Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Kingdom of Heaven...

Every so often I get a small taste of Heaven. My husband & I are privileged to be involved in a musical production entitled, 'Two from Galilee'. Based on the wonderful book by Marjorie Holmes, the play highlights the lives of Mary & Joseph. Well written, there are moments that make you laugh, cry and sometimes even want to stand up and shout Hallelujah! I was cast in one of the most challenging roles I've ever done as Gabriel. This role is usually given to a man, so we are stepping outside the stereotype. (Angels are genderless) The part was written for a Tenor, so I had to adapt the solos which go from the bottom of my full voice range to the very top. God is good- I think it's going to fly. (Pray for me!) My man was cast as 'Balthazar' the wise. It's a comedy role- wasn't sure my serious husband would wear it well, but he's doing great. I love acting! It's a chance to try on a different life, a different perspective. Makes me appreciate my life more when I step out of the role and back into my own reality. I'm more empathetic when I put myself in other shoes for a while: http://www.ripple-productions.com/shows3.html I'm very happy to have this opportunity. The one heading up this production is my long-time friend, Tom Goddard. (Used to sing together when we were younger) We are definitely kindred spirits! I'm so proud of all the hard work this young man has put into bringing the musical to life! He heads up our cast with confidence & passion. I have a lot of respect for him! The devotional time & prayer before each rehearsal is always a blessing. The cast is comprised of a wide range of people of all persuasions. It's been such a blessing to mingle with these precious people who share a love for God. Working together in harmony and exchanging testimonies has been a bonding experience! The goal of 'Ripple Productions' is to forge relationships in the community- I must say it is successful in that undertaking. The Kingdom of Heaven isn't some far off, elusive concept of the future. We can experience it today when we love each other and work in harmony for the greater good. Have you ever experienced this kind of unity?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Which Religion are You?

"May I speak as though I would never speak again, as a dying man to dying fellow travelers? The one certainty is death - some do avoid taxes. Scripture adds another inevitability for all: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment" Heb. 9:27. How will we stand in that day? Rare is the man or woman who asks themselves the crucial question: "Where will I be in 100 yrs time, and how will it be with me?" The answer to these questions is not found in our intelligence, virtue, government or science. The answer is found in the Gospel. The Gospel isn't advice ("Here's how to raise yourself to Heaven by pulling on your bootstraps"). It's not good views (that you can be saved if you understand all these doctrines and attend the right church). It's Good News. News is about an event, it's about someone else. The good news of the Gospel is that God the Son took our nature, paid the debt we owe to righteousness and removed the barrier between God and man. All that is necessary for our salvation has already been accomplished- it only remains for us to believe, accept and be changed by it. This is the meaning of the words from Calvary: "It is finished." Christ was treated as we deserve so we might be treated as He deserves. John 3:16. There are only 2 religions in the world. The most popular religion is where humans try to make themselves good enough by ritual, pilgrimage or sacrifice for God to accept. It preaches: "Be good and God will love you." But the true religion of the Gospel proclaims: "This Man (Jesus) receives sinners" Luke 15:2; God "justifies the ungodly": Rom. 4:5; Christ goes to be guest with those who admit they are sinners: Luke 19:7.
- False religion majors in law and minors in love.
- True religion majors in love and minors in law.
- The first majors in what God requires of us.

- The second majors in what God has done for us.
- One religion puts all its stress on Christ our example.
- The other puts its stress on Christ our substitute and representative.
- One is a religion that leads to pride, bondage, despair and death.
- The other is a religion that leads to joy, freedom, salvation and everlasting life.
We're all ruined without asking for it- by inheriting a fallen nature. The Gospel teaches that we have ALL been saved by the atoning work of Jesus our Lord. See
2 Cor. 5:14-21. Rom. 5:10, Rom. 5:18-19. Our sins were crucified with Christ- nailed to His cross. The law has no more power to condemn us than to condemn Christ. Hidden in Him, sin will not reign in us. No sin can be crucified in heart or behavior, unless it's been pardoned through the blood of Christ. When the guilt of sin is removed, it's power can be subdued. Sin ceases to reign in us only after we receive the forgiveness of sin: Rom. 6:14. Because of the cross, "whosoever will" may come and be counted righteous for "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men." Matt. 12:31. "...whoever comes to Me, I will not reject." John 6:37. By Grace alone we are saved, through Faith (trust) alone- because the work of Christ alone was revealed in the Word of God alone. The moment we believe, Christ's perfection is given to us and is ours- as we continue to look to Him, despite a thousand human failures. At all stages of our experience we are saved by faith alone, though the faith that saves is never alone. We are not saved by faith plus works, but by faith that works. Compare Gal. 5:6 & 6:15 and 1 Cor. 7:19. On Judgement day we are saved by faith alone- though our works will testify to the reality of that faith- despite our imperfections. The Gospel is the best thing we could ever share, "It makes the heart sing and the feet to dance." - Dr. Desmond Ford

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Earth Groans...

Aerial photos show icebergs floating in the water near Greenland’s Ilulissat Glacier, which has shrunk by over 10 kilometers in just a few years.
Global warming, changing weather patterns & natural disasters are a stark reality that is intensifying. Some scientists believe the damage to the earth's ozone layer is irrepairable and that soon the hurricane season of 2005 will be nothing compared to what's ahead. To read the full article:


Heaven help us...

Friday, January 27, 2006


Pictured are: Nicky Mann, top left, Elizabeth Mann, top right, Johnny Mann, center, and Heaven Mann, shown in an undated family photograph, are four of the seven children killed in a car accident Wednesday near Lake Butler, Fla.
Parents, Barbara and Terry Mann were supposed to complete their adoption of a 20-month-old boy on Thurs. Instead, they were planning funerals for him and their other 4 children — 5 of 7 young people who died in a fiery crash. After hearing of the accident, Barbara Mann’s grief-stricken father suffered a heart attack and died. Such a tragedy! My heart goes out to this family!! This is how things are in this world and sometimes I feel like it's too much to bear.


My journey for truth has been a loooong one filled with many twists and turns. I bounced around from church to church and several different ideologies before landing where I am. There is something attractive to Christianity and the absolutes it claims to uphold. Don't kill, don't steal, lie or cheat on the one who loves you, etc. When I was of New Age & Atheistic persuasion, the mantra was "There are NO absolutes. We are all divine beings. There is no right or wrong, good or bad- just positive and negative energy. You can do whatever your heart desires". However, having suffered abuse- this always confused me. If we are ALL gods and "there is no right or wrong", we just do whatever we feel like doing- and it's okay? Does that mean sexual predators aren't doing anything wrong? If a man-god decides he wants to kidnap a child or steal a car for whatever reason- is that okay? Does being divine mean if I'm in a bad mood and take it out on someone else, no need to apologize?? Strange thing is, the very people who taught me the "I'm a God- you're a God'- no absolutes philosophy got pretty upset when their spouses cheated on them... I respect the beliefs of every person, so my purpose is not to criticize Atheists or New Agers. But I believe there have to be absolutes in this life or we would have total CHAOS. Love IS the answer- seems so simple, but it's complex. With love in my heart, I won't murder, steal, lie or cheat. Oh, I can conjure up lust and affection, I can do good things, but at my best I can't manufacture genuine, selfless love- that comes from a Higher Source- outside myself. Love is of God. Strange, we don't have any trouble conjuring up hatred- seems to come so naturally due to our fallen nature. God gave 10 guidelines at Sinai because He knew the people needed guidance. They needed some social structure & absolutes to live by. He did this not to bind them, but to protect their hearts and their physical/emotional health. I love my kids and set rules for them to live by- this keeps the household running smoothly and helps them have longer, happier lives. If we break it down and make it simple: Anything that is harmful to yourself or another person is wrong. Absolutes are a good thing!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Workin' It...

