Monday, September 29, 2008

Shakin' up our prayer life. . .

This is both rambling and freeing....

For the second time in my life, I was in prayer this morning that transcended most prayer time. I started shaking and it just freaks me out. . .but my prayer was in-depth and most personal and meaningful to me as I entered in.
First, I thought, well, that's just evil or something because there's not really any scripture about people shaking. There is scripture in Acts about the PLACE shaking (after I read that I heard an audible voice: "So, PLACES can shake, but not YOU?") and a scripture also: They were filled with the Holy Spirit. Through prayer, they received the Holy Spirit who gave them boldness and energy to move on. Acts 4:31 (some verses say "boldness" some say "power" I'm still looking at this.)
Well, what is energy, boldness, power? What does energy, boldness, power that comes from the Holy Spirit feel like? I imagine it's something. The word in that verse is, I think, parresia: freedom to speak one's mind, boldly, openly--can mean risking self to tell what in on the mind. Which makes sense because I'm risking you thinking me a nut case when you read this.
Hebrews 12:26-29 was another verse.
I felt I needed to check on this and called an accountability friend. He assured me that he didn't feel it was anything evil and that he has experienced it as well. He told me he felt the Lord wanted me to ask these questions and to search out...that He might be taking me to another level. I realized that I have had the most amazing spiritual dreams this past week and have had some revelation.
My purpose in writing this is to admit that my prayer life as of late had been weak. I haven't fully entered in because of distractions, etc. I pray for others and get a Word here and there, but as for my life and situation. . .nada. Weak is the word. I went to that place this morning after the week of dreams to enter in--I felt like I have been ignoring Father...and it then felt as though I had been gripped by pure energy--no power from me but going through me. As it subsided, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. . .and calm washed over. Maybe He was just shaking me to my senses!
My point is to ask you this: has anything like this ever happened to you?
What is the status of your prayer life?
You don't have to answer that last one--just think about it. Does your prayer life need shaking up?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who is running this show?

KB asked me to voice some opinion on the upcoming election. Thanks for the props, Bob, although I am not a brainchild in these matters. However, I am highly discouraged this election season. I do know that the economic mess we're in is not the result of one administration, but a couple--and all of those folks we vote in. It makes my stomach turn. I'm getting sick of the blame game emails, Democrat and Republican, and actually sent out an email telling people to STOP sending me this crap. And, it is crap, indeed. Last night's debate was depressing. I quit halfway through because it seemed one jab and attack after another...which is fine for a debate, but I didn't hear much about plans and strategy.

Of course, I am concerned about Obama's ties to Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. I trust the WSJ article. I have no reason to not trust WSJ so far. Wright's Black Liberation Theology is, frankly, horrible. Of course, we all do stupid things in our early years...we're radical and edgy. However, I sense that Obama has bigotry issues (not just with race) of his own that affect his agenda. I also tried to picture him meeting with Ahmadinejad and broke out into a cold sweat. Experience-wise, and because of his past attachments, he is simply not up to the job.

McCain scares me, too. He had my vote in the beginning--until I realized that his character may not be all that it's cracked up to be, and his answers last night weren't any more impressive than Obama's. Because of age and experience, I expected more from him. I honor McCain because of his military experience. I believe this gives him a definite edge in foreign affairs--Obama lacks experience, and truthfully, interest in our military. It takes the mind of a soldier to comprehend what is happening. And, hearing from all the friends and family I have and have had in Iraq...we surely are doing good over there. Americans are not suffering this war! We sacrifice NOTHING! We carry on as if nothing is happening and then stand back, aghast at the loss, and point fingers and then move on with our lives. This war is causing the highest number of closed brain injury in history, if I'm correct. How many of us have visited our troops in hospitals? How many stand at the airport and greet them? How many are getting involved at all? Precious little.

Okay, I digress. McCain knows war, he knows win and loss. He knows the ugly side of government, too. But, he picked the wrong person as a running mate and this is what dropped him off of my radar. This was clearly a political move...not clever nor calculating as Republicans like to imagine, nor did he pick another "maverick." It is not a pick that serves our country at all. We're not supposed to vote based on the VP, but we are literally a heartbeat away from Sarah Palin becoming the president of our country. She does not impress me one bit. Republicans loved to point the no-experience finger at Obama...and then, Palin?

I am more perturbed with Americans than anything else. We have gotten ourselves into this campaign mess ourselves. Our complacency is disgusting. We rail against our leaders because of our dependence on oil and "demand" alternatives--but what are we willing to sacrifice about anything? We blame our economy on leaders, but what level of greed in all sectors, private and government, have gotten us to this point? What level of entitlement do we all wallow in? We deserve the best of all things, right? Our leaders have fought tooth, nail, and sold our souls to keep us happy and maintain our lifestyles, and we've let 'em. Well, we're going to lose our way of living if we don't start thinking about what we are doing to set these things in motion. A recent poll asked, what are you most concerned about this election? The answers:

Economy 73% 98,779
National security 16% 21,692
War in Iraq 6% 8,097
Health care 3% 4,235

Everything falls by the wayside when our own livelihood is threatened. We must be, collectively, the most selfish nation on the earth.

