Friday, March 31, 2006

God Gives Forever

In the middle of the night, I heard these words "God gives forever". Not 'for ever', that would change the meaning, but 'forever'.

He has given us forever with Him. How amazing.

God gave His Son so that we might live forever with Him wherever He dwells.

He gives. He gives us forever.

Forever is for us

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thirty Days Hast September, April......?

Last fall we purchased hanging flip 2006 calendars for our congregation.

As we were filling in the days and scheduling speakers, we got to April and discovered, not only that April didn't have the 30th but that 31 was in its place!

The most amazing thing was that when we called the calendar company, they told me they would reprint them.

HELLO! It's the end of March! And HOW LONG will it take you to print them? Could we possibly have them by June so that the rest of the year would be correct?

Finally, they settle for giving us a discount on next year's order.

Now...what will I do when the 29th is over?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Batman & Robin To the Rescue!!!

Here's a cool chalk drawing by Julian Beever

Keep in mind that this drawing is on a flat sidewalk. Julian is standing on the sidewalk. The drawing is so 3 dimensional it looks totally realistic. He's awesome!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cool Beans

Love One Another
"...and this scar I got from the chair of the board during the battle of "guitars in the sanctuary" in the early 80s."

Report from the Pastor Search Committee:

We do not have a happy report to give. We have not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church, though we have one promising prospect. Thank you for your suggestions. We have followed up on each one with interviews or by calling at least three references. The following is our confidential report.

ADAM: Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods.
NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.

JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times.
Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.

DEBORAH: One word --- Female.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor's wife.

SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem.
ELIJAH: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.
HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife's occupation.

JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
AMOS: Too much of a country hick. Backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a hang-up against wealthy people.

JOHN: Says he is a Baptist, but doesn't dress like one. May be too Pentecostal. Tends to lift both hands in the air to worship when he gets excited. You know we limit to one hand. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed. He's a loose cannon.

PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he's short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night.
TIMOTHY: Too young.

JESUS: Has had popular times, but once when his church grew to 5000, He managed to offend them all; and his church dwindled down to twelve people. Seldom stays in one place very long. And, of course, he is single.
JUDAS: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We're inviting him to preach this Sunday in view of a call.

A pastor thought that the reason he had no one coming to the altar week after week was because his sermons were too short. The next week he decided to preach for an hour and a half. Sure enough, 18 people came down the aisle to the altar to lay down after the first hour of preaching. He thought it was odd, though, that none of them got up after he was done.

Has the heaviness of you old fashioned church got you weighted down? Try us! We are the New and Improved Lite Church of the Valley. Studies have shown we have 24% fewer commitments. We trim off guilt as we are Low-Cal... low Calvin, that is. We feature a 7.5% tithe, a 35 minute worship service with 7 minute sermons. Next Sunday's sermon is on the Feeding of 500.

When the ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat the occupants were more than ready to leave. Noah made one last sweep and found a despondent snake in the hold.--"Why are you sad and why haven't you left?" asked Noah.--"Because I'm so inadequate" replied the snake.--"Inadequate?" queried Noah.--"Yes" continued the snake, "The Lord commanded that we go forth and MULTIPLY and I'm an ADDER." (by David Palmer)

Why was Boaz free?
He was ruthless

How many Apostles can you fit in a car?
All of them. It says in Acts "...they met in one accord."

First Dog with a name?
Moreover, the Dog came and licked his sores.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Mornin' Comin' Down

So, here it is...another work week.

The sun is shining and the temp is expected to climb to 50 today. Maybe spring has really sprung.

I learned to play a new song last night...'Horse With No Name'. It really takes me back to the 60's when my sub sailor husband and I lived in an 'off-the-base' trailer park.

The band, America had just started to eat up the charts and I was still jammin' to Janis Joplin and Melanie. Who knew that I would eventually learn guitar in my 50's. Regression is beautiful...sometimes.

Think about it, you 30 year olds, when mid-life crisis hits it's a good idea to have a pre-plan in place.

My husband went through the bar phase years ago. After a few life lessons, he channels his energy into guitars. Keeps him home nights.

So, to make a marriage even more interesting, it's important to share in creative activities.

As soon as all the bridal gowns go, the sound room is coming alive.

I just need to get ideas on how to do the walls and ceilings.

Growth comes by learning. That's what God says.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Blessings Upon Blessings

Today we had a women's clothing exchange day at church.

Such excitement as the women 'oohed' and 'aahed' at the variety of clothing.

One woman said to me, "Sister, look! I got two bracelets. I've never had anything like this before."