One month into my new regimen at the YMCA I haven't lost any weight, but look and feel better. My body is more toned & my heart is stronger. My first morning class is Aerobic Cross-training- includes step, then Abs class followed by LZ Aerobics- which is floor dance. The important thing for any program is that you enjoy what you're doing- if you hate it, you'll quit. This body was made to MOVE & I am having so much fun! The first class I have each morning has a kick-butt instructor! We lunge, jump and do hand-weights till our muscles are burning, I really have to pace myself until I get stronger- but it's great! If possible, I would eventually like to work at this YMCA, but I'm biding my time and getting to know the staff a little better. I like to work with staff that are good team players- don't like getting caught up in co-worker dramas. (I'm sure you know what I mean) It was that way when I did my internship in TX & kinda ruins the fun. As soon as I got there, the split staffers were trying to pull me onto opposite sides of the power struggle- I don't play like that! So far, so good though and I've been impressed with what I've seen where I am. We'll see... I'm learning to be patient...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tear Down the Walls...

Sometimes we build walls, then wait in vain for friends or family to break through to us. I've done my share of wall-building. Jesus did not long hesitate before He tore down the wall and brought me to life! He offers the same to every heart.

I got this from R. Scott Bonnell's blog. http://rsbonnell.blogspot.com/ THANKS!

Notable Quotes...

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
- Jim Elliot, Christian Martyr

"There is nothing worth living for, unless it's worth dying for."

- Elisabeth Elliot

PS. Don't miss 'End of The Spear' in theatres now. Based on a miraculous true story of loss and victory!

Spotting the Phonies...

Why do people stomp on dreams? I love to share ideas and goals with those who call themselves friends & family. Why is it that so often when I do, someone feels it their "duty" to present any and all reasons why the idea won't work? Talk about raining on the parade! There are many who call themselves "Realists", but in actuality they are pessimists in denial. Do they think it makes them smart to be able to point out all the reasons why something won't work? I don't like negativity- it brings me down. Yes, I love these people- they are still my friends & family, but why be so down all the time? Life has beat me up just as much as anyone else! My way of survival, of getting back on my feet is to remain hopeful and keep movin' on.
Another thing I don't understand is when people act like they know everything on any given topic. I haven't wasted 11 yrs as a stay-home Mom. I do TONS of reading, study & research. It never ceases to amaze me how many people don't really know what they're talking about- they just like to look good & sound intellectual. I DON'T know everything either, but I know enough that I can usually tell when someone really knows what they're talking about and when they're just bluffing. I have an inquisitive mind, so I read up on lots of interesting things. It bugs me when, during casual conversation, I say something and someone in the room says "Well, no- it's this way..." Even though I just read the opposite of what they're saying, out of respect, I act surprised and say, "Oh really? I never heard that." Why argue with them? This is especially interesting when the one "correcting" me hasn't had as much experience with kids, horses, dogs or fitness- yet wants to set ME straight. There are few things that get on my nerves- but this does. Well, it got me to thinking... people can spot a real Christian and can just as easily identify a "blow-hard" that spouts Christian lingo, but really doesn't KNOW God. Is it any wonder that putting on a Christian front annoys people? If we spend time with God and get to know Him, we will be like Him. He is kind, positive, patient, gentle, lowly in heart. He's a servant, a friend that is closer than a brother. People should get good vibes from us- if not, perhaps something's wrong. The Bible says, "Encourage one another and build each other up". As we study Christ, we will become more genuine. This is my goal- to walk the walk and be real.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Redneck Inventions Part 1

Hey, if you don't have much money and a lot of creativity, you might be able to come up with something like this:

Redneck Mini Golf Tour

Bass Fishing Boat (seats one)

Redneck Porta-potty

Redneck Houseboat

Redneck Limo- yee-haw

Redneck Snowplow

Redneck Swimming Pool

How Do You Know?

I often get the question "How do you know God is real"? The best answer I can give is this:
I struggled for decades to change myself, to let go of a hurtful past. I wanted healing from abuse & heartache. The more I tried to fix myself, the worse I got. I couldn't shake a life-threatening eating disorder. The greatest evidence that God exists is the FACT that I am changing. As I embrace the great love of God, my heart is healing and I'm finding true inner-peace. I'm not trying to "fix" myself anymore, I simply go to God & let Him love me. As I take my brokenness to The One Who sees everything and knows the beginning from the end, I find total acceptance- more than I ever found from certain family members and religious people. I've witnessed miracles in response to my prayers. The answers didn't all come when I wanted them to, but looking back, I see how perfect the timing was. I've been delivered from an obsession that would've drained the life out of me and stopped my heart. Therapists offered little hope that after a decade of throwing up/starving myself I would ever be completely free from the binge/purge cycle. I felt hopeless, but Jesus came in and broke the chains of Bulimarexia. You see, the root of my problem was that I never felt good enough spiritually or otherwise. I felt ugly, fat, dirty & unloveable. I blamed my family's dysfunction on myself. I thought if I was smarter, prettier, more obedient- maybe my parents would have stuck it out and things would be better. Kids at grade school talked badly about me. I was often shunned, and soon I hated myself. I couldn't escape my broken heart- I wanted to die! After a failed attempt at suicide in Feb. 1989, I began starving myself into oblivion. Eventually, I went from a healthy 128 to 98 lbs- which I covered with baggy T-s, jeans & sweatshirts. In highschool, people perceived me to be outgoing & confident- I was stealthful about throwing up after meals. By my Senior year, my friends & roomate were on to me. A slave to my obsession- I wanted out- all I could think about was how NOT to eat and how to throw up or exercise off what I did eat without anyone noticing. For all my smiles & crazy antics I felt weak & hopeless. I tried with everything I had in me to quit but could not. I was gaunt and all my ribs were showing by the time I got married. My poor husband got a skeleton bride. It took a BIG God to turn me around! A year before I became pregnant with my first child, the Lord set me free. I cried out to Him & He heard! Through His Word and the Hand of Providence, He revealed Himself to me. Over a matter of months, I stopped hating myself and started eating! Realizing a little of His great love was enough for me to see I don't have to punish myself for my wounds or weaknesses. I don't have to die of a broken heart, because Jesus already did that- for ME. He starved in a wilderness 40 days- He could SO relate to my disorder. Today I have 4 healthy children. I'm curvy- look more like Kate Winslet than Kate Moss, but I am FREE, I have hope and that's how I KNOW God lives!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Weekend...

Had a good, romantic weekend! My man & I traveled down to Nosoca Pines Ranch, SC to do music & lead praise for a Lay Advisory retreat. Enjoyed a chance to talk all the way there & back without the kids interrupting us. (They all stayed with friends.) We had a nice room & the food was good. We ran into 2 friends from college- Jonathan & Ellie Fritz. We all ate lunch together and did a little catching up. They have a lovely daughter & a little boy 4 mos. old. I got to hold their little one during the service & got my baby "fix".
The main speaker spoke about taking time to live balanced lives. Taking time to work, play, laugh and pray- he was preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned! It was fun!! I SO enjoy getting to be alone with my man. Our relationship is getting better & better. We have made it through SO MUCH together!! So to all those who were making bets at our wedding that we wouldn't make it because we were young & still in college.... a big God, and a marriage of 13 yrs says you pessimists were WAY WRONG! I love the Shania Twain song 'You're Still the One'. Yep, we have our share of battle-scars, but we're still goin' strong...

