like man has put God into a leather-bound box.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Julia

Update 9/1/07
Julia passed away this morning at 7 a.m. Last night, a group of 150 church friends serenaded her. What a wonderful send-off. Julia lived a short life; but, she has touched a thousand lives or so with her faith and her miraculous ability to live beyond her suffering.


Please keep a family friend, Julia, in prayer along with her family and friends. Julia has battled rare thymus cancer valiantly for the last 6 years or so. She is not yet 40, faithful to our Father, and has lived her life despite her pain and problems. In and out of the hospital for years; off to different corners of the world with beloved husband, Mid, when out of the hospital. Living!

Now, she is in ICU and it's not looking good. She's in God's hands, but I covet prayers for a miraculous healing.

Update: They've sent Julia home under hospice care. She ate solid food today for the first time in a week. Thank you for your prayers for her. It's much appreciated.

A thought....

...brought about by some interesting friends:

Where will the Jews that Hitler tortured and killed be for "eternity?"
They are not believers.
They do not proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

When it's suggested that there may not be an "eternal torment" people will ask, "Then where will Hitler end up?"

Seems to me, he might be in heaven for eradicating non-believers; and all of those Jews that suffered and died must surely reside in hell "forever and ever" because of their sin of non-belief.

And, lastly, where is "hell" in the Old Testament?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I think we did it!!

Here is some more interesting reading on the subject of salvation. We got great input from everyone. . .I'm a poor advocate for the side of the "people" who may or may not be saved. I'm not qualified to do so at this time! CP and KB did great...so did Don and Missy and everyone who participated. We can keep going, of course, but there was something specific I was desperately searching for in starting this dialogue. ** (Scroll down to the** if you're in a hurry!)


Kansas Bob said...
Referring to CP's comment on my comment in Karen's earlier post:I thought it was interesting that CP pointed out that Calvinism is in some respects really Universalism on a much smaller scale because people are seen as powerless ones having no choice in this most important matter.My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices. That said I have to say that my theology is not so narrow that I think that God has a litany of choices that people make but I do think that we are not simply
Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets ... but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :)
codepoke said...
It's a really slow night in codepokeville, so I hope you'll forgive me if I continue. You know it's a favorite subject of mine, anyway. > My point in bringing in the timeless perspective is to say that God predestines people based on His foreknowledge (as He is outside of time) of their choices.I don't know whether it was clear in my reply to you that I heard and understood your point. Yes, seeing the end from the beginning, God would know at the beginning whom to "choose" to get His eternal will to align with what our human will eventually determined. This just doesn't make enough sense to me, though. And it leaves out God's part in the drama of conversion. God plays an active role in the whole show. The question is, "What role?"> I do think that we are not simply Divine Calvinistic/Universalist Pets You surely remember just how very, very much I loved that post of yours, right? You hit on real gold when you put it out there. You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true. God is looking for lovers, friends, and confidants, not pets. Needless to say, I don't believe being predestined makes me a pet. It's being saved by my free will that could make me a pet! Predestination certainly makes me a child. Do you think I can back that preposterous statement up?Picture a young couple. They can't seem to have any children yet, and are pretty depressed, but one day a dog adopts them (of its own free will.) They keep the dog. The dog gets lonely, so they go out and buy a dog. Now they have two dogs, one of its own free will and one enslaved. One glorious day, though, they discover the young lady will soon be a young mother. Several months later, they have a child. One dog chose them and the other didn't, but neither of them is human. Only the child is human, but the child had no free will in the issue. The child cannot even choose to run away, though both of the pets is free to do so at any time. Just so, as a human, I can choose to "be christian" but what does it mean? It just means I'm hanging out in God's house of my own free will. That makes me one of God's pets. I'm not really a child of God yet, but I'm exercising my free will and calling myself a Christian. Only that which is born of Spirit that is spirit. It is the transformation from dead to alive that matters. It's the point at which we quit being human, and start being spiritual that life begins. We "believe" and are saved the same way a baby cries at birth and everyone rejoices - it's a reflex action to being alive and suddenly surrounded by pneuma. You could say the baby was alive because it breathed and not exactly be wrong, but the life had to come before the breathing. Look at John 3:18 this way. John 3:18He that breathes is alive: but he that breathes not is already dead, because he is not breathing. 3:18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. It never says that the believing saves. It says the opposite. And yet, we are required to believe. The baby must breathe, and we must believe. If we did not believe, we would quit being alive, but that will never happen. This perspective is the only thing that makes John 1:12,13 make sense:But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Somehow we all believed without our will being involved. But that's not hard to imagine if we find it was the will of God that gave birth to us so that we could believe. And if that means that we have no more choice in our salvation than a baby has in being born, is that so hard to believe? > but I could be wrong ... been wrong before :) Yeah. Me too. Praise the Lord He accepted us, by whatever means - even if it's yours. :-)