So many times, we overlook the people closest to us. We forget to see their needs and forget to look for them, too.

You know, it's not really 'all about me'. It's 'all about them' and what you can do to help life be a little kinder to those less fortunate.

We tend to forget how rich we are compared to some.

Most of the time, people don't let you see their need. It's not that we are suppose to be able to 'read their minds' but to be more aware of them.

It's wonderful to pray for someone but if you can, supply an unspoken need.

The blessing is two-fold. Your generosity blesses them. Supplying their need swells your heart and makes everything a little brighter for yourself.

Go ahead. 'Make their day.'

Friday, March 24, 2006

Here We Go Again...

As most of you know (or don't know) I've been playing the mandolin since last summer. I can finally switch the easy chords effortlessly, sounding like I'm playing a song. I enjoy the mandolin only, sometimes the higher octave sound is too high to sing along with.

So, my husband, who is an avid Ebayer, gets this Washburn cutaway guitar in black with metal flake delivered on Friday. Well, it's just the cutest thing. Thin body and a little shorter than a regular 6 string.

While it's not like the mando in size, I feel really comfortable hold it.

Today I accomplished several chords and played a song! A little choppy, but the tune was there.

I notice the difference in strings between the mando and guitar. My fingers just scream after a session. Swollen and tingly, they can't wait to get back to playing.

So on to my next adventure.

They say the more you learn, the more brain cells you can afford to lose when you get elderly. I'm workin' on it.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What is stranger than fiction?

I pondered this question today.

Stanger than fiction is...

...when the truth is wrong.
...that I pay taxes on something that has already been taxed again and again and again.
...when I had a real mind moment with my dog. We were thinking the exact same thing at the exact same moment.
...that my shoe size is a 6, dress size a 6, pant size an 8, shirt size a small, hat size 6 7/8. Who comes up with these numbers?
...the name Faith and faith can mean a person's name and a belief. Is a person named that because they have a belief? Or is a belief because of a person named the same?
...that cats talk to their prey when they think the prey can't see or hear them, especially through a window and their tail slaps the glass.
...that all musical instruments have the same notes...but you have to play them all differently to get the same note.
...that we're all worried about the depletion of our forestry all over the world but I get at least one credit card offer a day with three or four pieces of paper inside and a return envelope. Where's the conservation in that?
...when I clean out my closets to make room and then go buy more clothes because I don't have anything to wear. (not me)
...that I order bridal gowns from China, sell them on Ebay and then they are sent back over to Asia. What gives?
...that a word can never be used once.
...that we breathe the exact same air that's been here since the beginning of time. Where else would it come from?
...that the same water I drink today will return to the earth (in some form) to be recycled for future generations.
...that as I think about these things, someone else somewhere has thought the same.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Shop A Holic

I went to the mall today to exchange..well, some items that are unmentionables, and found the greatest sales.

Sears had racks of sale items priced from $2.99 and up. We're talkin' sweaters, tops, suit jackets, skirts, pants, pajamas, nightgowns, robes, shoes..

Oh, shoes! All their Land's End boots were on sale. I found 1 pair of zip back, khaki, for $4.99. I also got a pair of the short booties with a side zip (in the dark red, of course) for $7.99. Such a deal!

I stopped in at the Bon Ton and found my favorite slacks for $6.95!

End of season sales are just the best! I love to stock up for the next year.

When I get my clothes out for that time, it's like presents appearing out of nowhere!

BTW, I did stop at another store (Burlington Coat Factory) and got a cool blazer with matching skirt. Although, not on sale, their everyday low prices were a bargain

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

New Words from an Old Text

I just recently purchased a NASB (New American Standard Bible) version of the Bible. Experts say that it's the most literal translation of the Hebrew texts. I'm a strong believer in the NIV (New International Version) Bible because it's easy to read and understand. My mind doesn't have to wrap around 'thees' and 'thous'. Neither version that I have has them and the NASB is just as easy to read for gaining insight.

The differences are subtle but sometimes it's the way the text is switched around that plays on my ears with new meaning. They say the Word is 'new' everyday with fresh understanding in the most minute ways.

Reading in Proverbs 12:14 I'll show you what I mean.

NIV From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things, as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

NASB A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words, And the deeds of a man's hands will return to him.

Now most people would say that they both say the same thing. I think they do but with a difference of application.

In the NIV version, 'a man is filled with good things' infers that he would be satisfied but doesn't state it. In the NASB it says 'he will be satisfied with good by..'.

The second part says the same thing, too, only reads with more definite action.