It's always nice to get away & then come home again. Enjoy picking up the kids and hearing how all their weekends went. I love being a family!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


What are the essentials to the Christian life? There are SO MANY views out there! However, God allows freedom for people to have different opinions and I must respect that. What good is debating and arguing? Whenever I engage in it, I set myself up as an authority. Why act like squabbling children when the Bible says we should strive for unity, refraining from stirring up discord among the brethren? Who are the Brethren?? For many years, my idea of 'the Brethren' was only those active within my particular denomination. However, I find Jesus saying, "Many sheep have I that are not of this fold". Any believer in Christ is now among my Brethren and as such, deserves my respect. The Spirit will teach, instruct, maturing the seeker in due time...
Paul wrote, "One thing I know, Christ and Him crucified". This is ESSENTIAL to the Christian faith. Without the Crucified Christ as the heart of our message, we are just another group of people with a prophet. Muslims, Mormans and Buddhists each have a prophet. There are some gray areas that are NOT essential to Salvation. Too many times, we try to make them essential. For example, I'm primarily vegetarian- scientifically it makes sense. However, there's no clear command in the Bible for it. God gave clean meat to man for food after the flood. In Matt. 15:17-20, Jesus said, "It's not what goes into a man's body that defiles for it is digested and goes out of him. The words and actions of a man are what defile him." 1 Cor. 10:27-33, Paul says, "Eat whatever is set before you with gratitude asking no question for conscience sake... whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or to the Church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many who may be saved." The foolish man builds his house on the shifting sands of human thought, trend and opinion. Yes there are trends within churches that are not necessarily Biblical. The wise man builds on The Rock of Ages. Christ is unchangeable Truth- a Firm Foundation. Love is an essential belief that we must practice and love means forgiveness and respect. Therefore let all practice the motto of the early church: In Essentials Unity, In Non-essentials Liberty, In All things Charity.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What Love Is...

I'm on a quest... I want to know what love really is. I'm getting closer to The Answer all the time. I believe love is more than fuzzy feelings, lust, flattery, passion and making a public commitment. An old song used to say, "I wanna know what love is, I want you to show me". This is my prayer, "Lord, teach me what love REALLY is." 1 Corinthians 13 lays out what love is and how it behaves, "Love is not rude or puffed up, love believes all things, hopes all things- it chooses to see the best in others. Love does no harm and it never fails." 1 John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God. Anyone who doesn't love, doesn't know God, because God IS Love. The love of God was shown to the world, when God sent His only Son to die for us so that we might live through Him. And this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to pay for our sins. Sin is anything that makes us feel good, at the expense of someone's well-being. Beloved, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. None of us have ever seen God; but if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us." God hates sin because of the way it ruins our health, drains our finances and breaks our hearts. But He loves sinners with unconditional passion few can comprehend. This is the kind of love I want to know more about. Help me, Lord and let me see others through Your eyes...

God Uses Imperfect People...

There is no room in my heart for prejudice. I lived in the projects. I know what it's like to be disrespected and called 'white trash'. I've seen first-hand what hatred does between whites who look down on blacks and blacks who hate them in return for doing so. It really bothered me to hear people call my friends & neighbors "niggers". They bled, they loved, they laughed and they hurt the same as me. I remember how the school bus would practically pick the rich white kids up at their front door, while the project kids had to walk 5 blocks and stand in the northeastern cold to catch a ride. I know what it's like to be a minority white. The last year we lived in the project, I practically had to stay locked in the apartment for fear of being raped. A gang of teens had made threats & bets on who would be the first to "nail" the red head. I witnessed injustice & hoplessness, the tragedies of drug addiction, premature sexual activity and domestic violence. NOT pretty!
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw it too and it broke his heart. He had a dream and he wasn't afraid to share it. Though he had weaknesses and was far from being a perfect man, God used Martin to spread the message of freedom, peace and equality. It wasn't an easy task and in the end, like Jesus Christ, Dr. King gave his life for the cause he was so passionate about. I have the greatest respect for this man who refused to fight back- even when he was sorely beaten and abused. Love is stronger than hate. Today, we sit in restaurants, ride buses, shop and go to church with African Americans- it's a beautiful thing! Does prejudice still exist? Yes, in the hearts of some whites and blacks alike, but overall, I believe the dream has been realized...
God uses imperfect people. He takes broken vessels and allows His love to flow out from them. There is still hope for me...
Click the link for a brief word of inspiration from the great man himself: http://www.thekingcenter.org

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oops, I Got Tagged!

The Power of 4's Survey

- 4 jobs I've had...
Summer Camp Counselor/Horsemanship Instructor 11 yrs
Secretary 4 yrs
Cook 5 yrs
Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor 4 yrs
- 4 movies I could see over and over...
Life is Beautiful
Sound of Music
LOTRs Trilogy
- 4 places I lived...
Wilmington, DE
Chambersburg, PA
Keene, TX
Yakima, WA (there are MANY more, but okay- only 4)
- 4 TV shows I enjoy watching... (we don't really watch TV)
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Amazing Race
America's Funniest Pets
- 4 places I vacationed...
- 4 websites I visit daily...
- 4 of my favorite foods
Pennsylvania Dutch
- 4 places I'd rather be...
Hayden Lake, ID
Hoback Valley, WY
- 4 albums I can't live without
Michael W. Smith, Eye 2 Eye
East Mountain South, self-titled
Chigago 17
Mr. Mister, Welcome to The Real World (Hard to list only 4)
- 4 people I'm tagging if they want to be caught...
Mo King
Deb & Rafique
Seth Ellis

Anyone else who reads my blog and wants to play... (this means YOU!)

A Day in The Life...

- Yesterday the kids didn't have school due to the holiday and enjoyed a day off. We got work done at the barn. Released the new batch of chicks into the chicken room. Fixed some gaps where the hens were escaping every morning to their deaths. Whatever predator we have usually kills early in the morning. We are now locking the hens in at night and letting them out when we go down to do morning chores. Hope this will reduce our losses. Chippy-the-attack-Gopher mysteriously disappeared. All we found was his little ammo belt... guess he got bored and accepted another assignment? LOL
- Went to play practice last night. This time we're doing 'Two From Galilee'- a musical/love story about Mary & Joseph. It will be showing from mid to the end of February. Can't wait!! I was cast as the angel 'Gabriel'- one of my most challenging roles to date. (It's stereotypically given to males) My costume is beautiful! All silver and sparkling with a hood & tiara on my forehead. Will look good with my reddish hair. I SO enjoy doing music!!!
- I've received lots of updates from friends & family recently. Warms my heart! I'm loyal to people from my past. They are precious to me and I'm interested in their journeys! I try to stay in touch & keep the candle of friendship alive. If I don't hear back from those I write to, I start feeling that perhaps they don't want me in their lives anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT neurotic about it, but if all I hear from someone is when they send the obligatory Christmas card, the effort seems a little one-sided. There are few things worse than loneliness & isolation- so I keep reaching...
- It's been 3 wks since I started my workouts at the 'Y'. I'm feeling better- definitely sleeping better! Don't know if I lost any weight, but I go more by how I feel in my clothes than by the number on the scale. Besides, being a recovered Bulimarexic, I'm not allowed to have a scale in my home, lest I become obsessed again. (I will write more about my eating disorder some other time.)
- We ate late supper as a family at O'Charley's. (Kids eat free) We had a wonderful time & really enjoy our children. The older they get, the more we love them! Yes, I miss having babies around, but it's neat watching them form their own personalities, hopes, ambitions & convictions. We laughed, shared stories & good food. It was one of the best evenings I've had in a LONG time. Our waitress came over & said, "You have such a beautiful family! I've been eavesdropping and you guys must really love each other!" Yep, the bond is strong.... thank You, Jesus!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Which View?