I am also sick of the two-party system. It's a big game and we lose. When will Americans stop having to vote for the lesser of two evils and have a candidate they can stand for? When will we say enough? When will we demand the media start giving coverage to the "other" candidates. When will people like Ron Paul be allowed to take part in the debates? When will THEIR conventions be aired on national television instead of being ignored a few blocks away?

This season, I'm "wasting" my vote and voting 3rd party. Bob Barr, a Libertarian, is on the Texas ticket. He is a candidate along the lines of Ron Paul, and he fits my "less government" beliefs. I suggest that anyone who is unsure about who to vote for send a message that the election fare this year is despicable. Then, get involved. As a teen and college student, I always worked for my candidates--on a city and national scope. That fell away with kids and work, but we need to start getting behind people we think will work for us--for real. At the very least, we need to contact our representatives and contact them OFTEN to voice our opinions and stay on them. Right now, we've voted them in and the result is lethal for our country because the inmates are running the asylum.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Waiting for the paint to dry. . .

I'm working on a little prop for my choral group. We're in a talent show in October and we're singing, "Turn Your Radio On."
I'm the youngest member of this group, but they have blessed my socks off. So, I'm making the "radio" and it ain't goin' as well as I thought, but there's still time to pull the rabbit outta the hat. Remembering I'm doing it cuz I love 'em. Here's a bad picture of my little Philco prop.

Brother is remarkably better. Praise God, and thank you for prayers. This incident reminded me of what I must do...and what I mustn't. I will be pressing him to get on a private pay company's rolls so that in the future, I don't kill myself trying to care give. Frankly, it's unnatural for siblings to do that level of care. He has the funds to maintain a quality lifestyle for a lonnnnng time. Thanks, Pat, especially, for helping me work through that since you've been there. Thanks all for your support!

The most important news is that Robert is home for a few days. Then he is off to Ft. Hood. He didn't make it into the Special Ops group that he had hoped for. Maybe that's a blessing. He would have had to go to torture camp (still may have to) and the unfortunate news is that he will most likely be deployed in the next few months. However, he will be working on a base in a hanger doing his chopper work. He really wants to get into some dangerous work, EOD (handling explosives that haven't gone off) and the Army psychologist told him he'd rock in Special Forces. I already knew that. For now, he says he will do his time quietly in the hanger until further thought processes. He has a wife and child to think about now. He has always walked on the edge.

More later. I'm digesting some blogs that I've read lately.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This election makes me sick

Update: Not to leave Obama out (and there is so much more I can bring here if I want):
Obama ignores gender equity in pay

I keep getting emails from Christian friends and family supporting McCain and Palin; assuming that I do as well. While I won't vote for Obama; I'm hard pressed to support anyone this election season because

Palin endorses cowardly hunting and

McCain dumped the disabled wife who prayed and waited for him

You may say, hey, this is small stuff compared to the national issues we face. I would reply that it is the "small" stuff that makes us up and defines character.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

He's the One who's loved you all your life..

Thank you all for your've lifted me up; no words to describe how that feels. Only you can make this wimp feel not so wimpy.
I woke up this morning with the words from this song running through my head. I guess He is using songs this season of my life because I persist in keeping my ears covered and He knows music will get through. The words "You're not alone, for I am here" were in my head this a.m.
God is so good.

I think this is for you, too.

Meredith Andrews' You're Not Alone

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spilling my guts...

Kurt is more mobile, but his balance is terrible...which is normal. The case manager nurse thinks it may be an exacerbation of his SOPCA (sporadic olivoponticerebellar ataxia) There's one for your word files.

Well, sadly, the nurse knows less than we do. We just don't know. He is weaker because he's been laying around. I left him to go run some errands and he took a nap; when I got back he was back in his wheelchair, had his fanny pack on, and almost made it to the door to greet me. He is being careful not to hurt himself because he knows that will be really, really bad. I spent a bit of time tracking down the doctor who ordered the MRI, and we don't have those results back. I turned that search over to our family doc. I'll be surprised (pleasantly) if he didn't suffer a teeny TIA. I've done a little searching and actually found that some with similar disorders have had improvement with traditional Chinese medicine. Not's helped me. I may take him to my Chinese doc. It may give him a positive feeling. That cannot hurt a bit, and may make all the difference. Anyway, he got into his scooter and joined his "under the stairway" apartment friends for a bit of a chat.

Otherwise, I think he may do better with physical therapy; perhaps it will buy him independence for a bit longer. Or, maybe that's the 1/2 oz of wine I'm ingesting right now talking. I figure grapes are natural, and it seems to be taking the edge off the freaking anxiety I'm having. Don't worry. No plans to become an alcoholic. My tolerance lasts for about that 1/2 oz. I'm done, but I feel better.