It may be just me. I enjoy reading other versions, but these two seem to speak to me the best.

What say you?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

Today's Word

'Some days you're a bug...

...some days you're the windshield.'

Thursday, March 16, 2006

How To Gain Divine Wisdom

I asked the Lord to teach me how He wants me to learn from Him. He gave me this scripture:

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to
goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to
self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to
godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For
if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will
keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-- 2 Peter 1:5-8

If I make the effort to add these attributes to my faith I will learn effectively and productively about Him.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Just a Dream Away

“There’s no place like home.”
“There’s no place like home.”
“There’s no place like home,” the crickets chorus in my ears.

There’s the door...just a few more steps. Reach for the knob, turn slowly. I know how to do it but…I can’t…quite…reach.

The eerie darkness falls heavily, blanketing the night sounds. My thoughts and fears turn inwards, sapping strength needed to push onward.

I stretch, yearning for the feel of the cold metal. Gasping and grasping, I struggle to move my feet through the sloppy thickened mud. With each step the mud layers itself to the bottom of my soles, unsteadying my footing. Sweat pours down my face, salting my eyes and blurring my vision.

I’m almost there, almost inside, safety and security millimeters away.

Home sweet home.

My hands swipe at the blackened air, as if to tear the veil to see the light. I touch the knob just as something knocks hard against my arm. Arrows of pain shoot up to my shoulder. Terrified I turn and close my eyes, waiting for the next blow.

His nails pierce my scalp. With a yelp, I open my eyes to see a large ball of fur waiting to attack again. “OK” I moan. “I’ll get up”. For a moment I cuddle my pillow, rejoicing in the daylight.

It’s time to rise and face the day.

The cat’s hungry.

Monday, March 13, 2006

You may be a Pharisee if...

I had to pass this along...

You may be a Pharisee if…

The demons say, “Jesus we know, Paul we’ve heard of, but gracious, down here, you’re a punch line!”

You’re willing to be merciful – once.

You call the recent discovery of porno on your computer “Research.”

The prostitutes in town think your name is John.

You may be a Pharisee if…

Everyone outside your circle, and most within it, are wrong.

You wistfully refer to public stoning as “the good ole days.”

You secretly loathe humility and wonder why Jesus gets all the attention during worship.

You may be a Pharisee if…

You and you alone can correctly interpret the Bible.

God’s still, small voice has come to sound exactly like you.

You pray, “Thy will be done,” and people wonder why you’re talking to yourself.

You may be a Pharisee if…

Finally, on that great and terrible Day, you’re shocked to hear, “Depart from me. I never knew you!”

For, I’m Bryan Hupperts.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Picture of the Day

From Pastor Bob: "Amongst all of the junk we get over the internet, occasionally we get something like this. It was just too good not to send around."

This is the best.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ha Ha Ha Ha

I came across this joke the other day and thought I'd share:

Once upon a time, these two women were talking and the one asks the other how many times she's been married, and the reply was 4.

'Four times!' exclaimed the first woman, why so many?

So the other woman says, 'Well, I first got married when I was very young, and I married this wonderful man who was a banker. However, one day just a few weeks after we were married, his bank was robbed and he was shot and killed.'

'Oh my gosh, that's terrible' the first woman said.

'Well, it wasn't that tragic. Soon after that, I started seeing another man who performed in the circus. He was really a great guy, but he lived pretty dangerously because he performed his high-wire act without a net. Well, a few weeks after we got married, he was performing a show and suddenly a gust of wind came by and knocked him off his wire and he was killed.'

'Your second husband was killed too?!!? That's horrible!'

'Yes, it was terrible, but at the funeral I fell in love with the minister and we got married soon after that. Unfortunately, one Sunday while he was walking to church, he was hit by a car and killed.'

'Three??? Three husbands of yours were killed? How could you live through all that?'

'It was pretty tough, but then I met my present husband. And he's a wonderful man. I think we'll live a long happy life together.'

'And what does your present husband do for a living?'

'He's a mortician.'

'A mortician? I don't understand something here. First you marry a banker, then a circus performer, then a minister, and now a mortician? Why such a diverse grouping of husbands?'

'Well, if you think about it it's not too hard to understand...
One for the money...
Two for the show...
Three to get ready...
And four to go!'

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What's New

What Fun!!!! I just opened my Ebay store to sell off my inventory from my closed bridal salon.

The ReFinery

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

YAHOO! Spring is here!

Yesterday, I noticed a tree in my yard for the first time. I've lived here five years and just thought it was another poplar or some other kind.