Which view is a person more likely to embrace? The harsh, rugged scene or a gentle, peaceful one?? Do people climb to sit on the side of the mountain to stare directly at the sun's full brightness, or do most people prefer the subtle splendor of sunrises & sunsets?? Light is a good thing, but too much is blinding! When Christ revealed Himself in full glory, Saul of Tarsus was rendered sightless. Yet when revealed as a simple, unassuming carpenter, the blind were healed. God could have made the sun to rise all at once, leaping into the 12 o'clock sky each morning, but He designed it to light the world, by slowly dawning. It is far easier to grasp and embrace Truth when it's introduced gently and gradually. Which view of Truth are you presenting??

Saturday, January 14, 2006

What is 'The Work'?

We heard an AWESOME sermon about finding Jesus! Basically we get distracted by so many things, but Jesus MUST be the true essence of the Christian life. In the end, the question God will ask according to scripture is "What did you do about My Son?" Dwight Nelson once said, "Jesus isn't Someone to be afraid of, He's someone to be a friend of." John 6:27-40 "Don't waste time laboring for things that perish, but for that which endures for eternity, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal (The Holy Spirit) Then they said to Him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them saying, "This is the work of God, that you must do- believe in Him Whom He has sent." So they said to Him, "Then what sign do You do that we may see and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.'" Jesus then said to them, "Truly, I say unto you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the True Bread from Heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world." They said to Him, "Sir, give us this Bread always." Then Jesus said unto them, "I AM the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that The Father gives Me will come to Me. Whoever comes to Me, I will never cast out. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this IS the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day." Jesus didn't teach doctrine, He didn't work to solve all the political or social woes of His day. His passion was teaching the LOVE of God, there is no greater work!

A Parody...

This is a very clever add campaign for a really good cause! Hilarious!! See what you think... :o)


Friday, January 13, 2006

The Rush...

I'm an adrenaline/endorphin junkie. I like to exercise because of the way it makes me feel. Aside from all the damage they do, I love the energy of storms! When I was a kid we lived behind a big cemetary. Some people would be creeped out by this, but I really loved it there. It was a quiet place where I could be alone to think or write in my journal. I enjoyed walking among the tombstones reading epitaphs. I was never afraid- it was very peaceful. Sometimes I would sit at a graveside wondering what that person may have been like. Sometimes I would sneak out the window at night when my parents were arguing and go over to the cemetary. One night we were having an awesome electrical storm. I climbed up on top of the caretakers shed, and there I stood with my arms outstretched, in the dark and in the lightening- just daring it to strike me. I felt very close to God! A car came driving slowly up the road, then stopped suddenly, turned around and burned rubber taking off. Guess they caught sight of me up there with the wind whipping my nightgown and thought they were seeing a GHOST! Anyway, I'll never forget the energy rush- I felt so alive that evening! Yeah, it was probably foolish, but I knew it was my Heavenly Father up there and I figured He wouldn't let the lightening strike me, unless it was my time to die. (Due to the miserable circumstances in my life at the time, I really didn't care if I lived or died.)
I get a rush when I connect to Divinity, and I don't have to risk my life to do that. When I take a look in the Bible and see how greatly I am loved it's energizing. It's great to know my sins are forgiven, because I've messed up A LOT and hurt a lot of people! In my living will, I made it clear when I die I want to be buried in the same cemetary I loved as a child. Several friends of mine are already resting there. Now, I hope to be alive when the Savior comes, if not, when the resurrection happens, I want to be there to meet all the people who were buried there. That will be the greatest rush ever!!! :o)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Green Ham & Eggs!

That's right, Dr. Seuss would roll over in his grave to see this strange reversal. Taiwan scientists have genetically engineered fluorescent GREEN pigs in the name of stem-cell research. NO JOKE!! Read for yourself:


What next?!?

Dive Into It!

I enjoy being active- always have I guess. I'm not able to exercise as much as I want to, but I try to stay fit. Now that we are members of the 'Y' we've been doing a LOT of swimming. A couple things happened recently that taught me about Grace. A dear friend of mine, who also struggled with legalism shared her testimony with me. She had all these rules she lived by. One of them was extreme modesty. Dresses all the time and absolutely NO bathing suits or co-ed swimming allowed. I have a lot of respect for this lady- she really loves Jesus. One morning while praying, she feels the Holy Spirit asking her to take a diving class. She thought it was crazy and put it out of her mind, but for weeks the Still Small Voice kept asking. "This can't be the Holy Spirit, because in order to take a diving class I would have to wear a bathing suit!" she thought. However, the nagging feeling wouldn't let her go. Eventually, she signed up for a diving class. She shows up, totally embarrassed, trembling inside- still unsure if this is really the voice of God speaking. After several attempts off the board, she discovered long, baggy shorts & T-shirts over a bathing suit don't work well for diving- kept coming off. So eventually she was just wearing her swim suit. Weeks passed, she began to relax & enjoy herself. Then one day, while standing at the end of the board getting ready for a dive, the Still Small Voice said, "See all that water? It's like My Grace. When you dive in, feel it surround you and understand how much I love you." She went off that board and as she broke the water's surface, she TRULY understood Grace! Needless to say, she's been a much happier person since. Instead of stressing out all the time, she's resting in Jesus. I've had a similar experience. While swimming, the same little Voice whispered to my heart. Jesus calls Himself 'Living Water' for a reason. When you are really thirsty you don't just take a polite little sip, you guzzle. On a hot day, you don't just dip a toe in, you immerse yourself in the water to feel refreshed. So I swim with my children and watch them jump repeatedly into the pool. They love going under, being totally immersed and feeling the water bear them up to the surface- a good object lesson. My children enjoy carrying me around in the pool. They think it's neat that I'm SO light! I like the weightlessness I feel in the water. The other day as I was getting out of the pool, each step I took, the heavier I felt as I lost bouyancy. For years, I carried the full weight of my sin on my own shoulders. Now I'm giving my pain, my fears & my struggle to Jesus. In a sense my soul knows weightlessness. The burden is light!! Dive into Grace and see for yourself...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Knowledge -vs- Wisdom