codepoke said...
Karen,> My thoughts are that perhaps those who do not believe, or do the most wicked of things are punished for what may seem like an eternity, but may only be for a time.Have you looked at those 62 uses of the word, eon, Karen? If so, do you not see the same problem I do? The authors use the exact same word to describe how long the dead will be dead as they use to describe how long the living will be alive. For example:Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal (eon) life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. The people who want to limit "eon" limit it only in select places that suit a preconceived argument.So, when Matthew says:Mt 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world (eon). He seems to me to say that this age, this eon, will end with the destruction of the tares. In the next eon, there will be only the saved. Or what does this verse mean?Mr 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world (eon) to come eternal (eon) life. If eon means a limited time, then the verse is really saying, "... in the age to come you will have life that ends with that age."The Greeks well understood the concept of eternity. And this is the word they used to describe that concept. There is no other word that means "even longer, ageless age." You have "eon" and that's it. The 62 verses make it clear that there are ages that end and ages that do not, and there's no reason within the texts in question to assume that the age of hell in particular is limited. Of course, as I've said before, I believe this age ends, and it ends with the destruction of the unbelievers.
Karen said...
wow...this is all good stuff, I love it.I'm going through your comments. Hmmm. I feel stupid.... :-)CP...what's the point of evangelism if only some are saved? What's the point of spreading the good news if it doesn't apply to some? And, seriously, for me...if we don't have a choice in our salvation, what's the point? I could be talking to God every night, thinking I have a relationship with Him, and BOOM...off to Hades I go after falling into a hole. Frankly, with a God like that...I don't know if I'd want to be with him. I don't think He's like that. What's the point of Jesus sending his disciples out to the Gentiles if salvation is already decided beforehand? The "sent ones" or apostles weren't necessary, and Paul's journeys would be pointless. God would already have instilled the belief in His saved.The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved. I agree that it isn't a free will thing, but for different reasons than you state. You say, if I'm understanding, that it's already in our spirit to believe...those of us that might be saved. I say, we do have free will...but we could ALL be saved...because:We aren't saved because we believe....we believe BECAUSE we are saved! Re:"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."It does indeed sound to me like you have to believe to be saved which is contrary to what you said--you said it was the opposite? If God gave us our belief, or has withheld it in others (Romans 11:8 and Romans 11:32..and Romans 9:)that indeed seems pretty meddlesome--and a very sad set-up.
karen said...
I'm still studying eon. :-)
Kansas Bob said...
CP wrote:You wrote as a purely anti-predestinational post, but it's 100% true.I believe in predestination ... that He predestines us based on his foreknowledge of our choices and actions. Karen wrote:The problem with free will to believe or not to be saved is that WE are the key to being saved.Here in is the rub :) Calvinists(and others) believe so much in the depravity of man that they MUST exclude man when they think about the important things of the Spirit. It reduces man to a higher form of ape. Why not believe that we are created in God's very own image with the ability to be drawn (or not) to the Father?It is what I mean when I say that we are not simply divine pets with no choice at all in the matter - we are more than pets ... we are gloriously made by an awesome God. I think that when we exclude man from any part in salvation we call man to a dark place where it is normal to liveout his depravity.Then again who knows?
Missy said...
Ahhh... the chicken or the egg thing, again.depravity: the quality of state of being depraveddepraved: to make morally bad or evil, or to be morally bad or evilSo was man made bad or does man make bad?

**And then:
chris said...
I don't really want to get involved in this discussion, but it's cool that it is being discussed with kindness and dignity.

And THAT'S what I was searching for!!! :-D ><>