The case nurse found out I have lupus, and suggested that I don't need this stress. Well, no, this kind of stress is just for other folks, certainly not ME! Heck, NO ONE needs this kind of stress! My dad lives this 24/7. Kansas Bob lives this 24/7. The big difference, though, is, this is not my husband, nor my child. This is my brother, who I think is really a good person at heart, but has chosen to be pissy to me most of my life.

I'm admitting right here. I'm scared, I'm tired, and I really don't want to deal with this. Some Christian gal, huh? I am seeing the road down the way. I should be grateful that I'm on the delivery end, not the receiving end. Shame on me. Truly.

I tended my grandparents. I tended my mom. I tended my in-laws. This is different. Not a parent, nor a child. Of course, I feel compassion for him...let me tell you, it's a cruel disease; but my compassion is mixed with irritation and I am ashamed. I get flashbacks about my childhood, growing up with him. When he was able he beat on me every chance he got. My mother and father enabled him by not making him live on his own when it would have been optimum timing to do so. When I had kids, he says he loves them, I'm sure he does, but he has been jealous of their "normalcy" and has picked on them. He couldn't drive, so it was easier to have him live at home for convenience. He didn't live on his own til my mom died when he was 42. My dad remarried and set him out on his own in an apartment. I moved him closer to us when my stepmom became ill with supranuclear progressive palsy, so he could be independent, but not a 25 mile drive for me. Dad's pretty well tied up.
Supranuclear progressive palsy.
There's another one for your word file.

Thank you for your prayers. I guess I need them for my hard heart. This may be one of those I delete in a couple of minutes, because you'll surely think I'm mean.
Thanks to my Kentucky blog friend for the call. Blogworld truly rocks. Thanks, Connie, for the encouraging calls and strong Words. Thanks, Kyle, for stepping up to help your ol' mom. You make me proud.
Thank you all for your support. It means the world to me.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Prayers needed

Update 9/9/08
Thank you all for prayers. Definitely felt. Kurt is better, was discharged Monday afternoon when doctor decided from tests that he didn't have a stroke or even a TIA (which, granted, might NOT be evident on CT); that was good news. Doc thinks the Baclofen, newly prescribed a day or so before, may have caused a bad reaction. It can cause confusion. Brother takes lots of pills. Bad news was they sent him home. With back problem he cannot walk (he normally doesn't walk well, but has been independent) so I've been the caregiver these past couple of days. Is that all? Just a couple of days??
I arranged for home health care and physical therapy 2-3 times a week. That will give me a break. Pray for me, too. My brother has never been very nice; long story. I minister to many folks, but I guess the ministry of family is hardest. Jesus knew that.
Anyway. . .thank you all.
I found my brother at his apartment this morning in a confused state. He is physically disabled, not mentally, and was unable to answer some questions, such as the date, the President's name, his age, etc. He knew who I was, and my son. We took him to ER, and tests were run. CT scan essentially normal, as well as other tests. MRI tomorrow. I just got home a little while ago.

He and I haven't always gotten along, but he finally has found a life of his own, friends, and some joy. We moved him close to us 3 years ago...and I pray that this isn't long-lasting, that he will heal.

Please pray for him. His name is Kurt.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Do it anyway

God is great
but sometimes life ain't good
And when I pray
It doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
Yeah, I do it anyway

These words from the Martina McBride song, "Do It Anyway" brought me to the computer this morning. I've been in a place of complacency, watching my kids grow up and away (I've done my job!) and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Sometimes that complacency takes us away from God. When I get away from God, my direction becomes confused, altered. I see and get caught in the selfishness and pettiness of others' trips. Recently, I voiced some thoughts and opinions and there was an attempt to squash them. That's okay. Jesus said there would be days like that. I woke up this morning with the refrain, "Do it anyway! Do it anyway!" going through my mind, over and over--my eyes get opened and I can see things in a new and wonderful Light.
Sometimes He speaks to us through scripture, sometimes in others' words, and sometimes He just shouts in our ears because we keep tuning Him out. HE is always there. We're not always listening.
So, whatever it is that you're called to do. . .listen.
And no matter what anyone says, do it anyway.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

How is your holiday?

Ours is nice.
Dinner with family, working on web copy for a client, catching up on laundry. Our dryer died last week and the quickest we could get someone here because of work, was Saturday. Our dryer, 23 years old, dried its last. Since I have a longstanding aversion to laundromats (sat in way too many of them!) last week I was washing, hanging up clothes to dry, and ironing.
It made me appreciate our conveniences even more. I like to iron, though, and laundry was intentional...picking only what we needed at the time, alloting time for air drying.
Our Maytag washer is still kicking, thank God, and the repairman said it should last a good while longer. Still, it was sad to see the old dryer go away. . .I had it before babies; it faithfully dried their little onesies, jammies, and overalls....all the way up to their Scout shirts and Led Zeppelin T's, and it dried my grandson's clothing as well.
Our new dryer was delivered this morning, and has been busy all day.
How was your weekend?