When I was a kid, I loved watching WWF (World Wrestling Federation). My brother and I would stay up late Sat. nights to see our favorite guys, Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper & Jake the Snake do their thing in the ring. I thought all the moves I saw were the REAL deal. I remember the first time somebody told me the WWF was staged. I was pretty upset! Instead of pile-driving the kid or hitting him with a flying mare- I argued pretty strongly that it was legit. You see, I had a pretty good knowledge of wrestling, but no wisdom. Oh well..... live and learn..... There's a difference between knowledge & wisdom. These two elements like to have wrestling matches in my head. It is possible to have a TON of knowledge about something and not truly understand it. Many people get degrees in Theology or do their own study and think themselves wise. Sure, they have a lot of Biblical facts and doctrinal proof-texts, they may know the Greek meaning behind many words- that's helpful. But without wisdom, what good is all the information? It will just make one over-confident in their wealth of knowledge. Yep- that was me! Totally cocky with a head full of ammo for my doctrine gun and a heart to put anyone who didn't agree with me in a theoretical headlock- 'til they gave in to my "superior" thinking. I had little understanding about Who Jesus Christ REALLY IS. I couldn't see God's plan for my life, because I was too busy making up my own strategies. Worst of all, I could debate religion, but really didn't know how to love people- ALL people, not just those in my own little circle.
God has been patient with me. He brought me to a point where I let go of my focus on knowledge, in order to gain wisdom. In the humbling process, I have fallen in love with the simplicity of a down-to-earth Savior. God loves to reveal hidden things to the seeker. Those who admit they are poor spiritually and in need of wisdom will be filled. Keep asking, seeking, knocking... Many of the well-learned think they already have everything figured out- no need to question, no need to empty themselves of pre-conceived ideas in order to be taught by the Holy Spirit. The more I learn, the less I know. GOD TRULY IS A MYSTERY!
Psalm 111:10 "Reverence for The Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it will have a good understanding..."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Solution to Predator Problem

Okay, so after losing nearly all of my chickens to what we think are raccoons & possums, thought it was time to get serious and bring in a specialist to guard and defend the flock. 'Chippy the Attack Gopher' is enjoying his new post behind our barn and gets plenty of food & gratitude. If you come to visit, please DON'T distract him or in any way mess with him, he's very serious about what he does! Psst, the secret password for this operation is "gonuts".

(Hey folks- this blog is VERY active! check in often- never know what you will find here!) :o)

'End of The Spear'

This is the new motion picture based on a true story of how love conquers hatred and death in the jungles of South America. It fills in details of the story that was shared in the 'Beyond the Gates of Splendor' documentary. Chad Allen plays double roles as Nate Saint, one of 5 missionaries who are killed, and as Steve Saint, Nate's son who goes back to live with the violent Auca Tribe and helps win them over to a peaceful way of life. Once called 'Aucas' which means 'The killers', they are now called 'Waodani', meaning "The People". A powerful testimony for the powers of love & forgiveness. Coming Jan. 20th, rated PG-13
For more information or to view the trailer: http://www.endofthespear.com

Love Above Life...

Saw an amazing documentary called 'Beyond the Gates of Splendor'- true story of 5 men who go to spread the Gospel in the wild jungles of South America. There, a tribe of murdering savages lives & dies by the spear. They are greatly feared! To this day, their violence is unmatched in recorded history. If a man was speared and dying, he could demand his wife to kill each of their children and throw them in the grave with him. Men would spear & drown their own wives and children. Meanwhile just 20 miles away are 5 missionary families who learn the 'lost' Auca tribe has never heard the name of Jesus. The Auca have no idea how greatly God loves them. They only know hatred and mistreatment. So these brave young men in their 20's leave their wives & little ones behind to fly a plane over the jungle and drop gifts for the Auca. Eventually, the grateful Auca's place gifts in the basket in return for the kindness they've been shown. The missionaries decide it's time for face-to-face contact, land the plane and have a friendly encounter with 3 tribe members. But the very next day, due to a terrible misunderstanding, when the missionaries return, a group of angry natives spear all 5 men & hack up the plane with machete. You see, though armed, the missionaries would not use force against the Aucas saying, "We are ready for Heaven and they are not." One by one those dedicated men fell. Loved ones were left to grieve. But instead of hating the Aucas for what they did, one determined wife (Elisabeth Elliot) took her young daughter into the jungle to live with the Auca tribe and teach them a better way. The tribe adopted them, later accepted the Gospel of Peace and were baptized. There's a time for war, but I believe it's possible to love so greatly you'd rather die than kill. Jesus certainly demonstrated this. I certainly wouldn't take a beating I didn't deserve if I had the powers Christ had. With one word He could've killed everyone involved in His trial, scourging and crucifixion, but bleeding on a cross He said, "Father forgive them, Father forgive...." This is the kind of love I desire in my heart.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Greater Miracle...

I'll be the first to admit I can be pretty dense, but I recently had what I call a breakthrough experience. There were a LOT of heavy stress factors in our lives- mainly financially. (We are a family of 6 living on 1 modest income.) Both vehicles had been in the shop, my man was away on a trip, the heater went out, Christmas was coming and I couldn't sleep. I kept brain-storming for solutions and begging for God to work a miracle. I wanted Him to come through BIGTIME and deliver us out of our troubles- knowing He is fully capable of doing so. I wanted a big check to come in the mail unexpectedly and solve all our financial problems. I wanted all the stress factors in our lives to suddenly turn for our benefit. It was not meant to be... weeks later I was still facing the same burdens when I got up every morning. I was pretty frustrated, but continued to ask for a big miracle. Why was God not answering? Couldn't He see how discouraged I was feeling?? Suddenly, I felt a peace come over me and the Spirit spoke to my heart saying, "Obvious, direct answers to prayer are not the greatest manifestations of God's strength. Just getting you through each day is no less a miracle. Every day you get up, put one foot in front of the other and find something to smile about IS the greater miracle." Okay, not the easy way out I was looking for, but true! Women in labor cry out to the Lord to take away the pain- He could do that in the blink of an eye, but the biggest miracle is helping her endure the suffering to bring a new life into the world. Just when she thinks she can't take it anymore and gets pretty verbal about letting everyone know, the baby is born and it's all over. Day by agonizing day, I waited, then little changes began to take place- our situation began to improve. We are now on the other side of that hurdle and I will be pondering this new realization for a while. :o) Next time I'm in a tough situation, before I pray for deliverance I'll ask myself what the greater miracle would be.

Gotta Love Insurance!

It's like a big, green morph-monster that I don't understand- especially medical insurance! Just when you think you have your policy all figured out, it changes and leaves you frantically doing research on your cell phone by the side of the road to re-learn what is and isn't covered. My kids were supposed to start their new school today, but only after they had physicals this morning. (YES, they just had those last year, but this school requires them to have them again this year.) So we all get up early and show up for their appointments. As I'm signing in, the receptionist asks me if the kids are sick. I told her they weren't they just needed school check-ups. She then let me know those exams are no longer billed to insurance and that it would be a $90 office visit for each child. Okay, I was prepared to pay a $15 co-pay, NOT $180! Yikes! I asked her if she was sure our carrier wouldn't cover it. She said to call the 1-800 number on my card to see and sent us home. So out of the office we went, out to the van where I dial the number and wait on hold for 15 mins. just to find out that- sure enough, our insurance doesn't cover school physicals now. Isn't this fun? NOT! I then drove to 2 other clinics to see if we could work something out, but NOPE. So, needless to say the kids are happy to have one extra day of vacation. Thankfully, I was able to find a Dr. friend who will see them this evening. Few things in this life are certain, but death, taxes and coverage changes are. Insurance. Can't figure it out, can't live without it...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Quote From A Friend...

My friend Grant shared this thought in an e-mail to me:

"It's tempting to believe that much of the angst we face about our lives
could be relieved if we just get it "right" now and then. The reality is,
the endless longing we all feel has a purpose - to remind us that we're not
home, we are pilgrims and as such, our lives are not comfortable, in the
fullest sense of meaning, but rather, we have something to take comfort in -
namely, eternal hope in an eternal Person."