But, as I walked towards it, I noticed that it looked to be in bud. The late afternoon sun shone through towards me, making the branches glow with gold.

The closest branch to the ground was held about a foot over the reach of my arm. I couldn't believe my eyes when I finally jumped high enough to grab the end of the branch.

Snapping off the tip, I beheld a wonder of wonders. I had tried to plant a tree like this many years ago and it never took root. I had cared for the sapling like a child, but the tree never grew.

The Bible says that God knows the desires of our heart. He surprised me with this tree in the midst of all the changes in my life.

The pussy willow is in bloom in my yard. Just another reminder from God that 'all is well' and that He's real close.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting and Waiting

'A mind is a terrible thing to waste.'

I didn't say it, someone else did. But I agree.

'The more brain cells you use, the more you have to lose.'

I didn't say that, either. I also agree.

I have worked at quite a few different types of jobs. I learned to fight fires, take pictures, roller skate, ice skate, type, make donuts, pick corn and many other activities.

Now, that I've reached another milestone in my life, I find that learning new things is harder because of all the choices available.

Should I write? What? Fiction? Non-Fiction? Humor? Mystery? Sci-Fi? Short stories? Poetry? One-liners? Fluff? Deep stuff? And the list goes on and on and on and on.

I'm trying the mandolin. Too bad I can't find a bluegrass teacher near my home. I really have the desire to learn but I just need the guidance to play better. Chords are no trouble at all. Rhythm works good, too.

Just to sit down a plink a tune along with the radio or music station seems to be such a mystery but so close as if I could just reach out and remove the veil. 'Seeing through a glass darkly', I believe is the expression. Yeah, it's Biblical.

So it comes down to this: What is my purpose, other than to please God?

I've tried so many things; 'master of none'.

What desire did God place on my heart, so long ago, that I've forgotten. Way back in grade school, what did I want to be when I grew up?

Well, here I am. All grown up, yet so short of the goals I believe God has for me. I'm just swingin' along, going here and going there.

Don't get me wrong. I do some things well. I've been married 35 years this year. My husband is unsaved but I believe he's the man that God chose for me. My husband isn't a saint but he's very good to me.

I have 2 lovely children, all grown up and doing the best they can and three beautiful granddaughters that go to church with me.

What to do? Just wait and see.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Where To Go

I just received a daily devotional from Pastor Steve Gray.

Here's what he said: "All my life I have heard people say, 'Follow Jesus!' But nobody bothered to tell me that he was actually going somewhere."

"Jesus entered the temple area... Matthew 21:12a

Is that why the Kingdom of God is not growing? As I look back, I can remember lots of people telling me the same thing. 'You must receive Jesus as your Savior, then you will be saved from the pit of hell.'

Hmmm. There's a lot of truth in Pastor Gray's message. Where did I think I was going? Where WAS Jesus going?

He says 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.' I believe that. But have I ever realized that the way with Jesus is to go somewhere?

Put into this context it makes me wonder. Shouldn't I be telling people this? Isn't this why the world is searching?

The answer is 'Yes, Jesus is going somewhere.' That 'somewhere' is the destination that He has in mind for you. In Jeremiah 29:11 NIV he says 'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'

So there it is, He has a plan just for me. No matter how sinful or hurtful to others I have been, starting with TODAY (the day of 'before I was formed in my mother's womb') He has a personal somewhere just for me.

He goes on to say in Jeremiah 29:12 'Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.' Yes, I did call upon Him and He has definitively answered me so that there was no doubt on my part.

Next in 29:13 'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and will bring you back from captivity.' What captivity was I in? The soul-wrenching fear of the unknown future that no man can explain or testify that he's seen except Jesus Christ.

God has a plan for my life, IF I allow Him to proceed unhindered by my self. In this day and age, it's all about self-satisfaction and self-seeking and user-friendly and self-desiring. There's no way that I can satisfy the desires of my heart, fully, because I am incapable of recognizing a true desire from a false one.

God KNOWS the desires of my heart. It is HIS desire to fulfill them. This is where Jesus is the place where I am fully satisfied within my soul.

'As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, Oh God' the psalmist declared. My soul longs for the communion of the garden. And as the psalmist continued 'Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls', my soul calls out to God.

Yes, Jesus is going somewhere. He is going to fulfill Himself within me so that I am fully satisfied within. The terror of this world has no hold on me anymore. I KNOW without a doubt I am going with Him.

If you're searching for that some place, start with Him. He'll lead you. He'll never leave you nor forsake you. He is Life.

Seek Him at All About God