About Life...

The weather is unusually warm here for Jan.! Guess this is due to global warming? Lost another chicken this weekend to our mystery predator. SO frustrating! Started with a flock of 60 and we're now down to 37. 20 chicks & 17 layers. grrrrrr Spent a whole morning clearing out brush & small trees away from our fence line hoping to give less opportunity for ambush. If chickens would fly up in a tree instead of hitting full freak mode, they wouldn't be as likely to get slaughtered, but they panic and scatter, literally losing their heads. They are beautiful, charming little creatures with many different vocalizations. Like people, each are special in their own way. Always sad to lose them!

Christmas break is over. The kids start their new school tomorrow. After much prayer and consideration, we withdrew our oldest 2 children from the private school they were in. Public schools in this area are very good with wonderful teachers. We don't believe in placing kids in situations where they'll be "overwhelmed by temptation", but I also don't want them in a school where Christianity is being misrepresented. We're moving on. When Christian parents are doing their jobs at home, doing their best to keep the family strong through worship, prayer and open discussion with their children, they are very likely to be an influence for good in the public school system. Christ in the heart is fullness and reveals the emptiness of other things. Not every child who enters that arena turns into a heathen as many would have us believe! "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world."

We love our new church family at the CCC! We feel like we've FINALLY found a congregation with better focus and we are excited to be involved with other young adults, media ministry and the praise team. We had some guests over for lunch after church and enjoyed spending time with them. Watched 'Beyond the Gates of Splendor' documentary and wept at how love turned murderous savages into loving believers. Amazing what God can do!

I spent lots of time this vacation reading blogs. So many hurting people out there! I'm convinced there is NO room for arrogance, self-righteousness or spiritual pride in the Christian life. The more I study our Savior, the more I want to love as He did. (Fact is, I don't have all my ducks in a row- I'm still learning like everyone else!) The humble, gentle, servant approach of Jesus is often such stark contrast to the way we go about things. It's frustrating to see people with honest questions and deep struggles turned away because they don't see the Love of Jesus in us. (They should for all the boasting we do of being "God's Remnant Church") We're in such a hurry to set people straight, but we often fail to present & live the greatest truth- which is Christ and Him crucified. I've said this before in many different ways, but my deepest conviction? It's NOT about us or about having superior theology & perfect behavior. It's about the victory of Christ on our behalf- HIS righteousness. Until we make Him the main thrust of our message, sadly, we aren't converting true believers, but mere conformers. (Many prefer religionism over relationship so they don't have to see their great need.) No matter how many texts we memorize, how many church offices we hold, how well we express ourselves, how many schools, hospitals or satellite networks we have- without Love we're nothing. Holy Spirit is doing an amazing work! There is major revival happening!! People are turning to Jesus, some for the first time in their entire experience, and entering His rest. Beautiful thing! Seekers who connect with The Vine will produce fruit... Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up, I will draw ALL men unto Me". Help us, Lord we are so clumsy!

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Publicity Photo...

This photo of me and my man (isn't he handsome!) was taken to promote our radio show TGIF 'Thank God It's Friday' which aires on LifeTalk Radio Network every Fri. at Noon. You can listen live by visiting: www.lifetalk.net and click on the 'Listen Live' option. Great, balanced Christian programming available via streaming audio 24/7.

I Cannot Make A Flower Bloom...

It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, warm breezes were blowing my auburn hair. I felt SO alive! The little mid-west town we lived in was full of activity as all the children were out of school and enjoying their vacation time. I rode my little orange Huffy Sundance bike around as fast as my 9 yr. old legs could pedal, just looking for something to do. Then I spied a field of what looked to be oddly shaped weeds with tall, thick stems & strange green heads on them. Weird! I stopped my bike, put the kick-stand down and went in for a closer look. I vaguely remembered a beautiful field of bright red flowers being in this place the summer before. Could this be the beginning of the same awesome display? Getting on my knees, I took a bud between my fingers to examine it. The greenish outer shell of the bud had come open just a sliver and inside I could see a brilliant red color. Ohhhh, how exciting! I tenderly pried open the outer shell to reveal the crimson bud beneath. It was just a bunch of petals tightly wrapped in a tear-drop shape. Suddenly, I had a "brilliant" idea! I wanted to make the poppies bloom. Wouldn't people be impressed when they saw all my beautiful flowers?! So I began the meticulous process of peeling the petals down, until the first flower looked somewhat open- as a mature flower would be. Satisfied, I moved on to the next, then the next. I have NO idea how long I worked with those poor flowers, but after forcing 5 or 6 to "bloom", I was very proud of my accomplishment. However, when I looked back on the first few I had already unfolded, I found they were completely dark and shriveled! The stems were bent, the blooms were facing the ground instead of the sky. This confused me, as I tried very hard to be helpful. However if you've ever pried to MAKE a flower bloom before it's time you know the petals are delicate and easily torn. Within a short time, the flowers I had worked so hard with had wilted. What I thought would be glorious blossoms were now forever lost. The lesson I learned that day would come in handy years down the road. Everything and every heart has it's own time and season. Often as a Christian I get impatient. The end is near, I want to convert people, to see more results, but God has His own plan and a time-table for every human soul. Perhaps the human spirit is very delicate and should never be molested by well-intentioned interference. Pushed to mature out of season, or trampled underfoot by the over-eager indoctrinator, a heart will only wither. Just a few short weeks after my sad little experiment, the warm glances of summer sunlight and the kiss of gentle rains brought the field into full bloom- without my assistance and to God's glory- not my own. The Spirit wants to move in us to reflect the Love of God. "When the loving character of Christ is revealed, hearts will turn to Him as naturally as a flower turns to the sun." ~ E.G.W.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hast Thou No Scar?

"Hast thou no scar, no hidden scar, on foot or side or hand?
I hear these sung as mighty in the land.
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star.
Has thou no scar? Has thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers. Spent.
Leaned me against a tree to die and rent by ravening beasts that compassed me.
I swooned. Has thou no wound? No scar?
As the Master, must the servant be.
And pierced are the feet that follow me. But thine are whole.
Can He have followed this far who has no wound nor scar?"

- Amy Carmichael

The Dangers of Asking Why?

"Why" is a 3 letter word that can make a person crazy. It's natural to want to ask why tragedy happens. It's also our tendancy to try and put a purpose on a disaster- like the recent tragedy in the mines. We want an explanation- someone to blame. Not long after those two planes crashed into the towers, a well known religious leader took it upon himself to announce that it happened because gays were employed in those buildings. After the Tsunami, a lot of people were shaking their heads with knowing looks, tisk-tisking. I heard it said that the hurricane was the judgement of God upon sinners in New Orleans. They held up as evidence the fact that a whole street of casinos, strip clubs and hotels were leveled. However, when taking stock of the damage, we find there were also a lot of churches, hospitals, nursing homes and a YMCA destroyed so what does that say?? I don't think it is ever our place to speak for God in these circumstances. If I were the evil one, I would go around causing chaos and disaster hoping that well-meaning Christians would give the blame to God's vengeance. I would entice many to say things like "If you people would just clean up your act, this wouldn't happen" knowing as a result, a lot of people would turn away from God in anger and distrust. But this mindset says bad things only happen to bad people. Truth is, bad things happen to all of us- good or bad. Good things also happen to upstanding citizens and criminals alike. So it's just not as cut and dried as we like to make it sometimes. God was not sleeping when the Tsunami hit, but I'm not sure He sent it either. Who can say? I believe God mourns every tragedy. Yes, He allows bad things to happen, if He didn't let sin run it's awful course, we would be content with the way things are and never hope for something better. Instead of sitting around discussing "why" maybe it would be better to ask "What can we do to help?"

Taking a Stand...

I learned some valuable lessons from a friend today and wanted to share:

1) When taking a big, bold stand on something, expect to meet big, bold resistance.
2) When setting yourself up as an expert, expect arguments. Most people consider themselves to be experts. For every truth you present, there will be 10 other views on the same subject- each convinced in their own mind and considering their opinion to be the most valid.
3) A soul cannot be invaded or a mind changed, no matter how well you debate or how hard you try to persuade. Only a supernatural influence can bring conviction. Don't waste time arguing.
4) Don't make assumptions or rely on someone else's word for things you present as fact, think for yourself- do your own study.
5) Those who think themselves wise and well-learned, will be regarded as fools. God resists the proud but uplifts the humble.
6) A Chinese Proverb says, "A foolish man, thinking he is wise, uses many words to instruct and impresses few; while a wise man, satisfied in his wisdom influences greatly, though saying very little."

I will take these things to heart! Jesus held all the wisdom of the universe, yet He was humble, using simple examples and speaking words the everyday person could understand. He presented truth to those who would listen, yet didn't insult their intelligence by spelling it all out for them. He respectfully allowed people to consider and grasp the meaning for themselves as the Spirit led...


Yesterday I took the kids to the dollar matinee to see the movie, Dreamer. Okay, I admit I am drawn to sappy films about horses!! What a wonderful story, based on real events! I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but the main character is a little girl who is hopeful, optimistic and determined. She sees something good in a broken-down wreck of a racehorse- when everyone else is ready to give up on her..... I am a dreamer and I love happy endings!!
The late-great ragamuffin, Rich Mullins once sang, "Everywhere I go, I see You". The closer I get to Jesus, the more my eyes are opened. I see Him in nature, I recognize Him in others, I find Him in movie plots and I feel Him working in me. He can take a poor, discouraged, broken-down person like me and turn me into someone who loves. He gives me courage to get up and run the race again. That is the truest proof that He exists. My heart is changing! At times I doubt, I am stubborn and struggle to go back to what I used to be, to the "normal" I once knew, but it seems so dull and empty now. Jesus says, "Come and learn of Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul." Jesus is the great rehabilitator Who sees a winner in every one of us!!

Romans 10 & 11

I love the book of Romans, particularly these two chapters. They remove all reason for any of us to boast. I will share a few passages that have made a difference for me:

Romans 10:1-13, "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to wisdom. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into Heaven" (or bring Christ down to our level) or "Who will ascend into the abyss?" (to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is the Word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach, unless they are sent? It is written, "How beautiful are the feet of them who bring Good News!" But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of God."

Whether Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, Church of God, etc. We are saved by grace- by the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we refuse to submit to the righteousness of God and enter His rest, we are disobedient- even if we do good and try to keep 10 commandments. Jesus kept them for us- and it is He who works in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure. The Bible says "Not everyone who cries Lord, Lord will be saved. There are some to whom He will say, "Depart from Me, for I never knew you". It is possible to believe Jesus exists without believing IN Him or being changed by Him. Many claim to know Him, but they do not manifest His character of love to a dying world. Those are the ones who in the last day will cry Lord, Lord and be turned away. It's all about a heart-to-heart connection!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Life Can Be SO Cruel!

I'm no stranger to disappointment. I really loved my parents, my family and was devastated when at 8, my parents divorced. We moved with our Momma to Missouri- where we lived near her family. My Dad, a truckdriver, would head our direction and come visit every once in a while. Each time I hoped that we would be a family, but he would hit the road again. I begged God VERY hard to put my family back together. Daddy never ceased trying to convince Momma to come back. After 3 yrs, she decided to go ahead and try again, so back to PA we went and eventually they were remarried. My prayers were answered- my family was back together again- how I rejoiced!! But the big joke was on me- 2 awful years later they were divorced again. Within a year's time, both parents were remarried. I was scrambling to grieve the loss of my blood family, while adjusting to the dimension of having 2 new step families, and trying to navigate the confusion of being a teen. It was a lonely, HORRENDOUS ride on the emotional/spiritual roller-coaster, but I made it through... Years later I rejoiced to find out I was pregnant, only to miscarry twice. Joy to despair in 4 months time. We have 4 beautiful children to love, but a part of me always thinks of the 2 we lost. What would they have been like? As I look back now, I see there's a purpose for all the chaos. I wouldn't be who I am today or know the victory I know had I not lived that pain. I have embraced it and moved on...
Still, I can only imagine the devastation the families of the miners must feel- having spent sleepless nights praying, fasting and pleading for the lives of their loved-ones, being told 12 survived, only to find out 1 survived! (Praise God for that 1 precious life!) To go from such intense worry- to jubilation, then come crashing down as the devastating news was received. That's horrible! I hurt intensely for these dear people!! I hope they won't lose their faith. Suffering is caused by the terrible hatred of our enemy, not a lack of love on God's part. I hope those who have experienced terrible loss can recover from their tragedy and be stronger for it. God, this world is SO cruel! How long must we wait for justice down here? How long till we see our loved ones again????

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

West Virginia Miners...

My heart is really aching for those poor miners and their families in W.VA. I hope and pray that by some miracle those boys are still alive down there, but it doesn't look very good. They are trained to tap & signal and they have heard nothing. Having found one body already, my hopes are starting to slide, but the rest could still be alive by some miracle. I remember staying up late into the morning and crying tears of joy as I watched every one of those miners come out of those dark passages up in PA. a couple of years ago. Keep praying!
Death has a way of stealing our loved ones when we least expect it and before we are ready to say goodbye. The rescuers are placing their lives in jeopardy also. God help them all...

Womanly Wisdom :o)

- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets.
- Life is a struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hairstylist you like.
- You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
- Time may be a great healer, but it's also a lousy beautician.
- Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone.
- Age is important only if you're cheese or wine or running for President.
- The only time a woman wishes she were a year older is when she's expecting a baby.
- Life has improved greatly since the invention of control-top pantyhose.
- Freedom of the press means no-iron clothes.
- Gravity is NOT friendly- defy it at all costs!


I know how it feels to be an outcast- NO fun! To be judged, shunned, picked on, the object of gossip- most of us have been on the receiving end and likely, we've dished it out on others a few times. The world can be a cold, hard, ugly place. I've also been praised and admired a time or two- ahhhhh- but okay those warm fuzzies went straight to my head- not good!!
Jesus loves "rejects", sinners and outcasts. He made it a point to hang out with them, knowing that when someone really feels loved, good things start happening. He sat talking & feasting with tax collectors, prostitutes and reprobates. The religious leaders of His time just couldn't figure this out. Surely this couldn't be a Holy man- the Messiah! God would never stoop so low as to dine with such great sinners! Or would He? In a time when Leprosy turned people into the living dead, Jesus closed the gap to touch and heal them. He wasn't afraid to get His hands dirty. He showed mercy to a whore about to be stoned and friendship to the lonely woman at the well. (Sometimes people are so insecure and hurt so deeply they don't even recognize what they really need.) Christ wasn't shocked or impressed by anyone- He simply kept reaching. Today, many of us find it hard to make friends with anyone who doesn't think or behave according to certain "prescribed behaviors". How many Christians do you know who have befriended someone with Aids? How many have ever spoken kindly to a prostitute, a gang member or a convict? How would the congregation react if a wino, drug dealer or a person with some big challenges walked into church? We tend to stay in our little bubbles and play it safe, after all- what would people say? Jesus could have reveled in the joys of wowing people with His intellect and worked His way up the ranks of church leadership. Instead He did the will of His Father, making Himself of NO reputation and simply loved. Knowing this draws me closer to God. Too many people have been abandoned- told they aren't good enough for our social clubs. Telling someone they are a sinner is about as useful as telling an obese person they are overweight. DUH! I want to stop pointing out the problems, and point to The Solution. God IS love and in His eyes there are NO losers! :o)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Uncovering the Wounds...

My youngest daughter was bit by a neighbor's cat this past summer. It quickly festered up something terrible! We had to get her on antibiotics right away. The Dr. cleaned it out, put a bandage over the wound and sent us home. Several days later the infection hadn't spread, but it wasn't healing either. The first step in healing the wound was to take off the bandage & look at the wound. It was UGLY- all blue, green, purple and swollen. We soaked it in hot water, let it drain & cleaned it out with disinfectant. After doing this unpleasant ritual several times, the wound healed and today you can't even see the marks. :o)
Emotional/spiritual wounds are very similar. We've ALL been hurt, we ALL struggle. Most people cover their inner pain and don't really let anyone in. They fester emotionally, but they are afraid of what other people may think of them if they are honest. This was me for many, many years. Today, I'm involved in ministry, but only because the Good Lord has given me the opportunity. Apparently some person(s) are uncomfortable with the honesty I have shared in this blog. I have no desire to be anybody's hero and I'm not afraid to be honest about the challenges I've faced. I don't have all the answers, but God does and He's walking with me as I try and discover what it really means to be a follower of Christ.
This Blog is entitled 'My Journey' because I'm still learning, healing and growing. It's a place in cyberspace where I can record my thoughts, convictions and experiences. I welcome feedback, but know that most of all, I want hurting people out there who happen to find this blog to know you are not alone and you are loved! Jesus said He did not come for the "Well" people but for those willing to admit they are sick and in need of the Great Physician. I once was lost (you can be just as lost sitting in a church pew as when you're drunk in the gutter) but now I'm found. We can go on pretending we're all A okay and have it all together, or we can be real. We can rejoice together for victories won and support each other when trials come. I want this blog to be a safe place to drop the masks. God wants to remove the filthy rags we cover our wounds with and introduce us to the healing Balm of Gilead, Jesus Christ. Come and be healed...

Variety Show...

Gotta check out this link to a public access talent search/variety show that aired back in the early 1990's.


Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! Simply click the pictures and the video clip will load. Don't miss the famous John Daker, the male/female duet and the Group singing the grand finale. This was no doubt, inspired by Lawrence Welk and was the precursor to 'American Idol'... ;o)

9-1-1 Loves Me!

Okay, so I'm headed down the interstate in the hammer lane, minding my own business, and all of a sudden when I check my rear-view mirror I see this little green pick-up coming up on my tail unusually fast. He gets right UP on my bumper, then I hear a siren wailing and see a cop coming up fast. I check, then start to ease over into the right-hand lane.... I'm about half-way over and I hear a horn honk. SNAP- there is the little green truck right beside me and I'm about to connect with him!! I veered left and he shot ahead of me. Before I can get over in the slow lane, the cop is passing me on the right and flashing me a smile and a 'thumbs up' sign as if I MEANT to deter the driver of the green truck by running him off the road! Meantime, a big PURSE comes hurling from the pick-up, hits my hood and goes under my van. Okay, time for me to get more pro-active here, I dial 9-1-1 on my cell as about 8 other cops go screaming by to let them know about the purse:

Them: "9-1-1 Dispatch, what's your location and emergency?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm southbound on 75, a little green pick-up truck just passed me after I just about side-swiped him and he threw a purse out the window. You might want it for evidence?"
Them: "Yes we're on it- one of our officers saw that and has stopped to pick it up."
Me: "Okay, good!"
Them: "Thanks for being a concerned citizen and calling in."
Me: "No problem- whoo-hooo, go get 'em boys!"
Them: "Okay ma'am, be careful out there and drive safely now. Love ya, Bye." CLICK

HA HA HA- not only did I get a little adrenaline rush from being in the middle of a high-speed chase, I now know that 9-1-1 dispatch "loves me". (I'm so in the habit of saying "Love ya, Bye" on the phone that I once said it to a mortgage broker at the end of a call- SO EMBARRASSING!! Glad I'm not the ONLY one that's ever done that!!!) Have YOU ever done something insane and regrettable??

My Personality Quiz Results...

You Have a Multi-faceted Temperament with strong Sanguine, Choleric, and Melancholy tendencies
You Have a Multi-faceted Personality with Strong Sanguine/Choleric/Melancholy Tendencies.

You are the life of the party, a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things. You are known as a leader, a 'people person' and you are somewhat artistic.
Unsatisfied by the dull and ordinary, you are reaching for an epic, extraordinary life. You are confident, reflective and resourceful. You want the best life, the best love, the best reputation.

You are creative and possess a sharp intellect. Your mind and sense of humor are your primary weapons. Strong willed and optimistic, nothing can keep you down. Your positive energy can break down any barrier and your loving spirit is contagious. You're a passionate person - and this passion gives you an intoxicating power over others.

At your worst, you are full of yourself, moody and restless. Fun-loving, yet stubborn and opinionated, you can be sensitive and are somewhat prone to over-analyze things.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sailing On...

I feel tremendously privileged to be sailing into a new year with my man. 2006- bring it on! I'm a dreamer, an optimist- always have been- despite the many challenges life has presented. My creative, romantic, passionate nature makes me the kind of girl who is constantly looking ahead, thinking of the future and all it's possibilities. We've been married nearly 13 yrs now and I've spent half my life with my special guy. We had a rough start to be sure! At times it felt like we were heading more for Gilligan's Island than for Fantasy Island. We have hit some major storms along this voyage called "marriage". Sometimes life just took the wind out of our sails and we wondered if we should start bailing, but we stayed the course and overall it's been pretty good!
It didn't take long to realize I married a laid back, practical man who is very content and comfortable in the present. There was a span of time when he resented me for being a visionary and I resented him for approaching life with passiveness and reservation. (simple personality conflict) However, having navigated our crew & cargo through a rough 2005, we have come to see our relationship as a fine vessel. Lighthearted, adaptable and adventurous, I am the sail- always in the mood to catch the wind- just to see where it goes. My man is the ship itself- a solid, steady platform with ballast & rudder giving me balance, direction and something to hang on to. A sail without a ship is useless- a ship with no sail wouldn't get anywhere. So, we NEED each other. Yeah, I could've married a fun-loving dreamer like me, but which of us would have sacrificed our dream to make that of the other come true? He could have married a completely practical, timid person, but he would have been totally BORED with her. I can honestly say I love my husband more now than I did when we first said "I do". Both of us have changed for the better because of this relationship. We are just now "hitting our stride" and having made it through the 'Diaper Decade' intact, perhaps the future still has some great adventures in store for me and my first mate....